Can I please have just one normal quiet birthday? I just want one day where nothing catastrophic/bizarre/troublesome happens. This crazy delusion we call life, on the other hand, thinks that the aniversary of my entrance into this world should be met with utter chaos.

Oh, it started out normal enough. I messed around on the computer for a little while, took a shower, got dressed, and relaxed. The only concrete plans I had were to go to my parents' house for a small family get together to celebrate my birthday. After that, the plans were non-existant.

I drove to my parents' house, ready for the small family party. I chatted with my parents and sister; normal party kind of chatter about the state of live, etc; nothing too controversial. My grandmother arrived, there was more general chatter. It was a fairly typical family get together.

After the chatting, I opened my gifts. My parents got me some nice towels and a shirt, my grandmother got me various trinkets for my car, my sisters each got me a DVD. I thanked everyone, and conversation quickly resumed. That is, until the subject of my sister's tongue piercing came up.

Now, my sister has had her tongue pierced since the beginning of April. Since that time, she has seen my grandmother literally dozens of times. Well, apparently, the piercing had gone unnoticed for that time, because the shit hit the fan. As soon as she knew my sister had that piercing, my grandmother, without saying a word, got out of her chair and stormed out of the house in a huff. Like I said, my birthdays are never dull.

After that fiasco, we finished up the party. We had cheesecake, talked a bit more, and then the party was pretty much over. I gathered the items of mail that were addressed to my parents' address, drove home, and relaxed.

Now, here's the time the second minor fiasco happens. About a week ago, one of the area ATMs decided that it was hungry, and digested my card. Therefore, I had to call the bank and have them send me a new card. It arrived, so I went over to the bank to activate it. For whatever reason, the new card doesn't want to work, so now, I have to wait until monday to get the bank to fix whatever problem they have with my card. It's unusable as-is. I hate having to write checks, dammit; plastic is so much more convenient.

I had had enough. I needed to go off and relax. So I went for a little drive. I drove Pacific Coast Highway up through Malibu, then taking the little canyon roads all through the Santa Monica Mountains. I took turns much faster than would probably be considered safe, especially in a car with fairly crappy tires, but I didn't cause harm to anyone else, and vented off a good amount of steam. It's amazing how well driving a narrow, winding, mountain road can calm you down. I returned feeling much more relaxed.

I returned home, and talked with my neighbor for about an hour or so. We talked about life, LA, houses (he finds it troubling that every house I've lived in has been torn down); he's a great guy. I also found out some fairly interesting stuff about the seamy underbelly of LA, that's a topic for another time, gentle reader.

So that's a typical birthday for me. Perhaps one of these years, I'll have a common one, but c'est la vie. I guess that's just one of the things that makes this world interesting.