the reasons for which I've illustrated here. I occasionally will be a little bit relaxed in my usually very stringent spending budget and probably will have french toast, but by-and-large the only thing that I truly do on my birthday is take the day off from work as that's a truly lovely present (and because I get way too many questions about "why are you not celebrating your birthday?" which makes the day far, far worse and lonely than it needed to be, and if you need to know more about that, I already gave you the link).
Anyway, though, I do want to occasionally make lemonade on my birthday, and so I have made an annual tradition of making a list of wishes I have for the world, particularly the world around me, on my birthday, and hoping that by trying to "Secret" myself into the world I get at least a couple of them to come true this year. We'll arbitrarily pick 32 things to wish into the universe in 2016 for no particular reason. Below are my wishes-enjoy!
1. Hillary Clinton is elected the first female president of the United States of America in November, preferably by an enormous landslide to make me feel better about a country that nominated Donald Trump by an uncomfortably large margin.
2. Trump's lack of coattails costs the Republicans the Senate and the House, and Clinton's agenda gets to actually happen before Democrats inevitably forget how to vote in the Midterms.
3. That Chuck Grassley, who should have confirmed Merrick Garland in the first place, is the shock loser of the night in November when Iowa sends him packing for not doing his job.
4. That Chuck Grassley is forced to confirm Merrick Garland during the recess like he should have done in the first place.
5. That the country recognizes that meaningful gun control legislation has nothing to do with stopping you from owning a rifle for hunting or target-practice, but simply means that we want to make sure that background checks are implemented with all gun purchases and that weapons that are clearly meant for killing people and not hunting are made illegal.
6. That we stop having intensely xenophobic conversations about immigration, and instead pass meaningful immigration reform that recognizes the truth that millions of hard-working people have lived in America for years, if not decades, in the shadows out of fear from a system that doesn't advocate for them, despite clearly having been in the United States long enough to call themselves Americans.
7. That we acknowledge that there is a racism in our criminal justice system, and actually introduce meaningful legislation that keeps all people safe and ensures that justice is truly blind.
8. That we pay teachers more, and give them the resources they need (including arming parents with ways to better be advocates for their children and the teachers who spend so much time with them), to ensure that our education system does not stagnate, but instead flourishes for all people, regardless of how much property tax they pay.
9. That we acknowledge that there is still homophobia and transphobia in our society, despite the great progress we have made in recent years to curb these prejudices, and that there is still a long way to go in terms of legislation to address these prejudices, such as passing ENDA through Congress (hopefully with Hillary Clinton's signature...or even more hopefully with Barack Obama's).
10. That Britain finds a way to cope after the Brexit vote, and that other countries don't copy their short-sightedness, but instead see the value of unity.
11. That voters start to value facts more, and that in particular the media actually values facts more, and not just ratings and trying to appear "non-partisan."
12. That China, the EU, the United States, Russia, Brazil, and every country of the world see the enormous affects that pollution and climate change are having on our ravaged planet, and implement sharper, stronger legislation to curb these attacks.
13. That poachers of endangered species around the world either see the error of their ways or are eaten by a tiger.
14. That the Olympics are safe, secure, and show that the world can unite in a truly wonderful fashion each year. That the world realizes we don't need to hand out shiny medals to achieve that kind of unity.
15. That people take science and the space program seriously, and start a new wave of progress, reaching Mars (and beyond) and finding cures (not just treatments, but cures) for diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and diabetes.
16. That peace finds its way to the people of Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and all places ravaged by war, dictators, or terror.
17. That Hollywood stops making sequels to movies that didn't need them, and can get back to creating strong, original content for the Summer blockbuster season as this year was a total disaster in that regard.
18. That broadcast networks can make shows as good as Lost, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, or 30 Rock again and rely less on the same brands and repetitive plots/casting.
19. In fact, I'll settle for any network making a show as good as Lost again.
20. That we finally get a release date for the third season of The Leftovers and that the series end as brilliantly as it's been the whole time.
21. That Bryan Fuller magically gets $5 million from some benevolent Pushing Daisies fan and we get the proper sendoff that greeted Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls. Also, that that Gilmore Girls reboot is good.
22. That the Dixie Chicks are so inspired by their recent tour that they decide they simply must make another original album that was as good as the last one.
23. That Jo Rowling's endeavors into expanding the Harry Potter universe through stage and screen are just as magical as her first attempts at this beautiful world.
24. That Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte Rampling all continue to get mesmerizing work and feel a sense of appreciation today. Oh, and an Oscar. Give them all an Oscar.
25. That #TeamMichael ends up winning on Jane the Virgin.
26. That Melissa McCarthy continue to make exquisitely funny films with Paul Feig.
27. That She Loves Me's live broadcast be everything I'm hoping it will be, and perhaps that streaming of Broadway plays becomes more common toward the end of a run for both the posterity of holding onto the live performance as well as so that those of us who don't live east of the Hudson can enjoy a bit of the magic of Shubert Alley without a plane ticket.
28. That Al Jean and Fox come to their senses and start releasing Simpsons on DVD again in the same casing because my OCD is starting to go into hyper-drive.
29. That AMPAS realize that access to the cinema it rewards is becoming lesser, not greater, in the age of Netflix, and that they push to try and ensure that all of its nominees (and as many films in general) are available to the widest possible audience that wants to access them.
30. That Neil Patrick Harris doesn't ruin the new Lemony Snicket reboot.
31. That Andy Murray could actually win the Australian Open or French Open. Preferably both.
32. That I would find the strength of mind to stick my diet, finish my novel, blog twice daily, and find a boyfriend, preferably one who is kind, funny, and has the good sense to only ask questions during the commercials of the Oscars and not during speeches.
So if the cosmos or any parties involved could get on any of those, that'd be great. Happy birthday to me!