Warning: books ahead!

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Last night, I treated myself. I booked a ticket for a talk in the Live at the NYPL series (which has some a** kicking talks on, check it out if you’re in New York and you’re into this sort of thing), which featured Alberto Manguel, speaking at the New York Public Library. For book-lovers, this is a treat (I think you could sort of compare it to going to a World Cup match for football lovers), and I loved every single minute of it. He talked about libraries, the future of books, Canada, Borges, why books are so wonderful, and how he doesn’t use the Internet. And we were allowed to sit in the trustees room, which is normally closed to the public, and is a dark panelled room, with beautiful tapestries, and a very hallowed atmoshpere. It sent my book-heart racing again (after all, I am a bookhistorian), and I can’t wait to unpack my boxes with books!

On a completely different note, the academics here have started to pick up a little. I’m taking 3 full credit courses (Advertising Management, my favourite, New Product Marketing and Entrepreneurial Finance), and this week my two half credit courses are starting: Negotiation, Conflict and Bargaining, and then Entrepreneurial Selling.

To top that off, it’s that time of season again. The leaves are falling, the storms are raging, and the job applications are due. Here’s my strategy for navigating through the forest that is called ‘full time job hunt’. I am only applying for jobs that I could really see myself doing, nothing else. And I try and do my very best on every single application, since all of these are jobs I really want. I spent last Sunday writing two applications, so keep fingers crossed!

There’s also a little more travel on the horizon: on Thursday I leave for Seattle and San Francisco, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I’ve been to SF before, but never to Seattle, and for a foodie and booklover like me, both of these are dream destinations. If anyone has any good ideas food/art/book-wise what I should do (KV?), I welcome any tips.

Yes, you read that right

Afb105That really says ‘cocaine’… apparently it’s the only legal form of cocaine you can buy, and it’s right here in my local supermarket! I don’t want to hear ANY more stories now from people, how they went to Amsterdam and got stoned/wasted (yes, that is becoming old really quickly, especially since I don’t do drugs and don’t particularly like Amsterdam, I think it’s a tourist infested open air tourist attraction for the most part)! In the US you can buy cocaine right in the supermarket ;-)

After a hectic few days at the end of last week (I travelled on Thu and Fri, volunteered on Sat, then travelled some more on Sun), I finally sat down to study for my midterm Entrepreneurial Finance last night (the midterm was today, hey, what can I say, I’m applying the best of Just-In-Time practices, my Operations professors would be proud!). But I decided to take the trash out first. And got my left index finger stuck. And now it’s all blue and typing is painful, as is writing. Just what I needed before a midterm!! Ugh. So this is a short one, more later when my finger stops hurting as much.

This was sooooo cool!

Afb090Literally and figuratively! Miss M (fellow LBS student at Stern this term) and I flew up to Chicago to visit the LBS gang there for the weekend. And it was so cool! Chicago’s such a great city (although I’m not sure I could live there, it gets soooo cold), and we had loads of fun. Saw a comedy show at Second City (which was very interesting: we couldn’t understand all the jokes since they were about American people we didn’t know, and the ones we thought humourous didn’t make any of the Americans laugh), had drinks with Poweryogi (nice to see you again sweetie!), visited the Kellogg campus (hosted by the wonderful Mr N and Ms F), did a Segway tour of Chicago (which rocked!!! Can highly recommend it), visited the Art Institute (where I loved this exhibition called So the Story Goes, which had some awesome photography in it), had deep pan pizza, went to the Kingston Mines Blues Club, and then after only two hours of sleep, I was back on a plane to NYC.

On my way back, I saw some corporate communications which I thought were awesome. My Airtran flight left from a gate that is set apart from the rest of Midway airport, and you have to take a little hike to get there. Airtran has cleverly solved the hike with the following:
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I thought they were brilliant! They take away the uncertainty of ‘am I going in the right direction?’, and ‘how much longer is it going to take?’ and ‘boy, this really is the sticks!’ in a very humorous way. Big thumbs up for Airtran!

Right, off to do some homework now, the term has heated up a bit in terms of work, and I’ll be out of town from Thursday til Sunday. 

What you can learn from watching an hour of Jerry Springer

Images37I’m normally not much of a daytime TV watcher (with the exception of Oprah, which I try and catch if I have the opportunity), for a number of reasons. First because I used to work during the day, second because I had no TV in the past year. But this morning, I had no classes, no pressing engagements and the lack of initiative to go out. So I bummed out on the couch and watched daytime TV. One and a half episode of Maury (never heard of him) and one whole episode of Jerry Springer (everyone’s heard of him). Hmmm. Now I remember why I didn’t like daytime TV much. It was horrible!! Worse than what I remembered, so terribly tacky.

But that was peanuts compared to the commercials! They were outrageous. In the space of 2 hours, I must have seen at least 45 minutes of commercials, promising cures to medical issues I didn’t even know I could have (dry eyes), advertising colleges that promise a career in law enforcement (meaning prison), financial companies that want to clear up my $25,000 credit card debt with just one phonecall (hmmm, maybe they can get rid of my student loan…) and the worst were the lawyer commercials. I can now so understand why lawyers are the bad guys in this country. The worst two commercials (and shameless) were the possibility to sue medical companies if your teenager has committed suicide whilst on ADHD drugs, or to sue a hospital if your baby is born with cerebral palsy. How shameless is that!

Maybe I’m just paying attention a bit more to commercials now that I’m taking Advertising Management…

Spent the weekend lazing about (with the exception of Saturday when I actually did some work at Stern). I took a city hike on Friday night, visiting the Rockefeller Center (they were laying the ice rink), the Apple Store (interesting, not very busy, I like the new Mac laptops), the Colliseum bookstore (rumoured to go out of business soon so I wanted to catch it before it closed) and last but not least: MoMa. Target sponsors Free Friday Nights, which means they waive the normal entrance fee. And I wasn’t the only one who had this luminous idea! It was crowded (I want to go again, but later at night, the open night is from 4 – 8pm), but I loved the space, and want to go back to have a closer look at the photographs. They have free audioguides included in the entrance fee, but you can also download the whole thing to your MP3 player (which I love).

Yesterday I wandered over to the Chelsea Market (15th street and 8th Avenue) which was blooming marvellous! I can highly recommend it to people who either like architecture or food, it’s the old home of the Oreo cookie and how houses foodshops/wholesalers. My favourites are Amy’s Bread, and the Italian shop (where they had 3 kilogram buckets of Nutella). On my way there I stopped in at Balducci’s (14th and 7th Avenue), which is a food hall extraordinaire, well worth a detour). No pics unfortunately, I forgot my camera and my phone.

I could use your help

Overwhelming_paperworkI’m not quite sure when it happened, or what caused it, but I seem to be buried in emails and to do lists nowadays, and I don’t seem to be able to get on top of what needs doing somehow. I don’t want this to turn into a whine and moan about it, but would instead love your tips and tricks for dealing with email avalanche and to do list mountain. How do you get through all of them? And what’s the best way you’ve found to keep track of to do lists? I can use all the help I can get!

PS This also explains why if you’ve written an email to me and I haven’t replied yet… it’s probably lost in my email system somewhere…

Au… (Dutch for my back is aching)

Afb050 Next time I have a brilliant idea like this, someone slap me! I thought it would be very good (following the mens sana in corpora (corporo? My Latin ain’t what it used to be) sana paradigm) to sign up for a few exercise classes at Stern. The gym is free for all students to use, and the classes only cost a nominal fee. So after a considerable time spent poring over the veritable mountain of options available (ranging from belly dancing to golf and tennis to obscure forms of aerobics), I decided on yoga and a combination pass for 5 different classes, which will allow me to go to any of them at any of the times they’re run. Brilliant idea. Very good price too. It all sounded so good…. anw now I’m aching. Badly. Yesterday was yoga, which I instantly loved and couldn’t get enough off (although it was slightly frustrating not being good at something, but I figure I have to get used to that sooner rather than later), and today I decided to go to Pilates (which I’ve done before so I figure it couldn’t be that bad). And now I’m aching in places I didn’t even know I had muscles! That’ll teach me ;-)

SmallcoverSince the object of the healthy body was to house a healthy mind, I went to a lecture/discussion last week (with RsR) by Chris Anderson, writer of The Long Tail. It was held at the New York Public Library, which was a very grand setting, and the talk itself was very amusing and interesting. The premise is that with the advent of the internet, and less reliance on physical inventories, companies are selling more and more of the so called Long-Tail-products, or the non-hits. Availability of more products, and the ability to find those products (for instance with the help of recommendations) can make niches very profitable, and I thought the idea in the book were very interesting. Companies like Amazon, Netflix and iTunes were examples mentioned, and if you haven’t read the book yet, I can highly recommend putting it on your wishlist/christmas list, and checking out the blog in the meantime. It was a memorable occasion for me in another sense too: it was the first time I got a book signed. I own a few signed books, but I never had one signed myself (yes, I know, that’s kinda odd for a bookhistorian).

Other news from the New York front: I’ve finished my shadowing, typed up my shadowing observations, printed them, got them bound and found a friendly Fedex person to ship it to me. Pfiew. The shadowing itself was a great experience for me, but the report kinda odd. I mean, how much is there to say about a manager’s leadership style? Not 12 pages for me. But all in all, I was pretty happy with my experience.

Stern is starting to keep me busy too: my Entrepreneurial Finance has assignments (small ones, but still) to be handed in, I’ve missed a few Advertising Managment classes due to my shadowing so I’m trying to catch up and New Product Development started two weeks ago, and is proving very interesting (a bit of an extension of the innovation work I did over the summer), and a lot of reading. Talking about New Product Development, Miss M (my fellow LBS partner in crime here at Stern this term) and I went to the lunch and learn session with the brand manager of 100 Calorie Packs from Kraft. Very interesting idea, and I thought it was nice to hear the ‘real’ world example.