Chicago, day unknown

First, I updated the Random Thoughts post with the toilet stall pictures.

Next, Joe came to visit me this last weekend! It was super amazing as I missed him a bunch. On Friday night he got in late so we just went out for a drink with my roommate and then went to bed. It was lovely to get a back rub and to cuddle :)

On Saturday we went out for breakfast and it was super awesome. We had french toast and I had two cups of coffee. After that, Joe worked on his paper for a while and I went with my program group on a architectural boat tour. I had already been on it before, but this one had different content so it was actually really neat. Plus, the weather was perfect so it was nice to sit outside for a while.

After that, Joe and I went to navy pier and went on the big circle up in the air thing. I forget what it is called. FERRIS WHEEL! Yes. We went on the Ferris Wheel. Joe is usually a pussy with heights, but I think he sucked it up because it was so romantic to see the skyline… city scape… lights… etc, at night. After that, we walked to a bar, Gilt, because a coworker of mine invited me to come hang out.

I was expecting it to be a dive bar, but it turned out to be pretty nice. I explained to the hostess we were meeting a group, and then I texted my coworker. Turns out, his group was in the basement in the private event space… Hmm.. interesting. So, we get down there and he comes over to greet me(us). He was like “Hi!! So nice to see you… who is this?” “This is Joe! Joe, meet ‘coworkers’ name'” Hi, hi, great to meet all. He brings us into the party, and it turns out it is a wedding reception. In that, someone just got married that day and now Joe and I were crashing the party. After we randomly were introduced to the bride, we made it to the bar and got our drinks. Then, the conversations went more like this:

Coworker: So, are you guys like… old friends or something? How do you know each other? Did you just run into each other?

Joe: We are dating, we live together. I flew out for the weekend to be with her

Coworker: Ahhhhhh you are dating. And live together. Interesting.

It was really kind of awkward, but Joe and I played it cool (as cool as Joe and I can play it). When my coworker went to the bathroom, Joe just looked at me and said “soo…. did you know that this guy was into you?” Absolutely not! I thought this was just a casual “oh, we are both in the same town let’s grab a drink” type thing.

Anyway, Joe and I proceeded to hang out with this guy for the duration of our respective drinks. He proceeded to tell us 1) about how rich he is 2) how awesome he is and 3) that there really is a nice six pack under his baby fat. To show how much muscle he is made of, he lifted Joe. It was really making us a laugh a little too much, seeing as we were making a scene at the bar of the wedding reception we were crashing and all.

Not too long later, we made our way out of there and on to the next bar. Devon. It was fantastic. We just sat at the bar for almost two hours chatting. It was really, really nice. We started planning out our vacation that we have been saving up for. Not sure where, but somewhere over winter break would be lovely. Also, we are going to have a “Joe and Kate are living together party!” when I return, which should also be a grand ole’ time.

Today, my roommate and I were doing homework and we decided to go out for dinner. We just went to a small burger joint M Burger. It was super tasty, one might even say epically better than Epic Burger. After we ordered, I noticed that they sold beer too. I was like “oh! I didn’t even realize” but it was okay because we were doing homework. However, when I looked at the menu and realized the plethora of floats they had, I had to ask “hey… do you guys do beer floats?” It wasn’t technically on the menu, but they had to, right? Turns out, I’m like one of the only people that has ever asked them so they were all like “I tried it once, but it was too hoppy. Please, on me” and handed me a free beer malt to try. Hellz, yes. It was awesome and I’ll be going back again and again.

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Chicago, Day 6

So this whole week I’ve been studying accounting. I’d never taken it before, so it is [as a side note, I just cracked open a beer and it is literally the coldest beer I’ve ever had] a completely new subject for me. Tomorrow is the final, which, I’m actually kind of looking forward to I think. Today someone told me that I could have taken all the classes pass/fail, and for a second I thought about it, but then I’m like, dude, that’s lame. 1) If I can’t even get an A/B in a one-week accounting course, I have no right applying to Stanford. So, I’m content in my decision :)

Yesterday was a super awesome day. Wednesday’s are our Company Visit days, so we started out the morning at DraftFCB. It is a marketing agency, so I was semi-interested in it, but basically assumed it wasn’t my cup of tea. The first speaker they brought in though: the director of customer intelligence. It is a department dedicated to analyzing data about customers. It was cooler than just statistics though, because they understand the importance of creativity. The way they explained it was Albert Einstein &  Pablo Picasso’s love child (smart art). It was everything I ever wanted to see in a presentation and more. When they brought up the OkCupid data I giggled in my seat. Not only is that awesome because I love OKC (where I met Joe!), but also because their analytics are fantastic. Let’s just say, I was definitely engaged.

Lunch was awesome. We ate at Quartino’s and it was great. Salad, calamari, bread, then the really good pasta, followed by a chocolate fondue. I nearly crapped myself it was that awesome. Then, when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, they served us coffee, to which I added chocolate. I’m so serious. Life for me is just that good.

Next, we went to Grubhub. For those of you who haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t!) it is this awesome fantastic start up in Chicago, that started actually about 8 years ago. It was founded by a Booth alum, so it worked out perfectly for them to take us there. It was just like “bam, here is a future mark zuckerberg, sit in the front row and between ogling his cuteness, ask all the questions you want about starting a company.” Saying I was in heaven would be an understatement.

He and the panel of Booth alum gave so many great insights into Business School. Things that I think I already knew, but were great to have reaffirmed.

  1. Go for the education, but also for the network. What do I want to do afterwards? Go some place that will introduce me to those networks.
  2. Know what I want to do going into it. While I could figure it out during school (they usually have great career centers) it is best to go in with a goal.
  3. Everyone at school comes from different backgrounds and earned the opportunity to be there. Gather all I can from those interactions and relationships.
  4. Work experience is necessary, but there is no formula for when is right for me. If I have the excitement and passion for it now, capitalize on that.

Overall, the day was full of thoughts and emotions. I considered what would happen were I to wait an additional year to apply. Would I be a better candidate? Would I still have the drive to go? Would my interests change? How will I change?

One of my best friends from college is studying for the GMAT right now. He got into Stanford Law School but is considering going for a JD/MBA degree. I pretty much know that he and I will take over the world some day, so it makes sense to be there when he will be there so while we won’t necessarily be group partners, we will hang out and party together a lot.

Well, to bed I go. I must wake up early to get my donuts.

Random thoughts

I’m Super Girlfriend still, which is awesome. Listen to the 85th minute mark on the latest Gleeman & the Geek podcast. Thanks for the shout out, guys :)

On a separate note, I don’t like my mom commenting on every blog post I make. I know that I can’t just come right out and tell her this (although maybe that is what I am doing), but that doesn’t change that fact that she comments too much. Or comments about things that don’t make any sense. Or tries to put in her two cents in an attempt to justify why she is the way she is (and yes, mother, for the record, it was TMI). And also, I hate that I can feel her yelling at me in some (eg. when she uses all caps). Alas, here we are. I bitched about her not reading it, I can’t be upset that she finally is, right?

In conclusion, the worst thing about Booth is that their bathroom stalls have awkward closures. Typically, as I turn the corner of the door, I grab onto the little lever that slides the long metal piece over the frame. I do this in an effort to control the swing rather than slam the door shut. However, the ones on these doors are like… small slippery cylinders. They don’t increase in size or provide any nonslip leverage. Y’all might not understand what I’m saying, so clearly I’m just going to have to take pictures of a couple to show you. Either way, they are difficult to open and close and when I’m drinking water all day this can definitely interrupt my flow. [hey-o, pun intended]

***UPDATE***

Bad toilet stall latch:

 

Good toilet stall latch:

Notice how the knob gets bigger? This is important!

 

Chicago, Day 2

Somehow I was able to sleep in late this morning. I would like to attribute it to yesterday being so busy of a travel day, but for some reason an hour and a half flight doesn’t seem to qualify. It felt really good though, so I shouldn’t complain.

Except for all of a sudden it was noon and I was just leaving the dorm! I went for a walk around the city- I was pretty hungry but wasn’t sure what I wanted. I ended up just shopping a bit and then coming back home to look into where I wanted to eat with better resources. I also thought it would be good to grab my book to read while eating, so really it made sense for me to run back home…

I ended up going to a place called Mity Nice. Let me tell you, it was mighty nice… I ordered a drink “Bee’s Knees” which was vodka, honey, and fresh squeezed lemon. It was so fricken delicious. For lunch I orded the acapulco salad, which again, probably the best salad I’ve ever had. I even took a picture this time:

I lingered in the restaurant for awhile and then went home. I didn’t get a lot of reading done, but enough to consider it a productive lunch. Once I got back, I took a nap. I love Sunday afternoon naps more than anything in the world. It was perfect. Except that I was a little cold, but I blame Joe for that. [I’m so used to him keeping me warm!]

When I woke up I accepted it was finally time to get kicking on my homework. Then I realized how much their was. Crap, I had a lot to do! Why were they all like “oh yes, here is your free day, but, bee tea dubs, here is an accounting book. Read the first three chapters by Monday morning!”? It feels nice to be back in the books though. The material is actually interesting (in a dry/mandatory sort of way). I like that I have my job that I can be all like “ooohhh… I get this.. I see how this applies!” It makes me definitely appreciate that I took time to work before considering school, and also that I decided not to accept admission to Carlson this fall. Another year will just make me that much more prepared (right?).

As a side note, I believe that definitely is the hardest word to spell. Not only do I spell it incorrectly each time I type it, but I also type it in such a way that Chrome can’t even suggest the correct spelling. Okay, time to finish this work and get skippin’ to bed!

Chicago: Day 1

I made it to Chicago! It was so beautiful rolling in, and I had a pretty nice cab driver. He listened to baseball the whole car ride so I felt right at home. He also explained to me that State St. is “zero” as far as addresses go, which has already come in handy more than once. I got checked in just in time to make it over to lunch and orientation. After I started meeting everyone, I got a little more nervous. I fricken suck with names. However, I have… 2 of my 3 roommates names down so far.. But maybe thats just because they both start with a “k”. The buildings are all really nice, which I found surprising. I love the location, just a block off of the Magnificent Mile. This could get dangerous if I’m not careful…

During the orientation, the program directors stressed many rules of conduct. I got the sense that they have had some bad experiences in the past, which is too bad. They stated, multiple times, the importance of being on time, being respectful to presenters (eye contact, paying attention and being engaged), and conducting ourselves in a professional manner. It has been a while since I have been treated like a student and it really made me question what they have experienced. One story I pulled was that after a company visit, a student followed an employee out to their car to press for a job or something. No crap you don’t stalk a potential employer!

However, a girl in my program was nice enough to point out that things are just different in different countries, and what I might take for the norm here is completely new to someone else. Point taken Kate, remember to keep an open mind!

Dinner was at Carmine’s and it was amazing. It was like a 16 course meal, complete with calamari and bruschetta, anti-pasta, salmon, chicken, broccoli, and 3 types of dessert. The salmon was the best I ever had. I really should have taken pictures… I’ll have to remember that more. I also liked how slow the service was (only due to the fact that we were a party of 50!!) because it really gave me the opportunity to enjoy each course. Definitely a place I would recommend!

Once I got home I felt über tired. I was all like “awww, I miss Joe so much!” and I really just wanted to talk to him and then go to bed. But, then I realized I need not be a lame face in Chicago, on my first Saturday in town. Hence, I went out with my 3 roommates to scope out the area. We ended up grabbing a drink at TWELVEWEST. It was a rando place we stumbled upon but it ended up being perfect. The mood was great for 4 girls just getting to know each other, and there was live music in the background (playing fun cover music!). I got my $4 bottle of 312 and thoroughly enjoyed talking business school with people who are in the exact same boat (even if one suggested I retake the GMAT).

To Chicago

I’m at the airport now waiting for my flight to O’Hare. I have a bit of a stomach ache this morning as I ate like a total fat kid at the park last night (and the bar after). It isn’t a hangover tummy ache though, because I didn’t drink a lot? I drank just like a normal person actually. I’m sipping a coffee now, that will help calm my nerves, right?

I’ve been promoted to first class for this flight. First, that means that I get to check both my bags for free (as opposed to only checking one for free). It also means that I get “priority” stamped on my bags and also on my ticket so I get all the cool people lines. Except, I’m a dipshit and went to the wrong security check point because they didn’t even have a priority line there.

My mom had a second surgery yesterday, still to correct things in her hand from her fall. She was very weird before going in, sending me cryptic text messages. She was convinced that she was dying. She doesn’t have surgery enough for me to really remember if she’s ben like this before, but she wanted to make sure she had all of her affairs in order. I’ve been instructed to pay off the loan she still has to her mom, and share the life insurance checks with Curt so he doesn’t have to work for the rest of his life.

I think I’ve mentioned before that my mom has a tendency to buy people off. Whether she feels guilty or just truly believes that personal relationships can be mended by money, I’ve always known the the more she wants to please, the more money slash gifts she gives. True to her nature then, I’ll probably be getting a stack of cash when she croaks. I’m of the philosophy that life insurance is to cover the costs of burial and help a family were there to be a decrease in income. What I mean to say is that I shouldn’t be counting the days till I get a sudden influx of money because she no longer supports me (which I’m not). Yet, I’m anticipating it happening, hopefully she doesn’t have a lot more debt than she alluded too.

I’m nervous for Booth. I think that is where a bit of my tummy ache is coming from too. It’s a pretty big deal, the school and all, and this will be an amazing three weeks of opportunity. I’ll meet tons of people and learn a lot- and that feels… intimidating maybe? I’m a little concerned that this dress I’m wearing for the flight is too low cut- it use to fit me differently when I was 50lbs heavier and now that I’ve lost a bit of my boobs, it shows a lot of chest. I was scrambling this morning though- I packed all my good stuff and forgot to leave something for me to wear today! Hopefully it doesn’t cause me to make a bad impression. Joe said I looked nice at least.

Note to self: Upset stomach + Coffee = bad idea. Yet, I continue to drink it. Even though I’m getting warm, from a combination of the nerves, the coffee, and having a warm computer on my lap.

Well, alright, I just heard there are three babies on the flight. Hopefully they are not in first class. Or, if they are, they are at least cute. Mresh, with me luck :)

Managing my brand

So I’ve been working with my brand manager to come up with some cohesive image of myself. I already had my font going into the deal (adobe garamond pro) but wanted more of a polished/holistic image. I like the business cards that I had back in the day, but they have too much information on them that is no longer relevant. For instance, they state that my bachelors degree is “expected May 2011.” Well, crap son, I have that now. It just means they are a little outdated (and weren’t the highest of quality).

However, now I’m faced with the dilema of really focusing my brand right now. Which email address do I want to include? Do I want them to have my website too? I thought of splitting the pack in 2; half having my website, the other half my email. However, my brand manager questioned the email address I have containing “katie” and me branding myself as “kate.” Point taken, Sami! However, my ideal address isn’t available through Google and I actually ended up creating a Google Apps account for this website tonight anyway. What does all this mean? I don’t know. The pressure of needing to commit to this whole “Kate’s a Cliché” thing is a lot. But why is that? This is the truest version of myself. I talk about work (which I love and is going really well right now) and I talk about my issues with life. I talk about my hunky bf but also my dreams and desires. If there is anyone that I want to do business with in the future, shouldn’t I hope that they would accept the full and true me?

Yes, but should I always open with that?

No, I don’t have to open with my life story, but having an awesome website can still be impressive and shit.

But what if I fall behind? What if I decide that maybe I’m not a blogger/write and I want to pick up… beading or something (ha!). Still, were that to happen, wouldn’t I want to retain my image without directing everyone to my out of date website? Arg, what to do what to do?!

It feels that committing to a business card that has my website is more closed than I tend to like things. I mean, my motto is to leave every door open, but, then what if I just end up with a bunch of open doors and no idea where to go? Then I would probably throw my arms out and spin for 2 minutes super fast and stumble into which ever I happened upon… which doesn’t get me any further with the Brand conundrum.

Awesome stuff

So it turns out that some people are upset with me for what I blog about. I’m not really sure who or why, or even if they really are (this isn’t making for a good story, is it?). I’ll start from the beginning. A few months ago, I got a couple text messages from my mom. She said she heard that I had been “dissing” her and wanted to know what I had said. When I called her back, she referenced my blog and I assumed she found it and read it. All was well and good because now she would be up to date on things in my life. I was never concerned about her reading anything I wrote.

Flash to her visiting 2 weeks ago and having a recollection of my interest in Stanford. I figured this meant she read my blog and was using it as a tool to stay up to date on my life. This is a positive thing because it cuts down on the number of times I have to tell her the same things.

Flash to about 20 minutes ago and I get a phone call from her asking what I’ve been saying about her online. I wasn’t exactly sure what she was referencing so I said “hmm… a lot? I’m not sure what in particular you are asking about.” Beyond my blog, nothing is said about her and, well, she reads it so she should be up to date on what I say here. Turns out she hasn’t returned to my blog since she found it the first time, but others brought it up to her. In particular, she referenced an aunt and cousin of mine that basically said “what the fuck!?” to things that I had written (her words). It was then suggested to her that she disown me for the way I talk about her online to which she said “but I love my baby so much I couldn’t not stalk her.”

I again explained to her (as I had the last time we discussed it) that I don’t write anything that I don’t already say to her face. I then reminded her of the URL and told her to catch up on it herself if she would like. However, this is less about the relationship between my mom and I and more about other people having a problem with what I write. Anyway, if family members are upset with what I have to say online, then that sucks. But I’m not going to change the fact that I use blogging as a tool to speak my mind and as a source of healing and comfort. Still, I’m not going to let it affect any of my relationships with family because I know how stories can morph as they go from mouth to mouth. C’est la vie.

On another note, I miss Joe. He is always sitting back in his office working on homework for his masters program and I’m getting a little lonely. I know he is not here to entertain me… but I still feel sort of neglected. My fear is that it will become a habit and turn into a way of life even after he is done with his program. I did get flowers though…

Aren’t they super pretty? They were delivered to me at work on Friday. It was like, the best day ever. Until Saturday, because Saturday we celebrated our one year anniversary. In the morning we went down to Burnsville to finally check him out of his old apartment. He’s actually going to get some of his deposit back too! We stopped by Target on the way to get donuts and I was ALSO able to get an awesome new giftcard that I have been hunting down. High five!

When we got home Joe went to focus on some homework and I went to get my pedicure and then some coffee. Soon it was pretty much almost time for our romantic dinner at the Melting Pot, which turned out to be really fricken awesome. My favorite part was obviously the chocolate fondue at the end, but the beer cheese fondue was also extremely awesome. And the pork and chicken. And all the different sauces we got to try.

We got home at like, 10pm and were pretty stuffed and then passed out. It was seriously awesome.