My internal homing device struck a few more times recently:

1. As I was leaving the Iwo Jima Memorial on the 4th of July, I turned around and bumped right into someone. I mumbled sorry and as I turned back around, he goes “Dana?” – it was a coworker. Out of thousands of people, seriously what are the odds?

2. As I was heading to a concert on 14th street, a guy passes and we give the whole “oh HEY! How ARE you?!” bit and my friend Sarah was like "seriously, how do you always run into someone, there's something wrong with you..." and I confess to her “I can’t remember why I know that guy...” And after a day of going through the card file in my head (Do I know him from another state? A different job? Has he helped me tie something on my car with a t-shirt?...) I remember and send Sarah a text that went something like this:

“I remember who that guy was. We’ve both done Presidential Advance. And somewhere, there’s a photo of the two of us playing on a giant Toy Soldier outside of Old Ebbitt Grill...”

Because of course, it couldn’t just be a normal story like “he’s my neighbor.”

3. Finally, as I was walking into my grad school last Thursday, I once again hear “Dana?” and I turn to see a girl I don’t immediately recognize and she goes “Do you remember me? We were roommates years ago...”

Ah yes. The American Studies Program. (ASP)

Do I remember?! The 3 months I did a “semester in DC” through my college that changed the course of my life? The 3 months that included living with FIVE OTHER GIRLS in an apartment with TWO BEDROOMS and only ONE AND A HALF BATHROOMS?? (If you've ever watched a girl get ready in the morning - you understand how that should NEVER BE ALLOWED) And the 3 months that included terrorist attacks??

Yes. Yes I vaguely remember.

Those three months were packed with so many things I couldn’t begin to explain them all, but just a few highlights were:

-Getting an internship at the White House and actually DEBATING whether or not I wanted to take it (I came to DC completely ignorant, clearly)

-Having 9/11 happen the SECOND DAY of said internship, which I’ll explain some other time

-Having to have a ROOT CANAL in WEST VIRGINIA (I'll explain THAT some other time as well)

-Conducting interviews in Senate office buildings for class, only to find out later that we might’ve been exposed to anthrax and being advised to start taking the drug Cipro. (one classmate actually ended up in line to get the inside of their mouth swabbed to test for exposure –WHILE news cameras were watching. That’s a GREAT way to say “Hey Mom and Dad!!” from DC!)

-Uttering one of the most embarrassing phrases I’ve ever used in a “DTR” (“Define The Relationship” – it's that talk you have to tell someone whether you want to date them or not) when I was sitting in a car at the Jefferson Memorial with a guy and I told him “I just don’t think we should go down that road”

Who AM I?!

I might as well have ended with “but here’s lookin’ at you, kid!” and chucked him under the chin...

-And finally, having the most irresponsible school semester this nerd has ever known. You know, because I was too distracted running around with boys, experiencing my first Protest March, and deciding whether or not I had been exposed to biological weapons...PRIORITIES, PEOPLE!

And that kind of set the tone for my life in D.C. after that. Random disasters happening around me, awkward dating stories, and generally staying distracted by everything about this wonderful, crazy city.

Oh look! A squirrel....