Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

Let’s start with the simple fact that I am not a natural when it comes to golf. Mini-golf has taught me that much. But, I thought to myself, how hard could it be to just go to the driving range and smack the shit out of the ball?

Answer: very.

As part of my 30th birthday weekend, Husband surprised me with plans to do several things that I’d never been able to cross off my past birthday lists – including a trip to the driving range.

We got our clubs and basket of balls, and Husband started giving me simple lessons on stance and swing. “See how my hands are here?” he explained, holding the driver, as I stepped in closer to get a better look. “This is how you want to hold it, and then you bring it back, like this.


It turns out that I was paying such close attention to how he was holding the club, that it took me by surprise when the end of it crashed into my face.

Luckily, he wasn’t gearing up with full strength, otherwise this fun birthday trip may have ended with broken teeth and a trip to the hospital. As it was, we finished our brief lesson (through tears, on my part), and I finally found out first-hand how unnatural a golf swing feels for me.

drivingrange - terrible swing

Photo courtesy of Husband, naturally

For every decent hit I got (and there were a few), it seemed that I also had a number of bloopers. One blooper in particular dropped barely a foot from where I was standing.

Just go ahead and pick it up,” Husband said. “You can reuse it.

So I did.

And as I was bending down, a baby bee stung me right in the center of my top lip.

In that moment, I realized that I’d forgotten how much a bee sting (baby or not) can hurt. Especially in such a sensitive area. That had already been hit with a golf club.

But after a brief rest and a well-placed ice pack, I was back in the game. And I only asked Husband to make sure my lip wasn’t swelling every other minute or so.

I found my stride toward the end, and hit at least a few balls past the 100-yard mark – a vast improvement from the complete misses and bloopers that I started with. And despite the minor injuries, the outing was ultimately a fun way to celebrate 30. Which is probably why Husband suggested: “Why don’t you take a ball to remember the day?

Oh, baby,” I told him, “after all of this, I really don’t think I’m going to have trouble remembering our trip to the driving range.

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Sneak attack

I feel like my birthday just snuck up on me this year.

Usually I’m prepared. Usually I’ve evaluated my old birthday list, and I’m ready with a whole new set of goals.

This year I’m running on Nepali time, where everything is delayed for, well, however long it takes.

I don’t have a new list.

I barely remember what’s on my old list.

And part of me kind of doesn’t care.

(The other part, of course, is still the same old OCD Elizabeth and wants to make a new list.)

Maybe I’ll come up with a new set of goals. Maybe I’ll even revisit the old ones.

Or maybe I’ll just celebrate my birthday this year by listening to some of my favorite Nepali songs on repeat and dancing at my desk.

My boys would be so proud.

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Let’s get the un-accomplished out of the way first.

Thanks for the tip, Foggy!

4) I’m not finishing Catch-22. And, let me be honest, I have no desire to. But finishing 6/7 books (I will finish One Hundred Years of Solitude by tomorrow), is still pretty damn good.

8 ) I learned what I’m supposed to do to change a tire, but I didn’t actually practice. So who knows if I could do it in an emergency. I did, however, learn how to check the oil, so that’s a step in the right direction.

10) I can say more than those three phrases in Chinese. And I can even write out some of the characters. But hold a conversation? Not a chance.

14) This is a tricky one. I did get a raise. But a title promotion is a little further away. I did, however, learn that I’m on the right track and that it’s possible (though not probable) that I could get the promotion before graduating. So there’s that.

24) I didn’t rent a car. I tried to convince BNF a couple times that it’d be a good idea, to no avail. And that was also in part because he doesn’t like it when (and how) I drive.

Now, for the ones I did, but didn’t blog about:

13) I was ridiculously proud of myself for being more outgoing. I organized study groups, made friends, introduced myself to new people at grad school and just generally took myself out of my comfort zone. It’s still not easy, but I like this more social me.

16) I went to New York! Saw friends! And have more trips planned for the future! But more than just going up to visit, I feel like I kept in better touch with friends who live there. And I think that was half the goal of this one.

17) Going on a road trip – what even counts as a road trip anyway? Well, I made the list, so I’m going to say that I make the rules. We drove up to New York; we’ve driven up to Philly multiple times; and we even threw a trip up to Baltimore in there. Maybe road trips should be more spontaneous, but frankly, our schedule this past year didn’t really allow for spontaneity. Maybe we can plan for that this year.

18) I cooked! A lot! And it’ll only get better/more inventive in the summer.

19) I didn’t play pool often, but I was able to move the balls while breaking. It’s a step in the right direction.

22) I found a church! Even if some of the members are a little odd

The “life goal” of meeting a Phillies player is still unfulfilled. But I’ve got time. And some of the other unaccomplished will be added to my next list. (Because you knew there had to be another one.)

Bottom line: 20/25 – and, even with the failures, a feeling of accomplishment.

I’ll allow it.

26 – bring it on.

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In one month I will be 26 years old.

That means I have 31 more days to:

– volunteer

– hit a home run

– read 693 pages, in order to finish all my books

– renew my Chinese

– go on a road trip

– rent a car

There are others that I haven’t checked off the list yet, true, but the above are the ones that I’m really not sure I’ll manage.

Home runs are hard, and everything else takes time that I don’t really have. The weekends between now and my birthday? I’m out of town for every one of them.

Yes, I know I made this list a year ago. And you’d think I’d have had time in a year. Funny how that happens.

So I guess a few things will just have to get pushed to the 26 list. Because, yes, there will be a 26 list. Doing this little experiment just confirmed for me how much I love checking things off.

There’s a feeling of accomplishment, even if it’s something as simple as riding a bike (without getting hit by a car).

That said, in this last month, I’d still like to check a few more things off. So if you’d like to speak Chinese with me on a road trip (in a rental car) to do some destination volunteering, I’m all ears.

Any takers?


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Back in June I was struggling a bit with what to get the boyfriend for his birthday, when I had a sudden flash of inspiration.

Comedy show.

A little Googling of comedians led me to a show in New York (just a car ride away) by one of his favorites: Jim Gaffigan.

Now, maybe you’re like me, pre-boyfriend, and you don’t recognize the name. But you’d probably recognize the face and the voice. Take a little peek at one of my favorite skits:

And, if that’s not enough – another one of his more well-known ones.

In any case, the show was this past weekend (yes, I made the boyfriend wait almost 6 months for his main birthday present – though, I gave him the tickets back in June) and it did not disappoint. I could repeat the lines to you – I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t been quoting them back and forth to each other – but that wouldn’t do it justice.

It was most definitely worth the wait.

And, even though this was a birthday present for the boyfriend, the show, and the weekend, overall, was an oasis of calm for me in my stressful finals desert. Here’s hoping that it’ll be enough to get me through the week, with thoughts of Puerto Rico pushing me along as well.

While we’re at it, do you have any tried and true mechanisms for coping with stress? The laughter was great, but these breathing exercises can only do so much.

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When I had my birthday earlier this month, I was excited about turning 25. I was excited to get that much closer to no longer being carded (still wishful thinking), and excited to start in on my list of goals.

The boyfriend had his birthday last Thursday, and I knew he was looking forward to it, too, but for different reasons. You see, he’s excited because the older he gets, the more he’s allowed to be a crotchety old man. He wants to be able to wave his cane, and yell at kids to get off his lawn. He wants an excuse to be both cranky and senile.

But what he wants most is a Rascal.

And what kind of girlfriend would I be, if I didn’t at least explore the possibilities?

So, last week, even though I already had his present ready to go, I did a little googling, and came upon this site. And a little more exploration led me to this:

Win a free Rascal? No purchase necessary? Seemingly no age requirements? I’d be the best girlfriend ever!

So I entered.

I typed in all my information, kind of laughing as I did it, because really? A Rascal? And I figured that would be the end of it. But those employees must be on top of their customer service game, because a mere couple hours later I got a phone call at work.

Hello, this is Chuck from Electric Mobility, and I just wanted to speak with you about your Rascal needs.

I got so flustered about admitting that I wanted a Rascal for someone under the age of 40, that I told Chuck I’d have to call him back. I didn’t get to it, and he called again on Friday. Persistent little sucker.

I suppose that I do owe him a response, but it’ll have to wait until I scour that site for any hidden age requirements. Just because all the videos show old people in these Rascals, doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed by a younger generation, too.

And who knows, maybe instead of a birthday present, it’ll turn into an anniversary gift.

But no promises. Yet.

P.S. Truth or Fail is still on its way, with a TBD prize for whoever gets the most correct. So if you have a fun factoid you’re sitting on, now’s the time to share!

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I’m usually much more of a New Year’s Resolutions girl, but I hear that quarter-life crises are slightly less daunting if you have some sort of plan. So, in honor of turning the big 2-5 today (why, yes, I am shamelessly blogging about my birthday, on my birthday), I’ve come up with a little list of things that I hope to accomplish before June 11, 2011.

And I fully expect you to hold me accountable. Please and thank you.

So, in the year of 25, in no particular order, I want to…

1) …volunteer somewhere in DC, preferably with kids. Any suggestions (and/or company) are more than welcome.

2) …hit a home run during softball.

3) …run a race with an average pace that’s under 10 minutes, something I haven’t been able to do since I hurt my hip in December.

4) …finish all the books I’ve started, that I got halfway through and left for something else. There are about 6-7 right now.

5) …finish my first year of grad school, which really should take care of itself, but you never know.

6) …go skydiving.

7) …get a bike and become comfortable riding in the street. Because I find that terrifying.

8 ) …learn how to change a tire. And other car maintenance tricks necessities.

9) …get a new tattoo (or two).

10) …start taking Chinese again. Or at least brushing up on what I’ve already learned. I should be able to say more than, “This is my mom, dad, and little brother,” “I love you,” and, “I don’t know.”

11) …ride a motorcycle.

12) …run the Marine Corps Marathon faster than I did the National Marathon. So, something under 4:58:57.

13) …be more outgoing. Whether that means attending more blogger happy hours, emailing a bloggy crush, or just generally introducing myself to new people – this is a hard one for me.

14) …prove to my boss that I do deserve a promotion – even before I complete my MA.

15) …finally go hiking out at Great Falls.

16) …make a more concerted effort to visit friends who live in New York. It should be so easy, and yet I think I’ve visited once in about 3 years. I’m a bad friend.

17) …go on a road trip. Destination negotiable.

18) …get more comfortable cooking from scratch and experimenting in the kitchen.

19) …learn how to play pool better – or, at the very least, learn how to break so that the balls actually move.

20) …run a race in a new state. I’ve run in Massachusetts, New York (if you count bandit races), Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC (I know, I know – not a state), and Virginia. Maybe it’s time to explore something other than the East Coast.

21) …get an iPhone. My plan is up in February, so either Verizon better come out with something that lets me play Words with Friends, or I’m switching to AT&T.

22) …find a church in DC that I’m comfortable going to. It was such a big part of my life growing up, but I haven’t found one that I love down here.

23) …watch JB get married/be in my first wedding!

24) …rent a car. Just because I can.

25) …participate in an underwear run. I mean, I do run to look better naked, after all.

And because you always have to have that extra special bonus one for good luck:

26) …meet a Phillies player! I realize that this isn’t so much of a 25-goal, as it is a life dream, but that’s why it’s the bonus. Because it would just be icing on the cake.


I’m sure you’ll hear more about these as they either get checked off or I realize, what the hell was I thinking? But either way, it should be an interesting year.

Happy Friday!

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