Mastering life’s courses for running, wine, and business school

Life experiences and interests from abroad

Looking Back – Coast to Coast June 15, 2008

Filed under: Personal — emccan2 @ 6:35 pm



Unconventional Signage April 6, 2008

Filed under: Personal — emccan2 @ 8:03 am

I digress from the typical blog topics to share some unconventional signage in the bathrooms around Queenstown.  The first is the sign for the ladies room at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump site.  Don’t worry, I just went to watch the bungy jumpers.  Heaven forbid I get up the nerve to do such a thing.  But skydiving, as you can see from my other post from today, was a different story.




The next signs are from the men’s room at the Sofitel Hotel.  I didn’t just happen upon these pictures on my own.  My travel companion cleared the way for me to sneak in a few pics while the stalls were not being used.  To plaster these women on the walls of the bathroom in the Sofitel is quite brash for this upscale hotel chain, and I give them accolades for doing something different. 


 Now, to wrap in a little something about wine for this post.  I dined at the Bezu, which is just behind the Sofitel on Beacon street and had the most lovely Sauvignon Blanc of the trip: Vavasour ‘Redwood Pass’.  As you might have seen from my earlier post, this was my #1 rated Sauvignon Blanc of the trip. 


An Aussie Style Wedding March 22, 2008

Filed under: Personal,Travel — emccan2 @ 8:24 am

img_1150.jpgLook at that volume!!  I never thought my hair could reach such heights, but Denise at Overhaul Salon proved me wrong.  Don’t mind the painting of the woman behind me – it’s all part of the cool Aussie image.  This photo was taken the morning of Ann and Adam’s wedding, when the bridesmaids met to get our hair done for the wedding.  As you’ll see, mind ended up in a classic french twist – nothing like what you might have thought by the looks of this photo.  The whole wedding weekend was perfect and actually rather relaxing with champagne before the ceremony, heavy hors d’ouevres through the reception to allow for pleasant mingling amongst guests, and an American-style brunch on Sunday with shrimp and grits, bloody marys, pancakes with Aunt Jemima Syrup and Starbuck’s coffee.  The rehearsal dinner was also a treat, as the theme was an Australian bbq, including Sue’s (Adam’s mom) famous Shrimp on the barbie.

What really made the weekend so special was that I was able to share it with my two best girlfriends from high school, Natalie and Ann (my toe tattoo buddies).  img_1189.jpg 


Even though much time has passed since seeing them, we were able to instantly reconnect and have a wonderful time together.  I couldn’t have imagined a better start to my Aussie and New Zealand adventure! 


Visitors From Abroad December 12, 2007

Filed under: Ireland,Personal,Travel — emccan2 @ 7:56 am

img_0881.jpgThe past several weeks have been filled with visits from my family and friends.  My brother, Robert, his wife, Julia, and their boys (William, Grant, Jack and Alex)…yes, there really are 4 of them, ages 10, 8, 6 and 5, came over Thanksgiving week to tour Ireland.  I’m still waiting on their full set of pictures (hint, hint), but have a few of my own to show off here.  They managed to get around southern Ireland in a 9-passenger VW van, hitting several historic sites and castles.  I traveled north of the city with them on their last day and just missed the last touring of Newgrange.  I enjoyed having them in town immensely and am encouraged by their adventurous spirit to take their whole family to Ireland. img_0879.jpg  

My next family visitor was my aunt Marge.  Marge came in town last weekend and we filled our time catching up and visiting historic sites around the city.  We had an especially good time dining and drinking wine in addition to a trip to the Book of Kells and Dublin Castle. 

I was so grateful to have so many wonderful visitors in 2007 and hope 2008 brings more friends and family overseas!







The beauties of Wicklow October 8, 2007

Filed under: Personal — emccan2 @ 3:23 pm

A few weeks back, a good friend and I went south to Wicklow to take in the sights and to get a break from all my ailments (see post below).  The setting was just what I needed for my recovery, as you can see from my pictures.  My favorite part of the trip was visiting the Powerscourt Gardens.  The magnificance of the gardens encapsulated the beauty of an incredibly well-kept Irish castle.  I couldn’t have had a better weekend to take in the sites and was renewed and back to my old self afterwards.

img_0763.jpg   img_0767.jpg  img_0769.jpg   img_0772.jpg



Filed under: business school,Personal,Smurfit MBA — emccan2 @ 8:54 pm

The purpose of a good network is the source for many things, such as career management, a resource for information and valuable friendships.  Here are some examples of what my networks have done for me:

  • Prior work experiences: 
    • Taught me to not be too eager for the next opportunity because the current one may be better than you realize. (previous boss, Hallmark Cards)
  • Alumni.      
    • Connected me to C-level executives; provided sound career advice; entertained me with business semantics; became a true and trusted lifelong friend. (Gregg – you’re one of a kind!)
  • Personal:
    • Showed me how to live with a “glass is half full” mentality and to embrace spontaneity (my guardian angel)
    • Advised me not take on too much and to focus on the real joys in life (ex-boyfriend)
    • Taught me how to be a better listener (dear Chicagoan friend)
    • Helped me stay mentally focused in a competitive environment (tennis coach)
    • Showed me that giving provides more personal satisfaction than taking (parents)

It’s hard to reflect on all the wonderful people in my network without being saddened by the physical distance I am from all of them.  This particular transition has been hard.  I’m following an uncertain path, trying to determine what the next move will be, without an idea where I will find the answer.  Is there a future for me in Ireland, somewhere else in Europe, in Australia or in the US?  Will I go into the wine business, stay in healthcare, pursue pension consulting, focus more on finance or go into sales? 

The answer is and continues to be…I don’t know.  But that is where I value you, my network, because I can trust you to help me with this question. I gratefully welcome your sugygestions, contacts and antidotes on this subject because I know it will spark a new interest I haven’t explored 

You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your friends.


A Diversion From Schoolwork – What’s Causing the Paper Towel Shortage in the Loos? September 25, 2007

Filed under: Personal — emccan2 @ 3:04 pm

In the month that I have been living in Ireland, I have only come across one bathroom (aka “toilet”) that had proper paper towels instead of a hand dryer. No surprise, this one venue happened to be one of the nicest restaurants in Ireland, which my good friends and mentor, Gregg, brought me to when he was visiting last month.

The conclusion: only if you happen to make it to a superb restaurant or 5-star hotel, will you be blessed with the luxury of being able to dry your hands with a simple piece of sturdy paper. Otherwise, you can plan on waving your hands violently under the hand dryer, and after 3 minutes when your hands are still not dry, wipe the excess water onto your pants – in a place where you hope no one will notice a little dampness. I do applaud the efforts of the Irish to reduce waste, but come on – can’t I find some mid-tier restaurant or lounge in the south part of Dublin with something other than an air dryer?

What sparked my interest to blog on this topic is the unique-style hand dryer I found at the chic Dundrum Town Shopping Centre. I’m so impressed with this new hand dryer model, that I’ve looked up the model type and provided you with their website and inserted a picture of the Dyson Airblade to support this invention. It’s pretty clear from the picture for how this nifty contraption works, so I won’t bore you any more wit my rants about my non-environmentally friendly perspective.


In closing, for those disgruntled customers who drink excessive amounts of water and who are therefore constantly visiting the loo, the benefit of pleasing the customer by offering paper towels far outweighs the economic values of installing hand dryers. However, with widespread adoption of the Dyson Airblade, I may give up my argument and get one step closer to being an environmentally-friendly consumer. In the meantime, I’ll focus on improving my recycling habits.