this is me now

January 31, 2008

Good Directions

Filed under: college,driving,roommates,travel — by heatherdc @ 1:16 am

Four years ago I made a cross-country move to go to college here in Pennsylvania. Since then, my life has been defined by traveling back and forth and the experiences that accompany these adventures. I use mapquest more than I’d like to admit, I have an extremely active expedia.com account, and I have put thousands of miles on my trusty SUV.

My roommates and I love to go on road trips. Whether we get lost or not, at least we are in the car together. Usually snacking and content as long as we are singing at the top of our lungs.

My travels don’t always go smoothly. In fact, I’d describe them as quite the opposite.

The first time I flew home from school was for Thanksgiving break. Everything was fine for the most part. All the flights there and back were generally on time, no weather catastrophes or extreme delays.  I got to Pittsburgh and “Crazy” (*my best friend/roommate/I’m not using her real name) picked me up at the airport, which has become routine for us.  We got a ride back with one of her friends on Sunday night. Leaving around 6 p.m., we figured we’d get back around 9.  We could not have been more wrong….

To make a (very) long story short, we returned around 2 in the morning. Yes, it took us approximately  eight hours to finish what should have been about a three hour drive. Luckily for me, I was extremely tired from traveling all day and fell asleep in the back for most of the ride. Basically, about an hour away from Penn State, one road splits into “North” and “South”. You want to go North, and we went South. What happens when you head south? About an hour later you see a sign that reads:

“Welcome to Maryland”

Our thoughts, “Uhhhh, I think we should turn around?”  Numerous lets-stop-and-ask-for-directions, and about four hours later, we made it. To this day we hear about that night.  Every time I say we are taking a road trip, this is what I hear: “Don’t go to Maryland! Ha ha ha” 🙂 It’s funny now, you live and you learn right?

One would think….

Fast forward to sophomore year.  Crazy’s boyfriend attends school in Maryland (how convenient, we know how to get there!).  During September we decide to take a weekend and go visit him.  It should be about a 3 1/2 hour drive, nothing too bad. We print out the directions from here to there, pack up the car with all the essentials (i.e. snacks, water bottles, and CDs that we can sing to of course!), and we are on our way!

First obstacle: the exit we are supposed to take to get onto the first Interstate is blocked due to construction. Detour=30 minutes. After everything is figured out, we take a lunch break to relax and convince ourselves that was the only bump in the road. We’re good now.

Except that Maryland, like Pennsylvania, is old. The roads are old. The roads are small. The road signs are confusing. We do not know what we’re doing.  Basically, it took us about 5 hours to get there. But we made it! No unexpected states, or even cities…we consider this trip a success. Way to go, us!

One flaw in our preparations was that we failed to print directions for the way back.  Using our wonderful college-student-we’re-so-smart logic, we think…We’ll just use the directions we have and reverse them. Psh, easy! If it says go “East”, we go “West”. If it says go “South”, we go “North”. No stopping these explorers!

Our first Red-flag should have been crossing a huge bridge that we definitely did not cross on the way there. Especially since I hate bridges, and would have very clearly remembered this one.  Did we stop? Of course not. That would have made this story too boring. We drive on. This must just be a special leaving-Maryland bridge.

This logic probably would have continued until we reached the tip of New Jersey had it not been for the concept of road signs. Especially ones that read “New York City”. Ummm……AHHH!

Needless to say I have never tried to “reverse” mapquest directions. Ever. Again. Obviously we made it back, hours later. And in our defense, we have since made the drive plenty of times without fail, with minimal detours and only stopping to get food at Wendy’s (tradition!!).

The first time I met LB, we were driving to Pittsburgh for an audition. We didn’t know each other, aside from one lunch-date that we had prior to the trip. What should have taken us 3 hours took about 5. Although I must say, the city of Pittsburgh was not working cooperatively! And neither were the roads….
We walked into our audition one minute late, had a blast, survived the drive home, and we’ve been roommates to this day. Obviously something went right….even if it wasn’t the direction of the steering wheel.

We have also made various other successful road trips. I’ve driven to Mexico, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Long Island.

But it all comes back to good ole’ Maryland.This Saturday I will make the drive once more for my interview.  I’ve already gotten an e-mail from the parents, “At least this time you’ll be meaning to go there, ha ha”. 🙂

Yes, it’s a little embarrassing. But it will always makes me laugh. And I will be allowing myself at least twice the amount of time it should take me to get there. You never know around this crazy East coast….

January 30, 2008

What a Beautiful Day

Filed under: college,roommates,shopping — by heatherdc @ 12:58 am

On any other Tuesday, there would be nothing special to talk about. I don’t have classes, which is nice. I work from 1-5, which gives me something to do. I come home and get to relax with my roommates, which is something to look forward to.

Today was different.

4:00 p.m. I have been sitting in front of a computer, at a desk (it’s my job) for 3 hours. Very. Boring.

My phone starts to vibrate. I don’t recognize the number,
and can’t answer it while I’m working anyway. Hmmm….who is calling me from area code 401? Where is that area code from?
Googling area code 401. Results say “Maryland”. Who would call me from Maryland? I don’t know anybody who lives in Maryland. Huh, that’s weird. Wrong number maybe?
4:01 p.m. I have a new voice-mail. Hmmm, Maryland left me a voice-mail. Interesting. I think I have to go to the bathroom now?
Yes, curiosity says “Who is this Maryland? Why did they leave me a message?”
((Sidenote: I am applying to Dietetic Internships for next year.
I applied to University of Maryland-College Park.
They had an early deadline. Most are due mid-February, while theirs
was due last Friday))
Fast forward: I got a voicemail from the internship director at UMD, asking to schedule an interview with me!!!!!
4:30 p.m. I have an interview scheduled for next Tuesday morning!! I am floating on Cloud 9 because this internship is my top choice. Wow. This is actually happening!
I called/texted my roomates and family to share the good news. I realize that this is just one step. They are probably conducting a lot of interviews, and there are only a few spots open for the actual internship. But this gives me hope. This lets me know that I did something right. My application packet looked good. My cover letter was strong. They are interested in me.
7:25 p.m. Stuffed from the Green-chile Potato Soup and cornbread, I am relaxing and working on the Crossword puzzle from today. My phone does a dance on the table so I look over to see what it’s so excited about.
Text message from LB: “8.5 Nine West pumps black w a strap 20 bucks come get them!”
I have no idea what shoes she is talking about, but I all I see is
“Nine west pumps, $20“.
I’m there!
((By “there”, I mean TJ Maxx. That’s where she was.))
7:30 p.m. I tried to just grab a $20, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to spend anymore than that if I did decide to get the shoes. Then I grabbed my wallet on the way out. You just never know.
She shows me the shoes. They are beautiful. I put them on and strut around the shoe section. Yup, definitely a purchase.
Oh, hello dress section! You’ve been missing lately. I should probably browse…
7:45 p.m Two dresses, one pair of shoes. Three items in the dressing room with me. Since there has to be some level of self control, I will only purchase two. Obviously the shoes, and one dress.
8:30 p.m. Retuning home with purchases in hand. One pair of beautiful Nine West black Pumps. One beautiful Royal Blue dress. Total: $35.00. Thank you TJ, for giving me a Maxx moment!
Scheduling an interview for my top choice of internship programs, purchasing new black pumps and an adorable blue dress, and coming home to have a drink and relax with my roommates. What a beautiful day.

January 28, 2008

This is Me, Shopping

Filed under: clothes,shopping — by heatherdc @ 11:19 am

I have recently discovered the miracle that is online shopping. Out of nowhere I have this new obsession with shoes. I know, I’m not alone! Being in the “college student” financial situation, I don’t buy too much. But I have some splurges here and there. I’m mostly a bargain shopper, but I’m learning that clothes, and more importantly shoes, should be thought of as an “investment”. If you always go with the cheap stuff, you pay for it. One night on the town later, they are done. So instead I’ve been slowly adding some “classier” stuff to my wardrobe. Still, there’s a lot of stuff to be bought and worn and adored. Since I can’t get it all at once, I’ll just stare at it online until I convince myself that it’s totally worth it (and wait for the small paychecks to add up to enough for the purchase). 🙂

These are a few of the things that I’m googling and loooovinggg:

Shoes. Shoes. and more Shoes. If I hadn’t limited myself to posting only a few, this section would’ve taken over…

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High-waited Black Shorts. Kinda different…I like ’em!

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I am also in love with this new Royal-blue & black belt idea.  And  just dresses or high-waisted skirts in general! You definitely cannot have enough fun, classy outfits.

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January 25, 2008

Oh, Friday

Filed under: "ehhh" days,college,weekends — by heatherdc @ 2:42 pm

It’s only noon and I have already had quite a day.

Celebrating a friend’s birthday until 1 a.m. this morning equals a very tired girl waking up for a 9 a.m. class. I don’t know how me and this class are going to get along all until May. Thursday nights out are not being compromised this semester. Sorry sleep.

The professor likes to ask a lot of questions. That’s fine, we’re seniors…we should know our stuff by now. What’s not fine? Asking so many questions, that within 25 minutes of lecture we’ve gotten through ZERO slides. We aren’t that smart. And it’s early. On Friday.

On the way to class, I thought “Huh, it’s pretty outside today”. The sun is shining and the sky is bright blue. Beautiful. I have on my shades and my warm coat, I’m okay with winter today.
After class I had about a 15 minute walk to an office to pick some letters up. About 1 minute into that walk it was not-so-pretty-outside anymore. Instead it was windy and freeeeeezing. I thought, “Huh, I can’t remember the last time my nose was this cold. Or my lips were this chapped. Or that I was this mad at the concept of wind. Brrrrrrrr!”

Letters in bag, face warmed up, hood ON this time. Back in the cold and on the way to the bus stop. I got lucky, the bus pulled up in sync with my arrival. Yay! No waiting outside. Good job me. And it wasn’t packed, so I sit my happy self down and pull out my Sudoku. Ready for the ride and pretty content.

HELLO Crazy Bus Driver!

This lady is slamming on brakes and taking corners so fast that the “CATA Bus Travel Guides” actually flew out of their containers!! As we are pulling into a stop downtown she actually scraped the bus against the curb for a good twenty yards. Sitting on that side of the bus, I looked out my window and guess what?? I saw Sparks. Coming from this union of speeding bus–curb-contact. Oh my.

She parked, opened the doors, and hopped out. Sometimes at this stop they take little breaks, usually to smoke a cigarette or grab a soda. And now we sit……..

……..as she smokes. I’m assuming this was the reason behind the I’m-gonna-do-everything-short-of-killing-you style of driving up to this point. Perhaps the rest of the way home will be a calm & relaxed cigarette-buzz-style?

Meh, not so much. But we made it; I’m still alive.

Our apartment complex always feels like a wind tunnel. As you head from the bus stop to our building, its an uphill battle. I trudged up the stairs, to my door, and start to reach for my keys. Inner thoughts:
“I hope I grabbed those damn keys this morning. I know they were sitting on my dresser….(rummaging through the bag)..hmm, gum, pens, trash, wallet, keys?! Wait, that’s a quarter. Pennies. DANGIT. I know I grabbed it. I thought about grabbing it. I told myself, in my head, don’t forget your key. Maybe the door is unlocked? Hmm, nope. No roommates home. AHHH that wind is COLD!”

Down to the office. Hi, I’m retarded and forgot my key locked out. Yes, please let me in. Thank yoouuu.

And now it’s noon. Only good thing to come of all this: I have a haircut appointment in 15 minutes! Yay!!

Oh, and it’s Friday. Happy weekend!

((Friday p.m. Update: The key was in the back pocket of my jeans. The whole time.
Why I put it in my back pocket I do not know. Why I didn’t check my back pocket, I also don’t know. Um, oops.))

January 24, 2008

Shower Sleep

Filed under: tired — by heatherdc @ 11:24 am

This morning the alarm went off, but I don’t remember hearing a thing. I’m out of bed, in a daze, and slowly walking towards the shower. Need. Something. to wake me UP. Shower? Yessss, maybe that will do the trick.

Have you ever taken a shower, and when you’re ready to turn off the water and get out your mind goes….

“Hey did you wash your hair yet??”

…and you have to think really really hard to remember what you just did for the past 10 minutes? Maybe even wash your hair again, just in case.

That’s the kind of shower I had this morning. I think know I was still half asleep.  I kept rubbing my eyes and thinking “why am I not still in bed?!?!”

I’m not a “coffee” person, but a caffeine jolt definitely would have come in handy today!

Instead, the bitter cold outside will have to suffice. Ehhh.

January 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Filed under: home,the Southwest — by heatherdc @ 10:46 pm

Moving to Pennsylvania four years ago was definitely a transition for me. I had to get used to a lot of rainy days, a lot less sunny days, extremely cold days, a lack of Spring days, and months of snowy days. The adjustment was hard, but it did make me appreciate where I’m from a lot more! Not that I don’t think Pennsylvania is beautiful, because I truly do! But every time I go home, the desert never lets me down. It’s full of rock formations, mountains, various colors of sand and stone, canyons, bright blue skies, amazing sunsets, and blankets of sunshine.

It’s not always warm (despite what some might think…or in my case, hope), but I can handle that now. There isn’t green grass everywhere you look, but thats what makes it different. Some people even have rocks as part of their “lawn”…which I had never thought of as strange before I lived here. We need Sprinkler systems to keep the grass alive, because it doesn’t rain enough. It took me 3 years to realize there are No sprinklers here. Weeeird.

This is what I come home to :

view from the deckdriving through the Southwestsunny skies

January 21, 2008

A Monday Dose of “Ew”

Filed under: college,eewww,weekends — by heatherdc @ 4:25 pm

 After four years of dorm/frat/apartment parties and nights out at the bars, there are few things that will surprise me or gross me out.  Yet, this student population continues to amaze me.  I have to say this one tops the “Did he seriously just do that?” list.

We walked into a bar called the “Den” on Friday night.  It was pretty packed, as usual.  There are tables scattered around that people can stand by to put drinks down, talk, etc. You have to get there pretty early to grab a table for the night.  Since we arrived  late, we bought our drinks and coveted “half” of a table.  The other half was occupied by a group of guys, their drinks and a lot of empty cups.

After a while they had all kind of wandered off, leaving one straggler.  He was standing sort of next to/behind me, just sipping his drink and minding his own business. Fine with me, no problem.

Only a few minutes passed before I hear a coughing/spitting/choking noise from behind me.  With some hesitation, I turned around.  I guess to make sure “kid behind me” is doin’ alright, or to see if it was even him? I don’t really know why I turned around. I could have gone without seeing what I did.

“Kid behind me” did not feel good.  In what I can only assume and hope was a last-minute decision, he had decided that the best place to vomit was the cup in his hands. Just standing right there. Behind me. At the table.

Eeeewwwww!

Just so you know, there are trash-cans and bathrooms in this bar.  It’s not a big place.  He had plenty of time to utilize one, or both, of these resources. But no, he chose a cup and a table full of people (who are now disgusted).

He proceeded to put the cup back down, on the table that we were still using, and walk away!! Yup, he just left his cup-o-vomit right there, fled the scene, and forever marked his spot on the list of crazy & disgusting things I have witnessed on a Friday night.

January 18, 2008

T.G.I.F.

Filed under: college,Jack,weekends — by heatherdc @ 12:17 pm

You all know what that stands for! It usually means No work/school for at least two days, sleeping in, laziness, going Out, and having time during the day for yourself.

So I was thinking….what am I thankful for today?

*the BF (we’ll call him “Jack”) will be here in approximately 2 hours. YAY!!
*I don’t have any significant homework to worry about over the weekend, since we just started classes
*No class on Monday, thanks to MLK!
*No class on Tuesday, thanks to my schedule this semester!
*My sister survived, and hopefully had fun on, her first birthday away from home. She’s growing up.
*LB and I (along with Jack) finally get to go out together, after a three week hiatus, also known as Christmas break. Lulu’s here we come!!!
*I’m back at PennState and there are actually things to do and place to be on the weekend!
*I survived my first week of classes. I only made one schedule change (record for me), and I’m taking an online class for the first time. This should be interesting.
*Two friends from home bought plane tickets last night to come visit me here at school in April!! They will be the first (and probably only) visitors from home besides my family and I can’t wait to show them around. Neither of them have been out East before so it will be interesting! I’m just hoping that by the first week in April all the snow is gone. Otherwise they’ll probably never come back. Let’s face it, snow in April is completely unacceptable.

Just for some balance, there are a few things I’m not-so-thankful-for…

-Weather predictions around 15° for tomorrow and Sunday. Um, ewwww.
-One of the roomies is heading home for the weekend. With good reason, but she will be missed!
-The only football left to watch is the playoffs, and the Steelers are not included in that.

Either way, it’s Friday. What are you thankful for??
Happy weekend!

Afterthought: Does anybody else remember the origin of TGIF?? Or at least what I think of when I hear “TGIF”. Friday night TV!!! From what I remember, the original shows included the likes of “Sabreena the Teenage Witch”, “Boy Meets World” (a personal favorite….still! ), and “Step by Step”. Good times!

January 17, 2008

Just Call Me “feroc-“

Filed under: Entertainment,TV Shows — by heatherdc @ 3:07 pm

“Project Runway” is well into it’s Fourth Season, and there has been some serious fashion coming from these designers. Last night the challenge revolved around an “Avant-Garde” theme, accompanied with big hair and some big personalities.

Christian has turned into my favorite designer. Seemingly annoying and cocky at first, he is proving to be extremely entertaining, dramatic (not in a bad way), funny, and pretty damn talented. He uses a straightener on his hair, he wears adorable black glasses that fit his chiseled features, and he says things like “C’mon bitches, let’s go.” If the camera is on him, you know exactly what he is thinking or feeling at that moment. His emotions are right there for you to see, it’s great.

Favorite quote from him last night (something along the lines of…) “Just call me Feroc”. Referring to the word ferocious, of course.

According to him, these are the 5 “must-have” clothing items:
1) “Fabulous black dress”
2) “Amazing McQueen blazer”
3) “Fierce pumps/Vivienne boots”
4) “Great Denim”
5) “Favorite vintage t-shirt”

I think #3 should read “wide collection of fierce pumps”….but other than that, the list looks pretty good to me!

January 15, 2008

First Day of Class, for One Last Time

Filed under: college,PennState,roommates,seniors — by heatherdc @ 12:25 am

I woke up this morning to the following weather forecast: High, 36°   Low, 27°  70% chance of Rain/Snow in the mornings and afternoon.

Spring Semester has officially started.

In State College’s defense, this is the first year I have ever come back from winter break to find absolutely NO snow on the ground. The dead trees and flat, brown grass clearly indicate that it’s the middle of the winter, but there is no snow to mask the ugliness of this season.  The sky attempted to change this today, but the result was a “wintry mix” of some rain and some very wet snow. Alas, we had gloomy skies and cold temperatures all day.

This was a typical “first day of spring semester”, except for one thing: it was my Last-first-day-of-spring-semester at Penn State.
Whoa.
That still hasn’t sunk in.

I can’t believe that four months from now I’ll be a “College Graduate”. I’ll have a degree. I’ll be moving out of my apartment. I’ll be moving to a new city/town/college, who’s location I won’t even know until the end of April. I’ll be starting that “next chapter” in my life.

Hopefully in four months that all won’t sound as scary as it does right now.

Until then, here’s to our Last Call!
Here’s to hoping that this semester doesn’t fly by, despite the times we will want it to.
Here’s to going out on random nights, even if I do have class at 9 a.m. the next morning (….just not every week. maybe.).
Here’s to watching “The Office” on Thursday nights in my living room with my roommates and a drink in hand.
Here’s to a few more road trips with Crazy (and the gang) and not getting lost!
Here’s to taco nights, baking cakes, renting movies from Mike’s, TJ Maxx (and our many “Maxx moments”!!), Target trips, walking to Wal-Mart at 10 p.m. for whatever random thing we just have to have right then and there, getting ready together for hooours…because that’s how long it takes to test everyone’s shoes/jewelry/make-up/clothes for different outfits, running to catch the bus, spending days inside because it is literally in the negative degrees, watching “ANTM” marathons (or “What Not to Wear”!), studying too much and rewarding ourselves later, and everything else that will make this Our last Semester.

Penn State. 08.

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