It’s April 20th and today is my 33rd birthday!
Many very cool things have a happened on my birthday besides the obvious. Fenway Park in Boston opened in 1912, Louis Pasteur completed the first pasteurization tests and Apollo 16 landed on the moon! I also share the same birthday with favorite creatives Paul Poiret and Joan Miró as well as musicians Lionel Hampton, Stephen Marley and Tito Puente. Stars of the screen Harold Lloyd, George Takei, Ryan O’Neal, and Edie Sedgwick were born on the same day as me. Oh, and I can’t forget Chris’ mom, Barb!
My parents said I was born in the morning, a little after 9am, and that I was a good baby, except for that stage when I would projectile vomit and they had to put papers down on the floor as if they had a puppy. They kept a radio on in my bedroom all the time so they wouldn’t have to tip-toe around the house for fear of waking me up. My dad would swear that he’d hear me humming to the music.
I had a fantastic sense of fashion (as you can see from the photograph above) and was a rough and tumble little kid. I liked to visit my grandmother (who lived in the house where I now live), Grandpa and Nan at the Cape and do “only kid” things because I didn’t have any siblings to play with. I did well in school in elementary school and liked to draw, read and make messes in the kitchen or my room. I taught my parakeet named Holly to bring me crayons and turn the pages of my books.
When I got older, I learned how to ride a horse named Tiko, hated yard work and started to not like school. In oh-so-cool junior high school, I learned to play the drums and was really good in Spanish class. I remember having to talk my dad into buying me a Morrissey cd (which he almost didn’t because Moz wasn’t wearing a shirt) and New Kids on the Block posters. My musical tastes balanced out a bit more in high school and I failed math class a few times, met my best and oldest friend Elsa and graduated smack-dab in the middle of my class.
I went to college in Vermont because I wanted to be a writer and packed up after a semester because I missed home. Mom encourage me to go back to school and graduated with honors from HCC and UMass-Amherst (and then WNEC and Mizzou for post-grad work). I also had a bad case of the travel bug and couldn’t stop taking really long road trips with friends (“Let’s go to Wisconsin!”) and collecting stamps in my passport. Even with permanent addresses in Spain and Japan, I eventually came home because, when you have that one you like, home is a wonderful place.
When I was four, my birthday fell on Easter and it was the only time when my entire family was at a party for me. Dad always jokes about when I was in first grade and opened all my presents before eating cake, a tradition I knew nothing about at the time! Mom laughed when she heard how the police broke up my surprise 16th birthday party, not because we were rowdy but because my friends had made a bonfire. I passed on going out for my 21st after covering the news about Columbine all day. My two favorite recent birthdays were when the then-new Jake woke me up with trills and purrs as if he was singing and having Chris surprise me with presents and flowers after spending all day in my studio. I hope that this year is just as much fun!