Friday, April 6, 2007

What's in a year?

Michael Caine: What did you do on your birthday?
Clive Owen: Nothing.
Michael Caine: Aw, come on, you must have done something.
Clive Owen: Nothing, seriously. It was just another day. Woke up, felt like shit, went to work, felt like shit.
- Children of Men

Or something to that effect.

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What’s in a birthday? Of course, the terribly cliché answer that’s sure to come out of nearly everyone’s mouth would be that birthdays tell you that you got another year, and that you should be thankful.

Okay, I agree, to a certain degree. But in this world where more than 50% of drivers on the streets either suffer from “I am god, move aside” or “This is the Fast and the Furious in real life” syndrome – which is bound to get you in some sort of traffic accident that involves your mode of transportation, your bodily self, or both, sooner or later; where you can get stabbed at any time because you have a cellphone just like everybody else, but / and / or the stabber is high and you are the sorry stabbee he / or she (because we must be gender sensitive) selected at random; where you – not just “might” but “will” – be subject to all sorts of misfortune of varying degrees; shouldn't I – we – you – be thankful for each day we spend alive (of course, this is all hypothetical since I am a sad and pathetic pessimist, but that’s another story altogether)?

So again, what’s in a birthday? What’s in a year? I mean, really?

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Nevertheless, I feel I should be thankful, because I don’t want to sound like some ungrateful wretch – which I am not (I think, I hope) – and subsequently be bombarded by the above mentioned misfortunes besides those already inflicted upon me by myself or divine punishment. There were a number of bright spots in the past year, after all, and the proper thing would be to say thanks. So thanks, God. I mean that.

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What I have accomplished so far this holy week (besides sleeping and pigging out):
1. Finished Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love, which gave me the creeps but was very, very well written. Currently beginning Dave Egger’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
2. Consumed the following DVDs:
- The Banquet
- Death Note part 2
- Children of Men
- a number of Boys Be episodes
3. Cleaned 6 window screens.
4. Upturned two mugs full of used cooking oil – stupid but accidental - one of which broke, and then cleaned the slippery mess that ensued.
5. Waxed the floors of the bedrooms – and since I could not abide the smell, wore a cloth over my nose and had to abide the smell of my own spit, which, having not brushed my teeth beforehand, smelled awful. At least my head didn’t ache and I didn’t get chronic sneezing fits the way I do when I inhale floor wax in all its chemical glory. I promptly brushed my teeth afterwards and plan to do so more often.
6. Mopped the floor.
7. Killed a large number of mosquitoes and various flying insects with our nifty electric-tennis racket-looking-swatter.
8. Watered my father’s plants.
9. Bought a pair of black Havaianas just for the heck of it. They’re comfy, but still overpriced and grossly overrated, in my opinion.

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Finally, I, because, as I said, I am not an ungrateful wretch, would like to make special mention of the snazzy gift I received from someone – you know who you are – cutout pictures of my favorite Endless siblings: Dream and Death, mounted on a frame. I'd say more, but I'm afraid I'll only spoil the thankful attitude that I'm trying to project.

There. It’s final: I am not an ungrateful wretch.

0 told me off: