So Far? 30 Is AWESOME!

March 29, 2013 Blogging, Personal 49

Welcome Bookworms, Old and New!

Remember last week how I was freaking out about turning 30? So far, 30 has been kind of awesome. But. First things first. We have a WINNER of the $30 Amazon gift card. Thanks to EVERYONE for your tweets and likes and whatnot. I tallied up the entries and plugged them into a random number generator. The WINNER is… Jen Hartling! Jen is not only a dedicated bookworm, she also writes her own CERTIFIED AWESOME book blog, The Relentless Reader. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Why is 30 rocking my world? LET ME TELL YOU! I took my birthday off of work and my husband took me to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. He earned himself INFINITY brownie points by taking me to MEET A PENGUIN. Not only did he set me up with a penguin encounter (which is a thing they offer… Click HERE if you’re interested) but he arranged it so that we were the only two people in the penguin encounter. They’re typically done in groups of ten, but Jim in all his weasel-y wisdom managed to get us a private meet and greet with penguin #413. (I am certain he spent too much money doing this, but I had THE BEST TIME so I can’t be upset.)

Can you tell I was REALLY excited?!

Can you tell I was REALLY excited?!

The penguins at the Shedd are identified by number, they don’t have individual names (I KNOW!) In my head, Penguin #413 was Josie. Josie was super friendly and curious. She pooped twice, she pecked at my jeans, and she stepped on my galoshes several times. Sometimes she would take a deep breath and puff herself up like a penguin balloon. The trainer claimed Josie was re-setting her feathers, but I think she was just showing off her deep breathing abilities. Also, did you know penguins can sneeze? Yeah. They totally can. She has little nostril thingies on her beak that get clogged with salt from the water and the fishes, so she “sneezes” to clear them. AND! They don’t even have to monitor what they feed the penguins. Josie and her Magellenic counterparts are perfect self regulators. They fatten up temporarily during molting season, but that’s it. When the trainer offered her fish she didn’t want, she just shook her little head. Amazing.

I got to pet Josie!!!!

I got to pet Josie!!!!

I got to pet Josie on her back (which felt a lot like beagle fur- soft yet oily) AND her flipper (which felt very rubbery.) Jim got to pet Josie on the foot (which was speckled and thus impossibly adorable) and the belly.

So fun!!!

So fun!!!

Yeah, so my decade is really starting on an upswing. But that isn’t all. I was FRESHLY PRESSED this week. It’s an enormous honor and I can hardly believe the powers that be at WordPress noticed my little corner of weird, but I’m beyond thrilled by it. THRILLED, I tell you! I think 30 and I are going to get along just fine. (As long as I keep getting carded at the liquor store.)

49 Responses to “So Far? 30 Is AWESOME!”

  1. Jayne

    That penguin encounter sounds fabulous!! What a wonderful husband you have! Maybe I need to show mine this post so he could get some ideas πŸ™‚ .

  2. Lindsay Law (@LinzerLaw)

    So sweet! My elder daughter is called Josie and, in a strange coincidence, she spent some of yesterday putting my oven gloves on her feet and walking round in them like a penguin. It was remarkably effective! Here’s to 30, and penguins called Josie, both real and imagined.

  3. alice

    That’s a neat way to start meeting 30! How about a list of all things awesome that you do when you’re 30?

  4. Sarah Says Read

    OHMAN you got to meet a penguin???? I can only imagine your excitement. Major kudos to your hubby!

    You know, I only get ID’d at the liquor store about half the time… I’m 26. I’m not sure if I should be insulted or not…

    • Words for Worms

      I’m always slightly insulted when I don’t get carded, because they’re SUPPOSED to card anyone who looks younger than 40. If I don’t get carded, I assume they’re assuming I’m older than I actually am, which is terrible.

  5. Charleen

    I’m glad your decade got off to such a great start! My 30th (I’m less than three months away…) won’t be nearly as cool, I’m sure.

    At bars/restaurants I get carded about half the time. I ALWAYS get carded at a liquor store (grocery store, whatever), simply because they have to actually scan your license at the register for the sale to go through (I don’t know if this is my county, my state or what). I once saw an 80-year-old get carded, get all upset because he didn’t have his ID, and the cashier had to call for a manager override. Kind of ridiculous for people who are CLEARLY old enough, but I suppose it probably helps safeguard against fake IDs. The amusing thing is that I’m always ready with my ID at a bar, but always forget when I’m shopping for it.

  6. Megan M.

    Did you pull a Kristen Bell and hyperventilate while you asked, “Is there a penguin here? I know there’s a penguin here!”

    I hope my 30 (next year) ends up being as good as yours!

    • Words for Worms

      I did not pull a Kristin Bell, but it was close. Before they brought Josie out, they were asking us questions about penguins to see what we knew. They were probably sorry they did that, because being a penguin enthusiast, I’ve OBVIOUSLY read up on the subject. 17 species. Bam!

  7. therelentlessreader

    You will love being 30, I promise! I’m in the last year of my 30’s (gulp) and I’m going to miss this decade πŸ˜‰ Yay for the Shedd Aquarium! I visited it one time and fell in love with the place. I want to squeeze one of those penguins! Perhaps take one home?

    Thanks for the giveaway dearie! Yay for me, lol.

    • Words for Worms

      Hahaha I was telling a friend about the penguin and she looked at me and said, “You didn’t steal one, did you?! Do I need to check your basement?!” But I couldn’t steal one even if I wanted to (which I don’t because bird poop and raw fish in my house? Nah) because they transported her in a little plexi glass penguin cart.. Much like the Pope mobile.

  8. Joy

    What a coincidence…for my 30th birthday my husband and I went to the Mystic Aquarium (in CT) and I got to meet and touch a penguin!

    I’m glad 30 is going so well for you so far.

  9. Milo

    I got to hold a baby sea turtle once while I was in the Cayman Islands…it was as awesome as could be!

  10. annesquared

    Happy 30th – a great and memorable gift! I think that was the hardest birthday ever. Not a great one, by any stretch, either…

  11. lucysfootball

    Penguin-meeting is probably just about the coolest. I touched a dolphin once when the dolphin-keeper wasn’t looking. He felt like a wet slippery tire and totally blowholed water at me as a greeting. We were the best of friends.

    (I still get carded. I’m almost 40. Either I look really young or the people working at the store are being super-careful.)

    • Words for Worms

      You copped a feel on a dolphin? That is awesome. You’re ballsy! It’s clear the dolphin liked it, or he wouldn’t have blowholed you in greeting. Of course, he might have thought you were hitting on him. Dolphins are the only animals besides humans who have sex for pleasure… (And, you just look awesome, you’ve got all the cashiers convinced you’re in high school.)

  12. Jenny

    I am very jealous! I met a sea lion once but it was as big as I was at the time and I was nervous. A penguin would be way cooler. I’m impressed at their impulse control — is that ALL penguins, or do they breed for impulse control at this one aquarium? :p I mean I can barely resist eating fish that are given to me, even if I’m full, and my brain is much bigger than a penguin brain.

    • Words for Worms

      I think it’s a natural penguin thing… Maybe it’s just Magallenic penguins and Rockhopper penguins, but I bet it’s a magical inborn trait, because penguins are a mere one step removed from Unicorns.

  13. Kelly

    THAT is awesome!! I got my husband a penguin encounter (but in a group of 10…damn, I am not resourceful enough) for his 31st birthday. He loved it. I have many pictures of him and Yellow-Brown (our aquarium gives them names by the color bands they have to wear) loving on each other.
    Hope 30 continues to be awesome!!

    • Words for Worms

      Josie had color bands too! They corresponded with numbers, thus 413. Otherwise she’d have been Brown-Green-White… I have a little card with the bands on it so we can identify her in the exhibit when we go back πŸ™‚

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