This month is the anniversary of my birth. Part of our life cycle. Birth, living, then death. All simple, neat and tidy. Millions have done it before me and millions more will come after me. Why am I so special? What is my purpose? It may surprise you to know, I know the answer to those questions and I’m both thrilled and scared about it at the same time. Whenever my birthday comes around, I get this sick feeling of dread that I try to hide from my friends and family. (Oops! LOL) But I don’t want to ignore the date. We can celebrate growing old.
Someone, I can’t remember who, described life as a roller coaster. From birth to a certain point in life, we’re moving up and up like going up the big hill of a roller coaster. After that certain point it’s all down hill. I do feel like I have started that down hill trip. Or I’ve flipped over the hour glass and the grains of time are slipping slowly to the other side. Whichever sad depressing metaphor works for you.
There are some people who have birthdays at inconvenient times. Some were born on or near Christmas or during some national tragedy like those born on September 11th. There are others who were born on leap day so they can only celebrate the actual day of their birth in years that are evenly divisible by 4. Back when I was in elementary school, my birthday conflicted with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Why did he have to be born the day after me? Martin Luther King Jr. ruined my childhood.
In my elementary school when someone had a birthday, they would bring in a treat for their classmates. The birthday boy or girl would get some kind of hat. The usual in my school was the paper crown you could get for free at any Burger King restaurant. We would also get to be first in line for recess, lunch, and for bathroom breaks. Then at a certain time, usually just after lunch the class would sing “Happy Birthday” and nosh on the treats. It was a special day and one I wanted to have very badly.
It was 1987 and I was hanging out at a campus bar in Columbus. The name escapes me but you had to go into a basement and it was as if someone had turned their dark and dingy basement into a bar. Dark and full of smoke. The strobe lights beckoned you to the dance floor except before getting hammered no one danced except the girls. After your first pitcher or bucket of swill light beer you got up to the floor and danced with anyone who looked female in the strobe lights. At some point the DJ would play “How soon is now…” and at this basement bar the song seemed to fit the style and atmosphere.
Then too soon the night was over and the staff donned baseball bats to “encourage” you to leave and if you made up the stairs to the ground level you had a good night. Going home with someone or having a non-fake phone number was better – too few – but better.
Morrissey, from The Smiths and his own great solo career, turned 50 on May 22nd. Here is my favorite Morrissey/Smiths song “How soon is Now”
Today is my birthday and I can tell you having a birthday in January kind of sucks. It seems that it has always sucked. It is snowing, cold, and it is 2 weeks after New Years and the same week as MLK day and it all brings back bad memories for me.
I bring this up because today it is freaking cold, snowing and blowing, which reminds me all the missed birthday parties when I was in elementary school.
Back in the day, if it was your birthday, time would be taken to celebrate it in class. I remember there was a paper crown you wore and you gave out cupcakes or some other treat to the other students. It was a bit weird for the birthday person to give out stuff.
About 90% of the time, when my birthday came around in January we either had no school due to snow or in some cases we were out for the day for Martin Luther King’s Birthday.
So out of the 6 years of elementary school I think I got to celebrate my birthday once or twice.
I just now remembered that some kids had birthdays in the summer so they never got to have a party in class at all.
But enough about them. This is all about me… me…. me… boo hoo…
Today is the 39th birthday of one of my favorite actors, Diane Lane.
I had huge crush on her after seeing “A Little Romance” in 1979 and fell for her hard in her role of Ellen Aim in the underrated film “Streets of Fire” in 1984.
She is an actress on par with Meryl Streep, in that she chooses quality projects and gives great performances. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad movie with Lane as the star – yes that includes “The Cotton Club” (which I thought was great).