Monday, November 17, 2008
t1/2: Exponential Decay
Well there is no getting around it. I turn 40 today. No use in keeping score but so far here's what the numbers look like: 14,611 days, 350,644 hours or 21,039,840 minutes (leap years included). Not big on birthdays to begin with, but this one especially smarts. Self-loathing and self-pity both showed up without so much as a card. Bastards. Today the glass is officially half-full.
Well anyway, the song 'Good Morning To You', a schoolhouse favorite was written by Patty and Mildred Hill way back in 1893. The adaptation of the 'Happy Birthday' lyrics happened somewhere around 1912. Believe it or not, the song is still under copyright.
Having now experienced 40 of them myself, I never knew the significance behind the birthday celebration. As I guessed, it is steeped in Pagan (and Christian) tradition. Before the rise of Christianity, the Pagans believed that evil spirits visited you on your birthday. Maybe it's just that nagging feeling that you're getting older and can't do a thing about it. Nonetheless, to ward off the spirits, people gathered around the person and made merry.
I am almost as depressed with who I share my birthday with as the birthday itself.
Here's just a few:
Issac Hanson (yes, one of the Hanson brothers)
Amber Michaels (porn actress)
Howard Dean (the screamer)
Upon further review, I was able to find a few that aren't so bad:
Gordon Lightfoot (who Ironically, was blogged about here just last week)
Jeff Buckley (the singer/songwriter, since he's dead, he really doesn't celebrate them anymore, does he?)
Nothing more than a day, so to make it go a little faster, some appropriate music.
The Birthday Party- Happy Birthday
Altered Images- Happy Birthday
The Beatles- Birthday
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five- Birthday Party
P.S. My day wasn't a total loss, just saw this on the P5. 'On this date in 1979, Joy Division released their debut single,
"Transmission".' And this, 'On this date in 1979, A Certain Ratio released their first long play offering. It was a cassette-only release called The Graveyard And The Ballroom', and finally this 'On this date in 1978, The Fall released their second single, "It's The New Thing".' Three of my favorite bands, who knew?
I'm just sayin'.
Sugarcubes-Birthday (1988, Icelandic version)
Altered Images- Happy Birthday (1981)
50 Cent- In Da Club (2002)