Birthday/Christmas Wishlist 2010

  • any shirt that looks like those pictured
  • bow-ties, like real bow ties that you tie on, especially ones with patterns or polka-dots, are cool
  • 2 terabyte hard drive for cheap received!
  • a magical easily-obtainable driver’s license for wifefriend Lynae
  • accordion (note: a very complicated choice that I’d really like to make myself… at some point in the future)
  • this toy caveman is pretty awesome, and is all of $7 (for the thrifty present-giver)Although… you know, as long as I’m mentioning it here, the toy manufacturer (Papo) makes a really great Plesiosaurus and Allosaurus, too. I have their Oviraptor and it’s top-notch. Consider it mentioned.
  • iPhone 4, for better or for worse, cf. “I must have the iPhone 4 […] I need the one with more gee-bees”
  • iPhone-to-FM transmitter, car mount, case that can safely get run over by a car
  • a new comforter — because apparently 5 years should have been considered a good run
  • Better Internet – we’re considering a local Wireless ISP (WISP) named MonkeyBrains.net that requires an up-front investment for an antenna. We’re still deciding on this one, and it’s not glamorous, but an upgrade from 3M/b download to 30M/b for less per month is a heck of a win-win.
  • The Secret Museum Of Mankind, Vol. 5 – you know how often I go for physical CD media, so this better be special. Indeed it is — I have the first 4 in the series, and they’re amazing, but for whatever reason this is missing from the Internet and thus my collection.Check out this 1939 track from South Africa, from the only recording studio in sub-Saharan Africa at the time, and the origin of the melody for “Lion Sleeps Tonight”:
    [audio:Solomon Lindas Original Evening Birds – Mbube (South Africa).mp3]

This Year’s Birthday Theme

My birthday falls exactly 12 days before Christmas. Yes, there’s a song; no, nobody sings it. Although there are certainly worse calender dates (like February 29th, or Christmas itself), the placement has always been problematic. But I made a discovery the birthday before I went to college: the present season goes better if I have a theme.

Two years after that I was going to Australia. Excellent year as far as “stuff I’m definitely gonna use,” and made me happy. I think a theme is called for this year. Considering my current state of unemployment, and the protracted lack of funds which that implies, this year I want:

to maintain my quality of life!

Yes, that’s right. Sometimes it’s just nice not to have to sacrifice the enjoyable things. Things like:

Monica has a Birthday

Fifty strangers meet in a public park. Many have never met before, some have. They are dressed variously in matching outfits, funny wigs or hats, or just colorful sunny day clothing. They have come for a singular purpose. However, what exactly that purpose is none are certain—except one. They have placed their faith in a leader. This leader, a sprightly woman, short, young, with twin feathery poofs emerging from her brunette hair, and dressed in a festive old west leather skirt and cowboy boots, assembles the convivial horde. The mob slowly quiets.

Megaphone in hand, pointed in no particular direction, she announces her name is Monica. She is turning thirty. Cheers. Welcome to her birthday! she says. Cheers. Much commotion and fumbling in pockets and, shortly thereafter, a blast from the megaphone. Even greater commotion. Another signal tone, a pause, much clapping and yet more cheers, then ebbing to silence, as the crowd seems to contemplate their plight. No one knows where to look so everyone looks everywhere. Two minutes pass, and the group is silent. Except for some minor fidgeting, the fifty party-prepped people together on the green grass stay still on this bright, sunny Saturday afternoon in the park. But then, inexplicably, with no cue from Monica or anyone else, the crowd begins to cheer again.

This is when some sort of magic starts to happen. Over the next half hour, with no apparent direction, revelers flap their arms and pretend to fly around in circles, play tag, dance at random intervals, engage in staring contests, hum the theme from Super Mario (more or less), go hide elsewhere in the park, form a spontaneous line to spank their beloved leader as she crawls between their legs, and finally, carry her bodily to her waiting birthday cake, where they summarily deposit her butt-first into it… and of course, must then sing “Happy Birthday.” Maybe just one more dance party, the crowd seems to decide. Much applause follows for super-special birthday-girl Monica who has rightfully earned it by pulling off this ridiculous, puzzling, and joyful spectacle. Then the magical shenanigans are over. One by one, people in the crowd pull out their earbuds.

You knew there was a big reveal, didn’t you? Well, keep reading!

Thanks Are In Order

I had a lovely birthday. Thanks, guys. You called me on a cold pier as the sun was setting. You called me as I was trying to navigate a radioactive abandoned Navy base. You wished me health, prosperity and success in your studies (even though I don’t have any studies… but thanks anyways). Some made me cake, and damned good cake at that, cake that wasn’t even choco-nutty-poke. Some of you even let me call into work sick with a “head cold,” whatever that is. Twenty-four. I don’t feel the need to look up the number on Wikipedia this year. Just wanted to say:

Thanks.

Self-Portrait Tuesday

There is such a thing as self-portrait tuesday. I didn’t make it up as an excuse to post “pix” of me posing for a silly internet contest that a friend interrupted and made cooler and more posse-like. I put this up here, cause, well, I ain’t gonna look this good forever. Tomorrow I turn twenty-three.

Twenty-three. Nothing important. Hump number. Odd, not even. Obstinately indivisible by anything but itself and one. Not between anything; just older. Twenty-three Skidoo. Psalm 23. Michael Jordan. The human genome and its 23 pairs. In mathematics, “The Birthday Paradox” — given a group of 23 or more randomly chosen people, the probability is more than 50% that at least two of them will have the same birthday (ask my good friend Emily). On a standard QWERTY keyboard, the 23rd letter W is right below and between 2 and 3. Alright, alright, this’s just getting ridiculous.

Twenty-three: not as boring as I thought. I might even have fun this year.