Festival of Birth Anniversary Extravaganza

Why do I keep having birthdays? What the hell? Once you reach a certain age, you shouldn’t have to celebrate them anymore. It’s all this social networking whatnot that’s to blame. Someone finds out or remembers when your birthday is, then posts a “Happy birthday” and you’re done for. My birthday was Sunday. I checked my email when I crawled out of bed and I had 16 new messages. I never have 16 new messages unless they’re spam. That’s 16 people I need to respond to with a thanks for reminding me that I had another birthday. There are several reasons that I hate people wishing me happy birthday. First, I’d like to forget my linear progression toward demise altogether. Second, I have to interact with the people who wish me a happy birthday. I’m generally not too good with compulsory interaction. Third, someone is bound to ask what I have planned and when I say nothing, they will replace that nothing with a something because you can’t possibly do nothing on your birthday!

I have a thing about large bodies of water. I like them. I always have. I grew up in Michigan, a state that is surrounded on three sides by the Great Lakes. I lived in Boston for a while and chose to live in a somewhat not-so-nice neighborhood (read: working class) just to be close to the ocean, which in Boston is a fish-stinking, broken glass, needle-infested, rocky not-so-nice thing that’s really only accessible a few months out of the year due to not-so-nice weather, but I went all the time anyway. So, when I moved to sunny southern California with the nicest beaches in the United States this side of the Mississippi (with the possible exception of Hawaii–I haven’t been there to verify), I started a tradition of going there on my birthday.

This year, I took my dog to the beach for the first time. I put my feet in the ocean. I got a free sunburn. I ate delicious free breakfast and free Mexican food. I had free coffee. I drank free beers. I had many, many free laughs with my best friends in the world. All in all, one of the best days in recent memory.

While I had a most excellent day, there are quite a few things that I’d really like for my birthday. I didn’t register anywhere, but feel free to make any of these happen for me:

  • A little less death. I’d like people to stop killing each other over religion/race/nationality/politics/borders/money or whatever other lame excuses we use to kill each other.
  • A little more tolerance. Stop hating people who are different from you. The great thing about the human race is that we are made of homogenous genetic material, yet we have such variety. We’re all human. I just read an article full of hateful comments for Oreo because they posted about Pride. Stop that. If you don’t like gay people, so be it, but why do you have to be so awful about it? Stop spreading hate. We already have enough.
  • A lot more thinking. Don’t believe everything you read. There’s not one book/blog/person/whatever out there that has all the answers. Not one. We have big primate brains that are capable of reasoning and empathy. Let’s do more of that.
  • A little more open-mindedness.
  • Less smog in Los Angeles so I can see the stars.
  • Cash money.
  • A homemade birthday cake made by my mom. I miss getting one every year and that’s all I wanted on Sunday. Sadly, she lives on the other side of the country.
  • Interstellar space transportation. I want to leave this rock once before I die.
  • A pet unicorn or dragon.
  • More smiles, more dipping my feet in the ocean, more wind blowing through my hair, more delicious foods, more seeing my dorky dog so ridiculously happy that you can’t help but grin, more snuggles, more of my amazing friends, more hugs, more deep belly laughs and more of my awesome, awesome life.