The House of Random Crap
A clearinghouse for my crazed, deviant, trivial, irreverant & occasionally reflective thoughts.


Wednesday, August 27, 2003  

Don't forget to get a glimpse of Mars!
______________________________

Mars Makes Closest Approach Wednesday
August 26, 2003

Everyone on Earth will be close to Mars this week, but the people of French Polynesia will be closest of all.

Science@NASA -- At 09:51 universal time (UT) on August 27th, Earth makes its closest approach to Mars in nearly 60,000 years. The two worlds, center-to-center, will be just 56 million kilometers apart -- a short distance on the scale of the solar system. The last people to come so close to Mars were Neanderthals.

Magazine articles, newspapers, and TV shows have touted the encounter for months. But they all omitted one detail: Which part of Earth?

Think about it: At the moment of closest approach one side of our planet will be closer to Mars than the other. Earth is about 12,756 km wide, so the difference -- one side vs. the other -- is trifling compared to the vast distance between the two worlds. But the fact remains that someone, somewhere will be the closest ever to Mars. Where?

The answer is Tahiti.

The islands of French Polynesia will be facing Mars at the precise moment the two planets converge. People living on Tahiti and nearby islands will therefore be the closest to Mars.

While Tahiti is facing toward the red planet, another spot on Earth diametrically opposite will be facing away: the Nubian Desert of Sudan. This is the place on Earth farthest from Mars.

Everyone on Earth will have a close encounter with Mars this Wednesday. Your personal encounter happens when Earth's rotation carries your hometown across the Mars-facing side of our planet. None of these encounters will be as close as the Tahitians' -- but they're all good.

The table below lists moments of closest approach for selected cities around the world. New York City, for instance, will be nearest to Mars at approximately 05:46 UT (1:46 EDT) on August 27th.

-- New York, NY: 05:46 UT; 01:46 a.m. EDT

-- Fairbanks, AK: 10:08 UT; 02:08 a.m.

-- Los Angeles, CA: 08:23 UT; 01:23 a.m. PDT

-- Denver, CO: 07:37 UT; 01:37 a.m. MDT

-- Dallas, TX: 07:06 UT; 02:06 a.m. CDT

-- St. Louis, MO: 06:43 UT; 01:43 a.m. CDT

-- Chicago, IL: 06:35 UT; 01:35 a.m. CDT

-- Miami, FL: 06:04 UT; 02:04 a.m. EDT

-- Honolulu, HI: 10:47 UT; 00:47 a.m.

-- London, England: 01:34 UT; 01:34 a.m.

-- Brasilia, Brazil: 04:05 UT; 01:05 a.m.

-- Santiago, Chile: 05:32 UT; 01:32 a.m.

-- Athens, Greece: 23:56 UT (Aug. 26); 02:56 a.m. (Aug. 27)

-- Baghdad, Iraq: 20:15 UT (Aug. 27); 00:15 a.m. (Aug. 28)

-- New Delhi, India: 18:19 UT; 23:49 p.m.

-- Tokyo, Japan: 14:31 UT; 23:31 p.m. (Aug. 28)

-- Sydney, Australia: 13:50 UT; 23:50 p.m.

-- Pago Pago, Samoa: 11:34 UT; 00:34 a.m.

A good rule of thumb: If you want to see Mars when it's closest to your hometown, be outside around 1 o'clock Wednesday morning. Look south and up.

Contrary to some reports, Mars will not be as big as the full moon nor will it cast shadows. But it will be bright (magnitude -2.8) and beautiful--like an intense butterscotch-colored star. You can see it even from brightly-lit cities.

There will be lots of "Mars parties" organized this week to celebrate the moment of closest approach. Here in North America, the best times to do that are Tuesday evening (Aug. 26) and Wednesday morning (Aug. 27) when the distance between Earth and Mars is least.

If you oversleep on August 27th, or clouds get in the way of Mars, don't worry. Mars will remain bright and beautiful for many weeks to come.

"Many people have the misimpression that there is something special about the appearance of Mars on August 27th, as if it were substantially closer then than the day before or after," notes John Mosley of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. "The reality is that Mars is close to earth all the month of August and will remain close all through September. The distances involved are great and they change little from one day to the next."

The best night, he advises, is any night when the air is steady and the skies are clear.

In fact, Mars is going to become easier to see during the weeks ahead simply because it rises earlier and earlier each day. By mid-September it will be high in the sky before bedtime--nearly as brilliant as it is now.

Travels and Trifles

It's been widely reported that this week's close encounter is the best in 60,000 years. True. But similar Earth-Mars encounters have happened many times in recent history.

Some examples: Aug. 23, 1924 and Aug. 18, 1845. In both cases Mars and Earth were approximately 56 million km apart. The difference between those encounters and this one is less than about 50 thousand kilometers. A trifle.

Even more trifling is the difference between French Polynesia and other parts of Earth. Mars will look the same this week from Tahiti as it does elsewhere. Being a few thousand kilometers closer to something 56 million kilometers away just doesn't make much difference.

On the other hand, a warm sea breeze, the crashing of waves on the beach, the ambiance of the South Pacific ... these factors may have some effect on Mars watchers beyond the ken of science. Perhaps a research expedition is in order. We leave that for the reader to decide.

Note: At the moment of Earth's closest approach to Mars, Mars will be directly above an open patch of Pacific Ocean near the Tuamotu Archipelago. The area is dotted with small islands; none are permanently inhabited. The nearest populated island is Tahiti, less than two degrees of latitude away from the "sub-Mars point."

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 8:03 PM |
 

Man, jetlag is kicking the shit outta me. It's 5:30 am, and I've been up writing e-mails and websurfing for the last hour. Nicha keeps waking and uo and complaining that she's hungry (as am I), since it's dinner time back home (7 pm-ish).

The flight was as good as it can get for a cross Pacific flight, and given all the troubles we had over the past 2 weeks, I was happy to be on a plane, period. The Bangkok-Hong Kong leg was fine, and Nicha fell in love with the Cathay business class lounge in HK. She loaded up on dim sum and haagen daz while I stuffed my bag with magazines, newspapers, and really expensive financial journals (complementary, of course). They even have a wash and shower room, which we will take advantage of on our way back). The HK-Los Angeles portion of our flight was great. Cathay's new long haul business class, in a word, rocks. The high-tech adjustable seats folds down nearly horzontally, so what little sleep I got on the plane was comfortable. The meal service is always outstanding, and Nicha liked getting served chocolates and cakes and other snacks every few hours. She fell in love with their porcelain carved salt and pepper shakers and insisted we buy a set as advertised in their duty free catalog (I was leaning towards pinching a set, but my morals got the better of me). The entertainment set up is extremely nice, since their movies, tv, and music offerings are on demand, so you can start any film at any time, and even pause, rewind, fast forward, or even switch to other films at any time.

For me, I was just glad to be in a comfy seat. Nicha's entertainment console wason the fritz, so I switched seats with her so she could watch movies. As for me, I had bought Tom Clancy's latest Jack Ryan book "The Teeth of the Tiger" (actually, it's about his son, Jack Jr getting into the intelligence business), and managed to rip through the 420+ page book (his shortest in the series by far) by the time we finished the flight. It was the weakest of his Jack Ryan books (a far cry from the likes of "Hunt for Red October", "Without Remorse", and "Sum of All Fears"), but I'm just glad he's still cranking out books in this series, and he's set it up for follow-ups, so I'm happy.

It's great to see my folks again, and they took us out to gorge on sashimi and teriyaki, half of which is sitting in our fridge. Pete and Jane are coming down tomorrow with the baby, an unexpected development, but one that has me jumpimg for joy. One of the big reasons I was so pissed about Nicha's visa fiasco was not being able to see my parents playing with their grand-daughter, so Pete swinging down before Nicha dn I go to San Fran and my folks going to China is a gift I'll never forget. I brought through a bunch of pirated but extremely high quality DVDs for Pete and Jane (and one specifically for Jessie). I have perfect quality versions of "Finding Nemo", "X-Men 2", and "Matrix Reloaded". I know Pete & Jane haven't seen Nemo or Matrix, so I expect they'll be happy to get them. I know Jessie will adore Nemo.

Anyways, it's 6 am now, so either I will try and get another hour or two of sleep, or raid the fridge. Ciao!

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 7:56 PM |


Monday, August 25, 2003  

The vacation is back on. I'm more relieved than exicited right now; it's been a trying ordeal. Nicha and I had a 10 am interview at the embassy, which meant that we arrived at 8:30 am, got called in for an interview at 10:30 am, got asked 3-4 questions in about 2 minutes, and waited around another half hour to get the visa. So much friggin' grief for a 2 minute interview. Well, just a few more hours of work, and I'm going home to finish packing.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 1:29 PM |


Friday, August 22, 2003  

I always comment that I must the the gayest straight guy ever because of my deep love for Broadway musicals and artsy-fartsy plays and ballets. Then I run across stilladick's recent post:

IF I WAS KING OF THE WORLD...........

...

-all guys who watch and enjoy musicals and broadway shows will be sent to concentration camps where they will be beaten mecilessly by richard simmons and the cast of the tv show...."will and grace" for being a homo. they will be forced to watch the following movies...."die hard", "armegeddon", "con-air", "the rock", "black hawk down", etc....as they weep for "moulin rogue", "grease", "sound of music", and "grease part 2". fucking fags...strap on a set of balls.

...

-all asian men who are 5 feet and 5 inches tall or shorter will be banished to rhode island. then we will build a fence around rhode island that is 5 feet and 6 inches tall so they can't escape. i don't know why but short asian guys annoy me for being short. they are like evil trolls plotting against all other taller asian men. they're up to no good i tell you....


This guy always cracks me up. Ironically, I love watchling all the "guy" flicks he listed (he forgot the ever-immortal Godfather films plus a healthy dose of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and Dirty Harry flicks!) as well as "Moulin Rouge", "Grease", and ones that would make him heave, like "Rent" and "Phantom of the Opera". Fortunately, at 5'6", I just managed to escape incarceration in his Rhode Island detention center...

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:12 AM |
 

Instead of working furiously to get my projects in order before I head off on vacation, I'm cruising the web and taking silly web quizzes. Here's a good one:

parents sex
YOU SAW YOUR PARENTS HAVING SEX!!!


what's YOUR deepest secret?
brought to you by Quizilla

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:01 AM |
 

To commemorate the recent release of the movie blockbuster "SWAT" (which I hope see during my vacation stateside), here is a guide to Special Weapons and Tactics hand signals.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 12:03 AM |


Wednesday, August 20, 2003  

Our vacation itinerary is starting to come together. Yesterday I scoured the web for alternate flight arrangements and found the Northwest Airlines economy class seats that would leave on the 27th (a day later than I wanted) for $1,100 a piece. Then today our office manager went through a local travel agency and found the same Northwest outbound flight but with a return flight one day earlier for $665 a ticket. I was pretty psyched that I would be able to drive the price down over $400 a piece until I called Cathay Pacific and found out that I got off the waitlist for the outbound flight on the 26th. Yippeee! We're still on the waitlist for return flights on September 9th, but our original flight on the 6th is still good, and we have 3 weeks to get off the waitlist, so no worries there. Best of all, we get to fly business class for free and direct the savings to the tables in Vegas. All in, there shouldn't be much incremental cost to our travel budget, though we do spend less time with my folks. Not perfect, but given the circumstances, it's the best possible outcome.

I'm still nervous about Nicha's travel visa not going through, so I won't completely relax until we're sitting in the plane.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 3:04 PM |
 

"Airplane travel is nature's way of making you look like your passport photo." - Al Gore


Who would have thought that our former vee-pee had such a wit? It's a pretty funny quote under any circumstance, but given all the recent travails I've experienced with Nicha's visa, my passport, and our flight/travel itinerary, the quote is all the more tragicomic.

The primary reason the American Embassy is putting Nicha through the grief and necessity of a consulate interview is not so much her as it is me. She's been to the U.S. several times already and has her family and assets here in Thailand. The difference now is that she's married to an American, whose family is in the states and who works in a profession that can take him anywhere in the world. As a single woman, they had no doubt that she would return to Thailand after her travels, but now that she is married to a yank, they're concerned her husband has stong enough ties to the states such that she may not come back. Sure, I've got a job here in Thailand and I also hold a Thai passport, but for all they know, my company is some rinky-dink fly-by-night scam. Additionally, I have different names on each passport (my Thai name on the Thai passport, and the Americanized version on the U.S. passport), so they are not completely certain that Paul Ark and Polapat Arkkrapridi are the same person, or that I'm not some sort of Buddhist investment banker terrorist visiting his niece-and-future-suicide-bomber whilst attending a wedding, college football match and several Broadway musicals. Sheesh! Give me a frickin' break.

So now I've declared an "information dumping jihad" on the U.S. Embassy. To prove employment, I've gotten one of the partners to sign and endorse not only an employment letter, but also copies of our articles of association and corporatization as well as our tax registration forms. He also provided work and mobile numbers so he can verify by phone should the consulate decide to call. I have copies of my local bank account statements on hand, and will have copies made of my Thai ID card and housing registration. My folks had faxed over copies of my U.S. birth certificate as well as the 1977 court order legally changing my name from Arkkrapridi to Ark. Strangely enough, this court order wasn't enough for the visa office to verify that Paul and Polapat are one and the same, so I went into American Citzen Services in the adjoining building and had the embassy add an "Also known as Polapat Arkkrapridi" alias/endorsement in my American passport, which now officially verifies my dual identity. Paul Ark, International Man of Mystery! At any rate, I will be immensely surprised if the consulate doesn't issue a visa. The really exasperating thing is that Nicha would qualify for a green card and immigrant visa anyways, so why the hell would she get a non-immigrant visa only to not return? Government officials work on a logic all their own.

In the meantime, I'm not sure I'll be able to get my revised Cathay Pacific flights with my milage awards, so I might have to put them back on the shelf and shell out cash for some economy class seats on Northwest or American, both which have seats available. I would prefer Northwest, whose long haul service isn't too bad (or at least, it wasn't when I last flew with them back in '94), and besides, the American Airlines flight has an 11-hour layover in Tokyo Narita, which has to be one of the most boring airports to hang out in. We'll see...

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 10:34 AM |


Tuesday, August 19, 2003  

Only 26%?? How disappointing!

This site is certified 26% EVIL by the Gematriculator

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:13 PM |


Monday, August 18, 2003  

I've always been a huge fan of the cinema, and have prided myself on having seen a wide range of movies, many fantastic, many utterly horrendous. It therefore comes as a huge surprise that I have only seen 18 of IMDB's 100 worst movies (poll of visitors), none of which made the top (bottom?) 10. Additionally, I've only seen 1 of MSN's 10 worst box office flops (Hudson Hawk, which was not only a measly 9th, but also a film I actually liked =).

On the flip side, I've seen 46 of IMDB's top 100 films (and 99 of the top 250); a more respectable number, but considering how much of a videophile I am, not all that impressive. I was pleased, however, to see that "Rushmore" topped MSN's Top 10 high school flicks, and that "Dazed and Confused" finished a strong #3, but was slightly disappointed that "Sixteen Candles" only got an honorable mention.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 10:17 AM |


Sunday, August 17, 2003  

When it rains, it pours. Lately, I've just been swamped with work. I've been sitting on an investor relations benchmarking exercise as part of developing an optimal investor communication strategy for a client (yawn! booooring!!). I've let it drag out for quite some time because the client has asked for other projects which have pre-empted mine, as well as co-opted my resources. However, the project has started to heat up, and so I have to start getting me and my team into gear and get this project done. Additionally, Ami asked me to sit in on meetings with one of his client, who is not only in the process of restructuring its debt and corporate structure, but is also considering purchasing a sizable stake in a listed company and restructuring and integrating its operations into it's own. The CEO liked my initial presentation, and asked that we make another presentation this week. Great! And not so great. I like making a good impression on a client, but not when it piles on a ton of more work whilst in the midst of completing other projects and prepping for a vacation. On the plus side, at least I'm working on more finance & investment banking-related activities.

Related to that, my prospective employment situation is taking some interesting twists and turns. I had another lunch/interview with my friend's investment banking boutique, and it seems to be progressing well. They've been asking me how soon it would take me to wrap things up at my current job if I were to get an offer. The only issue I was really struggling with was how to break the news to my current company, or how to help prepare the company before I extract myself. Now, everything is a bit more complicated. This week, Ami informed me of his plan to start a venture capital fund, and asked me to join him as one of the three partners. A very intriguing and attractive idea, but I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of essentially gutting my current company. Also, I think Ami's venture capital fund places perhaps too much emphasis on the consulting and operational side of developing the portfolio companies. I'll read through his business plan and see.

Too much to think about. All I want right now is to go on my vacation...

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 12:32 PM |


Friday, August 15, 2003  

My vacation schedule is shot to hell. Thanks to Nicha's procrastinating, we won't get approval for her visa until the 25th (if we're lucky), 3 days after we are scheduled to leave. I am so unbelievably pissed about it. I busted my ass to get this itinerary pinned down far enough in advance so we can travel quite leisurely and luxuriously for quite cheaply, and now I'm scrambling to salvage this vacation, likely at a significantly higher cost that we had originally budgeted. I bugged her for weeks about going to the consulate to apply for her visa, and she kept blowing it off, believing that it would be a snap because she's done this 3 times already. As if all the terrorist activity of the last few years wouldn't have the slightest fucking impact on how stringent it would be to get a visa into the US nowadays. Sadly enough, she didn't even have to do this weeks in advance; if she had gone just a few days earlier, we could have cleared our schedule just under the wire.

I spent hours last night rescheduling the different elements of our visit (rerouting flights, rental cars and airport shuttles; rebooking hotel rooms; getting what cancellations I could on event tickets, etc), but now it turns out that the new flights I want to and from Asia are fully booked for award redemptions. If I don't get off the waiting lists, it means that instead of flying on business class on Cathay Pacific for free, we wind up paying hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars for last-minute crappy economy class fare on a second or third rate airline.

On top of all that, since my folks were heading off to China on vacation during our visit, we had a very narrow window of opportunity to spend time with them. That time has basically shrunk down to one single fucking day, IF we manage to get the visa on the 25th. I only get to see my parents once a year as it is, and now that has become 1 day per year. What pisses me off is that if this situation were reversed, and we were living in the states and Nicha had only one shot a year to see her family, you can bet your ass she would have devoted far more time and attention and assigned way more priority to a trip to see her family than she has on our trip to see mine.

I know it's just the anger talking. I deeply love my wife, but all of this was preventable, and that's what make me extremely angry and bitter about her and this situation right now. Since our flight plans and the visa process won't get settled for another week to 10 days, I expect I'll be spending all that time until we're on a plane stressed and surly. As if I wasn't cranky already about living in Thailand and dealing with my job.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 9:55 AM |


Thursday, August 07, 2003  

Today is Pete's birthday, so Pete: Happy Birthday, mi hermano. You are the Best Brother in the Whole World, except for Don, who gets to be Best Brother in the Whole World on his birthday.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 10:00 AM |


Monday, August 04, 2003  

I really enjoyed the movie "Finding Nemo", which is why I am especially amused by this excerpt from CNN:

"....a study released in the scientific journal Nature has shown [clownfish] to be quite the social climbers, doing just about anything to get ahead -- even changing their sex.

According to University of California researcher Peter Buston, clownfish live in groups where physical size determines their social ranking. Within each group only two will mate and reproduce.

The breeding female is the largest and number one in the hierarchy, the breeding male is number two in size and ranking. When the breeding female dies, the breeding male gets larger, changes its sex, moves up the social ladder, and becomes the breeding female. In turn number three in line, and the third largest in the group, grows and becomes number two, the breeding male.

According to the research, a clownfish that grows larger than the fish ahead of it on the social ladder, is often seen as a threat and will likely get killed...."

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:45 PM |


Sunday, August 03, 2003  

Did you like doing nasty word problems in your high school math classes? I absolutely loved them. The numerical aspects of math was ok, but it was the problem solving that really made the study of mathematics interesting. The reason why I bring this up is because in addition to my acting as head of recruiting for my company, I also co-develop (in conjunction with our other partner Ami) mini-MBA training courses for our analysts, associates, and project managers. We previously spent several months training our staff in financial statements analysis and problem solving skills (a la McKinsey, as Ami was a former McK project manager). Since we want to emphasize not just theories but also practical applications, our big challenge is to create interactive training sessions with numerous problems, exercises, and homework relevant to the type of work we do. Currently, I am smack dab in the middle of developing and teaching modules in operations and process management. It wasn't my particular area of specialty at Kellogg, nor did I earn a stellar grade (a solid B, if memory serves), so brushing up on the topic and developing sufficient expertise to actually teach this topic has been a challenge for me. As much of a pain in the ass it has been completing the second of two Op Management modules this weekend, I have greatly enjoyed reviewing the material and thinking of ways of adding the material to my current analytical toolkit. It reminds me of the management science courses I took as an undergrad; if I had to have studied a mathematic or scientific-oriented discipline as an undergrad, I think I would have enjoyed industrial engineering the most.

Anyways, I am feeling particularly pleased right now, not just because I finished the training modules I am to teach this week, but because I was able to solve a real doozy of a word problem. The word problem was drawn from the text I am using as source materials, the challenge being to make sure I can solve it myself so that the teacher doesn't look like an complete nimrod (inside joke!) in front the students. It literally took me 24 hours to structure the problem and arrive at a solution, which has left me with a warm if not completely smug feeling =).

If you are the problem solving type and would like to take a crack at it, well here it is. However, without any prior experience in inventory management and economic order quantities (the crap I'm teaching this week), these types of problems are frankly a major pain in the ass. I expect it will keep our pre-MBA analysts sweating for a while...muahahahaha!

Ark Airways requires 1,000 trained flight attendants to maintain in-flight service. Given the job’s high turnover rate, the average tenure is about 2 years, creating a need to train new attendants. The training course takes 6 weeks, after which the trained attendants take 1 week of vacation before entering the pool from which they are assigned flight duty as needed. During training, vacationing, and while waiting for assignment, attendants are paid $500 per month. The training cost consists of instructor salaries ($220/person/week) and support personnel ($80/person/week), regardless of class size; the team consists of 10 instructors and 10 support personnel. The training team is only paid for the time engaged in training and their pay is irrespective of the size of the class they train or the number of classes they may have to run simultaneously. Assume 50 weeks per year.

1. Determine the most economical size of the class to train, the number of classes taught per year, and the annual total cost of training.

2. Now modify the solution so that only one class can be offered at a time (which requires that a new class starts every 6 weeks). Determine the corresponding class size, number of classes, and the total annual cost of this operation. Compare this with the previous optimum cost and make a recommendation.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 1:34 PM |


Saturday, August 02, 2003  

I should be glad the weekend is here, but I only have a Saturday and Sunday of work ahead of me to look forward to. It hasn’t been an easy week, but it certainly wasn’t a boring one. Every Tuesday afternoon, we have a team meeting in order to keep everyone apprised of each others’ projects. Afterwards, the partners hold our management meeting to discuss senior level strategy and problems. Well, so many tensions and problems that several of us have been harboring for the past few months all came out in one massive knock-down, drag-out WWF Smackdown of a session. I basically vented and ranted about how I am utterly bored shitless with the projects I’m working on and how sick I am of our company taking consulting engagement after consulting engagement when an ex-investment banker like me is chomping on the bit to pursue some of the merger & acquisitions, leveraged buyout, or private equity investment opportunities that occasionally cross our paths. I agree that I have much to contribute to the internal infrastructure of our company, which is why I agreed to become head of our recruiting. But if I’m gonna spend half my time working on internal initiatives, I don’t want to spend the other half on lame-ass consulting projects. I want to be meeting clients and doing financial deals.

Also, two of us (including myself) had many many words to say about another of the partners, who is too much of an autocratic micro-manager. One of the pros and cons of having a partnership composed of 4 very different backgrounds and experiences is that we each bring different perspectives, a natural consequence of which is that we don’t always agree about how to drive the strategy of the company, who to manage our client relationships, and how to interact and develop our junior staffers. Between my frustrations with the job and our frustrations with each other, it made for 3 very contentious, high-octave hours.

At any rate, I met one of the other partners of my friend’s boutique advisory, who was previously the head of one of JP Morgan’s global industry groups and is launching the company’s Singapore office. The meeting went reasonably well, though you can never really tell with interviews. I liked the guy a lot, as well as his vision for the company, so it would be nice to take our talks to the next level. If anything is gonna happen, it won’t happen for a few months yet, so we’ll see.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 1:17 AM |
 

My business partner Ami has an idea for a new holiday: Steak & Blowjob Day. It will be held on March 15th and will be the male equivalent of Valentine’s Day. Every V-Day, men struggle with the decision whether to buy their sweethearts flowers or chocolates or jewelry or a nice dinner (or a combination thereof). Being the efficient souls that we are, men take all the guesswork out of what they want on this new holiday. The name says it all: steaks and blowjobs. He said all the men to whom he floated the idea were wildly enthusiastic, while the women he talked to were significantly less so. Duh.

It was a very apropos conversation, because we joined two buddies for a guys’ night out at Park Avenue Steakhouse, one of the finest meat joints in town. It’s been a while since I had a truly choice cut of prime rib, and I can say I was not disappointed. The meat practically melted in my mouth! Unfortunately, it’s not something I can do everyday. The 8 oz cut I ordered was the smallest on the menu, and the steak, a cup of lobster bisque, 2 glasses of red wine, a chocolate brownie, and a cappuccino set me back about $50. While this is comparable to the nice steakhouses in Hong Kong, Singapore, or big Western cities, in Bangkok it’s a grossly guilty pleasure. Since the typical workday lunch budget is typically $1, we’re talking about 2 months worth of lunches blown in one meal, but I’ll be damned if every bite wasn’t worth it. The only thing missing was a big, fat Cuban stogie.

Nicha joined us after we finished the meal and listened to us chatter away. It was so funny to see the guys go completely red-faced, embarrassed, and squirmy when I described to her our idea for Steak & Blowjob Day. I told her I already had my steak, soooo…hint hint =). She was amused, but not enough to help me celebrate S&BJ-Day early. Boo hoo =(

Anyways, help us spread the word and be a part of a new global holiday: MARCH 15 IS STEAK AND BLOWJOB DAY!!!!

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 12:13 AM |
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