It's an odd numbered year, so that's likely the reason my birthday went by smoothly this year. Last year--an even numbered one--I was in NY, on the upstate side, driving to my sister-in-law's funeral when I watched the car in front of me plunge suddenly into the canal running parallel to the road.
2005 was uneventful, but in 2004, my wife's best friend died in a car wreck on my birthday. I'm going to start pretending the even-numbered year birthdays don't exist, like some buildings omit the 13th floor on the elevator. They just don't exist by fiat and it seems to work. I haven't had bad luck in an office building for weeks.
My only concern this year was the smoke in the air wafting up from the South Georgia fires. That's a hell of a fire. That's some wind, too. Just enough to carry the smoke for several hundred miles without breaking it all up, and delivering all it's woody goodness right into my lungs. As an anti-environmentalist, I don't usually whine about air quality, but now I've gotten bronchitis from it, and it will likely turn into cancer by birthday 2008....unless I pretend it doesn't exist.
Realistically, there's little anyone can do about temporary air pollution without killing jobs and prosperity, and this is no exception, but I have a proposal for the air quality elite to consider to make bad air days more tolerable in the future. Suspend all marijuana laws for as long as the air quality is in the red zone. As long as we are subject to breathing in smoke, why not allow us to at least enjoy it? It's immoral and backward to have laws against enjoyable smoke only. Wouldn't it be nice to turn on the TV one day and have the news anchors announce that today's air quality is in "The Hookah Zone?"
I'm a little peeved at one of my birthday cards. It's from my dentist. It reads...
You deserve nothing but the best.
...and there's nothing in the card. Not even a free check-up coupon.
It's just monumentally lazy that someone should acknowledge that you deserve the best, but leave the delivery to others. If I deserve it, where is it? What is it? I deserve the best dental care? That's a little self-serving, don't you think?
"Hey, what did you get for your birthday?"
"Nice! Who gave you that?"
"My dentist. And my aunt emailed me a golf tip."
"Well, you deserve it."
The card really should read, "You deserve the best of nothing." The greeting was on a nice card stock. It's the best nothing I've ever gotten.
Perhaps doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, and anybody with access to your private records should just not be sending out birthday greetings at all. The implication of their birthday wishes is that, with all they know about you, it's a miracle that you made it this far.
Happy Birthday!!! With your family history? WOW!
Dr. Glick's office
Let's rethink this bit of marketing, okay professionals?
If a radio station is going to change format, I don't mind, but why can't they tell you before you prepare 3 hours of material for the next day? Thursday, I had some important things to say, but they never aired because I wasn't told until 45 minutes before show time that it's over, Johnny. What was the huge rush to play rock music on FM again that they couldn't wait another hour so I could tell people what I wanted for my birthday?
Of course, I got nothing I wanted for my birthday because no one could hear my list. So before someone cancels the internet, here's my list of what I want for 2008. You have a nice head start, and I deserve it, or so I'm told.
1. Health insurance. I have some, but it's not company paid, and it's expensive as hell. Here's what I propose. Someone who runs a company hire me for benefits only. You don't even have to pay me more than a nominal salary, and I'll send that to charity or something. I just want the health insurance. I'll make copies, coffee, sweep, make funny in the break room. It doesn't matter. I don't have a lot of marketable skills, but I'm good at tasks, and can make it worth some executive's while to assist them for some company-paid health insurance.
2. Sharper Image Massage Chair. I've been asking for this for 3 years. Come ON!
3. Front row tickets to a Carrie Underwood concert. I want it to be at a venue where the seating is at an angle to the stage so that I can see up her skirt. It must be heaven in there.
4. The rights to a hit song. This could get a little pricey, but I'm not looking for an expensive smash like "Start Me Up" or "Bad to the Bone." That would be cost prohibitive even if the current owner would be willing to part with these musical cash boxes. I'm looking for something a little more modest that can still keep me comfortable, like "Tarzan Boy" or "The Curly Shuffle." I'll bet you won't even need a partner to buy "Life in a Northern Town."
5. New teeth. Because, as you know, I deserve nothing but the best.