I keep looking around, expecting to see some sort of external indication that I've reached some sort of milestone, but for the life of me, I can't see any obvious changes in the world or myself now that I'm fifty. Well, there's the ominous-looking letter from the AARP on the counter, but I've been getting those for a least a decade so I'm not convinced that they've actually done anything different to mark the occasion.
Nicole took me on a lovely getaway this weekend involving friends, family, food, and some absurdly fancy hotels. I didn't do much in the way of reading or writing, but that's only because I was kept busy enough that all of my downtime was spent napping (which, I'll grant, could be construed as an indication that I'm not a teenager anymore.) We did tapas and pizza and a small brewpub and there was some football (Leicester moved five points clear at the top, which is absolutely as daft as it sound) and there may have been an adult beverage or two.
It turns out that Lyft and Uber may not be quite as ready for prime-time as I'd been led to believe. I do think that micro-contracting is likely going to be a big part of how people work in the near future, but our experiences this weekend just made me wish things like "taxi cabs" and "effective public transportation." Neither driver was especially familiar with the lay of the land, certainly not in the way a typical cab driver is. The both ran red lights and stopped at intersections where there was no need to do so and one of them decided to both run a light, then stop in the center of the intersection when they realized that there was something wrong, then ask us what was happening, and topped it off by almost backing in to a pedestrian.
This driver had a 4.8 out of 5 star rating.
The food was fantastic, though. My diet was ignored because, c'mon, pizza. Not to mention oxtails, sweetbreads (twice), artichokes, gnocchi, and, I would like to emphasize, pizza. I'm pretty sure I only committed one deadly sin, but I seriously committed to committing it.
During the tapas dinner, I received a lovely gift basket which included the shy fellow pictured above. I have a thing about turtles (and tortoises.) They were my spirit animal before spirit animals were a thing (at least in this iteration of things being a "thing.") During the drive home, we saw a tortoise on the shoulder of the road. I've seen a bunch of tortoises hit trying to cross the road, so I try to turn 'em around when I get the chance. We pulled off the highway, looped around, and stopped on the access road nearby. Unfortunately, when I got to the highway, I could see that the front of the shell was crushed and the tortoise was dead. There was a big streak of blood on the shoulder about four feet away. Some dumbass had swerved onto the shoulder to hit the tortoise.
Apparently, this is something which people do.* I can't imagine the sort of thinking that would lead one to do this sort of thing. Please don't try to explain it, and if you do happen to be someone who kills tortoises for fun, please stop.
Aside from that one thing, it was a near-perfect weekend. Thank you to everyone who was involved, as well as the other well-wishers out there. I hope everyone is in as good as place at fifty as I am.
* Yes, that's a Fox news link. It was either that or HuffPo, and at least Fox pays their people.