Saturday, January 25, 2014

Roooaaad Trip

ROAD TRIP ROAD TRIP.  Ok so maybe not a huge road trip, but last weekend Mackenzie and I packed up to visit my parents in New York.  Sometimes you just need to get out of the city and spend time in the quiet woods.  It was quite relaxing.  For one, I love driving.  As long as I'm in the driver's seat I could go all day.  
I'm slightly addicted to McDonalds french fries
One McDonalds stop and 4 hours up Route 90 later we were in beautiful (lol jk) Manlius.  Ah the abandoned factories and closed malls really spoke to me.  So good to be home.  
Ok so maybe I wasn't missing Manlius itself, but seeing my puppy and sleeping in a larger bed was really nice.
Mackenzie met Chippy
We also got to go target shoot with my dad

How fun is that?  It was a great break from dorm life.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Catching up since Christmas

Oh my oh my, what a long month.  As my month of breathing a sigh of relief from MIT is ending I've been thinking of my time off.  It has definitely been exciting and jam packed with exciting things.
Going all the way back I had a fantastic Christmas surprise.  Douglas was a total romantic sweetheart and surprised me with this!
OMG! I was beside myself
Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favourite movies, and he came up with the card all on his own!  (I Googled it and checked that he made it up)  I couldn't believe he was so sweet to remember the Cracker Jack ring.  As soon as we got back to Boston I booked it over to Tiffany's and picked out this lovely necklace.

Open Heart Pendant
I am in love and haven't taken it off since I got it.  It's also nice to have something from Doug with me all the time.  
To round out a perfect day we had our traditional brunch at the Parker House.  This is my all time favourite thing to do when Doug visits.  The food is always good and I love being in a room with so much history.
Doug is 21 so I finally got to try one of the Mimosas I've been eyeing for some time
We finished the day with a walk through the Commons, looking at the ducks and just enjoying each other's company.  
Sweater: Brooks Brothers ||  Skirt: J. Crew || Tights: Target || Boots: Bandolino || Coat: Calvin Klein
We've fallen into a routine of Parker House and the Commons, but it doesn't bother me at all.  Sometimes rushing to try new things takes a lot of energy, and we can focus more on each other doing something familiar.  It was an absolutely lovely time, and I can't wait for Doug to be back in the city.

This post was way overdue, but tomorrow I'll finish up what I've been up to lately.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I've been pretty impressed by the 101 in 1001 challenges I've been seeing in some blogs lately.  The basic idea is you make a list of 101 things you will do within a 1001 day deadline (or ~2.7 years).  As you know, it's very hard for me to think that far into the future, but I think if I share my goals with you, you can judge me hard enough that I'll actually finish the list.  So let's go! #bott101in1001
Ends October 16th 2016

1. Get a monthly subscription to something (2/1/14)
2. Get a dog
3. Drink a craft beer from each of the 50 states (track my progress here)
4. Graduate ChemE
5. Run a 5k (4/19/14)
6. Pay for an entire vacation myself (08/14)
7. Throw a party that doesn't include canned beer or cheap liquor
8.  Only order GrubHub once a semester (1/3)
9. Finish one crochet blanket a semester (1/3)
10. Throw a porcelain dish or raw egg against a wall (I've wanted to do this since I was a kid)
11.  Get hair and makeup professionally done (didn't even do this for prom)
12. Finish Dante's Divine Comedy
13. Visit Smalley cousins (09/14)
14. Visit France and use my minor
15. Get blog business cards (08/14)
16. Watch the sunrise at Boston Harbor before I move
17.  Save more paycheck money than I spend in a year
18. Finish MIT without losing my ID card again
19. Buy a pair of Louboutin's
20. Only watch 2 TV shows at a time (right now 2 Broke Girls and Once Upon a Time)
21. Watch all Harry Potter or LotR movies in one sitting with Anna
22. Learn to drive stick shift
23. Go to fancy brunch with my MIT friends
24. Dance with a stranger (real dance, not grinding.  I want Disney style)
25. Shoot a 25 in Skeet
26. Beat dad at sporting clays
27. Eat breakfast every day for a school week (0/5)
28. Have no underwear/ socks with holes in them
29. Do not buy stupid stuff for a month
30. Buy Girl Scout cookies and give them to someone as a surprise when they seem sad
31. Finish mom's picture frame thing above the piano
32. Get a real job (not funded by a university)
33. Don't complain about ChemE for an entire week (0/7)
34. Stop making fun of courses 7, 8 flex, 9, 15, and 21GS when stressed
35.  Only watch a movie at most once a day
36. Post a YouTube video once a month (0/35) (Ok I failed hard at this)
37. Buy someone a drink
38. Get grownup furniture
39. Make a cookbook of all Gramma's and Habibi's recipes
40. Understand how to pay taxes/ do I need to pay taxes?
41. Completely reorganize my room and keep it that way
42. Visit Anna for a long weekend at her school
43. Eat a meal at a restaurant entirely based on the server's suggestions
44. Go on a brewery tour
45. Go to New Orleans
46. Get CPR certified
47. Set off real fireworks
48.  Visit Habibi and Jidu alone
49.  Take John to a Chili Peppers concert
50. Do something willingly that freaks me out
51. Sign a lease/ buy a house with Doug
52.  Go salsa dancing (i know how!)
53. Get a massage with mom
54. Write a blog post for each thing on the list (0/101)
55. Finish a game of Monopoly without making John cry (Anna can make him cry)
56. Watch all of AFI's 100 movies for 100 years (38/100 Track my progress here!)
57. Take Mackenzie to Maine
58. Wake up early enough to do my makeup AND comb my hair
59.  Drink an appropriate amount of water every day for a week (and not all at the end of the day when I realise I forgot to drink water) (7/7)
60. Get a tattoo after my last ChemE class
61. Save all my change and at the end of the 1001 days buy something in coins
62. Win Bar trivia
63. Drive 30 minutes without swearing at other drivers out loud (1/17/14)
64. Make better Arabic food (even though it's better than mom's)
65. Go to a party where I can wear a long gown
66. Tell a lie to a child that they won't find out isn't true until they're older (my dad did this to me all the time) (has to be funny)
67. Assume a fake identity for a night and tell everyone my "life story"
68. Get Bottom of the Top sponsored
69. tee hee
70. Do all of my PSets for one class
71. Go through finals without eating Biscoff or Nutella
72. Learn to ice skate
73. Learn how to sail
74. Do one pullup
75. Clean off desk enough to put fresh flowers on it
76. Fix a computer problem without Doug's help
77. Get engaged
78.  Write a handwritten note to Anna once a month (0/35)
79. Schedule a dentist appointment by myself
80. Plan a wedding
81. Be Amish for a day (no electronics)
82. Reconnect with someone from high school
83. Get married
84. Do Santa-Con
85. Go to a live comedy show
86. See a live Jack Russel race
87. Buy a piece of real art and hang it up
88. Ride a horse
89.  See B. B. King
90. Run a blog giveaway
91. Do a McDonalds crawl on Rt90 from Boston to Syracuse
92. Pee off the Mass Ave bridge
93. Get my own shotgun
94.  Get fitted for a bra and tame the beasts (1-26-14)
95. Clean out my old room at my parents' house
96. Make moonshine (that won't make me blind)
97. Go for a ride along on a drug bust
98. Go to Rocky Horror Picture Show in full costume
99. Go camping (not at a music festival)
100. See the pandas at the National Zoo
101. Do a photo scavenger hunt in Boston

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So future Catherine is going to kill me in my sleep...

Busy busy week....   Doug and I have been wearing ourselves out exploring Boston.  We've been visiting our usual stomping grounds in the Back Bay as well as having fun with some friends from NY.  I'm exhausted and my liver may not make it through the month, but all signs of a good time.
Also I dropped my class.
This is me
Yes I know, I know.  I talked a big game last week.  Pulled a total Jeff Winger speech that was very inspiring and complete bullshit.  Thing is though, I was sucking at stats.  I came home frustrated every night and it took me 3 times as long as it should have to do my homework.  Math is not my friend.  I just can't picture it like I can fluid flow or a reactor.  Basically, math is witchcraft.  Despite wanting to be ahead of the game and give my future self an easier time, at some point you have to say enough is enough and let current Catherine have some fun.  Also to ease my guilt I took on more hours at my job, so it all balances out right?
I can't help but shake the feeling that my future self is going to bust in, Terminator style, and just murder me while I'm making another one of these decisions.  However, I am feeling a bit more relaxed.  I have more time to crochet, cook, and go out with Douglas, which is always nice.
I have so many pictures from the past weekend!  I'll be sure to upload them all, some big stuff happened (surprises!) so stay tuned!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Future Catherine Can Deal With It

Patience is definitely a virtue I do not possess.  I open Christmas presents early, sign up for classes the minute I can and sometimes watch TV in reverse order so I know the end.  It's because of this that days like today really drive me up the wall.  I'm taking a class over January break to get some credit I need for engineering.  They're offering 2 classes: one with a final that goes to the 30th, and one without a final that goes to the 17th.  Guess who got thrown out of the easy class this morning on the first day after putting in a request to stay in the class a week ago.  This girl.  Yup I'm so lucky.  I'm now taking a statistics in experimentation class for credit with a final exam, final project, and later end date.
This did have a silver lining.  I had a total of five minutes to decide whether or not to drop the class as I walked down the hall to my new lecture.  During that five minutes I weighed my options of working, screwing around, or receiving a credit I need this month.  Working 40hrs a week would make me close to a grand (a lot for my MIT minimum wage job) and I'd have more money to spend this summer.  I could do absolutely nothing and party with my friends while I don't have class.  Or I could suck it up, take the class, and let future Catherine be happy.
I chose the last option, because I figured future Catherine needs a serious break.  You see, I always pawn my crap onto future Catherine.  She can do the dishes, worry about running out of clean underwear, rent a car to New York, and study for exams.  If I had a penny for every time I wanted a time machine to go punch myself in the face, I'd have enough money to do the research and build the damn thing.
The way I see it, since I'm 20 now I have two options:  I can make bad choices that can screw up my life on a brand new scale, or I can make good choices that make my life a tiny bit better in the future.  I guess I have to go with thinking towards the future.  This is the most difficult thing for me to do and kind of seems insane in my eyes.  What do you mean I can't go out every night with my friends and get dim sum and drink until 2am?  On my break I have to get up at 7am to go to a class I hate and do homework just like the semester?  Yes, stupid, you have to.  Why?  Because when my senior self is kicking back with a beer and no problem sets and is done with her degree, she will build a time machine to thank me (and probably punch me for something else).
I learned something about patience today.  While I'm still not patient enough to cook food all the way through or comb my hair most mornings,  I learned that patience can also mean waiting for smart choices to pay off.  Hopefully, they pay off with interest.

Remember what my good friend Britney says: "You wanna live in a big mansion, party in France?  You better work bitch."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Oh hey there! Happy New Year

Happy New Year from me and Chippy!
I sat around last night trying to think of something inspiring to write for today, something to really change the way I looked at the new year.  Well I failed and I still think of today as just another day with the exception that I can finally break out a new Lilly Pulitzer organizer!  However, 2013 was a pretty big year for me and I do have some things in store for 2014 so I thought I'd share.
This past year I:
Started Bottom of the Top:  This has been an amazing experience for me!  I've connected with so many people online and in person through this site.  I've met other engineers and bloggers and have truly learned a lot about presenting myself over the internet.  I'm by no means done with this site, and have a lot to do yet for you guys.

Passed the half-way for MIT:  It's insane to me that I'm over half way done with my degree!  This has been really exciting because I can almost call myself an engineer now.  On top of the I have my Brass Rat (MIT class ring), something tangible really made it easier to see the light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel.

Started seriously working:  This year I've had a number of jobs; working for the Dept. of Defence, the chemical engineering department, giving campus tours.  I've learned a lot about quitting a job that left me in a rut, applying for new ones and not accepting the first one offered to me (standards people!)

Next year I will:
Think better about my grades:  ok so it's totally unrealistic for me to try to bring my grades up (they're toast), but I will start being more positive about my situation (C's get degrees!)  I'm frequently putting myself into situations where I go into finals almost failing a class and needing a really good grade to pass.  I will make sure that I am a mediocre student consistently, rather than a sucky student for most of the semester and then a really good student.

Stop worrying about other people:  So I am a compulsive worrier.  I worry about everything but lately I've been worrying a lot about Doug and his jobs and school.  Graduation is really starting to loom on me and I've been freaking out about getting ready to get a house and starting our next chapter.  The thing is, I'm not really there yet, so I need to stop worrying about some distant future and focus on enjoying myself.  Also I need to stop worrying about other people.  If it doesn't directly affect me, then I'm not going to worry about it.

Organize my room:  My room right now has absolutely no theme.  It's a bunch of random crap I've hoarded through the years such as cheap tapestries, a Boston Police barricade, and concert posters.  My newest goal this year is to actually decorate!  I'm going to pick a color scheme and motif and decorate accordingly.  So that'll be a good project I hope you'll all follow.  #projectdormroom  will be underway on Pinterest and Facebook.  I'm really excited to get going on it

More Pictures:  I will take more pictures for BotT!  I promise!  This post was long as have the recent ones, but pictures will be here soon I promise!

What are you planning for this year?  Happy New Year and the best is yet to come
xoxo Catherine