Thursday, February 13, 2020

18 Things About You at Age 18

18?! How is this possible?  At 7:49 pm and 7:50 pm on February 14 I will look at your first photo that is still hanging on the refrigerator and remember the 5 lb. 13 oz and 6 lb. 8.5 oz babies you were. And here you are now, grown into young men.  Wow.  It's a lot for a mama's heart to take in but I've loved - and will keep loving -  Every. Single. Millisecond.

  1. You walk over to Spot Coffee just about every day. And then have a ramble around town.
  2. You are an adventurous eater now, which you weren't as a kid.  Mexican?  Thai? Chinese? Japanese? Indian? You're game for it all. You'll pretty much eat anything except shellfish. Which is great for me because I love all that stuff too!  You gave me a gift certificate for high tea at Asa Ransom House and yes, of course I will take you with me. You're just super fun to hang out with.
  3. You've tried your hand at cooking some of these things too, especially some things Uncle Denis taught you to make.  Your favorite Christmas gift this year was an Instant Pot and you're having fun making snacks late at night.  
  4. In addition to cooking, you're doing your own laundry and doing stuff around the house without being asked.
  5. Your fashion choices still lean towards shirts with hoods & anything soft in neutral colors like black, grey & navy.  With a colorful hoodie thrown over more often than not. You attempt not wearing a coat. 
  6. You've got a hybrid beard/goatee thing happening.  At the moment you like your hair short.  
  7. You like to go out into the garage and jump up to do pullups on the steel beam.  And hit the heavy bag.  I did have to ask you once not to do it in the middle of the night because the house shaking woke me up, which was a little unnerving!
  8. Still doing driving lessons, next is learning how to drive stick shift on Dad's car.
  9. You worked at Firehouse Subs last year.  We were proud of you for always being on time for work, washing your uniforms, taking extra shifts when your co-workers were in a bind and being overall very responsible.  The free food and steady cash didn't hurt either.  Ultimately you decided that food service isn't really your thing, so we'll see what's next.
  10. The 2nd year attending Otakon in Washington D.C. was great.  Two cousins came along for twice the fun and you decided to cosplay as the Mii's from Nintendo Wii.  You haven't all decided yet if you're going again this summer or maybe try a different convention.
  11. You graduated high school just about a year early, in August 2019.  You worked hard to do it and we're very proud of you.
  12. So far your gap year is going well.  You spent some time in NJ with that side of the family and really enjoyed spending time with them and seeing their everyday life (as opposed to just seeing them for holidays and special occasions).  You're planning some travel with various family members on both sides.  You're also staying up late and sleeping in :-D  
  13. You applied to and have been accepted at UB.  You want to look around at a few more places before you decide for sure though.  No planned major, just gonna see what seems interesting.  We think that is a smart choice.
  14. You have a little side business going drawing avatars for people in one of your gaming communities.
  15. Now that you're done with school, you started reading again for pleasure.  You recommend books to us and also podcasts.
  16. You're pretty much always at your computer with your headphones on, singing away as you work on your art or game or talk to your friends.  You and Paul take turns telling each other to be quiet.  LOL
  17. You're pretty excited that you can register to vote now and that the first election you get to participate in will be a Presidential one.
  18. You don't seem to live on your phone.  Most of the time it's on the kitchen counter and you're somewhere else in the house.  That could be a totally different thing when you're out and about though.

  1. You joined the Unified Basketball team at school last spring and while you only played a little bit, you really liked being part of the team and learning how to play.  Over the summer you played a lot with the kids next door and now you can make a basket! You're going to join up again this year.
  2. This brings your activities to: dance, Special Olympics swim team, Special Olympics bowling team, unified bowling team and unified basketball.  
  3. Last week you bowled a 75, your highest score ever.  Your average is 52.  You really get along with your Special Olympics team mates, especially R.  
  4. You like coffee now, but only if you think you are "stealing" it.  If we give you a cup of your own, you won't drink it.  Except at bowling because the other guys come in with coffee so you want one too.
  5. We were able to go to Disney World in December and you LOVED meeting all the characters.  It was a dream come true for both of us.  Except now you want Princesses to appear everywhere you go.  Which, come to think of it, would be pretty cool.  
  6. Naturally we bought several hats as souvenirs :-D
  7. And since that trip was so fun, you are talking even more about Hawaii.  Bucket List!
  8. You still love going out to eat.  You're not even done with the meal before you're planning which restaurant we're going to go to next.  Like Mark, you have become a much more adventurous eater as you have gotten older.  Pasta is still your favorite, but you like trying all the different kinds of foods too.  You loved watching the chef at the Hibachi table!  You did tell him to be very careful with the fire though!
  9. You've rediscovered High Five and are enjoying watching those videos and singing along.  You also love Crocodile Rock by Elton John.  You've found every version there is on YouTube.
  10. You're still a lark, but don't get up quite as early as before on the weekends (but still earlier than the rest of us night owls!)  You say "no" when it's time to get up for school so some of that "teen wanting to sleep in" is hitting you a little later than most.
  11. Your class read Harry Potter in school and you really enjoyed listening to the story.  You get more of it now than you did before.
  12. You still like shirts with funny graphics of your favorite characters.  You like to get dressed up when there is a special occasion.
  13. Sometimes choosing the hat of the day is difficult.  Especially if the bus is waiting. 
  14. You don't mind shaving your beard when it gets too long but don't mess with the mustache! This past November you participated in your school's No Shave November Event - a six-week Tom Selleck Mustache contest. That was a lot of fun! And we got to see how fast your beard really grows. You got to choose a prize and you went with mustache-printed socks.
  15. Your art teacher reports that you love to paint (which we knew) but that you also sing when you do it because it makes you so happy.  There is always some art coming home in your bookbag from when you have a free period.
  16. You got to go to Kiwanis Camp this year.  We're hoping you get to go again this summer.  You're already looking forward to your respite weekend at Cradle Beach in the fall.
  17. You are very independent at home.  You can do a lot of chores unassisted, you do the whole bedtime routine on your own, you know what you need for which activity and can get it all ready to go pretty much by yourself.
  18. Your first internship at Tops doing re-shops was a great experience.  You knew when it was a work day and always remembered to wear your black shirt.  Last week you started your second internship at Santora's Pizza and you are SO EXCITED about working in a restaurant.  Right now you are working on rolling silverware and making crayon packs for the kids.  But you want to make pizza.  Maybe someday!  You really really love having a job.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Best Book of 2019

I read 63 books in 2019, 11 more than my target.  Yay me!  Most were good, some were ok.  Both book clubs kept me reading things I wouldn't normally.  However, there were only two that I'd give 5 stars to:

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  Long, but worth it.  Beautiful language, beautiful enough to make you cry.  Characters that live with you long after the book is over... ahhhhh.  Read it with one book club and have convinced the other one to give it a go.  Just go read it, you won't be sorry.

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson.  Short, quick read but the imagery will stick with you.  Like the above, these characters will continue to live in your mind and you will be thinking deep thoughts after.

In anticipation of Book 9 in the Outlander series (Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone) coming out sometime this year, I'm re-reading the series again.  Just finishing Drums of Autumn now...