If you open up Google Calendar and choose the Add link under “Other calendars” (on the left), there’s an option to “Browse Interesting Calendars”. On the Interesting Calendars page is a “More” tab. On the More tab is “Contacts’ birthdays and events”. This magic calendar contains the birthdays and anniversaries for everyone in your Google address book, which of course is synced with your Android contact list. The next step is to get reminders somewhere where you’ll see them.
The personification of birthdays is Death, in a Hawaiian shirt. He’s stalking me. Just a few more days and he’ll get to shake me by the hand again, and remind me of our upcoming appointment. It occurs to me that I’d really like to spend my birthday in a drug-induced haze.