On Celebrating Birthdays

At an early age, I learned that birthdays were meant to be celebrated.

Mom always made a really big deal about mine when I was growing up, but that was part of who she is. All year long, she was always stopping at the card shop to pick up birthday cards for friends, family members or anybody whose name was in her little date book.

It wasn’t just Mom, though. I remember a big homemade sign Dad and a few friends (yes, it was big enough he needed help) put in our yard on the occasion of her 50th.

This was, of course, before Facebook, where everybody knows your name, and your birthday. And it only takes a few keystrokes to send along a nice note. (Thanks, by the way, for all those nice wishes today). And it was before you could just call a company and have 50 flamingos planted in the yard overnight. Mom was diligent about going and buying the card, getting the address right, affixing postage and, if it was for a friend’s kid, slipping a few dollar bills inside.

Of course, as an adult, I was too lazy or too busy to pick up Mom’s habit.  She’s never stopped, though, and I’ll bet you there’ll be a lonely card from her in the mailbox today. And when she had her 83rd on Tuesday, she got more than two dozen cards in the mail.  A lot of them were from those kids who got two bucks from her when they turned 11.

For a few years at Tennessee, we had a weird tradition that when it was your birthday, you had to bring in a cake for everybody else in the office.

My kids always get signs in the yard, favorite meals and a break from doing anything they don’t want to do on their big days.

As an adult, I’ve usually celebrated my birthday by not going to work. And after finishing this post, I’m celebrating the rest of the day. I’ve got a solitary bike ride, lunch with Mom, and a racquetball game on the schedule.

There’s no talking me out of it.  OK, if Rick Pitino holds another press conference, I’ll cover it. When I was working for other people, I rarely checked in at the office on the big day, and I’m not starting now.

What’s even more fun is sizing yourself up against the famous who were born around the same time. My fave is my baseball idol, Cal Ripken, Jr., who is four days older than me, but looks a lot older — I’ve still got hair. Sean Penn is 11 days older than me. I’m an age contemporary of David Duchovny, Antonio Banderas and Timothy Hutton. And I share something with Shania Twain, Jack Black and Leann Rimes. But they’re all younger.

This morning I learned, (thanks Facebook) that I share a birthday with Karen Blach Held, who I went to WKU with and who married one of my fraternity brothers. I went to high school with a close friend named Curt Camp, born the same exact day, in the same Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, and we usually call each other by phone wherever we are. To fellow Facebookers Robyn Cranmer and Trevor Howie — I hope you’re both taking the day off too.

Mark Hebert (9/15/59) and I used to celebrate our birthdays together with a big party, a tradition we should really start again, especially since he’ll be 50 this year. And Monday, I’ll be giving my good friend Cary Stemle a call, born three days after me in 1960.

Get Out and Feel the Heat

Media-Related Belles Moment: Emily’s dad tried to talk her into going to work with Terry Meiners at WHAS Radio, but Em’s got stars in her eyes and going back to Vegas. She said she’d think about it, but not really.

Arena Tour Postscript: We heard from Charlie Molen, who did the infamous interview with WHAS-TV about the arena accident. He says there hasn’t been an OSHA inspector on site all along, as we were told on the tour this week, and he has concerns about safety and the quality of the work. “Louisville’s not getting their money’s worth down there. If you’re smart enough, you can see through them,” he said. [V.V. Comment]

The Big Weekend: We’ll be at the Cabo Wabo party at Bowman Field Saturday. Bring $10 and a teddy bear (every penny goes to charity) and party up with the band Radio Radio. [Cabo Wabo]

And Then There’s: Night Racing at Churchill Downs tonight. We’ll leave the coverage to the mainstream media on this one, but it could be a historic event, like, the last time the track is packed on a non-Derby event.

Saturday on the River: The Belle’s new marketing idea is hosting a big Saturday night party at the Wharf, with a show by Artie Dean Harris. [Belle]

Talking About Slots: On Comment on Kentucky tonight, plenty of special session topics to discuss, with Ronnie Ellis, Tom Loftus and Joe Biesk.  KET at 8.

Some Bloopers: Here’s some outtakes from new promos shot for Fox41.

Dear Nick, Josh and Luke: Sunday is Father’s Day.

Another great week at the ‘Ville Voice and Page One. Thanks for stopping in.

TGIF and Graduation Day

Good Morning! We have a busy day ahead. Josh is graduating with 478 classmates from Manual High School at a ceremony at Broadbent Arena at Noon. The C-J has a great section for looking him up, or anyone else graduating from a local high school. So pardon us if things are a little slow here today. But we do have some juicy-ness.

Stepping Up: It is sounding more and more like Jerry Abramson won’t run for another term, so take a look at the list Jake’s compiled of potential candidates for his job. Was the Mayor bummed he wasn’t asked to speak at last nigh’s Lincoln Memorial ceremony? Anyway, the buzz is now directed toward Craig Greenberg, the Museum Plaza attorney. [Page One]

Lincoln Seen in Hard Rock: The setting sun was a perfect backdrop for a moving ceremony dedicating the Lincoln statue last night. Kids played on the statue while Ed Hamilton spoke, the Louisville Orchestra played, William Mapother narrated, the Belle of Louisville floated and a crowd of 500 ooohed. We’ll have more on this later.

Big Four Bridge: And we couldn’t help but notice that the project to build a ramp to the Big Four bridge is coming along nicely.

Beshear’s Gamble, Williams’ Response: Can’t figure out why Steve Beshear waited a day to state the obvious reason for the special session — another attempt to get gambling passed, which was, you know, a campaign promise two years ago. Even more absurd — David Williams calling for squeezing more money out of the lottery to fund purses at tracks. [Herald-Leader]

Dancing Media: Our favorites in the Dancing with the Stars benefit for Families for Effective Treatment of Autistm (FEAT) are former WHAS-TV reporter Kirby Adams, radio hostess Lynda Lambert and WLKY-TV anchor Vicki Dortch, who you can see practicing here.

New Gig for Ramsey: Local media personality John Ramsey’s got a new gig. A long-time friend of Muhammad Ali, Ramsey is the new marketing director of the Ali Center. Sure beats the radio biz. Ramsey had been selling spots for U of L’s sports marketing arm. [Courier]

U of L Staffing Changes?: Anybody know why U of L’s Advancement Department keeps losing VPs?  We hear that the two VPs recently departed are just the latest in a three-year purge of high-paying ($165K, $90K) execs.

Buthod Squirms: Interesting watching library director Craig Buthod squirm while the Metro Council debated with him why he can’t get a few libraries open on Sundays. It all has to do with union negotiations with libary workers. And of course, there not being any money. [Courier]

Guns Story Gets Bigger: The New Bethel Church gun story, first reported here on Tuesday, has now made ABC News and USA Today. A Google search for Pastor Ken Pagano turns up 339 articles.  Best headline pun: Piece Be with You.

We Have to Quit Watching This Train Wreck: Got back from the Waterfront in time to see the Southern Belles go “camping” at a luxurious cabin outside town, to hear Kellie (our new favorite for least likable) complain to her Mom about all the cocaine she used to do, and Emily fret over an image consultant saying she dressed like a trampy showgirl.

Update on HB 28 – Parental Visitation Rights

House Bill 28, which came into existence after problems James Rhoades was refused visitation of his son, has been a hot topic of discussion in political circles all across the Commonwealth. It’s been the subject of laughter, tears and outrage. And it’s still on the minds of everyone in Frankfort because it has everyone questioning whether or not prominent families get special treatment. (Duh)

For more on HB28 and the Rhoades situation and an examination of feigned outrage from the far right over the bill, click here For the text of the proposed legislation, click here to visit the Legislative Research Commission.

Now down to business: yesterday the Catholic Conference of Kentucky joined the Family Foundation in opposition to House Bill 28.

Robert Castagna, director of the conference, said Kentucky’s bishops met Wednesday to decide the bill would “weaken marriages.” When asked if bishops considered the effects on children involved in such perilous situations, Castagna said kids could wait until they’re 18 years of age to discover the truth. He also said they wouldn’t be posting their position on their website, ushering in a new era of operating under the cover of darkness.

So much for ‘the truth will set you free,’ right?

So much for wanting to be a part of your child’s life. So much for honest folks who want (seems to be rare these days) to be a significant part of their child’s life.