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Monday, November 21, 2005



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Almost 40

A year and a day away from the Big 4-O, today I am taking it slow, playing hooky, taking a day off from work to celebrate my birthday a day early with my boys.

I took a few pictures this morning of them and of us together, and then decided to turn the camera on me.

Call it hubris, call it vanity, call it extra-intro spection, call it the man and his camera, that lover I have lived, eaten and practically slept with every day and every night for the last 10 months. It has been a wonderful affair thus far.

So tomorrow is ďthe birthday,Ē and a year from then Iíll turn forty. I guess that would officially make me middle-aged. So, what does it all mean? Must I berate myself for not being more accomplished, for not fulfilling all my dreams?

Regardless of these token sentiments that Iím supposed to drag myself through eventually, I actually had an epiphany of the opposite sort last night as I was slowing down and getting ready to go to bed.

Traditionally, much like I recall my father did, I have long belittled my birthday by relaying that I didnít want to make a fuss. A small dinner with the family has sufficed for the last fifteen years or so. I really canít remember the last birthday party had for me.

But last night I realized something very important. I was feeling happy to be alive, happy to be thriving on the brink of my middle years, and so it occurred to me that birthdays are much more than just blowing out candles, much more than just breaking open boxes and tearing apart yards of colorful paper, much more than getting drunk and being with family and friends to celebrate your personal holiday.

No, what I realized in full-force last night was that birthdays are meant to acknowledge and toast the birth of another wonderful life, another person who in full bloom, whom as a happy soul, can make the world a better place, if only with a positive attitude and a smile.

Hence, Iíve decided to actually wile away a day by celebrating my birthday this year - if only by making it known, if only by acknowledging how Iíve grown over these almost forty years and how with a bright disposition Iíve tried my best not to let time wear me down.

*

post-scripte/correction: someone pointed out that i calculated wrong - i'm actually going to be 38, not 39 as i had thought. oh well, guess i am getting old after all.

post-scripte/correction: someone pointed out that i calculated wrong - i'm actually going to be 38, not 39 as i had thought. oh well, guess i am getting old after all. p.p.s. If only as a note of amusement, this particular foto was taken in the men's room at IHop (The International House of Pancakes). Being a liberal arts major with an unusual major, international cultural studies, i was often tormented with the question, "So what are you going to do with that (degree)?" One of my good friends, Adam, surmised that I would end up working at IHop.

Alas, I never found employement there, but it has long been one of my favorite cheap places to eat.

Anyway, the boys and I went there for my birthday breakfast, we shared multi-grain, buttermilk and pumpkin pancakes all topped with fresh whipped cream and boysenberry syrup. Upon making a trip to the restroom I discovered this exquisite strip of tile and immediately knew I had to take some photos against it.


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