Hi there. If you're reading this, it's either because you know me or you spend way too much time hitting "I'm feeling lucky" on Google. Either way, welcome.

Illumination is a perpetual work in progress, so please pardon our dust. The intent of the place is to provide space where I can lay down my thoughts and observations about the world around me and the things I do. That means it could be filled with nearly anything, from silly accounts of my gaming antics to thoughtful political discussion and anything in-between.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Revolutions (on Screw You, Buddy)

In a couple of hours it’ll be my birthday. That… stopped being a big event for me about ten years ago, and it’s become quite just-another-day-ish since I finally ticked up over that last legal age limit.

Honestly, hitting the quarter-century mark is probably the least of my concerns at the moment, but since I only get to do it once, I figured I’d at least commemorate the occasion by getting completely smashed looking back over the last 25 years at some of the things that have led me to where I am now, and some of the things that the April 3rds throughout history have brought the world (other than me).

9,130 days ago, on a rainy Wednesday evening, I was born. I’m told my first action was not to cry, as many newborn do, but rather to open my eyes and, silently, look around. I joined the world about an hour after sunset in a room overlooking the southern reaches of Puget Sound. I drive past the hospital occasionally and I can still pick out the room’s window from I-5.

It was, by all accounts, a fairly ordinary day in western Washington. While I haven’t had the Michael Bay-directed explosion-fest that some of my friends’ lives were, I think I’ve led a fairly interesting existence so far.

Twenty years ago, the world was steaming implacably into the last decade of the millennium and I was getting my first taste of the larger world: the holidays in Japan with my grandparents. I got an NES for Christmas, though at the time it was still called Famicom. Both were omens of things to come. I blame those two weeks for turning me into both a gamer and an anime fan.

Fifteen years ago, I learned what pinballs felt like, bouncing and springing from one end of the country to another before eventually coming to land, some thirteenish years ago, on Bugs Bunny’s inevitable desert island Oahu, HI. So began a decade of tropical exile. I don’t miss much but the food and one or two people. I’m from Seattle: I’m waterproof, windproof, and Vulnerable 5 Radiant.

Sometime during the Pinball Years I picked up a Trumpet for the first time, and that battered little King (and the Yamaha and Besson that followed it) are probably responsible for more of who I am today than anything else. Nine years of music rehearsals and performances instilled in me some things I can’t adequately describe, but the clear, soaring sound of a horn never fails to put me in a good mood.

High School was an amazing period and lots of incredible things happened; I learned an incredible amount. Not a single one of the important moments happened in a classroom. Friends came and went. My poor little King died heroically. I adopted an orphaned Yamaha; upgraded to a fine French Besson. I still have all three.

About twelve years ago, I met a mischievous catgirl named Maab (see Dramatis Personae) when she asked me to pass her that year’s Merriam-Webster. We hung out, became friends, split up, drifted apart, ran into each other, grew up, reconnected, became more than friends. That all took years. We’re getting married next summer.

Ten years ago I was a participant in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA on January 1, 2000. Two years after that I was a participant, a year after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC. I screwed up drill on live national television in both.

Five years ago I returned “home” from my tropical exile. A year later I turned 21 and didn’t get wasted on my birthday. I got a handgun for Christmas.

A year ago I got caught up in a stupid political game my company was playing and got axed as a result. The economy took a nose dive; I managed not to starve.

Four months ago I decided I was fed up with doing what I was doing and went back to school. I felt better than I had in a long time.

Tomorrow, I’m going to catch up on the homework that a tire blowout and a sick day cost me, and hit the first week of April running.

On April 3rd

…1043: Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England,

…1593: poet George Herbert is born,

…1783: author Washinton Irving is born,

…1860: The Pony Express begins service,

…1922: Stalin becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union,

…1924: Marlon Brando and Doris Day are born,

…1958: Alec Baldwin is born,

…1961: Eddie Murphy is born.

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