It’s the End of the World As We Know It

In a few short hours my daughter will officially turn 16 years old. As I have felt with increasing intensity for the past 15.9 years — time goes by so quickly!

Perhaps as nod to the compressed time I’m feeling, my daughter decided to have a time-travel-themed birthday party. It includes dinosaurs, space travel, swords, 50s-style diner baskets, and medieval goblets. Things you might encounter if you trapesed across time and space collecting random bits.

She and a group of friends have been stuffing themselves full of gummy dinosaurs, Star-shaped fruit, aged cheese and a classic dinner of baked descendant of dinosaur (aka chicken) with assorted side dishes. There’s astronaut ice cream. And banana split birthday cake! They’ll enjoy games and time-travel-themed movies as they discuss the thrills of starting their junior year of high school. And I overheard mention of the wonders and problems of thawing permafrost. Ancient viruses have been released. 

School began about two weeks ago. Like a broken record, I wonder where the time went? 

The summer flew by! 

I feel like it just began. I would like more! 

I grew peppers, tomatoes, and lots of basil in a balcony garden. I may have been visited by a ghost … at least twice. And I did a few things I haven’t done in years. 

This summer my daughter relaxed or studied instead of being carted to or from camps. We hung out, watched a few movies, played fun games including a great assortment of video games and pinball at ReplayFx in Pittsburgh. Talk about a blast from the past.

ReplayFx is a classic video game and pinball festival held at the David L. Lawrence convention center in the heart of Pittsburgh. I got to play hours and days of some of my favorite games, a few of which I haven’t played in forever (or in many cases since the last ReplyFx). And my daughter got to enjoy pinball and games like Centipede, Rampart, and Time Crisis that I played when I was her age or a little older. We even played a new board game. 

I stayed up late. Got up early. And basically ran myself ragged in the most enjoyable way possible. 

We ate Thai, assorted meatballs, fresh seafood, and some of the best tacos ever. We saw friends, family, and parts of Pittsburgh that were new to us like The Strip and Carnegie Mellon University. We stayed at a hotel that was once a federal reserve where we were offered complementary breakfast as well as evening drinks and dinner. There was a pool, a hot tub, and a rooftop terrace with a fantastic view of the sunset behind the city. Can I just stay there? Forever? Okay, no. 

Closer to home, we spent a weekend at the beach where we got to play in the sun, sand, and ocean. Zillions of baby jellyfish swam past us as we marveled at their clear bodies. Too young to sting, we caught a few of the strange critters in our hands and examined them close up. 

We spent time with friends and stuffed ourselves full of yummy food. I was especially happy to visit one of my favorite restaurants, the Hobbit, where we had delicious dip, exquisite entrees, and a dessert called Merry’s Delight. Next we scarfed down crispy Thrashers fries with vinegar — so yummy. Once again, can I just stay there? I would like to.

For all these reasons and more, there are most definitely days I would like a time machine. I could visit my favorite times and spots again and again. But now summer is winding down. High School is spinning up. And my little girl will be sweet 16. Happy birthday! 

We will have all-new good times ahead. 

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So This Happened

I’ve been expecting the renewal stickers for the plates on my car. So, after getting home from work and picking up my daughter, I checked the mail even though I had to dash right back out again.

I found no stickers. Instead I found this:

AARP1b

That’s right. It’s my first AARP Membership letter. Just in time to be almost a week early for my birthday.

I am not effing old enough for AARP thankyouverymuch. Do not rush me.

As I gaze at the stark black & white of the envelope, I’m struck by the bold arrows along with “From” and “To” on the outer envelope. Apparently in case I am already senile and easily confused they are going to help me understand that, yes, this is special just for me. Golly, thank you AARP. You even spelled my name wrong.

Inside, I found a form with faux computer pin-feed holes. Because I guess my generation should be able to relate to pin-fed paper. And our eyesight is going, so we shouldn’t notice that those are not actual pin holes, but instead are little gray circles.

Also, included was a bright red sample card and a reminder that I haven’t yet registered for the valuable benefits of being old. I mean, the valuable benefits of AARP Membership even though I am quote “fully eligible” for said benefits.

They lie. I will not be fully eligible until next week. So there.

As if that wasn’t blow enough, I dashed out to our last night of pinball league at a place called Red Zone Grill.

I’m pretty bummed that this location will be closing. While the food was meh. And the floors pretty icky, the people were great, it had pinball, and it was only about 6 miles away from home which meant I could get there in time for league.

There will be a new location, but it’s about 5 miles farther which means I may or may not get there on time. It may require additional juggling. (Which I am getting pretty good at, but I still drop too many balls.) I already found it tricky to get to the old location on time. Traffic may well be the deciding factor.

The good news is that the new location sounds nicer, with better food, and cleaner floors all of which are big pluses in my book.

As the saying goes you’re only as old as you feel. Some days I feel it. Some days I don’t. I just want to have fun! But my schedule is bonafide crazy right now. I’m not sure how January 2018 came and went so quickly. Combined with other changes it is all giving me an unsettled feeling like I just clumsily dropped a glass, and I’ll need to catch it or it will shatter. I have caught them before. I can do it. But will I?

Until it hits the ground, I plan on having fun practicing the juggle that is life until I either get it right or die trying. Wish me luck.

Happy groundhogs day!

 

AARP2b