Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today is Not my Unbirthday...

... which is odd, given the fact that I have three hundred and sixty three more Unbirthdays than I do Birthdays, which in turn makes me much more used to Unbirthdays than I am to Birthdays.  I love celebrating my Unbirthday, and I try to do it as much as possible.  In fact, that celebration often spills out, as I'm constantly learning of other people who share one Unbirthday or another with me.  Perhaps that's why I like Unbirthdays so much as opposed to Birthdays; it's a lot easier to share your Unbirthday.

(And lest you're thinking that my preference for the Unbirthday is driven by some kind of insecurity in my advancing age... well, think that if you want, I don't care, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I can't even remember how old I am half the time, which means (a) it really doesn't matter to me, (b) I'm really old, or (c) both.  I'll leave it to you to pick the correct multiple choice.)

Birthdays really have little true significance besides an anniversary in an arbitrary human calendar system - it's not like some lever gets switched in our bodies that makes us instantly older, wiser, or more wrinkled.  You are as old as you believe you are, I think.  I know several sixty-year-olds who are younger than most thirty-year-olds I've met (here's looking at you, Doc!).  I was wished a happy twenty-sixth birthday at lunch today, after which the well-wisher hoped that she hadn't pegged me as older than I actually was.  Life remains good.

Actually, for some reason I got to thinking last night that there is another level of scientific significance to our birthdays... our position in real space.  Our birthday is the single moment when we're closest to the true area of space where we were absolutely born, as that's the one day of the year when the Earth is in the exact same position relative to the sun as it was when you were born.  The earth moves around the sun each year on its orbit at a speed of around 67,000 miles per hour, if I remember my college astronomy correctly... meaning that on an Unbirthday three months from your true Birthday, you're about 145 million miles from the true place in space, on the Earth's orbit, where you were born.

But then I remembered that the whole line of thinking is moot: on our Birthdays we're not closest to the space we were actually in when we were born, because you have to consider more than just the earth revolving around the sun.  There's also the sun revolving around the galactic core, and the Milky Way hurtling through the universe.  I had to look this up, but combining all three movements, even when we're standing still on the surface of the earth, we're zooming through space at a speed of about 559 miles per second.  Given the chaotic nature of it all, the odds that we're anywhere at all near the actual space in space where we're born is infinitesmal.

So that's why the past always seems so far away. Because it is. Literally.

The good part of this, of course, is that given I first heard of Kenny Chesney about two years ago, I'm about 35 billion miles away now from where I was then.

But I digress: I'm determined to enjoy this slight break in Unbirthdays.  I just had the best pizza I've ever had in my life at Agape Pizzaria here in beautiful Hammond, Louisiana, Debby bought me a sweet new pair of headphones, and I finally own a copy of the "The Logic of Alice."  Some new CDs are proving highly enjoyable, I've received over 50 birthday greetings on Facebook, and I just re-watched the Milton Berle episode of the Muppet Show:

STATLER & WALDORF: You know your problem, Berle? You're standing too close to the audience.
MILTON BERLE:  I am?  Okay, how about here?!
STATLER & WALDORF: Try a little further back.
MILTON BERLE: All right, how about now?
STATLER & WALDORF: No, that's not far enough.
MILTON BERLE: Look, guys, how far do you want me to go?
STATLER & WALDORF:  Do you have a car?

Comedy gold.  But perhaps more importantly, the babies remain extremely healthy (if a little climb-y and kick-y) in Debby's nearly-at-the-point-of-viability womb, and for one day at least, the cake is not a lie. Yum.

2 comments:

  1. I couldn't understand your hating Kenny Chesney and mentioning him in just about every blog article?(are they called articles?) until I read the one for April 10th. I had never heard of him until I read your blog, but I tend to agree with you--does this mean I'm a high-self monitor? Love your references to "my boys" and Debby. You have a heart of gold.

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