Monday, August 16, 2010

Birthday by the Lake!

Holding my Tardis cake!

This year I decided to capitalize on the fact that my condo has a lakefront yard, grills, and picnic tables, and my birthday is in summer. So I had a bunch of people over to celebrate. Being a broke vegetarian, I made it BYOM (bring your own meat), and asked people to bring food to share.
It was a blast, and people were so wonderful. I took pictures, and at one point had a picture take of me with my cop neighbor.

"Oh, I know - here; let's make it look like I'm assuming the position!" I said, putting my hands behind my back and leaning over as though to be pushed into a squad car.

"Yeah. I NEVER hear that joke," came the deadpan response behind me.

Fellow Dr. Who fan C--  made me a Tardis cake complete with BAD WOLF graffiti, and I was over the moon. She, another neighbor, and I exchanged observations on the series, and agreed there would be a marathon when the weather turned cold. 

My friend M-- stopped by with her elderly parents on the way to visit her 98-year-old aunt. M-- is the woman with the land in Michigan. I'd met her parents in their huge house in Oak Park (Ernest Hemingway's house is nearby), and find them delightful. Her father is 82, and told me that the record for the oldest man is 156. 

"You thinking of breaking the record?" I asked.

"Yes, I'm thinking 'why not?'" he replied.

I contemplated the fact that if he succeeded, I'd most likely be dead at that point. 

I asked M. about her recent stint as an extra in the latest Vince Vaughn movie, and about her land in Michigan. I asked about her neighbors there, the woman with the two sons, only one of which I'd met at my last visit last summer. The son, R--- had been beautiful but, assuming he was in high school, and not wanting to do time in prison, I'd not acted on the mild attraction I'd sensed between us. 

"R-- has gone into the army" M-- said.

"The ARMY?"

"Yeah; he was laid off and then hired back, but hated his job and wanted to learn how to work on trucks, so the army's training him as a diesel mechanic."

"Well," I said, "It's not like there are all kinds of job opportunities where he was living, so it sounds like he took a good option. But isn't he a little young?"

M-- made a can-you-believe-this face. "He's THIRTY-FIVE."

"WHAT?!??!? I thought he was in high school!"

"I thought he was 25," said M. "But he's --well, he's now 36."

We looked at each other, and I knew we were both thinking the same thing: DAMN.

"He comes back in September for a couple weeks of leave," she said.

"You know," I said innocently, "I haven't seen your place in a year, and I've been wondering how it's coming along. We should have an end-of-summer party to celebrate, and you could invite him and his mom and brother to come over. I liked his mother." (It's true; I really did.)

M-- thought this was a great idea, and we decided she'd talk to the mother about a good date for a party. I know we were thinking the same thing, though: Welcome home, soldier boy.


karen said...

Have you read this ... about the possibility that people can't really live to 156 ...

Not saying that your friend's dad shouldn't aspire to it, but am saying not sure I would. Of course, I always figured I would live fast and die before 100 ...

Having been to Japan a few times, this article really gave me a giggle. The place is different, man!

Happy Birthday!

JC said...

Oh, I didn't really buy the 156-year thing, but I didn't want to squash his dream. He's too adorable. :-)

JC said...

An this article is morbidly fascinating -- the one thing it fails to mention is that in Japanese society - at least in Tokyo -- you almost never meet a person in their home, which is considered a sanctuary and off-limits to others. So to drop in on someone in their home is not done as it is here. Often, you don't even know where people live, because you meet them in restaurants.