So yesterday was my 32nd birthday and it was one very special day. Jess and I were long overdue for something to celebrate, and we really put our hearts into it. Plus, birthdays are just downright awesome.
In the morning I got hugs and birthday smooches from my wife, then spoke to my family while Jess went to her treatment. My parents always sing Happy Birthday and I dance and they tell me what I looked like when I was born and I laugh and they say how glad they are I'm alive and I get all happy.
Jess came home and we did present-opening. I had a little stash waiting for me and we got started. My card had a bird on it, which is most excellent, and lovely words from my beloved, which are private.
My first present totally caught me by surprise, because I didn't know it was available. She got me the DVD of "There Will Be Blood". Can't wait to watch it! I've been fascinated by early oilmen since I read "The Prize", and having Daniel Day-Lewis play on is going to be quite a treat.
Next came a great CD of loungey, zesty music from Hotel Costes. Honestly, though, the best part was the unwrapping. I first pulled away just a small corner of the paper exposing just a bit of the disc art, and was immediately reminded of the game show where a covered image was displayed and pieces of the covering were removed when a contestant got questions right. This would expose cartoon images that, when uncovered, gave away an anecdote like "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". 10 points to whoever remembers the name of that show, cuz I can't seem to recall it.
Anyway, we played that game, and I had to uncover it completely before I got the answer. My last gift was immediately given away by the eyes of the actors on the DVD cover; the Coen brothers newest classic "No Country for Old Men". Sweet!
We moved on to a perfect breakfast at The Mission in Mission Beach. I had the best smoothie in the world, blackberry banana. Then we made an executive decision: we had planned to hit the SD Zoo, but it was hotter than a monkey's bum (that's a strange expression, Bruce) so we put that on hold to save our strength.
Instead, we forayed to the Bahia Hotel, the site of our recent nuptuals. We spent some time with the harbor seals (one was acting quite hung-over, the other was totally showing off) then sat in the garden where our ceremony was and looked at the ducks.
With my all-time favorite Soundgarden blazing in our speakers, we headed to the movies to get out of the heat. On the way, we stopped at Restoration Hardware, where I think we may have found the ultimate Captain's Chair of all time ever made.
Our film du jour was "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". Loved it. L-O-V-E-D it. Moving on...
Back at the Shapiro stronghold, it was time to rest before dinner. I spoke to my family again (I always provide an update on how the birthday is going; part of the tradition. I also opened my newly arrived present from my folks. My Mom makes her own cards out of photos she takes and this was a new one, an amazing perspective shot along a verdant road towards some distant hills. Inside were more lovely words for me, also private.
Finally, there was a big box from Amazon with lots of Civil War era books (brief aside; I'm spending much time studying the years preceding the war itself: the Wilmot Proviso, Compromise of 1850, Bleeding Kansas, the birth of the Republican party, etc. This gift will likely form the backbone of this subject matter, as well as the next subject of interest, the Lost Cause mythology which has come to define the way the Civil War is remembered and taught in the US. Need that strong foundation first...)
After spending some quality time in Civil War book heaven, there emerged from the cardboard another text I've been waiting to read. This is some of the most fun, intelligent, funny writing I've come across, and it has the best essay about tennis I've ever read, which will be discussed in some detail in a later missive.
While Jess started to get dressed for dinner, I made another indulgence into another wonderful hobby I've picked up; roasting my own coffee. Haven't written about it yet, but it definitely merits a few words of it's own. Teaser trailer: home roasting is the gold standard for coffee enjoyment. Luckily the hot weather had broken, so I could roast outside before getting dressing for dinner.
This was Jess' next treat for me, and I had no idea where we were headed. Neither will you, dear reader, until my next post, so stayed tuned!