- a popular a card game
- the atomic number of Gallium
- the third Mersenne prime ( 25 - 1 )
- and a centered triangular number, a centered pentagonal number and centered decagonal number
- the code for international direct-dial phone calls to the Netherlands.
- In Buddhism, there are believed to be 31 planes of existence
- There are 31 days in the months of January, March, May, July, August, October and December.
- In ice hockey 'goalies' often wear the number 31.
- Messier object M31, is a magnitude 4.5 galaxy in the constellation Andromeda. It is also known as the Andromeda Galaxy, and is readily visible to the naked eye in a modestly dark sky.
In music, 31-tone equal temperament is a historically significant tuning system (31 equal temperament)
- 31 is a London bus route running through Camden Town
Having spent my 30th in San Francisco onstage at Davies Symphony Hall singing the role of a lifetime, then quickly following it up with a weekend with my amazing family, last year sure does seem hard to out-do...
Oh: but out-do-it I shall.
Why, do you ask?
Because this thirty-one-derful year I am spending my birthday returning to London (a place I have not spent it in five years since birthday number 26). I can't officially tell you why I am here yet (sigh), but rest assured it is for a fabulous, exciting, bucket-list-esque singing-related reason that thrills me to my core.
But beyond a working identity, London is about the origins of my adulthood, and above all, about the friends I made and continue to love here.
It shall be a day of big reunions
Of revisitations with people
and a chance to truly look at how far I have come...
To quote my younger self,
MAN: I hate birthdays.
Well, no. That's not true.
I don't hate birthdays.
I love birthdays.
There is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than reminding people how glad I am that they were born.
I hate my birthday.
We know this. (Remember the Nietzsche-an spiral of 24? The way I tried to get a grip at 27? The way I kiiiiinda got that grip at 29?)
It's a passage-of-time thing. (I think it is also why I don't like New Year's Eve, and cut flowers for opening night...I dunno...)
I'm working on it.
Poor little younger Al. (I wish I could give her a squeeze and tell her it all gets so much better, and life gets so much richer and calmer and deeper once she turns 30...) That said, looking at the list of "31s" above, I have to say, this number is on point: this birthday year I feel truly in my prime, as well as centered and thirty-one-derful.
I own who I am.
Fully. Deeply. Truly
Singer (a hard-won self acceptance title!).
Teacher (the most thoroughly fulfilling aspect of my life thus far).
Taker of photographs.
Maker of kick-ass salads.
Lover of road trips.
and crime drama.
and one-on-one talks.
and hand-written correspondence.
and the ocean.
and Angela Lansbury.
Here's to another year.