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Random Days of a Shopping Editor


Monday, 09.3.2012

My life as a shopping editor is pretty random most of the time. I never know what I can expect in a day.

I could be at a fashion show cheering on my cousin and sister in a David Yurman fashion show.

Or receiving a specially signed photo book of half-naked men from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Or nibbling on pink jelly for lunch.

Or receiving yummy chocolates at the office.

Or checking out pretty ladies in pretty clothes for a fashion show luncheon.

Or stalking Jeremy Lin on assignment.

Yea. My job is pretty awesome. But don’t think I don’t know it can all be taken away in a minute. So just going to cherish and work as hard as I can while I still have it. 加油!

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posted by Janice | Comments: 5 | Category Fashion, Job, Love, Magazine, Public Appearances

Time Out Shoots


Wednesday, 08.29.2012

As my previous post indicates that I’m alive, some of the following experiences from photo shoots in Hong Kong left me nearly dead.

As I’ve mentioned before, Hong Kong works at lightning speed and people are known to do whatever it takes to GET. THINGS. DONE. So it’s not uncommon for us to pull a photo shoot out of thin air with two models, 4 looks, outdoors location out of thin air. Some notables thus far (I say that ’cause I know there will just be so much more good ones coming up!)

Sports Chic

What the heck is sports chic? My partner-in-crime Arthur and I had to figure out that exact question when we set off to shoot a sports chic look book photo shoot. This was my first shoot with the mag and I think I may have been a little overambitious itching to do two models, 4 looks, and an outdoors locations. The result came out quite well but this behind the scenes post will give you more insight as to what happened. Personally, I ended up with 54 mosquito bites that afternoon. 54! (You know of my hate/hate relationship with them pesks).

Totes vs. Backpacks

A good (or bad) thing about being an editor is you can indulge in a bit of nepotism every now and then. I try not to but I can’t help it that my sis and intern John also happened to be good-looking models! Also, Arthur and I had a bit of a banter over what’s cooler to carry around– a tote live sex chat rooms or a backpack. Tough choices, eh? Read here.

Pretty sexy, huh? You wouldn’t believe how much effort went into getting this cover shot. The model, August, is already super gorgeous and sexy and yet, hours and hours of photoshopping went into making her flawless. This was completely different from our original concept but I kind of love it. It was relevant to the subversive nature of the sex issues we were talking about and c’mon, it’s hot. I also helped contribute with this feature story on HK’s sex industry workers which was quite an adventure to compile but which I felt was a real breathe of fresh air for journalism. (Also, an issue I have a heart for.) Read here.

I gotta say, modeling is a tough job. You could be swathed in heavy coats and wool sweaters and walk around sweat-infused Causeway Bay in 5-inch platforms and have to look beautiful doing it. Luckily, these two models, Eva and Reila, were troopers as we marched about the district and all its army of crowds and shot this look book. I’m glad I started my job during the summer time where I had the face the worst the Hong Kong weather had to bring. The next few seasons should be easy peasy! (I hope I hope I hope)

These shoots would not have been possible without Arthur, Calvin the photographer extraordinaire, Ken the creative director extraordinaire, Gabbie the makeup and hair stylist extraordinaire, and our rockstar interns John, Jessie, Gloria, and YY. People, you rock.

Next up: Events

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 2 | Category Fashion, Hong Kong, Job, Magazine

I’m alive!


Tuesday, 08.28.2012

My blogging attendance might suggest otherwise but yes! I’m alive and well!

I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since I’ve been in Hong Kong already. Time passes by so fast here. Literally, things can happen here in a week that would take a month to occur back in LA. I would say I have definitely been living life so much to the point that I started forgetting (or not having the time) to sit back and blog about it! But boy oh boy, lots of observations stored up!

One of the reasons why I’m so preoccupied is I’m starting to get comfortable with my position as the Style and Social Media Editor for Time Out HK. This means I basically get to stare at and write about pretty clothes all day and then I get to look up cute cat pictures online and post it on Facebook. Actually, it’s a little more than that but I’ll tell you another time. Today, I just want to show off! I’ve finally accumulated enough articles and randomness to share with you some of my contributions to Time Out HK.

First up– some writing bits.

Hair cuts and Grandma Tips

I spent a random afternoon with famed hairstylist Kim Robinson (at his abode no less!) and personal finance guru Suze Orman. We chatted about hair, their irreplaceability, and money. You can read the article here. However, it was when we were in the car ride back to the city extenze canada where things got interesting. Suze and her partner Kathy were like this sweet pair of grandmas doling out life advice for me. (Suze: “You stay in Hong Kong and you get cultured!” Kathy: “You need to find a nice tall, handsome, well-cultured, well-educated boy to match you!”) That’s also when I found out that when Suze was 28, she was still waitressing, trying to save up enough money for a restaurant. Boy, how differently her life’s turned out since then! Gives us all a little hope, doesn’t it?

Vivienne Tam

One of the first weeks on the job, I got the opportunity to interview Vivienne Tam. I may not be all up on my designers but even I know who Vivienne Tam was. Nice, fun interview. Read here.

Fancy Dining on the House

I definitely dig the perks of being a Time Out writer and getting my bill paid at fancy restaurants (and writing up a review about it) is certainly one of them. This review was even merrier cause I got to enjoy the dinner with a fine group of gal pals. Read here.

Last but DEFINITELY not Least

This is my favorite piece thus far. I wrote  a snappy column for the latest Cheap Eats issue of Time Out (out on newsstands now, Hong Kong friends!) where I dished out how a fine meal is determined by your company, not your courses. READ HERE! READ HERE! READ HERE!

Next up: Shoots.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 4 | Category Hong Kong, Interviews, Job, Magazine, Writing

Answered Prayers


Thursday, 06.7.2012

Whoa.

They weren’t kidding when they said Hong Kong moves fast. The pace, the speech, the happenings.

It’s been a little less than three months since I’ve been here in Hong Kong and already, I feel like I’ve done more than a year in LA. I’m like the Tasmania devil swirling around, hardly stopping to catch a breath.

But then again, why would I want to? What would be the fun in that?

The only thing that was slow throughout these past 80 days have been my job hunt. There would be leads and then it would stop. There would be talks and then it would halt. There would be help and then it would cede. I didn’t know what else I could do but pray. (Pray and go hiking! Hoo hah!) It was weird though, despite various people worrying for me, thinking things would be hopeless, I was completely at peace throughout the entire process. Sure, I broke down a couple of times but overall, I knew God would provide. I just knew.

And oh boy, did he ever!

Through His impeccable timing, and making the puzzles just all fit, I somehow defeated the odds and ended up exactly where I’m supposed to be for right now Intivar.

I get to stay in Hong Kong, I get to grow and love with my sister and cousins and auntie and uncle, I get to grow and love with my church, with my new friends, I get to be at a central point of Asia at a most thrilling time. He made it happen.

For those of you not familiar with Time Out HK, the bi-weekly mag (or fortnightly as we call it) is pretty much one of those publications that has its pulse on the city of HK and the content of the mag ranges from serious opinion pieces on politics to investigating the effects of the minimum wage law to the coolest places to shop and dine. So it’s pretty much ME :)

I’m really overfilled with joy because I really knew this entire experience was just a test of my faith. How long would I hang on? How long would I stay faithful and fruitful despite not fitting society’s norm of “successful” or “doing well?”

The job has just begun and like all jobs, it will have its ups and downs but for now, I am so UP I might as well enjoy the view while it lasts.

Praise God for He is good!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 7 | Category God, Inspirations, Interviews, Job, Love, Travel, Writing

The Coffee Shop Conundrum


Wednesday, 05.2.2012

When Sis and I moved into our new abode, we were without internet for three weeks. THREE WEEKS! That’s an eternity in bloggerville!

It wasn’t so bad though because we made it an adventure to go hunting for cool coffee shops to set up our blogging offices.

We got lucky finding Cafe O on our first try and the two of us fell in love with  the place. The Cafe O near our neighborhood served a grand variety of fresh, healthy foods and had this spacious second floor that was part dorm lounge-part cafeteria. It’s always full of pretty people having quiet chit-chats together or writing into notebooks or streaming TV shows on their laptops.

But alas, the heart is a fickle thing. You never know how good of a thing you have. I loved Cafe O but still wanted to find other cool places so I set out by myself one afternoon (Sis has this thing called– oh yeah– work.)

The first place I went into solely because it was so pretty to look at on the outside. It had a very modern feel and sat at the side of a street across from a park and reminded me of those cool french cafes in Paris. I sat down and ordered a milk tea that cost $45 HKD. That’s roughly $5 USD for tea with milk added into it.

{ You are more expensive than most of my lunches here }

Though the restaurant said they had free wi-fi, my laptop just would not cooperate and I was stuck finishing my milk tea while working on some things off-line. It was fine but I could have just done that at home.

I didn’t post a picture of the cafe v pills vp-rx because I still want to go back there for a meal and I don’t want to completely count them off as an establishment. They just weren’t my cup of tea (har har, get it?) in terms of blog office candidates but they may still have potential in other departments.

Sis later got off work and joined me to the next blog office candidate, Pacific Coffee Shop. You may have heard of this place, ubiquitous around these parts of Hong Kong. But surprisingly, PCC (as the cool kids call it) only allows around 20 minutes of free wi-fi unless you have a PCCW account. So we just sipped on some green tea and bummed internet off the cafe across the street. Sweet but shaky deal since the connection wasn’t always the best.

{ Still a sweet deal since I got to hang with Sis }

Finally, Sis and I went back to Cafe O for the rest of the evening because it was just the best for us. I learned a few things from my blog office-hunting afternoon.

THE MEDIA MAID’S TIPS FOR BLOG OFFICE-HUNTING

1) Always ask first whether the place has free wi-fi and for how long.
2) Then find out whether they have plugs for you to charge your electronic devices in.
3) Scan their menu prices.
4) Gage how good their food/drinks are.
5) Test how cold the place is (if you’re going to be working for hours, you do NOT want to catch a cold from the establishment’s freezing AC).
6) Observe how fast their turnover rate is. You wouldn’t want to be at a place itching to rush you out the door.

And sometimes, when you already have a good thing, don’t let it go. :)

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 7 | Category Food, Job, Writing

What’s BB Cream All About?


Monday, 03.12.2012

AH! ONLY A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE I MOVE TO ASIA! SO EXCITED/ANXIOUS/NERVOUS/SAD/HAPPY/REFRESHED/TIRED!

I promise I will do more fulfilling posts when I find time but in the meantime, here is a segment I shot about BB creams which aired on Channel 18. Joyce Luck graciously did my hair cheap payday loan and makeup and made me feel beautiful before going on TV, thanks Joyce!

Check video below if you’ve always wanted to know what all the fuss about BB cream is about (or if you just enjoy watching me hunched over flailing my hands awkwardly about and saying “um” alot)

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 7 | Category Interviews, Job, Look, Los Angeles

Hello Goodbye


Friday, 03.2.2012

The other day, I went out for a night on the town wanting to dance. My companion and I were itching to get jiggy with it but we were in a city where we weren’t sure if there were any good dancing places.

After a delicious dinner, he and I, dressed to the nines (okay, maybe 8-and-a-halfs), took a walk through the main street of the city. It was a lively street with people bustling in and out of restaurants, parking to get to the movies on time, and waiting at stop signs for friends. However, none of the establishments looked like it would make for a good dance floor.

Dance like no one's watching (with Kelly Li!)

Finally, we heard distant Mexican music playing in the corner of one of the blocks. We head towards the music and spotted across the street from us, a bustling courtyard filled with people, music, and laughter. The courtyard really was just the outside dining area of a restaurant but on that very night, it was a place of merriment and joy. Part of us wanted to step into the courtyard and see what all the fuss was about but part of us longed for the familiarity of something we were more used to –a dark, dingy dance floor, hip hop and rap music with a lot of autotune and electronica thrown in, girls vamped up in short skirts and long eyelashes, and al-al-al-al-al-alcohol.

After a moment of wonder, the pull of familiarity grasped us too tight and we headed into a very standard-looking club/lounge place. The place had a bouncer in the front, its name in neon blue letter and was pitch-dark when peered in. It felt like all the other clubs around the world that we were used to. We wanted to check out the open courtyard across the street but we just weren’t ready to explore the unknown yet.

After 10 minutes at the usual club/lounge, we were done. The place was still fairly empty (because it was early in the night) and it just wasn’t appealing. The music was nothing you can dance to and yet, it played so loud, you couldn’t hold a nice conversation with it. All the club patrons did not look happy — everyone was too busy checking each other out to really enjoy themselves. I stared out the small window of the club and at the open courtyard across the street.

“We should really be there,” I urged my companion, “They look like they’re actually having fun. We should at least check it out.”

He relented and away we went to cross the street into the courtyard, the loud Mexican music still blaring festively net forex. We spot old grandmas, young toddlers, lesbians, families, friends, everyone just dancing away. At first we were just going to look but, “Let’s join them,” my companion said.

“Serious?” I asked.

“Yeah!” He said, tugging my hand to the dance floor.

We start dancing, free from feeling awkward because no one else really gave a damn we were there because they were enjoying themselves too much. Pretty soon, the Mexican music turned into some 60′s oldies, then 70′s, then 80′s. I was struck by how wholesome the entire thing was. How everyone was enjoying themselves, enjoying their company, and enjoying doing everything out in the open, bright night sky. Can you ever imagine that happening at your local night club anymore?

Mid-dancing, we made friends with two ladies standing next to us. At first, they were just sitting on a bench, staring at everyone else dancing. However, perhaps due to the appearance of two of the only Asian people in the group, they felt confident enough to join in on the dancing. One of the ladies, probably in her mid-40′s and dressed in baggy jeans, a hoodie, and a bandana around her head, moved so freely through the crowd, it looked like she was swimming in water.

“I was born and raised here and I love this town!” the woman told us, smiling widely. “I had Latino friends, Asian friends, white friends, black friends, all sorts of friends!”

We couldn’t help but mirror her smile.

Our entire dance-fest probably only lasted 20 minutes but that memory is so juicy good that it’ll last in my heart for a lifetime. It’s moments like this that I cherish and chase after.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because I have left my post as Assistant Editor to Audrey Magazine to pursue a career and life in Asia. The details are still up in the air but the ticket’s bought, the job’s been resigned, the mental preparation’s been made (somewhat).

LA, I love you but I am determined to make the leap into the unknown, to allow myself to cross that street and dance to Mexican music. (You know what I mean.) I go on and on about how much I trust in God and the plans he has for me but I don’t really act that out in my everyday life. I need to take chances, try things that scare me, step out of my comfort zone.

This is not goodbye (despite what the title may say) but rather a “see you later.”

I’m going to be dancing across the street. You should come join me.

If you can’t join me (just yet), check my updates here and on my travel blog.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 5 | Category Job, Los Angeles, Travel, Writing

An Unforgettable Job


Thursday, 02.23.2012

Working on my taxes, I found out an interesting fact. As a sometimes freelancing reporter/journalist/actress, if I were to buy a ball gown to wear to an event, I would be able to deduct that off my taxes! Because my job required me to go to the fancy event and because I would not be able to wear the ball gown in my everyday life (unless if I just wanna look awesome).

Interesting, huh?

{ Co-workers and I at KoreAm's Unforgettable gala. Jenn (far left) and I are wearing Sue Wong gowns. But we borrowed those so not tax deductable! }

I got to thinking how blessed I was that I work in a place where I am able to get dolled up occasionally and force famous celebrities to serenade “Unforgettable” to me.

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
~ John 1:16

“Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting.”
~ Bernard Meltzer

Other interesting tax deductibles:
* Business meals and entertainment
* Trade magazines or print publications (since I write)
* Business cards
* Gas mileage

Interesting non-deductibles
* Wristwatches … I thought that was interesting because it was so specific and stood out amongst other items such as residential telephone services, travel expenses for another individual, etc.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 3 | Category Job, Look, Los Angeles, Magazine

“How Was Your Winter Break?”


Tuesday, 01.3.2012

I took an actual break this winter.

Like, an actual one — not a fake one where I still answered emails on my phone under the covers at night or took some business meetings and interviews (okay, so I did do that one day of the break but c’mon, you know what they say — “you can take the tiger out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the tiger!”

I’ve had a fairly rough December (nothing compared to last year’s but still). One that consisted of guns and holdups, traffic tickets, oil spills, and cars crashing within inches of me (I knowww!!)

So it was nice to receive this fortune cookie.

When is soon? Next week? Tomorrow? 5 minutes from now?? Wheeennn???!

Good things did happen for much of break. For one thing, an unparalleled  amount of joy.

Look at that smile on my grandma’s face! JOY!

Good things happen when you’re not looking. Can you spot that in the picture above? I do like surprises and I’m hoping this year, I take steps closer to making my dreams come true!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 3 | Category Inspirations, Job, Writing

Thank Goodness It’s Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, 11.23.2011

My most memorable Thanksgiving took place two years ago, in a hospital, with a beautiful baby.

It was my first year out of college and my FUNemployment adventures led me to taking care of this adorable tot who taught me how short life is and how blessed I am.

Two years later, I look at my surroundings and I think about how even more blessed (if that’s possible) I am. I’m working as the assistant editor for Audrey Magazine — a job I’ve dreamt about since I was 12 – and I get the opportunity to shape Asian American lifestyle and culture.

In the mere 1+ year I’ve been working here, I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet and converse with many public figures I’ve admired. Not naming names but Mindy Kaling, JustJared‘s Jared Eng, Lisa Ling, and Kal Penn among the many.

Like this picture below. For years I would obsessively listen to the voice of Dia Frampton from the indie pop-rock band Meg & Dia. I still have their CDs in my car. And look, here I am being all buddy buddy with her at her most recent KoreAm Journal cover shoot!

When we’re not out on the field, I get to goof off work with some of the most interesting people on this planet: my co-workers. Some hi jinks include pampering my co-worker Peter’s skin and BBQ-ing in the rain.

When we’re not in the office, we STILL enjoy eachother’s company and often hold Happy Hours together. Here, some fine ladies and gents strike a pose with my Hello Kitty glasses.

Can I say I’m always 100% happy with where my career is headed? No. I’m a spoiled brat who suffers from the what if’s. “What if I made more money?” “What if I interviewed more relevant subjects?” “What if I had a job where I drove less?”

As our society gets more and more progressive, I’ve noticed — at least around many of my peers — that what we’re seeking are the jobs with the fattest paychecks, the positions that will enable us to climb the corporate ladder, the occupations that will make us seem the most stable, the most normal.

As important as all those things may be, I know that I will never be able to work in a place that I lack passion for. Never be able to handle a position where I feel the need to complain all the time. So I’m so thankful I’ve always been able to know when my time is up and I’ve had understanding employers that I can leave on good terms with.

And I’m super grateful with my position here and for these hooligans who are passionate about their jobs and what they put out into the world.

In addition to Audrey Magazine, other things I’m thankful for (in no particular order besides the fact that they came out of my head this way):

  • *My family including my mother who stews delicious hot soup for me, my father who fixes broken car door handles for me, my abu who remind me everyday how lucky I am, my sister who worships the ground I walk on (keke) and every other kin in between for being so beautiful inside and out.
  • *Jason for introducing me to Sovereign Grace where I get my brain kicked every week over how great Jesus’ love is and how deeply I sin.
  • *My insatiable drive and my stubborn optimism. It makes me miserable a lot of the times but I know this is what’s going to take me to my destiny.
  • *My awesome friends who are so frickin’ busy and so frickin’ artsy and so frickin’ loving to me, tolerating my ditziness/flakiness/big-mouthedness.
  • *And of course, I’m thankful for youuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!! <3
 
posted by Janice | Comments: 4 | Category Blog, Friendlies, Inspirations, Job, Los Angeles, Magazine, Personal, Writing

I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I'm most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you). (More..)

Email: jjann[at]themediamaid.com
Facebook: facebook.com/mediamaid
Twitter: @themediamaid

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