Thursday, December 31, 2009

Contemplations of a Millennial

We're on the verge of closing out a new decade. Not just any decade--the first 10 years of the new millennium. It's impossible not to look back and see where I was when it began. The year was 1999. I had had my first kiss, earned my drivers' license, moved up to the senior high school, and started my first job. In that order. Big year in the life of M.E. Brown.

It's slowly dawned on me that this decade is probably the most significant for my particular age set, the late 20-somethings. Step aside from the historic moments for a minute and look at life from a micro scale. In these last 10 years I have graduated from high school and college, celebrated the milestone 18th and 21st birthdays, began a professional career, and seen my peers through weddings, new babies, and buying first homes. Heck, I even know some people who are already divorced and/or on second marriages. If that's not a big decade for change in the life of a person, I don't know what is. I suppose this is why I am called a "millennial". It was my time to come of age.

And now that I am "of age", what does that mean? Are the next 10 years to be relatively uneventful because so many of the traditional milestones are behind me? I most certainly hope not. I'll have the big 3-0 to contend with, I could find that special someone and settle down, go forth and multiply, buy a home. As far as I'm concerned, there's so much life still left ahead of me, and unlike with the years between 2000 and 2010 where I pretty much knew when the "big things" (i.e. graduations, birthdays) were going to hit, now I am completely mystified. Exciting, isn't it?

How do you feel about your own personal history in the last 10 years? Do you have any specific short or long term goals, or are you just getting along and taking things as they come?

Me and Lindsey, my best friend of 14+ years, New Year's Eve 1999

Several friends from high school in Pat S.'s living room, moments before ringing in 2000

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmastime is here

"We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room."

- Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

I have not written much as of late, owing to the fact that I mostly feel obligated not to do so unless I have a story to tell or a witty observation to make.  I suppose that's missing the point of keeping a blog--they can't all be gold or else hardly anyone would write more than once in awhile.  So here I am, then, to keep from stalling out.  At any rate, my travel plans this time around were pretty rough; I opted to do a red-eye instead of burning an entire day.  Both have their pros and cons, the cons being that without a seat in 1st class or a Valium (or a good stiff drink) to take the edge off, it's pretty tough even for the likes of me to sleep on an overnight flight, and I'm such an old flying vet by now that I've pretty much trained myself to fall asleep before we even take off.

Armed with special earplugs to help ease the pain of flight descent (I had a really nasty cold coming in) and wearing my new Snuggie, I was determined to have a quiet 4 hour jaunt from San Diego to Newark.  What I should know to expect by now is that the best laid plans can be foiled by a little boy and girl who do not care for flying, and will admit so vocally.  I thought the guy on the aisle seat next to me was going to eject himself from a door, or at the very least perform a crude vasectomy in the bathroom with a ballpoint pen and 10 mini bottles of scotch, for all the muttering he was doing about the kids.  I made overtures to agreement to make him feel better, but really it didn't bother me all that much, despite what you may have read in my previous holiday flight experience. 

By the time I arrived in Norfolk on Wednesday morning, I was pretty tired, but none the worse for wear and I managed to make it through the day with only a few cat naps on the couch.  Christmas this year has been low-key, as I was the only older child to make it out here this year.  Ben had spent quite a bit of his PTO and money on his wedding in Brazil, and Brian, Ashley, and baby Eli just returned to the States earlier this month and are trying to settle in, buy a house, etc.  There's a campaign to get everyone together in VA for Thanksgiving next year, but for now it's just me and Edward, Mom and Dad**.  There has been lots of goodies, lots of masses (my family is the instrumental and vocal backbone of the church choir), many hours listening to Christmas music and watching the old favorite specials, and plenty of gifts for me.  I must say, being the only kid who comes home for Christmas seems to put a few more gifts in your bag. ;-)

Today my brother, Mom, and I went to see the Princess and the Frog and we were unanimously impressed.  I laughed, I cried, I wished to be about 20 years younger and able to grow up with a mocha colored princess of my very own--or to have a little girl right now to impart this Tiana to--and I look forward to seeing her in the Disney parks in the coming years.  Monday is my last full day in town before making the trip in complete reverse to jump back into a short work week, and then...the New Year.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

**Just by the by, I also happen to call my stepdad Dad.  You may be confused if you read about my going home to Pittsburgh to my Dad and Pam, and then read about me coming home to Virginia to my Mom and Dad.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All Quiet on the Western Front

Returning to San Diego was a complete 180. I requested, and was granted, an upgrade to First Class for my leg from Pittsburgh to Denver. I didn't have enough miles to get even a coach roundtrip ticket, but it was enough to treat myself to the upgrade. Unfortunately, I didn't make the cut for First Class continuing on to San Diego, but all small children aboard were adequately entertained and it was a smooth ride all the way from there back up the chain to the bus and Coaster.

The car, the cat, and the apartment are all in one piece. Back to work as usual. I wonder what Christmas will have in store.