Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Birthday Blog

I had a great birthday! And no wonder -- it was fated to be my "lucky" day, right???

On 07/07/07, I turned, get this, 21. That's 3*7, people. Also, on 07/07/07, at 7:07 p.m., I was at 7 Peaks Waterpark. Can you get any luckier?

Seriously the day was a lot of fun. For starters, I went to Decameron rehearsal, and brought treats for everyone -- since I felt deprived of doing that as a child because of my summer birthday. Rehearsal went well.

Next, Jacob and I jetted off to Borders for Shannon Hale's booksigning at 2 p.m. (If you don't know who Shannon Hale is, then find out.) We got there 10 or so minutes early, because I knew we'd need to be outta there by 3:30 in order to get to Seven Peaks around 4 p.m. and thereby take full advantage of the $11.95 we'd be paying for half-day admission. And we were also early because I was excited about it. Anyway, I figured that Shannon would be...not there yet...or in the back awaiting a grand entrance at 2 p.m. Of course I didn't really know what to expect because the only other booksigning I've been to was one for Orson Scott Card (who is really cool and you should find out who he is too) where he was basically just sitting there and no one was around because it was like, a Saturday on BYU campus or something. Anywa
y, Shannon (is it alright if I call you Shannon, dahling? I feel that we are such close friends...) was there, right inside the door. But then she told the passel of people already there (before us, dangit!) that we should maybe go to the back of the store where they had some chairs set up and where she was going to do some talking before the signing. So, we did.

Jacob and I snagged seats on the second row. We held hands (I'm giving you the real blow-by-blow here, if you hadn't noticed) . Shannon was casually standing up front-ish, making witty comments and saying funny things effortlessly, and said that she knew that her parents would be coming, so was it alright if we waited for them? No one else was saying anything, so I looked at my watch and said "Yeah, you've still got 5 min till 2 o'clock." and she said "Oh, do I? Oh yes, I forget that my watch is fast." or something of the sort. "What time is it exactly?" she said. "I've got exactly five to," I said. "Oh good" she said. And then she continued to look for her parents and such. But she, I having brought myself to her attention, glanced back at me soon, and noticed that Jacob and I were holding hands. "Oh, you're holding hands! How cute!" Shannon declared. "Everyone! Look! They're holding hands!" she started to ham it up. "I just wanted to make sure you all knew that these two up here are holding hands!" How does one react to that? I said "We're married." As if I needed some kind of excuse to be holding hands. We were holding hands because we love each other and also because I wanted to give Jacob moral support in a crowd of many women and young girls. You know, let him know that I appreciated his sacrifice or something. "You're married?" she asked. I nodded. "How long have you been married?" "It will be a year in August." "Ah... I used to hold hands with my husband," she's talking to the general crowd and to us, "when we were first married I'd lean my head on his shoulder during church" -- she leans her head over as if on said shoulder -- "but now there are kids in between" -- she and her husband have two kids -- "so it's harder." That's how it went, folks.

She then proceeded to find her parents and get things rolling with the author speech bit. It was a good bit, and fun. She did some Q&A at the end, and I was trying to think of a good Q... nothing was coming to mind... I already knew the A's to what other people had been asking, (from her website) but then I thought of one. So I asked her what she was reading these days. She said she's usually reading more than one book at once and recommended Wee Three Men or something like that, on audio book, because not only was the story good but the audio book apparently had some great Scottish accents going on. She said she's also starting on Water for Elephants, which I've heard of before. She mentioned another book I don't remember. And soon enough the Q&A was over and it was time for the signing.

I got in line while Jacob tried to get me a copy of Princess Academy (sold out, of course, along with probably the rest of her books, too) then got me one of Austenland (which they had plenty of copies of because this was, after all, an Austenland event) and then browsed. I chatted with a BYU student who was behind me in line. They passed out sticky notes for us to
write out what we wanted her to write when she signed our book -- what? we don't get to have it in her own words, or something? eh, it's probably mostly to help with the spelling of names or something. On my sticky note I wrote "Happy Birthday, Alysa!"

Eventually it was my turn. I decided to do the picture bit first, since the people in front of me in line had said they'd take my picture if I took theirs and I didn't want to hold them up. So I said, "Hi Shannon!" and she said "Hi!" and then I went around to her side of the table and knelt up (so she wouldn't have to get out of the chair and so that our heads would be closer to level and also so that there was none of that goofy bending-over-bum-sticking-out going on. Right before the picture took, our photographer said "Oh, it's 'charging flash'" so we were sort of not ready for it. I look totally deer in the headlights.

After the picture, she went to sign my book and saw the sticky note, and asked how old I was turning. Then she signed my book, and the full text reads, "For Alysa -- Happy Birthday! 21 -- Great number. Tallyho, Shannon Hale." And I proceeded to be kind of awkward, as we all are when trying to be super cool... and just as I was about to leave I said something like "Oh, I was going to tell you, I posted on your site, as Ruby Diamond." "Oh, I'll have to check that out," she said. "I probably didn't say anything important," I said. I'm such a dork. It totally came off as groveling, self-depreciating-ness or something. "I never say anything important! I'm just a lowly non-Newberry-winning-author-person." In reality, I never say anything (let alone make a comment on an author's blog) unless I have something good to say. I don't comment just to be heard! I'm sure whatever I said was a fine thing to say, and perhaps even important. But in the moment, I couldn't handle the pressure of a famous author person saying they were going to go see what I said on their website. Anyway, she said "Nice to meet you Ruby Diamond!" and we parted ways at around 3:15.

Remember, people (namely Eric and Erin and Ransom) are supposedly meeting us at 3:30 at our place. So we hurried home and I made a bunch of tuna sandwiches (two tuna cans worth) and we packed those up in the cooler with some cold Capri Suns and other munchies and we headed for the water park!

Seven Peaks was fabulous fun. I like water slides much better than I like roller coasters. And the wave pool and lazy river were awesome too. We played in the water, then snacked, then played again. We had gotten some tubes (we were planning on renting them, but then people said "here we're done with ours, just take 'em!" so they were free, happy birthday me!) and went down water slides and such. I steered clear of all of the ones that looked like certain death in the form of molded colored plastic, but thoroughly enjoyed almost all of the slides. I enjoyed all of the ones I went on! No bad experiences here! Although later we all tried the lilypad leaping action, "made possible by ropes overhead" and got some serious rope burns in our armpits (needless to say the ropes weren't over our heads). It was so so fun and time flew by. When we left we all had voracious appetites, so we picked up some Little Cesar's pizza. We came back to our place and changed and ate that and played Rook. Then everyone left and I read a bit. It was a fabulous birthday.

Oh, I forgot to mention, at midnight, just as my birthday was beginning, Jacob gave me my present. It is a beautiful poetry anthology with a LOT of great stuff in it. I won't say that it has it all because I haven't confirmed that yet, but as poetry anthologies go its a really good one. Add it to my book collection which seems to be rapidly expanding right now. Within a matter of weeks I've gotten the anthology, Zen Shorts, Austenland, and then another book, How to Massage Your Cat, is on its way from Amazon thanks to a gift card I got from work! I love books! Speaking of which, reviews for These is My Words and Sunshine will be up soon.


Ransom said...

And I won.
Because you were all wondering.

Hilary said...

Glad you had a great B-day!! You are so funny my dear! And Jacob is such a good husband for going with you to the nearly all female event! Kudos. What did Ransom win... I don't recall.

Alysa said...

the lilly-pad leap thingy -- he did it twice successfully.

Danny Frost said...

Alysa, you say you were there at 7:07 on 7/7/7, but I think you could get some more sevens. On 7/7/7, you were there at 7:07:7777777777777777777777 and out to infinity of sevens. I don't think it gets much luckier than that.

Hilary said...

excellent good

Anna said...

Oh, I thought Ramsom was saying that he won at Rook. Thanks for the clarification. Those lilly pad things are hard!

Alysa I loved the post. The holding hands part made me just laugh out loud! I'm glad that your b-day was so eventful!

Becky said...

You're so funny Alysa. I'm glad you gave me the link to this. You're going to keep me going inbetween all the books I read.