Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Firm Social

Another extremely long day. Woke up at 9:30am with only 5.5 hours of sleep and did my dreadful Financial Derivatives and Hedging homework. Got to school around 12:30pm and had class all the way till 6:00pm. Headed to Pasadena right after and got to the Twin Palms restaurant for KPMG's career social event.

It was actually very nice. The young recruiter was super charged with energy. You could tell that he was the right person for the job from the very beginning. I was very hungry so I went for the food immediately. I guess they really wanted to encourge people to talk more, so they provided plates that were barely the size of your palm. Forks were the normal size and they appeared to be ginormous in those plates. Everything was in its mini-sized counter parts. For example, bite-size pizzas and bbq lamb pieces. They were so small that it made me wonder if it was really for consumption or for display. Anyway, after a couple of bites, I decided to talk to people. It was extremely uncomfortable to navigate through the crowd to only get bite size pieces to feed myself. I was to recruit anyway for god's sake!

Started to talk to bunch of people. I really want to do corporate tax, so I went straight to the tax department. Talked to some interesting people. Three senior managers and 1 partner. The partner really stood out though. He was Korean and he had a very healthy face. His face was pinkish, the kind that can almost make you see the glow of his healthy blood under his skin. I was telling him how I struggled when I just transferred. How I struggled with the family stuff, my academic works, and my health problems. But then again, really, in this kind of events, whatever people spewing out there are subject to intepretation. If I were the partner I probably wouldn't believe everything that a person tells me, especially when that person brings out bunch excuses for his poor school performances -_-..... But he actually listened and told me to think outside of the box. He told me to never get discouraged and Big Four should not mean this much. Considering that I ultimately want my own business, he told me to start now and don't waste any time. He said that if I am going to work only for a few years in this field then these years in KPMG would not be substantially different from other firms. He told me even I don't make it to the Big 4, I shouldn't be depressed or disacouraged in any sense. He looked at me in the eyes and kept telling me those. He said that I was already in the right place, USC has top four accounting programs in the nation and he said I would go somewhere. I shouldn't worry.

It was quite touching actually. We talked for a long time. But later I found out he was, first not a TAX partner, but an auditing Sr. Manager, and he wasn't recruiting for LA office, instead, he was looking for people in the OC. Beh he was nice anyway.. At this moment, really I don't even care if it is for tax or audit. Stepping into the office of any of the Big 4 accounting firms would be a huge success. I want it personally and partially I want this for my parents. I know I could care less and all, but because of my family's traditional education which started back when I was like 3-4 by my grandmother, the family's name and duty is carried on. The next generation is entitled to those responsiblities. It is so not American and yet it is deeply rooted in me. I am Chinese btw lol.

I don't know. I have always liked competition. Not the atheletic kind, it is the intellectual kind. I always envisioned that I would become the richest person in the world, or the most brilliant but wicked politician, or the best lawyer etc. But I think as I mature, I see the world and life a lot different. Especially after my disease snapped when I was 12, a lot of views changed since. I still like those kind of competitiveness. But I also think that life needs its simplicity. Whenever you slow down a bit in Los Angeles, for example, lay on the beach, look at the skyscrapers at night, enjoy a good company in a nice little cafe, you can feel your life essence flowing back to you. It is like life is on stand-by mode when you are off to become the next biggest hot shot in Wallstreet; it just patiently waits for its time to show you what living is like and what life is all about. Living doesn't have to be large. A Ferrari is nice, but my Accord may just do the trick. I would like a personal jet, but it would be too large and empty if I have no real friends to share with. Yes I could buy a 50 million house and love it, but after a busy day, I can only sleep in one of the 100 bedrooms. I think THAT is scary. All the excessiveness is SCARY. Yet, at USC, especially in the Marshall School of Business or the Leventhal School of Accounting, PROFIT, MONEY, TOP SPOT, JOB, STATUS, TITLE, NETWORK, MILLIONS, BILLIONS, these are the air we are breathing in and out. It is REALLY hard to not catch a bit green fever.

For example, today in my Strategic Management class, we spent 15 minutes discussing what is a good pay. The teacher is VERY good. Harvard graduate student + PHD. Extremely energetic. He is a very astute scholar, practitioner, and observer. He makes you really think. He revealed that in America, the top 125 hedge fund manager's AVERAGE SALARY/YEAR is 350 MILLION dollars. Well if that is the case, I just want be a sucky hedge fund manager then. I will take 100 million and smile. In schools like USC, Berkeley, any of the Ivy League, the goal is to show you what you are capable of and at the same time leading you to the way to your goal. But when this is advertised too much, people's goals and dreams are tinted. People lose their directions. It is a group sink, because everyone is doing it, people stop asking questions like "is that REALLY my goal?" Hell if you really think about it, in that case, do most of the people even want all those big over the top dreams in their lives? You can only spend so much in your life time!

Bah, ok now I am just ranting. The main reason is because my GPA is low and I don't have a job offer yet. This is really frustrating and getting really really old. I hope I get a job soon, so that I can resume my hedge fund manager dreams >_<...

I found this picture and I think it makes a good point. A pyramid of knowledge and civilization and the top never looked so beautiful. It shows you the mystery, the secret, and the power that you can only access at the top. But beyond that brilliant facade, what is really there.

Have you or would you ever blatantly asked a random guy out before you know for sure he is gay?

I am sure there are people like that out there and unfortunately I know I ain't one of them.

I went to Gypise Cafe again with Hester today. I saw this really good looking UCLA student sitting there alone. He was smoking his Hookah eating his food and very focused on his Apple laptop. He never stopped typing stuff. The only break he would take was to sucking the smoke from the bong or to eat his food. He had some scruffy looking beard, which looked hot and cuddly. Very nice face feature. I couldn't stop looking. He never for once looked up to checkout anyone or anything around him. He just stared that stupid laptop and never stopped typing.

Now, I thought, if I have balls, I would just walk up to him and say "hey dude, my name is xxxx, and I couldn't stop noticing you, would you like to grab coffee sometimes?" There are four possible outcomes:
1. I would love to.
2. Sorry I have a boyfriend
3. Sorry man, I am not gay.
4. Punch me in the face.

Ok that is 25% succeeding chance without the consideration of all other add-in factors such as me being attractive enough for him or if there would be any chemistry. So the slim 25% just got pummeled down to like single digit %. On top of the small success rate I might get punched.

It just made me thinking. Would people really just go at it and ask people then find out if they are gay or not and if they are interested or not at the same time? I just think it is too many rejections at once if it fails which is kinda high. Maybe my gaydar hasn't been fully developed. Hester told me that his voice was very soft and that was her version of gay vibe. I dismissed that. But I kinda wanted to figure it out.

Wish that everyone were just stamped with "gay" "straight" "bi" on their foreheads. beh...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I didn't get to see the gays

I was really motivated to get myself out there to meet more gay people before this semester started. So I did some research online. To my disappointment, the gay organization's websites are far less attractive and organized as the mainstream organizations such as fraternities and academic student bodies. I got really frustrated toward the end so I just used facebook to message a guy who seemed to be very involved with all the gays and held official positions in one of the gay organizations.

His name was Grant. He replied me very quickly and that kinda surprised me a little. We messaged each other a bit and then he told me that they (their group is called U-rap) held meetings every Monday and I should join them. So I did. Embarrassing enough though, the place of the meeting had many rooms and our campus singing group Reverse Omasis also held an audition in that building. I walked in the audition room. Bunch people looked up. I really didn't get the gay vibe from any of them. So being as cautious as I could, I asked "is there a Grant here?" instead of asking "is this the gay meeting here" as I originally planned. Thank god I had some final thoughts. Imagine HOW EMBARRASSING that would have been. Way to not to come out!! I had my version of American Idol scare. I could swear that those people did not think I could sing a bit. haha.

Eventually I found the room and I met some interesting characters. Yes they were gay alright. One of them, Steven, was triple majoring and involved with the gay activities plus his gay-friendly fraternity. God I love over achievers. Even though I feel kinda small and insiginificant around these people who are taking on 10 jobs plus aiming for Nobel prices, I still really like them. Anyways, that night, the topic was "LA gay culture, is it bitchy?" Hm gay enough of a topic I thought. I actually had a lot to say about this but when I started to talk I felt very insufficient on all my points. These people were very experienced. One of the Asian kid was kinda fem and would NOT stfu. Steven the handsome over achiever was clearly more of a leader in the situation and made everyone focus. Regardless of their characters, one thing in common for all of them was that they all had their full-on exposure to gay scenes for many many years. I was exposed to it for like 4 months. But I believe I made some good gay points. hehe.

After I went home that day I felt pretty good. I felt that I was going to the right direction. Last Thursday I received an email from U-rap. They were planning to see a Dream Girls as a group today. Of course I signed up to go. I was all excited and ready till last night I started my messed up Corporate Tax Project. I obviously had no chance of completing this shit had I gone to the movies with them. Besides I have training at the gym with Peter tomorrow at 10:00am. As hard as it was, I called one of the people from that group and told her that I couldn't make it. I really wanted to go though!... She never called me back or texted me back or anything. Kinda apethetic which is kinda disappointing. But oh well, I still have to finish this research thing. Damn....

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday drives me crazy

I remember that when I was a little kid, like 6-8, I used to get extremely nervous on Sunday nights. The thought of going to school and the long week ahead always freaked me out. It got better and better for me over the years. For a while I really thought that feeling was gone. However, lately I just discovered that that feeling was never gone. It mutated into something else. Instead of hitting me on the Sunday nights, it became this constant pressure over my life.

Every Sunday, or whenever before my big tests, that feeling comes back. It reminds me of my procrastination and what I am doing with my life. Is the stuff that I am doing really for me? Till today, after spending tons of money at USC and two majors later, I still have this doubt. I always want to own a business on my own but then the goal is so risky and far fetched at this moment, I have to force my mind back to the mind-numbling shit that I am doing now.

I am working on a corporate tax project. It is a bit interesting in a way but overall it is so boring, and this is what I am gonna do after graduation. The very thought of that is just kinda depressing. I caught JP online today and chatted a little bit. A TV person I would like to call. Doesn't matter if it is for news or entertainment at least it is freaking TV. I don't really know what is going on in that job so I guess I can't whine too much about my profession.

I really wish that I could be so sure about something that is as important as my career. But really, after all these efforts, I still dont know and the uncertainty scares me. The social life comes along with the professions that I chose, involves nothing but drinking after work. I do not mind doing it a bit, but somehow just drinking for the sake of relaxing doesn't appeal to me. And really, how hard can you party when you have to work 40-60 hours a week? It is not I am lazy and do not want to work. It is just that I want to do something that has real means to it and has the potential to change people's lives. I really do not think changing people's life is such a big goal as a lot of my friends may consider. Everyone's action can ignite a chain of events which will change people's lives in ways you can never imagine. I think if one finds something he/she loves and does it well, it is bound to change people's lives and in turn to form the society we live in. That has some real meaning to it.

Anyways, the reason that I am ranting is because it is Sunday again and the freaking numbers won't match. God I hate numbers. I often wonder why I chose finance and accounting as my majors.

Last night, I went out with Hester and her sister Carla for a cup of coffee. Carla just lost her Dior bag in her gym. Actually it was stolen. The thief returned her cellphone and told her that she "found" the cellphone. Her credit card was used for purchasing bunch of random stuff. The bag is like 1,000 dollars and she was crying her eyes out. But at least when I got there she was already over it and appeared to be totally fine. It is nice to see her again, she is very energetic girl. Carla is a bit more flirtatious than her sister Hester, who is my close friend. So we had coffee talked about some random shit. It was a very nice coffee break. Very laid back and very random, just the way I like it. Then we talked about how we missed Pink's hotdog in Hollywood. We used to grab hotdogs from that place everytime we went clubbing in Hollywood. So as spontaneous as we are, we just drove to Hollywood to eat hotdogs.

Carla is a nice girl but we are not very close because we really do not have the chance to hang out. I have been toying with the idea of telling her that I am gay. I already know it is not gonna be a big deal because Hester already showed me that her family is very friendly to gay people. Even though I already knew the outcome, I was still nervous to say that three words. So I started to hint her to see if she could catch my drift.

I said "oh Hollywood, we haven't gone clubbing for a while."
Carla, "I know."

" You know, West Hollywood is pretty cool too. Hester and I have been there for a couple times."
Hester is not saying a word. She was listening tentatively and waiting to see Carla's reaction.

"oh really, I have never been there before." Suddenly, she corrected herself, still speaking with her energetic voice, "you know actually Angel brought me to a club in West Hollywood with his uncle. His uncle is gay and we went to this place called...R..r..Rave? It was so fun; so many hot guys there, and Angel's two teammates went with us too and they kept grabbing on me so other guys won't hit on them. It was so funny and we had a great time. It was pretty cool."

"It is Rage." I said.

"Oh yeah! Rage"

At this point, I would have asked how do you know if I were Carla. I was surprised that she didn't. So I said, "have you guys gone to Abbey or Mickey's?"


Hester couldn't hold it any longer, just said that I was gay. Carla was like, "what?" and then she yelled "really" and became all excited. Then she fell quiet and started to 'assess" all the information. It was pretty funny.

Let me talk about Carla's boyfriend Angel a bit. First of all, Angel is the real name... And he is a 6'3" football player. So he is huge and he has a VERY SWEET smile and he is just a very fucking hot piece of meat. Carla told me that Angel's uncle is 26 (I was like wth...) and looks just like him. That is just too hot. I told Carla that she should introduce me to Angel's uncle. That would be so sweeeet. According to Carla, he is a dancer and also in law school. Beh he probably won't be interested in a finance guy who doesn't really know how to dance then :<. But I think it'd be really nice to meet someone new.

After Pink's, I really wanted to go to Westwood for some Hookah, but these sisters got really tired. So we went home. Ah... I wish the weekend could be much longer though! So not ready for school next week. I've got two big assignments and Meet the Firm event on Thursday. It is time to kiss ass again. WEeee. I CANNOT WAIT.

oh well, life goes on...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

So tired today

I had a trainer session at my gym at 11:00am. The problem, I woke up at 11:00am. I just had a Corporate Tax midterm on Thursday, which was depressing because only 5 out of 26 questions pertained to the chapter I studied the most AND I still managed to get one easy question wrong. I am not looking forward to the score. But anyways... due to the test, I had minimum sleeps on Tuesday and Wednsday and Thursday night I somehow didn't sleep early. The trainer even called me on Thursday night. But, around 3:00am in the morning, in my bed, I said " Beh.. I am gonna sleep my ass off tomorrow". So I did... I woke up exactly at 11:00am and remembered the appointment immediately. Trainer Peter was nice enough and said no problem come right in. I took a shower quickly and drove to Pasadena immediately.

I really thought it was gonna be easy like last time, which was my first free session. I was soooo wrong. We worked out together for 40 minutes in total and I was dying around 30 minutes mark. The exercises only involved light weight trainings like squad, bench press, and abs. I never felt so weak. Toward the end, my legs were shaking, my arms gave out, my forms were out of shape, and I literally ran out of breath. I was choking and I could feel that my muscle really sucked in all the oxygen in my body. I don't know. I talk to the trainers (who happen to be really young here in my gym) all the time and a lot of them are very nice and they help me often here and there. Peter is just different. His exercises are easy and yet hard to maintain. Most importantly I can feel it so much. So... I signed up a 24 session plan which swiped out 1.8k off my credit card instantly. I hope it is worth it!!!! We will see after 3 months. Either I will show off a killer body or kill the trainer.

Right after training, I went to dodo's place and played Bomber Man Generation on Gamecube while she did her 2 hour pre-going out preparation. Then we headed to Gitanna for Hoohak and afternoon meal. It was so chill and the cafe just opened when we got there. It felt good being served as the only customer, hehe, like VIPs. Then we headed off shopping in Pasadena. It's always good to hang out with dodo. She is like my little sister. We can just talk about whatever and always manage to crack each other up. Like we were making chocolate poo pile in Melting Pot (a fondue restaurant) using the left over chocolates today. The gay couple, I only assumed because they were very well dressed and looked so happy together, kept looking at us. Hehe, I think a lot of times I still refuse to grow up and it feels good. That is another reason I love California, I really believe that people can stay young in this sun bathed chosen place. Then we did a bit more shopping.

I don't know. I think the mainstream really gives the gays too little credits. While the "machos and straight as an arrow guys" ridicule gays, they are embracing the homo-erotic A&F products and loving D&G logos proudly on their T-shirts. I don't get it really. Aside from the fashion industry, the cities really should thank gays. It is the gay community that makes West Hollywood a sensation in the nation for its over the top gay nightlife. Though, I hate the "I am so hot" shitfaced people allover the place. But that is just LA in general.. Now Pasadena, the new Beverly Hills in my opinion. It is a place where hip, chill, city, urban, down to earth, and fancy all presented simutaenously. I really love this place because it always gives me this melting pot feeling that is original and very American. A main reason this place has become this way is not only because the city decided to change its image but also because a lot of wealthy Guppies (gay yuppies) are around this area now. They have to make it a bit hip and homo-erotic here and there to attract the true gays and the straight gays. The end result is very successful.

Anyways, we went to urban outfitter after the fondue desert run, and I saw some hot guys in the store, some dressed nice and some dressed hippie. The hippie ones were very scruffy and a bit dirty which somehow made them way hotter than the the clean dressed ones. I think I am just a bit horny. Only wish that my gym had younger guys. I am reading JP Mac from Overnight in Newyork a lot since it's gone live. While he is having all those hot encounters since high school, I am only hooking up in the sauna room at my gym ~:<. I really need to go to more gay places and really get into the scene. Still terrified, still trying. hehe that is my slogan for now. After I left dodo's place around 10pm. I went to a Brazilian club called Cafe Banzza. I used to work for Disney Consumer Product, a division of Disney Company but handles the business side, such as accounting, finance, packaging etc. An intern who used to work with me on the same floor invited me to that party. It was his last day today and hence the party. I worked there for 6 months and left 1 month earlier than he and now he is leaving for Deloitte Consulting department. beh I am so jealous...... and I am really happy for him. He is so smart and working very hard. Anyways, I was already exhausted from all the running around during the day but then I felt bad for not going. So I drove out the westwood area and got in the club. It is actually very refreshing though the room smelled like an active hot yoga room. People were geniunely having fun. Girls were dancing, guys were dancing, and bouncers were not checking ID. It was great. Unlike Hollywood, the "live it up", "over the top", "I am Linsay Lohan wanna be" kinda mentalities were no where to be found. The music was great and incredibly loud. I really loved it. But the people from Disney wanted to go to a bar. They got bored of the dancing I guess. Btw, this black guy named Chris, he is so good looking top and such a good dancer. Too bad he is not gay. They decided to go to a bar in Santa Monica. I just drove 30 miles to this thing and I only stayed there for 1 hour. I really didn't feel like driving again. Although I was having fun, I felt kinda left out because a lot of people who went didn't know me and vice versa. People were a bit buzzed and they were just talking and leaving and I was just standing there listening. I dont know I just didn't think it was all that friendly. Actually I shouldn't be this surprised because I have actually met some of the most ill personalities there in my life. Now it is 4:00am in the morning, I am abotu to peace out. Shout out to JP Mac from Overnight in NY His blog is very cool and I really like his personality. Thank you JP for the mention. It made my day!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Poor Californians lol...

It snowed in Malibu. YES IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD. The news have been circulating all day long and the closing of I-5 has been the talk of the day. Reporters are all glowing in their inches deep makeups and smiling and talking about how crazy the snow is. I totally understand that it is rare to snow here and all, but the way they are reporting it is so dramatic. I love how a cuddly Canadian dude said "I am from Canada, it is cold but i don't see what the big fuss is and why they close down the freeway and all." Yeah, dude, I don't understand it either. I can appreciate the practical reasons behind. But oh my god, spoiled LA people. haha. I love LA for the very reason though.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

If you got two cows

I just read this thing and it is kinda funny. I am sure there is a lot of things like this out there, but cows just sound better

Traditional Company -
You've got two cows, so you sell one and then purchase a bull with money. From there you will raise a herd of cows and start to make profits. At the end you sell all of them and happily retire.

American Company -
You've got two cows, so you sell one and then force the other one to produce milk as much as four cows combined. When the cow exhausts to death, you are sincerely surprised by the outcome.

French Company -
You've got two cows, but you are still on strike because what you really want is three cows.

Japanese Company -
You've got two cows, so you re-engineered them so that their sizes are only 10% of what they are used to be and milk production increased by 2000%. Then you name them Cowkimon and sell the product and brand image to the entire world.

Germany Gompany -
You've got two cows, and your scientists genetically altered them so that they can live up to 100 years old, only need to be fed once a month, and they can milk themselves.

British Company -
You've got two cows, and they are all mad cows.

Italian Company -
You've got two cows, but you have no idea where they are, so you take it easy and go to brunch.

Russian Company -
You've got two cows. You count them once and realize that you actually have 5 cows. So you count again, and this time you've got 46 cows. Not convinced, you count one more time and this time you've got 12 cows. You got extremely irritated by all the number counting and confusion, so you opened up another bottle of Vodka.

Swiss Company -
You've got 5000 cows and none of them belongs to you. You earn your money by protecting these cows for the owners.

Chinese Company -
You've got two cows, and you place 300 people to milk these two cows. Publically, you claim that the reason is productivity has increased and the cows are highly efficient and at the same time try to capture the journalists who are trying to report the truth.

Indian Company -
You've got two cows, and you worship them.

Taiwan Company -
You've got two cows, and bunch of people are protesting because you are about to send one of them to mainland China. But actually one of your cows is already in mainland China.