Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy (Belated) 22nd Birthday to Me!

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Brief little post for today.

A couple of days ago, on December 4, I celebrated my 22nd birthday. Yes, the big 2-2. No, it's not really as awesome as I made that sound (no celebratory trips to the bar for me this year). Basically, it was just another day in the life of yours truly, except with cake...and an MC Hammer doll for a gift???

Yes, I'm going to have to explain this one...

Among my many duties at the Wall Street Journal's monitor desk, I'm in charge of compiling the people and business indexes---the list of businessmen and companies that get significant mention in that day's edition---for the international papers (or at least Asia if I'm working my usual 5.5-hr. shift). Every time I feel like I'm ready to start working on the indexes, I email the lead paginator and a couple of news editors to indicate thus. But, with these emails, we have an inside joke; one of them is apparently a fan of that old rapper MC Hammer, and thus with each email, I slap on the subject line "Hammertime!" and attach to the body of the email a picture of the guy. Usually it's a picture that I randomly select from a Google image search. And yet, these people who receive my Hammertime notices seem so tickled by the pictures I choose that, when they found out that my birthday was this past Tuesday, they decided to, I guess, reward me for delighting them with my MC Hammer pics by presenting me with the birthday gift guessed it, MC Hammer! Specifically, an MC Hammer doll from 1991 that one of them got off of eBay.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that this was the gift they gave me for my 22nd birthday. But it was a laughter borne out of fondness, not derision. At least I'm having some fun at that job...

Later, of course, my mother got me a cake from Pathmark and put four candles on it (2+2, get it?). What did I wish for before blowing out those candles? Generally speaking, a bright future in which I achieved all that I set out to one day achieve: a writing career (or something close to a career that involves writing), a place in or near New York City, good health, minimal amounts of stress. Things like that.

That's about as reflective as I got this past December 4.

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