Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday Recap and Pictures

Current Location: Long Island City, NY.

I have gotten some complaints from nearly 20% of my readers (albeit that is only 3 or 4 people) concerning my lack of attention to "Weekend to Weekend"; the name "Month to Month" would seem to be more appropriate! I have found some time during the holidays, however, to add an additional installment regarding my Holiday experience. As a forewarning, I will confess that, like many of my previous posts, the majority of the content will revolve around travel. There is, interestingly, another layer to this post involving a small friend, appropriately named "Kid Rock", that brought a small smile to many of us. To discover those smiles, take a look at the newly added album entitled "2010 Holidays in VT, PR and Tortola".

My parents have recently taken accustom to spending Christmas in Puerto Rico with my grandparents without much concern or question to where I will be spending the holiday; it has been voiced to me that it is desired that I spend the holiday with them in PR, but I don't have to. Unfortunately, my birthday falls on one of the worst possible days of the year ever - December 26 - it is one of the most forgotten days of the year, lost in the wake of hangovers, high hopes and proud or disappointed children receiving the gifts they requested or just tube socks. Needless to say, it's a tough day for me. In an effort to have a decent celebration, I decided to head to Tortola on Christmas day to visit Elliot and a few others that I have befriended through past visits from all over the world, particularly Zimbabwe and Canada.

And so, upon arrival on Christmas, Elliot and I celebrated with many of his African friends, eating and drinking until the night ended. My birthday morning greeted me with Rooster calls and coffee, followed by a relaxing breakfast in the West End. The adventure for the day was to ferry to Virgin Gorda and enjoy the Baths with Brian, Kerry, Steven, Sarah and their daughter Kelly. The trip was exquisite, yet my description and diction will pale in comparison to the pictures in the album.

The following day was spent at Lambert Beach with overwhelming surf and sun during the day, and a small "present" delivered, or left, in the afternoon. While discussing politics, books and overpopulation over beers, Elliot and I were visited by the local herd of goats - about 20 in all - standing outside of his home. One mother was standing closest to the stairs and bleating uncontrollably; Elliot and I were slightly confused by found it amusing initially when we settled on the decision that the goat was merely confused. Their passing came and we followed suit, gearing up to head out for some food. On our walk down the stairs, we heard a higher pitched bleating that could have been mistaken for a Rooster or Hen, and when we investigated, we found a small baby goat, umbilical cord still attached, struggling to get through the alley way that it's mother had traversed a few minutes earlier. Elliot collected the little thing and we attempted to reunite it with it's mother across the road. To our discontent, the mother ran from us and her child, leaving the parental duties to two young men who were lucky enough to have had a good deal of experience with livestock. We placed the goat under the stairs, went for dinner and brought back some Goats milk and a bottle. The kid was waiting patiently for our return and latched on to the nipple of the bottle quickly, making suckling noises of happiness and wagging it's tail uncontrollably.

The next morning came and we decided that we were not fit parents for a kid, especially with my departure looming in the evening. Brian, also quite handy with Animals and a friend to the local shelter, helped me deliver the kid to its new home. During the journey, Brian, although he had warned us not to name the kid in order to prevent any ties from being made, dubbed the kid "Kid Rock" - The puns are plenty although I don't believe they are intentional. The shelter accepted Kid Rock, and my brief parenting stint came to an end.

This entire time, I was completely unaware of the poor status that the northeast airports were in and only until Lunch was I informed - Tortola has a completely different phone service set up and I am essentially removed from the world (usually a great thing). I headed to Brian's and checked into my flight from San Juan to JFK - still on time and projected to be on time. I was to catch a 5:55 flight from Tortola to San Juan and I should have had plenty of time to make the next flight.

Now, some quick back story to properly pose the pending predicament that I was soon to encounter. I had booked two separate return flights - JFK ->SJU and SJU->Tortola because I was staying in Puerto Rico for a few days and it's cheaper. I also booked the flights on different airlines - Delta for the SJU-->JFK return leg and American Eagle for the Tortola -->SJU leg. Knowing that the flights from Tortola are generally delayed due to the Islands disregard of punctuality, I booked a 5:55 flight to get in at 6:30 and left the 7:10 flight as a back up. My flight to JFK was scheduled to leave at 8:10 - if my first flight was canceled, the 7:10 flight should get me there with just enough time to catch the JFK flight.

I am sitting in the airport in Tortola at 5:30 when the incoming flight from SJU lands - this is our aircraft to take back to SJU. I also notice that there are only 7 people near me for a plane that can hold upwards of 40 people. 6:00 rolls around and the attendant tells us, in a very relaxed manner, that our plane had been grounded and is canceled due to electrical problems (although they were currently refueling it as he delivered this message). I tell him that I have a flight to catch to JFK, and he responds with a laugh, saying that all flights to JFK are cancelled and I shouldn't worry about making it. He then puts me on the 7:10 flight and looks up my delta flight to JFK which still projects it to be On Time. He reassures me that the flight will be canceled and I have nothing to worry about. Seeing as though there are no other flights out of Tortola, I hope that the 7:10 flight get's me in on time and wait patiently. I have no cell phone reception and there isn't a Delta counter in Tortola, so I have no way of communicating to SJU.

Naturally, the 7:10 flight is delayed by 30 minutes and I arrive in San Juan at 8:11, hoping that the plane is delayed. I run through customs in record time (4 minutes) and see an agent, ask her where the nearest delta counter is and she directs me to the next terminal. Running, I enter the terminal at 8:15 (it's a small airport) and arrive at the Delta service counter, which is, of course, completely unmanned and unoccupied - the last flight out of SJU on Delta was mine to JFK and it had left, 2 minutes prior to schedule. No one from Delta was in the airport, American wouldn't help me with tickets since they honored their contract to get me to SJU, and I am left to call my grandmother to pick me up. The only flight to get to JFK from SJU that day were two Delta flights - where many people were disturbed that their flights were canceled on December 28th, I was mad that mine was not.

I ended up finding a 1-stop flight to Philadelphia for the next night (sitting in the very back of the plane) connecting in Charlotte. My second leg was delayed but I got into Philly at 12:30 AM on Dec 30th. I spent the night in a Westin (thank you Starwood Points) and took a train in the morning to NYC (thank you Amtrak points). It was an eventful trip, to say the least.

Currently Reading: Just finished "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen. Ask me about it!
Currently Watching: The Wire.
Notable People Met: Steven, Sarah, Kelly, James, Noku, Kid Rock, and many other friends from Tortola.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back to Boston

Current Location: Amtrak Acela Express - en route to Boston

Quick update: I've been staffed on a project in Cambridge and am pumped to head back up to the homeland! Should be a good time, but I think I need to find an apartment to sublet while I am here. This week, however, I will be staying with Lex and Chris in Harvard Sq. Can't wait to get back on the river for a nice Autumn run.

Past weekend was fun, spent in NYC and Stamford. I am excited that the Phils are progressing well in the playoffs and both of my football fantasy teams won this past weekend (monster weeks from Forte, Harvin and the Bears D). I spent Sunday afternoon and Monday in Stamford with my parents where the weather ranked in the tpo 10 Autumn weather experiences.

Elaboration to take place on Thursday's train ride home.

Currently watching: Teen Mom finale tonight? Anyone?
Currently Reading: at least Lord Jim is back in the suitcase.
Currently looking forward to: Old friends in Boston, Being on a new project, Lexie and Chris

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ask for the Ticket

Current Location: Accenture Office - New York City

This week wraps up my stint as a New Joiner instructor - while my 19 students will soon depart, I don't think they leave without learning a little more than just the prescribed curriculum. Aside from a slew of "other" Accenture information that my co-instructor and I covered, we were able to convince our CEO to drop by for a pep talk.

The visit came about from a common encounter with an uncommon man: one of my male students walked back into our room from the bathroom and asked me if our CEO was in the office. I responded that I didn't know, but asked why he was asking. His response was "I ran into him in the bathroom - does he look like this?" and showed me a picture of him. I laughed, said yes, and shot Bill Green an email depicting this encounter - two hours later he stepped into our classroom.

Now, this may not seem that extraordinary to most people - most would assume a CEO address to a new class could be considered commonplace. My retort simply lies in the sheer size of our company - Accenture currently employs 204,000 people. Based in 2009 census estimates, that would place us at the 104th largest city in the United States. Now, this has no bearing on how powerful or important our CEO is - I am just driving home the point that our new joiner group consists of 19 people out of 204,000 - a mere .093% of our population. To have a direct address from the CEO, let alone to have the CEO in that office on that day, is quite lucky, regardless of what he has to say.

What is more interesting is that this is not the first time that this has happened - in fact, when was in this class and had first joined, the same CEO came and spoke to my start group (which consisted of 4 people). Bill Green happened to be in our home office that day and my instructor decided to email him requesting his presence for 30 minutes or so. He shot an email back saying that he would be in the room in a few minutes and Bill sat down and spoke to us for 30 minutes that day. What our small group conversed about wasn't anything out of the ordinary or even inspiring - we spoke about New England sports and politics. But the act of the conversation said something more - it was a true testament to Stewardship - a core value that Accenture takes pride in. Bill reiterated this point yesterday to my group of students after responding to my request via email once I had learned that he was in the office; although it only lasted for 15 minutes, I can be sure that the memory of being treated with respect and with pride from the top official in a behemoth of a company will live on with the students throughout their Accenture lifetime.

I received a piece of advice from Paul Greenberg about 7 years ago while at Penn when trying to raise money for our water projects in Honduras and Cameroon that has resonated loudly ever since: "Sometimes you just have to ask for the ticket". At the time, this meant "Throw away your pride and tact and just ask me for money; I'll give it to you and so will Doug Glanville sitting right next to you because this group of students are doing something great, something that I can't do even with millions of dollars". That meaning slowly began to break down to its inherent idea as I started to gain world experience. It may be simple, but sometimes you've just got to ask.

A few more notes about my weekend: Highlights: Spending part of Friday night at Click and drinking beers, Saturday's beautiful run in Central Park and the Iowa Game, Sunday's Bears' game (although the Bears got crushed).

Check out the new pictures, especially a few old ones from an album housed at my old home!

Currently reading: Still nothing. Need a book.
Great Quote: "Soon you'll have the badge and the gun and you'll have to go out there and have fun" - Bill Green discussing future responsibilities with New Joiners.
Recent People met: Matt and Alex (friends of Kruse), Chris and Will (Mark's Coworkers).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Joiners

Current Location: Accenture Office in NYC

Still unstaffed (although that may be changing momentarily) and am teaching new hires at work. It's interesting having 19 minds that are new to Accenture to impress my corporate view on and at the same time foster their entry into the working world. I was exactly the same a few years ago, and it's enlightening to see how much I have changed.

Training will last another week, and then I should be off to another project. I checked into a hotel a few days ago and had been at a serious point of withdrawal. I'm not sure if it was more of being back in a hotel room or just having a room of my own and not staying at Kruse's or Stamford. I have a feeling it's more of the former - I have become quite a laid back traveler and seem to make myself a home wherever I am. I can't, however, speak for the people who take me in...I suppose some relationships wear down due to over exposure. In the past 4 months, I have seen both ends of the spectrum - under and over exposure during a specific amount of time with friends, and I have realized that a balance is definitely necessary no matter how difficult it is to maintain. I just hope that my living situation doesn't obstruct my desire to uphold the balance.

I've done quite a few things in the past couple of days in NYC too: Met up with Gary last Saturday who is always great to see, ran over to the 5th ave mile with him on Sunday and watched Solomon Lalou beat Bernard Lagat, then proceed to shake their hands at the finish line, saw the Pats take down the Bills (not as convincingly as I would have liked), then ate some of the finest cookies known to man (Kruse's - seriously amazing) and wrapped up the weekend with a little premier of Eastbound and Down (which was also a little disappointing, but I am glad Kenny Powers and the gang has returned - anyone notice Pedro as his neighbor?).

Well, I'll be sure to update when I know my next assignment, and until then, I will be living it up in NYC. Running has been pretty low key sadly; I think the long runs took a lot out of my legs and I need to rebuild to get back there.

Currently Reading: Nothing - damn shame too. The reading phase has passed I think, but I'll try to get back into it.
Currently looking forward to: Watching It's Always Sunny and the League tonight with fraternity brothers and attending the Bears vs. Giants Game on sunday night.
Notable people that I have met: New Joiner Class (19), Atiq Joardel (NJO co trainer), Monique and Fran (NYO VIPs), Tom Lehmann, Jennifer Craig, Patty Paulette.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Been a while...

Current Location: Stamford CT

It's been a while since I've posted and I'm sure the reason is lack of travel - I have been bouncing between Stamford and NYC each day for a little less than a month. I am between projects and working on proposals/training new joiners and will be doing so until the middle of October.

Needless to say, not nearly as exciting as my usual life - hence a lack of information on this post.

Ran 20 miles last weekend followed by a wedding with Kruse - I think we knew beforehand that a 20 miler prior to wedding-level partying is a bad idea, but the thought was reinforced on Saturday.

Sad news today: Jai Day's mother has gone missing in the Philippines. If anyone knows anything about Carole Day, please let us know. Here is a link to a facebook page with information: Carole Day

Currently reading: SDF training guides.
Currently looking forward to: Dinner on Friday night, Beer fest on saturday (hopefully) followed by a quasi Wallmania segment in Stamford, then getting back into a hotel on Monday morning in NYC.
Notable People: Giles from HBS, Julie and Rems (wedding),

Monday, September 13, 2010


Current location: metro north headed to Stamford (on phone so apologies for typos).

Past weekend was a good one- spent the entire time in NYC with a few of my buds. Started it off on Thursday night with the opening NFL game, then Friday was the mets - phils game with mark, kruse and erick ( who was in town for the weekend). The phils won and we got free Mets blankets that we ultimately handed off to LeRoy. Saturday introduced me to Opal and Iowa football followed by a stint at sutton place and ending with a hard food coma at kruse's which was not in the plan. Sunday was filled with football (pats looked good!) and a 16 Miler.

16 is the longest I have ever run and it's a completely different monster. I have hit 12 before and have felt tires at the end - the legs were sore and used to moving so the cool down was shocking, but my body could handle it. Each step was delicate but the legs still hand gusto and could fulfill their duty of carrying me. 16 was different. First, I ran with kruse who is used to this mileage. Second, I've only just gotten back to running each day hitting a total of 20 in the 5 days prior. Third, it was a constant drizzle and drab for the first 8, then it picked up to a rain for the next 5, then back down to barely anything for the last three. Usually I love running in those conditions, but after 8 your shirt sticks to you like an extra layer of skin and your shoes weigh an Extra 2 lbs, making each step a bit foreign.

We pulled up at 9.5 to have a drink of water and take in some calories, then continued on. I've been alternating between treadmill and outside running lately, so the freedom and the company made the first half fly by as fast as a 3 miler. At 13 I felt great aside from the poor conditions and the extra weight - I was even talking to myself about throwing 10 more on at the end to hit a full marathon. We had been hitting 8 minute miles or so the entire time, trying to keep an 830 pace because kruse has to pace the Chicago marathon in a few weeks to 4:00. I'd say a majority of the time was spent below 8:00 but we did out best to relax.

Then it hit me - a wrong step and a twinge in the hamstring. A cramp was right around the corner and we were about 2 miles from the finish. I've never cramped during a distance run - only after a tough workout or in a soccer game. I slowed quickly and kruse knew what was up - we slogged in the last mile and a half delicately do as not to trigger the demon. At one point we had to stop because of pedestrians clogging the sidewalk and the restart was painful. My legs didn't know what was going on - they wanted to buckle but I think they understood that we were 5 blocks away and determined to see it through.

The final stop was interesting - not as painful, more just unusual. Kruse and I were soaked standing underneath grand central - the endorphins were kicking in but it didn't really take away any pain. Kruse pulled out two of my soggy dollars and I bought a bottle of water- the vendor looked at me like I was crazy and was disgusted by my audacity to hand him wet currency, but that thought didn't come until after I took in the cold water. My knees started to lock up around the patellas, something not unfamiliar and generally not dangerous. Other than that, walking was tough but I was happy to hop on the subway. Aside from some small pains and allergies, kruse was fine.

Our route started at grand central, went down the east river, around the seaport to battery park, up the west side highway to 85th, then zig sagged back to grand central. Before running this, I thought if I were to ever jump into a marathon against kruse, my sheer competitiveness coupled with my current fitness would hold me long enough to finish close to her... Now I know that stepping up to these godly distances and churning out strong miles requires more discipline that I'm used to.

Currently looking forward to: finding out my next project.
Notable people met: Ryan Dewey, a few of mark's colleagues, bartender at opal who required my presence at the next Iowa game.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peeg Roast

Current Location: Parents homemade kitchen table, Stamford, CT.

If you are ever in need of a party theme, starving for something new, different and exciting, pleaes turn towards our domesticated swine friends and the raucous celebration produced by its demise. NOTE: pictures are posted of this event, and there are more on facebook if you are curious.

This past weekend was spent outside of Baltimore, MD where a few of my old college friends gathered to roast a pig, smoke two turkeys, eat plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers, and be merry. Arriving on Friday evening, I spent the major portion of the night catching up with Jeff (one of the three masterminds behind the party) and Mark since most of the attendees were not arriving until the following day. The venue was a fairly sizeable house (there were three TVs on the wall in the living room) and an much larger backyard equipped with a hot tub and patio. We were aware that we needed our rest for the following day, so an early retirement was not farfetched by any means. A few minutes before our slumber, another one of the planners - Caleb - arrives with two of his friends. I have been known to be quick to judge, but my first impression of these two (I had already been acquainted with Caleb in the past) was very dismal. They seemed to be those guys who brought nothing to the party - no excitement, no enthusiasm, no unique qualities that made them stand out or differentiate them from the crowd. Great start.

The morning broke with a beautiful shine - the sun was high in the air and the temperature felt crisp - the start of Autumn had arrived. Perfect timing. Jeff and Caleb had risen around 7AM in order to procure the swine, cooker and keg; the rest of us were left to set up shop and start cooking. The arrival of the pig was a highlight - 60 pounds (small, yes) of light pink pork entered our timid saturday morning - I suppose we have traded saturday morning cartoons with pig roasts to get our weekend fixes at our age. The carving began, the stuffing went well, the turkeys were smoking, and the boys made our drinks.

Once we sat down, people started to come and the drinks started to blurr together. 11AM->3pm forecast was sunburns with splashes of Dark and Stormy's. Beruit soon kicked in with Mark and I on the table. Our other Penn friends arrived around this time - Spencer from LA along with Tyler and Hillary from DC. Immediate jubilation ensued followed by hugging, dogpiling and frolicking (courtesy of Ty and Jeff). when 6pm hit, we weren't certain what to think, but the food was done, and it turned into a carniverous, primal attack lead by Jeff and Caleb, mainly using only hands as our weapons. 25 people gathered around a long table and devoured our unfortunatey guests within minutes - leaving small scraps and bones to be picked at for the remaining party hours. I suppose (hazy memory at this point) that I decided to retire around 8:30pm; I know this because of text message proof and the fact that I woke up around 10 to a game of survivor flip cup in which I participated in for one session, then immediately retreated back to the bed.

At 11:15 I woke with a vengeance! Knowing that I had just lost a few hours of quality party time, I headed back outside and rallied. Unfortunately at this point, many people had left. However, the quality members (mainly the Penn kids) were still roaring and ready to ride the rally train with me. 11AM turned into 5AM with rants of "Coffee and Liquor", detonation (where a person smashes a beer can in an effort to open in and upon success receives very little beer since it spews out and a very large bruise on their forehead - something I do not participate in), bird feeding, voodoo dancing and pants switching.

We woke that morning to a frenzy of flies inside the house and a swarm of bees outside eating away at the pig as well as the left over drinks. Ian - one of the strangest human specimens I have ever met who could literally scream for hours - proclaimed that it is a known fact that Bees are attracted to pork and sugar. Normally that would be a strange statement, but after the night we had, we took it in stride.

Clean up sucked.

I decided to follow my friends to DC for another evening and in the morning I trained it back on up to Stamford for the work week. What a ride.

Currently waiting on: the final fantasy football draft of this season.
Currently wishing: that my cough would magically disappear over night.
Currently reading/writing: a Point of View for Accenture on Supply Chain Security.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Note - this was written a few days ago and I am just getting around to posting it.

Current Location: Amtrak from NYC to Baltimore.

Attraction is an interesting quality that is perceived by men and women differently, similar to many other qualities.

I was talking with Kruse (who is female) yesterday about attraction and her theory is spot on – Men primarily use attraction as a qualifier for conversation – females do not. Let’s use examples to quickly expand on this: A man encounters to females on the street. The first female is attractive, the second is not attractive. They both come up to him to talk to him (let's say they ask him for directions). As they approach, the man (generally) will only consider talking to the attractive one; the unattractive one is pretty much SOL to steal any of his attention. The reason is that the man immediately thinks about talent and future potential– the attractive female would be a solid pick up in the male’s life (slightly barring married men or any equivalent). Switching the genders in this situation, Kruse (and I) would argue that the unattractive man would have a closer-to-even chance of obtaining the females attention than an attractive one (barring the extremes such as giant facial moles with hair, warts, any sort of blatant disfigurement and missing/rotten/crooked teeth). The reason being that the female will not be as quick to judge the males based on their outward qualities.

I am perfectly content with this theory – what I am more curious about is why this occurs. If I were walking down the street and saw two girls, randomly, I have no real reason to assume that I would be sleeping with either of them in the future, right? I would argue that it’s actually an instinct that pushes forth the human population. We know that in the animal kingdom, mates are attracted to each other based on a better genetic disposition – a disposition defined differently between species. For male humans, that disposition has been thought to be increased based on specific qualities (which, mind you, are greatly affected by media and social opinion) that are generally visual. This attractiveness will naturally push males to talk to specific females, regardless of their setting and potentiality, and favor more attractive ones.

I suppose a similar argument could then be made for females –the qualities that they value or consider attractive are not necessarily visual – perhaps it’s intelligence, wit, humor, etc. What does that say about females? I think many would come to the conclusion that females are more kind and accepting. Perhaps that is the case. However, one could also come to the conclusion that males may initially disregard those inward qualities because those inward qualities in their mate will be unlikely to advance their progenies genetic disposition as much as the outward qualities...

I suppose, then, finding that balance between these qualities between two people truly drives them together during that first encounter.

Currently listening to: Jeff Buckley (Grace) and some old Matchbox 20.

Currently excited about: Pig roast tomorrow in Baltimore (random old friends from CT will be there independently of my attendance).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I lost my job

Current location: riverside in lic, ny (on the iPhone so apologies for any misspelling or incorrect capitalization).

I suppose the title of this post is inappropriate or misleading for I did not lose my job. However, as I was walking out of kruse's apartment moments ago, a neighbor and his lady (and I say lady because it's unclear whether or not she is of significant status to him) slowly strolled in front of me. I paused and hesitated as I exited the doorway - there was an awkward air about them and they did not make eye contact with me. They were dressed as though they had recently been swimming - the man was shirtless with board shorts and the lady sported a one piece with shorts. As they passed, the lady inquired softly "so why were you so silent today"? They reached their doorway at the conclusion of the question; the man reached solemnly into his pocket as though he were searching for an answer. He pulled out a set of keys to unlock the door and without turning To face the woman he replied "i lost my job today" and entered the room. The lady paused, uncertain and startled, then followed him in, probing him with the word "what".

The door shut, leaving me to wait at the elevator in a daze. The ding to the elevator notified me of it's arrival and I, following the man's footsteps, slowly paced onto the platform. Startled, I knew that those four words would be the focus of this entry. Although felt vicariously, the weight was heavy even on my shoulders...

Currently watching: the sunset behind midtown's skyline.
Notable people met: well it's been a day since my last post, so I'll call it "notable people seen that I haven't seen in a while"- chris Pickar, matt hoffarth, Amanda Judelson, alex kotsovos, and Scott (matt's roommate).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the Bench

Current Location: Long Island City, NY.

I'm on the bench - and I haven't been here in about a year or so. Most consultants would tell you that bench time is wonderful and relaxing. I'd say that, although relaxing, it's a little boring. Perhaps that is a product of my lifestyle - while most people are on the bench at their home and will normally choose to do whatever internal work they are assigned in their residence where everything reverts back to normal, I am placed in a slightly unnatural setting. Monday morning I woke up and did not have to hop on a plane or a train (although I still rose at 6AM) - felt odd. My relaxation transcends to more of a non-existence; day to day activities take longer and seem to just roll by, as if I were standing in the ocean and am letting the waves hit me rather than surfing them back to shore.

I won't say I dislike it - there is an element of recharge regardless of where I am. I can say, however, that I have become custom to traveling and adapting back to it without a home has derailed me a bit.

That being said, I spent my final week in Atlanta wrapping up my project and spending some time outside. The team and I went out to dinner last Monday night and had some of the most fantastic cakes imaginable (luckily for you, there are pictures so you don't have to imagine). Tuesday evening was spent in centennial park finishing "The Average American Male" and watching stray kittens frolic in the bushes. Wednesday I headed to a coworkers home for dinner and met his newly rescued Weimaraner named "Austin". I flew out Thursday night up to Boston (almost on time) and headed to Lexie and Chris's for the night. Friday was spent meeting with some Boston work folk, having my annual review (promotion received), sake bombing and karaoke in the evening for a friend moving out of Boston and then realizing that a pair of friends are neighbors with Lexie and Chris. Saturday was spent at Ian's with old project friends and Sunday I hopped on a train back to NY to catch Mad Men and eat stuffed peppers with Kruse and LeRoy.

Something to note: I will be attending TWO pig roasts in two consecutive weekends - how awesome is that?

Currently watching: Unbreakable (specifically the scene where he lifts a bunch of weight and asks the kid "How much did you put on" to which the kid replies "All of it". Perfect follow up to watching the M. Knight episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
Currently Reading: Lord Jim (picked up at the $2 book man in Harvard Sq).
Currently looking forward to: Baltimore this weekend
Notable people: Shelly Rosenblum, Rachel's mom and nephew (see pictures), Kate (Brian's Fiance), Austin (Brian's Dog).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Can someone explain airline seating to me?

Current location: Atlanta (Marriott Marquis downtown) - last week here.

Weekend was splendid - ran into lots of my fraternity brothers in NYC and hung out with a few Accenture folk as well. Highlight - Kayaking with pops in Stamford. We kayaked out to the usual Island in the Stamford harbor during low tide and witnessed snails swarming a dead crab. Have you ever seen a pile of ants on a dropped chip in the middle of the street? Or even attacking a dead worm after a summer rainstorm? Almost identical except in slow motion!

Still - I have never seen snails move so fast.

Two items to bring up:
1. How do airlines assign seats? Sometimes I think I have it figured out and then all of a sudden I can't print the boarding pass to my phone, have no seat assignment and am walking up to the gate at slightly late to the agent just starting to call my name.
2. What are people thinking when they need to put a carry-on in the over-head compartments but all of the compartments are closed? Don't they realize that they got on late and there isn't any space for it? Let me answer this - No, they don't. They think if the complain and stand in the aisle as long as possible and stare up at the ceiling of the plane, ignoring the attendants, some luggage god will shine down on them, open one of the compartments, evaporate a current bag (of course, right above their assigned seat which was random) and make space for their over sized POS that will inevitably hit someone else in the head when they try to remove it post-flight. The only thing more annoying yet entertaining than this is an overworked/aggravated flight attendant who has to deal with people like this and just starts to scream for no reason.

That was my morning.

Currently Reading: The Average American Male - A Novel.
Notable people met: Benny (Accenture Newbie), Man with No Front Teeth on Friday night (picture will come soon), Joe Lawless (finally).

Friday, August 20, 2010


Current Location: LIC, NY

Been 10 days - apologies. But an eventful 10 days to say the least - hence the lack of upkeep on the blog.

The theme of the last two weeks has been: work! We've been closing out our project in Atlanta so my dedication has swayed to the "work side" of the work/life balance. Still, the usual travel has occurred - Boston last weekend and this weekend is NYC.

Boston: First, travel delays seem to follow me every week to the ATL airport. Last Thursday I ran out of my clients building - leaving a meeting - to catch a plane - I had about an hour until my flight was supposed to embark. I entered a cab, told the cabby my perdicament and he got me there with 30 minutes to spare. I walk in, look for my flight on the departure monitors - Three flights were heading to Boston that evening but only two displayed, and mine was not one of them! I then recieve a phone call from delta informing me of the newly declared 2 hour delay to Boston! Apparently it was due to weather in the north with our plane - coming from DC - was delayed initially. I sat down next to a fellow heading to Philly (The passengers to Philly actually got on their plane and then were asked to debark due to the weather) who decided to be chatty. Although grumpy due to the delay, I entertained the conversation and he proceeded to tell me how his friend was just informed that he had a year left to live. Moral of the story - 2 hour delays aren't so bad.

The 2 hours, however, slowly turned into 3 - Delta decided to bring in a new plane from the hangar and had to clean it. Now, usually I am one to defend the airline attendants - I know that its an inconvenience to the patrons to be delayed, but it's not the employees fault - there are standard operating procedures that they follow and like all of us, they are running a business. My gripe can be conveyed by switching loyalty, but rarely will I ever expel discontent verbally. This, however, seems silly to me - the manager knew that our plane was not going to be able to take us, so they should have brought the new plane in an hour earlier. However, if this delay did not occur, I would not have been able to see a man who looked like he was 45 kiss a girl who could have been 23. It seemed possible that they were father and daughter, so I initially let it slide. Curious me, however, decided to talk to them a bit and I quickly found out a few facts: 1) She was in college 2) She was headed to Boston for a family reunion and 3) (said by the 45 year old) "Her father loves to have us over - this is my second time going up but this time I don't need to bring my golf clubs which makes the travel a heck of a lot easier"... wtf?

After all of this (and the whole time I felt bad for my sister who would have to be woken from her sleep on a thursday night because I was so delayed) we step onto the plane. I find my seat (middle seat again - really getting shafted on Delta lately) and start talking to the man in the aisle. Quick description - he looked and sounded like the depiction of michael jackson from the simpsons. We start discussing the delay and the captain comes on. Everyone knows, as a rule, that the captain never speaks over the PA until the plane is about to take off - so I knew a delay was coming. "Hey folks - Good news is that we got you the plane to get to Boston. However, I hate to be the one to have to tell you this, but the flight crew just timed out. There is another crew coming from Tampa, but it's going to be at least an hour" So MJ and I kept talking - turns out he is a millionaire who has developed 4 platforms for accounting departments at law firms all over the world who started out as a musician in Connecticut church. Crazy. I got to Lexie's at 1AM - what a trip.

Boston was a great weekend - Lexie and Chris' new home is beautiful in Harvard Sq (there are a few pictures that will be uploaded soon). I spent Friday night initially at a happy hour at Grill 23, then with a few friends in Brookline setting off fireworks and drinking. The next day I headed to Mattapoisset (essentially the Cape) for an old client celebration party and saw my old team. Activities spanned from Tubing to Bocci and finally met a friend's husband (who I would eventually see at 5 AM in Logan two days later). My old supervisor's Chocolate lab came along for the ride (see pictures) and he has grown a ton in the past year! Sunday was spent watching TV, reading Brokeback Mountain (great book but definitely surprising since I hadn't seen the movie), furniture shopping with Lex and Chris (never again), comsuming fuddruckers for the first time (definitely again - thanks Chris!), watching Inception (fantastic - edge of my seat), and closing the night out with an episode of Mad Men. The flight to Atlanta was on time as usual and ran into Kim Rziemen (Lexie's friend) and Brian (husband of my ex-colleague).

Atlanta this week was all work and no play, but definitely worth it in the end. The flight out, somehow, was only 30 minutes delayed! What's more is that I ran into a friend who went to my highscool, college and now works for a competitor sitting two seats away. We talked for a solid 30 minutes, then I transitioned my attention towards a Belgian girl next to me that works in the "Deco" department of perfume bottles - I always wondered how perfume companies come to the decision on a hot pink colored container with two twists in the glass that make it look like a runover swan - and it still comes out beautiful.

Bill was there to pick me up last night - great feeling to see a familiar face when you land. If anyone needs a ride in NYC - let me know and I'll pass along his information.

I've also decided to try and add a new element to my posts - notable people that I've met since the last post. Here is my first attempt - I wonder if this will be neat to look back on in the future?

Currently listening to: Jeff Buckley
Currently Reading: Metamorphisis - Kafka.
Recently met people whose names I remember: Brian Cline, Hossain (new member of the genzyme team), the Marstons, Matt (Walker's friend who creeped out some of my friends at a party in Boston), Carine Schulte (airplane companion).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials

Current Location: Sheraton Hotel next to the safeway house, Atlanta, GA. (wtf)
Past weekend location: Long Island City, NY

It's been a week - work has been a bit hectic and the weekend was a combination of too much fun and too laid back to write in the blog. Here is the weekend recap:

Flew in from Atlanta on thursday night. I had a bet with a friend that I would take off within 45 min of the scheduled time (I took the under) and to my dismay we were delayed 2 hours, once again. I am starting to understand why people dislike flying out of ATL. Good news is that Bill (my new driver) was tracking my flight for me and was there to pick me up when I got in.

Celebrated on Friday with a friend who is leaving my firm, then saturday had an afternoon, evening and night bbq with Mark and a few others (leaving me in tip top shape by midnight), promptly passing out and sleeping in until noon. Sunday entailed more bbq, sending a few friends off (who used Bill to get to LGA =) ) and then reading along the water. Flew out in the AM to Atlanta on a 7AM flight with no hitches, got into work and have had quite an intense week.

More important things: finally picked up "Once a Runner" by James Parker after I did some intervals on saturday (knee is still bothering me and I partially regretted the last 5 quarters on the mile cool down through stuy-town). Fantastic book - just finished it and can see why so many people claim that this is the best running book ever written. Highly recommended to anyone who has flirted with running; a must read for anyone who can put a heartfelt definition to the title of this post.

Boston is coming up this weekend - excited to return for the first time without and apartment. Lexie and Chris just moved into their new home in Harvard square and I'm excited to see it.

Currently watching: Mad men was the last thing on TV that I watched.
Currently reading: Just finished "Once a Runner".
Currently thinking about: 3 things - deliverables for tomorrow, where my next vacation should be after labor day and how my heart raced while i read the last 40 pages of the book.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pictures and Notes

Current Location: Atlanta, GA

Loaded some new pictures from the past couple of days - mainly of Leroy, his pal Brodie and some bits and pieces of Wallmania.

I've been swamped at work over the past few days, so I apologize for the lack of updates. Here are a few notes from the past couple of days:

1. I've decided to try and put on 10 lbs in 2 weeks - it was a constant comment from family that I was looking slimmer (probably from all of the running I've been doing lately). Coincidentally, my right knee has been bothering me. So, I figure I stop running, put on some weight, lift a little and see how it feels in two weeks.

2. Getting up early to work is not as productive on this project as it has been on others. I am not sure why.

3. Concierge Lounges are a key factor to my happiness (and weight gaining potential) while on the road.

4. It is possible to make it from Long Island City to the gate of your plane on a monday morning before 6 AM within 19 minutes. It helps when you have a driver. It does not help to assume you have a 7 AM flight and wait to check in to that flight in the morning, only to realize that you have a 6AM flight.

5. Fairlie Poplar in Atlanta is a top 10 lunch street when looking for fast, cheap and delicious food. Comparable location: All of Penn's campus food trucks.

Currently Reading: Process Flows, Gap Analysis, Issue Logs (blech)
Currently Surprised about: Wyclef running for president of Haiti?
Important Birthday: Jeff Lyvers and Barack Obama (the former being infinitely more important).

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Weekend locations: Long Island City, East Village NYC and Stamford, CT.

Spent the weekend back in the greater NYC area again except this time for the entire weekend. Had a few factors that played into that decision but a big one was a party that my uncle was throwing for both an engagement and a high school graduation ( two different cousins). Turns out that it served as a reunion of sorts - 5 of the 7 Wallman siblings were making the trip ( 3 live in Stamford, the others from Philly and California), as well as Grandma - the lone matriarch. As frail as she seems, she can still hold her own in the shade eating ice cream cake with basketballs on it beneath a tree. Also - found some validation for the pink silly bracelet that I've been wearing - one of my cousins ( the one who is engaged now) wears a pink one as well. Once we both realized that we were wearing one, we whipped them off our wrists and untangled them to see which was cooler - I think his giraffe beat my dinosaur...

The rest of the weekend was spent exploring long island city with some friends and uncovering a fantastic Cuban restaurant called "Blend". I've always been taught that a Latin place has gotten something right if the serve a good Mofongo. It was tight. The Ropa Vieja and Pernil were also highlights for me, but our party of five left exceptionally satiated, happy and sleepy, all for different meal reasons. I think last night's sleep was the best night's in a while.

On a slightly different note - I need to make a shout out to my friend's new tv. It's a 46" samsung led and is about an inch thick. Damn sexy.

Atlanta tomorrow... trying out my new driver Bill in the morning. I'll also be posting a few more pictures from this past weekend and of the Wallmans for anyone who wants a glimpse into Wallmania.

Currently riding: metro north.
Planning on watching: Mad Men. Maybe Joan's curves look even bigger on the 46".

Friday, July 30, 2010


More travel delays yesterday coming back from Atlanta. I suppose there was some severe weather hovering over LGA because all flights going to LGA were delayed by 2 hours -but not JFK, EWR or HPN. I can just see a cartoon black clowd living on top of the small airport. Turns out that I still can get annoyed with travel delays and was a bit jittery on the flight over; I couldn't wait to debark the plane.

All bad things, however, seem to have an upside. First, while sitting in the lounge, I came across two defense attorneys from out west. They both were between 45 and 60 years old with clients who were very wealthy. In fact, a good amount of our conversation revolved around the outrageous spending habits of their clients and their clients claim that they do not have enough money to pay off loans which they owed. We conversed about current television shows (we agreed on Curb, disagreed on Entourage and suggested Californication) and new technology (voicemail is on its way out, fax is somehow still used for those who receive and ignore too many emails). All in all, a great way to kill 45 minutes. On their way out, they commented on my bag, "Looks like you've been everywhere and have everything you need in that suitcase"... He is right.

Karma would prove to even out upon my arrival at LGA. While waiting in the giant Taxi line, a towncar drive came up to me and asked me if I wanted a ride. Usually this means a ride to manhattan at a much higher rate, but there was something about this fellows tone which was different. He then mentioned that he had been stood up, waited a half hour, and now would lose a fare if he left. I told him my destination and the usual rate and he agreed to it. Not sure why he chose me out of the 100 people in line, but I jumped in the car with him. He introduced himself as Bill and we talked the entire ride back. I was still a little suspicious, but he was very congenial and we found the neighborhood where I was headed. He had plenty of suggestions too - calling out small restaurants that I would never have known about. Bill also spoke very highly of his family - his wife Irene and their seven year old son which they had when they were 46 and 41 respectively. On my exit from the car, he gave me his card and told me to call him whenever - the fare would be the same to LGA to or from - just needed some time to schedule it.

I gave him a call today to schedule my pick up for Monday morning.

Currently Listening to: The Tallest Man on Earth

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Two strange occurrances today that are worth briefly pointing out.

1. I got back to my hotel room this evening and sat on my couch with sportscenter in the background (important note - huge suite this week in the Westin - suhweet). Perhaps it was lack of sleep or just working at a quick pace over the past few days, but I was out cold. I woke at 7:30. A weird thing about Atlanta, and it took this event for me to realize this, is that 7:30 AM looks very similar to 7:30 PM during the summer. I shot up, looked around and thought it was time for work. I stumbled around for about 2 minutes to get my bearings and realized it was still the evening. Phew!

2. After my time mix up, I decided to go for a run. My usual route is north up Piedmont to Piedmont park. Now, it's important to note the direction, because running in any other direction starting in downtown Atlanta will generally result in slum tramping. At 10th and Piedmont, where Piedmont park starts, there is a gay Bookstore. I noticed this a few weeks back and was very intrigued - what made a bookstore gay? Was it the orientation of the owners? Was it purely the content? Well, I had been looking for a running book for the past few days (as noted on a previous post, I do not have a book that I am currently reading) so I decided to jump in, thinking that a bookstore is a bookstore - there is a good chance that it has a best seller section or something. This was not the case. Almost every book in the bookstore had some sort of sexual twinge, gay or straight, and very focused on social styles and acceptance. It was interesting - seeing titles such as "Mad Men Unbuttoned" made me think - is this about the underlyings of the making of the show? Or was it literally men scantily clothed like the characters on the famous show revealing parts of the male body that I only want to be familiar with on myself?

Unfortunately, I did not find my running book.

Currently watching: Mythbusters
Currently reading: Work documents and expense reports.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Losing Control

Tough time today at work - I lost my cool with a senior of mine and was reprimanded for it. We settled it, and it turns out that my outburst forced a conversation that needed to happen to get past a hurdle, but the entire situation put me off a bit. I'll react a little more to this in another post - I still need to reflect on it.

On another note, there are tons of street chess players in downtown Atlanta. I suppose that a large homeless population correlates to a large street chess population - what else do they have to do? I briefly considered sitting down to play with them for a game. I think I will try one day soon - what do I have to lose?

Currently Watching: The Colony - horrible show.
Currently Reading: Nothing - forgot to buy a book this week.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Moved out

And I'm officially off. Well, our lease ends next week but my belonging are now dispersed along the east coast with the majority at my parents. On one hand, it's strange to consider that I've actually moved back to my parents house. But on the other hand, one step further away from the norm, of what everyone expects you to do. Let's see how it rides.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tough travel week

I've experienced my fair share of difficult traveling and inconvenient mishaps that prolong arrival over the past years, but none ever ring as uncomfortable as the trip you just took. You always harp on the bad, never really take a step back to think about the good: I arrived safely.

Well, true to form, I had an uncomfortable experience, and like everyone else, I want to take the few lines and just call out some issues that I had. On my flight from dc to Atlanta, my flight was delayed one hour while sitting on the plane at 630 am, then cancelled due to mechanical issues. What luck! To make matters worse, we had a major pow wow at our client starting at 1pm. Hmph. I was able to, however, get on the one flight that would get me there on time at the last minute.

On the return leg to LGA, the loudspeaker told me, with no reason and with 10 minutes left of the flight that we were going to land in Philadelphia to refuel. WTF?

Right now I am waiting in lga for a shuttle to pick me up and giro my parents where I will have dinner with dad (brats and beer) then head up to Boston to move out of the apartment once and for all. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Pictures!

Take note of the albums on the right side of the page - there are plenty of pictures, both good and bad, but they provide a different perspective of my excursion. Who knows - you might be in a few!

Also note -all of these pictures are taken with an iPhone 3Gs - the quality may be lacking but its a small price to pay for not having to have another gadget on my person at all times.

Monday, June 28, 2010


First time that I returned to a hotel in which i spent 80% of my time living in for the first quarter of the year. We have all had that nostalgia spurred by a smell... Hotels seem to have that ability down. Upon walking off of the elevator onto my floor the aroma greeted me like an unwelcome old friend, and yet I smiled. In this consistently inconsistent life I have subconsciously started to capture small strings of familiarity. Perhaps it's time to move on?

Another element on my mind: is my lifestyle that much different? If so, can people relate to it? Does it change me and my mindset? Do the freedoms that I have taint my judgement and skew me towards selfishness or is it difficult for others to grasp my point of view merely because it's rare and uncommon? The volatility of our lives varies and now I am realizing that committing to something as little as a location for a weekend can be difficult. What's rare is more of my reasons - the fact that something else may come up AND that I have the freedom to change my plans on a whim make it hard for me to know far in advance what my plans are. This leads to a selfishness... But if given the opportunity to change plans without consequences, wouldn't you take advantage of it? The lines between rationality and consideration begin to blur.

Lazy Saturday

Haven't had one of these in a while! Back in Boston and at my apartment forming of the last times. Unfortunately it's been tainted by the states losing to Ghana in the world cup...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lazy Saturday

Haven't had one of these in a while! Back in Boston and at my apartment forming of the last times. Unfortunately it's been tainted by the states losing to Ghana in the world cup...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Everyone knows everything

Food for thought: the title is a line from Jack Kerouac's "Dharma Bums". Reading this in my hotel room earlier made me consider the validity of this statement.

Valid: considering the mantra of the book, there really is nothing to know - nothing really exists, you make it exist. Therefore, everyone knows everything in from their perspective because they make everything.

Invalid: the absolute idea of everything strays from kerouac's thesis - of course one person can't know everything let alone everyone knowing everything.

Consider how you precieve others... More than likely it's the latter case and you feel that it is prudent and efficient to have this mindset.

Now consider how life would be if everyone followed Kerouac's mantra.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Email to Friends

All -

The past six months of my life have been very touch and go - living in Boston, working in New York and normally in another location every other weekend. I have been making some major changes to my living situation and a product of those changes is having the opportunity to see you or travel with you for a weekend at a time. There is no better time in my life nor will my lifestyle ever allow me to do this in the future. The next few paragraphs provide a more detailed explanation, but the thesis remains the same: I want to see you all.

A few weeks back, I was sitting at 'The Other Side Cafe' in Boston with my sister Lexie and her husband Chris. We were talking about an upcoming predicament: my roommate Gary was moving out of our Back Bay apartment and moving down to New York. I was unsure whether I should stay in Boston or head to New York City with him. I've been with a consulting firm for almost two years now and have been working primarily outside of Boston for the last six months - four or five days out of the week had me in New York and the weekends were spent in various locations. At some point I had settled on moving out of Boston, but was unsure where to - New York City was the obvious choice but there was still the chance that I would have to move on to another city for work.

After explaining this to Lexie and Chris, along with the fact that my company puts me up in a hotel while I work and pays for the flights to and from the client site (under a specific amount), they threw out the idea of not renting an apartment. The main thought is that I have enough family between them, my parents in Stamford, my closest friends (who I consider family) in Boston/NYC/DC, and my grandparents in Puerto Rico, to have a different place to go each weekend of the month. In order to cope with this drastic change, I would tackle this as a project - keeping a blog of interactions (, places that I've visited, the effects and issues that come along with this life, what makes the nomad life successful and unsuccessful.

There are obvious reasons why I should and shouldn't do this, ranging from saving a large sum of money each month that I keep this up to possibly becoming extremely lonely and tired. After thinking this over for two weeks and realizing that I had been returning to Boston for 2 days out of each month, I decided to go with Lexie and Chris's suggestion. Starting in July, I will be rotating between Cambridge/Boston, Stamford/NYC and Puerto Rico, and will have most of my possessions in Cambridge or Stamford. I now know that I will be staffed in Atlanta primarily from Monday to Thursday of each week (this means flying anywhere is fairly simple and if you are living in Atlanta, I implore you to please get in touch with me).

All this being said, one of the main reasons that swayed me most was the idea of coming to see any of you or travelling with any of you somewhere for a weekend. Note that this doesn't just limit me to coming to see you in your home - I am more than willing to meet up in a foreign location (within the continental US or cheap island to fly to) on a Thursday night and take off either Sunday night or Monday morning.

If you have an open weekend and are interested, shoot me an email and please let me know - I need about three weeks to a months notice to ensure that I can plan to get there. As I mentioned above, I will be keeping track of all of this, and so can you, on a newly created blog: I'm going to keep this up for as long as I can with my goal being 1 year. If I can't handle it, I have a few outs here and there, but I think it is an experience to be had.

Again, I hope to see you over the course of the next year, and if you have any questions, I'd love to talk!