My birthday was a few weeks ago. It wasn't one of those big birthdays that end in "0" or even a "5." No, this was just your normal run of the mill birthday. And yet, after all of these years of being asked "So, do you feel any older?" this was the first time that I actually did. As if it wasn't bad enough that I'm reminded my youth is gone every time I catch a glimpse of my scalp in the mirror, there is a growing number of things in my life that just aren't as great as they were in the good old days. For example...
There was a time when I considered Space Mountain to be nothing more than a glorified kiddie ride. Being the steely roller coaster vet that I was, taking on the likes of Millennium Force multiple times in a single day, riding Space Mountain was done purely out of deference to nostalgia. Right around my late 20's, something changed - I became more aware of my own mortality and no longer viewed roller coasters as a worthy way to cash it in. But Space Mountain was the one coaster that I continued to ride without the least bit of fear. Until a few weeks ago...
|Too old or not, I'll never skip a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland Paris.|
In roughly 25 years of riding Space Mountain, I had somehow managed to never ride in the front seat. This might seem unlikely, given the estimated 125 times I've heard the words "Space Shuttle, this is flight safety. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. You are clear for launch." Yet I am convinced that despite the long odds, the front seat was never mine. Why? Because there's no way I could forget the runaway tin can of self destruction which I experienced the other day.
Watching the Real World
Although the show which gave us reality TV had been around for years, it wasn't until I went to college that I started watching The Real World. As a new twenty something out on my own for the first time I could now relate to the plot, and was known to waste entire Sundays on an all day marathon. From the Las Vegas to Key West casts, I never missed an episode, and I'm sure on some level which I probably shouldn't admit, I wanted to trade places with them.
|Best Cast Ever.|
Eventually, the show started to go downhill; the casts became too predictable as did the plotline, so I made the jump to the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Here, many of my favorite old cast members took part in a made up competition which allowed them to put off getting a real job for yet another year. It also kept the Real World's place on my DVR longer than it should have, but eventually the Challenges became just as lame as the original. I guess if you're too old to be on the Real World, then you're too old to watch the Real World.
Talking to Little Kids in the Elevator
Little known fact: so long as they aren't crying, drooling, or excreting green stuff from their nose, I'm a sucker for little kids. Especially at Disney, where their sense of wonder seems to hover somewhere around the stratosphere. I was also granted through my Dad's DNA the gift of gab, which has given me the ability to strike up a conversation with just about any random stranger. The problem, as MJ frequently points out, is this gift didn't come with an all important filter...
I'm sorry, but if I board an elevator with a family whose kid is dressed as Buzz Lightyear, I'm going to ask him if he's seen Zurg lately. Sometimes the question is met with an equally friendly response by kid and parents alike; other times you'd think I asked the kid for his address and what school he attends. Apparently, there is this thing called "Stranger Danger" for which I am now old enough to qualify.
|So what you're saying is, Sandy Bullock can dress|
up as Jessie, but I can't ask her kid about Zurg?
In the movie Office Space, there is a classic scene where the character Michael Bolton is lip synching in his car to some hard core gangsta rap. Next to his misadventures with the printer, this is my favorite part of the movie because, well...that's me. You see, I grew up in the day of Tupac, Biggie, and Dr. Dre - when hip hop was actually good; not this garbage current artists and the like call "music." Although I have always been a fan, it has never occurred to me to attend a hip hop concert. That is until MJ not-so-subtly informed me that some guys named Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were coming to town...
|"They had a broken keyboard...I bought a broken keyboard."|
There is plenty to like about Macklemore's music - his self proclaimed "David Bowie meets Kanye $hit" gives a new spin to a genre in desperate need of some creative energy. But from song one - minute one at his concert, I couldn't help but question if I'd made a terrible mistake. The bass literally vibrated my brain and every other vital organ in my body. It was alarming enough that at one point I Googled the potential health effects of too much bass. Convinced I wasn't going to die from sound waves, I went on to enjoy the rest of the concert, but I walked out quoting Chandler Bing after he and Ross try to reconnect with their youth at a nightclub...
"That music...I mean, do they have to play it so loud!?"
Allow me to start by making one thing clear: I hate running. Seriously, does anyone that runs actually believe it to be fun? I mean, I have never once finished a run and said "Yes please, can I have another?" Health benefits be you-know-what, running is just never a good idea, but every once in a while MJ convinces me to join her for a few kilometers of torture, just as she did for last week's Turkey Trot.
|See what I mean? I hate running...|
Now, I am a lousy runner - 11 minute miles are considered a blistering pace - and I have come to accept the fact that I'm a bottom of the pack finisher in every race I enter. What I haven't come to grips with, however, is that I am also guaranteed to get beat by every 8 year old in the pack. The only thing worse than having to will yourself to finish that last half mile of a lousy 5k, is having Little Johnny zoom by you with afterburners in his shoes. It would seem that my best running days are well behind me.
They say 40 is the new 30 - at least that's what JayZ said on his last album, anyway - and with each passing year I'm starting to see what they mean. It would just be nice for the ever growing list of things I'm officially too old to slow or halt altogether. Then again, it's probably safe to say that "quoting JayZ" was just added to it...
Enjoy Your Stay