Hosting

So I get to host the very next young Macalester alumni committee meeting (yMac)! I am so very excited. I have all of these ideas for what I should have for snacks and dessert, but I cannot decide! I have to consider the eclectic (read: not Minnesotan) tastes of all my fellow Mac grads.

 

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Moving in!

So since I first brought up the topic of moving in together, Joe and I have flirted around with the idea quite a bit. The next day after I wrote that post actually, he brought it up and basically said “I’ve thought of it too and I may even be fond of the idea, but we should hold off before talking about it for just a bit.”

[As a side note, I just ate yogurt covered pretzels that I bought (and first opened) in July and now I have a tummy ache…]

So, over the next few weeks, books were checked out from the library (Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple by Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller) and hypothetical situations were discussed. [Ex: If you were to hypothetically move in with a girlfriend that was somewhat similar to me, how would you want to split things financially?] This held up just fine until I turned Joe onto How I Met Your Mother.  While it had already been made clear to me that I am completely unoriginal and mimic television shows almost dependently, I hadn’t yet shared this with Joe. However, somewhere between Lily laughing after someone said “do do” and Ted setting up his hypothetical life, Joe realized that, I am in fact, a plagiarist.

On what I recall being New Year’s Eve, I told Joe that I thought we might not be ready to move in with each other in July (when both of our leases are up), and that was kind of the end of the discussion for the time being.

Just a few days later, after I had thought about it for awhile, I concluded that I was just being silly and hormonal and didn’t really know why I had felt that way. When I said it, I was in a weird funk where I was considering breaking up with him just because I hadn’t been anywhere exciting lately or I thought we were some how becoming stagnant. We talked about this a little bit after New Year’s and then I talked about it again with my therapist. I think I was just having like, 6 month itch or blues or PMS maybe- because this feeling only lasted maybe 24 hours. Because I have a history of hastily breaking up with people for no reason, just to regret it later, I was able to see this occurrence for what it was: silliness. So the next time Joe and I were out to dinner and had the moment to talk, I told him that I did in fact want to move in with him.

Joe told me that he felt the same way, but after I had ruled it out less than a week before, he dropped it from his realm of possibilities. After talking at great length though about finances, chores and other fun/awesome householdy stuff, we have started looking at places.

Saturday we went to see the Eitel Building. It was too small and too expensive for both of us, but at least we had a fun time looking at what might be “our place.” Tomorrow we are going to see another place which I’m really excited for because it is bigger and cheaper. The walk-in closets are my most favorite part. It’s very exciting to be looking and talking about it seriously now- I’m super excited :)

MBA Update

So I’m still kind of torn on what to do, but I am worrying less about making the decision and more about putting myself in a position to make a decision (rather then allowing one to find me).

I met with a Macalester grad the other day, who is pretty well off in the financial sector. He said a person only goes to St. Thomas if she can’t get into Carlson. While I don’t necessarily want to go into finance, I don’t think my choice in business school should limit my options. I also don’t like the idea of going to a school that people look down on if I’m not completely sold by it either.

However, Carlson isn’t what I want either. If staying at my current position is high on my list of desires though, it would make sense to stay in town. If not, my options greatly increase and the task becomes exponentially harder.

Regarding the Booth summer program: not much has been determined. I’ve talked to a couple people at work to see if it is even a possibility and am waiting to hear back. The HR rep I talked to left me hopeful- she thinks it is a promising program. More on this to come soon.

If I were to construct my most ideal path in life from where I am right now, it would be this: I get a super awesome high score on the GMAT, get into Booth, move to Chicago and work at Google while obtaining my MBA. Flawless plan really.

Happiness?

So I was at happy hour the other day (it’s a corporate thing, okay?) when I started talking about a book that I am reading (I was very thankful at this moment that I have been reading books). Stumbling on Happiness is about happiness, its existence, and the sciences (neurology, psychology etc.) behind it.

My coworker brought up an anecdote she had recently heard- a study that followed two people, a man who just became paralyzed and another who had just won the lottery. After a year, both exhibited/claimed an equal level of happiness with their lives. Although I see this as being an extreme case, I am inclined to believe that after a given amount of time, happiness levels neutralize.

I was probably the happiest right after I graduated. Everything was turning up “Kate” and I was so excited to begin the promising life ahead of me. I still feel that way, nothing has changed for the worse and in the grand scheme, I would consider myself in a better position today that I was back then. However, I feel like my happiness has kind of leveled out and I am no longer waking up every day full of excitement for the world that lies ahead.

Relationships are another example- my relationship with Joe is amazing. I get what I need from it, we have tons of fun together and we rarely fight (and if we do, we talk through it in a healthy way, which is crazy in its own). However, it was more exciting when it was new- I felt like it gave me a visible happiness that anyone could see. I wouldn’t say that this has worn off, but the constant smile that was on my face has turned into just an everyday-expression.

So, what I’m getting at, is whether happiness is a truly attainable goal. Most people wish others happiness in life, but isn’t happiness momentary? If after a year, I would feel about just as happy if I were making millions or just reading a few awesome books… what’s the point? I feel like I’ve been nurtured to believe that success somehow leads to happiness, but if happiness comes with anything, wouldn’t I be just as fine twiddling my thumbs?

No… probably not, and maybe this is the inherent complication of happiness.

Stalker: the saga continues (and ends)

So to give an update from the Crazy Calls post back in December, the calls have finally stopped. It was a very anticlimactic ending though and left much to be desired.

In the last post, I went to the police station to file a report. I was then able to go back to AT&T and be all like “hheeeyyy…. I got a PO-lice report now!” Then AT&T enabled the trace feature but were only able to release that information back to the police. For the next week or so I kept track of when all of the calls came in and then called a number to input the date and time of each. From those, they were able to find 10 occasions of my stalker calling me and gave their number to the police.

Next I called back the police to see if there was anything they could do. After a little run around between AT&T and the police I was finally able to confirm that they got the trace information and had a number. However, the number ended up being from a mobile phone without name information. I was given the number, which was a 763 number that I did not know. This only enabled me to rule out the only two possible suspects I had created in my head… but gave me nothing new to go off of.

Even though I didn’t have any information though, I felt good knowing that it probably wasn’t anyone I knew, or at least no one I knew very well. Non-personal harassment seems less… hurtful. The police left him/her a message but never got a return call (surprise!). The calls were still coming in though, so I called my detective again to let him know (just left a message) and haven’t heard back. But, because I haven’t gotten another call in the last week, I’m thinking maybe this [annoying] journey is over.

Kingpin

So I am currently reading Cop in the Hood by Peter Moskos. I’m only halfway through it, but it is really interesting in that it kind of meshes Freakonomics-like stats with a first-hand experience at policing Baltimore’s Eastern District. It’s actually set in the same neighborhood where the first season of The Wire took place. I’ve only seen the first season, and while I liked it, I watched it at a really inopportune time in my life.

I watched it over winter during my sophomore year at Macalester. I didn’t want to go home over winter break because this was right after the house had been raided. I still was uncomfortable being there, so instead I spent the 6-week break traveling to visit different friends of mine. While in Milwaukee with Devin we started watching The Wire. For those of you that haven’t seen it, it’s basically a cop drama that follows drug dealers and the investigators trying to bring them down (I’m thinking the title is from the fact that they sometimes use wire taps). Why I thought two months after I found out my own home and phone lines had been tapped would be a good time to watch a TV show like this, I will never know. Let’s just say it hit a little close to home.

This brings us back to me reading Cop in the Hood. As I was reading last night there was an overview of all the various roles people can play in the drug life. They eventually got to the top and named the orchestrator of it all: the kingpin. I had to read it over and over, and it really caught me off guard because I’ve been semi-decent in not always thinking about the way I grew up. But my mom was a kingpin. It’s funny though, because even though she wouldn’t necessarily consider herself one, I know she would feel a sense of pride (mixed with the obligatory guilt) knowing that others did.

Presentation fail

So, over a week ago, I gave a large presentation at work. I had prepared for it pretty hardcore and felt that I was going to do a fairly decent job. I had literally spent 2 months creating the deck, practicing it in front of peers and managers, and reviewing it on my own. I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I wasn’t super worried, but rather a nice confident nervousness consumed me. Finally the day had come.

Then I blew it. Obviously. It sucked my will to live and I basically just wanted to leave work right afterwards and not come back till after I became heavily intoxicated (and of course gave myself time to sober up). Actually, this isn’t true. Directly afterwards, I was just relieved that it was done; it wasn’t for a few moments until I began listing the things I did wrong.

  • Had lame slides
  • Went out of the order I had practiced
  • Moved on stage too little
  • Got dry mouth
  • Became nervous faced/red-faced
  • Rushed through main points
  • Spoke to quickly
  • Didn’t smile enough
  • Came off as nervous

The list could have gone on forever, but luckily I was stopped when I received the feedback sheets from the 5 evaluators that were there (you know, the people who determine my review score and merit increase). According to the circled scores, my performance averaged about 3 out of 5. That was pretty much when I lost it.

Flash to later that night and I was still inconsolable. Even the email that I got from the directors that said “Awesome job! Way to go…” made me cry, because I knew they meant congrats to everyone but me. Looking back, I feel bad for Joe as I’m sure he couldn’t stand his weekend. I cried and moped and don’t really remember much more than that. Even on Sunday I still just sat around the house not feeling like doing anything and wouldn’t really let Joe leave my side either.

Monday was a little bit better. I was starting my new role and thankfully could avoid the fact that I can’t present and will never be CEO of anything in my life because I suck. The week came and went, and really, I think this had a lot to do with why I’ve posted so little. I just have no drive or desire to do anything.

Even Thursday when I was at my psychologist’s office we didn’t leave the topic of my presentation failure. It was probably her mistake for asking me right off the bat how my presentation went, but she had also known how much I had been preparing for it. This evolved into her thinking I have problems with accurately evaluating my own work and that I also expect too much out of myself. I hate it when people twist it like that because it I know they are just doing it to make me feel better.

I think what it boils down to though is that I just cannot handle constructive criticism. Before I go further though, here is a recap of the feedback I got:

  • Try to move around a bit more, you positioned yourself in one spot
  • Smile more, it will make you seem more enthusiastic
  • Try not to read the slides so much and engage more with the audience

There were some others, including it being nice that I didn’t look at the slides too much.. but I try not to overwhelm myself with conflicting information.

Now going into my new role, with an impending similar presentation in 3 months, I need to focus all of my energy on not biffing it in front of everyone again. I have volunteered to speak at pretty much every team meeting I could and even went to a Toastmasters meeting today. I hate the idea that me sucking so much could really impact my future.

A phone call home

So I spoke to my mom last night on the phone. It didn’t last too long and it was relatively cordial. I called her to see which Twin’s game her and Curt wanted to go to- that was my Christmas gift to them. We also chatted for a bit about her life- the last time she went to the eye doctor, her RP and MD had progressed the least they ever have. This is good news that means she isn’t loosing her sight at the same rate that she once was. Obviously this put her in a good mood and made her a bit easier to handle.

I started filling her in on the details of my life. I explained that work is going well, life is going fine, mostly everything is good. I then told her that Joe and I are looking to get a place together and she starts in about how she thinks we are going to get married (this probably contributed to my dream last night where Joe wanted to get married and I said I wanted more time, so he orchestrated this entire plot to make me realize I should marry him, the Prince of Scotland [only for the dream, sadly]. Most of the dream is fuzzy.. the best parts were the blindfold/water plunge while tied to a chair and then being rescued by a Siberian husky; and that the linens he picked out looked fancy on top, and then had “hilarious” written underneath).

Anyway, when I told her that I am both looking at local MBA schools and considering something out-of-state depending on GMAT scores, she got all in a huff about me leaving the state. I blew up on her. I was like: “Sandra. Why must you turn everything into being about you? I am a 23-year-old woman and am able to make all my life choices without consulting you…” Apparently she thinks that she needs to be able to get to me at any time in case I ever have an emergency and need to call her. I decided to spare her the detail that Joe is my emergency contact.

The eye saga continues

So I went to the doctor this morning to get my eye warts looked at [turns out, it wasn’t just an itchy eye]. Everyone at Christmas was saying how disgusting they looked (or rather, I guess they maybe said they were concerned for my health and thought I should get them looked at by a professional). Anyway, that day was today. I was only able to convince myself to go after Joe promised to go with me. However, because I assumed that they would just look at them today and then schedule the follow up for a later date, I told him not to come. Here is how I made an ass out of that situation: I fainted.

I was all like, oh yeaaahhh… I can do this! Trying to be all independent and not need a boy or support or anything like that in life. But then the pregnant married nurse just felt very sorry for me and kept rubbing my hand and I felt silly getting all this sympathy just because I’m a pussy that can’t stand to get objects cut off my eyelid.

15 minutes later as I am a sweaty mess with cold compresses on my forehead and neck, they decide to remove the other one at a follow up appointment because like I said, I’m a pussy and they wanted to give me some time to mull over the idea. So, I made the appointment for tomorrow morning. This time I’m making Joe come with me though. Hmm… I wonder if this is one of those things I should take before and after shots of…

Kate’s Skyway Adventures

So during my lunch break today, I decided to traverse the skyways in search of The Cookie Classic. I had pizza for lunch and always like some sort of chocolate after pizza. I read about the shop in a Metro Magazine feature on the skyways and it just so happened to pop into my memory as I was brainstorming treats.

I was starting in City Center, hopelessly trying to figure out which cross-streets I needed to aim for. It can be extremely difficult to determine where you are and what direction you are facing when surrounded by walls. I’m not usually a stupid person with directional difficulties, in fact, I pride myself on my keen ability to consistently get to and fro.

I was using a skyways app to help me navigate, which conveniently brings me to yesterday. A while back, I was all like “hhheeeyy… we should build an app together, Joe! Wouldn’t that be cute?” and we decided that a skyway navigation app would be a good place to start. However. it turns out there is already an app for that. So, instead of flooding the market, I emailed the app owners and told them our ideas. 4 weeks go by and nothing…

Until earlier this week! I get an email from the guy saying he would like to meet up with us to discuss. Yesterday Joe and I met him to learn more about the project’s life so far and where he sees it going in the future. It was really interesting to learn how they did everything, and it turns out, they blogged about it all too! Afterwards, both Joe and I were excited to start working with them somehow to help with the cause.

Flash a day later to Kate blogging at work. I googled “minneapolis skyway map app” to insert a lovely link to their blog and found something truly surprising. Not surprising by its contents, but rather that it exists. Apparently, there already is a SkywayMyWay website thingy, that does everything I ever wanted to do in one lovely website. I totes thought that I had thoroughly searched the internet for any such thing, but apparently, I did not. A day late and a dollar short, eh?

P.S. The cookie wasn’t super fabulous.