Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pepe Le Pew

One thing about living in abroad... you get used to people not getting movie and tv references that everyone back in the US would understand. And as someone who is mildly obsessed with movies, I sometimes find it hard to explain myself in simple language. Yes, sometimes I talk in script.

Tonight Atsh and I had a funny conversation about the different ways men approach women and I told him that some follow the "Pepe le Pew technique," which tends not to work. Sadly, Atsh had never heard of Pepe le Pew. (And, in fact, no one here ever gets my Pepe le Pew references, so it's not Atsh's fault. Pepe also happens to be one of the most under-utilized of the Looney Tunes crew, and never suffered the overexposure that Bugs and the Roadrunner had to deal with.) That is, until tonight, when I went on YouTube and found....THIS. Atsh is now a Pepe fan too.

Behold, Pepe in all his glory.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Good morning

I got home from Sports Management class at 9:30 tonight and, faced with the prospect of writing a paper for Globalization (I've already submitted two unnecessary ones) simply couldn't find it in my heart to get down to work. So after reading the case, I was more motivated to entertain myself with a particularly funny clip (for me, anyway) from our Finland trip.

My flatmates, George and Marco, on a typical non-school morning. Though we're not typically in Finland...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Finland Forever!

I made this little movie on Wednesday evening... further proof of my procrastination capabilities.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

2nd Year

An interesting thing about the second year of the MBA is that it seems to be busier than ever. Here I thought I'd be like a 4th-Quarter high school senior, coasting through classes and relaxing on the quad. Instead I managed to pick some seriously difficult courses in this final term, though I must say that I genuinely like every single one of them, and some more than I'd expected.

Meanwhile, in the last three days I've been completely busy, but have spent maybe 2% of my time studying . Organizing IESE's participation in the MBA Olympics (and editing movies for it), photographing the Venture Capital Competition, phone interviews, soccer, rugby, dinners, BOWs, classes.... So this weekend I vow to buckle down and study, because the coming week looks like a tough one. And now here I am writing on the blog... I'm still a 99th percentile procrastinator!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

White Lines (Don't Do It)

No, this post is not about white gold (though it's probably better not to do that, either) but about a question that dates back to long ago.

Why, in a city with so many people on motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles, do they use THE MOST SLIPPERY PAVEMENT PAINT ON EARTH?????

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Super Saturday

The downside of Global Warming? No snow in the mountains and the possibility that the annual IESE Ski Trip will be cancelled. The upside? Beautiful sunny 75 degree weather, perfect for a motorcycle trip to Montseny! (Don't tell my parents. They'd kill me.)

The plan was to go there for lunch, but it seems everyone in Barcelona had the same plan, so we needed a reservation and all of the restaurants were packed. Whoops. We made one for an hour and a half later, drove around the mountain some more, took in some beautiful views, and then finally ate enough food to feed a small African nation.

Two minor crashes and six hours later, we were back in Barcelona. That's another great thing about the second year. An opportunity arises to do something fun? Just go for it. After all, we have less than 3 months left... so we have to pack as much fun and adventure in as possible before reality (aka work) sets in again.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Sometimes there's absolutely NOTHING better than politely declining all dinner invitations, chilling in the house in your smelly rugby clothes after all your roommates have left for dinner, reading the same page of a case over and over because you're quietly reminiscing about the past year and a half, and blasting Bon Jovi (and Billy Ocean - YESSSS!) on the stereo while you get psyched up for the BOW on the hill.

Okay Mirabe, here I come! I promise to shower first! After "You Give Love A Bad Name" is over...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Day of R&R

After two break-neck days, our first "Job Search Day" of the term was a welcome respite. Having never truly experienced jetlag before, I was shocked on Sunday and Monday nights when I had absolutely no interest in sleeping even at 3am. It finally took its toll yesterday, when I started to get faceplant tired. I'm delighted to be staying in Barcelona for the next few weeks.

Fortunately we had no classes today, which meant that I could sleep in a little, finally organize my cases for the term, do some laundry, clean my room a bit, do the mega shopping expedition with George and Atsh, and yes... even write cover letters and do a bit of the old job search for which our special day was named.

Tomorrow I'm back to my regular Thursday schedule, which means a lunch meeting for the MBA Olympics, Social Entrepreneurship class from 2-5, and rugby practice till 7:30. Dinner at Rafa's afterward, and then the BOW! Whew, that's a full day right there. I'm finding it's good to keep busy these days. If I have too much free time I start thinking about life after the MBA and I'm just not quite ready for that yet...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Last year last term, or first year first term?

Wow. Today I totally got my butt kicked. Six classes, starting at 9:45am and ending at 8:30pm, only to get home around 9 and realize ... it's happening again tomorrow! With cases to prepare for every single one! Doh!

My schedule for today included all my new classes:

9:45 Globalization & Strategy - very entertaining, cool Harvard prof, but very distracting camera men all around the room and monitors set up in such a manner that we could see when closeups were being done on our nose hairs

11:15 Diplomacy & the Art of Management - a favorite IESE professor, always full of good stories, but we have to be ready to stand up and give a speech every day?!?! Good thing I tend to prefer to do these things unprepared.... (I've convinced myself it's more natural.)

12:30 LUNCH! Wait,no... It's time to sign people up for the annual IESE ski trip. We're still hoping there will be snow by then.

2:00 Entrepreneurial Finance - despite an annoying thumping noise that continued intermittently throughout the class, I managed to refrain from being annoyed 100% of the time and even managed some participation. Yeah baby. This class promises to be a lot of work, but I really never thought I'd be psyched about something with "finance" in the title... what has come over me?

3:30 Etica - taught in Spanish by a priest. Awesome. I always wondered what Catholic school was like! Sadly, no uniforms...

5:00 Data-driven Marketing Strategies - I'm actually wait-listed for this course and not sure I'll get in. We had the prof last year in the 2nd term... nice guy, very into this simulation that is a major part of the course. It'd be cool to get the class, but I'm not holding my breath.

6:30 Sports Management - Rad. What more could a girl want? (Besides for her beloved Chargers to have won last night.) Oh well. Onwards and upwards. March Madness will soon be upon us. Not that that's really any consolation.

The best part about a day like this is coming home at 9pm and realizing you have a submission due in 3 hours for a looooong case you haven't even started reading yet! Awesome! Well, cross that off the list. It's time to start the next one.

And by the way... happy birthday to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 15, 2007

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Mick Jagger was certainly correct... unfortunately. I have just stayed up until 2:30am on a Sunday night to watch my beloved Chargers botch their best chance at a Super Bowl in over 20 years. Well I can't even say I "watched" it because I was only able to keep up with the online play-by-play since I opted to not stay in a bar until the wee hours of the morning. My second disappointment in a week, the other being not getting a post-MBA gig I was really gunning for.

They say every cloud has a silver lining. So I guess this means I'll get a different job that I'm better suited for. Or marry a prince and never have to work again. But try as I might, I can't find the silver lining in the Chargers' loss. Well, I guess Patriots fans can find it...

Classes start in 7 hours. Guess I'd better get over it pretty quickly and get some shuteye.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Beating Santa

No trip to Lapland is complete without a visit to Santa Claus's office, and of course the obligatory chat and photo with ol' St. Nick.

The thing is, Santa is a very shrewd businessman (on top of being an expert in operations - how else could he deliver all those presents in one night?) and so you are not allowed to be photographed with Santa using your own camera. You must purchase a photo taken by one of Santa's elves ... for an inflated price, of course.

But 23 business students can find a way to foil even the cleverest of holiday inventions. Especially business students living in the digital age, who prefer jpg or pdf versions of everything anyway. So we bought a single print, divided the cost amongst ourselves, and scanned it so we can all have our very own copy in our preferred medium.

Thanks Santa! (I hope this doesn't mean I'm getting coal next year... anyway, Freddy did it!)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beckham in LA?

Becks just signed a five year deal to play for the LA Galaxy, meaning that he and Posh will start the final phase of their plans for world fame and domination: America. It'll be interesting to see if they succeed. And if Becks is able to call it "soccer" instead of football.

Buggy Thai, a sleepless night, three interviews, and back to BCN

I arrived back in NYC late Monday night feeling refreshed and rested after my weekend in the mountains. I spent Tuesday morning running errands, answering emails, and getting a haircut so I'd look somewhat presentable for my interviews and then met Annie for lunch in midtown near Fordham, where she's doing her MBA.

I had a hankering for Thai and we went to a place nearby that didn't look too sketchy... until I found a bug in my mound of rice. Fortunately I'd only had one bite at that point, and it didn't consist of bug. Having never actually been in such a situation before, I didn't know what do to, but finally decided the best option was to walk to the back with my plate and explain that we'd both sort of lost our appetites and would prefer to just quietly leave. The poor waiter was mortified and completely understanding, so we left. As we did, I noticed the girl at the next table checking through her pad thai. I guess you can only be so discreet when suddenly leaving a restaurant after only one bite of your lunch.

Having lost our appetites, we followed the advice of Guinness (it's good for you!) and had two pints at a nearby bar. Hey that stuff is chock full of iron! It's really strange to go into a bar at 2pm on a Tuesday. Who are these people who can hang out there at that time? Anyway we watched the end of the Chelsea/Fulham match and the beginning of Arsenal/Liverpool, and then it was time for Annie to study and get ready for her evening class.

So I went downtown to one of my old neighborhood haunts, The Grey Dog, to meet a friend for coffee. We chatted for a long time (during which Hugh Grant stopped in and then my first boss from Miramax happened to sit next to us) and I ended up having three cups of coffee I think. And this is strong coffee. So by the time I met my friend Michael for dinner at one of our regular spots, The Miracle Grill, I wasn't feeling very well. Might've been nerves as well, but whatever it was, I couldn't eat much.

So I got back up to Annie's by 10ish and was lying in bed, feeling nauseous, ready to fall asleep before 11. Unfortunately I was awakened only an hour later by the neighbors amorous exclamations and couldn't go back to sleep due to the afternoon's intense caffeine intake. Oops. When I finally did fall asleep I had a weird dream, woke up again, and couldn't fall asleep for another hour or so. Then around 5am I got a phone call on my Spanish phone, which would normally be off at night but which was on because it was serving as my alarm clock. It was Movistar, a Spanish phone company, calling to ask if I'd like to switch my mobile service provider. I was so confused at first, I thought it was part of my upcoming interview... I was sure they were checking to see if I could really speak Spanish. Then I realized it was a telemarketer and explained that I was in the US and really not interested in changing my phone plan at 5am.

An hour later, my alarm went off and it was time to get ready for my interviews. Which went well, or as well as they could have gone. It's done now and all that's left to do is wait and see! At the very least, it has been a great experience and it has gotten me to NYC twice in a month, so I can't complain. And maybe tomorrow I'll get some good news.

The good thing about not sleeping much the other night is that last night on the plane I barely kept my eyes open for more than a minute. I had a whole row of seats to myself so I was able to stretch out and really sleep. The bad thing is that now I have to prepare a case for my first class at 2pm, Social Entrepreneurship. Hard to believe the last term is already starting!

Monday, January 08, 2007

End: First Ski Bunny Weekend of Season

This is why I love Utah:

And this is yet another reason to love Snowbird (as if I needed one!)... they just opened up this sweet tunnel, which took 2 summers and beaucoup bucks. You take the lift to the top of the mountain and then just cruise through this and you're at the basin on the other side. This is key for people (like me) who feel barfy on the tram:

You ride through on a conveyor belt! How cool is that?! My only regret... I didn't see what happens when people fall over.

And this is why I love my mom. It's true... blondes have more fun! (And a harder time using water fountains.)

So this is why I'm sad to leave Utah today.

Tonight I'll be back in New York, where I'll have some big interviews Wednesday morning before heading back to Barcelona that night for class on Thursday.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ski Utah!

On Wednesday I was in Finland. On Thursday I was in Spain and then New York. And as of Friday night I've been in Utah with my mom for some serious skiing! I learned yesterday that this spontaneous, impulsive travel bug I have is actually a gene which was passed down from my dad, who decided at the last minute to join us from Boston, where he has meetings all week. The family that gains frequent flier miles together stays together!

Anyway, unlike the rest of the world, Utah has been blessed with plenty of snow this winter, and yesterday my mom and I spent the whole day carving some sweet fresh powder. Don't we look fabulous? We took to wearing helmets after a close family friend (and pro world cup skier) got her face smashed by a novice boarder while minding her own business, waiting in a lift line. They also help us conceal our secret agent identities. I recommend them highly to all future international superspies and to skiers and boarders who like their faces just the way they are.

Okay back to the slopes!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Back from Finland... Off To New York

I have been home in Barcelona for two hours now, and I'm currently in the process of doing laundry and packing for Phase III of the holiday season: New York / Utah!

First of all, Finland was INCREDIBLE and I urge everyone who has never been there to check it out. If you like winter sports, you will be beside yourself with happiness in Lapland. The days are short this time of year (4 hours of light) but that didn't stop us from trying all sorts of new things: snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and reindeer sledding, to name a few. Juha was the perfect host, even as our group grew to 25 on New Year's Eve, so many thanks to him for putting us up at his incredible house and showing us how to live it up in Lapland.

Despite being warned about -30C temperatures, we were all pleasantly surprised when it never really got much colder than -10C. Which was cold enough! This is apparently the third warmest Finnish winter in a thousand years, but I think they just tell us those scary freezing stories to scare the tourists so the truth about their awesome winter playground doesn't get out!

More photos and details to come, but for now here are a few choice pix:

The Arktikum, a cool natural history museum in Rovaniemi, Dec 29

Dec 30, happy to be with friends and playing in the snow

With smelly reindeer pelts ... 8:30am Dec 31

Snowshoeing and sledding ... 11am Dec 31
New Year's Eve dinner all together at Juha's

The "Snow Bar" in the driveway, New Year's Eve

Juha's house, New Year's Eve

After driving a snowmobile to the top of the world... 10am Jan 1 (New Year California time!)

A reindeer at the reindeer ranch, Jan 1

Feeding reindeer

Cross-country skiing yesterday around noon

Just off the night train from Rovaniemi to Helsinki this morning, 8:45am

This morning on a boat in Helsinki

Tomorrow morning I am on a flight to New York, where I will spend a night at the Annie Bananie Hotel before heading to Utah for a ski weekend Friday evening. Friday morning I have a second round interview over the phone, just to keep things interesting. Back to New York Monday night and I'll have Tuesday to relax before a final round interview early Wednesday morning. Then it's back to Barcelona on the redeye for my first day of classes on Thursday. At least I can never complain of boredom!