Friday, January 14, 2011


... As in West Coast//East Coast transplant has been a successful procedure with one week under the belt, almost to the MINUTE of writing this blog. I thought it a good look to pick up the blogging for anyone who might be interested or bored enough to stay abreast of what's breakin' down over here in the journeys and travels of this fuckin' broad.

So where do I begin....?

Let's just start by saying I forgot how lonely it can be when you make the somewhat absurd decision to pack a couple bags and move your happy ass across the United States. I remind myself that I've done this before... across the state, however,... and the emotions that come with it are to be expected. But I guess I easily forget that shit. I remind myself that it will pass... things will become easier. I will get to know people. People will get to know me. I will get to understand where the fuck I am at any given time,... and I'll start acquiring some understanding of my location in proximity to anything//everything else. I've been helping myself A LOT everyday by jotting down some ideas in the morning before starting my day, just to check my progress and thoughts on life as the days roll by. I am reminding myself on the reg that I have two main purposes for being here,.... really for existing, period, I've come to understand... I am here, ACROSS the WORLD it feels like, away from all my friends, far from all my family, long gone from normal convenient life, missing the love of my life (Pip) and diving into life in probably one of the most challenging cities in the world to A)Score a job designing @ Betsey Johnson and B)Stay sober ((aka SANE)) so that I can do things like score said amazing job and have a good//happy life. End of story. When I get lonely (which I have) or doubtful (which I've been) or thinking I'm out of my fucking mind for coming here, I only have to remind myself of those 2 things and it makes sense again.

On a lighter note, some random factoids and experiences to note from Week 1...

-I am fully living in the hood of the late ((and great)) Biggie Smalls. On my first Subway ride, a young boy of colored decent informed me that everyone in Bed-Stuy claims to be homeys with Biggie. It's a pride thing. Thank you, Mr.Doo-rag, for the enlightening info. But I can't lie, the kid was kinda cute and actually very articulate and easy on the ears. He asked for my number and I felt bad so I gave him my card. He proceeded to call me on more than one occasion over the weekend. In classic and convenient Char style I responded to the missed calls with a light text thinking although Mike is 21 and from an even more hood than MY hood, we can maybe be buds or something. But alas, epic fail on the text attempt. That shit bounced right back alerting me that my new friend is not the proud owner of a mobile telephone, but could possibly even be calling me from a payphone. Cut, sonny.

-My first commute to midtown Manhattan in attempts of locating the jobsite and practicing my traveling was a seamless success. Most every Subway trip preceding that was rather troublesome. The public trans system is probably one of the best ever but not exactly simple. Tons of trains. Lots of options. I can be honest and say there have been some short commutes that have taken hours to complete. But in the past few days I've busted some error-free trips and I'm getting wiser by the day. There's hope.

-I knew there were rats creepin' around the Subways but was still a bit alarmed when I saw one of the fugly creatures makin' a beeline towards my snowy boots. He busted a hard right back down to his trash ridden underground home before I was forced to bust out any spear or sharp blade on his ass. He was lucky.

-I've realized how much I took everything for granted back home. My first trip to the grocery store was less than amusing. I put that shit off for days because A) I didn't know where any grocery stores near my pad were located and B)I knew it was going to be rough. But days had gone by and the time had come. I felt prepared with my travel route firmly in place and my XXL fabric grocery bag in tow. Didn't realize the aisles of the ma & pop joint I entered would be narrow as fuck and extremely crowded with evening shoppers. Let's tag on the fact that I happen to be carrying a huge overnight-ish bag from being at work all day, and let's top it off with me in a massive fur coat. Cute. So as I'm squeezing my abnormally extra wide fluffy frame and ridiculously oversized bag through crowds of people in the smallest space ever, I'm pretty sure the sleeve of my vintage (aka old) fur coat has started ripping. By the end of the shopping experience, my sleeve is nearly dangling off, and my environmentally friendly grocery bag is about to break from the pressure of the couple of groceries I was able to fit into it. FUCKING DEATH. If my cans of soup and apples were rolling out into the street by the end of my walk home, I was for sure going to say fuck this life and dive into a snow pile and stay there until someone found my body. I made it home with the goods and my left arm completely exposed to the 5 degree wind chill and baracaded myself in my room for the remainder of the evening. But at least I had a bag of pretzels to comfort me.

-First two days @ the job site were pretty rough. Can't lie. There are about 10 interns for this season (January-April). Some are interning for school credit, most don't have any industry experience, all are younger than me and most are completely irritating. They're just squirrels trying to get their nut too... I get it. But they just try wayyyy too fuckin' hard to be "funky" and it's just obviously super unnatural. Most of the interns spend their days bustling around trying to help Betsey in particular, kissing all the asses they can to get in good with the people that work there. I have a few favorites that I can't help but mention. But we'll refrain from a novel of a blog entree by zooming in on my top pick. We can call her "Clown". Trudy is out of school and has a little experience in the industry. Working for who, I could not guess in my wildest dreams. Trudy reminds me of a vaudeville character mixed with that skinny raccoon character from the Lion King. Was that Timon? Pumba? I don't fuckin' know. If you took one large witches cauldron and threw in the wardrobe from Clueless with some choice apparel pieces from Burning Man, and add a dash of the industrial goth scene, you have Trudy's signature look. Apply makeup similar to the mom in Requiem for a Dream when she's completely cracked out and applying lipstick, and this girls ready to conquer Fashion Avenue. I would never be sooo critical of someone's original fashion sense except that this character tried to call me out on Day ONE by saying "Are you posing for a school picture?" as I sat at a table quietly listening to someone give instruction. Nooooooo no no, Clown Girl. I don't think so. I suggest you sew that mouth up stat.

Anyhow, after two rather uncomfortable and discouraging days at BJ, I fell into the flow of how shit goes. It takes a few days (I seem to forget) in a new environment to get a feel for who's who... who does what... who's important... who just thinks they are... who's a bitch for no reason,... who HAS a reason to be a bitch... what you're supposed to do with yourself... how others work... how you want to be and not be. By Day Three I had that shit in the bag. I know what my plan of attack is for the most part and like I said,... I came here with a purpose. That's what I'm working toward everyday.

The legend herself IS in the office everyday. I was a bit starstruck at first but she's growing on me and I'm carefully formulating my angle to make her see that she needs me on her design team. She's a pretty bitchin' woman even though I'm pretty sure she's completely bat crazy. But I'm really stoked to see first hand that in a company like this with a line at this price point and global level, she is still completely involved in the design element of the collections. She's on sight everyday, she's choosing fabrics and doing hand sketches. Today I sat there as her "right hand gal" while she hand drew a spin off graphic of Rosie the Riviter for a tote bag that will be coming out. (I might have snagged one of the first sketches she did that she didn't like. I'm a souvenier collector). But it's pretty surreal. At the same time, I have seen in this first week a lot about the company, how it's run, how Betsey works and how her company works with her/for her. And I want in. It's the perfect company for me from the office design, the atmosphere, the way things are run, to the product that is produced. Eye on the prize.

What else... Betsey drinks a large 5 equal skim cap everyday, in case you were wondering. I've picked this up a few times this week @ Cosi, the cafe next door to the showroom who, by the way, has the most DELISH tomato basil soup I've ever mowed down.

Other shit... I deposited a check for $300k in the bank for Betsey the other day. I have never touched that much money in any form and I think it's pretty wild that they just trust an intern who has been there for two days to do that kinda shit. But whateva. Rad.

So overall.... a lot of progress has gone down from this one in 7 days time. I was skeptical for the first three days that any of this was going to be at all easy or enjoyable but my mind has changed completely. I am so happy that I am able to be here and experience this and just have to check myself a couple times a day to remind myself that this is all for a purpose. And like I've said before and mean more than EVER right about now, if the rad life was easy to come by, everyone would have it.

Handle shit. <3

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