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My birthday was last Wednesday and had a great time.  I turned 42 and had a really nice time.

I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I have pretty much everything I want, so presents are a hard thing to come up with, but somehow, they just aren’t the big deal that they used to be.  My parents bought me a few books off of my Amazon list.  One of them, _Lifehacker_, is a collection of ideas to change your life and make it better, and I’m already loving it.  There’s good stuff there and I’ve only flipped through it.

Among Chris and I, we’ve been trying to give experiences more than things.  They’re often more expensive, so they make kind of ‘wow’ presents, they don’t clutter up the house, and they’re usually experiences for more than one person, so they’re double or triple presents.  So for my birthday we went to see a play, _An Ideal Husband_ by Oscar Wilde at the Taproot Theater, around the corner from my work.

Wednesday, the day of my actual birthday, was kind of a crappy day.  I blew out a brand-new tire on the way to work by scraping it along the curb while parking, and then the internet was down for most of the day at work, which meant no credit card processing.  I got to hang out with Erik, who is doing the map for Ellis after work, and that seems to be coming along.  Dare I hope for the end of the month?  But I waited too long and got caught in traffic going home.

But I got the tire replaced and made it home.  Talked to my parents and open their presents -- thanks again guys! -- and then opened a present from Chris that was in addition to the theater tickets.  Two bottled of Pinnacle vodka, one cake flavored and the other whipped cream flavored.  Wow!  What an awesome present!  Inexpensive, perfectly-tailored to my likes and habits, long-lasting.  Every time I have a drink for the next couple of months, I’ll think of her (and maybe longer, since I did not know those flavors existed).  I didn’t get to drink any that night; we spent the rest of the evening relaxing in front of the computer.

Thursday was a long day a work, with birthday dinner out with a bunch of friends afterward.  12 people showed up and we had a great time.  Thanks everyone for a great night out.  We went to a pizza/Italian place next door to work and I think half of us ordered the ‘Boat of Cheese’.  It was a little bland for my tastes, but very filling, which was what I wanted.  We talked some games at dinner, and more on the way out, but later, as I was walking to the car, I noticed a friend sitting by himself in a different restaurant, and went in to say hi.  We wound up talking games for nearly an hour.  Much fun!

Luckily, I took Friday off, since I didn’t get to bed until almost 1:00 am.  So I slept late, played in the garden, worked on Ellis and generally hung out.  A pretty mellow day.  Becca came home very upset because a party that she was going to on Saturday got moved to Friday.  We talked about it for a while and we worked out a plan to get her there that night, even though it would mean skipping the play.

So we went out to Mexican food that night, looked at MLPs at Toys R Us and then took Becca to her party, before Chris and I continued on into the city for our play.  Conversations beforehand (and afterwards) got a little serious, but not in a bad way, and managed to make the night even better.  The play itself was fabulous.  The first two acts a little slow, but plenty witty, and the third and fourth acts riotously funny and deeply moving.  I actually teared up twice.

Saturday was also fairly mellow, me feeling like I was fighting off a low-level crud.  But I got chores done, worked on Ellis some, and got to play City of Heroes for a bit.  Dinner was homemade chicken soup which made the house smell wonderful.  Cheesy movie night was Zoom: Academy for Super Heroes, which was terrible.

We made two different drinks for the night, both featuring the new vodka.  I started with a recipe off of Pinnacle’s website, but didn’t like the taste, so I added some syrup which made all of the difference.  Chris talked me into adding cupcake candy sprinkles as a garnish, which was also a very good touch.  Here’s the final recipe for my new favorite drink:

1.5 oz Cake-flavored vodka
1.0 oz Whipped cream flavored vodka
1.5 oz Half & Half
1.0 oz Simple syrup
Garnish with candy sprinkles

Chris’ drink was:

4.5 oz ChocoVine
1.0 oz Whipped cream flavored vodka
1.5 oz Half & Half


Today starts a long stretch of extra hours at work, and hopefully catching up on a lot of little things at work.  I’m looking forward to getting everything ship-shape for the upcoming holidays, but not to being there as much as I will be.  But oh well, it won’t be any worse than the multiple shifts I was working this time last year,  :)
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