17 July 2010

21 years of Austen

Whenever I have a birthday, I get a little reflective*. So instead of taking the time to write an original blog post for my birthday, instead I'm going to just take you all on a magical journey over the past 21 years. Grab a beer and strap yourselves in ladies and gentleman, we're approaching 88mph, and where we're going... we don't need roads**.

July 17, 1989 - Year 0
Chart-Topping Song: If You Don't Know Me By Now - Simply Red
Honestly my birth will probably be what historians consider the most momentous event to occur on this day, so lets just leave it at that and move on.

July 17, 1990 - Year 1
Chart-Topping Song: Step By Step - New Kids on the Block
Several days earlier, 'Ghost' -the highest grossing movie of the year, was released. This no doubt precipitated my lifelong appreciation for the works of Patrick Swayze

July 17, 1991 - Year 2
Chart-Topping Song: Rush Rush - Paula Abdul
'Point Break' was released about this time. I think this says it all. Patrick Swayze had firmly made an impression upon my infant mind.

July 17, 1992 - Year 3
Chart-Topping Song: Jump - Kris Kross
Three awful, awful movies released in honor of my third birthday: 'Honey, I Blew up the Kid,' 'Man Trouble,' and 'A Stranger Among Us'

July 17, 1993 - Year 4
Chart-Topping Song: Weak - SMV
Just to recap, over these 4 years the world's population increased by 350 million! An interesting side note, if someone tells you these days that you are '1 in a million' there are almost 7000 people just like you.

July 17, 1994 - Year 5
Chart-Topping Song: I Swear - All-4-One
According to wikipedia, no significant events occurred between May 10 - August 12. So I guess its time for a VUVUZELA BREAK!!! BZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzz

July 17, 1995 - Year 6
Chart-Topping Song: Waterfalls - TLC
Boosted by optimism that I could make it 6 years in defiance of Natural Selection, the Nasdaq closes above 1000 (8000 too small for a really good link sadly) for the first time.

July 17, 1996 - Year 7
Chart-Topping Song: How Do U Want It - 2Pac (one of his few prehumous releases)
This entire month seemed to be full of depressing headlines, go look them up if you really want, or you could take a break and grab another beer! I did!

July 17, 1997 - Year 8
Chart-Topping Song: I'll be Missing You - A few people
The F.W. Woolworth Company Closed! After 117 years of Business! Tragedy!

July 17, 1998 - Year 9
Chart-Topping Song: The Boy is Mine - Brandy and Monica (relax ladies! there is enough of Austen to go around)
The last Russian Czar and his family were finally buried in the St. Catherine Chapel. Also, the Mask of Zorro was released! So that's exciting.

July 17, 1999 - Year 10
Chart-Topping Song: Bills, Bills, Bills - Destiny's Child
I couldn't tell you when (my memory for events in my own life inspired at least one film), but this was around the time when I moved to Australia. Also that whole Y2K thing was happening (because as any educated person could tell you, when you reset the clock on your microwave, your house explodes).

July 17, 2000 - Year 11
Chart-Topping Song: Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon (*cryptic smile*)
A few days later, the Pokemon movie would be released. I loved those little guys. Back when I was a kid we just had 151 Pokemon, and had to walk five miles to school, uphill both ways...

July 17, 2001 - Year 12
Chart-Topping Song: U Remind Me - Usher
Blowing the closure of the F.W. Woolworth company out of the water, this day saw the inauguration of the replica of the Altamira Caves!

July 17, 2002 - Year 13
Chart-Topping Song: Hot in Herre - Nelly
Yeah if you were ever a 13 year old boy, you would know that song really speaks volumes about your mentality. We'll leave it at that.

July 17, 2003 - Year 14
Chart-Topping Song: Crazy in Love - Beyonce
Everyone should take this opportunity to have another drink and take a minute to remember that most famous of harpsichordists, Rosalyn Tureck.

July 17, 2004 - Year 15
Chart-Topping Song: Burn - Usher
Nothing against Usher, but lets take this moment to take a look at the Country music songs that topped their respective charts on my birthdays.
1989: In a Letter to You - Eddy Raven
1990: The Dance - Garth Brooks
1991: Don't Rock the Jukebox - Alan Jackson
1992: I Saw the Light - Wynonna
1993: Chattahoochee - Alan Jackson
1994: Foolish Pride - Travis Tritt
1995: Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident) - John Michael Montgomery
1996: No One Needs to Know - Shania Twain
1997: It's Your Love - Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
1998: The Shoes You're Wearing - Clint Black
1999: Amazed - Lonestar
2000: I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack
2001: I'm Already There - Lonestar
2002: I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song) - Brad Paisley
2003: Beer for My Horses - Toby Keith & Willie Nelson
This last song deserves some special attention, since it was actually the first country song I heard while flipping through my car radio, which got me interested in the whole genre which I now love. We'll include them from now on, to add some twang to our history.
Country Chart-Topping Song: Live Like You were Dying - Tim McGraw

July 17, 2005 - Year 16
Chart-Topping Song: We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
Country Chart-Topping Song: Fast Cars & Freedom - Rascal Flatts
While I was 16, I got fired from my first real job, rejected from 3 of the 4 Universities I applied to, and dumped by the first girl I really liked in a romantic way. But it wasn't all fun and games! I also graduated from high school a bit early -a choice that would have some really far-reaching and important consequences for me, all of them good. This year deserves another drink folks. I hope you are keeping up!

July 17, 2006 - Year 17
Chart-Topping Song: Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado
Country Chart-Topping Song: Summertime - Kenny Chesney
Joined Sigma Nu. Enough said.

July 17, 2007 - Year 18
Chart-Topping Song: Umbrella - Rihanna
Country Chart-Topping Song: Lucky Man - Montgomery Gentry
Had a great birthday party in Sydney Australia, one that I will be loosely recreating in a few hours. Also, 18 was the year when I declared my majors (Math, then Physics, then Environmental Science), decided to stop being fat and lazy, and move on to just lazy, and decided that sleep was a useless luxury that I could not afford (naps on the other hand...)

July 17, 2008 - Year 19
Chart-Topping Song: I Kissed a Girl - Katy Pery
Country Chart-Topping Song: Back When I Knew it All - Montgomery Gentry
I think I realized more about myself this year than all of the previous years combined. My political views started to evolve (catalyzed by my reading of Atlas Shrugged), I started learning how to lead, and how to work hard. Most notably, I fell in love for the first time. I think this is when I first started gaining a glimpse of the man I wanted to be, the image of which is still coming into focus for me.

July 17, 2009 - Year 20
Chart-Topping Song: I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
Country Chart-Topping Song: Then - Brad Paisley
If I learned what love felt like when I was 19, I learned what losing it felt like when I was 20. There was pain, from a number of sources and people, and not in small amounts. This may sound overly theatrical, but I was going through Hell. I kept on going. I hurt, more than I think I ever had, but I learned how to overcome it. I feel stronger now than I have ever been, by every definition of strength. But enough seriousness! New drink! Or Bacon!

July 17, 2010 - Year 21
Chart-Topping Song: California Gurls - Katy Pery (really? >_<)
Country Chart-Topping Song: Rain is a Good Thing - Luke Bryan
Well we made it safely back to the present. We had some tunes, some tears, some laughter, some cheers (see what I did there?). I can't wait to see what this year will bring, and thanks to all of you who have taken the ride with me so far -and God bless everyone who didn't quite make it this far.

-Austen

*Since I was born, the earth has traveled almost 12.6 billion miles around the sun. Source: Science!
**Or sobriety.