My Mother’s Day

My mother taught me to read when I was so young that I do not have a active memory of it. My memory device (I think it is referred to in medical texts as a “brain”) started to record life when I was two-and-a-half, and in my recollections of moments spent with my mom and with books, I am an active participant in the task at hand: our endless laughter at the very idea of eating green eggs and ham (the “and ham” was my favorite part), our (re-)discovery of the Cat in the Hat’s many hijinks.

Mother’s Day, the annual holiday, is one whose date I annually forget. It is perhaps because it is celebrated on different dates in different nations and I have online friends in some of those different nations that “Happy Mother’s Day” Facebook posts make a weekly appearance in the spring. I think that I have sent my own (American) mom a Happy Mother’s Day note twice in one year thanks to this phenomenon.

Today is not Mother’s Day; it is my mom’s birthday, my own Mother’s Day.
Read More

James Joyce Celebrates His Birthday

February 2, 2017, is the 135th anniversary of the birth of James Joyce (above).

In his huge biography, Richard Ellmann notes in several places that Joyce found his own birthday to be a topic most fascinating (he made certain that his novel Ulysses was published on his 40th, in 1922) and he tells how this affected his relationship with another writer, James Stephens.
Read More

Today in History: Birthday Edition

At 6:37 p.m. EST on this date in 1968, I arrived. (Thank you, mom.) At that hour, I was a little late for dinner, which soon became a habit I cultivated through my teen years. Gary Sheffield, Owen Wilson, quite a few others, and I turn 48 today.

* * * *
Steamboat Willie, an animated short film by Walt Disney Animation Studios, premiered at Universal’s Colony Theater (now The Broadway Theatre) in New York City on this date in 1928.

It was Disney’s first animated short that featured fully synchronized sound, so it was an enormous success, and it also introduced two new characters: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Both Mickey and Minnie are 88 today. The film (after the jump):
Read More