Friday, September 21, 2007

(Don't Fear) The Reaper

Ah yes, another birthday has come and almost gone. The big 4-0. We had a nice little low-key celebration tonight. Deb and the girls decorated the house with these goofy "40" hanging mobile thingies, just in case I forgot. Deb loves to rub in the fact that I'm three years older than her. Honestly, I'm cool with turning 40. I'm pretty happy with my position in life: I've got a great wife and family, a job I like most of the time, and good health. You can't really ask for much more than that. Last night, I went out in Marblehead for a few beers with folks from work, so that was fun. And the "Holy crap, you're old" jokes don't bother me, because I feel great and I know I'm in better shape than most of the people who are making those jokes. Hell, I'm in better shape than I was 10 years ago (and I was in good shape then), and I'm in way better shape than I was at 20, when I was busy drinking, eating junk food and noticing that my clothes were getting tight. Sure, I've got a little less hair than I used to (okay, a LOT less) and much of what I do have has turned gray, but there's no sense stressing out over stuff you can't control, right? Right? Right.

I've got my last big long run this weekend before the marathon, which is only three weeks away. Hannah's got two soccer games this weekend, one on each day, so I won't be able to run until Sunday afternoon. Not only will I miss most of the Patriots game, it's going to be close to 80 out. But I've run in plenty of warm weather already, and it's good training in case it's warm on October 14.

Gimme some more cake:
  • I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Jays sweep the Red Sox this week, which narrowed Boston's lead over the Yankees to 1.5 games. Of course, the friggin' Jays wait until they're way out of the race to win a meaningful series. They've got four with the Yankees this weekend, so hopefully they can wreak similar havoc. Meanwhile, we're finding out the extent of how banged up they are: Their best position player, Vernon Wells, had underperformed all year, but the reason was only revealed recently. He's having surgery next week to remove a cyst in his left shoulder. Troy Glaus, Lyle Overbay and BJ Ryan have all been shut down for the season because of injuries that required surgery. The Jays were expected to be an offensive powerhouse this year, with a questionable pitching staff. The opposite occurred, with spotty offense and excellent pitching, as youngsters Dustin McGowan, Shawn Marcum and Jesse Litsch all stepped up in the starting rotation, in addition to ace Roy Halladay and AJ Burnett. Hope springs eternal, but GM JP Ricciardi's job can't be safe for much longer if they continue this path of mediocrity.
  • Last weekend, I engaged in some classic music nerdery. In honor of my 40th, I created a set of mix CDs featuring songs from every year of my life (full credit to my buddy Phil for the idea; he did a similar thing for his 30th). After much deliberation, I decided to make a disc for each decade, with two songs for each year and no repeated artists. I was also limited to the music in my collection (which, as some of you may know, numbers in low thousands). The songs I chose weren't necessarily my favorite songs of all time, or songs I was listening to at that particular time of my life, but they're all songs I like by artists I like. The list changed considerably because of song length and last-minute changes of opinion. And here's the playlist:

Disc 1 (1967-76)

1. 1967 Pink Floyd - Astronomy Domine

2. 1967 Cream - Sunshine of Your Love

3. 1968 Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower

4. 1968 Velvet Underground - White Light, White Heat

5. 1969 Neil Young - Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

6. 1969 Led Zeppelin - I Can't Quit You, Baby

7. 1970 The Beatles - I've Got a Feeling

8. 1970 The Grateful Dead - Friend of the Devil

9. 1971 Funkadelic - Super Stupid

10. 1971 The Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar

11. 1972 David Bowie - Moonage Daydream

12. 1972 Deep Purple - Space Truckin'

13. 1973 The Who - Cut My Hair

14. 1973 Iggy and the Stooges - Search and Destroy

15. 1974 Thin Lizzy - Showdown

16. 1974 Steely Dan - Rikki Don't Lose That Number

17. 1975 Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

18. 1975 KISS - Strutter (live)

19. 1976 Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke

20. 1976 Aerosmith - Last Child

Disc 2 (1977-86)

1. 1977 Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant

2. 1977 The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker

3. 1978 Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio

4. 1978 The Jam - Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

5. 1979 Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!

6. 1979 The Clash - Spanish Bombs

7. 1980 Motorhead - Ace of Spades

8. 1980 AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill

9. 1981 Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry (Saturday Night)

10. 1981 Van Halen - Mean Street

11. 1982 Mission of Burma - Learn How

12. 1982 X - The Have Nots

13. 1983 The Replacements - Color Me Impressed

14. 1983 U2 - ...Like a Song

15. 1984 The Smiths - This Charming Man

16. 1984 Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - Couldn't Stand the Weather

17. 1985 - R.E.M. - Feeling Gravity's Pull

18. 1985 The Cult - Rain

19. 1986 Bad Brains - Re-Ignition

20. 1986 Prince - Kiss

Disc 3 (1987-96)

1. 1987 Guns 'n' Roses - Nightrain

2. 1987 Husker Du - Could You Be the One

3. 1988 The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm an Adult Now

4. 1988 Public Enemy - Night of the Living Baseheads

5. 1989 Nirvana - Negative Creep

6. 1989 The Pixies - Debaser

7. 1990 Fugazi - Repeater

8. 1990 Jane's Addiction - Ain't No Right

9. 1991 Soundgarden - Outshined

10. 1991 Smashing Pumpkins - I am One

11. 1992 Alice in Chains - Them Bones

12. 1992 The Tragically Hip - Looking for a Place to Happen

13. 1993 Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror

14. 1993 PJ Harvey - Rid of Me

15. 1994 Beck - Beercan

16. 1994 Jeff Buckley - Eternal Life

17. 1995 Foo Fighters - Alone + Easy Target

18. 1995 Pavement - AT&T

19. 1996 Weezer - El Scorcho

20. 1996 Afghan Whigs - Honky's Ladder

Disc 4 (1997-2007)

1. 1997 Radiohead - Electioneering

2. 1997 Guided by Voices - Jane of the Waking Universe

3. 1998 Sloan - Money City Maniacs

4. 1998 Frank Black and the Catholics - Suffering

5. 1999 The Flaming Lips - Waitin' for a Superman

6. 1999 Built to Spill - The Plan

7. 2000 Queens of the Stone Age - Auto Pilot

8. 2000 At the Drive-In - Rolodex Propoganda

9. 2001 The White Stripes - Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

10. 2001 Spoon - Me and the Bean

11. 2002 Wilco - Heavy Metal Drummer

12. 2002 ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Another Morning Stoner

13. 2003 The Black Keys - Thickfreakness

14. 2003 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?

15. 2004 Green Day - Letterbomb

16. 2004 Mark Lanegan Band - One Hundred Days

17. 2005 The New Pornographers - Use It

18. 2005 The Hold Steady - Cattle and the Creeping Things

19. 2006 The Twilight Singers - I'm Ready

20. 2007 Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running

Phew! If you're still reading at this point, good on ya. And if you're interested in copies of the discs, I'll be happy to burn a set for you. Just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Making mixes is one of my favorite things to do, dating back to 1981 when I got a clock radio with a built-in cassette deck and would tape stuff off the radio. Those early tapes came in handy when we moved from Toronto to a town in Washington state with horrendous radio stations; I listened to those old tapes endlessly. Yeah, another thing we 40-year-olds do a lot is reminisce about crap. Later.


Go Sox! said...

Happy Birthday! I was hoping your Blue Jays stuck with the 4-0 score against the Yankees last night in your honor, but at least they prevailed! By the way, your CD mixes tells me that either you might have too much time on your hands or your a night owl (or both)!

jbreitling said...

That's a lot of hot rock right there. KISS! MOTORHEAD! Yeehaw!

Jay said...

Matt, it's probably a little of both. Although I did most of that stuff during the day last weekend.

Anonymous said...

Happy 40th Birthday, Jay!

Your playlist is a testament to your taste in sound, devotion to your ears, and a brilliant way to spend a birthday!

Keep Conspicuin'. - Mark

Anonymous said...

belated happy birthday jay! you are in darned good shape, even for a young guy


Anonymous said...


Jay said...

Thanks for chiming in, Mom.