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Sunday, October 31, 2004

There were two "Dukes of Hazzard" theme songs...

...a fact that apparently most people don't know. Indeed, a fact that apparently one is something of a freak for knowing. Most people know (or at least immediately recognize) Waylon Jennings' "Just Two Good Ol' Boys" that was the theme for the Friday evening program, but the theme song for the Saturday morning cartoon is apparently less well-known. I'm curious to see if my co-workers' categorical denunciation of me as Sir Freak-a-Lot based simply on my being familiar with the cartoon's theme song is wildly unfair or merely somewhat unfair - if you know it, post a comment to that effect. Joel, if you read this blog, I'll expect you at least to know the tune.

Anyway, to get back to the self-involved musings that are the stuff of the blogosphere - I turned 30 last Thursday. 30. Thirty. The big three-oh. The first of the birthday milestones that are traditionally not looked forward to (as opposed to, say, 21 or 16). I find it to be not all that different from not being 30, so far. As with the previous 29, there was no dramatic transformation on birthday morning. I don't feel any different or look any different. Still, there's certainly more self-reflection involved with one's 30th birthday. I'm likely well over a third of a way through my life now - a sobering thought. I'm past my prime years to be a professional athlete, older than any of the Beatles except Ringo were when the band broke up, past the life expectancy of 3/4 of the lifeforms on Earth. My little baby sister's almost 21, kids graduating from high school this year were born the year I started junior high, Tuesday's will be the 4th Presidential election I've been able to vote in. It's quite a daunting thought.

It's also traditionally a time to take stock of oneself, and I'll be (and often am) the first to say that in many ways they've been 30 years of underachieving and non-accomplishing and generally taking up space and oxygen. I'm sure I don't want to see a list of what all my high school classmates are up to these days - the handful I know about depress me plenty. I'm told that one of my obligations as a new 30 year old is to look back over my life and be disappointed at all the things that aren't there, and I find I have little trouble doing so.

At the same time, though, as I look back it's staggering to me how much is there. I've been incredibly fortunate in the number of really close friends I've had (I've heard it said that a person's lucky to have one really good friend in their life; I can easily name a half-dozen), and in the family I was born to. I've watched the sun set over the Canadian Rockies, stood on the stage at the Cavern in Liverpool, and fallen asleep in a canoe drifting down the Turkey River. I've stayed up until sunrise talking to a new friend and driven an hour and a half at 2 in the morning because an old friend needed to talk. I've played a concert listened to by an international radio audience, eaten some of the finest grilled cheese Eastern Iowa (if not the world) has known, and stood next to some of my closest friends on their wedding days. It's easy to let myself get frustrated and disappointed at where I am at 30 years old, but I can't think of much I'd change about how I got here.

I'm not suggesting we all stand around the campfire and sing the chorus of Poems, Prayers and Promises (although if anyone's interested, I'm in; I love a good campfire), but more than anything that's where my birthday ruminations have led me - it's not as much where you are as how you got there.

Hi Charlie,
Happy Birthday! You understand so well what the good things in life are... thank you for reminding me. --Jess
I'll sing John Denver (may he rest in peace) around the campfire anyday. I share your don't-care-to-know attitude about my high school classmates. And although I still have two years to go, I know I'll be in my prime at 30. It's something to look forward to. P.S. I'm Abba, good to meet you.
As a former DOH nut (I used to ask people to call me Daisy, when I was 6) I am ashamed to say that I only know the Waylon Jennings theme song. But I wouldn't categorize you as freakish for knowing the other one. Especially not when I find myself humming the "Are You Being Served" theme music when I can't avoid going to the mall.

Happy 30th, by the way. I enjoyed reading your list of accomplishments and spent a few minutes ruminating on my own list (it wouldn't make stunning Alumni Newsletter material, but it's satisfying to me nonetheless). And also being a little sad that I've missed so many of my friends' weddings-- in fact, I'd say I've made a pretty clean sweep of missing them all, since they all insisted on getting married in faraway spots such as San Francisco, France, Japan, and Iowa. I did get to one that was here in NC, but it was a reprisal of the one that had already taken place in Japan. Oh, well.

In the immortal words of Owl, and paraphrased because I can't find my Winnie the Pooh tome, hip hapity bthuthday!

Tee-hee- Say "a former DOH nut" three times fast. :-)
OK, so this is a lovely blog entry, but it is getting LONELY: it wants some other nice blog entries to play with!
I do remember the tune to the cartoon theme song, plus the first four lines of the lyrics.

I wondered why Charlie was asking about that over Thanksgiving.

-- Joel
I like the new look, Charlie.
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