Thirty-third birthday weekend, other assorted sundries

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Summary: I turned thirty-three this weekend. In the next four months, about nine (more) days and I'm not sure how many hours, I will be 33.3333333..., or exactly a third of a century. By the way, my birthday weekend was boring...and excellent.

Tuesday, 01 June 2010

(00:33:20 CDT)

Thirty-third birthday weekend, other assorted sundries

Manfred's on the road again, making strangers rich. It's a hot summer Tuesday, and he's standing in the plaza in front of the Centraal Station with his eyeballs powered up and the sunlight jangling off the canal, motor scooters and kamikaze cyclists whizzing past and tourists chattering on every side. The square smells of water and dirt and hot metal and the fart-laden exhaust fumes of cold catalytic converters; the bells of trams ding in the background, and birds flock overhead. He glances up and grabs a pigeon, crops the shot, and squirts it at his weblog to show he's arrived.

Charles Stross, Accelerando, Part 1, Chapter 1

I have friends (and some non-friends but regularly read bloggers) that always quote songs as blog titles, or as blog signatures, or heavily in the blogs, and so forth. I figure, why not, let's start starting my blogs with quotes from books I am reading and then pop some sort of link in there to an official site or such. It's quirky and it's me. How about it? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

At any rate, Annus Douglas rolled over to the big three-four this weekend, making me the big three-three. Thirty-three. In four months, nine or so more days, and some smidge of hours and minutes, I will be 33.33333... years of age. One third of one century. An awfully rational irrational number (or wait, do numbers that are un-rationalizable but repeating have another name?). Since the usual Bolden punch-out ticket is somewhere between the two-thirds to three-fourths a century mark, I guess this puts me in the hazy realm of middle-age. I know we usually reserve that for forty-somethings (maybe even fifty-somethings) but with the average male lifespan runs out at something like 72 and the average female lifespan runs out prior to 80 (well all this is changing, I guess) *, it sounds like we are just being polite referring to those who have already lived near two-thirds of their life as being only in the middle rung. Besides, fifty is the new forty and sixty is the new teen, it's all relative.

Let's address one rumor, right here and now, I am not obsessed with my mortality, though I do think of my death a lot. It just, well, doesn't define me. My stance is that any overweight man who drinks a couple of times a week and occasionally smokes a pipe would be a fool to worry too much about death. Those are changeable habits, the kind of thing I could scorn like anathema if I was really in this for some hypothetically achievable "long haul". I am not in it to win, I'm just here for participation points. It kind of changes the whole end-game strategy when that is the case.

On less maudlin matters than my own moribund mortality, the nature of gifts. There were not many. This is my fault. I did not have a party. Did not want a party. Had a surprise party surfaced, I would have looked surprised and enjoyed myself. Barring that, though, my goal was to do just about nothing this weekend. Happy Birthday to me. I was hoping that the weather would allow for some hiking, some disc golf, and some tennis. These hopes did not come about, because all it allowed me to do was to look at the rain for four days straight and stay inside and watch movies (there was a walk in the rain, which was nice, but the only such excursion). And eat snack food. Ugh at the snack food. Somewhere between the grilled burgers and the non-grilled burgers and the frito pie and the sweet and sour chicken and the casserole and the hot dogs and the chips and the beer...Memorial Day/33rd Birthday Weekend whomped me thoroughly in the gut department, like taking a loving blow from a long term friend who just wants you to feel better when the bruising stops. Oh, did I mention the Ice Cream cake?

Ice Cream Cake

I was meant to be talking about gifts up there, wasn't I? Well, the list is small (but incomplete, since a couple here or there are "in-coming"). I got a DVD of the movie The Road, which I have not watched. I also got Gamera, the original Japanese edition on DVD, which I did watch, and a copy of Porcupine Tree's Deadwing, to which I am about to listen. For the most part, my "gift" was Sarah sitting around while I did things like play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PS2), watched some Outer Limits and Stargate SG-1 and Doctor Who (The "Genesis of the Daleks" serial), watched Quatermass and the Pit and Tales from the Crypt (the Hammer and Amicus production, respectively), and sundry other time-wasting things. Sometimes allowing someone to waste an entire weekend with you is about the best gift you can get. Thank, love dumpling.

What else? I think that might be it. I return to work tomorrow night. Nothing too big, maybe. Summer school is weird, even in college. Except rather than a small handful of students who did not care for school doing the regular year, and are now slacking off and not caring about school over the summer, most of your summer term collegiates tend to be the sort who want to get it done, who take their schooling somewhat seriously, or at least consider a college education to be part of a life-goal. This means that the overall quality and dedication of students will go up. Which means, conversely, the number of students who are approaching me for help will go down (a mixture of old-hats to the library and tight schedules leaving little time for extended projects). On the other hand, grad students and some distance-learning students have more complex questions over the summer, usually, so my work-load should balance.

And that is it. This is Doug, with his new haircut (which is to say his periodic retrimming of his hair to its minimal state so that it shall once again begin its climb to maximal state has occurred), signing off...

Si Vales, Valeo

file under Me in 2010


Being a somewhat constant blogger, I thought it might be interesting to head back over the past five or so years and look at recent birthdays and how they went. For some of them, I have links to entries round and about them.

  • Let's see, 32nd Birthday: Watched Fight Club: Members Only, ate at Viet-Huong, and got some card games.
  • 31st Birthday: played mini-golf, ate at Miso House, and got movies and books. Aimee Mann strangely enough released the album with the track "Thirty-one Today" on my birthday, which means they are watching me.
  • 30th Birthday (via LJ): Ranked as "worst birthday ever". Mixture of bills, bad news, and mis-handled packages culminated in me drinking "half a liter of gin in 10 minutes".
  • 29th (no link): Nothing much marked outside of a couple of gifts I got, and most of those seem to be things I bought myself with various birthday moneys. I think we wait out and ate at Dragon Garden, I am almost positive.
  • 28th Birthday (via LJ): Down at my family house. Tripped around looking for Troy Jenkin's house, my friend from high-school who was killed early on in Iraq. Also visited my brother Danny at a strange house where the upper floor was this weird maze of reconstruction and trash. On a sad note, this would have been the last time I saw my dad alive. We went down to South Alabama to visit some old fort sites with my mom, and both the tires and the windshield of our, then, car were messed up so my dad took us into Evergreen and bought us the stuff to repair the tire and the windshield. He told us to be careful, and that was pretty much it.

And...that's it. The year prior to that, 2004, the next entry after my birthday is me talking about reading The Spoils of Poynton and falling in love (with Sarah) as a contrast to the previous year's Summer of Hell. No clue what went down on my birthday, but it did not get blogged so it was probably just something quiet at the apartment (I imagine Jimmy and Emily and Sarah did something for me).

The year prior to that was the beginning of the Summer of Hell and, arguably, my birthday (age: 26) was the opening salvo. One friend whom was I really hoping would show up came in late, made a big fuss about another friend, and then left. She used my birthday as an excuse to go off and get drunk somewhere else. A few other friends showed up temporarily and had a good time, though a fair number of my friends ended up forming some strange cliques and there was some wayward romance. My nephew Jonathan came up to visit but avoided the crowd and spent the whole time playing videogames in my bedroom (in some ways, that trip up was kind of the last time he and I really sat down like we used to, where would waste hours playing games and talking about BS...which is what he was expecting and I was just starting to get into my own personal drama and overall left him to his own devices, something I feel kind of bad about). Heh, it was also the year my friend Emily gave me the "I Owe You One Dick" as a gift (she had ordered VALIS for me) and The Boondock Saints DVD.

The year prior to that would have been at Quaile Pointe...and the years prior to that would have been very little. I remember, distinctly, the 26th b'day party being the first big deal associated with my birthday in years (maybe as far back as my 16th since I had last had a party). Kind of weird to think this far back...I think I'll quit now...Especially since we are talking about "Start of Summer of Hell", "Last time I saw my father alive", and "Non-descript" all being ranked under the "Worst Birthday Ever". Dang. Here's the formula, though: Asian Food, DVDs, Books. I'm going to stick to that.

Written by Doug Bolden

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