In lieu of a proper update, 2010 year in review

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
– have a real job
– pay bills, clean my house, basically things that grownups do
– live away from my parents

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I lost that list, so I don’t remember any of them, so it’s probable that I didn’t keep any of them. That said, I’m only making one resolution, which is to be my true self.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Desirae, and Dakota Jaclyn is absolutely beautiful!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not that I know of.

5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed stateside for this one.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2011?
– I no longer view things from a mindset that I lack anything, so nothing.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 30, 2010 — My first day of work!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally landing a sweet job.

9. What was your biggest failure?
It’s not possible for me to fail at anything, so nothing.

Continue reading


It’s 2010. What do you see? My future’s so bright, I’m going to need sunglasses.

Ugh, I’ve been away for much too long. I feel like my mind and spirit (crazy, but good crazy) have been awakened after sleeping for so long. Now that 2010 is upon me, I’ve got to ask myself, what do you see in 2010?

  1. Working at my *REAL* job (one that uses my journalism degree, my creative and technical skills, in Washington, DC and even better than I could have ever possibly imagined). I will accomplish this by keeping the dream alive (keep it before my eyes and in my thoughts) and most importantly, believing God’s promises and plan for my life and continuing speaking it into existence.
  2. Begin paying off my college loans. My plan is to get those out of the way in 2-2.5 years or less.
  3. Staying healthy. For once in my life, I’m starting the new year on a healthy foot and I need to keep it this way.
  4. Being a grownup. To me, so far this means to make those tough choices and take responsibility for the choices you make and making the best of the situation.
  5. Making more to do lists to get things done. Now that an app like TeuxDeux has dropped, there’s no excuse.
  6. Curbing my shopping. Outrageously cute stuff + the deep discounts brought on by the recession = monetary policy disaster for Jess. This means shopping my closet (the glut still astounds me) before I buy something, now that a majority of my finances will be spoken for. What if I didn’t buy any clothes/shoes/accessories for a month? Two months? Three? The possibilities are endless. I just need to be more financially prudent.
  7. Keeping up my blog. 3 posts a week. Minimum. On anything.
  8. Having it the other way. I don’t normally take risks; I play it safe. I hate gambling (not just money, anything really). But what if I took more risks?
  9. Not taking no responses personally. While I would love it if every place I applied would send me some reply (whether negative or affirmative), I know that’s probably not going to happen. It might be policy. It might be lack of time. Whatevs, since that is no longer going to get me down.
  10. For God’s sake, get me to the church on time. Now no longer just a song in My Fair Lady, but a literal aspiration. I need to stop being late to church every Sunday!
  11. Choose not to let what people do negatively affect me. Most of the time, I don’t think people realize what they do/don’t do can offend someone. So since they usually didn’t do that out of malice (we all forget stuff unknowingly and don’t wake up and think, “I’m going to forget to call Jess back just to ruin her day”), I’m going to choose not to be offended by that.
  12. Maintain my relationships. They’ve taken a backseat while I drove around in circles via the job situation. I’ve realized that I’ve been isolating myself for the past few months because I felt inadequate about not finding a job right immediately at the end of my internship. So, I need to get back out there and repair my relationships and keep them up, because I can always use some encouragement.
  13. Keep doing something towards what I want to do. I might not have a specific job title in mind, but I know what I enjoy. For me, this means keeping my skills fresh by just doing random projects that exercise them. Number one on my list? Making data visualizations/plans using readily available data.
  14. Not letting the little things get to me. Clearly, there are so many things I want to accomplish in 2010, so I don’t have time for that.

This is your year. What do you see? Take it and own it.

I had a wonderfully low-key season this year and spent the major days (Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s) with family and close friends. Hope everyone enjoyed their past few weeks.

After some reflection, in the spirit of resolutions and starting my year off right, I’ve decided to undergo a full-on media fast for the first 6 weeks. This means no Twitter, Facebook, NetNewsWire, TV, movies and things like that. The media (in general) saturate our lives so fully that we don’t even realize we’re addicted to them. Now that I’ve sufficiently fed my body and soul (with the media), I’m going to focus on feeding my spirit and putting it before the other two.

I’ve been given the gift of another year, and this time, I can’t waste it. It’s my year (and yours too).

Thanksgiving from the trenches

Lately, I’ve been MIA and it’s been a crazy fight. I’ve seen a few of my friends who are in similar situations (underemployed j-school grads) coast towards depression, anger and bitterness and I’m determined not to be one of those casualties.

One way I fight it is to keep reminding myself of what I’m blessed to have (and not have) and especially on Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for:

  1. Family/Friends – I am so blessed to have these people in my life. I am so grateful for their love, faith, support and trust (in their own ways). I’m not sure where I’d be without these people who made such a positive impact on my life. They’ve taught me to live, to forgive, to trust in God and myself, how to have fun, and so much more. Though many of them are not with me on this day, I’m still thinking of and thankful for them.
  2. Change – I am definitely thankful for the fact that change is an inevitable part of life. Even when I’m not in the best of situations, I am comforted knowing that it will change eventually. I know I won’t stay where I am forever as long as I keep trying to change it.
  3. Health – I’m so thankful that I’ve been blessed with great health. My body and my immune system are strong. Screw healthcare; it’s not like I need it anyways, though obviously it would be nice to have.
  4. A Job (though not THE job) – Yes, as much as I complain about my job, it’s good to have one in this economy while I’m waiting on THE job (the one that uses my journalism degree). At least I’m making some money instead of wasting away.
  5. Being done with collegeTuition hikes?! Not on my forecast. I’m glad to know that I won’t have to live in fear about my university increasing my tuition (at least until I seriously consider graduate school).
  6. The Fame Monster – Gaga has done it again!! I just got this album yesterday and it has been spinning on the ‘Pod. My fave tracks (other than Bad Romance) are Alejandro, Monster, Dance in the Dark and Telephone (feat. Beyonce), but really all the tracks are good stuff.
  7. Where I live – Okay, so living at home is not my favorite place to be at this time of my life, but I can’t complain against no rent/food expenses, perfect, humidity-free summers and driving 10 minutes to Portland to buy stuff sales tax-free.
  8. Nordstrom – In all seriousness, words cannot express how awesome this retailer is. Ordering stuff and getting it shipped to me for free? Free alterations? Easy returns? Great customer service? Reasons why I buy almost everything I wear here. Yes.
  9. My REAL/RIGHT job – I know for sure it’s out there. It’s just a matter of timing–when it’s ready and when I’m ready for it at the same time.
  10. That this list is always growing


Jess is MIA with more records than the KGB

I’ve been out living life which consists of making and selling smoothies while waiting on my true calling (one that involves news, the Web and getting my money’s worth from my college education).

The cool list

We are Hunted: This is my new favorite site to get new music (used to be Pandora or HypeMachine or imeem). I’m also a huge fan of the grid layout — it makes the designer in me happy.

This month’s issue of The Atlantic: Was it just me, or was this month’s issue GOOD? I really enjoyed reading the articles about how political hit jobs could be killing journalism and the letter to W re: torture. Excellent food for my starving mind.

Art by Kal Barteski: Her paintings are beautiful. This one is my favorite and my current desktop.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Edamame: I’ve been popping these so hard. I like my edamame plain, but even better when dipped in dark chocolate. These have been keeping me going all week. 🙂

Heidi Montag’s “Blackout”: She’s annoying and I hate myself for this, but it’s so catchy.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Waiting around is painful. It literally sets aside time to overanalyze every little thing, remember the mistakes you made and replay them in endless loops inside your head. Sorry Jenny Lewis, but all the immediate unknowns are NOT better than knowing this tired and lonely fate. With certain things (jobs, serious relationships, etc), in my life I’ve concluded that any definite answer is favorable over room for possibility.

But in the midst of this uncertainty, some things have become clearer to me.

  1. Optimism is always an option. Really. Everyday, regardless of whatever situation you are facing, you can choose to be happy or you can choose to be pissed. Choose to be happy.
  2. I am more certain of the path I am taking. As I have time to truly consider my current life goals and aspirations, which I didn’t have while I was in college, I am convinced I want to enter the online field.
  3. I will miss actually reading what’s in my Google Reader. Right now, I get to think and really churn around ideas in my mind, but once I have a job that will soak it all up.
  4. I am truly, truly blessed. As much as I don’t like my situation right now, I must admit that I have it better than what many people have. Living at home irks me, but I am grateful I don’t have to pay for rent or food or anything like that. I miss my college friends (who, except one, are all on the east side of the country), but I am grateful for my mentors who have advised, counseled and supported me since high school. I don’t have a job that uses my journalism or history degree, but while I’m waiting I have a job that still earns money (although minimum wage, Washington’s $8.55 is better than the national average–$7.25 or Georgia’s–$5.15). I don’t have health insurance, but I have a healthy body. The list could go on.

There’s a time and a place for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. As my other boss reminded me, “the right thing will happen.” It’s not that opportunities aren’t out there. It’s when the right one will come along. For right now, I’m applying myself to as much as I can and I know the right one is there waiting for me. I just realized how this sounds like the search for “the one.”

But really, Sometimes you don’t fall for the first one that comes along, you have to kiss a few frogs to get to the prince and all that inspirational fluff. In other words, seek, knock and I will find.

I hiked up Multnomah Falls and up Larch Mountain over the weekend and my limbs are still sore.

As a sign of the times, my other job is going social media. I get to make a Facebook page and a Twitter account for my other job and I get to update them. I am so excited.

So about being back…right

The cool list this week:

  1. Cole Haan: OMG, you guys, you need to buy a pair of his shoes (gentlemen and ladies). They are wonderful and investment-worthy. I bought these black patent Carma pumps (close toed) and they are hot, yet comfy at the same time. It’s like having sweats and your favorite LBD at the same time for your feet. Because of the Nike Air built into the shoe, they are the most comfy pumps I’ve ever owned and therefore so worth it. And purses. I can’t even get started on those. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this one.
  2. “Investing” as a new euphemism for buying stuff: This was the week I could NOT stop shopping and my parents were basically like, “um, wow, you’re an unemployed college student and you just spent a lot of money.” But I say, no, I only spent a lot of money on quality items that will for sure last me a long time. So actually, the cost per wear is actually cheaper for that pair of 7s than spending it on a pair at Forever 21 that will fall apart in a week. Frugal Asian parents, you actually raised me well.
  3. Overheard in the Newsroom: BEST. OVERHEARD SITE. EVER. This one even tops the original NYC and Office overheard sites. Gahh, I love it. Have a read, I promise you’ll be laughing (especially if you work in a newsroom). I leave you with this delightful tidbit. Producer talking about a reporter: “She subsists on diet coke, peanut M&Ms, and the souls of the young.”
  4. Dave Aude‘s club mixes: The man can turn a mediocre pop song into dancefloor gold. Oh man, his studio stuff is good. I heard this one in a club somewhere and I’m hooked: 

The other stuff:

When I tell people about my job adventures, most people are like, “OMG, you turned down a job in this economy? Why are you so stupid? You know how hard it is for people to find jobs?” False. I’m not stupid, I just want to follow my dreams. If anything, what I did should make me smarter because I know what I want. I don’t want to waste time doing something I’m not as excited about when I could be doing what I truly want (and where I want to be for that matter).

Ugh life, why do I have to have tough choices and then live with them?

Blogging has turned out to be a more difficult relationship than I planned it to be. Mostly because blogging is like a relationship. It requires time, effort and energy.

Oh, and I hate having to wake up early (working nights at the station has seriously screwed up my sleep patterns) to maintain the other relationships in my life. Since I started the smoothie place and added my nightside internship to that, I think I’ve sat down at a family dinner like 3 times and I’ve only seen 2 friends. Now I know how an adult feels.

Making a list, checking it twice

My TIME mag came in the mail today even though there was a “winter storm”, meaning an average of 2 inches of snow blanketed the region. Hey, it’s the N-Dubs, and all we’re used to is rain, so snow is kind of a big deal. 

Lists, lists, and more lists were the main theme of this week’s TIME. While some of them were pretty lame (Top 10 Albums: how is Lil Wayne #1? I was expecting Coldplay or something but at least Santogold is on there), I did enjoy some of the quirkier and offbeat lists, like the Top 10 Breakups (from Maddona and Guy, Jerry Yang and Yahoo! shareholders, and Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes) and the Top 10 Lists (Schindler’s List to the 10 Commandments). 

Jess’s Top 10 of Everything 2008

  1. Twitter: Starting off my best list is the wonderful microblogging phenomenon that has swept through the world. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Twitter is this new application where you provide the answer to a simple question: what are you doing? The catch is that you can only use 140 characters, so make it short and sweet and less definitely is more. What’s great is that Twitter is awesome for mobile phones, which makes it good for breaking news (think Mumbai terrorist attacks and I heard of the riots in Athens from one of the people I follow on Twitter before seeing it on a news website). I didn’t start using Twitter regularly until ONA this September, but I’m glad I did. Good news is that it’s still free, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts charging (damn you #8). But as the next revolution in journalism? Maybe. Oh, and it’s fun too.
  2. Girls Who Sing and Play Piano (eg. Sara Bareilles and Marié Digby): I honestly hope any of these girls win some sort of award for their music. AH-MAZING. My friend loaned me Sara’s disc Little Voice (soo 2000s, I know) after her mom sent her Grey’s Anatomy themed package (amongst the scrubs and play doctor sets were CDs of artists who had music featured on Grey’s). It sat unplayed in my iTunes for a very long time until I started really listening to it this year and ended up loving it. Her one mainstream hit, “Love Song,” gets ehh after a while, but I love “Gravity” and my fave right now is probably “Between the Lines” (since the lyrics seem to describe to the teeth the story of my relationship life, tmi). Marié Digby’s “Spell” popped up on my Pandora one day and I have been hooked ever since. Beautiful piano + such sweet and thoughful lyrics = gorgeous song. 
  3. CSF (Cardigan, Skinnies, Flats): Best outfit ever. I started donning these threads after studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and inspired by the easy sophistication and chicness of Europeans. But everything started when I realized that my extremely handsome terrorism professor in Denmark dressed better than I did. One day in class he wore skinny jeans, a collared shirt, a tailored blazer and loafers or something. Brilliant! Not only did he inspire me to care about terrorism and its influence on the news media, he is kind of a style icon. Because of him, I wear skinny jeans and flats with a cardigan. And since that’s a pretty generic outfit foundation, the real place where you shine is the accessories (like a fun scarf, big earrings, etc).
    2008 uniform by jessminda
  4. Google Reader (and other Internet devices of the like): Amen. This year, I became a voracious reader of blogs. There are so many out there that are awesome and edifying, but instead of bookmarking each individual blog and clicking over daily (and being disappointed when there are no new posts), Google Reader has all the new posts lined up and ready for me to read. I almost switched over to Bloglovin‘, but Google Reader was already so conveniently nestled into my iGoogle homepage so I just stuck with it. 
  5. Election 2008 and Barack Obama’s subsequent victory: Yup. This is something I will tell my future children. I will tell them I was covering the election in my college town for my reporting class when Barack Obama became the president. It was around 11:30ish, my friend Christina and I had just returned from being out in the field (Dems and GOP party locations respectively) when CNN called it for Obama. People in the newsroom were freaking the hell out (also partly from overwork and lack of sleep). There was so much emotion and energy in the room (the joy and euphoria of Obama winning and the quiet veil silence and stoicism that settled on the McCain supporters). Definitely something to remember.
  6. Facebook: Seriously. It’s scary how much this website rules the world.  Nothing is ever official unless its on Facebook (especially engagements on “secret” Facebook pages). I can’t even begin to think of how many hours I have spent on this website looking at pointless pictures and stressing out while trying to make my Facebook status pithy and clever. Outrageous. 
  7. 10,000 Words:  Recent addition, late bloomer, etc, yet now an essential. This website might be the best thing I have stumbled upon so far this year. Mark Luckie essentially captures every facet of what I want to do in the future in journalism. Always a delightful and informative read. For a baby journalist like me, it’s like those gumballs that are really vitamins. Oh, and he sells awesome t-shirts. I really want this one for Christmas.
  8. The Economy: I remember hearing about the mortgage/foreclosure stuff back in the spring of this year. I also remember being like, WTF? when Bear Stearns collapsed. I also remember Fannie and Freddie effing up in the summer. And I was like eh to all of them. But it wasn’t until the huge crash in October until I actually started caring, mostly because it affects me (and probably everybody else) now. Everything is more expensive, my friends lost their entry-level jobs at Lehman Brothers, I can’t go to South Africa, normal people are making regular use of food banks and Goodwills, people are effing killing themselves. This sucks.
  9. Mineral Foundation: NGL, mineral foundation was the breakthrough this year. I didn’t start using it until this summer, and now I can’t leave the house without a quick dusting of it. Somehow it catches the light and leaves your skin looking healthier and more healthier. Sometimes I forget I’m wearing it. It’s just that good.
  10. I was introduced to these wonderful e-cards by my friend Kerri, who I met while studying abroad in Copenhagen last year (and we liked it before it became all mainstream).  They are so delightfully sarcastic, yet bluntly honest at the same time. Loves it. Some of the greetings you wouldn’t really say to someone’s face, but you will send it to them in an e-card. I have sent countless e-cards to my friend B, mostly, and she normally sends me one that reads: “I want to trick a Jewish man into marrying me.” 

Oh, 2008.