September 24th, 2004


dum de dum dum to me ...

Well, thanks to all who have passed along B-day wishes!

This morning started early as The Girls were up and raring to go at 5am ... fortunately The Wife convinced them to let me sleep to at least 6:30. Our plans for the day are a bit hazy, as The Wife thought the new shark movie had started this week, but it's not here until 10/1, and there is nothing else we can realistically bring the kids to (having already seen Sky Captain). For some reason Daughter #1 has a half-day today and the thinking was that we'd pick her up, go have a nice lunch, and see a movie, but as the ONLY even plausible film out at the moment is What the Bleep Do We Know? ... and I'm pretty sure that I'm the only on in the family with any interest in seeing it ... I guess we're going to have to come up with another plan (Daughter #2 suggests Chuck E Cheese).

I've been "having issues" this week with this being the first birthday in my now 47 years that I've not had my Mother around for. There is all sorts of built-in sadness there, plus a lot of frustration that I've not been able to finish up with my end of getting her estate settled (when I blew out my knee last month the dragging stuff to storage program ground to a complete stop). Eh ... more tears.

Anyway ... I did get some good loot ... a new leather jacket ... a replacement for my databank geek watch which has started to have a delusion about it being 1/1/95 .... new CDs by Patti Smith, Prince, Morrisey, The Cure, and the Beastie Boys ... a boxed set of Lord Of The Rings DVDs (I have not as yet seen any of the movies) ... a Hulk alarm clock ... some gift certificates ... and various pieces of artwork from my daughters.

The Wife and I are going to try to get out for a "real dinner" next week at Tru (and burn through a bunch of accumulated restaurant gift certificates in the process), she'd tried to get a reservation for this weekend, but was told that their Friday and Saturday dinner-hours (yeah, we could have a 10:30 reservation!) are booked up something like 16 weeks in advance ... so, we're up in the air for lunch and dinner today. I guess I'll catch folks up on the festivities later!

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more birthday stuff ...

040924-027bWell, there I am at the ripe old age of 47 ... pic taken in the reflective surface of the Cloud Gate sculpture down in Millennium Park this afternoon. I don't know ... I don't think I look that much different than pics of me on the road back in my late 20's and early 30's (except the grey beard, of course!) ... hmmm, perhaps that's more a function of not changing my casual clothing style in two decades than lack of aging.

Since the movie concept was out, I suggested that we go down to some Museum ... we were originally thinking of the Field Museum. I did, however, want to stop off at the Chicago Cultural Center for a birthday run at the Art*o*mat machine there ... I treated everyone to a token (at $5 a pop) and was a bit disappointed that the machine was half empty! I don't know if that was a good sign (i.e. that they'd had a lot of paying traffic), or a bad sign (i.e., they're not servicing them in a timely manner), but I'm guessing the former, since it's only been five weeks since Daughter #1 and I went down there and almost everything in the machine was new since then. Anyway, both girls got little dolls from some Nepalese collective or something, The Wife got this strange painted piece of slate, and I got a little painting by a Janet Ebersold.040924-034aThis was less "packaged" than anything I'd gotten out of there previously, it was a painting on board, mounted on some more board, which was mounted on a 3/4" thick block of white-washed wood, with the requisite plastic wrapping simply taped around it. As I said, half the machine was sold out (they'd even turned off the lights on the bottom row) so my choices were pretty much between three artists, all of whom had little paintings.

Anyway, since we were going to go down to the Cultural Center, I suggested that we grab lunch at the Au Bon Pain in the AON Center concourse, a couple of blocks away ... although it was a hot day I was feeling like some soup! The combination of that, and poking around at the Cultural Center after our Art*o*mat purchases, left us with a bit too little time to make our way on down to the Field Museum. The Wife had brought a change of clothes for The Girls "just in case", so I figured we might as well go over to Millennium Park and let them play in the fountain there (see my pics from my post on 7/23), which we did for an hour or so. Once we coaxed them out of the water, we headed up to gawk at the Cloud Gate some more (see pic below) and then went over to get some ice cream before getting on the El to head home.

The Wife had decided that we were going to go to Cafe Iberico, a wonderful Spanish tapas place that had been one of my Mom's favorites when she was still mobile enough to get out to "fun" places. Unfortunately, The Girls (especially #2) were really tired and were not the most stellar dinner companions, but we all ate more than enough and then came home for some birthday cake. Had a sad moment or two as we were leaving as I was almost into auto-pilot to try to get a place where the cab could come right over to the curb (standard procedure for getting my Mom into cabs before she was in the wheelchair), and it was not wonderful realizing that "I didn't have to do that anymore". I miss my Mom!

Oh, I forgot to mention one of my "prizes" in my earlier post ... it's a binocular-cam combination that I'd seen in several catalogs, and looks like it could be fun. I guess I still have another goody coming, as The Wife was quite pissed that something wasn't in the mail today (no, I don't have a clue). So ... that was the story of my 47th birthday!

Oh, here's that Cloud Gate picture (dang, this thing is so photogenic that it's going to be photographed a zillion times over the next decade or so!) ...


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