Writing a book is not easy

It is my birthday and I am alone at Rock Bottom. I am kind of being an emo cat and I cannot figure out why. Maybe just because I was in a really long two hour meeting at the end of the day that didn’t go exactly as I had hoped. Maybe because it is my Birthday but I’m alone at the bar.

I don’t mean to be a whiney little bitch. I go to the bar alone quite often and usually really like it. And this time I even have Family Guy playing in the background which is really just enhancing the experience.

Joe woke me up at 5:30am to give me my birthday present because he had to be to work early. He got me a case of the Android Series 3 action figures!!! How awesome is that? They were exactly what I wanted and he even acted like he didn’t get them for me and secretly smirked when I gave him a little bit of crap for not getting it for me because it is what I really want. But then it was what he got for me because he is sneaky! Major improvement from last year… (luff yooouu!).

I came here to write. Which is technically what I am doing but I’m not actually making progress on my book, what I should be working on. It is like, day 97 of NaNoWriMo (also known as day 20), and I’m at less than 20k words. That averages at less than 1000 a day when my goal is supposed to be 1,667. If you have a failure stamp, I have a forehead that could use it.

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Kate’s Geeky

Today was day 1 of the two day She’s Geeky Unconference. Having just spent the first part of the week at a conference, I was worried I would be a little conferenced out. I also had no idea what to expect – would all the session topics be über geeky or over my head? Am I a different kind of geek that doesn’t relate to other female geeks? Turns out, I’m not, I’m just like everyone else and it is really awesome because they are awesome.

The day started out with short introductions, including reasons each of us considers ourselves geeky. I explained that my action figure collection, including me counting down the days to the Andrew Bell Android Series 3 release, mades me a geek.

Next, the facilitator threw a big stack of construction paper on the ground and told us to go at it. We were to list any and all topics we wanted to discuss throughout the day. I didn’t suggest any topics… mainly because it was my first time and I didn’t even know where to begin.

There were probably about 60 people there. After everyone wrote their topics, we went around the circle and read them aloud. I got really excited super quickly because there were tons of topics that piqued my interest. Android v. iPhone? Table Top games? What to do when you are a female manager with only male direct reports who won’t respect you? How to build a solar usb charger? Let’s just say, I felt right at home and my excitement was growing exponentially (get it? Heh, heh…).

Overall, the day was great. I didn’t mesh with all the personalities there, which is good, because not everyone thinks or acts the same way. I also saw a lot of people that I’ve met from other places, like the Minnesota Bloggers Conference. See, I’m so inspired that I even came home and blogged even though it has been a shit long time since I have done so and I feel guilty.

Tomorrow is day two. I hope I get a really good nights’ rest again because I’m still a little tired from my conference earlier this week (staying up till four and getting up at seven will do that to you). I may even suggest a topic. Maybe about blog writing… or using wordpress :)

Puppy puppy puppy

I want a puppy so bad. I would name him Chrome or Charlie and he would be the cutest puppy in the whole entire world. In a recent post I talked about how much a puppy would make me happy, and he totally would. I’ve done further research into the subject though and I picked out the exact kind I want so now I’m even more excited about getting a puppy.

There are so many open questions though. Did you know that puppies are really expensive? First, the puppy I ultimately decided on is a tiny mini golden doodle. Here is a good cute picture of one to get us on the same page:

aaaaaaawwwww!!! Isn’t he the cutest thing in the world that kind of looks like a stuffed animal? He is only the low low price of like, $2500 to get him from a breeder. Joe says that is a shit ton to spend on a puppy, but I counter that with “but is it too much to spend on your best friend?” That put a stop to that discussion (for now probably).

Next is the minor detail that the apartment we currently live in doesn’t allow puppies. This would mean we need to move some place that allows puppies. Fortunately, I found this wonderful new apartment building that is just being built right now! 222hennepin.com is where you can find more deets, but the gist is, it is no longer of a commute to work, it will be directly on top of a Whole Foods, and they have a leash-free doggy zone! Draw backs though? Rent is more expensive, and we would need to move. Lets approximate it at $500 more per month, taking into account the differences in parking, utilities, etc. For additional costs of the application, moving, and the new (bigger) security deposit: $3,000.

Then, I also hear one is supposed to feed their dogs too, so, I Googled “cost of a puppy first year” and came a quote of $1100-3500 for the first year (thanks to the lovely folks at About). Let’s be honest here, Chromy deserves the finer things in life, so the figure will be towards the $3500 side.

All in all, 15k for the first year if I can handle math after my morning mimosa. But, there are still more things to consider. Do I want to go to grad school with a puppy? What happens to Charlie in the case of a break up? What about my pink couch that I love so much? Will he bite it? What if we need to go on vacation? We’ll have to get a puppy sitter and it isn’t like we would have money for a vacation anyway after how much he is going to cost. Agck! I didn’t even consider the costs of puppy classes! Oh, wait, I guess About.com figured that in. High five!

My Boba Adventure

I think that I’ve drinken to much because I’m really very tired and I have the sniffles. The sniffles aren’t necessarily related to the drinking, but the fact that I have been drinking means that I believe both statements belong in one sentence.

Yesterday I was walking through the IDS center when I stumbled upon a yogurt shop. I don’t know the name of it, but it is one of those super awesome grab your bowl, fill it up with everything you want, pay one low price by the ounce type of places. And in this shop? They definitely have bobas. I only know this because I stopped in to see what they had… specifically interested in some chocolate + gummy bear combination only to be surprised by the one item eluding my drunken stupers. By this, I mean that I have been coveting a boba cocktail for months.

It first started at this tweet: https://twitter.com/katesacliche/status/225765308424650752 I was all like “oooooh, I totes think bobas should be in cocktails” and then went to Google – only to be severely disappointed. This led me to believe that the only way to get a boba cocktail was to go to the UK. But that seemed to be a lot more spendy than just buying my own pale of bobas. But a whole pale seemed like a lot and I only needed a couple.

Please hold, Joe is talking to me about MMO games. Like Eve. I am faking interest. Oh good, he is done.

And then I found it. I found the bobas in the IDS center. It was like one of the moments that a shining sliver of light comes from the clouds er… ceiling… to sparkle upon the moist bubbles of juicy joy. [I’m going to get so many hits for that sentence]. So, I grabbed a cup inside the yogurt shop, scooped some bobas, paid my $1.42, and was on my way.

 

Once I got home, I let them sit in vodka for about an hour. Mainly because it was only 4pm and I wasn’t even yet in the mood to drink. Later though, I poured them into a martini glass, topped it off with the rest of a nearly empty can of red bull, some more vodka, and a splash of orange juice. This is what I came up with:

 

Oooohhh… such pretty colors with balls at the bottom. And oooooh, what a cute laptop case and ooooohh what nice frames you have on the wall.

It was tasty. The balls were really squishy and perfect and bursted at just the right application of pressure. I may have bought too many balls though because I have been sucking down this same martini glass (since refilled with vodka + orange juice ~3 times) for hours.

Final verdict? I’ve had many great ideas throughout my lifetime, and I may say this a lot, but this may be one of my best ideas ever. Seriously. My newest thing in stopping by the yogurt shop for bobas on my way home.

To bite, or not to bite

I’ve been invited to participate in Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business’s diversity weekend for prospective students. It is a full weekend of meeting current students and alum, exploring campus and Pittsburg, and learning about general MBA stuff – being a female MBA candidate, financial aid, etc. I need to buy the round trip plane ticket though, which is why I am giving this so much consideration. I think it would be a really great opportunity to understand a top tier business program. Where I am struggling though is whether it is really a school I would consider. Nothing I know about it is ruling it out though, in fact, I like the small class sizes, the non-rural location, the global treks that are offered, and that they have a Technology Leadership concentration. I had a hard time finding the types of teaching methods they use, what clubs and orgs available, and if they have significant other programs (this wasn’t obvious on the website). Google is one of the companies that they feed into, but isn’t going to be as highly regarded as Stanford to them.

I feel like I’m making this a bigger deal that it needs to be – I’m not deciding on where to accept admission at this point, I am just looking into possible programs to apply to. The only thorn in my side is the flight. Which normally I’m not such a pussy about but last week I found out that work would not in fact be paying the tuition for my summer program at Booth. I borrowed the money from my Grandma and told her I would pay her back in August/September, because that is when I thought I would be reimbursed. But I will not be reimbursed, so now I just have a loan out from my Grandma that I need to pay off ASAP (for my own sanity).

With that, I’m trying to gauge whether it makes sense to cash out some of my investments and pay her off right away, or make payments to her over time as I’m paying less interest to her than I’ll be earning on the investments (ideally). Financially, it makes sense to pay her off over time. I need to run this past her though; she might prefer to be paid back on the time line I agreed too. I hate having debt too, so I almost would prefer to just pay her off to not have that hanging over my head.

On a less serious note (or more serious, depending on your priorities) I got the new Candy Corn Oreos today!!! They are über fantastic. They taste very similar to the Birthday Cake Oreos from this last summer, only on vanilla cookies instead of chocolate. They are also fun colors (split in half yellow and orange) so that is entertaining to me. I wouldn’t necessarily say they taste like Candy Corn though… which may be a good thing seeing as I am eating a cookie after all.

Wouldn’t it be the coolest job in the world to be the person who manages the different special edition oreos? I don’t even know all the ideas I would come up with. Well, in all honesty, I have a running list. But sharing them here would defeat the goal of me doing it professionally, as whoever currently has the job could just swipe it. And you know what they say, “swiper, no swiping!” Just kidding. No one says that.

Ms. President?

I wonder if I’ll ever be the President of the United States, or if I’ll stick to running companies instead. And by “stick to” I mean stay with it once I actually get there. In high school, I was voted most likely to be the President, however, they were specific to  what I would be President of.

Joe let me sleep in late this morning. Then, as we were laying there he found a bug. So I jumped the hell out of bed, googled “bed bugs,” looked at the bug and determined we needed to check the whole bed. So, we ripped off all the sheets and thoroughly inspected the bed. We didn’t find another bug, so, it probably was just one of those little guys from my plants that got into the bedroom. I know my mom is going to read this now and freak out though, but I really am sure we are good.

Then I was kind of in my “mmrraah” mood and Joe said “No, put a stop to that right now! You will not have the Sunday blues.” Thinking he may be right, I made him breakfast and then started to clean. I vacuumed and have the mattress pad in the laundry and even cleaned the mirror from when my little brothers were over and spent a half hour licking it.

Next I started googling some fun new recipes because I feel like a fat cat/bloated and I am really in the mood for vegetables. I have been eating too many carbs lately mostly. I got salmon and salad stuff and peppers and cucumbers – it is going to be a good week in food land. Once I got back from Lund’s (I heart the new one downtown!!) I made us some yummy chicken lettuce cucumber wraps. Ohh! And, on the walk to Lund’s a guy gave me a postcard that said Crave is now giving out a free drink to anyone with a Twin’s ticket the night after the game. “Damn!” I said, “I have season tickets and I live in this building.” Can you imagine a night where the back of my ticket has the free drink at Rock Bottom and then I get to go up and have a free drink at Crave too? It only amounts to two drinks which makes me obviously not a lush, but the cool fact is that they are free and would normally cost me like, $14 + tip for the two.

After our lunch I went to Target because I needed to get fabric softener. I also had my 5% off coupon for all day, so I got some other needed items. Like a martini shaker that Joe thinks looks like a dildo. And a pack of the new LuckyCharms cereal bars for Halloween. And Candy Corn flavored M&Ms because after my post the other day I found out there are Candy Corn M&Ms too.

I got a little too excited at all the Halloween stuff and became disappointed I won’t be having a raging Halloween party this year. With our birthday celebration only being 2 weeks later, it makes sense to delay a party, and who wants to have a Halloween themed birthday party in the middle of November? Not me.

Busy bee

I’ve been totally overloading my schedule lately to keep me busy and entertained. It is totally working and I like it a lot. I don’t like when I get sedentary because then I also get emo. I talked to Drew this past weekend, but only on gchat. It was still super lovely though. Joe is always a great listener, but Drew has been through most of it so he comes from a different perspective. He starts at Stanford soon and I’m über excited for him.

Also! Last night I had dinner with an old friend from college. I hadn’t seen her in way too long so it was really nice to catch up. I forget how nice it is to be surrounded by people that get me. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad…

I’m applying for a couple different things here and there. One I’ve talked about before and that is the Girls in Tech PR position. My meeting about that is tomorrow! I’m also looking into being the volunteer lead for the food program at the school I used to go to. I thought that I’d blogged about it after one of the times, but I guess I didn’t. Anyway, I’ve volunteered with them a few times through work and it is always a great/sad experience to be back where I went to elementary school and see how I have/it has changed. Being the lead coordinator would be a great experience to both connect to the community more and make a bigger impact. Lastly, I’m thinking about applying to a fellowship type of thing. I heard about it through work, and it is really a mentorship program but I would be paired up with someone awesome in business and then would go to programs now through April. I need to read more about it though before I make a decision. It is with League of Women Voters and I don’t know enough about them as an org. Normally this is something I’d ask my Grandma about, but she’s in Ireland or London or something awesome like that. I’ll have to Google it.

Goin’ home

I’m at the airport now, waiting for my flight back home. I’m so über excited to be going home. Last night I was feeling so homesick which was lame because I should have been focusing on having fun and saying goodbye to all the awesome people I met these last three weeks. Alas, I went to bed semi-early and then left hella-early for the airport.

It’s hard to explain, but I also just really hate goodbyes. For me, it was easier to be all like “oh, I miss Joe, I’m so excited to see Joe” rather than acknowledge that I will most likely never see many of these great people again. It was truly a fantastic experience and there are people that I will definitely need to stay in touch with.

And I’m done being a cheese-ball! Here are some random thoughts from the last few weeks…

So you know when you hear a voice, and it sounds so much like someone else you know that it instantly brings you back? I hate that. Well, I’d probably like it if the person sounded like Joe or something, but my professor from last week sounded exactly like a former male-acquaintance. Pretty much it gave me the hebegebees, and made me instantly annoyed. This didn’t encourage engagement in the class, sadly, but I learned a  lot nonetheless.

I finally booked my trip to DC with my grandma for this fall! I’m super excited for it for many reasons. First, I’ve never been on a trip that is just my grandma and I. I really like spending time with her so I think this will be lovely. Next, even though I’ve been to Washington, D.C, I’ve never had the opportunity to do the touristy type stuff. I want to be there without any serious time constraints so we can just explore, visit museums, see the sights, etc. I also like putting trip plans together so it a pretty fun project for me to work on :)

Last Wednesday was my corporate visit to Google. I was so excited going into it… maybe too excited. I didn’t know what exactly to expect, but I knew it was pretty much the most awesome thing that had ever happened to me. Two words that sum up the day? Overwhelming and intimidating. I think I expected it to be more… fun? Start up like? Goofy and amusing to be at, maybe? But the vibe I got was very different. I had to sign my NDA (so I need to be careful here!) but they didn’t really tell us anything top secret. We spoke with a woman for a bit and then there was a panel discussion. I got the feeling that not many people are good enough for the company… especially after the “come in at the bottom and pull your weight” lecture.

I get why she had to go over that… I really do, because as I recall this is exactly how I felt when I first started my job. I was like, holy crap, I worked hard for 4 years at Macalester to build my way up and now that’s all gone and I’m here again at the bottom. I sure didn’t fight it though. I bitched about it to Joe every now and again and eventually got over it once I started to be valued for what I brought to the table.

Overall, it was more pretentious that it needed to be. Coming in with an attitude of like “oh, you should feel honored to be here” isn’t good for anyone. The company needs employees just as much as people need jobs. This hasn’t really changed my love for them though… even if I couldn’t find anyone to sign my Android figurine.

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.

Google Stock.

So, I’m going to buy some Google stock. And by “some” I mean “a.” Because, that’s all I can afford.

Joe thinks it’s a little silly to only buy one stock. While it may be, I think it’s totes worth it to be able to say that I am a Google stock holder. It brings me into a different realm, a realm that I really want to be in. Not sure where… or why… it may only be so at my interview with Google in 6 years I can say that I’m a longtime stock holder. Isn’t that a good enough reason though?

How does one going about buy a stock?