Reflection of Fall ’13

It’s been awhile since I have been home for the holidays for more than a week. To be exact, I’m be home for 2.5 weeks. I had plans to go on a trip to Japan and South Korea, but my friend bailed on me due to lack of funds. We then planned to do a Montreal trip, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen either since my mom lined me up for a bunch of appointments. My eyesight has been particularly unstable in these past few weeks (sometimes I feel like I can’t ever get Lasik because I work in front of a laptop 24/7).

I’ve spent most of my break so far catching up with high school friends (our annual Secret Santa), watching movies and dramas, and cleaning/organizing my belongings at home. You really end up with a ton of clutter after living on and off every 4 months. You can’t bring everything with you when you move far away, and you always end up bringing more when you come back. I also started doing this thing where I keep all my receipts or significant cool pamphlets I get every term in separate folders. These folders were getting really unorganized in the past couple terms due to lack of time (because when I do have the time, I’d rather be doing other things).

More specifically, I’ve accumulated a huge wardrobe. I’m not even high on the shopaholic standards. I just buy clothing when I feel like I need it, based on my current wardrobe. The problem with this is that I only have a partial wardrobe at all times (when I’m living off campus or renting a place for co-op). This makes it difficult for me to remember whether I already had a ton of white tops, for example. Now it isn’t as bad for school terms, but it really sucks for co-op terms in the States. I am way, way more limited in the partial wardrobe I can bring. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to fit all the clothing I want to bring for next term.

Speaking of next term – I’ll be in SF again, work term #5 at Rdio. I had a tough time deciding where to go because (if you didn’t read my last blog post) I really wanted to return to FB (or specifically Instagram). I originally decided that I would be happier to return for the Fall (of 2014) instead of the Winter as there will be potentially more returning interns (or new grads) that I already know. I also didn’t really want to be in the Peninsula again for Winter as I prefer SF, and I didn’t want to do a long commute either (FB gives housing to interns or a stipend if you want to live in SF). I almost slightly regret choosing Rdio even now, simply because I really miss my coworkers back at IG. They were extremely hard-working, fun people to be with 8 hours a day. I wasn’t able to properly appreciate and thank them due to a family member passing away around the end of my internship. Thinking back, I really appreciated the experience and the opportunity to meet awesomely talented people. Continue reading


Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

I’m trying to make up for my lack of punctual daily posts. So I’ve decided to do my 2012 in photos, inspired from this Daily Post. Just for background purposes, I LOVE taking photos. I only have a point-and-shoot, but it satisfies my needs. The quality is more than enough. Anyways, here we go –

jan122View of San Francisco & Golden Gate Bridge from peak of Buena Vista park

Ah, yes. Sunny San Francisco is where I started my 2012. My work term #2. I didn’t have to deal with Canadian winter, and it was surprisingly amazing weather throughout my stay (apparently, it is usually cloudy and rainy during winter in SF).

andMy first Android phone – Motorola Atrix, Lookout Mobile Security, SF.

My first time using a smartphone w/ a full out 2Gig data plan. I became a lot more aware of social networks like 4sq and Path, and it was so much easier to explore the city with this device. Thanks Lookout!

feb12Me & Clara C at Union Square, SF.

I saw Clara C perform for a bit in Union Square (a 2 minute walk from where I was staying). She has a very bubbly personality and is extremely talented.

apr122Cherry blossom trees, Japantown.

It was also my first time viewing cherry blossom trees in full bloom. There was a huge Cherry blossom festival parade. Lots of cosplay went on.

Continue reading

Things I’ll Miss About San Francisco

Another late night blog post. I fly out from SFO tomorrow afternoon. I’ve pretty much finished packing my 2 luggages and 2 carry-ons. Yes, I have a lot of stuff to bring home. Life lesson: if you plan to stay somewhere for more than a month, you should not bring more than 2 weeks of clothing, or 2-3 sets of clothing for each ‘occasion’ (especially when you know you’ll be working 5 out of 7 days).

There are many things I like about San Francisco, but only a handful I truly cherish.

1. The food. Food trucks, fine dining, whatever it may be. I don’t think there’s been a day that I have not tasted good food. Maybe it’s an American thing. Or is it an SF thing? Who knows. Definitely beats K-W. And Toronto.

I think the coolest trend that’s been going around the area is the idea of making everything a burrito. Just stuffing all the goodness + sauce into 1 huge burrito, then devouring it. And this can work for any type of food – Korean, Chinese, Indian, Thai …And I also got exposed to a lot of european food, including French and Italian. It’s just not a thing for people in the early 20s to eat at fancy places often (thanks to all those team lunches, though.. )

2. Startups & tech industry involvement / exposure. I didn’t start checking out other tech companies til this month. I went off to MSoft, 2 weekends ago I saw LinkedIn + Google + Tagged, and this week has been crazy – Zynga, Twitter, Airbnb. It was interesting to see the survey of office environments and compare them to my own. I don’t have a favourite yet, every company has their own culture, and their work environment, physically and emotionally, stems from that.

Continue reading

New Office Space & Other Ramblings.

I was planning to finish some things up for work, but ended up using my battery life to Skype certain people (did not bring the charger home). So instead I will ramble about random things and our new office space.

I watched Missions Impossible 4 this weekend, and I actually really enjoyed it. I’m not an action movie person, and I actually haven’t watched a real action movie in a few months. I usually get bored and maybe fall asleep in action movies, but this one was just filmed wonderfully! My friends expected more, but I wasn’t really expecting anything – so I guess it was worth my 12ish USD.

So lately when I get free time, I play CityVille Hometown and Sims. These types of “5min quickie” games have really spiked popularity. And I admit – they’re pretty addicting. Not in the sense of WoW or SC or Skyrim. You click around to update the status of your city or farm or character, and you go do other things. Then come back an hour or 2 later after you get more energy. It gets pretty fun actually. Some games require you to have active friends though – especially CityVille Web. It gets difficult waiting for people to accept your Help Requests. So far I am really enjoying Hometown – currently being worked on by my ex-company. It’s a pretty smooth interface (although it does crash from time to time – usually when trying to visit neighbors), and does not require that many active users. They are a lot more reasonable with the Quests, and they guide you to purchase the right things and build the right things at the correct stage the player is at.

In other news, today was Day 1 at the new office. It. is. beautiful. It is super spacious, and because I asked to move closer to my team, I’ve been temporarily seated beside a window. I get to see the lovely view of downtown SF from the 27th floor =) For day 1 (and only day 1) we got free breakky on our social, loungy area on the 26th floor. I just love the way our office is spread out and how many extra conference rooms, and seating areas there are for quick chats. I think I’ll definitely be able to settle in now, especially because the lighting is a lot better – although around noon the sun does tend to glare into the room.

I was also finally able to start real work today doing Android Client things. I’m currently looking into a location services bug, while I familiarize myself with the app and the code. Last week I was given a small quickie project that related to WordPress. I find it ironic because I barely started using WordPress a few months ago. Through the project I was able to learn about WordPress itself, and its premium features. ie. the Custom CSS. Without hosting your blog on a server, you are very limited to what you can do to the appearance of your blog. Found that out the hard way. I also have never worked with CSS. I mean, I knew of its existance, I knew some super basic stuff that people usually learn when first learning HTML, but that was about it. I do like that I get to interact with design, although I don’t think I should be given the responsibility for the design of something that will be public. Especially due to my lack of expertise. I am getting another colleague’s help, and hopefully the project will be done quick and be out of the way.

Also received more Lookout swag today. Unfortunately I do not think they have Womens sizes for the hoodies – and maybe that’s why I have yet to see the ladies wear them. The tshirt is shoulder-fitted and comfy, though. I’m also hoping to receive my smartphone tomorrow or Wednesday from the company. I will finally be able to keep in touch with people, without worrying about roaming fees.

This Friday, there is a Kpop Power Concert that will feature T-ara, Davichi, and Yangpa. The location is actually 15min ish walk from my current home. I am tempted to go simply because I have never gone to a Kpop concert, but the downside is that I don’t have anyone to go with (as I am pretty sure the other Waterloo interns are not huge kpop fans — I could be wrong though!). Also, I am not actually a huge fan of T-ara. I love Davichi though, and Yangpa is pretty new to me. Apparently she was an older solo ballad artist who just made her comeback. So yes, I’m not sure if the >= $65 will be worth it.

New Years Resolutions & More SF.

I know I’m about a week late, but here’s the list I came up with:

1. Stop cussing so much.
2. For the next 4 months – learn learn learn. Get as much as I can out of work. Same with my Fall ’12 work term.
3. During school, have a balanced lifestyle. Studying all the time just sucks. Keep up with school.
4. Get decent sleep (is it possible during school term? possibly not…)
5. Meet more people. Keep up good relationships, make a good impression.
6. Go to many events but keep my priorities in tact. Being entertainment or dev events. I need to stop feeling nervous for this stuff.
7. Keep healthy relationship with the boyfriend. Not together overly often but not too less either. Be caring for him rather than always trying to think about my side. Stop arguing when unnecessary.
8. Keep fit. Eat healthier (is easy in SF not as much in Waterwoo). I want to go to the gym a few times a week. Plus walking up and down the steep hills of SF is already a huge workout.
9. Keep healthy relationship with parents. Hoping to get a coop term in Kitchener Waterloo area, and hopefully live at home. Although I’d love to live at Velocity. I’ll have to see how things work out next term I guess.
10. READ. Novels, books on CS, and more. Not just manga (if I even get time for it). But definitely need to get back into reading again. Even fanfiction will do.

In other news, I’ve been doing some sight seeing around SF with friends and other Waterloo interns in the area. The city gave a great impression seeing as it’s been pretty good weather all week. Below are some of the pictures I’ve taken so far:

This is the famous Cable Car. They manually rotate it to turn it around – only at the last stops. Quite a bumpy ride, but it helps getting up and down those steep hills. It’s 6 dollars a ride, can also pay with Clipper card.

The view from Pier 39. This is Fischerman’s Wharf – was a nice view of the dock.

Just a visual of the steep hills. Parking must be fun.

View of Bay Bridge around sunset – beautiful view of East Bay. Also can see the moon up high too.

Yelp has been super helpful with finding great eateries. I’m hoping to explore East Bay, Mountain View, and other close by places while I’m here =)

For work – I’ve been moved around different teams as some people did not expect me. I finally seem to have found my fit on the Android client team. Hoping to get ramped up real quick so I can start learnin’.