Brother and I were talking on my birthday and he mentioned this was my Life, the Universe and Everything birthday.†
"I didn't think there was anything noteworthy after the Jesus birthday,‡ but there you have it."
[SUMMARY: For some, passage of time is noted in literary reference.]
My birthday dawned clear and vodka-soaked, as Kelley took me out for brunch,§ then to The Cooler¶ for a shitty canned beer.
I'm not being mean. That's how Kelley phrased it: "Can I buy you a shitty canned beer?"
I cheerfully mark this a white trash beginning to the day, what with the chicken and waffles breakfast and the shitty canned beer chaser.
The gifts were anything but white trash:
Tokyo Milk is a local company recently featured in The Moment in the NY Times. The owner of the company hand-sparkles the packaging.
Of course, I'm mostly in it for the skulls.
[SUMMARY: Skulls are key.]
The evening celebration was certainly more high brow. You'd expect no less -- it was Brother's turn to entertain me.#
We started not with shitty canned beer, but with the first grape Wine Spectator ever awarded a perfect 100††:
As an aside, Brother eschewed wine until about five years ago. Now he's a frickin' snob.‡‡
[SUMMARY: Reformed sinners...]
The first thing Tallest Hairiest Nephew said?
"I'm not your hairiest nephew anymore."§§
We're going with Tallest Spikiest Nephew until he shaves his head for the big swim meet in August.
Dr. Doom is his usual doomy self.¶¶
Monday, Dad and Brother were taking me to dinner.
Let me take you back in Marin history: when I was young and we'd be in a tourist trap or a Hallmark store^ and we'd see a display of personalised [ fill in the blank ].
Mom or Dad would chirp, syrup and unholy glee coating their sarcastic voices, "If you can find your name, we'll buy it for you."
I have led a life deprived of Marin license plates for my bike and Marin pencils for school.
Monday this package from Kim$ arrived just in time...
...for me to wear this button to dinner.
But the pièce de résistance##:
It's a SENSATION in the office.
Touched and grateful doesn't *begin* to cover it. A lifetime of cruel lack was wiped away in one UPS delivery.
Dad and Brother surprised me with a field trip to my favourite neighbourhood Italian restaurant, Mikey's.†††
Dad and Brother had their backs to the window. I was across from them. It wasn't long before my obvious distraction distracted them.
"Sorry. I'm trying to figure out how many misspellings are on that stupid sign behind you. Pet Emporium and So? Pet Emorium and So? The paw prints are supposed to be Os, right?"
They both looked. We all marvelled. It never made sense.
The next day, my client looked at it and said, "I got it! Pet Emporium and Spa.*"
[SUMMARY: Stupid sign.]
Dad's fiancée sent a present.
This is not a present from Peach, mind you. It's a present from her cats.‡‡‡
[SUMMARY: I am not making any of this up. I have photographic proof.]
Now, this isn't *all* the birthday what's fit to print. It's all the birhday I photographed and offloaded. There's the delightful present the nephews got me,§§§ a sassy perfume from Juno¶¶¶ and a truckload of divine chocolate### from my often-Number One Bad Influence%, Nathan.
†FOOTNOTE (crossed): 42, as if I have to explain.
‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): 33, which may need more explanation than 42 in my crowd.
§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Chicken 'n' waffles with a side of bloody mary bar -- hence, the vodka soaking.
¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): A place with about 100 canned beers on the menu, ranging from $2 to $8.
#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Because the man who coined the term "dick chakra" is nothing if not high brow.
††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I asked for a straw.
‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Per our conversation that evening, he does recognise this is an occasion wine, but one that probably would't get him laid.
§§FOOTNOTE (turn around when you're three, turn around when you're nine): Brother's nine-year-old self is SO jealous of TSN's nine-year-old self.
¶¶FOOTNOTE (Bambi eyes): Doom has never been so sweetly goofy.
^FOOTNOTE (careted): To-may-to, to-mah-to
$FOOTNOTE (cashed): Kim is so money, and I certainly hope she knows it. *mwah!*
##FOOTNOTE (le pound pound): French for "shiznit."
†††FOOTNOTE (speaking of Jesus): Which is neither in my neighbourhood anymore, nor is it still called Mikey's. Same owner/chef (he's a French-trained Algerian who looks like a compact Andre the Giant and used to wear wife-beaters in the restaurant. We *love* him.), same menu, now called Roma Roma and situated in a strip mall in sunny Arvada.
*FOOTNOTE (asterisked, imagine that): Read: Pet Em[paw]rium and S[paw]. Yeah, I know.
‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (cat scratch times three): Yes, they say, "meow" in the bowls. Yes, they have cat heads on top. They weight about six pounds, collectively and are beautiful pieces of work.
§§§FOOTNOTE (the creeping heebie-jeebies): Hint: "Dad, what's AntiM most afraid of?"
¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (upright citizen): The bottle is worth the price of admission.
###FOOTNOTE (pounds and pounds of chocolate): Which I'm trying to figure out how to artistically photograph so it doesn't look like I've eaten 26 lbs of chocolate in the last week.
%FOOTNOTE (percented): Nathan and Juno just keep leapfrogging each other. They should either be honoured or very, very ashamed. For the record, I don't believe either of them is much prone to shame.
@FOOTNOTE (atted): Is this like crying wolf at this point? Do I need to re-earn your trust?