Archive for the 'San Francisco' Category

things i’ve been working on

While I’ve been jobless, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about the things I like doing with my free time. I found out that I really like writing, translating, keeping up with fashion, politics and tech trends, singing, and using computers to make stuff. I also know a lot more about making websites with JavaScript now after having taken a brain-frying Java programming class at Stanford, so I’m going back into hand-coding my own sites. And I found out that I’m a movement–> sound synesthete, which is why I’ve revived my childhood interest in animated GIFs.

So when I’m not looking at job postings, I’m probably doing one of the following:

Reading the news (and a couple of productivity blogs if I’m really procrastinating)
– Eating ice cream (my family at one point had five kinds in the freezer… in February)
– Hanging out in the Mission
– Walking or playing with my dog
Translating the Japanese Prime Minister’s blog
– Making epilepsy-inducing animated GIFs
– Looking at other people’s art
– Writing and tweeting for my sister’s blog
– Singing for a trance producer

I’m thinking of translating articles from L’Officiel so that I can brush up on my French as well as my Japanese, but I now have a part-time internship at a TV station to work on, so I don’t know if I can take on much more stuff. But I’ll probably just translate a couple of articles for the hell of it– they have all their editions online anyway, and I’ve got a friend who’d be interested in the one about Alber Elbaz of Lanvin…


the future is so much awesomer than the past

Happy 2010! Since that last post, there have been a few adjustments to my life. For one, I’ve decided to stay in the Bay Area for at least another year (unless I get a really good job offer in NYC, or I end up not finding a job and entering the Peace Corps for four years). For another, I’ve figured out most of my game plan for the next five years. Also, 2009’s finally over and it’s the fucking future! They say 2010 is the start of a good stretch for the Rabbit.

My decision to stay on the West Coast was a hard one, but it’s nice to have family around when you’re just getting started in the real world, just in case you fuck up and they have to save your sorry ass. But yup, I’m probably moving to San Francisco the first chance I get, given that most of my friends are up there and I’m turning into a hermit in my house. “Empire State of Mind” still makes me feel both homesick and proud, but I’ve got history here, now, too.

As for doing the things I want to do: I still don’t know exactly what career I’m going to end up in, but I know for sure I’ll be doing lots of music on the side. There’s this producer in Daly City I’m working with to make some epic vocal trance, and one day when we have a place to practice, my Motown punk band will be back on. And I will eventually edit and re-write my novel and get it published, but I’m going to try and find some meaningful work first, hopefully involving a fun, possibly do-gooding company or NGO. Yes, this is not the starving artist schtick I expected it to be, but you can’t really do that when you’re 22 with a Stanford diploma and $100k in debt ($200k with interest!). I might as well be useful.

So, I’ll be investing my free time in music, my extra money in stocks and savings, and all of my trust in only my closest friends. The student loan thing is still a problem, but I think it’s one I can solve. Things are on the up and up.

P.S. I’m sorry that this blog hasn’t been living up to its name. There hasn’t been much serious “transit” going on besides the CalTrain and BART I take to get to SF. I’ll try to write more pieces on cultural stuff, but since I’m staying put, this blog is effectively on indefinite hiatus. PTFO.

Two Weeks of Suck, Part 1: the passport agency

Part of the Two Weeks of Suck series, in which b recounts her spring break.

1. It all started when I decided to apply for a carte de séjour. It was already kind of late in the quarter (as in, ‘the week before finals’ late), but I e-mailed the Stanford-in-Paris program about it. It turned out that I needed to have a passport valid until I left (next March), so off I went to the San Francisco Passport Agency.

Thursday. I call the passport agency through their life-or-death number, because I kept getting a ‘network busy’ announcement through their regular line. Someone tells me to go to the agency at about 7 the next morning. I’m excited because I think I can get my passport renewed before the weekend.

Friday. WRONG. The new passports have an RFID chip in them and take a longer time to produce, plus there’s an unusually high volume of people this week. The agency actually opens at 9am. I don’t actually have an appointment. After standing in numerous lines for a few hours (with my flight itinerary and passport in hand– they need to see proof that you’re leaving very soon to even let you in), the guy at the counter hands me a pink slip that will let me back in on Monday morning at 11:30.

Monday. The day of my visa appointment. After waiting for three hours, I hand my application in and they need my old passport. However, right AFTER they punch a hole in my passport and make it void, they tell me that I won’t be getting a new one until tomorrow morning.

2. I’m in tears and make a visit to the French Consulate to beg for another appointment. The security guard (only one– the consulate is small) kindly agrees to let me in on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Since I’d already been screwed over by so many other people, I thank him but don’t believe a word he says. Besides, how the hell can I get there on Wednesday morning when I have a freaking FINAL? I e-mail my TA to find out. My TA CCs the e-mail to my professor.

3. My professor responds. Their policy cannot allow students to take the final at a different time, else they have to take the final in a subsequent quarter. BUT, he includes a loophole: if I get back to campus before the final ends (before 11:30), they could let me ‘begin late’ and ‘finish late’.

Wednesday. I go to the French Consulate and try my luck. The security guard was right— I got a visa within the hour! My dad-slash-driver gets me back to campus within half an hour and I take my final.

Happy ending! For this post, anyway.

Next up: Why our sublet owner probably wanted to kill us!

re: okay, freak-out time

Miracles do happen.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: You can get an appointment at a passport agency on the next day if you call their life-or-death operator number and hold for about half an hour. Granted, I had two temporal reasons: 1) I have a French visa appointment on Monday, and 2) there are two days between Friday and Monday, and neither of them is a regular work day.

I now have to get to the San Francisco Passport Agency at 7 a.m. today. Still don’t know if I’ll get my passport in time, but my chances just jumped from 10% to at least 40%, especially since my visa appointment is at 3 p.m. on Monday, which means I could pick my passport up that morning before the appointment.

Also, about the French Consulate:

In the words of one of the coordinators from the Stanford Overseas Program,

“Immigration is about keeping people out, not letting people in”.

Stanford students have already gotten rejected for extended-stay visas because the consulate didn’t deem them worthy of getting one. “Don’t be wishy-washy about your reasons for getting an extended-stay visa,” the coordinator warned me. I have to come into the consulate like a lion-tamer: confident, respectful, but above all, clear about what I want.

Well, I’ve wanted Paris so bad I could taste it. I’m sure I’ll hate it very often once I get there, but hey, even Stanford students gripe about how much Stanford sucks sometimes. People will never stop complaining. Just let me enjoy my romantic notions for a moment.


This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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