Friday, August 13, 2004  
Agony of August 12th

I have been cursed not only with being a Chicago Cubs fan since before I was able to think for myself, but with having the birthdate of August 12th. Today was my 33rd birthday. Seeing the Cubs lose the 2nd straight series, this one to the wildcard runner up, may seem like a sucky birthday, but it's pretty low on my list.
For starters, Today was Matt Clement's 30th birthday. He left the game up 2-0 and got another no-decision. My birthday wasn't that bad.

Worse birthdays for me:
3rd worst: In 1977, my 6th birthday, my mom (then known as "mommy") told me that, having already completed kindergarten, I would have to go BACK to school, and this time for an ENTIRE day.
2nd worst: in 1999, my 29th birthday, I was playing for a co-rec team and a men's team during a post-season softball tournament. Both were winning, so I ended up getting just one hour off in the first ten hours of a tournament in Texas. It was 105 degrees with 70 percent humidity. At 6:30 p.m. I dehydrated and had to go to the hospital to get an IV drip. That pretty much sucked. But it ain't the worst birthday of all time.
Worst: In 1994 I turned 23. 23 is a big number for me; it's my favorite number and the number of my boyhood hero, Ryne Sandberg. It also happens to be the age that I turned 23 at 1:17 a.m., exactly 1 hour and 17 minutes AFTER the baseball strike of 1994 started. It was the strike that resulted in the cancellation of the first world series since 1904, when neither my father NOR my grandfather were even born yet. It was also the day my girlfriend broke up with me. It turned out to be the first of seven breakups we would have, but it was the first time I was broken up with, so it generated a solid emotional scar. Finally, I can't prove it, but it was also the day that Elvis Presley, who had faked his death and was living on Fiji, had a fistfight with Jimmy Hoffa and broke his pelvic bone in a nasty fall. That eventually led to his real death in 1997.

So my birthday has always been a hell of a day. So the Cubs blowing a VERY winnable game in a season which they need every possible win (especially against other wildcard contenders) is only a normal-level dose of birthday sorrow.
To those of you with a birthday in August, whoop-de-frickin-doo. Congratulations and I hope you live to see another miserable year. For me, I have 364 days to hope for something good to happen until my next guaranteed crappy day.

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