Thursdfrenchy goodiesay started out like any other day, but during the middle of my weekly meeting with Teri Stafford, our new director of development and external relations, there was a knock on the door and in walked Frenchy LaDue, our contractor with Nabholz. In his arms was a huge basket filled with goodies based on a bet that we had a long time ago about the color of the carpeting in the old building. It was a good to see him again, and he was very humble as he “paid up on his bet.” Thanks so very much Frenchy, for stopping by and for bringing such a terrific basket of treats.

Following a faculty meeting, I took off for the Law School Admission Council Investment Policy Oversight Group (LSAC IPOG). The purpose of the IPOG committee is to oversee the Law School Admission Council’s investment portfolio, to make decisions about potential new investment strategies, to review the performance of the portfolio and to raise any questions we might have about the portfolio with our investment advisor.

Unfortunately, during the course of the day, the local weather prognosticators issued several warnings about weather (again!). It seems that my travels have been plagued by the weather lately. As it turned out, the flight form XNA was delayed about an hour and fifteen minutes, but at least it was a direct flight to New York City. We took of safely and, amazingly, arrived in New York pretty much on schedule. There was only time for a quick check-in and some sleep before the meeting began bright and early the next morning.

I am a member of IPOG committee as a liaison to the board of trustees. Fellow members on the IPOG committee incluTed Eisenbergde: aprillEllen Aprill, Associate Dean for Academic Programs at Loyola Law School; Ted Eisenberg, Professor of Law at Cornell Law School; Arthur Pinto, Professor at Brooklyn Law School; Leigh Taylor, Dean Emeritus at Southwestern Law School (but, Leigh got trapped in Atlanta due to weather and was unable to make the meeting); and Bill Wang, Professor at University of California–Hastings College of Law. Chuck Goldner, fellow Dean at UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, was in attendance along with Ellen Rutt, who you’ve seen mentioned in previous blog entries; Dan Bernstein, the President and CEO of LSAC; Marjorie LaRue Britt, the Chief Financial Officer of LSAC; and Stephen Schreiber, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of LSAC.

Our investment advisor is Strategic Investment Group (SIG). The SIG advisors who attended the meeting were Laurie Bonello, Hilda Ochoa, Derrick Sasveod, and Stephanie Anderson. Laurie talked with us about the hedge fund market, the current economic environment as it affects hedge funds and the many issues that go into selecting a hedge fund manager. Derrick gave a presentation to the committee on private equity.img_1659.jpg

It has been my privilege to serve on the IPOG committee for a number of years – first, as the Chair of the Financial Legal Affairs Committee of LSAC (as an ex officio member, Chuck Goldner’s position on the IPOG committee right now), and then as a trustee liaison from the LSAC Board. This was my last IPOG committee meeting and, since I’m rolling off the LSAC Board in May. It was limogood to see everyone again, and equally nice to spend a little time with my very good friend, Marjorie LaRue (who is about to be Fabulous at 50 as well), after the meeting adjourned.

That evening we all got together—except for SIG advisors Laurie, Hilda and Derrick—to go to dinner at Eleven Madison Park. Because there were 10 of us, and because it was a rainy day in New York, it was very difficult to hail a cab. Instead, the doorman called a stretch limo for us, and we all piled in and headed to the restaurant. Now that’s riding in high style!

Eleven Madison Pchampagne barark was a very, very swank restaurant. The menu was a prix fixe menu from which one selected either two or three menu items. The first experience that greeted us was a rolling champagne bar wheeled over by the sommelier. The sommelier described each of the different varieties of champagne, after which we made our selection. Very shortly afterwards, the waiter came out and served us something called amusé bouches, or a tiny bited size morsels served before the hors d’oeuvres or the first course of the meal. On the plate were many small items, including sweetbreads in a little pastry, a mushroom tart, salmon tartar and foie gras sandwiched in between little cinnamon wafers. These were served alongside tiny french cheese puffs called gougères.

The next course was a nage. It turns out that ala nage cooking means to poach foods,duck usually seafood, in a bullion. The nage was saffron mussel with anaise sauce. The next course was a winter green salad with walnuts, beets and blue cheese. After the salad, we were served a Nova Scotia lobster. It was poached with madras curry, green apple, and lemon grass and was really delicious. Finally the main course arrived, which was the Grimaud Farms muscovy duck glazed with lavender honey and spices for two with an orange puree and au jus. Duck leg confit with kumquat and fennel were served on the side of the slices of duck. For dessert we had a bittersweet chocolate symphony with caramel that included a chocolate ganache and souffle.

Just when we thought we were done, out came a tray of mignardises (from the French word meaning “pretty” or “delicate”) which are after-dessert desserts that accompany a meal. There were little cherry pistachio pastries, chocolate peanut butter desserts, grand marnier ganache and raspberry pastries. What a meal! It was great fun, and even better company. After dinner, very much sated, we piled out of the restaurant and back into our stretch limo to arrive back at the Sofitel Hotel on 45th Street for a quiet evening. The next day back to Fayetteville



Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. It was a quiet evening, but I didn’t return to Fayetteville. You bloggies out there know that I tend to run into travel challenges, which was the case yet again. Here’s what happened: I took a cab out to LaGuardia very much in advance of my flight. As it turned out, because of the weather that followed me from Fayetteville, it was very foggy, so flights could neither arrive nor depart. What’s worse is that American Airlines put me on a different flight through Dallas (that actually took off), except that I had opted to remain on the original flight in order to avoid confusion, the original flight of course, was ultimately cancelled. After having waited at LaGuardia from1:30 p.m. until early evening, I ended up scheduling another night in the hotel, getting a cab and going back into Manhattan where I walked around for a couple of hours before eating a Cuban plate at the Brooklyn Diner. The meal was chicken with lime and cilantro covered with peppers and onions, with sides of black beans and rice and plantain chips (not really very Cuban tasting, but okay for a stranded traveler).

img_1696.jpgSaturday, I took a cab out in plenty of time because of my concerns about both my baggage and my flight. I checked in, and found out that the flight I had been booked on through St. Louis, which was scheduled to depart at 12:55 p.m., was delayed until 2:18 p.m. That meant I would miss my connection from St. Louis to XNA. Sigh. I walked back to the reservation desk and re-booked, trying to find a flight that would connect to northwest Arkansas. The new flight was a Chicago flight which would arrive in Chicago at 2:30 p.m. with a connecting flight departing for XNA at 6:30 p.m. The only other option was a 7:00 p.m. direct flight that wouldn’t get in to Fayetteville until 10:00 p.m. It definitely took tenacity to return to Fayetteville.

I made it to O’Hare and checked the flight boards to make sure everything was on track with my flight to Fayetteville (which was supposed to leave at 6:30 p.m). As it turned out, the airplane I was supposed to fly out on was still at O’Hare at 3:00 p.m., and it had to go to Nashville and come back before heading to XNA. At about 6:30 p.m. (the time I was supposed to be boarding, if you remember) it was time to get something to eat, and I have to say that it was not a Fabulous at 50 meal, more like “Frustrated at 49.”

For those of you who are true epicureans, vegetarians, or just have healthy taste in foods, stop reading here. For those ofLake Michigan you with more pedestrian tastes, read on. I walked around to the Gold Coast Dogs and had a combo sandwich. A combo sandwich is an Italian sausage and Italian beef sandwich, which also comes with a ton of hot peppers (actually a hot pepper, onion and carrot mix – it’s very spicy), a side order of onion rings and, to make matters worse, a giant grape pop. It wasn’t Fabulous at 50, but it was pretty fantastic and reminded me of summers on the south side of Chicago when my brothers and I would walk to a sandwich shop on 79th and South Shore Drive, and then over to Rainbow Beach to sit on the retaining wall and eat our sandwiches watching Lake Michigan. It was comfort food, but I fell off the Fabulous at 50 path that night.

At least I was caught up on current events, having finished the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, New York Times, as well as the weekend Wall Street Journal. It felt great to finally land at XNA at 11:00 p.m. Sunday…more than 24 hours after first arriving at LaGuardia. What a way to end my tenure on the IPOG committee, but as always, I am thankful for safe travel.