Sunday March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008


Only one whisky tonight. What’s wrong with me? I tried having beer instead of a second pour. It tasted like water. Gah.

I’ve been searching for Christmas songs on YouTube for the last three hours. Gloria In Exelsis Deo, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night and all sorts of Latin (OK, Silent Night isn’t exactly Latin) hymns I fuzzily recall from Sundays many moons ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Somehow I ended up listening to 16 versions of Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

This one’s for you, Danny:


Saturday March 29, 2008 ii

March 29, 2008


I woke up ~0600 to daybreak, freezing, half-dressed in yesterday’s crumpled clothes, lying on top of the sheets with my laptop open to some mind-numbing game, wondering what the hell happened.  Must’ve been another steamroller.  No; I wasn’t drinking last night. I guess the exhaustion and confusion finally caught up. It’s been a really trying week, heavily back-loaded with, well, everything.

“Forget <insert menial job here>, you need to write,” said an email from a high school friend, who I see every couple of years. Where has writing gotten me?  No one likes to read about success, so I suppose I’ve got a lot of material to go on. There comes a point, though, where the shit I type becomes too depressing, even for me.

It’s time to make a move. Well, at least from this west wing cubicle where I’ve been parked since this afternoon, trying to hammer out an assignment for Industry and Competitive Analysis.  Great class, but way too much work. It’s like Corporate Entrepreneurship all over again, except Karel Cool (M) isn’t as pretty as Michelle Rogan (F). The dregs of the Balvenie bottle beckon. To infinity, and beyond!


March 28, 2008

This blog is a month and a half shy of its first birthday, and about a day and a half away from the 20,000 hits mark. You’ve had a front-row seat since the beginning. From the acceptance euphoria to the madness of P1/P2, to the psychological barometer and exhaust pipe that this platform has become, you’ve seen it all, and then some.

I figured I owed you a notice, at the very least. I’m taking down the shingle for a while. Maybe I’ll revisit the paper journal, or maybe I’ll just give up writing indefinitely. Who knows? I sure as hell don’t anymore. I’m leaving it all organic-like.

So yeah; maybe I’ll see you tomorrow. Maybe I’ll see you on the flip-side. Until we meet again.

“It’s like these pies and cakes. At the end of every night, the cheesecake and the apple pie are always completely gone. The peach cobbler, and the chocolate mousse cake are nearly finished. But there’s always a whole blueberry pie left untouched.”

“So what’s wrong with the blueberry pie?”

“There’s nothing wrong with the blueberry pie. It’s just people make other choices. You can’t blame the blueberry pie. It’s just, no one wants it.”

“My Blueberry Nights”

Mea culpa

March 26, 2008

After a screening of Ordinary People in PIM yesterday, we were asked to write down any learnings we derived from the film, assuming that it was an accurate representation of reality. My first point, in 700 font, bold, underlined, italicized was, “Sometimes, people can’t love you ME the way you I want/expect them to, no matter how hard you I try.”

A corollary to that is, “You can’t please everyone, all of the time.” And that’s one thing I’ve never been able to internalize. I somehow always end up pleasing those who don’t matter, and pissing off those who do.

So this is a public apology for a public fuck-up to someone who matters a lot, and whom I love dearly. I’m sorry.

Rubber Ducky

March 22, 2008

The dawn is breaking
A light shining through
You’re barely waking
And I’m tangled up in you

I’m open, you’re closed
Where I follow, you’ll go
I worry I won’t see your face
Light up again

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide

I’m quiet you know
You make a first impression
I’ve found I’m scared to know I’m always on your mind

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the stars refuse to shine
Out of the back you fall in time
I somehow find
You and I collide

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to ryhme
Out of the doubt that fills your mind
You finally find
You and I collide

You finally find
You and I collide
You finally find
You and I collide

“Collide” – Howie Day


I took a bath this evening, for the first time in years. Isn’t it strange that we humans attempt to relax by immersing our bodies in scalding hot water? All in all it wasn’t so bad, though the local bathtub would’ve been small for Res I(p)sa, let alone my fat ass.

Why the attempt to relax? I dunno; I was bored, alone, and didn’t feel like working. Oh yeah, and I was pissed off after a day of endless disappointment. Now mind you, I’m no stranger to let downs. As a matter of fact, every new one just validates my cheery outlook on life. But there’s only so much even I can take. Prioritized, stood up, and bad news from home, one after another, does nothing for my well being. Thus a bath, with good whisky, ashtray and case reading in tow. Yeah, yeah; there’s that Type A again, trying to do 18,451,904 things at once.

I should sleep, but I’ve just poured a bad whiskey and soda that I’d feel bad leaving sat about. So off I go to stare at the mountainous piles of work that I really wouldn’t mind accidentally dropping a lit cigarette on while I nurse this acrid drink.

Bon nuit.

The Gap

March 22, 2008

It’s a long road
When you’re on your own
And it hurts when
They tear your dreams apart
And every new town
Just seems to bring you down
Trying to find peace of mind
Can break your heart
It’s a real war
Right outside your front door I tell ya
Out where they’ll kill ya
You could use a friend
Where the road is
That’s the place for me
Where I’m me in my own space
Where I’m free that’s the place
I wanna be
‘Cause the road is long yeah
Each step is only the beginning
No breaks just heartaches
Oh man is anybody winning
It’s a long road
And it’s hard as hell
Tell me what do you do
To survive
When they draw first blood
That’s just the start of it
Day and night you gotta fight
To keep alive
It’s a long road …

“It’s a Long Road” – Dan Hill


20:00. I’m empty. Really, really empty. PIM slammed the hell out of me today. Playing into Fernando’s constant reminder that we’re all closet alcoholics, I came home and kicked back a dram, neat, and cooked. I’ve been accused of being a basketcase when I cook, stressing too much (Type A personality, you know) over every little detail, and never having anything ready on time. Tonight, I was only cooking for myself, which in terms of quantity, translates to about 65 portions instead of the usual 130. As my veggies simmered, I went on a hunt for housemates, looking for someone to feed, only to find nary a hint of light peeping out from cracks, and nothing but pitch black darkness. Perhaps that’s what I need tonight: abyssal silence. Yet I know what I really need, after Fernando’s lecture. But it’s not really much of a possibility. If I ask, I’ll fall and lose, which, after further consideration, is what I’ll do anyway.

Peeling the Onion: Why do I like to cook? To feed people. Why do I like to feed people? To feel needed. Why do I need to feel needed? Because there’s a titanic gap between my self-ideal and self-esteem. There, that feels better.

Or not.

We read a nice, cheery piece about a highly successful man who killed himself in class this evening. Bartolome asked how many of us were familiar with suicide, either through family, friends, or people we’d worked with. About a quarter of the class raised their hand. I sat there wondering what kind of stories everyone had to live with every day. What kind of demons is everyone harboring? How many of my classmates have walked up to the casket of a friend to find an unnaturally serene, made-up husk of the person they once knew, dressed to the nines, with fifteen bullet holes in his chest? How fucking many? What the fuck do people here know about stories?

How do you fight existential angst? How the fuck can you even begin to fathom the human condition? Sure, the existence thereof makes us appreciate the joys of little things. The sun peeking out from high cirrus after a storm. The smell of wet grass drifting on the wind as I take a long drag on a smoke. The fundamental rightness of physical intimacy. The knowledge that I’m not alone…

How do I reconcile the pluses and minuses? Who the fuck can I drop the mask for, and how can I be sure they won’t push me away when they see me, like so many have? Am I loved for the conception of being, or for the real deal?

105 days left, dear reader. Live it alone, or go out in a goddamn blaze of glory? I’ve already made the call, this time without considering the input of fucking idiots who, though well intentioned, don’t have a fucking clue.

It’s on you.

“We get sick alone. We die alone.”
-F. Bartolome

And nothing but…

March 21, 2008

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long
And wouldn’t it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

Happy times together we’ve been spending
I wish that every kiss was never ending
Wouldn’t it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
We could be married
And then wed be happy

Wouldn’t it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Wouldn’t it be nice

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Beach Boys


I should be in bed, recovering from the week’s worth of madness and back-to-back nights of company presentations, career fairs, shitty hors devours, bad champagne and threadbare suits.   Instead, I’m sitting in this rickety chair, hammering away at this rickety keyboard, wondering why this rickety blogger can’t bring itself to reply to the countless “where have you gone and what the hell has happened to you” emails that are collecting dust in various inboxes, nor to write the all-important, ass-kissing cover letters required for the numerous interviews I won’t get, for jobs I’m not really sure I want.

On the upside, classes this period have been excellent thus far. Granted, there haven’t been more than a handful of sessions for any subject, but I’m already a fan of both the content and the professors, especially “Negotiations Strategies” with Ayse Öncüler.

Last Friday, we discussed a few key ideas in negotiation, one of which was Degrees of Truth, of which there are varying iterations, all considered “the truth.”

Why wouldn’t everyone use the maximum degree, I wonder? This ties in with a topic we covered in PIM about espoused values (values which you proclaim to uphold) versus _______ values (values which you actually exercise in daily life). The value of “honesty” was brought up, and I’m sure many a student in class counted it among their espoused values, but probably don’t live it 75%, let alone 100%.

It’s really no surprise then, that life is lived and played like one big game, but it still makes me wonder. Sure, I’ve played the game, and I still do, to some degree, but as I get older, I see less and less point in obfuscation and misinformation. I’m bound to get some readers who are shaking their heads so hard at my perceived naivete that their vertebrae are in danger of snapping like kindling, but it’s their right to laugh.

Does this make me guilty of seeing the world in shades of black and white? Probably.

Is it wrong of me to try to keep some ideals alive in that lump of coal known as my soul? Probably.


    March 18, 2008

    I have the saddest feeling
    Deep inside
    Don’t think that I will hear
    From you tonight

    (bridge 1)
    Now the moon lights up
    I know the stars will shine
    But I can’t escape
    The way I feel inside

    Every shade of blue I see
    When you’re away from me
    Thinking about you Oh Oh
    Thinking about you
    Every shade of blue I cry
    ‘Til the colours all run dry
    When I’m without you Oh Oh
    When I’m without you

    Alone in the darkness
    I can dream of you
    But always the daylight
    Comes around too soon

    (bridge 2)
    And the night goes on
    Feels like it never ends
    I keep holding on
    ‘Til you come back again


    (bridge 2)

    (chorus ad lib) 

    “Every Shade of Blue” – Banarama


    I’ve got one foot in a rift in the space-time continuum, and the other in some strange alternate reality that my life has become.  You know what else I’ve got?  No idea what’s going on.  The endless zerg of company presentations and consulting applications has something to do with it, but so does the “WTF?!” aspect of the last couple of days.


    I thought I was lost before.  What the hell does that make me now?


    March 17, 2008

    Aaaaand they’re off.  The first round of consulting applications came due at the stroke of midnight, and I haven’t seen anyone turn into a pumpkin yet.  My head’s still spinning from cover letters, CV edits and random lightning strikes.

    The company presentation circus is rolling into town again this week, and I don’t have any non-wrinkled business attire to sport.  Oh well; that part of life can wait, for now.  In the meantime, it’s time to try my hand at that sleep thing before I get hit by another runaway meteor.

    Kool Kids

    March 16, 2008

    What am I to you
    Tell me darling true
    To me you are the sea
    Vast as you can be
    And deep the shade of blue

    When you’re feeling low
    To whom else do you go
    See I cry if you hurt
    I’d give you my last shirt
    Because I love you so

    If my sky should fall
    Would you even call
    Opened up my heart
    I never want to part
    I’m giving you the ball

    When I look in your eyes
    I can feel the butterflies
    I love you when you’re blue
    Tell me darlin’ true
    What am I to you

    Yah well if my sky should fall
    Would you even call
    Opened up my heart
    Never want to part
    I’m giving you the ball

    When I look in your eyes
    I can feel the butterflies
    Could you find a love in me
    Could you carve me in a tree
    Don’t fill my heart with lies

    I will you love when you’re blue
    Tell me darlin’ true
    What am I to you
    What am I to you
    What am I to you

    “What Am I To You” – Norah Jones


    I lazed the day away, enjoying a late, languid lunch after an afternoon grocery trip on which I ended up buying yet another bottle of whisky. Good move, as I think it’ll be one of those nights. I spent the rest of the day playing games, watching the hours tick away. Life would be so much easier, according to Fernando, if no one played games and everyone called it like it is. Replace “you’re so smart,” with “you’re stunning.” Get rid of “let’s go out to dinner,” and substitute, “let’s get naked.” Abandon the, “You’re a great friend,” and call in the “I’m seeing someone else.” Ditch the “You’re so _____,” and just say, “I love you.”

    Chateau Villecerf threw a gig this evening, in the northern part of their compound (that place is more like an estate, split into Upper and Lower houses nestled in the midst of French farmland). Unfortunately for us P4s, the P2s had the upper hand when it came to numbers, and the few faces I recognized were off drinking or dancing to the strangest beats, necessitating an early exit on my part. No worries though, as I’ve got my friends Dalwhinnie, Laphroaig and Johnny Walker to keep me company.

    Ah, friends; what a fickle lot they are. Fear not, for I know I can always count on the aforementioned three and their brethren wherever I am in the world. Except for Saudi Arabia, of course. If I end up there, I’ll be drinking ethanol that I brew in a bathtub. Here’s to not working in Mecca. Is that sacrilegious? If so, sorry to all of the burqa-sporting folk out there. Salam Aleikum. Don’t worry it’s not you. I hate all people equally. I suppose that precludes me from ever being a true Rogerian.

    “When you don’t meet people in the real world, it’s hard to keep the friendships going.”

    In 111 days, probability says that I won’t see my INSEAD J’08 classmates ever again. Somewhere along this roller coaster of a year, I was asked, “What’s the point?” My answer was something along the lines of, “To enjoy the ride. For the good times. For happiness.” I’m not sure any of that holds water anymore.

    What is the point?

    The year is shaping up to be as clique-ish as middle school. Lo and behold, I’m not part of any of the clans, partly by choice and partly by reality. I’ve always been a straddler; never here nor there, flitting between the nerds, the cool kids, the rebels and everything in between, a smoke dangling between slender fingers, a glass clutched in scarred hands. All we want is a little contact, right? A bit of validation that none of us are alone in this world. A high-five, a hug, a cuddle, a kiss, a never ending night of rapture. That’s all we need, right?


    You’re on your own, kiddo. No one’s going to look out for #1 except yourself. If only, after all these years, I could listen to myself on that count.