It's now my birthday. Yay.

Birthdays in general are a fairly big deal for me; like having one's own personal holiday. I try to remember to at least drop notes to friends on their birthdays, but too often I forget, despite my calendar reminding me.

For my own birthday, I've lately fallen into an unfortunate pattern: I pick something Big and/or Fun that I plan to do for my birthday, and then when things inevitably go wrong (or it turns out I don't enjoy whatever it is), I'm even more distressed than I normally am when things don't go according to plan.

So this year I'm keeping plans to a minimum. I'm going to the DMV in the morning (some day I may finish writing up the story of last Friday, the Day Of Raised Hopes Followed By Dashed Expectations, which was also the day when I discovered my driver's license was about to expire) and get my photo taken and pass an eye exam, and then I'll work all day, and then in the evening Kam and I are having Indian food at a restaurant I know I like (Janta, in Palo Alto) and then going to soak in a hot tub.

The other thing I'm doing is making a request:

I've had a pretty glum and tense past couple of weeks. So if you happen to feel like it or think of it, I would love to get nice notes from people, either in comments or in email. It doesn't have to be anything long or original; just some nice birthday wishes to cheer me up.

By the way, for those of you who know them, today is also the birthday of David H and Jessica E. Happy birthday, David and Jessica! Even though I doubt y'all will see this.

42 Responses to “Birthday”

  1. Kam

    Yea! I am so very glad that you were born; my life is orders of magnitude richer for knowing you.

  2. Nonny

    Happy Birthday! 🙂

    Best wishes to you on this day. My thoughts are with you; I hope things start looking up soon!

  3. Mark Siegal

    Happy birthday, Jed! Your journal is awesome. I love the nitty gritty SH stats, for example. Hope things get better for you soon, and hey, nothing like a warm plate of naan to cheer a guy up.

  4. Hannah

    Birthday birthday birthday! It’s been a pleasure knowing and working with you, and here’s hoping for many more chances. Hope your day goes splendidly.

  5. Maureen Kincaid Speller

    And happy birthday to you, Jed, from the UK, and from Folkestone in particular, where (and I whisper this, just in case) the sun is shining and the daffodils in my garden have finally figured out how to bloom. This is a big, big deal given how late things are flowering this year. Hoping it’s a good day where you are; here everything looks bright yellow, and that’s good!

  6. JessieSS

    Jed, happy birthday! I know what you mean–last year I had just the same cranky birthday “let’s do a thing oops now everything sucks” mood. (I got out of it.) May your birthday be spent with all the Jed-cheering things it can hold. And then maybe one or two more.

  7. Aliette de Bodard


    Happy Birthday! I enjoy reading your journal very much, especially the reviews (I really should read more Peter Beagle). I am sorry to read you’re a little depressed, but hope you’ll feel better, and have a very good day !

  8. Trent W

    Happy Birthday, Jed! Enjoy the day. I will send you my good vibes to ensure happiness follows wherever you go.

    By the way, awhile back, you expressed interest in seeing enthusiasm for acceptances. I understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes, however, other, outside circumstances prevent the writer from squeeing and dancing on the table.

    If you need happinesses, try

    (I love the kitty peeping over the toilet rim.)

  9. SarahP

    Have the happiest of birthdays, Jed!

  10. Anonymous

    Hippo Birdies Two Ewes!!!

    Due to my crazy busy schedule, I decided to expand my birthday to cover about a week in order to celebrate with my various friends and family. Doing so took away many high pressure expectations about the actual day.

    May you have a pleasant day.
    Birthday Hugs!
    Jed Classic

  11. Jon Hansen

    Happy birthday, man!

    (and many moorrrre!!!)

  12. AC

    Happy Birthday, Jed. I’m pleased to see that so many well-wishers have already added comments. I know what you mean about birthdays. The same thing happens to me some. Like Christmas, birthdays were such amazing events for me as a child, that I am usually disappointed when, as an adult, the childhood magic is absent from these days. I also find what I think you are discovering… It’s much easier to be disappointed in a birthday when you create certain expectations around it. It’s just another day, just one in which you happen to be passing by a milestone of culturally-created significance. If you happen to be cheered by introspection and reflection, it’s a great occasion for it. If not, fuck it, go get drunk and eat lots of ice cream. (Sorry, I’m _still_ in disbelief that not only did you have two separate occasions for free ice cream — in itself a marvel to me — but that you turned them BOTH down! Was that not a sign? “Hmm. Free ice cream. What a good day… Hmm. More free ice cream. God must love me special.”)

    Anyway, happy birthday. Be of good cheer. (Or not. Whatever it is you wish for yourself.)


  13. jacob

    Many happy returns, my friend.

    Heaven knows how long it’s been since I’ve seen you (didn’t I see you during the Wanderjahr?), and reading your blog daily (and commenting occassionally) isn’t exactly keeping in touch. But I’m glad you’re there, and I’m glad we’ve not lost contact. I remember so well when I first got to know you (it was before I ever got involved with SWIL — it was when we worked on “Off the Cuff” together). You were so clever and seemed so much older and wiser than I (what were you, 19?). I just thought you were the coolest. I still do.

  14. Reinie

    Happy birthday, Jed! That hot tub sure sounds good, enjoy it a little bit more for those of us who don’t have one anywhere near! ;o)

  15. Nao

    Many happy returns of the day! I think your plan sounds like a good one; I’ve recently been seeing the value of not overdoing things.

    Mmmm, Indian food.

  16. Jay Lake

    Happy Birthday, sir. You make the world, and our little writerly corner of it, a better place with your thoughtful erudition and gentle compassion. I am proud to know you.

  17. Dave Schwartz

    Happy Birthday, Jed! You are always a pleasure to work with and to hang with; can’t wait to see you at WisCon!

  18. Jennifer Pelland

    Happy birthday, and many more! And if you need something silly and fun that’ll eat your brain, visit or Google “Snakes on a Plane.” Either will provide hours of entertainment.

  19. Benjamin Rosenbaum

    Happy birthday, Jed!

    I’m sort of sad my last edit to “The House Beyond Your Sky” apparently satisfied you; I was looking forward to a long email exchange over semicolons… 🙂

  20. Ted

    Happy birthday, Jed!

    Don’t mind Ben. If he really wants a long e-mail exchange over semicolons, I can probably oblige him. 🙂

  21. Jenn Reese

    Jed! Birthday! Squee!

    I am joyous that you are a part of my life. 🙂

  22. Jetse

    Happy birthday, Jed!

  23. Fran

    Dear Jed–
    Thinking of you on your very special day. May this be a really good birthday and a wonderful year for you.
    Much love always,

  24. Jay Hartman

    I am pleased to report that I have been Jed’s brother for all but one of Jed’s birthdays; I was born one month before his second birthday.

    In think in those early years, our family was more likely to have honey-sweetened sesame granola sticks and carob-covered organic barley muffins than birthday cake…but we have come a long way from there, at least from an epicurian perspective.

    Happy Birthday, My Brother!!

  25. Eliza

    Hey Jed, you randomly said some nice stuff about me on the chat list a number of months ago, so it’s my turn: I very much enjoy reading your blog, and greatly appreciate your taste in fiction when I read Strange Horizons. Happy Birthday! 🙂

  26. Vardibidian

    Many Happy Returns of the Day! And of lots of other days, too!


  27. Dan P

    Happy Birthday!

    (I sent you something very silly in email.)

  28. metasilk

    **smooch!** Hippos, birdies, and some ewes, of course. Not to mention the alpaca, ostriches, and lone camel at Round Barn Farm… Right, where was I? Oh yes! Happy Birthday from It’s Only Mud Season Vermont!

  29. castor

    Happy Birthday Jed! Mmmm, haven’t been to Janta in years since moving out of
    downtown PA. I guess it must stilll be good.

  30. Michael

    Happy Birthday! And an early Happy Postbirthday!

  31. Laura A

    Happy Birthday!

    I hope the lines at the DMV were short, the day at work was productive and stress-free, the Indian food was yummy, and the hot tub was cozy and relaxing.

  32. Debby

    An e.e. cummings poem in honor of this wonderful day.


    our birthday comes to tell me this

    –each luckiest of lucky days
    i’ve loved, shall love,do love you,was

    and will be and my birthday is

  33. Debby

    Dang typos. The first word of the poem is your!

  34. Jed

    Gosh. You folks are the greatest–I really appreciated all the lovely comments and emails and journal entries and phone calls (and flowers!) today. Especially because it was a pretty frustrating day at work. So every couple of hours I would take a break from the frustratingness and come read nice notes.

    Thank you all!

    In other news, the DMV was an astonishingly pleasant and brief experience (more on this anon, perhaps), and the evening was very nice except for the sudden (but fortunately temporary) severe nausea midway through the hot tub part. (Well, okay, the other part of the evening that wasn’t so great was the past two hours of trying unsuccessfully to get work stuff to work so it can be sent to testers in the morning, but so it goes.)

    Anyway, the real point is that y’all brightened my day tremendously. So, thank you.

  35. Jed

    Two more things:

    1. Another present I received was that all but three of the submissions we received today included the metadata at the top of the submission that makes it easy for me to enter the story into our database. That was especially useful today, which tied for fifth-highest submission volume ever, for no obvious reason. (In fact, today was the only non-January day in the top eight highest volume days. Odd.) Anyway, thanks to all who supplied metadata!

    2. I totally forgot to wish Theo P. a happy birthday. I believe he turned 6 today. Happy birthday, Theo!

  36. Elaine

    happy birthday from a lurker….

  37. Amanda Downum

    Happy belated birthday!

  38. Lola

    I know I called you on your birthday, but I was feeling all sad that you didn’t have a note from me too: So happy birthday week and much, much love!




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