The running of the bull and a quarter century

My great aunt asked why so many people took pictures posing with the bull’s backside, where the testicles are just as detailed as the face. I shrugged, when I was secretly resisting the urge to take a photo of the balls myself. The answer to my aunt’s question is that deep down, everyone is a twelve-year-old boy.

When I turned twelve, I decided to have a retro party. My mom stapled hideous fabric up in the striped room. I wore Bailey’s tye-dyed tee shirt that was three sizes too big for either of us. My friends showed up in polyester and we ate red vines out of a tub from Costco. I turn 25 tomorrow. I’m not going to say that I’m old, because in the grand scheme of everything I’m quite young. But I do feel weird and anxious; it’s a substantial chunk of time. Mackenzie asked me if I knew what I wanted. I had no answer because I never know what I want for my birthday or Christmas anymore. My parents got me a new camera, which turned out to be exactly what I wanted. It has “food” and “museum” modes. So far, food mode just gives things a yellow tint.

Right now, I’m trying to finish up a batch of quizzes for work, so I can actually relax and have fun tomorrow. Bailey gets here on Saturday, and while there are many reason I wish she were here now, I really wish she were here to help me with fake answers about the plant books I have right now. I can think of tons of things that salamanders don’t do, but my knowledge base of plants has dwindled since my days of teaching at Outdoor School. I meant to finish the quizzes this weekend. Instead, I finished my taxes on Saturday afternoon and starting vomiting for the next twelve hours. Today, I made an attempt to eat something besides English muffins and Gatorade. So far, it’s working. But having no appetite makes picking a restaurant to go for your birthday dinner rather difficult. (I’m also really distracted by my extreme desire to go buy a pair of pants that aren’t falling apart or off of me. Maybe jeans are something I should buy more than once every year and a half).

Tonight, I’ll wear my gold boots. Tomorrow night, most likely my gold flapper dress. Next week, I’m going to buy safety goggles to make people wear at the joint birthday party.

Here’s a list of how I spent the last milestone birthdays:
16–Great Grandpa Britton’s memorial service.
18–running around Portland to places like the smutty comic book store, a headshop, to buy lottery tickets…and didn’t get carded at all.
21–We Vs. the Shark played Ithaca. My friends and I bonded with them over bottles of cheap champange.

No looking down

I can suck up my fear of heights when I have to, like when my relatives from Texas want to go to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. It was a great fluffy cloud picture day!

Here’s Williamsburg:

And here’s Greepoint (I wouldn’t have recognized it without the large silver things):

Postcards I never sent…that would not actually fit on a postcard

Dear Ranger McNofun,

You assured me there were no silly questions, so I asked if you had any “JR Beaver Jr. Ranger” buttons. You said, “Yes,” and then smugly tucked your hands behind your back, making your elbows point out and said, “But they’re for six to twelve year olds.” I offered to give you a dollar. You smirked and grunted out a noise in a feeble attempt to feign amusement, but you refused to give me the button.

I still don’t understand it, Ranger.

Fine, you don’t want to give the buttons to every random twenty-somethings who ask you for one, but how many of us actually ask? And I offered you a dollar that you could’ve pocketed or put toward a bottle of fox-pelt cleaner or polish for your badge. I’m not a little kid who was going to lose the button after a week; I’m old enough to decide that I wanted the button to go with the others on my purse (not to mention old enough to pay for our campsite with my credit card). What do you do when kids look five and a half? Do you ask their parents for their birth certificate? Do you take a sample and count the kids’ rings? What about the day after a kids’ thirteenth birthday? I mean, I’m not a whole lot taller now than at age twelve and I’m way less likely to stab my sister with the pin for my own amusement. I could’ve tried to convince some kids to grab an extra one for me, but there is such thing as a creepy question. However, I will never be like you, Ranger, and be morally offended by a silly question.


Fun facts about hedgehogs!

Paraphrased from The Book of Animal Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

So many hedgehogs in have died in the UK from getting stuck in food containers that McDonald’s redesigned the McFlurry container to be hedge-hog proof.

Badgers are strong enough to pry open hedgehogs when they roll up into a ball. Foxes instead pee on the hedgehog to make them unroll.

It takes more chloroform to knock out a hedgehog than it does any other animal due to the hedgehog’s high tolerance for poison.

Finest moment on television tonight…

From the Exterminators on A&E…

Billy’s gotta remove a family of opossums from a bathroom wall. He cut a hole in the outside wall and figured out that mama and babies had been living under the tub. “Opossums are pretty cool,” he says. “They’re great for the ecosystem because they’re scavengers. They eat insects and things they find on the ground.”

Then Billy sits on the deck next to the hole, a cage in his lap, saying, “I put some, uh, some nachos in there. I think the opossums are going to like that,” and pulls 7-Eleven style nachos on a deli paper out of a Styrofoam container, and places the pile of chips and fake cheese into the hole in the house.

Sure enough, the baby opossums come running and Billy snatches them up.


I was holding a half a cantaloupe in my hand after scooping out the seeds, and I used a steak knife with my free hand to slice the melon into edible chunks. I sliced the diagonal of my palm and threw the melon into the sink.
My dad watched the entire thing and asked if I was okay. Then he rolled his eyes at me and said, “I was just about to say not to slice it that way because you’re going to cut yourself.”