You know what’s better than having your flight delayed?

Having your flight delayed when you’ve already boarded and it’s 84 degrees outside. Did I mention the plane is packed tight? Yeah, it’s fun. Foolishly I purchased a large water bottle before boarding thinking I’m thirsty and it’s only an hour to Boston.

Now I’ve been on this plane for an hour with nothing to do except think about how much have I to pee and how I should probably be doing grad school things but complaining in a blog post is much better.
In reality, this all seemed like a good idea at the time.
This little flight is really a stepping-stone to the large adventure of Ireland. For the last year, my mom began talking about this trip like a giddy school girl. At first it was hypothetical and then probably impossible and now here we are.
After she committed, she began dropping hints that I should come, too. And by hints, I mean flat out telling me. Her reasoning? I could meet one of the Irish men who clearly wait in pubs for American women to wander into their lives and they can fall in love. Her words. She says she’s joking and thinks it will be a fun experience. Whatever, Mom.
Initially I rejected the very idea. It’s not that I didn’t want to return to Europe. What person is like “nah, I’ve been there once and seen enough old things to suit me.” Plus, last time I saw a lot Italy which was amazing but I wanted to see the other areas as well. The timing wasn’t great with school plus vacation, especially international ones, cost money.
Honestly, I thought she would let it go and I wouldn’t have to be tempted and life would go on. But then she wouldn’t and began planning and purchasing my ticket before I gave my final confirmation. How many times can you say no to Ireland?
So now I sit, writing a blog post I won’t be able to post for hours when I should be doing something constructive. I’m taking the final course in my master’s program and school administrators explicitly state you should not travel during this term unless absolutely necessary.
Like the cool student I am, I first viewed this as a challenge. I’m a good student, I thought stupidly. I can do anything. The whole truth is I’m a mega nerd and one look at all the assignments I had to do made me think maybe I overestimated my abilities. Basically the story of my life is overestimation.
Luckily, I’ve only experienced four minor panic attacks and one catatonic state where I sat at work transfixed by my to do list and unable to perform basic tasks. With the help of Sam, I slowly found the ground again and realized I wouldn’t be able to complete everything by the deadlines I set for myself, but I would get it done.
Now I hear the cute chatter of seatmates becoming temporary friends while we wait to reach our next destination. Isn’t it funny how humans react in situations like this? Remember field trips as a child where you would form weird, one day friendships with kids you never talk to and insist they come over and play and maybe they would but most likely they wouldn’t and once the glow of the trip was gone you forgot why you wanted to be friends in the first place.
We began by going about our business, lone rangers in the game of travel. We stowed our belongings and fastened our seatbelts and waited for a takeoff that wouldn’t come. After the first announcement, we continued our silence and learned we could have our electronics and cell phones again so instantly we retreated into the world we’d been disconnected from for maybe 15 minutes. By the second announcement, we were restless.
I began my friendship by making a this-is-why-I’m-single comment to my seatmate. As I finished the last drop of my water, I fittingly said this water bottle seemed like a good idea at the time. We learned basic histories, job, destinations, etc, and then broke off again to do our own thing. Our legs are touching and a little sweaty but I don’t mind the human interaction.
The trend continues around the plane. A complete island behind me with a book and headphones slowly emerged and began smalltalk with his seatmate as well as neighbors around him. He kind of looks like Tom Hardy, which is cool. Now he’s listening to music again.
The people in front of me discuss their businesses, travelling and favorite restaurants. I think the one guy is British but I’m about as good as identifying accents as I am at identifying ingredients (not good. I can tell you something is strawberry-flavored if I’m eating a strawberry).

I’m not sure why this post transitioned into a study of humans on planes, but it’s helping me pass the time. The stewardess (flight attendant?) is attentive and wonderful and wearing very high heels and I commend her for that. She keeps asking what we can do to make it less hot and I like her strategy of making us productive so our sweat has purpose.
I suggested we take turns fanning with out coats down the aisle but the idea didn’t seem to take off. Kind of like this plane. Ba dum tss.
[Five minutes later]
The hipster behind me opened my eyes to the available bathroom, so now I feel much better. He saw our snacks and thanks us for bringing food for the plane ad said he liked my shirt (lovers gonna love).
Much like a bathroom break after a few drinks, the seal has been broken and others begin filing. The great news is the captain told us we can take off in 28 minutes. No time like the present. Luckily, he said he’s going to floor it to Boston.
 I don’t think I’m going to waste any more of our time because I’m sure you don’t care about my wait now in the past as assumedly I will have made it past this parked position by the time it’s posted and I could probably be doing something more productive.
Like taking another nap. Up top (high five your computer now).

It’s your birthday so you get a post

Being the little sister of Kristi Anne Runyan is a unique experience. She’s the fiercest and most loyal friend you could ask for, but she also threw a boot at me once that left a nice boot-shaped bruise on my leg, simply because I refused to clean the house.
That is our relationship in the smallest of nutshells.

As long as I can remember, we’ve been arguing and physically fighting about something (probably my general brattiness) and within five minutes we’re singing an old Barney song or quoting Harry Potter. This is still a common occurrence, despite the fact that we’re both in our 20s.
More importantly, I’ve always been in awe of my big sister.
My family is pretty funny (at least we like to think we are) and sometimes the jokes just fly wildly and it’s amazing to witness. Since I was a kid, I remember Kristi commanding the room with her humor and complete lack of fear to take it a little too far. I would sit in the back seat and just listen to her and our mom or dad talking and joking and thinking these are incredibly funny people and I will never be that clever. Still to this day, I consider myself the weak link among these brilliant humans.
(It’s not like I’m not talented. I’m really good at watercolor designs in Illustrator.)
What balances out her biting humor is her intense compassion and human empathy. God forbid we see an old person dining alone because she will slowly break down to tears, imagining his or her whole life story. Even when she’s making fun of my mustache, I know how much I mean to her. I mean, she partially named her second daughter after me, which must count for something. Plus it’s hard to be mad when even the jokes at your expense are so good. It’s like you’re in the crowd, cheering at your own roast.

Above everything, my sister taught me one of the greatest lessons I’m still learning – just be yourself. Kristi can be very crude and inappropriate and talks about poop too much, but that’s who she is, unapologetically. She still farts at the table and then giggles until someone notices and tells me not to tell mom even though mom now inevitably knows. I spend half of my time trying to stay disgusted and the other half trying to act like it’s not really hilarious.
We still break out in song in public. We dance in the car with our special dance, appropriately called the Car Dance. She does a mean Cher and Cowardly Lion impression. She could probably shoot me with a bow and arrow and then sing ‘Cheer Up Charlie’ from Willy Wonka and I would laugh and completely forget about the injury.
We used to write stories about King Bong and his gong and record them on my Talk Girl. Sometimes we would wear dollar store police toy set sunglasses and jump into imaginary dips in our yard. We spent countless hours watching movies that were too mature for us while our dad was at work because we had full access to every movie channel ever.
We still make the most obscure movie references and most of the time, we get it. Most of the time it’s a line from Harry Potter, but not the obvious ones like “You’re a wizard” or whatever. We play for keeps.

I could talk about my sister and our memories all day, but I will wrap it up like this. We didn’t always get along and went through the typical adolescent phases, but somehow we remained best friends through it all. From our childhood of being complete weirdos to our adulthood of being even bigger weirdos, I still love her most of all.
Kristi taught me to be silly and weird so if you ever wonder why I’m so weird, blame my sister.  On that note, thank you for making me so strange and being the best big sister.
Happy Birthday, Kristi. May your last year in your 20s be great and hopefully filled with another pregnancy because I’m ready for another one.