29 July 2010

Woah now...

I just realized that anyone wanting to catch up on my blog would have to read 252 posts! Holy moly!!! Luckily for you, hypothetical person wanting to get to know me so ridiculously well, most of it is pictures of cupcakes. ;-) HAPPY 252 POST Y'ALL!!!


Communication Skills...

The past several months have been quite an education... in communication. I've taken on so many new roles, met  tons of new people, had to navigate awkward dates, had to find ways to demand things without demanding - it's been quite a maze.

One thing you learn the second that you get an office job, is that talking to your coworkers is never just talking to your coworkers. You have to build camaraderie without being 100% yourself. I've had this told to me over and over again by my mentor here. "Watch how you talk to people, always be more professional they then are, and don't send informal emails. This is even more important since you're so young. It doesn't matter if they're informal with you, you can't do that back to them." It's frustrating, really. One of our partners got trashed at our company retreat, and all people could talk about was how they were surprised I didn't. Apparently people expected me to fall into the trap that past young associates have, lured by the casual and party-hard nature of the partners of the company. With double standards and a false sense of security lurking around, work taught me to do something I've never really done before: censor myself.

Now, awkward dates taught me something completely different. They taught me how to create a conversation out of thin air. You never know how many things you can talk about until you spent two hours at a table with a guy who answers you in four-word sentences and offers no questions in return. Art, politics, hobbies, math, family, favorite websites, books, music, awkward moments, cheese - anything to get you through till the end of the meal and the moment when you get to say: "I'll call you." Given enough strain, you can learn how to turn paper clips into stimulating conversation. At least, stimulating enough to cover up the awkward silence that would otherwise be looming over the table.

I mentioned the dates to one of my coworkers, and she gave me a suggestion that turned into a bit of a disaster. "Why don't you use awkward dates as a means to practice your moderating skills?" she said. It seemed like a perfectly good idea to me, until I actually put it into practice. On one particularly painful date for me, I busted out my best moderator moves. I mimicked body language, picked up on what the person was trying to say and repeated it back to him, asked probing questions to get further into what he was saying. It turned the date into something much more interesting, for both of us... but then it happened. See, good moderating technique is to make the person you're with feel like you are really and truly interested in them. Doing that on a date with a guy you're not interested in, well, that's just going to lead to one thing - being ATTACKED by a surprise good night kiss. You stand there at your door as he asks if he can come up, just thinking: "Who did? What did? What the HELL is going on here?!" Then you never text them again...

Meeting good friends is totally different. When you meet someone, and it clicks in a totally platonic way, talking to them is just as easy as sitting in silence. There's no effort necessary, because each one of you is adding to what's going on, and you can pick up a conversation just by saying: "So this one time..." You're like a comedian on stage who's so good that they don't have to write forced transitions. Bing, bang, boom - it's three hours later than when you started, and you're still not coming up for air.

There's one form of communication that still eludes me, however. That is the we-like-each-other-but-it's-not-platonic kind. Sure, when you're together, it's like you're old pals. You say stupid things, talk about everything under the sun, and enjoy every minute of it. The problem arises when you're not together. If it were just my friends, I'd send messages and call without a second thought. If they're busy, they'll let me know. If they don't call or message back, I know I'll hear from them the next time they think of me. All of that goes out the window when you're talking about a guy you're seeing, though. Now, I don't count text messages like some girls, but I can tell you that I sure as heck can notice a shortage. I also notice if the only messages I'm getting are responses. And... well, that's something that I'm currently dealing with.

Bring in the discussion of, "He's just not that into you," right? Well... no, actually. Ask me, or the kids that have seen it, and I've got a guy who really likes me. When we're together, there's no doubt about it. Unfortunately, though, I'm a consultant and he's a ridiculously busy student, so our time together ends up being about one evening a week. That means that at least 86% of my time consists of me trying to remember the 14% where I was positive we have something good going on. So, I spend a lot of time talking to myself.

"Don't text today. You texted yesterday, and he's busy. No use in being a menace," is one of the most common thought I have in my head when I'm not buried in spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. I've coached myself to be incredibly low-maintenance. As Bradley pointed out to me the other day when I said I'm low maintenance, "No, you're not low maintenance. You're being low maintenance. That's completely different." I've mastered self control, reminded myself that I've got a heck of a lot of stuff going on, and overall become more relaxed about it.

But then, I think to myself, "Hey, why in the world am I the only one modifying their behavior?" If I'm going to be courteous and stop myself from contacting someone as much as I'd like to, why don't I get little courtesy back? A little, "Hello" everyone once in a while? Sure, the worry might be that I would take that message and run with it, so then perhaps a, "I'm super busy, but wanted to say hi," would be an option. That would do just fine by me!

Anyway, my extremely mild "rant" is not the point, necessarily. The point is that I have yet to learn how to communicate this desire for more contact effectively. I've gotten hints and tricks and tips, but knowing what combination of things allows me to get my point across without being discounted as being needy is a fine line that I haven't yet been ready to risk walking. I want more, I'd be asking for extremely little, and yet as a girl I know that any demand I may make will most likely be construed as a sort of desperate act. It's ridiculous, but true.

And so this is where my communication training keeps going. I'm going to learn the art of loaded conversations, at least for a while. We'll just see if I can be patient enough to learn.


26 July 2010

Oh how I've missed you!!!

Hello Lovers!

Today is the first day in weeks where I didn't have to work past 7pm... I've worked until midnight for way too long now. So, in honor of this most auspicious occasion, I am going to write a full post! Imagine that!

The first thing that comes to mind is my books. A little over three years ago, I managed to finally become an avid reader. Before then I was too busy, too lazy, or some combination of the both. I missed countless opportunities to enjoy a good book because of the haze created by assigned reading - i.e. The Great Gatsby. However, in the spring of 2007, I fortunately dropped my physics course too late to sign up for another credit. With only 3.5 credits, the enormity of time on my hands was almost overwhelming. I actually think that might have been one of the most annoying things about sharing a room with me for Kelley. She happens to be incredibly diligent, and I'm sure that sitting through hours of work while your roommate is watching every TV show known to man on her computer is... irritating.

Anyway, I got to the point where my TV shows were running out... and I started to feel like a waste of life, and so I finally broke down and opened a book.

All the sudden, for the first time in my life, I started getting lost in stories. I can remember just how surprised I was with the peace that came with reading. Given that sophomore year happened to be one of my most emotionally self-destructive years since high school, there wasn't anything more wonderful to me than the silencing of my thoughts through reading. My brain had to quiet down, or I'd lose the story. For however long I had a book in my hands, I was free from myself.

When I traveled to France, reading was my way of feeling at home. (Well... that, and the pub full of ex-pats.) I read at least a book a week, and had to purchase books so often that the employees at the foreign bookstore ended up recognizing me. That's actually how I got introduced to Ayn Rand. As I perused the shelves in the English section, my main criterion for purchase was the thickness of the book. I was dead-set on finding a way to lesson my trips to the store, and books over 500 pages were a great way to do it. Next thing I knew, I was entrenched in the words of one of my new-found favorite authors.

Amongst many things, reading Rand's books has taught me the importance of perseverance in reading. I can't tell you how many books I've read over the past couple years where I haven't gotten hooked until over a hundred pages in. On the other hand, though, The Historian taught me that sometimes a book needs to be dropped before the last hundred pages. Nothing ruins a good book like an ill-conceived ending.

In the past two years, reading has become the only way to assure a good night's sleep. I read until the book starts to drop out of my hand - right up until I know that I can't possibly read another sentence. On the nights when I'm somewhere else, I actually feel worried about trying to fall asleep without one.

Books are the way I turn everything off but my imagination. They're the time I give my brain to play, dream, and lose itself in possibilities outside what it knows.

I guess that's why I hate non-fiction.


25 July 2010

Absolutely Beautiful!!!!

I think this just may be my favorite cupcake to date!!! Hydrangeas are just so incredibly beautiful!!!


21 July 2010


I was looking at my previous post, and a coworker walked by and said: "Katie, you look incredibly happy! How wonderful!" Apparently I had a huge grin on my face just looking at a picture of my shoes on a computer.

Is that a problem?


Manolos Ma-no-no's...

I don't think these need any introduction...

However, I do need a pedicure.

14 July 2010

Hair update!!!

Remember a few posts ago, when I showed you this unfortunate soul? Well... I saw her again!!! This time it was in CVS in Harvard Square, and I was able to really check out those locks. So, here's the skinny. It's all her own hair, she's got 80% of it cut in a bob, and on the back of her head is what can only be described as an over-sized rat tail sticking out from underneath her blunt cut.

What really struck me, and made me want to write this update, is that it was STILL THERE. That means any rationalization we can make about how she just couldn't cut that part of her hair herself, or she was in the middle of a hair cut and got an emergency call... completely falsified! This is actually a look that was asked for, given, and is now being worn around town.



You know it's going to be a long day when....

This is the size ice tea you buy in the morning...

No, I am not playing with perspective... that is indeed an enormous bottle of diet snapple. 

64 ounces baby... welcome to the life of a consultant!!!


12 July 2010


Just figured I'd hit you with some awesome cupcakes.

I don't know what to call this... it's just delightful!

French Picnic a la German Chocolate Cupcake

Indulgence for those with green thumbs.

Manly Cupcakes

There's no place like home... made cupcakes!


11 July 2010

Late night in an airport...

It's about 10:00 pm, and I'm waiting to board my flight back to Boston. I just had a fantastic weekend with some of the best friends a girl can have, which I happily finished off with a cookie monster "adult milkshake." I mean, it really could not have been any better!

So now I'm sitting here with my laptop on Philly's free wireless, and I'm getting drowsy. I'm also noticing that there's barely anyone here, despite the kiosk telling me that the flight was overbooked. In other words... people watching is not an option. So, I figured I'd start typing, and hopefully end up somewhere by the time I get called to board my flight.

I think I'd like to talk about friendship. Kelley, Rach, and Brad are some of my absolute best friends, and spending time with them started making me think about other friends that I've made around the country. I've got friends I love from every city I've ever inhabited, and the best of them all have very similar qualities. Seeing as I'm embarking on building new friendships as we speak, perhaps this is will be a good reminder for me, in addition to being flattering to all you who read this.

So, here's what makes my friends fantastic...

- First of all, they're just fantastically interesting people. My friends happen to be really tops when it comes to people who are making use of the time they're given. Hearing their stories and sharing in their experiences brings such fabulous color into my life.

- My friends support my eccentricities. Sure, everyone thinks that my feelings towards the mixing of brown and black accessories is ridiculous, but I'm passionate about it, so they let me hoot and holler. They also know that sometimes I have to dance, sometimes I have to sing, and sometimes they might want to walk 20 feet behind me. Sure, they might hide behind a corner while I do whatever it is I want to do... but they let me do it, because it makes me happy.

- We can meet up after months or even years apart, and it doesn't screw up our rhythm one bit. Sure, we might have to clarify stories a bit, and our priorities might have changed a bit, but good times will still be had, just like always. (This one's a bit cliche, but I say that's just because it's quintessential to a great friendship.)

- If I'm interested, they're interested. At least for a little while. If I'm excited about something and want to share, my friends will listen. If it's crude, they'll ask for an abbreviated version, if it's uncomfortable, they'll last as long as they can, and if it's nerdy... well, they'll probably love it! Most important part is that they'll at least try to be interested, because it means something to me.

- They know that at the end of the day, we're friends no matter what. Little spat? We'll get over it. Awkward situation? We'll figure out how to get comfortable again. One of us is an idiot? We'll apologize till we're blue in the face, and do everything we can to fix it.

- If one of us is hurting, the other one is hurting. My friends and I have been known to have contagious crying. There have been meltdowns from thousands of miles away, because one of us has hit a rough patch that no one ever deserves to hit. It might mean that sometimes we're carrying a little more baggage than just our own, but it also means that when one of us is happy, the other one is just as happy!

- We can spend hours doing barely anything, and still have an amazing time.

- They deal with my obsession with hugs. Even my friends who aren't down with too much physical contact will give in every once in a while and let me give them a hug.

- They call me out on my shit. Sometimes my "spoiled" is showing, sometimes I'm fooling myself, and sometimes I'm just being a selfish b*tch. If I'm wrong, they let me know, and I'm much the better for it.

- They are honest to me - no if, ands, or buts. Good friends know that being a little brutal now is better than the mess that can result later. Clothes and boys are the most often tasks requiring honesty, but the possibilities for when I need their honest opinion have truly proven to be infinite.

- They see things in me that I may not see in myself.

I can only hope that I'm as good of a friend back to you all.


09 July 2010

I WISH I had said this...

"Sometimes, you can kiss someone, and you're like: 'Wow, this is the best thing that has ever happened to my mouth. I love it!' But then sometimes you kiss someone and you're like: 'Get your FACE away from my FACE. Remove your face from mine, and back slowly out of the door. Never text me again.'"

FANTASTIC!!! Tommy Johnagin is a genius, and the whole set was awesome. 


You know you need sleep when...

You're gchatting with your friend Kelley, who is currently at her shore house (which you will be visiting starting this afternoon!!!), and you say: "Oh, wait. You probably don't have internet there, do you?"



07 July 2010

The ultimate girl crush

I've got a photo of Marilyn Monroe on my wall. She's sitting biting her pinky nail and balancing cigarette holder perched between her pointer and index finger. Her hair is in that amazing curly bob that she was known for. No matter what pose I've seen her in, this will always be my favorite. It's the only one where she looks like she isn't "turning it on" for the camera. I imagine it's one where the photographer caught her in between posed shots, and managed to capture the sensuality that is all her own, not the sexuality harnessed and churned out by the Hollywood machine.

I've always been attracted to Marilyn, or at least the myth that is Marilyn Monroe. It's never been her story necessarily, for we all know that ended tragically, nor was it her on screen characters per se. There's just always been something about her presence. Unlike other movie stars, who generally make me covet one thing or another about them, Marilyn always seems to invoke a sense of peace in me. She's beauty and sensuality without the guilt in a sense, and despite the fact that she was certainly preened in many ways to become man's ideal, she was in no way cookie-cutter. Some of her most risqué outfits were worn during her more curvaceous periods, and when you see her in them, you're instantly blown away by the confidence radiating from every inch of her body. Whether she truly felt that beautiful at her core or not, it's always been a reminder to me that confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can wear, and that's been a motto I've lived by for quite a long and happy time now.

Anyway, I've been thinking of this particularly today because I found a quote from the Blond Bombshell herself:

I'm selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

This quote made me fall even more deeply in love with Marilyn, because it reminded me of something that I've said over and over again, and yet haven't quite stuck with in practice. A man who deserves you is a man that realizes that the good comes with the bad, and as long as the good outweighs the bad, it's worth the effort. (Let us remember that this quote does not give you the right to be a crazy bitch, just the right to be yourself in all your many shades.) And a girl who knows her worth should feel comfortable being herself all of the time, since anyone worth a second thought is going to know just what you have to offer. 

But, like I said... when it comes to practicing this nugget of wisdom, I often fall short. Most recently I've been trying to figure out how to have a discussion with a boy about what exactly it is that we're doing. I'm not asking to be his girlfriend by any stretch of the imagination, but knowing whether or not we're seeing other people would probably be a healthy thing to know. (I mean, if he's seeing other girls, you bet your ass I'm going to start letting guys have my number!) Yet, as I've been thinking about bringing it up, I've been coming up with all of the different ways I can say it to sound the least clingy, make it less "serious," and give him the most amount of options (read: outs) possible for response. So, when I read this quote, I remembered something. A man worth my time is not someone who gives me attitude over the simple question of, "Hey, are we sleeping with each other exclusively?"I mean... it's a simple and very important question. I'm not flooding his phone with calls and texts. I'm not getting jealous over this, that, and the other thing. I'm merely asking a question in hopes of a frank answer. When it comes to the crazy scale that I'm capable of... that other girls are capable of??? It's nothing. 

So, I encourage myself and you girls (You know what? Guys too! Just switch the genders around.) to listen to Marilyn. You are what you are, if you're my friends I can promise you that you're not bat-shit crazy, and you deserve to have someone that lets you be exactly what you are. So, have the uncomfortable talks, relax about whether or not you have been the one instigating all the texts, and know that someone walking away is a blessing, because it saved you from wasting your time on someone who doesn't deserve any of it.

I also encourage you to read all of these quotes. You'd be surprised how many wonderful things she had to say, and each and every one of them has the possibility of being just the thing you need to get you where you want to go.

Marilyn Monroe's Pearls of Wisdom


Oh honey... no

This woman was sitting right behind me on the bus today. (Hence the sneak-attack, odd-angle photo.) At first I thought it was terrible extensions, but now that I'm looking at it more closely, I think she walked out of a hair cut about 1/2 way through. Maybe she cut the front, and she's waiting for a friend to cut the back. I'm not positive, but I know this is wrong. Oh. So. Wrong.


06 July 2010

Oh man... Fantastic!!!

I had a fantastic 4th of July, folks! Just super! I got to play on an adult slip n' slide (by adult... I mean larger and more conducive to girls with developed chests... not "adult" as in XXX). I ate a delicious cheeseburger that I grilled all by myself. I lost at corn-hole (also not XXX), but managed to keep in good spirits about it. After easily finding a parking spot with my friends, which is unheard of in the Back Bay on the 4th, we watched a 15 min long fireworks show from my rooftop while drinking sangria. We crossed rooftops and made friends with our wealthy neighbors who treated us to patron and a whole host of other high quality liquors on their ice luge. And then, at the end of the night, Antonina and I drunkenly watched the Nadal and Berdych final... by the way, has anyone else noticed the large difference in size between Nadal's left and right forearm??? It's outrageous!!!

I hope you all had as much fun as I did, here's a video to give you an idea of some of the silliness!!!

slip n' slide!!!! Watch till the end, and you'll get to see me being adorably inappropriate, as per usual.


02 July 2010

Edible Flowers!!!

Look how amazing these cupcakes are!!!! I'm seriously considering a cupcake tattoo, and something with a fantastic flower icing might just be the ticket!