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This item originally appeared in the October 28, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

When I was younger, I perfected the gypsy costume every year for Halloween. I didn't even know what a gypsy was back then, but I sure had the headscarf, long skirt and hoop earrings to authenticate the costume.

The only reason I chose that costume was because of my older sister Jill. That was her traditional costume when she was my age, and she recommended I continue the legacy.

And, by gosh, if that even remotely meant I would be half as cool as I thought she was, I would do it.

Jill, who is seven years older than me, even took time out of her busy high school social life to make me the costume. Whether or not she knew it at the time, she was my hero.

We went through the usual sibling rivalry stuff, like arguments about who got the front seat of the car. She is even the reason for a tiny scar on my forehead, and unfortunately, I am the reason for one of her early childhood concussions (it's actually a really funny story, but that's a whole other column ... )

Even though we would put masking tape on the carpeted entries of our bedrooms to signal "Keep Out, Sister" and take every opportunity to embarrass each other in front of friends and boyfriends, we secretly loved one another and knew we had each other's back.

We didn't become ultra-close until about three years ago when I graduated from high school. After one fabulous recommendation and some heartfelt advice, I only applied to Tech (yes, that's me following in the big sis's footsteps again).

From then on, Jill and I really had something in common: a Sprint-to-Sprint plan with unlimited calls to each other.

"So, I think I failed the test," I would rant to her on the way from class.

"Of course you didn't," she would reassure me from her apartment in New York.

"Boys just don't get it, do they?" I would cry to her from my dorm room.

"They don't, but it will be OK," she would say, comforting me from Boston.

"My editor loved the idea!" I would scream while grocery shopping.

"I am so proud of you, girl!" She would congratulate me from Fort Lauderdale. (Her ultra-cool, A-List-celebrity-driven job involves lots of traveling, in case you're wondering why she's talking to me from all over the place.)

Besides my mom, Jill is the only other person in the world who knows all my secrets and quirks and understands my personality to the T.

She is the only one who I can be completely honest with and not worry about getting judged or hurt from. She is the only one I know who would hop on a plane at 3 in the morning if I called her and told her I needed her.

I really don't know if this is a trend with sisters around the world, but I really hope it is. There is something so unique about a sisters' relationship, that it doesn't even compare to that of best girlfriends (which is pretty tough to beat).

So, even as a young girl, I always knew Jill was the coolest. I wanted to be just like her, and maybe that's what I was trying to say when I dressed up as the gypsy for Halloween.

Perhaps I wasn't striving to be a gypsy, but rather paying tribute to the sister I knew I would grow up to love unconditionally.

Maybe, I should dress up as an adult and spend days with Jude Law like she does now ... Nah, I'll never be that cool.

Julie Miller is a junior journalism major from Shreveport and serves as associate managing editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to

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