I feel young, even though the odometer of my life clocks a big number this week. Is turning 30 an achievement? I know for my parents it’s a nightmare, as my age makes them feel old.

I may be a year older this week, but I still look young. If you want to stay youthful, here are my suggestions:

  • have good genes
  • chew your food
  • laugh a lot
  • cautiously enter serious commitments

My dad always said he had a full head of hair until he married and my mom always said her hair turned gray when she had kids.

As I am unmarried, and without children, I’m happy to say I have a full head of dark blonde hair. I’d like to keep it that way.

The only commitment that causes me stress is a silly plant. I fight the urge to chuck it out the window every weekend. It should be dead because I rarely give it water, but apparently it thrives on negligence, like your gut does from your lack of exercise.


In December Katie and I fired guns in Newtown. As an American in New Zealand, I talk about guns a lot. Usually I take advantage of the idea that all Americans own guns.

For example, when we told Katie’s brother we fired guns, he looked at me in shock and said, “What? You’ve never fired a gun? But you’re American!”

“Well, I owned two guns that I bought from Walmart, and oddly I miss them. But I never fired them,” I said.

“Wow, seriously?”


We went to the Wellington Pistol Club. They have a firing range outside, in Newtown.

We went because she wanted to know what it felt like to fire a gun and I felt an obligation to fire a gun, being American.

I was an excellent shot, but felt nothing except for the sheer delight and pleasure of being a good shot. Katie was a bad shot, but she had so many feelings from shooting bullets she still had fun.

Also note we went shooting after my holiday party, so I was a little drunk, thus relaxed, ergo kicked ass at hitting the bull’s-eye.

A father and son ran the pistol club. The father looked like he was trying to run a reputable business, while simultaneously trying to market guns as “safe,” as if guns are only made to fire bullets at paper.

The son looked like his best friend was Halo.

Was I disturbed holding weapons that could potentially kill someone? No. But I was disturbed by this:

“This is a .22 caliber pistol. You can pick it up and hold it,” the father told us.

“It’s heavy,” I said. “What’s this kind of gun used for?”

“Murder,” the son said.

I shit you not.

The father’s eyes darted between Katie and me, and then he glared at his son and said, “Don’t be weird.”

A friendly note to you, pistol owner, when someone is learning to fire a gun, and is slightly drunk, don’t joke about murder. I had nightmares!


In high school a friend was playing basketball outside. Suddenly bullets started whizzing past his head and he found himself caught in a gang fight. He was shot in the back. The bullet went through his spine and subsequently he was paralyzed from the waist down.

One week he was walking through the corridors in school and the next week he was rolling through them.

Sometimes his feet would move in his wheelchair, and when he noticed a priest he would quip, “Stop trying to heal me, you’re not Jesus!” He has a sense of humor in his condition.

So naturally my whole life I’ve been against guns, but now I can see their appeal. Especially because I’m an amazing shot.


4 Responses to A new lazy year

  1. Katie says:

    “No feelings”, huh? Like a week later you weren’t clawing your way over people to slaughter wildlife. I bet you PUT that hedgehog in the road. Murderous feelings are feelings too.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    true, I was eager to see the possum die, but would have been just as happy watching Olmec kill it with a knife I think

  3. Katie says:


  4. Mom says:

    A. You killed a hedgehog – what did the hedgehog ever do to you?

    B. Your father always says that and he hasn’t had hair since he was 16. Furthermore, you have fabulous genes!

    C. You did not give me gray hair – but your sister did! I’m not saying which one and do not ask.

    Hope you had a happy birthday!