Monday, September 12, 2005

Birthday 2: The Sequel

Yesterday was my daughter's birthday. In grand tradition, the celebration continues because my birthday is the day after hers. I'm used to sharing as my twin sister's birthday is, surprisingly, today as well. I put-off renewing my driver's license until the last minute. Last week I was busy birthday shopping and on Saturday I was too gung-ho to blast ahead with painting the kitchen because I knew I couldn't get it done on Sid's birthday. So I figured I'd dash my kids off to school and then go into the city to get that officious errand done. This meant that I could also effectively avoid really getting anything else done the whole of Monday morning and early afternoon.

"Besides," my darling husband said on Saturday, "you are still legal to drive until your birthday. Just do it then." He had looked-up the office hours online so I figured I'd trust him.

It was a good plan, it was a solid plan, it was a poorly thought-out plan. The renewal office is closed on Mondays. Jason will have to take me tomorrow, as I will then be "illegal" to drive. I'll be a renegade. When we're pulled up to a light and there are other drivers waiting their turn I can get their attention, point to my license, mouth "expired" and laugh manically. Sure, I won't actually drive -- that would be wrong, but I could pretend to drive.

If he were more insidious, I would suspect this suggestion to renew my license when I clearly could not as my husband's attempt to make myself dependent on him. If only! Drive the kids to lessons? Sorry, no license. Run to the store for bread and milk? Sorry, no license. It's almost tempting to give it a few days before I do it.

Happily, everyone insisted that I open my birthday haul in the morning. They seem to think I might be too bored today if I didn't have new "toys." As the paper flew, I knew that I had guessed rightly -- nearly everything was entertainment related. It was also pirate themed! I got a couple of packs of the Pirates card game. It's full of little ships you can assemble and battle.

I also got Sid Meier's Pirates! game for the PC. Lolly and I played the video game version at a store last week while Jason and Sid waited to order her new glasses. We were pathetic. At one point we couldn't even effectively shoot each other with our cannons and so each ran into the coast repeatedly, sinking our ships. Hopefully we'll get better now that we've got it for the computer.

Also included among the gifts were a couple of Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West) books, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: A Novel and Mirror Mirror. His books are twists on classic tales done from the perspective of the villan.

Jason also got me a digital voice recorder to take down notes that usually come to me at the least opportune times. The only problem with it is that I have to learn to listen to myself talk. Unlike Sid who never reads her instructions and prefers the troubleshooting-only approach to learning to use an item, I read my instructions. The MP3 player that we got Sid for her birthday yesterday was giving her trouble with various tracks. However, that may be the fault of the player and not the user. When I was reading about the various players online, I discovered that none of them worked perfectly but all had various degrees of annoyances. We selected one that had the features we wanted and seemed to have less of the problematic comments under costumer reviews at various websites.

My pirate-themed birthday is a perfect compliment to the up and coming international holiday Talk Like A Pirate Day, which is September 19th. Jason is quite good pirate-speak. I'm rather crummy. We have also read about the pirate-themed parody religion, Pastafarianism, which was founded as a response to the Kansas board of education's quest to make intelligent design a part of the curriculum. The theory surrounds the existence of the omnipotent Flying Spaghetti Monster According to Pastafarian theory, global warming is, in fact, a function of the number of pirates in the world. Therefore, FSM theory involves the propagation of the pirate population. Seems perfectly valid to me. There are graphs and everything!

Time to get some work done. In keeping with my diversionary lifestyle, I think I'll put in the director's commentary to Pirates of the Caribbean for background noise. The commentaries are my favorite parts of most movies and listening to them as I work or do chores is a common tactic for me.

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