Monday, March 06, 2006

In dog years, I'm 175. Almost.

Dude. Put like that, it doesn't seem so bad. Could be worse; I could be a dog. Then I'd be REALLY out of shape and crotchety. All in all, I'm not so worked up over turning 25, which will happen a week from today. I don't feel too much different than I did at 18. Granted, the pants I wore back then have long since ceased to fit and the shirts are largely mourned as well, but I can still technically fit into the bottom half of the boy-shorts and halter-top swimsuit I got in 10th grade. Let's not discuss the halter...please, let's not. So. Being able to wear half of a swimsuit I bought almost 10 years ago (GOOD GOD.) has to count for something.

I feel like I've been able to outgrow some of the less-desirable attributes of adolescence (huge imaginary audience complex, largely self-centered worldview, embarrassing amounts of righteous indignation, some measure of naivete) without becoming too jaded or boring. While I don't really have a swinging nightlife these days, I really never did have much of one to start with. I still see my closest friends from high school on a regular basis. I still have the same best friend I've had since kindergarten, and that rocks.

I still feel about 19-ish years old. It boggles a bit to realize that my baby sister is now 19. I mean, that's hard enough to believe without doing the math to place myself at the appropriate relative age.

Some days I feel like my life is moving along very well, according to some plan which I might not fully understand yet, but nonetheless seems to be leading me somewhere very good. Other days I feel like we'll never achieve "real" adulthood, with its steady finances and home ownership and such. Other days I suspect that perhaps the steadiness of adulthood is just a carefully crafted illusion, woven by caring parents around the world who want their kids to be able to experience the joy of youthful obliviousness. Maybe grownups always secretly worry if the jobs will hold out, if the money will stay steady, if the goals will be met. If so...oh, well. As long as I can still fit into those swimsuit bottoms, it's all good.

But it's special to me.

Tonight I had a waffle doused in maple syrup that I had a hand in making. I wasn't going to say anything, because big whoop, maple syrup. But then I started thinking...and I'll bet there aren't all that many people who can say they helped make the maple syrup they're pouring onto their waffles.

Here's how it came to pass. I did a year of AmeriCorps service last year, and my host site was a local nature preserve. This nature preserve is seriously cool, and includes some of the last stands of virgin forest in the state. Every year, they have a pancake breakfast and make some of the syrup for it with sap from maple trees found on the preserve. One day last January or February, one of the volunteers showed me how to tap maple trees, and I actually tapped one of them by myself. Somewhere in all the syrup they made last year (some of which was bottled and sold), there was sap from the tree that I tapped, and that's pretty cool.

Witness giant sin-crushing loaves of bread!

I only wish I was clever enough to have made this up.

Stay tuned for your regularly-scheduled freakout

I signed up to take a whitewater kayaking class in April. I developed an irrational fear of kayaking around the age of 12 or so, when I read an article about the sport. Apparently the article implied that the kayaker is completely unable to escape from the kayak once the dry skirt is in place. My overactive imagination immediately went into hyperdrive, and I became very, very afraid of the idea of being in a boat that 1. is likely to roll over and 2. from which I would be unable to escape.

Once someone helpfully pointed out that at least the search teams would know where to look for your body if you drowned in your kayak, I was pretty much never going to go near the damn things. But then, years later, I found that I really love to canoe. Hanging out with canoeing people generally leads to hanging out with some kayaking people, too, and they tend to look like they're having a lot of fun. I'm sure there would be a scandal if they took my parents' $100 (They paid for the class for me as a birthday gift, because they rock that hard) and let me get flipped upside-down in an inescapable boat. Right? ...right? I expect I'll be excited until the moment they put me in the actual kayak, on the actual river. Then things may get interesting.

Reading: Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan. This book is SO good. It's wonderful because of the dog in question, and because of the way it's written. I love the way good journalists are sometimes able to write excellent and entertaining nonfiction. (Other examples: Tim Cahill, who once referred to me, to my face, as "the girl with the funny jokes." DUDE. DUDE!, and Steve Fiffer, author of Tyrannosaurus Sue). I have absolutely loved this book. It has hilarious moments, serious moments, heartwrenching moments, heartwarming moments, more hilarious moments. I have to confess that I haven't actually finished the book yet. I got to the part last night where it is clear that the inevitable is going to come to pass, and I knew that if I kept reading, I'd bawl all night. But don't let that dissuade you! Read Marley & Me. You'll be glad you did.

Also reading: Sabriel, by Garth Nix. I'd never heard of this author until a friend of mine sent me two of his paperbacks from England. I'm four chapters into Sabriel, and it's totally engrossing. It was a struggle to put it down and return to work today once my lunch break was over.

Playing: The Legend of Johnny Cash (yes, again) and this CD, even though the company that made it is teasing me cruelly with this...the best lotion I've ever, ever found, and it's out of stock and unavailable to order. I may weep.


  1. Yeah, you are getting up there in, whaddya want fer yer b-day??

  2. Hey, now...let's not pick on the elderly. It's not polite ;)

  3. don't listen to sharon, she's just jealous because she's the baby. i mean, what's a quarter century? plus, you don't even have to say to yourself, "i'm how old and i still live my parents?"