The Happy Birthday Hierarchy

First of all, I am obligated by social media etiquette to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and say that I am overwhelmed.  So, Thanks!  I’m overwhelmed!

Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to rank those that recognized my birthday in the following order:

1. Present buyers:  These people clearly love me, and I thank them for giving me a thoughtful present that allows me to quantify the exact amount of their love.

2. Card Senders:  These people do not need Facebook to remind them it’s my birthday because they use outdated reminder tools like Outlook calendar reminders or their minds.  They are thoughtful enough to think of my birthday far enough in advance to send a card.  Extra points if the card includes a pun.  This category is generally limited to old people and business contacts because those are the only people who still use the mail.

3.  Callers:  Even on my birthday, no one really wants to talk to me, so this category is limited to family members.

4.  Texters:  Thanks to those friends that are thoughtful enough to send a personalized text rather than posting on my facebook wall.  We all know that this is the more personal than facebook, so I appreciate that.  Part of me still wonders if they are just slightly embarrassed that we are associated on facebook, and would like to keep their well wishes just between us.

5.  Emailers:  Similar to text messages, except I might not check it right away.  Extra points if it is from a person and not an automatically generated spam email from my bank.

6.  Facebook direct messagers:  Thanks to the people that would be emailers or texters if they had a more direct form of contact information.  Regardless, the extra effort is noted.

7.  Tweeters:  Would be higher on the list if anyone wished me a happy birthday in this manner.

8.  Facebook wall posters who include a personal message:  Just one little sentence that let’s me know you’re thinking about me goes a long way.  “I hope you have a great day” doesn’t count, it has to be more personal like, “Happy Birthday, Rob!  Thanks for being so handsome!”

9.  Generic facebook wall posters:  Thanks to the people who wish everyone happy birthday in the same way every single day they see a birthday.  You make me feel great about myself even though you probably won’t think about me again until this time next year when you receive a reminder.  When someone else has a birthday, this is the category I always fall within.

10.  The belated:  Thanks for trying, but you’re dead to me as of 12:01 tomorrow.

11.  Everyone else:  I will never speak to you again, and if I notice it is your birthday and think, “Awww.  I really hope that person has a great day and would like to send them a personalized card or present,” I will refuse to do so out of spite.

*WHOA!  A late entry is a utellit message.  I didn’t even know this existed, but then Rick Desai, who only exists on the internet, blew all my real friends away with a personal voice recorded message wishing me a joyous birthday.  Everyone else has a lot to learn from this guy. But it’s still not as good as a present.


For Bettor or Worse: Gambling on Weddings

Check out my latest post on blog dudes:

For Bettor or Worse: Gambling on Weddings

Weddings are all about stakes. Sickness and health. Richer and poorer. Better and worse. But let’s face it, once you’ve been to one wedding, you’ve pretty much seen them all. So when you find yourself humming Pachelbel’s “Canon” after your seventh wedding in as many weekends, you need a way to pump yourself up for the next one. That’s where I can help. I’ve been to so many weddings in the last five years that I’m practically ordained with the Universal Life Church.

Keep reading here:

26.2 Reasons I’m Not Running the NYC Marathon

A few months ago, I deferred my entry for tomorrow’s NYC marathon.  I am still conflicted about it.  On the one hand, it makes me sad that I didn’t follow through on a goal.  On the other, I ran a 5K today and I’ve already taken two recovery naps.  So running 8 of those back to back seems like a terrible way to spend a Sunday.  In other words, I’m still working off a lifetime of laziness.  Here’s a permanent record of the reasons excuses for why I’ll be on the sidelines tomorrow instead of a bastion of hope for future generations of runners:

  1. Extreme laziness
  2. 26 miles seems really far
  3. It was too hot during the peak training months
  4. I drank wine and/or beer too many nights before training runs
  5. My ankle hurt one day when I should have been training
  6. Fear of nipple chafing
  7. The snooze button
  8. Large blister on the bottom of my foot on August 19, 2011
  9. Apple Pucker and commemorative key rings set me back at least two weeks
  10. I am an amazing spectator
  11. With a little persuasion/nagging Anne will run it with me next year
  12. The scene on last year’s Biggest Loser when one of the contestants had an emergency number 2 stop at a port-o-john during the marathon
  13. Still trying to find an appropriate pose for the race photographers*
  14. Hurricane Irene
  15. Four day delay in getting new sneakers after my old pair got wet and I refused to run in them again. 
  16. I can’t set the world record on a course that doesn’t begin and end in the same location.
  17. Inner thigh chafing
  18. Who wants to go to Staten Island?
  19. Didn’t want to overdo it with the carbo loading
  20. The 1%
  21. I now have another year to think of clever running related blog topics
  22. I wanted to refocus my attention on blogging
  23. It seemed stupid to train during the summer just in case the rapture happened
  24. I was worried that I would hit the wall and die at mile 24 and not finish.  Just like I did in this stupid post. 

Good luck to everyone running!  See you next year…

* For example:

Check out my latest post on blog dudes: 

For Bettor or Worse: Gambling on Weddings

Weddings are all about stakes. Sickness and health. Richer and poorer. Better and worse. But let’s face it, once you’ve been to one wedding, you’ve pretty much seen them all. So when you find yourself humming Pachelbel’s “Canon” after your seventh wedding in as many weekends, you need a way to pump yourself up for the next one. That’s where I can help. I’ve been to so many weddings in the last five years that I’m practically ordained with the Universal Life Church.

Keep reading here:

Ireland Live Blog (From America (and not live))

Back when my live blog was still live, Anne and I had just survived a terrifying clockwise journey around the Ring of Kerry and sang classic Irish ballads (James Taylor, Oasis, etc.) in the Dingle Pub.  Although we’ve been home for ages now, I feel compelled to complete the live blog so future readers don’t get concerned that we perished from an apple pucker incident.  

Before I get to the additional details of our travel, it’s important to note a major shift that occurred somewhere around Dingle.  A small discovery led to a huge change in how we saw the country and what became important.  I discovered the “miniaturize” feature on our camera and from that point forward, my sole purpose in life became finding things that would look awesome as miniatures.  I no longer cared about beautiful scenery, sleepy pubs, or romantic hideaways.  Unless they would look good smaller, and then I cared a lot.

In case you’re not familiar with the epicness that is miniaturization (and you’re probably not), here is a picture of a group of golfers on the 18th hole of the Old Head golf course:

And here is the same picture but with the golfers “miniaturized”:

Looking at these pictures now, on a big computer screen, I realize that the difference isn’t all that substantial.  I’m not even completely certain that I correctly labeled the miniature picture.  But on that little screen on the back of the camera, I would laugh and laugh and laugh every time I found something to make miniature.  I’m putting words into her mouth here, but it’s fair to say that Anne hated me by this point of the trip.

I should also mention that those photos were taken after Anne arrived at the golf course.  It looked beautiful and pleasant when she showed up.

When I was playing golf, it looked like this:

But back to the trip.

After leaving Dingle (!), Anne and I headed to Galway via the Conor Pass. The Conor Pass is Ireland’s highest mountain pass.  In Irish, “highest” actually means “treacherous, narrow, curvy, unpassable, and with sheep-towing trucks speeding towards you.”:

Thankfully, I remained quite calm throughout:

In case you were wondering, that slick ride we were driving was a VW Golf:

Yeah, that’s right.  I miniaturized it.

We barely survived Conor Pass and arrived at the most scenic overlook in Ireland.  Everyone we talked to said that the view would be our the reward for surviving the treacherous driving conditions.

Here’s how it looked when we got there:

From there, it was on to Cliffs of Moher, one of the new seven wonders of the world (currently ranked 24 of 28 for the title).  The cliffs are one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions.  Most likely achieving this status by having a website labeling themselves as one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions.

Words cannot describe a world wonder, but if forced to try, I would say that they looked like large cliffs with tourists taking photos.  If describing them to my mom, I would probably call them “breathtaking” or exhale loudly in a show of exuberance.  That would make her happy.

If you have the Internet, you don’t really need to go to the Cliffs because they look exactly like they do in the pictures.

For comparison’s sake, here’s my photo:

Right after taking this picture, my focus shifted from miniaturizing things to making the same joke (admittedly a terrible terrible joke) ovher and ovher for the rest of the day.  Mostly, I joked about how bohering the cliffs of Moher were and how we should pick up some souvenirs at one of the stohers.  If you lowher your standards for a moment, I think you’ll appreciate the humor in it.  Anne particularly disliked the jokes with the punch line, “I hardly even moher.”  As in:

Anne:  Do you want to go to the Cliffs of Moher today?
Rob:  Mo Her?  I hardly even Moher.

Well, that one doesn’t work exactly.  But you get the gist.

A little known fact about the Cliffs – if you pay 3 Euro moher than the regular entry fee, you can head up to the O’Brien viewing center, which the guidebook said provided the best view of the Cliffs.  We knew it would be a good view because only Americans were savvy enough to pay to see it.

Once again, we were rewarded for our reliance on the guidebook:

There are some additional details about our trip that I’d like to share.  But you’ll just have to wait because I JUST discovered a new feature on the camera.