Could You Give Up the Internet for $50 million?

Yesterday @ErikSchenn, @vseanv and @DonVandenheuve1 approached me with the question:

“How much money would it take you to give up the internet forever?”

I answered almost instantly, I couldn’t do it, not for all the money in the world. The internet has become something so ingrained in my life that it feels more than just a mere comparison to a cigarette addiction.

It is pretty amazing to think that if you asked me the question 10 years ago, I might have considered it. With the rapid growing technology of the world around us, you just can’t escape the internet, unless you buy yourself a huge mansion in the forest and cut yourself off from the rest of the world. But then, how would I discover new music? Communicate with people? Sure there are phones, but (aside from the fact I’m in a forest), I actually have friends that won’t answer their phones/texts but will reply almost instantly to a Facebook message or Twitter direct message.

Giving up just the social networks is hard let alone the internet itself. I’ve become attached to my twitter and made some great friends. Some of whom hundreds of miles away but have supported me and helped me obtain opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise such as concert tickets and press passes. Sure with a billion dollars I could visit these people, but then how would I contact them? Even with all this money to travel the world, what would happen after I’ve been everywhere?

Be Your Own Fashion

Yesterday I was raiding my closet and I found a bag of clothes that I had put away. They were shut away not because I didn’t like them or that they looked bad. It was because my ex hated frilly things and would always make fun of me if I wore anything slightly non-fitted or too “cute” or out-of-the-box. Basically, if I wasn’t some cookie cutter hot girl then he hated it and I dressed different around him than I did anybody else.

Now with my new found freedom, I was left there thinking. What is my fashion? My answer, my own.

I’m not the type of girl who buys things for the brand. I love it when someone asks me where I got something, and sometimes my answer is literally “I have no idea” or “I don’t remember”. It’s wonderful having something that nobody else does. I don’t go through sales racks and buy things for the sole reason that they are on sale. Most of my buys have been emotional compulsive buys of things I’ve fallen in love with on first sight. I have a habit of buying pieces rather than full outfits. I adore things that are unique.

What is your fashion? I am anything but one thing. Not exactly normal either. I have constantly changing hair colour, which is currently blonde. I have blue, turquoise, purple contacts which I wear in rotation. Sometimes I wear socks that don’t match, heels that are much too high. I have t-shirts with pictures of food on them, dresses that are a little strange and recycled pieces I made from projects on Cut Out and Keep. One day I’ll be a complete dork, the next make boys heads turn. My wardrobe pretty much reflects my ADD all-over-the-place personality.

I love looking at people and trying to guess what they’re like from their clothes. It’s even more fascinating when you actually talk to them and are blown away by the fact you were completely wrong. They weren’t the cookie-cutter person their clothes made them out to be. They weren’t the person their clothes defined them out to be. They weren’t the goth, ghetto or as superficial as the appeared. This goes both ways, girls and guys.

I have a little sister who’s probably everything that I’m not. I never understood the falling in love with a brand or a certain style. Buying the Ed Hardy T-shirt everyone else has? Wearing the same dress as a celebrity? Dressing up as a skater, punk, hipster? Be your own trend. It doesn’t mean you can’t be one of those some days, just don’t stick a label on yourself. I’m sure you are much more interesting. Try owning something that you haven’t had before but was too afraid to try on because you thought someone wouldn’t like it. Just make sure it fits right, that’s the only rule. I guarantee you will get compliments, get noticed. Why blend into the background? Be your own fashion.

Kicking the Notebook Buying Addiction

Hi, my name is Tiana and I have a notebook addiction.

I was at the bookstore the other day with my sister because she needed to buy a notebook. She was there to buy one for a real reason, so she can keep record of some of her personal info and passwords. I stood in the notebook section itching to buy something. As I stood there, I realized why I’m so fascinated with buying notebooks. I’m consumed with trying to catalog the various aspects of my life. In the fast pace world we live in today, I always feel like I should write down my thoughts so that maybe I could come back to them later. It never happens though, so often I’m left with tons of empty notebooks. Sometimes I’ll begrudgingly use them for school, knowing that I’ll only buy more.

My ADD personality has made me buy almost all of the “Passions” lines of Moleskines, each one covering a different topic: food, books, music. I have ones for doodles, poems, stories. The majority of which are completely empty. When I walk into the bookstore, I’m so tempted the ones to grab the topics such as the ones that you can write about your dreams and anger in; or something to hold ticket stubs. I have to admit, the store is a bit evil for placing everything so in-your-face and noticeable. That’s how they make money right?

Reluctantly, the other day, I came out not buying a new notebook. I decided that if I really have the need to categorize my thoughts, than I can just blog about them here. It’s quick and easy and free, and someone’s actually reading it. So dear readers, of which there is probably like 5 of you, the near future will have articles of every topic. There also may a variety of randoms such as recipes, reviews, stories, poems and other personal projects. For once, I’ll actually start to write things down, just digitally.

Sometimes You Need Time Apart From Something to Miss It

If you were some how misled here and think this is some relationship article look away now. I’m far over my breakup that happened 3 months ago.

Since I was around 5 or 6, I played the piano. I know I’m Asian but it was never something I felt like I was forced to do. I had thoroughly enjoyed it from the beginning. Me and my sister both played but she wasn’t nearly as patient enough to continue and after grade 8 we were allowed to quit if we felt like it. I continued. Hell, I had to fight my parents to let me pursue it as a degree in grade 12 when everyone else was applying to be on their way to be a businessman, doctor or scientist. I just wanted to make music. I practiced 3-4 hours a day to make the auditions. I got into Laurier and skipped my Western audition when I was accepted into my first first pick of schools, University of Toronto.

The Meaning Behind a Tattoo

Whenever I see people with a tattoo, I always ask about the meaning behind in. If you don’t really know why you are getting a tattoo, I suggest you stop yourself before you regret it when you are older. You’ll sit there wondering what in Gods name made you get a butterfly tattoo.

As for me, I may seem like I have some arbitrary little angel wings, but they are more than just a fashion statement. I decided to get my first tattoo right after i turned 20. 20 for me marked the realization that I was growing up into an adult. It was also by far my favourite year of university, when I met some of my best friends.

The idea of the angel wings came from a quote I heard somewhere (don’t really remember exactly where) when I was a kid. “Even if you have small wings you can fly” To me it was always just a motivating sentence that taught me I could do everything I set my mind to. It has taught me to be an adventurous person, who loves to explore and try everything. I guess that explains my sort of ADD personality that wants to do everything, the sole reason why this blog exists in the first place.

The little wings have always symbolized motivation. Everybody who knows me, knows that when I want to do something, I will do it. It drives my parents crazy, but if I wasn’t this way I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get a degree in music, or be on my way towards the Entertainment industry. The wings are little because it only takes a little spark to want me to start something. Take my music blog Ride the Tempo for example. It started out as an idea and a way for me to share music I liked with the world. A year later, the blog has grown to have a focused Canadian perspective and a pretty decent niche following. I still love it, and all the music I receive on a daily basis because of it. It’s still something I’m quite passionate about and work very hard to maintain and I”ll always be thinking about how to make it bigger and better. The little wings symbolize that I’m always growing as a person and trying to be the best for myself.

And hey, my tattoo just happens to be in a convenient enough size and place that I can buy clothes that just happen to have a hole in the back right there.

I’m curious, what does your tattoo mean to you? I hope it does mean something, and you don’t just have an dragon or some really arbitrary asian word. If you’re thinking of getting one make it have a meaning, or it’s probably not worth it later on.

Extreme Couponing… in Moderation

If you haven’t heard of TLC’s smash hit Extreme Couponing, it is pretty much what it sounds like. The show features some of US’s crazy couponers. People who go through websites, garbage dumps and stealing neighbours newspapers in order to buy $600 worth of items for a penny. Most of these people seem like hoarders because they have stock piles of things in their homes that consist of 100 of each item. Those people are overdoing it a little bit, but there’s no reason why you can’t save money by using similar strategies.

Ever since watching the show, me and my sister have been finding ways to save money. We’re pretty well off family, but there’s quite a thrill from paying almost nothing for things. It’s probably the same sort of thrill thieves get from stealing, but in a legal sort of way. And hey, things add up, so maybe you can justify spending $500 on that purse you really want if you can save $500 worth in goods. We live in Canada so some of the rules in couponing are a little bit different, more strict, than in that of the show, but that doesn’t make it impossible. You just can’t do things like stack 2 coupons for 1 item (ex two 50cent coupons to equal a dollar off). Here are some Canadian tips to couponing.

How Old is Too Old?

This semester I have a course on Business Ethics. Last class, we discussed the growing demographic of old people because of the advancing technology nowadays to keep them alive. I am not religious so I am not going to get into the discussion of messing up with “God’s plan”. In class we watched a documentary on Frontline about the growing demographic of old people and how they are just waiting for their final day in nursing homes, or being cared for by family who have had to sacrifice their own lives to keep them alive.

I was then left with the assignment to answer the question,

What would I do with my parents when they are old, and what would I want for myself?”

This Christmas, my grandma passed away at the age of 91. She had been in a vegetative state for at least 8 years before she died. She was living with grandpa in their own apartment back in China, with their own maid. Dad’s sister lived not too far away. Before her death, grandpa had been healthy except for some small heart problems. But since grandma’s funeral, he has not been doing that well. He is 92 this year. Dad only recently came back after a month of taking care of him. He already used up a year worth of vacation days and it’s only the beginning of the year. My dad is the only one that works in my family. Grandpa’s still in the hospital, and is currently developing some dementia, but when there is family near him he is a completely different person.

To go back to the question, I have my own opinions about it now, but given the circumstances I think things may change. For my parents, I would want to provide them with the best care possible, but not necessarily from myself. It is not because I would not know how to care for them, but because I want to be able to live own life as full as possible, and I would want the same for my own children. I know it may sound a little greedy and conceited but my parents are 30 years older than me so senior age is not that far away. In 10 years, they will be seniors and I will have only begun establishing my life and family. I would hope that I make enough money to provide them with the best care possible if they need it, and that they remain close to either my sister or me, in their own home. I am opposed of nursing homes because they seem so depressing. Almost always, family is what keeps you living. Without question, I would never pull them off support or anything like that. When push comes to shove they are still your parents and people you love and you want them to live forever.

I’d love to hear all your opinions on the subject, even if you want to disagree with me.

University vs. College

I graduated from University last June with a degree in Music Education, but I didn’t want to pursue being a music teacher. I’m one of those people who strive to find a career that I’ll love and be passionate about because I am a firm believe that when you find something you love to do, than you will never really work a day in your life.

I have always been fond of music and the entertainment industry. Almost a year ago, I started a music blog called Ride the Tempo that shared my love for music. I had never really heard of career colleges, where I could pursue the industry jobs, until my fourth year at University of Toronto, where I took a course on Music Business. Since last September, I have been taking the Entertainment Business Management program at Metalworks Institute.

I’m in to my second term now at the school and I love the program. As a person that has attended both the university and (private career) college institutions, it is pretty interesting to compare the two very different dynamics. Firstly, there is the class size difference. At Metalworks, there are 11 people in my program that take all the same courses at the same time. Since I was a music student at U of T, some of the courses had few people, but the big ones still had around 20. The small class allowed us to become close with our teachers as well as each other. In our Business Communications course, we became comfortable enough to tell really touchy tales in our lives.

The one thing I miss about University is the work ethic. I’m a workaholic and a perfectionist when it comes to things. I get things done with quality and efficiency, whether it’s challenging or not. That’s one thing a college doesn’t really teach. Most of my peers at Metalworks haven’t had that experience where the work just has to be done, the textbook just has to be read, and you have to care enough, or you’re going to fail. I miss being pushed a little; everyone here sort of expects their exam and test questions to be handed to them before it happens. A career in the industry is my dream, so I guess I take things really seriously. Plus, Metalworks is another $17,000 on top of the $80,000 at U of T. I want to be prepared not just to do super in my courses, but so I have enough knowledge to be successful and prepared for whatever is ahead.

The Girl with the Moleskine Notebook

Yesterday I attended the 20th anniversary party for Professional Sound Magazine at the Roosevelt Room in Toronto. It was a great networking opportunity with a variety of different types of people in the music industry. Mainly there was producers, but there were also managers, musicians, songwriters and students and other people looking to network in the industry.

Most people nowadays have smartphones of some sort (iPhone, Blackberry or Androids), but I don’t. Nor do I have a business card, yet. What I do at these events, is carry around my Moleskine day planner. It wasn’t the first time, I have done the same at NXNE conferences. Yesterday, some guys joked around about how I was being old school, but I actually love doing things this way.

There’s something special about opening up a notebook and seeing the various things written in there. I carry around a day planner, but really I hardly plan my day in it. It’s full of lists, doodles, pictures, notes, and contact info. The Moleskine becomes a book of treasures.

Additionally, I think I got remembered as the girl with the Moleskine Notebook. I wasn’t going to be a business card or just another number in a phone that was going to be forgotten about the next day. Even getting someone to actually write down their contact info develops a more personal relationship. You have to have talked them up enough to be comfortable to ask or for them to be comfortable to give it to you. At times, what they write can be even more personal or direct way of contacting them compared to what may be found on a regular business card.

Long gone is the day where people write their numbers down in a phone book, but there’s something wonderful about getting people to write in your book. Sometimes they leave a personal note, or a picture, or maybe one day a person may become famous, and you would have their autograph. This girl with a Molestine notebook, won’t be getting rid of hers anytime soon.