On This Day

Today is my 26th Birthday. It’s also Joan Jett’s, Scott Baio’s, Nick Cave’s, Shari Belafonte’s, Eric Stolz’s, Tommy Lasorda’s and Wally Backman’s birthday. Wally Backman was the second baseman for the 1986 New York Mets. Today is also the Autumnal Equinox. At 6:23 p.m. EDT, the sun crosses the celestial equator and fall begins. Today is also the day on which there are exactly 100 days left in the year.

On this day in 1792, the French Republic was declared. I’m in favor of that sort of thing. Nathan Hale was hanged as a spy in 1776. I’m against that sort of thing. In 1789 the office of the Postmaster General was authorized. I am very much in favor of the United States Postal Service. I love all their different possible outfits. The other night, I saw a postal worker doing her laundry at the local all-night laundromat. Just as I’d imagined, she was folding neat stacks of all different postal worker clothes. On this day in 1989 Irving Berlin died at the age of 101. I am in favor of living to be 101, if I don’t get too decrepit. On this day in 2000 Kraft Foods recalled all taco shells sold nationwide in supermarkets under the Taco Bell brand after tests confirmed they were made with StarLink, a genetically engineered corn not approved for human consumption. I am not in favor of taco shells or Taco Bell. When I am dictator, franchised restaurants will be the first thing to go. On this day in 2005, I am wondering if I am running out of time to be dictator, but I think that really I’m just getting started.

I began celebrating my birthday early this year. So far for my birthday I have received an Oster 6646 Blender (as requested) with 5-cup glass jar and ice-crushing capability, the entirety of The New Yorker magazine from 1924 to 2004 in searchable form on DVD, Yiddish with Dick and Jane, a picture book of surrealist and beautiful illustrations, two woven Guatamalen zip-pockets, a succulent desert plant in a handmade clay pot, a Kewpie doll that resembles me that hangs from a bell on a string, a ballpoint pen in the shape of a spaceman, a pot rack made from a copper pipe, a ceramic milk pitcher, $500, a stuffed fuzzy iPod and a delicata squash. I have received cards with little fuzzy creatures made of fabric on them, a picture of “human spiders climbing the Brooklyn Bridge,” and a card that says “I gave a card like this to my roommate once…” on the outside and “He made it into a bong” on the inside. In addition, I have bought myself two birthday gifts. One is a lamp that looks like a lightbulb trapped in a block of ice and the other is a lamp that looks like three branches of white flowers. It has been a delightful birthday so far.

I am very glad to have been alive for 9496 days and looking forward to as many more as I can get away with. Being alive isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but, as they say, consider the alternatives.

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