Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Lottery Ticket

My brother turns 18 tomorrow. In celebration of this, I bought him a lottery ticket (and Firefly, Serenity, and the descriptively titled The Orange Box game but that's another story.) The Lottery Ticket I chose was of the CSI variety and across the yellow police tape at the top of the ticket, it read"Solve the Crime to Win Up To $75 000". Oooh solving crimes, I thought, and picked out a second one for myself.

Now the way it works is this: you scratch the entire crime scene and each of the corresponding symbols in your files. In the end, one suspect, one tool, one procedure, and one evidence box remain. Then you scratch the "crime solved" box. If it matches any of your four symbols, you win!

The way it happened was this: my first symbol matched, and I laughed. The second matched and I got excited. When the third also matched, I figured I must have misunderstood something along the way. Maybe if they matched, it meant I'd lost? I flipped it over to re-read the directions. Nope, no mistake. I was...winning?!

Up until now, I'd been playing the ticket half-heartedly, while watching Third Watch (a sad one where a major character dies) and with one remaining symbol to be revealed, I hit pause, and moved from the sofa to the kitchen. I don't know why I needed that change of scenery. Maybe I thought the cool glass of the kitchen table would ground me.

Telling myself to remain calm, I carefully scratched the last area..........and it matched.

I was starting to feel lightheaded. Vision blurring a little, I squinted at the lottery ticket and checked the symbols again. There had to be some catch, some trick. People win big bucks on lottery tickets, it's true, but I'm not those people. I'm one of the masses who get 3 corners when you need 4 to win. If you need to uncover all the letters of a word, I'm one of the people who gets an "x" when I need an "a". There had to be some trick...or maybe...could it be I really was up to 75K richer? But I wasn't prepared! I didn't even have a "happy dance" ready for the occasion.

I stood up. Still squinting and nearing delirium, I stubbornly looked for the catch, and the amount of money I'd won. I didn't see anything in the fine print on the back, nothing other the "up to 75, 000" and "win up to 4 times" on the front.

And then I realized what I'd been missing. Yes, I had finally deduced what the catch was. And a catch there was. I had to scratch the prize lots beside each symbol in my files to see the amount won. Slowly, with a mixture of trepidation and esctasy, I scratched each prize lot with my potentially-soon-to-be-framed quarter.

And afterwards I did what I'd dreamed about over the years: I called my mom and told her I'd won the lottery!!

Of course, with Monday being a holiday and all, I won't be able to collect my winnings till Tuesday...but for $12, I think I can manage some patience.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Alpha Blog Post

Ah, in the title lies a lie. This is not my first blog. There is another....created a long, long time ago...that hides in anonymity still. The mystery, the intrigue, the...moving on. Doesn't "musings" sound like music? Like the lyrical connections a mind makes between seemingly unrelated thoughts? Which reminds me of something that happened the other day.

Some friends and I went to a restaurant to celebrate a good friend's 26th birthday and a strange thing happened. We said we'd start with their red house wine and the server smoothly responded, "No, we'll start with your IDs". We looked at him blankly until my friend said, "Uh...the red...?" and he repeated, "No, your IDs." Bemused, we showed them to him and he, satisfied, brought us our wine. Seems like an innocuous incident, doesn't it? Completely forgettable? And yet it wasn't....

Strangely sometimes it's the most average of events that make one ponder the largest questions about life... questions about growing older, future babies, careers, dreams, and what on earth this blog is going to be about....

And the answer is...I don't have any. I just said I had questions. But really first blogs aren't so much about anything as they about nothing. In the end, they're just a way to say hello. Which is all I'm trying to say. So...hello!