Monday, October 25, 2010

typical story

It goes like this: my group decides to go out to lunch. Everyone puts on their jackets (and scarves, now) and heads downstairs. While we wait in the lobby for everyone to gather, I realize that in our 10-person circle I'm once again the only girl; mostly, I realize this during lunch time because I never notice how short I am compared to the rest of them until we're all standing up and not sitting at our cubicles any more. I also notice because lunch time is when everyone starts talking about Dave Chapelle, and suddenly the conversation is totally lost on me.

The strange thing is, banking isn't hugely gender-imbalanced anymore. There are plenty of females in the field - just not in FIG (financial institutions, which is the sector I cover). There are also plenty of Asians in banking - again, just not in FIG. It's very strange.

Anyway, I've started making a mental list of recurring conversation topics which I can contribute exactly zero to:

- Dave Chapelle (as previously mentioned)
- Baseball
- Having a wife
- Sharktopus
- Fishing
- Fox News anchors

Thursday, September 30, 2010

first ever m&a deal

Tells you something about how bad the markets have been that I haven't worked on a single (successful) M&A deal since starting over a year ago.

But my first one announced over night (after business close in Japan). Sometime when I am not late for work I will relay the more amusing anecdotes that came out of it.

But yay!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quora Community Party

Bumping party last night for the Quora community.

Great venue, well-stocked open bar, awesome people.
A somewhat meager but nevertheless fun attempt at a dance floor.
Lots of tech dudes but a surprisingly good turnout from the ladies too.
Only one awkward attempt at a pick-up! ("looking for a smart and nerdy girl who likes science"... gee thanks)

I seem to have lost my ability to write in complete sentences, so pardon my fragments :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

a five minute analysis of nyc

- Infinite number of good brunch places, feeding my infinite love for brunch
- Walking proximity of most of the places where I spend my time...even if it's sometimes a long walk
- All girls dress well
- Central Park
- Free museums!

Least favorites:
- Overpriced groceries
- Multi-hour lines for any remotely popular event
- Trash bags lined up on the curb at night

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

hi from the delinquent one

I am here to report that the ranks of my lovely startup have swelled to 13, and very excitingly that includes a second female engineer! My life has gotten, oh, maybe 10x better since she showed up.

Friday, August 20, 2010

friday nights

Friday nights used to be the night to go out. I remember during training, and in fact for the first six months I lived in NYC, how psyched everyone was when Friday finally came around. The first-year population counted down the hours from 9am until 9pm on Friday, when they could change into short dresses and bring out the cross-over purses, and head out for a night on the town.

I'm not sure when that ended - maybe when winter rolled around - but by now I can't even remember the last time I really went OUT on a Friday. These days Fridays are no longer the beginning of the weekend, but are the end of a week - a time to relax and unwind after a long five days. Typical activities = burgers in the park, a beer or two at a bar, a walk through half the city. No more clubs, dressing up, staying out late. A few hours of conversation with good friends, and that's about it. No one is ashamed to call it an early night on Fridays.

I think I like that.

ps. someone poke Tracy and tell her to post :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

the day after vacation

At least 3 people came up to me today and asked, "Don't you feel depressed being back at the office after being away for a week?"

Depressed? Not really. The worst day was last Friday, when I was relaxing at home just thinking about how much work I had to catch up on and how I'd have to hit the ground running again come Monday at 8:30am. That was depressing. But once I got back here it wasn't so bad. I kind of forget already what vacation was like.

Everyone is pretty grumpy in the office right now though. I think the lack of summer is starting to catch up...summers are supposed to be relatively light work-wise, but this summer has been a doozy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

high of 106

I spent the weekend in Dallas visiting friends in med school at UT Southwestern. A flashback to student life -- the existence of summer vacations, free evenings and weekends spent hanging out in friends' apartments, parties within a largely confined social group which revolves around people in your field of study (medicine) and class year (MS1).

As I was entering my second hour of lounging in the pool on Saturday, I thought vaguely about how different the med school life is from my life in New York now. NY means no summer vacations, little socializing to speak of on weekdays, every other party is a new crowd with new faces who I may or may not ever see again. It means thinking about what you wear even to go to the bookstore or Central Park, unlike in Dallas where everyone shows up to parties in jeans.

In New York, I have a core group of 5 or 6 friends who I see frequently, and everyone else shifts in and out of my wider social circle depending on circumstance and situation. In med school, my friends have a core group of 10-20 people who they see frequently, and which also serves as their wider social circles. They rarely meet people outside of med school.

It's interesting. I wonder which social situation leaves people feeling more satisfied, having more stable friendships or having a more steady flow of new acquaintances.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Unproductive week at the office, sadly. Shockingly it's hard to be productive doing work for a web company when your Internet is one hot mess of disconnectivity.

But! Witness the power of Twitter: @ComcastBonnie @replies me when I whine about broken Internet.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the morning coffee tour

I moved to downtown Palo Alto at the beginning of July and discovered the beauty of a 7 minute walk to work that passes by not one, not two, but THREE coffeeshops. OPTION ONE: Lytton Roasting Company, although I must confess that I have not been adventurous enough to drop in yet. Soon, soon, that day will come. OPTION TWO: Starbucks, which necessarily commands a presence on every thoroughfare in our grand United States. Sugarfree {caramel, hazelnut, vanilla, cinnamon} soy latte, grande, please. In my travel mug, thanks. OPTION THREE: Coupa Cafe, the favorite of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and VCs and other startup groupies on their iPhones and iPads. Nowadays I go for the sugarfree orca spice chai teas at Coupa when my body needs a milder dose of caffeine. Or just when I want something sweet and dessert-like.

Oh, and should I fail to acquire my 16oz of coffee or tea during my tour of downtown Palo Alto, the Quora office has a Keurig coffee machine that is pure genius. Pick a pod of French Vanilla or Cappuccino or Donut Shop Coffee, plop it into the machine, press *brew* and out drips a splendid 6 or 8 or 10 oz cup of coffee in a matter of seconds. We have indeed come a long way since the days of kneeling on the ground in the cramped old office to brew coffee in the dinky little filter coffee machine.

flavia tasting

Some of us here may drink real coffee, but for the rest of us who are too lazy - or fancy ourselves too busy - to ride the 35 floors down the elevator to grab Starbucks, our daily sustenance is Flavia. Flavia, which every analyst quickly comes to know and hate. But it's always available and always free and what good is working hard for the big bucks if you're not willing to subject yourself to watery coffee-from-powder to save every dollar??

Unfortunately, since 2008 happened our office has only stocked four flavors of Flavia in the pantry. I switch off between French Roast 80% of the time (highest caffeine content available) and English Breakfast Decaf the other 20% (can't stand caffeine, can't stand coffee, just want something non-threatening).

I notice that the guys in our office all shy away from Flavia, as if it's not manly enough coffee for them. If I bump into any of them in the pantry, they'll inevitably go for water instead, and then walk up to their desk 15 minutes later with a 16oz coffee from across the street. Or maybe it's just that no one else is stupid enough to drink Flavia.


tracyandhelen Version 2, but no longer zai Beijing vanr! We are now hard at work coding and banking so we can afford the coffee habits which permit us to persist in our gainful occupations. Welcome to our new blog to document these joyful adventures in industry.