Happy Birthday to Me


I called my Mom one day when I was twenty-two, to complain about how totally sucky my life was. I don't remember exactly what was so awful -- I think maybe I was frustrated with a new boss or something. Whatever. I had just graduated college, spent a year on the Clinton campaign, and was sharing a 2,000 square foot apartment/recording studio in Georgetown. My job was fun, my circle of frineds was huge, my bank account wasn't over-drawn, and I had recently spent a half-hour, solo, with Nelson Mandela. In short, I had absolutely zero to whine about.In her polite, rosy way, Mom told me told shut the fuck up, and enjoy what I had. Great moments don't last forever, she said, and you better enjoy them while they're going on.I still struggle to remember that simplest of lessons. But birthdays have a way of forcing you to stop and take an inventory of your life -- especially milestone birthdays, like number 35.So with Mom's advice in mind, here's a list of some of the things I've done since I turned 34.

- Hung backstage with Snoop- Shot guns with Xeni- Got shot at by Iraqis- Climbed Chichen Itza- Caught the dunk by Iguodala (and Knicks/Sixers with Uncle Steve)- Rode the rapids upstate- Got choked in Krav Maga- Tested a killer robot- Blew up an IED- Threw parties- Threw up at parties- Rode a Black Hawk and a C-130- Flew a Joint Strike Fighter sim- Fasted- Gorged- Snowshoed- Snorkled- Hiked- Spellunked- Sinned- Atoned- Prayed- Cursed- Cried- Comforted- Visited:
* Brooklyn* San Fran* L.A.* London* Leeds* Chi-town* H-town* Tulum* Cozumel* Philly* Baghdad* Kuwait City* Deadwood* DC* Sedona* Manchester, VT* Norfolk* The 'burgh* Ft. Irwin, CA* Ft. Monmouth, NJ* Ft. Huachuca, AZ* Picatinny Arsenal, NJ* Eglin AFB, FL* Pentagon, VA* And THREE laser weapon labs
- Chased crooks (A few weeks before the 34th, technically. Still counts.)- Filed about 750 blog posts- Wrote for Wired, Newsweek, the Times, the Forward, Pop Sci, Pop Mech, Wired News, the Times mag, the National Post, and Fast Company.- Blabbed on CNN, NPR, and the BBC- Had four albums come out with my name on 'em- Learned a nice chunk of Hebrew- Reconnected with my brother- Raised some Katrina cash- And, of course, got engaged
You know what? That seems like a pretty good year to me. Thanks, Mom. You were right.
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