Oct 20 2010

say a word for charlie brown

Today is my mom’s birthday.  And if there’s a better way to commemorate the occasion than with a song about her oldest child, I don’t want to hear about it.

Oct 13 2010

i must above all things love myself

It’s well-documented that I’m no great fan of birthdays, but the sort of ironic thing was that my objection was never really about getting or feeling older.  At least not until recently.  And then this year happened.  I don’t know why turning thirty-seven had such an effect on me when the more traditional milestone birthdays didn’t.  Perhaps it’s my contrarian nature.  Or the fact that I officially entered the ass end of my thirties.  Or that I was severely depressed through much of the winter, spring, and summer.  It’s possible it’s a combination of the three – or at the very least, most likely we’ll never know.

At any rate, I’ve spent the early weeks of Rocktober thinking about aging again – as I have for the past decade.  I’m now as close to thirty-eight as am to thirty-seven, but this year I have been trying to think differently.  I know that the glass is also half-full.  So that’s why it doesn’t bum me out that Nick Cave is cooler than me by a mile.  Yes, he’s fifteen years my senior, but he’s still getting better with age.  This is what I have to look forward to.  And that’s a good thing.  It’s going to take me that long to grow out that tremendous mustache.

Oct 12 2010

for the girl

I had a special post lined up for today, but then I dropped the ball on my niece’s annual birthday mix.  I got as far as the first song – the Old 97’s cover of the titular song by the Fratellis – and then didn’t bother choosing the other twenty or so required to fill the CD.  I guess that means I also don’t have to follow through on my writing assignment.  The world may never know what I have to say about the transcendent greatness of “Flathead.”

Oct 12 2010

double digits

The oldest of either of my sisters’ children turns ten years old today.  Ten years!  A decade!  How can it be ten years already?  I hope you have a terrific birthday, Maggie.  ‘Cause Unkie Hotrod is feeling pretty old.

Oct 9 2010

we all want to change the world

There is literally nothing new or original I can say on October 9, 2010 about the Beatles.  Everything that can be said already has been.  I have no insights to offer.  But still it would be mind-bogglingly stupid to let this day go by without acknowledging them.

The powerful combination of Google and Facebook tipped me off yesterday morning that today would have been John Lennon’s seventieth birthday.  I knew immediately that I had to push today’s regularly scheduled post back a day to make room for the Beatles.  The first song that occurred to me was “Twist and Shout” because I love that song and I could write a little about a brief revival in the mid-80’s that coincided with the release of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (and to a lesser degree Back to School).  But I quickly realized that maybe I should feature a song that Lennon not only sang but also, you know, wrote.

I was chatting at the time with my friend Cait and discussed with her a short list of songs – “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Run For Your Life” – none of which seemed quite right.  Then it hit me.  “Shit,” I wrote to her, “it’s so simple: ‘Revolution’.”  She quickly wrote back.  “I thought of that, but I thought it might be a little obvious.”  Sometimes the obvious choice is obvious for a reason.

Aug 28 2010

batting cleanup

I have some more evidence that I didn’t always hate birthdays.  My sisters and I all have birthdays within two weeks of each other.  That in and of itself is not a problem.  My mother reminded me recently, however, that what was a problem – at least for me – was that Sister #1 celebrated her birthday a week before mine.  I was the oldest, so by childhood logic my birthday should come first.  That doesn’t make much sense now, and there’s a decent argument to be made that it shouldn’t have made sense in 1980 either.

But here’s the thing: today is the last of three August birthdays (coincidentally, their spacing is off mine and my sisters’ by only one day) and for the third straight year Scottie gets short shrift just because he falls last in the batting order.  I always struggle to come up with something to say by the time we get to this one.  And even now I’ve spent the whole birthday post blabbing about myself.  I am such a deadbeat uncle.  Here’s wishing you the best today anyway, Scottie!  Have a great fourth birthday!

Aug 24 2010

i only pretend to be a deadbeat uncle

Sister #1 called me out yesterday.  I guess she felt that she had to remind me about today’s birthday.  I can’t for the life of me imagine why that would be.  The thing is, though, that August birthdays are easy.  Not that I remember the specific days, mind you, but I remember early in the month that I have to look them up again and put them in my calendar.  And then I have to look up how old everyone is.  And that why I can extend heartfelt birthday wishes to Midge today on her fourth, fifth, or sixth birthday.  Okay, okay – I’m kidding!  I know you’re five today, Midge!  Have a wonderful birthday!

Aug 16 2010

being a kid is hard work

Believe it or not, I do remember when I thought birthdays were a big deal.  That’s why I can commiserate with my niece.  She’s had a rough week, living under the threat that her seventh birthday will be ignored.  These are the times when being an uncle really pays off.  I, for one, don’t care how cluttered her bedroom is and I don’t care if she never cleans it up.  I’m still going to celebrate.  Happy birthday, Rushmore!  Have a wonderful day being just as messy as you want to be!

May 29 2010

i can’t believe i did it again

Last year, I almost missed my nephew’s birthday.  I resolved that I was not going to repeat that mistake, so I have been double-checking my archives for at least six weeks now.  The end of May always seemed so far off, though.  So somehow – despite my best intentions and my earlier vigilance – I let the date sneak up on me.  And, once again, if it wasn’t for my sister’s Facebook status, this day would have slipped by unnoticed.  I’m sorry, Steve.  Next year I’ll get it right; the third time is the charm.  ‘Til then, here’s wishing you another happy birthday!








Apr 16 2010

talking with the taxman about birthdays

I knew it!  I remembered this one without the Facebook reminder and without looking it up from last year.  The only reason I am getting to this so late in the day is because I was absolutely swamped at work.  But I just got home and it's finally time to wish my youngest nephew – Foreman – a very happy first birthday!

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