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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Monday January 20, 2003
11:15 AM

The Big Three-Oh

[ #10085 ]
Saturday was my birthday. But not an innocuous birthday, like 28. At 28 you can still pretend you're young. At 30 you now have a brand new digit at the start of your age. You have now been around for three decades, and the logical question is "what have I got to show for it?"

Actually, the question I was asking was "what haven't I done?" It's always easy to find a million ways in which I haven't achieved everything I want--still employed in a go-nowhere job, still living off the fame of a book I wrote when I was 25, still in America instead of New Zealand. But I had a great talk with Damian in Seattle a week ago, and somehow I found the ability to see what I do have: a job in an economy when many smarter people (Dan, Larry, Damian) are scrabbling, a family full of love, a wonderful house, annual visits back to New Zealand, good health .... Thirty isn't that bad.

So it was a time of a lot of soul-searching and dreams of change (Nat: "Honey, let's run away to New Zealand and start an aquaculture farm!" Jenine: "You hate the sea." Nat: "Start a computer store!" Jenine: "You hate hardware." Nat: "Run for parliament!" Jenine: "You hate politicians. And there's a small matter of what a simple google search will turn up ..."). But, because my wife loves me, it was also a time for a great party. Lots of friends, lots of food, and pressies.

I'm listening to the iPod that Jenine, my sister, and my parents went in together to buy. It's awesome. I'd suspected they were going to buy one, and I'd been planning to nobly return it because nobody can really afford it. But once I had it in my hands, it was just so sexy .... Surely they wouldn't have bought it for me if they really didn't want me to have it? (memo to self: add "weakening resolve", "increased selfishness", and "weasely rationalizations" to list of failings on turning 30).

20G is a lot. I have 30G of mp3s, but I wasn't prepared for just how many tunes fit in 20G. I haven't even half-filled it. I suppose that's fortunate, because Jenine will want to pack her music on too. I'm the classical, jazz, bluegrass guy, she's the rock girl.

I know she'll want to put her music on it, because she got it for me. Every present from her, with the exception of a Dick Francis novel, was something she wanted. She bought me the first season of "24" on DVD for Christmas, and for the birthday came an iPod and books 4, 5 and 6 of the Lemony Snicket series. I haven't even read book 1 yet!

It's a pretty smart strategy, actually--giving what you want, I mean. She will have to watch whatever movies I get, and because she doesn't have time to go book shopping for herself, she'll end up reading whatever I get. And if our tastes weren't similar, we probably wouldn't have ended up together. So I think I'll get Jenine the third season of Buffy, a Blackadder box set, and a boob job for her birthday :-)


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  • Lots of friends, lots of food, and pressies.

    Happy birthday! Er, what's a pressie?

  • So I think I'll get Jenine the third season of Buffy, a Blackadder box set, and a boob job for her birthday :-)

    I just want to go on record stating that your boobs are perfect Nat, don't change them!

  • So, how does it feel to be old? No, wait a goddamn minute, I know the answer to that...
  • Betting you liked "24", as well. When I rented the first two discs (8 episodes total), I expected them to last me nearly a week. I watched them all in one afternoon. Now, waiting from one week to the next in season 2 is killing me.



    • Happy birthday!
    • Damn straight we did. I'm sending it to Orwant as soon as we get it back from my brother-in-law. It was addictive--we would watch one, then look at each other as it ended and jump to start the next.

      I will, however, gladly join the "Kim is an irritating plot device" club. Card-carrying me, baby.


  • Just wait till you hit 064!

    Even the Beatles (remember them? - you know early sixties rock band?) have a song about that!

    Ouch I felt old that day - and still do btw.

  • Yet another January birthday on use.perl. We definitely need a winter YAPC (YAPSki) for all these birthday celebrations. Happy birthday!

    We borrowed the 24 DVDs and were similarly addicted. I have so far liked last season more than this season.
  • For some reason I missed your birthday announcement. I hope you enjoyed your birthday spankings without me. I turned 31 recently [] so like Bill Clinton, feel your pain. Getting older isn't all bad, but it does make Bernard Shaw's quip increasingly apt:

    Youth is wasted on the young.
    • Happy Birthday, indeed. Better you than me, gnat. I'll still be 20-something at TPC, but not for much longer than that ... and it really doesn't bother me. Maybe a tiny bit, but I am always happier where I am than where I was. Perhaps I am sometimes happier in where I will be than where I am, but that's called "vision"!