this is me now

April 1, 2009

Usually I’m a Big fan of Rollercoasters

Filed under: "ehhh" days,about me,learning,makin progress,tired — by heatherdc @ 5:02 pm

Seriously, I Love them. Show me any crazy, looping, 100-ft dropping, twisting, turning Rollercoaster….and I’ll hit it up. And enjoy every second.

But this rollercoaster I’m on right now? Not a fan. At all.

The ride started in August, when I decided to jolt a 3 year Relationship at the same time I was moving to a new state and starting off the 10-month-unpaid-internship Life. Let’s add unparalleled levels of stress (so far….), adjusting to life on a Budget and trying to salvage the long-distance relationship into the mix. Sure, that sounds rational.

Between work, homework, training, traveling, adjusting, and trying to stay within the budget while still enjoying city-life…..I think I lost a few things. Like, um, my sanity. Honestly. Some days I feel like a completely insane version of myself.

Then, somewhere in the middle of all of that, I realized I love this field (good thing too; a Useful Degree is a happy degree).  I really love living in a city.  I love that there are Ridiculous amounts of Penn Staters around here, and I’m excited at the possiblities of New things (i.e….a job, apartment, happy hours….).

I miss having my best friends (i.e. my Roomies) around. When I do get to spend time with them, I dread going back to my new Reality. There are people around here I like too, but, I just want to feel “settled” somewhere.

I miss being 100% Sure (100% of the time) that the choice We, and then I, made was the right one. This comes and goes, in large waves. Sometimes they’re manageable, and sometimes I have no idea how to handle it. There are days when the whole being “single” concept is exciting and a little refreshing, and some days when I miss that happiness more than I know how to deal with. I guess three years of memories, friendship, and fun random adventures together will do that. And I guess being even a little bit patient with the whole situation would help immensely. I’m working on that.

On the up-side, I’m completely in love with working in downtown DC right now. We walked about a mile yesterday during lunch and were greeted with the White House and strings of blooming Cherry Blossoms. Then we walked half a mile in the opposite direction after work and met up with some people for Happy Hour in Dupont Circle. Ooooh city life. I heart you.

Oddly enough, the day is ending on a little high. It certainly didn’t start that way, but thats the excitement of a rollercoaster. You go up and down and never know when the turns are coming, but eventually you get to the end….and think ‘Ah, what a riiide.’


January 8, 2009

Behind the times?

Filed under: crazy things!,learning,random — by heatherdc @ 8:07 am

I’m at a new hospital for the next two weeks. Yesterday, I asked one of my new co-workers if he knew where the Charm City Cakes store is. Have you seen Ace of Cakes?! I looked it up online and you can’t go inside the bakery, but I’m not deterred. I still want a picture of Duff and his crazy store!

Anyway. This led to a Google-maps search, which led to the discovery that it’s a short 30 min. drive from the apt (even shorter from the hospital….afternoon field trip!? ). Then he goes, “Click on the google-man, and we can see what it looks like.”

And I go….”Um, what??”

Did you know about this??!! You can see an actual image of any place you search!! AND you can look around!

Obviously the next thing I did was look up my house, thinking there’s NO WAY that some little town in NM was part of this massive project (and by massive, I mean probably some satellite floating around up in space) that allows us to see Anywhere in the US. Well, guess what I saw? My house! My mom and sister’s cars hangin out in the front. Joined by one her friend’s car. And green trees. And our neighbors house. And the park we can see from our deck.

This is CRAZY. And a really fun!! But, a little creepy.

Some of the pictures from downtown Baltimore had actual people in them. Like they just happened to be chillin on the day this satellite just started shootin pictures all over the place. Can you imagine searching somewhere and seeing yourself there on the screen, completely oblivious to the fact that – in a way – you’re being watched?? Yah. Creepy right? Right.

Anyway. At the end of the day I had to tell the Roomie about my amazing discovery and she was all like “You didn’t know about that??” and I’m like – Damn, I’m behind the times.

So if you guys know about this, how long has it been there?? I use Google maps All The Time and never even noticed that little dude on the side! If you didn’t know about this, you’re about to go waste an hour of your time messing around with it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…..

December 8, 2008

Hey Delta, Suck It

Filed under: home,learning,stress,travel — by heatherdc @ 11:37 pm

I just spent almost two hours on the phone, with an airline.  If you can think of one thing that sounds worse than that, for two hours,  please let me know. It will make me feel better.

This time of the year will involve lots of travel, it’s inevitable. I live on this side of the country, and my home is on the other side. That little fact alone means that the airlines control me. They decide if I go home, or if I don’t. And it’s far too often that I wonder, I mean really, how bad could the drive be??! In comparison to the shit they come up with, I’m not sure it’d be toooo bad.  At least it would be on my terms, on my time, and I’d get there when I decide to get there. You know, accounting for traffic and everything. Which I would also control. Obviously.

Seriously though. My Expedia itinerary has a little “American Airlines” logo next to each flight, inbound and outbound. I called to see what it would cost me to change my flight so I’m leaving a few days later. Guess what AA told me?…………..I have an American FLIGHT, but a Delta TICKET. Aha, you say. Wait. No. That makes absolutely Zero sense. They tell me that to change my flight, I must call Delta. Who in turn tells me that I’m on an American flight, and I need to call American. And you can see where this is going.


I do not put up with this debauchery.

And I wont make you read about it either. Long story—>Short. I have changed my flight. I have two extra days at home, which means I have breathing time between driving home from Pasadena (for the ROSE BOWL GAME!! yup.), and flying 1400 miles to Baltimore. Sweet. Believe it or not, that makes it worth it.

Here’s where you come in. If I ever, Ever…..EVER…talk about buying a plane ticket from Expedia again, please reach your hands through this computer screen and wave them insanely until I stop. Please. Re-direct me to Southwest, where the employees are sane. Where they do logical things, like book your flights and put you on them in a timely fashion. Where there are rarely delays, and where they will gladly change your flight for an extra day at home. Only costing you the difference between the flights. Yes, you have to wait in line “A”, “B” or “C” to pick out your seat….I’m not so crazy about that concept (hmm…do they still do that?)…but what the F ever. I can deal.

Um. Anyway. I did get my extra two days, and I am pretty pumped about it.  So, thanks for that. I guess.

November 4, 2008

Go, make History

Filed under: learning,Vote!! — by heatherdc @ 7:51 am

I’ve actually followed this election since the beginning. For the first time in my young-adult life, I’ve actually turned on that little News show (aka Today) every morning. Impressive, right? Right. I’m still a little surprised by how habitual it has become. And by how much you can learn, through television. Crazy.

And now, here it is!! Election Day.

I care who you vote for, but that’s not my thing. Just go Vote.

Either way, we’re making history today. And we not only get to watch it happen, we get to make it happen. We’re taking a step towards Change. And we definitely need some of that.

October 27, 2008

This is my treadmill theory

Filed under: learning,my theories,running — by heatherdc @ 8:43 pm

After two weeks of nothing but treadmill-running, I finally ventured outside again. Because it was absolutely gorgeous, and I have to take advantage of it while i can. Plus, I sweat like a crazy person in that gym, and it gets a little tiring.

Treadmills have their assets. You always know how far you’ve gone, even if it is just a little bit off. You know how long you’ve been running, and you can even make some hills if you want (which I never do, because thats too hard. but ya know, if you wanted to….). But the best part, you always know your pace. For interval training, I think this is awesome. There’s no doubt that you’ll keep that 7:23 minute/mile pace because if you don’t, well, you’ll fly off the machine. Which will probably hurt a lot more than the last lap of that fast mile. And that’s more than enough motivation for me.

But then there’s that whole running-inside thing. And when it’s still 60º and sunny, and the leaves are changing into their gorgeous oranges and yellows, and it’s just that perfect fall day…..there’s absolutely no reason to be inside. I’m ooout.

As soon as I got started I looked down to see Garmin reporting a “8:06 min/mile” pace. My thoughts: Uh whaaat? Sweet. I’ll take it.

I felt awesome, I knew I was going fast, but it was natural. I wasn’t pushing it, just goin’ with it. And I actually kept the pace between 8:00-8:25 for the entire run, which may have only been 4 miles. but thats a pretty quick 4 miles for me. I easily could’ve run 4 more. Except I was getting sweaty and the parents were picking me up for dinner in about half an hour. Must. Stop. and Shower.

I don’t know if it was the feeling of freedom; not being confined to that rotating belt and that number telling me how fast/slow I’m going. Or the 60º sunshine in late October (omg, please don’t go anywhere.). Or just the fact that for almost 3 weeks I’ve been running in a way that I’ve been forced to keep a pace, so that’s just where I’m at. I just don’t know, but I love it.

A treadmill might not give you the hills and turns and sunshine and scenery, but it definitely still gives you a workout. Along with a little threat to keep your pace. I like it.

October 9, 2008

Yet another thing I’ve learned

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,learning,training — by heatherdc @ 7:25 am

On Monday, despite knowing we’d be walking around, I wore 4 inch heels. For class Day. I’m still wondering what the heck I was thinking.

We had to stop by Target on the way home (yesss), and I um, ‘had’, to look at shoes. Somehow I escaped blisters, but my feet were dying a slow death, wondering why I was torturing them now…yet expecting them to be in perfect shape for Saturday. And I was starting to walk like a hunchback. Not. Good. Target has all these new fancy fall shoes out. Very. Good.

Luckily I’m so well-behaved. I restrained myself. Still not quite sure how that happened….

Monday night my back hurt so bad I had to lay a pillow length-wise and sleep on top of it. Something about that just isn’t right.

Luckily, I’ve rebounded. Wearing flats and comfortable shoes for the last two days. My body was tiiiired last weekend, so I’m just hangin out. Resting, and doing what you’re supposed to do in preparation for a race (a few short runs, and a few “off” days). Which I’m now positive does Not include wearing four-inch heels and pretty  much demanding blisters and pain.

I’ve been so nervous about this race. I can’t pinpoint why. Maybe its the idea of a “big” race, maybe it’s the idea of racing in a big city, maybe it’s the pressure I always put on myself to do better. The competitor in me just can’t resist. I keep thinking; this one will be so different than the last two, I want to run it and just enjoy it for the experience. But I know me. I know that if I don’t push myself, and at least try for that PR, I’ll be just a little bit disappointed.

It really is amazing how each race can be/has been (for me) So.Very.Different. Spring, Summer…now Fall. Training at school, training at home….training in some crazy neighborhood off of a huge interstate (scaryyy). My race times vary by 6 minutes (faster the second time), which is huuge. Not sure how it happened, but wow thats one way to spoil your competitive mind. I know there’s not a chance that can happen every time, but I’m itching for something even a little bit faster. Gahhhh.

I’m still working on my ‘routine’, and don’t have anything set in stone. Some things work great, and others fail badly (i.e. wearing 4 inch heels for an 8 hour day. not smart).

After this one I want a little break, and maybe I’ll use that time to figure things out.

September 29, 2008

Shopping might need to be reconsidered

Filed under: learning,shopping,things I Looove — by heatherdc @ 11:22 pm

At the end of my first month, I did pretty well with the budget. I even have some $$ left over that I “didn’t” spend, but could have spent. Yes, very impressive. I know.

After adding everything up and looking it over, I need to make some adjustments. I also need to remember that while my mom was here to move me in, I stocked up on the things I could. Yup, in some ways…I’m totally operating in college-mode. Or, I was. For that weekend. Sooo, toiletries are taken care of for quite a while. That could’ve been X-ed out of the budget for this month, but I threw it in there. Maybe just to feel great about the fact that I spent $0 in that department. Even if it is a false positive, and money will certainly be spent there soon. Dangit.

I also might need to reconsider the ‘shopping’ allowance. I may have overspent…a little bit. And by a little bit, maybe it was about twice what I thought I’d spend. Ehhhhh.

BUT, I definitely held back. I have not bought a single pair of shoes since I left home. Um, that is progress. Riiiight?! Yes. Still, I guess my idea of “holding back” wasn’t quite what I thought it’d be. I got restless with my “business casual” wardrobe a lot faster than I predicted. Not good, since that’s what will make up my daily attire basically until June. Except weekends, when I wear my football jersey all day…for now. I need Stacy & Clinton to give me $5,000 and send me to Ann Taylor and Nordstrom’s and Banana Republic. I should probably get on that; incorporate sweat pants frequently and go to the grocery store in pajamas. They always help those people.

Anyway. I shopped, and I like what I purchased. Most things practical and ‘needed’ (I needed gray pants with a light teal pinstripe right? Yessss). I’m not disappointed with the overspend-age. But I do need to step it up on the whole “I’m on a budget” front. It’s a slow process, but I’m learning. And in the meantime, I’m absolutely Loving this late birthday present from Em. It’s soo very “Fall”. And fabulous.

September 21, 2008

Nuvi thinks I moved to D.C.

Filed under: driving,learning — by heatherdc @ 11:02 pm

I learned a very important lesson this weekend. Don’t always trust the GPS. It’s not always right.

Knowing very well that I have been lost on this crazy side of the country many times, my Dad thought I should own a little GPS system for my car. He’s a genius. After one month, I know I literally could not survive this year without it. While I learn directions pretty quickly, I don’t always follow them so well. So having my personal electronic navigator has been very useful. And, most of the time, she knows where to go (yes, it’s a she. Her name is Nuvi, because thats what the device is called. Don’t ask me why. Garmin liked the name? Who knows.).

Emily came up for the weekend (yess!!), and got here pretty late on Friday night. We drove to Annapolis to visit her someone and have a few drinks. I was the driver for the night, so we took my car and my GPS. Even though I’ve driven there a few times since moving here, I always get confused on the way back. We won’t get into that, it’s complicated. As are all of the roads that go by 5 different names in this area. But we won’t get into that either.

As we’re heading back, what should be a 25-30 minute drive turned into a 90 minute drive. During which we drove much further south and west than we should have. When Emily said “Um, there’s the Washington Monument”, I thought “Ummmm. This is not good.”

I’m still very confused as to how this happened. We got in the car, turned on Nuvi and told her to go “Home” (which is obviously my apartment, programmed into her crazy little system). This has never failed before. But here’s the problem with relying on Nuvi, I might trust her a little too much. She’s loud, and she tells me where to turn, how far before I turn, and then repeatedly says what I’m supposed to do for every 0.1 miles until I do it.

And on Friday night, she decided that I moved to DC.

I did realize we had been driving for a while, but the screen wasn’t changing directions and she wasn’t “Recalculating” (what it says when you’ve messed up and now she has to figure out how to fix it). Soooo, I just kept driving. Bad choice. We were in unfamiliar territory, and started seeing signs with the Capitol building logo that said “Downtown: ___ miles”. That was probably the first red flag. Then we found ourselves on a 5 lane road with bright lights, too much traffic for the time of night, and street names like “6th Street”. Ehhhhhh.

Oh, then we saw the Washington Monument. Uhhhh. NOT. Good.

Long story short, we eventually made it “home” and out of DC. And learned that just because Nuvi knows all the roads and knows where you’re going, she might not always lead you in the right direction. Just be aware.

September 10, 2008

Pictures will never look the same

Filed under: learning,random — by heatherdc @ 10:24 pm

((I’m also over here again today. J is still gone, and this is an attempt at her fab fashion stuffff.))

I recently discovered a new way to waste my time. Yesssss.

In one of our technology classes we played around with Microsoft Picture Manager. I had no idea this existed ( I know, where have I been???), and was instantly fascinated. It’s extremely simple, just messing with size and colors and flipping/rotating, etc. But these simple things are the ones I didn’t even know I could do on my computer. I thought you had to have that fancy picture software and all kinds of fancy knowledge of how to use it. Wrong.

Basically I’ve already wasted an hour or two playing with my pictures, just seeing what they look like when I change the hue to Bright Green, or make them all classy in Black & White, or crop it and flip it so that I’m on the opposite side (which, for whatever reason, is so entertaining to me). So, while watching Project Runway, this is what I do as I sit on the couch….

….I spin pictures 90º and make give them a purple hue. Of course.

….or crop them so you only see my Loves, and I make them a slight shade of green.

…I might even go crazy and rotate the other way, and brighten it up about 10 shades. It looks like someone sprayed Chlorox on the picture. Hmmmm, interesting.

…Then I take a picture from a recent day trip to DC, and actually make something of it. I love the way this kind of looks like a painting.

…Or take another pic from DC (US Botanic Gardens), and make the jungle bright, or just a little bit darker. Ooooh.

I think I’m addicted.

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.

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