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
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
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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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12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
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11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
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12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
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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
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Here is your Neener quote for the day: I'm not saying, "Be perfect." I'm just saying, "Try not to suck so much."

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Cocoroni...The San Francisco Treat!  
"Cocoroni." That was the hashtag tweeters were supposed to use at the show I attended this past Friday, the Conan O'Brien show in San Francisco! It was awesome! If you can catch him on the "Legally Prohibited" tour, I highly recommend it. For our show, Reggie Watts was the opener, and he has some hilarious songs in his repertoire. Andy Richter (I love him!) is in the show, as is La Bamba and the other members of the band (minus Max Weinberg). The other performers, Deon Cole and Chris Isaak, were also great...even though our seats weren't the best, it was totally worth it to see Conan! I think being able to perform live versus being on television gave him a chance to push his comedy further. Here are some blurry pics!

andy richter

conan o'brien

chris isaak
Chris Isaak!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010
I Think I Just Gave Myself a Coronary.  
Something extremely unexpected happened today at work. I got an award for my "hard work." I was extremely embarrassed. Don't get me wrong, I definitely appreciate the recognition for all the long hours and frustration, but I feel awkward when people are talking about me in front of me. My boss is the bomb, and while she was giving me the award, I was thinking that she definitely deserved some of the credit.

Anyway, in the mood to treat myself, I headed up to Ad Hoc in Yountville. If you haven't been, Ad Hoc is a cozy, casual restaurant that has a four-course prix fixe menu that changes every day. The prix fixe menu consists of a salad, a main (usually a protein accompanied by a starch of some kind), a cheese course, and dessert. It's one of Thomas Keller's restaurants, so on weekends it gets super crazy with the tourists. Since it was a weekday, it wasn't so bad, and I was able to walk in without a reservation and get a seat the bar. (Note: if you sit at the bar, you don't have to get all four can pick and choose.)

Nick, the general manager, was the bartender today and informed me that bone marrow was available as a supplemental item. When I told him I had never had it, he asked me if I like sweetbreads and foie. I answered in the affirmative, but in my mind, I was wondering, "Are there people who don't?". Nick strongly recommended that I get the bone marrow, and I do mean strongly. Ha! Like he even needed to twist my arm. Obviously, this guy doesn't know me. In the end, I told Nick I wanted every course including the supplemental item, and chose a nice, dry riesling to start things off.

And now, some novice food photography and descriptions! (Note: This is not a food blog, and I am not a qualified food critic, so I'll be concise with my critique. Nor am I professional food photographer. This is me snapping what I hope were discreet shots of food as quickly as possible. The dishes' descriptions were pulled straight out of the ad hoc website.)

I like my rieslings dry, and this is the one I picked.

So first, the starter: Salad of watercress and frisee with fatted calf picnic ham, pixie mandarins, haas avocado, pickled red onions, and candied hazelnuts in a citrus vinaigrette.


The ham was tasty, the citrus vinaigrette was bright, and the pickled red onions---with their sweet and slightly sour deliciousness---were the bomb! Next up was the main course. Here we have strozzapreti pasta with some kalamata olives and braised escarole (that's a guess) and tossed in rendered bacon fat. Mmmm, rendered bacon fat. Mmmm. I think Nick said that they make half of their pasta in house and half is imported. This was imported from Italy.


The main protein was a grilled hanger steak slathered with tfl garden (i.e., from The French Laundry garden) spring garlic gremolata, served with red quinoa, wild ramps, and baby turnips.

hanger steak

The quinoa's texture was a nice contrast to the meat, and the gremolata added some nice flavor as well. Next up, roasted bone marrow with warm palladin toast and cara cara orange marmalade.

bone marrow

One word. Rich. That's all that was running through my mind as I smeared the gelatinous marrow on my toast. Because the marrow was so rich, the cara cara orange marmalade was a welcome touch of acid. It was good. Really good. So good that as I ate it, I felt very, very bad (as in "naughty"). At this point, I could feel my arteries crying out for help. But I just ignored them and plowed forward.

With my stomach about to burst and half of my steak and pasta boxed for tomorrow's lunch, the servers brought out the cheese course. It was Capriole Dairy's Mont St. Francis, an aged goat milk's cheese, soda bread, and apple butter. The soda bread was AMAZING. So yummy!

cheese course

Last, but not least, rice pudding with poached pineapple, lime zest, and a coconut tuile. I love rice pudding. It's kinda like tapioca pudding, but cinnamon-y and more toothsome. And the coconut tuile took me back to childhood; it was like a delicate version of the coconut cookies I used to love getting from the Asian supermarket as a kid.

coconut rice pudding

At this point, with my stomach distended, my arteries clogged, and my mind in a stupor, I waddled out of the restaurant and up and down Yountville's main street, hoping that the exercise would keep me alive at least until I got home. I think I better squeeze in a run tomorrow.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Just a Cog in the Machine.  
Yet another post inspired by the sad happenings in my life as just another puny cog in the corporate machine.

You may need to re-evaluate your current IT help desk provider if...

...after five minutes of futile attempts to communicate a simple technical issue to the seemingly confused person on the other end, the person who called for help starts to wonder if they've called the wrong number.

IT tech: How can I help you?
Me: I'm trying to save a file but I'm getting a "disk is full" error. I think I need you to increase my disk space quota.
IT tech: Are you on a computer?
Me: Um yes, I am trying to save a file? On a shared drive?
IT tech: What are you trying to do?
Me: Save. A. File.

...5 minutes later...

IT tech: And you say you are trying to...?
Me: I'm trying to save a--- Wait a are the IT help desk for [my company], right? Have I called the right number?

For crying out loud.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010
A Homonym Lesson for Aspiring Food Critics.  
Even though I was an English major in college, I am by no means an expert of the language. Nor can I quote Shakespeare on command, so don't ask. Even with these deficiencies, I do have a basic command of the language and am in the position to offer writing advice. I have noticed that some of the aspiring food critics (i.e. reviewers, commenters, and posters) on Yelp, Serious Eats, or Chowhound are making a small error in word choice that irks me to no end (to no end!) when I am reading. Here's the lesson: Even though they sound the same, "palate" and "palette" are totally different things. When referring to taste, use "palate." When referring to color, use "palette." You're welcome, and please stop hurting my eyes.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010
....And We're Back!  
Blogger stopped supporting FTP publishing, which means that I had to migrate my blog...and of course, I procrastinated, which is why I have been MIA. I'm going to try posting more often, and I have got a couple ideas about revamping the site and other teeny projects. We shall see if I actually follow through.

One of my plans is to retire the MBA Diaries blog, just as I have retired the Relentless Fury blog. There are two reasons for this. For starters, I've been posting about many things, many of which are not MBA- or business-related. Because of this, having a blog titled "The MBA Diaries" is a tad misleading. The second reason is simplicity. It's just easier keeping all my posts in one place, and it's easier for my readers (I think there may be two or three of you out there?) to go to one place to get the lowdown about me. Plus, I've got some rants bottled up inside me that relate to work, and now I don't have to choose between blogs when I'm posting. When I actually get around to retiring this blog will depend on when I get around to finishing the layout for the new blog, so you probably won't see any changes any time soon. I believe I've mentioned my tendency to procrastinate?

I have no illusions about this blog. I'm not ever going to get a movie deal out this and it's not going to get bought up by some larger company, and I am cool with that. This is nothing more than a safe place where people in my small social circle can keep up with what I'm doing without getting virtual pillows thrown at them or finding out that I have some sheep on the loose in Farmville or being bombarded with notifications of where I've just "checked in." So thanks for reading, and I'll try to get some actual content in here once in a while!

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When I learn a new word, I'll put it here so you can learn too!

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

Click here for previous "new words."
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