Birthday Girl

Time to reflect on those who have achieved far more in less time. I'll never forget turning 26 and being so depressed because I hadn't published anything yet and John Keats had written La Belle Dame Sans Merci and died by that age. Here's a list of people who are roughly the same age as me:


Michael Jordan

Tatum O'Neal


Russell Crowe

Johnny Depp

Brad Pitt

Conan O'Brien

Calista Flockhart

Marisa Tomei

Jon Stewart

Whitney Houston


Here is a list of people who are/were roughly the same height as me:

Brooke Shields (met her on an airplane once -- she was really cheerful)

Russell Crowe (doesn't he seem taller?)

Mel Gibson (I know he seems taller)

Nicole Kidman (doesn't she seem shorter?)

Jean-Claude Van Damme (now he seems shorter)

Princess Diana (she's a lot thinner these days, too)

Woman with the same bra size as me:

Gina Gershon (says Jack, "I knew there was a reason I liked you.")

Poet with the same birthday as me:

Philip Levine, b. 1928

My sister-in-law Lisa sent me The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka on DVD. I adore Gene Wilder. Jack's mom sent me a cake that looks like it will just about put me in a coma. And Jackson gave me the greatest gift of all -- he slept from 8:00 p.m. last night until 7:00 a.m. this morning and I got nine full hours of sleep.

*     *     *     *

it's all right

small cheap rooms where you walk

down the hall to the

bathroom can seem romantic to

a young writer.

even the rejection slips are

amusing because you are sure that

you are

one of the best.

but while sitting there

looking across the room

at the portable typer

waiting for you on the table

you are really

in a sense


as you wait for

one more night to arrive to sit and

type Immortal Words -- but now you

just sit and think about it

on your first afternoon in a strange city.

looking over at the door you


expect a beautiful woman to walk in.

being young

helps get you through

many senseless and terrible


being old



Charles Bukowski