November 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
Jeesh. It’s been two weeks since my last post!! TWO WEEKS! That’s a lot of time to pass by without writing to you.
I’m currently a bit torn about this blog situation. It is outdated, the title no longer applies, I have less and less time to update, yet letting this blog go is akin to sending your firstborn child off to college. It’s inevitable, it’s been a long time coming, but you gotta suck it up and say goodbye.
…I’ll do it soon, but sometime in the near future. Not quite ready to part ways yet :)
So, I’m going to be completely honest and pre-warn you that this will be a pretty shallow entry. Deep-thinking-energy is currently being consumed at work and that leaves you with surface-level-thinking posts. So off we go with random updates!
* * * * *
1. I’ve been carrying on a long and drawn-out war with an ant colony occupying my kitchen. At first, it was just a couple of ants here and there and I figured they need to eat and stay alive just like any other creature so I let it go. But my leniency and altruism has been pushed to its boundaries because this morning there were piles and piles of them all over my garbage and kitchen floor. It was disgusting and the sight of it made me nauseous. I stepped around the ants to my fridge so I can get some breakfast but the thought of preparing food in the midst of a sea of ants had me gaggin and running out the door. No more ant-altruism for me. Time to bring the Raid on.
2. The couple living above me have sex all the time. Like, ALL THE TIME. In the morning, in the night, during Sunday brunch, during Saturday brunch, during Monday brunch…you get the point. DON’T THEY EVER GET TIRED OF EACH OTHER?!?! Le sigh. As an aural witness to their lovemaking, I can report that while they don’t vocalize much groaning & moaning, but they definitely are quite enthusiastic about their bodies slapping against one another in oddly rhythmical moments for prolonged periods of time. …and then after 5 minutes of silence starting all over again. nice.
3. Speaking of sex, I read my first harlequin romance novel. Of course, I pick up the one in which the main character is a nerdy girl with n00b tendencies and she gets her feet swept away by some hunky chunky alpha-male figure…so, all in all, I highly enjoyed it HAHA. Though I don’t see myself reading these on a regular basis, they are highly valuable once-every-blue-moon spoiler-reads lol.
My first Harlequin romance novel! Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl. Short and sweet, steamy and cheesy at times, but all in all a decent read for those days when you don’t want to think too much and just indulge.
4. I LOVE this product:
5. WORK! JOB! Um…gosh. I know some of you guys are curious and want detailed updates but I really don’t even know where to begin. So much learning, so much exposure, so many new experiences. So much to soak in I don’t think my brain is even close to processing it all. To make my life easier, I’m going to try to cover all my bases in seven statments:
- Working at Zappos is sometimes a sh*tshow.
- Office-based interpersonal social skill is a delicate instrument that one must master with delicate fingers, hyperaware mindfulness, and an impeccable sense of balance; this is very difficult for me because reading people is an underdeveloped skill of mine.
- Every time I see the CEO I want to say hi but I flip the eff out.
- Sometimes the work I do involves glazed-eye repetition, sometimes the work I do is creative and engaging. Yay for balance.
- It hasn’t even been two weeks yet I feel like I’ve been here at least two months.
- Making ‘friends’ is still a slowwww process, but I can tell I work with very competent and knowledgable co-workers, mentors, and managers – it’s nice to be surrounded by such presence.
- Heheheheheheh :)
6. Last but not least, I’ll be running my first half-marathon in a couple of weeks!! Eeek! Super nervous, but it’s going to be awesome – the running course takes place on the Las Vegas strip during nighttime! That means flashing lights and architecture everywhere while the streets of Vegas are completely empty except for runners…and not to mention all the rock bands that will be playing every couple of miles. I am so excited I would call this an occasion to use the word “stoked.” :)
October 23, 2011 § 6 Comments
Okay, so. I’ve moved into my new apartment a couple days ago and it is very empty and lonely. I have a lot of cupboards but nothing to put inside. Rooms but no furniture. No internet (I currently live at the local Whole Foods for internet). And now…no money. COOL. But my currently empty life is not what this post is about (and PS, don’t worry too much, my life is not that empty. I’m just being dramatic. I have electricity, heat, plenty of frozen dinners, and I recently purchased a fork).
Oh, but before I get to my actual post, here is a picture of my current living situation:
I don’t have much but I have plenty of (sparkling) water!
Anyways. Onto what my post is really about. I’ve been getting a lot of questions from you people and apparently my vagueness doesn’t help to get all up-and-personal. But people, please understand that sometimes my vagueness isn’t an attempt to be mysterious and keep you at a distance – sometimes, I’m vague because I have no idea what is going on either.
One particular question I’ve been getting asked often these days is something along the lines of Song-I, what the eff are you doing with your life?!?
Okay, no one’s actually been that sassy with me – you guys are actually very polite and respectful. The questions are more along the lines of, Song-I, what company will you work for? What will you be doing there? What is your job title? I just like adding profanity sometimes because it makes me seem EDGY and gets the main point across.
According to Google Images, this is what you need to be edgy. Upon reconsideration, I don’t think I can pull it off.
* * * * *
Let’s do this one at a time.
1. Song-I, what company will you work for?
Come next week, I will be a full-time Zappos.com employee. Zappos.com is an online retailer whose competitive edge is their exceptional customer service and mission to deliver happiness. The CEO, Tony Hsieh, is one of those young online genius entrepreneurs and his business philosophy is what drew me to the company. His stance on business practices and company culture is quite in line with my personal ideology. You can read more about his story and company in his book Delivering Happiness (no, I’m not getting paid to advertise or whatnot. These are my personal opinions and I am in no way shape or form accepting a bribe).
2. What will you be doing there?
It seems that I will be doing a variety of tasks.
One of my foremost tasks will be website design maintenance and updates using an online platform called Drupal (think of Drupal as an upgraded version of WordPress, which is what you’re using to read this blog). I’ll also be contributing to the website’s style guide to ensure that Zappos.com has a cohesive aesthetic across the board as the company continues to expand into new ventures. [For those of you who are interested, key words and concepts that I’ll be working with include Usability, User Experience, Interface Design, and some Information Architecture.]
Other tasks will include (1) being a translator between the hardcore techies (software developers) and the hardcore fashionistas (merchandisers) while keeping the needs of the bottom line in the back of my mind, (2) assist management with stuff (aka coffee fetcher?), (3) other stuff, (4) more stuff, and, most importantly, (5) be an enthusiastic and passionate and hardworking and all-around awesome person to work with. That last one will probably prove to be the most difficult because sometimes I like to ignore people lol.
3. What is your job title?
…Don’t tell my boss. -.-;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
It’s because they recently changed it!!! -.-;; …and when I was talking to my future leader-person I was really nervous and scatterbrained so I didn’t hear it clearly and then the moment passed for me to ask him what it was again because I didn’t want to appear stupid. Soooo…now I don’t know what my new job title is and as a result look stupid to all of you guys. But that’s okay because you guys aren’t my bosses so I don’t have to impress you or something mwahahahahahaha.
…But seriously though, (1) I care a lot about your opinions and input so I hope you don’t think I’m stupid and (2) the original position I applied for was titled ‘Site Experience Coordinator‘ and now it is…something along those lines. I think the word “merchandiser” was in there somewhere. Email me in a week if you have a giant itch-in-the-pants-need to know.
* * * * *
So, nosy people, I hope your curiosity has been satiated. Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers – sometimes I act obnoxious and that’s usually when I’m feeling the most insecure so I appreciate your time and interest :)
Jia you!! (to my non-Chinese/Taiwanese friends, that literally translates ‘get gas!’ but indicates a sense of the American-English ‘You can do it!’/the military ‘Hoorah!’/the Korean ‘hwaiting!’/etc)
…omg. I just re-read my post and realized I am lame because I basically just interviewed myself puhahahahaah.
Goodbye friends! Enjoy your week, smile lots, and breathe more :)
October 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
So, I stuffed my life into a car and I’ll be driving off to my next adventure – my first full-time “adultlike” job out of college!
The next chapter of my life will take me to a very…appropriately inappropriate location for me. This city needs no introduction as it is world-renowned for its ridiculousness.
Hello Las Vegas, my new home :)
* * * * *
I said a lot of goodbyes. It was odd. There was such a sense of finality to everything – the last hike, the last meal, the last hug, the last goodbye, the last bit of eye contact…I’ve moved around a LOT in the past and I’ve never felt such a weighty lightness of apprehension when saying goodbye, but this time around was so…oddly momentous. Oddly final. Weird.
Special thanks to the following people who’ve made my short stay in LA a little less lonely a lot more friendly:
CS+GC: Our friendship makes no sense sometimes but I love it. And sometimes I don’t understand why you guys are so nice to me but I really appreciate it all – the love, the laughs, the edibles, the gifts, the time, the presence. <3!
YN+NP: We’re goin’ to Greece and I am so happy that we all agree that it is perfectly normal to sit on trees at nighttime for fun. Let’s squat and stare at wormholes next time :)
BC: You are the best Republic-of-Chinese guy friend a Korean can ask for. I hope to see your tooly business picture covered in a gold frame next year :)
DJL: heheheh diaper buddy. Enough said. I’m happy we reconnected :)
JL: I lurve you and your openness and your energy and your heat strokes and your ability to make me speak and your ability to expand yourself. You are truly precious.
LW: We only met up once but you enlightened me. Spread that to others :)
KS: We’re not even really friends and I don’t think you read my blog but your warmth disarms me and I appreciate your kindness.
HL and company: You guys + me = odd bunch of awkward Koreans. Twas good :)
EC + IH + SP + DC + EL + CO + CC+ MC + HL + JL + YW + BN = <3 & thank you :)
KY: I’d be a mess without you. Thank you.
* * * * *
Goodbye, pre-adulthood student life and wanderings and ability to remain unaccountable for anything serious. I enjoyed our time together.
* * * * *
…Okay, I should’ve ended the post there but I’m about to drive off soon and I’m feeling oddly scared and sad. Here are some quotes that will keep me afloat and brave today:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” – Ian MaClaren
“Don’t take any of it too seriously.” -Cher
“Life is like one big Mardi Gras. But instead of showing your boobs, show people your brain, and if they like that they see, you’ll have more beads than you know what to do with.” -Ellen DeGeneres
“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” -A.A. Milne
“Fill yourself with silence, you will find life, And your body shall flourish upon earth.” -Amenemope
“Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming swimming swimming.” -Dory
[Added quote thanks to JHC: “Shut up and swim” -Michael Phelps. lawlz.]
October 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve been in hiding for the past couple of days because I’m facing a lot of uncertainty about stepping out into the real world AND I AM CONFUSED!!!
You know, here’s the thing about life – it’s a relentless circle of ups and downs. Just as you think you’ve reached a happy place in your life (e.g., graduating high school, graduating college, landing a cool job, etc. etc. etc.), you realize that what you actually come across is ANOTHER uphill to climb! And the higher you go, things become more complicated and convoluted and the roads start twisting and intersecting and intertwining and some roads are well-traveled while others aren’t and you are like WTF am I supposed to do?!?!?
So now that I’ll soon be employed (my first day is November 1st!), here is my current “adultlike” preoccupation:
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ MONEY $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of money and the way that it skews people and taints relationships. That’s why I’ve tried to avoid it as much as possible. My family didn’t have much money as I was growing up and money was a touchy subject that we avoided because it bruised egos and begot worry lines on my parents faces. Naturally, I avoided the subject of money and I hated asking for money, negotiating for money, being in need of money, talking about money, and even thinking about money.
That’s not to say I don’t like buying stuff and all the pleasures money can provide for you. Don’t get me wrong, of course I’d rather have money than not have money – but money is just a weird and uncomfortable concept that I placed in the backburner of my mind in favor of more idealistic pursuits like “learning” and “passion” and “beauty” and “love.”
I still maintain my passion for idealism, but as I encroach my first full-time job and face financial independence, money is not to be ignored. Like, at all. Like, as in money is screaming in my face. It screams at me in many tongues and volumes, but I’ll pander on about one issue today.
* * * * *
So here’s a common transgression of conversation that I’ve been experiencing these days:
Them: So, what are you doing with your life?
Me: I got a job
Them: Omg congratulations!
Them: What are you doing / What company will you be working for?
Me: I’ll be doing tech/designy/businessy stuff with a cool online retailer
Them: Awesome! Are they going to be paying you well?
Me: Uh…yes? no? maybe so???
That last question really bugs me. Because, well…I don’t know how to answer it. I’m not talking about the objective numerical value here – what perplexes me is the underlying principle. What does a salary mean? What does “being paid well” indicate?
…so I went for a run and started thinking about what it means to be employed.
What exactly is the company paying me for? Why are they giving me money?
The obvious answer is “you’re working for them.” Duh.
But let’s look deeper here. What is “work”? Work and employment comes in various forms, but essentially it is an exertion of one’s energy and time. This can mean physical labor via picking shrubbery, washing dishes, busing tables – or it can mean mental labor via interpreting the law, keeping numerical accounts, strategizing business plans, and so on.
The type of work I’ll be doing is of the latter sort and it got me thinking about the relationship between me and my employer. Essentially, employment is an of exchange of different commodities – I give my brainpower, work ethic, creativity, analytics, and time in exchange for a monetary amount we call “salary” (along with some other stuff) from the employer.
So “salary” means what exactly? I guess it indicates a tangible value the company puts on my brain and my energy. And for a business to thrive and from a numerical/HR point of view, an employee is valuable if and only if he/she brings more value to the company than what they pay you. In essence, the company needs to profit off of you in order to keep you around.
…Where am I going with this? I don’t really know.
But it’s weird isn’t it? Once you’re employed and kind of in the real world, you can be seen as a commodity. And your value is represented numerically by “salary” or “net worth” or “assets minus liabilities” or whatever other fancy terms people like to use. Oh, my favorite is the “credit score” which is basically like your SAT score for life and personhood in the United States.
But the thing is, how are you supposed to know what your inherent value is? How do you put a price tag on your brainpower? What factors determine your market price? Is it relative to what your peers are making? Is there a “Big Man” up there that stickers a price tag on you? How does this system work?!?
…And then when I think about who I’m making money for…which, in essence, are the big investors and stockholders and etc…I get super weirded out because I start wondering how much are they making? And who are they working for? And round and round we go~
* * * * *
Anyways. Okay, let’s get a bit more grounded here. I’m super stressing these days because I’m apartment hunting and thinking about personal finances and how much I’m supposed to spend on housing vs. saving. vs. investing vs. buying stuff vs. taxes vs. utilities vs. wondering about my parents retirement vs. brothers college vs. blahblahblahblahblahblah omg. And with parents who are not really in tune with the American monetary system or multi-generational relationships with family-friend tax accountants and lawyers, where do you start?!?
Le sigh. Sometimes, I do wish I had the benefit of a rich uncle who knew all the answers. Or the networking-savvy personality who can sliver his/her way into insider circles and whatnot. Unfortunately, I don’t fall within either of those categories so off to the shelves we go!
If anyone’s as confused as I am about finances, here are three books that serve as a good entryway into the intimidating world of personal finance and investment strategies:
1. On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Harvard MBAs Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar. A good start for personal finance newbies. An no, you don’t have to be a female to reap the benefits of this clean-cut simple yet extremely informational book (image via manishathakor.com).
2. My next recommendation for finance newbies is The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Burton G. Malkiel. I haven’t personally tried any of the methods in this book (uh, you kinda need money to start investing. darn.), but apparently this guy knows what he is talking about when it comes to safe investing (image via tower.com).
3. And for a less conservative and intriguingly bold approach to personal finances, superseller Rich Dad Poor Dad is quite a juicy read. Author Robert Kiyosaki’s methods make my money-conservative heart beat a little quicker, but the author is quite compelling and persuasive. Again, I haven’t personally tried his methods so I am in no way recommending you go out and start buying/selling houses and whatnot – but it’s a different perspective so it’s worth reading (image via wikisummaries.org).
* * * * *
And one last thing before I go. Goodbye and thank you sir Steve Jobs.
The man’s words and actions I really took to heart. They fueled my gap year of amazing randomness, they imbued confidence in me when my parents were discouraging, and encouraged me to really follow my inner voice which led me to get hired at a cool company. And who knows where else they will guide towards.
Thank you Mr. Jobs. You continue to inspire.
“Keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
September 19, 2011 § 4 Comments
Ever since the big interview last week I’ve been feeling quite anxious. Like something terrible is going to happen.
I’ve been trying desperately to keep my mind off of it by losing myself in fantasy novels, hiking and walking mindlessly and endlessly, doing yoga, daydreaming about a boy, and whatever else to ignore this uncomfortable mental cancer that is growing within me.
But I’m out of books, I’m physically exhausted, my boy-crush is nothing but mere dust in mental space, and there are no more “whatever elses” that I want to occupy my mind with.
Stripped of distractions and busywork, I’m left with this gut-wrenching feeling of unease and anxiety about this looming job search progress.
If I’m being completely honest here, I think my interview went pretty well. Of the nine people I met, my first interviewer (who I think is the most senior) seemed somewhat impressed, my potential immediate supervisor and I connected pretty deeply within a short amount of time, and I got along quite well with the rest of the team.
Objectively speaking, there were no big mishaps and I should be feeling pretty confident. The company and I are actually moving forward to the next step in the hiring process by conducting an extensive background check now. So that’s a pretty good sign.
…But I feel super uneasy.
I know I’m close to the end and now that they’re digging into my past, there are immense waves of self-doubt overwhelming me.
I don’t even know if I have anything to hide. Actually, I don’t have much to hide…I have a clean record and aside from small discrepancies, I should be okay.
But sometimes, on a psychological/metaphysical level, I feel like a giant fraud. I haven’t had this feeling in a long long time thanks to these past couple of years of growth and genuine love and encouragement from those around me, but I can’t help these little inklings of self-doubt and self-disgust that remain somewhere in the hidden corners of my being.
At times I feel like a fraud, like a fake. That one day someone will uncover this mask of bubbly comfort with nice academic records and a polite facade of calm control and expose me for who I really am. Because who I really am will turn out to be a disappointing ball of undesirable goo pierced with calamity and unease.
…And who would want to hire a ball of undesirable goo?
…and beyond that, who would want to date one and be with one for the rest of his life?
I know I’m engaging in quite irrationally expansive and jumpy thinking and in psychological terms I’m kind of “ruminating” which is statistically shown to be quite unhealthy…buuutttt that’s why I’m writing about it. To let it go.
I know I’m not a disappointing piece of goo. I know I can be cool sometimes. But sometimes, it can be quite difficult to relinquish the bounds of childhood insecurity.
Thanks for reading guys. I appreciate your time and attention <3
* * * * *
Update: Hm. Just read over this. Puhahaahahah sorry I sound so emo…guess it was just one of those days :D
September 14, 2011 § 5 Comments
Before I start my rambling, I want to thank you all for taking the time and care to participate in the survey that I previously posted. I actually made use of it during my interview and some of the anonymous comments I received were quite fun and enlightening — I didn’t realize you people thought such things about me! lol.
Anyways, back to the entry…
I feel as if I haven’t been here in a while. As if I’m stepping on freshly foreign territory that in actually I’ve ironically built up myself. Maybe it’s not the territory that has altered – maybe it is I who has been transformed [enter dramatic spacey music here].
Anyways – in all seriousness, my mind’s been in a ruckus for the past couple of days in anticipation for a looming job interview. If you couldn’t tell, refer to the senseless previous entries that no one could respond to.
I don’t know how much I want to reveal about this interview, but I’ll give you some bare bones details. This interview was The Onsite Interview after two phone interviews and an online testing session. The company flew me in on Monday, packed me in a hotel for the night, and commenced the day of interviewing the next morning with a HR representative who drove me to the company headquarters.
The interviewing process lasted a total of six hours and encompassed meeting with nine individuals. Each interviewer had a different flavor because they were pooled from a variety of departments (including senior management, information architecture, content editing, HR, and software development), but it was quite interesting because each of them seemed to encompass a common underlying theme that I cannot verbally pinpoint at this time.
My day was basically a back-to-back marathon of interviews. Interestingly enough, there were many times then these “interviews” actually evolved into mutual conversation rather than a Q&A drilling session. However, there were no real breaks in between each session and interviewer so I was consistently talking or listening or responding or thinking about responding or focusing and overall brain-wired for six straight hours. Even the lunch break seemed like a semi-interview O.o
* * * * *
You know, sometimes I worry about myself because talking is not a great hobby of mine (which is ironic because I do enjoy prepared public speaking) – I listen moreso than talk and sometimes I just prefer to stay silent for fear of saying something stupid. In a society in which networking, meet-and-greets, and your ability to mingle at parties seems quite important for upward mobility, I was quite concerned about my progress within society and how I was going to market myself or make any friends given my lack of verbal self-expression.
…But after talking for hours yesterday, I am SO happy I enjoying listening moreso than talking. By the end of the day, I never ever wanted to use my vocal chords or tongue ever again unless it was to consume food or alcohol – which is exactly what I did once I was dropped off at the airport.
Finally free from the tension of the consistent inkling to impress, all I wanted to do was to surround myself in a blanket of darkness manifest itself as an enclosed and silent cave with a cool breeze passing by. However, as such a location was inaccessible at the time, I holed myself up in a darker corner of the airport bar and got buzzed by myself while munching barbecue potato chips.
I think drinking by yourself is supposed to indicate some sort of super melancholia or clinical depression, but at that moment, I stopped caring and felt waves of relief as I eased myself out of that mental hard-wiring that just happened.
And now I’m back in LA, recovering from that day by taking a daylong vow of silence except to order food :)
* * * * *
…so….what exactly is this post about? An interview? The merits of beer? The merits of being quiet? I’m not quite sure. I’m thinking about how I can wrap this entry up nicely but I’m at a loss for words. If there’s anything you fellow job-seekers are curious about, let me know (minus the name of the company – for potential legal disclosure issues that I’m pretty certain do not exist but am going to use anyways to disguise my self-consciousness ^^ ).
* * * * *
Hmm…in other news, I took a really intense and cramped yoga class today. Everyones’ mats were literally touching one another and at one point I had a man’s butt sticking out three inches from my face. And the class was so dynamic that by the end of class my clothes were soaked with sweat from head to toe and I felt like someone had just beaten me up. Nice.
And in other other news, I’ve really been craving a person to snuggle with these last couple of days. This is really terrible because I have other priorities to focus on -.-;;
Arrite ladies and gents – see ya later!
September 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
Sometimes I have really low self-confidence.
It’s quite frustrating because extreme self-doubt is fear-inducing and leaves you frozen like deer in headlights, staring blindly at the task ahead and motionless to the steps needed to overcome your obstacles.
That being said, I’ve grown more of a backbone throughout these past two years. Former thoughts of ‘Song-I, you suck at life’ are inching their way towards ‘You’re actually pretty good at things when you practice’…
…’Nobody likes you‘ is becoming ‘Some people like you’…
…’You’re a stupid ugly fat ho’ is becoming ‘Wtf where do you come up with these ridiculous ideas‘…
…’You’ll never be perfect‘ is transforming into ‘There is no such thing as perfect. Get over yourself. Give it your all, prepare well, and make some mistakes on the way. Fall flat. Shed some tears if you must. Then dust off your knees, pick yourself back up, and get on going.’
I’d say that’s a step towards the “right” direction.
But sometimes, your personal reservoir of confidence is inadequate and one needs too call upon greater powers for extra encouragement. For me, these powers manifest themselves in almost comically overconfident yet extremely successful African-American athletes and entertainers. I spent the past hour watching these videos on repeat to regain myself:
I also just ate some delicious comfort food.
I’m feeling much better now :)
I’ll sleep soundly, have a good girlfriend day tomorrow, prepare for this beast of an interview, fly out, talk with a bunch of people for a couple hours, fly back to LA, buy myself a Thai iced tea, go for a run, wait, receive feedback, and then move on with my life. That. is. the. plan.
Except that life usually doesn’t go according to plan so I don’t know why we bother sometimes :)
GOODBYE FRIENDS AND LOVERS!