Yesterday is History


Tomorrow is Mystery

April 30, 2008

Sunday night, cheered Carl on as he headed into the last two weeks of exam preparation. We might be hiking in the Adirondacks this fall. I went on and on about National Geographic Adventure magazine and he decided to get a subscription as well. I'm very grateful that I still have great friends to travel with, run with, volunteer with, party with, live with, etc. As they say, diversification is key.

Tuesday, we practiced propping ourselves up on the side wall using arms and legs. Carl (a different one) and I stayed late to try a few more 5.5 and 5.6 routes on various ropes. I can do this!

April 29, 2008

The crash of Zoe Cruz

“I’d be more than happy for Zoe to take more risk,” Pandit told a friend, “if I felt comfortable that she understood the risk she’d be taking.” Throughout this period, Cruz was dogged by suggestions that she was unqualified to head her division. According to a person who attended several meetings with them, Pandit would antagonize Cruz in front of the other managing directors, causing her to shake with anger and frustration, wiping tears from her eyes. And during the annual managing directors’ dinner in 2002, a gathering in which employees performed vaudeville skits to poke fun at the leadership, Cruz’s division was described as breaking down into two parts: the “she gets it” part and the “she doesn’t get it” part. “It got the biggest wince and laugh at the same time,” says an attendee.

When another Morgan Stanley division head, Patrick de Saint-Aignan, started buying currency options from a competing bank with better rates than Cruz offered in-house, she would “storm over screaming” at the bewildered Frenchman, accusing him of “crossing the line into her turf,” says a onetime colleague, who describes bystanders looking on awkwardly, relieved when she finally walked away. But her ferocity paid off: After several such episodes, she forced De Saint-Aignan to buy her higher-priced options, diminishing his profits but improving her own. She was seen as overly emotional, her voice sometimes cracking in contentious meetings. (“Having an emotional reaction to things is where I’ve made most of my mistakes,” she told a group of students at Harvard.) The traits that a woman must develop to duke it out on the trading floor will come back to haunt her as she ascends the ranks of management.

April 27, 2008

Saturday afternoon, Kelly couldn't make it so I climbed with a few other newbies. Feeling pretty good about some of the 5.5 and 5.6 routes. Gotta stay as close to the wall as possible. Saturday night, Neeta's friend Karan's friend's birthday bash at Jbar. Interesting to find out that another friend's relationship ended two weeks ago and she is considering moving to New York. I cannot help but wonder if this is the hip new solution to dealing with breakups.

Sunday morning, out of action. Sunday afternoon, six miles wearing my lucky marathon sunnies that my aunt got me. I figured that I'm never going to get my lucky marathon cap back, so I might as well get emotionally attached to a new piece of gear.

NYTimes: Under an interesting set of rules promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004, called “Alternative Net Capital Requirements for Broker-Dealers That Are Part of Consolidated Supervised Entities,” the amount of capital that had to underlie assets was reduced substantially. (Mr. Einhorn rightly says that this set of rules should have been called the “Bear Stearns Future Insolvency Act of 2004.”)

April 25, 2008

Life has been easy since the end of January. But today Vix closed under 20 for the first time this year. If people start doing deals, work will pick up again. Am I short Vega or what?

Thursday, full council meeting. We are starting a newsletter so there will be plenty of opportunities for oped writing. Afterwards, Carrie, Mari, Rachael, Sheeba and I grabbed a bite at Rockit. Mari is considering writing a PhD thesis on why people choose to not have kids. Wow, I can picture the kind of emotions that arise when people address this question. I'm thankful for having a career based on relatively objective problems.

Friday, team dinner at Carnivale to thank Shirley for her hard work. Love the decor and the ceviche tasting. Every time I eat out, my water weight rises by 2 percent. I cannot help but wonder how much salt is inhaled at restaurants.

NYTimes: Americans are used to receiving calls from India for insurance claims and credit card sales. But debt collection represents a growing business for outsourcing companies, especially as the American economy slows and its consumers struggle to pay for their purchases.

April 23, 2008

Monday, walked over to Triad Sushi Lounge with Jeff. I thought he was going to say "aww" and give me a hug. Instead, as I told him about what happened, he kept shaking his head and saying, "You guys don't communicate at all!" As I frowned, he hastily added, "I used to be like that in my twenties." Get older. Get wiser. Hopefully.

Tuesday, walked through Lasalle & Division without beating myself up. Yay. Got my belay certification and climbed with Kelly. We worked on rope six, keeping our feet as wide as possible to get up the corner overhang. Tom also talked about keeping our arms as straight as possible to reduce the usage of muscles.

Wednesday, met up with Laurie, Tony and others at Elephant and Castle. Tony talked about his experience stepping off Cape Town's magnificent Table Mountain at over 1000 meters above sea level and "abseil into pure oblivion". New item on my to do list.

NYTimes: Last week, Senator McCain laid out his economic vision in a speech in Pittsburgh. He talked about wasteful spending, but the newest, most detailed part of the speech dealt with a package of tax cuts that would cost about $300 billion a year. They would come on top of $350 billion a year in Bush tax cuts that Mr. McCain wants to make permanent. To put these numbers in perspective, the Iraq war has been costing roughly $200 billion a year. Are there any fiscal conservatives anymore?

April 21, 2008

An article on Bhutan reminded me of my walk through the grand canyon: "There must be so little I actually know about anything."

Funny Question of the Week (posed to Nassim Taleb): "You can tell that there will be another blow-up, another Black Swan, but you can't tell me where it will occur - or can you?"

April 20, 2008

Saturday, Elaine organized a social at Savor the Flavor Cafe, featuring Good Asian Drivers. The venue is super cosy, perfect for a first date, me thinks. Afterwards, met up with a couple lawyers from ACLU at the Grand Central. They really love their jobs and only want to date guys that are as passionate about what they do. I believe this provides statistically significant evidence against the hypothesis that I have unrealistic expectations.

Sunday, practically held my breathe while I made my way from State & Division to the Fitness Formula club. The scene where he offered to drive me home and I just walked away played in my head over and over and over again, even as the rock climbing class started and I fumbled with my harness. The actual climbing was edifying and I did much better than six weeks ago. Not being crazy angry makes a big difference, apparently. Met two really cool consultants Kelly and Kat. Kat is originally from Dallas and has a couple marathons under her belt. Kelly is from Phoenix and already knows what she is doing on the wall. We are meeting up for practices between classes.

Wendy's Bonsai Management Plan

Water each day first thing in the morning.

Once a week or so, water by totally immersing the pot in water until the bubble trail quits.

The old Japanese adage is to water three times; once for the pot, once for the soil, and once for the tree.

Tips from

April 18, 2008

Wednesday night, back in Chicago!

Thursday night, deleted his number within an hour of him walking out of the door. I think Greg Behrendt would be very proud of me. A nice long run to put everything into perspective. The first three miles always hurt (real or imagined) but, after that, it's glorious.

Friday, ramen & green tea soba with Jim at Ginza. Then we chatted over this really good cherry blossom tea until 1 am. I originally described my stupid behaviour six weeks ago on this blog. However, the other party requests privacy so it has been deleted. Revisiting it with Jim and speaking out loud made me realize how bad it really was.

You live. You learn. You forgive yourself.

April 16, 2008

Yangshuo itself is full of hotels but nearby villages are so peaceful they remind me of Switzerland. Dad waiting for Beer & Beer Fish.

Visiting my uncle in Shanghai, I noticed that the security lock in the hallway was changed.

Me: Why was the lock changed?

Uncle: The boy down the hall broke up with his girlfriend.

Moral of the Story: Cease all interaction with your ex as soon as you break up. Instead of asking for your keys back, change all the locks in your building.

April 1, 2008

Thursday, off to HK for yummy street food!

Wendy likes the taro drink with sticky balls.

March 27, 2008

Monday, Fei Fei is in town. Dinner at Zocalo was followed by my favorite experience at Buddy Guy's yet.

Wednesday, met up with CJ at Potbelly before seeing Wicked. It is a wonderful musical but my temperament is such that I do not really enjoy seeing anything a second time.

Finally uploaded pictures from Lincoln Park Conservatory when Durgesh visited. A flower or a lady?

Allianz launches its first variable annuity product in Japan. Nikko Cordial Securities Inc. is the first distribution partner for the first product. Efficient global investment diversification is provided by six separate account funds. The bond funds are managed by PIMCO Japan Ltd., an asset management company of the Allianz Group, and the equity investment funds are managed by Barclays Global Investors Japan Limited. Customers can select their investment asset allocation combining these six separate accounts.

March 23, 2008

Friday, Brish flew to Chicago for his friend's engagement. I met him at Clark/Lake and walked over to VTK; loved the pom cosmo. Attempted to admire the riverside architecture while blocking hail stones. On State Street, we ran into Adrian, on his way to a poker game. Chicago is officially full of Waterloo people. Afterwards, we hang out with Jenny and Sahil at our place, discussing astrology. Apparently, my rising sign is Scorpio.

Saturday, Shahan and Tracy hosted Turkey dinner to celebrate Easter/Holi. Jenny made a super yummy potato salad and we played Wii. I am awful at video games. At one point, while my character, Mario, attempted to walk a tight rope, Shahan covered his eyes. However, due to lots of random luck, I won =)

Sunday, CJ came over and helped me with laundry, since I need to get ready for my travels next week.

Stephen gave me a Kiva gift certificate, so I loaned it to Griselda Abreu Benitez's Group. The group's field partner is Fundación San Miguel Arcángel, rated 4 stars, meaning that it has a significant amount of evidence demonstrating high likelihood of repayment.

March 19, 2008

Sunday, met up with CJ for our first salsa class in a while. Here is the pattern we learnt: switch hands, back two three, cross over to the right, one is lunge (move both feet), two is shift weight, turn one way, turn the other way; cross body lead but the lead turns twice, back two lift knee, spin, twist twist.

In the evening, we cooked Korean BBQ chicken and munched on baby tangerines. He says that he is going to retire in a hut near Mt Everest, so I suggested doing the Everest Base Camp Trek to scout out a good property.

Wednesday, I&R meeting to discuss the future of Action Saturday. We decided that Saturday is not a good choice of time, but cannot agree on what is a good choice of time. So, for now, it's Action Anytime :) Sheeba is taking over for me while I'm traveling in Asia.

March 15, 2008

Friday, visited Argyle with Jenny and her mum. We got a bunch of groceries and ate yummy food at Pho Xe Tang: ginger duck, pho, noodle and spring roll in rice paper.

Uploaded CJ's everglades photos, as well as mine. The place is not mind-blowing like the Grand Canyon but the magic seeps into you.

test your people skills at

March 9, 2008

Friday night, we celebrated international women's day at the university club. I received a bonsai for attaining my FSA. A salsa instructor was engaged and all girls spun around on the dance floor. I attempted to lead but kept messing up the hand positions. Later in the evening, I met CJ's brother-in-law, Suresh, at Buddy Guy's.

Saturday, CJ and I went for breakfast at Einstein Bros Bagels on Southport. I munched on lox and bagel, while he bit into eggs and bagel. Other than grocery shopping at Whole Foods, we spent the entire day talking and napping, highly unusual for two hyperactive people but kind of fun. The fishies we got last year are so big now.

Jenny's mum is visiting this week, so I got to drink all kinds of yummy soup each morning. She kept complimenting our apartment, which made me realize just how lovely everything is. I live in a spacious 1150 square feet apartment offering a fabulous unobstructed lakeview situated next to a 24 hour grocery store and subway station, as well as 18 miles of trails along the shores of Lake Michigan, with the best roomie ever.

March 6, 2008

Thursday, CJ and I attmpted to rock climb together. I got mad at him and said stupid stuff.

Saturday morning, we held our voter education event. The speakers were wonderful but the turnout was disappointing. Oh well, we will rethink our goals and strategies at the next meeting.

Saturday afternoon, CJ and I met up at the Starbucks around the corner from where I live. Apologized for saying stupid stuff. Was forgiven. (Or so I thought ...)

Peter Lynch, a vice chairman of Fidelity, was among 13 employees accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of accepting gifts from brokers. The only explanation I can come up with for this kind of behavior is sense of entitlement.