Thursday, July 28, 2005


Last year on my birthday it was cool and rainy, and after a bike ride and over pizza my then -companion asked me to tell him the difference between fiction and nonfiction, ouch. Red flags, anyone? I have several to spare. He's getting married, you know. For the third time.

This year the day dawned hot and humid and my naive self still entertained some hopes of canoeing on the Chicago River that afternoon. I greeted the morning by watching the cat disappear while I drilled a hole in a chilled tender Thai coconut picked up for just $.99 at the Golden Pacific Market.** After slurping the juice through a straw I somehow managed to hack the thing apart (this takes some skill, esp. when every knife you own is dull) and slurp down the tender insides. I'm still not composting, and it felt very wrong to put the whole thing in the garbage when in India they let them dry and use the fiber (coir) to make rugs and other items. But, I thought, It's my birthday, and I'll act like a fat spoiled 'Merican even if'n I don't want to.***

Then I took the bike up to YogaNow - where they sang happy birthday! I had a difficult and painful practice -- someone has replaced my body with that of some 41-year-old -- with Henry the Punk. Afterwards we enjoyed a lovely breakfast at m. henry (hey! a theme!). Lovely despite the fact that in spite of my glowing recommendation in this month's Fancy Magazine we were seated not in the bright and cheerful front area but in the back, near the kitchen. Nonetheless the food was excellent and plentiful as usual (FAT BLOG ALERT! Today the health club scale showed that I somehow gained FIVE POUNDS over the past week. When I just bought SIZE THREE capris. Could it have been the millions of salty corn chips consumed with Gridlife on Saturday? The two pieces of chocolate cake at the workshop on Sunday? The pina colada-in-a-martini-glass followed by a carrot cake chaser on Tuesday? Or are the scales and sizing all wrong? You make the call).

Then I rode the bike through the humidity and back to my hot home (seven of my windows face south, and I'm on the top floor) and dealt with work and laundry and phone calls and a bath, and took a long summer's nap in front of the AC. I awakened crabby and disoriented and was consuming some chilled chai and half of a Take 5 bar (a possible contributing factor to my new phatness?) in an attempt to elevate my mood when an editor called... and offered me a lucrative writing gig! The mood lifted somewhat. Then the doorbell rang. It was a man with flowers from the Hex (yes, that's them above), which were both unexpected and very welcome. And fragrant. Still very fragrant in fact. Then my long-lost friend Wickey called; she recently returned to New Hampshire after a long stint in Dublin -- and I get to see her this weekend! The last time I was in her company was in 2004, at Queen Victoria's house in Germany, where I stopped on the way home from India, when we visited some Hitler museum (we *really* know how to have a good time). Then Queen E. called; she's in Beantown and very keen to discuss The Bollywood Fillums, and will pick me up at the airport Friday!

While I was chatting on the phone the wind started blowing like crazy from the north and it was cool and such a delight after Sunday's 102-degree (felt like 120) nightmare. So I opened every window in the apartment (nine total) and let the cross-breeze flow and forgot entirely about the laundry on the line. And then it started to rain! Finally, the monsoon came (we're in the midst of a terrible drought) and it seemed like things might turn out OK after all. And then it was time to stop wringing my hands and wring out my clothes and head up north to charming Andersonville to meet the posse for dinner; much laughter and a much mellower birthday than last year's ill-fated 40 in 04 fete. Less is most definitely more, now that we're in OUR EFFING FORTIES.


*sounds like the title for a Huey Lewis comeback single

**Golden Pacific also has the great prices on regular and tasty fried tofu (made across the street! very fresh!), jaggery, bean sprouts, canned bubble tea and a plethora of other items.

***Now there's a song

1 comment:

  1. those flowers are from some classy the self referential blog photo.
    the Slope.