Posts tagged ‘birthday’

Of Birthdays and Saints

17 March, 2017 | | 2 Comments

When did I get old?

Nine pm used to mean there were 4 more hours left to pack in every inch of an exciting life. Later on, 9 pm meant another 2 more hours in the day.  Now 9 pm means I’m late for my medication and need to get to bed as soon as I can. What the hell happened? 

When the kids were going through puberty – when they started, that is, since they’re not all completely finished with the process – we got them a book called something like “Hey, What’s Going On Down There?  A Teenager’s Guide to Your Changing Body.”  

We need to update this book.  

Now that I’m staring down the barrel of 50, I think we need a book of our own:  Same concept, same title, but a drop-head like “A 50-Something’s Guide to What the Hell Just Happened to Your Body.”  It would include chapters like “Is it Supposed to Look Like That?”, “Never Trust a Fart,” and “Three Ways to Tell if You’re Actually Urinating RIGHT NOW!”  (Hey, it’s not like we can see it anymore.)  There could be a handy guide in the back for dealing with insurance companies.  

My parents gave me The Talk when I hit puberty, but I feel like they fell down on the job with the “Next Talk,” which parents should have with their kids when you hit about 45 or so.  Not their fault – as a society, we don’t talk about this kind of thing.  I guess women talk to each other a bit about menopause, but trust me that guys Never Talk About Anything.  No 50-something dude has ever swiveled his chair around, leaned over to the cubicle next to him, and asked a co-worker, “Hey, Tom, is yours getting smaller?”  We don’t talk about it. 

(Imagine if he did, though:  “Does it still work?  As long as it works, size is NOT the biggest issue.”)

So, I’m getting old.  I’m so old that I remember when loose coupling described a dating technique and then, later, a programming technique.  (Although honestly, for most of us geeks, it described a programming technique and a dating concept with which we would have liked to become familiar.) 

As I reflect on my birthday today, I realize that these days, loose coupling describes the relationships between most of my bodily functions.  

We need to be talking to our kids as they hit their late 40s and early 50s, and try to prepare them for these changes.  Imagine Carrie’s 30th High School reunion, wondering why we’re all suddenly incontinent?  “Son, your shit’s gonna start falling apart, and that’s OK.”  I’ve had shit stop working that I didn’t even know I had in the first place.  Plus I’m still in denial about my glasses.  Luckily, I don’t really need them, except to read and to see things at a distance.  Other than that, I’m fine.  

But it’s not all bad.  As I rack up birthdays, I realize that I still don’t have even half as many as The Queen Mother of Pink, who’s 99.  With any luck, I’ll have years to complain about my shit slowly falling apart.  Gram doesn’t complain, though – she just powers through.  Ninty-nine years old and still, she persists.  Pretty good role model, if you ask me.

The Three Lunatic Children are getting funnier, too, and faster on the draw, so that’s another advantage to getting old:  watching them grow into their own.  Sometimes they go out of their way to sound like me, which is most certainly going to get them into trouble one of these days.  I mean, look how I wound up?  The oldest one got me a few nights ago:

HTR:  I was thinking about déjà vu.
BUMD:  I‘ve thought about that before.
HTR (without missing a beat):  I knew you were gonna say that. 

Birthdays – they’re like the ultimate déjà vu, until they’re not.  But since it’s my birthday, I want to tell you about St. Patrick, who is the reason my middle name is Patrick.  (Actually, that’s not true:  My godfather, Mike Burke, is the reason my middle name is Patrick.  I understand the conversation went something like: “If he’s born on St. Patrick’s Day, you HAVE to name him Patrick!”  “No.”  “Middle name?”  “OK.”   I owe him a debt I can never repay.)

St. Patrick died around 493 – pretty good gig to be remembered for more than 1500 years, to say nothing of having libations drunk in your name every year.  I’m not much given to prayer, but since I seem to have a patron saint of my own, I’ve been thinking about asking him about that whole deal with the snakes.  I’m thinking we could use a good old-fashioned snake drive these days.

So I’m not as old as St. Patrick, nor even half as old as the Queen Mother of Pink, but with the luck of the Irish, I’ll get there!  Perhaps in a thousand years, they’ll be drinking libations in my name as well.  It could happen!  In the meantime, I’ll have one of whatever that man on the floor’s having.

And so, happy birthday to me, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, Dear Friend, Fond Relation, and Gentle Reader!  Beannachtam na Femle Padraig, and let’s get all these snakes out of here!

Oh, look at the time!   I didn’t realize it was that late – I need to get to bed.

Happy Birthday to Me!

17 March, 2015 | | 1 Comment

And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you.  I know, I’ve been away a while, by which I mean the whole of 2015 to date, but I’m on my way back, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to thank everyone for all the many green St. Patrick’s Day Birthday wishes, and to explain that I have had a decent day all around, and I think this foretells a pretty decent year upcoming.  I certainly hope so.

Some readers, who may perhaps have known me for far too many of my increasing years, may recall that often my sending a short update concluding with “long letter follows” tends to mean that yes, a longer letter might follow, but generally my correspondent was left to write it themselves and then send it to me.  In this case I will not profess that a longer post shall follow, but at least MORE posts shall follow, in the fullness of time, and without too much further ado.  You have missed me – and I have missed you all.  Thanks for hanging in there!

 

Halloween & Happy Birthday

31 October, 2014 | | 1 Comment

Sixteen years ago, on this day, our lives were changed forever on the occurrence of the birth of the Human Tape Recorder.  Her life was changed just as much, in that she was born, which is, when you think about it, probably just as bizarre as having a baby.  We went from DINK yuppie scum to frightened parents in the blink of an eye, and she went from floating in a safe warm dimly-lit room to a weird, brightly-lit cavern with wind and air and stuff, and people poking at her and talking to her.  Her first reaction was to poop, and I was so nervous I nearly did the same.  We’ve come a long way since then!

So without further ado, Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to the Human Tape Recorder!  Sixteen years old and she’s still my walking memory bank.

Happy National Pink Day

21 August, 2014 | | 1 Comment

Since the Reigning Queen of Pink, Grand Duchess of Fluff, Lord High Protector of Barbies, and Baroness of the Hummingbirds is the only one in the house who wasn’t born on or around a holiday, we are hereby, by the authority vested in me, declaring that August 21st, Her Royal birthday, shall henceforth be known across the land as National Pink Day. 

My understanding is that, not having received her Hogwarts letter on time last year, she is this year expecting her letter from Pigfarts Intergalactic School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which as I’m sure you’re aware is on Mars.  I sincerely hope that the intragalactic mail system is on time this year, and that she has a super-mega-foxy-awesome birthday.

And so, happy birthday to the RQOP!

Time for My Mid-Life Crisis!

17 March, 2014 | | 2 Comments

First, as I hit the mid-stride of the afternoon of my 45th birthday, I have to note that I cannot remember spending any previous birthday shoveling snow.  I’ve done a lot of different things on past St. Patrick’s Days.  Some of them involved drinking, some involved being born, and some involved drinking to sufficient excess that I wished I hadn’t been (I’m looking at you, dear Ma’am), but none have involved shoveling.  So, that’s a new thing.

New is not the same as good.  Get this winter over with.

However, I think 45 should be more than just looking back, however fondly or blearily, at the years gone past.  I’ve decided that I will not worry about all the things I have thus far failed to accomplish, all the almosts, all the maybes.  I will not consider for one minute the fact that when John Keats was my age, he’d been dead 20 years.  No.  I shall keep my eyes due north, face forward into the wind, and imagine what comes next.

Based on statistics and actuarial tables, I can reasonably assume that I might live to 90, assuming a smooth downhill road and a good tailwind.  That means that today marks my halfway point, my middle life.

So, Dear Friend, Fond Relation, and Gentle Reader, I ask you for input:  What’s a good crisis to have?  I’m ready for my mid-life crisis, and I’m entertaining ideas!  Bungee jumping?  Skydiving?  Fast cars?  Loose women?  Pot is now available legally in 2 states, and I’ve never had any – is that a decent option for a mid-life crisis?  Recreational alcoholism is old hat; nothing new there to try.  My understanding of how this works is that I realize my own mortality and then try to distract myself from same by spending inordinate amounts of time and/or money on something I don’t usually do.  Since there are thousands of things that I don’t usually do, the field is pretty open here.  I want to keep the financial aspects of this crisis to a minimum, so please don’t suggest I start a Ferrari collection – unless you’re willing to donate the first one as a starter, in which case I’m all in.

So, what should I do for my mid-life crisis?  All comments welcome!