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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

If You Don’t Put Your Birthday on Facebook, Nobody Will Acknowledge It

If You Don’t Put Your Birthday on Facebook, Nobody Will Acknowledge It
Credit: jacksfilms
Credit: jacksfilms

Hello there! Maybe you missed me last week. Or maybe you were reveling in the silence and are devastated now … upon my return.

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Spoiler alert: Maybe my blog return is eminiscent of that TWILIGHT ZONE episode -- steeped thoroughly in the School of Old-Timey Scenery Chewing and Serling Sermonizing -- in which the harried working stiff just wanted time to read his books. Enter some kind of humanity-eliminating plague and now he's all alone with his books and all the time in the world. But wait ... he just broke his glasses!
Spoiler alert: Maybe my blog return is eminiscent of that TWILIGHT ZONE episode — steeped thoroughly in the School of Old-Timey Scenery Chewing and Serling Sermonizing — in which the harried working stiff just wanted time to read his books. Enter some kind of humanity-eliminating plague and at last he’s all alone with his books and all the time in the world. But wait … he just broke his glasses!
O, plot contrivance of a random rapture! Why couldn't you have spared a LensCrafters technician or two?
O, plot contrivance of a random rapture! Why couldn’t you have spared a LensCrafters technician or two? (Ed. Note: He should have ordered back-up Zennis.)

Anyway, I took a brief hiatus mostly because last week was my birthday. Just like it was for all the other seemingly rampant Scorpios! Has someone done the numbers on which birth month is the most popular? Maybe it’s just my inability to share the limelight, but I feel like there are scads of other November babies around my Princess Day, the 12th.

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When I bring this up in conversation, often people try to be cute (read: derivative and psuedo-scientific) and note that “November is 9 months after Valentine’s Day!” But that doesn’t explain it all, I don’t think — because I arrived post-term on the 12th, and also this quaint theory doesn’t take into account the olio of frivolous and/or biological trends that could affect pregnancy and delivery timelines (e.g. — elective C-sections scheduled strategically around holidays or days of week; also, are we to believe that a disproportionately large number of couples are actively TTC — as the parlance goes — on V-Day, AND ovulating, AND not completely put off by the manufactured holiday schmaltz?).

A nicer pose ...
A nicer pose
Oh, also forgot to debrief Halloween and note its passing! Here's Deepak and me on the day.
Oh, also forgot to debrief Halloween and note its passing! Here’s Deepak and me on the day.

I suppose it irks me because I remember reading about the issue from a Marilyn vos Savant column. My dad RAILED against her hilarious superciliousness and pretensions of being an expert on basically every possible subject each week as we read her PARADE magazine column. He was so well-suited to the ranting and it was so endearing that I imagined every other dad in the world (or at least in the mappable PARADE delivery area 15 years ago) was engaging in the same pastime. In one column, she told a reader who asked what day of the year the most babies were born: “Statistically, the number of babies born each day will be the same.” Fudge cudgel … what? There wasn’t even any supporting evidence or quick explanation given or anything! That always struck me as hilariously stupid and disrespectful of the audience’s skepticism.

For my birthday, Deepak got me this enormous plush!
For my birthday, Deepak got me this enormous plush!
... not really. Though we could hardly *bear* to walk away from the poor slumping lonely guy!
… not really. Though we could hardly *bear* to walk away from the poor slumping lonely guy!

Then again, PARADE continues to foist a hilariously watered-down pabulum slop of PR crap on its defenseless audience every week, so I don’t know what I expected. My family and I got a big kick — and enduring gag — out of a puff piece on Hilary Duff at the height of her fame in which the reporter slavered over her “incredible maturity and huge vocabulary.” The piece was downright hagiography, like Hilary was SO much better than not only her showbiz peers but also us lowly PARADE readers (ed. note: They may have had a point, as we were the ones reading and taking seriously that awful magazine).

Forget Lizzie McGuire; someone call John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur! I really lost it at one line in the article: “She uses words like ‘increment’ effortlessly in conversation!”

IN-CRE-MENT! This is the mark of the precocious?

I mean, I’m glad she’s not a card-carrying cretin, but call me when she’s quoting Catullus and solving the Hodge conjecture. Until then, let’s just confine this profile to blandly praising her bubbly demeanor and ability to rope Miranda and Gordo into her harebrained schemes while also cutting a pretty cute cartoon figure.

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After that divagation, time to get back to the main point: last week was my birthday! But it was less remarked-upon than it has been in the past, because I removed the date from social media. In college, my friend Joe coined the apt term “Facebukkake,” for the once-a-year outpouring of friendly well-wishes on your feed (previously “wall”) as the site announces your birthday to all the pals, associates and stalking targets you’ve chosen to link yourself to.

My sister and her fiancé swung by on their way back from China! You may not be able to see, but behind fiancé's head is a hard hat, also from the China trip.
My sister and her fiancé swung by on their way back from China! You may not be able to see, but behind fiancé’s head is a hard hat, also from the China trip.

Note: Did you object to the vulgarity of the term Facebukkake in the last paragraph? You should not! Ever since my mom casually used the phrase “blow your load” in conversation — prompting a startled reaction from me — I’ve been thinking about the indelicate origins of everyday words. My college roommate Shawna — a great scholar of Greek and Latin (she was a Classics major) and fellow word nerd — used to laugh with me over the fact that “dork” means whale penis. (Given our proud identities as word nerds, the term “dork” was lobbed at us not infrequently.) Other examples: vanilla means “vagina”; pencil means “little penis”; orchid means “testicle” — as does “avocado”! And my personal favorite, especially as Deepak and I peruse Japanese toilets and durable floor tiles (don’t ask; subject for another blog): porcelain comes from a series of Middle French, Italian and Latin roots that mean “baby pig’s vulva.”

Sister brought back other fun goodies, including this detailed model of the body's acupuncture points.
Sister brought back other fun goodies, including this detailed model of the body’s acupuncture points.
"Stop needling me!" Deepak and Lulu (acupuncture doll) were not fast friends.
“Stop needling me!” Deepak and Lulu (acupuncture doll) were not fast friends.
But eventually they forged a cautious détente.
But eventually they forged a cautious détente.

From vanity to vos Savant to vulgarity, this blog really went everywhere. And now I will unceremoniously conclude. Allow me this indulgence, since it was my birthday just recently! And don’t you feel guilty for not saying anything because it wasn’t on Facebook?

Many indulgences on the birthday; adequate lighting, unfortunately, was not one of them.
Many indulgences on the birthday; adequate lighting, unfortunately, was not one of them.
No fewer than 2 of these consumed during the day!
No fewer than 2 of these consumed during the day!
+3 of these among the group
+3 of these among the group
... and the indulgence was documented.
… and the indulgence was documented.
... and texted.
… and texted.
... and noted by the impassively faced Hall and Oates earrings (b-day gift from sister)
… and noted by the impassively faced Hall and Oates earrings (b-day gift from sister)


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