Archive for the ‘Feed Me’ Category

Semana

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.

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Surreal

August 26, 2007

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Surreal: sur·re·al–adjective

 

1.

Having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic: surreal complexities of the bureaucracy

Do you ever get the feeling that you’ve transcended The Twilight Zone and stepped straight in to an Impressionist painting, as the petal of a sunflower? That pretty much sums up the last couple days of my life in Fontainebleau.

Loads of fellow students are arriving in earnest now.  I was on campus the other day and the place was packed.  As “international” and “diverse” INSEAD is, supposedly, the cliques are forming.

The Red Corner is getting together.  Punjabi groups are getting together.  American crews are getting together.  What happened to learning from each other? 

The first chateau party is tonight.  Let’s see if they live up to their reputations.

Turista

June 26, 2007

This weekend was interesting. Tasked with taking the teenage son of a family friend around town in order to spare him the misery of having to hang out with old folks catching up on times he’s only read of in history books, I hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to burn an entire day’s worth of time. How on earth do I keep a 16 year old boy entertained, I thought? Quiet, you. He can’t drink, can’t gamble, can’t get in to clubs, and is probably just discovering that the opposite sex doesn’t have cooties. This sounds like a job for Captain Google Maps!

So I spent Saturday playing tourist in my own city. If you’ve never done this, give it a try. It’s neat. You get to see and do all sorts of things regularly taken for granted. I realized I’d never actually eaten at that famous greasy spoon where the line for a table stretches around the block at any time of day during any day of the week, or strolled down the pretentious shopping boulevard lined with luxury boutiques while working on a horribly overpriced sugar cone full of delicious rich creamy cherry-flavored gelato, or seen those famous landmarks so up close and personal that it required a drive up back roads and dirt trails.

Sunday found me in the scorching sun with a friend who I probably won’t see for years, as we’re both off to graduate school in very different parts of the world. What better way to spend the day than mixing bad local lager, Jägermeister and .223 rounds? Two days later, my right shoulder still feels like someone took a meat tenderizer to it.  For 17 hours.

Requisite sunset shot below.  Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

Hodge Sunset

Exterioridades

June 25, 2007

I’m not sure “externalities” really translated correctly in to Spanish, but oh well.

This blog is #7 on Google for the search term “si volviera a nacer.”  Who knew that posting lyrics of a catchy pop song would increase my standing in the Spanish-speaking market segment?
I wonder if this’ll work with the English-speaking audience…

Oh baby baby, how was I supposed to know
Oh pretty baby, I shouldnt have let you go
I must confess that my loneliness
Is killin me now
Dont you know I still believe
That you will be here
And give me a sign, hit me baby one more time

Ordenador

June 22, 2007

Does anyone have, or have access to, a working EPP code for Lenovo?  Preferably one I won’t get thrown in prison for using.  I’m trying to convince myself to buy a Thinkpad again.  Let me know, I’ll love you long time and make it worth your while, somehow.

dtlf08-nospam-@gmail.com

Remove the -nospam-.

Manejar

June 19, 2007

I Google Mapped my drive from CDG to the greater Fonty area, and I don’t think I could draw a more convoluted path if I ingested a blender full of LSD and Magic Mushrooms. Aren’t highways supposed to be straightforward?  I have a few questions regarding the highway system in France, and would greatly appreciate it if a French reader (I know you’re out there) could shed light on the following:

  • How does the toll system work?
  • Are all highways tolled?
    • If so, how frequently?
  • How much do tolls cost?
  • Are toll booths manned, or automated?
    • If automated, are there change machines and are they credit card compatible?
  • Is there a better way from CDG to Fonty other than the 15 step, 8 highway labyrinthine path that Google Maps spits out?
  • Where can I find Carne Asada in Paris?

Obviously, the last question is the most important. Anyone able to point me to a source of decent carne asada in the greater Paris area will be rewarded with a delicious beer. Provided you come to collect it, of course.