Tag Archives: birthdays

It’s A Bit Wishy-Welly



 On birthdays, well wishers wish you well,

 … but they don’t throw money at you like well wishers at wishing wells do.

oh well!


note: I always wish for more wells at wishing wells, so I can make more wishes … I’m not stupid.

double note: making wishes at wishing wells is like throwing money away: they both involve throwing money away. … okay, they are the same.

triple note: it was my birthday yesterday. It was a pretty low-key affair: just me and a dropped key.

quadruple note: I hope Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Vinnie Jones, Bradley Cooper, Walter Mondale, and Isaac the bartender from the LoveBoat had good birthdays too!


Today #319

Today I put away my birthday suit for another year. No matter how well I fold it, it still seems a little wrinklier every year.

Mr. Jones And Me …


are now 45!!!!

I’m the same age as a gun, an obsolete vinyl musical thing, a popular angle, and the guy who crushed that other guy’s head using a car door.

… oh!  and Vinnie Jones  too!


note: I’m sure he’s written a post about me entitled “Mr. Janes And Me …

double note: I’ll dare to eat a peach for a while longer.

triple note: if someone told me 20 years ago that I would be 45 in 20 years … I’d have probably agreed … stubbornly.

quadruple note: references to “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot are referred to referencially.
How can I refer to something if it’s my first time? I think I just “ferred” to them.

quintuple note: is someone counting crows or is there a counting crow out there somewhere?


notes to myself #102

People don’t think it’s funny when you refer to January 4th as “My Birthday Eve“.

Walter’s Wish

Walter's Wish


This is the story of Walter when he was turning 10 years old and wasn’t very rottenish any more.

On his birthday Walter was expecting all the things he’d wished for and had blatantly hinted hints to his parents about since his last birthday … or at least since everyday between Christmas and his birthday.

He opened the first present with high hopes: a skirt with colorful butterflies on it.
The next present was a book about veterinarians.
After that things just got worse and worser: a beadmaking set, strawberry scented stationery, a boy band poster, …

The last thing he opened was a birthday card with a $50 bill inside.

He didn’t know why he’d received such strange presents; but being a not so rottenish kid, he thanked his parents, phoned and thanked his grandmother for the skirt with the colorful butterflies on it, and then put all the presents in his closet … except for the $50 bill which disappeared into his authentic genuine velcro replica SpongeBob SquarePants wallet.

The selection and inappropriateness of the presents was a mystery, but he reasoned “nobody can give great presents all the time“, and shrugged it off as an isolated incident.

As Christmas approached at its usual approach speed of “almost unapproachablely slow“, Walter wished very hard for video games, a slingshot, and remote controlled stuff.
He made daily subtle hints to his parents like “I want video games” and “I want a slingshot” and even covertly suggested sneakily in a loud voice “I want remote controlled stuff”.

On Christmas morning he awoke to  an EasyBake Oven, rainbow striped knee high socks with individual toes, a Little Mermaid diary with a little mermaid lock on it, a My Little Pony pony or possibly a short horse, and more boy band posters.
The only thing that saved Christmas was another $50 bill inside a Christmas card.

Disappointed but still putting on a brave face, he thanked his parents, phoned and thanked his grandmother for the rainbow striped knee high socks with individual toes, and then put all the presents in his closet with the other ones … except for the $50 bill which disappeared into his authentic genuine velcro replica SpongeBob SquarePants wallet.

As his 11th birthday loomed very loomingly in the distance, Walter hadn’t forgotten about the very strange presents he’d received over the last year.
For a whole month before his birthday, Walter wished for one thing and one thing only.
Every waking hour he wished and rewished for the same single solitary thing over and over again repeatedly and re-repeatedly.

On his birthday he opened all his presents: a curling iron, trolls, a crocheted Hello Kitty handbag, a candle making set, a book about fairies and unicorns, and more boy band posters.

Walter's closet

A $50 bill was tucked inside a card as usual too.

He feigned enthusiasm for each gift, thanked his parents, phoned and thanked his grandmother for the crocheted Hello Kitty handbag, and then placed the new presents alongside the others in his closet.

While he was disappearing the $50 bill into his authentic genuine velcro replica SpongeBob SquarePants wallet, the phone rang.

Hello” said Walter expectantly.

Hello. Is this Walter Penny? My name is Penny Walters. It’s my birthday and I just got a t-shirt with your name and phone number on it.” said the girl on the other end of the line.

Walter smiled to himself; his wish had come true.

Walter and Penny eventually met and exchanged all their birthday and Christmas presents, and promised to meet again if this strange “wish mix up” continued.

Walking away Walter guiltily wondered why Penny had not mentioned the $50 bills.

At the same time, Penny guiltily was wondering why Walter hadn’t mentioned the $100 bills she’d been receiving inside her birthday and Christmas cards.


note: I’m off on holidays and driving down to Kobe and Hiroshima. I’ll see you in a week or so. Have a good week! Feel free to  wander or wonder around the blog.



Theo’s Thoughts

Collected Thoughts


 This is the story of Theo when he was eight and not so rottenish yet.

Theo thought he needed a hobby; actually, his parents insisted he do something other than skulk around claiming he was bored all the time.

All his friends had hobbies: sports cards, stamps, coins, trainspotting, advanced robotics, …

One of his friends even collected teeth; but his father was a dentist, so that was only mildly disturbing.

Theo decided to collect his thoughts.

He would put them in jars, label them, and keep them in a bookcase that was really doing nothing except holding a bunch of  books.

He thought about all the thoughts he thought in one day …or at least thought about all the thoughts he thought he thought about in one day … and realized he had too many thoughts to collect all of them.
 He only had 35 jars, so he decided “happy thoughts” might be a good start.

Over the next few weeks he collected and organized all his “happy thoughts” about finding money, ice cream, toys, running through sprinklers, …

In no time at all, all his jars were full!
Surprisingly, 3 jars were exclusively filled with “happy thoughts” about ice cream!

It was a very fine collection of thoughts.

He soon realized that since all his “happy thoughts” were bottled up, labelled, and stacked away; he had a very large number of “sad thoughts” floating around in his head.
With no “happy thoughts” to chase the “sad thoughts” away, they just lingered.

This made him sadder.

Theo decided it would be a good idea to free all his “happy thoughts” and start collecting his “sad thoughts” instead.

He refilled his jars with “sad thoughts” about broken bones, no dessert, vaccination needles, dropped ice cream cones, dentist visits …

Other Collected Thoughts ... and some asparagus too


It took him a whole month to fill up all 35 jars. 

He concluded that “sad thoughts” were more difficult to trap  than “happy thoughts” because they didn’t like jars.

With no more “sad thoughts” in his head, Theo thought he’d be really happy: but he wasn’t.

Without any “sad thoughts” to balance his “happy thoughts“, his “happy thoughts” weren’t as strong or happy anymore …  kind of like appreciating being healthy a lot more after being sick … or how a cold Winter makes Spring’s arrival so much better. He needed both sadly, or happily.

Theo decided to release his “sad thoughts” and resolved  never to collect his thoughts ever again.

He used the 35 jars to catch colds instead.


note: The jar of asparaguses on the floor is not a “sad thought“: Theo just dropped it accidentally on purpose while walking by the bookcase on the way to the dinner table. He had a “happy thought” right after he did this for some reason.



The Emperor’s Birthday

free parking close by!

Today is Japan’s Emperor’s official birthday. It’s a *national holiday, like the **Queen’s birthday in some countries.

I don’t think people really do anything special to celebrate it though; other than not go to work.

It must suck to have a birthday so close to Christmas.


note: one of these years I’m going to send him a birthday card and see what happens.

double note: photo taken in Hayama near one of the Emperor’s summer residences.

triple note: I guess since he’s the only Emperor in the world, he gets the “Emperor’s New Clothes” joke played on him a lot.

* national holiday for people other than me.

** Queen Elizabeth the 2nd (not Queen Latifah or some other country’s Queen)



My Oldest Brothers’ Birthday!


My oldest brother is turning 59!!!

Almost retirement age: how is that possible?

Notable things about my brother:

– he has been mistaken for my father on a few occasions.

he is a former hippie ( a real one from the 60’s and everything) I’ve seen him in moose boots!!

– he has crashed more volkswagen bugs than German crash test dummies, but still has the creepy-crawley to get underneath them.

he gets seriously intense and animated when telling stories. (possible family trait)

– he has 3 beautiful daughters that I have met at 20 year intervals.

he had something called an “asaphiditti bag” for holding marijuana, before my mother confiscated it.

– he is short and skinny. (not a family trait)

he still bums cigarettes off me when we meet.

– he is amazingly likable and personable. (family trait)

he takes visitors to the garbage dump to see the bears in his city.

– he got most our father’s names. (for which the rest of us are forever grateful)

he has me as a brother.

Happy Birthday Biggest Brother!


note: 2 brothers down and 1 more to go along with 3 sisters. I have blog material for a while yet!

double note: I don’t know how we all turned out so amazingly.

triple note: photo taken a few years ago at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

quadruple note: planetross has a very special visitor coming and will be back about September 16th. Please feel free to ‘stroll around the grounds until you feel at home’.



My Brother’s Birthday!

It’s one of my brothers’ birthdays today.

He’s about 12 years older than me and is very cool.

Top Ten reasons why I love my brother (in no specific order):

1. He took me to see the Harlem Globetrotters when I was a kid.

2. He used to play nerf ball soccer with me when he came over for Sunday dinners.

3. After our father died, he filled in at a Father/Son soccer game when I was a kid.

4. He gave me my best Christmas present when I was 12 years old: the book “Dune” with a $50 bill tucked inside of it.

5. He gave up drinking and other things a long time ago. I admire that.

6. He likes to have 2 desserts after dinner. I admire that too.

7. He can tell you what he learned in grade 2 and in what order he learned it.

8. He is very interested in everything; and knows just enough about enough stuff to be dangerous.

9. He has me as a brother.

10. He stores all my crap at his house.


Happy 55th Big Brother.

note: When I moved to Japan he sent me the Crapasaurus because he couldn’t find a Godzilla doll taking a shit.

Happy Birthday Mom!

It’s my Mother’s Birthday today (July 6th), but she’s in a place where you can’t send cards to.
So I’ll say it here:

Happy 85th Mom!

Love You, Miss You, Love You.

“The Kids are Alright”

First Memory

 July 20th, 1969: Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

It was my sister’s birthday, I was 4 years old.
I remember it because our family tradition was to eat the birthday cake and then open presents. We finished dinner, and then everyone rushed to the old black and white TV to watch the moon landing.
For my sister: no cake, no presents.
She cried like crazy.

My oldest brother (15 years older) was working in Peru at the time.
He remembers hearing it on the radio.
He was so excited he borrowed someone’s motorcycle and drove out into the country.
He saw a farmer out in a field working with a cow pulling a plow.
He yelled to the farmer in Spanish, “We’ve just landed on the moon!

The farmer looked at him and replied, “Leave me alone you crazy gringo!

note: actually I remember riding around on the vacuum cleaner while my Mom cleaned the day before the moon landing, but I still do that so it’s no big deal.
double note: only the cow was pulling the plow, not the farmer and the cow.