Adulthood creeps in by odd little events. I just managed one of them, though: for the first time in my life I've driven a car worth more than I am, if you accept my worth as being the total of my student loan debt -- that is, my replacement cost. It's my dad's car, a BMW truck he got after years of a really decrepit minivan got to be too much. (He does a lot of odd-jobs work, so a truck is actually the most logical vehicle for him to have.) He's reached the point in life where he feels it's worth paying something to get a new car with a service contract so somebody else can crawl underneath it on an early February morning trying to figure out which spark plug cap fell off (or whatever).
The nearly-new car kind of threw me off. I'm not used to a car that just starts up without a complaint despite the freezing temperatures, that shifts gears cleanly, doesn't have any odd rattling noises on starting or stopping, and which fan doesn't start blowing until it actually had warm air to blow. The only downside is the little plastic ``island'' car makers seem to have decided every car should have in the front seat, which puts the gear shift lever right where my knee should go. I attribute this to ergonomic designers, who spend their days thinking of ways to torment everyone six feet or taller, whom they blame for their lot in life. Still, it was a good experience, and I found the mall right where we left it.
Trivia: The Congress of Vienna created a short-lived ``independent'' Kingdom of Poland, with the Czar of Russia as monarch. Source: A History of Poland, Oscar Halecki.
Currently Reading: Falling Torch, Algis Budrys.