Friday, July 23, 2004

Weird social crap

So one part of my trip back from NYC: Boarding the plane in Westchester, I noticed a young woman in line whose face seemed very familiar to me.  I thought I knew it from Dartmouth.  I'm pretty sure she recognized me as being from Dartmouth, too.  She was in the official WASP wife uniform: pearl stud earrings, some cute little pink cardigan.  Neat, straight hair. Quintessential picture of an affluent white Ivy League woman. Any way, what caught me was that she regularly avoided meeting my eye.  I'm pretty sure she recognized me, but seemed not to want me to walk up to her and ask "your face seems familiar, were you in my class?". 

So I wonder why.  Was it me? Sure, I was a bit eccentric back then.  Big deal, that was almost 10 years ago. And it's not like she knew me well enough to have a valid opinion, given that I'm not 100% sure of her name.Or do people just not want to talk to each other? What's it gonna do to her to be approached by a guy who went to her college? Just makes me wonder.  Or maybe it's the dreaded conversation with a classmate, in which one has to play the "Are you being as successful as you're supposed to?" game.  The alumni magazine doesnt write articles on alums who have discovered inner peace through a simple life and honest work. They write up discoveries, public accomplishment and professional (read financial) success.  So maybe people don't wanna talk because they don't want to have to do that comparison thing.  Life isn't a competitive sport.  Although, I certainly don't act that way.  Perhaps then it's that success in life isn't a zero sum game.  Everyone can win.  Though not everyone can be president or CEO of IBM. Only one at a time there.  Some one is and everyone else isn't. O maybe that's it.  At the level we're "supposed" to achieve at, it all is a zero sum game.  Smile smile and stab stab.

As one of my classmates pointed out, if MBA students in the US can't get along, what chance have we for world peace?  In other words, if folks with so much in common can't see fit to interact cordially, how can we expect folks with little in common to get along?  Undermines faith in humanity. When an Ivy League chic won't say hi to a classmate in in airport, the world is in sad shape.

Today we're off to Yosemite with Jamie & Anna Kate.  They've never been.



Monday, July 19, 2004

Back from NY

Well NY turned out to be fun.  Once we got our midterm out of the way, we started to go outin the evenings, and I got a chance to share some drinks with a bunch of classmates, and to get to know people outside of class. Good group.  I think NY was a bonding experience.  Lots of hugs good bye from people.
I doubt CA will be that fun: our hotel isn't situated for that, but you never know....
OK, back to work on our marketing project, which kicks ass...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


I'm in New York for my first Columbia session. COlumbia seems a nice place. Like harvard's campus in BU's neighborhood.

I'm really not feeling all that social. I have an accounting midterm on Friday, and that's going to be enough of a challenge. There is the Global MBA program here along with some others, so there's this big networking opportunity, but I'm so un-motivated to talk to strangers today. I know that I should, though, so I'm saving my energy for that.

Our hotel here is cool. It's what an upsacle hotel would look like if IKEA did the decorating. Modern style, kind of modern, Asian, rectilinear. Better workout facilities than the hotel in CA. I got up at 7:30 (4:30 PST) to work out. I jogged up the stairs from floor 17 to floor 46, then hit the exercize bike for 30 min. Penthouse workout room is cool. It was good to burn some calories and get on this time zone.

I'm really hoping to get some ideas for generating som more business for the consulting thing. Awareness is an issue, and then there's the problem that I explain things so well that people think they understand and can do it themselves. Which they can't. I'm not sure it's the right business. It's not higly leverageble. It's not about being ultra wealthy, it's more a lifestyle thing. But the problems/ projects involved aren't too compelling for me, since they're rarely something terribly new. I suppose few things in life will require me to do things that are totally new. Most people want to know you've done it before before they trust you to do it for them.

Any way, I remain open to possibilities. I'm going to try hard not to piss off our marketing prof. I've asked too many pesky questions.

Accounting review starts in a few min....

Saturday, July 03, 2004


I pulled a double session this morning rowning. First practice with the masters guys. My coach put me in 2 seat in a 4, since he's noticed I'm getting frustrated stroking all the time and having bad rows. If it's gonna be bad, I don't want to be in stroke seat since stroking during a bad row makes me row worse. So I was in 2, but it wasn't going well. The guy in stroke almost paused at the catch, and the guy in 3 wanted to rush like mad. So he'd rush up, get to the catch and have to either 1) wait for the stroke or 2) catch way early. It was a mess. Towards the end, I got switched into stroke and things went better.

Then I jumped ina 4 with some of the college guys who are training out of the BH this summer. Big guys. I thought it'd go well, but I realized there are a couple novices geting switched into the boat. And they really weren't that hot. They did ok, but the difference in style between me and the good college guys was tough enough. Having novices with little boat feel wasn't great.

Came home, and A is having a classmate over to study. So I'm doing homework too. I made mushroom pizza. I ripped off recipe ideas from a shi-shi restaurant in SF: Sage & mushroom white pizza with truffle oil. It's quite good. I should have put the oven up to 425 or 450, though. Crust was a little soggy. I'm not sure how one puts pizza onto a hot pizza stone (assuming the crust is fresh). I'm sure pre-heating the stone would help.

I'm doing stats homeowork.

My marketing project is going pretty well. I'm excited. It's a new topic for me: restaurant marketing. I get to apply my analytical skills and experience to a new topic, so I'm excited. I've got a very good survey going out. I think we've hit on a great marketing idea: Get in good with the local concierge network. Their referral power is huge. The amount of business they can send your way is big enough that it's worth while to really spend some time and money courting them.