Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Birthday Club

So, I'm 31 years old.  Time flies when you're having fun.  Like the Queen, my birthday celebration cannot be contained into a single calendar day, but rather stretched out over an entire week like Shark Week or a PBS pledge drive.  Here's a glimpse at some of the other notable people who share my October 24th birthday, heretofore known as "Mark Day" if the government will get off its ass and pay attention to my petition.

1. The Big Bopper!  (real name J.P. Richardson)  If this doesn't make me want to avoid flying ever again, nothing will.

2. Thomas Mulcair.  Leader of the NDP and guy with one of the most unenviable "big shoes to fill" tasks in Canadian political history.  He also has an awesome beard.  That's one of the reasons America and Canada are different --- I feel the era of politicians having great beards is past in the USA, whereas in Canada we're all for it.  I look forward to indirectly voting for Mulcair in the next federal election, though it's meaningless since the NDP will never win in my riding, and the NDP and Liberals will probably split the left vote again and put the g-d Conservatives back in power.  Sigh.

3. Martin Campbell.  Director of such films as GoldenEye, Casino Royale, The Mask of Zorro and then basically a bunch of crap (i.e. the Green Lantern movie).  Your prototypical generic studio action director.

4. Drake.  And whaddya know, I only live a few blocks away from De Grassi Street.

5. Juan Pablo Angel.  MLS soccer player and, trivia note, the only person on this list I've ever actually met.  (If a group interview counts as 'meeting' someone.)  I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I believe Angel may still hold the record for most career goals scored against Toronto FC.  He's got at least 10, and I may be underselling that.

6. Jay Novacek.  Oh man, this fucking guy.  As a Packers fan, I'm morally obligated to hate everyone who played from the Dallas Cowboys from 1989 to 1999, and Novacek was one of those irritatingly good players who caught everything Troy Aikman threw at him.  If Angel holds the record for goals scored against TFC, I'm pretty sure Novacek caught roughly 45 million yards worth of passes whenever Dallas played Green Bay.
7. Monica.  The R & B singer, as in, "Topping the MuchMusic Countdown for the second straight week is 'The Boy Is Mine' by Brandy and Monica."  I presume she's still making music, though to be honest, I literally haven't thought of Monica in about a decade.  I'm not even going to click on her Wikipedia page --- I enjoy mystery in my life.

8. B.D. Wong
.  You may know him from Law & Order SVU, but to me he'll always be Martin Short's wedding planning assistant in Father Of The Bride.  Mostly because I've seen that movie a shocking number of times in my life, whereas I've only seen maybe three eps of L&O SVU.  (I'm an original series guy.)

9. Ian Baker-Finch.  Pro golfer best known not for winning the British Open, but for winning the British Open and then having his game completely fall apart.  Like, he went from being a major-caliber golfer to not being able to break 90.  I can sympathize.  It's like when I won the Greenhills 'closest to the pin' competition during junior golf lessons when I was 11 and then proceeded to suck at golf for the next 20 years.  So me and IBF, we're cut from the same cloth.

10. Corey Dillon.  You mean all those years I was yelling at Dillon for ruining my fantasy teams, he was actually a birthday buddy?  No regrets.

11. Bob Kane.  Holy crap, the creator of Batman!  Stop the presses, we may have a winner.  Technically co-creator, as I guess history has forgotten Bill Finger's contribution to the character, but let's be honest, "Bob Kane" sounds like a much more bad-ass name for the creator of such a bad-ass character.

12. Ned Williamson.  Old-timey ballplayer best known for holding the single-season home run record until Babe Ruth came along, which is kind of like owning the largest lizard in Tokyo before Godzilla rose from the ocean.

13. James S. Sherman.  Former U.S. vice president under William Taft, he is maybe best known for dying about a week before the 1912 election, leaving Taft to run for re-election without an actual running mate.  Taft lost anyway, but even if he'd won, I'm sure any electoral confusion could've been solved by the fact that Taft was fat enough to count as two men.  Fun fact: Sherman's middle name was "Schoolcraft."

14. Zac Posen.  Big shot in the fashion industry, to the point where "I'm wearing Zac Posen" is a very stylish thing to say unless you're Buffalo Bill and you're being literal.

15 and 16. Ronnie and Reggie Kray.  A pair of twin brothers and notorious British gangsters whose main claim to fame, in my view, is that their lives inspired Monty Python's legendary "Piranha Brothers" sketch.

17. Jonas Gustavsson
.  Aw, god.  Remember when Leafs fans were all hot and bothered about this guy, claiming that "the Monster" would be the goalie who would lead the team back to greatness?  Good lord.  You could've literally set a pylon inside of the Leafs' net and stopped more shots than this guy.

18. Moss Hart.  Legendary playwright and director on Broadway, who you might remember as being part of the "Kaufman & Hart" team….that is, if you're about 60 years old.

19. Y.A. Tittle.  Football Hall of Fame quarterback on some great New York Giants teams back in the day, and a guy who was really ahead of his time in terms of putting up big passing numbers.  His full name was Yelberton Abraham Tittle, so yeah, initials were probably a good choice.

20. Annie Edson Taylor.  Check this shit out.  On her 63rd birthday, Taylor went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, becoming the first person to survive such a trip over the Falls.  On her 63rd birthday!  On my 31st, I watched TV and went to a costume shop.  I've been completely outclassed.

21. F. Murray Abraham.  An Oscar winner, Jerry!  Abraham won his award for playing Salieri in "Amadeus" and then proceeded to never get as meaty as role again for the rest of his career.  He's been in a hundred things over the years but I really only recall him from recent hilarious guest appearances on Louis CK's show.  (He played Louie's uncle…yeah, that guy.)

22. Tila Tequila.  Now we get into the people who were born on my actual birthdate, creating an even closer universal connection between me and…uh, a boozed-out reality starlet.  It may stun you to realize this, but her real last name isn't Tequila.

23. Ron Gardenhire.  Manager of the Minnesota Twins….still, despite back-to-back terrible seasons.

24. Casey Wilson
.  One of the stars of Happy Endings, one of the funniest shows on television, and someone who I've thoroughly come around on after being unimpressed by her brief SNL run.  There's a good idea for my next Saturday Night Live-related list: the cast members who weren't much on SNL but went on to great success after leaving.

25. Scott Peterson.  Yikes.  Remember that Seinfeld episode where Elaine is dating a guy who shares the name of a notorious serial killer?  Well, that guy's name was Joel Rifkin, which is fairly unique, but just imagine how many real-life Scott Petersons there are who had to live down this jerk's murderous antics.

26. Robert Pickton.  Geez, we seem to have hit a dark spot in the list.  Can we please get onto someone who isn't a horrid murderer?

27. Bill Wyman.  Ah, here we go, finally.  Longtime Rolling Stones bassist, one of the more famous bass players in rock history, and nothing at all sordid about…..what's that?  He married an 18-year-old when he was 55 years old?  Goddammit Wyman, why're you sleazing up my list?  Literally, why, man?

28. Melvin Purvis.  A fitting choice to clean up the miscreants on the back end of the list, Purvis was the leading FBI G-Man of his day, helping capture the likes of John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Big Boy Caprice, Buttons McBoomBoom, Kaspar Gutman….ok, not the last three, but still, the rest are quite notable.  "Melvin Purvis" is an even worse name than Yelberton Tittle.

29. Wayne Rooney.  The most notable sports name on the list (I think Rooney's bigger in his sport than Tittle was in football, eh?) and still a modern-day star.  If the tabloids are to be believed, Rooney will celebrate by sleeping with some middle-aged prostitutes.  Seems plausible…you're dead-on accurate again, British tabloids!  What a batting average!

30. Roman Abramovich.  Sticking with the soccer theme, here's the billionaire owner of Chelsea FC.  The term "crazy Russian billionaire" gets thrown around a lot these days, but this guy lives so large that if he decided to turn his fortune to evil, he would literally be a Bond villain.

31. Kevin Kline.  And we end things off with arguably my favourite entry on the list.  One of my favourite actors, star of perhaps my favourite movie of all time (A Fish Called Wanda), a stage legend and he's even married to Phoebe Cates, making him a hero to every guy who was between the ages of 12-30 when Fast Times At Ridgemont High was released.  Heh, 'released.'

To any of the notable figures in pop culture or human history who I omitted from the list, don't worry, I plan on living for several more years, so you'll even find room.

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