I’m about to be 40. Yep. Me.

It’s not so bad. No one really believes it, so I guess I can’t complain too much. Thirty was actually much more difficult to face. I fell into the same trap many do. You have this list of things you want to accomplish before you’re 30, consciously or unconsciously. Well I had the husband. I had the house shortly thereafter. I am now free of both. Instead of kiddies, I have kitties (a cosmic joke turned me into a cat lady…or cat woman as I prefer to be called). No one considers calling the humane society if I leave them alone, so, another WIN for me.

What I’ve learned so far is that we play the cards we are dealt. Some people have crappier hands than others. It doesn’t matter who the dealer was. It only matters what you do with the hand. You always have choices. You can play it out and lose. You can play and bluff your way to a win. You can fold and save your money to play another hand. You can fold and go play at another table. It’s your hand. Play it however you see fit, but play it. Don’t blame others for your bad cards. Don’t scream and cry and demand a re-deal. Don’t try to get the other players to turn against the dealer. Don’t go to a higher power and try to get the players and dealers shuffled to your advantage. Just play, learn, and play better next time.

Of course that’s not all I’ve learned, but that’s all I have time for now. Time for bed. Even if Spider-Man is on.

Oh…and it’s still Rumspringa!

Dear Annette,

I feel like I have known you for years. Our mutual friend, Patty, has been telling me about your adventures in college for almost as long as I’ve known her. I have long admired the important work you did in the state of Washington. Imagine our surprise when we found out about your new vocation! I had of course already heard about Dazzled By Twilight, but I had know way of knowing that Patty’s Annette and Dazzled’s Annette were one in the same!

It sounds like you and I discovered Twilight around the same time. I can assure you I’m just as devoted a fan even though I’m not quite as out there in the public eye as you are. I have a semi-anonymous Twilight blog, but I don’t do a podcast or run a store devoted to Twilight or anything. Speaking of that, I thought about sending you my resume when I lost my job in January, but then I realized I wasn’t quite ready for that kind of move. Consider me for any locations in Phoenix though. I’d be happy to represent for Bella’s home town.

You’re probably still wondering who I am. I am the one who sent those girls into your store to meet you today. My friend E and her friend M are in Forks for Bella’s Birthday festivities. I sent them with my very own Twilight scavenger hunt, which I hear you took a look at. One of the items on the list was to get a picture with you. E called me from your store today to let me know she’d just met you. I can’t wait for Patty to see the picture. I meant for it to be a surprise, but now I wish I’d talked to her first. She said you would have gotten a kick out of helping them find a Statue of Liberty paperweight.

It’s past my bedtime so I’ll close with a big Happy Birthday To You! Sharing Bella’s birthday is pretty much like being born on the 4th of July for a Twilighter, I imagine. Fireworks and parades and whatnot. Cool. I do know you’ll probably be working hard so I hope you get some time to enjoy the festivities. I also hope to meet you soon, and not just because that’ll mean I’m in Forks.

♥Christa

I can’t wait til you get here so I can make fun of your decrepitude some more. The best part of today is that in your old age you forgot your cell phone. Well, that’s the best part until we watch True Blood tonight anyway. At least you aren’t as old as Vampire Bill.

Me

On December 7 (Happy Birthday to me!) we got news of Catherine Hardwicke’s departure from New Moon. Now on January 7 we get news of Taylor Lautner’s return to the cast. I wonder if this is the start of a pattern.

From Steph herself:

Good news about New Moon from director Chris Weitz:

I’m very happy to announce that Taylor Lautner will be playing Jacob Black in New Moon and that he’s doing so with the enthusiastic support of Summit Entertainment, the producers, and Stephenie Meyer.

The characters in Stephenie’s books go through extraordinary changes of circumstance and also appearance; so it is not surprising that there has been speculation about whether the same actor would portray a character who changes in so many surprising ways throughout the series. But it was my first instinct that Taylor was, is, and should be Jacob, and that the books would be best served by the actor who is emotionally right for the part. I think that fans of Twilight the book and the movie will be surprised by the Jacob Black that Taylor will bring to the screen in New Moon; and I’m looking forward to working with him and the rest of the cast in realizing the film.

very best

Chris Weitz

I’d just like to add that I was very much a part of this decision. My first priority was always what was best for New Moon—what was going to give us the best possible movie. I’m truly thrilled that Taylor was the one who proved to the director, to Summit, and to me that he is the best possible Jacob we could have. And I’m very much looking forward to seeing what he’s going to bring to Jacob’s character this year.

– Steph

I had a great flight, even though my neighbor was chatty. She amused me, so it was good. Turns out she read Twilight and passed them on to her daughter who is now a huge fan. Yep, this conversation started because I pulled out my book. I’m reading for the fourth time and I only just discovered Twilight this year. I’m beginning to wonder if there might not really be something to the term Textually Transmitted Disease. So, yeah, good flight…

The best part of the flight was getting in 30 minutes early and then my bag coming up just as I walked up to the carousel. How fortuitous! Mom drove us home and I took a nice nap. Once again I got just three hours sleep before my flight. I really must stop doing this. I don’t always get to nap like I did today. I woke up from my nap to find dinner ready and my nieces and nephew ready to eat with me and Mom. But wait, there’s more–Birthday cake! My Mom made me a Belated Birthday Cake. Creme de Menthe Cake–my favorite! We had a blast screaming Happy Birthday at the top of our lungs. Yep, I sang to myself.

After that, Mom and I were off to Uncle J’s. I’m happy to report he’s doing quite well after last month’s quadruple bypass surgery. What a relief to finally see him for myself and give him a hug.

I’m now back in Waterford, WI. The thermometer on the car said 9°F on the way home from dropping Mom off in Antioch, IL to stay with Uncle J. Yes, nine degrees. That’s cold to anyone out here, not just to this Phoenix Girl. When did I become a Phoenix Girl? Must be some time this year. I’ve been there for 10 years now. Does something mystical happen at 10 years. Do you go native at that point? However it happened, whenever it happened, I’ll be sleeping with socks on for the next 10 days.

Tomorrow I meet a friend from high school I haven’t seen in about 20 years. That will be fun. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks, Facebook, for making this possible.

Hmm…to stay up and blog while watching DS9 or go to bed before 2a? I think we know the answer to that. Tag Surfing it is!

EW gave me this present today.

Now if only they will stick to the story for New Moon, and get rid of Carter Burwell, who thinks Twilight was a western apparently.

Correction: EW gave me this present on my b-day, but I didn’t open it until today.

Well it’s my birthday too! The best birthday gift is that it’s cloudy today. Cloudy days in Phoenix are hard to come by, a rare treat. So it’s my birthday, and it’s cloudy, and still no Edward Cullen. I don’t think he’s coming. LOL! Yes, I joke.

What else did I get for my birthday? Well, my friend Greg bought me an improptu gift, not knowing it was my birthday, but I’ll call it a birthday gift all the same. It’s a bracelet made of these funky, spikey, latex beads. God-awful, but fun. The beads look like viruses, which he why he got it for me. He knows of my love of the game Pandemic, so he got me a Pandemic bracelet. So we played yesterday and won, thanks to the good luck of the Pandemic bracelet. Thanks, Greg, for the gift and the good game.

I made Old Man Bobby wait until today to give me my gift, or I would have nothing to look forward to on my birthday but laundry. Ugh. So I just opened my gift. He did well. His Mom said he’d been very observant to pick out such thoughtful gifts. I couldn’t resist teasing that stalkers are usually pretty observant. Yes, I joke about that, too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so what did he get me? He got me Dead Until Dark, the first Sookie Stackhouse novel. He also got me some CDs: Sara Bareilles’s Little Voice and Paramore’s Riot! Well done, Old Man. And thanks again for taking me to see Twilight, for the fourth time, just because it was my birthday. Thank you.