Last week, I was talking about how I didn't want to make that big a deal out of my birthday and I wanted it quiet. Well, except for the banging of steel spatulas on hot grills and derisive laughter that may have been happening behind my back at work on Friday, I think it was a mission well accomplished
I was surprised, wonderfully, at work with a luscious chocolate cake and a batch of balloons. There weren't just balloons either, in the traditional sense. These were balloons that don't care about calories and watch a lot of daytime TV. They were huge! There was a Sylvester and Tweety balloon (not sure about the symbolism on that one; I haven't quite figured it out), a big ass Pikachu-shaped balloon, and one with a big smiley face on it. I was so happy and pleased and surprised and thrilled that I didn't even mind it when my very serious-minded desk neighbor looked over and said, dryly:
Aw, forget you, man! That's what I wanted to say, just like Homer Simpson. "Forget you, man!"
But, instead, I just went back to admiring my inflatable Pikachu.
Later that day, on my way out of work, I carried those balloons out of the newsroom, kind of ducking my head a little. Now, here's the situation. My desk is way over... here. By the elevators. Way on this side of the building. And the entrance? See that door way over there? I know you can't, but just pretend. See it? Yeah, that one. It's way across the newsroom, and in order to get from here to over there, I have to pass all of these people. See that serious looking 55 year old editor? And that lady with the stern glasses? And all those tough looking guys who write and edit sports? And the tough-as-nails police reporter? All of these people get to watch me carry around these three big balloons. I ignored them, pulling my helium friends proudly, but I swear I could hear snickering behind me. Well forget you! I got Monday off. So nyah. (Tongue sticking out.)
The other fantabulous thing that happened on my birthday was that I got to go out to Benihana. (I kept referring to it, inadvertently and very incorrectly throughout the day, as "Benihahas." They don't like it when you call and make reservations and call it "Benihahas." They think you're making fun of their English.)
Benihana is one of those steak/shrimp/chicken places where a very Asian chef with very big knives and a two-prong fork that you wish they had in Congress to speed bills along, cooks for you and occasionally throws something into the air for you to catch with your mouth.
Let me tell you something. I caught the shit out of some shrimp. First try. And so did my fantabulous ladyfriend. The other people at the table? Not so good with their mouths. This one guy at the end tried to catch shrimp with his mouth like five times. The poor chef kept tossing them and the guy, with his little tiny white-man's mouth, kept getting hit in the cheek or the ear. The chef finally just handed him a steaming shrimp and said, "Maybe you eat from hand, ok?"
A seven-year-old blonde kid kept getting hit in the forehead. I swear the chef was doing it on purpose. The kid would stay perfectly still, his mouth wide open. The chef would toss the shrimp right at the kid's big tow head. It got to where the kid had pepper and butter all over his hair and he was crying grill-grease stains down his cheeks.
We seemed to be the only people into the theatrics. Our chef was trying really hard to be entertaining, but the family to our left seemed thrilled just to be out of the house and the couple to our right consisted of "Can't Catch With My Mouth Man" and his wife, who literally kept dozing off. She attributed it to her pregnancy. Before long, the lady at the other end of the table was sympathizing about how she used to fall asleep all the time whilst pregnant, sometimes right into a bowl of porridge. Yeah, right. I mean, who eats porridge anymore?
Meanwhile, we were cheering and laughing, and were clearly the chef's favorites. He gave us extra portions with lots of mushrooms, and didn't get any food in our hair.
The rest of the weekend was restful and great. Phase II of Omar House 2002 began with the painting of the bedroom and the master bathroom. The bedroom started looking like a funky light purple, but it has deepened in shade into a Grimace-like violet. The bathroom is lime-greeny. Both look great. The bedroom just got a second coat. I'll take pictures when everything is ready to be seen and critiqued by savvy DIY'ers on the Web. It's not Changing Rooms, but it's nice to be able to do something nice with my house.
My family was supposed to come up on Sunday, but they had some car trouble. Monday, I had the day off from work, so I caught up on some personal stuff and ordered a laptop. It should arrive by the end of the week. Yay, laptop! You don't understand. I've been shopping for a laptop since November, and one finally appeared from the heavens that had everything I wanted and was deeply discounted and had rebates up the wazoo. Not literally up the wazoo. I think the wazoo of the laptop is occupied by a Firewire port and two PC card slots. It should make recapping a lot easier.
And that was my birthday. No fireworks. No froo faras or hullaballoo. But damned if it wasn't a good weekend.
Oh, and check out Sars' "Hollywood and Vine." Funny ass shit. (Shake 'n Bake voice:) And I helped!
Like drying leaves in a deep forest, so are the boogers in your nose.