This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 15, 2004 3:10 AM. The previous post in this blog was Take it away, gentlemen. The next post in this blog is 21st Century birthday. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, January 15, 2004

A big one

Fifty years ago this evening, on the east side of Newark, N.J., I was born.

I don't know what to make of the new age I step into today. Part of it's depressing: I hear I'll be getting my first letter from the AARP soon. And is there any doubt I am in the second half of my career? (Maybe I'll work past 75, but I hope not!) Hair getting grayer and thinner, teeth getting longer, every day.

But things could be so much worse. A high school classmate of mine died a couple of weeks ago when a truck rear-ended him. A friend of ours found out yesterday that he's out of a job as of next week. A student recently had to drop my course because his mom had a devastating stroke at the age of 47.

Me, I feel 28. I have two young kids and a job that has me surrounded by bright young people in their 20s. I'm in halfway decent shape, and I'm sure a heck of a lot wiser than I was a couple of decades ago. I feel like Sally O'Malley, the goofy character that Molly Shannon used to play on Saturday Night Live -- the spritely dame in the too-tight red jumpsuit with the too-big hair, prancing around crowing to the youngsters that she was "fifty years old -- that's right, five-oh," as she'd "kick! and stretch! and kick!" That gal would wear that outfit for a week at a time, spraying a little Febreze on it as needed. But she always won out in the end.

I may be headed over the hill, but at least for today, I feel like I'm standing on top looking around.

Comments (20)

Happy birthday, cuz. Ya done good.

Happy Birthday Jack! while i'm not in new jersey, i now live in easton pennsylvania and damn, it is cold here! -from a former student

Happy five oh, Jack. I have found the fifth decade to be the best yet. Over the hill? Nope. On top - where the view is best. Many happy returns of the day to you.

Happy birthday big brother. Hope it's a great one!

Happy Birthday, professor.

Great writing -- you rival Lileks.

Happy Birthday, and many, many more!

I'm a little surprised you haven't gotten the AARP letter yet. My husband started getting those several months before he turned 50. He wasn't nearly as amused by them as I was.

Ew, you are much cooler than Lileks, who is actually kind of a creep.

Happy birthday, sir.

May you have many happy returns of the day!

ok, now this is just getting weird.

3/4 of my blogroll must be January babies. Me included. And probably half my friends. Our parents were busy in April!

Happy Birthday!

Very Happy Fiftieth to you!

*Toasts with virtual microbrew*

Happy Birthday Jack. It's inspiring to see that at 50 you're still posting to your blog at 3:10 AM.

Happy birthday, Jack! May you live 50 more and enjoy them!

Happy b-day! My dad just hit the ol' 50 last week. He just got back into town, so we're going drinking! ;-)

Have a drink on me, Jack!

Happy birthday professor Jack. May the best days of your past be the worst days of your future!

A local radio station sent me birthday greetings today, along with the following cogent observation: "At our age we're caught in a dilemma between listening to the Stones and passing them."

There's no doubt about it, you are on the back nine. Plus , you probably aged extra years due to your phobia when records were put on the wrong speed and you went apeshit.

Let me stand next to your fire.

Happy Birthday, Jack.

WWP's big 5-0 is not that far out, either. We know that feeling: Look 50, feel 25. A mean trick on baby boomers, if you ask WWP.

Hey, what do you know--maybe all great bloggers are Capricorns. Mine's sunday.

It is, however, a meager mid-30s b-day, and not so historic as yours. Hope the next fifty are just as good--

Hi Jack, Congratulations But tell me something, if we grew up together how can you be 50 when I just turned 39.
"very strange"

happy belated birthday !!!


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