austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart

I should mention that I had a birthday, my most recent in a series, recently, and it went well for all concerned. For example, neither of my parents was rushed to the emergency room, which for a stretch back the previous decade it looked like they were making a new tradition.

My parents got an ice cream cake for me, another little tradition and easier than making a regular cake. This had cute icing balloons and 'strings' which ran across and to the side of the small cake. My father was unsuccessful getting my name written on it, as the clerk insisted they didn't have the right kind of icing to write on cakes. The ``Happy Birthday'' part was handled by a small plastic prop.

I received cards, and phone calls, including one from my brother-in-Boston who phoned me at work. I didn't go in to work. He said they wouldn't let him leave a voice mail message. As best as I know the office's phone system hasn't got voice mail. However, the person who took his call sent me an e-mail saying, your brother called you a bit ago, no one answered your phone. I'm entertained by this.

And several people kindly sent gifts, particularly skylerbunny with a couple of books (he was surprised they were ones I haven't read; I really haven't read that many books, considering the number which exist), and bunny_hugger who sent Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 Platinum, the expansion pack I'd been foiled in getting twice the past year, as well as her selection of favorite Kinks songs. Very sweet. I'm grateful for the attention, including the many people on spindizzy_muck giving me good wishes.

Trivia: In the week it took to sail from Bridgetown, Barbados, to New York City in May 1914, Theodore Roosevelt read dozens of books. Source: The River Of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, Candice Millard. (Mind, Teddy Roosevelt was a two-books-a-day person in normal time, and had been in the Amazon for eight months.)

Currently Reading: Fred Allen: His Life And Wit, Robert Taylor. And I quote one of Allen's tall-tall comments about himself for obvious reasons:

When I was a little boy, every day during the winter I used to stop and feed the squirrels on the Boston Common. Some years later things were bad in vaudeville. One New Year's Day I was sitting on a bench in a Palm Beach suit. One of the squirrels recognized me. He saw me shivering. He scampered away and came back with two-hundred other squirrels. The two-hundred squirrels climbed all over me and made like a fur coat. With my new fur coat I was booked on the Keith circuit. And I've been an actor ever since. The moral is --- always be kind to a squirrel, Kenny, and someday he may take you off the nut.


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