Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One Year Anniversary

Another one of my blog articles was recently posted on QS Top MBA! This one, entitled "Five reasons to get an MBA," lists why I decided to pursue b-school.

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I attended Katy Perry's We Can Survive concert, with 100% of proceeds going to the Young Survival Coalition. The show had an amazing lineup with Tegan & Sara, Sara Bareilles, Ellie Goulding, Kacey Musgraves, Bonnie McKee, and of course Katy Perry. It was an incredible show at the Hollywood Bowl and I was lucky enough to have 10th row seats! The best part was the encore, when all of the aforementioned women came onstage to perform Katy Perry's "Roar" (photo below).

The celebratory confetti above is fitting today, as I celebrate my one year anniversary of living in Los Angeles. Exactly one year ago today I arrived at LAX with three suitcases in hand, a friend to pick me up at the airport, and a big smile on my face. I'm happy to share my learnings from the past year and debunk some common myths about LA:

1. It is possible to live in Los Angeles without a car. Everyone told me that I would cave in and get one, but I haven't. Between walking, taking the bus, using Lyft, and renting cars, I've had all of my transportation needs met and I've saved a lot of money this way.

2. Everyone in LA is not flaky. True, I have met some flaky people, but who hasn't? Perhaps it is because I have had so few interactions with people in the entertainment industry, but I find people here extremely nice and friendly. My LA friends are genuine and relatable people who are not trying to "make it" nor pursue the next best thing.

3. LA driving is not crazy. In fact, I've found Los Angeles driving particularly easy because there's traffic everywhere. It causes people to move slowly, and if you're like me and don't usually know exactly where you're going, you have plenty of time to figure out the directions as you're moving. Of all the cities I've ever driven in, I still find Montreal to be the worst.

4. It is not always hot here. It's true that it rarely rains, but it is not always sunny and warm. I live very close to the beach and I assure you that it gets quite cold and foggy on this side of town. I'm not complaining, though. I've lived through nine Montreal winters.

This has been the best year of my life, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for me in this exciting city!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Though I was sick at home this whole weekend, I did manage to make it out to a play on Friday night. Along with friends of the play's starring actor, I saw "Marilyn, Madness & Me" at the El Portal Theatre. It was a well performed show about the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. Notably, for staging, they used a similar photograph to the one I snapped (below) just a few months ago from her grave site at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Marilyn Monroe's grave site with lipstick kisses

The month of October always brings about fond memories of my paternal grandmother whose birthday was the day before Halloween. She was a great role model and someone for whom I owe many of my interests and skills. One thing I fondly recall about my grandmother is that she was an avid viewer of Jeopardy! and she would shout out the correct answers nearly 100% of the time. As a writer and lover of word games and crossword puzzles, she inspired me in these arenas, so that is the true origin of my blogging abilities. But most impressively, my grandmother received an undergraduate degree, an amazing feat for a woman of her generation.

Interestingly, my maternal grandmother also celebrated her birthday in the month of October and also died in the month of January. Though I was not nearly as close with her, since she lived far away, she is always in my thoughts. And so, this month of October, a time when we remember the dead as we celebrate Halloween, I will be thinking of the women we have loved and lost.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Whirlwind Month

This past month has been a whirlwind! I have been going to concerts, networking events, cultural events, traveling, and watching sports games.

When it comes to music, I saw Butch Walker, Hanson, Little Big Town, and Keith Urban. See a photo from the Hanson show at the House of Blues below.

I also traveled to New York City/New Jersey (to see my friends and family) and San Francisco (for work). On the San Francisco trip, my company's virtual team got to meet in person which was a great experience! Below is a photo of the Single Grain crew, with the San Francisco, LA/Santa Monica, and Midwest teams all together.

As for networking events, Social Media Week made the ROC a hubbub of activity! I managed to attend one event which was The Moth Presents: "Network" StorySLAM where volunteers told true and interesting stories about online experiences. I also attended Lesbians Who Tech (and the people who love them) September LA Happy Hour, an event for which I am now a co-organizer.

I have also expanded my horizons by attending cultural events. One was Glow, which involved artistic light installations on the beach. While it sounded interesting, the event was disappointing. Additionally, my friend won tickets to an operatic performance of Carmen and she brought me along. It was my first time at an opera, and while I love musical theater, this particular show was just not for me.

However, what I have been enjoying is watching a lot of sports! Though I had never seen a football game until recently, I'm now an avid viewer and I watch as many games as possible. I also went to Dodger Stadium for the first time and saw the fourth playoff game against the Cardinals. Pictured below is a photo of my friend and me at the close of the game.

Lastly, with the new school semester in full swing, it is a perfect time to mention some recent academic matters. As a new blogger for QS Top MBA, I wrote about my post-MBA reflections. Finally, I wanted to share an article about a student at my undergraduate alma mater (McGill University) who used the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" to explain string theory. It is pure genius!