November 2, 2011 = 8888

I’ll explain the title of my post a little bit later.  But, it is indeed a number, and as has probably been evident from my previous blog posts, dates and numbers tend to bring vivid memories or strong associations for me.  Some memorable numbers and (sometimes the dates which brought them about) are given below, with some information about why.  Obviously, I have many more great dates and numbers than what are listed here, but these dates and numbers that I mention here I would call the ones that define me the most.

121.  I suppose I should first explain why my number on my blog is 121.  Back when I was 11 years old, I had a Netscape e-mail account that was called “noah11@netscape.net”.  About a year later, though, there was some sort of a service change, and my e-mail address then changed to “noah121weiss@netscape.net.”  I still use that e-mail address even today, and though at that point, the number change didn’t mean much to me, new meanings sometimes come with delayed gratification!

Since it’s the number on my e-mail address, it is also my handle on every online forum (i.e. Noah121).  I’m not a troll or a troublemaker on forums, and why should I hide in anonymity with an online personality?

64.  It was the morning of February 26, 2000-, in my seventh-grade year.  In the lobby of Culler Middle School, I drew the number “64” out of a box, which established me as 64th in the lineup in the LPS Spelling Bee.  In round two, I was apparently knocked out on the word “Mississippian,” as after I had spelled it, the judge said, “Not correct.”  Unbeknownst to me, Mrs. Sanks (my fifth-grade teacher), Mom, and Dad heard every letter and knew I had spelled it correctly.  Indeed, the reason that I was apparently eliminated was that I didn’t capitalize the word.  But, you are not required to capitalize!  So I got reinstated, and eventually managed to “annihilate” the competition that year.  The rest of that day was a great time, including a Stars game that was a victory.  Unfortunately, three weeks later I didn’t make it out of the written round in the Midwest Spelling Bee.  I tripped up on the word “russet,” misspelling it as “russite.”

I didn’t immediately then see the connection between 64 and 121, but in far retrospect, both of those numbers are perfect squares.  I think that gave me a generalization of liking all perfect squares, but especially 8^2 and 11^2, for the reasons given.

48,51.  These numbers stick out to me for maybe a bad reason.  Ever since my junior year of high school, whenever the score at a sporting event that I have gone to or seen has been 51-48, the team with 51 points has won it either right there or gone on to win, with one exception.  This included a painful LSE loss to Bellevue West in the semifinals of basketball of my junior year, a loss to Lincoln High in my senior year when Trent Price suffered an injury and also my car window got smashed, but later, it worked the other way as the Huskers led #20 Creighton by that score in basketball and proceeded to win.  The only time thus far that this “pattern” has not followed through was Charles Richardson Jr’s miracle shot that beat Texas Tech during my sophomore year.  Thus, these numbers are salient to me within the realm of sports.

21.  Or, should I say עשרים ואחת! There are plenty of stories about this number in my Israel journal, but I’ll just say that there are some other connections that I made.  I was assigned this number on the 21st day of July, in 2011, for count-off at appointed times in Israel.  Now that I think about it, there’s a connection between this number, and another number that is part of my identity.  Every time that we did משפּרי ברזל להתפּקד, I shouted out my number loudly and enthusiastically.  After Masada, though, it took on a whole new meaning.  After eating breakfast and returning to the bus following the fall, the count-off was done as usual, and when it got to my turn, I didn’t let the injury dampen my enthusiasm.  This was greeted with cheers, and I guess that probably nobody forgot my number, despite forgetting their own!

Since it became a part of my identity, I’ve looked for situations involving the number “21,” and frequently come up with them.  On the 21st day of each month, I post a status update that involves “עשרים ואחת” on my Facebook.

3. The number actually has a connection to not only עשרים ואחת, but also my birthday and my family.  When we started taking family vacations more frequently, we decided that numbering off to ensure that we were all there would be important for us.  The order was simply the order of birth in the family (including the parents).  The count-off call is “Oogie Boogie!” and I was therefore “Oogie Boogie 3.”

Now let me explain the connection to 21, my birthday, and such.  My birthday is July 3, and though we didn’t assign the numbers explicitly on my birthday, I can say that my “Oogie Boogie” number was thus retroactively and implicitly assigned to me on my particular date of birth.  So, there have now been two “count-off” numbers that have been assigned to me, in July, corresponding to the day of the month.  I believe that once is an incidence, twice is a coincidence, and thrice is a pattern, though in this case, there are more connections leading me to believe something deeper than a coincidence.

Take the numerical month and date of my birthday.  Multiply them.  What do we get? Well, it’s המשפּר שלי (my number in Hebrew).  But, then take the day and month that I was assigned עשרים ואחת.  Divide them, and Oogie Boogie pops up!

8888.  Well, it’s probably pretty apparent at this point what is coming up.  Actually, it was six days ago when I curiously plugged in “July 3, 1987” to Wolfram Alpha, and noticed that it said “8882 days ago.”  And what is July 3, 1987?  My date of birth!  Indeed, today is my 8888th day of life.  An interesting milestone indeed!

And that’s why I waited until later in the day to post this… I wanted to make sure to post it after my time of birth.

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