Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

That time something cool happened on the internet April 11, 2015

Filed under: Just for Fun — Stephanie @ 7:37 pm

So, this really has nothing to do with personal finance or fitness or any of my usual topics. It just is a fun story I wanted to share.

I now have a theme song.  For the details behind how I gained a theme song, read the rest of the story below.


You may or may not know I love listening to podcasts. I especially like listening to them on car rides, on my jogs, or even during tedious tasks like doing the dishes.

Well, one of the podcasts I really enjoy is How to Do Everything, which is made by Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag, producers of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.  It’s a super fun podcast where people submit questions on, well, how to do everything, and they get experts to answer the questions.

Another podcast I’ve been enjoying is Reply All, the first podcast to come out of Gimlet Media (not including the podcast exploring the starting of Gimlet Media, Startup).  I also like TLDR,which is a podcast that came out of On the Media.  The guys who started TLDR are now the guys who do Reply All.  Both podcasts explore strange and interesting things related to the internet.

Another thing Reply All and TLDR have in common besides their co-hosts Alex and PJ is the creator of their theme song.  In the credits for both shows, they’ve told the audience that their theme song was written by “the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder“. (in case you’re curious, here’s the TLDR theme and the Reply All theme).  A lot of music heard on Reply All is made by Breakmaster Cylinder.

Well, one day, I suggested on twitter that the HTDE and the Reply All guys should interview each other.  The Reply All folks said they love HTDE, but claim they don’t know how to do anything.  So I suggested that they could tell them how to get Breakmaster Cylinder to write a theme song for you.  And that’s when Breakmaster Cylinder chimed in, initially by typing out what my theme song could sound like.  Then, a day later, he sent me a link to MY THEME SONG!

Like I said, it’s just a silly fun story about how interacting with people on the internet sometimes results in something fun and awesome.  Now that I have a theme song, I feel like I should have a podcast of my own.  Would you listen to a personal finance podcast from me?


Holiday Spending March 12, 2012

Filed under: General Blogging,Just for Fun — Stephanie @ 10:44 pm
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I know.  When you think of holiday spending, you think of the ridiculous amount of money people plunk down for Christmas (and Hannukah) presents.  Followed closely by Valentine’s.  Debt Ninja had a guest post from Jenna at Adaptu about it.

And I’m not immune from holiday spending.  Heck, I splurged on the Xbox holiday bundle for my boyfriend (which is a bit of a boomerang gift…I wanted it, too!)  I’m a big fan of giving gifts, as long as I have a good idea of what to give!

But the other thing that stands out for me is holiday apparel.

What?  Is that a thing?  Yes.

Take, for example, a holiday party I attended last year.  Festive apparel and costumes were encouraged.  So, I wore things like this:

Holly socks in bright red shoes

A jingle-bell ring I picked up at Davis Squared

And the obligatory green on red (green short-sleeve sweater over a red long-sleeve sweater)

There’s something about dressing for the holiday that makes me feel extra festive!


I’ve got Halloween pajama pants and two different pairs of socks (don’t worry, I don’t wear the pajamas in public!)

Red heart earrings for Valentine’s Day

And most recently, on a trip to A.C. Moore for sewing supplies, I caved and bought myself some St. Patrick’s Day socks for $1.  Big spender!

Whether  it’s obvious (like the earrings or ring) or more secret (like the socks), I really love dressing up in holiday colors and designs.  Since it’s usually frowned upon to wear Halloween costumes to the office, wearing fun socks is my own way of secret celebration.  So every once in a while, I’ll pick up a new pair of holiday socks.

How do you celebrate holidays?  Do you buy lots of stuff at the party store every year?  Or have a collection of holiday decorations and swag you pull out every year?

Do you have a stash of holiday socks like I do?  Wear all green on St. Patrick’s Day, orange and black on Halloween, and red on Valentine’s Day?  Because I do! 😀


11 things + 11 things March 4, 2012

Filed under: General Blogging,Just for Fun,Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 5:54 pm

I’ve been tagged.  Twice.  By Eric at Postgrad Agenda and by Make Love, Not Debt.  So it’s about time I answer these questions!  The rules are that you answer the questions, then make up new questions and tag people to answer those questions.  I’m going to answer all 11 of each of their questions (22 total) then come up  with 11 new questions.

Questions from Eric at Postgrad Agenda:

1. If you worked in your current job until retirement, would you be happy?

I’m assuming the question is if I’d be happy to stay at the same company until retirement.  I’d be happy as long as I continue to be challenged and learn new things.  My happiness in my career is contingent on gaining additional responsibilities and expertise.  I love working with my colleagues and learning a lot from them, and hope I can continue to grow.

2. What are three things you do that you wish you could change?

I wish I could change my procrastinating habits:  case in point, this post is LONG overdue!
I also wish I could stop putting myself down.  I think I tend to look at myself and find all the flaws (physically, intellectually) instead of embracing all the good in myself!
I wish I could change my addictive behavior when it comes to computers/video games.  I will stay on my computer way too late or play a video game for hours.  It’s bad news.  Go to bed!

3. What do you enjoy doing more than anything?

I love spending time with my family and friends.  Especially if there’s delicious food around 🙂

4. Do you think everyone is born with the potential to change the world, or just a few?

I think everyone has the potential, but not everyone gets the opportunity.

5. How would you like to change the world?

I’d like to change the world by increasing access to education and knowledge.  I don’t know how to achieve it, but I think education is a good way to start.

6. What have you done so far to make that change?

Not much.  Though I try to teach people about personal finance 😛

7. Fiction or non-fiction?

I’m always hooked on personal finance books!  And books about interesting science discoveries.  So sign me up for Non-Fiction. Though I would read a good fiction book, if anyone has some suggestions!

8. Have you succumbed to the Apple influence? Why or why not?

I had the same iPod (or a repair/replacement) since college, until it finally kicked the bucket late last year.  And since then I’ve been using my new iPod Nano.  And I have iTunes.  And I’m always tempted to take my parents up on their offer to get me an iPhone.  But I never do take them up on that offer.  I think the stuff Apple makes is really cool, but I fear having it would make me less productive (too many distractions).  Not sure if that means I’ve succumbed or not!

9. What would you consider yourself an expert in?

Well, I’m not an expert in personal finance, but among friends, I’m definitely a resource.  And I think I’m pretty good at the Materials Science stuff that I’m working on.  And I’d probably consider myself an expert at making puns.  Or at least an expert at making people groan at the puns I try to tell 🙂

10. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’d like to think getting into MIT and then graduating in four years from MIT are two things I’m pretty proud of.

11. Ideally, what’s next in life for you?

I have no idea.  I’d love some big happy changes, but I’m content with small happy life 🙂

And from Make Love, Not Debt:

1.  Have you ever been ripped off and for how much?

Last year I was parked in a lot with signage that I assumed meant I could park there.  Apparently the tow trucks in Allston had a different interpretation of the sign, and they stole my car away and held it for ransom (that’s at least how I see it).  So having to pay this sketchy place, IN CASH, for my own car seemed like a bit of a rip off.  Especially since I thought I was in the right.

2.  Do you have pets? Are they awesome?

I don’t have any pets.  I hope to get a dog when I have a house and yard more suited for one.  I’m ridiculously allergic to cats, so that’s not going to happen.  So, my future dog is awesome.  That’s already a given.

3.  What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

African or European?  Apparently someone actually tried to calculate it.

4.  Why are most children’s musicians terrible?

I think you’re just listening to the wrong children’s music.  Go with artists like Raffi, Fred Penner, and albums like Snacktime from the Barenaked Ladies and a lot of stuff from They Might Be Giants.

5.  What’s the most offensive thing about the $5 bill?

That it’s not a $50 bill?

6.  Prior to Jeremy Lin’s current basketball greatness, he was staying on his brother’s couch because he didn’t have a definitive contract with the New York Knicks. Was the couch long enough to fit an out-stretched Jeremy Lin?

I have no idea.  My guess is regardless of if he fit, he probably wasn’t very comfortable.  I’ve fallen asleep on the couch with plenty of room to stretch out, and I’ve woken up as quite a mess.

7.  What’s the least you’ve purchased with $100?

I’m not sure.  I know that the next thing I’m planning on purchasing with ~$100 is a FitBit Ultra 😛

8.  What’s a reasonable amount of money to spend at a strip club?

Zero dollars.  Ew.

9.  How much do you tip the bartender? Really? That’s it?

I rarely go to bars.  I’ll usually give them a dollar or so per drink.  I’ve even given a tip when I asked for ice water because I felt like I’d be a jerk not to.

10.  How much would you pay for the perfect hamburger?

Maybe $15 max?  But I’d be okay with a $7 hamburger.

11.  Is an iPad worth it?

I only ever really want an iPad when I’m on travel and everyone else has their Kindles, Nooks, and iPads.  It’s gadget envy.

And now, here are the questions I want answers for:

1.  What would you do if you won $10,000?  How would your answer change if it was $1 million?

2.  Is your current job anything like what you thought it would be when you were younger?

3.  What store/brand are you unable to resist?

4.  What’s the last book you read?

5.  Who do you most admire among your friends and family?

6.  What’s your go-to recipe for dinner?  Dessert?

7.  What’s your least favorite food?

8.  Which Disney character do you think you are most like?

9.  What board game do you love to play?  Do you dominate at it?  Or do you always lose?

10.  What’s the longest distance you’ve ever walked/jogged/run?

11.  What clichéd phrase drives you the craziest?

Who to tag?  I’ve already seen Elizabeth, Serendipity, Big City…Beer Budget, Fabulously Fru-girl, eemusings (the Abstract Aucklander, Annabelle (twice!), Nicole, Bridget, and Andrea participate in these.  I’m not going to make any of them make a new answer list (unless they want to!).

So, I’ll tag some new people who (to the best of my knowledge) haven’t been tagged yet.  Hello Below Her Means, Deena Dollars, Stacking Pennies, Paranoid Asteroid, My Pretty Pennies, Money Maus, Penny Pinching Pro, Fig, ShtinkyKatJulia, Mariel, and Katie.  You’ve been tagged!

Anyone else who wants to answer these questions, either in a comment below or on their own blogs is welcome to.  I can’t wait to learn more about you!


Barenaked Ladies: As awesome as ever! August 8, 2010

Filed under: Boston,Just for Fun,Music,Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 10:15 pm

Growing up in the Buffalo area, I ended up hearing a lot of “Canadian Content”.  I listened to a lot of Barenaked Ladies and Moxy Fruvous.  Even now, a 20-something in Boston, I’ve added more Canadian artists to the mix, like Great Big Sea, The Arrogant Worms, and The (Radio Free) Vestibules.  There’s just something about the style and comedy of these artists that really draws me in.

So, when my boyfriend told me that the Barenaked Ladies were coming to Boston, I was psyched.  I was even more psyched when he said that there were tickets for only $10!  “What?!  WE ARE GOING!”  And that was that.

So, last night was the concert.  I haven’t been to a BNL concert since I was in high school, so I was pretty darn excited.  This was also my first time seeing them after Steven Page left, so I was curious to see what they’d be like.  We got there with plenty of time to spare (I was concerned about parking…more on that later) and headed into the Bank of America Pavilion.  The first performer of the night was Angel Taylor.  I’ll admit, I hadn’t heard of her before last night.  Her set was relatively short, but I liked what I heard.  She has a very pretty voice, with a lot of emotion.  She reminded me of artists like Missy Higgins and other powerful female singers.

Waited through the stagehands setting up, then some general waiting, then Ben Kweller was up.  I’ve listened to some of his music (mostly from Sha Sha), so it was fun to hear songs I knew, as well as a lot of songs that were new to me.  I liked his style, a little bit of old-fashioned country music mixed with pop.  Pretty good stuff!

So, then, we were waiting for the Barenaked Ladies to take the stage.  You could tell the audience was starting to get a little impatient waiting for them…but then….THERE THEY WERE!!!

They played some of their classics.  They played songs from their newest album.  And they were AMAZING.  I was so excited.  I don’t think I’ve jumped around, danced, screamed, or smiled that much in a really long time.  I just kept looking to my boyfriend and smiling to him.  Because I was so happy to see and hear BNL live, and experience their music with the bf, BNL, and thousands of other screaming fans.  Yep, I was one happy camper 🙂

Oh, and I’m a bit excited to tie this into personal finance (or at least entertainment on the cheap).  Tickets were $20 total ($10 each).  They also gave away a free download of their latest album, All in Good Time (plus 5 live tracks, including the Big Bang Theory theme song).  Retail value for the album:  $16.98 (though on sale for $9.97 on Amazon, or $9.99 on iTunes).  Oh, and this might be my proudest savings:  $1.50 for parking!  We were going to park in a lot (which was at a minimum of $11, some were closer to $30), but happened to drive by a spot on the street that someone had just pulled out of.  So, with meters ending at 8pm, and an extra quarter thrown in to make sure they wouldn’t give us a ticket at 7:59pm or something silly like that, we managed to spend a total of $21.50 for an amazing night of music and entertainment (and the whole album to listen to, too!)!


Variations on a Theme: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer December 24, 2009

Filed under: General Blogging,Just for Fun — Stephanie @ 4:20 pm
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Well, it’s Christmas eve.  And like many others today, we’ve been listening to quite a few Christmas songs.

One of the songs I’ve heard a few times on the radio this year is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.  It’s a classic, especially among children.  And something I think many children learned with this song was the “echo” that came after each line.

Growing up in Buffalo, my sisters and I learned one version of it.  When we moved to NJ, we discovered that my new friends had learned different echos back in the day.

I’m curious what lyrics you use(or used to use).  I’m including what I know (in parenthesis), and you can comment with your differences.  The ones I usually hear differently I’ll bold:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose (like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it (saw it)
You would even say it glows (like a light bulb)

All of the other reindeer (reindeer)
Used to laugh and call him names (like Pinocchio)
They never let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)
Join in any reindeer-games (like Monopoly)

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say,
“Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Then how the reindeer loved him (loved him)
As they shouted out with glee, (with glee!)
“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, (reindeer)
“You’ll go down in history!” (like George Washington!)

How different are your lyrics, and what are they?  And where did you grow up?  I’m pretty sure it varies by region, though it could vary by elementary school or music teacher, for all I know.

Anyway, just thought this would be fun.  Merry Christmas!