Research findings...

I found out that one of my classes graded our written response to case questions - essay questions that could be answered N different ways - with a MACRO! A Macro! This is like the GMAT all over again!

Meanwhile, A-Rod did this. Man I hate that loser. Play the game like a man already!

Onto the research: a few weeks ago, I scanned my hand at the U of C, and here are the findings based on the scan (also discussed in Freakenomics):

Based on your digit ratio, we would predict that you are slightly less prone to athletics than the average man.

Based on your digit ratio, we would predict that you are slightly more verbally fluent than the average man.

Based on your digit ratio, we would predict that you have slightly worse spatial abilities than the average man.

Based on your digit ratio, we would predict that you are slightly less aggressive than the average man.

Based on your digit ratio, we would predict that you are slightly less musically able than the average man.


Most likely to...

  • Just an alert to my friends who tend to study at your local coffee shop: I've heard two thefts in the last few days at places around Michigan Ave. Beware.
  • I forgot to mention that I played in a charity poker tournament last week and was among the final three tables among about 200 players. Yay!
Sunday night, I went for German food, courtesy of MA, a German himself, who highly recommended it. Laschet's Inn (4 stars) was excellent if you like mystery meat. Just kidding, the meat was very juicy and the spartzle was very good. As with all other Western food establishments, the lighting was dim and I squinted at the menu to figure out what was what. Laschet's Inn has a natural charm to it and the service was very good. Of course, there was also great beer selection!

Remember my first and second post on rumors? (By the way, this link is a classic and a must read, if you are GSB... yet I digress...) Well, yours truly won two prizes from the Greater China Club survey: most likely to have an affair and one night stand. Yay... victory... NOT. Both NPV negative projects, as opposed to be on Wall Street Journal, first CEO, and being a millionaire. Another noteworthy observation is that the runner up and second runner up are both consultants. Apparently bankers don't have time for affairs and one night stands.

Did a photoshoot for a friend of a friend around Chicago. This is my first time, so it is quite fun. I have a lot to learn, obviously. I don't like most of the pictures although there were a few that turned out well. In general, I don't like any posing and find candid shots much more compelling. I'll take another chance to practice anytime though!

Also ate at Cafe des Architectes (4.5 stars). It's in a chic hotel (Sofitel) that reminded me of a cooler W, which I previously thought wasn't possible. There was great lighting for photography, and the food was also excellent. My ordered my usual measuring stick, Eggs Benedict, and it came out quite well. The roasted tomato made the dish though - made just right and not too squashy. PP ordered a egg white thing (see below) that was also quite good. Despite being in a hotel, the prices were reasonable for the quality.

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Food and Movie

What the hell? I haven't written about food and movies for 2 weeks!?

Marrakech (4.5 Stars) - part of GSB's Around the World dinner series, this Moroccan place offers all the basic stuff. Nothing remarkable. Considering that we paid $10 per person that includes adequate food and a couple glasses of wine, I'd say it's a good deal. CM commented that the pictures made the food look much better than it was. Fair enough. No pictures. Not recommended.

By the way, if you wish, please join me in protesting to citysearch (just email "") about the new star system. For example, Marrakech was a 8.7 when I looked it up a month ago. It is now a 4.5 star, making it comparable to establishments such as Wildfire, Bistro 110, Trattoria No. 10, and Coco Pazzo Cafe. I mean, how can I trust citysearch anymore when they equate Marrakech to Coco Pazzo Cafe!!?? HOW!?

Yolk (5 stars) - arg, I can't stop. Yolk is good, but it's no Sola, also a 5-star establishment. Anyway, my french toast was perfectly done and touched up with fresh blueberries. I also tasted the peach crepe, which was a tad too sweet but otherwise very yummy. The place is nice and bright, though very crowded. It would have been an ridiculous wait for a table had we not made reservations. Recommended.

Harold's Chicken Shack (will not honor with ratings) - I finally got to test this Hyde Park legend. The Chase bank is right beside it, so I've actually passed by Harold's many times. I never realized, however, that it served its food over a bullet proof glass and a carousel counter! Classic stuff. Yet another reason why you should live away from Hyde Park. Recommended... only for the bullet proof glass experience.

I was afraid to take pictures of the bullet proof glass - so I took pictures of the wings instead

Room 21 (4.5) - this is a brand new restaurant - less than four weeks, I was told - with one of the coolest decors I've ever seen in a restaurant. It was Al Capone's old hide out where he store the alcohol during prohibition. If you've seen "Untouchables", this is the room where they busted the alcohol! They even featured a secret tunnel that let the crooks escape.

On to the food: the Fried Shrimp Cocktail was surprisingly good, with a spicy salsa sauce that really raised the level; the tuna tartar was good (I have yet to taste a screwed up one); the mini steak burgers were excellent with some mystery sauce, and the crab cake risotto was light, craby, and not too creamy. Excellent appetizers. The main entres were more ordinary, however. The Fillet Mignon was adequate and the Halibut was pretty piss poor. The side dishes, the fried mashed potato and creamy corn, however, were innovative and extremely good. Deserts were good though, and I would highly recommend the Banana sorbet with blueberries - just sweet enough that you can taste it; just light enough that you can still eat it. Recommended... if the prices were 25% cheaper.

If you are really curious about one food item, email me and I'll let you know which one it is...!
Spiderman 3 - with super super low expectations, I found the 3rd installment still slightly bad.
Cheesy dialog plus dumb plot minus good action means a boring 2 hours. Let me think... nope, there wasn't even one cool fight scene. Not recommended.


Week 9 in Spring Quarter

Here's a picture that quite accurately describes the feeling at the GSB right now. Together with my colleagues at the GSB, having a great time... before we head our different directions.

Last week was the last class for Power and Influence. Great class, by the way. The wrap up touched me with two subjects. Liminality is "the space in between," as in our current position between MBA and full time job. Menon says it's in this space that we are most open to learning and new things. I agree with her. While this whole quarter has been rather relaxing, a stark difference from the past five, it has been a quarter of learning - both in class and out of class. Another subject from the last class I will put it in quotes:

"People prepare perfectly for their wedding; they do not prepare for the marriage. People prepare for their interviews; they do not prepare for the job."


Rumor Mills...!?

Just when I talked about gossiping among Chinese in an earlier post, the Greater China Club has come up with this particularly racy survey...! It's the last few questions, if you're wondering... the first few are... uh... speculative.

I wonder if some of them just read my blog and thought "hey, he's right, we need more gossip to solidify the network!"

Embedded slide show of my visit to Boston!

And uh... you can also view them in Picasa.


To gossip or not to gossip?

Consider this scenario:
X, Y, and Z all know each other. X tells Y that Z is an ass. What should Y do?
  • Don't tell Z and don't worry
  • Tell Z and create some drama
Reasons for Y to choose the first option (99% of the time):
do it for X - he or she might not be serious, might be exaggerating or kidding
do it for self - no need to create drama, no context to refer to, spreading gossip might backfire by violating trust
do it for Z - doesn't need to know, doesn't need to drama

Reasons for Y to choose the second option (1%):
do it to screw X - don't like or don't care much about X, or think that new will never circle back to X
do it for self - gain trust of Z, create some drama in life, may benefit from rift between X and Z
do it for Z - much better friend that X, therefore must alarm

The diligent you would have of course guessed that I got into trouble... that's right, I've been X, I've been Y, and I've been Z! Everybody has, there's no exception.

X - okay, so I shouldn't have opened my big mouth, whether I mean it or not.
Y - I don't like drama, and I think it backfires more than one realizes
Z - I generally dismiss the comments because people say different things in differen contexts. I can't judge it. Hence... people tend to not deliver the news

The Chinese translation for gossip is "yes and no" (是非)... for some odd reason, gossip travels much faster in Chinese circles. A friend of mine and I discussed this and came to the following conclusion: because Asian cultures are geared towards groups and units, there's a higher tendency to "cement" membership within the group by spreading gossip. Such gossip is viewed as sharing with the group and is validated by the group. Very odd... but makes sense.

But hey... on a lighter note, I won it all in some light poker play earlier tonight. There's a tournament tomorrow (for charity) and I'm hoping my new lucky cap can continue to bring me luck!


Did I graduate?

Oh, not yet? I'm practically checked out of school...

My summer plans are shaping up: 2 weeks and Peru, 2 months in Europe, and 2 years in debt.

Damn you, Ben and Jerry, for price discriminating during these warmer months. Why can't you offer a $10 for 4 deal every two weeks? Why does it have to be $10 for 3 every 2 months now? You forced me to stockpile 9 pints at home. You did this to me...!

While watching ESPN, PNGF suddenly asked "who's that?" Surprising, since she doesn't follow any sport at all. "Brett Farve," I replied. "Oh, he was in Something about Mary!" Good job, Brett, that will be your legacy. You were in Something about Mary. So stop whining and play some ball.

In my mail box at school, I find a nice box with the following label on top: Dear Josekin, Student volunteers play a prominent... thank you... Career Services. And then another box: Dear Eric, Student volunteers play a prominent... thank you... Career Service. So there you have it. The first time when my confusing name got me two prizes! I just hope bursar doesn't catch on.


What can OB do for you?

If you are GSB Class of 2007, please help us fill out this survey about networking. It's ironic that as our group does a project on networking, we find our own networks rather narrow: they don't include many investment bankers! Oh the irony.


Classes this quarter have been great. I'm learning about power in organizations and how to achieve (and lose) them. I'm learning how to be happy (strangely, or perhaps not strangely, I think I've already been able to execute life to be happy). I've learned how to make a break up very bad - all of which has been applied to me before... but now I have a psychological term for it... YEAH! I've learned about all sorts of systematic biases that people and organizations hold.

So what can organizational behavior classes do for you? Nothing much for now... that's what I've learned so far. For the average associate level employee, OB lessons may help manage your own professional life better, but that's about it. However, the higher you go, the more important these OB lessons become. Actually, it's more like irreplaceable.

Onto life:
  • Bulls win game 5, finally making this a worthwhile series.
  • Liverpool vs. AC Milan next week. I can't wait for Liverpool to repeat its 2005 miracle run (nah... AC is way too good for Liverpool... though I do want to see Crouch's robot dance, highest of high comedy)
  • By the way, how did THIS happen!? HOW LOW HAVE WE SUNK!? I demand a real vote.
  • Never understood why the NBA was so defensive about the study on refs being racially biased. It happens to anyone, even refs. Think about how to ensure the bias, no matter how big or small, go away. Don't always think we don't have a problem!
  • I've been told that seeing my food pictures (specifically, dessert) in the morning has an adverse effect on my reader's health. So be it.


Lessons learned from Boston

First of all, you can see Boston pictures here... and three lessons I learned from my return to Boston as a tourist.

1. Traveling for food is the best reason. Way before we arrived in Boston, we already made requests and reservations for different food. Without further ado, from left to right, top to bottom: lobster at Quincy Market, Black Pepper Lobster at Blue Ginger (5 stars in city search... what happened to the points!?), Butterfish with Soba Sushi and very good wasabi also at Blue Ginger, Spicy Beef Bowl at my old hideout Cafe Mami (4.5 Stars), O-Toro with Caviar at the immortal Oishii (5 stars of course), spider roll at Oishii, alligator roll at Oishii, and two pictures of the too-good-to-be-true Molten Chocolate and three different types of ice cream at Finale (No stars since it is the brand new Brookline restaurant). We also went to Cafe Vittoria (5) for tiramisu, Emack and Bolio (4.5) to get smoothies, Bartley's (4.5) to get deadly frappe (er, milkshake), China Pearl (4.5) and the biggest shrimp dumpling in the world, and Dok Bua (4.5 again, god I hate these stars) for cheap but delicious Thai dinner.

2. Perspective is important... being a tourist is completely different from living in Boston. This time back, I decided to do all the tourist things (besides driving in Boston - that's something a tourist can't possibly handle). Alas, it's not as fun as the food; but I did actually enjoy the city a lot! The historic walks were excellent and the public parks were beautiful. Of course, perfect weather helped too.

3. Don't make unnecessary changes when things are going well. We went to watch the Red Sox battle the Os at Fenway. Their pitcher dominated us for 8.3 innings. An error by the catcher allowed Coco Crisp to get on base rather than facing 1 last out. Ortiz doubled (picture below) home the run and the come back was on its way. Anyway, when the Os decided to take out the starting pitcher, I was baffled. He has been dominating us with only 10 pitches per inning. TEN! Why would you switch him out!? This is like firing the top VP when a lowly associate made a silly mistake. Idiotic. And it cost them the game.


GSB lack hot women?

Okay, I might as well set myself up to be kicked out of school before graduation (in a month!).

During our Kentucky Derby trip, our RV ladies vehemently defending other GSB ladies, saying that there are many eligible girls who are single at the GSB. There are always guys at the GSB who keep complaining about the quality of women. Alas, I have found the root cause and the solution. So listen up.

Root cause: those who complain are always banker types; they are mostly male, the loudest, and they have a sample bias.

Solution: join the Marketing Group! I did a presentation for them on how to make a good powerpoint slide. I think I counted 5 men among 30 girls, and the 30 girls were pretty good looking.

As for the Bulls game I attended, let's just say the most exciting part of the game was this lady:


Second Yearnitis

Kentucky Derby pictures can be seen here.

If you haven't given to the class gift, here's the link.

If I went to this sushi restaurant (which I won't, because I am boycotting Chicago sushi), I might just leave every thing on the plate and pay more than the buffet price.

Speaking of sushi, I'm heading to Boston for the great Oishi. Also on the schedule is Blue Ginger and of course good ol lobsters. I'm also watching Josh Beckett pitch for his eighth consecutive victory to start the season (this Sunday). It'll be fun to approach Boston as a tourist.

Second yearnitis is hitting hard! I have to plan for Boston, Peru, Europe, move to Hong Kong... oh, and of course there are four classes, but who wants to know about those! Although... I would like to live a day and label all my conversations with biases I've learned from OB classes. For example:

PNGF: my exam sucked
Me: that is a negativity dominance bias
PNGF: you are so juvenile
Me: that is a fundamental attribution error
PNGF: shut up now
Me: that will be a self fulfilling prophecy
PNGF: you are so dead
Me: I can't fin... OUCH!


RV to Kentucky Derby!

After listing the high and low lights, I've decided that it was a worthwhile experience but I wouldn't do it again. At least I get to cross it off my "to-do" list (yes, sadly, RVing was on my to do list)...

Highlight: mint juleps (thank you, AE) and beer
Lowlight: Coors light all the time

Highlight: Getting gas and propane
Lowlight: $150 gas tap...
Lowlight 2: Propane guy says "y'all better get out of the RV now"

Lowlight: We scratched our RV at a gas station
Highlight: the RV rental guys didn't pick up on it

Highlight: water to brush teeth
Lowlight: no showering for 3 days

Highlight: say hi to high society while in RV gear
Lowlight: they immediately looked away and walked faster

Highlight: turkey brat #2
Lowlight: hamburger #13

Highlight: BF made scones and muffins while AE made past and fruit salad
Lowlight: Starbucks, Taco Bell (avoid the Seven Layer Crunchy thing at all cost), burger, eggs, burger, burger, Starbucks, and Burger King were our meals.

Highlight: the horse we bet on won
Lowlight: the horses that we also bet on didn't

Highlight: all those nice hats in and around Churchill Downs
Highlight 2: people watch
Lowlight: water bed (if you ask, I can elaborate)

Highlight: a drunk NR
Lowlight: a drunk NR

Highlight: Derby infield was great
Lowlight: trashy RV park was not

Highlight: shower at home after the trip
Lowlight: massive #2 in HPC

Highlight: RV bathroom looked good
Lowlight: we weren't allowed to use it (RV rule #1), so it was portapotties for all three days
Highlight: bathrooms at Starbucks, Taco Bell, Burger King, and HPC

Below is some pictures I took... for all of it with a lot of head shots, you can get them here.

Our RV
Requisite liquor store stop
RV Park... not much space for anything

Infield of Churchill Down
Churchill Down Entrance
Oh, and of course there's the race...


Kentucky Derby

Giddy up, here I come!

Seven of us are RVing down to Kentucky to watch the Derby.

Correction... seven of us are RVing down to Kentucky to drink Mint Juleps.



Some procrastination tools:
Someone asked me why I am always so relaxed and never stressed out. Well, first of all, I'm not always like that. I stress out too... like when the Red Sox were down 0-3 to the Yankees, or when Wade was getting phantom calls from the zebras, or when Payton Manning actually manufactures a game winning drive against the Pats...

On Monday, I brought my passport to school to scan. Of course, I then realize that I already have a scanned version saved in my computer. Anyway, I left my passport on the scanner and finally realized it on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, the computer lab calls and said they have my passport and asked me not to panic.

Um... why would I panic? It's in the GSB on a scanner. What's there to panic? Relax, don't stress.

Midterm week should mean more blogs

  • My previous post on my friend being punched in the face reminded me of one of my favorite posts from way back. Good times.
  • Yesterday was monumental in that there was exactly ONE blog post among the 30 something blogs I subscribe to. Everybody is taking a vacation from blogging, even the folks from Freakenomics!
  • Meanwhile, it's midterm week at the GSB and I'm finding all sorts of way to procrastinate
    • Make your class gift donations here!
    • Got tickets to Europe and then to Hong Kong... it's becoming a reality, damn it
    • Tried to leave a comment on The Dirty Canucks blog... unsuccessfully
    • Gathering photographers around the GSB for a project for the class gift
    • And, when I ran out of procrastination tasks, posting a blog
Bulls win Game 2... and then 3 and 4... bring it on, Detroit

Sunset from my apartment, I'll use a tri pod next time

We had brunch at Lula Cafe (9.7!) which was very good. I'm starting to feel that my writing don't do justice anymore. Here are the pictures.

Carrot-Coriander Griddle Cakes

Beef Sirloin Eggs Benedict

The well named Sticky Bun