Friday, May 11, 2007

How Did This Happen?

16 years ago today, my dear friend Larry Smith gathered a bunch of people at the Village Tap, a tavern in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood. He managed to get most of the close friends I have in the world there to celebrate my 30th birthday.

As the festivities progressed, Larry, my friend since we were next-door neighbors in college, got up to make a toast, and explained that the reason the turnout was so good was that most of the people there really hadn't believed I'd make it to 30.

Here I am at 46. How the hell did that happen?

Anyway, here's my random 10:

1. Hanky Panky- Tommy James and the Shondells
2. Skin It Back- Little Feat
3. Train in Vain- The Clash
4. Yeah Yeah- Cyndi Lauper
5. Down to Seeds and Stems Again- Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
6. Lovelines- The Replacements
7. In the Heat of the Summer- Phil Ochs
8. Pablo Picasso- Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
9. Oliver's Army- Elvis Costello and the Attractions
10. Thrasher- Neil Young

My birthday present to you all is a picture my kid brother took of me in 1984, when I was half the age I am at now, and another idiot was living in the White House.


Splotchy said...

Girls would turn the color of an avocado
As we would ride down the street in his Eldorado!

I haveta go listen to that now.

Splotchy said...



Johnny Yen said...

Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole. Not in New York.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I could scream myself, for all the times my classmates passed along the message that I was in prison.

Erik Donald France said...

Happy Birthday, Johnny Yen. Keep on flipping the finger to all those depraved jerkoffs out there. Love the photo.

lulu said...


kim said...


My father will be shocked at this picture.

Happy birthday.


Skylers Dad said...

The happiest of birthdays my friend, and be sure to tip one with Ronald McDonald for us.

Natalie said...

A happy and wonderful birthday to you!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Happy Birthday! I wish you a day to celebrate with good friends and family, good food and drink, and lots of stories.

Keep on flipping it to the man!

cheer34 said...

Happy Birthday!

Why were your friends surprised you made it to 30? And why are you surprised you made it to 46? Just wondering.

Amy Guth said...


Splotchy said...

Happy bday.

Maybe we can all do some sort of collective flip-off to Dubya as he rides off into the sunset to clear brush or whatever.

Anon. Blogger said...

Happy Birthday, JY! I hope it is great! Enjoy! It beats the alternative!

Danielle said...

Hip Hip Happy Birthday!!!!
All my best wishes sent to you this day
This beautiful day in May
May the year ahead leave you happier, healthier, wiser and fuller.

The Elk said...

Looks like it will take 3 breaths to blow out all those candles before the house burns down....
Congrats or Condolences...Cocktails Anyone?
Re Photo: Try that today and either Darth Cheneys Sharpshooters will lacerate that digit with a DumDum bullet or you will have a comprehensive IRS audit for the next 2 years....

Tenacious S said...

Happy Birthday! Tonight is Sweetness' party. Our house will be invaded by loud eating machines.

busterp said...

Happy Birthday.

like the picture. ha.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Wow, it's your birthday and you gave us a present. And a fine one at that. When I come to Chicago, the first round is on me, but you and Kim have to drink tequila with SV and I.

I'll post the bond.

Bubs said...

Happy Birthday!

Great day, great list. I was listening to Oliver's Army earlier. Very cool.

Mob said...

Happy birthday, though I fear I may be a little late with this comment, I hope it was a great one!

SamuraiFrog said...

Happy birthday, Johnny. Don't overdo it on the liquor and drugs. And the sex machine. I'll stop before another striptease.

Chris said...

Happy birthday, Johnny!

That picture is priceless!

Johnny Yen said...

That would make reunions pretty interesting.

The bird seems to be a theme today-- it was in another old picture I dug up today.


My father-in-law knows me. I doubt he's shocked.

Skylar's Dad-
I don't think I'll be going to Shanghai to visit Ronald again soon, but I did enjoy a glass of wine.


Better food than you can imagine-- I'll post about it soon. Thanks!


I was little, um, wild back in the day. I'll be posting a little about it under the title "The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did."


That sounds like a great idea.

Dubya may be clearing brush in a federal prison eventually when he's tried for war crimes and treason.

Anon. Blogger-
Thanks! I've made that same point myself!

Thanks! Definitely healthy-- got a good report from a recent physical yesterday.

We kept a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

They don't call him "Dick" for nothing...


We did birthdays many years at Chuck E Cheese. He loved it, and we went home to a quiet house at the end of it.

Thanks! Funny how the message is valid again.

Thanks! Sounds like a plan!


Did you see that Elvis just released a new box set, of all his stuff from 1977-1986?

It was right in time. Thanks!

I may dancing like hypnotizing chickens...

pezda said...

It always amazes me that I've reached another year. Happy Birthday.

The Elk said...

How's the Hangover?

Dale said...

Hope you had a great birthday you old rebel.