Monday, August 08, 2005

Birthday Meanderings

I turn 31 today. While, as an adult, birthdays tend not to take on the significance they did when I was a child, they still are an occasion worthy of reflection.

Perhaps the most significant event that occurred on the day of my birth (other than my arrival in the world!) was the announcement of President Nixon's resignation from the office of President of the United States. While he actually left office on the 9th, it was on the 8th that television sets of the nation were tuned in to hear him give a speech announcing his intention to resign from office, putting an end to speculation about impeachment proceedings after the Watergate scandal.

I have one of those "interestingly numbered" birthdays, having the same number for both the month and the day. I remember the radio did an especially amusing bit on the occasion of my 14th birthday, not because it had anything to do with me, but because "8-8-88" sounded so cool. (I'm sure "7-7-77" and "9-9-99" were much the same for folks who paid attention, although for some reason, I didn't notice anything said about those days. There was some fun had on February 2nd, 2002, as "02-02-02" came around, but I digress....)

I also get a kick out of looking up the celebrity birthdays for August 8th, even though I know a few of them by heart anyway. I've known for many years now that Dustin Hoffman shares my birthday, for example. But I was surprised to learn that Lindsay Sloane (most known these days for a recurring role in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, but my wife and I just saw Bring it On last night, in which she also had a part) shares the day, as do Deborah Norville (one-time co-anchor of The Today Show), Don Most ("Richie" from Happy Days), Donald P. Bellisario (creator of Quantum Leap and JAG), Terry Nation (the man responsible for creating the Daleks of Doctor Who legend), and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (author of The Yearling).

I still don't know exactly what I'll do to celebrate this year. My office will no doubt have a card circulated for folks to sign, as they do for all similar events. We'll have a small gathering this afternoon (which we always do for Monday afternoons, regardless of special events) in which they'll try to embarrass me by singing "Happy Birthday" (though, mercifully, folks in the offices here actually sing on key, which I've long surmised to be considered illegal anywhere else in the world). My wife and I will probably go to a nicer place for dinner than usual, perhaps with an extra friend or two in tow (I've left such arrangements to her). I'm introverted enough not to care for really big parties, but having a few friends recognize the day is always welcome. While a 31st birthday doesn't have quite the same significance as, say, an 8th (the year I had my first-ever actual "birthday party" complete with invited guests, decorations, etc.), I have just enough of an ego to want to be noticed. ;)

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