Birthday 47: Primo Pizza and Pointless Pondering

Thai and Creole!

The top half is Thai-inspired. The bottom half is Creole-esque. All of it is coated in smoked Gouda with no objection from me.

It’s that time again! This week I turned 47 without entering true Midlife Crisis mode yet, and managed not to whine about it. Much. Not out loud, anyway. The more I stare at our recent convention photos, the more gray hairs I see taunting me and trying to convince me I am, in fact, an old adult and not a mature teenager.

Fun useless trivia: I share my birthday with Dennis Hopper, Bill Paxton, Trent Reznor, Sugar Ray Leonard, Craig Ferguson, Howard Ashman, Bob Saget, Jordan Knight, and Dave Sim. Yet we never get together and combine parties. Sure, two of my birth-twins are no longer among the living, but still.

For the past several years my wife and I have made a tradition of going somewhere new for each of our birthdays. One-day road trips and events such as last year’s Garfield Quest give me the gift of new experiences and distracts me from the physical decay at hand. As it happens, we’ll spending my birthday weekend helping a relative move, which means we’ve had to postpone my official birthday outing till next weekend. I’m grown-up enough to handle delayed gratification, and am at peace with the notion of serving others this weekend instead of indulging myself.

In the meantime, today had its happy distractions, mostly in the form of food. Friends and family kept my mind off the aging process for most, if not all, of the day.

Treats from coworkers brightened the work day. For the evening, Anne, my son, my mom and I headed out to a local establishment called Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza. A 12-year-old fixture in the Indianapolis pizza scene with three locations to brag about, Jockamo is my supervisor’s favorite pizza place and has never elicited a single negative comment from anyone I know. We gave it a shot and approve of the results.

Jockamo Chimp!

The story of their regal logo chimp is a most curious one that lacks true closure.

We ordered two 16-inch pizzas, far too much for our party of four, and went half-and-half on each pie. In our lead photo’s results, the Thai side features chicken, peanut sauce, and green onions. (We omitted red peppers as a compromise, and carrots by unanimous vote.) The Creole half boasted crawfish, smoked Cajun sausage, green peppers, Roma tomatoes, and Cajun spice, but not overwhelming with it.

Our other pizza was one-half meat-lovers’ — sausage, pepperoni, ham, bacon, and Italian beef — dubbed on their menu the “Slaughterhouse Five” in honor of Indianapolis’ own Kurt Vonnegut. The remaining half was a custom job of my son’s design — three meats, mushrooms and anchovies. Until tonight I had no idea he liked anchovies, same as his old man does. Go figure.

Slaughterhouse Five and Custom!

Mmmmm, meat and salt.

A good time was had by all, and I managed to keep my mind off oldness for about 95% of the day in all. Of course I couldn’t resist letting my mind wander to dumb places at work.

Do you ever think about people your own age, compare the results of their lives to yours, and needlessly drive yourself into an ugly place? I kindasorta went there as I amused myself with an old habit I broke years ago, of keeping track of celebrities my age give or take a few months. It’s one part Fun Trivia and three parts Where Did I Go Wrong.

A quick, obsessive check of online resources confirms that as of today I am:

  • 3 months younger than Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day
  • 2 months younger than Shaquille O’Neal
  • 2 months younger than Common
  • 2 months younger than Mark Hoppus from blink-182
  • 1 month younger than Carmen Electra
  • exactly 1 month younger than Jennifer Garner
  • 16 days younger than Julie Benz from TV’s Angel
  • 15 days younger than Dwayne Johnson
  • 13 days younger than Mike Dirnt from Green Day
  • 8 days older than Octavia Spencer
  • 2 weeks older than Wentworth Miller
  • 3 weeks older than Karl Urban
  • 2 months older than Sofia Vergara
  • 2 months older than Marlon Wayans
  • 2 months older than Wil Wheaton
  • 2 months older than Maya Rudolph
  • 3 months older than Ben Affleck
  • 3 months older than Cameron Diaz
  • 3 months older than Idris Elba
  • 4 months older than Gwyneth Paltrow
  • 5 months older than Eminem
  • 6 months older than Jonny Lee Miller
  • 6 months older than Tre Cool from Green Day
  • 7 months older than Alyssa Milano
  • 7 months older than Jude Law

…and so on. None of that is useful or remotely uplifting information, but I, the stats junkie who’s a year older today, cannot resist compiling it anyway out of some curiosity to see if deeper meanings would coalesce after the fact.

Only two Morals of the Story come to mind:

  1. I’m exactly the same age as the person I’m meant to be. Most days that’s good enough and I don’t dwell on unhelpful apples-to-oranges comparisons.
  2. I got to have Jockamo pizza today and none of them did.

Of course it also helps that, ancient or not, accomplished or not, my wife still thinks I’m cool.

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