Friday, August 7, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
One of my buddies in Toronto who has her own very successful boutique law practice catering to the venture capital community had this to say about my plight: "It's crazy, you're all ready to go and--well--there's nothing for you to do. It's sort of like you're a gladiator looking for the Coliseum." I think that's apt, although it's not so bad thinking of myself as this guy:
Sadly, I feel a little more like this guy:
I know the photo is a bit dark, but that's "Frank the Tank" in the midst of the famous one-man streaking scene from the movie Old School. Out in front of the crowd all by yourself? Mr. Winky flapping in the breeze? I can relate. F*ck.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Today's New York Times contains an interesting article where a number of Canadians living in the United States discuss what they miss most about Canada. You can check out the article here:
I started salivating in sympathy when one of the writers mentioned that the one thing he misses most about Canada is ready access to Coffee Crisp candy bars. I hear you brother! When I first moved here, I was outraged, OUTRAGED that I couldn't find Coffee Crisps. Anywhere. Then, a couple of years ago, I spotted a box of Coffee Crisps in one of the Hudson's News stores in Grand Central. They didn't seem very popular and, after a few months, the store stopped carrying them.
On this Canada Day, let's honor a real Canadian icon--the Coffee Crisp:
Once again, Happy Canada Day!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
I was never that much a fan of The Crue when I was younger but I have to say that this video is AWESOME! "Wild Side" isn't just a song, it's a freakin' ANTHEM! I simply can't resist the urge to turn the volume up, WAY UP, when I watch this video. My favorite part? Tommy Lee's rotating drums! When the pyrotechnics flanking his rotating drum kit blow, I'm so amped up I emit an involuntary primal yell! AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!
What's the takeaway here? Probably something like: "You can take the boy out of small town British Columbia but you can never take the small town British Columbia out of the boy!"
Although Mine That Bird's Canadian connection is a good story, it's been done to death. Instead, I'm going to recount a story about geldings, of which Mine That Bird is one.
In July 2003, I represented Verizon Wireless in connection with the sale of its 39.4% interest in Grupo Iusacell, a publicly-traded Mexican cellular telephone company. Sullivan & Cromwell acted for Vodafone which also held a significant percentage of Grupo Iusacell stock. During a lull in the kick off meeting with the acquirer and its counsel, the topic turned to horse racing.
"Oh yeah, he's a great horse--especially for a gelding," one of the business principles from the acquirer said about some horse I'd never heard of.
The immaculately coiffed, young male associate from Sullivan & Cromwell sitting across the table furrowed his brow. "What's a gelding?" he asked.
The business principle from the acquirer laughed. "Well. Hmmm, how should I put this," he said. "A gelding is a male horse who--uh, uh--whose had his testicles removed...."
"NO!" shouted the associate from Sullivan & Cromwell while involuntarily clenching his thighs and buttocks. "Why would anyone do THAT?"
The business principle grinned and explained: "Fixing male horses like that has lots of advantages. They're less aggressive and they're easier to control. They pretty much just do what they're told to do with no fuss."
The partner from Sullivan & Cromwell perked up and raised his eyebrows theatrically. "You know what?" he asked rhetorically, "maybe we should think about doing THAT to our male associates!"
Everyone in the room erupted with raucous laughter. Everyone, that is, but the associate from Sullivan & Cromwell....
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
It's probably still too early to get discouraged but I have to admit that I'm incredibly frustrated. I'm trying to take a little inspiration from Kurt Warner. I've always liked Kurt Warner and not just because he played for the Giants in 2004, as seen below:
I really admire how Kurt never lets adversity get to him. He takes everything in stride and just goes about getting the job done. He went from Super Bowl MVP with St. Louis to backing up Eli Manning in New York and Matt Leinert in Arizona before re-emerging as Arizona's starter and taking them to the Super Bowl.
In one pre-Super Bowl interview I saw, the interviewer asked Kurt if he ever lost confidence in himself or his abilities during the downswing in his career. I'm paraphrasing here, but his answer was something like: "No, I never questioned my own abilities. I knew what I could do. I'd done it before. What I did lose confidence in was the game--the league--the way things work. I wasn't sure I'd ever get another chance to do what I knew I could still do and do much better than other people."
Kurt Warner's wise words really resonated with me then and resonate even more loudly with me now.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
In addition to being the Governor of Michigan, Ms. Granholm is--wait for it--a Canadian! As set out in her Wikipedia biography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Granholm), she was born in Vancouver.
To heck with all this crap about appointing "the first Latino justice"--how about "the first Canadian justice" instead!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Although the makeup and airbrushing magicians have managed to deal with the issue here, I'm always struck by how "manish" Gisele's face looks. I know that sounds mean, but if you're going to be held out as the top supermodel in the world, you have to expect a few dissenting opinions....
Who do I think is the hottest supermodel on earth? That's an easy one. Here's my pick, Bar Refaeli, on the front page of the Sports Illustrated website:
Isn't she awesome! In addition to being physically perfect in pretty much every way, she also has an incredibly alluring Israeli accent. All in all, Bar looks and sounds like a sexy super spy from a classic James Bond movie! Here's another shot of Bar in all her swimsuit glory:
So, where's Canada's next supermodel? The last widely-recognized Canadian supermodel that I can think of is Linda Evangelsita. Guess what? She was born in 1965. She's older than me! Let's go Canada. Show us what you got!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I then looked at the caption and realized that the photo is of Bob Gainey. Bob Gainey! Wow, he doesn't look anything like the Bob Gainey I recall from when I was living in Montreal and Gainey was playing for the Canadiens. In fact, he doesn't look anything like the post-Habs Gainey in management roles either.
If you're not sure about my confusion, check out the following photo of Vladimir Putin talking to some Russian miners:Eerie, isn't it!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Needing a little motivation the other day, I went to YouTube and typed in "Tina Turner" and "Simply the Best." As I relived my former glory watching the video, my eyes shifted to the related videos on the right side of the screen. I noticed a version of the song by Celine Dion. I actually like Celine Dion but I wasn't expecting her to do much with "Simply the Best."
Boy, was I wrong! Celine does a great job! Check out the video for yourself here:
Now, wasn't that something!
The finance class didn't take up that much time so I took a part-time job at the Montreal Gazette selling subscriptions over the phone. I knew going in that it would be an absolutely brutal job. However, I was only planning to do it for four weeks and I figured that learning to cold call people might be a handy skill to have later in life.
As I expected, the job was agonizing. I thought that the Montreal Gazette might provide some sort of training. It didn't. When we arrived in the morning, a scrawny assistant manager with feathered hair and a cheesy, wispy little moustache would hand us a list of names and telephone numbers. Once we were seated, the manager, a grossly overweight bald guy in his early forties, would stand among the bank of phones to report on the prior day's results. Of course, they were never good enough. After beating us down, the manager would offer us some words of encouragement. He'd end each speech the same way--bellowing: "SMILE AND DIAL!"
Although I detested the job, I was right about the experience teaching me not to fear the phone. Any time I find myself hesitating to call a prospective client, I just think of the fat manager at the Montreal Gazette, laugh a little and then yell: "SMILE AND DIAL!" It works every time.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
On the other hand, maybe the kind of transactional work in which I specialize will be going into a prolonged funk. What if things have changed forever? My big fear is that I've geared up to fight a war that's no longer being waged. Maybe I'm the corporate lawyer version of this guy:
--one of those World War II Japanese soldiers who fought on oblivious to the fact that the war was over (the photo above is of Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who continued to fight on until 1974--you can check out the whole story here http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=253).
Wish me luck!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I've flown on Dash-8s before and it's definitely a different experience from flying on jets. The dull roar of the propellers is omnipresent--it doesn't seem to fade into the "white noise" background like the sound of jet engines does. Also, the cruising altitude is a lot lower. You can see down to the ground most of the time.
Flying on a Dash-8 always summons up my "inner Walter Mitty." I feel like I'm on a bombing run over WW II Germany in a B-24 bomber like this one:
I'm totally psyched about my flight to Toronto. The Niagara Escarpment region sort of looks like Eastern Germany. Hamilton will make a fine stand-in for Dresden and as we approach you just know I'll be saying, "Pilot to bombardier. Pilot to bombardier," in my head. And yes, in my mind, the tail of my plane will be adorned with a skull and cross bones....