posts from 2008/2009 IMBA students around the world

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  1. FJ 81 – Tim Puts the Pieces Together with Musby 11 Jun 2017 | 1:58am GMT
    [ Open article ] on Finding Japan

    On this ep I sit down with a Kobe friend, Tim Andersen to talk about his startup Musby. We catch up a little and go over our common background of being halfies growing up in Japan. And we talk Musby’s goal of bringing language learning together with other interests. I think it really is a great idea and can’t wait to see what it develops into. Find out more at Musby

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  2. Episode 80 – Todd Always Stands His Ground 12 Mar 2017 | 11:49am GMT
    [ Open article ] on Finding Japan

    It’s Finding Japan’s 80th show! I’m joined in celebration with my friend and veteran Japan raconteur Todd Rucynski. Todd’s been in Japan for a long time has done everything from the good ol’ gaijin mainstay of teaching English to owning video stores (wuh?) to appearing on Japanese TV. We sat down at his secret office on a secret university campus to talk about what got him to Japan and some adventures since arriving more than 20 years ago. Note: The conversation was pretty long and Todd and I could’ve kept going, so I’m sure there will be more, whether you all want it or not.

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  3. Episode 79 – Three Moves Ahead with Shaka Haynes 2 Oct 2016 | 10:55am GMT
    [ Open article ] on Finding Japan

    It’s been awhile but I’m excited about this episode. My guest is the always hungry, always charismatic Shaka Haynes. Shaka works with me at the world famous fruit shop. More importantly, he’s making moves in the world of entertainment bringing his experience producing and promoting artists to the Japan scene. We talk about how he “found Japan” and his current experiences and future plans. Plus, we take an interesting detour and Shaka makes his case for why Boston is the most American of cities.

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  4. GPOs: To be or not to be a member? 15 Oct 2013 | 8:00pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on Welcome to Dave's Journeys

    I recently completed a term paper from which the idea came about from discussions with a pharmacy director at a major hospital. While our discussion was centered around pharmaceutical shortages, a couple of comments that were made, sent me in a different direction that is discussed below.

    Group purchasing organizations (GPOs) negotiate healthcare products and services (i.e. pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and cleaning services) for hospitals. The basic concept is that by pooling the demand from many hospitals into one, economies of scale can be created, thus obtaining lower prices from manufacturers and service providers.
    *Source: http://www.ph2dot1.com

    Many hospitals will tell you that their GPO is great and saves them money and time. This is probably true. Other hospitals have chosen not to join a GPO, which means they must do all the negotiating themselves. They will tell you that joining a GPO would not save them money. This is probably true as well. Research confirms that GPOs save money and that GPOs do not save money. Therefore, the true answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

    My paper centered around determining when it makes sense for a hospital to join a GPO. Specifically, I wanted to know what the characteristics are for hospitals that choose to join a GPO and those that do not. While I do not have concrete answers, I believe that some hospitals are foregoing cost saving opportunities by continuing to belong to a GPO. However, to leave their GPO creates another set of challenges that were not discussed in-depth in the paper. Perhaps that is for next one.

    If you are familiar with GPOs or other aspects of the healthcare supply chain, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts about this idea.
  5. Trends In Higher Learning 1 Jul 2013 | 4:59pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on Welcome to Dave's Journeys

    As someone who plans to stay in academia for the rest of my career, I am interested in how education and the method of obtaining knowledge is changing. While my history of education is lacking, I do see some macro trends that may change things in education going forward. The predictions below are not too far-fetched, since I have read of cases of each of them already occurring. It is just a matter of which ones will catch on.

    My predictions:

    1. Online education is going to continue to become more integrated into traditional university education. Students will take a mixture of online classes and more traditional classroom classes. These online classes may not be offered by the university they are currently attending, but the credits will transfer.

    2. Community colleges that mostly offer two-year degrees will partner with major universities to help cut the cost of education. Already, this is happening. Students may take classes at a community college for 2-3 years and transfer in to the four-year institution for the last 1-2 years of their degree. This is a win-win, since students get a degree for less money and universities typically receive the most committed students.

    3. Apprenticeships will come back in fashion. These may be integrated into a degree, but I think that businesses will higher people with all levels of education and train them specifically for a career. This will curb some of the frustration of businesses that have difficulty finding the right kind of talent they want.

    4. The average age of students will trend upward. This is partially due to the longer life-span and social acceptance of starting school later in life. As is already done in other countries, young adults in the US will choose to skip going straight to college. Instead, they will travel, work, volunteer or start their own companies before heading to get their education. This might be 1-2 years or longer. The life skills, experience and wisdom picked up along the way will become invaluable to them and their future employers. Lastly, this trend may lead to students being more engaged, because they know what they want and universities will not have as many dropouts and people switching majors.

    5. Self-education will become more common. Anyone with an internet connection can take free classes from top schools, such as MIT or UCLA. Entrepreneurs can pick up a skill they are lacking on. Students can enhance the learning of a course they are struggling with or really enjoying. Also, businesses can use them to train their employees.

    6. Most of these trends don't apply to the top rated schools, at least for now. If a school is ranked in the top 10-20 best universities (maybe top 50), they will still command a premium price and will have a long waiting list for people who would like to attend. However, as the trends above take hold, this may be difficult to hold onto.

     I believe that most of these trends will start at the universities and trickle down into primary education (K-12) later on.


  6. Pharmaceutical shortages 11 Apr 2013 | 6:14pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on Welcome to Dave's Journeys

    Today I have completed a paper about pharmaceutical shortages. My primary finding was that the bullwhip effect was starting at hospitals out of fear of a potential pharmaceutical shortage. This fear is leading hospitals to stockpile inventory, which makes the pharmaceutical even worse.

    The bullwhip effect, for those that don't know, occurs when demand increases at one point in a supply chain and triggers ever increasing demand throughout the supply chain. For example, if we all go and buy milk before a storm, then our grocer will order more from their supplier of milk. This supplier will see an unusual spike in demand and will order even more from its supplier, thus amplifying the problem. This cycle continues through out the supply chain, until demand drops off suddenly, because everyone is over stocked. Once demand drops off, the entire cycle starts over again. This variance-of-demand cycle is not good for a firm's production schedule.

    To prevent this from happening firm's within this supply chain should communicate and share more information. In addition, better lead times and forecasting can help. Also, government policy can play a role in allowing manufacturers to respond more rapidly to changing demand. Currently, government policy restricts pharmaceutical manufacturers from making more product than was originally forecasted. Therefore, if more is needed, a manufacturer must ask the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) if this is okay to do.

    The best part about finishing this paper is how good it feels to have it done and out of the way. I wish I could bottle the feeling! Now...on to the next one.


  7. 18 Months...a Whirlwind Tour 2 Oct 2012 | 1:54am GMT
    [ Open article ] on New Perspectives...


    18 months since I last posted on my blog www.watchorlive.blogspot.com! So. Shameful. How did that happen? I don't have access to Blogger when I'm in China for work (80% of the time) and until this month, I didn't even pay for wireless in my apartment in Michigan! But now, I've re-joined the world, and all of you.

    What's been going on, you ask? Last year I started a new job with my same company! I've been at it for 18 months now, launching a new plant in Shanghai. It's challenging. Boy, is it challenging! But such a valuable experience, (not to mention a resume-builder). I have another 6-12 months on the project before I need to move on to my next step.

    This past year and a half have been exciting and very eventful! A brother got married, my boyfriend came to Asia for the first time, I bought a house, my car burned down, I went to a couple new countries, grew to love a new city (obviously I'm referring to Shanghai here, and not Jackson, MI), and most importantly: I finally got to my 1K status on United Airlines! Well, maybe not the most important, but definitely makes the trips a bit more comfortable.

    It's time to share a couple of the highlights of what's been going on via photos! Why don't we work backwards!?

    August 2012: Mom and Soeren made it to China! Here we are at Tian Tan (The Temple of Heaven)

    We also got to stay in Yang Shuo (Guilin) for a couple of nights and the scenery was fantastic! Just what we needed for a few days out of the city.

    July 2012: I took a long weekend for the 4th of July and got to see Soeren in Europe.  We did our weekend in Vienna (because tickets were cheap to that airport) and got to dip over to Bratislava, Slovakia for a day ask well!


    May 2012:  A trip home to go to my little brother's wedding!  He married a gal named Kera and they are in the middle of living happily ever after with their furry child, Cyrus.



    April 2012:  I had a special 3-day weekend away from Shanghai in CAMBODIA with my favorite new gal, Kate!  We hit up Phnom Phen and Siem Reap and had a weekend full of beautiful sights, lots of sweat and many, many cheap massages.



    Christmas 2011 and New Years 2012 in Beaufort, SC, spending time with the people I love!


    December 2011: Right before I went home from Asia for Christmas, I stopped in Seoul, Korea to see my little sister!


    November 2011:  A weekend in Florida doing all things coastal!

    Sometime in fall 2011: Visits to Beijing to see some of the best buds!  


    AND we bumped into Ai Weiwei while boating in Beijing's Chaoyang park!

    September 2011: Visit to see Soeren in Germany with visits to castles, Stuttgart, and Heidelberg!



    July 2011:  Summer in Beaufort, SC with some of my favorite people visiting!  It was Soeren's first time on a wind surfer.  Show-off!


     June 2011:  Visiting those same buds in Pittsburgh was like a little piece of heaven.  Definitely good for the soul!


    March 2011:  I started my new job and the JW Marriott in Shanghai became my new home-away-from-home, and I started really exploring the city!



    I'm gonna call that whirlwind tour through the last 18 months a wrap!  Hopefully I can get into more knitty gritty topics later on now that the update is out of the way!  I missed you all- it's been too long!  Good to see you again :)





  8. Slacker in you unfolds! 10 Jan 2012 | 11:15am GMT
    [ Open article ] on Palmetto Boy

    ...I think not updating a blog talks a lot about what a SLACKER! you are.. Once you know you love writing about you..life n..crap.. better write.. stopping it for a day or two or a week is okay but not for a month..SLACKER.. I scolded myself.. hmmmm sometimes it okay to be self critical...man.. lot many things have happened in my life.. I moved to Hyderabad! Never thought I will be here.. currently working on a project for an agro industry.. taking an indian company global!! Kewl!! more than that planning to venture into green filed South American Market!! Que Bueno para mi!! Si..en uno sueno come true!! :-) anyways.. life is good.. Spent my new year in Chennai.. Attended a personality development kindaa discourse by a great guy "T.T.Rangarajan" Worth the time and money.. Started fresh... this year.. not many resolutions...but decided on Infinitheism as my way of life...
  9. Lesotho - A South African Paradise 29 Nov 2011 | 8:17am GMT
    [ Open article ] on Palmetto Boy

    I have to thank Google for an amazing Stat report. I had my first blog reader from a small landlocked country in Southern Africa - Lesotho....a paradise unknown to me all the while... A quick wiki resulted in knowing more about this Diamond based economy...I never knew that it had such a beautiful landscape....an english speaking fellow commonwealth! nation Thank You Brits! for making our travel easy...
    I was literally mesmerized by this beauty of this scenic Katse Dam Bridge.. Man.. I wanna go there sometime.. my heart started pounding with a desire to spread my wings to fly down to Lesotho.. It came as a blow to my ignorance when I came to know that there is an afri-ski resort..(SKI RESORT IN AFRICA!!!) in the mountains of Maloti..just 4.5 hours drive from Johannesburg.I am quite shocked to see that a country with such a high literacy rate suffers poor Healthcare!..HIV spread so badly in urban areas.. I love this picture of this kid covered in traditional clothing.
    Looks like Lesotho employs lot of child labor.... Man.. I love to go this country and volunteer for a month.. do my best to help them..as well look for some social entrepreneurship in this place..help these people build a better country...I would appreciate comments from you readers....any thoughts ....any ideas...any suggestions....there are lot of unknown places and people we could do something to change their life....dont forget to leave comments readers.....
  10. Crane cleansing Cow! 28 Nov 2011 | 5:03pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on Palmetto Boy

    I was just observing Crane that was picking Cows nose!!..may sound disgusting but the sight was beautiful.It looked as though this cow was getting a beauty therapy by this beautiful sleek Asian Avis! In fact the cow was cooperating to my surprise, what could be the reason? I sneaked closely to observe this natural ecological! phenomenon.. Crane helps cow to keep itself clean from insects and flies..Cow feels relieved by this action!...WoW! is it amazing..Nature helps! even when you are unable to protect yourself..Nature protects you!
    Sometimes we aren't sure about the decision we make, not sure about What Next? The reason for this uncertainty is not just fear of failure but also the fear of responsibility if Successful! It is sometimes okay to let things go! with the flow...Nature takes care of rest...I was traveling a lot last week, I was meeting new people, understanding new business...quite an exiting week... I am also happy to see last week blog status..quite a number of people are reading my blog across the world..I would recommend all the readers to go through my archive may be you might find something funny! other day my blog reader pinged me that I am turning to philosophical these days.. honestly I have no intention...all that I blog are my scrambled thoughts that are getting some shape form... Anyways..Thank you readers for your support.. I am looking for a long term project for my Palmetto Consulting. I think....I am almost in the verge of getting one.. keeping my fingers crossed...
  11. OK, so it's not the end... 8 Apr 2010 | 8:36am GMT
    [ Open article ] on New Perspectives...

    I don't live in China for the time being, so it felt strange to write on a blog address called "Experiencing China." Here's where you can read all my posts, both new and old!


    http://watchorlive.blogspot.com/
  12. PERHAPS THE BEST NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIDEO EVER 9 Jun 2009 | 3:38pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on My life in pictures


    PERHAPS THE BEST NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIDEO EVER
    Originally uploaded by adifromusa
    Adrian Rusu
    www.linkedin.com/in/adrianrusu
    akilliano.blogspot.com

    "3rd law of thermodynamics: things go worse under pressure."

    >
    >

    Adrian Rusu
    Moore School of Business
    University of South Carolina
    IMBA Chinese Track, Class of 2009
    adrian_rusu@moore.sc.edu
  13. PERHAPS THE BEST NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIDEO EVER 9 Jun 2009 | 3:38pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on My life in pictures


    PERHAPS THE BEST NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIDEO EVER
    Originally uploaded by adifromusa
    Adrian Rusu
    www.linkedin.com/in/adrianrusu
    akilliano.blogspot.com

    "3rd law of thermodynamics: things go worse under pressure."

    >
    >

    Adrian Rusu
    Moore School of Business
    University of South Carolina
    IMBA Chinese Track, Class of 2009
    adrian_rusu@moore.sc.edu
  14. Testing 31 May 2009 | 1:47pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on My life in a blog

    Just trying to see how this works. I am back on the blogging scene.


    These are some great tepaniakki prawn shrimps i had today. The guy was peeling them off with a knife. Wow!

    -- Post From My iPhone
  15. The End! 17 May 2009 | 4:58pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on New Perspectives...

    I've left Beijing and I don't know when I'll be back...and that is so hard to say out loud. Leaving Beijing was one of the toughest and most emotional things I've done in a long time. An intense outpouring of love from my friends made me realize how much I loved the city, the people I met there, and how I had more friends in that city than in any other single location in the world. As Rory reminded me, "Don't be sad that it's over, just be glad that it happened!" We are all made of different chapters, and they open and close with the flow of life. My Beijing chapter has just finished, but I know that China will always beckon me back and I will find time for it again and again. Thank you, thank you, thank you to China, Beijing and every person that I have grown to know and love there! I can't wait to see you all again!

    For now I am closing the "Experiencing China" blog, as I would be doing it injustice because I am no longer living there. I graduated with an International MBA degree and accepted my first job in the United States. However, it is with a global company so I will definitely be able to enjoy various cultures and seek out the new perspectives that so often drove this blog. As an ending note, I've included some of the graduation pictures. So long for now, it sure has been fun sharing life with all of you! 再见朋友们!


    These are most of my classmates that did the Chinese track of the IMBA!


    My Family (minus Kelsey)


    And my Aunt and dear friend Courtney that also trekked to Columbia to watch the graduation!
  16. Spring into....something. 29 Mar 2009 | 5:53pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on And...I'm Out.

    The real question is how many blogs I can start with "still in limbo"? I keep thinking things can't get weirder, but they do. This week we had one person, ONE, on vacation and it was nuts at work keeping up with his work and my work. It's a scary vision of the future if one more person leaves. Unless that person is me:) Just kidding. Even though I would be excited to start something new or move somewhere new or you know, actually KNOW what my life would be like next month, I would feel awful to leave my team with all the extra work. At this point, if someone else leaves the work would be almost insurmountable.

    The lady who sits in the cube next to me got let go on friday. The mood was not what you would expect. She was ECSTATIC. She was jumping up and down and whooping. It definitely made getting let go seem like more of a reality. Anyways, the rumor is that more people are getting let go in April. scary.

    The good news is I may have convinced my boss to let me move to either Dallas or DC and continue doing my current job. He has to figure out if it's legal for me to work at a verizon office if I'm technically working for both verizon and alltel. The other good news is I'm having lots of interviews with verizon for other positions, so hopefully one of those will come to fruition soon.

    In non-work related news, my 10 mile cherry blossom run is next week! I get to go to DC and visit with my friends natallie and kate whom I love to death. It should be really fun minus the body beating I'm going to take at the race. I think I'm ready though. Then, after that I work for a few days and then leave to go visit the Lequires and see their beautiful new baby and play at the beach in charleston. It should definitely be a great time!
  17. In limbo - still 23 Feb 2009 | 12:51am GMT
    [ Open article ] on And...I'm Out.

    Who knew that my life would be in limbo for the entire time I've lived here?

    It's really interesting to be on the inside of a merger. I randomly took a class in grad school about mergers and aquisitions. We analyzed completed mergers and labeled them successful or unsuccessful and decided whether "synergies" were acheived. I never thought I would be on the other side as an employee. It's absolutely insane. Every single day is different. Some days I have nothing to do and I get two emails, but other days I am running around trying to get info for verizon and run the alltel side of the business. My media content team went from 12 to 5. Everyone has left and it feels like a ghost town on my floor. Friends who used to work next to me have been divested, moved to another building and no longer have access to my building. I have to be careful about what I say. I am classified as a shared resource which means I work for alltel and verizon. I can't tell verizon about alltel info and I can't tell alltel about verizon info. It gets really complicated when you have alltel, shared and verizon employees all in the same meeting.

    The worst part is I have no new information besides that I am now a verizon employee and my benefits are changing. I still have no idea when or if my job is going away. I have heard everything from may to september to you'll be an employee forever if I have my way. It's incredibly disheartening. How are you supposed to plan your life? How do you even sign a lease? make vacation plans? know how much you need to save? How do you establish relationships if you're leaving?

    As I said before, people are dropping like flies. Members of my team are now handling the jobs of three people when they were already super busy with the one position. My boss is leaving, her boss left already, and my new boss lives and works in dallas. So who do I even report to right now? It has been difficult to engage our counterparts at Verizon, but it seems to be coming together finally. Emails are getting answered and phone calls have been set up.

    The good news is my fear has grown into apathy. I have accepted that I don't know my future at all. I'm trying to just take it day by day.
  18. Write Chinese, 写中文 18 Feb 2009 | 5:14am GMT
    [ Open article ] on My life in a blog


    我今天发现了,我的博客有几个月没有写最新的信息了。对我博友来说,可能只有一个或者两个人,真不好意思。今天我们班的老师强迫我们写一篇文章,放在我博客上。真好...她给我一个好机会:继续跟大家谈谈我最新的历险记。我现在打算每周写一篇。

    是这样,你们已经理解:不是我没经历过新的情况,就是安排时间的问题。

    我现在在新加坡,是新加坡国家大学的交换学生。我准备今年五月底毕业南卡罗莱纳大学的MBA。还差几个月,我还没决定我以后要做什么。我不紧张,慢慢来。。。

    It's been a while since I last wrote a Chinese or blog entry. I planned to start again, but somehow I never found the right time, resources or inspiration. When I had inspiration, I didn't have time and so on... Today, our Chinese professor pushed us into keeping a blog in Chinese. I though this is a good chance to get back into the blogging mood so here I am. Sorry to all the readers out there, one or two of them, who still read this... I am back and plan to write once a week at least.

    Latest news: I'm in Singapore, exchange student at NUS, bound to graduate from USC in May with an IMBA degree. Still unsure where the period after May will take me, but I am not worried as I know something good is going to happen.

    Please excuse my broken Chinese or English for that matter.
  19. At Aunt Fay's Request... 15 Dec 2008 | 11:22am GMT
    [ Open article ] on And...I'm Out.

    So, apparently some people (at least within my family) actually read my blog and at aunt fay's request, I am going to start blogging again....starting NOW.

    This has been a crazy six months. I graduated in may, moved the dog and my stuff to little rock, started a new job, made new friends, got adult furniture, learned new things, the usual life changing ridiculousness. Of course as my luck goes, three days after I started working it was announced to everyone's surprise that we were getting bought. That kicked off a whirlwind of emotions and very few actual answers. I have heard a dozen different dates, but it seems now that Verizon has the financing to move forward and that the date of the merger close should be sometime in january.

    Initially, the idea of merging was scary and it will never be ideal, especially in light of our economic status and rampant layoffs across the country. But, after you've mulled over your impending doom and joblessness for six months, you start to come up with a life plan. I don't know if I'll have a job with Verizon, I don't know if I'll lose my job in Little Rock (although it seems pretty likely), I don't even know when anything will actually occur or when I'll even know what my future will be. Yikes! That is the part I'm trying not to dwell on. The good news is that I'm educated and mobile and I have to think that things will be ok. I have a good job right now and a little time to save up for possible joblessness. I have decided that if I do lose my job, I will pick a new place to live and find a temp agency and work until I find something permanent. Franklin may have to adjust his taste for stuffed animals and doggy day care, but other than that, I think we'll be alright.

    The sad part is that I really love the people I work with and I truly enjoy my job. It's interesting and challenging and I have a boss that cares about her workers. I've been impressed with how willing everyone at work has been to help each other out. We pass around job postings and trade contacts, offer reccommendations and send out resumes. It remains a good atmosphere to work in and it is only slightly annoying when teams that are not as busy as mine hold fooseball tournaments by the elevators. It is nice, afterall, to have the option of playing fooseball, pacman and asteroids, if you ever need a break from work.

    The next month should definitely be interesting. I'm heading to the remote carribean island of Bequia to celebrate my Mom's recent graduation/departure from the grueling hell that is working and going to school at the same time. It will be great to spend time with my family and explore a new part of the world. I will keep you updated on the merger and my state of mind throughout the transition and the next phases of my life. I do know that everything will be ok, no matter what happens. At this point, my sanity remains intact - hooray!
  20. Linux on the iPhone 29 Nov 2008 | 4:55am GMT
    [ Open article ] on My life in a blog

    I was just doing my regular internet browsing today when I ran into a cool video about the iPhone. This very smart guy was able to run a Linux kernel on the iPhone 3g, by changing the bootloader and sending in commands from his old-school keyboard. Very interesting video, check it out here: http://www.vimeo.com/2373142.
    Maybe one day, we will have this:


    Happy belateed Thanksgiving to everyone!
  21. 9 Nov 2008 | 6:20am GMT
    [ Open article ] on La vie en rose


    OK, so i've been a little slack about updating my blog. seriously, a lot has gone on in 2008.


    1) i moved back to the US (for the 3rd time). leaving france was sad, but i know i'll go back. i miss sitting by the seine, reading a book in park, people watching at cafes - i miss it all really, but a chapter has closed so that a new one can begin.


    2) i graduated!!! IMBA Class of 2008!! i finished my last semester at USC and officially have an international MBA... sounds much cooler that it actually is, but given the current economy i'm sure it will be an asset.


    3) i got a job!! l'oreal wanted me so much in paris that they decided to help me out with getting a job in NYC! i'm currently working on the matrix brand - they make biolage shampoo if you're not familiar with them. work can be stressful at times, but i love it!


    4) i moved to NYC! (obviously, since i'm working in NYC.) it's not paris, but it's pretty cool. i haven't taken any weekend trips bc i've been exploring this great city! it's huge and uber diverse. you can walk 10 blocks and be in a completely different neighborhood with it's own unique feel. not to mention, the shopping and food are fabulous!




    so that's it for now. i promise i'll update more frequently. thanks for reading!
  22. Earthquake in Southwest China 13 May 2008 | 5:58am GMT
    [ Open article ] on CHINA IS CALLING

    As many of you have already heard and read, there was a devastating Earthquake in Southwest China Monday afternoon. The epicenter of the quake was in Sichuan province but a smaller tremor was felt all the way up here in Beijing. It was a very strange sensation as I felt myself subtly begin to sway. As we stood up to figure out what was going on, it was clear that the whole building was swaying. We quickly left the building and waited outside. Eventually, we were sent home. All in all it was a very minor disruption here in Beijing, but of course, down south in Sichuan, people are experiencing extreme devastation. Just one week earlier, I was traveling in that region with my dad and stepmom. And it is disheartening to be reminded how everything can change in an instant. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the quake.
  23. Bull 1 Horse 0.JPG 9 May 2008 | 11:14pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on IMBA Photo Group Pool

    Laronge has added a photo to the pool:

    Bull 1 Horse 0.JPG

  24. Duel.JPG 9 May 2008 | 11:06pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on IMBA Photo Group Pool

    Laronge has added a photo to the pool:

    Duel.JPG

  25. Languid Pose.JPG 9 May 2008 | 11:03pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on IMBA Photo Group Pool

    Laronge has added a photo to the pool:

    Languid Pose.JPG

  26. Just Cuz... 28 Mar 2008 | 2:33am GMT
    [ Open article ] on CHINA IS CALLING

    Here are a couple of pictures from New Year's Day with Almost all of my best friends represented.
    (From left Ms. Heather Talley, Mrs. Ana Allen, Ms. Isabelle Guzman, myself, Ms. Sarah Almond, you can also see Rose the Hound Dog there on the left)

    It was an amazing day, as all my girls came out to my Dad and Anne's house and we proceeded to welcome in the New Year by chowing down on one of the best meals ever conceived and created: Pork Chops pan fried in butter, Collard Greens with Balsamic, Black Eyed Peas, Home-made Apple sauce along with Corn Bread and Biscuits. This meal will never be forgotten but hopefully repeated.



    Here's a little info just for fun.

    Four jobs I have had in my life:
    1. Receptionist at my mom's law practice (age 8-13)
    2. Cashier, Zell's Ace Hardware (age 18)
    3. Banquet Server, Grove Park Inn (age 20)
    4. YMCA Day Camp Counselor (age 20)

    Four movies I would watch over and over
    1) Lost in Translation
    2) Say Anything
    3) The Bourne Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum (I know, that's actually 3, sorry)
    4) Top Gun

    Four places I have lived:
    1) Paris, France
    2) New York, NY
    3) Asheville, NC
    4) Columbia, SC

    Four Places I have been:
    1) Marlborough, New Zealand
    2) Upolu, Western Samoa
    3) Budapest, Hungary
    4) Jupiter, NC

    Four people who e-mail me regularly :
    1) Mom (because now she has a BlackBerry and she oozes technology)
    2) Lynn
    3) Heather
    4) many others sporadically

    Four of my favorite foods:
    1) Spaghetti and Meatballs (with a glass of milk-it's a childhood thing)
    2) Gong Bao Ji Ding (which is the real chinese version of Kung Pao Chicken-I'm 'bout to go eat some right now)
    3) Chocolate Cake
    4) and basically anything made by my Mom, my Grandmother, my Dad, Sarah Almond, Lynn Andriani, Heather Talley, Isabelle Guzman, Traci Magnus, Jennifer Bryan...my Step-Mom and Step-Dad are also really amazing cooks, I hope I didn't leave anyone out!

    Four places I would rather be right now:
    Being here is pretty good for me right now, so I'll rename this one Four places I would also enjoy right now:
    1) In the woods
    2) On an island beach with blue skies and sunshine
    3) With my friends and family
    4) In Love

    Four friends I think will respond:
    1) Heather
    2) Ana
    3) Lynn
    4) Rory

    Four things I look forward to:
    1) This weekend
    2) Having children
    3) My next big trip
    4) A phat job offer

    If you interested send me your answers and add more fun questions.
  27. Peace, Love and Kung Fu 21 Mar 2008 | 2:01am GMT
    [ Open article ] on CHINA IS CALLING


    Pictured here with my good friend Rory Zimmerman of ATL! Holla!
  28. 21 Dec 2007 | 6:16pm GMT
    [ Open article ] on La vie en rose

    Ce n'est qu'un au revoir...



    Where to begin! A lot has happened since my last post. Yesterday was my last day at L'Oreal in Paris and today was my last exam. This is my last weekend in France, and everything is really starting to hit me.

    When I came back to France this year, I knew that it would only be for a short time and that this would be the last time I live in France. I consciously made the decision to appreciate every moment, every glass of wine, every market, every pigeon, every metro ride. I have been given many extraordinary opportunities in my life. This year in France was my opportunity to enjoy life, learn about myself and savour my accomplishments. Since January, I have achieved the bilingual level on the French language exam, taken MBA level classes in French, received remarkably high grades in my French MBA classes, got an internship at L'Oreal, was able to see ALL of my close French friends once again, and now practically have a job offer from L'Oreal New York!!! How much better could this get!?


    Although I am ecstatic about returning home to see my family and finish my MBA, I can't help but feel a bit nostalgic. A chapter of my life is closing in order to begin a new one. A large part of the last 9 years of my life has taken place in France. I've met the most amazing people who have become my best friends in the world, and those friendships will last a lifetime. At the same time, I've also learned a great deal about myself... I became a "grown-up"! The evolution towards the independent, organized, prissy and professional woman that I am today happened in France.




    As I spend the next two days figuring out how to fit everything I own into 2 suitcases, I'm planning to take it easy, sit back and enjoy the view. The many breathtaking views in Paris, and the view as I look forward to my next adventures. A few of my friends are pretty sure that I'll be back in France since this is the THIRD time I've left the country "indefinitely", who knows - maybe they're right!



    Time for new adventures! Ce n'est qu'un au revoir.....
  29. Youtube 24 Sep 2007 | 9:45am GMT
    [ Open article ] on My life in pictures

  30. 9 Sep 2007 | 2:52am GMT
    [ Open article ] on Work in Progress

    To thos who are reading this on the IMBA blog feed, there should be pictures in the previous two posts. For some reason they're not coming through. But click and see!