I don't have much time to type, but today is my 17th birthday! The big 1-7. Because of a work overload in such media as school, home, and extra curricular activities, I haven't been typing as often as usual (can you tell?). I'll try to type as soon as possible, but I've been seriously stressed because of my encumbrance. So, bear with me, I beg you!
Today I have received from loving family members and good, dear friends: a cake (finally!), three balloons (not one, but three... like Galadriel gave Gimli), a candle, a whole buncha lotion, a new snappy shirt from The Limited, a Samwise Gamgee action figure (in orc armour, to go with my Frodo action figure, also in orc armour [that makes four Frodos and two Sams]), a King Arthur from Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail (with a talking stand), my new beloved bracelet from Along Came Polly (screen worn by my hero, Debra Messing, go back an entry to see it), and many good wishes from friends and strangers and internet buddies. Makes me feel loved, I'll tell yah!
I thank you all infinitely for the best birthday ever! Kisses and hugs (and I'm not sick or anything, so don't worry)! And I'm glad LOTR kicked majour butt at the Oscars, they deserved their clean sweep. I love the hobbits, especially 'Lij, Billy, Sean, and Dom (did I skip anyone?). Well, I love them all equally. They were splendid on the carpet, and I love their personalities (I swear). Super-chouette! And I liked, cough, I liked Liv, coughhackcough, Tyler's dress and hair and shoes and makeup and everything by Givenchy. She was super-chouette, too, and normally I'm not her biggest fan. And I'm angry that Johnny Depp didn't win best actor, because he could have taken Sean Penn's job, but there's no way that Sean Penn could have done Jack Sparrow. But, unfortunately, the Academy believed Mystic River to be a stronger performance, and Sean Penn is a pretty amazing individual. Well, well. That's eaten up my homework time. I still have lots of work left to do, a concert to play in, and a birthday cake to come home to.
Oh, and I took the National French Exam today. I don't think I'll win a scholarship, but I think I did pretty well. It was weird, though, because only eight people in my school took it. Hmm...
And I'll leave you (considering the length of this entry) a paper I wrote about a birthday I had long ago. It's humourous, I promise, and I find it pertinent to today.
“That One Birthday”
Humility does not exist in my family. I have known from an early age that the world is dog-eat-dog, and one has to kill anyone who gets in his or her way of what Andy Warhol describes as “fifteen minutes of fame.” Any attention that can be spared must be spared on me, because that is the way my mother and my father taught me. Because of the eccentricies of my parents, my brother and I have grown to realize that even through the pain of others, we can receive a vast amount of treasured attention. I do not depend on, but do appreciate and use to my benefit any supremacy granted to me by the expense of others.
It was my birthday, and I was too old for Chuck E. Cheese. What I loved in Chuck two days before was puppy love, stupid childhood infatuation, because now I was a year older. I moved on from Chuck E. Cheese to the mature and adult children’s fun center: Discovery Zone. I had invited all of my friends and all of my neighbors. Anybody who was somebody was going to be in the “Zone” on my birthday, and I was ecstatic to be, once again, the center of attention.
My mother pulled into the parking lot, and I nearly ripped the car door from its hinges in my excitement. I raced my brother to the glass front entrance, and saw my friends waiting within. My heart gave a leap of joy for the impact fully hit me then: it was my day, and I was to be regarded as nothing less than perfect. It was birthday law, set down by my child predecessors, the unspoken and unanimously followed rule that the birthday girl was, at all costs, the one deserving any and all concentration.
The pizza, the presents, and the arcade that followed were all a blur of elation. But when one least expects it, trouble surfaces, and this case was no exception. I was naively participating in the sport of Ms. Pacman, cheered by my fellow partygoers, when cries arose nearby. I rushed in the direction of the disturbance, attempting to look to my friends as though I were an authority in such situations of panic. A small crowd was gathered around the Skeeball Machine, and I shoved my way through the chattering mothers and whispering children. There he was, my little brother, Benjamin, on his knees in agony before the machine. Apparently he was playing Skeeball, and the machine failed to give him more balls because he had tossed his limit into the holes already. He was too young, too obtuse to comprehend the rules of the game; he never grasped that the machine only gave him a dozen of the wooden balls for one coin, and his one coin had been spent. So he reached into the machine, all the way up the ball-dispenser tube, and there his hand was caught. And so he lay, a pitiful mass of dissolved tears on the floor, causing uproar among the guests, but worst of all, he was ruining my special day.
Not to be upstaged, I turned to the nearest woman-- a nice old lady, with graying hair and a floral dress-- and in a plea for attention I said with tear soaked eyes, “That’s my brother, Misses, and it’s my birthday.” She clicked her tongue in pity, and pity was exactly what I desired.
“Well, they’re callin’ an ambulance, honey,” she informed me to my displeasure, “and there’s nuthin’ to worry about.” I knew that the brooding lump of a brother was mendacious, Benjamin was lying about the pain because he had been well versed in this sort of act. I quickly sought my mother because surely she would recognize my plight and give me my coveted response. She had no idea of what went on, and I informed her in between gasps as I hastily wiped the fresh tears from my fevered, worried cheeks. She rushed to my brother’s side just as the paramedics arrived. The sight of the men with the shining metal medical cases full of tools to free my entangled brother gave me no hope.
They attempted to pull the machine apart around him, and after nearly an hour of work and no progress, his hand slipped out effortlessly, as if by an accident on his part. As he held his arm out limply while the paramedics poked it with metal sticks, repeating that superfluous question, “Does this hurt?” all I could think was that my chance was forsaken, my day was destroyed. It would be an entire year before I would be blessed with another opportunity like this. I began to plot my revenge when my brother limped by, held up by a herd of distressed citizens. He grinned at me. Grinned. He grinned until the men around him ceased talking, and then he told them in a forged weak and feeble voice, “My arm is broken!”
But in accordance with my wishes, the women took special care to give me their condolences for my brother’s arm, and I received multitudes of golden coins that I used to play Skeeball and Ms. Pacman until my mother got back with my brother from the Emergency Room. My friends revered me with a sort of awe, because my brother was the one that had his arm mauled by heavy entertainment machinery.
Benjamin’s arm was never “broken,” there was not a scratch or bruise to be seen, and I never even blew out the candles on my cake. On the way home in the car, he informed my mother that next time he would use “both hands when the machine brakes.” Yet I got what it is I wished, despite all that had happened, because I obtained the homage I so craved. It seems a terrible thing to be so power-hungry that the pain of others could be just another step on the ladder to success, but to my family, it is a way of life. I was raised to understand what Mel Brooks embodied when he said, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” It is not selfish to depend on the tragedy of others for your enjoyment, it is purely business.
Disclaimer: This really happened. Don't get offended, just get over it.