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Birthdays are a little weird. Celebrating one's birthday seems like shouting from the rooftops, "Helloooo! Celebrate me! Celebrate my birth!" And who among us has the hubris or self-confidence or desire to do that? Not me... Although I am very glad that I was born, and maybe a birthday is more of a way to express gratitude to those around us who have sustained us since birth. I've had a lot of sustainers over the past twenty-six years.

Such as my wonderful roommate who is shouting from rooftops for me or the equivalent. [Pardon the fragment. Literary license.] We're having a picnic in Central Park this evening, which should be very nice. The last time I lay around on the grass in Central Park, I thought, "Life doesn't get any more divine than this." There's not much else I'd rather be doing on a typical summer day in New York. Good food, good company, soft grass, low humidity.... Mmmmm.

As a birthday, my 26th isn't going too badly. I had coffee at Starbucks this morning, which is always nice, and I appreciated the down time. I managed to get in a great workout at the gym. I used the rowing machine, which I hadn't used since college, and discovered that my arms are even weaker than I had suspected. Mostly, though, I was grateful to have a fully-functional body, and happy to reap all exercise-induced endorphins. And the arc trainer thing was free, and that always makes my day! Plus I watched an interesting documentary on PBS about Sweet Honey in the Rock, a group I like. After that, I spent some time on a "search and destroy" mission to eradicate some small unwanted guests from our kitchen pantry. They are about 3/4 eradicated, and aforementioned roommate is going to complete the mission. In case anyone's curious, grain weevils seem to have a particular fondness for Osem chicken bullion and for white flour. Enough said.

Back to birth. I had an odd moment a few weeks ago. I was watching some old 8 mm home movies that my father had transferred to VHS and then to DVD. I wasn't going through them in any particular order. I saw my father running around as a two year old, and I saw my little sister's first birthday party. Then I opened July 1979, expecting to see moving images of me being brought home from the hospital or something, and--whoa! There I was, being hauled up from behind some sheets, screaming and bloody! It was awesome in the original sense of the word. How many people are able to witness their birth and their first few moments of life? I guess any kid whose parents filmed the blessed moment, but, still... I had no idea that was taped. I saw my umbilical cord being cut and then my first few moments, after I was cleaned up, screaming on a little table. Not sure what that was about, but I sure looked pissed off... It's nice to see how I've grown since then, in so many ways.

In conclusion, let me take this moment to thank all of those who allowed me to get from that morning in July 1979 to this afternoon in 2005. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and, of course, friends near and far--thank you! If I could shout about YOU from the rooftops, I would. But I'm not a "shouting from the rooftops" kinds of gal, really. Let this be the equivalent.


Happy birthday!!!!!
happy birthday to you! I am so glad it was a bday of calm, fun, social and personal time. And happy birthday America (which we had to yell last night on the Esplanade)!
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