Sunday, August 9, 2009


Numbers are not my thing. Every time I bake, I have to ask Paul if 1/3 plus 1/3 equals 2/3.

He'll shake his head and say, "Were you adding the denominators again?"

I'll pretend to be very interested in the counter top, and squeak out an embarrassed, "Uh-huh." In my head, it makes sense every time. 1/3 + 1/3 equals 2/6, which rounds down to 1/2!

This is my secret shame, so secret that I am posting it on the Internet for mocking purposes. Enjoy!

While my practical applications of numbers are...lacking, I enjoy numbers as a concept. Like my grandmother, I get very excited when the digital clock reads certain things, such as 3:33. Ah, the symmetry! I also enjoy 1:23, because it is chronological. Ditto 4:56.

I find Paul's birthday 1-7-74 troubling because that 4 ruins the whole thing, being the only even number in a sea of odds. Mine--3-5-75--is much better. My brother's is also okay: 10-20-76, for everything in his birth date is divisible by two.

Both of my sons have messes of birth dates: 2-21-06 for Owen and 7-29-08 for Joel.

The only redeemable aspect of Owen's birthday (besides the fact that it is his birthday and I love him, blah blah blah...) is that 3x7=21 is my favorite of all the times tables. Just typing it feels so very satisfying.

21 is also a happy birthday for most Americans. I went out for lunchtime margaritas with my friend Sunshine, then attended my creative writing of poetry class.

Yes, I am just that badass.

Perhaps Owen's birthday is okay because it has the number 21 in it, even though it is otherwise an even/odd mess.

Joel's birthday was a missed opportunity. I was so tired of being pregnant that I was induced. Meaning: if I had allowed nature to take its course, I could have had a cooler date for my second born.

He was supposed to be born in early August, which was very exciting, because it was possible that his birthday would have been 8-8-08. The very idea warmed my nerdy little heart.

Alas, my aching back and surly temperament were stronger than my nerdy inclinations, and I jumped at the induction date. My only consolation is that 29 is a prime number.

However, I don't understand the whole concept of prime numbers, so this is an empty victory.

One more number story: we just bought new telephones, because our old phones were tools of the devil--cutting out, beeping loudly, going on mute for no logical reason. The other day, I was dialing a number to check my voice mail. Suddenly, the phone decided to beep loudly while the number 6 filled the entire screen. As in 666666666666666666666666. As in holy shit MARK OF THE BEAST. As in the film Maximum Overdrive, where all the household appliances become evil, slicing and dicing their hapless owners.

It didn't matter what I did. All I could do was stare at my demonic telephone, waiting for the sky to turn black and for the Four Horsemen to come tearing from the sky. It was quite chilling.

But then, I unplugged the phone and replugged it, thus performing a do-it-yourself exorcism. All was fine.

But, in the short moment, when my blood turned to ice water, and I was pondering my haunted phone, I couldn't help but note that 666 is divisible by both 2 and 3, and it is very pleasing, indeed.

I believe this is my nerdiest post yet! And it is exactly six hundred perfect words.


Becky said...

Logan is 2/3/06. I just love it! Hunter was a little more difficult, but I've made it work. 4/7/08 = 2x7=28 28=2008

Nice to know I'm not the only person who has (possibly) put waaaay (me not you) too much thought into birth dates must make sense (dammit).

Coby Goesling said...

Oh, my twin sister! How you read my mind! It would please you to know that today is my cousin's birthday...she was born on 8-9-89. SO cool!

Nancy Campbell said...

Happy to hear I'm not alone in this. Becky, I remember being pregnant with O and thinking on 2/3/06 that it would be an awesome day to be born. (I was a little done being pregnant at that point,too).

And Coby...8/9/89? I'm swooning.

Tom Mohrman said...

Love it Nancy. :) You're weird.

sd said...

Rainy's kids were born on 2/2 and 8/8. I got married 9/9/00 to make it easy for my husband to remember (but now we're divorced, so it doesn't matter anymore). If I get engaged before the end of the year, I'm totally going to set the date for 01/02/2010 = 0102.2010 = the same forward and backward! Oh- and I was born 03/09 at 6:18pm. Perfectly divisible by 3; equals 3 in both cases.

Nancy Campbell said...

Sarah...that is fantastic on so many levels. Please tell Rainy and her awesomely born children that I said "Hi."

mollykay said...

Nancy, I fell behind on your blog and have been working on catching up. I love this post! I love that there are other number nerds out there besides me. BTW, the volume on my TV and radio must be set at an even number or a multiple of 5. Hope you're doing well!