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birthday inventory

“After that I never put another time line on anything in my life.” – Cameron Diaz

While I don’t necessarily consider Cameron Diaz to be a role model of mine, she’s absolutely correct.  Your life is going to happen the way it happens, regardless of the way you design it to happen.

That said, upon reaching certain milestones, you start to gain some perspective on your life, and where it’s going.  Where you want it to go.

Last year, in September, I went out to a gay dance bar that featured some beautiful male entertainers with a friend of mine who was turning 30.  We had a blast.  The question that she felt she was getting asked a lot, however, was, “Are you happy with how you spent your 20s?”  And she would sort of grimace and turn away.

Which, whatever.  She lived internationally, she wrote a lot, had many adventures, lots of ups and downs in relationships, and did a lot of the typical things, such as graduating college and the likes.  In the year since then, she’s moved to Philadelphia and started law school, and incidentally began a relationship with another very close friend of ours (which, ha ha ha, happened during our wedding weekend ::stops to pat self on back::).  He visited her just this past weekend.

But that question comes up to me.  Quite a bit.  Am I satisfied with how I spent my 20s?

Definitively, the answer is yes.

In regards to party, my husband and I are combining my birthday this year with tailgating for a football game (at our alma mater).  Which essentially means it’s a picnic party, with lots of drinking and just hanging out all afternoon, playing cornhole and the likes.  I am going to drink mimosas all day long and talk with my friends and grill avocado and have a fabulous day.  And then go sing some karaoke after the game.

Today, while walking through the massive halls of a discount store with a friend of mine, I said, “I had wanted to go to my most frequented Orlando bar, which is where I also went when for my 23rd birthday…”  I trailed off.  Holy shit.  Had I really been going to the same said bar for the past seven years!?  I remember being 23, and it not being so terribly bad I guess, but when I think about it in terms of that being seven years ago, I feel like I was an infant then.  Geez.

Lucky for me, many of the things in my life turned out the way I’d expected them to, even at the age of 19.  If I were to take a checklist of the things I’ve done in my 20s, as per what I had wanted to accomplish, I think I’d have come out ahead.

  • graduated from college
  • began my masters degree
  • started my career in my long-since chosen field
  • published a really long and fancily bound academic paper, even if no one ever really reads it
  • had a couple of very informative long-term(ish) relationships
  • traveled overseas, and to the Pacific coast
  • performed, a lot
  • exposed myself to a lot of new things and people and ideas
  • moved away away from home home
  • got married to one awesome dude
  • learned how to freaking cook (and how to bake)
  • published some stuff in stuff
  • have been kind of a big deal in quite a few kids’ lives
  • loved & danced a lot

The last two may be uber-cliche, but they’re important to me.

I forsee some of this in the next decade of my life, and surely, the plans will change the specifics will vary.  A lot.  Just as they have in this decade.  I don’t even know about writing down goals for the next one, just because I don’t like being one of those people who specifies so much, is so sure of what’s going to happen, only to see everything go to shit.  Or to deny that I ever thought any of my previous goals would occur.

So yeah.  Here’s to being lucky enough to come out ahead, and that luck continuing for the next decade of my existence upon this earth.

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wrapping up the roaring 20s

I spent the better part of my formative years – at least the ones that weren’t defined by my parents’ splitting up – in a small town in Central Florida.  There was always so much I wanted to do, but there never seemed to be the time or resources to do it all.  I would read articles in the Sunday paper about parents taking their kids to ballet and piano lessons and all of that good stuff, and I always wanted to do those things.  Instead of going to concerts in middle school (and most of high school), I rocked out in my room as hard as I could to whatever 90s radio or random mixtapes I could get my hands on.

In some ways, I led a sheltered life as a child.  In many ways, this was a good thing.

But it led to me letting loose in my 20s.  Not in the sense of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll (well, not as much the former two), but in the sense of being determined to have every possible awesome experience I could.  And be ambitious career woman, and all.

In a lot of ways, it’s been expensive, as my personal savings are very little at this point, but what a ride it’s been.  And sure, I’m to the point where I am far more settled than many of my peers, but I’m still constantly about going and doing and making things happen.  To the point where I’ll spend six weeks away from my still newly-minted husband this summer to get that experience.

We’ve discussed this particular idea for years now, to the point where it’s not a thing, but in a lot of ways it’s not something we’re looking forward to.

It’s not just me running off and joining a hippie drum circle cult (OR IS IT!?), it’s me doing something to further my career in what will be the most efficient way possible before I have to officially stop being selfish.  Ugh.

But as our friends grow older, start having kids (this fall will bring a bumper crop) and I feel stupider and stupider dancing at clubs and the like, I have to face the facts: it’s time to say goodbye to my 20s. Continue reading

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Sunday Morning in downtown Wilton Manors

1) Tomatoes and bananas are indeed just as inexpensive at outdoor markets sometimes as they are at Publix and Publix never signed on to make sure tomato workers were safe in South Florida.  Damn straight.  

2) There are no Asian restaurants open before about 2pm on Sundays down here.  Surely this would be different if we were in the more urban northeast, or definitely on the West Coast.  But for as diverse as South Florida is, we are not the most idyllic place to be Asian, or to have a taste for Asian foods (like my husband who lived for a year in Vietnam).  We went to a free Digital Underground show last night, with a number of Miami food trucks in attendance.  That was pretty awesome, except for my husband’s inability to get the lo mein he so desired.

I guess we have to go to Orlando, where you can get GLORIOUS Asian food near Mills & 50, and lots of different types.  Including the vegan-alicious Loving Hut (which also has its own traveling truck, and has for years).  I really hope that development in Orlando never gets rid of those glorious places.

3) I think I had a priest compliment me today.  We were walking to get some type of food, Asian or not, and a guy in some sort of religious gear said to me either “nice glasses” or “nice breasts”.  I know that the fact that he was apparently a man of some kind of cloth doesn’t exempt him from being a perv, even on a Sunday (have you ever worked food service in a God-fearing town on Sundays?  BONKERS).  What made me relatively sure that he was complimenting my glasses was that we were in front of Java Boys, the most rainbow decked coffee shop I’ve ever witnessed.  

As I’ve mentioned before, I could walk outside in my neighborhood stark naked and not be harassed.  And I think unless you wear black leather and spikes to the club Ramrod, harassment in Wilton Manors proper is on the low side. 

 

So was our Sunday morning jaunt about town.

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Go Mavs

I live in South Florida.  I do not want the Miami Heat to win the national title.  I am irritated that they’ve made it this far.  Why? For a number of reasons.  Well one short one and a really long one, both relating to my childhood.

1) Living in Florida as a young kid in the late 80s, when we got the first two Florida teams as NBA expansion teams, I lived in Central Florida.  Thus, the Orlando Magic were a somewhat central theme to my childhood and adolescence.  I really enjoyed watching them play the Lakers in the NBA Finals two years ago, despite the outcome.  I learned that watching high stakes sports  I was emotionally invested in was a huge motivational force to clean my apartment.  More than ever.  I was very sad to see the Magic fall so early this post-season.

2) Then there’s that whole Lebron deal.  That guy sucks.  Back to two years ago, I delighted in the fact that Dwight Howard had busted up the Kobe/Lebron battle that was supposed to be the NBA Finals that year.  I hated Lebron then.  I still hate him now.

The whole stacking the deck down here in Miami smacks of playground politics.  I feel like I’m back in elementary school…

(insert crazy harp runs and wavy visuals that invariably indicate we’re going back in time)

ALSO THERE’S A POTENTIALLY NSFW PHOTO AFTER THE CUT, SO CLICK WITH CARE.

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