Quote of the Day: ‘Happy Birthday to You!’

 

Profile picture of James LileksSo, there I was, on the way to looking up other things: Lord, I wish I could count the number of posts here I’ve started out that way.  But isn’t that one of the things that life’s about?  Curiosity?

I think so.  And fortunately we have this marvelous thing called the Internet which makes it so easy to indulge.  The yen to look for things, I mean.  The late Mr. She would occasionally remark on how recent generations are the first which are able to encompass, in both audio and video, every aspect of their history–and, oh, BTW–what a shame it is that we are making such a hash of things by repeating the same mistakes over and over, when there’s clear evidence before our eyes of how destructive those mistakes are.

True dat.

So there I was.

Looking.

At what happened on August 9th, over the centuries, because maybe–just maybe–today is a Very Special Day that signifies an event worth writing about.

And, you know what?  It is!

From Wikipedia’s August 9th page, “Births” section:

Wut?  Our James Lileks is 64 years old today?

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday, James Lileks
Happy Birthday to you!

Wikipedia says that “Happy Birthday to You,” is the most recognized song in the English language.

I’ll drink to that!  Please raise a glass with me.

What’s your tipple?

Thank you, @jameslileks for being here, for your lovely posts and comments, and for being just about the only “founding member” Contributor who regularly interacts with the hoi-polloi here on the member feed.  We appreciate you for that.  It matters.

Any and all Ricochet members who have a Lileks story, please share it.

Happy Birthday, you young whippersnapper.  And may you have many more.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Great catch, She! Why, he’s just a young whippersnapper! Happy B-day, James, and I’m so glad to share this stage with you!

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    In 1163, construction was begun on the bell tower of Pisa Cathedral.

    It took 200 years to complete. No word on if they kept it in budget.

    • #2
  3. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Thank you for creating the opportunity for me to say:

    Happy Birthday James Lileks!

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Youngster.. Happy birthday, James.

    • #4
  5. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Certainly one of the reasons I joined.

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Arahant (View Comment):

    My younger brother played that for me when I turned 64.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    My younger brother played that for me when I turned 64.

    Someone’s gotta do it.

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    My younger brother played that for me when I turned 64.

    Someone’s gotta do it.

    A younger brother, of course. He did it for my older brother, too.

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    A younger brother, of course. He did it for my older brother, too.

    I’m somebody’s younger brother, too.

    • #10
  11. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    A younger brother, of course. He did it for my older brother, too.

    I’m somebody’s younger brother, too.

    Figures.

    • #11
  12. She Member
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    In 1163, construction was begun on the bell tower of Pisa Cathedral.

    It took 200 years to complete. No word on if they kept it in budget.

    Yeah.  This was my potential other QOTD post.  One from my mother, having to do with, “If one stands on the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and looks at one’s watch, does one get both the time and the inclination?”

     I couldn’t source it–perhaps it was original with Mum–although it sounds to me like an early 20th century British Music Hall joke. 

    So I went with the other obvious one.

    • #12
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Megadittos!

    I hope he’s a Rush fan.

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    It’s also my little brother’s birthday.

    Dad: Why is your little brother tied to the tree in the backyard?

    Me: He can’t run fast enough.

    • #14
  15. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Happy Birthday, James!

    • #15
  16. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    Happy birthday!

    • #16
  17. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    My younger brother played that for me when I turned 64.

    That was my theme-song for my entire 64 year (9 years ago).  And it’s Ray’s 64 this year.  We both just love the clarinet introduction.

    • #17
  18. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Hippo Birdie, James!

    • #18
  19. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Percival (View Comment):

    In 1163, construction was begun on the bell tower of Pisa Cathedral.

    It took 200 years to complete. No word on if they kept it in budget.

    Well, they just stabilized it in 2001 and anticipate more work in 300 years. Can’t price it if it’s not done, I guess.

    • #19
  20. Hank Rhody's Grandson Member
    Hank Rhody's Grandson
    @OldDanRhody

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Kilowatt!

    Scanning Around With Gene: The Great Reddy Kilowatt - CreativePro.com

    • #20
  21. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Happy Birthday, James!

    • #21
  22. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    HB James. 1958 a pretty good year I recall. Except for OU’s loss to Texas 15-14. Darrell Royal (an OU grad) was taking over the Horns. 

    • #22
  23. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    A younger brother, of course. He did it for my older brother, too.

    I’m somebody’s younger brother, too.

    I have 6 younger brothers.  I never had the chance to be one. 

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES.  Every time I see one of your posts pop up I know I am in for a treat.  

    • #23
  24. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    A younger brother, of course. He did it for my older brother, too.

    I’m somebody’s younger brother, too.

    I have 6 younger brothers. I never had the chance to be one.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES. Every time I see one of your posts pop up I know I am in for a treat.

    Couldn’t agree more. Like Nicolas Cage, he’s a national treasure. 

    Wait. Not sure that’s quite right.

    • #24
  25. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    A younger brother, of course. He did it for my older brother, too.

    I’m somebody’s younger brother, too.

    I have 6 younger brothers. I never had the chance to be one.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES. Every time I see one of your posts pop up I know I am in for a treat.

    Couldn’t agree more. Like Nicolas Cage, he’s a national treasure.

    Wait. Not sure that’s quite right.

    Justin that was the movie. He was a good actor. And in the 80’s didn’t live far away in San Fran. Liked him as the FBI attacking the SF Bay island with Connery and the bad guys best. 

    • #25
  26. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Well, thank you all! Just dropped in to check on the going-on, scrolled down, saw Reddy, and thought: hello, who’s poaching my avatar? The genial corporate symbol whose very touch means toast, or death? And then to my horror I find out it’s about me. 

    My birthday ended in the best possible way: long snappy pinball conversation with Daughter about society and movies and TV and media. Before that I went to a wedding-vow renewal ceremony in a north suburban park, where I had the chance to tell the groom: look, pal, you’re a man, it’s one thing to expect guys to come to one wedding, but when you do it again, with the same dame, you’re pushing it. Before that, a day downtown at the office that was utterly uncharacteristic, because it was full of people and conversations and collaborations and catching-up. I woke up with the usual resignation one feels on your birthday: well, here we go, manufacturing happiness when someone notes you’re another step closer to the big goodbye. You tote up the work of the last year and wonder if it was enough, and know that it wasn’t, and wonder what you learned and what you did and wonder if that was enough, and you know that it wasn’t –  but really, what is enough? There aren’t any international standards. There’s  no UN subcommittee-issued regulations. Was it a good year? Fast answer: oh my yes. Long answer: best in some time. Did I earn my term on the right side of the dirt? I’d say yes, but I would, wouldn’t I.

    Anyway, thanks to all of you, and your participation in this place we share. We will argue and we will have spats and we may have bitter moments, but in the end there’s the day we all share, the sweetness of the ceremonial cake, the gust of breath that extinguishes the fire but seems like a triumph of a different sort. 

     

     

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Happy birthday, James.

    • #27
  28. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    pinball conversation

    Love that.

    • #28
  29. Dave L Member
    Dave L
    @DaveL

    Happy birthday James!

    • #29
  30. Kelly B Member
    Kelly B
    @KellyB

    Happy (belated) birthday, James!

    The ask in the post was for a story – this is sort of “Lileks-adjacent” but a weird coincidence.

    Most of my co-workers are in England these days, and last week, we’d all been posting warring vacation photos on a What’sApp chat. One of them posted this picture, and recognizing the town name from The Bleat, I asked him if he lives in Walberswick. A bit of back and forth, and it turns out that Peg Lynch’s daughter Astrid and his husband are friends of his, and he saw the Peg Lynch performance that James and Astrid did there and said it was very good.

    For what it’s worth, he also reported that the beer was good.

    • #30
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