It’s my birthday today (I’ll wait while everyone yells out, “Happy Birthday!”).  When we’re young, birthdays are milestones towards a goal – adulthood.  I remember those days of being fifteen and thinking, “I can’t wait until I can start driving next year!  Then I’ll be able to escape this boring house and hang out with my friends.”  Then reality sets in and at sixteen you realize you need money for gas, which means a job, which means LESS time hanging out with friends.  At least the times with friends could be away from the prying eyes of adults though.

At some point, birthdays change from milestones to be celebrated to road signs to be carefully read, followed, and obeyed.  Doctors tell men, “Make sure to have me jam my finger up your bum when you turn forty.”  Doctors tell women, “Don’t forget to have your boobs squeezed by a giant vise every year after you turn thirty-five.”  “Start saving money for retirement at 25,” “testosterone levels drop around 35,” and “Hey!  You’re too old to be playing in the ball pit!  Get out of there!” are all signs we are told that revolve around birthdays and age.  Of course, no one wants to see the road sign, “Dead End Ahead,” but at least you only have to see it once.  Unless you believe in reincarnation.

Being a deviant, I tend to fight against the common thread.  I ignore the road signs for the most part.  Does that mean it will be hard for me to retire and/or poop in the future?  Probably.  But I want my birthday to stay fun, and to stay a milestone to look forward to whatever comes next.  This year, I decided to let the kids in my life (my students mostly) ask me if I was older than something.  For example, a kid asked if I am older than video games.  Well I am older than XBox, Playstation, and the Nintendo Wii and Gameboy DS (the ones he knows about ), but I’m not older than the oldest video game… Pong.  I discovered I’m also not older than the company Nintendo, which apparently was founded in 1889 as a playing card company.  Didn’t know that before.

See what having fun with kids can do to your knowledge?  So off we go…

Yes Morgan, I’m older than the cellphone.  Now you probably meant the digital cellphones of today (which of course I’m older than) but I’m even older than the original cellphones which were radio based.  (1979)

No Matthew, I’m not older than computers.  However, I’m older than Windows, and it’s predecessor MS-Dos.  I’m older than the ink-jet printer and about the same age as the laser printer.  I am older than the Apple Company that makes all your cool little iThings.  I’m older than the World Wide Web (by a lot) but not the Internet or Ethernet (although some people will argue about the “official” beginning of the Internet… blah).  And yes, Matthew… I know how to use computers quite well.

Lauren, I am not older than post-it notes, but it’s close.  So close that I could have been in the same grade as Post-Its when we were going to elementary school.

Jacob, I am older than Prozac and Viagra.  We may need to talk about why you asked about those particular drugs.

Sarah, I’m not older than cameras and photography in general but I am older than disposable cameras and digital photography.  Yes, I’m old enough to remember when it was difficult to have homemade nudes developed.  Now anyone can send a boob or dick pic in less than a minute.  You kids have it so easy.  (And no, I never ACTUALLY said that second part to her directly… because these kids don’t really exist.  C’mon, keep up with the humor)

Heather, I’m the same age as the little push tab on your soda can.  Tony, I’m not as old as roller blades and yes I’m too old to roller blade now.  Mike, I haven’t had to live a second of my life without being able to look at yoga pants or thong bikinis.  It’s been a good life in that regard.

Greg, I am older than a lot of sports teams:  Seahawks, Buccaneers, Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens and Texans in the NFL (I could even count the newest incarnation of the Browns).  In the NBA, I watched the Charlotte Hornets become the New Orleans Hornets become the Pelicans.  I watched the Vancouver Grizzlies move to Memphis.  I watched Seattle get robbed and Oklahoma City get lucky.  I watched the birth of the Raptors, Magic, Heat, Mavericks, Bobcats, and Timberwolves.  Technically, I was around for the end of the Jazz’s first season.  Baseball has me older than the Blue Jays, Rays, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Marlins, and Rockies.  I watched the Expos die and the Nationals get reborn.

Man, I feel old when I look at the sports list.  But at least I ain’t dead yet.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my birthday twin, my sister (tomorrow), and Albert Einstein.  Have a Happy Pi Day, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, and happy birthday to my father-in-law ON St. Patrick’s Day.  Not sure I’ll blog before next weekend, so happy birthday to Tyler too.  Oh, and a second cousin had a birthday yesterday on the 13th… so happy birthday to her as well.  Michael Caine and Billy Crystal… you guys rock too.  F*** you, Chris Klein… stealing my birthday thunder.  You were my least favorite character in American Pie.  Shit!  There’s a connection to Pi Day too!  Damn  you, Chris Klein!

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