It's April 4th, 2014 and that means it's the first day of the 29th year that I've been rocking and rolling all over this planet of ours.
Last year, I compiled a list of 28 random thoughts on the day of my birth. As I enjoyed it thoroughly, I think I'd like to make this a little tradition each year. I can only imagine what my thoughts will be on my 100th birthday.... the answer is, obviously: Still awesome.
On with the thoughts.
1. Here I am, 364 days away from my 30th b-day, and I could swear I am still 17. Still like the same kind of music. Still like the same kind of movies. Still going to Target for weekend entertainment. I will be 17 forever.
2. I believe 17-year-old me was probably a bit more mature than 21-year-old me. For a few years in college and a couple after, I regressed. But I'm pretty sure, for the most part, almost everyone does a little substance-induced regression in those four fleeting years.
3. But seriously, if I don't get back to Athens, Ohio, and the Most Magical Place on Earth (Ohio University) sometime this year, I will slide into a deep, dark depression. Friends, don't let this happen to me.
4. Next month Eric and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. How in the total hell did a year pass since that day?
5. I get invested in really trivial things way too easily... things like movies and books and television. Case in point: From 2008 through this past Monday, every Monday I tuned in to "How I Met Your Mother." Its first few seasons were some of the most compelling, entertaining, emotional and smart episodes of television I've seen. I stuck through it in the last few, incredibly unremarkable seasons because I was invested in the characters and the titular endgame we had been promised since the pilot. While I will not divulge any spoilers, it's taken me a while to process Monday's finale. After the credits rolled, I sat, sorting through my emotions for half an hour before I could speak my mind about it. Once I tried to voice my feelings to Eric, I started BAWLING. Tears freely flowing for 10 minutes. I wasn't exactly sure why. I couldn't turn them off! Was I sad that this show, the only one other than my beloved "Friends" I'd invested so many years of my life to, was over? Was it based on the ending of the show? I'm still not sure why I reacted that way, or why I only got four hours of sleep that following night because I was up thinking about it for hours...but it struck me harder than a television should. IT'S JUST TV!!! IT SHOULD NOT AFFECT YOUR SLEEPING PATTERNS. But it does. And I'm still sorting out my feelings. I love you, TV.
6. So, um... anyway....Remember the Olympics? That sure was a thing that happened two months ago!
7. Did you know they make carrot cake candy corn now? Have you tried it? It tastes like carrot cake. RUN, don't walk, to your nearest Brach's retailer and buy this stuff up before Easter.
8. You know those mornings when you wake up and inexplicably have some
random song looping through your brain and you're not exactly sure how
in the hell it got there? For the past three days, for me, it's been R.
Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)." Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce,
9. Ten years ago, on my 19th birthday, I was asked what kind of beer I wanted to celebrate with and I said "Natural Light in bottles." Because "in bottles" is the classy way to drink a $7 12-pack of beer.
10. Tonight, I believe I'll enjoy a nice IPA. Three Floyd's, maybe. And though it might come from a bottle, I bet it'll be poured into a nice glass first. This is maturity, you guys.
11. I don't believe there's been one time in the past year where I haven't thoroughly studied a restaurant's online menu before going there for the first time. Paralyzed by indecision, I get incredible anxiety when forced to make a decision that could ultimately effect the rest of my day/night.
12. However, if any menu features a nice seared scallop, I can pretty much shut the menu right then and there, because the decision's been made for me.
13. Last weekend I saw "Grand Budapest Hotel" and was absolutely enchanted by it from start to finish. It's Wes Anderson's best movie since "The Royal Tenenbaums" (my personal favorite), and everything from the set to the cinematography to acting was right on the mark. Simply wonderful.
14. Two of my favorite shows ever are "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune." As any good 68-year-old would do, I sit at home, watch my games and play along. Often I work out during the two, so I'm working my brain and my body. It's the one-two punch that's gotten me to where I am today. I'll probably never qualify for "Jeopardy!" (by the way, I'm an Arthur Chu fan, and I wish Ken Jennings was my best pal), but I'll be damned if I don't try to get on "Wheel" some day. It's my destiny.
15. Speaking of "Wheel," I know this happened a couple of weeks ago, but if you haven't seen it, this is the most amazing solve of a bonus-round puzzle I have ever seen. Watch it, then read the A.V. Club article about it. Even Pat Sajak said it was the most impressive solve he's witnessed in his 30+ years as host of the show (yes, I follow @patsajak on Twitter. Yes I am a huge, huge nerd.) AMAZING.
16. For the past few days, I can't stop thinking about learning to play my favorite instrument, the mandolin. I've been researching pricing (they're 'spensive!) and I already (poorly) play guitar. Is the mandolin difficult to pick up? I think this particular instrument will lend itself nicely to my infant-sized hands, and also maybe I can make my dream of heading a punk-bluegrass band finally come true.
17. Speaking of music, last night, I traveled to Madison with my husband to see Against Me! This band does not put on a bad show. Their latest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, will probably end up in my Top 3 Albums of 2014.
18. If I had to choose one savory snack to eat for the rest of my lifetime, it would be popcorn, lightly salted.
19. If I had to choose one sweet snack to eat for the rest of my lifetime, it would be ice cream. No... s'mores. No...chocolate-chip cookies. No....
20. What I'm saying here is, come on, bring me some snacks.
21. If I could say something to 19-year-old Rachel, it would be this: Right now you're going through an incredibly rough time. What I can't promise is that your 20s won't hold many more difficult patches. What I can promise is that one day things will come together. You'll get your dream and you'll continue working for those other dreams you didn't think could happen. Keep living. Keep having a blast with your friends, and in 10 years you'll find yourself in a place where you're more content than you ever thought you'd be.
22. If I could say something to 39-year-old Rachel, it would be this: You'll be 40 soon, and that's okay. I hope you're still writing, and I hope you've got a catalog of work you truly are proud of. If you've got kids, that's awesome...if you don't, you're still just as awesome. I know you're still laughing at fart jokes...just keep doing that to the grave, and things will be alright. Don't let yourself feel like you're too old to enjoy loud music in dingy venues. You aren't.
23. There is no bigger comfort in life than the donning of the "Double Gray." Don't know what the Double Gray is? Put on a pair of heather-gray sweatpants, then top it with with a worn-in heather gray sweatshirt (bonus points if it's a crew neck). Sit on the couch and soak it all in. Monochrome sweatsuits are the definition of "I sincerely do not care what I look like, but I'll be damned if I've never felt more comfortable."
24. The day I first sported the Double Gray in front of my husband was the day I knew we were destined to be the happiest old-people couple on the planet.
25. Last week I walked into Target and was horrified when the first three racks of clothing I saw were nothing but cropped, midriff-bearing shirts. Wwwhhhhhhyyyyy???? Why is this still a thing and who are the youths trying to make this look happen?
26. Really what I'm saying is, would it be a faux-pas to buy all the skirts and dresses in Target's maternity line solely because they look comfortable and would also appropriately conceal my gut.
27. Sorry, folks, I just can't get behind oil-pulling. I tried it and lasted 15 seconds before I nearly gagged and quit. I'll just stick with toothpaste, mouth wash and the occasional floss, thanks.
28. However I will swear by using coconut oil as a face moisturizer and hair smoother. That stuff's bananas. Just kidding, it's coco-nuts. (I'm sorry)
29. I'm 29 and the world can't stop me. At this very moment, I do not give one single cuss about turning 30 next year. We'll revisit this thought in 364 days, but, until then, viva la veintinueve!