Thank you all for your birthday wishes! I had a great 40th (Johnny, you’re only off by one day. Not a big deal. It was Sunday, March 11th). Not at all what I expected. No specter of death hovering over me or the fire department threatening to drown my cake.

Thursday Beth picked me up and we went to karaoke. She picked me up a little bit earlier than usual so we drove around, trying to kill some time. We had the thought “Hey, Dairy Queen would be good” but Dairy Queen was closed. Sigh. Both of the ones we drove by. Granted, it was close to 11 PM but still…

As we’re driving along, Beth asks me where we are. Apparently, since we were in Saint Paul, I’m supposed to know my way around the city. Yeah. Like I pay attention.

B: Where are we?
DM: We’re coming up to Saint Anthony (street, road, something with pavement). Next one will be Saint…uh…Basil.
B: Basil?
DM: Yes. Patron saint of, um…
B: Spices?
DM: Yes.
B: And the Spice Girls? When people pray to him do they say “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really want?”
DM: Absolutely.

To the best of my knowledge, there is not a Saint Basil. I made him up because it was the only “B” name I could think of at the time.

Friday and Saturday we went over to Beth’s Mom’s house for really good food and rousing games of Trivial Pursuit. I was very disappointed that the one time I was asked a Geography question and did not respond with New Zealand, that the answer was New Zealand. Figures. My football questions are usually answered with Joe Namath, Geography is New Zealand, Presidential questions are Martin Van Buren and the list continues. We had so much fun.

Also on Friday we went to a going away party for a woman Beth works with that I know from my days in the Phone Center at NABABNA. That was enjoyable except for the drunk people that kept singing “Ole ole ole, ole (watch The Replacements and you’ll have the exact way they were singing)” over and over and over again. By the end of the night, Beth ended up taking my fork away since she didn’t want me to get arrested. It would make celebrating my birthday a little awkward if I was locked up in jail.

Sunday was my birthday and it was filled with excitement. Not only was there the thrill of losing an hour of sleep but there was the added bonus of having to get up early. Joy! We went to see The Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company (tradition for Beth, Keem and myself since 2002) with my mom and then to Manny’s Steakhouse afterwards.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Before the show starts…

DM: I think I’m going to go have a cigarette outside.
Mom: You sit right down.

She even does the pointing to the bench and the scary Mom look.

DM: Mom. I’m 40. I can do what I want.

After intermission, she didn’t come back and we were worried that we had lost her. Turns out that she’s been sick over the week and wasn’t feeling good. She was lying down somewhere.

Then it was time to go to Manny’s. We ended up getting to the restaurant about 45 minutes ahead of time (hey, you have to plan to get lost. That’s tradition as well, plus James had to work and 6:30 was about the earliest reservation that would work out for him). We are sitting in the car, listening to Anna Nalick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8vHZfzu9Fk).

Mom: I don’t like this music.
DM: And?
B: Okay. Well, in honor of Dana, we’ll play her favorite song.

I start giggling. My favorite song is by Medium (Bryan’s old band) and is called Ten Feet of Rope. A portion of it pretty much walks you through how to commit suicide by hanging (“Now friends, what you want to do is take about 10 feet of rope”) and it makes me laugh every time I hear it. There is no absolute way my Mom is going to enjoy this. But, oddly enough, she doesn’t say anything.

A few more songs go by.

DM: This is Bryan, Mom. Our karaoke host and Liz’s boyfriend.
Mom: Oh? He sounds like a real singer.

I know this is a compliment but it still confuses me. Well, he’s human so of course he’s a real singer but I think I know what she means. Mom didn’t know that Bryan did have his own band for awhile.

Manny’s turned out to be a great time. My steak was perfect, as usual, served with garlic butter and I stole some of Kari’s pepper sauce, made with cognac, cream and pepper. It was very good.

After Manny’s, Beth and I headed off to karaoke. We got lost. Of course. It never fails. We finally ended up at karaoke around 10:30 and I was happy to see Char and Tom and also Sarah. Char and Tom got me scrapbooking stuff (some of it was pink and orange!)! And a pink notebook! That was great. Liz and James met us later and we had a great time remembering the day and some of the Momisms (Bryan is appreciative that he sounds like a real singer. He made sure to let us know that he stands on real feet. But his legs are fake) that came up (such as the operetta was not only in English, it was in American).

And the best part of this weekend? Other than the gifts and the friends and the great food and the singing and laughing and Trivial Pursuit? I finished my Vegas albums. Beth and I went to Vegas March 14th of 2004. I finished the album on March 12th, 2007. 3 freaking years! Yikes. Next is Portugal but I’m planning on being organized for this. Maybe I’ll even post some pages once I complete them.

Hope you all had a great weekend. My very cool older sister Nancy sent me a fluffy frog wearing an orange sweater. Isn’t that awesome? I spent my 40th birthday doing several of my favorite things – going to the opera, going to Manny’s, scrapbooking, karaoke and spending time with my friends and family. If you have to turn 40, this is the way to do it.

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