Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Deposit, sent and received

In all my posting about this past weekend, I forgot to mention that last Thursday, I made it official with a $1000 check Fed Ex'd to Hyde Park...Chicago, I hope you're ready because here I come.

The beginning of the end

Saturday was an awesome, long day that started shortly after dawn. My alarm went off at 6:30 am and I was totally out of it..."what f'n day is it and why is my alarm going off?" Ah yes, wakeboarding! I picked up A. and we met B. and his daughter at Lake Elsinore at 8:30. It was such a beautiful today and several other wakeboarding friends were also hitting the lake, so it was a very social day. The wind was down and conditions were pretty good, so we all had some nice sets. Even though the sun was out and the air temp was near 70, we still sported the dry suit, which is kinda like wearing a big baggy garbage bag with seals around your wrists, ankles, and neck. It's funny because the air that gets trapped inside is warmed by your body, so when you jump in the cold water it expands and the damn drysuit blows up and makes you look like the Michelin man, until you burp it. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get one last ride in So-Cal this weekend before I head north.

Saturday evening was my official farewell party. A few of my friends are out of town next weekend, so we had the official party this weekend even though this whole next week and a half will be my farewell party tour of San Diego. We met up at PB Bar & Grill around 4 pm to get things started with some beers and the Arizona-Illinois game. We had a pretty good turnout and it was happy hour so our tabs weren't too out of control. They only forced two shots on me, so it was pretty easy to control the pace of alcohol consumption and not get sick (and not have a hangover for Easter Sunday). As I said in a previous post, we ended the night at Sandbar and I was passed out in my own bed by 1 am. Not too shabby.

For Easter Sunday, we got a group together for Beers & Brats at the Bay. Played some Washers, played some Bocce, had some friendly wagers (one guy fit 15 Peeps in his mouth) and enjoyed good company.

Please help me root for Illinois this weekend. By some stroke of luck, I've managed to end up in contention in my NCAA pool. If they win, I finish in the money.

And if you haven't noticed, I've gotten more liberal about posting pics. My cover has been blown and I'm past the point of caring. All I ask is that you refrain from stalking me. I know it'll be a challenge, but I think y'all can handle it :)

Me, getting my wake on Saturday morning. Posted by Hello

A, my fellow San Diego Wakechick, driving the boat. Sticking your tongue out is key to a good pull. Posted by Hello

A. getting some air. Note the ponytail, that thing is like a whip. Posted by Hello

California, land of blonde women. My farewell party, I'm a just a little sunburnt from wakeboarding Saturday morning. Posted by Hello

Sunset over the Pacific, one of the things I'll miss most about San Diego Posted by Hello

Monday, March 28, 2005

Boys are shady

At least they are here in San Diego. Here are three recent examples to support this observation.
Last weekend, while watching basketball at our favorite sports bar, a friend's boyfriend's friend was very obviously running game on me. He went so far as to compliment the combination of my ass and my favorite Lucky jeans. Normally, this would be flattering and no big deal, however this cat has previously made attempts on two other chicks in our little circle of friends. Thanks, but I'll pass.

Friday evening I dropped my car off at Best Buy to have my new XM Radio installed (got the Delphi SkyFi2...love it). I had two hours to kill and the last two Sweet Sixteen games were on, so I set off to find a nearby bar. Hooters was the closest, but I wasn't too keen on going in there as female, party of one. I walked a little farther to Seau's, found a seat at the bar, had some dinner and a couple of beers, and chatted with the folks on either side of me. A while later a group of jokers ended up next to me and insisted on displaying how embarassingly little they knew about NCAA basketball...instant turnoff, and they weren't cute to start with. Best Buy called to let me know the install was done, so I closed out my tab amidst much protesting from the boys..."it's early, you can't leave" "pick up your car and come back" "you have to hang out with us." Um...no. Just because a girl is sitting at a bar by herself, enjoying a Guinness and mind her own business, does not mean she wants to be picked up.

Saturday night we ended up at Sandbar around midnight. I was talking to a friend of a friend of a friend and he kept trying to make out with me. You'd think after I dodged two or three passes, he'd figure out that I was not going to kiss him. Nope. I was pretty drunk (my farewell party was that night, recap coming soon if crappy ass Blogger cooperates), but not drunk enough to make out with someone at a bar. Here comes the shady part. Fast forward to this evening....as I'm leaving the grocery store, I spy Make Out Boy heading into the store with a girl, looking very domestic. What a joker. He's lucky I was in my car and not walking out of the store as he walked in, I may have "slipped" and said something.

Boys are fun, but they sure are trouble.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Chicago it is

Ding from Wharton. Oh well, so it goes. Glad I didn't wake up early to get the news. In a way, I'm relieved, makes things a lot simpler. If you haven't noticed, I'm really quite enamored with Chicago and my pro/con list favored the GSB (but I won't post it).

Deposit will be sent today and moving plans finalized. Feels great to finally say that.

Congrats to all the R2 Admits (shout out to Iceman...way to go), and best wishes to my fellow dingsters. Good luck to PowerYogi for LBS results!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Just under ten and a half hours to go until Wharton releases R2 decisions, and I'm feeling eerily calm and at peace. Probably because I'm fortunate enough to already have a very pretty bird in hand that I like an awful lot. I recognize that that has much to do with my current mental state. I have no expectations for tomorrow. I feel like I submitted a strong application, that I had a good interview, and that my profile is competitive, but this is the MBA admissions process so it could go either way. Not sure what my reaction will be. If I'm dinged, I'll be bummed, but I think I'll also be relieved that I can finally make a formal decision about where I'll be spending the next two years kinda by default. Bruised ego, but an easy decision. If I'm admitted, the next question will be...is there any money involved, and if so, how does the offer measure up to Chicago's? However, I don't want to make this sound like a purely financial decision. It is but one factor. I feel very strongly about Chicago and it will take something special to turn my head. After my two recent trips (to Philly for my interview, then to Chicago for the admit weekend), I have to say I felt a much stronger connection to the community of the GSB and there are specific things I like about Chicago that you can't find at Wharton. I've been working on a pro/con list, and if I'm admitted I'll share it tomorrow.

Pleasant dreams and best wishes to all my fellow Wharton R2 applicants.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

So, did I mention that the only other Financial Analyst in our office is also resigning, a week after me? Yeah, all project/ad-hoc work has screeched to a halt and we are now in full on process documentation mode. [sarcasm] Whoopee, my favorite activity! [/sarcasm] We may get the first replacement in as soon as next week, which would be awesome for knowledge transfer purposes. My boss had been warning the higher ups that this was coming (one way or another with my planned departure in August) and they needed to be prepared with backfill, but heel dragging has resulted in a fairly critical situation. We shall see how it plays out. I feel bad that my new departure date is so close to my co-worker’s d-day, but I know I’m doing the right thing for my family and myself and that is what is important. The world is not going to stop spinning, business will continue after I leave.

I’m really starting to sweat the release of Wharton R2 decisions. Mainly because I’m trying to book my interstate move & storage and I need to tell them whether it’s going to Chicago or Philly. I’m going the full service mover route and since they jack up prices in the summer, I’m going to take advantage of current prices and do the interstate move on the front end, and then keep my stuff in storage until I’ve secured an apartment in city TBD. The nice thing is, when you do the interstate move, the window for delivery is pretty big (7-17 days during the summer) but if my stuff is stored locally in Chi or Phil, the delivery window shrinks to 2-3 days. Way more convenient. When I was pricing just an interstate move a couple of months ago, I budgeted $2500-3500. Now, with 4-5 months of storage tacked on it’ll be more like $3500-4000. Yikes…there goes a big chunk of my year end bonus, the rest I’ll save for first months rent & school expenses. I know some people are of the “sell it all, travel light” mentality, but I really like my furniture and have some nice pieces, a couple of antiques from my grandparents that are important to me. I’m sad to part with the money, but it’s better than parting from precious items.

I’m still setting aside a little of my bonus for fun stuff. Normally, I’d buy new wakeboarding or snowboarding gear, but this year I’m getting satellite radio. With a 1000 mile drive to the Pacific Northwest on the near horizon (I'm pretty much driving from Mexico to Canada), and a 2000-3000 mile drive to either Chicago or Philly later this summer, I’m thinking satellite radio would be an excellent investment. Now I just have to decide between XM or Sirius. I’m leaning towards XM because they carry all MLB games and they have a deal to carry Pac-10 football & basketball games. This is an important factor for me, so I can follow the Mariners and the Cougars when I’m not in Washington. Any readers who subscribe to either service, feel free to leave a comment with your experience/recommendations.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Busted Bracket

Between yesterday's upsets of Syracuse and Kansas, and today's upset of Gonzaga, my bracket is officially toast. Pretty typical for me, I rock day 1 of the tournament, and by day 2 I'm done. So I guess now I'm rooting for Pacific to upset Washington and hoping that the slipper stays on for Cinderellas like Vermont & Bucknell. And I have a bunch of friends who are Arizona grads, so I guess I'm rooting for them too.

I still love tournament time. Wall-to-wall basketball, buzzer-beaters, overtime, upsets, win or go home. It's the most exciting playoff in sports.

And I'm glad I have TiVo so that I can watch the World Figure Skating Championships later tonight.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The wrath of St. Patrick

Hangover. Ugh.

First Irish Car Bomb around 5 pm during halftime of the Arizona-Utah State game. Zero to drunk in 5.3 minutes. Really didn't need to do two more later in the evening, but buckled under peer pressure as my friends were saying, "You're leaving us in three weeks....DRINK, BITCH!"

Ugh. There is a reason why I normally don't drink on weeknights.

I have to go interview a candidate for my replacement. Gotta get my game face on.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Curveball, explained

Short version: I put in 3 weeks notice to my boss on Tuesday and I'll be moving back to Washington state to start working at my parents' small business on April 11th.

Long version: I was chatting on the phone with my mom while driving home from wakeboarding Sunday afternoon. She sounded really stressed out and told me that the shit had hit the fan at work. They have had 3 people either quit or get fired in the last two weeks. When your ship is run by only 15 or so people, losing 3 can be crippling, especially when the loss is heaviest on the client services side of things. This is their livelihood, retirement, what have you, and things are not looking good. It didn’t take long before I offered to quit my job, put my crap in storage, and head north to help out. This is the one time in my life, with school on the horizon, that I can drop everything and help out without making much of a sacrifice career-wise. It was a no-brainer.

Mom was reluctant at first, fearing I was giving up too much, that it might put my MBA plans in jeopardy, that I won't have enough money saved before school considering they’ll only be able to pay me about half of what I’m making now. But as we talked through my current situation and the trade-offs, what I actually would and would not be giving up, she got pretty excited about my offer and said she’d talk to my father about it.

Fast forward to Monday morning. Long conversation with dad. Dad is very excited about the offer, asks me to sleep on it and really evaluate the financial implications before making a decision. At that point I was pretty much decided. I may be making more money right now, but I also spend a helluva lot more in San Diego than I will in small town Western Washington living at home. Plus, I’ve only worked for one company since undergrad, I don’t have any major projects in the pipeline for the next 5 months and I’m not getting promoted, certainly nothing to add to my resume. Either way, I’m treading water for the next 5 months until school starts. I can do it for a big corporation that really doesn’t care about me, or I can really make a difference for my parents’ business, drum up some new clients and implement some process improvements, have a bunch of new and different stuff to add to my resume and a completely different set of experiences to draw from when I’m in school. My efforts would have a purpose close to my heart, something I haven’t had from work in a long time.

While I’m sad to be leaving San Diego sooner than expected (who wouldn’t be?), I’m really excited by the opportunity to go home and contribute to the family business for a few months before school starts.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Life throws them at you. Sometimes they are good, and sometimes they are bad, but what's important is how you react. I had a curveball thrown at me Sunday afternoon. Changes are afoot. I will likely be spending the next 5-6 months before b-school differently than I originally planned. Can't get into the specifics yet, but I assure you its good stuff, it's just keeping me occupied right now and I need to figure some things out before I broadcast it to the internet.

I guess it's a good thing I'm occupied so I have something to fixate on other than the release of Wharton R2 decisions...T minus 1 week 1 day 10 hours and change as of this posting. The nerves haven't started yet, but I expect they'll be in full force next week.

Finally got to go wakeboarding on Sunday. After a nearly 3 month hiatus, it was awesome to get back on the water, even though it made me feel completely out of shape. Even if you work out, there are little muscles you use to wakeboard that you can't train and absolutely let you know their displeasure about their use the next morning.

This weekend is sure to be crazy, starting on Thursday with the St Patty's Day/First Day of the NCAA Tournament doubleheader. May have to play hooky from work on Friday, and I think I need to block off an hour on my schedule tomorrow to finalize my brackets for the office pool. Can't believe the University of Washington Huskies got a #1 seed, but as a Washington State University alum that means all the more pleasure for me when they get upset.

Friday, March 11, 2005

It's Thursday already?

(Well, almost Friday now)

Good lord, where has my week gone? Lots of excuses for being a lazy blogger. Busy at work, traveling in back-to-back weeks, got a friend in town this week, getting some stuff together for a yard sale on Saturday, etc etc etc. Haven't had time to do laundry, much less sit down and write up my trip to Chicago (and do it justice). So I'm forcing myself to put some thoughts together, not labor too much over it, while I watch Wazzu try to beat Stanford for the third time this year and advance to the Pac-10 conference semi-finals. Go Cougs! Thomas Kelati is on *FIRE* right now, draining 3s like nobody's business. Wish I was up at the Staples Center cheering them on in person.

So, Chicago. First off, let me clarify something from my previous post. 99% is less than 100%. The remaining 1% will be decided, either by Wharton or by me, on or about March 24th. How much weight that 1% carries remains to be seen.

Until then, I'm officially undecided.

Unofficially...I really like Chicago. A lot. I would be extremely proud and happy to be headed there this fall.

[Mid-post game update...1 minute to go, Schlatter just hit a 3 to put the Cougs ahead by one. Down the court, rejection by Verum...AWESOME, Go Cougs!]

I think Chicago (both the city and the GSB) fits me well. Things just felt right there, whether I was talking to current students or fellow admits, listening to faculty, or spending a night on the town with my friends. After reading blogger reports of the Kellogg & Wharton admit weekends, I was curious to see what Chicago would do. I wasn't too surprised to find it pretty light on style, heavy on substance. No rah-rah for the sake of rah-rah here.

[Speaking of rah-rah, 17 seconds to go, WSU is down by 2....ARRGGHHHH! C'mon Wazzu!!]

The majority of activities during the day Friday and Saturday were in the format of either a panel discussion or small group discussion. IMO, we spent a little too much time seated in a conference room with too few breaks, but there's only so many ways you can disseminate that much information in two days. And at times I wondered how much of this stuff will be repeated during pre-term activities. But those were my only complaints.

[Damn, Schlatter's 3 didn't fall. Stanford wins, 60-58. Stupid Cardinal, what kinda mascot is that anyway?]

I was very impressed by the faculty who participated in the weekend. They came off as approachable, extremely intelligent, open to new ideas, excited about teaching, and ready to crack a joke at any time. Some very witty folks (I must take a class from Ann McGill). I really got a taste for the classes available and I'm stoked that the program's flexibility will allow me to explore whatever my little heart desires. From the get-go. Very cool. Plus, I'm an econ nerd at heart, so the opportunity to take a class from Nobel prize winners like Fogel & Becker...well, that just rocks. I was also very impressed by the experiential learning programs that are available (management lab, private equity lab, new venture lab/challenge).

A couple of phrases used by the faculty stood out in my mind as an apt description of the GSB. It's the "intellectual equivalent of Manhattan" where "ideas compete and people collaborate." Sounds a little grandiose, but seriously, you could feel this vibe in everything we did, and I don't think it was affected or put on. The description seemed as genuine as the people who spoke it. I got the sense that this is a program with momentum. They've got incredible intellectual capital, a great brand, a beautiful new building, and recruiting just keeps getting better.

The faculty and staff are serious about making sure their students leave the GSB with a timeless education and a toolbox ready for whatever business issue comes their way. I feel like everyone at the GSB is serious about learning, and not just focused on getting a job and having fun. Chicago definitely appeals to my intellectual side. That's not to say that these folks don't know how to cut lose and have fun. At Friday's Liquidity Preference Function, there was a variety of liquids for consumption to satisfy whatever preference you may have. And it was pretty cool to see beer pong being played in the Winter Garden. That definitely earned bonus points in my book. Everyone I met was so cool. Based on the quant jock reputation, I figured there would be some geeks/social misfits, but after this visit and my October visit, I have to say that reputation is bogus. GSBers (current & future) are smart, witty, down to earth, cool ass folks.

Byron & PowerYogi--great to meet you guys! Sorry I was a bit MIA in the evenings.

I didn't participate in any of the evening events. I didn't get a hotel; I was staying with friends from undergrad, so I wanted to save my evenings to spend time with them since it was a quick visit and my days were packed. Friday night we went to a tapas place downtown and enjoyed more than our fair share of sangria (yum). Saturday we went to a couple of bars on Southport in Lakeview, just a couple blocks from their apartment. I have to say, after the housing tour of Hyde Park, and hanging out with my friends and exploring Lakeview/Wrigleyville, I'm thinking the North Side is more my scene than Hyde Park.

All in all, a great weekend.

But I'm still officially undecided.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

HBS "Hackers" Blacklisted

An overreaction, in my opinion. The Boston Globe has an interview with HBS Dean Clark, who says that anyone who used the hack (aka loophole) will get dinged. All 119 of them.

I feel bad for these folks. The application fee, all the hours spent on essays and coordinating recommendations, perhaps even traveling to campus, it's all been flushed right down the drain due to very human impulses...curiosity and anxiety.

Maybe I feel bad because deep down I know that if I had been in their position and found a loophole to potentially end the agony, remembering where I was mentally just a couple of months ago, I probably would have taken the red pill too. So I'm not going to jump on my moral high horse and shun these people for "unethical" behavior. I think some of the people who are looking down their noses at the doomed 119 should take a long hard look at themselves before they pass judgment. As for me, I wish the doomed 119 the best of luck with their other b-school applications. If any of you end up at Chicago, I'll buy you a beer.

(Yes, I'm back from Chicago's admit weekend and I'm 99% sure that's where I'll be in the fall. Recap coming soon.)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I *heart* Zicam

That stuff is the shit! I'm not sick, no sore throat this morning or yesterday morning for that matter. Consider me a believer.

Wrapping up things at work, waiting for a conference call. I'm headed to the airport in a couple of hours, on my way to Chicago. I brought in my luggage with me this morning since I'm leaving my car in our building garage and getting a taxi. Ran into some co-workers on the elevator and they immediately asked if I was preparing for a rogue snowstorm. Typically, work attire for me is casual pants, flip flops and no jacket, but today I'm wearing a sweater, jeans and boots, and I've got my winter coat with me. It's 65 and sunny here in San Diego, and I'm looking forward to temps in the 30's with 30% chance of snow/rain tomorrow. :)

Looking forward to meeting Byron and PowerYogi (assuming he hasn't "mysteriously disappeared" due to his involvement in HBS "Status-gate").

BTW, seeing HBS's reaction to this thing makes me giggle. Gotta love the "holier than thou/shame on you/threat of reprisal/CYA/everyone else is to blame but us" attitude.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I refuse to get sick

I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat. For me, nine times out of ten a sore throat is merely the prelude to a cold, which usually turns into a sinus infection. I am fighting this thing off by any means necessary so I'm not sick for Chicago's admit weekend. I cannot afford to be sick right now, too much to do at work and elsewhere. I'm popping cold-eeze zinc lozenges like they have crack in them, I'm giving Zicam a try, I'm drinking a bottomless cup of hot tea, and I got some hot and sour soup from the local Chinese take-out joint. Suck it, Mr. Virus.

Finally got my UCLA Anderson Admit binder. Of course it didn't arrive until after the exploding deadline on my scholarship had already exploded. The binder is actually really nice, very slick and filled with a ton of information, however it kinda irks me a little that they expected me to turn around a decision faster than they provided me with the basic information needed to make that decision. Oh well, so it goes. Although my non-response puts my scholarship back up for grabs (good luck guys!), I still have until April 15th to decline admission. Assuming all goes well in Chicago, I'll formally turn down UCLA next week.

Finished up my application for a sorority related scholarship that is due March 15th. Any additional funds would just be icing on the cake at this point, but with my level involvement in my sorority, I'm hopeful to get a little something.