That was what we called kegger night in college.Literally.
Ok, maybe just too old for a birthday on a three day weekend. Because the MLK day/Xtopher’s birthday alignment means my birthday was celebrated for four damn days.
Today is a day of rest.
Also, I have a handyman here (not) fixing things.
Having been busy yesterday, I just checked the Facebook for the first time since…maybe Saturday? Friday?!? Oh, the social media birthday love. It motivated me to share some of my weekend with you, which I wasn’t planning on.
My brain is fatigued and more than slightly pickled, though…fatigued from three weeks of daily writing. Im thinking of hanging that initiative up this Friday or Saturday. My goal was daily blog posts for a month. Would the 1st-26th count?
My original goal was to wear myself out writing so when I go in to try editing my book again, I make notes on what I want to edit. Last time I went in to try and edit, I started adding and fracked up my timeline.
I figure wrap up my January writing initiative, take a few days to read a book a blog buddy sent over – I’m seriously burnt out on words enough that I’m barely reading the blogs I follow. When I sat down to his book, the only opinion I had was
Nope. Cannot do.
(I’m sorry, Phil, I’m working on it!)
So, take a few days to read my friend’s work then get cracking on some damage control on my own.
Anyhoo, I’m sure you’ve already figured out the pickling problem.
The unexpected outpouring of well-wishes I encountered on the Facebook surprised me, as usual. It also kinda washed over me and extended my birthday feels another day.
Friday and Saturday were pretty low key, drinks and shenanigans with my own version of Fox & Friends. Little Buddy shot me an invite, all spur of the moment, to go see a Power Point Improv show we’d discussed a while back. I couldn’t make it, prior engagement.
Birthday weekend shenanigans…
I debated not telling her it was birthday-related. I really am low key about my birthday. Swearsies.
Saturday when I was out with the Silver Fox, I asked him
My family has been quiet about my birthday. Are they up to something? If they are…I kinda feel like I should get a haircut.
He assured me that they were not. Then he casually remarked that I might want to get a haircut, though.
Hehe. I assumed he was commenting about my overall shagginess.
Resolutions for the new year?
Not exactly my thing. But when I do make them, they are me all the way.
1) Write and post a blog entry daily, which you all know.
2) Not cut my hair.
I’ve been trying to grow out a longer style for the last six months or so. Around June, I figured if I wasn’t going to work, maybe I should indulge my back of mind musings on having crazy old man hair.
Only, the last few times I’ve gone in to get it cleaned up around the edges, I’ve ended up long on top, trimmed back to above the ears and looking like a Flock of Seagulls refugee.
So, I gave basic hair maintenance two tries and then embargoed it til the end of January. When I make up my mind about these types of things, I always feel bad for my friends. They’re the ones that have to look at – no, endure the fallout.
Anyway, I don’t care, my family isn’t planning anything, so I don’t give it much more thought. A little later, my mom texts me and invites me to brunch on my birthday.
Perfect. Nice and low key, just the way I like it.
For Sunday afternoon, The Fox and I had just planned on going to the hotel bar next door for a few beers. Then we were going to come back to my place and watch some Grace & Frankie. It was a perfect plan.
When we meet up on the corner, he announces that Owl X had texted him that Pallet Jack was back at Big Legrowlski.
Well, I guess we’re going to BL!
I’m laughing and crossing Everett before I even finish the sentence.
All things being equal, it’s Sunday afternoon. I know either bar will have some of my favorite staff working – all of whom definitely fall into the Guy Candy category. But Joey at Legrowlski is in his last couple of weekends before leaving the country to work overseas and has a habit of “accidentally” oversharing the most scintillating personal details. Unless the Tanner Creek boys are working in jock straps for my birthday, Pallet Jack and Joey win!
We walk in and I’m immediately irked by the twosome sitting in the corner. They brought their dog in. I love the dogs that come with or walk by at The Fox and I sit outside sipping away the Summer.
But not inside.
I’m trading hellos with Joey while I hope the Rug Room isn’t too packed, cuz I don’t want to sit on the small bar side with a dog.
Are you surprised?!?
I’m debating how to answer:
– Surprised you let a dog – other than me! – in?!?
– Surprised that I don’t see Pallet Jack on the tap list?!?
Don’t let anyone tell you that being a grumpy old man is easy.
The Fox is pulling me out of the way. I’m trying to look behind me to see whose way I’m in and he’s shoving me into the Rug Room.
My parents, siblings and brother in law are tucked around a pub table in one corner. Their table, I notice, is blocking the fire exit. The Fox is standing behind me, trying to get me into the group. They certainly know me.
Little Buddy, 2.0 and JOrtis are sitting around a low table, looking pretty happy with themselves.
Diezel and Linda Belcher are wrapped into the far corner, flanking some other guy. It’s kind of dark and the walls are all black in the Rug Room, but I really don’t know if I don’t remember him, can’t see him well enough to recognize honor if someone brought me a present.
Nah…that would be weird.
Not unwelcome…just weird.
What I should have said is:
Do you know what this could do to a man my age?!?
Surprised someone throws a surprise party for a something-ty-first birthday?!?
But instead I just stood there with my mouth hanging slightly open.
The Silver Fox is chuckling contentedly behind me and still nudging me, so I begin hugging my way into the room. As I’m finishing, people start shifting their comments toward birthday beers.
It’s not that they are out of Pallet Jack, it’s that in order to ensure they have Peej for the party, they’ve been sitting on a keg for the past two weeks! Owl X and I had even discussed it the prior week as I was leaving, neither palleted nor jacked and she said, “See you soon!”
You got any Pallet Jack on order?”
“Maybe. I’m not sure. Brendan” – the owner and Dude enthusiast – “said he wanted to keep it on tap always, so probably?”
Joey takes me into the walk-in and I’m resisting saying anything about Three Minutes in Heaven. Somehow we manage to get about five people into the walk-in to document the transition. Several of us are lecturing Joey on how tapping a keg used to be a lot harder than what he talked me through…when we were your age.
I’d actually seen the new tap mechanisms back in my grocery working days a few Great-Job-Hunts-ago.
The Fox was talking about Rent Parties that we would have in college. Get a keg for $35 and invite your friends over for a $5 all-you-can-drink night!
I was telling Joey how we would have to manually pump the taps at those keg nights.
My sister was angling for a good pic. Hint: I no longer have a “good side”!
But here ya go…
Birthday Boy with his birthday beer!
A little later someone rectified the situation on the tap list, too.
That eventually – after we got booted from the rug room three hours later so the band could set up – evolved into having a Secret Tap “for the regulars”. A few of them stopped by over the course of the afternoon and evening and shared a pint with the party. Owl X had been a little late arriving and missed the tap moment, but she found the light controls and smoke machine! Karaoke was briefly discussed and abandoned.
I think we’d held the festivities – and the bar side – hostage with our sheer number of people for another hour before people started heading off into the cloudy evening. No Blood Wolf Moon viewing here in Portland!
Diezel and his date – the stranger was his. I mean, geez, D, it’s my birthday…you gotta let me unwrap something! – had another birthday party to go to and we’re the first to leave. I got to chat with them a while and I have to say, I’m glad Diezel may have found himself a good old keeper.
Not to jinx anything. Since I’m not involved, I think it’s safe…
Little Buddy took her guys and headed off toward the ‘Couv. She has a kiddo at home to think of feeding. I forgot to ask how the Power Point Improv was, but in retrospect, I think it may have even been a red herring!
My family was the next to go, but almost the last to leave besides The Fox, Owl X and I. Mom was “taking one for the team” as my sister put it and acting as the family DD. Still, having her driving after dark on a cloudy night was a little hard for me to be 100% comfortable with.
On the other hand, I hadn’t been drunk with my siblings since…I dunno. Maybe my sister’s wedding? But I don’t think we were out of control for that. My brother rarely has a beer, let alone what we decided was four for him that night. My sister shocked me by jumping in head first with her first beer. Since Peej was not yet available, she had a Notorious Triple IPA…just an 11.2% alcohol by volume concoction.
Hats off, sis!
My dad took a break from his canned water of choice (Coors Light, which I heard they were giving away in Flint for hydration, j/s dad!) and enjoyed some of Oregon’s Finest.
Tastes a little apricot-y.
My favorite moment of the night!
I’d said the exact same words to Little Buddy the first time her, 2.0 and I had gotten together for beers. LB and I were working together again, her and 2.0 had just decided to give the dating thing another go and I’d been convinced to try an IPA. I’d notoriously hated them for 20 years, opting instead for Ambers and Reds.
They were surprised by my statement.
Well, it’s definitely got a stone fruit note to it.
They humored me. Well, maybe they agreed that I had a weird mouth and I agreed to ignore their assessment.
“It must just be a weird palate thing with your family”, Little Buddy said.
This is why we’re friends.
Joey’s shift had ended and my other favorite bartendress had reported for duty, sneaking a crowler of the good stuff into my goodie bag.
Linda Belcher was the last non-regular to leave. Although, since she passes the bar on her way rom her office to the bus stop, she’s known to wander in looking for me on occasion.
Sometimes she sees me and joins me.
Other times I’m not there.
Still others, she doesn’t see me.
I think I enjoy the times she sees me and joins me most, but those times she doesn’t see me are pretty friggin hilarious.
We got to sit in the Rug Room and chat a little. The band was really good, just a him & her type duo. Not too loud, so we could enjoy both the music and some talk. Her husband – Bob Belcher of Bob’s Burger fame, obviously – is in Nepal for several months and I’ve been meaning to check in on Linda Belcher for a couple weeks…just…life.
There were some folks I’d have loved to see present. Some – like Filipina Fox and her husband – were out of town for the weekend. Others, the Silver Fox just couldn’t contact because he didn’t have their contact info. He’s not on social media, so he couldn’t use Messenger as a tool to reach out to my other known associates.
The biggest shocker wasn’t how well he pulled this off – starting with hiding the keg weeks ago. No, it was that he kept it a secret. That’s truly impressive. He’s always accidentally giving away the twist in a movie or show. I think the years that we’ve been friends have caused some of my sneakiness to accidentally rub off on him.
I woke myself up on my actual birthday morning because I’d been smiling so hard in my sleep that I think I couldn’t actually be unconscious and simultaneously that happy.
There’s worse ways to wake up.
We finally got to watch some Grace & Frankie last night. I know you were worried.
And then the bottle of wine The Fox got me last year at my birthday to round out the birthday proper while we binged on Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s old-age misadventures.
I was exhausted after four days of friendly camaraderie and about a month’s worth of alcohol in that same timeframe.
My low key day today brought all the feels back just by opening Facebook. I’ve been doing a good job of only checking in once a day. Actually, I’ll miss days now and then.
Yesterday was one of those days.
That big old birthday smile came back. For some, maybe it’s not a big deal…but to me, having over 100 folks take time out of their day to wish me well is a big deal.
Even Portland’s former mayor dropped me a note.
Replying to these messages is what made me think to blog about my birthday in detail. Plus, this gave me a chance to prove that I didn’t drink too much!
It started out about like this blog…
Then got sweet…
I didn’t even know I had birthday wishes! Outside of the lottery win that refused to comply…
Actually, there was a little WTF moment when I started responding. Check out the background…
Hmmm. <unfriend>? Actually, it fits my personality. Well, not the “god” part. But, it’s the thought, right?
And speaking of my personality. One of The Fabulous Baker Sisters has to weigh in!
And, I’m case you worried, we had more than a few Myrtle mentions…
So, here’s to another year of surviving Myrtle’s Gulag, life and the occasional happy surprise.
Thanks for reading, every one of you!