Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Finals Week

Or I guess I should say, final week and a half. In the MBA program, we have 10 days of finals - 5 days of tests and study day in between each. Then, after my last final next Wednesday, they hand us our Integrated Project case and 7 days of no sleep begins. But thats another story. Back to finals....

At first I was annoyed. Why not just have them all in 1 week and get them over with? But after having one day off and my first test today, I am so glad! It was nice to be able to leave my Managing People final today and not have to immediately think about my Corporate Finance final I will have on Thursday night. That is what tomorrow is for. And I don't even thinkI need a full day to study, so I'm going to get to sleep in tomorrow, study tomorrow afternoon, sleep in Thursday, and then study a couple hours Thursday afternoon before the test that night. In undergrad, finals week was so stressful. You spent all semester relaxing and then cramming everything in, leaving one exam and immediately stressing about the next one. In grad school, its completely switched! I've spent all semester working myself to death and because of the format of our schedule, I get to actually relax and take my time studying for the tests. I honestly think I'm going to get more sleep this week than I have since I started school in August. I never thought I'd say this, but finals week is going to be the best week ever!

Monday, November 28, 2005

2nd Busiest Travel Day of the Year

This week, I acted as Emily's Airport Shuttle to my friends who live out of state. So I battled airport traffic on Wednesday afternoon - not fun. But even more not fun was yesterday. I picked up my first friend at 8 am at Love field. Traffic wasn't great there. But then I got to go to DFW! The wind was really strong, so all of the flights got delayed, which was nice in one manner because people who weren't supposed to get in at the same time landed within 15 minutes of each other, but the last flight for me was supposed to come in at 9:30 and it came in at 11:04pm. I felt so bad for my friends - one sat boarded on the airplane in Baltimore for an hour before it took off and then had to sit for 35 minutes after they landed before they were taxied to the gate. Having bad traffic at the airport is bad under any circumstance, but on the 2nd busiest travel day of the year....it is absolutley horrific. Cars were lined up in every lane in the passenger pick up areas so no one could move. I was smart and went into the parking garage, so there was no traffic. But in the end, it was all worth it to see my friends again and get them home safely. Happy Monday-After-Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Christmas Already?

It doesn't feel like Christmas season yet. It obviously is, because I had to wait through 3 left hand turn lights before being able to get into the parking lot of CompUSA when I was trying to buy a new phone today. But it still doesn't feel like it. I love Christmas season. Everything is happy and pretty. So why am I not into it yet? Probably a few reasons:

1. It is currently 70 degrees outside with a high tomorrow of 77. Any weather in which you can wear T-Shirts cannot be Christmas weather. My friends that are home right now in cities like Boston, Gettysburg, and Detroit are cursing snow today, but I am wishing it would at least get cold enough to wear some of the sweaters that I could be buying right now.

2. This semester has gone by so incredibly fast. I cannot believe that I am starting finals in 3 days. To me it still feels like the semester should be in about October, so I can't comprehend the fact that it is almost December.

3. I haven't watched any sappy Christmas romantic comedies yet. Hallmark - you're letting me down!

4. I haven't decorated anything yet. I really don't have a reason to decorate my apartment since no one comes here because there is no parking. This is the first time in 3 years that I haven't been responsible for decorating the COBA building at ACU. I'm not living at home, so I wasn't there to decorate yesterday. Maybe I should get that sad Charlie Brown tree that Ryan had on his blog a few weeks ago...

So hopefully I will quickly get that feeling that comes with Christmas...not the one of frustration surrounding any major shopping area...the one of joy that you can feel when walking around a beautifully decorated Downtown. So if anyone wants to go downtown for dinner tonight, give me a call!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Time Differences

Doing business with someone in Germany totally stinks. There is a 7 hour time difference, so in order to have conference calls, the American has to be up really early. When I was working with a university in Austria last year, I would have to schedule my calls for around 4 am in order to get in touch with the people I needed to. Now I am calling from an office on campus that doesn't open until 8 am, so we have to have many short conference calls because my contact in Germany is about to go home when we call. So now I have to get up early on my only free day this weekend to make a stupid conference call. I know they're paying me so I should do what works for them, but couldn't they be inconvenienced just once or twice and take a call around 6 pm their time? I'd better get a free trip to Germany out of this consulting job or I'm going to be thoroughly annoyed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Google Talk

TCU requires us to have laptops and put wireless internet in all the classrooms. As a result, we spend a lot of our class time on the internet. So most of my class downloaded Google Talk to use instead of AIM or MSN. On Google talk, you can put up a quote that displays under your name. Some people put up generic feel-good quotes, some put up funny ones, while others make comments about the class we're in right now. Here is a sampling of some of the quotes we've had recently. Which ones do you think are mine? And more importantly, does anyone have any suggestions of new quotes I can use?

- I believe in luck – how else can you explain the success of people you don’t like?
- I think the world would be a much better place if everybody agreed with me.
- I have as much authority as the Pope, just less people that believe it
- Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
- Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."
- Wake me up at 12:20
- Netting my present value
- The NPV of studying for Managing People was higher than the NPV of coming to Finance today, so I accepted the project with the greatest capital gains.
- What’s a balance sheet?
- I tuned Ira out hours ago
- Is it just me or is this case just going in circles?
- Do my good looks count as an asset?
- Segmentation is a pain in my rear
- Matching my principles with my Treasured Stock.
- Yes, I came to marketing today. Consider yourself lucky.

Let the suggestions begin!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Have Found My Long-Lost Twin!

Okay, obviously not LITERALLY my long lost twin - I'm not 5'3" and phillipino - but this is my friend Christina. She is a 2nd year in the MBA program. We met at the beginning of the year, but really got to know each other last weekend in Boston. And it turns out - we're exactly the same person. We are both marketing concentrations, love musicals, love the arts in general, hate guacamole, love Boston accents, and are reality TV junkies. Those are just a few of the things we learned about each other while we were gone. It is so great because we have both been looking for someone in our programs to share things like that with because no one else in the MBA program shares our affinity for them. She spent last year dragging some of the guys to cultural things that they hated and I have spent the first part of this year trying to talk people in my class into seeing musicals. But now we have each other! We have such limited time between classes and consulting that it is hard to see people that aren't in the MBA program, so to have someone to talk about the things I like with is just incredible! God has really brought me something I really needed to make it through this program with my sanity.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dream Anger

Have you ever had a dream where someone did something so bad to you that you woke up the next morning mad at them for real? That happened to me last night. I had a dream where one of my friends from school was so mean to me that he made me cry in my dream. If you know me well, you know that it takes a WHOLE lot to make me cry. So this morning, I woke up and I was still angry at him! Even sitting here now, several hours later, I am still actually mad at him even though I know he didn't REALLY do anything mean and it was all just a dream. What is it that makes some dreams so real that their effects are felt for so long? It can happen with good dreams too - waking up from a good dream will leave me feeling good for most of the day. Am I the only one who this happens to?

When I was at ACU, my roommate Nichole spent a day furious with me. I couldn't figure out why. She wouldn't tell me, she just spent the day mad and kept saying "You know what you did!" Finally, right before bed, I said "Please just tell me what I did so I can make up for it. I really have no idea." So she goes into this story about me saying mean things to her and I don't even remember a lot of it, but about halfway through, it started getting so ridiculous that she stopped and realized that it had been a dream. We still laugh about it now. I am at least one step ahead and recognize that my situation was a dream, but for some reason I am still so mad at him! Hopefully when I see him tonight, I can put my dream anger aside and realize that he is my good friend and has never done anything like what he did in my dream.

I'm wishing happy dreams upon all my readers today. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Call 911! My Tivo broke!!!

Wednesday night, I was sitting in my apartment, working on some research, with my TV on in the background. I was "watching" (more like listening to) one of the shows that was recorded on my DVR. All of a sudden, there was a loud pop, the screen on my TV started going crazy, and then it went into the fuzzy screen. My first reaction was a little freaked out - it looked straight out of a scene from The Ring. That lasted about 1/2 sec until I realized that this is reality, bringing me to my 2nd reaction - panic! I was so worried that it would erase the shows that I hadn't watched yet or not work again until a repairman came out or something. As a busy student, I have very little in my life right now and no Tivo might just push me over the edge! (I'm not being overly-dramatic, am I?...) After a few minutes, it came back on and I quickly checked the recorded list - everything was still there. My problems were over - or so I thought.

The next day, I get back to my apartment for the first time at 9:30pm after a VERY long day of classes and meetings, looking forward to watching one or two of the shows on my favorite night of television. I couldn't wait to choose between Survivor, Alias, and The Apprentice. I go to the recorded list - and none of them are there! I checked the memory to see if it was full, and it wasn't, nothing recorded! So then I went to the scheduled recordings list and it was completely wiped out. It had not a single item on it. I was annoyed that I didn't get the Thursday shows, but then just went to the task of re-setting up my weekly recordings, thinking that it was kinda nice, I could finally get around to stopping the weekly recordings of shows that I tried out and didn't like. But when I tried to set up a recording, it didn't work! It would take me through the series of menus, but when it finished, it wouldn't add anything to scheduled recordings! I even tried just pushing record on a show that was on right now and it wouldn't record. If you don't have Tivo already, I'm not even going to try to describe how dependent you become on it, so now I am speaking to those of you who's hearts are starting to beat a little faster thinking "Oh my goodness, I'm glad thats not me!" The thought of not having this fabulous little device terrified me to my very core.

So I did what any good DVR customer would - got on Charter's 24 hour live support chat. And the story gets very anticlimactic from there, we spent an hour or so trying different things until he told me to unplug it and replug it in to reboot it, which worked. So now I'm back in business. But what I really wanted to talk about today is this...does anyone have this week's Survivor, Apprentice, and/or Alias that I could borrow??

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Anonymous Comments

A while ago, I wrote a post about my pet peeves. Today, I want to add one to the list....rude anonymous commenters. Today I went to read the blog of a friend who was expressing frustration about her current situation. She gave a nice disclaimer in the title, something about "WARNING....bitterness to follow" or something close. You could tell she was writing things in anger. And what were the comments? Anonymous posters berading her, calling her selfish and telling her that she is holding herself in too high of regards! Seriously! Do you think that THAT is what she needed right then?

Blogging makes it really easy to dehumanize the person you are reading about and eventually commenting to - you never see them so you feel invincible. So it becomes really easy to be completely horrible to them through commenting. In my opinion, it is one thing to disagree with someone, its another to be a complete jerk. And most of the time when someone is a complete jerk, they either use a pseudonym with no link to their own blog or just the title anonymous. This irritates me to no end. If you have something to disagree about, be brave enough to sign your name on it. If you are too embarrassed to have your name associated with your nasty comment, then perhaps you should rethink what you are about to say. Would you say it to the person face to face? If not, just bite your tongue. Lets all make blogging FUN, not HATEFUL.

A couple of side notes:
1. I do allow anonymous comments on my blog, not because I want mean anonymous comments, but because some people who leave uplifting comments do not have a blogger ID and I enjoy hearing from them.

2. I don't want 100 anonymous comments on this post flaming me, either serious or in an attempt to be funny. Cause really, its not.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Mr. Discount Airline Pilot Guy

Because of a consulting job I'm starting this month, I have taken a particular interest in the airline industry recently. In my research, I came across an ad by Bud Light in their "Real Men of Genius" campaign called Mr. Discount Airline Pilot Guy. That is what I want to talk about today.

I am not a discount airline lover. In fact, I'm pretty close to the opposite end of the spectrum, especially since Southwest has been pushing this whole Wright Amendment stuff trying to seem like the poor abused child on the playground when they are really the big bullies. So this commercial had me laughing so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. 1 week later, I opened the Wall Street Journal to find an article saying that AirTran is threatening to pull all Anheuser-Busch products from their flights because they were offended by this commercial. Other low-cost carriers have followed suit, acting appalled at this commercial. To briefly summarize my feelings about this without boring my readers too much, I will just say GET OVER IT! Humor in advertising has been used for many, many years, particularly in the alcoholic beverage market and companies need to realize that getting upset just makes them look stupid and petty. I mean, are Usher's backup dancers boycotting Bud because of the "Mr. Gangsta Rapper Posse Member" ad in the same campaign (which is also really funny by the way)? It would be like politicians getting mad for being made fun of on SNL - it just comes with the territory.

The saddest thing about all of this is that the commercial has been pulled from every source of media, including the Andy Award Winners site where it won 1st place in the Radio Ad category. You can still find the other 2 ads in the campaign though, and i would recommend checking them out. I finally found a copy of the good ad, along with the text, on this site. Stick it to stupid airlines with me - listen to it and laugh! But hurry, I don't know how long it will last before they completely rid the world of all evidence like Nixon and his shredders. But they can't stop me! To close out this ridiculously long post, I will end with the written transcript of the commercial entitled "Mr. Discount Airline Pilot Guy."

ANNCR: Bud Light presents…Real Men of Genius.
SINGER: Real Men of Genius.
ANNCR: Today we salute you… Mr Discount Airline Pilot Guy.
SINGER: Mr Discount Airline Pilot Guy.
ANNCR: Your minimal experience flying a plane will never land you at a reputable airline. Luckily, you don’t work for one.
SINGER: Look at me, I’m flying.
ANNCR: Sure, we’re concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving nine bucks on a round trip to Fort Myers.
SINGER: Whoah!
ANNCR: The most direct route to Houston? Through Ft. Lauderdale. With layovers in Detroit, Vancouver and Kalamazoo.
SINGER: I can’t feel my legs.
ANNCR: So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, oh, Skipper of the Skies. You put the ‘fly’ in ‘fly by night operation’.
SINGER: Mr Discount Airline Pilot Guy.
ANNCR: Bud Light Beer. Anheuser Busch, St. Louis, Missouri.