Nicole
TA DA! I'm back.

Of course, I'm sure many of you were unaware that I ever left. Hehe. Yes. Just as I disappeared for a week in June, I did so again a few weeks ago. January 4th -10th was residency week. Technically residency ended the 9th, but since I realized I was paying for an extra night in the room, I stayed the last night and left at 6am the next day. Hey, my roomies were leaving early to catch their respective flights, and with nothing else to do, I headed out (and took two wrong turns...again. But I'll get to that).

It's hard to describe what it's like going to school a two weeks every year. It's definitely different, but quite lovely. It makes sense, since we're all working on books, and since some people have families in addition to jobs and such, adding on classes would get a bit cumbersome. It all works out.

The 4th I left around 1 o'clock, headed for Greensburg, and not too long into the trip, missed a turn. Construction has fucked up everything around here, but I should have known better anyway because I made it last time. I don't know why I became a total idiot this time. I went back 6 miles, took an off ramp (I figured even if I ended up cruising around a little town, by God I'd be able to find out how to get back to the main road), picked a direction that made sense, and managed to go the right away. After I passed Altoona, I screwed up again. Instead of taking the exit I needed, I failed to check my directions (actually I had, but I'd just looked at the wrong piece of information. I thought I was to go 58 miles on the road I was driving on - not true). So about 23 miles later, I'm thinking to myself "This doesn't look the same" though a part of me writes that off as "Last time you drove to Greensburg it was summer, so it's not going to look exactly the same" while the rest keeps insisting something isnt' right. The second part is right, because I see a sign for Blue Knob State Park and that's something I definitely do not remember. So again I pull off, pull to the side, and examine my map and directions.

Fuck.

So I turn around and head on back to where I screwed up, and get on the right road and don't screw up anymore. Funny part is that after my initial mistake, one of my roomies called and before we hung up, I said "Yeah, I'll be there soon, if I don't screw up again, hahaha." Don't say things like that, otherwise you'll end up doing it.

Residency was good times. Learned some helpful things and hung out with fun people. Got lost in Greensburg a few times trying to get from point A to point B (if any of you ever thought the one way streets in Bloomington or Champaign sucked, then get your ass into Greensburg and you'll shut your mouth within the first five minutes). Honestly, I can navigate my way around ISU or Champaign's one ways without any problems. They're simple, make sense, and are almost always in grid format. Greensburg? No such luck. I'm never living in that town, and I'm glad I didn't get all excited and take an apartment there. *barf* Oh, I'm sure I'd be able to navigate it eventually, but I wouldn't be too keen on trying. You all know I hate driving in town as it is. I prefer just an open road, highways you can zoom ahead on, without much interference. Drive around in Wyoming for a while. Hell yes. Speaking of which, I do miss random country cruises with Sandra. You can't really do that here. Too hilly and not enough country roads. And the country roads you do get on aren't in grid format either, so you might end up in the friggin' backwoods of nowhere before back on a road to town.

Back to residency, yeah good stuff. Haha. What else is there to say? From 9am to 9pm (practically) we take class, eat, class, and go to readings or chat with mentors. Oh, and find out what's wrong with whatever piece of writing you've sumbitted for critiques. Readings are fun because you get a taste of books that may eventually be on the shelves. Sometimes you'll hear a piece and think, "If that doesn't get snapped up by an editor, there is no hope in the world." *coughLisacough* XD We do wine socials and other events too. So for those of you who remember my fancy, frilly cream crsuhed-velvet-looking dress, I wrote that. *woot*

I also played Apples to Apples for the first time (highly recommended if you haven't played it), realized The Hampton is a fantastic hotel (omg, the comforters!), and have decided that I have absolutely no gaydar whatsoever. I think it was Katie and I who found this out during school, but now it's been confirmed (but honestly, I don't think any of us would have noticed it, but then who knows?). Because of this, I have also realized that it's almost true that all the best guys are either gay, taken, or in the military. NOTE THAT I SAID ALMOST. I don't want any backlashes. For me, it seems to be that all the guys I'm attracted to fall under one of these categores: Player in disguise, in the military, gay, taken, or unavailable because they're Scottish/Irish/English/Australian and therefore overseas or actors I'll never even get near. Ah well.

Back on topic. Residency was cool. Greensburg is bigger than I thought (bigger than State College, definitely). On my way home, I first missed my exit ramp (it was freaking dark and I couldn't see where the damn turn was. It was agreed during residency that Pennsylvania has a lack of light in many areas as well as signs in important places, with too many signs in unnecessary places), so turned around at a church we'd turned around in before, and got on. Then when I was on some random country road that connected the roads I needed, I missed the second wonky little turn I needed to make. So with a "FUCK!" I spun my little car around and headed back with a mindset of "If anyone gets behind me and thinks I'm going too slow, they can kiss my ass." But I made it and had no more mess ups and drove home in the early morning light. Going home that early has its perks; I made record friggin' time.

Now I have to continue work on my story while reading various books. Yay! I'm still working at Barnes & Noble. Yay! *dances because of discounts* It's friggin' cold, there's snow on the ground (YAY! For the snow, not the 19 degree weather), and I had chocolate doughnuts this morning. Life is good.

I have a great story that's going to be titled "The Dumbass" and placed in The Library with all the other stories. The title may not seem to give the story justice, but HONESTLY, if you knew...well, you will, so I'll let you judge. It has yet to be written, but I'll give you a few tidbits to serve as a teaser trailer.

"In a house where a father will do anything to protect his family, the sound of breaking glass at 2 in the morning is never something he wants to hear. A standoff will begin. A shotgun will be fired. And the intruder at the door will not leave."

O_o

P.S. So the answer to your question about egging my house, buddy, is if you do, you may very well get your face blown off by a shotgun. (I found the irony of our conversation and what I found out when I got home to be insane).


TRY IT!