The Last Night of 40: Thoughts on the past year
It's the last night of my 40th year (if captured by the enemy, I will claim to be 35 max) and I'm reflecting on what 40 meant to me and what it means to the world. So, I'm off to Wikipedia. The Wiki entry for 40 is simultaneously maddening and intriguing. Yes, I know 40 isn't spelled "fourty." Do I need Wikipedia to tell me that? But, I didn't know that it was a pentagonal pyramidal number (and I still don't know what that means because I didn't click on the link).
Wikipedia also reminded me of the religious significance of 40: 40 days & 40 nights of rain, wandering for 40 years in the desert (couldn't anyone ask for directions?), Muhammad was forty when the archangel Gabriel made his revelation to him, and a man must be 40 to study the Kabbalah.
Then there are the really significant references to 40:
- many distilled alcoholic beverages (such as vodka) contain approximately 40 percent alcohol by volume
- in the name of WD-40, a spray lubricant
- the customary number of hours in a regular workweek in some Western countries. The song, "40 Hour Week (For a Livin')" by Alabama (as well as their album, 40-Hour Week), takes its name from the standard workweek length.
- the M40 (field protective mask), a United States military gas mask
- When nobody was looking, Lex Luther stole forty cakes. He stole forty cakes. That's as many as four tens. And that's just terrible.
I invented the word "timeshafted," got a little obsessed with Taylor Lautner and his 18th birthday, was SHOCKED to learn that Ricky Martin was gay, heard about Starbucks' new Trenta (and had one many months later in Massachusetts), drank a little, ate a little, didn't buy an iPad, learned how to recycle, and went to Santa Cruz for the annual half marathon pilgrimage.
I got to visit with my friend Shannon from Seattle, moved in with the BF, lived to see Harvey Milk get a holiday, visited Alcatraz for the first time, escaped Bieber Fever, saw Andy Bell at SF Pride, got an iPhone 4, and ate and drank more.
I attended an amazing French and Persian wedding, heard something about an oil spill, got a promotion, drove to LA for a fabulous birthday party with hats, gay retreated, bought poetry, discovered my favorite color, ate a little more (why hello Zero Zero!), wrote about water, went to my first gay wedding in Boston, went to Boston for the first time, and touched Walden Pond.
I went to Missouri for Thanksgiving, watched, lived, breathed, obsessed over the Giants winning the World Series, breathlessly watched Congress repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and ended the year with Xmas in Tahoe and New Year's Eve in the city.
I will begin 41 with friends again--because I'm lucky. We're going to Tahoe to celebrate my birthday over a long weekend with a fireplace, games and wine. In between, I might read a little and practice my Fauxetry. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and, when you reach this ripe old age (or look back on it fondly--yes, I'm looking at you), I hope you too have as much fun as I am.
Here's to a couple more Forties--at least. Aloha.