My Birthday!

It happens once a year like Easter or Christmas, but earlier!

Another year less newer than the year before. I think I lost the new car smell long ago and am acquiring an odor something more reminiscent of my father.

I will spend the rest of 2009 as 44 I guess.  “Be 44 in ’09” is this year’s slogan. It was going to be “Save the Earth until You’re Green” , but I don’t think that’s as catchy … or has any significance for other people.

44: it’s not a bad thing … or a good thing … it’s just a thing like that funny Volkswagen car, the rock guy in the Fantastic Four, and the monster in some John Carpenter movie. (I forget the name of that movie all the time)

My friends really outdid themselves this year!


my new house

They came over to my place on the evening of January 4th.

I've waited ... 44 years for this!

We did the big countdown with the clock on my Ferris wheel like we usually do.

fireworks for me?

We lit off a few fireworks: a couple of screechers, a pack of sparklers, and a roman candle … from Rome I guess!


too many candles!!

My friends gave me a birthday cake that looked like a street scene. I guess they were making up for last year’s cake that looked suspiciously like a cupcake. They put on a candle for every day I’ve been more or less alive too!


my frontyard

Then we looked at a picture of Yokohama’s downtown area.


always a big crowd

In the morning, some of my other friends came to wish me happy birthday.


there is always one in a crowd!

Kelly Pettit  showed up in the hat I bought him for Christmas.


Meiji Shrine is rented for the occasion

My friends rented Meiji Shrine in Tokyo for the occasion. I guess they didn’t want a repeat of my bad Cheap Trick karaoke from last year’s birthday at the Budokan.

give till it hurts

Everyone threw money in to the big white area and made wishes for my health and junk like that. The policeman wore a visor so he didn’t get coined in the face. I don’t get any of the money though: it all goes to “The Charity For People Who Need Money So They Can Donate To Charity Too“.

are you sure your pockets are empty?

Here’s what it looked like from the side. If the policeman heard change jingling in pockets, he sent the people back into the crowd again until they didn’t jingle anymore.

And that was all that happened. If I’m lying may G…  Ow!


note: I was going to list a bunch of other famous people who are 44 or were at one time, but that kind of stuff changes from day to day … and probably would be more than 100 names.

double note: past 14 birthdays; after that it gets a bit foggy.

2008: work
2007: went to an “all you can eat” meat restaurant in Brazil and then had ice cream afterwards.(also in Brazil)
2006: on a long distance bus trip with hemorrhoids in Argentina. (I had the hemorrhoids, not the bus)
2005: work
2004: work
2003: work
2002: work
2001: work
2000: in England at my buddies place; He even gave me a Wallace and Gromit cake with those little sheep on it!! 
1999: work
1998: drunk in Indonesia
1997: drunk in Thailand
1996: drunk in New Zealand
1995: probably sober and in Victoria, Canada I think! (in Victoria, Canada for sure)

18 responses to “My Birthday!

  1. Happy Birthday! You know ,you are actually working on 45 now. I will turn 38 in 13 days then I’ll be working on 39. I hope you have a great day…at work or wherever.

    Are there Japanese candles in Japan?

  2. PR – hope you got my e-mail. For a Planet, 44 is incredibly young. I think you should be proud. BTW I love this post. Very, very, incredibly Planet-y and that birthday cake is quite something. In the meantime, bottoms UP and Blue Monkey is at home with a bottle of sake (I only have the one, or should I now say ‘HAD’?)celebrating your 44th. I think he might be homesick.

  3. Ha Ha You’re older than me. Okay by a month and some change. Happy born day. Glad you spent it in some kind of revelrie, even if it wasn’t exactly what you wrote.

  4. Thanks for the comments!

    Tammy: thanks!
    There are a lot of Japanese candles over here, but people just call them candles.

    epicurienne: thanks! I just read the e-mail and am all excited! Say hi to The Blue Monkey for me.

    sweetiegirlz: you were pretty spot on about my birthday! Actually, I had to go back to work today … and no one knew it was my birthday, but … Mr. Pettit’s wife dropped by and left me a very nice curry and tempura. It has been devoured now.
    I did celebrate a bit with Mr. Badger last night though! and I got some very amazing presents too!

  5. I think the film you’re thinking of was called “John Carpenter’s Movie Written and Directed by John Carpenter with Music by John Carpenter about Some Monster That Kills People Who Were Cast by John Carpenter in John Carpenter’s Monster Movie”.

  6. Gosh! That’s quite the celebration. One would think it was New Years instead of your birthday.

    I’d like a Wallace & Gromit cake. Mmmm… mutton!

    Happy birthday mate! Hope it was as fab as the photos made it look!

  7. Happy be-lated birthday greetings (I’ve been out of town)!

    I like your clock. It’s so big that I’ve got clock envy!

  8. Thank for the comments.

    Dennis the Vizsla: that guy takes all the credits!

    S. Le: It did look a lot like a New Years’ celebration, didn’t it? I never noticed that before!
    The Wallace & Gromit cake was the best!!

    razzbuffnik: I let people ride around on my clock when I’m not using it. hee hee!
    Which is most of the time. (sad face)

  9. Hi! Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!!
    Did you enjoy oshogatu and birthday?

    I went to Amsterdam in Dec, and came back on Jan. 1. On the 3rd I fell in front of the front door of my house…….ouch! I have a torn muscle in my right thigh. I need a stick to walk.

    What a nice oshogatu!!!
    I hope yours was great.

    Talk to you later, Matane!

  10. hibikiarai: Happy New Year to you too! Akemashite o medeto gozaimashita!
    O shogatsu was good!
    I hope you had a nice trip … in Amsterdam!
    Sorry to hear about your leg. I hope you get better soon! Odaijini!


  11. Sorry I’m late, but happy XLVIth anyway.

    pannonica: Thanks! hey! I think I’m only XLIV!!!

  12. Oops! Yes, that’s what I meanted.

  13. In January 2009…

    planetross · turns 44
    Barack Obama · becomes the 44th president of the U.S.
    NFL · offers Superbowl XLIII

    someone’s not with the program,

    pannonica:44 in ’09” just isn’t for everyone I guess.
    I hear they are selling really small beers in cans this year at the SuperBowl; yes! wee cans!!!

    note: I’ll stop now.

  14. You mean Obama’s platform wasn’t pro-witchcraft?

  15. pannonica: you are making me think too early in the morning over here. I read your comment, continued to brush my teeth, and while rinsing figured out what the hell you were talking about. Ha Ha!

    good one!

  16. Yes. My way of playing hard-to-get makes people go, “huh?”

  17. pannonica: hee hee! good one.

  18. Dear PR,
    Happy belated birthday.
    I think it somewhat auspicious that you,my number one fan) (if I may be so bold to deem you my #1 fan) teaches English in Japan.
    My late brother (he passed away five years ago, also taught English in a town called Yatsushiro.
    His widow still has a school there and she continues the work.
    Anyway, I thought you might find that interesting, and if you want to talk more about it, you can email me at:

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