Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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Happy Birthday to Me...

Hey, it's my birthday! And I'm heading to work. Where's the emoticon for that happy/ugh feeling?

Since I'm working the swing shift (2 to 10 pm), Jon and I thought we'd celebrate Sunday. Actually, we partied all weekend by sitting on the couch watching TiVo. It was just what I wanted.

Saturday we shopped, and I tackled the London Broil again, an event to which Jon refers as the "Great Fire of London Broil." One of the first meals I ever cooked for Jon was a disaster of a different sort. Baked within an inch of shoe leather, that experience put me off good cuts of red meat for a while. But now, after two years of prepping meals for our little family, and reading through The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook (it really is the last cookbook you'll ever need) gifted by a friend (thanks, Chel), I felt ready to tackle the beast again.

And, despite the flambe portion of the evening (which I maintain seared the steak's crust to perfection), I did a nice job. I heartily recommend this cookbook, which is great for novices and experienced chef's alike. Loaded with pictures and many informative pages on the general principles of cooking, this book is far easier to follow than my other standby, the (overly) detailed, archaic copy of The Joy of Cooking. (Admittedly, Joy is more detailed, and includes a lot of classic methods.)

Saturday, Jon and I enjoyed our London Flambé with smashed potatoes and a fabulous Smoking Loon Syrah. It was the best Syrah I've had since Rosemount, though it had a high alcohol content. We giggled long into the night.

Sunday, to get my mind off a. my car, and b. my little stack of presents in the dining room, Jon and I played 20 questions about one gift, which, he'd warned, I might accidentally come across in the house. Here's an abbreviated dialogue.

C: It's hiding in plain site?

J: Yes. Bye.

A couple of hours later, I convinced Jon to play the game with me about the one gift he'd mentioned, which I had been unable to locate despite my constant searching.

C: So, I can see it from where I'm sitting?

J: Yes.

C: Is it bigger than a breadbox?

J: I can't answer that question.

C: It's a simple 'yes' or 'no' game. Is it bigger than a breadbox?

J: Hmm. Can't answer that.

C: (thinking) Is it tangible?

J: Now that's the right question. No.

C: Is it software?

J: No.

C: It's not software?

J: No. That's seven.

C: What's seven?

J: Seven questions, but now it's eight.

C: No! Seven. Ok. Seven.

J: (sigh) Fine.

C: Is it something that I sugested as a potential b-day present for me?

J: Not exactly.

It was the intangible that was the main clue. I thought I had it for sure on software, thinking he'd purchased and downloaded some for my tricorder, perhaps. But if it wasn't that... then it had to be... SHOWTIME!

Yes! I got it right. And Jon reveled in showing all the new movies we'd be getting. A perceptive gift, as much for him as for me... something we could share... and a complete surprise.

The perfect gift. Now I can watch Dead Like Me.

Later last night, we went to Galileo in DC for a nice dinner, and walked around the new WWII Memorial. It is a lovely reclamation of the Rainbow Pool. However, being born in the heat of summer has its disadvantages. Sunday was a hot and sticky night, and we headed back to the cool confines of the car after our once-around.

I'm grateful to all the friends and family who sent wishes, cards, and great presents. I'm looking forward to reading the Atlantic Monthly, and I've already worn a groove in my Don McLean CD. And I'm enjoying my new watch daily.

It is a totally nerdy watch. Don't get me wrong, it is a lovely design. That is, it's a nerdy watch, but it doesn't look like a Casio digital I had when I was 12. It's a very adult watch, I suppose.

The nerdy part? It's got a titanium band, and a solar cell in the classic analog face to power the battery.

Too cool.

A little stack of presents can be just the right size.

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