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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

from Happy Birthday to Happy, The End

Day 604, Session 112:
Thursday February 14th - In the air between Chicago and Nashville.
First song: Happy Birthday by Clem Snide
Last full song: Happy, The End by The Innocence Mission
Progress: 1786-1796 of 5773
Total Songs Heard: 1418

It was time for my biannual trip to Nashville. (BTW, did you know that biannual and semiannual mean the same thing? You did? Oh. I had to look it up. As far as I know the prefix 'bi-' means 2 and the prefix 'semi-' means 1/2, so how can biannual and semiannual mean the same thing? English man... just one more reason to move to Finland and learn to speak Finnish.) There's about 40 minutes of usable air time between Chicago and Nashville and most of that time was spent hearing songs about different types of happy birthdays.

Seeing as how I am just 2 weeks removed from a birthday and then I hit this particular run of songs I took the time on the flight to order a jack and coke and reflect on birthdays past. Here are the ones I remember:

1978 - I turned 2. I don't actually remember this birthday, but according to photographic evidence I made a real mess of myself while enjoying some chocolate cake. Guests included my parents, Great-Great Grandmother and next door neighbors.

1981 - I turned 5 and we had a party at my house. Using the power of static electricity (and probably tape) my name was up on the dining room wall constructed entirely of balloons. I thought this was pretty much the coolest thing ever. Also, somewhere my parents found gigantic balloon. I spent a lot of the party wrestling the balloon with Zach Hafer playing the role of my tag team partner. Other guests included Mike Vardaro and Eddie Atkinson.

1984 - I turned 8 and we watched Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo in the basement of my house. This was a big deal because at the time, my family didn't own a VCR. We actually had to rent one (along with the movie) from the local West Coast Video (why West Coast Video was a big chain on the East Coast I still don't understand.) This was a big deal at the time. Guests included Mike again and the girl I had a crush on at the time Alanna. At least I'm pretty sure that's her name (Mike will confirm once he reads this.)

1987 - I turned 11 and a few of the guys came over for a sleep over. At this point we owned a VCR so I'm sure some type of movie was watched. If I had to guess I'd say there's also a pretty good chance we spent part of that overnight watching the Playboy Channel which came in scrambled (but not very well) on channel 19. What can I say, even at age 11 boobs were fascinating. Guests included Mike, and Brendan Roan.

1992 - I turned 16 and my parents through my one and only surprised party. The surprise totally worked. I had no idea. My dad told me he needed my help moving some boxes at his office and offered to pay me for my time. Since I didn't actually have any Friday night plans (yep, I was a winner back then too) I agreed. I had just had my hair buzzed almost entirely off, and it turned out that under all that hair, I had a very tiny head.
Any time I think about getting my hair cut extremely short I think back to the pictures taken at this party. Guests included Mike, Brian McIntire and my cadre of K-named girl friends Kristin, Kerstin, Kierstin, and Kate.

1995 - I turned 19 at college. We played Twister in Joey and Ryno's room. We also played the very dangerous game of "how many people can we fit on the top bunk of that bunk bed?" (The answer was 14.) To the best of my knowledge, no alcohol was served this night. This would be the last time that would happen. Mike was not there, Joey, Ryno, Missy, and Mary were.

1996 - 20, still at college. This year we had 21-year old connections. We filled the mini fridge with beer and played Revolution (a more genteel version of Asshole.) Guests included Joey, Ryno, Jay, and Becky.

1997 - 21. I became the 21-year old connection as I was the first one in our house to hit the milestone. I celebrated my birthday proper by walking into the UDF at 12:03 am and buying two 40s. Which Joey and I then enjoyed on the porch of our house on the dark side. Later that day I bought my first keg. The house was full of people all party long and any time anyone saw me with less than half a beer, they poured some out of their glass into mine. Eventually I was drunk to the point where I knew I had to stop drinking, so I wandered upstairs and put myself to bed. The party went on for a few more hours without me. Guests included lots of people I didn't know, but who seemed to know me.

1999 - 23. Went to a Fruvous concert where the guys proceeded to play a multiple song encore dedicated to my birthday (this track will be posted when we hit the 'M's.) I think this is my favorite birthday. Guests included Joey, Sarah, Betsy.

2005 - 29. My sisters both came to visit for the weekend. We ordered deep dish pizza and they baked me a cake. A few days later we watched the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Even though it was my birthday, they refused to win. Except for the losing Super Bowl part, this birthday was pretty good too. Guests included The Wife, Kate, Alicia, and Potsie.

As you can see, I got a lot of remembering done during the very short flight. I saw recently there's going to be a game show where you're quizzed on things that happened in the course of your own life. I think I would be pretty good at it. (As long as they don't quiz me on too many things that happened this past weekend. I often come back from Nashville a little foggy.)

Happy Birthday - Clem Snide
Happy Birthday - Sufjan Stevens
Happy Birthday - Weird Al Yankovic


Mike said...

Alanna Christian. I also had a crush on her... that was a weird time, before she moved to Florida. I think she's married and still living in Florida now, and probably has a different last name.

I look forward to hearing about the Fruvous tribute to your birthday - that sounds awesome.

Although I may have to kill you before that - I for some reason clicked on a link from your blog (possibly because the name is in all caps, like it was yelling to me) and now I am hooked on "I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS" and have wasted countless hours over the past week reading archives and downloading tunes. What a great site, and what a shame that it is slowly consuming me.

Alicia said...

you forgot that we also watched the Dayton Flyer's win to the team with the gigantic spider on their court. At least I'm going to say they win because it was your birthday and you deserve someone to win! That was a super fun weekend. You forgot that you also got a Nintendo for your 16th birthday and it was the coolest thing ever. Also that Nintendo is still at mom and dads. it also looks like you are really popular these days. lots of comments and people visiting you! congrats!