Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Famine to Feast

Ain't that just the way it goes?

Nothing to say, no wisdom to impart, no pictures to share, no good news, no nothing... then *BAM! *


And on a short week! When I spent the first blogday§ in Wisconsin! Eating Swedish meatballs! When I should have been catching up! It's not even news anymore, people!

[SUMMARY: I'm late, I'm late for a very important date...]

So I'm putting myself on a very strict schedule:
  1. Tuesday: brief mention of Wisconsin, birthday recap

  2. Wednesday: Nintendo party (with pictures!)

  3. Thursday: knitting#

...then I won't be too far behind†† going into the holiday weekend and Lake Week. And then I won't have to sweat and panic and worry about protocol and how do I do this and can I combine and is this boring or important or funny or think of the children and...

[SUMMARY: This is what the inside of my head looks like every night when I try to go to sleep.]

Most birthdays are disappointing in some lingering way.

It seems there's always something I really wanted I didn't get or someone who cancelled on my party at the last minute or I don't even get a birthday cake or a bad day at work.‡‡


Despite my lifelong commitment to "please don't fuss," I do like acknowledgment.

You know Dante's constant refrain in Clerks? Well, there have been a lot of birthdays where I really wanted to whine a birthday version of, "I'm not even supposed to be here today!"

For many of my childhood birthdays, none of my friends were in town, so a birthday party was impossible.

When I turned eight, I'd lost a bunch of school library books and Mom told me I could either find a way to pay for them myself or forego a birthday party that year and have her pay my piper.§§

When I turned fourteen,¶¶ Mom made me pick strawberries in the backyard for dinner.

For one, I absolutely hated picking strawberries: dirt, hot, spiders... hated.

For two, I never heard her stick her head through the back door to say, "Your brother and I are going to run some errands. We'll be back in a little while."

So when I got finished with my horrible drudge strawberry duties, I went inside to find I'd been abandoned.


On. My. Birthday.

[SUMMARY: I'm not even supposed to be here today!]

I was grounded for my sixteenth birthday, in serious Mom-not-speaking-to-me trouble for my 21st, cancelled upon in a most last-minute of ways by my stupid boyfriend for my 24th, nursing broken ribs and a nasty black eye by the hand of my roommate for my 25th, too hot to bake a cake for my 40th... and after Mom died, nobody called at midnight anymore to sing me happy birthday.

[SUMMARY: see, "‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed)," below.]

This birthday was as close to perfect as we're likely to see in our collective lifetime.&

I got Secret Pal's package.

I got acknowledgment-without-fuss at work.

I got Kim's cranes.

I got the lovely comments right here from all y'all.

On the way home, I listened to Secret Pal's CD. Holy cow, can that girl sing. And she did... she sang me a Marin birthday song with my name and angels and everything. It ranks up there with the coolest birthday gifts EVER.%

NOTE TO SECRET PAL: Yes, you pronounce my name correctly. I love the disc and as I got deeper into it, I thought, "I'll have to tell Secret Pal about The Duhks.## I bet she'd like The Duhks."

And then there were Duhks.

When I got home, my dad had called mid-morning to sing Happy Birthday to me on my voice mail.^

I met Bag Lady Kathryn at the Coral Room for dinner and wine, which was lovely all by itself. She brought me flowers and a card.†††

And they'd had a wine tasting dinner on Tuesday that hadn't been as popular as they'd hoped, so they did a mini version Friday -- three courses, each with wine. That's what I had.

And I got a birthday card from the Coral Room signed by all the waiters and bartenders and dishwashers and all the people I know and love at my favourite bar.

And Brother showed up and had a couple of glasses of wine with us. I told him we'd be there and to drop by, but I figured being sans wife as he was, he probably had all sorts of bacheloresque activities with his single friends planned and I never, ever would have bet a single dollar he'd show up. But he did. And he was charming.

And Kelley came and we had some drinks. There were shots.

And my pheremonally-charged‡‡‡ vampire§§§ of an ex-boyfriend¶¶¶ took me home and I got laid on my birthday for the first time ever.###

[SUMMARY: Ringing in my own personal new year right.]

When I got home Saturday morning, an orchid I was sure I'd maimed for life and would eventually have to throw out had budded. I'm pretty sure overnight.

It's going to bloom again.

[SUMMARY: *WHAM!* Don't let the symbolism catch you upside the head.*]

When I got to the Coral Room for Saturday brunch, I had SuzyQ all to myself for awhile and there were special cocktails and free food and... it just wrapped everything up so nicely.

[SUMMARY: Birthdays need not be constrained to a single day. I like Birthday Season.]

I'm still all glowy and content -- like those Buddha statues@ people put in their Feng Shui decor. I feel just how they look.

If you can swing it,$ I highly recommend getting laid on your birthday.

Double points if he smells like burnt sugar and almonds and will rub your feet while you watch War Games.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Not that that stopped me from babbling on.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I'm not necessarily including the extensive Rush slurp in the "wisdom" thing, though I clearly think it counts.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): That would be Monday, for those of you who haven't caught on to how little commune I have with a computer on weekends.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Entire menu: Baked chicken (skin on) with festive parsley flakes, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn, white rolls... a tiny bowl of pasta salad with bits of peppers and onions amid the pepperoni (a Wisconsin nod to 5 a Day)... dessert bars... a choice of coffee, water or whole milk (it *is* America's dairy land, after all). Thank goodness for my new Door-to-Door Organic delivery service. I need food that's not white.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Because I am. And this still is.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): So much for

If you're obligated to yourself, is that OK?

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I know, I know, there are starving children in Third World countries who don't even have birthdays.

§§FOOTNOTE (so hard to make a decision!): At twenty-five cents a week allowance, me paying my own bills was a pipe dream... you'd think I'd have more sympathy for the working poor now. However, you can also see where the beginnings of my loathing of libraries began. This was apparently a weird bookmark in my psychological makeup.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (beat the drums slowly): I think. Coulda been fifteen. Coulda been twelve. Twelve might explain my devotion to Brainless Twelvehood. As shallow and whiny as this post is, it might be a great treatise on the psychology that is Marin. Apparently, my whole life has been dictated by birthdays.

&FOOTNOTE (ampersanded): Not that I'd discourage you to keep from trying to make next year's birthday even better. Just sayin'.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Like with the Great Ticket Birthday and the Dovetail skull mug.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like the spankéd ass of an elderly birthday girl): For those of you not Secret Pal or myself... as in Daffy and Donald. Quack.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): I do love it when someone will sing to me. With all the musicians I've dated, you'd think it would have happened more often.

†††FOOTNOTE (are we heading into triple-doubles?): Which said I was the queen for the day, but she got to be Vice Queen. VQ for short. Which I think is very, very funny.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (the primrose path of dalliance): That boy always smells like burnt sugar and almonds and if I nuzzle the back of his neck I get just a little high. The Universe clearly wants us to reproduce, so why couldn't it give him the ability to keep a date?

§§§FOOTNOTE (oh, my curly head!): Throat, chest, belly, arms, neck... I am a marked woman. Sorry, Brother.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (golf clubs, seal clubs... that was an inside joke only two people in the world would get): The Boy, for those of you scoring at home.

###FOOTNOTE (man, did that spankéd ass take a pounding. Sorry, Brother): This is NOT little brother approved.

*FOOTNOTE (staid, conventional asterisk): I'm not talking about The Boy. I'm just talkin' about me. I figure some of you may be worried about that.

@FOOTNOTE (I just can't bring myself to go to four): And did I mention that's where the resemblance between me and those statues ends? I believe my post-surgery water blob has dispersed. I got into my normal-sized pants for my birthday. Can I get a w00t-w00t!?

$FOOTNOTE (money shot!): Pun!

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