Archive for the ‘ Work ’ Category

A New Perspective

I’ve been super excited about Ariana Minamoto, aka Miss Universe Japan, ever since she started making headlines. My country of culture is extremely old skool (*cough*overly-traditional*cough*), so to have someone who’s hafu or of mixed race represent them is HUGE. It’s on par with Obama becoming President of the United States.

As some of you know, I work on beauty pageants. It’s not a guaranteed gig, but I’ve been lucky enough to work on eight of them in the past four years. The show is a fun one, but I haven’t been this excited since my very first pageant.

Miss Universe 2015

This girl is absolutely gorgeous, but I’m sure your first reaction is she doesn’t look Japanese. Next to me, it’s fair to say she looks more American than I do. But when you hear her talk and see her gestures, she’s one hundred per cent Japanese. And what kills me is that I’d probably have an easier time getting around Japan than she would, just because I look like the majority. In many interviews, she admitted that she was bullied for her skin color; when she was little, other kids didn’t want to hold her hand because they thought her color would rub off onto them.

I’m proud of her for having the courage to go through the pageant circuit. I’m thrilled that I got a chance to take this picture with her (although it made me miss my grandma – she loved it when I sent her pics of the current Miss Japan). And I’m grateful she’s given me a new perspective on being a minority.

Moscow and Beauty Queens and Cameras, Oh My!

I’ve got a few days to go before my trip to Moscow and yet I’m still in disbelief that I’m going.

Because, really, who makes Russia their “must see” destination? Certainly not this girl.

On Monday I fly out to Moscow, which will be my home for almost twenty-eight days. After three consecutive Miss USA Pageants, I finally got selected to be a part of the Remotes Production crew for Miss Universe. I’m super excited, super nervous, and super dreading the jet lag when I get back.

Things I know I’m going to miss:
1. The relatively calm weather of California. It’s going to be chilly and rainy when I land in Moscow, with snow towards the latter part of my stay. (I don’t even want to think about the limited amount of sunlight.)
2. Female companionship. Being with Remotes means I’m mostly in Boys’ Town, and even though I love working with these guys, there are days I just want to dish about clothing and accessories.
3. Tacos. Just because.
4. Having all of you “around” within a reasonable time zone. The distance between LAX and Moscow (according to my flight itinerary) is just a tiny bit shy of seven thousand miles, and with a time difference of eleven hours, communicating with people back home will be tricky.
5. Being able to recognize text. At least when I was in Germany, I could make out certain words because we share a similar alphabet.

Did I mention that I was excited and nervous?

I can’t even figure out a way to end this post. So I won’t.

I’m currently temping for a fashion school downtown. It’s definitely a whole other world for me: model sketches, clothing designs, sewing machines, mannequins, and all the other stuff you’ve ever seen in the movies.

There’s a bunch of boards on the walls outside of the office that are covered with student projects. The closest board to me is a Bob Mackie (yes, the designer for some of Cher’s more elaborate costumes) mentored project, which basically comes down to shiny and extravagant. My brain kind of exploded when I heard that Mr. Mackie is a great supporter of the fashion program and that more jeweled decor on fabric could happen in the near future.

I shared this feeling on Twitter during my lunch break yesterday. This is what popped up this morning:


That. Happened. End of story.

Image Attached

Tonight at work, this email popped up in my inbox:

Hi everyone,
I have an extra pear today that would make a delicious late afternoon snack for anyone that is interested. Please stop by my desk if you’d like to take this pear. I’ve attached a sample image of the pear below.
*stock image of a pear*
Project Manager.

I have awesome co-workers.

Improve On Improv

These days it feels like my job is mostly compiling lists. If you need some kind of list within the span of an hour, I’ll get you a list with pictures, links, and the option of having it in a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. Grocery, comparison, quotes…you name it, I’ve probably done it.

I’ve had to do some brainstorming with my boss for specific talent over the past couple of weeks. This required me to think of things related to improvisational comedy, or improv for short. My boss sent out an email to the client to discuss specifics, and typed out “improve comedy.” I knew it was a typo, so I didn’t say anything.

The response that came back from the client also contained the word “improve comedy” in the body of their email. No biggie, they were probably typing quickly.

Two or three emails later, both my boss and the client were using the term “improve comedy.” Most of these emails came from a computer source, and not a smartphone (I’m basing this on the fact that the company logo accompanied our client’s signature every time a reply was sent). It was enough for me to question aloud whether “improv” had changed its spelling:

I’ll be honest: I felt kind of stupid to have to ask that kind of question on Twitter. But I’ve had to face the fact that “grey” doesn’t cut it anymore in America – “gray” is the correct spelling in this country, and it’s been a hard transition for me. For all I know, a memo went out that “improve” is the acceptable modern spelling for “improv,” and I missed it. And the chain of emails had me thinking that a silent e had been added sometime in the new decade.

Thank you, Twitter peeps, for setting the record straight. I love that you guys are geeky enough to worry about spelling with me.

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

I’m working again (albeit it’s just a temporary position). It’s your typical Entertainment Industry assistant gig, but in my recent experience, the only industry that is still hiring assistants on a regular basis is the one that Los Angeles makes a good chunk of its income from. There’s nothing challenging about it, but I do need the industry experience if I’m going to try and make a living in this town.

This past Tuesday was tough on me physically: global warming decided to turn it up a few degrees and it was my turn to run errands. My list included the following:

1. Go to my boss’ new home in Beverly Hills to pick up a couple of items.
2. Drop off Time Warner Cable property at the location on Cahuenga.
3. Visit Marshall’s to purchase a comforter for my boss (preferably in brownish hues).

The house gig was the trickiest one. I had a key, but didn’t realize that the house alarm had been set and would go off as soon as I opened the door. I’ve heard house alarms go off before, but they’ve always been deactivated by the owner well before a stern recording tells me to vacate the premise and that the cops are on the way.

I literally told the recording that I’d love to go, but I had things to get from the house and couldn’t leave until the items had been picked up and were in my car. It was a brand new low for me as an assistant, especially since I’m only a temp – I had doubts that the company would come and pick me up from the station once the police realized that I’d set off the alarm in error. Luckily, I managed to turn off the alarm without any cop cars rolling up the driveway, and I was able to finish my task.

The day was a warm one, and I was still a little bit rattled after the house alarm fiasco. I managed to make it to Time Warner and Ross without any further mishaps, but the heat, the slim chance of me having to deal with the fuzz, and dealing with LA traffic left me cranky. My mood didn’t improve when my phone suddenly indicated that I had three new text messages.

Daytime text messages are on par with nighttime phone calls: someone has either died or wants you in his/her bed. Since I’m single, I had a gut wrenching feeling that something was very, very wrong.

Luckily, no one had died. It was my old roommate, Jamison, on his way back from Rome via Chicago.

Our conversation went a little something like this:

J: Kkkaaatthhhhrrryynnn
J: Dunkin donuts?
J: They have one herein Chicago and I’m going to grab some before I leave
K: Yes please! :D
J: What’s your preference?
K: Pumpkin if they have it; otherwise chocolate
J: Okie dokie
K: Thank you!

That quick exchange (and the promise of a donut) had me turn my frown upside down.

It’s Getting a Little Bit Primitive ‘Round Here

One of the Project Managers in my office is leaving us to work with another company. As a farewell gesture, we all went to a German “restaurant” down on Venice boardwalk to have lunch and wish our co-worker all the best. (I put restaurant in quotes because no one really goes down there for the cuisine.)

For those of you who don’t know, Venice Boardwalk is the place to go when you want to see “crazy.” All kinds of people are there, from your beach bums to your zoned-out stoner. Add in a mix of out-of-state tourists, and you’ve got the population that walked back and forth in front of us as we sat in the patio area. It was the perfect setting for an oceanside lunch, even if the marine layer was still hovering over our heads.

Suddenly, the PM sitting to my left grabbed a couple of napkins and started wiping the side of his shirt.

“Did a bird just shit on you?” I asked.

“I’m not sure,” he replied.

He pulled up the napkin for inspection, but the stain didn’t even look like bird poop. If anything, it looked like he may have gotten peed on.

Fast forward about thirty minutes: the food has arrived and we’re all digging in. The PM next to me suddenly blurts out, “I think it was a chicken wing.”

I didn’t know what to say except for, “What was a chicken wing?”

“I think someone threw a chicken wing at me.”

Venice Boardwalk has its eclectic mix of characters, but I didn’t think that any of them would stoop so low as to start throwing food at others.

And then we realized the wing probably came from the table of Eastern European tourists sitting behind us. They’d been drinking pitchers of beer, smoking, and ordering numerous plates of appetizers. Further inspection lead us to discover a couple of stray bones in the potted bushes right at the front of the restaurant.

So the next time you find yourself having a meal down by Venice Beach, heed my warning and beware the flying chicken wing.

*dust* *dust*

Hello, internet. How are you doing?

Business is picking up at my new place of employment, which means I’m being thrown into a bunch of different projects. This also means I’ve got a lot of fast learning to do on my part, as I have absolutely no previous experience with this:

That’s right. I work with hard-core green people who abide by the rules of the US Green Building Council. It’s the complete opposite of my previous industry.

Other things I’ve been doing:
1. Volunteering with 1.5 (soon to become a solid 2) dog adoption foundations.
2. Saw Ricky Geravis live at the Nokia last weekend for a mere $3. It’s good to have connections.
3. Picked up my ukulele again. It’s been way too long.
4. Planned a weekend trip to NYC to visit some old friends.
5. Going to the gym on a semi-regular basis.

That’s about it for now. I am sorry I’ve been neglecting you, but a girl’s gotta make money to keep this site up and running. (And to pay for the activities I can potentially write about later to keep you entertained. I know you care.)

[Not] At Your Service

I rarely ever watch movies while they’re playing in the theater. With the benefit of being a Netflix member, I just have to wait a few months longer before the movie comes out in DVD form. Which is what I’m doing with the films that were nominated for the Oscars this year.

Bearing this in mind, I’m glad I waited to see “Up in the Air”.

Ryan Bingham stays at a lot of Hilton and Hilton-brand hotels during the film. These are the hotels who provide a place for him to stay after he’s fired dozens of people as he crosses over the globe.

If I had seen this movie while I was unemployed, I think I would have lost it.

Before I was laid off, I worked for Hilton. My company had the courtesy not to hire a third party to announce my termination to my face, but I had complete empathy for the people who were fired. I’m sure my face looked like a third of those who got laid off: disbelief, followed by the emotional breakdown.

Mind you, I’m employed now. I’m still in the probation period, and with the economy being what it is, I’m not 100% confident that I can stay employed and I will not be back in a relationship with the EDD. But I’m in a better place. I can pay my bills. I go outside a little bit more. I’m learning how to socialize with non-internet based people again.

But I’ll be honest. Watching this film was like rubbing the salt ‘n’ sand paper a little bit harder in the wound.

I’m Your New Go-To Girl For Social Media

I’ve only been at this gig for two weeks and some change and I’ve already got a promotion: I’m now in charge of being the social media liaison for my company.

No, really. I can legitimately work on Twitter and Facebook, just under a different name.

To be honest, I think Twitter may have been the clincher in my interview. I had mentioned going to tweetups and meeting all kinds of friends because of our 140-character acquaintance, and my future bosses got really excited.

So now I’ve got a project on my hands and I’m going to have to network like I’ve never networked before.