Friday, October 29, 2010

Harry Potter

As November 19th approaches and we enter into the final chapter of the Harry Potter films, I have decided that it's time for me to come clean about something.

I'm obsessed with Harry Potter.

Ok so maybe this doesn't come as a surprise to most. I mean first of all lots of people are obsessed with Harry Potter. When I say this to most people this comes as no surprise to them and they're not weirded out.

But I don't think you understand...I'm OBSESSED with Harry Potter. I'll admit that the obsession has calmed down as I've gotten older, but it's always there, waiting to rear its magical head. I'm sure if you're reading this and are one of my close friends or family members, you think you probably grasp the extent of my obsession. You already knew this about me. This blog post isn't news to you whatsoever.

If only you knew how deep the magical waters run.

As a disclaimer, I'd just like to say that I am FULLY aware that I am not even close to the level of obsession of some HP fans. That's what I'd like to call borderline nuts (although after this blog I'm pretty sure most of you are going to feel that way about me). But I'm pretty sure I'm fairly high up.

The reason people don't fully know my obsession is because I'm selective in what I tell people. I tell a certain anecdote to this person, a different one to another. It makes me feel like I'm being honest about my Potter Past if I spread the knowledge to a vast number of people. I think people in my younger days were quite aware of it, but at some point in high school I learned that this particular obsession was best kept under wraps and played down a little bit. But I've decided it's high time that I proudly share with the world...Shannon's Potter Passion.

1. This first one is going to be lengthy, mostly because it was the transition into my obsession. You see the obsession didn't begin immediately. I read the first book when I was in the sixth grade, and immediately I was hooked. But hooked on a book for me is not the same as obsessed. I get hooked on TONS of different book series. So immediately making my mom take me to the bookstore to buy me the next book in a series as soon as I finish the one prior actually was fairly common occurrence in my life. But the real obsession started with Book 4. The first two books were already out when I started reading, and luckily for me I finished the second book the DAY the third book was released. At this point HP was really popular but didn't have an insane following like it does now, so getting Book 3 on release day was fairly easy. Buuuut then I had to wait.

Sixth grade was the one miracle year that JK Rowling released two books within a year of each other. Book 4 was released July 8, 2000. I had preordered my copy from Amazon, but I wasn't counting down the days or anything. In fact, I had completely forgotten the book was even coming, or I wouldn't have made such a huge error in judgement.

I was moving from Massachusetts to Virginia later that month so one of my best friends and I had a sleepover at my house to hang out. We had hung out all day, and that night, while we were watching a movie, my dad says to me "Oh by the way Shan, this came in the mail for you today."

It was Book 4. How could I have possibly forgotten? What was I supposed to do now? I had a friend to entertain for at least 18 more hours! I pretended to be nonchalant about wanting to immediately read it, but inside I was experiencing PURE AGONY. So as the movie progressed, I casually started reading. I mean it was a movie I had already seen. No big deal. But the real problem came after the movie ended. I couldn't just ignore my friend, so I was forced to pause my reading.

Until that night. When I was sure my friend was asleep, I grabbed my book and ran to the bathroom...where I sat and read for at least an hour. It would have been longer, except my friend was NOT actually asleep and eventually knocked on the door to make sure I wasn't dead.

At this point you would think I would have surrendered and decided to wait until the next day to keep reading. NOPE. When I actually was sure she was asleep, I went back and read until almost 4 am (which is sort of intense for a 12 year old).

Unfortunately for me, my friend's parents happened to be good friends with my family, and they invited me to spend the next TWO nights at their house for our "final hurrah." I should have been so stoked, this had never happened before.

But inside I was PANICKED. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO READ HP 4 WHILE AT SOMEONE ELSE'S HOUSE?! But then I found my consellation friend and her sister had camp in the mornings, and her mom marketed it as "while you get to sleep in they'll be at camp, and then by the time they come home you'll be up!"


And that's how I read all of HP 4 in four days and three nights...while at a never ending sleepover.

2. Things took a turn for the crazy after the fourth book came out. (SPOILER ALERT) I mean Voldemort was BACK. WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!? And unfortunately for the world, Book 5 wasn't released until June 21, 2003 (here's another reason you know I'm obsessed, I am recalling these dates from memory)...THREE YEARS after the biggest cliffhanger of all time. So what's a girl to do? Turn to the world of fanfiction. SHAMEFUL I know. Yes I read it all the time. ....yes, I wrote my own. YES, it IS on the internet, in a SECRET LOCATION. Only some of my friends know about this. In fact I think the only people who have read these fanfictions are the people I was friends with my freshman year of high school, and Dan. And that's ONLY because my stupid friend Nina had to OPEN HER MOUTH and tell him about it one night last year. And my answer is no, absolutely NOT, I will never post a link to it on this blog (and no one who knows it better do it either), I value my pride thank you very much.

3. One of my fans from Quebec liked one of my fanfictions so much that she translated the entire story (probably about 6,000 words astounds me to now realize that in total I have probably written over 100 pages of HP fanfiction) into French. That's also online.

4. In the 7th grade I had a series of HP websites I created (this is the only reason I now know basic HTML and can write that on my resume) with a friend I MET ON THE INTERNET. I think her name was Jenny. She wrote stories too.

5. I attended a special early screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (the movie) because I won a contest I found online. Everyone there (inluding me) was dressed up.

6. I have two copies of the 5th book because I ordered one copy from Amazon, but it took forever to get delivered, so my mom ended my agony by going and buying another copy for me. Why wasn't I at the midnight release party? Because I was SUPER grounded. I can say without question it was my worst punishment ever. When she came back with it, I did not leave my room until I had finished it. She even delivered my dinner on a tray (this had nothing to do with the grounding).

7. became my ultimate HP source VERY early in the website's history. It was my internet homepage for about 5 years. So when they posted an entry calling for writers to submit writing samples to become part of a special HP writing team for the website to help them create a new project (what I think was ultimately going to become some sort of RPG, but it never ended up happening), I obviously did it. And I got selected.

8. I STILL own a HP trivia game. It only has questions about the first four books because that's when it was released. I subsequently bought/asked for ZERO HP related board games, because they were too easy for me and I always beat everyone, which only I found fun.

9. In my life time I have displayed 8 different Harry Potter posters on my wall.

10. I have a golden snitch keychain.

11. My sophomore year of high school, long before any whispers of a Harry Potter theme park started circling, my friend and I had designed an entire theme park devoted to HP. She was the engineer, I was the concept designer. There are actual documents in existence that contain all of this information.

12. I have written and mailed a fan letter to JK Rowling. It was written on Harry Potter stationary.

13. I have also written and mailed a fan letter to Tom Felton, the actor who plays Draco Malfoy. He responded.

14. My Junior Year of High School I started collecting the books. I now own all 7 American Editions in Hardback, all 7 British Editions in Hardback, the 5th and 7th British editions in paperback, the 6th British Adult Edition in paperback, and the 3rd French Edition in paperback. I own TWO copies of the supplemental "textbooks" JK Rowling wrote for charity. I own TWO copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I own TWO copies of JK Rowling's biography (why I own two of these I have no wait I do it's because people give them to me as gifts because they think there's no way I could already own them). I also own a book called Unlocking the Secrets of Harry Potter, a highly intellectual book (not even kidding, it was a semi-challenging read) that was released before the 7th book came out, which shows how Harry Potter relates to alchemy, patterns JK Rowling uses, and ways to predict what will happen in the 7th book.

15. I am not at ALL done collecting books. I fully expect to add complete editions from other countries once I have money/a shelf to put them on.

16. Harry Potter related pictures have been the wallpaper for my computer FAR more than anything else has...inlcuding pictures of my friends and family.

17. I was at Governor's School for the release of the 6th book, and I was nervous about getting the book shipped to me because I didn't fully understand how the mail worked. We weren't allowed to leave the U of R campus EVER, so I didn't know how I was going to get my copy of the book. This was easily solved though, because the release of the book was the day before Parent's Day, which was when your parents could come and take you off campus for the day. I had the book shipped to my house, made them bring it when they came, and for the day my family decided to go to the Water Park in King's Dominion. My family spent the day riding water rides. I spent the day reading on a pool chair.

18. The day they announced the release date for the 7th book (my freshman year of college), I made a countdown that I hung next to my bed and faithfully crossed off every single night. Yes, every single night. Even the nights of insane parties.

19. That was not the first time I created a countdown. I also had one for Book 5 and Book 6. That's why it felt natural to continue in college.

20. The amount of HP "stuff" I have is actually absurd. I'm going to try and list it from memory but I am POSITIVE I will forget things: A Harry action figure, a Voldemort action figure, a wizard's hat, all the books I previously listed, all the movies, four different HP "journals" (most have HP stories written in them), two packages of HP bumper stickers, a set of HP stationary which I eventually ran out of so I had to buy MORE HP stationary, one of those "friend books" that used to be really popular where a friend chooses a sticker and goes through the book and writes all their favorite stuff based on the page's category...HP style, a HP snow globe, HP book ends, a HP Christmas Wreath Sarah Smith made me for Christmas, 4 HP glasses representing the different Hogwarts houses, a butterbeer mug and a beer goblet from HP world, a HP Quidditch t-shirt, soundtracks for the first 3 movies, a photoshopped picture Tjaden gave me as a Christmas gift of me and Ron Weasley, and more but I seriously cannot remember it all.

21. I discovered Harry and the Potters when I was 15. I thought they were hilarious. Two years later I drove an hour away to see Harry and the Potters perform live (they're horrible).

22. I was Hermione for Halloween...more than one time.

23. My AIM screen name is Lionsforthecup...that is a Harry Potter reference.

24. The seventh book came out the first year I was a Summer Friendship Director. When we were planning our trips, we had to find a good weekend for the Middle School lock-in. This was an event that lasted from Friday night until Saturday morning. I pretty much knew nothing about Summer Friendship my first year, never having participated, so I trusted the returning director when she said we should do it July 20. But even in this meeting, I stipulated that should we plan it for that weekend because it wasn't going to work ANY OTHER WEEKEND (looking back I would have immediately vetoed that because we could have done it other weekends, but I was young and foolish) that I was going to LEAVE in the middle of the lockout to go get my book at midnight. I don't think any of the directors believed me (maybe if they had read this blog post they would have). But come July 20 at 11:30 pm, I PEACED OUT and did not return until after 1 am (that's how long waiting in line took). They were all SO MAD. But I couldn't have cared less, because I told everyone upfront that I would leave if we planned the lock-in for that weekend.

I didn't start reading book 7 until 4 am, when our planned activities ended and the kids watched movies. I read for about a half an hour, but then when I realized that no one had cleaned anything up, and I was going to potentially be stuck at work for HOURS after the lock-in ended just to clean up. So I decided why not take this time where we don't have to entertain the kids to clean up so we could leave as soon as the lock-in ended. I proposed this idea to the other directors, who said no. I was LIVID. So I cleaned EVERYTHING myself. When the lock-in was over, and they went to clean, I politely stood there and told them I had already done everything and that I was ready to leave. I think they were shocked. I think they had planned on cleaning and then maybe hanging out or getting breakfast (because they specifically said so). I said absolutely not, left, went home, and read the entire book. I subsequently made Joe Scott hang out with me as soon as I finished it because I needed to talk about it and no one was done yet. Since he sucks and doesn't read he let me explain the entire book to him. It was extremely therapeutic.

Here's a picture from that lock-in. Yes, I wore this the entire night (this was my prof pic for two months):

25. I was OBSESSED with Tom Felton for a good two years. Computer wallpaper, stalked his website, you name it. When I was 15 I even had a crush on a guy from my church who I didn't even KNOW because he looked so much like Tom Felton. We called him TF LAL (Tom Felton Look-a-like). All of my friends knew what this name meant and who it referred to. And through clever sleuthing on all of our parts, we found out where he went to school, what his name was, and what INSTRUMENT he played in band (don't worry it wasn't that stalkery. I just asked him what his name was one time at Youth Group and my friends happened to know him from middle school). Sometimes I still FB his name to see if he still looks like Tom Felton (he doesn't).

26. One time I bought a regular person shirt just because I knew it would match my wizard's hat.

27. I discovered in college that I could name every single chapter of the first book in order from memory. This wasn't something I tried to memorize, that's just how many times I had read the book. I realized this one day in Music Theory when someone asked me what the first chapter of Book 1 was called (The Boy Who Lived). I told them, and when they couldn't believe I just KNEW it, I decided to figure out if I knew all of the chapters in that book from memory. I did. I know a lot of the chapter names from other books, but I don't have all of them and the order committed to memory (and really that's only because I've never tried).

28. When Chorale was in England in July 2009 we stayed at a hotel in London about a mile away from King's Cross. I realized this our first day there as we DROVE by the station (I obviously screamed). I immediately made plans to visit as soon as possible. Our only free time was the next morning, although free time is a loose term, because we had to be ready to get on the bus by 10:30am. So I decided that even though I was jetlagged, I was going to leave the hotel at 8 to walk to King's Cross and go see Platform 9 3/4. Four other people came with me. It was AWESOME (and was ALSO my FB profile picture for about two months).

29. In summer 2008 the Kingetts' favorite game was secret kill. The way you played this was you would say to a sibling "Hey Jacob, come here I have to tell you something." Then he'd come up, expecting to hear a great story, and you'd whisper in his ear "AVADA KEDEVRA!" Annnnd then he was dead. This game was seriously SO FUNNY.

30. I attended the opening day of the HP theme park in Orlando, FL, as you can read about in this blog.

31. At the Overtones 2010 Spring concert, the theme was "In the Hot Seat", and throughout the show they'd pull questions out of a hat that the audience had written. One of them was for my friend David. I DIDN'T WRITE IT. The question read "David Rea...who REALLY killed Dumbledore?" His first response? "Who wrote this? Shannon Kingett was this from you?"

32. In conducting fall of Junior year we had to bring batons to class. We were partnered for some kind of activity and we were supposed to watch our partner conduct. For some CRAZED reason Ash and I were allowed to be partners. You can obviously assumed what occured. Neither of us conducted. We just had a wizard's duel.

This list is obviously to be continued, considering I still have a full life left to live full of HP glory. If you remember more stories or stuff I have, please, comment, or email me, or text me, because I want to remember them and currently don't.

The one thing I can't convey is how much I knew/know about this series. I have a pretty crazy memory and an affinity for learning about anything and everything, especially things I find the wealth of HP knowledge I acquired and then stored in my brain is probably terrifying for some people. I hope this blog made you laugh and not convince you that I need serious therapy. And maybe I'm not the only one who has this insane obsession!! So if you too have a secret HP past I encourage you to share it with the WORLD!

Sarah Davis is cool.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A story of old

The time has come at the Disco for me to share a real life story. I haven't written too much about some of the ridiculous things that happened to me pre-blog, but this story is too good not to tell...I give you... a little over 24 hours. Complete with pictures!

Before I begin, there's a little bit of back story to this adventure. In the summer of 2008, my roommate Evie worked at a regional theatre for her summer job with a whole bunch of people who were already working professionally. One of these people was Andrew. After the summer, his next gig was playing Joseph in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Nashville, TN. Nashville is about 8 hours from Harrisonburg, and so when Ev came back to school in September she told all of us that she really wanted to go see him in this show and that a lot of her cast was planning on it, because they missed him and it would be great to see him perform. Because in college we were crazy music majors involved in thousands of clubs, there was only one available weekend she could go, but none of her cast from the summer ended up being able come down, so she decided not to go (since she didn't want to go all the way to Nashville alone).

Which is where our story begins.

The madness began on October 11, 2008, around 11:00am. It was your typical Saturday in 499. We had no real plans, maybe baking something or watching a movie mid-afternoon. It was actually a really chill weekend and none of us had much planned, but we did have tickets to see Chess in Theatre II that night. When I woke up I decided that since we had the whole day in front of us I was going to make cinnamon rolls for my roommates and me. After I popped those bad boys in the oven, I went upstairs to see if Ev was awake to make her hang out with me (looking back, I have NO idea where Laura was, although I'm sure I knew at the time. Maybe she went home that weekend??). Luckily for me, she was awake...but when I walked in her room and sat on her bed, I witnessed maybe one of the most pathetic sights in history...Ev, in her PJs, sitting at her desk, just staring at Facebook pictures, clicking next and not even actually paying attention to the pictures. After silently watching this for about a minute, I decided to attempt conversation. It wasn't too productive. I told Ev I made cinnamon rolls, to which I'm fairly sure she replied with "Oh...ok..."

Girlfriend was depressed.

We talked about how she was really bummed she couldn't go to Nashville and that that's where she'd be at the time if people had been able to go. We talked for a little while longer, and then I went back down to take out the cinnamon buns and check my email. While doing the latter, I sent Ev an IM that said:

Lionsforthecup (11:34:31 AM): if you can get our chess tickets changed to tomorrow
Lionsforthecup (11:34:45 AM): i will go with you to nashville
sweetdreams1680 (11:35:09 AM): lol you're amazing. but i'd have to leave in 30 minutes since it takes 8 hours and the show is at 8...
Lionsforthecup (11:35:25 AM): tell me what you want to do and we'll do it
sweetdreams1680 (11:35:35 AM): you're an amazing best friend. :-)

I was simultaneously IMing Ash as well:
Lionsforthecup (11:38:10 AM): we have to go to nashville
TinyDncer12 (11:38:23 AM): ....what?!
Lionsforthecup (11:38:23 AM): she's miserable
TinyDncer12 (11:38:31 AM): awwww....
TinyDncer12 (11:38:40 AM): i would, but don't we have chess tickets
TinyDncer12 (11:38:45 AM): for tonight
Lionsforthecup (11:38:49 AM): she's best friends with becky
Lionsforthecup (11:38:54 AM): i bet we could switch them for tomorrow
TinyDncer12 (11:39:01 AM): i'm down

(back to Ev)
Lionsforthecup (11:40:37 AM): ash is down too
Lionsforthecup (11:40:48 AM): evie it starts at 7:30
Lionsforthecup (11:40:53 AM): if we leave by noon
Lionsforthecup (11:40:55 AM): we can make it
Lionsforthecup (11:41:03 AM): esp. if you let me drive for part of it
sweetdreams1680 (11:44:09 AM): 730??? we can't make it
Lionsforthecup (11:44:14 AM): we're going
sweetdreams1680 (11:44:16 AM): it takes 8 hours
Lionsforthecup (11:44:20 AM): i'm printing directions
sweetdreams1680 (11:44:24 AM): haha
Lionsforthecup (11:44:25 AM): evie. it's the highway
sweetdreams1680 (11:44:27 AM): you guys we can't
Lionsforthecup (11:44:37 AM): ash and i are both changing
Lionsforthecup (11:44:39 AM): we CAN
Lionsforthecup (11:44:42 AM): and ARE
Lionsforthecup (11:44:44 AM): get dressed
sweetdreams1680 (11:45:21 AM): worst that could happen we stop at richmond and shop
sweetdreams1680 (11:45:26 AM): omg i love you girls
Lionsforthecup (11:45:35 AM): that's not a stop on the way hahaha but get dressed
sweetdreams1680 (11:45:35 AM): okay lets do it :-X

And Nashville trip was born.

We all got off our computers at 11:45...Ev and I were in her car leaving to get Ash at noon. This meant that none of us showered, we all threw on "evening" clothes since we were seeing a show at night and needed to be a little dressy, and no one ate. I threw a sheet of aluminum foil over the cinnamon buns and put them in the car...they were our only sustenance. We didn't even bring water. I also printed directions and decided to hide a very obvious fact from Ev...

We picked up Ash, and by 12:15, we were on the road.

Here's the thing about spontaneous road trips. They start out AWESOME! "Wow, I can't believe we're doing this, how crazy are we?! OMGZ LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!"

But all road trips inevitably lead to the same thing...being SUPER BORED, stuck in a car for the entire day. After we each ate one of the delish cinnamon buns (Ev only ate half), we settled in for a car trip that didn't really have a determined time length. Ev drove and listened to obscure Broadway musicals with the occasional Legally Blonde song thrown in, I took pictures of the nearby scenery:

...and Ashley passed out IMMEDIATELY. In fact, over the entire trip, which ended up being roughly 16 hours in the car, Ashley was asleep for 13 of those hours. We had these extravagant plans to make our first draft of the parody TV show we planned on producing, Hearn's Anatomy (starring our friends as all the characters...Evie was the dog) during the long hours in the car. This never came in to fruition. I blame the cinnamon buns.

The next five hours followed a fairly predictable pattern. There were 6 jumbo cinnamon buns. We consumed 2.5 of them at the beginning of the trip. After Ashley's first hour long nap, she arose, and decided that she was STARVING, and she ate another cinnamon bun. She would then experience an INSANE sugar high, flip out for fifteen minutes, and immediately crash. An hour later, same thing. In total, she ate FOUR AND A HALF CINNAMON BUNS. This day is easily number one of the "Ashley Bacon is more hyper than an ADD four year old who's just eaten an entire box of red dye popsicles" moments...and there are more of those than you might think.

We honestly had no idea what time we'd end up getting to Nashville. You see, this is before any of us had phones with internet or was olden times when you had to print directions from the internet. And since none of us had driven to Nashville, better yet, not even farther than Virginia Tech on I-81...we had NO idea how long this was going to take, what traffic could be like, etc. I let Evie drive the first three and a half hours....but after we stopped for gas...I knew what I had to do.

I took the wheel.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that I drove 90 MPH for three straight hours. I was determined to best google maps. But there was still no way we were going to make it by 7:30. I thought maybe there was a chance we could make it by 8, but even then, it was only a chance. Plus at this point we were out of cinnamon buns, and to put it kindly, Ashley was quite verbal when it came to expressing her displeasure us refusing to stop for food beforehand (I recall it sounding something like "WHYYYYYYYYYYYY HUNGERRRRRR")...things were tense.

But then a miracle occured.

Ashley, rousing briefly from her everlasting sleep, checked her phone to see what time it was. At this point I was driving with a slightly crazed look in my eye, and the car had been dead silent for over an hour with nervous tension. I do not exaggerate. So Evie and I both jumped when Ashley asked:
"Hey guys, what time is it?"
Me: "It's 6:20"
Ash: "Really? My phone says it's 5:20"

I was slightly confused. My first thought was "What the heck is wrong with Ashley's phone?" So I checked mine. It also said 5:20. Now I was REALLY confused. Until it dawned on all of us pretty much at the exact same time...
(this was yelled simultaneously in various sentence forms): "IS THERE A TIME CHANGE BETWEEN HARRISONBURG AND NASHVILLE?!?!?!?!"

Of course this was pre-Droid days, as I said, so we had no way to look this up. So we turned to our trusty friend Sarah Davis for some help. This is how that conversation went:
Ash: "Hey Sar!"
Sarah: "Hey what's up?"
Ash: "Hey what time is it?"
Sarah: ".......what?"
Ash: "What time is it?!"
Sarah: "Ashley you are ON A PHONE. WITH A CLOCK. How have you not figured this out by yourself yet?!"
Sarah: "It's 6:25! What is WRONG with you?!"
Ash: "IT'S 6:25!!! IT'S 6:25!!!!!!!"

Annnnnd the three of us screamed for five minutes and then finally explained to Sarah why we needed to ask questions that third graders can figure out the answers to.

We were elated. Ev was happy we were going to make it not only on time but EARLY. Ash was happy that we would be able to get her McNuggets. And I was happy that I no longer had to stalk the highway for cops to make sure I didn't get pulled over for driving 90 MPH.

You'd think this story could end here and still be excellent, but you'd be missing the best part, which is soon to come.

We FINALLY got into Nashville, sent Ev to run and buy our tickets, and got our McDonald's. Soon it was time to park and walk into the theatre. The show was actually Lipscomb University's fall musical, so it took place on campus. None of us had ever heard about this school before, so we just (wrongly) assumed it was a normal school. It was a university after all. But as we walked through campus to the theatre, it became very clear that we did not blend in at all. Everyone on campus was a)not attractive, b)wearing long pants, muted colors, and generally nothing that could ever be considered fashion forward, and, c)STARING at us. We were all wearing above the knee (at least) dresses, I had bright red heels, and best of all Ashley was wearing this:

I shouldn't have been surprised, based on our IM from earlier in the day:

TinyDncer12 (11:50:43 AM): hey are we dressing up for the show
TinyDncer12 (11:50:48 AM): WHAT
TinyDncer12 (11:50:49 AM): JOSEPH
TinyDncer12 (11:50:55 AM): THIS SUCKS
TinyDncer12 (11:50:58 AM): I LOVE EVIE A LOT
Lionsforthecup (11:51:06 AM): i'm dressing up
TinyDncer12 (11:51:41 AM): how muc?
Lionsforthecup (11:52:03 AM): heels
TinyDncer12 (11:52:49 AM): gotcha
TinyDncer12 (11:53:10 AM): can i just look really slutty?
Lionsforthecup (11:53:23 AM): duh

We knew we didn't fit in, but we weren't sure why. We knew that JMU wasn't the only school where people knew generally how to look cute. What was off about this school? It wasn't until the following Monday when I did some research that everything made sense...

Established in 1891, Lipscomb University is a private, co-educational institution of higher learning whose primary mission is to integrate Christian faith and practice with academic excellence. This mission grows from principles articulated by the founders: “The supreme purpose of the school shall be to teach the Bible as the revealed will of God to man … and to train those who attend in a pure Bible Christianity. … Such other branches of learning may be added as will aid in the understanding and teaching of the Scriptures and as will promote usefulness and good citizenship among men.”

This became even more painfully clear when we walked into the theatre, a room full of old people and families with small children. Who ALL STARED AT US. I think it was at this point that Ashley and I decided to throw all social grace out the window and have the most epic time ever.

The show was NOT good. My personal favorite part was the Pharoah's costume. When he made his first entrance Ash and I cried with laughter for probably five minutes...see if you can figure out why (guy on the left)...

What an unfortunate place to put a "P" ....for pharaoh....

After the show Ash and I met Andrew for the first time. I think it's fair to say that he disliked us immediately. We were so exhausted (although I don't know how Ashley could have been), still hungry, judged by everyone around us, and reeling from the performance we had just seen. You would think that meant we were grumpy...quite the opposite. We were INSANE.

Luckily for us, Andrew, who was impressed by how far we had come to see the show, told us we were welcome to stay at his house and sleep for a few hours before we had to turn right around to get back (we needed to be back in Harrisonburg by 2 pm the next day). So we grabbed food with one of Evie's friends who lives in Nashville, and took Andrew up on his offer to stay at his "home"...

I say "home" because it wasn't actually his home. Since he was an artist they brought in just for the show, the school put him up in one of their houses that they use for visiting artists/clinicians/etc. We followed Andrew down a sketchy, pitch black, serial killer-esque dirt road to what I could only assume was our impending death. Instead, we found ourselves at a log cabin I know I will NEVER forget. In fact, it might not be fair to call it a log cabin. We were spending the night in a taxidermy museum. I actually have been to a taxidermy museum before, thanks to what my Aunt considered a "fun family outing" during a vacation she took me on (that's a blog post for another time...have you ever seen a stuffed elephant? Because I have...), and I can attest that this house came REALLY close.

Ashley walked in first, with me behind her. She looked left, I looked right. My first view was a balcony with a bear skin rug draped over it. Pretty tame (comparatively). Ashley saw something a little different...something that merited an audible gasp. When I turned and looked at what made her react like that, I was NOT prepared for what I was about to see:

We could not BELIEVE this house. It was straight out of Little House on the Prairie...and not in a good way. Instead of being polite and thanking Andrew for letting us sleep here for three hours, we ran around screaming and taking pictures of the insanity:

And the best thing to come out of this trip hands down:

Finally we decided to try sleeping in this house of horrors. Ev and Andrew stayed up talking, and Ash and I slept for three hours and then woke up at 3 am (4 am in Harrisonburg) to drive back. This trip lasted a little over 24 hours. We went to Nashville and back in that time. I still cannot believe this weekend. I cannot believe these pictures are real. I was more tired after this weekend than maybe I ever have been in my life. But the weekend was ABSOLUTELY glorious and hands down one of the most ridiculous times I ever had in college. Ashley summarized it best in her away message the Sunday we got back

TinyDncer12 (8:18:43 AM): psyched not to be sleeping next to half a goat

Monday, October 25, 2010


Is apparently my newest thing. In an effort to get control over my life and feel settled I have taken up/will be taking up two important things.

1. Weight Watchers. Gotta be real, celebrity endorsement works y'all. Because I know tons of people doing WW, and I've only heard good things (well except from Ash who didn't like it) and success stories, but as soon as I saw that commercial with JHud looking fierce I immediately signed up. Which rocks. And so far it's working, although working out helps significantly. I'm SO good at sticking to things and having self-discipline when I'm actually recording it. It's something about the visual that keeps me determined. And since you just track your points online, it's so so so easy to stay good. At least for me it is (so far). I am a creature of extreme self-guilt, and hopefully in this case it will pay off.

2. Money. Today I got a little ambitious and decided to make a budgeting worksheet. It started simple, just projecting how much money a month I anticipated spending once I move out...but it got elaborate fast. See SOME of it here.

Pretty much it's divided into several sections: Spending, which is broken up into projected spending (aka how much I'm willing to spend at most), and actual spending, which is what I'm going to need to keep track of diligently. I even have the food section broken down into lunches, dinners in (aka grocery money), dinners out (which I am PRAYING I have overestimated $60 a week on), and then alcohol/going out money ($50 a week...I'm just trying to be cautious, hopefully I'm not actually that crazy...).

Then I have the income section. Since I don't have a real job yet, and therefore don't know how much I'll be making, I decided to calculate 16 different income scenarios (it's fine). I took 15% out for taxes, divided that by month, and then deducted my projected spending to see how much I would save per month. Based on my spending calculations, if I earn $30K a month and never go shopping, I will save $10 a month. WOOF. At least I'm still saving a little. Ideally I'd like to make $32K at minimum because that would mean $150 a month, and I can put $100 of that into a retirement fund.

Yup. I'm talking about a retirement fund on a blog called Disco Anarchy. WHO AM I?!

I also did a second sheet that will track the year activity. I'm awesome.

But yeah I'm glad this is how I spent my afternoon because it's providing clarity! And will hopefully keep me grounded. And I'm going to get into the habit of it now before I move out so that when I live by myself I don't go wildly into debt. Hooray!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The REAL Bucket List

As some of you avid blog readers know, starting in February of Spring Semester, I started a JMU Bucket List. It was essentially a list of things I wanted to do before I graduated/moved out of Harrisonburg. That initial list definitely grew, and I'm pretty pleased that I did over half of the things on there (didn't have a grand exit from the Mus Lib...SO SAD).

One thing Dr. Warner emphasized in his class (that I also took last Spring) was writing down goals. He said that if you write them down you're more likely to accomplish that, a philosophy that I, as an avid list maker myself, completely agree with. So I'm starting the big one. The REAL bucket list. Things I need to do before I die. It's obviously not the completed list, and in fact the list will probably never be complete because I'm sure there are things I don't know I want to do right now but will think of in the future. Some of these things are major life events. Some of them are small and simple. But they're all things I want to accomplish. So without further ado...


1. Visit South Africa
2. Work full time for Signature Theatre
3. Play Maria in West Side Story
4. Get married
5. Go to Australia
6. Go skydiving
7. Have a daughter
8. Visit every state
9. Go on an Alaska cruise
10. Fly first class
11. Eat real gelato and pizza in Italy
12. Go to Ireland
13. Drive a car in England
14. Meet JK Rowling
15. Go to Times Square for New Years
16. Plan a 25 year college reunion that all my best college friends attend
17. Go para-sailing
18. See an opera in Europe
19. Go to the Met
20. See a production of the Nutcracker
21. See a production of Swan Lake
22. Go to a Hollywood premiere
23. Write a book
24. Go to an Eagles game
25. Watch the Eagles win the Superbowl (doesn't have to be in person...although that is ideal)
26. Buy a house
27. Have a wiener dog named Tucker
28. Be the Artistic Director for a theatre or theatre company
29. Cast a major production
30. Make something go viral on the internet

Thirty is good for now. More soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Ok so I lied. My next post is not my real bucket list. It's this:

The Music of Emergency Room: A New Musical Drama
By Alan C. Taylor, M.D.

The CD description says: Emergency Room is a radically new and different story about "the medical crisis", love, greed, and fraud with a surprise ending. (Oooooo!)

Song List:
1. Theme: Muse
2. We're Sick and Tired of Waiting
3. Parent's Prayer
4. You've Got to Know "The System" to Survive
5. If My Heart Breaks Again
6. You Need a Little Lovin'
7. When I Get Very Old
8. Yes, We Got No Insurance
9. Ain't Been Talkin' to Me
10. Send Them to X-Ray
11. Emergency Room Commercial
12. Gloria
13. Someone
14. I've Got Love
15. You Didn't Listen
16. The Big Word Mumbo-Jumbo
17. Why Must He Die?
18. Goodbye Mister Chumley
19. I Still Love You
20. The Poem
21. We're Sick and Tired of Waiting (Reprise)

And click here for proof that this is real....

Monday, October 18, 2010


Was exactly what I needed.

I can cross that off the life bucket list. Next bucket list.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I have found my new internet best friend

She writes this blog.

I can't stop reading it because it's like someone writing down my thoughts but she's funnier and also can make pictures. Also she's obsessed with toothy predators and I have a pretty big Ash void in my life right now so that's probably contributing. The problem here is this blog has only made my insomnia worse because I can't stop reading it. I don't know what I'm going to do when I inevitably finish it. That will be a really sad day for me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Man I have great friends

I mean I do for REAL.

And the proof of this is here. This video can turn any crappy night riiiight around.

That and people who are willing to listen to you rant and then prove to you that your life is not in shambles and you actually are not a complete failure. Even if at the end of the day I have accomplished nothing, have sunk further into debt, and have a very bleak looking future, I have the best friends on the entire planet, so I guess I at least know how to pick people.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


And here are the (non-sappy, because obvi the real top ten reasons are because Lauren is fantastic, awwwwwww! :D) top ten reasons why:

10. Everything involving Snowpocalypse. The Paula Deen cupcakes, then frosting eating (typical), the bubbleshooter obsession, the sporcle-ing, and OBVI the Charlie's Angels and P&P watching.
9. This, and this, and this, and this, and especially this (let's discuss her being there for the cutting of the was not her recital).
8. That time we evaded doing any work during strike for Oklahoma! except erasing scores because we hid behind music stands
7. The Fall 2k8 Chorale skit. OBVIOUSLY.
6. The whistle tones. Ohhhhh the whistle tones.
5. She is the one who truly brought Strawberry Limeade into my life. I am forever indebted.
4. Anything and everything that happened in England. Silent laughter at grounding speeches, commentary on the video to her parents, the Indian man she thought was really tan, I'm so PINGY!, robot Leonardo, her obsession with Andy the bus driver, secretly singing everything in a gospel voice
3. The nostrils. Maybe they actually should be #1.
2. The catchphrases that are irreplaceable in my vocabulary. Fresh, Fresh frust, tino, towno, yowi, praise, never, wreeeeeecked, in real life, ALL abreevs, etc.
1. The Single Ladies dance/music video. How could it not be #1?

Oh also


No it's not. But I forgot I needed to update the world on the insomnia epidemic. Wish I could say it's better. IT'S NOT. For example, about a week ago I stayed up until 9 AM (yes you read that right) reading a book about a woman who escapes polygamy. YES I AM NOT KIDDING. I mean it WAS really interesting and one of those books I can't stop reading, but I just never feel tired. I try to go to bed at 1 and can't sleep until 4. FML. Last night I went to bed at ELEVEN (it was a miiiiight have played a part)....AND WOKE UP AT FOUR. WHAT. I hate my body and it hates me. We need to learn to be at peace with one another.

Also I had the WEIRDEST dream last night that will take faaaaar too long to write down but Katie had the pleasure of getting to hear about it at 7 this morning. Maybe if I stop dreaming (little known fact, I hate dreaming) I will be able to sleep?

How do you cure dreams?



Newest obsession: Jon McLaughlin/Beyonce glory

Life updates? Not too many. Although I did get cast in a show!!! Happy to be performing again, obviously. Show goes up Jan 14 and I expect everyone reading this blog to BE THERE. In Mclean.

As for the job front it's still a work in progress. OPTIMISTIC! Moving on.

Upcoming things I am beyond stoked for:
1. The Phillies play the Reds hopefully for the last time tonight. If Hamels can lock it up it means we won't have to play the next two games of the series and we're in the Championship for the pennant hollaaaaa!
2. Dance rehearsals start Tuesday. I never, EVER thought I would say this, but I actually miss dancing. I do not miss Jazz at 8 am, OBVIOUSLY. I do not miss dumb warm-ups. But even in the audition I was just so happy to be dancing again! Plus now I'll have an excuse to not go to the gym since I'll have dance workouts every day. Laziness ftw.
3. THE RETURN OF ASHLEY ELIZABETH BACON. She has been in Europe for five weeks. Aka that's too long to have gone without seeing and more importantly texting her. But all that changes on Wednesday when she comes back to the homeland. I realize I probably won't see her for a few days because she's going to want to devote the first 36 hours she has in this country not to recovering from jet lag, but to catching up on all the TV she's missed. You think I'm joking.
4. HOMECOMING. Words cannot DESCRIBE how excited I am for this. The only thing that would make this weekend more perfect than it's already going to be is if Sarah Davis could come. Stupid Michigan. Me, Ev, Katie, and Ash are piling in the car on Friday night and hopefully getting in in time to see Sunset, which will be followed by a glorious Dave's reunion. Then Sat is tailgating and Songs (which is freeee because I'm ushering aka spending the entire time talking to Dan since he's the house manager). Sunday is OBVIOUSLY J's. I had Ehall last time so I need J's in my life. And assuming I can wake up I'm going to Otterbein too. I miss the old ladies too much.
5. SEEING BOBBY FLAY IN THE FLESH. My mom is the greatest and bought tickets to this expo show in DC he's at and so I'm not even fully sure what kind of show we're seeing but I know it's starring Bobby Flay who is one of my all time FAVS.
6. The start of the Christmas Season. 47 days AND COUNTING! Enough said.
7. So this is obviously super far into the future but I absolutely can't wait to move to Atown with my favorite ladies. I look at houses probably once a week even though we're not moving until summer. I miss living with my roommates so much and being around my friends more than just once or twice a week. This will solve all of those problems. I JUST WANT TO LAY ON THE COUCH AND WATCH (sing along to) FUNNY GIRL/PRIDE AND PREJUDICE/BAD ROMANTIC COMEDIES WITH EV AND LAUR AND BAKE THINGS AND ORDER CHINESE AND HAVE PEOPLE COME OVER. Wahhhhhhh. As of now roomies Arlington-style is Me, Ev, Katie, and Laura (PLEASE MOVE TO ARLINGTON PLEASE PLEASE). Obsessed. I'm going to try and convince Nicole to live with us too assuming she a)isn't deterred by my all caps description of what my old house was like and b)doesn't have more exciting people to live with.

On an unrelated note does anyone have links to pics of the Quidditch match that apparently took place on the Quad last week? I tried The Breeze but they're "updating" the website aka LAME.

Probs should go be productive yeahhhhhh