28 Thoughts on my 28th Birthday

Hey gang, I'm here and today I am celebrating my 28th year on this planet by sharing some of the things that creep into my head in the matter of a morning. This is especially a treat because I tend not to be very introspective on this here blog. But today I've pulled out all the stops. Take heed! And enjoy.

1. I will choke every last gasp from my 20s that I can over these next two years. Basically what I am saying is that until I am 30 I will make no apologies for drinking alcohol before noon.

2. A decade ago today I was driving back north from Naples, Florida, with three of my best friends after spring break. Popular songs on the radio as we cruised around Florida that week? “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake and “In Da Club” by 50 Cent.

3. I legitimately “raised the roof” with sincerity not two days ago.

4. While folding laundry last night, I realized I no longer aim to buy “going out” clothes. Rather: “this seems reasonably comfortable and I would not be totally ashamed to be seen in public wearing such a thing.”

5. I cannot stop looking at this.

6. In the past year, I have found myself reverting back to the same interests I had as a teenager. Revisiting old tunes, thinking about old books, picking up old hobbies. I think teenager me was a hell of a lot cooler than mid-20s me. I should’ve given her a chance!

7. Does that mean I’m having a quarter-life crisis? Surely, modern science will have me living until I’m 112 years old.

8. As far as birthday weeks go, I certainly can’t complain about this one. In the past seven days I have met my favorite musician of all time, Blake Schwarzenbach, and talked with him for roughly 40 minutes. Then he Facebooked me. This weekend, I go to Chicago to spend the weekend with most of the best ladies I know in the world. High fives all around, life.

9. It was announced today that the 15 new episodes of “Arrested Development” will air on Netflix beginning May 26th. I can’t wait to have the Bluths back into my life.

10. What the hell IS Justin Beiber anyway? Why is he a thing? What is going on?

11. Remember when I was updating about our house being renovated? It still is. That’s why I haven’t had an update about it in a while! We’re hoping it will be finished within the week. Hopefully.

12. I am getting married in 44 days. Seriously. That is the honest-to-goodness truth. That is NEXT MONTH. How did it get here so soon?

13. How, exactly, does one get used to going by a completely different last name after 28 years? One thing I am thankful for is that it will make my signature much more efficient.

14. I think I just said I am looking forward to marriage because it will make me more efficient. What can I say, I’m a romantic.

15. Today in Milwaukee it is a magical 58 degrees. Though the outfit I have chosen to wear would lead you to believe it is actually 75 degrees. Everything is relative.

16. Someone at work just told me to have “the best day of my life,” which may be my favorite birthday wish ever. That’s a tall order, friend, but I will do my best to make that a reality.

17. Nothing strikes fear into my anxiety-riddled soul more so than being appointed as the lunch-destination decision maker. That is an incredibly heavy duty to place on a person. It could make or break your luncheon mates' day! And I just can’t handle that kind of responsibility.

18. Do you know Kat George? I’ve been reading some of her work across the Internets lately and now I have dreams about us being Best Friends Forever. She is exactly the kind of writer I want to be. I am making us matching friendship bracelets that we will never take off all summer long. Not even for fancy events. She just gets me.

19. Now I’m just getting depressed by how Kat George is also 28 years old and she has done something in her life, even if it is just writing about late-20s-lady sadness on the Internet.

20. But I guess technically I am also currently writing about the exact same thing on the exact same vehicle. So. Okay?

21. If there is something I could say to 20-year-old Rachel, it would be this: Please take an internship at a magazine. One in New York, if you can. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. If there is a drink at your college bar that is called the “Triple Blackout,” maybe try not to drink three within a happy hour. Even if you have done this, I’m pretty sure people like you more than you think they do. Don’t be afraid to be a curmudgeon if you are feeling like one. Maybe get a little better at playing the guitar.

22. If there is something I could say to 40-year-old Rachel, it would be this: Hey, me, I hope you are a rad mom who writes funny/interesting things for a living. I hope your kid(s) listen to punk rock (if it exists then?), or at least attempt to seek out some kind of music that is not spoonfed to them on the radio. I hope with age you have gained enough confidence that you no longer get flustered when making your order at Subway. I hope you’re not eating Subway so much anymore.

23. I am having a hard time deciding which is cuter: a red panda or a river otter? They both make incredibly strong cases for themselves so I think the rest of the day I will devote to making a “pros and cons” list comparing the two. Stay tuned to see who wins!

24. Last week I watched the first two seasons of “Downton Abbey” within 36 hours, after swearing I’d never give in to the hype of the show. SPOILER ALERT: It’s f’ing incredible. Matthew and Lady Mary are the Ross and Rachel of the early 20th century and I cried when he proposed. That being said, the other day I was doing some Internet trolling, just learning everything I could about Dan Stevens, the actor who plays Matthew Crowley on the show, and the very first item that popped up on Google was incredibly distressing to me. If you’re all caught up on the third season you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sadly, I am not yet caught up with the third season so now everything I hold dear in my heart is broken.

25. What seems to be in fashion now is these short, wide tops that certainly look good on ladies who are a size 3T (toddler) to maybe at size 2. Even then, that’s questionable. Why is that a thing? Why are they making tops that make all of us look like we had either eaten two burritos in one sitting (not that I would know what that makes one look like...) or are at least six months pregnant? Essentially what you are trying to pull off here, ladies, is a very short Mumu with a slightly less obnoxious floral pattern.

26. On my 25th birthday, Brian Fallon of the band the Gaslight Anthem dedicated a cover of “American Girl” to me. My now-fiance Eric shouted at a show that it was my birthday and Mr. Fallon asked whose it was and said “Then this one is for you!” It was a pretty neat thing.

27. A few weeks ago I removed a hoop cartilage piercing from my upper left ear, which I had done on my 18th birthday, and have wanted removed from my ear since probably my 20th birthday. I’d made many attempts to remove the hoop from my ear over the years, but decided to take wire cutters to the damn thing and off it popped! I now have a large hole in the cartilage at the top of my ear, and a permanent indentation where the hoop used to sit.

28. I am HIV Positive(ly) going to have a rad rest of my birthday!


  1. Happy Birthday Rachel!
    P.S. The actresses without teeth thing is frightening.
    P.P.S. I have never understood the Beiber thing.

    1. Thank you Heather! Isn't incredible to see how losing something so minor as teeth makes otherwise beautiful individuals absolutely horrifying? That tumblr is my Favorite Thing on the Internet (this week).

  2. Happy Birthday Rachel!!! So you are an Aries!!! Mr P's Bday is the 10th and I'm the 13th, both the same year believe it or not! Most of our friends are Aries as well, so its an eventful few weeks!!!

    Enjoy the rest of your special day!

    Mr. & Mrs. P

  3. Great writing in this post - ya still got it, gurrl! I can't believe we met each other ten years ago! Hope you're not reading this until Monday because you're too hungover to read...

    Yours in Christ,
    P.S. Hullou Buoys!

  4. I'm celebrating my 28th birthday soon and started searching for activities or party ideas. I stumbled across your post and I'm so glad I did! I'm from Milwaukee, too, born and raised, and am currently going to school in the San Francisco Bay Area. I just thought I'd thank you for posting these reflections of yours. It brings a smile to my face!

    1. Thanks Maija, hope you have an incredible 28th! I just celebrated my 29th a few weeks ago and have 29 more thoughts from that day. These are my favorite kinds of posts! Hope you're loving San Francisco. Great to hear from another Milwaukeean! :)


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