My birthday is a week from today. Being born on 9/9 has earned me a lifetime of gift-wrapped school supplies and funny looks from numerologists, as well as the one-time prize of going to college when I was still a minor. I had to wrestle every last piece of my university paperwork away from my mother. She couldn't be arsed to sign permission slips or homework sheets while I was in public school, but she attempted to hoard everything the university sent me.

I'll be thirty-five this year. I've already outlived both Janis Joplin and Jesus. Frankly, I dunno where to go from here.

I do not request birthday gifts. For a long time, I actively tried to avoid them by refusing to give suggestions even when asked. This lasted until one college friend informed me that if I did not point and ook at a book or comic or CD or something, she was going to go down to Wal-Mart and buy me a giant pink lawn flamingo. If you have the uncontrollable urge to buy me a thing, my Amazon Wish List is here.

Mainly, however, what I want is an audience. Someone linked to something of mine somewhere a few weeks ago, and my traffic quadrupled overnight. It is still not very impressive by professional blog standards, but it does appear to be real people. It's all from Google/Facebook and a few personal blogs and feed readers, rather than four hits from Facebook Mobile and another five hundred from an SEO vampire in Kazakhstan, it's about 95% from Anglophone regions, and it consistently occurs only on entries of real content, and not my Saturday Serial time fillers.

Since writing appears to be my only skill that is both marketable and reputable, I am trying really fucking hard to make some money from it. To find people who want to pay for my work, I need a lot of people to look at my work, so the ones with cash and motivation can self-select. So if you like something, LINK IT somewhere. Show other people! Pimp my blog!

In the unlikely event that you have no acquaintances at all, everyone you know is illiterate, or you are somehow reading this in a way that does not involve the internet, I will also accept pictures of cats and pretty men. They're not as economically viable, but it does give me something to look at while I fill out a million grant and residency applications.