My birfday and other musings

posted by Jeff | Saturday, July 3, 2004, 7:59 PM | comments: 1
Yesterday was my 31st birthday. It was a lot less stressful than my last one, presumably because you only really freak out on the ones that happen every decade. I don't feel like I'm aging too quickly or anything, or that I'm missing opportunities. The only age-related thing I ever think about these days is children. I'd love to have one (preferably a girl), but I just don't want one now.

So with that, Jeff Putz day was pretty laid back. We hit Chipotle for lunch and did a little shopping. Somehow only Stephanie got stuff out of that, but seeing her happy with new books is a gift in itself. I contemplated buying some video games, but I have some that aren't finished yet. I also have a couple of books to read, a book to write, and some miscellaneous code to write. I've got plenty to do!

After shopping, we went and saw Spiderman 2. Hands down better than the first. It makes you laugh and cry, it's insanely well written. I'm a little biased because I love Kirsten Dunst. She's a cutie (if a bit thin for my tastes), but for being young she seems to be really in control of the roles she'll play and the life she chooses to lead. Anyone in Hollyweird that can do that gets props from me.

After the movie we hit Outback for dinner. I almost never get steak there anymore. It's really all about the cheese fries.

We settled in for a quiet evening of TV and reading. I'm almost through Robert Rodriguez's Rebel Without a Crew. You might know him as the director of the El Mariachi movies, including Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico, as well as Spy Kids. Basically, as a 23-year old, the guy struggling to get a break in film school went out and made his own movie from under $7,000. He's hands-on everything and thinks that Hollywood is a fucked up mess of studios, unions and financial waste. He broke into film-making by doing, just sheer will to make a movie, warts and all. Great special features on the Mexico DVD that show him shooting himself, editing and writing music at home, and best of all, shooting digitally. The guy is a real inspiration to people like me that need to make a movie.

Thursday I did something I almost never do. I wrote some code for the pure fun of it, to see if I could. I wrote a very simple SMTP client that sends basic e-mail. It talks back and forth to the server and, aside from a lack of error handling, does the job. It was kind of like the virtual equivalent of having an erector set to build something just for the satisfying feeling of creation. I guess it's true... I'm really a geek.

I should probably mention that last weekend's BeastBuzz at Paramount's Kings Island was a huge hit. We had 226 attendees and the marketing staff there made it an incredible event. Absolutely outstanding, and the biggest CoasterBuzz event yet.



July 4, 2004, 2:51 PM # I've heard that turning 40 is probably the hardest milestone to reach, if only because you feel like you are halfway through your life and, when looking back, you wonder if you have accomplished what you'd hope to.

That's why I think you are doing the right thing by quitting your job and doing what you want to do now, while you are young and can absorb the rollercoaster of ups and downs emotionally and financially. It may or may not work out, but you'll at least know you tried and will not regret this time.

As for kids? You've still got time. I think the older you are, the more patience you'll have, and more life experience under your belt that is useful to pass on to a child. And you'll know better how to pass that information on without turning them off. Your volleyball coaching, alone, is valuable experience.

Personally, the decades didn't bother me much. I was 32 when Ian was born, and by the time I turned 40, we were spending summers at Cedar Point together. He was my main accomplishment in life, and nothing else mattered as much. Even turning 50 this year did not depress me, although by then, I'd come to terms with my life and it's purpose. Now I'm just along for the ride and improvising when I have to. No regrets, and the only time I look back is for reference and learning experiences. That's why I began writing my "life's story" (which is still not finished). Something to look back on, something to pass on to Ian.

BTW, Beastbuzz is my favorite summer event, and this one was no different. I've got so many friends from CBuzz now, and it was great hanging with each of them at different times of the day. Looking forward to next year's Beastbuzz.

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