Separation makes the heart grow fonder

Here’s something I learned five years ago when I started college–even though my sister Laura and I have been at each other’s throats a good 90% of the time since she was born in 1991, when we no longer have to live together, a miracle happens. Suddenly…we get along.

We learned this the first time when I was a college freshman. I moved to college and only came home for weekends up until Thanksgiving break. During those months, Laura and I talked on AIM…and we actually didn’t fight. And then I came home for a week at Thanksgiving and, suddenly, we wanted to kill each other again.

Moral of the story…when we have to live together for more than two straight days, death is a possibility.

Flash forward to now. I’m currently living with my parents and have been since I graduated from ONU a year and a half ago. That means Laura and I just had a straight year and a half of having to deal with each other. Good times? Most of the time…not so much.

As I said in my last post, Laura moved to college this past weekend. She’s surviving band camp currently and learning fun little things such as the concept that college boys will do stupid things like running down an all-girl hallway at 11:30 at night and slam into doors. College is fun, isn’t it?

In the last three days, Laura and I have talked more (and in a more civilized, friendly manner) than we have in the last year and a half. It’s kind of funny. The miracle of not living together lives on.

College and Wicked

For starters, yesterday I helped move my little sister to college. She’s going to my (and our parents’) alma mater–Ohio Northern. She’s going to be a freshman. All day yesterday, I couldn’t help remembering what it was like the first day I moved in my freshman year at ONU.

I lived in Founders Hall my freshman year, and that first quarter I lived in what was quite possibly the smallest room on the whole floor. Which kind of sucked. It is truly an art trying to fit everything someone owns into a room of that size. Laura (my sister) had to start learning this art yesterday as she moved into a room that was probably a good deal larger than what I originally had my freshman year–AND she has air conditioning. I didn’t have air conditioning when I was a freshman. I lived in a room that was so freaking hot that we had the window open and a fan going during a mid-winter snow storm and it was still too hot. Life isn’t fair.

Anyway, so we got Laura all moved in and on her collegiate way. She has band camp this week for marching band and then classes start after Labor Day. She and her roommate seem to get along really well…and they have all the same stuff. Weird. It’s like they were separated at birth or something. She’s in for a great four years there, I’m sure!

And then…

DAY 3– Saturday
Tracy and I went back down to the Ohio Theatre to lotto the evening show for Wicked. This is closing weekend. The tour leaves after tonight. We got down there a little later than usual, because I left ONU a little later than I’d planned. There were significantly less people than the other two times we went this week, so that was nice. We also ran into a friend of ours from high school–a fellow band alum. So we got to visit with her and her dad and just hang out. It only took 15 minutes for the entire line to get through and put in their entries. Then we all just stood around waiting for 6pm.

Nothing too exciting happened at this lotto. We didn’t win. We’re not going today, because I’m dead tired from the moving adventures of yesterday and I have two weeks’ worth of laundry to do.

Today…I also plan to revise my query letter. Not having much success (read: not having any success) with my current one. After I fix that…it’s on to round two of sending out queries to agents.

Wicked Lotto attempts 1 and 2

I have a confession to make. I…am a nerd.

Now, for most of you, that probably didn’t come as much of a shock. Actually, I hope that didn’t come as a shock for ANY of you, because I don’t really try to hide my nerdiness. I have my nose in a book most of the time, or I’m staring at my computer screen writing a novel. I do things like watch YouTube videos of authors and laugh at stupid jokes. I go to midnight releases of all things Harry Potter (in costume). I do these kinds of things.

I also love theatre.

Now, the very first musical I fell completely and totally in love with…the musical that opened the gate for my love of all things Broadway and musical theatre…that was Wicked. To date, I’ve seen it five times. Two of those times were over the course of the last four weeks.

Like I said…nerdy. But I embrace it.

To add to my nerdiness, my friend Tracy and I are trying our hands (desperately) at winning lotto tickets for Wicked before it ends its tour stop here in Columbus on Sunday. I’ve wanted to try Wicked Lotto for a long time, but I’ve never really gotten the chance or had someone to buddy with for it. Because that’s the thing…for lotto, you really need a buddy, so your chances are twice as good to get the tickets.

So, for your nerdy reading pleasure (because I know most of you are probably nerds too, if you read my blog)…my first two experiences with Wicked Lotto:

DAY 1 — Tuesday
I beat Tracy to the lotto line, which was kind of impressive, seeing as how I had to swing by Borders first to buy Mockingjay. So…for a good twenty minutes I stood in line, reading Mockingjay, and eavesdropping on the conversations of my fellow lotto-ers. One girl standing near me had tried lotto all last week and never one. Most of the other people around me were thoroughly confused by the whole process. Some news anchor that I don’t know from some news station I probably don’t watch was the guest celebrity invited to pull lotto tickets. It saddens me just a little when a “celebrity” from Columbus consists of some obscure news dude. Whatever.

Tracy arrived just in time to join me in line (otherwise, she would have had to go to the end), we went into the lobby, filled out our entry forms, put them in the tumbler, got our hands stamped, and went back outside to mill with the other hopefuls. By the time 6pm rolled around, there were a good 100 people there. At least. At exactly 6pm, they pulled the table with the tumbler out onto the steps and started pulling names. The crowd applauded for the first few winners. We all stopped after that. There were 20 tickets to give away and most people had come with a buddy, so were asking for two tickets. That meant that only about 10 people were going to be pulled out of the tumbler.

When they were down to two tickets left, they announced that anyone who didn’t win had the option to go to the box office, show their stamped hand, and get a random open seat for tonight’s show for only $40, regardless of where in the theatre said seat may be located. Pretty good deal. People either got very antsy or very pessimistic, because half the crowd rushed to the box office door. Their mistake, because there were at least three people in that crowd whose names actually got called about five minutes after that. Sucks to be them.

We didn’t win, so Tracy and I went home.

DAY 2– Wednesday
I beat Tracy again, which was once again impressive since I came straight from a check-up at the doctor. Again, I stood in line reading Mockingjay. Again, there was an obscure celebrity to pull the names and read the instructions (an afternoon DJ from Sunny 95, which was at least mildly familiar to me…I know the radio station well…still have no idea who that woman was, though). Unlike Tuesday, though, all thoughts of decorum were lost. On Tuesday, there was a line. On Wednesday, there was a pushy-shovey blob. I love when 100 adults act like a bunch of pre-schoolers who all want to be the first one on the Merry-Go-Round. Classy.

Tracy and I actually got through the line (er…blob) faster than yesterday. We separated from the crowd (too claustrophobic), leaned against a nearby pillar, and read our respective books…like the epic nerds we are. Again, 6pm came…the table and tumbler got pulled out, the names got read. This time, though, people were smarter and stuck around before fighting for the box office, so we didn’t have to go through a bunch of extra names.

We didn’t win again.

We’re going to try again on Saturday.

Yay nerds!

The best Sunday ever!

I’ve been stressed out lately. I got really behind on sleep last week and felt like I could pass out at any moment all day at work on Friday (which was, you know, fun times…). The impending Dublin Irish Festival has been looming over me for the last few weeks (it’s this weekend and consists of two public dance performances…my FIRST very PUBLIC dance performances…as well as my first shot at a dance competition). I’m back on the dreaded doctor-monitored liquid diet to get down to my GOAL WEIGHT (if I could make that in shiny gold letters, I totally would). I’ve been writing, but even the new novel can’t always distract me from that knot in my stomach that always comes on when I think of either the Festival or my diet. Fun times.

So I feel like I deserved some serious escape time on Sunday.

Back story: Starting at my lunch break on Friday and through Saturday night, I read The Hunger Games. I’m behind the curve, apparently, because it took me this long to get around to it. I couldn’t put it down. When I finished it late on Saturday night, I immediately was like “OMG I need to get Catching Fire NOW!” But…you know…it was midnight on Saturday night and most bookstores are kind of closed around that time. Bummer.

This is how I ended up with my escape on Sunday. Around noon I threw a load of laundry in the washer and dashed over to Borders. Milled around for a bit, because that’s what I always have to do when I go in a bookstore. It doesn’t take much for me to get distracted in the presence of so many books, so…bookstores…libraries…I can go in one of those and not leave for HOURS if I really wanted. But I was on a mission, so half an hour later I had Catching Fire in my hands.

As soon as I got home, I switched out the laundry, drank one of my diet shakes, and read the first few pages of the book. Love. For the next…oh…ten hours…I only emerged from my room to a) do laundry, b) get another shake, c) get some water, d) spontaneously check Facebook/email because god forbid I miss something important. For the most part, Catching Fire went with me on all of these adventures around the house. I finished the book late Sunday night. I forgot to vacuum. The parents displayed disappointment in my forgetfulness. I returned to my book (don’t worry…I vacuumed this afternoon instead. We’re good now).

Here’s a little history lesson for you. The last time I finished a book that fast…that would be the first time I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and even that took me a good twenty-four hours (to be fair, though, Deathly Hallows is about five times longer than Catching Fire). It takes a special book for me to devote a whole day to it and finish it the same day I start it. Maybe it also takes me being a little overwhelmed with life to pull that off. Maybe it’s a combination of both. Who knows? All I know is that Catching Fire was amazing. I need to read it again. I can’t WAIT for the third book in that trilogy to come out later this month. I’m obsessed.

This week, I will be buying another book I’m very excited for–Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink…the second book of the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy. That’s another book I’ll probably devour quickly. It’s good that I have a ridiculous stack of to-be-read books in my room, thanks to a recent shopping spree at Half Priced Books, otherwise I don’t know what I’d do after I finish all this amazingness.