Hippo Birdies Triple-Hexadecimal

April 17, 2009 | By | 11 Replies More
birthday cake

by J. N. Diamond via Flickr Creative Commons

Today marks 3 x 2^4 years since I made an illegal uterine U-turn and backed into this life. That’s 17,532 days of cardiovascular goodness; circa 2 Billion heartbeats. I’m three times the age I was when I got my first kiss. Presbyopia is now nagging me, and my temples are graying.

TMI, you say? Be that as it may, I have an existential dilemma. This birthday is a round number, arguably rounder than 50 (2 x 5^2). I should celebrate. But how?

“Take the day off!” cry the masses. But I haven’t had a regular job since the late 1980’s. I don’t usually give any of my clients notice for taking a day off, and they rarely notice.

“Buy yourself something nice.” But I have a bad habit of buying what catches my fancy, plus an instinct not to fancy expensive or frivolous things. Ignore my slide rule, camera, and typewriter collections. Also, I recently ordered 10 lbs of aluminum dust, a controlled substance that will be brightly expended. You’ll hear more about that in July. (hint)

“Do something fun,” is good advice. But I don’t have a routine of drudgery to escape from. My aching, aging shoulder is too sore to properly “do” the City Museum, but I may go dancing in the evening.

Share

Tags: ,

Category: American Culture, Consumerism, Whimsy

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tony Coyle says:

    Congratulations!

    And in a weird synchrony with your post, the captcha is 'number'!

    I've never really felt very much affinity with birthdays.

    I don't like cake (and no-one will buy me apple pie).

    I could care less about a 'forced' get together at work – luckily my life as a traveling consultant helps there, since clients rarely know or care, and team members change frequently!

    I think store-bought cards are trite and expensive (I'm happy to receive a personal card, though. I'm not a total grinch!)

    I truly hate the song (probably one of the worst, most grating, melodies to have been foisted upon the human race. Most similar tunes are thankfully relegated to children's songs – where we can at least enjoy them in the correct context, and not in adult settings!)

    I do enjoy spending time with friends and family – but spontaneously, not according to an accident of orbital mechanics! And as I said in another thread – I'd rather buy my own gifts, thank you very much!

  2. Mindy Carney says:

    Happy Birthday, Dan! Whatever you do, enjoy it exponentially. Make a memory that will cause a grin, or a least a smirk, when you look back upon it.

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    Gift from a neighbor who knows me well: A sticky note pad printed with <blockquote style="background-color:#80c080;color:#6040a0"><div style="font-weight:bold;font-family:serif; font-size:16pt; text-align:center;"> If Ignorance is Bliss you'd thinkmore people would be happy.   </div>

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan:

    A few quotes for you on your number-laden special day:

    Old age is the most unexpected of things that can happen to a man.

    Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940), Diary in Exile (1959)

    Do not go gentle into that good night,

    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953), Collected poems (1952)

    When I was young I was amazed at Plutarch's statement that the elder Cato began at the age of eighty to learn Greek. I am amazed no longer. Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long.

    W. Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965)

    We turn not older with years, but newer every day.

    Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)

    It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older, one climbs with surprising strides.

    George Sand (1804 – 1876)

    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.

    Lynn Hall, Where Have All the Tigers Gone?, 1989

  5. Erika Price says:

    Birthday traditions are silly. I can think of one especially silly one: the expectation that a newly-minted 21-year-old must get absolutely, dangerously knackered on their birthday.

    I had a birthday this week too, Dan, but mine was not numerically signifigant. The day was "special" in that I am no longer a second-class-citizen (which I believe 18-20 year olds are). I eschewed most of the birthday obligatories, too, including the requirement that I down 21 shots and end up passed out in a stranger's yard. No thank you!

    It sounds like you don't need the "excuse" of a birthday to do some of the things that other people long all year for- taking the day off, having fun, enjoying and musing on their lives. The fact that a birthday doesn't need to be made special greatly signifies that the day-to-day life is lived well enough, thank you very much. That alone may deserve a hearty congrats.

    • Tony Coyle says:

      In Scotland, that age is 18 – but you can get married – on your own recognizance – at 16!

      Although I think I had already had my share of 'binge' drinking by the time I was 16.

    • Dan Klarmann says:

      I didn't drink in college; not one beer. I rarely drink now. I ordered my first drink when I was 23, at a friend's 21st birthday dinner because she forgot her ID!

  6. Mindy Carney says:

    Apparently I was the one drinking Dan's drinks in college. Having done so, I can say "Kudos to you, Erika, for not being sucked into that particular cultural morass!" Happy belated birthday – hope you enjoyed yourself –

Leave a Reply