Today is my birthday and I am nowold enough for the senior ciitizen discount. A few weeks ago, a woman I knew to speak to died of Alzheimers. She was my age. Her obituary was among the increasing number that I see of women in their 40s and 50s who are now no longer among the living. I am happy to be alive. The first birthday I can remember took place at my Aunt Betty's house (she gave me the nickname Lee Lee) in Pasadena when I was 3 years old. I got a fishing pole that came apart so that it would fit in a metal tubular carrying case. One of the most memorable birthdays was a few years ago when our son arranged for a local pilot to take us for a plane ride. The fall colors such as they are with the mainly oak forests here -- and certainly nothing like what one sees in pictures of New England in the fall -- were at their heighth. The rolling hills were covered in a blanket of gold and orange and brown, with an occasional scarlet blotch of a sugar maple in someone's yard. It was just stunning. It took my breath away. Now that I have figured out what I want to be when I grow up, I have to work on becoming the old woman I want to be. As my primer, I have a marvelous little essay by Leatrice Fountain called "I Like That Old Lady I'm Growing Into" (no URL though). A friend sent me a funny jokey thing at this URL: http://members.lycos.co.uk/duamutef/jokes23.html. Heard a Bobby Darin song on the way home from work yesterday on "The Music of Your Life." Such a smooth, cool and breezy style of singing -- what an amazing talent and what a loss.