Birthday notes

As previously announced, today is my 77th birthday — my iridium, or rainbow, birthday (the element iridium, named after Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, has atomic number 77), better, as Ken Rudolph noted to me, than our 76th birthday, the trombone birthday (after the musical number “76 Trombones”, from the musical The Music Man). A hundred or so people from all parts of my life have wished me well in various ways — the electronic equivalent of companionable pats, and much appreciated. Also, some of them were funny.

Extravagant food was provided: berry tartlets and cheescakelets with berries (I’m a berry person), raspberry sorbet (I just told you about the berry thing), chocolate, and a fine sushi lunch. Kim Darnell let it be known at Kanpai that it was my birthday, so I was subjected to a singing of “Happy Birthday”, and provided with mochi ice cream (vanilla) for dessert, with one candle in the center. Afterwards, Susan Fischer told me by e-mail that I should have told them I was 77, because the 77th birthday is a big thing in Japan.

I walked there and back, stopping every block or so to catch my breath (more health news to come, but not on my birthday). This was the first day cool enough to follow doctor’s instructions to push myself on walking, every day, longer and longer. 12 blocks today.

Then, sweet gifts from friends. From Benita Bendon Campbell (and Ed Campbell) a Jacquie Lawson animated card of Indian runner ducks in the rain, ending with a duck and a rainbow. In medias res:


To come, in a separate posting, on Indian runner ducks and Indian (or scarlet) runner beans, which are not at all the same thing.

Then several gifts from Vadim Temkin, starting with this photo from, omigod, the 1995 motss.con (VIII in Washington DC), showing F.J. van Wingerde and a silver fox AMZ:

(#2) 1995 European summit in DC: NL and CH in consultation

Then a Vadimian penguin birthday card for me:


A stuffed pink penguin (possibly a play on getting stuffed, certainly a penguin for me, in queer pink), bearing the red roses of love, or more likely, pressing desire.

Vadim reports that his original design was this one, which he viewed as more prurient:


Well, now it’s all about the guy, the underwearboy, about what I saw as steely stoic Slavic manhood. So it is, but Vadim assures me than no Slavic lads were abused in the production of this image, which is 100% CGI. The wonders of technology!

And that was my birthday, and tomorrow I’ll get back to a posting on Irmas: the catastrophic hurricane, Irma S. Rombauer, Irma la Douce, My Friend Irma. Stereotype time: the Femme Fatale, the Good Wife, the Prostitute With a Heart of Gold, the Dumb Blonde (and the Dumb Blonde’s best female friend the Smart Dame).

2 Responses to “Birthday notes”

  1. H.S. Gudnason Says:

    Have a very happy birthday, Sir!

  2. Robert Coren Says:

    When I saw that shot of you and FJ on Facebook, it took me several minutes to realize that that was, in fact, FJ as he looked 22 years ago.

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