Tag Archives: birthday

rrrrrr and happy birthday

Happy Birthday to my younger son, Jesse! He’s 27 years old today (gulp).

…and happy talk like a pirate day to everybody else. Here’s hoping this will help you all get in the mood.


so, yesterday was my birthday…with a full moon and lunar eclipse

My “good birthday deed” was spending the afternoon with my dad. First to the doctor to find out the results from the CT scan of his head. Turns out he’s been having a lot of little strokes–TIAs–affecting the frontal lobes. So, not Alzheimer’s but just as devastating, especially since this is exactly what happened to his mother. She had lots of TIAs over the years causing her to slowly lose herself.

The doctor’s diagnosis didn’t seem to affect Dad at all. It just didn’t register on his diminished radar, but when the doctor said I should stop him from ever driving again he grew quite agitated, “Don’t do this to me, don’t do this to me…” The doctor kept at it, telling him logically why he must not drive (and why he should quit smoking–another upsetting subject for him) and not noticing the effect he was having on Dad. sheesh! So, I interrupted and said, “Don’t worry, Dad. It’s just that the car is broken and until we can get it fixed I’ll have to take you where you want to go.” That quieted him down and I turned to the doctor and said, “Drop it, he’s getting too upset.”

talk about out of touch…argh

After we left the doctor’s office, we stopped at a barber shop for a very overdue haircut. Dad just talked and talked while the barber quietly worked. He talks constantly, my dad, like a 2 year old who’s just learned how to string together all the words he knows. It never stops. Finally, when the barber started on his eyebrows, ears and beard, Dad quieted down. It was touching to see how gentle and caring this stranger with scissors was with my dad.

By the time Dad was neatened up and presentable, it was 2:30 and he hadn’t had a thing to eat all day, so we stopped at a local delicatessen for some food. It’s hard to take Dad out in public because he doesn’t behave appropriately anymore, plus his table manners are not what they used to be. By the time he finished his soup and sandwich, he’d removed his teeth, stuffed torn and twisted napkins up his nostrils and left the rest in a pile of shredded bits.

ah, i wish i had the patience of that barber, but he doesn’t have to eat across from the man

I dropped him off at his apartment 4 hours after the ordeal began and made my way home, whereupon I found that brni had bought me season 3 of Lost and a dvd of “Smart Television,” a PBS special about the Jack Parr Show. I used to like watching his show when I was little…yes, I’m THAT old.

And then the moon played hide and seek for my birthday and i learned how to use a tripod (pictures to follow later today).

thanks to everyone who wished me well. your wishes were granted (despite my dad’s diagnosis)

full birthday eclipse

feb 20th is the next full moon. not only that, it’s a total lunar eclipse AND i will be turning 57 years old on that day.
i mean, is this auspicious or what? a full moon/lunar eclipse on my birthday? kinda feels like it…

friends? family? LJers? what should i do? i mean, it feels like something should be done….
give me your thoughts or ideas or just mock me in some wonderfully loony way.


did a drive-by caking tonight!
so i had chocolate cake and ice cream for my birthday.
and brni gave me books and kisses
*happy me*

Jesse’s birthday

My younger son, Jesse turned 25 years old on Tuesday, September 19. We got together on Wednesday to celebrate in our own low-key way. For his present, Jess wanted to be taken clothes shopping. Apparently, everything he owns has holes in revealing places and needs replacing. His uncle recommended the Nordstrom Rack in King of Prussia.

Neither Jesse nor I like shopping for anything, but we especially hate shopping at the mall, so we figured this store might be a way out of that. No such luck. The Rack is a great square warehouse-type place jammed with racks and racks of the most awful looking clothing I’ve ever seen. The colors were nauseating, the styles from somewhere deep in the well of bad taste and the stuff just looked dirty. Lennie had told Jess that you had to really look through the jammed racks to find anything decent, but we found that just too traumatizing. Maybe if you are the kind who loves both shopping and the thrill of finding a bargain in a tacky haystack of textiles, but not us.

So, appalled and broken, we headed to the mall. We went to Penney’s and grabbed a pair of jeans, 3 pairs of cargo pants, socks and underwear. We tried to find shirts of the long-sleeved tee variety, but they all had messages written on them in large letters and Jess dislikes wearing other people’s words. We got out of Penney’s for under $200 and figured we’d find shirts and one of those warm, fleecy jackets for Fall at EMS, but alas, EMS is no longer living at the mall. Fine store. I’ll miss it.

Arriving home, Jesse felt the need to wash the mall off, so he showered and changed into his new jeans. His food wish for his birthday was sushi and sake, so Brni and I took him to the Hana. Jesse downed 3 spicy crunchy tuna rolls on his own, plus some sashimi, miso soup and other fishy delights. The boy was hungry.

It is becoming a rare event, spending time with either of my children. Michael is in Japan for the next two years and though Jess only lives about 10 miles away, I hardly ever see or speak to him. I miss being a part of their lives and they of mine. But that is the way of things and there’s not much use in bemoaning what can’t be changed. Children grow up and parents blink back the years.

But, we had, I think, a lovely day.

Happy birthday, Jesse. Your mother loves you dearly.

happy birthday, and thanks for all the fish

last night, i went into the kitchen to make dinner. now, i can’t cook in a messy kitchen and brni has a habit of dumping stuff on the counter which means i MUST clear the counter before i can cook (even when the offending stuff is not in my way).

so i pick up a plastic shopping bag and ask brni, “what is this?” he says, “it’s your birthday present.” i am taken aback and exclaim, “we don’t DO birthday presents!” and i look in the bag. it’s a wacom tablet. i’ve wanted a wacom tablet for years!

i cry.

then he gives me another present — baccala!

for those of you who are not italian and are not initiated in italian foodways, baccala is salt-cured codfish. the fish is split, filleted, salted and hung to dry. it looks just like a large ping-pong paddle, only stinky.

in the old days, dried, salt-cured cod, or baccala, was found hung in the kitchen of every italian home. before cooking, the baccala was soaked in water for 3 days. the water was changed everyday to both hydrate the fish and rinse away the excess salt. after the baccala was all plumped up, it was cut into chunks and poached in a tomato, onion and pepper sauce. of course, every region had it’s own variation, but for the most part, this was the theme.

now, italian women, being very practical, had the concept of multi-tasking down before there was even a word for it. so, it’s no wonder that when the children were acting up they were threatened with the biggest, hardest thing at hand–baccala! this was such a common household weapon that baccala became slang for spanking.

“you want a baccala? no? then get out of here!”

the practice of hanging baccala in the kitchen died out a generation or two before i came along, but i grew up with the threat of baccala over my head just the same. i think i was a teenager before i knew that baccala wasn’t the english word for spanking.

and yesterday, brni gave me my first, real baccala. it’s real stinky, but it’s the best birthday present ever!

i think i know what i’ll be making for our anniversary dinner on april fools day.

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