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Motivational Monday | Make Good Art


Monday, 06.25.2012

I think this is pretty self-explanatory…

Mr. Gaiman’s commencement speech for University of the clearpores vs Arts c/o 2012 is even more inspirational.


{ Source thanks to Melly }

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posted by Janice | Comments: 4 | Category Books, Films, Inspirations, Love, Movies, Writing

Writing On


Friday, 06.1.2012

The past couple of weeks have been filled with parents and friends in town and job hunting. It was a good balance because I really started to dig deep and apply EVERYWHERE for EVERYTHING. Hopefully something pans out! But in the meantime, just wanted to share my good friend Shirley’s baby.

Lest you think that my friend birthed a full-grown woman in a wide-rimmed beach hat and all, Shirley’s baby is actually a magazine that she created called free sample vivaxa Minted.

Minted is a quarterly online women’s lifestyle and business magazine aimed “for the modern career girl.” This latest issue has special sections focused on eco-friendly living and for soon-to-be mothers! The cover even features eco-friendly swimwear designer Mallory Curlee of CurleeBikinis.

I contributed to Shirley’s baby this edition and can’t wait to show you when the full edition is out! Until then, follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Dream big, boys and girls!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Friendlies, Magazine, 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

Shanghai Street Studio


Tuesday, 04.17.2012

It’s funny what a difference one floor can make. Though I landed at the wrong floor of a building (and nearly went into a brothel!), I finally ended up on the right floor where my intended destination, Shanghai Street Studio, is located.

My friend Carmen was shooting the creative space and profiling the founders of the studio along with JJ from The Wanderlister and I got to tag along.

The space was seriously cool! So much random mish-mash of stuff to photograph! I played amateur photog.

I’m really amazed by how God put people in our lives at certain times. Who would have known that I would be able to spend so much quality time with this girl I met with a group of friends at Disneyland that one time a long long time ago. Funny how through God, we are put on this path to guide and love on one another.

Love you, girl!

{ The first time Carmen and I met. Teehee }

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 6 | Category Friendlies, God, Travel, Writing

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

My Adventure Traveling to the LA Travel+Adventure Show (aka Homemade Handstamped Business Cards Tutorial)


Tuesday, 01.24.2012

I had been driving past this billboard everyday on my way to work.

The words, “travel” and “adventure” called out to me. I like traveling and I like adventure.

Finally I read what the billboard was and turns out it was for a TRAVEL + ADVENTURE show that was coming to LA. In a week!

On a whim, I decided to buy tickets to the show to see what it’s about and to hopefully network my way into some press trips. I’d heard stories of a 12-year-old Steven Spielberg sneaking past the Universal lot in a suit and empty briefcase to watch movie shoots and of a 14-year-old Mila Kunis boldly exaggerating her age to land the part in “That 70s Show” and I wanted to do something bold and daring to chase my dreams! My travel blogger friend Brandon had wisely advised that this would be a good way to meet people so I decided I was going to go to the convention show by myself and introduce myself to all the booths, seeing if there were any that may want to invite me out on press trips and in return, I will write and vblog about it. Watch out, Samantha Brown, I’m coming for your job! (Actually, I would never want to take her job, I think she does a very fine…job… of it.)

First up, I needed some business cards. Being on a budget and time crunch, I looked up some nifty how-to guides on making homemade business cards out of handstamps.

All you need is a $40 kit from Staples. (This was generously borrowed from my dear chum, Helen)

I was planning on buying some pretty business card papers from which to stamp my info on but my mom had some leftover cards from back when she made her own business cards and…who can say no to free paper?

After spending over an hour sticking the letters I needed onto the stamp (I have fat fingers), I ended up with a fine, simple collection of cards to hand out!

I then stuck the cards into a professional-looking business card holder and was ready to werk it at the convention!

The cards were passed onto quite a few booths and I’m hoping some of the trips will take place.

Nonetheless, gonna pat myself on the back anyway for trying something out of the ordinary in order to attempt to get closer to my dreams. Hope you will all be inspired to do the same as well!

After attending the event, for which Samantha Brown was a guest speaker, I became even more of a fan of the blonde travel host. I can see why she is so good at her job. She’s lovable and charming, oozes humility and can describe the heck out of a room. Inspired! (with a hint of a girl-crush)

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 5 | Category Inspirations, Travel, Writing

“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

Bringing Christmas Back


Tuesday, 12.13.2011

My family’s hitting that awkward age where all the children have grown up and adults feel like there’s no need for getting into the Christmas spirit anymore. Like, we all know Santa doesn’t exist so why decorate the tree? And why wrap presents when you can just give cash in a red envelope?

Well, I say nay to that! Nay to that!

First, I hung a wreath up on our doors (lights will hopefully come later once I find out a) how to hang them b) how to light them without getting myself electrocuted). It’s just the right cheery touch to welcome someone in.

Next up, I intended to revive postal services again by mailing a few of my dearest with Christmas love. Who doesn’t like receiving mail, right?

I didn’t plan a good system this year though. Post-it lists and using mailing labels 5 sizes too big do not pretty Christmas cards make. Next year, I’ll try harder!

I even started doing some gift wrapping! I really do love gift wrapping. I should open my own gift wrapping business. Any takers?

And a present to all my dear blog readers…a revamped Media Maid layout thanks to the talented Modeh!

May your Christmas be bright. :)

PS. Just learned this week that Christ was NOT born on Dec. 25th! Nonetheless, his love is so real and deep, hallelujah!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 0 | Category Blog, Personal

Red Carpet Etiquette


Friday, 11.18.2011

Red carpets are a beast to work.

Filled with frantic PR people, confused celebs who are constantly being harassed and herded to this reporter or that photographer, it can be a crazy place.

I’ve done a fair share of red carpet work. Sometimes on camera, sometimes for print. A majority with Asian American events and one thing that I’ve taken away from it is seriously:

HAVE RED CARPET ETIQUETTE

This applies to every and all people on the red carpet — journalists, photographers, PR folks, celebs, the people walking the celebs down the red carpet, me.

I understand that the red carpet can be like a bustling marketplace, where all these players have all these different agendas but seriously, people can be so rude sometimes.

On the red carpet, most people seem to follow a “do whatever it takes to get what you want” strategy, whether that entails embarrassing other people or coming off like a jack*ss or a b*tch.

Recently I was on the red carpet and it started to get really crowded behind the ropes. Some of the other reporters started crossing the line to interview while ON the red carpet. Seemed like a good idea so I did just that as well. All was going well when this PR lady, out of nowhere and for NO REASON AT ALL– while I’m in the middle of interviewing her client — tells me, “you better get over to behind the lines. You better get behind there. Get there. Get there.” Then she raised the ropes and forced me to crawl UNDER it even though all the other reporters still stayed on the red carpet.

That was not cool, lady.

And then there are celebs who are super “over it” when they answer questions. They roll their eyes, make weird faces and generally act like unpleasant people who are asking in their heads, “are you seriously asking me this?”

At the end of the day, I just hope that all red carpet attendees remember one thing: you chose to be here. Whether as a writer, a cameraman, a PR rep, a movie star, you chose your profession. If you don’t enjoy the process, don’t do it.

I really admired how Kal Penn handled the red carpet at a Harold & Kumar screening recently. Unlike some of his shall-not-be-named cohorts, he was gracious and kind the entire evening, speaking to all the publications, answering questions with genuine care and thoughtfulness. I know this because even though he wasn’t the last celeb to arrive, he was the last to finish the red carpet because he would take his time with the press. I was set to interview him last and when one of the PR reps told me I could only ask him one question (say what? We hosted the event!), his reps personally reassured me it would be more than that. Then when Kal and I met face to face, he told me,

“Would it be ok if we talked while walking into the screening? I want to make sure you guys get enough time especially because you’ve always been so supportive of us.”

So sweet, right?! And he gives an awesome video intro.

Thanks Kal for being such a model celeb on red carpet etiquette.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 2 | Category Interviews, Job, Los Angeles, TV, Writing

Things I’ve Encountered That I Like


Wednesday, 10.26.2011

{ Picture thanks to Diana King }

Recently helped coordinate a shoot and interview for Mindy Kaling for Audrey Magazine’s Winter cover. My girl crush on Mindy grew as I learned more about this accomplished writer-performer who became a theater wunderkind at only 24 and an executive-producer on the hit NBC comedy at only 32.

She’s also a blogger (I know, as if girl didn’t have enough on her plate) and shares hilarious musings of things she likes on this blog.

In honor of Mindy, I’m sharing some of the stuff I like.

Cool art. It’s Van Gogh’s Starry Night all done with different-colored brushes.

Thanks to one of my Chinatown gals, I got to enjoy the uber-exclusive Club 33. Rubbed shoulders with Mickey and Pluto too.

Just a reminder that the (lovably) idiotic Janice is still here! I accidentally took one of those restaurant beepers home. It wouldn’t stop beeping.

Doesn’t this just bring a smile to your face?

Be sure to purchase your copy of Mindy’s winter issue here.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 3 | Category Inspirations, Los Angeles, Love, 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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