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01 March 2014 @ 08:27 am
Thoughts On a Half-Century  
I turned 50 yesterday. It feels pretty good: a fresh start.

I must finally be a "grown-up", because my answer to the question, "what do you want to on your birthday?" was "get this furshlugginer report done and to the client by the end of the month."

... no, seriously. I actually had a dream the night before last about being hijacked by friends and family and getting dragged off to a "fun" gathering, while all the while thinking, "But I wanted to get stuff DONE this morning! I told my manager that I'd have that on his desk! I'm losing HOURS of work!" When I actually woke up and got to work, there was a palpable sense of relief. I was wholly engaged in the problem-solving, both the data analysis and the minutiae of layout and production. I was busy non-stop, and enjoying myself thoroughly. With as many birthdays as I've spent without gainful employ, being occupied might be the Best Present Ever.

Getting my paycheck AND a quarterly bonus on my birthday is right up there, too.

Another Truly Excellent Present: after a year of record-low rainfall, the "storm gates are finally open", as our local TV weather announcers like to say. We're getting wave after wave of storms that are doing their level best to make up for the last year in the span of a couple of weeks. We're close enough to the edge that we'll probably still be in official drought conditions for the rest of the year, but next year looks like an El Niño year, so things might get REALLY wet.

(Eventually, Californians will understand that an "average rainfall year" almost never happens: our "average" is the mean between five years of drought and two years of flooding. Once we start planning accordingly ... well, then climate change will screw up the pattern, but nevertheless.)

The juxtaposition of Birthday and Rain has brought an amusing wave of pleasant nostalgia, triggered during the long commute home yesterday. The big El Niño of '78-'79, which brought an end to the long drought that shaped my childhood years, corresponds neatly to the release dates of the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, which shaped my teenage years. Hearing pouring rain playing its staccato on a metal roof always brings me back to the lazy days I spent curled up in the back of our motor home, pouring over the latest volume of AD&D (or, more often, some unofficial supplement from some third-party vendor).

The cheap bindings, terrible typesetting, and cheesy art based on cheap dime store toys didn't matter. For all my critiques of "dungeon fantasy", I remember the open-eyed excitement and possibility of High Fantasy, of a hobby built around creating entire worlds. I've got that rare wave of wanting to play a D&D-style RPG again, though it might be better served by getting back to work on my own High Fantasy Magnum Opus.

It's possible my "grown-up" status may still be in some degree of dispute ...

goldenstalliongoldenstallion on March 1st, 2014 05:18 pm (UTC)
Grown up
The old dragon and horse are feeling much the same. As I age (65 now) I get more needy to get things done that I have always wanted to get done before, well, you know.

Is a good feeling when I can make it happen.

You have always been a cool drake. Hugs from Goldamere Starfire and all her dreams to yours.
Helvetica 'Foofers' Bold: CAKE!foofers on March 1st, 2014 06:41 pm (UTC)
Hey! Did you know you and Lindz were born a day apart? You should compare notes, work out the delta in hours and minutes. Murrahnithahn-i-ia (a dragon person and fursuit maker) and I were born something like 40 minutes apart. Small fandom.

Also, happy birthday!

And yeah, work. I was in Las Vegas last week, and the most fun thing I could do on a Friday night was to go up to my hotel room and write software, totally not begrudgingly.
one in a billionsiege on March 1st, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
Since everything in Vegas costs money except what you bring with you, hey, cheap fun in Vegas! ;)
Leodrleo on March 1st, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC)
I hope none of us ever achieves "grown-up" status.

And happy birthday!
one in a billionsiege on March 1st, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
Joy in the day, peace in your living.
John "The Gneech" Robey: Party Guythe_gneech on March 2nd, 2014 01:48 am (UTC)
Congrats on 50 orbits, dragon dude! :)

Araquan Skytracer: Originalaraquan on March 3rd, 2014 12:11 am (UTC)
Now I've got The Vengaboys' "We Like To Party" stuck in my head. Thanks. };P
Araquan Skytracer: Originalaraquan on March 3rd, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
Hey, congratulations, if somewhat belatedly.

Believe me, there are lots of times (like now, even) where I'd almost rather complete a project than do much of anything else. That being said, I'd like to say I know what it's like to feel grown up, but... well, I don't. In my own way, I think I'm fine with that. }:>