Name: neener
School: USC Marshall School of Business
Status: Employed...finally
E-mail: Click here!
Reason for blogging: I'm incredibly self-absorbed.
I'm listening to...
::"Stay Beautiful," The Last Goodnight
::"Spaceman," The Killers
::"Green Light," John Legend
::"Superstar," Lupe Fiasco

I'm watching...
::The Office

I'm reading...
::Taiwan, A Political History, by Denny Roy
::The Devil and Miss Prym, by Paulo Coehlo

I've just seen...
::Slumdog Millionaire
::I Love You, Man
::The Reader
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
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12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
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10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
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07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
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06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
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11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
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05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010
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10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010
07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011
10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012
03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012
Sunday, October 26, 2003
The Last Time I Spent This Much Time on Homework Was in High School  
And that was a for a big project, not a plain ol' problem set. Just got back from a finance study session. We spent our time arguing about how to find present values vs. future values and how to figure out how many periods had to be taken into account. So painful. Once we finally agreed on how to find present values, we each started working on our calculations. This experience taught me that I really, really need to learn how to use the financial calculator that I bought because using a scientific calculator to make these calculations was just too time-consuming. You try entering C[1/(r-g)-(1+g)^T/(r-g)(1+r)^T ] five gazillion times into your calculator. Yeah, I thought so. I spent 5 hours working on 3 problems. No, "5 hours" is not a typo. We only have 3 more problem sets left this term...yippee. I'm going to whimper in the privacy of my room now.

Friday, October 24, 2003
Procrastinating Results in New Content  
That's right. After coming home today, I could have worked on some finance problems. But did I? No, I did not. Instead I uploaded new content to the site. So rest assured, I may fail finance, but I will not fail this web site. Go to Art of Leisure to see the new stuff.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003
I See a Trend  
Monday was the first day of Term II. And yes, I was already behind. Since my books are nowhere to be found (I just got an e-mail today notifying me that the shipment is delayed), it is a tad difficult completing the reading. Just a tad. Furthermore, with all the activities of the previous weekend, I haven't really had a good night's sleep, so I still feel burned out and completely unready for this term, which is supposed to be hellishly busy.

We had our statistics, corporate finance, and marketing classes on Monday, and the amount of work expected seems overwhelming. With midterms in three weeks, homework assignments due almost every week, and group projects, I'm starting to wonder when I can get started on that oh-so-important task of finding myself an internship. Today we had finance and stats again, and we sat through a long, long lunch where different professors told us about the different sites available for this year's PRIME (Pacific Rim Exchange) trips. China, Japan, Bangkok, Mexico City, and a bunch of the usual sites were available, but this year Brazil is also an option. You can bet that all the men in the class were calling first dibs on Brazil and Bangkok...I think we all know what their motivation is.

On Sunday, some Marshall students and I participated in the AIDSwalk. It was fun and being back in the Golden Triangle brought back some warm, fuzzy memories of when I worked in the lab. Well, the memories weren't warm. Nor were they fuzzy. Well, it brought back memories, and let's just leave it at that. One thing I did learn while from my AIDSwalk experience was that all my rants (when I was working) about the crappy traffic and how I could probably walk to work faster than drive were unfounded. That walk is LONG. I'll be sticking some pictures up as soon as I have time. Ha ha ha. I wonder when that will be?

Saturday, October 18, 2003
No Rest for the Weary  
On Friday, I got up around 5:30 AM so that I could go back to school for a CRC workshop called the "Marketing Institute." The Marketing Institute is a day-long series of lectures from alumni who are work in marketing, and it was very informative, especially for someone like me who doesn't know exactly what marketing is. They talked about traditional vs. non-traditional marketing as well as marketing research and advertising. I'm glad it was useful because if it hadn't been, I would have been really pissed off that I didn't go to Vegas. After the Marketing Institute, I headed to the LBC for a BBQ hosted by a Marshall student. After eating some delicious carne asada, I hopped into my vehicle again and headed to Santa Monica, where there was mixer co-hosted by the Graduate Asians in Business Society (GABS). People from neighboring Southern California business and law schools were there (UCLA, Pepperdine, Claremont, Irvine). YJ was the social butterfly, whereas I was pretty pooped and just stationed myself near a table and talked to whoever was in close proximity. I also bumped into an old high school friend, who is lookin' good (she's a second-year at Anderson).

Now, let's be honest here. The only reason I went to the mixer was to see if there were any cute Asian guys at the other schools. There's no reason to be ashamed of this fact since the majority of people there were doing the same thing. Over the course of the night, I overheard the phrases "meat market," "beauty pageant," "hot girls," and "how about her?" There were a couple of good-looking guys, but keeping in mind the tally that YJ and I came up with, I can only conclude that the (cute Asian boys)/(total Asian boys) ratio is pretty equal among schools: dismally low.

Today I did what I said I would do: I shopped and watched a movie. I shopped "for real" at Office Depot and window-shopped at Beverly Center. Then I saw Kill Bill at Paseo. It was violent in an exaggerated anime way and funny like "Pulp Fiction." It ends with a cliffhanger, so I'm definitely going to watch the sequel.

I'm going to participate in the AIDSwalk tomorrow in West Hollywood. I'm going to walk 10K. That's the most exercise I've had in a while. I hope I don't die of exhaustion on the way. That would be a pathetic (but heroic) way to go.

Thursday, October 16, 2003
World Peace...Can It Be Achieved with Ice Cream? I Think So  
Yesterday, I took my accounting final. It wasn't too bad, but there were some tricky questions that I know I missed. By the end of the day, the prof had already graded them. I didn't do very well, but I'm not on academic probation yet, and that's all that matters.

Today was our econ final. It was so difficult to study (so many distractions). I had already started freaking out on Sunday, when I was going through some old chapters. What really got me was that I had been keeping up with the readings in our study guide, and even though I was keeping up, I was still having problems remembering all the topics we had studied. I slept in short 30-minute bursts throughout the night and attempted to go through my notes, practice problems, etc., but the sheer breadth of material was overwhelming. This morning, full of foreboding, I stole into a "breakout" room in Leavey Library for more cramming. I bumped into Freddy, and he graciously joined me for some econ fun. We taught each other economics: Freddy drew the "dominant firm price leadership model," I talked through finding the "expected utility of the game" for a risk-averse individuals, etc. Moments like these make me realize how glad I am to be back in school and at Marshall (with its rah-rah teamwork attitude). I know that when I was at work, I never got the kind of support from my colleagues that I have here. There I was, stressed out to the max, but I had someone with me who understood exactly what I was going through, AND we were helping each other. No ulterior motives. We just wanted our friends to do their best. Hmm, this post has taken quite a cheesy turn. Oh well, it needed to be said.

Anyway, I took the econ final, and that's all that I want to say about it. The econ session in the morning with Freddy definitely helped, though. After the final, I brought out some Fosselman's ice cream for my coremates, who were very appreciative. I bought cookies 'n' cream, vanilla, Dutch chocolate, and mango. Yummy, yummy. Fosselman's ice cream is sooo good. The butterfat just coats your mouth. Mmmm. It was rather melted because I didn't have access to a good freezer, but I think everyone still appreciated the taste. I also bought Joy sugar cones (cones are a complement to ice cream...that much strategy I know) because they are the best! I am very picky about my cones. Yes, it's true. I know a lot more about food than I know about business. For lunch, I went with a bunch of Marshall students to Chinatown, where we had some Vietnamese food. That was really good, too. I left the Vietnamese restaurant with a distended stomach and fleeting remorse for having eaten so much, but ultimately, my only thought was, "Damn. I deserve it. And I'm going to treat myself some more." (I took the leftover mango ice cream home...hee hee...Guess who's eating some tonight!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
May I Please Die...Now. Really. I Mean It  
I think I just failed my strategy final. I am waiting for my strategy prof to email me something like, "Please come to my office. We need to discuss your schedule so that we can arrange for you take my class over again. Based on the results of the final, you have learned absolutely nothing." Kill me. Please.

Now it's time to study for accounting. The day just gets better and better.

Monday, October 13, 2003
I Heard It Through the Grapevine  
Incredible. After much prodding, I show some teammates my blog, and the next thing I know, a whole bunch of people in school are approaching me and saying, "Nice blog!" While I definitely appreciate the compliments, I am bit perturbed by the rapidity with which news is circulated at school. No secret is safe, it appears. I'll have to keep my friends close and my enemies even closer...Now I'm sure some readers are wondering which category they fall into. Heh heh heh. Now I can't say things like, "I think so-and-so is really attractive." Too bad. I bet that just whet your appetite too!

We had our last accounting class for the term today. It was awesome. In the beginning of the term, we had to turn in forms describing our previous accounting experience. One of the questions on the form was "What famous person do you resemble?" At the end of class, the professor showed a bunch of photos of celebrities and pointed out the look-alikes in our core. It was hilarious. We have quite a few hunks in class: Brad Pitt, Enrique Iglesias, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lundgren, just to name a few. However, the prof didn't have any celebrity look-alikes for the girls in our class. I'm not surprised. Most of us are Asian, and there aren't many female Asian celebrities around to choose from. (Lucy Liu, Lisa Ling, Ming-Na? Puh-leeze! I'm so much cuter!) Plus, we're all super hot, and it's well-nigh impossible to find female celebrities that can even aspire to our level of beauty. It's true.

Finals are here. Time to finish reading the strategy case on Ice-Fili, a Russian ice cream company. Just reading the case makes me crave some Fosselman's ice cream. Mmmm...Butterfat. Alas, I must study, especially since my grades on the individual assignment and class participation do not bode well for my final grade.

Sunday, October 12, 2003
Just a Quick Note  
I saw School of Rock Friday night. I liked it! The kids were really cute, and Jack Black was funny as usual (without crossing that fine line between funny and annoying). Lots of (what I hope to be) good movies coming up. That's what next weekend is for. After finals, it's movies and some retail therapy. OK. Back to econ and "asymmetric information."

Saturday, October 11, 2003
Exercise Some Discretion  
Hmmm. Apparently some classmates now know about this blog. This means I'll have to be extra careful about what I say. I can't say stuff like, "Pem is so nice to me, but Pete is not." And I probably should refrain from making statements such as, "Geez, I can't stand those clowns on my team." I should definitely not say things like, "Wes and Mark do nothing but mentally rate girls all day." After all, what if they were to visit the blog and read those comments? That might erode the delicate friendships and relationships that I've worked so hard to build!

Finals are rapidly approaching. Hooray. Can't wait.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003
It's Like Being in Labor  
Our group, in a feat of speed, finished our strategy project at 10 PM last night. Not 2 AM, as one might expect, but at 10 PM! We left the library and people were still there. It was so exciting to be done! My group is cool, but the process of writing, reworking, revising, correcting, etc. is very painful. I don't want to go through that experience again any time soon.

The term is almost over (we have finals next week), so it's time to buy books and do teacher evaluations. I'm good at criticism and finding fault, so I'm looking forward to the teacher evaluations. Bwa-ha-ha!

Saturday, October 04, 2003
For our group strategy project, we have to complete a strategic analysis of a firm that is "in transition" or in trouble. Our team is doing "Jack in the Box." Obviously, part of the research is going online, looking up financial statements, reading analyst reports, blah blah blah. However, the best part of the research is the "fieldwork," that is, going to various fast food stores and learning about the dining experience each one offers. Yeah, it's really hard work trekking to various places to eat. Exhausting, really.

I had been researching Wendy's for the project, so I decided to dine there last night. My thoughts on Wendy's: not enough locations (hard to find), the burger I had was pretty good, the fries were just so-so. The Wendy's I went to was in the only other patrons were a bunch of teenage Asian wanna-be gangstas and their skanky female friends and one group of middle-school skater boys. I felt old.

Oh yeah, I finally got around to posting pictures of the birthday celebration I went to. Go to this page in the "Art of Leisure" section to see them.

Thursday, October 02, 2003
There Is No "I" in Team  
Nothing exciting here. Just work, work, work. Working in teams can be tough, especially when everyone on the team is full of ideas and suggestions. While ideas and suggestions are not a bad thing per se, they can hamper efficiency when it's 9 PM on a Wednesday and all you want to do is go home and sleep. The next couple of weeks are going to be heinous, what with a big group strategy project and a corresponding individual presentation due next week, and finals on consecutive days during the week after. A bunch of people are headed to Vegas after finals, but I can't go because I have to attend a career resource center workshop. Bummer.

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EBITAS (noun):
Abbreviation for "Earnings Before Income Tax, Amortization, and SGARA." Next week, find out what SGARA is.

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