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Bye bye Boston

Finally back in Cali as of last night. It was an extremely long day of traveling. I was so tired when I got home and started feeling really sick. All I wanted to do as soon as I got home was to unpack, shower and go to sleep. Luckily I did my laundry before I left my parent’s house, which saves me the time from doing it back in Cali. I quickly unpacked and put everything in its place so I didn’t have to deal with it today when I get home from work. Smart move on my end. I woke up feeling sick but told myself I have to drag my ass out of bed and into the office. If I worked from home I’d probably be all mopey and sad about being homesick.

Saturday night I had a really hard time sleeping that when I woke up Sunday morning to get ready for my flight I felt like crap. There was a really strange mood around the house as I was getting ready Sunday morning. My dad was really unhappy as well as my mom, but I think my dad took it harder. I remember Saturday night when he sat there watching tv, he stared aimlessly at the tv telling me his chest really hurts because I’m leaving. I felt horrible when he said that to me. I just put on that tough front and told him he’ll be okay and I tried joking around with him. But even then I’m pretty sure he caught on that I was having a hard time hearing those words. On Sunday morning when my parents were driving me to the bus station, it was a very silent car ride. I sat in the back seat noticing my dad’s eyes getting red and watery. He then told me he felt like crying and once again I put on that tough front. I tried not to look into that mirror where I could see his eyes. I either was looking down at my phone or out the window. I tried my hardest to not cry and to continue being strong.

Soon we arrived to the bus station where my parents sat with me waiting for my bus to arrive which was to bring me to the airport. I tried to strike a much more optimistic conversation to lighten up the mood and that helped a bit. Once my bus arrived, I gave my parents a hug and walked onto the bus. I opted for a seat by the window that wasn’t facing them so they wouldn’t see me crying. As soon as I got on the bus I stared out the window silently crying wishing that I didn’t have to go back to Cali. I felt horrible to go back to Cali making my parents feel sad. I know it’s not really my fault, but I can’t help but feel guilty. Throughout my entire trip home I cried silently. I remember every moment at the airport in Boston I felt so unhappy and emotional. The moment the plane took off I felt so heartbroken to leave my home again. The closer I got to Cali I felt worst. I had a stop in Milwaukee, Phoenix and then finally San Jose. When we landed in San Jose I felt the sadness kick into overdrive. I felt so uncomfortable around the surroundings I’ve grown accustomed to during the past year I’ve lived here. I hated everything; from the streets to the people. It was and will never be anything like Boston.

Today is my first day back in the office. I feel okay again to be around my coworkers who welcomed me with opened arms. I guess my work is my safety net out here. That is essentially why I’m even in Cali. This morning when I woke up I felt like I woke up from a long dream of being in Boston. It doesn’t even feel like I ever went back. It’s so strange. I felt so happy again to see my coworkers. Yet once I’m out of the office and back to my place, my mood changes to hating everything again. I become so hateful of everything because of the malicious people I’ve crossed paths with out here. I blame them for making me feel this way and making me fear to come back to this shit hole west coast. One day I’ll go back home for good. For now I have to continue doing what I’m doing. Like my friends have been saying to me, just do what you have to do and then come back.

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Living here in San Jose for over a year now there’s still quite a few places that I have yet checked out. San Jose Museum of Art was one of the few places that I’ve had my eye on to visit. It’s close by to where I live yet I just never made the trip there. My friend from back at home that lives in the East Bay asked if I wanted to go to the museum on Saturday. I decided to take him up on his offer since he has a pass to check out a few museums around the Bay Area for free. I didn’t feel like heading into the city since I already commute quite often into SF. I opted to stay local and to check out SJ Museum of Art.

After we arrived I didn’t realize how small it was. I didn’t think it was going to be huge compared to the Museum of Fine Arts back in Boston, but maybe at least a little bit bigger. A few of things in their collection were okay. I was really intrigued by their “Momentum” exhibit that they had up. There was also a few of Chihuly’s glass sculptures hanging in the lobby which was nice. I’m still bummed out that I missed his exhibit when he came to Boston a few years ago. I’d love to check out his work in Seattle some day though. One of the installations from the “Momentum” exhibit was done by Leo Villareal, who designed the light installation for the Bay Bridge called the Bay Lights. It was really beautiful and clean.

As for my overall thought of this museum, I’ve definitely gone to better ones. I would only come back if there was a really good exhibit happening. Other than that I can do without coming here again. I wish their collection was curated better, which might improve the setting of the museum. I’m just glad I finally got to check it out and cross that off my list of things to do!

http://sjmusart.org/

Ever since I moved to California, I’ve been told many great things for what’s along Highway 1 especially Big Sur. Never wanted to really do the drive alone since it’s definitely a drive I’d prefer to have some company with. Luckily I had friends from Boston visiting last weekend which commenced for a photo adventure. Definitely didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity to experience the amazing views. Each stop was gradually breath taking. I suggest anyone to take a day to drive along Highway 1 to really experience the scenic views. Don’t forget to bring some beer, too! We had a beer before we ventured off to enjoy our last stop during this drive. Here’s a list of where we stopped:

– Pescadero State Beach

– Pebble Beach to see the Lone Cypress Tree

– Point Lobos

– Bixby Bridge

– Pfeiffer Falls

My favorite spots were Point Lobos and Pfeiffer Falls. I wouldn’t mind going back to Point Lobos one of these weekends to hike. There was something so calming about this place for me. Luckily we were able to make it to Pfeiffer Falls right in time before the sun set. It was beautiful. I was surprised to see a bridal party just leaving Pfeiffer Falls after their ceremony ended as we were walking onto the trail. Pretty cool idea.

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Thanks again to my friend JP for driving! Of course when we arrived back to San Jose we had to have all you can eat Korean BBQ as well as lots of beer and soju at YakiniQ. Yay! Perfect way to end a great day. Got lots of great pics but still really need to get a better lens!! Had time to make change my wallpaper with all the photos I’ve taken!

Working from home :)

It was a really great time and I was glad to share this experience with friends that’s never gone before. 🙂

Some time last week while I was on the phone with my mom, she had mentioned how I should go buy some moon cake and have a nice dinner since August Moon was approaching. I was looking considering on doing it today since I worked from home and had a bit of spare time to go grocery shopping, but I wasn’t feeling well all day so that plan didn’t follow through. My landlord’s parents are in town visiting and his mom always kinda scared me. She just looks like a mean old lady, but turns out she’s not haha. I was getting some water in the kitchen and she spoke to me in Mandarin saying they’re going to have dinner tonight because of August Moon. She had to repeat herself in Cantonese since I don’t understand nor do I speak Mandarin. I kindly replied and appreciated the invite and just told her I didn’t want to disrupt their plans, but she kept insisting that I join. I offered to help with prepping the food and cooking, but she said it’s all set and when dinner is ready she’ll let me know. I thought the invite was really sweet that I kinda teared up when I got back into my room. It was just a really nice gesture on her end since I wasn’t looking forward to having the usual “table for one” kinda dinner or any meal by myself.

Afterwards, I grabbed my keys and went out to the Chinese market where they have a deli section and I bought some soy sauce chicken. I didn’t want to sit at this table without having helped with the cooking or anything. I thought this would at least be something than nothing to have offered them. I spoke to my parents and told them I was going to eat dinner with my landlord and etc., and that I had bought some extra food. My parents were joking around how I’m suddenly so polite and well mannered, but they commented saying that I’m a really good girl for doing that. I’m glad that made them happy. After everyone at the table was slowly finishing dinner, I was clearing the table and bringing the dirty dishes to the sink. I was about to wash them and then my landlord’s mom shoved me lol. I told her how I want to clean the dishes since they did all the cooking. We fought over the sink and I eventually gave up and walked away haha. Fiesty old lady, but very sweet as well.

I noticed that when it came to Chinese holidays, my landlord has always been very hospitable and welcoming for me to join them and having dinner together. It’s a really kind gesture and I really appreciate it. I take those little things to heart and I am very grateful to have met such kind people. They make me feel like they’re my little family and home away from home since I don’t have any family here at all. I’m a very lucky girl to know people like them. 🙂

Before and after I moved to Cali, the thought of how I’d handle an earthquake kinda freaked me out. I really don’t know what to do if it happened. Coming from the east coast I know what to do if there’s a snowstorm, hurricane, tornado, etc. An earthquake is something I never learned how to “prep” for. I always joked around with friends saying that when that moment does happen I’ll probably freak out and cry haha, but apparently I didn’t. Well sort of.

I was having trouble sleeping per usual. I decided to take some melatonin to help me sleep and I went to bed early, too. Throughout the night I woke up here and there. Clearly the melatonin didn’t work but I felt a bit blah from it. I remember waking up at around 4AM and my bed was moving. I was sleeping on my side and felt my body lightly swaying back and forth. I was in a daze and felt confused yet scared. I thought it was a dream and still feel a bit groggy from the melatonin, so I tried my hardest to fall back asleep and disregarded the movement in the room.

I woke up this morning to a few text messages from friends back at home asking if I was okay and had mentioned they heard there was an earthquake that occurred near me. I was like “fuckkkk…that shit was an earthquake?!!”. So I wasn’t dreaming after all haha. I replied with letting them know that I was okay and I really appreciated how concerned they were. My mind has been kind of mind boggled all day thinking about the earthquake and how much damage it did to Napa. Luckily it didn’t get too serious here in San Jose. Can’t believe I just fell back asleep like nothing happened haha. I’m just really glad I’m safe.

This week has been the best week ever at work. It wasn’t the fact that I literally drank everyday with my colleagues and my boss, but to see my team coming together and whatnot. One of my colleagues who works remotely from NY came to our SF office this week. It was great meeting him since he was just this voice on this phone to me haha. I was excited to meet him and hope that our team was gonna hang out and really get to know each other but that was a total fail. I was the only one in the team that was down to take him out. It was fun though. We hung out at work for a bit and hand some beer there in this “decompression room”, which has a ping pong table, tv, and a big keg lol. That was the room we went into everyday after 4 or 5pm. Soon we left work and he introduced me to an old employee that used to be on my team. It was interesting to hear their conversations of how things were like prior to me coming on board. After all the talk about work, we got down to having fun and went bar hopping in SF. I didn’t get home until 3AM on a Tuesday night. I felt like crap the next day and exhausted driving back and forth from SJ to SF. Luckily I don’t have a fixed schedule and can come and go as I please. Stayed out late again the next day and enjoyed an amazing dinner at this Argentinian steak house in SF. I’ll have to write a separate post on it. Hands down best dinner I’ve ever had. Over dinner we each shared our design process, skills and stories. It was just awesome to have these kind of discussions.

Before dinner that Wednesday night, my boss, colleague and myself went down the street to this really cool bar nearby our office. I got to meet my boss’ old colleagues which was amazing. They all worked for the same agency and have moved onto other amazing opportunities. I got to meet the designer that works for FitBit and I have one, so we got down to an awesome discussion about the design and got the scoop of things that are gonna be happening. I loved it. Next, I got to meet a project manager that works at Samsung, met a guy who’s wife is the creative director for Air BnB, and another designer who was a part of the team that designed Beats headphones. There were lots more. I was at a bar filled with so much intelligence and talent. I absorbed every ounce of their inspiring skills and stories. I felt like that moment meeting all these people and even my colleague that works remotely, I felt so much growth in my career. As corny as I’m gonna sound it really was an honor to be around these designers. I would love to be in their shoes one day and be able to say I was a part of whatever team to build XYZ product. It’s just an awesome and rewarding feeling. Aside from meeting great designers, I got to finally really chat with my boss. I discussed of what needed to be done for our team for us to be much more unified besides collaborating on projects. During our discussion, he told me how happy he is to have me on the team and whatnot. I felt truly appreciated and respected, which really boosted my confidence as a designer. I know I’m a good designer, but I’m playing in a different field that I’ve never been in before which is a new and exciting challenge for me to take on. These are the moments in my career that makes me love my job even more.

I see lots of amazing things happening for my team since there won’t be any more folks coming on board. We’re building this team from the ground up and I have hope that with the amount of amazing talent we have, we’re gonna make shit really happen. I learned from another colleague of mines that he is a writer, too. He’s a very intelligent man that has a ton of experience. I felt very enlightened by him when he told me about how he argued with this really popular software designer (Alan Cooper) that he used to work for. Not many people can say things like that. But here’s an article that he usually writes for UX Magazine: click here. Yesterday, I just got brought on board into this huge project and I am one of the main visual designers working with 3-4 interaction designers. That’s a lot of pressure, but I know I can do it. It’s pretty awesome that practically everyone on the team has their hands in this project. It’s gonna be an interesting process since this will be the very first time where ALL of us are collaborating together. I’m ready for the craziness. 🙂

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Just got out of the gym and decided to sit outside on the sidewalk again tonight to admire the moon before I get ready for bed. It’s been the third night in a row where I’ve sat out here staring at the moon aimlessly thinking to myself about everything. Kinda in hopes the moon will provide answers for my problems but most likely not. My coworker today told me not to stare at the moon for too long or I’ll become a lunatic haha. So corny. Perhaps this is now a newfound nightly routine since seems to be the only thing calming me.

There’s something about that midnight sun. Anyways, time to get ready for bed before I really turn into a lunatic. :p