Turning Thirty-Three and other stories

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart turned 255 years old yesterday. I've always liked and appreciated Mozart's work, but perhaps never loved it with the fervor I give Beethoven's. That is, until Lou and I, Andy and Lindsey, and Lou's parents went on a triple-date to the Seattle Symphony last week to see the Requiem, complete with Ave Verum Corpus.

I fell in love with his music that night. Splendid, splendid pieces.

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Shannon Hale turned... well, I don't know what she turned on January 26, but Happy Birthday to one of my favorite writers! Many happy returns of the day. I can't wait to read The Goose Girl, which is sitting beside the couch as I type.

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I turned thirty-three yesterday... yes, I get to share a birthday with Mozart and be only one day off from Shannon Hale. Awesome, no?

As birthdays go, thirty-three feels oddly significant for two reasons. First, Jesus was thirty-three when he went through his Passion—something to think about. Second, I once heard someone say that when you turn thirty-three, your character is fixed in the direction it will go for the rest of your life. That it won't significantly change. For some reason, for all these years, that has stuck in the back of my head with the confidence of observable scientific fact.

And I can't help but wonder what that means. Will I always expect to get anything done in half the time it actually takes me? Or never cease taking myself too seriously? Will my hands forever shake every time I speak or sing in public? Will I never understand why anyone thinks it's fun to get up by the stage and jump around during a rock concert?

Possibly. Hah.

When I think about it, I don't take that idea seriously. At best, it just means that short of a bad knock on the head, I'll always prefer a quiet life. But it's hard to help wondering.

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The evening of my birthday was busy, so Lou and I celebrated the night before. Neither of us felt like going out, so I made spaghetti and brownies. He told me we could watch a chick flick if I wanted, so we saw Ever After... and I'd forgotten how much I wholeheartedly adore that movie. Beautiful filming, beautiful scoring, beautiful story. One of my top five favorite movies ever.

Besides watching a lovely fairy tale with me, he gave me a card with awesome geek glasses on the front and the words "Talk nerdy to me" on the inside. Also, he got me a locking diary with a unicorn on it. Did I not get the best husband ever? I ask you.

Ever After made me glad for hair long enough to wrap a braided strand all the way around my head.
After we got through being busy last night, we came home, had some of my friend's homemade Transylvanian wine and read Dante aloud. Then we ate leftover brownies and read books (he read Stephen Hawking, I read Stephenie Meyer.) It felt wonderful.

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YA Highway, one of my new favorite reading-and-writing sites, is hosting a giveaway! Want a chance at winning some ARCs? Go check it out. I'm entering—me and a couple hundred other people—but it's worth a try. And even if you don't, I recommend the site for anyone who loves young adult fiction. Especially if you also like travel.

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Music of the week: I haven't watched American Idol in years, thanks to not having television. But this video is going around, and heavens, it made me want to cry and smile and sing all at once. Here's to Chris Medina and Julie.

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Writers' link of the week: George forwarded this to me awhile back, and I rediscovered it this week. Writing advice from C.S. Lewis? Yes, please. Thanks, George.

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Funny of the week: I love this T-shirt. And this one. And a lot of the rest of them are funny, too. Advisory: Some of them are funny and dirty, and a few of them are just dirty.

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All right. It's after four o'clock, I still have to sweep and vacuum, and I have the book club for which I have not read the book tonight... then, afterwards, the girls thought it would be fun to do karaoke. I do not do karaoke, especially not when my voice hasn't recovered from a cold. But I don't think I can get out of this one—the birthday girl (a good friend of mine, not me) wants me to get up. So think of me tonight. I'll be off singing The Dixie Chicks' Cowboy Take Me Away, or The Eagles' Hotel California, or something by ABBA... or something else not vocally taxing... and I'm already nervous.

At one point in my life, I wanted to be a country music star. I think I was crazy.

Happy weekend, everybody.


  1. Ahhhhh, Bach!! I mean, Mozart. Have always preferred Mozart over Beethoven, but not because I don't like Beethoven, I just like Mozart better. Although the Ode to Joy is brilliance & sublimity distilled.

    Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday, Jenna!!!

  2. Many Happy Returns! Yes, Lou must be pretty awesome if he got you a Unicorn Diary and watched a chick flick--all in the same day! :)

    I've heard that same thing you've heard about turning thirty-three--except I heard it about turning five. And twenty-three. And fourteen. And fifty. Personally, I don't think we ever stop changing and growing and learning. I think that's just part of being human, and sometimes grown-up are too dull to pay attention, or to encourage it.

    Happy Birthday again!

  3. Is that a cat toy I see in the background next to the plant? Do you have to plant toys around all the plants in the vain hope they'll distract Maia from ripping the plants to shreds? :)

  4. Thanks, both of you, for the birthday wishes! :D

    George, Beethoven is usually passionate and Mozart usually mathematical, so I'm a natural fit for Ludwig's music! But Mozart's Requiem was utterly breathtaking.

    Also, I forgot to check the area for stray cat toys before I started shooting pictures. Oops. But I didn't put that one there. She probably carried it over and dropped it to take an interest in the plant.

    Mr. Pond, I think you're absolutely right. :)

  5. Jenna so sorry I am so late in wishing you a happy birthday. We missed you at book club. I hope you are feeling better. I'll talk to you soon.

  6. No worries, Sarah, and thank you! I missed hanging out with you, too. We'll have to get together soon.


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