Tag: Birthday

Stranded in Suburbia

Stranded in Suburbia

I’m in a bit of an odd predicament.

In my 22nd birthday blog post, I based the whole thing on the fact that there isn’t a lot of external fanfare surrounding 22 compared to 21.

But there is one specific thing that happened when I turned 22, which I sort of alluded to yesterday.

I was able to get a new driver’s license when I turned 21, one that would be horizontal instead of vertical to assure certain establishments that I am of age for things like drinking. But I didn’t have to get my new license because the old one wasn’t expired.

I can no longer say that because the expiration date came yesterday:

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Be glad I’m not showing you the full picture… It’s bad.

For the first time in close to four years, I am no longer legally able to drive myself.

Now I know some of you are probably saying that it shouldn’t matter, because what are the odds of getting pulled over?

Well… Sure. I could still drive around if I wanted, because it’s not like the license is inherently visible unless asked for specifically. I could still do things like hit the gym if I wanted, as I had planned on today to start working off that birthday cake.

After all, I hit 200 lbs on the scale as of my visit to the hematologist last week, and I don’t want to lose too much progress on my journey to become healthier.

But that being said, I live by the same anxieties as my Mom when it comes to these things. Twelve other people could be driving around with expired licenses around me, but with my luck I would be the one who gets caught and pays the price.

So I won’t be driving around on my own today. Just on the off-chance anything happens.

I could still get driven around by my parents, and Mom has gone to the gym with me in the past. It’s not like I’m totally stuck.

… Except for the fact that I stayed home this morning while the rest of the family went out to do chores. Because for some reason I decided doing homework was more important.

And you know, by ‘for some reason’ I mean because I have assignment deadlines.

Deadlines I could be working on instead of this blog post if I didn’t enjoy living on the edge.

Thus, as the title implies, I’m stuck at home doing work today. I even took that artsy Featured Image through the screen door just to imply bars.

Kinda proud of it, honestly.

On the bright side, my pseudo-house arrest shouldn’t last long. I have an appointment at the DMV tomorrow that I’m… Completely looking forward to…

But you know what, if I have to miss my morning class and suffer through government bureaucracy in order to get my driver’s license back, I suppose it will all be worth it in the end.

Who knows, the experience might even give me something interesting to talk about around here.

Guess we’ll just have to see.

A symmetrical birthday

A symmetrical birthday

Another year, another trip around the sun.

Turning 22 doesn’t offer nearly as many significant things to talk about as the ‘milestone’ 21, where drinking and properly oriented drivers’ licenses were officially on the table.

I won’t be starting this post off with a deep, important-sounding remark on the different milestones one hits in life.

Rather, 22 mainly stands out because… It’s symmetrical? I guess?

To be fair, 22 does have some things going for it. Most notably the fact that I’ll be graduating from college during that year. Yikes.

All of that is pretty forward thinking, though. Today there aren’t a whole lot of exciting things going on, as I’ll be saving the friend gatherings for later in the year when more people are back in town.

What I have gotten is a lovely breakfast made by my younger sister:

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Homemade waffles with fruit compote and whipped cream? I’ve been spoiled.

And a couple of birthday gifts from the family that I definitely did not know about from being in the store with them.

That would be ridiculous! I was honestly, truly surprised.

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Look at this adorable surprise!

Aly must know me real well if she thought to get me a Mimikyu-related gift again, totally without my input.

As much as it messes with my head that Sun and Moon came out almost three years ago, my love for this Pikachu lookalike remains strong. Even if I had to pull a Scizor out to take advantage of her weakness.

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Get it?

While Mimikyu and that new Switch controller are the main physical gifts I’ve gotten thus far, I have been eagerly watching all of the digital presents from various organizations roll in.

Like this cute little email from Nintendo helping me celebrate with all those Marro brahs:

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C’mon Bowser don’t be like that. Have some cake with your son.

Unfortunately platinum coins mean basically nothing next to gold coins, which would allow me to buy new video games.

Just give me more gold coins, Nintendo. I promise I’ll keep shilling for you if I can buy more games.

Until you do, I’ll just go back to Planet Fitness for my free water bottle.

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Not a joke.

I think it’s hilarious that my gym wants me to go spend my birthday working out as I’m sitting around eating ice cream cake, but to be fair I am planning on going tomorrow.

So I might actually use a free water bottle, as silly as that is.

At the very least water seems reasonable as an immediate necessity to keep my body working, which gives it an edge over this offer from Facebook:

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I get the sentiment here, getting members to create fundraisers for nonprofit organizations. It’s a nice goal in-and-of itself.

But one dollar? Seriously, Mark?

Pretty sure you could stand to offer a bit more of a generous care package all things considered. I know you have a bajillion users and that money stacks up in the long-run, but even something like $5 would look less silly as a ‘present.’

Alright, I’ll stop fruitlessly complaining at social media companies. I just honestly don’t have all that much more to say. After breakfast we went out for a bit to visit my Grandpa and buy special pasta ingredients for dinner.

We were greeted by a little bit of rain while out shopping, keeping up the tradition of water falling on my birthday.

Though it wasn’t near as bad as my 20th when I brought attention to the issue on the blog.

So that’s not an exciting direction to head down. Nor is all the homework that I’ll unfortunately be stuck doing tonight due to deadlines that leave no room for extensive birthday fun.

I think I’ll just wrap things up here, then. Get back to relaxing, spending some time with family and… Yeah, homework.

Just one more semester and I’ll never have to deal with that again.

As usual, thank you all for the support here on the blog and in my real life endeavors. Particularly to my old colleague/friend Ashlyn Ramirez who gave me shout outs on all the social media platforms unexpectedly.

That girl works hard, she deserves a little extra support!

But for all the rest of you as well, hope you’ll stick around for however many birthdays are still to come.

Souls sold to the mouse

Souls sold to the mouse

Anyone who follows my general social media feeds should know that I went to Downtown Disney with my Mom and sister today.

It was nice to get out of the house for a serious outing for the first time in at least a week, outside of that night where we went to dinner in Santa Monica. Not sure I’d count that as being a serious outing in the same vein as going to Disney, particularly the day after Christmas.

While I’m not exactly sure whether that proximate timing to the holidays is responsible for this portion of the experience, it was interesting to see a new metal detector/bag check station outside the entrance to Downtown Disney:

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Maybe it isn’t new and I just haven’t been there in a while. But either way a bit of the magic goes away when you have to think about the necessity of this sort of thing so early into the experience.

Luckily that magic is more than made up for by the wonders of Disney-branded capitalism. Everyone’s favorite kind!

My family was over in Anaheim looking into a present for my sister’s birthday tomorrow. After watching Wreck-It Ralph 2 a second time, she decided she needed one of the Disney Princess pajama shirts — particularly Tiana’s New Orleans’ themed shirt.

Obviously the best place to look for that sort of thing was the source, the Mickey Mouse clubhouse of infinite profit.

To make an extra long story short, we didn’t wind up getting that shirt. We also didn’t get the equivalent hoodie sweatshirt version.

Instead we spent a little more time at different stores around Downtown Disney. Like the LEGO store, which I have to admit becomes less fun the older I get simply because of how much more expensivethe sets get.

Also because they had this model of the LEGO store as a display within the store and it was 2 meta 4 me.

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It is cute, though.

While we were in that store I also made what I’m progressively considering to be a mistake by taking part in this ‘which LEGO mini figure are you?’ display:

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet little idea. You stand in front of the board, put your hand on the scanner and it gives you a (presumably) random figure. I can only assume the display is meant for a far younger age demographic because of how low it was to the ground.

But still I thought it could be fun. Found out that I am apparently a Buckingham Palace guard LEGO man.

The only issue is, now I’m 100 percent convinced that all of my privacy is officially gone. I’ve given up my fingerprints to the mouse.

If he didn’t already have them from when my Dad worked for Disney I suppose.

Thus I figured I had nothing left to lose. So we had lunch, then went back to the painting shop that we wandered upon first arriving. Our initial time through was the progenitor of this Tweet:

It was a funny ha-ha joke, but at the same time I was super serious. This painting strangely enticed me when we saw it.

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I guess it isn’t really that strange. Look at the thing, it’s god damn beautiful.

Gotta give a shout out to the artist, Brittney Lee, who works at the animation studio. Because you definitely made a fan of me today.

As well as a fan of my sister, who bought a print of hers featuring swing dancers with dresses based on different areas of the park.

But wouldn’t you know, she got lucky because it was her birthday and bought the ~$45 full-size print. I wasn’t quite as willing to dump $500 on the fully-framed painting.

Instead I got the post card version and bragged about it in a follow-up Tweet.

My friend Juan made fun of me for still supporting the mouse in spite of the fact that I was making taunting about not supporting him…

Which is true.

But.

Uhh…

I still really like this piece so I was willing. They already had my fingerprints, so why not?

Turns out my nostalgia totally can get gouged for all it’s worth.

That seems like as good a message to end this off with as any. No matter how strong you believe your spirit to be, always know that Mickey Mouse can and will find a way to pierce deep into the heart of your desires.

Merry day after Christmas, America.

The prophesied social media expansion

At this point, making new social media accounts really just feels like I’m splitting my soul into more horcruxes.

Yeah as a bunch of my friends have likely now noticed, I made myself an Instagram account today. Deep down it hurts to have further compromised my anti-social media stance of personal morality…

But my boss at Gladeo asked if she could tag me in something on the platform today.

I couldn’t just say no to Michelle, especially after she and her sisters threw us Gladeo Leaguers such a lovely party up at their home in Topanga Canyon yesterday.

Which, as a side note, is why I didn’t have a blog post yesterday. Was busy having some great food, meeting a bunch of folks who I’ve only heard of/met online, and enjoying the view:

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Talk about a backyard, am I right?

So yeah… I’ve got an Instagram now. I guess I’ve been meaning to make one for some time considering it’s supposedly a good resource for work-related things. But I’ve been putting it off as long as possible, so for right now it feels like a defeat.

I don’t think I’m going to be using it for too much at the moment. Not even sure if I want to put these blog posts up there, seems like that would be an odd billboard to advertise them on.

Except I might be totally lying and do that later, since I only really use my other social media accounts to advertise this stuff as is.

Who knows?

I don’t know, man! Having new social media things to focus on is always weird and stressful for me, so I’m going to need some time to get used to it. It’s already kind of stressing me out when I flip between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all within a few seconds of each other looking for updates.

Plus, the color contrast that now exists in my phone’s social media folder doesn’t help.

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Why did you have to be a not cool color like everyone else, Instagram. Who died and made you in charge of fancy reds and oranges and purples?

God look at me, yelling at an app on my phone over text. Clearly this is going to be a mistake.

At least until I get past this period of following everyone I know and watching them follow me back in somewhat equal droves. That’s where all of the current frequent little alerts are coming from.

Ah well. I guess while I’m here I can slip in some brief other bits of news that don’t necessarily require another full space to occupy.

For instance, my car is all better! That was the catalyst of my angry, venting post the other day so I think it’s worth saying that that’s doing well now. We got the steering wheel readjusted and I can actually drive it now.

Which means I can go to school and not have to worry about the stress of car troubles on top of everything else. Considering I have a lot of other stressors between an exam and another essay to write for the beginning of this week, I can’t complain about getting that done.

Might I add that it’s amazing to me how that stupid little rant that lasted 300 words and didn’t mean much of anything to me got more likes on this blog than anything I’d written for two weeks prior? You continue to astound me, Internet.

Also, in other news, we’re throwing my Mom’s official birthday party tonight.

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Spent a lot of time making the house all fancy for it, so I figured it was worth mentioning. Alongside a second happy birthday shout out for her, of course.

Hopefully all the drunk adults stomping around upstairs won’t make it too much harder to do my assignments considering all of my teachers decided to screw me over the same weekend that we’d been planning this event to happen on for weeks now.

But I digress.

Because I think that’s all I wanted to touch on right now.

So, wish me luck not going too crazy and succumbing to the power of a child wizard prodigy with all these extra horcruxes laying about.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, here’s your chance:

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Got myself that cute grandma pic for my profile.

Like I said, not sure what’s going to be going down there just yet. But it could wind up being genuinely important work stuff on occasion.

Might be worth a visit just for that.

Turning Twenty-one

Turning Twenty-one

There are a number of milestone ages a person hits as they grow older.

When a child turns one, their parents have the opportunity to gleefully celebrate helping their progeny survive a full rotation around the sun.

When a pre-teen turns 13, in the case of my heritage at least, they get to celebrate a religious coming of age with their bar or bat mitzvah.

When one on the edge of ‘true’ adolescence turns 16, the celebration is said to be sweet.

When that now teenager turns 18, they are endowed with the right to drive, to legally consent to sexual endeavors and to both fight and potentially die for their country.

Then, when 21 rolls around, that young adult rounds out their accumulation of privileges by gaining the ability to drink alcohol. Legally, at least.

There are many more from there on out, be it the exit from academia in the mid-20s, the ‘over the hump’ years of 50 plus or the retirement years starting in… Well, whenever people are able to retire in this day and age. But for all intents and purposes, the important milestone we’re here to discuss is 21.

Because today — February 17, 2018 — is the day that I become a 21-year-old man and receive all of the rights promised by that status. Namely, I’ll get my hands on a driver’s license that is facing the right way (and hopefully take a better photo at the DMV while I’m at it), and I’ll be able to go out drinking with my friends.

Granted… I don’t exactly have a huge desire to go out drinking. My close-knit high school friends don’t really either, though I’m sure my college journalism friends will be chomping at the bit looking to get me out to a bar in Downtown Fullerton to celebrate.

I’ll probably try it, in a controlled situation, just because it would seem like a waste not to take advantage of the opportunity. But like I said, I’m not wide-eyed and excited about drinking, nor do I imagine I’ll be doing it very often.

Beyond that, what else do I have to say about turning 21…

Honestly, it doesn’t feel very different from being 20. I know that’s a cliché that’s thrown around a lot, but it’s true. Really it’s just more of the same as far as my day-to-day life goes.

Still doing the semester grind, with an actually quite busy week ahead of me thanks to midterms. I’m working on a few pieces for the Titan, though they’re more on the back burner thanks to the aforementioned tests and such. Gladeo is still giving me work, though the subjects I’m working with are harder to get in touch with then I’d enjoy.

Oh, but in more positive news, the student-run publication California Connections that I’m head editor on finally got its first writing submission last night. Shows that all the work I’ve been doing to get the word out has paid off at least a little bit!

Plus, I’ve been working with our advisor Bonnie Stewart on preparing a presentation that a few of us are going to be giving with her at an upcoming journalism conference based on our work covering Milo Yiannopoulos. I’m also going to be getting an award at that conference, so it’s really exciting!

Though I don’t have much to say about them at this point. Just stay tuned for it, I suppose.

Pretty recently hit 200 posts here on this blog, right around the same time as we hit the second anniversary of this black hole for my thoughts existing. That’s pretty awesome, I think. Sure some of that content might have been a little same-y and formulaic over this last year in particular, but I think I’ve got some stuff working in my head to mix it up more, so we’ll see if things get more abundant from here on out.

To be completely honest, it might not get much more exciting than what I’ve had up to this point until I’m out of school and have less diverse responsibilities weighing my time down, but even then I’m going to keep working at it. I do enjoy having this repository for my thoughts, after all.

That said, I think I’m kind of out of thoughts to deposit for now. I don’t have much to say in this self-congratulatory twenty-first trip around the sun pat-on-the-back of sorts. I’m just excited to see where things go from here.

I’m hoping you’re just as excited to stick with me on the journey! Here’s to another 21, and then some.

Another year older, 20 years in

If I had any sense of comedic timing, I would’ve figured out that a year ago I should have waited a few extra days to create my blog so I could coincide that birthday with my really for real birthday today.

Oh well.  Water under the bridge I suppose.

And water everywhere for that matter, since the sky has opened up here in Southern California.

​To be completely honest, rain on my birthday is a bit of a tradition at this point.  My parents still love to tell the story about how my first birthday was washed out by a typhoon.

Enough thinking about the past though, because now that I’m 20 years old and officially no longer a “teen,” it’s time I start thinking ahead to the future.

The first thing I find myself thinking of is whether or not it seems conceited to be writing myself a post about my own birthday.  Like sure, it’s my blog and everything, but it still feels strange.  

I’m not even entirely sure what to say past reflecting a little on my hopes that 20 will be a great year for me, just like 19 was.

Maybe it would be easier to think of things I’ll miss now that I’m another year older.  If I had to pick one thing about being under 20 that I’ll miss… 

It would be no longer getting meal discounts.

Was this whole post just an excuse to fit this surprisingly well placed joke out there? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.

Rest In Peace oh great deal of the century

Happy birthday, blog

As I’ve just been made aware, February 6, 2016 was the day I first created this blog.

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I’m a little late to the party considering it’s about 11:00 p.m. or so when I’m writing this… But it’s been a bit of a long day, so forgive me.

To be completely honest, I never expected that this class assignment would turn into something that I continued to invest my time into.  Sure, a lot of the momentum was built by Pokémon Sun and Moon’s pre-release trailers and information leaks, but I also like to think this has been a great opportunity for me to keep myself writing both about things I enjoy and about whatever’s happening in my life and work.

Oh, and by keep writing, I mean writing a lot.  Seriously, I don’t know how many of these posts have hit over 3,000 words, but I know there are a lot of them.

So, to everyone who’s come to see me and my relentless rambling, and especially to whoever’s stuck around after seeing my relentless rambling the first time, I greatly appreciate it.

Here’s to more abuse of the written word for a long time to come!