Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Birthday Weekend

I started a countdown to my birthday 2 weeks prior. Then, on April 14, I switched to counting the hours. I actually went to bed before midnight on April 17 full adult. Unlike some of my peers, I felt no need to indulge in excess amounts of alcohol, since it will always be there. And after all, it was the Holy Triduum leading up to Easter, and excess celebration went against the principles of fasting and abstinence. Upon the request of my mother, I spent the weekend at home in DC. Despite the importance of the holiday, I still had homework to do; though our History teacher released us early to enjoy our weekend. The work doesn't stop- except for the periods between trimesters. Took the Tripper Bus: traffic was fairly light for a Friday afternoon. I suppose had I left earlier, I could've been in some traffic. At home was a feast to end the solemnities of Good Friday. (It was 10pm). The next day, we went to Phillip's Seafood for their lunchtime buffet. The venerable local chain started on the Southwest Waterfront in DC some years ago. However, due to redevelopment plans, the two-story restaurant with the big waterfront patio has to close at the end of the month. So it would be the second and last time that I would enjoy that patio view on that nice day. It seemed as if some of the staff had headed for new pastures. Fortunately, there is much demand for experienced restaurant staff in DC. Afterwards, to help with digestion, we took a walk through the Tidal Basin. The majority of the trees had blossomed the week previous; however, the newer replacement trees were in full bloom, and these specimens attracted much attention from tourists of all around the world. A walk eastward on the National Mall took us to the Shakespeare Library, to the east of the U.S. Capitol. For a nice day, the National Mall was much less crowded than Central Park. There was space for recreational activities like Frisbee. In the evening, I attended St. Paul K Street's Easter Vigil Mass. It was an exciting, almost theatric experience that brought in the Easter season. "Alleluia, Christ the Lord is Risen. The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia". One tradition I didn't remember was that many parishioners brought their own hand bells- whether it be dinner bells, or thimble bells. And the racket couldn't be more harmonious. The next morning, I returned to Kings Point. Four-hour bus rides are good for napping, or getting homework done. Some of the mundane privileges granted to 21 year-olds: Can be licensed as Merchant Marine Officer- yes, this is what King's Point is about. I had a Filipino Chief Engineer who was licensed at 19, but had to sail as a crewmember for two years. He got to visit the USSR. Allowed to work as interstate bus or truck driver Can order cigarettes by US mail (I have no use for tar sticks, though...) Minimum age to serve in a House of Delegates in many states (In DC, 18 is the age you can be elected to city council)