Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Thank you for liking me on my Birthday

Happy Valentine’s Day.

As longtime readers of this blog know, it’s also my birthday. I’m getting closer and closer to 40.

But having your birthday on Valentine’s Day has its drawbacks. You can’t go out to dinner because everyone is going out to dinner. And restaurants jack up the prices. Or they have special menus AND jack up the prices. Four course gourmet dinner at Applebee’s, that sort of thing.

And you share your birthday with a holiday. I remember in the second grade when we had to give out Valentines to everyone in class, I didn’t get one from Charlene Uranga. Not only did it bum me out because I had a big crush on her, but it’s distressing when the pattern for your love life becomes quite apparent at six.

So I’ve never really loved my birthday. A few years ago I went to a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWUIMSUIT party and one of the chefs came down with Hepatitis. So we all had to get emergency immune globulin shots from a needle they use on horses.

And then there was this happy celebration one year.

But now, thanks to social media, my spirits have been lifted. Like (I’m assuming) most people on Facebook, I’ve been receiving lovely birthday greetings from friends and family members far and wide. Even people I don’t know are wishing me Happy Birthday.

One year I wrote back individual notes. That ate up 90% of my birthday. Now I just write one status update thanking everyone who remembered me on this anniversary of the day a bunch of Al Capone’s gangsters mowed down other gangsters in a Chicago garage.

But I sort of feel guilty because I don’t check Facebook every day and as a result very rarely reciprocate when someone wishes me a Happy Birthday. I know it's horrible, but it’s nothing personal. I love each and every one of you and wish you all the happiest of birthdays, but Jesus, you people have birthdays EVERY SINGLE DAY. This would be so much easier if, like racehorses, everyone just aged another year on January 1st.

So again, to all of you – thank you and Happy Birthday either in advance or belatedly. And I mean that.

And I already wished you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Charlene Uranga, if you’re out there, it’s not too late.

35 comments :

Jim S said...

I know what you mean about birthdays Ken.

On my birthday, a city was nuked, Manson went on a murder spree, a President resigned from office, a Rock legend died.

It's hard not to take that personally.

Gary Campbell said...

Happy Birthday, Ken!

TireKicker said...

Happy Birthday, Ken!

VP81955 said...

And you share your birthday with Jack Benny, the first celebrity I ever met. Happy b'day to both of you.

Stupid Cupid said...

Also born on February 14th:
Mel Allen, Jack Benny, Blowfly, Jimmy Hoffa, "Chief" from Get Smart, Teller (the magician, not the bomb maker), Maceo (MACEO!), Dave Dravecky when he had two arms, Vic Morrow when he had one head, and the inventor of the Ferris wheel.

Karan G. said...

A very happy birthday to you! As always, a very interesting and amusing blog entry. What a bummer about the hepatitis exposure, on your birthday no less. My parents had a similar experience in the 1980’s, having come into contact with their friend who played for the Cincinnati Reds directly after a Red’s banquet, where all were exposed. The player got extremely ill…and some say, never fully regained his strength. Mom and Dad had to get that horrible shot as well. Kinda makes you not want to eat out.
Have a happy birthday and many more!

Rashad Khan said...

Happy Birthday, Ken!!

Glenn said...

Happy birthday, Ken. (Come on Charlene, the guy wrote for MASH, what are you waiting for?)

Unkystan said...

Happy Birthday, Ken! Congratulations on almost making it to 40. Today is also Jack Benny.s Birthday. He would have turned 39.

Tudor Queen said...

Happy birthday to someone who makes me happier 365 days of the year.

BTW, my mother's birthday was Christmas Eve. She had some issues with that, or rather, with the way we sometimes lumped the two together.

Jon H said...

Happy Birthday, Ken! A co-worker of mine shares your birthday, and I've told her it gives her husband no excuse ever to forget her birthday.

Kirk said...

Happy birthday, Ken.

ELS said...

Happy and healthy birthday to you, sir, and many more to come! And I'll not be insulted if you don't reciprocate... I'm nobody, after all. :D

As for Valentine's Day... you're on your own.

And of course, Charlene Uranga... well, we ALL know about her.

Charlene Uranga said...

When you hit 40, call me.

Lairbo said...

My grandfather's birthday was Valentine's Day and he got "Valentine" for his middle name, so things could be worse, although "Ken Valentine Levine" has kind of a nice ring to it...

John Hammes said...

Ken Levine: As longtime readers of this blog know, it’s also my birthday. I’m getting closer and closer to 40.


Well, you two DO share a birthday, and nice minds tend to think alike: happy 39th!

A birthday of mine tends to arrive (usually) near the weekend/week of Thanksgiving, depending on what the calendar decides to do. Interesting thing sharing a birthday with a holiday. Yes, people by and large are focused on the holiday, but with any holiday, there is always more interest and social activity going on, there is always more excitement in the air. Throughout the year, there is always a sort of public mood that one absorbs - osmosis, zeitgeist, something like that. So, on any given birthday, if there is a holiday of sorts also going on, and people are generally interested and enthused, I tend to accept the public mood, the general social atmosphere, also a a gift (not sure that was even a conscious decision: it was just sort of "there", down through the years).

Have a great day, and just think of the crowded restaurants as dozens and dozens (and dozens) of your closest friends.


Johnny Walker said...

Happy Birthday, Ken! I’ve never really thought about it, but does this mean you exchange gifts with your wife? Or do you get a free pass because it’s your birthday?

JonCow said...

I was sure "Charlene Uranga" was an anagram to protect Charlene's identity. So, I looked Uranga up on Wikipedia and found a whole host of Mexican politicians, folksingers, philosophers, and soccer players named Uranga. So, I guess it is a real surname. But now I can't get out of my head, the voice of Chico Marx answering the telephone.

Happy Birthday, Ken.

Dhruv said...


Happy Birthday, Ken!

Cap'n Bob said...

You think you have problems. My birthday is on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Try renting a stovepipe hat and frock coat then.

Anyway, happy birthday. Let us know what you're giving up for Lent, too.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Happy Birthday KEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

for your birthday, knowing you'd be out tonight, I got you a present for tomorrow:
Showing on TMC is SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (8PM)

Barry Traylor said...

Have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You don't look a day over 39 (hey! it worked for jack Benny)

Mike Bloodworth said...

Cake, candles and pointy hats to you, Ken. 40? You don't look a day over 35. Like Tudor Queen, my mother also had a Christmas birthday. (The 26th) That annoyed her no end. And like Jim S., My birthday is a KILL day. In one case the guy got away with it thanks to a very clever, rhyming lawyer. I also share a b-day with a ex president. As for Valentine's Day, I'll be home...
...alone...eating my Stouffer's lasagne...drinking lots of wine... [crying, dehorned rhinoceros emoji]
M.B.

Roger Owen Green said...

I was recalling my birthday being on my niece's wedding day. No one wished me a happy birthday, not my niece, not my sister (who I drove around with for nearly 2 hours doing last-minute stuff), only my mom.

LouOCNY said...

Happy Day of Birth Ken!There are worse people to share a b-day with than Benny,truly the inventor of the modern sitcom. I'm a big Trek fan, and it's made me proud to share my day with Jimmy Doohan.

Cristina Graziella said...

Happy Birthday! And Happy Valentine's Day ! Best wishes! You are a great writer!
Cristina Graziella

Loosehead said...

Happy birthday old man.

Jim said...

Good news/bad news:
Good: Thanks for the regular references to Joanie Sommers, one of my favorite singers.
Bad: If you google Charlene Uranga -- and if there's only one Charlene Uranga -- she's no longer with us and hasn't been in nearly a decade.

Ken Levine said...

It's a made up name -- a combo of two names I know.

Arthur Mee said...

Well, no wonder she didn't send you a valentine, being non-existent and all! :)

Happy birthday, Ken! I don't comment all that often, but I cruise by the blog regularly, and always enjoy it. Hope it continues til you're 40!

Breadbaker said...

My dad was born on the Fourth of July, my brother and son on St. Patrick's Day, my sister on Mother's Day (of course her birthday is only on Mother's Day once every seven years on average) and my youngest niece on New Year's Day. Drawbacks and advantages to every one.

My wife's birthday was election day, 2016. Now that was a downer.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Happy birthday. Pitchers and catchers reported today. Let's concentrate on the good news.

Ken, when you podcast the Oscars could you address the issue of nominees who clap when their names are announced? Drives me crazy. I know Hollywood is not the world capital of modesty but please.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Ken! Mine's almost always on Labor Day weekend. When I was a kid, I received school clothes and Trapper Keepers as presents...Luckily, John Denver came out with an album around my birthday...Labor Day weekend has it's drawbacks..as my family "floated" my birthday....but now, as an adult, I get paid holiday pay for my birthday!

Myles Warden said...

Happy Birthday, Ken!

Nic said...

One of my older brothers had his fiftieth birthday almost a year ago. He says it really annoys him that since he's turned fifty, the ads that appear on his Yahoo Mail have begun to run heavily toward trying to sell him cheap burial insurance and adult diapers.