Unemployment rocks

This whole being “unemployed” thing is fantastic. Yesterday was technically my first day off. My last day was Friday, but the weekend still felt like any other weekend. Monday morning though, when Joe woke up and went to work and I got to sleep in… that’s when the feeling kicked in.

I tried to start the morning off with coffee, reading a book in my sun chair. However, I ran out of the nummy-good-mocha coffee I’d been using in my Keurig and once I realized it had milk in it, I cut myself off. But it turns out milk is really good and I can’t do without and I’ll have to find some alternative. For the day it was Caribou for me.

I didn’t get a high top. Which is disappointing but I made do. I got myself a soy-mocha, sat down, and began to write. It was the first time I had legitimately revisited my book in quite a few months. I started from the beginning, revising and adding more as it felt right. I had a lot of notes from when Joe reviewed it, calling out elements that needing more context or further depth. I probably only added 250 words, but it was nice to sit down with my coffee, no internet, a beautiful sun, to just write.

After that, I headed over to do my first workout in training for the triathlon. It was painful. The swim started out really nicely, but after just 6 laps I was dead. I couldn’t get my stroke rhythm going and it dawned on me that I didn’t have my nose plugger. I made do with what I had, completed my 15 laps, and only swallowed one mouthful of water. Next time it will be better.

Next it was time for a shopping run. Joe and I haven’t been shopping for food in a while because who needs to when you can subsist on Buffalo Wild Wings. After my invigorating swim though I wanted something that would nourish the soul, not set it on fire. While at Target, I quickly remembered to pick up more contacts and went to the optical center only to be turned down. My prescription was too old. My sadness was met with “we can get you in right now!” when I didn’t even realize they did that stuff there. I should have, but I just never thought of it. I zipped in quickly for the eye exam, and put in my order for contacts while still using my employee discount – high five.

After having goulash, aka: funeral hot-dish for lunch, I went for a run. I should have given myself more time for my stomach to settle but I’m new here. After lasting nearly a solid mile, my body had enough and walked the rest of the three miles. Except I ended up going about 3.4 miles, and maybe ran a total of 1. It’s kind of fun to think about where I will be in a few weeks though, this is the probably the worst I’ll do.

After some stretching, I began session 1 of Python on code academy. I was surprised both by how easy it was and how quickly I got through it. Knowing Matlab, Mathematica, R, etc., really makes it easy to pick up something new. I’m excited to learn more.

No “perfect day” would be complete without donuts, so I made a stop by Glam Doll on the way to drop off my bike for a tune up. The “Scream Queen” (chocolate cake donut with chocolate frosting and candied bacon) was all I needed to spike my energy for my last yMac meeting for life. (That may be a little extreme, but who knows!). I got a nice goodbye, enjoyed seeing some friends, and got home just in time for some Harry Potter before falling asleep. Perfection is the only word that describes my Monday.

Any then this happened #loveMKA met-gala-2014-mary-kate-olsen-ashley-olsen-red-carpet__oPt

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March Reading

So now that March is over, I’d like to give a recap of my resolution to read a book a week during March. Overall, I’d say it was a success. If you add it all up, I didn’t exactly read 4 complete books, but I finished 5 – so… winning.

Drinking, A Love Story by Caroline Knapp (30%) – This ended up being a really good memoir. It is about a woman who is an alcoholic and it follows her relationship with alcohol through the years. It ends with her going to rehab and re-entering life as a sober person. A few lines that really resonated with me:

Over time the drink itself becomes the reward, the great compensation for our ability to keep it all together during the day, and to keep it all together so well. (pg. 19)

 

‘My husband is acting like an idiot.’ a woman said at a meeting not long ago. ‘I have to remember that the resolution is not ‘Get a new husband” (pg. 61)

 

Addictions segue into one another with such ease: a bout of compulsive overeating fills you with shame and sexual inferiority, which fills you with self-loathing and doubt, which leads you to a drink, which temporarily counters the self-hatred and fills you with chemical confidence, which leads you to sleep with a man you don’t love, which leads you to circling back to shame and voila: the dance can begin again. (pg. 137).

Crash and Burn by Artie Lange (100%) – This was the only book of the five that brought me to tears. Most likely because it resonated with me so much. I’m not a closet heroin addict. Rather, I’ve had people in my life lose the battle to drugs and that has really stuck with me. It was so insightful to be in his head and to understand his perspective. I didn’t capture any life-changing or meaningful quotes though, I think because it engrossed me so wholly that I didn’t break out of that mindset.

The Corner Office by Adam Bryant (44%) – This book was full of insights from CEOs and other leaders from large organizations. I took a lot from it. First, it made me really excited for business school. Second, I picked up a lot of good insights that I think I can apply to my own leadership style. And third, I know I’m going to be a really good CEO one day. Here are my favorite quotes:

The qualities these executives share: Passionate curiosity. Battle-hardened confidence. Team smarts. A simple mindset. Fearlessness. (pg. 12)

 

They learn, they teach, and they understand people and the business world, and then bring all that knowledge together to drive their organizations forward. (pg. 13)

 

The people who truly succeed in business are the ones who actually have figured out how to mobilize people who are not their direct reports. (pg. 51)

Drinking and Tweeting by Brandi Granville (100%) – I picked this book because I really like drinking and tweeting both separately and at the same time. Therefore, I figured it would resonate with me. Right after I started reading it, I mentioned it to a coworker, and she knew of the woman who wrote it. I did not. So, having that additional insight was helpful, and gave me even more reason to follow her on Twitter afterwards. The gist of the story is after being married for 8+ years, Brandi finds out her husband is cheating on her, and always has been. This terrified the crap out of me, especially as I’m beginning to consider marriage more and more. It is crazy to think about being able to leave so much of your life in the hands of someone else who can just take it and kill it all if they want to. The happiness she described seemed like perfection, something that meant it was true – how could this lead to such destruction? Again, I was too absorbed in the book to record any quotes. It is a quick read though that I would recommend.

Ahead of the Curve by Philip Delves Broughton (30%) – A book written about a man’s two years at Harvard Business School. Although it’s just starting to pick up, it has A) made me happy I’m not going to Harvard and B) made me hope that MIT is at least a little bit different.

  • Apparently there is something called the Priscilla Ball at HSB. The men dress as women and the women dress as “sluts.” Seriously. And people have to pay $120/person to attend anyway. And people wonder why business school has such terrible rates of females.
  • “It felt as though HBD has two modes, deadly serious and frat boy, with little in between” – I’ve heard this elsewhere about HSB and other schools. I know it is partially the reality of business school, but I hope the people at MIT take it seriously too. And like to have fun, are cool and not misogynist. Just sayin’
  • The English journalist who wrote this book has an impressive vocabulary. I’ve learned 10+ new words all ready. High five.

Here’s to a month of no Caribou… Just kidding, turns out April is writing in my journal every day. Not really sure why I thought it was the former.

Self-fulfilling prophecies – how much is too much?

I used to say my life needed to be broken up into three parts. Like any good memoirist, such as Augusten Burroughs or Chelsea Handler, I had to have the epic story of my childhood, the account of my ultimate addiction, and then the book about how my life turned to awesome. I literally gave this tons of thought, down to the point of nearly identifying which addiction to choose (alcohol, sex, cocaine, shopping, anorexia, etc.); all considered as if I had to have more life struggles to make myself anyone.

As I’ve realized over the last year or so though, my life is already hella-awesome. I’m also pretty prone to making goals come true. Which leads me to think I should probably focus on something good rather than a terrible disease millions of people face. I was also young and stupid, coming from a place of such privilege to methodically ruin all I had for what, a good story? It also came from a wealth of depression, which doesn’t justify it but at least provides more context.

This brings me to the recent commitments I’ve made and my inability to fully keep them. I didn’t realize how deeply I would think about my monthly resolutions. I pulled them together based on what I thought would make me a better person. Eat better, drink less, do more towards my goals, and exercise: simple, right? Well, no, which is why I wasn’t doing it already.

Completely eliminating carbs/gluten isn’t really feasible. Well, it is, but I don’t have to and it didn’t make me feel any better so why should I because I love both those things a lot. I also found out earlier this week that I have an allergy to dairy. So, if I can’t have milk or ice cream or yogurt or cheese, I better damn well get my burgers and boneless wings from Buffalo Wild Wings.

And then there is alcohol. How much is too much? Where is that line of totes-normal-drinking versus alcoholism? The problem is, there isn’t one. Have I self-fulfilled the prophecy of becoming an addict? The quizzes I took to try and determine if I do have a problem led me to believe that any and every college student would fit into the problem area. But then, I’m not in college anymore. So like any rational person, I started reading tons of memoirs of people who had drinking problems, trying to figure out if I have similar symptoms or signs. Again though, there isn’t a clear cut answer to any of this. Sometimes I have more than three drinks in a night. Sometimes I drink alone, if you count writing at home with a glass of wine “drinking alone”. Some nights I don’t drink at all and sometimes after a long ass day at work I just want to sit on my balcony with a beer.

There is also the genetic component too. I wouldn’t say my entire family is full of alcoholics, because there are tons that are not. Like my grandma. She drinks maybe a bottle of wine a year. I’ve heard rumors that my grandpa may have been one, but I never got to meet him. Then there is my biological fathers side who I never really knew but based on what I know about him, they probably form a long line of alcoholics. While this doesn’t mean I automatically am one, it means I’m more prone to it and need to be more mindful. Are my considerations of my drinking now then signs of me being actually concerned or reacting too much to stories I read? I’m I trying to gloss over excuses now or truly evaluate if I have a problem?

I went to a networking event on Wednesday where they had free beer. I abstained given my goal of the month and had a fine time. I met some people, enjoyed the content, and went home at a reasonable time. Last night though, I went to another networking event at Macalester, and had two glasses of wine. I’m not sure how this affected my experience. I had fun, met some new people, chatted with those I already knew, and left early. And I enjoyed the wine.

Who knows what March will do to me, reading a book a week. Especially now that my last four Kindle downloads have been drinking-memoirs.

Harry Potter, the time has come

I didn’t read Harry Potter as a child, mainly because I was rebellious and didn’t want to conform to the image that society had created for me. It also seemed like a series completely out of my realm of interests and for years the first-generation hardcovers have sat on my bookshelf. Now that I’m in my upper-twenties, I’ve decided that I’ve been in the dark too long… So, I’m reading it now. And, by “reading it now” I mean “Joe is reading it to me.” Because there is nothing like being read to sleep every night.

Another reason I never read the books is that I don’t read fiction. To some, this is like saying “I don’t drink water” or something similar on the crazy scale. But, it’s just the way I roll. To avoid thoughts that I’m illiterate, I’m half way through The Corner Office, and it is a great read. I’m going to be the best non-fiction-reading-CEO ever.

51 questions

Santa left Joe and I two books. The first was about mini golden doodles, which is perfect because if Joe and I get a dog, that is the kind we want to get. The second book was titled “51 Things to Know Before Getting Engaged.” It isn’t a book about getting engaged. Well, it is, but just because Santa left us a book about getting engaged doesn’t mean we are going to.

The structure of the book is 51 chapters, which each contain a question, to discuss with your significant other. It has some of those big questions that people sometimes ignore or think don’t apply to them. Clearly none of them apply to Joe and I either, because we aren’t getting engaged, but we just think of it as a thought exercise.

So, in order to painfully force ourselves through the book, for no other reason than because Santa left it for us, we read a chapter each Sunday night. The key here is that it really draws out the process so no one gets any silly ideas about actually getting engaged because really, unless we make it through every question, one shouldn’t even think of that.

Some of the questions are dull. The first was what’s one thing you find annoying about your partner? When Joe read it aloud a gave a little chuckle and began listing the things. I don’t remember them off the top of my head now, but I’m sure they were along the lines of A) him wearing tents B) not always being assertive enough and C) not being able to hold his liquor. Then he told me my things. If I remember correctly they were A) I’m just so perfect sometimes it hurts and B) I’m always right which gives him no opportunity to be so.

The question from this past weekend was different though. It resonated quite a bit with me, facing one of the issues I consider a barrier to me thinking of marriage. The chapter was about how people expect their relationship to be like those in the movies, magical and shit. My interpretation of the image Hollywood sets fourth is that marriage is dull and sexless. Couples get bogged down with life and begin ignoring each other or just not caring. They never seem truly in love and act as if they just put up with each other because of their legal commitment to each other. [Except for Lily and Marshall because they are awesome.]

Well, if that’s what marriage is, that’s not what I want. I want happiness and excitement and someone that treats me like a princess. I want a guy that doesn’t always forget the milk [laugh track!] or sit in front of the TV watching sports and playing video games. The sentiment of the chapter was that marriage isn’t like TV though. Just like it isn’t the fairytale some expect, it also doesn’t have to be a horror either.

So, I dunno, if someone held a gun to my head and was like “you have to get married!” I wouldn’t absolutely choose the bullet.

A terrifying statistic

So you know how you can read something and it just ignites this “holy crap” response? An article I just read states:

the United Nations estimates that 1 billion women will be raped and sexually brutalized this year

Can that even be accurate? 1 billion women? Thats between 1/4 and 1/3 of the female population of the world. That is absolutely insane. I need to do something.

Bus ride from hell

So, I fainted on the bus this morning. I’m reading Mentally Incontinent by Joe Peacock and this morning I read his recount of being aware during surgery. He had knee surgery and felt the entire thing, recapping the tugging on the ligaments, etc. Let’s just say that I have a very weak stomach for such things and I should have known better than to continue reading.

I faint all the time, like when I get my eye balls cut off and get blood drawn. I hadn’t actually fainted before from just talking about stuff, even though I have had to remove myself from certain conversations. My favorite memory of my queasiness was when my aunt was giving her cat an IV and I threw up my Cheerios. Anyway, it wasn’t necessarily a new phenomenon.

It happened gently too. I began getting really warm and uncomfortable and then I suddenly felt very tired. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and lied my head on the window for a bit. When I came to I ate some grapes, if only because they were nice and cool and I was boiling. I was fine by the time I got downtown though, I just went home to rest for a little bit more and tried to eat some breakfast.

If I had thrown up though, where would I have aimed it? I had my bag of work clothes, but I would have had to empty that first. The bus is just really not a convenient location to get sick.

Late night thoughts (as in, 10pm)

So last night I finished reading My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me, and all I could ask myself was “how the hell is this my life?” This was just after I read a Facebook post from someone I graduated with, who after still not having a job, posted these as her post-grad career options: vigilante/superhero, prostitute, wife, or live at home. I, on the other hand, spent 4 hours in front of the computer preparing for and taking my Kaplan Advanced GMAT course. The computer wasn’t even my own, it belongs to my super awesome boyfriend who didn’t even mind that I took over his entire desk for the evening and made him bring me chips and dinner and stuff.

So how do I find myself here? Lying in bed, completely satisfied and happy and content. I don’t know, a part of me doesn’t think it’s fair or something… like, this girl in the book is 33 and single and has had some cool jobs but also spent a lot of her time cleaning up cat piss. That should be me. She isn’t sure if she will get married or if she can even have kids anymore. She had a boyfriend for 5 years (the one that eventually wrote a book about her) and she thought that she was going to marry him. Does thinking that now about Joe make me a fool? Especially when I think it even though I just read a book about it not happening to yet another person and me thinking “oh yeah… but that won’t be me…” BUT IT WILL. Because I predicted pain and I’m always right. I guess my question is more why she had to go through a lot of crap and well, I guess I have too, but, urgle, I dunno. Sometimes I just want a dog.

Falicy of hope

So like 3 hours ago I was like “oh gee, I am so happy. I’ll have to find something more interesting to blog about if I want to continue it because no one wants to hear me brag about how happy I am…”

So now I’m sad. I have no idea why. The sun was in my eyes from where I was laying on the couch reading my book, so I went to bed. I took a little nap even though I kind of wanted to work on my Booth application essays. I woke up crabby. Mmmrrrahhh.

I’m dealing with more drama from my gym membership. They keep losing my payment information and then get mad at me because I haven’t paid. They are claiming I owe like, $300 now for Oct, Nov, Dec and Feb. Part of me just wants to say fuck it, I didn’t use it that much anyway.

But I have been using it! I’ve gone three times already this week and I’ve been loving it! But, three times this week also only equals three times this month… which is only half as many times as I went last month. Urgle.

Moving in!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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