The Yarn: My Story

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At Sloan, we have something called the Yarn. Once a month, 5-6 speakers from the community are chosen to share a story of deep importance to them. Some are funny, some make others cry, but either way they allow us to connected by sharing deeper parts of ourselves. Here is a link to some previous talks if you are interested.

Being someone who enjoys talking about herself, I’ve been throwing my hat in the ring every month since school started. This last go-around, I was chosen to tell my story. What I didn’t realize until the night of was that it was an all ladies night. I especially appreciated that (it just so happened to work out that way).

For some reason, I wanted to take the easy way out. I wanted to read a few excerpts from my book to give a glimpse into my childhood. Luckily, I met with one of the organizers to do a dry-run when she asked “why read something you’ve written rather than just telling the stories from your heart?” I realized I had become a little too fond of the work I had put into developing them and didn’t want to change it. But, the truth is, I’m good in situations like those and stories are so much better when told rather than read. Ultimately, I decided to tell the same stories, which also gave me more ability to read the room and adjust on the fly.

I requested to be the first to speak because I get pretty nervous if I have to sit in anticipation. I got up, told my story, and the entire time my arms got beet red from the nerves. Or maybe it was the bright lights. Yes, we’ll go with the bright lights.

Afterwards, a lot of people came up to me and thanked me for telling my story. It was really nice to get the feedback and everyone mentioned they are excited to read the book. At least 10 people told me they’d buy it, which means I only need to lock in about 999,990 more to have a chance at a book deal, right?

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These are the excerpts I was going to read. The first is the opening of the book, and the second describes a situation that occurred during 3rd grade.

“Katie, it’s all over. Everything. It’s done. The shit is hitting the fan here, it’s all over.” This was all Pat could say before his phone was taken away. I was sitting on the second floor in the Campus Center at school. It was my sophomore year of college and I was meeting with a tutor I had hired for help with my multivariable calculus class.

It’s strange, getting a call like that in a place that feels so safe. It was dinnertime and there was a lot of commotion on the floor below. I always preferred to sit near the balcony because it is so easy for me to daze out when I watched everyone else. I practically lived in that building my four years at Macalester. It was the center of life on campus, and because the student government offices also resided there, the center of my life.

My tutor was a fellow calculus student. She was extremely smart and really nice, if not a bit of an outcast, so one day after class I bashfully approached her and asked her to help me study. I quickly offered to pay her for her time, knowing that succeeding in this class would be more valuable to me than any money I could throw at her. I also think I felt comfortable approaching her because of the fact that she was a little over weight. As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t have the highest self esteem at times and approaching someone who was “below me” made me more comfortable.

Tonight wasn’t about that though. I was no longer concerned about getting all of my calculus homework done or even doing well on the quiz the next day. I had to, once again, step in to worry about, and take care of, my mother.

Yet, I had nothing to go off of. I knew nothing really, other than shit was “over.” What did that even mean? I packed up all of my belongings and rushed out of the building. I had no idea where to go- where does one go in situations like this? I couldn’t go “home,” if home even existed anymore. After a brisk walk across the campus on what had been, and I guess still was, a beautiful autumn day, I ultimately found myself outside my best friends’ dorm room.

I first met Devin and Mollie the week before classes started during orientation. It was a simmering late August day and without air conditioning, I was melting. Their dorm room door was open and on the inside, there was a fan. I hesitated for a moment, but then walked in and introduced myself. “Hi, I’m Katie and I’m melting – can I sit in front of your fan?” I pressed ahead before Mollie even had time to respond. By the chuckle she let out, I knew it was going to be fine. “I’m Mollie,” she replied, “it is nice to meet you.”

Mollie reminds me of a character I would read about in a children’s book. She has beautiful, brown curly hair, a kind smile, and a style that would make you feel comfortable leaving your kids with her for the evening. In fact, I instantly trusted her as I walked in her room that hot summer day.

After a few minutes of small talk and sitting spread eagle on the floor in front of a whizzing fan, Mollie’s roommate walked in and gave me a look that conveyed “what the hell are you doing spread eagle on my floor?” Mollie, seeing that I was at a loss for words, chimed in “This is Katie, she lives across the hall.” Devin let out an exasperated breath and I skedaddled out of there without much more than a “goodbye!” Let’s just say, this was the better of my first impressions that introductory week of college. The next interaction we had went a lot better. As a petite, blonde jewish girl from Wisconsin, Devin surprised me with her love of The Simpsons, a mutual obsession.

By the time I got to their room, tears were pouring from my eyes and I was in a deep state of panic. I couldn’t make out any words and I couldn’t decide how, or if, I wanted to tell them. Yes, something bad was going on at home, but home and school don’t mix. My life at college was in no way connected to my life at home and bridging that gap could have disastrous effects. But, what could be worse than what I was already facing?

I don’t know how long I sat on their futon hyperventilating. Mollie was sitting next to me trying to console me while Devin was handing me a continuous supply of Kleenex. I had spent just as much time in their room as I had in my own, so I definitely felt comfortable there. I knew I couldn’t be alone, but at the same time I hated ruining their evening. They were both good kids, working hard on homework, and here I was messing it all up.

I eventually began to talk.

“For as long as I can remember… my mom has sold drugs,” I said. They listened intently, with supportive and encouraging demeanors. “I just got a call from Pat and I have no idea what it means or what even happened, but he was crying. He said it was all over and the cops were there.” From what I could discern, my house was being raided. I knew it wasn’t a joke because I had heard the cops voice, but other than that I had no more information to go off. I did not know who specifically was there, why it happened (rather, what specifically set it off), or where all my closest family was.

Suddenly, as quickly as I had entered their room, I now needed to leave. I felt cloister phobic and I needed to yell. I needed to run and scream and cry. What I wanted was for someone to understand. Mollie and Devin were my best friends, but they came from such different families. They had perfect upbringings, parents who loved each other, enforced boundaries, and above all else, stability and security. How could they possibly understand what I was going through? How I felt like everything had been pulled from underneath me?

I thought talking to Alice might help. Alice was another close friend of mine, but unlike others, she had seen things in life. I knew that her father had struggled with alcoholism and that her family had their own faults. Mollie didn’t want me to leave alone, so her and Devin walked me over to Alice’s room.

I managed to stop crying as we walked through the buildings and underground tunnels. Often a blessing, Macalester is a small campus in St. Paul, MN. Tunnels and skyways connect a majority of the building to protect us in harsh winters. Today though, the smallness was suffocating and I didn’t want everyone to see me crying.

Once outside Alice’s room, we knocked a few times but got no answer. Eventually I just tried the knob and luckily it was unlocked. Alice was actually just sleeping on her bed. It was still relatively early, seven pm or so, so we tried to wake her up. She was groggy but was able to look up and recognize that we were in the room.

“What…? Huh? What do you guys want? I’m sleeping,” she said, clearly not happy to see us there.

“My mom has been arrested and I don’t know where to go or what to do,” I pleaded with her, hoping she would know the right thing to say.

“That sucks…” was all she managed to grumble before she passed out again. We learned later that she had taken a few pills and really had no recollection of us even coming in.

So there I was. 19 years old, just trying to make something of myself. My mom had just been arrested for drug dealing (I presumed) and I had no one to turn to. Alice was right, it did suck.


Before long, I realized something was going on downstairs. A combination of others talking in hushed voices and me always being asked where I was going if I went into the basement, clued me in. I started hanging out downstairs more, hoping to pick up on what was happening. Mark basically lived down there, playing video games or watching wrestling. Him and I became close during that time, and I developed a crush on Lara Croft.

My ploy worked like a charm. Every few hours, someone would come downstairs and enter the closet underneath the stairs. Sometimes there was a light glowing from inside and other times there was not. Once I saw inside, I realized what a dipshit I had been; weeks before, I found a roll of super awesome metallic wrapping paper that I wasn’t even allowed to touch. I thought they were just being selfish with the wrapping paper (something I understood) until I finally saw inside the closet. The walls were lined with it!

Let’s be honest; I wasn’t an idiot. The instant I looked in the closet, saw the lamps and the soil, I knew what was going on. Even though I was never explicitly told, I knew I was never to talk about what I saw in there.

So, a few months later when social services pulled me out of class, I knew what to say. The woman was really nice. She told me who she was, said she had received concerns about things going on, and just wanted to check in on me. As warm as she was towards me though, I knew she was the enemy. I knew that if anything happened to my mom or if anyone found out about certain stuff, she would take me away from my home.

The initial questions were harmless on the surface “does your mom have friends over a lot?” But I knew what she was digging for, and even though I knew how I had to answer, I was scared as shit that she would be able to see through it.

“I know she recently moved in with a man,” she began, “did you know Mark long before he moved in?” Of course I didn’t know him long, we had only lived in Minneapolis a few months “yeah,” I answered, “I’ve known Mark for a while now and I’m really happy he moved in with us.”

“How are things going living with another person now?” was her next question. “Well, even though it has basically been my mom and I forever, I’m used to having people live with us, like my cousins and stuff. So, it wasn’t weird for me.”

Soon her questions became more direct, “do you ever have bad dreams about Mark?” Instantly I got a knot in the pit of my stomach. Yes, in fact, I had been having really bad dreams lately, scary things about Mark. How did she know that? Was I being that obvious with my lies? “No, of course not, I like Mark a lot,” was all I could muster.

Next she went back to my mom. “Does your mom work at all?” Crap. This one through me for a curve ball. She didn’t work, but employment is more verifiable. Plus, it is illegal to work and not report it, so, even if she was working under the table she would get into trouble. “No, Mark has been really great and helps my mom out when she can’t find work.” Seemed… reasonable… no?

If you knew my mom, it most definitely did not. But I was banking on this woman being a stranger and not really knowing the ins and outs of who my family was.

“Does your mom like to garden?” was her next angle. “No, she hates plants. Once I got her an aloe vera plant for mother’s day and she managed to kill that thing in months!” I thought that by adding more context it would help sell my story. “Have you ever seen plants growing inside?” was the last of her questions. “No, I’ve never seen any plants.”

At the end, she gave me her business card and told me I could call her anytime if I ever needed something. I knew damn well I didn’t need that card though. So, the second I was brought back to the classroom, I took the card and flipped it into the trash. I remember thinking how bad ass I was doing that, like, I was protecting the family and no one could break me.

That evening, when I got home, my mom and Mark were already fighting about it. After visiting me at school, the social worker went to my home. Mark was the only one there at the time because he had weird work hours. This time, they didn’t even worry that I was listening. Turns out, one of my mom’s friends got upset with her because she had cut her off. So, in order to get back at my mom, she called social services. My mom vowed to never deal with the woman again, she was hysterical. She was never really concerned about herself, but as soon as anything affected me, her precious baby, she couldn’t hold back.

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Friends: a value

At Sloan, we don’t have official classes during January. It is called the Independent Activities Period (IAP) and is time for students to travel, do externships, or participate in a short term class. I’m in a class for this week called: Conflict Management & Assertive Communication. It has actually been really interesting and has prompted a lot of self-reflection.

One activity I did was called “values.” We were given a handout with maybe 50 different values and we each had to self-select the 5 we individually valued most. I selected, in alphabetical order, Fame, Friends, Humor, Self-Acceptance and Wealth. I was a little hesitant to select this specific set because Fame + Wealth seems incompatible with Self-Acceptance. Yet, just because I love me for who I am doesn’t mean I don’t want others to do the same, right?

Next, the trainer asked “How do others know these are your values?” My eyes went straight to “Friends” and I realized: They probably don’t.

I’ve never had a plethora of friends. In fact, for a majority of my life I would say I had none. Growing up, I related better with adults. So, if I can count my adult friends then I am fine, but in all honesty it was difficult to be my true self around them too.

I had what I thought was my first “best friend’ in 6th grade. Then one day we got curious and kissed and she never spoke to me again. In 7th grade I had a close friend who ended up hating me by the end of the year because she thought I was a lesbian and by 8th grade I had a new bff. Then I switched schools because that’s what happens and in high school I got along better with guys. I had one good high school friend but even by senior year we spent less and less time together.

Once I got to Macalester I was like “holy shit, I finally found my people” and had 7 good friends that I would always hang out with. Over the years some of them drifted away (read: we didn’t click and things got awkward). And then there were just Devin, Drew, and Mollie, which would be all I ever needed if they all lived in the same state (or at least not California, Minnesota and North Carolina).

Post-college was hard. It’s also when I started this blog because I realized I needed some way to get what was inside of me out and a deep friendship wasn’t available necessarily. I think I rub people the wrong way. My humor can be hard to read, and I’m not good at making people feel overly welcome if I don’t like them. Maybe I’m too judgy, which I do try to work on.

I’m also an introvert and am very anxious in large group situations, which is what makes business school kind of funny. A recent article in the Huffington Post spelled me out to a T, and also made me feel a lot more comfortable with the fact that I’m not rolling in friends. tldr: I withdraw in large crowds, small talk stresses me while deeper conversations are great, phone conversations are hard and I basically shut down when I’ve had enough of people. I think it was actually secretly written about me.

So, now that I’ve uprooted my entire life to move across the country to go to a school that revolves around networking, how am I doing? I feel extremely alone. I miss people understanding me and I miss having a deep connection. But I also acknowledge that as an adult, best friends don’t just fall from trees and real relationships can take some time. I’ve got one thing going on right now but I don’t want to be overly eager and jinx it.

So even now, as I reflect on my current friendships and how bad I am at keeping up with people across the country, I still see these connections as being ever so important. It was just a lot easier when we lived together and it makes me want to be rich enough so I can buy a huge piece of land and have all my friends live next door. Wisteria Lane doesn’t look too bad right now.

Summer Travel

I’ve been wracking my brain the last few months about what I should do with my summer. While speaking with my interviewer at MIT, he strongly suggested I take time in between work and starting school to decompress. It makes a lot of sense to take time between – I can only imagine what a shock it would be to go straight from working my corporate job to flying out to Boston to begin classes right away.

So, I’ve been exploring tons of ideas of what to actually do. Here are some things that have made my list:

  • Road trip across the USA
  • Go to Canada to hang out with Kylie from Booth
  • Go to a “boot camp” of sorts so I can be ripped like Kara Thrace
  • Spend time at a writers retreat finishing my book
  • Volunteer with a nonprofit in Nepal with a future classmate of mine
  • Do the whole Eat-Pray-Love thing in Bali with this retreat
  • Learn to program at a hacker school type thing
  • Work with a girls coding program in NYC
  • Go on an adventure tour through Thailand/Cambodia
  • An Internship

Road trip across the USA
This would only be fun with Joe. Road tripping alone would not only be semi-boring, but it would also need to be done without a car as the only car is Joe’s. This could, however, be combined with some other idea. If I go to Thailand for a few days and then come back, Joe and I could spend a few extra days eating donuts on the road out to Boston. Just sayin’

Go to Canada to hang out with Kylie from Booth
I emailed my bff from my time in Chicago, asking if there was anything we could do together…

I was thinking, what would it look like if I visited you? Is there anything cool we could collaborate on or create during my time there? Is there anywhere you’d like to go that you might want a partner for? All these ideas are running through my head, and surprisingly (only surprising in that I’ve only known you three weeks in person) you’re on the short list of who I’d like to spend my time with.

Basically she is this amazing woman who also runs a women in technology group up in Canada and is on the very short list of anyone I would ever co-found a company with. Her and I getting together would make things happen.

Go to a “boot camp” of sorts so I can be ripped like Kara Thrace
This is a good idea on the outside. I want to test myself physically… if I could join the Marines just to go through boot camp, I would. However, I couldn’t find many places that were more “get ripped” vs. “fat camp”. This Luxury Boot Camp could be good, but is only a week long. Bikini Boot Camp is similar, minus the mansion. The Camp lets kids join, which scares me off right away. At the end of the day, something like this might be fun to do with another lady, but wouldn’t leave me looking like Kara Thrace.

Spend time at a writers retreat finishing my book
This month long writing retreat in Greece would be beautiful. I could fully devote myself to a goal (finishing my book) while enjoying a new culture and city. There will even be a resident instructor that focuses on memoir writing. It’s a long time to spend away though… and I might get bored staying in the same place the whole time.

Volunteer with a nonprofit in Nepal with a future classmate of mine
On the MIT Admit site, a fellow admit mentioned that she will be spending two months in Nepal prior to orientation.

If you join me, we can also go hiking in the Himalayas, learn some Nepali, eat loads of dhal bhat, see all the stars in the sky ever, go asian safari-ing…

While this would seriously be one of the coolest, most amazing opportunities full of adventure and learning and on my own-ness slash some scary parts, it’s too open ended for me. Plus, if we didn’t get along it would be a very awkward start to business school.

Do the whole Eat-Pray-Love thing in Bali with this retreat
I was nearly 100% sold on this trip. It includes physical activity (yoga), adventure (traveling to 3 different areas) and writing. It would be a small, intimate group of mostly other women, most of whom would be older. It would be awesome. It also over laps though with a really good friend’s wedding, so, basically it won’t work. I could get in late or something, but then I might just prefer one of the other trips. Also, I wonder if the long classes would be good or bad – would it be better for me to just go on a trip where I can write rather than where I would have actual assignments?

Learn to program at a hacker school type thing
Part of me feels like I should learn more coding or development type skills if I’m going to go to MIT and start a company with someone. On the other hand, I’m actually pretty good at following lines of code from my computer science and math classes. I’m just not sure if I would meet the requirements of Hacker School… or is that impostor syndrome talking? Also, living in NYC for three months would require more travel for Joe and I – we’d go through withdrawal otherwise… aww

Work with a girls coding program in NYC
Girls Who Code is a great organization out of New York City. They put on a intensive summer program for girls to learn programming and discover their passion for technology. I don’t think they have any open positions nor are they looking for temporary summer folks. Yet, I would love nothing more than to help put together this program or something like it.

Go on an adventure tour through Thailand/Cambodia
I’ve never been to Asia. During college, I had signed up for a j-term trip to China, but without enough interest from other students, the trip was canceled. Still, it feels like the next place for me to visit. I randomly searched “Thailand adventure tour” and was brought to the g adventures website. They have a healthy supply of exactly the “world adventures” I am looking for. As of right now, I’ve narrowed it down to two:

  1. http://www.gadventures.com/trips/essential-vietnam-and-cambodia/AVEV/2014/
  2. http://www.gadventures.com/trips/indochina-explorer/ATIC/2014/

Fun? Absolutely. Spendy? Very much so… Worth it? Haven’t decided…

An Internship
I applied to a Management Leadership for Tomorrow program, which among many other things, offers support to students pursuing their MBA in a select number of programs. One perk of this program is having access to a few internships during the summer before the MBA program begins. Because MIT is one of the few partner schools, I applied and would be very excited to get this opportunity. However, I’ve received mixed messages. On the website, it looks like applications are only being accepted through January, but in an email I received from a partner school, they said they are reviewing apps through April (on a rolling basis).

This would be a great opportunity if it were to work out, but I’m nervous about waiting so long before making a final decision.

So who knows what I’ll end up doing – it may be any one of these items or something entirely different. Have a good idea? Let me know…

My thoughts on a wedding…

 

Kates thoughts on a wedding

A really good friend of mine recently got married. When she first told me she was engaged, I thought to myself “holy crap, aren’t you too young?” but I was happy for her if that was what she really wanted.

It was a rather quick engagement, so shortly after their engagement, we had the Bachelorette party. It was awesome. Hanging out with girlfriends and getting to wear cute dresses while doing silly things as directed by truth or dare… what could be better? So, I said “aww… I want to get married.” She was a good friend though and told me it isn’t wise to get married just because you want to have a bachelorette party… 

After getting home from the BlogHer conference, I was super excited to see my friends. First, I was looking forward to being around females I actually like, but I hadn’t seen some people in years and I was really hyped to be reconnecting.

Then I realized that everyone was in the wedding party but me and I felt pretty alone. I think a lot of it was that I was already feeling alone from being at the conference and yearning for that connection. This was just another opportunity to be reminded that I don’t have a lot of close connections. At the end of the day, I definitely don’t blame my friend for not having me in her wedding… rather, I just wish I was close enough to someone to warrant the opportunity.. I think I’d be pretty good at it :)

So then came the actual wedding day. I was probably more nervous than the bride. It’s hard to explain why. I feel like maybe I was scared for her committing herself to one person for the rest of her life? Terrified for me for having someone my age and close to me get married? Worried that society would start telling me to get married? Maybe even a little nervous that I would cry at the wedding and show emotion to others? (I sure do hate that…)

I don’t know if I’ve just never paid attention during weddings or if nothing really sunk in because I was too young… but this one was different. The whole time they were saying their vows and stuff I was thinking “Holy shit, a wedding is forever and isn’t just about the big day…” Which again, was super scary and reminded me it’s probably something I’m not ready for. Yet, I couldn’t stop thinking how beautiful it was. I had never seen my friend happier and they both had this amazing glow that brightened the entire evening. I hope that one day, if I do get married, that people feel that from us. 

The Cliché Experience: BlogHer13

I had a good time at BlogHer. I wouldn’t consider it life changing, but I wouldn’t call it a worthless experience. First and foremost, BlogHer is very different from any tech conference I’ve been to. Essentially the male to female ratio flipped and it was like: bam – all these people I don’t typically interact with. I knew this going in though, prepared for it, and was truly excited about it.

But then I remembered why I tend to get along with men better than women. No, why I get along with techies better than fashion and mommy bloggers (and I mean no disrespect here!). I’m self conscious more than anyone would probably expect. I have this lovely veneer of confidence that usually sustains me, but I need to have something to keep it up. It’s like the “fake it till you make it” saying, where, when everyone is talking about certain topics I literally have nothing to add more than a nod. So then I’m like “dang, I wish I could just sit here and look cute” but in reality I know everyone is looking at me like “omg, why are you even here.”

Another insecurity that surfaced at BlogHer? My loneliness, my strong desire to have a best friend with none to call my own. I truly enjoy the company of other women and am jealous of those that have just an über strong connection with someone nearby.

Then came in Google Glass. Anyone and everyone asked me about them. Remember in my last post when I said I liked the attention? Yeah, it turns out I only like that in small doses. It wasn’t bad when people were excited about it and wanted to try it on or something, I definitely welcomed that. What I hated was the “what is that on your face?” inquires. One, because that isn’t very nice to say and two because I don’t know how to talk to people that have lived in a cave for the last 6 months. And I’m an introvert and kind of just wanted to wander in peace.

It wasn’t all “woe-is-me” though. The sessions that I went to were really engaging and informative; the keynote speakers were inspiring and made me laugh. It was a really well organized event that ran smoothly from start to finish. I connected with a lot of passionate women who I will remain in touch with. And, because they are the ones that really made my BlogHer experience, they shall get special mention below (there were others too, but I lost their cards or didn’t get them maybe). Right now though, I’m just truly looking forward to a hug from Joe and quality time with my friends from college.

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.

Graphic Novels.

So right now I’m participating in the live twitterchat of The Bloggess‘s book club. Why is this relevant, you ask? Because she just referenced graphic novels, that’s why. What do graphic novels have to do with anything, you ask? Fancy you should ask, actually, because I have a funny story about graphic novels.

Back in college, I was at a party with a lot of people who already had jobs and I really wanted to impress them. So, when someone asked me if I read graphic novels I quickly agreed that I indeed did. For the entire conversation, I was under the impression that graphic novels meant, you know, books that are rather, graphic in nature. Think, Fifty Shades of Grey or something. It wasn’t until the next morning when I was discussing this with my best friend Drew that I realized the mistake I made. Oops!

Day 2: Business Trip

So, the next day was even better than the first. I woke up early, found a lovely Caribou Coffee only a few blocks away and awaited the rest of my crew. We were to be at the vendor’s at 9am so my crazy ass waking up at 5am had a long time to wait.

When we got there, there were cones out front saving us the most awesome parking spaces. I technically took a picture of it because it was awesome, but I also don’t want to give away where we were. So, let’s just say, it was definitely first class service.

Inside, things were even better. The office was located in an old warehouse and it was really neat to see how they had updated it. I loved their technologies and energy, the day was fantastic all around.

At lunch, I somehow snagged a seat next to the CEO (or rather, he snagged a seat next to me) and we began chatting a lot about what I do at work and how I got here, where I want to go next, etc. I told him about my awesome Mary-Kate and Ashley website from back in the day and… I’m pretty sure he was impressed. It was so inspiring though to meet with the guy that started it all and had this drive to just get stuff done. I asked him about his path since undergrad and really appreciated his candor.

By the end of the day, I was pretty much in love with the company. From wanting to use their technologies to wanting to join their team, it was really an eyeopening experience. That night at dinner we went to this super awesome restaurant. We even had a private room that had floor to ceiling windows facing into the kitchen.

The first appetizer that they brought out was a plate of raw meat. I was all creeped out, thinking “hell no is there anyway I will be consuming completely uncooked beef tonight.” Turns out I was correct because I got to cook it myself on a stone they provided. It was seriously the best piece of meat I have ever tasted in my life.

Throughout the meal the vendor employees kept moving around to get acquainted with us. I met some really fantastic and experienced people. Their entire team was people I felt that I could bullshit with and get to know on a pretty real level. First a man sat next to me and he was pretty funny. We started talking about being Native American and some of my experiences at work. After awhile he got the table’s attention and said that he was at the good end of the table because I am pretty funny. That felt good. One woman was the COO and she shared a lot of advice. Another woman, whom I particularly liked, talked with me for quiet awhile about her experiences through business school and working at a large company for such a long time. What I took away from that conversation was 1) don’t get married to young and 2) leave a company when you feel you are no longer being challenged. She felt she waited too long and she loves what she is doing now so much that she feels she may have missed out.

This is my really awesome salmon.

After bringing up my lava cake ordeal from the night before, they pulled some strings to get a lava cake for me (the restaurant didn’t carry it… but somehow made it appear.) 

After the fantastic meal we had we went out to the club. Seriously. I’d never been clubbing with a vendor before (or danced with a CEO) but I tell ya, that’s the way to go.

My bestie Drew was actually able to meet up with me too that night, and him and I got to catch up like awesomesauce and I think he might even be coming to visit me in August. That would make me the happiest person in the world mostly.

Kate’s first night on her first business trip

So I’m sitting at the airport bar, waiting my plane back from my first ever business trip. Over the course of the last week I have kept notes of my adventures to ensure I would remember and accurately report them. However, I can be a dipshit sometimes and decided to check my baggage which had my hard token in it. This means I cannot connect my work computer to the internet to write my blog posts. Therefore, I’m in word and will be transferring this once I land home. (And by “once I land home” I mean once I get back to Minnesota, party a shit-ton at the Macalester reunion tent, sleep, and then copy this over.)

My trip was absolutely fantastic. Overall, I feel like, damn, this is what I’ve always wanted to do and now I’m doing it and I love it. My first night (which was in Denver) I had no idea what to expect. My coworker set my expectations by saying “no way you can go to sleep before 1am.” Talking to Joe, I was hopeful it would be a fun night, knowing I’d have to just go with the flow. I can’t puss out on my first business trip, right? You know, be that lame person who stays in the room while everyone else is out creating the stories and memories?

After we landed, we went back to the hotel, checked in and then had a couple moments to ourselves. At 5:30 we met to go to dinner, which was my first expense paid dinner for work. Awesome. The most surprising thing to me was that people ordered drinks. Like I said, I went along with the flow and drank some wine. Nothing too crazy, just some Kim Bassinger or something like that.

At dinner, conversation naturally moved into online dating. I explained, that when I was in Denver the previous July, I too had met up with some men that I had met online. I told the story of starting early (a couple weeks prior) to have enough conversation with people to be comfortable meeting them in person. My manager must have missed the first part about this being the PREVIOUS time I was in Denver, because soon she interjected “I’m not judging you or anything… but, didn’t you just move in with your boyfriend?” This made for a good laugh.

We also had a free coupon for dessert and tried to order lava cake. Our waiter came back and was like “oh, we are out of that.” ON A FRICKEN TUESDAY? Jeez. So, we settled on the red velvet cake and it was pretty alright.

Next we go home, right? Wrong. We go to The Green Russell, which was this awesome speak easy. This is significant because it’s the bar that I went to with Drew last July. When I walked up to the door though, I was severely disappointed to discover that it was no longer a private, unlabeled bar but was now the “Russell Smoke House.”

Seriously people, how much disappointment can one girl take in a night? After texting Drew a few choice words about this revelation, we went over a block to The Pour House. On the infamous night last July, this was our second place too, so I was feeling nostalgic and internally reminisced about the drunken times of my life before Joe. The place was just as I remembered it- your typically college bar that also had a rooftop patio, which I conveniently took a picture of:

Once we ordered our drinks, conversation bounced from work straight into prostitution. Someone who was recently in Seattle mentioned that she went on the late night underground tour of the city where the focus was the prostitution of the early 1900’s. It was fascinating to learn that, due to the gold rush, the women to men ratio was something like 1:29. Those women made bank. Word is, they even learned that if the rubbed the men’s gold and then rubbed their hair, the could then wash the gold out of their hair and sell it for an entire week’s worth of pay (and remember, everything you read on the internet is true!).

We continued walking around after leaving The Pour House, and like I said, memories rushed back. I thought of the hook up I had at the Oasis

Pretty snazzy place, yes? No. It made me laugh and thankful that I am in a committed relationship and no longer hooking up with rando-hotties at a bar, who are probably a lot older than my beer goggles make them appear.

Next on our tour was the Tilted Kilt. Sadly, as drinks increased the number of pictures I took decreased… so I don’t actually have a picture of what we called “the hooters of Scotland.” Getting tired, we decided to head back (after 3 drinks or so) and then our attention was captured by Coyote Ugly.

The place was pretty much dead except for a few old geezers at the bar. If any fun was to be had, we had to make it. So, a body shot later we are playing musical chairs and it actually turned into an amusing bar. Because I was nearly falling asleep though, I tried to sneak out with my manager because she too was tired. Everyone ended up following us and then we went to Katie Mullen’s pub. I had been there before (alone one afternoon the previous July) and liked that we shared a name. We sat down, had an irish car bomb (not my choice… for many reasons, one of which we were in an irish pub…) and skedaddled on our way. To the next bar. Which was called Paramount Cafe. This was probably the best part of the night because they had both 2for1s on blue moon and cheap chips + guac. I also got to show my hand in wing-maning as I hit on two gay men for a co-worker of mine. Let’s just say, it was a late first night.

My ADHD hurts

So I was at work today, doing some research in what is basically our corporate wikipedia site. I came across an entry for awesomesauce… and really all I could do was shake my head. A few months ago, I first heard Joe use the phrase weaksauce, and after I stopped laughing, I asked “wtf is that?” He asked if I ever found my way online, and, given that I have not had internet in my residence since May, I had to say “No, I guess not.”

When did this sauce crap start? Why is it taking over the world and who started it? On a similar note, about a month ago when I went to Joe’s parents house for dinner, I was greeted by the most delicious spaghetti sauce. Being from a Hunts Traditional family myself, I was utterly shocked that she had made it from scratch!

A few weeks later, I eventually worked up the balls to call her and ask her for the recipe. Within about 2 minutes, she hung up on me. Realizing this was due to unfamiliarity with technology rather than seeded hatred, Joe called her back. I eventually got the recipe, and as I should have expected, everything was in “some” & “a little” measurements. Never being one to turn down a challenge, I said “Alright! I can do this!” And boy, did I. Now that was some awesomesauce…

Earlier this evening I was on the phone with Joe when I got it in my head that he should move his furniture in his apartment. This is for a few reasons, one being that he has this really weird corner blocked off by couches where his computer sits. This is hard to explain, but basically one needs to jump over the arm of a couch in order to reach his desk. Last night as we were working on computer stuff together, this presented more than a couple difficulties. Further, a lot of light comes in from his balcony, which is AWESOME, but totally gets in my eyes when I’m watching TV.

Now, I began to tell him all the different ways I had been brainstorming his apartment rearrangement, when I realized I was being a silly-controlling girlfriend and deserved a response along the lines of “umm… Who do you think you are, I like my apartment just the way it is- thank you very much.” However, he didn’t cock me off like any normal person might do, but rather allowed me to share my wonderful ideas. He thought about it and might actually switch some things up.

Why is this relevant? Because I have a small furniture rearrangement addiction, and now I cannot stop thinking of the different ways to do my own apartment. This is all a part of me bouncing off the walls this evening, trying to clean my apartment. While this is actually the ideal state for one to be in while cleaning, it does make me feel crazy.

  1. I became distracted by this foreign object atop a building outside my window. Its about 33 stories above my lookout, so I can only see a small part of it, but I’m sure it wasn’t there yesterday. What could it be?
  2. Technically I am in the middle of unpacking/cleaning my room from my Denver trip. Doing so, I had to bring things back to my desk and that caused me to stop and research how much I could possibly sell my car and stereo system for (not that much).
  3. Each time I leave my room to put something away, I start cleaning wherever I went. So, when I brought the fork that was on the floor in the middle of my room to the sink, of course I had to empty the dishwasher and fill it up again.
  4. Next, when I brought a load of stuff into the bathroom, I really felt the irresistible urge to brush my teeth (still technically cleaning, right?).
  5. Back in my room, I see my dumbbells. “Hmm… weights? I haven’t used these in awhile, and I probs won’t make it to the gym… sure I’ll lift a little!”
  6. [10 minutes later while folding laundry]: “Am I just now realizing that American-Apparel shirts don’t have side seams? Thats awesome. Do most other shirts? Maybe I’m just noticing it because I’m crazy. I can’t tell if this is an anomaly. I’m going to go check others…” [they all had side seams!!]

Clearly I understand this is the normal way to clean, but it does make me feel rather scatter brained… Thinking I’m special because I can’t focus on one thing? Everyday cliché.

Next, I decided to attempt a double batch of chocolate chip/butterscotch/M&M cookies. In the kitchen I realized I was out of butter, but found a fondant vagina instead. I think I’m going to place a magnet on the back of it and put it on my fridge. Hopefully my grandma won’t know what it is when she sees it… or wait, hopefully she does know what it is. This is getting weird… I’ll just decide now that I’ll hide it next time she comes… AHH

But why do I have a fondant vagina you ask?

Well, a couple weeks ago, I had just gotten to work and of course the first thing I do is check facebook. I realized that it was my best friend’s birthday and I had completely forgotten to send anything. In a panic, I searched for “bakery near ___ (his address)”. The closest one, and the only one I needed to check, was called Le Bakery Sensual.

Being a smart thinker, I made the phone call from the bathroom, as anyone near my cube would have been able to hear the conversation. However, apparently this crazy bakery doesn’t open up until later in the day -and- that’s on Colorado time too. This was literally my busiest day at work ever, so I had to squeeze the call in right before my team lunch- prime pee time in the corporate world. Therefore, I was forced to make the call from my desk.

I tried to just get one cupcake delivered, but they didn’t want to do that. Eventually I was swindled into purchasing a dozen cupcakes. “Fine, whatever, its my bff’s birthday” I thought. Knowing this is a sexual bakery, when the guy asks me what I want on them, I say “lady things- err, ugh, guy things… I mean… I don’t know, this is for a guy.” While he did understand what I meant, he needed to clarify by asking which specific body parts I wanted. I ultimately had to say, aloud in my cube, “boobs and vaginas please.”

At this point, I just gave him the address and my credit card number and needed to get off the phone. My cubbie was just staring at me like “What the f was that phone call about…?”

During lunch, it occurs to me I was never told the total cost of this gift. And, had I not been so flustered, maybe I would have thought to get a penis for myself.

Anyway, I finish out the day and rush home to get ready for the wedding that Joe and I are attending that night. We both get dressed up and head out the door. On the drive there, I get a phone call. Being the techie-guru that I am, my phone calls come through my stereo system. I answer with a polite “Hello?” and in return:

“Did you send me dirty cupcakes!?”

My grin was huge. I was also able to convinced him to send a picture.

I then asked him to save me one. He replied wanting to know which one I desired, so I turn to Joe and pose the question “Do I want to eat vagina or boob?”

Joe jokes that the first words he ever heard my BFF utter were “did you send me dirty cupcakes!?” I’m just glad no one else was in the car. When I went to Denver to visit last weekend, Drew had saved me one (and in case you were wondering, I definitely chose vagina). However, he did not preserve it in the freezer, and it was stale as shit. I ate a little bit of the frosting then just decided to take the jay-jay home. Days later, I was able to confirm with my bank statement that this whole ordeal cost a lovely $80. Absolutely 100% worth it.