Archive for the ‘Delicious Clichés’ Category


February 15, 2008

Oh my word. The trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is out! The things you miss when you stay away from the ‘net for a day.

Highlights of my email free Thursday:

Leaning against a travertine pillar for a quarter of an hour watching five thuggish looking North African boys jamming away on 2 violins, 2 accordions and an acoustic guitar. I stumbled upon them in the middle of their rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon. Pretty amazing. I’ve always been a sucker for violins.

McDonald’s for lunch, followed by McDonald’s for dinner. Yeah; that’s pretty disgusting, but every once in a while, it’s soooo good.

Finally breaking down and buying something I told myself I’d never, ever buy. Now let’s see if I actually put it in to action.

Yup, that’s it. I lead a pretty boring life. There’s the open-bar Dragon Week party tonight. After so many limited drink national week parties, I finally feel like this is 25 euros well spent.

Today is new day, and it’s looking pretty good already. Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all you cute little lovers out there.

“The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes



August 31, 2007

This post is about a week late, but oh well; life has been busy, and busy is good.  For a full synopsis of INSEAD J08’s Orientation Week, check out Res I(p)sa’s post, or be patient and maybe you’ll get something out of me eventually.

The chateau parties do live up to their reps. Or at least this first one did. So far, the Montmelian party has been the largest INSEAD get together I’ve attended. Barring the long walk from the gate to the house itself, and the “sacrifice a virgin by moonlight” lighting that was going, it was a blast.

The weather held, and it was a perfect night to have an outdoor party.  Music was pumping from one of the residents’ Bose iPod speakers suspended from a 2nd floor (3rd to the Americans) window, the beer fridge was overflowing and INSEADers were mingling by the light of tiki-torches.  I don’t think I saw anyone without a beer, wine, or occasional soda in their hand, and no one was ever alone, unless they were walking to the can, and even then not 100% of the time.

Props to the Chateau Montmelian crew for putting on a great  gig.

Monday kicked off Orientation Week, which has felt more like Cult Initiation Week, with a heaping plate full of mental hazing.  Forms, forms, forms.  Forms in original form.  Forms in triplicate form.  Forms to request more forms.  Forms to fill out so that INSEAD and the French government can take even more of your money so that they can print more forms.  Had the whole fustercluck been a bit more organized, I would’ve felt better.  As it was, the tutorial on how to go through the process was something to the effect of, “Here’s a chopstick.  Now go herd 39 cats in to this cubicle.  You have two hours.  Go!”

On top of handing over another few hundred euro for things like tax stamps and preemptive library fines, there were “introduction” classes held all week, which run through Saturday.  That’s right; we have eight hours of lecture this Saturday.  Why exactly am I paying for this?

Lastly, and by far leastly (a DTLF-coined phrase, yet again), I’m starting to settle in a bit.  I’ve met some great people, firewalled myself from the not-so-great, and hope that I start believing that this is all for real, soon.

Back to my 2am jambon, camembert, baguette sandwich.  Here’s to health and late-night artery-clogging snacks.

Primera Impresión

August 23, 2007

First impressions are strange beasts. I’m not too good at wrangling with ’em, but I’ve somehow managed to pull off a couple of smooth rides. For some odd reason the people I’ve met find me to be an upbeat, cheery, festive person. I’m laughing out loud as I write this. And here I thought a prerequisite of getting in to a top-shelf MBA program was the ability to read personalities. Oh, how deluded my future classmates are.

There’ve also been a few losses, and though I’m not too stressed about these, I am genuinely shocked at how utterly tasteless a few of these have been. Luckily, I haven’t had the pleasure of associating many of these pleasant folk (yet), though some of the stories I’ve heard are pretty disturbing. If an iota of the hearsay that has passed through my ears is to be believed, a notable handful of INSEADers hold a First/Summa Cum Laude/Super-Duper Gold Star degree from the Bobby Fischer School of Social Ineptitude.TM

Despite the punks, and Mother Nature, who seems to think that Fontainebleau finally deserves a role as England In January, things are looking up. Yeah, I know; it pains me to write it, just as much as it shocks you to read it. So in order to temper that sliver of hope, I present you with a lovely quote that I was fortunate enough to have been in earshot to hear in the near past.

“You’re too cynical to love.”


Orientation starts on Monday. Game on.


August 1, 2007

This post has been languishing in the “Drafts” section for a while, so I figured it was time to dust it off and give it a go. Oh, how very British of me. “Give it a go, ol’ chap. You must be thirsty after that furious go you just had. Fancy a pint?”

A few months back, INSEAD released it’s 2006 Career Report which potential students and new admits eagerly peruse like crones over tea leaves, for indications of how much gold, frankincense, myrrh they can expect to have tithed to them upon graduation.

My issue isn’t with the content (though I have some issue with the potentially misleading numbers, but that’s fodder for another post) but rather with the cover, which I’ve attached below.

Career Report Cover

Analysis of 2006 Career Report cover

Cover: It’s sunny! There are pretty green trees! Hey, look at all the glass and steel around. This must be a modern building, full of high-tech wizardry and gadgetry, just like our school! It’s shiny, and we know how you all love shiny things. That’s why you’re getting an MBA after all, so you can score that €144K EUR salary and buy all the pretty, shiny things your black, black capitalist heart desires.

Reality: Though I have not seen the Fonty campus, current and past students say that it is constantly under (re)construction, and that any dose of modernity lost its relevance in the ’60s. INSEAD literature explicitly states that Macs are not supported, and that there is no WiFi in the amphitheaters. As Hallonman, NYFrog and other recent student bloggers can attest to, it’s not always sunny in France. Even in late May. Or June, for that matter.

Cover: Look at our crazily diverse student body!  Look at how representative of the world we are!  There are about 19.5 billion Asians on the earth, and growing, and the balance is made up of whites!  Let me present you with our Benetton Ad, Lite:

1) Shorter Asian woman, young-ish, in sandals and casual clothes smiling up at big white man.

2) Big, animated white man in shirt, slacks, dress shoes, explaining something to the younger, diminutive, (dare I say subservient?) Asian woman.

Reality: OK, what the hell. Why not just put her in a cheong sam, throw a pair of chopsticks in her hair and post a thought bubble with something to the effect of “Five dowah, ruv you rong time” and complete the picture?

If INSEAD is going to play the diversity angle to sell the school, at least put a few non-Caucasians on the cover. Would it be so hard to portray up an Indian female or for that matter, a mid-30s Indian male IT professional with 12+ years of post-IIT graduate experience who wants to change careers and be an I-banker or management consultant?  Te he.  INDIANSEAD jokes will never get old.

Maybe a black male? Oh, wait, J08 has all of n blacks, where n is less than or equal to .00314159

To add insult to injury, the big white man is probably a frog too, since the French still make up a disproportionate 10% of the class.

So much for diversity.


July 27, 2007

I’m a Russell Peters fan. If you haven’t seen his stand up, block out an hour of your life and search YouTube for the Comedy Now segment. Below is one of my favorite RP clips.

Growing up around a smörgåsbord of languages, surrounded by friends of all backgrounds, I’ve always appreciated the nuances and accents behind the world’s tongues, which partly explains why I find Mr. Peters so funny.

A friend sent me the following clip of Anjelah Johnson who sounds like an up-and-coming female version of RP.

Some have accused Mr. Peters and his ilk of being a racist and exploiting his own race for personal gain.  These same people no doubt find Hello Kitty and Teletubbies offensive as well.  And to them, I say, in my best Cantonese accent, which really isn’t very good,

“Yoh mutha is soooooo fat…”


July 24, 2007

I love American tourists. They’re so cute. I want to take one home in one of those shoulder-slung LV dog carrier that American females seem so fond of. I saw two while I was traveling. One would’ve been bad enough, but two? Break out the nuclear football and end it now, please.

Overheard while on vacation:

American girl to another American girl: “Getting ripped off is, like, a part of traveling, y’know? It’s like being a local!”

American girl to another American girl: “Ew, this isn’t pizza! There’s onion under the cheese!”

American guy to another American guy: “Dude, <points at sign stating ‘Massages: $25 / h’> do you think that’s a happy-ending massage?”

American girl to another American girl: “Like, I never say I’m American when I go places. I always tell people I’m Canadian. People like Canadians better!”

This one always bugs me. Sure, the current Administration may not be the best, but when did misinformation and obfuscation trump patriotism? What’s next, Chinese claiming Japanese heritage? Armenians pretending to be Turkish? Come on people, grow some backbone and stand up for yourselves and your homelands. When Americans are actively pretending to be maple syrup drinking, tree-hugging, French babbling Canadians, God of Groundhogs help us all.

American girl to another American girl: “Where was the bomb on the bus again?”

This one went down on one of those low-slung, bus-like airport people movers which was shuttling a planeload of passengers from our aircraft to the immigration building. Apparently, they were talking about the similarity of the bus to the one in the movie “Speed,” but this comment was stupid enough that I had to comment and tell her that it wasn’t very funny.

American guy/bar owner to Norwegian couple/patrons: “I’m from Santa Monica, California so it’s safe to say that I KNOW beaches and I KNOW surfing!”

The speaker was about 5’8″ and 250 pounds. Of fat. The only time he ever saw a beach in LA was when he went down to the pier to stuff his face with funnel cake. The Norwegians on the other hand, were tall, tan, fit and looked like they were born on the beach. Weird. Must be all that snow.

It felt wrong to be off the grid for so long, but that was probably my last opportunity to unplug for, uh, well, forever. Back to the intravenous NV drip and constantly refreshing Gmail.

T-Minus less than a month.Pura Vida


July 23, 2007

All’s quiet on the INSEAD blogger front.  Is this the calm before the storm, or did everyone fall off the flat face of the planet?

Granted it’s T-minus 30 days and change, but come on, folks, one of you besides Res I(p)sa can and should update with something other than a post which stokes the fire of my manic-depressive, potentially homicidal rage.


June 25, 2007

PW:Today is Take Your Dog to Work Day

Me: Did you bring your dog to work?

PW: nope

I don’t have one

I was gonna bring my cousin’s

But, I couldn’t take the pug without making the min pin jealous

Me: Those sound tasty.

PW: Every now and then, I dream of sticking an apple into the 30-pound pug’s mouth and sticking him on a rotisserie

Dogs are like kids. I like playing with them and being able to hand ’em back to their owners once the cute factor has run out.


June 20, 2007

Account Created:
October 28, 2005 10:23 PM

Account Expires:
June 20, 2007 3:41 AM


“This too shall pass.”


June 16, 2007

Edit: Split in to two posts since one really made no sense.

Cosa seria de la dia: Where are you on the political compass? If you want to read a good post and serious discussion, check out Gabriel’s blog.

You’re in the wrong place if you’re looking for either “good” or “serious” stuff.

Find out where you are on the compass, here.

According to this, I’m a Kalishnikov-toting, big business loving, anarchic maniac. So much for being a centrist. Rad.

Economic Left/Right: 3.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.41