Birthdays suck

I don’t really like it when people send me Birthday messages, primarily because it puts an obligation on me to remember theirs, which I’m not really good at. I can’t even remember peoples’ names half the time.

It’s not that I have a bad memory–after six months of not having to use them, I can still remember my old company’s IP addresses and even SingNet’s DNS servers. It’s hardly my fault that people have such hard-to-remember names. If we all had 12-digit designations I’m sure there would be much less confusion and administration all round.

In any case, I received a call from Friend F, wishing me well on the passage of another disappointing year, and at the same time reminding me that his own was approaching(birthday, not disappointing-year). I lied with the standard Yes-I-remembered-of-course-we-are-such-good-friends-how-could-I-forget and made a mental note to check Friendster out.

Of course, I forgot.

So today, whilst I painted the window grills, giving myself a red-paint-high, I was suddenly struck with the realization that Friend F’s birthday might already be over. I vaguely remembered his star sign was Virgo (the only possible use of star signs is for the remembering of birthdays, in my opinion) and hidden somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain a small memory piped out that Virgo was Ending.

So I decided to check out Friendster, but as usual got sidetracked by the idea that it was so damned inconvenient to have to keep looking up peoples’ birthdays, and so I drew up an XML chart of my friends and relatives, with information on birthdays and such that I could put on my desktop and update when necessary. I then hosted on a little private site for future reference and started on an XSLT for easy viewing. I figured I could probably write a quick app to email me alerts.

Then I came across a stumbling block. Friendster doesn’t show birthday information anymore.

Now there’s just this silly little message that comes up if the person’s birthday is <= two weeks from today (as far as I can verify, but since I can’t remember any actual birthdays it’s a bad guess at best).

So now I have an XML file with a bunch of empty nodes and a half-complete XSLT.

Birthdays are so troublesome.

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