Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to, well, Me!

I just love people. I woke up last night to a text at 2am from my best friend starting the birthday well wishes. I came to my email this morning to another onslaught of emails from Facebook friends with more well wishes. The best part of this morning so far was the phone call from Ryan Reid wishing me a happy birthday. I just love these people.

Allow me to point out a things on my day:
  • April 15th is the 105 day of the year. And on this date in:
  • 1755 - Publication of Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language.
  • 1783 - Preliminary articles of peace ending the Revolutionary War are ratified.
  • 1802 - William Wordsworth (is there a better name for a poet?) sees a long belt of daffodils which inspires him to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. I loved that one when I first came across it in high school.
  • 1865 - Abraham Lincoln dies without regaining consciousness.
  • 1912 - The Titanic sinks at 2:20am after hitting an iceberg two and half hours before. I've seen this one placed on April 14th, but I'm perfectly happy to claim it as my own.
  • 1923 - Insulin becomes available.
  • 1947 - Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black man to cross the color barrier in professional sports in the United States.
  • 1955 - McDonald's own Ray Kroc opens the first franchise in Des Moines, Illinois.
  • 1957 - Not sure how this made the list, but I'm including it for my Vancouver readers, White Rock separates from Surrey and becomes incorporated as its own city.
  • 1983 - Tokyo Disneyland opens. I had no idea it went that far back.
  • 1989 - The Tiananmen Square protests begin.
Pretty cool though, right? Lots of very significant dates, especially bad ones. I guess it's debatable whether my entrance into this world marks one of the good or bad ones. But if it's bad, at least it is monumentally bad. I don't want to be half-hearted about it, one way or the other. If it's going to be bad, may as well be extremely bad, right?

Famous people born on my special day:
  • 1452 – Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance polymath (d. 1519)
  • 1843 – Henry James, American author (d. 1916)
  • 1858 – Émile Durkheim, French sociologist (d. 1917) Only significant to me because of my background in the social sciences. This guy is a pretty big deal for us.
  • 1912 – Kim Il-sung, President of North Korea (d. 1994) Bad guy.
  • 1916 – Alfred S. Bloomingdale, American businessman (d. 1982) Kinda interesting. At least you know his name.
  • 1982 – Seth Rogen, Canadian actor and writer. I find him funny.
  • 1990 – Emma Watson, English actress. Hermione!
Those are just a few that I recognized and I thought were interesting. I may have also gone to the Wikipedia page and added my name. I wonder how long that will stay up.

It's also tax day here in the US. Naturally, I've read a number of things about how to approach tax day in the United States, chief among them being, "if you're getting a refund back from the US Treasury then you're giving the government free money!" It sounds nice, but most of the time people are only loaning the government an insignificant amount of money, even if it's a few thousand dollars. That kind of thinking ignores the psychology that goes into money and giving too much weight to purely economic considerations.

I finally got a number to back me up...if you're receiving $3,000 in refunds after tax day, that would have allowed you to earn $2.50 a month. We all agree that the $3,000 you receive as a windfall come April is much more welcome than getting that doled out through the year, right? I know for me I spend that money much more wisely if I get it in a lump sum like that than I would have if it got spread out, so essentially you pay for the government to save that money for you. That money gets put toward better uses, paying off debts, contributes toward a big purchase, then ultimately, savings and such. Just saying.

There was a time when I wanted a lot of recognition on my birthday. One time in high school I felt especially put out, but I think BYU reduced my expectations for my birthday when it just so happened that I would always be writing final papers and such because of its timing during the semester. Fortunately I had good friends who always did a lot of work to make my day a good one (at least when all the school work had passed). There were multiple years when I had stayed up the whole night writing papers the night before my birthday. Not so cool.

Now I'm pretty much satisfied with any sort of acknowledgment, if only wall posts on FB, but of course presents are always welcome. I'm not that noble.

Here's the poem that owes its birth to this day:

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

And here's a song to remind you of me and to kick off your weekend:

I had a different song up before, but I finally figured out what this song was called. This is my joint!

1 comment:

Caitlin said...

The thought crossed my mind to text you when I was awake for a 2 a.m. feeding (and also looking for my husband) . . . but then I thought that would be 3 a.m. in Utah and you might appreciate uninterrupted sleep on your birthday. It's the thought that counts, right? Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, Silva!