I’m the opposite of the answer to life, the universe, and everything

Today is my 24th birthday. Huzzah.

24 is one of those ages that isn’t particularly special. I can already buy alcohol, and it doesn’t end in a zero. Next year I can finally rent a car without some absurd insurance price hike. Awww yeeeeeaaah.

I do think it’s funny how different birthdays are now compared to when I was a little kid. When you’re little, you’re counting down the days five months out. You’re excited about half birthdays. This year I didn’t even realize my birthday was coming up until I got cards in the mail. And instead of looking forward to cake and a mountain of Legoes, I’m looking forward to going to dinner at a nice Italian place and cuddles.

…Okay, a mountain of Legoes would still be pretty awesome.


  1. moonablaze says

    See, this is the joy of having my birthday two days BEFORE yours. Darn near every kid (and many adults) in the country (and a good chunk of the world) is counting down the days to my birthday! Even if I’m not particularly looking forward to the the birthday aspect of October 31, Halloween is always good times. especially this year. West Hollywood was AMAZING.

  2. bkniaz says

    Happy B-Day to you and to me.

    It continues to get less important with age, by 39, you will be awake for hours before you even realize it’s your b-day. Then you read about it being someone else’s birthday on their blog and think, hey, it’s my day too!

  3. Praedico says

    Happy birthday, Jen!

    Also, I second the pile of Lego! (In Britain, the plural for Lego is the same as the singular, like moose. Don’t ask me why, it’s a state secret.)

  4. Alex ToS says

    So kids are now allowed to have blogs before they turn 25, without additional insurance fees? Unbelievable!

    Happy Birthday ;)

  5. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Happy Birthday!

    Get used to not having your birthdays be as special as they once were. Once you run out of milestones (drinking age being the last major one, IMO) you kinda start losing tack of how old you are, even. I gotta think for a bit usually to remember and I’m only….. 28? I think?

  6. Don F says


    When you get to be OLD like me, then the excitement returns. WOW, I made it ANOTHER YEAR. Enjoy your between years; they are the BEST . . . .

  7. Old One-Eye says

    Happy Birthday!

    Lego is awesome, can’t wait until my little girl is old enough to not view the bricks as “potentially edible”.

  8. Curtis says

    Happy birthday Jen and bkniaz!

    Today is my birthday too and I am the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything.


  9. =8)-DX says

    Happy Birthday!

    There can never be enough legos and so I am sending you 5 pink 2×4 virtual legos.

  10. Marcus Hill says


    Your observation about buying alcohol reminds me of a bit of research I’ve been meaning to do. I want to discover at what age one stops being insulted when asked for ID and starts seeing it as a compliment.

  11. Riptide says

    Okay, I’m officially jealous that you’re about a week younger than me, but made it to graduate school about two years before me (if I’m lucky enough to get accepted anywhere for next September, and if my memory serves me well). Boohisss!

    And congrats ;).

  12. Flah the Heretic Methodist says

    Hey, I’ve been 39 for a few years now and LEGOs are awesome. Happy birthday, Jen!

  13. says

    Happy birthday! My wife gets mad at me because I never pay any attention to my birthday (although I never forget her’s, or our daughter’s). But I’m coming up on the big 5-0, and she wants to do something special, and for reaching that milestone, I expect something special is warranted. I wonder what she’s planning?

  14. Snowshoe the Canuck says

    Only 24? And a previous commenter is only 41? I gotta stop hanging around with these young kids. When I was yer age…. Pluto was a planet.
    Happy birthday. You are almost a quarter of a century!

  15. says

    I become the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything this year, and *I* still love mountains of LEGOS.

    Happy birthday, Jen!

  16. noobule says

    you’re 24? but I’M 24. What the sheesh

    do I need a blog I’m feeling a little failurish right atm

  17. ShavenYak says

    Happy birthday!

    On my next birthday, I will be the answer to the ultimate question, but I’d still love some LEGO. I actually put the Spongebob Squarepants “Glove World” LEGO set on my Christmas wishlist.

    Remember, people don’t stop playing because they get old. They get old because they stop playing.

  18. Alexis says

    I presume you are using the ordinary decimal system of numeric calculation. If you convert 24 dec to octal it will end in a zero, and you can celebrate mightily! And if you don’t mind an absolute geeky joke:

    Why do computer scientists/electronic circuit engineers always confuse Halloween and Christmas?

    Because 31 Oct = 25 Dec

  19. Tualha says

    No, no, no. The opposite would be -42. Maybe 24 is the dual, in some sense?

    Anyway, happy birthday :)

  20. wasp says

    Happy birthday! My 24th was a week ago, but I didn’t realize it until two days later. First of my own birthdays that I forgot, and I have to say it made me feel a little older than would be chronologically justified.

  21. Kevin says

    Happy birthday.

    You’ll start counting half-years when you turn 58. Because you can start withdrawing from your IRA and other tax-deferred retirement plans at age 58-1/2 without penalty.

    For me, 3-2/3ds months to go!!

  22. julian says

    Happy Birthday!

    Italian food and cuddles sound like a great way to celebrate another successful lap around the sun.

  23. Rex says

    Happy Happy Birthday, you godless heathen!

    I am actually beyond the answer to life, the universe and everything, but I have been a loyal, daily reader since long before boobquake.

    Keep up the good work!

  24. Graham Martin-Royle says

    Happy birthday and I hope you have many more of them (24, yikes, that’s half a lifetime back!).

  25. says

    Happy Birthday! Is big hairy Congo Rats fer makin’ it through another year.

    Me half birthday be Christmas, so I still gets excited ’bout it. Prolly ’cause is an excuse fer ta buy meself toys, but still.

  26. fastlane says

    Happy birthday, ya young whippersnapper! (can I yell ‘get off my lawn’??)

    For my 42nd birthday, I got two t-shirts from thinkgeek. One said ‘Mostly Harmless’ and the other said ‘Don’t Panic’. It’s great being married to a nerd!

  27. imnotspecial says

    Happy birthday Jen.

    And may God bless you abundantly. (Just kiddding):) The best for the coming years. Enjoy your youth. Stay away from too much alcohol. It is supposed to increase your chances of breast cancer.

    Have a great day!

  28. Ganner says

    Happy birthday, Jen! I can tell you that, having just turned 25, it was even less an occasion than turning 24. I imaging from now on, the only birthdays that I’ll notice are the ones that will make me say “damn I’m getting old.” Hah, I did joke about losing the ability to say I’m in my “early twenties” now. You still can do that for one more year!

  29. BekahDekah says

    Happy Birthday Jen! Stay geeky! And smart, and strong, and beautiful, and eloquent, and funny, etc., etc., etc.!!!!

  30. says

    Not special? Not special?!

    Today, you’re 4! (four factorial)!

    And it’ll probably be your last factorial-izable birthday, unless life extension starts getting some traction. So appreciate it! :)

  31. mazeRunner says

    Happy Birthday Blag Hag!

    Dont let all these oldies get to you with their wistful reminiscences of youth on your b’day. Damn! Twenty four I can barely remember what that felt like.

  32. Rabid says

    It’s because the item itself is not called Lego. Lego is just the brand name, so it’s never plural. The item itself is either a”Lego block” or “Lego blocks”.

  33. RdeG says

    You’re showing your decimal bias. Not to mention that the reversal of the digits in any representation of your age has no mathematical significance. I expect better from a scientist!

    But, happy birthday!

    (If you want to feel younger, just give your age in hexadecimal: you’re only 0x18! Alternately, switch to Martian years.)

  34. andrevian says

    Oh crap. I knew we were close in age, but I never seem to remember that I’m almost eight months older than you.

    Happy Birthday!

  35. geocatherder says

    Just wait until you turn 50, your mother-in-law insists you wear a silly necklace, and the rest of the family (most of who are older than you) get to tease you about how old you are.

    Happy Birthday!

  36. The Dead Rodent says

    24 is awesome. 24 is 4! aka 4 factorial aka 4x3x2x1. Since it is unlikely you will live to see 5!, I think cherishing 4! is in order. Cheers.

  37. satan augustine says

    Happy Birthday Jen!!

    Take it from the answer to life, the universe, and everything (yeah, I turned 42 a couple of months ago): After a certain point – you’re already there in my opinion – no birthdays are particularly special. You’re past all the major milestones. From here on out, you just get old and the lack of milestones and “special” birthdays makes the time pass all the more quickly.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a downer. I’m just trying to impart to you some of my wisdom as an older person, not bring you down. : )

  38. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    Happy Birthday Jen!

    I’m more than twice your age, but I still like playing with LEGO blocks. One of my favorite sayings is “They can make me get older, but they can’t make me grow up”.
    Hope you had a wonderful, cuddly and mountain of LEGO filled day.

  39. says

    Oh, Jen, there’s definitely something to celebrate. Your hand-eye coordination is finally at its peak and your physical strength nearly so. You could build up a bit more muscle after stripling stage but you are in peak physical condition. Time to take up dancing, explosive strength training, Pilates, or whatever appeals to you.

    And happy birthday!

  40. Azkyroth says

    …and it probably won’t actually be your birthday when you start automatically assuming teenagers are up to no good, and become officially Old.

  41. says

    Sorry about being late with this, but, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    There are complete strangers out there who are very glad you were born… and that was not meant to sound as creepy as it did. I meant your readers.

  42. oldebabe says

    24… I do not remember even what I felt like in my 20’s, probabaly just bewildered and resentful. At 24 these days, what a time to be young, as many women seem to be all grown up, thoughtful, decisive, involved… but still playful… like you… a place I didn’t reach until my 50s… should of at least had some sort of breakthrough at `42′ (I’d already read Adams)…

    Keep on. Lots of birthdays still to come.

  43. Moose says

    I didn’t realise you were a fellow Scorpio!

    (Yeah, I know-buncha BS, but it’s fun to think of yourself as a dangerous predator, huh?)

    Happy Birthday Jen!

  44. says

    A belated happy birthday, Jen.

    Hmm – let’s see; when you were born, I was (IIRC) playing around with my first modem, dialing BBS systems at a blazing 300 baud (2400 baud modems were state-of-the-art at the time, but very expensive)…

  45. ckitching says

    Exactly. Which means that since 24 is 42 reversed, she’s gnihtyreve dna ,esrevinu eht ,efil ot rewsna eht

    I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but it’s got “dna” in there, so I guess that suits someone studying biology.

  46. says

    When I turned 24, it was 1998, and I was working at a church and uber-religious. Oh, how life has improved. Thanks for your blog, and happy, happy birthday (late, but no less heartfelt).

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