I'll begin this blog as I ended the last one, with a paraphrase-- "When I was young I was told, 'You'll see, when you're forty.' I am forty now and I haven't seen a thing." The super cool French composer Erik Satie (whose ouevre includes prototypes of minimalism and performance art, among other things) said this, but in the original quotation the age was fifty. But the point is just as salient with forty. I don't feel I understand this world any better than I did as a child. The thing is, I think this is a good thing, or at least it can be. The trick is to attain a balance between keeping a child-like wonder when viewing the world and having a healthy dose of caution which has been earned with experience. That aside, my big take-away from yesterday is this: events which are ostensibly the most about you are actually the least about you. You see, I don't like to celebrate my birthday, so I always exercised my prerogative not to do so. But with this birthday being something of a milestone, my mother made a stink about my grumpy unwillingness to celebrate. I relented. I had a little gathering of family last night and it was awesome. Then the epiphany came which will decode the cryptic statement a few sentences earlier: however rotten and miserable you may be there are other people in this world who are happy you are here. To deny them a chance to celebrate you is stingy and asshole-ish. So birthdays, weddings, funerals, those types of things are not really about you but rather are a chance for those who love you to celebrate you. So from now on, small-scale birthday parties for me. One more quotation, direct, to wrap this up. It comes from will.i.am, the creative force behind the Black Eyed Peas. In an interview on NPR he said: "Thirty isn't the new twenty, forty isn't the new thirty. Creativity is the new youth." Fuckin' a to that.