07 January 2008

A Celebration of Me

Sometime after the first day of the year, and sometime before the first week of the year, is my birthday. On the first Monday, after the first weekend, after the third day of the year, it's business as usual. But before that day (this day in fact) I take full advantage of my birthday.

I enjoy getting older. There's something about being alive that trumps gray hairs, wrinkles, a slowing metabolism and/or a more Buddha-ish belly. I view my birthday as a marker. I ask myself 'what were my goals last year?' and 'am I where I wanted to be?' I look at where I went wrong (because I've never lost enough weight or saved enough money) and at what I can do to improve for my next year. I think of new ways to meet those goals (do more weight training or find an additional income source) and I move into a new year with some additional tasks and more than 350 opportunities to complete them. Once I feel my birthday ducks are in a row, I call in my friends to celebrate.

I turned 26 on Thursday. I technically celebrated for three days and four nights. The night before the big 26, Jesse and I had dinner at the Claim Jumper. It's one of my favorite places that we rarely visit. While we were waiting for our food, Forrest Griffin sat next to us. I was in direct view of his cauliflower ear. Griffin was there with two women. They ate and he didn't. Although I'm pretty sure he got four salads to go. Rich Franklin also came in to the Claim Jumper that night. Apparently it's the preferred restaurant among ultimate fighters.

On Thursday, I did very little. Lucy bought me a scrap booking kit for Christmas and I developed some pictures I'll be using of the cruise. I even assembled one page. And that's really all I accomplished before happy hour. I went with Joel, Lizbeth, Melissa, and her friend Erin to Maggianos. It's my favorite happy hour spot and has my favorite waitress, (Danielle, do you want a lemon drop?) Stacy. She's swell. After two hours of fried cheese and gossip, I went home to open my presents.

A lot of people have asked me what Jesse got me for my birthday -- not 'what did you get for your birthday?' but 'what did Jesse get you for your birthday?' I gave those people vague answers. I don't know what they're hoping to hear, but I do know they're hoping to read into it. I won't knowingly walk into conversation that leaves me making qualifying answers, thank you very much.

On Friday, I did more relaxing. That evening I traveled up north, to watch Dirty Dancing with Kate and Melissa. It's my favorite movie, you might recall. Put it on a big screen, add some pizza, wine, and ice cream and it's a glorious evening. I have great friends.

On Saturday, it was Cinco De Taco, also known as cheap drinks and cheap appetizers. We stayed at the Pink Taco for a few hours, before going to Ellis Island. We tried to just witness the nightly karaoke... demonstration. But the place was packed. There was nowhere to sit and it's not the kind of place where one would like to stand. We called it a night after that, or so I thought. We were one block from home when Jesse changed his mind. But that's another story.

Celebrating 26 was nothing like the extravaganza of 24, (all six parts on this page) or the gala of 25 (which all fit in one post). But I didn't want anything more. I just wanted to have good times with my good friends, and I did. Happy Birthday to me.