I admit it, I’m scared of death. I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I want to make the most of the time I have here. And—I’m turning 50 in six months. That’s the first age that feels—old. More than just a little old. And my body is telling me that that assessment is correct.

So, to help the transition to AARP-Land feel a bit more fun, I thought I would crowdsource some joy and glee for me to enjoy on my birthday on April 16, 2023. Over the next six months, I’d like to request that people send me some things. If it’s a physical item, you’re welcome to send it to the P.O. Box listed at the right. If it’s digital, please send it to jenny@jennybristol.com with a subject line alluding to my birthday and I will save it for my birthday and enjoy it then.

Some types of things I’d love to receive (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Drawings of me
  • Drawings of you
  • Drawings of anything
  • Favorite memories of/with me
  • Audio recording of a birthday message for me
  • Audio recording of whatever makes you happy
  • Writings, such as poems, letters to me, short prose
  • An description and explanation of your favorite historical document
  • Videos of performance art, personal messages, or of your favorite places
  • Photos of you, your pets, whatever makes you happy or makes you think of me
  • Photo tour of your city/town
  • Photo(s) of your favorite place(s) on the planet
  • Links to your favorite songs
  • A description of your favorite bridge, tree, rock, cloud formation, Jane Austen character, They Might Be Giants song, etc., and why it is your favorite
  • Your favorite book (you can check with Rory to see if I already have it—see below for contact information)
  • A meaningful book that came to you at just the right time of your life
  • A chronicle of a time when you felt like your most authentic self, free of society’s shackles
  • Spare non-U.S. coins (I have a collection)
  • Spare non-U.S. postage stamps (I have a small collection)
  • Vast sums of money (but only if you’ve won the lottery recently)

Anything you send I will save for my actual birthday and enjoy it then. If I receive enough things, or if anyone sends an actual book for me to read, I’ll need to spread out my enjoyment across more than one day, so your patience for thank yous is appreciated.

If you want to send anything that needs coordination or special care or you just want to see if something would be appropriate, Rory has volunteered to be the go-between. He knows me better than literally anyone on the planet, and can handle receipt of anything that needs special handling or hiding until my birthday. You can write him at rory@rorybristol.com.

I spent some of my half-birthday watching the recording of a TMBG livestream concert from last Friday, so here’s one of the songs they played, applicable to today and this post.