Tag Archives: review

2009 in Review

January -My last sorority rush. I am very thankful I don’t have to do one of those ever again. Small talk is never meant to reach such high doses. I wrote a lot of popular rush entries, my favorite was this one entitled: white noise.

February – This month was all about feb club – a month with a new event for seniors every day. I loved getting to go to new bars in downtown Philly and reuniting the 3rd floor EH spirit from freshman year going out with my boys. One of my resolutions of the year was to have a great last year at Penn and this month definitely did the trick.

March – I had the trip of a lifetime to Belize. The diving was great (and scary with the high winds and currents) and the trip was very relaxing. I enjoyed being isolated on a beautiful resort and meeting new friends (and crushes Re: Canadian Boy).

April – I was forced to decide on a graduate school (UVA obvi…) and my entrepreneurship team, Stimulite, completed our business plan and presented to investors. My work with Stimulite is some of the work I’m most proud of considering the time we put in to it and how much I bonded with my team. I usually hate the groups I work with but these kids were alright!

in May I got an evil case of flu (possibly swine) with lots of secondary infections and then finally recovered enough to graduate from Penn!

June – August – In the Summer I became a customer service drone for Kohl’s and spent my days letting people beat the system and return nasty crap, answering phones, paging bitches, and getting yelled at by customers. I spent my off days selling stuff on ebay, looking for apartments, being a bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding, and visiting my old friend Andrew in Orlando!

September – Starting graduate school was not without its bumps in the road….and on my head. I got a concussion of unknown origin, but at least I have cute second year med student roommates to use me as a learning opportunity.

October – Unfortunately, my bad luck didn’t really end in October seeing as I got  a nasty cold that turned into asthma. After some antibiotics, inhalers, and narcotics I finally started getting better.  Then I began work on my second lab rotation for grad school.

In November I journeyed back to Philadelphia for a Penn homecoming celebration. I originally went thinking I would have the best weekend ever because I thought I wanted that life back. I came back with a realization that the life I was starting in Virginia was worth the work and that I was glad I was growing up and moving on. Until that trip I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder at the past. After homecoming I began looking forward. But no worries, I still had time for some philly style fun!

December: I chose a lab, took my finals (becoming a stress ball), got snowed in BIG TIME in Charlottesville, and got a horrible case of strep on Christmas day.

Here are some of my favorite posts from 2009:

1. Karen with a K vs. the Gap –  A negotiation assignment GONE WRONG!

2. Star Trex – An anecdote about how I finally got closure with my ex at a misadventurous outing to see Star Trek.

3. Have Ye No Shame? – Those people at Kohl’s were gross.

4. The other 3 Second Rule – I’m basically a bad girl.

5. A Lot of Cold Air – Embarking on adulthood is not without its trials and tribulations.

Favorites:

Book: Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Concert: Eric Hutchinson

CD: Muse – The Resistance

Movie: Star Trek

I Will Teach You How to Be Rich – A Book Review

Book On the way back home from Philadelphia I finally finished reading the book: I Will Teach you How to Be Rich. While the title sounds like a potential pyramid scheme, it's actually a book of personal finance basics geared toward 20-somethings who don't know much about what you should be doing with your money – people who potentially keep their money in a box under their bed or something.  

Against all odds, this book ignited a fire in me. I can't wait to start getting my pay check so I can divide my money up between spending and savings and investments like the author recommends. It also gives you a lot of advice about living frugally (not cheaply) – deciding what you want to spend your 'free cash' on and being smart with everything else. You divide all your money as you are supposed to and are then left with guilt free spending money. Wee!

And I learned about online savings and checkings accounts. I could be earning 3+% interest and get my ATM fees waived?! It would make me cry to think about how much money I wasted in Philly – 4 years of ATM fees. Excuse me while I vom in my mouth a little bit. 

I'd also never really thought about all the advantages of investing early at this point in my life. Like I said, this book targets young people who might not have a lot of money lying around to invest. That made the book practical for what my situation will be like next year.  But while not investing, you are losing money to inflation. And the earlier you start investing the better off you will be due to the magic of compounding! 

Yes, I probably sound like a nut now, or at least a personal finance cheerleader. Therefore, I recommend you check out his book and blog as you start preparing for the real world. It opened my eyes on what I should be doing. Even if you don't give a crap about personal finance, check out this post on why we are hypocrites about saving for our weddings. Eye opening indeed. But, I think I'll live in my ignorant bliss paradise for at least another year. I don't need a fancy wedding……

Get the Power Back: He’s Just Not That Into You Review

Hes_just_not_that_into_you
Freshman year I was fooling around semi-regularly with this guy. This is a version of Karen I cringe to look back on. The Karen who used her new found college Freshman status to coerce her boyfriend into an open relationship so she could sew wild oats that could never have been sewn in high school. As E's phone calls and IM's got more sporadic and I was curled into my bed moping, my then best friend gave me a book: He's Just Not That Into You. To say this book changed my life would be an understatement (probably an overstatement, but it's REAL good!). This book gives you the tools to spot when you're being treated poorly, save your dignity, and run far away. As harsh and direct as the author's messages can be, Behrendt reminds you that you are a super-fox and deserve that guy that's going to treat you like a Queen, because that's how it is when the guy actually digs you. You don't have to be sad about that guy, because why waste your time on someone who just wasn't that into you? It's a book that I continually refer back to and it helps me 'check myself' when I go into overanalyzation mode. 

So flash forward to today and now the book has been turned into a movie with a lot of big names, just in time for Valentine's Day. I was having a pretty bleh self esteem day last night, so I decided to go to a 12:30 at night showing with an arsenal of sorority sisters. The movie follows a group of people, some single some married, who are all connected in some way. It goes through their stories which are all intertwined, giving the movie a Love Actually feel. I liked how the movie, like the book, delivered some harsh truths with a very light, humorous tone. I laughed, I cried (or I wanted to)- very good chick movie stuff. 

While the tone was light and cheery, I couldn't help dissecting all the boys from my past and feeling a little hit to my self esteem. Especially when one of the main guys said something to the effect of there is no such thing as sparks, guys just say that as an excuse to get out. That was something right out of one of my break ups. It was definitely a movie that made me analyze the past and try to figure stuff out. Could I have seen it sooner and saved myself some heart ache? Moreover, it made me wish we all had the stones to be honest and say we aren't interest or aren't going to call or are breaking up with you because we don't like you. It would stop all the excuses and finally get us on the track to moving on sooner. I pseduo-jokingly tell every significant other at some point that I want them to tell me if they're never going to talk to me again. Although, there are definitly guys out of my social domain, no one has yet had the courage to say it to me. 

But then again, I digressed, I was talking about the movie. Although a little on the long side, I definitely would recommend going out to see this one either by yourself or with a girlfriend. The stories are cute and the overall message is one every girl should take to heart. A couple moments were so cheesy I almost cringed, but what are you expecting when you go to a chick flick? And I secretly love the cheese. 

So, go see it and comment with your opinions. I personally was a little peeved at the ending, I think it might have made the author of the book cringe. What do you think? 

A Tale of 2 Burritos: Qdoba Vs. Chipotle

Chipotle 

This story begins with a tale of 2 burritos. Now Penn has long been home to Qdoba. Although I love the feel of the Qdoba burrito in my hands (slightly mushy from whatever they do to the tortilla in that silver press thing!) and in my mouth (just wanted to be a little immature today!), I have thankfully recovered from the days I used to get one once a week. Once you learn that each one has over 1000 calories, there is no going back.

Unfortunately for Qdoba, last week a new burrito den moved in a block away by the name of Chipotle. Through all my years at Penn, many of spoken wonders of Chipotle, but I just shook my head in disbelief and ignorance. So today, when I had the opportunity to dine at Qdoba's competitor, I had to take the time to suck up the 1000 calorie price and decide the fate of these two burritos for myself. 

I was immediately taken aback by the carnal, industrial edge to the decor of Chipotle. It is definitely less warm and inviting than Qdoba. I mean it was cool, just had an evil vibe. The menu was nice, because the choices are limited and it made ordering less complicated. There are basically 2 types of burritos and you customize them. The service was comparably fast and efficient at both establishments.

Now for the burrito itself: I could definitely tell the ingredients were of better quality. The rice seemed…nicer?! The chicken less greasy, the salsa fresher. But as far as taste, I definitely still crave Qdoba. I think a large part of this is that the salsas (especially the green 'verde' sauce) appeal to me a lot better. And for me, salsa is a VERY important aspect of the burrito. I also like the cheese at Qdoba better (another one of my favorite things). 

So, although I feel like Chipotle has the 'technical' win for better burrito (the ingredients do seem fresher and maybe better for you, but I'm afraid to look at the nutrition facts at this moment), I'd still choose Qdoba for the taste. Although, now, hours later, I still feel disgustingly full and have decided to begin a 7 day personal challenge which I will write more about tomorrow.

What do you think? Qdoba vs. Chipotle?! I want your comments. GO!