Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's all about who you know.

I'm just sitting on my nice leather lime green chair here at work. 1:25 pm, raining outside: just pure ugly weather. I got to work late after the other interns decided to call me at 10:30 am, thank goodness for the other amazing interns. I don't even think anyone noticed I was late except for the interns who had texted me "where are you, we miss you at our table of awesomeness." This only makes me smile inside, knowing that I have such great friends as co-workers.

Since I have gotten here this morning, I haven't really accomplished too much. However, I did call the California DMV right when it opened. I know you wanna hear my DMV story. Everyone loves a good story about having to call the DMV. Well, if I can't reiterate this enough. The Museum of Modern Art, aka MoMA gave my drivers/motorcycle license to another asian woman, about a month ago... The woman later returned it and MoMA decided to snail mail my license to an address I left for them. It has been over 3 weeks since they supposedly mailed it, but no sign of it anywhere. I have been in e-mail correspondence with the manager on several occasions, and all she does is come up with excuses as to why I have not received it, "oh I might have forgotten to write your apartment number", "oh, it was delayed being mailed out of the mail room"...

ONE: It doesn't matter if there is no apartment number, I have four doormen who know me, and have been anticipating this letter, so it would have been recieved and TWO: since the supposed shipment, I have received expected letters from across the country in less than 3 days. SO DON'T BULLSHIT ME, WOMAN!

Due to their lack in judgment (for giving my ID to a 36 year old woman), it will cost me $50 to replace my California license because it has a motorcycle and drivers class on it, each $25. PLUS, I have to get a NEW YORK ID card because California does not let you duplicate license cards without being their in person. I am turning my passport in to the Chinese consulate for my visa, and won't have it until June..therefore I wouldn't even be able to fly home to get another license because I WON'T HAVE ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION. See how one person's stereotypes can cause huge problems?!? Ugh. Was Tim Burton worth it? No. Sorry Mr. Burton.

A week ago, one of my managers took me to Vera Wang's show at Fashion Week. We peaced out around 10:30 am and headed to the 11am show at bryant park. No, we did not have tickets, but we knew security. Teehee. It's wonderful working in this industry where you have to know people in all industries and professions. They put us in a separate line and let us in sans tickets. Of course we had to wait to fill in seats, but my manager and I snatched up 2 seats in the 3rd row! While I did not see any glorified super models. I did see Joe Zee(Elle), Nina Garcia(Marie Claire), and Anna Wintour without her sunglasses! (Vogue): all editors of fashion magazines, for those of you who did not know and Miss J. Alexander, runway coach and judge for america's next top model. Of course the event started fashionably late, but was fun! Never in a million years did I think I would be sitting behind Nina Garcia at Fashion Week. Just gotta know people!

The rest of the workweek was pretty repetitive. Lounging in my lime green leather chair inputing invoices and contacting our VIPs. I had a few minor communication difficulties with my roommate on thursday and friday, but we hugged it out over the weekend.

Friday after work I went to get an hour massage, which was much needed! I don't mind spending a dollar a minute if someone is cracking all my knots out. While it sounded disgusting and I was giggling for most of the time, my back feels so much better. The masseur had to use her elbow most of the time, as most of my problem areas are very deep in my muscle tissue. I may have to make this a bi-weekly trip. So much for saving money. I decided to stay in as I was already so relaxed from my massage.

Saturday, Kelley and I got free facials at Origins, which was nice and temporarily relaxing event, until we decided to explore East Village. I love the small shops and fun restaurants in E.Village. Most of the speakeasies are located there. We were going to look at PDT (Please don't tell) and upon our escapade, we discovered "Tuck Shop", an australian eatery with Meat pies and vanilla slices. It was definitely a delicious meal before a night of dancing. Later that night, we went to a friend of a friend's cousin's birthday party (x-degrees of separation?) at Hotel Rivington, and of course ended the night with some pizza.

On Sunday, I headed back down to Chinatown with Annabelle and Yaniv to try and see the Chinese New Year parade. Of course I choose the busiest intersection of Mott & Canal, but I slipped into my favorite bakery, Taipan, which is elevated a few feet above street level, and I can see PERFECTLY! Oh, what an ingenious idea. Sipping on bubble tea, snacking on egg tarts and pork buns.

That night, I enjoyed the USA vs Canada hockey teams battle it out in the Olympics. While I did not really root for a team, I outwardly rooted for USA, and inwardly rooted for Canada. There are 4 Sharks players on team canada, of course I'd root for them inside.

Yesterday, Monday, the most exciting thing that happened was having lunch with my manager's MOM! Haha yes, her mother. I found out that my manager's mom is the VP of Corporate Travel at BlackRock, a company that flat out rejected me two years ago for an internship position. I took the train over with my manager and we discussed what corporate travel and global affairs at BlackRock is all about. It sounds really awesome, negotiating with large airline companies for cheap business class tickets. Sounds like my kind of thing AND she's looking for an intern :) Mayyybeeeee its me! We'll see. If I do get a job at blackrock, it'll be because of her. C'mon it's who you know.

Today...aside from waking up late...MY MANAGER GOT ME A BRAND NEW PAIR OF BURBERRY SUNGLASSES! CASE, CLOTH AND ALL! Of course she got them from an inside contact with Luxottica (company presiding over Chanel,Burberry, Prada...)..

Which goes to prove, it's no longer about what you do,
but who you know.
If not that, it's if you're willing to ask.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Warehouse, Rooftop, and Street parties, oh my.

At this very moment, I am relaxing in front of the TV watching Canada vs. Switzerland women's hockey. Sadly, I missed the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, because somehow the DVR didn't record. Yes, somehow. Oh well, not the end of the world. I can still enjoy watching some hockey. It's funny though, many of the women hockey players are wearing full on makeup. Reminds me of Smith games against Wheaton. Hockey = always a good way to wind down from a hectic weekend. This week, or at least this weekend, has been exceptionally eventful. Perhaps the accumulation of holidays in a three day weekend is the reason.

On Wednesday, I was updated from the Shanghai Expo, USA Pavilion of my travel plans and visa/passport requirements. Apparently, we also have uniforms. I really hope our uniforms look like Team USA's uniform at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Slick. Cross my fingers!

Friday, for work, I visited the Marriott Marquis with my managers again to discuss the ARF's future with Marriott for conventions, meetings, etc. We had lunch with the global sales rep at the upstairs restaurant. Almost exploded with the amount of food I ate, hey, it was a free lunch. One of the managers and I decided to walk from Times Square back to our workplace so we could walk past Bryant Park, the location of Fashion Week!

My manager and I are going to attempt to go to Vera Wang's show tomorrow morning. I love working in this industry! Well, I'll have to let you know if I get to make it in...

After work on Friday, I walked with Anneken down to Union Square where I went shopping before I met up with her and her roommates for Vietnamese dinner! Didn't end up buying anything since the trends these days have been...well not my style. Around 7 I headed on the L train to Williamsburg and met up with "Heineken" and her roommates and other friends. After enjoying a yummy meal at Bep, meaning kitchen in Vietnamese, on Bedford Ave. we headed back to the apartment where one of Anneken's roommates, Jack, received a text message about a warehouse party. I have to find out how to get on these text message mailing lists! Where are the raves??

The warehouse party was in the middle of nowhere, side of the freeway with a guy hanging around outside shuffling us into the building. There were four separate rooms in the warehouse with live music in two rooms, and djs in the other two. The decor was like Valentine's day on crack.

We danced for so long I couldn't even stand anymore. At 3:30am we finally decided to leave, but of course on our way home we had to get pizza. Then, we played Wii until about 5 am. Get some more exercise before bed!

I snuck out 11am on Saturday morning since everyone was still asleep. I went home, showered really quickly, so I could meet up with Kelley to go watch the Vandy game at Kings Head Tavern. We stayed til the end of the game, in which they won. While I don't really care for basketball, or college sports for that matter, a benefit for the trip was that I found Vanessa's dumplings, a suggestion from my roommate. 5 pot stickers for $1.29. Too good to be true? Nay! Decent bubble tea for $2.50! Soup = $1.00+.

What was funny was that a girl next to our table asked if the bubble tea was good, I answered that it was decent for its price and I said "I hope that I would know since I've drank probably over 1,000 bubble teas in the past decade." She said, "I'm from SF, I hope I would too". We talked about the bay area and I asked if she went to school in NY. She answered..."I actually go to Smith College.". I was amazed and told her I just graduated from Smith in January! What a small world to be at a small restaurant in NYC, and to get on the topic about bubble tea, only to find out we attended the same college. Crazy.

Saturday night, Kelley and I were planning on going on a pre-valentine's cruise, since this valentine's day was my first "Single's awareness day", and I am actually quite happy about that. In Lady Gaga's words, "I'm a free bitch baby"! We were waiting in line when I saw the french friends that I met during the Superbowl Sunday party. They were leaving and said that the boat smelled and it was all old couples. So, we all decided to leave, and we ran into Annabelle and her boyfriend on the way out. We headed to the meatpacking district, which was my first time in the area and I absolutely loved it! They took us to Provacateur, a lounge on the rooftop of Hotel Gansevoort. It was beautiful, but no one was dancing, so of course the Europeans, Kelley and I showed them what it was all about. I LOVED the DJ, he played EVERYTHING I love. Also, I ran into ANOTHER Smithie! Two Smithies in one day, what a small world!

We only stayed til about 2, since Aliss, one of the girl's, who is also a model, was STARVING, since she hadn't eaten all day... We went to POP burger, which has the cutest little burgers, and even though they weren't the best burgers I've had, they sat well in my tummy at that hour in the morning. POP burger was also part club (?) in the back so they were playing house music, which also sat well with me :)

Yesterday, CHINESE NEW YEAR and Valentine's day was really eventful. I met up with Annabelle and her bf on Canal street, where confetti adorned the strees, poppers and firecrackers filled my ears, and hoards of people hindered my movement. While yesterday was the official new year, most of the parades and celebrations are next week. But, I was able to show Annabelle and Yaniv what Chinatown was all about. I took them to Taipan bakery, which has one of the best eggtarts in the city, and TianRen tea, one of the best bubble teas in the area. Both were on Mott Street/Canal where most of the dragon dances were. There were many pairs of dragons dancing from store to store, symbolizing "protection" and prosperity for the new year.

After a couple hours, I met up with Kelley and showed her around the same parts, but were later invited to Regina's apartment for Chinese New Year dinner! I had bought some 年糕 or stick rice cake previously. I brought them over to share with everyone else. There were around 10 of us scrammed into her apartment, but it was good to spend CNY with others and spread the culture and history of Chinese New Year. We had crab, lobster, 炒米粉,汤圆,年糕,炒白菜,等等。

After dinner, Kelley and I wanted to go see Valentine's Day the movie, but everything was sold out until 11:30 so we hung around Union Square until 11. The movie was a lot better than we had expected, but we came to the conclusion that we are "easily entertained" and that people have way too high expectations for something that is a pastime. What a great ending to my first single vday! :)

Today was a pretty relaxed day. Another movie, The Lightning Thief. I had low expectations from the ratings, also knowing that the movie was fairly different from the book. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The cast included some famous actors such as Pierce Brosnan and Uma Therman. Of course it diverged from the book's storyline, but I have suggested that my brother watch it since he has finished the entire books series.

After the movie, I walked down to Union Square to grocery shop at an always over crowded Trader Joe's. No matter how crowded it is and how unpleasant the shopping experience, I always go back for their amazing products for even more amazing prices.

Now I am back, very satisfied with my long weekend, praying to go to Vera Wang's show tomorrow, and watching Canada kick Switzerland's ass 10-1.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Have you heard the news? Bad things come in twos.

Title: lyrics from "The Little Things" by Danny Elfman, from the movie Wanted.
Thought it embodied my adventures so far in NY. I have gone on adventures always with ONE other person. Me and Grace. Me and Kelley. Me and Annken... Who cares about having an entourage these days. It's all about the duos causing mayhem in Gotham.

I think that I should start writing more often, only because my memory has been slowly dissipating. No matter how hard I try to remember what happened last week...I can only remember from Thursday on. Perhaps it's because I didn't do anything last Tuesday or Wednesday...I can't recall any memories. So..let's start on Thursday.

Talking about work is no fun, so lets begin after work. I met up with Kelley and her friend Euginio for trivia night at Failte Irish Pub. The top three teams won prizes, and we were 4th place out of 12+ teams!! We messed up on the first round, and that hurt us significantly, but we caught up during the "half time" round of "capitals of Asian countries"! We ROCKED that round. Hm, I wonder why.

Friday night, I met up with one of the interns, Anneken, in Williamsburg. We roamed around Brooklyn with intentions of finding this wine bar, but ended up finding a hidden bar called The Woods and met some really chill people who bought us a round of drinks. I didn't get home until 4am, but that was with no help of the subway system. I waited 2o minutes for the L train then another 15 minutes for the 6 train.

However, I did get some cool photos of Brooklyn. Its mesh of cultures and art has provided many photographers, artists, and songwriters alike to inhabit this area. If I hadn't experienced someone creepily following my friend and I last month, I would probably visit Brooklyn a little more often.
I know I'll be back sometime this week for pho though!

I pretty much lounged around all of Saturday and met up with Kelley for dinner at Arriba Arriba (Mexican food) in Hell's Ktichen. It was tasty, but I definitely have had better Mexican food for MUCH cheaper. Oh how it is proven that price has NOTHING to do with the taste of a cuisine.
I vote for HOLE IN THE WALL restaurants! Oh 麻辣汤, how I miss you.

Some Chimichangas and Enchiladas accompanied with a glass of sangria.

Then...Superbowl Sunday!!

I woke up around 11, had a bowl of cereal and and relaxed until 1 when I met up with Annabelle, another intern, and her bf for brunch. I was introduced to another friend, who accompanied us for brunch. Sunday was dedicated to speaking french as Annabelle, her bf, and all their friends are French or French-Canadian. So, I guess I really can't escape the language. Mais, c'est pas mal. We found a really cheap bistro, with amazing food! Bistango is a place I will definitely hit up more often. Afterward, we crossed the street to Tonic East (3:30pm) and waited until the game (6:30pm). Yes, we spent a day in a bar because the waitresses and managers were being anal about tables when the place wasn't even as packed as they made it out to be.

I was so stuffed after the game since I had ingested a salad, sandwich, nachos, calamari, chicken wings, and fries throughout the day. On top of that included a mini keg of beer, mimosas and some weird shots. Talk about bloated.

That's it for the fun weekend. I'm excited for the 3-day weekend coming up.
We got Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year on Sunday.
Then, President's Day on Monday = no work!
Finally, MARDI GRAS on Tuesday! There's work, but whatever. Partying and gluttony occurs at night anyway.

Today, I got to go to the Marriott Marquis to discuss the logistics of our Convention + Expo. I continue to love my job! However, the question keeps coming up...what am I going to do after I get back from China? I have been researching jobs at our client companies, and I just don't understand what these positions call for! Meh, nothing to stress about just yet.

Before I complete this post, I have to let you know how ECSTATIC I am about my next internship. I was forwarded some pictures of the student ambassador's living situation.

Of course, I should lower my expectations, as these ARE CGI photos. I'll let you know what they're like when I get there though!

Upcoming this week:
Another fashion show on Wednesday at HK club.
Rock trivia on Thursday.
Valentine's cruise sans la valentine. Haha.
Valentine's day and The Lightning Thief movie. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Red Velvet.

It seems to be a reoccurring theme with my blogs, as time goes on I become less loquacious. It's not as though my life is boring, but I'm spending so much time out of my apartment, that when I'm home, I just want to relax and veg out in front of the tv.

My first week at work was amazing, and this week all of my my managers have returned from California. Unfortunately, for me, they are still catching up from last week, so they don't have much for me to do. I've just been chatting it up with the CEO in hopes that he has some things for me to do. I am ecstatic that I have this opportunity to work with this company, as I've been conference calling huge companies like ABC, MTV, Microsoft, ESPN, Ogilvy, Google, Facebook, and hundreds of other firms with advertising entities. I'm so stoked for the convention, expo, and Ogilvy awards dinner, with special cocktail bars and oyster bar =) I'm enjoying this too much!

Last Thursday, us interns went to happy hour and enjoyed a few cocktails as we talked about everything and anything. All in all, there are 6 of us, half of the normal intern group, but I love it. We all get along and support each other since our departments always intermix. I'm planning on inviting them all out to pub trivia this week. We'll see how it goes!

On Friday, Kelley and I had an in night and made red velvet cupcakes! I'm glad I didn't completely butcher them but my first batch could have been taken out of the oven sooner. Here is my short "how to bake red velvet cupcakes" recipe:

1. Buy ingredients. Good for 24 cupcakes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. If anything, it's always nice to have helping hands.

3. My least favorite part: Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. *It helps to use an ice cream scooper*. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. *As soon as you poke the cupcake and do not see any stuck to the toothpick, pull them out! This will keep the cupcakes moist*. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

4. For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

My favorite part! In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

5. Usually, the toppings call for pecans and raspberries, but since I didn't buy any, I just took one of my cupcakes and crumbled it over the top of my cupcakes, to give it more color =)

Eat and enjoy the surplus of calories.

Over the weekend I played some soccer...in 13 degree weather! It was literally FREEZING. I finally have turf shoes, shin guards, but none of them hindered the development of fatty bruises on my thighs. Cold day+soccer ball slapped against thigh=pain for a few hours and hideous bruise. But hey, I'm getting better =)

I went to MOMA after soccer on Sunday, and with the family pass I could get into the Tim Burton exhibit without a timed pass! VIP, baby! Since I wasn't allowed to take photos anywhere, I asked to take one of the entrance...pretty insane.

Today after work, I went to a French meetup group with Kelley and discovered that my dislike for the french language is all the memories that come along with it. Oh high school, je ne veux pas me rappeler vous. I didn't have a problem understanding anything, but speaking it was like nails on a chalkboard. Other than that, Chinese kept wanting to babble out of my mouth. At least I left meeting two other cool girls to hang out with! I think I'll go to the Chinese meetup instead this week.

I think that's it for now.

Au Revoir francais.
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