Monday, November 20, 2006


Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 40 years of age. Long time readers know that for the last five years this is not a really thrilling time for me. I don't make a big deal out of birthdays. I like it simple. I like it personal. I like a little present here and there. I like to maybe have dinner and a movie. In 2001, I was pissed at Doug because he didn't buy me BNL tickets so I ended up buying them for myself and taking him (my concert buddy was still a few years shy of really being a good date for rock shows. That Jessica... little did I know in 2001 she'd turn into my co-conspiritor with all things Barenaked...) 2001's birthday turned out to be one of the more memorable and fun ones in many years, and I look back on it with great fondness. (follow that link up there if you want the full details of a BNL concert and a meteor show that could not be beat).

In 2002 we bought a truck for my birthday. Ole Quimby was quite the good friend until just a couple of months ago when we traded him in on the Wasabi Mobile.

2003 and 2004 I was blogging on journalspace and have to go and pull out my archives and put them up in here so everything is in one place. We did go to Maine to Aaron and Michelle's in 2004. They bought me a humongous cake from Sam's Club that was big enough to feed 20. A good time that weekend was had by all... I think we drove home with it between my feet. Good times, gooooood times.

In 2005 Jess starred as Grandma in the school play and that was a damn good time. It was a good birthday gift to see my daughter starring in a play. Lots of fun.

And this year, I got a bad cold for my birthday. A really, really wonderfully, awesomely wicked bad cold. So bad that I cough and pee my pants (file THAT under TMI) and am hawking up large chunks of matter and lung. I've been miserable for the better part of a week. I spent a whole day in bed last Tuesday. This is a cold that wants to be bronchitis, or some kind of -itis, but it isn't quite -itisy enough and my doctor says I need to ride it out. My body wants to put me into a hospital, and get an IV and a good night's sleep on lots of drugs and painkillers. But I know it isn't that bad, and my doctor is right, and I need to ride this out.

Several weeks ago I had told Doug I wanted a party for my birthday. He was a jerk and he didn't organize one. In hindsight, it's a good thing because I don't think I would have been well and happy enough to enjoy a party. Good thing he's a slacker (see 2001 for BNL tickets issue). So Doug, it turns out, did the right thing by doing nothing.

Friday afternoon Amy brought me a present. We have a shared adoration of reading and of Anthony Bourdain, so she hooked me up with one of his missives. And a little journal for books that I read, into which I will make a first entry of the Bourdain book as soon as I start reading it. I got home from work that night and Doug insisted we go out for chinese and have scorpion bowls. So we did. They were good, and dinner was tasty.

We ended up on Saturday going up to Maine to the Hydes, where strangely enough I've spent 3 of my last 6 birthdays. Only this time, we helped them move house. The Hydeaway is no more, and they are now in a huge house (there are 5 kids and a grandma in addition to Wayne and Marcia) specially built by Wayne for the family. Seven bedrooms, a master bedroom suite that is bigger than my entire second floor. A gorgeous wooded lot. It is a great place. I'm incredibly happy for them and hope they settle in to happiness there. I will miss the Hydeaway though, where the 2001 birthday weekend was spent looking at the Leonid Meteor showers out in the yard in sleeping bags. After a Barenaked Ladies concert.

I got to see Laurie one of my college roommates (the link takes you to 2002 when I wrote a "My Life As Written By Others" entry about her and Bonnie, my other roomie). It reminded me that in 1984 I met her and have loved her ever since, and I hate that we don't spend more than one day together each year. Something must change when it comes to that. I had a tremendously good time with her, joking around about our kids, laughing about how her daughter will be driving this spring (she was born on my wedding day, so her parents missed out on the wedding of the 90s). We made good use of ourselves and moved a lot of furniture and boxes and unpacked things and played with small children. And it makes me miss her more when I do get that day or two with her each year.

On my actual birthday (yesterday) Geoff made me breakfast in bed. I got raisin toast, an apple, and a huge glass of ice water. I slept until Noon after I ate my breakfast. Then, I watched the Steelers eek out a win by the skin of my own teeth while I coughed another lung out on the couch. It was the best gift (other than the raisin toast) that I got all day. Then we went to Newburyport to have dinner at The Black Cow. It was delicious and the death by chocolate dessert that I got was like chocolate anti-matter. It ate my soul. And I loved it.

Today at work we all went out to lunch and it was a good time but I'm still in an "I am so sick" funk that I felt like a lump instead of the birthday girl. Courtney made me carrot cake, and it kicked ass, and I got to bring the other half of it home to my very happy family.

At 5:30 my cellphone rang, and it was Geoff telling me that he had made me dinner, and it was ready to go in the oven. He needed to know what time I would get home so he could time putting it in. And then he told me about a man on the news who escaped from a police car and a woman helped to re-apprehend him, and he thought that was awesome.

My son made me dinner. That made me smile.

I stopped and bought monkey wine. And when I got home, Doug had a dozen roses waiting for me, and they're lovely and nice. So he did get me something but only after I groused at him.

Overall, this entire experience was kind of a washout, and I pine for 2001 when I had bnl and Maine and meteors.

This year, I was kind of pissy that I didn't get a gift from my husband or daughter on my birthday. I was sick, and hate being sick. I was cranky because turning 40 doesn't happen every day and damnit if I wanted to just feel valued and loved for one birthday and have something to unwrap other than "love" and "appreciation." I think I made my disappointment known, but my husband now feels I'm some sort of gold-digging bitch but whatever. I wanted a gift, some memento of something to mark my value.

Either that, or I just wanted someone else to scrub the bathroom and sink, both of which I have refused to touch just to see if someone else will breakdown and do it. No one has yet.

Anyway. 40 isn't any different than 39 or 38 or 9 or 2 when it really comes down to it. It's another day on the calendar. But it comes with going off my diet and My Girl C making me a kick ass carrot cake in the office today. Hells yeah.

I sound down, but I'm not really -- I'm more... resigned and over it. Amy's gift meant a lot, and the ecards I got from Tess and the cool librarian were awesome. And the love on the BNL and Guster boards really cracked me up.

All told, I think that once I get over this -itis I'll feel much better about things and maybe not be such a piss pot when all is said and done. In the meantime, there is a bottle of monkey wine downstairs with my name on it. And I'm off to enjoy it.

Papio to you, too!

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