this is me now

August 31, 2008

I spent more time decorating the cells

Filed under: about me,learning — by heatherdc @ 11:46 pm

This morning I decided it was time to get serious about this whole “budget” thing. Since I can’t really have a job for the next ten months–because that’s what ya get for stayin in school–I can’t spend money as if it’s still coming in. So I got all grown-up on myself, and decided to actually design (is that the right word?) a budget.

I love using Excel, and this seemed like the logical program to use, since it’s all about numbers and equations and different boxes. I kind of gravitate towards anything that allows my ‘creativity’ and obsessive organizational tendencies to shine. Basically meaning I could spend hooours on Excel. Really. I could. And I did….

The next ten months are somewhat planned out. It’s pretty much being assumed that I’ll have nowhere near the amount of free time I did in college, meaning I’ll have less time to spend money. Right? Ehhh. Living close to Baltimore and DC is a little different than living in central Pennsylvania. We took the Metro to DC today, walked around, ate lunch in Union Station, walked through the Holocaust museum, etc. That kind of “day trip” is a new concept to me. And it’s wayyyy too tempting to spend money shopping in Georgetown, and eating at fun restaurants, and buying  $5 ice cream cones from the corner vendor.

But to balance things out, I no longer live in a place where I can hop on your friendly neighborhood bus with 50 other twenty-somethings and head to the bars for cheap drinks.  Nope. Hello, real world. We have to drive and pay real prices. Gah.

Either way, the ‘budget’ is there. It might be completely off, but the numbers are going in and I’m actually looking at what I spend. And, since I probably spent more time decorating the cells and color-coding the spreadsheet than I did reallyyy thinking about how much I might spend on “Eating Out” each month, at least I’ll be looking at something aesthetically pleasing. Yesss.


August 28, 2008

Sharing the Love

Filed under: blogging — by heatherdc @ 10:30 pm

Apparently it’s the equivalent of February as far as blogging award seasons go right now. (ya know, because in February there are like 100 award shows. That’s in February, right? If not, just go with it.)

“Blog Awards” have been gettin busy lately. So I am here to share the love! But first I’ll go ahead and ‘toot my own horn’. Just for a little bit….

The other day I got a friendly notice from my WordPress buddies saying I had a new “Incoming Link” from a lovely lady over here. She gave me my very FIRST Blogger award!! I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty excited about this. And here it is, the Arte y Pico award….

According to these “rules” (that go along with the blog award thing), I do this:

  1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.
  2. Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it.
  3. Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
  4. The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the “Arte y pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
  5. Please post these rules.

And the “5 Blogs” that I choose to pass this on (because I read them and I like them soooo, maybe you will too!) are….

*Tojours Complexe: because she has amazing style, and writes about it, and provides pictures, AND has really good taste in boots. And cause she’s my blogging buddy, and that’s a fun thing to have.
*Tortious:because I absolutely Love her clever writing style. Never boring, never uneventful.
*Sassy Molassy:because she inspires me to run, and be honest, and she takes cool pictures! And she gave me my second award (we’ll get to that) and that was exciting!
*I’ll think about that tomorrow:because she got me started with this whole blogging thing. She might be missing as of late, but with good excuse….i.e. traveling all over the continental US in a Weinermobile. Ooh, now I got your attention didn’t I? Yah. Check it out.
*Mike’s Got Nothin’:because he posts the cutest pictures everrr of his little kiddies, and he’s making a really brave, and successful, effort at something he calls “40 by 40”.

So, like I said, miss Sassy gave me the second award. It looks a little somethin’ like this….

It’s even in spanish. Kind of. If I remember correctly, “premio” means prize. Yup.
Rules again. Real quick:
1. Post the logo on el blogo.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least five other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Soooo, once again, because I read them and am thoroughly entertained by them regularly. And that makes a good blog. Enjoy! In no particular order, the “winners” are…..
*Go Lightly *Playful Professional *Starting Over at 24 *Angilio *Dooce

Again, many many thanks to Sass and PP !! And wow, that is a lot of link-inserting goin on up there. So go check them out!

–>Note to the “winners”: I realize this ‘blog award’ stuff goes around a lot. And seriously, I won’t add a link for quite some time after this. Gah. So if you don’t feel like ‘passing the torch’, that’s juuuust fine. As long as you keep writing so I can keep being entertained. Deal? 😉

::Afterthought::I’m not sure if it’s in the “rules” that you can’t pass an award to somebody who already gave you one? If so, that’s too bad. My site, my rules.
::Also, I have no idea when the “real” Blog awards are. Anybody?? That’d probably be pretty interesting too.

August 27, 2008

Is a thrift store couch ever really sanitary?

Filed under: apartments,shopping — by heatherdc @ 10:03 pm

In our continuing search for something to sit on in our living room, we have gone far and wide. Which means we’ve gone to IKEA, Target, and a thrift store.

No luck at Target. I know, I know. This is never good. Target has everything and everything Target has is wonderful! Buuut, they do not have inexpensive couches. This is serious budget-time, meaning we even have to be picky at Target. Gah. Sad day.

IKEA has two promising options. Because we basically decided that since we’ll only be in the apt for 10 months, there’s really no sense in going all out for this. Not only because of the time thing, but also because we have to carry it up the stairs. Not. Fun. And put it together. And then take it back down the stairs. Yah, that’s a lot of stairs and working. So we ruled out anything kind of big and even a little bit “expensive”. I won’t go into detail as to what we’re considering “expensive”, because, um, we’ll be mocked. But! We found something, albeit a little on the small side, that was only $150. Yup. A couch, for $150. And then a little arm chair (because approximately 1.75 people can fit on the couch) for only $99. Yessssss.

Before purchasing we figured it’d be worth it to check out all options. I noticed a thrift store within 2 miles of our apartments, so we checked it out. Because, really, who doesn’t love a good thrift store?

We found the furniture section and there were some interesting options. Among them was a nice, looong (it might actually fit 3-4 people), dark green couch. It had big fluffy cushions and looked reallyyy comfortable. Ding ding ding! Just to add to this, it was only $80. That’s it! For a couch! Whoa.

As we stood there pondering this amazing discovery, a few things came to mind. How would we get this back to the apartment? There’s NO way it’s fitting in either car. Hmmmm. How would we get it up the stairs? Not doin’ it. Where would we find a nice strong boy, who also has a nice big pick-up to do both of the above tasks for us??

Ok, and honestly, how many Febreeze sprays would it take before I actually felt comfortable lounging on this thrift-store buy???? I’m thinkin the answer to that is summed up in two words: A. LOT.

We’re still without couch, but I guess we’ve moved off of square 1. And really, watching Project Runway and the Jon & Kate + 8 marathon on the floor really wasn’t that bad. Ehhhh.

August 26, 2008

Out of the Zooone

Filed under: learning,running — by heatherdc @ 10:41 pm

Since I still have no real idea of where I live (in relation to streets/neighborhoods/parks, not what state. I know what state I live in. I even know the suburb. Yah, how ’bout that.), I tested out a little tool that is available to us runner people. I’ve heard of it, thought it sounded pretty cool, but had never checked it out before. Check it out. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty sweeeeet.

Anyway. I logged on to check out the area from a birds eye view (aka GPS). Obviously I’ve picked up a few things from driving around, like the fact that on one side our complex is surrounded by a neighborhood. Usually a good sign. But on another side we have the raging highway known as I-95 (not tryin to hop on that via my feeet. scarryyyy), and on yet another side we have a 4-lane one-way street, that’s pretty damn busy. All the time.

Once I had a 4 mile run mapped out, it involved two streets that I knew would be pretty busy, two neighborhood streets, and the “Main” street where I’d be running by little shops and salons and restaurants. Gotta keep things interesting, right? Right. Off I go…..

I went via the neighborhood roads first, assuming that if I end up getting slammed by a car on the busy streets, it could at least be towards the last part of the run. Good logic, I know. I survived that mile just fine.Then I started approaching busy street numero uno. Sidewalk stopped. No bike lane. Traffic. Uh ooohh.

Once I turned onto the actual street the sidewalk was in and out, and when it was out, there was a bike lane but um, that’s scary. So I ran on the grass, and just hopped on and off when concrete was available. I made it to “Main” street, ran along a brick walk way and past a lot of people, and survived the next two miles. Here I’m thinking I may have actually found a good running route. Yessss. Go me!

Then I turn onto busy road numero Dos (that means #2). MapMyRun shouldn’t show you streets with no sidewalk and a “bike lane” thats only about 6 inches wide. That’s like a balance beam. Runners aren’t meant to be on balance beams. No no no. This was not good. I was definitely out of the Safety Zone. Wayyyy out. Cars are going by me at about 50 mph, and probably thinking “Wow, what a moron.” That’s probably what I would think too. I pretty much sprinted to the next turn so that I wasn’t killed, which worked out pretty well. And by “well” I mean that I wasn’t killed, and I luckily had enough energy to make it to the next street, even after a 1/2 mile sprint. Gahhhhhh.

I will be looking a little more closely at the roads for the next few days, trying to figure out which ones are death traps and which ones are feet-friendly. And in the meantime, somebody should work on figuring out how to design a GPS that detects sidewalks. That’d be greeeeat. Thanks.

August 25, 2008

If you weren’t a human…

Filed under: about me,random — by heatherdc @ 11:16 pm

Orientation, day 1. It’s over. I survived. Nothing crazy, nothing too exciting, nothing too overwhelming.

One of the speakers was introduced as one of the “best known” Eating Disorders specialists on this side of the country. Pretty impressive. I guess what comes along with that is a little skill you could call psychoanalyzing. A little psychology background, a lot of experience, and something along the lines of Smart goin on up there. She did a “fun” little exercise to help us get-to-know each other…

We each had a pen and a piece of paper in front of us. She gave us the prompt, and we were to write down the first thing that we thought of. Then she said, “If you weren’t human, but a ______ instead, what kind of ____ would you be?”. The list of things you “were” to be instead, and my answers, looked like this….

  • Animal: Cat
  • Car: Mustang
  • Wood: Cedar
  • Food: Watermelon
  • Fabric: Flannel
  • Color: Purple
  • Scent: Vanilla

For some of those answers, I honestly have no explanation other than “uh, it popped in my head”. For a few of them, I’m sure some of you are thinking “Uh, yah, big surprise” (i.e. Purple. I know LB, I know). And for a few of them I’m sure you’re thinking “Uh, whaaaat?” (i.e. Flannel and cedar. No idea people. No. Idea. I was being honest to the game though, and that’s alllll I got).

Of course we had to go around one by one and explain our answers to whatever extent that we could, which was somewhat interesting. Then the speaker did a little analysis and pretty much told everybody what kind of person we were. Not in a bad way at all. Things like “In a group project situation, he/she will probably blah blah blah”, or “When things get stressful, he/she will likely need blah blah blah”, or “This/that/the other thing are very important to you”. Sounds a little crazy to extract this from what car or fabric you say you would be, in the hypothetical situation that it turned out you weren’t human.

But ya know what…..she was pretty much Right on.

I won’t go into detail. I have to keep a little mystery to my persona, right? But I gotta say, it was a little weird. And I’d like to think I’m the only person who may return in another life as a flannel, purple, mustang-and-watermelon-loving, vanilla scented cat.

We just need a couch

Filed under: apartments — by heatherdc @ 7:39 am

The past four days have been spent moving/settling into the new apartment. It’s weird to be out of central Pennsylvania and into a new state, a new room, a new place to navigate. I’ve already got the drive to Target memorized, so obviously things will be okay. I also have a grocery store across the street from me. Again. Now I know I’ll survive.

For the first time I have my own furniture (thanks to Ikea, and the help of a fellow carpenter), and it matches and I could coordinate things and my room actually feels like mine. And it’s a very cute room. Just sayin’. Another first is having something that actually organizes and displays my shoes to me. For whatever reason, they’ve never had their own display, which they certainly deserve. So I finally purchased a hanging shoe rack, that is adorning the back of my door. And let me tell you, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. I can look at all of them, choose carefully which ones to put on, and marvel in their beauty……all 25+ plairs of them (I had never counted before! Weird, right? Yup.)….allll at the same time. Yessssss.

So here we are, new roomie and me, all set up. Luckily she brought in some necessities (i.e. a kitchen table, TV and stand, an actual knife set, dishes), and so did I (kitchen randoms, shower curtain, DVD player). We do need one thing thing though…uh, a couch. We’re workin on that.

August 21, 2008

Ikea: Sweedish for you will Not leave empty-handed

Filed under: apartments,shopping — by heatherdc @ 8:58 pm

As much as I had heard about this place, this haven of furniture and all things housing and cute, I had never been. Until today.

I loved the sign when you walk in “Hej! Sweedish for hello“. And “Mums! Sweedish for delicious“. But I think there was a sign missing…

IKEA! Sweedish for…it will take you at least an hour to leave this store, because it’s that confusing, and you will certainly Not leave empty handed, because it’s that amazing! Yup. Have fun”

I’ve never been so lost, and so mesmorized (I want to LIVE in those displays!!!) by one store. There was a map. It did me noooo good. Except to show me that by following the arrows, I am supposedly going in one direction. And while I’m going in that one direction I will see more adorable and chic housing goods than I have in my 22 years of life combined. Whoa.

I’m not gonna lie, by the 1000th arrow on the floor and sign on the ceiling indicating “EXIT –> this way”, I was kind of thinking we were just going to be stuck in there forever. Headed for a life of sleeping in a different style room every night and raiding the Cafe’s treats every day. Doesn’t sound too bad. Right? Ehhh.

I think I have a new weakness to add to the list of I-can’t-leave-without-a-purchase. So now it looks like this: Target, TJ Maxx, and Ikea. I’m not complaining.

I walked away with a dresser, desk, night stand, chair, bookshelf and a cute little red storage box. My new room is well on it’s way to wonderfulness. Yessss.

August 20, 2008

When an old car needs some lube

Filed under: driving,learning,Road trip! — by heatherdc @ 10:02 am

When I go home, my car stays here. It stays in the driveway of Em’s house, patiently sitting and waiting. This works out great, as in I don’t pay for parking at the airport and I know it’s in a safe place. The longest I’ve ever left it all alone is about a month. This summer, it was about three. And I think he’s gettin’ me back for that….

I went up the hill where it’s been parked, since May, and started him up. Battery worked, which was a relief. Gear shift wasn’t rusty, good to know. Put it in reverse, and…..uhh…stuck. Not moving. Even though we’re on an incline and should be rolling down. Me being the mechanic that I am, have no idea what this means. So I just give it some gas and basically force my car to go backwards. Once I get on the driveway I realize it sounds like something is dragging. And that “something” was the back right wheel. Ehhhhh. This can’t be good.

After AAA and a consult from a small independent auto shop, I know this: Only one wheel isn’t moving, so it’s probably not the axle, and you shouldn’t leave your emergency break on for 3 months. Especially when your car is gettin’ a little old. It does Not appreciate it. But pay it some attention, lube it up, maybe wash it a little bit…and you’re good to go. Yessss.

Luckily I didn’t wait til today to move the car and see whats up, since the Mom will be flying into MD today and I am kind of supposed to be there to get her. But he’s all fixed up! And ready for another road trip.

August 19, 2008

Imagining a different way

Filed under: learning — by heatherdc @ 11:13 am

We’d never know what’s wrong without the pain
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same

Maybe you want it maybe you need it
Maybe you’ve started to compare to someone not there
Maybe you want it maybe you need it
Maybe it’s all you’re running from
Perfection will not come

August 18, 2008

Just hopin I don’t hit the 50 lb mark

Filed under: packing,travel — by heatherdc @ 1:54 am

Every time I pack to come home or go back, I’m holding my breath…hoping that each suitcase is under that 50 lb limit. I’m usually within ounces. Seriously, ounces.

So here I am, ready to head back East again. Spending the summer in my beloved desert has spoiled me…oh so much. Dry air, sunny skies, no rain. What’s not to love? Aside from 100 degree heat, but we’ll let that slide. I have no idea what kind of climate I’m heading into. All I know is that you can’t get much worse than central/northern Pennsylvania. And if it does get worse than that, please don’t ever take me to that place.

What I do know is that I’m not going back to Happy Valley. I’m not going back to my roomies. I’m not going back to a random class schedule. I’m not even going back to my library job.

Nope. Instead I’m going to a new state, with a new apartment & roomie, a new ‘school’ (or type of schooling), and NO job. Ehhhhh.

But….I will also be joined by a new computer, a new phone, and a new GPS system so I don’t end up wandering around the East coast like a headless chicken. Yessss. Nothin’ like some new beginnings, right? Right.

Let’s just hope these beginnings don’t start off with a $50 fine reminding me that I have too much of my life stuffed into each suitcase. *fingers crossed*

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