Wednesday, September 16, 2009

business poetry: orientation, the first three days

    certain Powerpoints were caused to occur:
    Harvard -- the Merage of the East! (or so the dean says
    and he seems like he knows)

    I love the smell of new laptop
    endless parade of faculty and staff
    bursting with faith in us
    beer and naps when we needed them most
    a ropes course when I needed it least
    sunburnsunburn hey, pain au chocolat sunburnsunburn
    so many boys in crisp blue shirts
    and iPhone cameras to document them
    anxieties trumped by good cheer and caffeine
    unlike USC film school, we are handed an alumni database, complete
    with pictures
    and telephone numbers


    As I said: faith
    in us
    enough to move our local mountains
    but I may need a little more
    to make it through statistics
    I am but a filmmaker
    with star stickers on her nametag
    and a head full of errands
    I have finished reading our brick of a course reader
    just in time for tomorrow
    and I took lots of good notes in my best cursive
    because I am neurotic
    My group members strike me as reliable
    and quick
    and forgiving
    and we might not kill each other for a while yet.

    I have faith.

Monday, September 14, 2009

d-day, h-hour, o-orientation

    It's amazing how difficult it is to post when you have tons of reading, and projects to work on, and film screenings to attend, and fabulous people to hang out with. Yihal.

    But no matter: onward and upward to orientation, which starts this morning! I suspect this may be the last time this year that I will ever wear eyeshadow. In the meantime, I will try not to panic that my new, required laptop hasn't arrived yet; the entire admin has assured me that Neolithic-era notetaking equipment (paper, pen, absence of Twitter) will be perfectly A-OK for the next two weeks of orientation.

    Breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth.

    Bonus: free breakfast!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Pink Floydness of Tustin

    Is it just me, or does this Tustin blimp hangar look like a Pink Floyd album cover?


    True, it's in nearby Tustin and not Irvine, but I shall still claim it as part of my new stomping grounds. I believe the technical term for this structure is "wicked rad".

    That is all.

The Magic of Irbhinn

    Plagiarized from an email I just sent:
    I just learned from Wikipedia that William Wallace's fate was influenced by a temporary truce between the Scots and the English in -- wait for it -- Irvine, Scotland. According to Wikipedia, Irvine is from the Gaelic "Irbhinn", and folks like Robert Burns, Poe, Nobel, and Napoleon hung out there; Nobel even had a factory in town. And if you're a fan of Atlas Shrugged (which I am), there really was a John Galt, and he hung out in the original Irvine as well, plus his novel The Member has political corruption as its central theme, just like Atlas Shrugged. I don't know about you, but I find all of this fascinating. This is why Wikipedia is very, very dangerous for me. It's amazing that I ever get any work done.

    And I just had two Christian guys -- Jehovah's Witnesses? Mormons? I should've looked more closely at their nametags -- come to my door a couple of minutes ago. I'd always heard about such things happening, but I'd never had it happen to me! Isn't that crazy? I now feel complete as an American adult, somehow. I politely sent them on their way, rather than reducing them to fisticuffs; maybe I should have rock/paper/scissored them for their immortal souls.

    As for the Orange Curtain, let me know when you want to hit Little Saigon -- or if you want to go to the BCD Tofu House, which is down the street from me. Also down the street from me, but in the opposite direction, is Blizzard Entertainment, which always impresses the WoW fans. WHOO IRVINE. Or should I say WHOO IRBHINN? Nah, that would be idiotic. I'm sure glad I didn't say it, aren't you?

    Can you tell I'm desperately procrastinating doing my reading? :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

your camera for a free lunch?

    Anybody have a DVX-100 and two lavalier mics I can borrow on Thursday? For free? Erik and I are putting together a website o' social media fun and need to shoot thirty seconds of ourselves blathering.

bringing BarCamp to Irvine?

    In the spirit of BarCamp, I'd like to set up a monthly PubCamp at the Anthill Pub & Grille on campus. I still need to email the general manager about the details, but he seemed open to hosting it. Any ideas for organizing and publicizing this?

getting down with my bad self in the UCI bookstore

    Did you know that the UCI bookstore prominently features authors who happen to be on the UCI faculty? I think that's the coolest ever -- also because most of the books look genuinely interesting. I've never seen a bookstore at UMichigan or USC do this, although this may also be because I have terrible eyesight. Still, it's great to see such campus pride, and a wealth of talent to back it up.

joys of bureaucracy

    I spent all day Thursday walking around the UC Irvine campus, trying to tie up loose bureaucratic ends. I discovered that the school has just negotiated a new insurance plan for grad students, so the insurance accountants at the health center are still trying to figure everything out, but my particular accountant was very helpful with processing my insurance waiver.

    This is something I'm starting to love about UC Irvine: not the sorting through of bureaucracy, but the helpfulness. Everyone has been incredibly straightforward, efficient, and encouraging. "Never fear!" they say when I tell them I am a new student and therefore clueless. "You've come to the right place, we'll get you all set up!" UMichigan wasn't nearly this cheerful, although they were still mostly helpful, and USC was...well, don't get me started.

    Go Anteaters!

Management of Complex Organizations -- In Bed

    I have a course reader for orientation which I need to read and annotate by the 14th. I'm a speedy reader, lucky me, but the packet is still intimidating -- it's half an inch thick, for goodness' sake! Dang.

    And for those of you who have lived in a cave and don't understand the "in bed" reference, it's simply a phrase you can add to end of your fortune cookie messages -- and now to your business literature, too! This MBA thing is gonna ROCK.

I must be deranged IV: packrat love

    I still have to clear up the mess in my new apartment. The big pieces of furniture are where they need to be (e.g. not on the ceiling, in a truck, in someone's else's living room, etc.), but I have entirely too many dishes to wash and put away. And I also have a ton of random crap (mannequin heads, candles, vases, bust of Chopin) which don't seem to belong anywhere just yet.

    I'm young, how did I get so much crap?

    My younger brother Jonah says that he views being a packrat as a genetic disease, one that we've inherited from our parents; like any other mental illness, we need to work every day at prevention, eliminating triggers for the behavior and so forth. I think he's on to something. I've grown pretty good at chiseling away methodically at my collection of crap, but I could be even more ruthless.

I must be deranged III: tea and Archie

    I finished our MBA personal pre-work a week ago, where we had to write about our accomplishments, take a Myers-Briggs test, etc. Turns out that I love novelty (shock!), but to the point where I hate having to stick with an idea and follow through with its daily maintenance. I'm fine at maintenance generally, but I just hate doing it. Bleh. Isn't this what assistants are for? If I had my choice, I'd simply brainstorm fun ideas all day, and then have minions do the nitty gritty for me as I drink iced mint tea on a veranda whilst reading Archie comics.

    I refuse to feel like a terrible person for saying this.

I must be deranged II: computer paralysis

    I've decided which computer to get (Dell Latitude E6400), out of all the ones recommended by the school, but there's still plenty of uncertainty about this. "You could get a better deal," one person tells me. "You need to get a Mac, not a Dell," someone else says. "Lenovo's awesome, but the shells shatter too easily," a third says. I think I need to go lie down, but I'm afraid I'll fall asleep and then the dreams will come back. Probably best to order the damn thing right now before the paralysis sets in.

I must be deranged I: the dreams

    And so, four years after starting this blog, I am returning to grad school, this time for my MBA at UC Irvine | Merage. The orientation starts Monday, Sept. 14, and we already have homework -- joy! I haven't had to do any homework since 2003, so I'm a tad apprehensive. I hope my brain isn't rusting.

    The new-school dreams have started again; you know, the ones where I come to campus and everyone knows exactly where to go and what to do, all except me. "Hey guys!" I call out. "Where do I go? What do I do?" People good-naturedly tell me small bits of information, but then rush off before finishing any sentences. "Help," I say. "I am sinking." And I am, right into the sidewalk. As the concrete closes over me, I find myself thinking that maybe I should've stuck with pre-med back in 1996.