A December Birthday

Today is of course Monday, but it is a special Monday, because on this date in 1950, my father, James T. Hannon, was born.  Now, I could go for days about my dad, but that’s the good stuff I’m saving for the memoir I write in the twilight of my career. However, the tiny story I will share today is why my father’s birthday has always been important to me: because *I* am important to me, and he told me once that his birthday was also my half-birthday.  My greedy small self loved that I got a little focus as well, so I would gleefully look forward to his birthday as a youngster for this reason.  Once, I recall a friend telling me it was their father’s birthday, and me wishing them a happy half-birthday.  They were very confused as their birthday was in March and this was in June.  That’s when I realized that not everyone’s dad’s birthday was their half birthday-just mine.  Whoops.

Sidebar, funny story, my sister also had a similar mix-up.  She used to think, because her birthday is on Halloween and everyone would dress in costume, that this was typical birthday party attire.  She was also corrected by a classmate.  (I truly do not think anything properly made it though our eardrums as kids.  It was just one giant game of “Telephone.”)

As I got older and less selfish, I came to appreciate my father’s birthday not just because it was the day that gave me the man, but because in our house it was the start of the Christmas holiday.  Mom never put the tree up beforehand, which bothered me because everyone I knew did right after Thanksgiving.  She would wait until Dad’s birthday, and by that weekend everything would be magical.  He has become more lax over the years and they also have a fake tree now, so decorations go up earlier, but it still feels like the kickoff to Christmas for me.

Anyway…today is my half-birthday!  And also, the birthday of my daddio, the best man I know.  (Sorry Mark.  No, not really…you know what’s what.)


Halloween Baby

A long time ago I wrote a little nonfiction piece called Monkey Alien Turnip Baby.  I am considering editing and posting it on my Patreon in the future, but for now l’ll just tell you it is essentially the story of my sister being born.

For those unaware, I have a sister named Bernadette who is 13 years my junior.  She was a HUGE surprise, mainly because after having me my mother had her tubes tied.  Bernie’s little soul gave not a crap, however, and burst onto the scene on Halloween, 1996.

It is now 2021, which means that in a few short days, my little Monkey Alien Turnip Baby will be turning 25.

To say that I love my sister is an understatement of epic proportion.  I will die for my sister.  I will kill for my sister.  I will serve the prison sentence awarded to me after killing for my sister, and I will do it with a smile on my face, that is how ferocious my love for her is.  She is perfect.  You can sit there and list her flaws all day and I will simply have to remind you that you are wrong and she is the best person in the world and we are lucky to exist in her light.

That’s not to say I haven’t wanted to kill her.  There were many times in her youth where I could have throttled her, and it took a long time for us to move past the sibling rivalry stage.  Some would think, given the age gap, that this could not be something we went through.  They are wrong.  She may have been 4 when I was 17, but that doesn’t mean I was any good at dealing with splitting my life with her, especially after being an only child for thirteen years.  She had ways of getting under my skin, and adults were always yelling at me for arguing with her.  Listen…I don’t care what you think.  I don’t care if I was an adult too…that little girl could be obnoxious.

Alas, she hit about fifteen and was just right as rain.  Things got easier as she got older, and then I moved out, and I missed her more than my mom and dad.

Now, she is out there in the world on her own.  Tomorrow night we are having a party.  My cousin Dom’s band is playing at a local pub, and we are all dressing up and going to his gig to celebrate.  On her 21st birthday, I was in the hospital and missed the festivities.  In fact, I didn’t get to buy her a birthday drink until her 22nd birthday party.  I am EXTREMELY hopeful that I will not get sick and miss this year, and I really don’t think I will (knock on wood, anyway.)  The only down side is that Mark has to work that night and can’t accompany me (we were going as a flapper and a mob boss…now I’m just a lonely jazz girl with no guy.)  Next weekend, however, we are going to a party at Bern’s house, for her and her roommates.  It also happens to fall around K’s birthday, so they will be putting her name on the cake as well, which I thought was sweet. 

I used to hate sharing Bernie’s birthday with a holiday, but now I love it.  There’s almost always a costume party to go to, first of all, and I love that she still dresses up every year. (Funny side story: When Bern was about 5, a girl, whose birthday was in May, invited her to her party.  Bernie was conflicted on which costume to wear, and that was when I explained we only wore costumes on her birthday.)

Anyway, this is obviously just a little Halloween post to say how much I love and appreciate my sister being in my life, even though I spent many Halloweens (particularly the one in ’96,) despising her contributions to the day.  I have grown and so has she, and the relationship we have now is one I wouldn’t trade for anything.  She’s my favorite person in the whole wide world.

You can’t tell me any different.

Oh, it’s Monday?

My birthday was on the 13th

First, we went fishing, and Mark caught a gross looking sheepshead.  He was glad his curse of not catching anything was broken.  Mine, of course, remained.  Then we headed to my mom’s for a birthday brunch, since their 40th wedding anniversary was the next day and they were going out of town for the night.   It was very yummy.  They usually make me a birthday cake (Confetti cake with Rainbow chip frosting) but this year dad gave me a box of Confetti mini-muffins and a tub of Rainbow Chip for dipping.  He also got me a baby Yoda plush.  Facts: I have never seen The Mandolorian.  Or any Star Wars movie, for that matter.  But I love me some baby Yoda. 

After brunch, we went back out fishing. This time at the access site off Harlem Rd.  And finallyfinallyfinally, I hooked a baby perch.  Mark snapped the below pic.

In the evening, we went over to Kev’s to play beanbags and have a fire.  It was a nice birthday.

And it extended unexpectadly into this past Saturday, when the kiddos came.  I mentioned offhand to E once, jokingly, that nobody makes me a birthday cake even though I make four or five a year for all of them.  She remembered this, and set out to do just that.  The result was a delicious white cake with buttercream frosting and blueberries on top.  She even put the candles in the shape of a 37.

K, not to be overshadowed, made me dinner.  It was just hot dogs and packaged mac salad, but I enjoyed not having to stand at the stove. We also took E, K, and L fishing, and everybody caught something.

Sunday was Fathers Day.  Mark was given goodies…World’s Best Dad plaques from K and a jug for his change from E.  The girls and L went home but M stayed, and we went to my parents to have dinner with dad. 

Today I woke up and had a million things to do, completely forgetting that one of them was to come up with a blog topic.  So, forgive me if this isn’t the most thought-provoking thing you’ve read…if you want thought-provoking, you should read my book.

Just sayin’.


Ten years ago, I turned 25 and had a quarter-life crisis.  I was not at my best in literally any sense and for some reason I thought I was supposed to have my life together by that age.  Now, ten years wiser, I scoff at that quaint little girl who thought life was going to come with some sort of well planned schedule of events.  She was a dummy, a downright fool.

The other day my father went to his 50th high school reunion.  I have never gone to a reunion but am toying with the idea of my 20th, which will arrive a couple years from now.  I can’t imagine a 50th.  I can’t imagine a life lived that long.  And yet, here I am, growing older every day, and thinking about a time when I was young and stupid and gave absolutely no fucks.  Why?

Because it’s almost my birthday!!!

I am a child when it comes to my birthday.  When younger, I desired a 13-day celebration of events, gifts, and cards, but found that friends and family get weary if you try to celebrate more than say, a weekend.  So, I reigned my greedy little nine-year-old self in and learned to be happy with just the one day.

The only birthday I didn’t look forward to was the aforementioned 25th, where I sobbed on my mother’s couch because life was not going according to plan.  Sometime around 30 (which I thought would break me but didn’t) I decided to throw out the plan and try following detours instead.  So far, so good, so much better.  I absolutely love my 30s, so much so that I am disappointed that they are half over.  I even LOOK better now than I did at 25.  Everything gets better after your 20s, I cannot stress this enough.  My only hope is that in ten more years I can look back and think the same about my 30s.

I don’t have plans for my birthday yet, though I know they will include tacos, cake, and possibly a new purse.  It may not last for 13 days but I’m sure it will be memorable, because of the people that I get to spend it with.

And the tacos, cake, and new purse, of course.