Yesterday was my 36th birthday. Yes, since 1975, I've roamed this mortal coil in high slinking, slacking, sexy fashion. And what have I gleaned in my 36 year of human existence? Well, for starters, there's enough religion in the world to make people hate each other, but not enough to make them love. There's no better sight than a beautiful woman on a bicycle. And drink enough high fructose corn syrup "enriched" soda pop, and you too can look like Santa Clause by the time yer 36 years of age.
Oh yeah, there are the occasional annoying life lessons here and there. Also, people (family, friends, enemies, pawnbrokers, etc.) along the way that shape your world and your outlook on it. And the best word in the world has been and always will be "fuck," due to its Swiss Army knife-like verbal utility.
My 36th year got off to a bang-on start, as me and the Missus slept-in until 11 in the AM. coffee'd, shower'd and, disappointed by the lack of Fringe on the Hulu, headed over to Ikea to purchase an Expedit Sofa Table, which is the perfect size for my new vintage Marantz audio entertainment system (more on that in a bit). However, when we arrived at The Ikea, we found the bin which held the Expedit Sofa Table completely empty. All that remained of the table's existence was a floor model display. As a friendly The Ikea worker informed us, the Expedit Sofa Table was to be discontinued on April 1st. Inquiring if I could buy the floor model, I was told it would be sold as-is, display bracketed holes and all. Needless to say, I purchased an already assembled piece of soon-to-be discontinued Ikea furniture for 15% off the original price. Huzzah!
Then the Missus and I met up with me Mum for a little cinematic treat by the name of The King's Speech at this great three-screen independent movie house here in Sacramento that goes by the name of The Tower Theater. This art deco theater was made famous by proxy ages ago by being the name inspiration for Russ Solomon's once famous international records/books/video media empire. Now, it's regrettably been a long time since either my Mum, Missus or myself saw a properly good movie in a non-megaplex movie theater. What a delight it was to not have to endure people talking to the screen, yapping on their cell phones, sticky theater floors, pre-movie advertisements, on-screen verbal suggestion to turn off your cell phones, or the countless other annoyances that plague over-priced projection houses. Add to this that The King's Speech is an absolutely fantastic piece of film-making. Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush give brilliant performances in a story full of pathos, levity and quiet drama. It's a subtle yet splendid story, and easily deserving of this year's Oscar award.
After that, it was on to my favorite local bar, The Shady Lady, for cocktails with friends. It was incidentally another patron's day-o-birth, and her friend's arranged for scantily clad flappers to parade their barely hidden fishnetted flanks from view. So it was free Moscow Mules (my drink of choice), laughing with friends, smoke breaks, and a steady stream of tramp-y can-cans aplenty. Glorious!
Then it was on to Burgers & Brew, where I made the mistake of topping-off my night of drinking with a bottle of Leffe, a vanilla milkshake and burger with bacon on top. By the middle of the night, my tum tum was in sharp, agonizing pain. Cha-cha-cha!
So to that end, I now start my new life as a vegetarian who has now sworn-off soda and will start exercising at least 30 minutes a day. It's something I promised myself I'd do when I turned 35. I reasoned that I wasn't getting any younger, thinner or alluring, and carrying on as if I were still a brat by eating, smoking and drinking as I pleased wasn't in the cards any longer. One year later, still doing very much that same stuff, I've found that I've packed on a few extra pounds and routinely feel like shit both upstairs and down. Now officially being outside of the feted and sought after 14-35 year-old target market demographic, I need to now, more than ever, take care of this bucket o' flesh that I occupy and call me. Of course, this new diet and exercise regiment ain't gonna keep my brain from immaturity, so I imagine I'll still be purchasing records, bike parts, Legos and apparel in equal, immature measure. So it goes...
Lastly, here be a crappy iPhone 2G photo of my birthday present to myself: a freshly refurbished vintage Marantz 6300 turntable with a Marantz 2215B receiver atop an Ikea Expedit Sofa Table with a pair of Marantz speakers as bookends. And the inaugural record for this set-up? Better Can't Make Your Life Better by Lilys, of course!