Sunday, December 31, 2006


The weak US dollar makes things a bit unpleasant when traveling abroad. However, I do have some consolation. The fact that I never remember to bring my foreign currency with me when traveling means that I've accumulated quite a bit of excess cash... cash that is now worth more and more.

  • 330 Canadian Dollars
  • 125 Euros
  • 40 British Pounds
  • 9000 Japanese Yen
  • 80 Renminbi
  • 3120 Hong Kong Dollars
I need to stop doing this... or I need to travel more. Guess which one I'll do. (-;

Then again, I am spending New Year's in New Haven, and then off to Costa Rica which doesn't use any of these. Oh well!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

more highways

So after a week in Cleveland, I'm headed off to Toronto for a few days. If you need me, text me. It's cheaper than paying for international roaming.

My stay in Cleveland has been good. Got to meet up with a ton of people, including a bunch of work friends. In fact I'll be meeting some at Skyline today just before heading out to Toronto. Sure, Skyline may not exactly be the best decision for a meal before a road trip, but what the hell. What's the worst thing that could happen?

And Barnaby, I told Aaron that you hated him. I couldn't think of any good reason for it, so I just labeled you a hater. Keep up the drunk dials though, you still haven't caught me while I've been asleep so it really hasn't been an issue. If you want to have a real conversation, I can do that too.

Have a happy new year, everyone.

The Interstate highways that I'll cover over winter break:
  • I-84
  • I-380
  • I-81
  • I-80
  • I-480
  • I-271
  • I-90
  • I-77
  • I-190
  • I-390
  • I-86
  • I-91
  • I-95

Friday, December 22, 2006

as featured in the international herald tribune

My name is now being published across the world, thanks to the syndicated press and the power of the AP. You don't want to mess with these guys.

I like the International Herald Tribune, you here's a link to it:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

thoughtful gifts for me

You know how there are people that always get stuff for themselves, and how they are really annoying to find good gifts for? I think I may be one of those people. A few hints:
  • Any "luxury" item that the person generally won't buy. This could be a fun gadget, a hobby item, clothes (yes, I said it... but only if the person has no fashion sense or has a clear need... like my dad's shoes or jacket), or tickets to an event. Example, some nice lens filters for my digital camera. I generally use my cheap-ass Sigma 28mm-135mm lens with that takes a 62mm filter. Or oooh... a nice lightweight lens with a wide shutter would be fantastic!
  • A really nice, durable, utilitarian item that would be used daily. Lame example would be a nice pen. Better examples would be something that would make the person's daily life easier and/or more satisfying. I already have my fancy Staedler pencils, as my study group knows well. A good set of non-stick pans would be useful. Although even though I doubt I'd ever buy these for myself, and I could make good use of them, I'm not sure how'd I react to getting cooking utensils as a gift. It's like giving your maid a new mop.
  • Something that shows that you understand what they care about, or even addressing a quirk (or quirky goals). If you don't know what these are, then find out. For me, that could be a map of the world mounted on corkboard so I can push pins into all the places I've been. Could be cheap, and effective!
  • Something that links a common experience. For example, DVDs for Commando, or Death Wish 3 for Darin, TC, and I. Other candidates would be the Resident Evil series, and anything starring Bruce Campbell. Could be cheap and effective!
  • Relics from immortals like Elvis, Tupac, or Jesus are creepy, and thus make poor gifts.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

almost there

5 page paper in 2 hours. I'll proofread tomorrow. Another 5 hours of exams, and I'm off to Cleveland. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

like a good neighbor

So last night I was coming back from a party in East Rock. It was just a few blocks away from my place so I decided to make an "early" exit and walk home. After getting back to my building, I decided to sit down for a bit in the entryway where the mailboxes are. Why? Because I felt like it, and I haven't sat in that chair for a while. After a few minutes, I decided it was time to go upstairs and head to bed.

I go up the steps, stop at the door and get my keys out to unlock the door. Strangely, the key didn't fit. Usually, it goes it pretty easy and I have no problems with it, but for some reason I just couldn't get it to fit. After a while it didn't even seem like it could even possibly fit, much less unlock the door. After a few minutes, I was ready to give up. In a moment of brilliance, I decided to just try to open the door. Magically, the door opened.

Apparently someone forgot to lock the door. Even though I should have been happy about this, I was a bit annoyed because anyone could have just come into our apartment since everyone in the building has a key for the entryway. Anyway, I opened to door. I was ready to step inside and throw some stuff down on the table by the door when I noticed that the table wasn't there. What the hell? What was stranger was the mirror that was on the wall. Weird. I was like someone rearranged our whole apartment while I was out. What the hell. Where was my stuff??? Then I realized... this wasn't my apartment. It was my neighbor downstairs.

So here I was, in standing in front of my neighbor's apartment, door open, confused, at 4 o'clock in the morning. I was just waiting for the guy to jump out of the bedroom and kick my ass. Thankfully that didn't happen. I'm sure it would have taken quite a bit of explanation if that had happened. Some guys fudges with your locks for 5 minutes... loudly I might add, and then opens the door to your apartment... at 4am. I closed the door, went upstairs, and fell asleep. (not before brushing my teeth, setting the alarm, turning off the lights, etc. etc.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

moving forward

So I'm done with classes, and I'm about to turn in the final paper for the competitor class.

My schedule for the upcoming weeks:
12/18 - 12/21 - Exams
12/21 or 12/22 - Return to Cleveland
12/22 - 12/28 - Hang out with Cleveland peeps, watch Rocky Balboa, what will be best feel-good holiday movie EVER!
12/27 - Hang out with prospective students (and Laura) at Great Lakes Brewery
12/28 - Hang out with prospective students at the Irish Embassy in Toronto (it's a bar)
12/31 - New Year's Eve in NYC (exactly where is TBD)
12/5 - Leave for Costa Rica
12/19 - Return from Costa Rica

Other things to do? Research more jobs. Practice interviews. Send Thank You e-mails. Get a suit. Buy Christmas presents. Send out cards? Plan the Costa Rica trip. Send out a job survey to the class. Do other club related stuff. Read the WSJ. Buy a book and read it.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

it's september

Right now I'm sitting outside in the courtyard at school in the sun, putting in another blog entry. And yes, I'm writing about the weather. It's a beautiful today. About 60F... sunny... Feel like it's September. I already thought it was weird because the last few days have felt like October.

Maybe that's why it doesn't feel like my first semester here is about to come to a close. And maybe that's why I still haven't gotten anxious about the paper that I have to turn in tomorrow as a final exam for my Competitor class. I haven't started writing anything out, but at least I've read over the materials, analyzed it from several perspectives, and know what I'll be writing about. That's the hard part. The writing part should be relatively easy (or so I say now). Regardless of how painful/painless it is, at least I know that I am comfortable with the material. Better to know what you're doing and have trouble condensing it into 3 pages than not having enough to fill the three pages.

Anyway, I should finish up and get to something else, such as getting back in touch with Cleveland people about my return over the holiday week. And I have this funny suspicion that Progressive's mail filters are blocking my e-mails... hrm.......

Saturday, December 09, 2006

admissions rant

I'll keep it brief. Sometimes there are people who ask good questions, like whether it is acceptable to apply with a 3-year degree is a 3-year degree is the norm in your country. Other times, people ask questions that may seem reasonable, but aren't. For example, the "I have a GMAT score of XXX, a GPA of Y.YY, and Z years of work experience. What are my chances of getting in?" Correct response? Apply and see if you get in. If everyone looked at the admission rates and saw that it's 10-20% and turned away, no one would ever go to school.

Of course, there are always the people who go over the top with nonsense. See for yourself (and please, don't post any replies unless it's sane). Next thing you know, we'll be boycotting schools that use SAT scores, followed by boycotting schools that ask you anything at all. Good times!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

what are the odds...

That the person on Progressive's Board of Directors that I presented to when I was in Ohio...

Is the same person as the step-mom of the person who hired my friend as an au pair from New Zealand...

Is the same person that I get to watch a video on, and write a paper on for a class' final exam?

All in the same year. As Patrick would say, what are the odds?

Friday, December 01, 2006


It's been a while. Here's a lengthy update.

Thanksgiving holiday was good. Got to hang out with the fam, hang out with friends, and take a closer look at the two llamas that live next door to my brother. (I'm not kidding. I have photos to prove it). I also used the opportunity to import 36 bottles of Great Lakes beer. I'll be bringing a six-pack of Christmas Ale to Sumana's tomorrow night. It'll be enough for 12. The stuff is about 10% alcohol and is usually served in a sniffer glass, a fact that the bartender at Johnny Malloy's apparently didn't know. He gave me a full pint!

So that's the good side of the trip home. The bad part? I'm getting a bit annoyed at how I always get some crazy car trouble the day that I come back to New Haven. It wasn't as bad as the last time when I first moved here, but still... Saturday night, my muffler falls half off as I'm driving down Monticello and starts dragging on the asphalt, throwing off sparks and prompting my friend Greg to call me to let me know. Thankfully, I had a pretty good idea how to take off the muffler so I chucked it in the trunk before going to Tommy's where I enjoyed a spinach pie and a banana milkshake (and then out-ate Laz). The Sunday morning, right before leaving for New Haven, my exhaust breaks by the catalytic converter, which also started dragging on the ground. WTF!? With no muffler, and another hole closer to the engine, my car was so loud that it was very uncomfortable to be in the car for more than a few minutes. Somehow I had to drive it back to New Haven since I didn't want to leave it with my parents. Insurance issues, etc. etc. (official reason?). Thankfully, I was able to secure the catalytic converter with some wire so I wouldn't drag the thing 500 miles to CT. That would have destroyed the part, which would have costed me an extra thousand dollars or so (would not be cool). I also had some nice in-ear headphones that actually made the noise level tolerable. Eight and a half hours later, I was back in New Haven, and somewhat behind in work.

Work and procrastination:
I got all my work done this week, but not without a but of maneuvering. What I mean is that during the week I was going to bed at 3am-ish each night and getting up at 6:30-is each morning. The worst part is that all this was completely unnecessary. If I didn't watch a random DVD Sunday night, I could have gotten to bed 2 hours earlier. On Monday and Tuesday I think I procrastinated for about 4 hours straight each day (from 8pm to midnight). Nice. I watched a David Chappelle special, so it was nice in a way. Then Wednesday I watched a movie (which I don't regret either). Finally on Thursday, after doing school stuff from 7:30am till 10:00pm, I went out and didn't come back till the bars closed. That night I went to bed at 1:15am. The most sleep I've had all week, even though I had to come in for a 9am meeting with my faculty mentor.

Random applause:
A strange thing happened in class yesterday. It was in our customer class, and I was tired as hell. Thanks to double-fisting Mountain Dews, I was still awake. In the last class I ran out of caffeine 25 minutes in, and spent the remaining 85 minutes struggling to stay awake. I remember at one point I was writing on my paper "I need caffeine!" completely aware that the professor was watching me, and also sensing myself doze off as I was writing and thinking "Neat! I can write neatly while half asleep!" Did I mention that I was out of it?

So back to the customer class. Professor K. Sudhir was going over Conjoint Analysis and was asking the class we couldn't use a single variable for an attribute and need to use separate dummy variables for all the values of the property. I knew the answer so I raised my hand (I try to participate when I'm in the mood, because I know that otherwise I'll just stay silent all semester like I did in undergrad). K. Sudhir called on a few people, who had an idea of why, but couldn't quite find the right words to verbalize it. After calling on three people or so, he finally called on me. I think I said something like "Because it assumes that the marginal utility is linear." For some reason, either because I used a shitload or jargon, or because of the look on Sudhir's face, or some other reason,
the whole class fell silent. Then they all started clapping. It was surreal. And no, this does not happen every day.

An update on my football season so far. In both Ivan's fantasy league and the work pool from Progressive, I started off terrible. Started 0-6 in the fantasy league, and finished 150th out of 150 in the work pool for the first half of the season. Since my 0-6 start, I've improved to 4-8, meaning I've been 4-2 in the last 6 weeks - one of those losses by a single point. For the football pool, so far I'm 5th out of 150 for the second half. I also managed to finished 4th for last week, winning me $20. In other words, I've only lost $30 on that pool this year. (-; With some luck, I'll try to win some more back. Wish me luck.