Thursday, June 10, 2010

Discouraging Job Ads

Hm...saw an interesting article on the Huffington Post the other discouraging is this? Apparently, a lot of new job postings come with the caveat of "The Unemployed Will Not Be Considered." How is this productive and how is this helping our economy??

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Caking Out

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

In my last post I mentioned that I'd been taking some cake decorating classes at Michael's. Well, one of the reasons that I enrolled in these classes was because I had recently purchased Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, and tried a bunch of her recipes and they were all amazing and I somehow got the notion that I was going to become the Asian Martha Stewart! However, even though the handbook has all these delicious recipes, it didn't really have any good decorating tips, so all my cupcakes, banana bread, cakes, etc were tasty but plain looking. Anyway, last week I finished my 8 week class. I spent $44 for classes, $200 on equipment, bought 16 bars of Crisco and 16 pounds of powdered sugar for frosting, and baked a few cakes...and end result...2 real cakes and a bunch of shit I don't really need. Check it out:

My tool box

Frosting for flowers

"Colorflow" pieces

"Royal Icing" Flowers

Basketweave Easter type cake


English rose cake aka "Old Lady Cake" 

Anyway, now that i've done this, I cannot even smell frosting/icing without wanting to needless to say it'll be a while before I make a cake again!  

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where Has the Time Gone?

Me and a sea turtle in Kona, Hawaii.

Wow, I can't believe it's been 40 days since my last post! I think this may have been the longest break that I've taken since I started blogging consistently. What can I say? I guess I'm trying to live by one of Einstein's famous quotes - "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I guess I needed some time off from stressing out over the whole job search thing...I mean, hey, even a slacker needs a vacation sometime! :)

So, what have I been doing the last month or so? Well, the husband and I went on a week long vacation to Hawaii, I went to Palm Springs for a girl's getaway with some of my best friends and stumbled upon Dinah Shore Weekend, I began an 8-week cake decorating course at Michael's to indulge my creative side and sweet tooth, and I joined Club One - a trendy gym - because I've been eating too much cake...and I can't help it...I'm from L.A.

Oh and a few people have been asking me how my job search has been going recently. To answer that question, in the last 40 days on the job search front, I've had two phone interviews and one in person interview - all of which shockingly did not leave me feeling like an inept imbecile. I haven't heard back from these interviews though, so maybe they didn't share the same the feelings as me...who knows!?

What I do know is that I need to do something a little different. Like Einstein said, it's insanity to continue to do the same thing over and over again, so I'm now open to different career options. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bay Area Interview Questions

Today, I had an interview...during the 2 1/2 hours that I was being interviewed, I got the typical questions:

- "Tell me about yourself"
- "Tell me about a time when you failed"
- "What are your strengths?"


The main question that jumped out at me though was: "What does HTML code look like?" What?! I've never been asked this question before so I did the best I could to warble my way out of the question. If you catch me on a good day, I'm a pretty good bull-shitter, but I'm pretty sure that I bombed this one today...!

When I got home, I told my husband the question and asked what he thought. His answer? Some long winded simile to The Matrix: "Like when Neo gained his powers in The Matrix and saw his world as computer codes." I love Keanu Reeves, but this is one movie of his that I've never seen...too bad because I think that answer was probably a lot more intelligent than mine!

So...Is this a Bay Area thing? I've never been asked this before!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Was it Worth it?

A year and a half ago, I attended a wedding of a dear friend and randomly had a conversation with an older man who was pretty successful in his career and on the verge of retirement. To the best of my memory (and actually there were others there who can attest to the fact that this is actually accurate) the conversation went a little something like this:

Man: So what do you do?
Me: I just finished my MBA and am a marketer at a small company.
Man: Oh congratulations! Where did you get your MBA?
Me: USC.
Man: Really! Now tell me, what rank is USC business school these days? I mean, is it even worth it to go and spend money for a school that's not even in the Top Tier?
Me: (Literally LOL.) Well, USC is ranked about 21 these days, but I don't think ranking is the most important thing when you're choosing a school! And besides, people go to business school for different reasons. I was an English major in undergrad so I thought it would be a good idea for me to broaden my horizons and learn more about business!
Man: Psssshhh...English. Now that's a useless major!
Me: (Literally LOL...again.) Well, it's not so bad. It helps people with their communications and writing skills!
Man: Oh, I suppose. What did you study as an English major? I assume you read the Classics like The Iliad and The Aeneid?
Me: PUH-leeez! I translated those from Latin to English in high school! No, as an English major, you study the English writers such as Chaucer, Milton, and Shakespeare! But I focused a lot on women Romantic writers because I liked that the most. Oh, hey! My drink is empty! Please excuse me!

Fast forward to 2010...this weekend, I attended an online marketing lecture, given by Lorrie Thomas (if you Google her, she's the Marketing Therapist - not the accused murderer) at UC Berkeley extension, as part of my ongoing efforts to expand my horizons. Before the class we went around the room and gave brief introductions of ourselves and it turns out about 30% of the class was unemployed - I suppose a sad sign of the times. During a break, I was chatting with a few people and the conversation went something like this:

Girl #1: So you went to business school? Where did you go?
Me: USC.
Girl #2: So how's that working out for you?
Me: Ha! Apparently not that well, since I'm sitting here right now!

Anyway, since then, I've been thinking about the fact that I did indeed go to business school and really have nothing but my diploma to show for it! I took out a shitload of loans (thank goodness it was only 2 years, not 4 like medical school) and I haven't recovered even half of it! Not to mention my forgone salary from my old job and all the on-the-go job experience I would have accumulated!! I'm no financial analyst, but it doesn't take a genius to put these facts and my blog together to realize that I'm not optimizing my ROI for this particular investment!

However, when it's all said and done, right now I'm still glad I went. It was a great experience to get out of the industry I was in, work on a diverse set of projects, and in general learn more about leadership from smart people with different professional backgrounds than myself. Although I do have to say, when my little bitch of a friend, Sallie Mae, comes calling once a month, I do get pretty annoyed...but to answer some questions..."Was it worth it and is it working out for me" to have gone to business school? It's debatable...but as my career is a marathon and not a sprint, ask me again in another 10 years. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Feel Like an Oscar Winner

Yesterday, I had a conversation with an ex-colleague of mine that made me feel like Gwyneth Paltrow! No, we did not talk about how thin and gorgeous I was, we didn't talk about couture clothing, and we didn't talk about how I won an Oscar when I was going out with Ben Affleck.

Instead, my ex-colleague told me about some work related events that happened at the video game company that I worked at! Apparently, the guy who I hated and basically quit because of (see a few posts ago) is still a total douche lord and still hated by most of his team AND 5 different people went to HR to file complaints about him on ONE day! Now, I know this has absolutely NOTHING to do with me since I don't work there anymore, but I just felt so glad! Seriously, once in a while I have doubts about having quit this job without anything lined up but this made me think that if I was still there I'd be completely miserable and this totally reinforced my decision and made me feel so glad!

This is TOTALLY how Gwyneth Paltrow must have felt when Winona Ryder got caught shoplifting at Sak's! Remember back in the day when the two were best friends?? And then something happened and they weren't? Well, Gwyneth blogged about how happy she felt when Winona got caught shoplifting and how it felt "good to hear something bad about someone you don't like!" It's so true...who knew Gwyneth was so intuitive!?

Monday, February 22, 2010

And You Thought It Was Over...

My Farm during the holidays.

A few people here and there and on Facebook have asked me what ever happened with my Farmville farm. I guess not everyone defriended me when I went through my phase of posting a new picture of my farm every day! Some even found it amusing! (Well, to my face anyway!)

Long story short, my farm became really high maintenence and I started spending over an hour a day on it! This became a huge problem over the holidays where my farm got so crowded and messy that I couldn't even deal with it anymore! Anyway, I think for a while I was just over it and I started forgetting about my crops, and a lot of them kept dying and then for a few weeks I deleted all of my crops completely.

Well, this past week, I decided to get in the saddle and start farming again. Mainly because there are so many new and exciting additions to the world of Farmville and the only way to get them is to either spend money on my PayPal account (are you kidding, I'm unemployed!) or to farm and "make money" to buy the new things! Ok, I'm probably going to have to get with it and stop letting my plants die, but in the meantime, check it out!

New horse stable.

My new villa.

My rides area.

Lotus flowers and sugarcane. LOL.

Dead poinsettias.

Dead sugarcane.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I LOVE JK Rowling

Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a total nerd who loves JK Rowling and Harry Potter. I think she's brilliant and I love her Harry Potter books which on the outside seem like children's books, but then have very adult themes. I've read each one at least 5-7 times and I think she is the only celebrity that I'd stand in line to see or stand in line for tickets to see. Well, maybe Christian Bale too, but I think that's a whole different story.

I just saw this video of her doing a commencement speech at Harvard last year, and wanted to share. My favorite part is where she says, "Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two." Because recently, I think I have been confusing the two and I totally used to make fun of the people who did and now I'm one of them! I guess it's something that I'm going to have to work on. Anyway, I just think that this is a pretty inspirational speech and if you have the time, you should check it out. And I realize that most people do not have 21 minutes to spare to watch the whole video, so you can also just read it here. That's just how cool I think she is!

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010, Whatever!

Thanks to a good friend of mine who connected me with her friend, I received an email this week from a recruiter at a company that I had been keen on getting into. I was super excited when the recruiter contacted me via email...until I read what she GPA from both undergrad and grad school. Yikes! Let's just put it this way...after years of being a studious student, I stopped caring about grades the moment I got accepted into college. Seriously. I got a C in cheerleading my senior year of high school. Oops!

But the more I think about it, the more I wonder. Does school GPA really matter in the real world? I mean, I'm sure it matters to subjects like rocket science or brain surgery. But to the sales and marketing jobs to which I'm applying now? Really!? I've never had anyone else ask me for my GPA for a job before, so I started to sweat. These days in times of stress, I look to the internet, so I did some research online to see what people have to say about this matter and I came across a quote from a fellow blogger: "Great sales people tend to be great socializers, which likely means the keg trumped the library when it came to late night pursuits." Sweet. I'm totally going to start using this as my excuse as to why my GPA hasn't been in the top 25% of the class since high school! I wasn't focused on my GPA because I was concentrating on my real life skills! So there!

Anyway, in case you're wondering, I did send over my GPAs to the recruiter and I'm still blogging about it so obviously it wasn't a positive answer! Oh well...on to my next pursuit!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's My Story?

I've had about a week and a half of unemployment this time around and so far, it's been pretty good. The last job at the video game company where I was getting home at late everyday really made me not do anything at home! I forgot how nice it is to be at home on a weeknight and have dinner with my husband! Anyway, I was really excited this week because it was my aunt's birthday and my cousin invited me to dinner on a Tuesday night. If I was at that job, I most likely would not have been able to make it to dinner and I definitely would not have been able to make these DELICIOUS cupcakes that I found online! Mmmmmmmm...buttermilk cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting...Thanks Pat and Gina Neely! Tasty!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand..."What's My Story?" I had a phone interview yesterday morning and leading up to the interview, I was stressing about what my story was. I was wondering if the recruiter was going to ask me why I was only at the last gig for 2 months before I quit and I was trying to think of how I was going to spin it besides just saying that I worked for a Douche Lord. Should I say that it was just a contract position? Should I say that the work/life balance wasn't there? Should I just say it wasn't a good fit?

Well, it turns out I didn't have to say anything at all. I said that I was there for 2 months and was now looking for new opps and she didn't question me at all! I wonder if this is because there are such high turnover rates at companies these days and it's not uncommon to leave anymore? Is this because of Gen Y!?!? In any case, I'll take it! I still have my version of the story to share, and I probably will have to refine it a little more, but I definitely don't think this aspect of my job search is going to hold me back. My technical skills on the other, we'll just leave it at that for now.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Return of the Blogi!

Today I'm posting a new blog without changing the name of my really it can only mean one thing...I'm once again unemployed! WTF, you ask? Well, long story short....

I started a new job on November 16 at an online video game company. The company has been around for 5 years and is actually owned by a publicly traded company in Japan with 500 employees worldwide. I was really excited to start because it has offices all around the world - Japan, U.S., Ireland, Brazil - not to mention development partners in Korea and Russia. Anyway, I could probably ramble on and on about the specifics of what I was hired to do and what I did, but seriously, you can go to to find out what a marketing position entails.

Just shy of my 90 day trial period, I'm sitting on my couch blogging about unemployment again because the company just wasn't a good fit for me and I quit...Hm...perhaps I should beat around the bush a little here and say some politically correct things, but that's just not my style. The reason I left is because I just did not like my manager. I'm sure that if I listed his personality traits and gave examples of his lack of managerial skills as reasons why I didn't like him, I would sound completely immature and petty, so I won't list them. Instead, I'll just give you some quotes of what he said during my 70-something days there and you can decide. Here are my top 3 favorite quotes from this guy:

1. To me: "Just to let you know, I filed a formal complaint against ____ on your behalf."

2. To a coworker: "People are asking me why I would hire an Indian person."

3. To no one in particular but I heard it because I sat next to him: "They need to deport all the homeless people in Berkeley back to Mexico."

Bonus quote about a coworker: "You know her situation....she's pregnant....who knows if she'll be emotionally stable to handle work."

To be fair, he was a smart guy and I think that if I knew him outside of this situation...well, I probably wouldn't have been friends with him, but I definitely would have been nice to him! In retrospect, I wish I had started a blog while I was working there so that I could have documented something everyday. It would actually have been a great Twitter account, similar to @shitmydadsays and I could have just tweeted nothing but quotes. LOL. (If you've never heard of @shitmydadsays, I highly recommend it. It makes me laugh.) Anyway, I guess I could have worked there a while longer and looked for a job at the same time, but spending 12 hours a day at an office makes it a little difficult to job search and being there just wasn't me being true to myself and I'm too old for bullshit and fakeness, so I thought I would cut my losses sooner rather than later.

Let me just say though...this is the first time I've ever quit a job without anything else lined up, and it feels CRAZY!! On the one hand, I feel so HAPPY that I told HR the truth about why I left and I feel completely validated because the other girl in marketing quit on the same day as me and for the same reasons! But on the other hand, I'm a little worried because, well shit, I'm now unemployed!!!

I want to add too that my experience was not completely negative. I did realize that I missed work more than I thought and I did meet quite a few cool and smart people who taught me a lot and who I hope to keep in touch with. I also learned how to play World of Warcraft, something I never thought I would do! Plus a coworker introduced me to some interesting food which I had been dying to try ever since I saw both Andrew Zimmerman and Anthony Bourdain eat it on Travel Channel...balut!! It's fertilized duck egg and apparently a huge delicacy in Vietnam and The Philippines. I probably would never have bought it even if I saw it at the market, but she got it for me and I'm so excited about it that I need to share:

Anyway, I think I'm going to continue my blog while I look for work again...even if no one reads, it's fun for me!! we go again....!