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11:37 AM - 05.17.22

Another Year, Another Birthday

In a dilemma - Find myself wanting to do this, but "this" typically takes hours, and I have other things I want to do as well...

I'm gonna do this. And try, as I do, to move a little more briskly than normal.

So my 61st birthday is in the history books.

I was about to say "My birthdays are typically 'fraught with peril'... ", but that's not really true, at least it hasn't been for the past number of years. Having lunch or dinner (Or this year, breakfast) with a couple of friends has been a "thing" for a while now, so the "Am I going to have anything happen on my birthday this year?", at least, has not been part of the "peril".

There was a bit of anxiety this year over the fact that Jane R couldn't do it (After initially thinking she could), Cary wasn't free on the day, and Mike M. now resides in Vegas.

But Josh and Dana (Dana is Josh's relatively-new girlfriend) treated me to the breakfast buffet at Sizzler, where I indulged like I haven't indulged in quite some time (Buffets haven't been a "thing" for me since I joined Weight Watchers in 2008 or thereabouts).

(It was slightly discouraging that I can still eat so far past my actual hunger without really "feeling bad" - feeling "stuffed" doesn't feel uncomfortable to me the way it ought - but that's for another entry.)

In addition to the food indulgence, it was nice indulging in a fairly leisurely social outing on my birthday.

When Dana stepped away for a moment, I told Josh I was enjoying the buffet - Josh had presented another option - in part because, by its nature, it was a slower-paced affair than if we'd simply gone somewhere and had a meal (My social outings, when they happen, tend to run between an hour and 90 minutes, start to finish, where this was at least a 2-hour affair).

That was nice - made it seem more of a "thing", somehow - and something I worried a little about (Having fun in the morning, then getting depressed cause I was spending the rest of the day alone) didn't happen. I don't know quite what the "magic formula" is, the proper ratio of socializing to being alone - on my birthday or on any day, really - but I was fine having the rest of the day be my typical "lazy Sunday" spent mostly in "Atheist Church".

And Dana was a delight. Of course, I expected I would like her - I like Josh, so why would I think he'd end up with someone I found insufferable? - but there's a difference between "likable enough" and "we laughed a lot, seemed to enjoy each other a great deal, and I'm glad I met them" (This was our second meeting - last time Jane was here, I think it was, we saw a movie with her and Josh at Josh's place - but the opportunity to actually talk was comparatively limited).

So the day itself was really nice, and the day before had been super-fun as well - Since Cary couldn't make it on the day, he invited me up to his place in Santa Clarita, for lunch and a trip to - It's the second time I've been there and I still can't remember the name of the place - an action-figure store in a nearby mall, where I could pick something out for a gift.

Again, the day was great fun for what we did - We went back to the Black Bear Diner which I'd really enjoyed the last time we lunched together. And I enjoyed getting to look at action figures without the guilt that normally comes with it (though I did have an eye on not "going crazy" - He'd invited me to get a thing, not to play "Supermarket Sweep" in the toy store) - but I think the biggest thing for me was there was a lot of time to talk.

Sometimes I worry, on the comparatively rare occasions I socialize with friends, that I tend to make it "all about me" (Which might be just who I am...but may also have something to do with my relative "social isolation").

But I feel like, in recent years, I've made some progress on that front. And while I probably went on more about myself with Josh and Dana than with Cary (I've known Cary for nearly 40 years now, so I don't think I feel any psychological pressure to "impress him" at this point), I think it's okay to go on a little about myself on my birthday, but I thought a lot of actual conversation happened as well.

One final bit of "celebration" hasn't happened yet, because the Post Office has not been cooperative - Jane R. sent out a birthday parcel, early enough that she expected it to get to me before my birthday, but it hasn't arrived yet.

(We've had something of a "thing", when she's not actually here for my birthday, of Facetiming as I open "the birthday box" she sends me. And It's really tough for me not to immediately open any fun package that I get sent, so she enjoys making me wait until we can "do it together").

Thought I was going to get it last night - the tracking said I'd be getting it at 8:00 pm - but it didn't happen. And so far today, I'm getting "In transit" messages, but not the "out for delivery" message I'm looking for.

But while I wait for Jane R's presents to arrive so we can do "that thing we do", it's not as if I haven't been "gifted" already - In addition to the action figure Cary gifted me with (I ultimately opted for a Marvel Legends "Falcon"), Mark and Jane Z.'s birthday parcel came in two parts.

Part One was 3 books by Martin Short, Bob Odenkirk, and Christopher Hitchens, and a generous Target gift certificate (Of the books, the Christopher Hitchens one is the one I've pulled aside to read first. And while I'm still holding on to most of the gift certificate they gave me for Xmas, this one I burned through immediately).

And Part Two was something we'd talked about beforehand which I'm really intrigued by - A "Starter Kit" for Huel, this dehydrated "superfood" where you add water, stick it in the microwave, and you have a meal with all the vitamins and nutrients you could ever ask for.

Both my "Janes" worry about me, healthwise, and Jane Z. is always suggesting food prep ideas that I'm not likely to ever do, so I think she landed on this as something healthy I might actually do.

And I have (Twice so far). And I've enjoyed it.

I also like that, per meal, it's way cheaper than what I've fallen into doing for myself (I have two go-to pre-made meals I like that are $8 or $9 each, which feels excessive. A Huel "meal", on the other hand, is $3 and change). And it's appealing that I know how many calories it is, and that, whatever else may happen, I've gotten at least one really nutritious meal in during the day.

(So I think, when I run out of the "starter kit" packs, I will take it up on my own.)

And when I see Mike M. next (He'll be back in town in a couple days, both for the Shameless wrap party and for a play his son Jake is in), he's coming with an action figure (After buying one I turned out to already have, he asked for a list. So I know he's gonna get me one of the things on my list, but I don't know which one...but I suspect it's gonna be Superman-villain Lobo).

So it feels fair to say my birthday was celebrated.

And then some.

And to my surprise, there's been a minimum of internal hand-wringing about getting another year older and closer to death (Though I don't think it's an accident that the first book I pulled out to read from the three Mark and Jane bought me was Christopher Hitchens Mortality).

And on that note, while I would like to write about the arrival of Jane R. on Thursday and the big Shameless wrap party on Saturday, that would go against my desire to not spend all day doing this, so I'm gonna call it for now.

Till next time...



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