Friday, May 05, 2006
Its Cinco de Mayo. It's also the weekend of the Kentucky Derby. And its the day Alan Shepard first went into space in 1962 or something like that.
It's also my birthday.
Growing up I loved the symmetry of my date of birth - 5/5. It was also always spring and beautiful with scent of blooming flowers in the air. It seemed every year every b-day was beautiful to no end. It was almost always the best spring day and usually with just a week or two of school left. Jasmines in the air - I mean really - my b-day was always the best spring day of all - no matter where I lived - that is my total childhood and adolescent memory. Which is saying alot.
And then last year is was 05/05/05. Wow. When does that ever happen? Not often I guess.
With all of that said I have very interesting birthday imagery. Since I was born in Kentucky (because my Dad was in the Army at that time) I have that heritage (only for 11 months). So the chicken would always come out from Mom - as she cast a wistful eye to the stars. Just because Kentucky Fried Chicken is named as it is we would have that almost every birthday. What chicken has really to do with Kentucky I don't know. Or with me.
Then comes the "feats of strength" - oh sorry, wrong tradition. Then comes the recital about how Alan Shepard was the first man in space on my birthday. My mother has the radio account embedded in her brain. The fact that Shephard got up and did a diddy around the globe on my b-day always sticks with me (for you young'ns you might remember he later hit the golf ball on the moon). I grew up a huge space and astronomy buff.
And then there is the Derby. I can't tell you the number of different places I have seen the Derby while celebrating by b-day weekend (well I can but it not that impressive outside some elegant San Francisco bars, a jack-up in the Arabian Gulf, McSorley's Bar in Greenwich Village, Camden Yards, Rio de Janiero, 405 Aston....) but that would be just showing off. Catching the Derby is a must even if it interupts whatever other fun we must have.
And of course right around when I was graduating from college the beer companies decided to make my birthday a national drinking holiday - and growing up in H-town that meant something - so everyone remembers it. And I mean everyone. A guy in Houston who once made me custom shirts at a time I needed to be well-dressed calls me all the time. He even called my Dad today and said "hey did you know what you were doing 48 years ago?" My Dad appreciated that because apparently he losing track as the number increases.
So its always been a mix of space travel, chicken, horses, tequila and glorious spring days that has made up my b-day. Quite the fight card there.
Thus it was sort of wierd when my brother called me on the way to work today to say Happy Birthday old man that I was driving through a typical SoCal marine-layer haze along Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach. I mean I can see the water. What happened to my pretty day? What happened to my beautiful wife? How did I get here?
It'll burn off. The marine layer that is.
Deborah's birthday is April 30 - so we pretty much have several weeks of doing what we want to do. Thus our combining bidness with pleasure in SF two weeks ago. Stay tuned for pics. I'm getting dragged to some play in downtown LA tomorrow.
Hopefully they'll have a bar with a TV playing the Derby.
Postscript: No shit I tell you. So right after I posted this, standing in the kitchen at my laptop like I always do, Deborah comes home and asked me if I want to go down to the mexican restaurant at the harbor for Cinco de Mayo. "No, let's just relax - I got something to do here for work and basketball is on - just get some chicken tenders at Von's." (We have that stupid play to go to tomorrow - I'm thinking.)
She comes back and says all of the grocery stores are wiped out of chicken - so she had to go elsewhere.
Yup. Just like I said. She showed up with a bucket. From the Colonel. (And she really had no idea of this past family stuff).
Symmetry I tell you.