this is me now

May 30, 2008

One more trip

Filed under: random,travel,weekends — by heatherdc @ 11:31 am

Today marks the last leg of the journey. I am finally headed to the airport to go home. 

The last 2+ weeks have been spent doing a lot of moving, packing, unpacking, traveling, etc. I hate (hate!) living out of a suitcase, so I make sure to get everything out and get “settled” wherever I am.  

I’ve gone from PA–>FL–>Jack–>back to PA, and now I’m headed across the country to the Southwest. Gah. It already feels like it’s been at least a month (instead of only 2 weeks) since graduation, and moving and all that jazz. Makes me wonder how “old” I’ll feel next Fall when I make my first trip back for a football weekend. Ehhhh. 

 

On another note, I’ll be spending approximately 3 hours in the Chicago airport today.  I don’t really mind lay-overs, mostly because big airports have a lot of places to explore and weird people to watch.  As long as I can resist spending ridiculous amounts of money on a snack or a magazine, I’m good to go. 

Today I’ll be looking for a Sports bar, so I can sit down, have a drink and possibly watch my cousin on ESPN. Why would my cousin (13-yrs old) be on ESPN? Well, well. Interesting story. He’s in the semi-finals for the National Spelling Bee for the, ummm, 4th? year in a row. Every year the finals are televised Live by ESPN, and every year I am baffled by this. Are people really spending their afternoons watching this? Is there honestly nothing more exciting that could be covered by a Sports Network? Apparently not. And I’ll be that person, actually watching the Spelling Bee. Oh man. 

Oh yah, and it’s Friday? I feel out of the loop. Buuut I do know about one thing- Sex & the Cityyyy!

Happy weekend!!!

 

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May 27, 2008

I will always want Ruby Red slippers

Filed under: Uncategorized — by heatherdc @ 12:47 pm

And are they really slippers? I think they are ruby-red pumps, and Dorothy was just a little ahead of her time..

Last night Jack & I watched “The Wizard of Oz”.  It was one of my favorite movies growing up, and my halloween-turned-dress up costume for yearssss. The dress came fully equipped with those famous slippers and a basket that perfectly fit my mini-Toto.  Seriously, it was fashionable. I even had arm-candy to trick-or-treat with; my mom’s best friend’s daughter (10 years older) went as Glenda the (good) witch of the North. Good times.

It’s amazing what I still remember from the long lost days of watching that movie every single morning. I know the lyrics to (almost) all the songs, and will gladly give you the sing-along experience.  I remember the munchkins popping out of the eggs and walking out of the hut doors that even they had to duck to go through (um, weird).  I remember the poisonous poppy plants and the snow that woke Dorothy, and I remember the “horse of a different color” along with the classy Salon that pampered the famous four-some. I still get creeped out by the flying “monkeys” and the guards wearing two-ft tall furry hats with the deaths spears.  I still love the opening scene where they are on the farm, and the closing scene where you realize that her friends from Kansas made up the characters in Oz.  And I still want my own pair of Ruby-Red slippers. 

What do I not remember? Surprisingly, quite a few things. I don’t remember her friends (“Hunk”, “Zeke” and “Hickory”) talking about things in the first scene that will define their characters in the world of Oz.  For example–Hunk is the Scarecrow in her dream, the guy who wants his own brain. While Dorothy is complaining about the neighbor disliking her little dog, he says (something along the lines of) “If you had a brain, you would just avoid her house on your way home”.  Ooh, so clever. 

I guess as a 5 year old you don’t pick up on little clues like that, you are much more concerned with that evil witch and the fact that Glenda keeps showing up in a bubble. And learning the words to all the songs so you can make your little sister play along while you get to be Dorothy (of course) and she will play all the other characters to even things out. 🙂  

May 25, 2008

Back to Reality

Filed under: random,travel — by heatherdc @ 3:24 pm

Vacation time is over.

A get-away week with the fam in FL was much needed, not so relaxing…because Disney could never be “relaxing” (too much to do!!!)….but veryyyy fun. 

And now it’s back to reality-and out of that ‘magical’ world.

I flew back to PA today into some beautiful 70º sunshine. Em did her lovely thing where she picks me up from the airport, because she’s awesome. We proceeded to completely unload my car and all my crap stuff down into her basement, which is my make-shift storage for the summer.  I really can’t believe all the things one person can accumulate in four years. Whoa. 

Tomorrow morning I’ll be braving the Memorial Day traffic and visiting Jack for the week. Then it’s allll the way back to the desert to work and be home and save some $$$ until August. 

Reality-this is the last “summer” break I’ll have. Scarryyy. Hopefully I take advantage of it and actually stop and take it in every once in a while.  I know I’ll be busy working, and it will go by fast, but in the meantime I hope that I also have some of these things here & there….

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May 22, 2008

E.P.C.O.T

Filed under: family,travel — by heatherdc @ 10:41 pm

Epcot is one of the four parks that make up “Walt Disney World” in Florida. Here’s a little history for ya….

It actually stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. As usual, Mr. Disney (aka Walt) had quite the vision in mind.  He wanted the property to be circular (huuuge), and split right down the middle. One half of the park would consist of an actual community, while the other would consist of facilities used for research to further our knowledge and use of technology.  He literally wanted the community to be in the know, and moving forward.

The final plans for the park turned out quite differently.  Clearly it is not actually populated, and therefore not an actual “community”.  However, it is still split into two very different themes; Future World, and the World Showcase. Half of the park revolves around things happening now, emerging technology, and things that have yet to happen (i.e. a trip to Mars, via the ride “Mission:Space”).  The other half is just what it sounds like-a world showcase.  Set around a circular lake, there are 12 different areas that represent 12 different countries/regions from all over the world. Walking around, you start in on one side in Mexico (where the food is aaaawesome, take it from somebody who knows!!) and end on the other side in Canada.  In between, you walk through Norway, China, Africa, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France and England.  It’s quite an experience.

So today, I traveled “the world” and saw the “future”.  We had some delicious Mexican food, indulged in some fudge from Germany, ate dinner on the Boardwalk, had drinks in Morocco and France, and ended the night with the amazing fireworks show “Illuminations”.

Packed between dinner and drinks and fireworks we did some serious people watching. Partly because we were exhausted from the day, but partly because in a crowded park…it’s hard to resist. Let me tell you, some interesting things are witnessed at these parks. Three little girls spent about half an hour in a condensed area playing “hide and seek”, and driving their parents craazzyyyy while they were trying to enjoy some frozen margaritas.  A little boy was on one of those oh,so-attractive leashes disguised as a stuffed-animal-backpack (I don’t think that fools the kid….) and he walked in circles tangling himself up. Very entertaining. Then he jumped around while his dad (and the leash) tried to keep up. Another group of, um, elderlies….had a motorized-wheelchair train going. Yes, a train. They were literally stacked one behind the other, with a walker sandwiched in the middle. We may have laughed out loud as they passed, ehhhh.

Next stop-my faaaavorite….the Magic Kingdom. 🙂

May 20, 2008

A day in Hollywood Studios, FL

Filed under: family,travel — by heatherdc @ 10:26 pm

Day 1 in Florida has been spent exploring Disney’s “Hollywood Studios”. This particular park seems to be geared towards the older audience, which is probably why it’s my second favorite.

The best rides are the “Rock’n Roller Coaster” (aerosmith themed, sweeeet), and the “Tower of Terror”.  And they are right next to each other, which means less walking and more awesome-ness.

It wasn’t too hot, it didn’t rain, and we hit up all the good stuff in the park. The night was capped off with my faaaavorite night-time show at Disney, Fantasmic. I seriously cannot get enough of this show. As soon as the music starts I am completely content and watch it with the enthusiasm of a five year old. Good stuff.

This is me, displaying (but not thinking about) how I am clearly a college graduate. Because they wear Mickey ears and enjoy it. Right? Right.

This is the group (“kids”) waiting for the show to start. Post-ice cream. Which means we are happy.

May 19, 2008

I guess I’m an… alumn?

Filed under: college,family,PennState,travel — by heatherdc @ 12:08 pm

This is weird.

I walked across the stage, and shook a lot of hands.

I picked up my diploma, and thought about all the classes I took to get it.

I came back to an apartment full of families, food, and people relaxing.

I went out to dinner one last time in Stage College.

I packed up my room, and looked back at an empty space.

I said my ‘good byes’, and even thinking about that now makes me want to cry.

I drove out of town, and realized I don’t know when I’ll be back.

At our ceremony they said “Welcome to the Penn State Alumni Association”. That doesn’t sound right yet, but I guess I’m an “alumn”. And now I’m part of one of “the most powerful networks of college graduates”. Thanks, Penn State.

Now I’m en route to Florida for a family vacation.  We love us some “Disneyworld”, and I am pretty exciiited. I hope it helps to block out this whole “graduation” thing, because reality hasn’t hit, and I don’t want it to. So instead, I’ll spend my week at the Happiest place on Earth, having a Magical time. 🙂

May 17, 2008

Senior Year: Part 1

Filed under: being Seniors,college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 10:44 am

I got a little taste of what this year would be like over the summer. I finally turned 21, and began introducing myself to the bar scene that is downtown. I couldn’t wait for my best buddies (aka roomies) to be back so we could hit the town together.

We started off strong, the football season was looking gooood after a victory over Notre Dame in the first ever FULL stadium White Out. It was beeeautiful. Em & I even bought ourselves a Jersey for the occasion.

Ohio State may have beat us, but the experience wasn’t lost.  The whole day was spent at the Hanson’s tailgate–eating, warming up, drinking, eating, and preparing ourselves for the game. It was the first and only Late night game I went to in Beaver Stadium, and it was quite the experience. This is my favorite picture of all of us.

For most of the 07′ Season we enjoyed some gorgeous game-day weather, tailgating, and some Wins here & there. It took us to the Alamo Bowl in December, which I got to enjoy with the fam in San Antonio.  The last game we attended in Beaver Stadium as Students was sad, we sat until the very end and savored the experience.  I can’t say I’ll miss standing up for four hours every game, but I will miss being a part of the BEST Student Section in the Country (yea, that’s right.).  “We ARE……PENN STATE!”

Football weekends were crazy as usual; we quickly learned you can’t move (or breathe) in most bars unless you get downtown earlyyyy and mark your spot. On the off weekends, we explored the different bars, found a lot we liked and a few that we didn’t.  I introduced Larisa to “Lulu’s”, and she was never the same. 😉 We spent every Saturday there, with DJ Killa Kaos and $1 drinks.

My parents came to visit, I said good-bye to friends who graduated early, and I narrowed my options down to the internships I wanted to apply to. Last fall seems like so long ago already. It went by way too fast, and before we knew it there was snow on the ground and we were studying away for Finals.  We had our “Second Annual Classy Christmas Party”, and after learning from a few mistakes on the first round, it was no doubt a success. We celebrated the fact that we survived, and still had one more semester to go…..

May 13, 2008

Suddenly Juniors & Growing up….

Filed under: college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 5:55 am

Spending the summer here after a semester ‘off’ put me back into school mode. I remember driving in and seeing that sign, “Penn State University 2 Miles“, and I couldn’t get the smile off my face. LB and Em both stopped by for a weekend visit, and I was getting so excited for us all to finally be together in one apartment. I was still a little nervous about how it would work out, because it had only been just the four of us a handful of times before moving in together.

Something happened that summer that changed everything. It brought us all together for one day-LB and Sally drove 6 hours to meet up with me, and we drove another 3 to meet up with Em-and while helping one of us go through one of the hardest things she may ever have to deal with, we became a family.

I walked up three flights of stairs with my two big ol’ suitcases to start the move-in process, and was met with a very excited LB and a living room that was already decked out in everything PSU, including blue & white curtains for the big ol’ window. It was mostly ‘football’ themed, as we couldn’t wait to get back in that Stadium and watch the first kick-off of the season.

enjoying our first game of the season, ready for the Rain of course

We all had our separate rooms, and we have decorated them so differently. Of course I had to be the one to move my furniture around, just to test things out. LB’s is nice and cozy, with big curtains and blankets covering the windows, and drapery over her bed. Sally’s always looks relaxing, with her big quilts, and pictures of flowers and postcards from Italy on the wall. Emily’s is all pastels of course, it feels like Spring, with a touch of class in her Marilyn Monroe pics that have been around since day 1. Plus her awesome mirror with the green frame, I love that mirror. I tried to branch away from all things purple, buying a new light green Duvet cover and very light yellow curtains.

Junior year was a weird time for us. We met a lot of new people, and realized our time here was already winding down. We hosted our first annual “Classy Christmas Party”, requiring people to dress up (and they did!), and we had a few family visitors stop by. We dressed up as Crayola Crayons for Halloween (oh, we looked Awesooome), and I began to seriously Love Football (first game-and from there on out-I stood for the whole time, big accomplishment!). We had to start thinking about what our life would be like after college, as it seemed like everybody was starting to prepare for that. It was stressful in that sense, as I really had no idea what I wanted to do. We were getting a little burned out from ‘school’, and also from seemingly be the only Juniors at this school that weren’t 21 yet. Obviously we weren’t, but oooh it felt like it sometimes.

Jack and I had started dating while I was in FL, so being only 8 hours apart actually felt close. Weird, I know. He drove up here, I drove up there. We had our weekends together, and they were so much fun. For as hard as that was, it was also good. I know that if he were any closer, or even here (crazy, I know), I wouldn’t have had as much time to devote to making memories with my roommates and best friends. My life here would have been very different, obviously in many good ways, but finding that balance is never-ending. We did fine on the phone and with sporadic weekend visits, because that’s just how it was. It’s how it started, and it’s how it progressed. The other roomies had “long term relationships” too, so we all did it, and we all had each other.

By the end of the year we had had ourselves some goooood times, some down times, some times when we were ready to be done with it all and felt like it was never going to be over (classes). We grew so close to each other, and become quite attached to this little apt of ours. Renewing our lease meant not having to move (yes!!!), and getting to be together for another year (yes yes!!). LB and Em finally turned the big 2-1 at the end of the year, so Sally and I only had to be jealous for a few weeks. 😉 Our time would come in the summer, and we had our whole senior year to look forward to.

All of us together

Visitors: Lauren (the little sis) & Jack (of course)!

May 12, 2008

Sophomore Stories: Tales from Crazytown

Filed under: college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 1:18 am

After spending the summer at home, it was hard to go back. I wasn’t sure if this was the right school for me, and I hated to be so far away again. The first night in our new dorm room, Em and I stayed up for hours talking and talking and talking. We had so much to catch up on, and we picked up right where we had left off. I felt at home again, and I remembered why I came back.

We decided to call our room “Crazytown”. Mostly because of a few “inside jokes”, and also because that’s exactly what it was. It would turn out that I’d only be there for one semester, but that was one awesome semester. A lot can happen in four months.

Early on I decided that I was going to do an internship that would mean I’d live in central Florida for Spring semester. On a random Monday night I ran into two girls putting up posters for this program, and I uncharacteristically stopped to chat it up with them. That “chat” changed the rest of my experience at Penn State.

They knew somebody (Larisa, aka LB) who would be driving to the auditions for the program and would probably give me a ride. I jumped at the opportunity, e-mailed her, and we decided to have a lunch date. We “hit it off”, and I hopped in a car with her and Sally for a road trip the next weekend. We got lost, almost missed the audition itself, sang loudly to Mariah Carey, danced danced danced, chowed down on McDonalds, and somehow made it back alive. I remember calling my mom that night and telling her that these girls were awesome!! I remember saying that “we just clicked”.

From there we would move on to going to football games together, dressing up for Halloween together, having lunch dates on Friday at McElwain because they had Spaghettios….and I reallyyy like Spaghettios.

Em & I invited them over for a night in “crazytown”, and let me tell you…it was a little crazy. We did a Christmas-music themed power hour ( I survived until about minute 34, ehhhhh), and snacked on a ridiculous amount of chips and Chex-Mix. We didn’t know it then, but this was only the beginning to our roommate love story, and the start of many many many nights together.

(this picture, um, sums up the night. oh, man)

In January, LB and I departed on the adventure of our college career. We met up in Florida, and found ourselves in an apartment with 6 other girls. Yes, we lived with 8 girls in one apartment. It was ridiculous, and one of the best experiences of my life. We were all on the same program, and came from very different places. The next four months would be spent working at the *happiest* place on Earth, playing, enjoying life without classes/tests/school, growing up, and learning a lot about each other. We made a few trips to the beach, a lot of trips to the theme parks, and had a few visitors along the way. The experience came at just the right time, a nice little break from college and the winter of central Pennsylvania.

I needed that year to realize how much I loved Penn State. I had no idea how much I would miss this place. I knew that coming back in the Fall things would be very different. Amy would be graduated and gone, and I would miss her so much. Emily, Larisa, and Sally would be my roomies and we would have our first college apartment. I would be a Junior, and I would be completely in love with this college life of mine.

May 8, 2008

We were only Freshmen

Filed under: college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 12:04 am

I was way too far from home, and had no idea what to make of it. I was desert born and raised, and the first time it rained I thought I’d be okay without an umbrella. But here, when it rains it pours, and I got soaked.

Emily lived right next to me, and within the first week I knew she’d be my saving grace. We were placed in the Honors dorm, and being that I was NOT in the Honors College, you could say I was a little out of place. I did get lucky; my first roommate was awesome, I couldn’t have asked for better. She was so nice, caring, un-confrontational, and completely sane. We got along just fine, and we never wanted to kill each other.

But when Emily ran into my room while I was getting ready one night, and said “Are you going out?!? Can I come?!?!”, I knew we were meant to be.

I joined a social service sorority, which only last until my sophomore year. Through this, I met the other person who saved my Penn State life. She was my “big” (you sorority-ers know what that means) and she took care of me. Amy is two years older than me & I’ll be in her wedding this Fall. She came into my life at the right time. Anyway-We had to have socials, which I was never crazy about going to. All I knew was that Emily would be ready and waiting for me at exactly 11:15 p.m. when I could leave, and we’d have our own fun for the night.

We handled the concept of college classes, and learned how to study/not study and get away with it. We learned that you can Not go to class, and still survive (I learned from the pro herself!). We learned that taking shots before you go to a Frat party may not always be the best way to start your night. We were painfully homesick, and found comfort in each other. We didn’t know it at the time, but we would be the main reason each one of us came back for Sophomore year.

She took me home with her over our Fall Break. We sat at the table with her parents and 7 other siblings, and enjoyed homemade macaroni & cheese with broiled steak for dinner. I remember thinking that by the end of the next four years, I’d know this place as well as my own house. I’d know where to find the cups in the kitchen when I wanted a glass of water, and it’d feel normal to help do the dishes after a big family meal. I was right, and I will always think of that house as my second home.

We met some of our best friends, but some of the best was yet to come. Somehow we survived the year, and have a lot of laughs to look back on. While neither one of us were a huge fan of this little town at the time, we did like the Football, and the ice-cream, and the plethora of flowers that bloomed around campus in the spring. Deciding to be “roomies” the next year was a no brainer, and we picked out where we wanted to live on campus. I was so sad when she left for the summer. It was the first time I realized I’d be happy to be back the next Fall.

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