Birthdays have always struck me as strange. Okay, replace "always" with "recently", and you'll get a more accurate version of my feelings towards them. Mine never really mattered that much, partly because my birthday always fell on a day in the middle of summer (meaning no, or at least few, school chums to celebrate with), and being a shy kid—and less-shy adult—meant that I didn't always appreciate unsolicited attention, not to mention finding it difficult to muster the energy to solicit attention. I've had a few friends, from different circles, call attention both to the fact that their birthday was coming up and that they (they!) were organizing a birthday get-together for themselves. Birthdays just seem to arbitrary and random (though after birth, recurring yearly) events, and too "just another day" to be a reason to celebrate. And besides, the people's whose birthdays they are had very little to do with their actual birth. It's a little surprising that people are more interested in celebrating their own birth when most of the work were done by the mother (and less so, but still significantly, the father). If anything, gifts should be showered on the parents, not the child, every anniversary of their children's birth. Then we could safely abolish Mothers' and Fathers' Days, since how fair is that parents with more children only get one day to celebrate?

Hypocritically, then, I'm announcing that today is my 26th birthday. It still feels like I'm 22 or thereabouts, but that probably has more to do with my belief that I'm starting out career-wise, 4 years after "normal" university graduates start. Then again, I graduated from university at 24, so really, I'm only 2 years late. That might be my way of telling off those in their mid-twenties who say stupid things like "I feel so old" when really they're just starting at what are going to be the most exciting, nervous, fun, stressful times of their lives. Most people in their mid-twenties have 50 years of life left, and I wonder how people in their 70s would react if they heard somebody a half-century younger effectively saying that they feel their life is over.

Even more hypocritically, my wishlist has just been updated to better reflect the fact that I still do not have a DVD player and that my taste in music is hip (but not overly so).

I have no plans to celebrate my birthday, since I've already had a nice little party with my family a couple weeks ago and a "surprise" party yesterday at work. Work dominates the rest of the week, even though for much of it the benefit will be more social than financial. I usually feel better off that my 'real life' friends don't know or forget about my birthday, because I'd rather hang out with them for the sake of hanging out with them than because more than two decades ago I happened to be born.