23 July 2002
I heard from another old friend this week, someone I hadn't seen since my summer in Ohio. He found this page through a Google search and didn't even think it was me until he saw the picture, because he assumed I'd still be doing physics. Oops. I like it when people find me and write to me, though.
Another old friend had to ask my birthday last week for approximately the eighth time since we've been friends. Maybe the tenth time. I don't know. Narrows down who it could be, doesn't it? My mom and I were laughing at him (yes, you know who you are, we were laughing at you -- and it wasn't the first time), and she suggested that I should keep a journal page of vital stats like that, with maybe wish list ideas or a link to my Amazon list, so that people could just check. I told Mom I didn't want to solicit presents, which, of course, I do, or I wouldn't bring it up. But only from people who know me and actively want to give me stuff. Not out of any sense of obligation. Presents are supposed to be make people happy. If it doesn't make you happy to give me a present, don't give me one. Tell me that you love me and hate giving presents. I'm fine with that. (If you are one of two or three notable exceptions to this rule and it is very important to me to get a small token of some sort from you for my birthday, you already know.)
(Mostly I want to solicit birthday cards/e-mails/phone calls, though. Hikes. Outings. Plans for time spent together. Friday! Remember! I accept late or early greetings with just as happy a heart.)
I have a bunch of presents already. They're all wrapped in brightly colored paper (Mark took the two from Amazon so far out of their Amazon boxes and wrapped them) and arrayed in front of the stereo. They look kind of like an offering to the stereo, actually. They taunt me. Some of them are boxed and some of them are squooshy and some of them are clearly specific types of media: one large paperback, two small paperbacks, one CD. But which ones? Key question. Driving me mad. (Yes, I poked the squooshy ones. Of course I did. Not hard enough to break the wrapping paper. Just hard enough to see if they squooshed.) And I know that I have presents in Mark's sock drawer, waiting to be wrapped. I know that I could check my Amazon list and see what's been ordered off it. I don't do these things. But knowing that I could makes it all the more squirmy.
I love birthday weeks. They're almost better than birthday days.
And it's a good thing I do love them, because otherwise I'd be in a mood to crawl into the closet and not come out until Fimbulvinter. The newspaper yesterday was just depressing. Four different stories about children five years old or younger, raped, killed, or both. Beyond horrific. Stuff that makes me want to say, "Oh, er, excuse me, I seem to have stumbled into the wrong universe, sorry to bother you" and just go somewhere else. Usually I find political news more depressing than crime news. But lately, when it hasn't been the opposite, they've at least been on a par.
Ah well. No other universes to choose from at present, and even if there were, they might not have birthday presents in them. So I stay here, work on the book, read The Count of Monte Cristo, try not to freak out too much about things I can't change.
And the main page.
Or the last entry.
Or the next one.
Or even send me email.