Thursday, July 21, 2005

Full Speed Ahead

These last two weeks have been completely insane. I had to go into the office last weekend (even though my official last day was the Friday before) because I wasn't able to get any work done during my last week. Too many going-away lunches, dinners, and cocktails; not to mention all of the associates that stopped by my desk to bid me farewell. I went into the office on Saturday for four hours and was in the office on Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. I managed to get everything done; but it damn-near killed me. Of course, the slight hangover didn't help. (KV - The vitamins DID help; the morning after would have been much uglier had I not followed your advice.)

I've spent this last week running around, trying to tie up all of the loose ends. It looks like my immunizations forms will get to school just under the wire. Also, my private loan was approved. It took my bank three weeks to make a decision (something to do with the 4th of July weekend and a backlog of applications); but I got the approval and the promissary note on Monday. I signed it and dropped it in the mail - a tremendous relief.

Even though these last two weeks have been crazy, I've had a lot of fun. Two great lines from drunken conversations I've had with friends and family:

"If I'm not me, then I don't know who is." (My brother's wife said this, though I can't for the life of me remember the context.)
"Don't worry. I haven't forgotten what I don't know." (I said this after being reminded by a friend that I wasn't supposed to know something she had told me about a mutual friend of ours.)

Good times. Good times.

I am relieved that I will soon be on the road to New Haven. Just five more days! I'll post again on or around August 1st.

To everyone who'll be journeying to his/her school during the next four weeks, Bon voyage!

Friday, July 15, 2005


We have two interns on the Marketing team. They're both high school students.

I briefly worked with one of them, Jennifer, on a project. Our interaction lasted a total of 15 minutes.

Today, she gave me a bookmark that she made herself. It's adorable. It has a Chinese figure on the front as well as my name, which she misspelled. On the back, she wrote the following:

BEST WISHES . . . Wishing you the best in every thing you do! >.< It been really great knowing you.~ You've been really fun to be around with.~ I know you're going to be outstanding in school. I'll come and work for you when you become a boss! So don't forget me! Good luck! Take care! And have a safe trip! If you ever need anything here's my email: XXXX. Hope to hear from you in the future, just to see how you're doing. Love always. Jennifer XXXX. Forever dated: 07-15-05

Tell me that's not cute!


Well, today is my last day of work. It feels strange. It probably won't hit me until Monday morning, when I wake up at 7:30 a.m. only to remember that I have no place to go but back to sleep. I wonder how I'll respond to that. Will I feel liberated? I guess I'll find out!

Of course, the celebrations continue. I went out last night with a colleague for dinner at Asia de Cuba and from there we went to the Redwood Room. Both are in the same hotel. The Redwood Room is a total scene. There was a guy wearing sunglasses, straight girls touching each other provacatively so that the men in the room would give them some attention, and a whole lot of attitude being thrown around. Yeah, it was that ridiculous.

We finally got out of there and went to another bar. I was wearing my Yale t-shirt and some woman asked me if I went there. I told her I was going to go there. The rest of the conversation went like this:

WOMAN: What are you going to study?

ME: I'm getting my MBA.

WOMAN: Well, you're not going to get a practical education at Yale.

ME: That's good because I want a theoretical education. Concepts last longer than practices that may well be out-dated in 5, 10 or 15 years.

WOMAN: Well, it's no Harvard.

ME: Thank God for that. I didn't want to go to Harvard, Wharton, or any other school. Yale was the right choice for me.

WOMAN: So you didn't even apply to Wharton?

ME: No.


ME: So where did you get your MBA?

WOMAN: Oh, I don't have one.

I didn't have anything more to say to her at that point. She was clearly an expert on the subject. What could I possibly add to her arsenal of first-hand knowledge of business schools? I had to walk away.

My colleague and I ended up staying out until 2 a.m. Tonight, I'm going out with a friend of mine to celebrate my last day of work. Tomorrow, my little brother and his wife roll into town for a night of revelry. And on Sunday, another friend is coming over and we'll probably hit some bars.

I think I'll need to stock up on the multivitamins, eh, KV?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Breaking Up Is ______ To Do

Hard. When my relationship of 4.5 years ended two months ago, I responded by allowing myself to feel victimized. I did everything right. My partner did everything wrong - terribly wrong - and I found it frighteningly easy to absolve myself of blame. Fortunately, I had friends who encouraged me to look at the relationship more objectively and to think more seriously about my role in its demise. After a great deal of soul-searching, I was able to determine where it was that I went wrong.

One of my best qualities is also one of my worst: I see the potential in people. You may show me who you are, but I tend to look past that. I look to the person I know you can be. My partner, who I often suspected of half-truths, exaggerations, and outright lies, was fundamentally honest from the very beginning. I need to learn how to weigh what a person is cabable of delivering now against what they can deliver later. Until I learn how to do this, I should probably not become involved in another relationship.

Easy. Over the last month or so, I decided on another break-up, this one with the B-School Forum on I came to this decision when I looked back on the time I spent applying to business schools and the resources I used when going through the process. The Forum, I realized, was of precious little value. Arguing the existence of the M7, reading posts from people who had axes to grind with particular schools, and feeling anxious about my prospects after reading what admissions consultants had to say to people with similar profiles, I spent countless hours worried by, annoyed with, and disgusted by what I read. I found Wharton's S2S Forum to be of much greater value - and I didn't even apply there!

I will waste no more of my valuable time on businessweek's B-School Forum.

Necessary. I feel as though I've spent the last several months cleaning house - in more ways than those listed above. Someone once said, "No one can make a brand new start, but anyone can start from here and make a brand new end." Here's to new - and happier - endings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Feeling Official

I received my first university bill yesterday. More than the offer of admission, the payment of my deposit, and the activation of my email address, getting an account statement in the mail made me feel like a student of Yale University.

In the same envelope came information about Tuition Insurance. I never even knew such a thing existed. For ~$200 per term, you can get 90% of your tuition returned to you if something happens that forces you to withdraw from school. That "something" has to be an emotional/medical condition (up to and including your death, but not your suicide). Drug use, acts of war, rioting, and laziness in general are excluded.

Also in the envelope (and in my Yale inbox) was information about the Yale charge account. Basically, you can use your student ID card to charge up to $1000 per term at the Yale bookstore. Whatever you charge is billed at the beginning of the following month and payment is due by the end of that month. If your payment is late, you are charged a $110 fee regardless of the actual amount of your charges. Ouch! I think I'll pay for things the good old fashioned way, thank you very much.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A Quick Post

I came into the office to pick up my gym bag and figured that, since I'm here, I might as well give a brief summary of my weekend.

Friday Night: My going-away party with co-workers. (I actually have one more week of work left, but we celebrated early because my manager is going on vacation and won't be around for my official "last day.") Our first stop was Bambuddha Lounge. I got pretty wasted, so I don't remember where we went next. All I know is that we ended up at a club, where a co-worker of mine tried all night to get the attention of a bouncer she had the hots for while I spent (what seemed like) hours pressing myself against a nice, cool concrete wall to keep myself from falling down.

Saturday: Woke up at noon with a ferocious hangover. Went back to sleep. Woke up at 3 p.m. Felt a little bit better. Left the apartment to get a greasy meal, which usually does the trick in these situations. Came home. Went back to sleep until 6 p.m. A friend of mine, who just returned from a wedding in Italy, came over at 8 p.m. She and I watched a movie and crashed at 11:30 p.m.

Today: Woke up at 9:30 a.m. feeling 100%. Had a mellow morning. Read the New York Times.

I'm sure I'll get all the details about Friday night tomorrow morning from my co-workers. Well, whatever details they can remember, anyway. Nights like that always come back in puzzle form - everybody holds a piece (a memory) and when you put all the pieces together you get an idea of what really happened. The few memories I have are good ones. I'm pretty sure I didn't do or say anything embarrassing. But even if I did, who cares? It was my going-away party, dammit! And it was well worth the Saturday I spent in pain.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Danke Schoen

Today I participated in my last team meeting. It was a lot of fun, as usual. Sometimes, it occurs to me that I work for a major financial services company and that I probably shouldn't enjoy coming into work everyday as much as I do. But I've never met a marketer who hated his job. And I've never met one who didn't know how to have a good time. We're pretty much the same wherever you go. . . . Even in the financial services industry!

At the end of the meeting, my manager played Danke Schoen and dedicated it to me. When that song ended, "ABC" by the Jackson 5 came on unexpectedly and we had a mini dance party. I'll be going out for drinks with my co-workers tonight. I already know that it will turn into a roast, so I plan on getting a nice buzz going before that portion of the evening begins.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Orange Alert

U.S. transportation has been placed on Orange alert.

I am so grateful that the U.S. has a color-coded terror alert system. It's just another example of the great leadership we have in this country. Leadership in-action!

Militant conservatives everywhere, listen up! Stay the course. Forget about changing the "flawed" U.S. policy in the Middle East. Don't pander to liberals who argue that the policy we have now will result in still more deaths. Just keep changing those colors and we'll all be fine. It's that easy.

Clearly, Bush's "War on Terror" is working. Sure, more innocent people have been killed. But isn't it worth it? Don't you feel safer today than you did yesterday? And why wouldn't you? We're on "Orange" alert, baby! If any color can prevent a terrorist attack, it's this one.

P.S. This post is a sarcastic response to the U.S. response to what happened in London this morning. Like you, I am deeply troubled by the bombings. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. I am even now anxiously awaiting word from my friends in London. I hope they are okay. :-(