Let me explain why today was something of a bad day.

I was supposed to take this week off from work – I’ve got five weeks of vacation time (well, three weeks earned, two rolled-over) coming to me, and damn it, I’m trying to use them – but between my workload and some upcoming travel, I had to go in. My compromise was that, if I had to go in today, I would finish a specific set of tasks, attend the meeting that was on my calendar, and then leave early to try and salvage something of the day.

That didn’t happen.

I did not get through the predefined tasks prior to my meeting, due in no small part to our marketing person (who shall remain nameless) deciding that the application form that ‘wasn’t critial’ and ‘didn’t have a set deadline’ suddenly had to be done for her 1:00 meeting. Mind you, she shares this fact with me at 12:20. She demanded that I ‘drop everything and do [her work]’ – to the point that when my telephone rang, she physically put her body between me and the phone. So there goes my lunch – in part because I wouldn’t have enough time to finish her edits AND get something to eat, and in part because by the time I was able to get to the cafeteria in my building, nearly everything edible was gone.

The meeting, while running long, went well enough – unfortunately, I had to go back to my desk. At 3:30, I had about 30 minutes of work left on my list. I didn’t get to those 30 minutes until nearly 5:00. It wasn’t one big issue this time, just a whole bunch of little issues including, but not limited to, scheduling LiveMeetings with a number of our clients, and trying to get my call center to understand that when I say “Scholarship on hold – pending clarification” on a Scholarship Action Report, that’s exactly what I mean. (I lost a good 20 minutes on that last issue alone.)

And on top of that, while driving to my parents’ house after work, the “SERVICE ENGINE SOON” light makes it’s first appearance on my year-old truck.

One of these events would just be a bummer. Several on the same day would be a headache. All of them in one day, and you’d probably need a beer at the end of the day. So what makes today such an especially lousy day?

Today was my 31st birthday. And to quote Dante Hicks, “I’m not even supposed to BE HERE today!”

Mind you, it wasn’t all bad. I had a lovely dinner with my parents this evening. And I’m not suggesting that I’m having a bad ‘birthday’ by any means – the ComboBration (celebrating my birthday early, and Darren’s birthday late) was fantastic, even if my poker playing wasn’t entirely up to snuff. (Which is to say that I got short-stacked early, went all-in at a really stupid time, and ended up being eliminated first. But I still had a great time.) No, this was just one entirely blowful day – one similar to so many other I’ve had – falling at a really bad time.

So let’s accentuate the positive, shall we? Here, courtesy of our dubious friends at Wikipedia, is a list of notable things that happened on this day in history (aside from the whole ‘me being born’ thing):

  • 1776 – World’s first submarine attack: the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship HMS_Eagle in New York Harbor.
  • 1901 – The Boxer Rebellion in China officially ends with the signing of the Boxer Protocol.
  • 1927 – The first fully electronic television system is achieved by Philo Taylor Farnsworth. (Hmmmmm….)
  • 1969 – Monty Python’s Flying Circus records first episode. (HMMMMMMM….)
  • 1979 – The Chrysler Corporation asks the United States government for USD $1 billion to avoid bankruptcy.

Also born on this date:

  • Monarch and ruler of all she surveys Queen Elizabeth I (1533)
  • Painter Grandma Moses (1860)
  • The “P” in HP David Packard (1912)
  • Actor Peter Lawford, of Rat Pack fame (1923)
  • Saxophonist Sonny Rollins (1930)
  • Buddy Holly (1936)
  • Marge Simpson herself, Julie Kavner (1950)
  • Hack songwriter Diane Warren – yes, the woman responsible for the horrible theme from Enterprise (1956)
  • Rapper Eazy-E (1963)
  • Great rack Shannon Elizabeth (1973 – yes, she’s older than I am. Frankly, I’m surprised.)
  • Struggling cable network ESPN (1979 – still waiting for THE OCHO)
  • Object of desire iPod nano (2005)

So I’m in pretty good company. (Except for Diane Warren.)