Melanie and I enjoyed our meals. Melanie got the Alice Springs Chicken, which is delicious, and I opted for a sirloin (cooked medium) and coconut shrimp combo. I was surprised that I could eat as much as I did without feeling massively uncomfortable. By the time we got our check, it was perfect timing to head to the Tallahassee Mall to see the 7:30pm showing of Looper. The movie wasn’t quite what I expected, although it was quite good. A bit more graphically violent than I’d anticipated, and also a bit more horror-ish than I would’ve thought (which might be misleading, but if you ever see it, I think you’ll understand). And yes, I bought popcorn. I wasn’t the least bit hungry, but I knew at some point during the movie I’d wish I had it. It also didn’t seem right to go to a movie for my birthday and not get popcorn, so I bought some. I didn’t attack it with my usual voracity, but by the movie’s end, very little of it went to waste. (Now, how much of it went to waist is another question! LOL!)
I don’t even know what much to say about Saturday. We went out for bagels in the morning. We went to Panera, where Melanie and I both tried a pumpkin pie bagel with New York cheesecake cream cheese. It was very good. The bagel was smaller than their other bagels. I don’t know if that’s on purpose because it’s a special limited-edition bagel, or if they just happened to turn out small this time around. Either way, it worked out well, because it made for a relatively light breakfast after Friday night’s indulgence. Besides going to Panera for breakfast, I spent Saturday watching conference and doing a little bit of recreational reading. Originally, I’d hoped to spend a good chunk of the weekend watching movies and reading books, all for fun, but it feels like I hardly did any of that. All in all, I read something like 35 pages of a new book (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind). That’s not much for a weekend of supposed rest and relaxation. But overall, Saturday was calm, and that was nice. Things got a little more hectic around 8pm, when I was heading off to church to watch the general priesthood session of general conference. Right when I was about to go, Creegan poured out nearly a gallon of milk onto our table and carpet and Peter discovered a leak by our air conditioner that had led to a swollen bubble of water inside of a rapidly softening wall. “I love you!” I said to Melanie as I left her to deal with the disasters. I took my exit as an early birthday gift to myself. By the time I got home shortly after 10pm, peace had been restored. The milk was cleaned up, and maintenance had made an emergency visit to take care of the water problem. Nice.
Sunday was officially my birthday. Melanie spoiled me by having me decide all three meals, which she graciously prepared to my specifications. For breakfast, we had oatmeal pancakes and scrambled eggs. For lunch, we made mock Bagelry sandwiches. The Bagelry was one of the best eateries in Utah but has sadly disappeared since Melanie and I moved away. Our homemade version of The Bagelry’s best sandwich is not identical, but it captures the essence. Our knock-off sandwich consisted of turkey, provolone, bacon, spinach, tomato, avocado, dried cranberries, and strawberry cream cheese on miniature ciabatta rolls. (The Bagelry’s version was served on an Asiago bagel, came with romaine lettuce rather than spinach, and featured cran-raspberry cream cheese instead of strawberry.) Dinner consisted of pot roast cooked with miniature carrots, crescent rolls, “funeral potatoes,” and peas. And for dessert, Melanie made apple cobbler and served it à la mode. Amazing, right? It was a delicious day.
Note: tall candles tip when they start to melt inside of hot cobbler.
Fairly early into Sunday, Melanie and the kids presented me with gifts. I first opened a gift from Melanie’s parents. They sent me a stylish necktie and some gift cards. Peter then presented me with a pair of CDs—No Doubt’s brand new Push and Shove and a box set collector’s edition of Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream that contains a bunch of extras. Edison then gave me a pair of Blu-rays—a fancy box set of Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (again with a bunch of extras) and Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. And finally, Creegan gave me a pair of books—Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and J. K. Rowling’s new novel aimed at adults, The Casual Vacancy. It was an awesome boon of gifts, none of them expected. Melanie’s idea was to have a theme—something old, something new. She wanted to give me something I would consider a classic from the worlds of music, film, and literature, and then also to give me something new from those same categories. She did well. Siamese Dream, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Lolita are all among my very favorites. The only glitch is that I have seen Jackie Brown, which Melanie somehow misunderstood. She thought she was giving me a movie that I hadn’t seen from one of my favorite directors. She was a bit saddened to learn I’d seen it, but I’m totally happy to have it. And really, it’s been 15 years since I’ve seen it (I saw it in theaters in 1997), and I’ve only seen it once. It may not be a brand new movie to me, but it’s as close as you can otherwise get.
And that was my birthday. It was largely a calm day spent at home. Which is good. The end.