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I was born in July, and one day has never felt like enough to celebrate the marvel of existing in this form, so for years now I have been having adventures – my favorite gifts – on many of the days in the month of my birth. Some of the best, and occasionally the worst, are documented here.

2011 Portland, Oregon, USA
Yesterday evening I had an inadvertent, slightly embarrassing adventure: I provoked a conversation about the future of print journalism between two guys who were very informed and had all kinds of opinions. I may be a print journalist, but the vast majority of what they had to say had never crossed my mind.

2010 McLeod Ganj, India
I had three adventures today, all creepy-crawly. I've used a yogurt cup and a postcard of the Dalai Lama to escort beetles out of my apartment on several occasions these last few weeks, and I tried the method today on a silverfish and a millipede. It works. I also learned that in Tibet, people rarely wash their hair, which becomes a home for "small sentient beings."

2009 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Never have I seen such city walls, nor really even imagined them. Our splendid guide yesterday, told us that the Republic of Ragusa hired the best military architects, and that their work is genius. Most remarkable is that, in the unfathomable siege of the town in 1991, people took shelter in forts that were designed to protect the city from a completely different kind of war.

2008 Tallinn, Estonia
We saw the most mysterious thing on our bike ride. It looked like a sort of monstrous concrete slide into the sea, in two sections, one on the hill overlooking the road to Pirita, the other - a tiny yet forbidding section - between that road and the water. I never could find out its name, its purpose, anything about it at all. No one seems to have noticed it.

2007 Granada, Nicaragua
Yesterday I swung in my perezoso – as I understand it, swinging chairs share the Spanish word that means “lazy” as well as the animal known as a “sloth” in English – beneath my mango tree and sipped lemonade made from the fruit of my lemon tree.

1999 Portland, Oregon, USA
I opened Hyphen’s present of a pad of black sticky notes yesterday. It’s very hard to get anything to show on them, but I like them very much just the same. If I were a criminal I could leave them as cryptic clues.

1994 Coos Bay, Oregon, USA
I turned a June Bug over on its back yesterday just after writing about turning small helpless creatures over on their backs, wishing they'd do something instead of just lie there. The June Bug was very fuzzy with a velvet brown fur on its two front underneath body parts, and it had lovely feathery antennae which I had never noticed on a June Bug right side up. But alas, it didn't do anything but lie there on its big carapace, so I turned it back over quickly.
I am thinking I could write an essay about this. The thesis could be: As the population of humans increases, more and more beetles have experienced being turned over on their backs and have naturally selected for motionlessness, as the motionless beetle is most likely to be returned to its upright position by the bored child who wanted the up-ended beetle to do something.

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