November 23, 2008

Mindblossom Ordeals Continued

In light of the recent comment to my not-so-positive post about Mindblossom and many personal emails regarding this rant, I am utterly appalled over the same problems that people complain about to me, even after a management turnover that was apparently supposed to turn the company around. New management, same problems.

There was quite some controversy over the posting a year later when the president emailed me accusing me of slander and threatening to take legal action and to contact my web host to remove my site. Of course, they were only mean threats as no serious actions were actually taken. The emails themselves seemed quite desperate and petty, but I stood up to the bullying and held firm on keeping my post up (although I decided to change the title to something less subjective) and responded to them with the following:

D----, I had only just received your emails as I have not had the opportunity to check them in the last while. I find it very presumptuous of you to assume that I had simply tossed the matter aside when it had only been 3 days since your first email. I'm sure you now have an idea of how I felt when I was given the runaround for over a month. With that said, please do not suppose yourself to be the epitome of respect and politeness with your accusations of my "rudeness."

As for the issue at hand: my blog is my journal and I have every right to express my personal opinions and experiences of my every day life. This particular post to which you refer simply documented a chain of frustrating events that I had wanted to share. There was no malicious intent in the post to defame the company, yourself or P---; in fact, the post is in no way, shape or form defamatory since the events I had outlined were completely factual (you yourself had even acknowledged that in your last email). To accuse me of "slander", especially from a blog post written well over a year ago, is utterly ridiculous. I am completely over that experience and expressing myself in writing was a good way for me to do so. As you can see, I have never wasted my time or effort to ever write about or "slander" the company after that particular post.

I understand your concern about the title and I will consider changing it to something less subjective. As for the post, I truly believe I have written nothing defamatory as it simply documented events I experienced.


Then last year in December I received an email from Omar Rizvi, the new VP Finance & Operations, whom I had never met, who had actually apologized to me (the first apology I had received from the company). The email went something like this:

"Basically I wanted to apologize for the bad experience you had with us and let you know that we have been purchased by a large media company. We have a whole new leadership team and many of the people you were dealing with have since left the company. The current leadership team is all about conducting business in a professional manner and taking the company to the next level.

So I would appreciate very much if you could take your blog about us off your site since when you Google us it comes up on the first page and hinders us and our efforts to re-launch our company."

However, a month later I received an email from someone contracted by Mindblossom:

Hi Michelle, We've completed a cabling project for MindBlossom and specified they must pay by cheque upon completion. It's been two weeks and we've received similar excuses to what you've pointed out in your blog ("signing authority" is not here now, etc.). We're going down there today to attempt to collect. The "head guy" you referred to, was that Omar Rizvi at the time? Regards, E---

And just yesterday I received this comment to my post:

A photographer friend is having a similar "nightmare" dealing with Minblossom. They owe her over $10,000 and refuse to pay.

I've taken it upon myself to try and help her out by by getting the word out about Mindblossom = BAD NEWS!!!

dead beats!!!!

Any help you can provide could be useful.

You can read the about the entire situation on their own site. Unbelievable eh? I'm glad I stood my ground; now others will now that they aren't the only ones being shafted by this company.

Posted by mich at 12:44 AM | return | dreams [0]

November 16, 2007

Daily Life in the Stock

It's been 2 weeks now in Stockholm and I'm getting used to the everyday routine of living here on my own. It hasn't been the easiest, but hopefully I'll feel more adjusted within the next few weeks.

Here are some of my thoughts about living here:

People

My colleagues are super nice and friendly so I really enjoy my work environment. Strangers however, sometimes seem quite cold upon first impressions but they are generally polite and friendly when you talk to them or ask for help. I'm still not used to salespeople in stores because they never greet or even acknowledge customers. They'll even completely ignore you and continue talking to their co-workers while blocking the shelf you're trying to look at. I'm told that this is quite common in Sweden since salespeople find the service industry to be beneath them so they tend to act snobby.

The thing that most surprised though is how pushy people are here. Multiple times, when walking up the escalator or walking along the people mover, people who wanted to walk faster (and everyone who's walked with me knows I'm definitely not a slow walker) would actually push me over the the right just to pass by. Like, what the hell? Who does that? Apparently lots of Swedes. The worst incident was yesterday when I was walking up the escalator and had to stop because there was a woman blocking the path. So I stopped too. But then a hand from behind extended over my should and pushed the woman and she fell over her kids! So then I turned around to the old man and told him he didn't need to push. And then he started to push me aggresively! Seriously, what's wrong with these people? Unbelievable! I wish I turned around and elbowed him in the face or something, but of course I did nothing.

Language

My company enrolled me in a Swedish class so I started learning Swedish last week. It's fun, but it's pretty hard. My teacher is really good but she speaks only Swedish to the class so most of it still sounds like gibberish to me. I did learn some basic things like counting numbers, saying "My name is," "I come from," "I speak English," and so on. The pronunciation is the trickiest because things aren't pronounced the way they're spelled. For example the letter 'K' can sound like 'sh', so "Kina" would be pronounced "sheena", which means China. The city "Göteborg" looks like "gotburg" but it's really pronounced "yur-teh-boray".

The Swedish language is still kind of difficult for me to distinguish (it sounds nothing like the Muppet Chef!), so sometimes I can't really tell if someone is speaking Swedish or not. If I were in a different country and I heard Swedish, I probably wouldn't be able to pinpoint the language. I thought it would be a bit similar to German, but it isn't at all - it's much more soft and melodic. Also, everybody here speaks English (and they don't sound like the IKEA guy) so I'm never forced to bust out my phrasebook.

Shopping

This place is freaking expensive! From the prices I've seen, many things are 2-3 times more expensive than back home. The most outrageous price I've seen was a puny head of iceberg lettuce for almost $8 yesterday!!! I almost dropped dead. I went shopping for running shoes since I couldn't find any sizes in the States or styles in Canada, and a simple pair of Adidas costed $200. Body Shop body butters were $30-$40 and books were double the price of the Canadian prices. On the streets in Stockholm, everyone sports a Canada Goose jacket, and even back home those cost a pretty penny, but here they seriously cost over $900!!! The most confusing thing is that full-time salaries are equivalent to those in Canada, but people here pay more income tax and sales tax and high living costs so I'm so confused how people can actually afford everything!

Fortunately, the prices at IKEA are cheaper than in Canada so I've already made 2 shopping trips there :) They also have a nice line of shower products and lotions so now I know where to go instead of the Body Shop!

Food

I still haven't actually eaten out at a real restaurant since it's quite expensive. Pretty depressing huh? I've eaten a tiny plate of rice and chicken at IKEA that cost me over $10, and a food court meal, which also cost $10. Lunch time is when the best deals are to be had. That's when restaurants have fixed-price menus called Dagens Rätt offering salad, bread, entrée and a drink. I went to one place for lunch that had a huge selection of pizzas and I chose one called La Banana, which had curry, pineapple, banana, and ham. Sounded really unique and it tasted really good! The rest of the time I make myself dinner and lunch but It's usually boring stuff. I really miss good Chinese food. I did find a Chinese grocery store yesterday and bought some sauces and noodles... but... I don't know how to make anything yet :S

Flatmates

It's only been a week in my new place and already I've gotten quite annoyed with the 2 other women I live with: one is the landlady and the other is a Swedish woman and they're both middle-aged. My landlady is really nice and sweet but she's imposed some rules like no friends or visitors and no alcohol. There was a third rule I found out after I bought a package of spare ribs: no pork. She's muslim so she doesn't want pork around and made me return it to the store. I was pretty angry about that because I thought it was wrong for her to impose her own dietary restrictions on me. But being the softie that I am, I returned the ribs (surprisingly you can return meat...?) She's also been moving my stuff around in the kitchen and bathroom and comes into my room when I'm not home (and my door is kept shut all the time), so I had to speak to her about that.

As for the other woman, I had only met her over the weekend... sort of. She had gone travelling when I moved in and had returned on Tuesday. Her bedroom door was open and the light was on so when I passed by the door I looked in, but there was an old half-naked woman standing around! Yuck! That was awkward so I didn't say anything. The next day after returning to my building from work, the woman held the elevator door for me to go upstairs. I tried saying hi but she ignored me, so I thought she didn't realize I was living in the same place as her. But when we both got off on the same floor and she left the apartment door open for me after going in, it was obvious she knew who I was. Then I watched her take off her dirty shoes and throw them right onto my house slippers! That peeved me off but I didn't say anything. Later on when the landlady introduced us I said hi and smiled at her, but all she did was just look at me with a blank stare. No smile, no 'hi', nothing. Hmph, rude. The next day after coming home I saw her shoes on top of my slippers AGAIN. I wanted to say something to her but I didn't really see her come out of her room that night. So this morning I purposely put my slippers away to the side, pushed my two pairs of shoes together to the side of the shoe rack and made sure she had lots of space on the rack. But when I came home after work, there was an empty space on the rack and the woman's shoes were dumped onto BOTH my pairs of shoes!!!! *huff* I don't know what's wrong with this woman, but I was so mad I threw her shoes off of mine and off the rack. I still didn't see her tonight but I'm making sure I speak to her tomorrow.

Fortunately for me the Swedish woman is moving out in 2 weeks and the landlady is moving out end of December. There's a German girl my age coming in next month. Caaaan't wait.

Posted by mich at 3:14 PM | return | dreams [1]

July 18, 2007

It's a Miracle I Didn't Catch Pneumonia

Last Saturday my dragon boat team raced at the Waterloo regatta, which turned out to be the most miserable one to date. Not only was it cold and windy the whole day (and I was so under dressed), it started raining a lot in the afternoon. Yet, we still had to paddle! I probably gave my abs a great workout from shivering and hunching over so much. Amazingly, we did our first race in 2:12, which put us in the platinum division (!!!), but our races after that went so horrible, we ended up gaining 10 seconds by the time we reached our third race, aiya. This was the first regatta where my dragon boat team didn't win a medal. And wouldn't you know, the weather warmed up and the sun started shining after the entire festival was over. BAH.

Also last week I went out with Kris, Sandra and Christian for a lovely Summerlicious lunch at Fieramosca located in the Annex. They had some great bread and bruschetta, but their salad and linguine with mushrooms, shrimp and chicken were nothing to write home about. The best part of the meal was the gigantic slab of tiramisu we got for dessert. There was a bit too much whipped cream inside, but boy was it delish! As Kris was leaving for Australia the next day for 6 months, it was the last time I would be seeing her for a long time, and the last time all 4 of us would be together for who knows how long! Yes Sandra, we're all leaving you, LOL :P

I had the chance to catch the Argentina vs Poland game for the FIFA U-20, and it was exciting! It was the first time I've attended a live sporting event (that snoozfest of a Jays game last year didn't count). The crowd was wild and energetic, and the Argentinians were fabulously entertaining. I can't wait to go see the final games this Sunday!

DSC_4916
Posted by mich at 1:00 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 15, 2007

Maybe I Should Have Gotten a Mac

Ever since I brought my new Sony Vaio back to Toronto I ran into the problem of only being able to connect to wireless networks but not the internet via those networks (I was only able to connect to WiFi once in Montreal). I was downtown to try to do some work, but I tried various networks at coffee shops and at U of T, but no luck. No matter who I asked to look at my laptop, no one was able to help me. So I brought it to the Sony Store and all they could tell me was to restore it back to factory settings, but to perhaps call Sony support before I resort to their solution. I called Sony support and was on the phone with them for TWO freakin hours. OMG those people were unbelievable. The first 45 minutes was with some dude who, after I told him I couldn't connect to the internet, still told me to try to use my browser. Here's how it went:

Him: Try going to www.sony.com
Me: I can't reach it because I'm not connect to the internet.
Him: Ok, then try typing in www.google.com
Me: [What??] Um, still not working.
Him: Now try typing this [and he spelled out each character really slowly for me]... h, t, t, p, colon, slash, slash [and some random ip address]
Me: Still doesn't work [surprise surprise!!!]
Him: Ok try this other IP address then
Me: ............

I just sat there and I couldn't believe where this was headed. After I told him it was a no-go yet again he made me try some other useless stuff for I don't know how long. He gave up and passed me onto the next level of support,who was just as unhelpful. After another 45 minutes with the support person, she got really frustrated and I think she just wanted to give up. The next part of the conversation became quite ludicrous:

Her: Wait, are you running Vista Home or Business?
Me: Vista Home
Her: Hold on. [Goes off the phone for 5 minutes and comes back] Vista Home actually doesn't support networking.
Me: Um, WHAT?
Her: Yeah, only the Business version gives you networking capabilities. Vista Home doesn't have the networking capability to connect through servers and proxies [and she continues on without making any sense], and so you won't be able to connect anywhere outside your home.
Me: [WTH! Now I'm getting really peeved. Is she telling me that Microsoft is seriously that retarded?] So, you're basically saying that my computer is useless.
Her: Um, hold on please. [Puts me on hold for another 5 minutes and comes back to continue helping me as if the last 10 minutes didn't happen]

Basically, the support woman came to the conclusion that I had no recovery partition (even though I told her I could see the recovery partition) and was missing important files, which supposedly was the possible cause to my problem. Now I have a recovery and backup disk being delivered to me. Just great.

I took my laptop to the tech guys at Robarts library and within 10 minutes they were able to tell me that I was having problems because either my network card is too new since it's in draft version so it wasn't compatible with the older routers, or that my ip address was static. Turned out it was the latter, and after fishing around forever in Vista trying to find the IP properties, my problem was fixed and now I'm up and running. I hated my laptop before but now I love it :P

Posted by mich at 11:15 PM | return | dreams [0]

July 5, 2006

Shopped 'til She Dropped

During the Canada Day weekend, my parents and I were quite the patriots- we headed south of the border *hangs head in shame*. But seriously, if you're not going to celebrate in Ottawa, what point is there in staying here for the lame/non-existent celebrations in Toronto? So my family hit the road and drove down to Grove City, Pennsylvania, where there just happens to be a super duper humoungous factory outlet mall. SO many stores and so many sales; it took us 2 days to go through the whole place. They had a Coach store that was milling with women holding armfuls of bags, purses and wallets. I joined in the craze and got a cute shoulder sling bag. I also scored myself a pair of Adidas running shoes for $30(!!!), and I went absolutely buckwild at Bath & Body Works, where all their lotions, body sprays and shower gels were $5. *jackpot!* I also have a new favourite American store now called Jimmy'z, - carrying a unique style that melds together punk, rock, and surf - where I bought myself a few tops for a measly $4. The biggest doorcrasher I found was a funky Fossil bag that went from $60 straight to $10. How could I resist?! All in all, it was a completely satisfying weekend of shopping. For a 5-hour drive, it makes for a reasonable shopping destination.

---

On a completely different subject, what the hell is going on with this World Cup? It's turning into a disaster. How can a bunch of old has-beens, who beat out my 3 favourite teams when they barely even survived the round-robins, make it into the final to play another team who can't play for their life that make a sport out of diving on land? My head keeps shaking like a bobble-head doll. I'm boycotting the World Cup on Sunday.

Posted by mich at 10:19 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 17, 2006

Series of Unfortunate Events

It's been a long week and I'm glad that it's over. It was packed with some fun activities, but sprinkled with suckiness.

Last Friday I went to the Mod Club with Kerry to see Tokyo Police Club perform with a bunch of other artists under the Paperbag Records label. They were great live and I loved all the energy they brought onto the stage. The next two bands were a waste of my time: Cities in Smoke were absolutely horrible and ear splitting, and Uncut was nothing remarkable. Magneta Lane finally came just before midnight and they totally rocked out. I'm not a big fan of their music except for one song, but they are one talented bunch of chicks. The final band was controller.controller - I love their songs but I was quite disappointed by their live performance the last time I saw them - but I didn't stay to watch because I felt like I was going to pass out from tiredness.

The next morning I went to the Goethe-Institut to watch the film 108 - Walking through Tokyo as part of the soundaXis festival. The sound collage by the soundscape artist was really nicely done as it seamlessly weaved the sounds of various places throughout Tokyo. The images, however, left me unsatisfied. Out of a huge collection of photographs that could have been selected, only a handful were chosen to match with the sounds, and many of those were repeated throughout the film. I was left either looking at the same photo for either minutes on end, or staring into darkness.

Sunday afternoon was my dragonboat/dodgeball team's BBQ party at Ashbridge's Bay. I wanted to bring my Lomo Smena 8m, but realized it was still not fully fixed when the lens popped off last year. So I took the whole thing apart and tried constructing it part by part. I had everything put back together except the very last thing to control the depth of field. I just cannot screw the lens back on without getting it stuck when I try to adjust the DOF- quite annoying. Grrrr. So I left home without it. I ended up playing volleyball all afternoon which gave my nasty purple spots on my forearms... ouch. That evening I went out for Viet food with Cass, Angela and a couple of their friends.

Monday night was our dodgeball team's first playoff game against the top ranked team. Even though our first game against them a few weeks back was sooo close, we were creamed this time around (and physically too). I was beamed in the eye with the ball while sitting on the bench, and one of my teammates was attacked by so many balls at once that he fell badly on a ball and broke his foot/ankle so I had to help drive his car back home. Later that night I went on Amazon.com to order the Rolleiflex MiniDigi. What should have been a 5 minute process turned into 45-minutes of pure aggravation when my wireless signal kept dying on me and I had to restart my order over and over. When I finally pushed the submit button, it was taking forever to process and finally I a message saying that the order didn't go through. OMG was I mad *huff* Then I went down to the basement to order on the other computer and shipped it to the states since they don't ship to Canada. Fine, done. On Wednesady I got a call from Saba saying she already received the camera. Yay. But that night when I checked my e-mail, I got 2 e-mails from Amazon saying I had ordered the same product twice, as well as 2 seperate invoices from the third party vendor for my 2 orders. WTH?! I was freaking out but I couldn't send e-mails or check my orders page on Amazon because my stupid wireless connect was going down again and would only come back up for a few seconds before dying again. In my fury I started banging my mouse - hard - before that died on me too. What can I say, I hate computers and computers hate me.

Thursday I had planned to go see the TSO performance with Ben Heppner, but the tickets were already sold out. According to Christina, it was fabulous. I'll just have wait until it's aired on CBC radio, bah.

Friday evening I went to the patio of Peter Pan for dinner with Chris, Christina, and Wen San before Kris and I headed over to the brand new Four Seasons Centre for a night of the opera. Although the building is pretty nice, as a piece of modern architecture that's supposed to house spectacular and extravagant performances I was pretty disappointed by the plainness of the space. It's one thing to be minimalist (and be able to make a bold statement), but quite another to be bland. Nonetheless, the actual show itself was amazing. I was completely blown away by Aline Kutan's breathtaking performance of Der Hlle Rache where it seemed like she hit the highest note on a piano. Seriously. The celebratory show ended at 9:20 so I tried to rush to Union to catch the 9:40 GO bus back to Richmond Hill. Unfortunately I missed it by 2 minutes. The ride would have been super quick :( And when I started walking to the TTC to catch the subway, I realized I had left my beloved water bottle at the opera house, noooooo. Man, double whammy.

Posted by mich at 12:54 PM | return | dreams [0]

March 7, 2006

Being Published Again

Back in December I had posted up pics of my DisneyWorld trip on my Flikr site. A few weeks later, I had received an e-mail from an editor of a book called Scrapbooker's Guide to Walt Disney World asking for permission to use a bunch of my photos. I thought it was pretty cool that someone just found my photos and wanted to use them... and of course I gave permission. Over the weekend I received an e-mail from the author saying that I'd get a free copy of the book and inviting me to the book's launch party in December at Walt Disney to help sign autographs. Pretty exciting! Now if only someone will help sponsor me to go to Disney o_O

I always knew that March had the most birthdays of the year, but I didn't realize how crazy it actually is. For some reason this year, it seems like everyone's celebrating their b-day on the same day as me (ok, I exaggerate... only THREE). So now I have three friends who can't come out on Saturday because their friends had planned their b-days way in advance. Oy, seems like next year I need to start booking people one month ahead!

Posted by mich at 6:39 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 16, 2005

The End of My Mindblossom Ordeal

Ok, I'm a pretty patient person and it takes a lot to peeve me off. But I've never had to deal with such unprofessionalism in my life... it's unbelievable. So after over month since I worked at the company, I still didn't get paid. I had phoned the creative director about 3 weeks earlier and he told me to come in to pick up my cheque. I went into the office the next day and the guy told me that it wasn't signed yet and that the person who was supposed to sign had already left for the day. So the guy said he'd have it mailed to me. Ok fine... but what a waste of time.

A few days later I sent an e-mail asking about the status and when I should be expecting the cheque. No reply. Weeks passed, and surprise surprise, nothing came in the mail. Then last week I sent an e-mail to the head guy of the company who signs the cheques and no reply either. I phoned the creative director again this Monday and he started acting so fake, pretending to be surprised when I didn't get any e-mail response from the head guy (ummm excuse me, *you* didn't reply either). He then said he'd ask the other guy to sign that day and then he'd e-mail me to confirm everything. Morning passed into the afternoon and turned into night, and... nada. O.M.G. Now I'm pissed.

The next day I bombarded the creative director with phone calls starting at 10:30 am. "Cheque still not signed yet eh? And the guy's in a conference call now? You're going to phone me back in 30 min? Ok fine." No call in the morning, no call in the afternoon. This guy's getting too predictable. Tried calling him in the afternoon and got his voicemail. By 5pm on my way to drop him a visit I phoned once again. The phone picked up and I heard some fumbling and then a hang up. Phoned again and got his voicemail. What the hell!!

Up in the office I had to wait forever watching the creative director leaning back in his chair, feet up on the table, while chatting on his cell (to this day, I still don't know what his job function is). Finally, he comes out to greet me, tries to chat me up and takes me into the back to one of the offices where I see my cheque just sitting there on the table. I just didn't understand it; how hard is it to sign a piece of paper? And I told them in the morning that I'd just drop by to pick it up... they couldn't even have it all ready for me by the end of the day?!?! I had to wait a while longer for the guy to run and get it signed. Holy cow. I just wanted to get in and out. But FINALLY, I got paid. Now I never have to deal with those jerks ever again.

On a happier, more cheerful note, I went to see The Nutracker at the Hummingbird Center last Sunday. It was my first time at the ballet in well over 10 years since Vanessa did ballet, and it was quite delightful! The set designs were absolutely gorgeous, especially the transition into the fantasy world. The one dance that stood out the most for me was the Arabian Dance, which was so beautiful. It was unfortunate though that we had like the worst seats in the house high up in the bleachers, so we had a pretty poor view of everything. I wish I could have been up closer to actually be able to see the dancers and costumes in detail. Maybe next year.

[Edit November 23, 2008]

After receiving this comment and emails from other disgruntled folk, I decided to write a follow-up post regarding events that have happened since this posting.

Posted by mich at 1:55 AM | return | dreams [0]

October 29, 2005

My Job Is Bad For My Health

I thought school was bad for my health (all-nightetrs, irregular sleep/eating patterns), but I've never been under so much physical/emotional stress until I started this job. During the first few days of work, I was given such a low, sucky chair to sit in that I started getting backaches and felt like I was developing carpel tunnel. Turns out they had a whole room of good chairs, and never bothered to hook me up until I had to ask. Next comes the absolute exhaustion I've been experiencing ever since I started work. Not only am I commuting approx. 3 hours every day, but in my first week I ended up working 60 hours, not including my 3 hours of tutoring. Even though I do get paid for those overtime hours, it is SO not worth it. Then there's the issue of the office lighting. The lighting is practically non-existent. During the day it's fine since the loft windows are massive and let in enough light. But come late afternoon, it's so dark that the only light around my desk is coming from my monitor. I have no desk lamp, and the company has none to give me. So my eye's been terribly strained for the past couple of weeks and has finally blown up into an infection. OMG. Dying.

Posted by mich at 8:15 PM | return | dreams [1]

October 17, 2005

A Great Start To The Week

Oh boy, I'm exhausted. My day started at 6:30am when I had to wake up to get ready for work. It's so wrong to have to get up when it's still pitch black, especially when it's not even winter yet! I brought a 2L jug of water with me since the office doesn't have any water fountains, and ended up having it spill on my lap while I was on the bus... I spent a while in the washroom at the station trying to dry out my jeans. I got to work a bit before 9am but the door was locked. So I kept knocking on the door, yet no answer. I waited and waited, then I heard the door click; the locking system had automatically unlocked at 9. When I walked in, I realized I was the first person to arrive... about a minute later, I realized I had tripped the security alarm when the building started blaring. Of course I started freaking out, and I tried calling the my supervisors but to no avail. Finally the next person came in after 15 minutes and frantically tried to punch in the security code but she didn't even know how to work the buttons. She ended up calling the security ppl to ask them to turn it off. After that whole event, I was stuck with a workstation that required me to log in to an old employee's account. I didn't know the password and neither did anyone else, not even the guy who was just using it last week. Apparently, all you have to do is reboot it to get back into the system... jeez. And my day had just barely even started. The day turned out to be loooong... I was so ready to leave at 6, but my supervisor came back to me with a few fixes to do plus some tinkering with some actionscript. I finally got to leave at around 6:40 and arrived an hour late to the CSC407 lecture. Fortunately, the lecture ended 30 min early so I got back home by 9pm. Now I have an hour left before I *should* hit the sack. The thought of even considering sleeping before midnight is incredibly ludricrous to me, but alas, I'm a working girl now.

OMG I have to tutor french after work tomorrow... I'm gonna die.

Posted by mich at 9:26 PM | return | dreams [0]

August 12, 2005

Aggravated & Banana'd

Aggravation round 2. The night after I last blogged I had 3 bad dreams that were pretty much attributed to my anxiety. They were all about actual plans and meetings I had lined up for the next couple of days. First, the fashion shoot I had scheduled went SO bad- I had forgotten my camera, all the models were running amok and by the time I got my camera it was broken. In my second dream, I totally forgot to meet with my art prof to do some printing and instead went out to dinner with my friends. During dinner I realized that I was going to miss the Blue Man Group show that I was scheduled to go to with Christian. Then in my last dream, I was to meet with one of the makeup artists I worked with to give her my prints. I was running around forever trying to find her... and when I finally did, I realized that I had forgot to bring the prints with me >.<

Aggravation round 3. I had scheduled to meet my art prof on Wed @ 5pm after her class so I could do my printing. I got to the computer lab at 5 on the dot but it was locked. I went to her office, but she just left a sign on her door saying she was in the lab. I went to the lab and no one came to open it. Tick tock. Tick tock. I was siting there waiting and waiting, sweating in the non air-conditioned haunted building. After 30 min of waiting I was extremely annoyed. Christian can probably attest to that since I was practically yelling on the phone complaining to him :P It turns out that the prof's class went WAY overtime and she came out at 6pm. Apparently, she had left the printer out for me, but had locked the door. And she forgot to leave me the paper anyway. Sheesh. So I spent a little over an hour in the lab trying to get all my stuff done then rushed to meet Christian to make it for the Blue Man Group show at 8pm. We were in such a hurry that all we had for dinner was chinese bakery buns >.< On a bright note, the show was great! We had front row seats... unfortunately, we got mashed bananas spewed all over us. Out of everyone, Christian got the worst of it since we were sitting directly in front of the bananas *yeeeeuck*! At the end of the show, streams of paper came rolling down the audience from the back to the front. The end result was a massive pile in the front row and us being buried over our heads in streamers.

Aggravation round 4. Woke up yesterday with massive knee pains... I could barely even walk. I haven't had knee pains in a while and I didn't really do anything to aggravate them. So for all my pain I blame everyone that streesed me out. I had the fashion shoot in the morning to early afternoon, and it turned out pretty well. I had a lot of fun working with the model, but I just wish I had more time to photograph and work with more ideas that I had. I would have liked to work more with less styles but I also had to please the designer with shots of more designs in more boring, "catalog" poses, if you will. The makeup artist was really good and she came up with some great hairstyles, but she just ate up way too much time. The shoot went overtime by an hour and a half but the model was so great about it. The only problem was after the shoot I had to rush to drop the car off at my dad's office and try to make it downtown to meet a makeup artist to give her my print. I ended up rescheduling the meeting for 30 min later, and it was all good. I even remembered to bring the print with me :)

Posted by mich at 1:59 PM | return | dreams [0]

August 9, 2005

What's It All Coming To?

First off, today was a pretty sucky day... I was supposed to get a few things completed or resolved but nothing of the sort happened. Now I'm all anxious...

And this whole 'I'm finished school but I'm so unemployed' is starting to get to me. Yeah I'm keeping busy with some projects here and there but the only work I'm doing is volunteer and even planning out the fashion shoot for the designer is a headache 'cuz she's totally out to lunch. Then there's the photography job that was pushed until August... I don't know if I should pursue it again or if they still need a photographer. Everything is so wishy-washy. I hate wishy washy. It feels like I'm dealing with these types of people every day, like waiting or chasing after them so I can get on with my task of doing a favour for them. It's all so tiring. I need money. I just want to pack my bags and go away for a very very long time; I'm even considering just moving somewhere else and looking for a job when I arrive. Now I'm unsure about whether to keep looking for a real job in Toronto, or just quickly find a McJob for a while to earn some more money so I can get the hell out. For the past couple of days I've just been pondering over something my mom revealed to me... it could explain why I've been in such a slump for this long. I can take it and believe this is my fate for this year and give up job hunting for now, or I can try even harder to prove it wrong. But it's so discouraging when you work so hard and nothing comes out of it.

Posted by mich at 10:26 PM | return | dreams [0]

May 10, 2005

The Edge Sucks!

Coldplay dropped by at The Edge radio station this afternoon at 6:30. I, being the silly girl that I am and who had not been able to get tickets for the Koolhaus show, wanted to see Coldplay really bad so I stood in line at 1:15 to see them. Fortunately, I got Chris to come wait with me for the company :P I would have never wasted so much time to wait in line if I didn't think I had a chance to go inside to see them... being the 84th/85th people out of the possible 200 that can go in, I thought the standing, the sore legs/feet, and coldness was justified. But no. By the later part of the afternoon, a new line had formed on the other side of the door going in the opposite direction to see the band from outside through the windows. That entire line was let in by the security guards to go in, while people in our line were outraged. Even people who were waiting since 7am didn't get to go in. How retarded is that?? In the end, we could barely hear what was being said over the speakers from outside, and they even cut out the speakers at the beginning of Yellow. GRRRRR.

Posted by mich at 12:45 AM | return | dreams [0]

March 22, 2004

Where Is Spring??

I'm still alive BTW. I haven't fallen off the face of the planet.

Two days ago was when spring officially started. How come we're still dealing with sub-zero temperatures? It's not right!!!

Usually I'm disappointed when winter leaves because it didn't really feel like a real winter. This year though, I feel like winter had been very satisfying (it was cold and blizzardy) and now I can't wait for it to turn warm. That doesn't sound too weird, does it?

Posted by mich at 11:05 AM | return | dreams [0]

February 29, 2004

What Cheapos

I just wanted to get this off my chest. Crystal Cruises are so cheap and disorganized!! I applied for a job as an on-board computer instructor at Crystal Cruises back in November. I got a phone call from them saying they were interested in me. They informed me of the responsibilities: instructing 3 hours a day, supervising 2 hour lab shifts, and conducting two 1-hour lectures to all the guests. Ok, that's a lot of work... but I get to work on a cruise ship! BUT, the job is unpaid; they would only pay for my trip and airfare and I could bring a guest for free. Hm, I guess it sounds alright. However, I was not hired yet, and the guy I was speaking to asked me to create 2 lecture outlines about any computer technology topics to see what I could come up with. So I spent a lot of my time trying to come up with a couple of good topics, did all the research and everything and e-mailed it at the end of December (the guy told me to send as early as possible). But then it turned out that he went on vacation for the whole month of January, which meant I was rushing to finish it for no reason. So earlier this month, I still hadn't heard from the guy so I had to e-mail him... turns out he had forgotten to look over my outlines. He later tells me that my outlines were really good and I had the potential to be a good instructor... and then asks me out of the blue whether I'd be in the Los Angeles area in the "foreseeable future". What the heck did that mean? In the summer? After I graduate? Well, I asked for clarification, and it was then when he finally informs me that people have to audition at their office before they hire anyone. I assumed that they wouldn't pay for my airfare to fly there but I just asked just in case... and they have never replied back. Jeez, it would have been nice if you told me originally that there was to be an interview all the way in LA and that your company wouldn't cover for it... I wouldn't have wasted so much of my time making up those stupid lecture outlines! You'd think that a "luxury cruise line" that charges an insane amount of $$ for their trips could at least afford to PAY people to work for them or pay for the trip to an interview.

In other depressing news... Microsoft rejected me and I didn't translate my resum and cover letter to French in time for the job deadline on Friday. :( *sigh sigh sigh*

It's Oscar night tonight. I hope Bill Murray wins for Best Actor.

Posted by mich at 5:23 PM | return | dreams [0]

February 17, 2004

Happy Reading Week.... not

Why is reading week always a time of stress? This past weekend was anything but relaxing- waking up in the early morning then working until 4am each night. Every year I've always gotten an obscene amount of work to do because everything is due after reading week. Take my schedule after reading week for example:

  • :: Monday- CSC 309 assignment (finished yesterday... YAY)
  • :: Tuesday- CSC 369 midterm
  • :: Wednesday- 2 art assignments
  • :: Thursday- CSC 369 assignment & photography printing
  • :: Friday- resum in English and French as well as a cover letter in French (shoot, I haven't written anything in French in 4 years)

Despite all this, I've actually decided to have some FUN this reading week (first time ever). Wednesday I'm going on the CSSU ski trip, where I'll try snowboarding for the first time... I'm so excited! Then Thursday I'm taking the train (first class, baby!) to Montreal to stay with my sister and shoot my photography assignment done while I'm there. Oh and I can't forget about doing some MAJOR shopping at Simons! :P

Posted by mich at 10:36 AM | return | dreams [1]

January 15, 2004

Hey Watch It Buddy, You Were a Pedestrian Too

I hate those drivers who have no consideration whatsoever for pedestrians. You know, the ones who just cut off people in the middle of walking to squeeze in for a right turn just to save a few seconds of waiting. Those who continue moving their car towards you when they want to turn while you're still walking across the street. This morning I was crossing the street and the traffic going in my direction lets up, allowing cars to turn left where I'm walking. The first car turns right in front of me, and then the next and the next, and so on. So I was basically standing in the middle of the road waiting for these cars to turn... um people, do you not see a pedestrian standing in the road who was in the process of crossing? Jeez. Then the 2nd last car to make the turn all of a sudden loses control from the snowy surface and starts veering towards me. I had to jump back a bit and he steered the opposite way. A little zig-zaggy dance ensued and he finally regained control. Eeediot. Finally by the time the last car had turned the light turned yellow and I had to backtrack to the side of the street from which I started! What frustration.

Posted by mich at 11:36 PM | return | dreams [1]

January 14, 2004

Hungry, Cold, Tired, Sore, and Hungry

Today my body is in a world of pain. The soreness has appeared in my legs, arm, and back so I've been moving especially slow. And my schedule on Wednesdays is nasty- noon until 9pm. It was snowing a lot downtown (and windy too) so I was getting all this snow blowing up my bare leg... gah it was freezing! *Note to self: never wear my fob pants in the winter*

My class ended at around 8:40. My told me to take the bus home because the roads were so poor (nooooo!). So I figured I could catch the bus at 9:30. But the streetcar took forever to come, and when it finally did arrive it was jam packed so it took a while to squeeze everyone in. Then I figured I could relax while on the subway ride back home, but the subway trains were jam packed too. It was so late and the cars were still so full... boo! Not only that, I got to Finch at 9:35 and had to wait for the 10:00 bus to come... all the while not having had anything to eat since 6 (which was just an apple). I hate Wednesdays!!

Posted by mich at 11:13 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 16, 2003

9 Days 'Til Christmas...

... and I still haven't started my Christmas shopping! :O The tree's not up yet, nor have I started writing any Christmas cards... yes, I'm so behind this year.

This past term has been the most stressful school term EVER. Pure wretchedness. I figured after classes were finally over and done with, I'd feel SO much better and be able to relax before I started studying for my exam.... but no. We got an extension on our computer assignment until the following Monday so I was working on that assignment the whole weekend. Then, Monday night I had to re-work one of my drawing assignments to hand in on Tuesday. In addition to these assignments, I also had drama design and production meetings and had to go costume shopping for an actor that was assigned to me.... and then study!

So now that my exam is over I still don't feel that huge sense of relief that I was anticipating over the weekend. Firstly, because the exam sucked. Secondly, I found out that instead of buying something for my actor, I would have to MAKE a skirt. I know how to sew, but the prof wants me to design the pattern myself instead of buying pattern templates. So time consuming! And thirdly, I still gotta prepare 2 lecture outlines for a potential job offer on a cruise.

Gah!!

Posted by mich at 10:42 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 20, 2003

Juggling and... Struggling?

All work and no play makes Michelle a dull girl. *sob*

Posted by mich at 4:53 PM | return | dreams [0]

October 28, 2003

Plunged Into A Sea Of Bad Mood

Even though this entry is a bit time consuming to write, I just really need to get this off my back and rant.

Why is it that when I have so many projects to do to the point where I don't think I have enough time to finish all of them that others just screw me over, wasting even more of my time? It's gotten so extreme that I'm losing hours of sleep (sometimes even no sleep) and having emotional breakdowns every other week. Although I have beefs with my other courses (namely CSC 318), which have added to all the stress I've been experiencing, I must talk about one in particular.

Yesterday was the last straw for me. My prof for my Stage and Costume Design course wanted us to see the Amadeus production for next Monday (it's not even for something we would have to write up for marking- just for our own personal benefit). There were two groups of 4 who planned to go last night because it was pay-what-you-can day where you can only take advantage of the deal if you get 3 or 4 tickets at a time. So my last class ended at 6pm and I hung around school waiting it was time to leave for the show, which was at 8pm. I get to the theatre at 7:45 and most people are inside because apparently the 2 girls who went to pick up the tickets gave everyone their tix in the afternoon at the very beginning of class. That day I got to class late (the only time I had actually arrived late), so I didn't know this exchange occured. I had assumed the girl would hand me my ticket that night. At exactly 8:00 she comes running to the theatre and tells me she doesn't have a ticket for me. She was explaining that something got messed up and my ticket somehow went to someone else! I was on her list, but there was a bunch of confusion that she couldn't even explain to me. WHAT??? &$*@$%! Y'know, if you would have told me in the afternoon, I wouldn't have been waiting around for 2 hours and wasted a subway token to get down to the theatre! Now I have to go by myself tomorrow and pay $30 for the show instead of $10 that I would've paid last night. Unbelievable.

Somehow, people in my drama class seem to have a lot of time on their hands. They don't realize how I'm the exact opposite. For example, we had a play to read for the production we're going to be designing. For this particular play we had to read other plays related to it in order to give us a better understanding of the text. Well, I read the play as well as the extra play and summarized it... and surprise! We're not doing that play anymore. No. We're changing it so now I have to read yet another play.

To add to this time consumption, we're going to attend a workshop for an ENTIRE weekend. It was scheduled for the next weekend of the 8th & 9th (right before my CSC 318 assignment is due and right after having 3 projects due that week heaven's sake), but it was postponed... thank goodness! But now, the class wants to reschedule it for the weekend before exam week...... WHAT ARE THEY THINKING????! The prof asked if anyone had any problems w/ it. I naturally assumed that there would be someone with a problem, but no! So I piped up and exclaimed "I have exams"! Then this girl speaks out and says that everyone else does too. This doesn't make sense to me... don't they have to STUDY then?? So I said, "well my exam is on the Monday right after that weekend... (and first thing in the morning)". Then another girl suggests that I study the week before. WHAT THE HELL?! Some people still have assignments to finish that week, girl! And sorry, my exam isn't as easy as the ones you're taking. These people don't get that I have no time for all of this extraneous stuff! Totally appalling.

I'm going over the edge.

Posted by mich at 9:48 PM | return | dreams [2]

October 17, 2003

Dazed And Confused

Last month I sent in my resume to apply for a web position for the Fine Art digital imaging system website at school. I thought I had a really good chance of getting the job. Two days ago I received an e-mail from the guy who was hiring for the position: "I unfortunately misplaced your resume and ended up hiring someone else for the position... my sincere apologies for not interviewing you, I think you would have been great for the position". WHAT???! WHYYYYYYYYYY!!??!!??
He did invite me though to come and talk to him about working for them next year....... but...... it's next year! gahh

Hm, so why am I dazed and confused? Because I received absolutely no sleep last night, thanks to my wonderful CSC 318 assignment. And guess who edited all 72 pages of our fun-filled report? :P I pretty much worked from 2pm Thurs. to 11am Fri. with the exception of a 1.5 hour "dinner" break when our group headed to the CS pub night. So after the assignment was finished I headed to the campus at midday. I ended up walking down to Chinatown with friends after handing in the assignment, then visited a few galleries on Queen Street. I bought a TTC day pass b/c I knew I would be travelling on the TTC a lot today. But when I was entering the Queen Street streetcar I forgot I had a day pass and *almost* paid a token. I ended up doing that later in the day too. After visiting the galleries, I just hopped on a streetcar without looking at where it was heading. When it turned off of Queen Street I asked the driver where it was was going... then I asked for a transfer in order to hop on the subway. The lady was like, "don't yout have a pass?" ... *brain processing*.... oh yeah, I do actually (*duh*). I walked back onto Queen Street W. to explore the shops. By 5pm I find myself kind of walking/waddling slowly so I don't lose my balance and fall over in the street. At times I felt myself walking sideways and ended up bumping into walls and stuff... :P At 6pm I took the subway to head up to Bloor, but in my dazed state I ended up taking the wrong train going the opposite direction away from Bloor.... oops. Ok, I think it's time to hit the sack.

Posted by mich at 11:49 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 23, 2003

School, School & Shopping

[Mood] Lethargic
[Music] Jason Mraz- Prophet

School's getting crazy. I have so much work and so little time to relax. The first and second weekends since the beginning of school sucked, and to top it all off, I only got 4 hours of sleep the last 2 Monday nights (I had 9 am classes darn it). IT's my drawing class that's peeving me off. Don't get me wrong; the class is pretty interesting and I"m being challeged in so many ways, but jeez does it take a while to finish things for that course! Ok, I guess I'm kind of a slow drawer, but the workload is still a bit much. For example, I was madly finishing off the first assignment that was due today. Because of some misinterpretation, the substitute prof we had last week relayed some ideas that didn't exactly fit with the assignment goal that our prof had. Sooo, instead of getting the assignment off my shoulders, I need to fix up my drawings, which will be due in 2 weeks. On top of that, we just received our second assignment today that is due next week. Oh, did I also mention the daily drawings that we have to do??

I can't believe my first 2 weeks back at school have already been so stress-ridden! According to Michelle's Book of Rules, in order to prevent an early burnout, what's a girl to do but shop? *Grin* Let's just say I did a bit some splurging. I was just browsing throught some stores at Markville Mall on Saturday and checked out American Eagle Outfitters. Lo and behold there was a beautiful corduroy jacket hanging on the rack- it turned out there was only one more in size small, which fit me to a T! A bit on the costly side though. But hey, I DESERVED IT.

Posted by mich at 11:50 PM | return | dreams [0]

August 1, 2003

Aye Aye Aye

[Mood] Sleepy
[Music] Beyonc- Crazy in Love

School tuition is so freakin' expensive this year! It's over $7000 *gasps and passes out onto the floor* :O I'll be saying good-bye to a huge chunk of my money...

On a positive note, at least the money will be going towards the 23rd ranked university in the world. It's only one of 2 Canadian universities ranked in the Top 50- the other is UBC ranked as 35th. http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/rank-2003.mht

Posted by mich at 9:38 AM | return | dreams [2]

July 7, 2003

I Lost My Camera in Vegas

Anyone who's seen the M&M's 3-D movie at M&M's World in Las Vegas will recall the title, "I Lost My M in Vegas". Well, I left my Olympus Advantix newpic 90 camera at Caesars Palace (and someone stole it) with my whole roll of film gone that was almost finished. If you're gonna steal my camera, at least have the heart to leave the film behind! :( Good thing I also had my Contax RTS camera with me on the trip so I could still take great photos and not have to resort to buying disposible cameras (oh, the horror!).

Well, now I'm shopping for a new automatic camera. I'm looking at Advantix cameras... even though I know they're dying out I can't resist the three picture format choices, the easy drop-in loading, and the fact that you can change cartidges mid-roll (so you can switch between film speeds and between colour and B&W).

The Centurion S completely fulfills all my requirements for a camera (plus it's an SLR!), but it's discontinued and I can only find a refurbished one through Electro Net Distributers online.
I also like Yashica cameras so I've been eying the Profile Zoom 4000 IX. I like the unique shape of the model and the fact that the zoom is so powerful. But you can't change cartridges mid-roll which is a big minus.

Posted by mich at 11:22 PM | return | dreams [1]

June 19, 2003

Wha?? Dress Code?!

New dress code at work is business casual, that is, no jeans, running shoes, or shirts without collars... ! @$#&!! I don't have that many nice clothes for every day of the week... poo. AND no food around computers? This is nuts.

Posted by mich at 6:04 PM | return | dreams [0]