Sunday, April 15, 2007

Birthday Blitz!

Thank you all for the fun, nice, upbeat birthday wishes. I think my bad vibes are O-V-E-R, and I seriously think most of it had to do with the fact that we were having shitty no-sun-more-snow weather here, and I really am a victim of S.A.D… Seasonal Affectation Disorder.

I also was not really prepared for accepting the fact that I would be turning 38. I was afraid I would turn the “I’m-No-Longer-Thirty-Seven” corner and I would discover that I had become, overnight, completely over the hill.

Guess what? I’M NOT!

What a revelation!

Anyway, Colorado Writer was pretty much was dead-on when she mentioned what her perfect birthday would consist of in the comments. Her first name is the same as mine, and, as you’ll discover, we both have the same exact ideas for ways to celebrate our birthdays, including any and all of the following, which I will list here as Manic’s Birthday Mania Blitz.

But first, a little family tradition passed down from generation to generation is that we don’t just celebrate one day of birthday. Our family has an “Octave” celebration that my uncle invented once when he was drunk. I’m sure he was drunk when he proclaimed birthdays be OCTAVES, because who would go for this tradition? Basically, it means, that in our family, you have an Octave—which means we begin to acknowledge our birthday eight days prior to the actual day, and then following the eight days after the birthday, you’re still within your “Octave” of your birthday. It’s kind of like the Christian Lenten season, only not forty days, just eight before and eight after the day of your birth. Like this celebratory idea? Feel free to use it in your own family.

Example of celebrating your Octave-- Let’s say it’s like April 6, which was the commencement of my Octave. Let’s say I wanted a glass of water but didn’t feel like getting up to get one so I ask Hubby. He doesn’t feel like getting up to get me one either, so I simply call out, “OCTAVE!” This negates any response from him, and he must then go fetch me water. Or chocolate, or whatever I want. It’s totally being spoiled, it’s totally ruthless, it’s totally insensitive to the others in your family, UNTIL it’s your own Octave, then all bets are off. And like this a.m., when we were basking in the afterglow of a child-free-night downtown Chicago. Hubby opens the drape. I yell to him to close it cuz it’s too bright. He has to, cuz it’s still ‘within’ the Octave of my birthday. He turns on the TV to SportsCenter. I yell to him to turn it off. He doesn’t try to argue; he knows it’s still within the Octave. You get the picture? It’s completely spoiled-child-kid-syndrome, but hey, everyone in my family abides by this, and everyone gets their Octave, so it’s fair when yours comes around. And, admittedly, I won’t make total use of the next seven days and claim Octave status, it’s just fun to do if the mood strikes ya.

Quick recap of “leading up to the birthday and the actual birthday” blitz, including ALL the food I ate this weekend, cuz we all know how much I love food:

Treated myself to a half-hour massage. Paid for with my very own-earned money. Happy birthday to me.

Got flowers, albeit from Jewel, but they still look pretty and smell nice.

Happy hour with friends, where we participated in a tequila-tasting.

Got some fun presents from friends, including yummy soaps, luxurious lotions, B&N gift card, candies, lip gloss.

Dinner at this Sushi Restaurant and Lounge. Included two appletinis. Notice the website says nothing about food in it.

Sleep in until 11:00 a.m. on my birthday.

Diva gives me a homemade envelope that says, “To My Amazing Mommy.” Before I open it she tells me, “No matter what, you have to keep this present.” I open it up. She has given me four dollars. HER four dollars she has saved and earned on her own. And she wants me to have it. Insists that I keep it. I will. And I will probably buy her ice cream with it later!

Café-vanilla frap and reduced-fat blueberry cake.

Drive to the city. Listen to Manic CDs that I made because it’s my birthday and I want to listen to music I love.

Get a room at the Sheraton with a beautiful view overlooking the River.

Walk to Millenium Park to look at The Bean. Check out the fountain architecture where there is a picture of a person spitting out water here.

See a cute wedding party, which I think they picked a good day to get married, date-wise, but the weather is not typical April-in-Chicago weather so I kind of feel a little bad for the bride; and the bridesmaids look cold, but cute in their chocolate colored sleeveless dresses with cotton-candy pink shawly things.

We promise each other we will take the kids downtown more often to be ‘culturized’ so they don’t die in their little suburban bubble.

Decide it’s time for a cocktail. I know I don’t want my appletini now. I have to save it for later. We search for a place. I want something chippy-crispy to munch on since all I’ve had is the blueberry Starbucks cake. We go to House of Blues. They are under construction. We check out Bin 36. Nah. We decide to go to the Westin for a glass of wine. The bar is packed with hot young guys. Obviously a bachelor party. I wonder what their night will consist of. I check out the ones with rings, and the ones without rings. We find out who the groom is. He walks by and I ask, “You the groom?”

“Is it that obvious?”

Turns out he lives in Tampa. I used to live in Tampa. He is 11 years younger than I am. I feel old. His wife-to-be had her bachelorette party in NYC the weekend before. His party is in Chicago. These parties last a whole weekend these days. I tell him actually his wife sent me to spy. He tells me not to let her know he smokes.

What? You’re getting married in one month, yet your bride-to-be has no idea you smoke? You cannot go into a marriage with such a secret. What next? Is he going to do the stripper? My prediction: the marriage won’t last.

Hubby and I drink some very good wine (McWilliams Australian Chardonnay) and we share grilled pita and hummus, cashews, and caprese crostinis which was the most fun and yummy appetizers. I get a little buzz, a happy one.

We make our way back to our hotel. I want a nap. For me, I love to sleep. I can sleep 16 hours a day and probably be more productive than when I only sleep 8. Instead of going to our room, we go to the Java Bar and I have another glass of wine. Hubby has two beers. We eat those fun crunchy, spicy mixed nuts and thingies they give you at a bar to ensure you will drink more to put the spicy fire out of your mouth.

We start people-watching. There are functions going on. We saw a sign for a Gastroentologist Conference. Hubby makes a joke. He says their slogan is: Gastroentologists—You’ll Have A Blast!

Get it? Blast? Fart? Hee hee. See, hubby is not above me in the humor department.

Then we start watching people who are attending a wedding but at the bar prior to the reception. We decide whom we would do. Whom we think the other would do. Who we’d do together. There is one chick wearing a god-awful magenta outfit that Hubby says, “I saw her on the back page of Glamour with a black bar over her eyes!”

We watch interracial couples, and young, newly married couples. We watch a gay couple and decide who’s the man and who’s the woman. We check out older ladies with plastic surgery. I point out a chick who is far too heavy to wear the dress she is wearing, and the thong under the dress. You know it’s bad news when you can see the outline of the thong under the dress! We notice who cannot walk in heels. I point out some hotties, some I like, some I think he’d like. We curl up on a cushy couch and I kiss him. He rubs my leg. We finish our drinks.

“Let’s go upstairs.” I say. He knows what this means. I know he knows what this means. We get to our room, close the drapes so it’s nice and dark and warm and romantic.

He looks at me. I look at him. “Should I?” he asks.

A sigh escapes my lips. “Oh yes. Do it now!”

He’s going to do it, and I’m thrilled! He comes to my side of the bed, leans over and touches it in all the right places—the alarm clock! He sets the alarm for 7 p.m. so we can take a nap and wake up in time for dinner. Oh yes, the romance is still alive and well!!!

We fall asleep. For a kick-ass nap.

It’s fun to take a nap at a hotel when you’ve only got like 24 hours for a getaway because then it makes you think you’re away longer than you really are! This is how my brain works.

We get up, get ready and go to Shaw’s Crabhouse for one of the most awesome meals ever! We share tuna shushimi, a wedge salad, mashed potatoes that remind me of ice cream, garlic spinach. I have my appletini. He has wine. I have wine. I have Alaskan King Crab Legs drenched and oozing of butter. They bring me a slice of chocolate cake with a candle. There is a guy the next table over celebrating his 30th birthday. Somehow, I think he and I are kindred spirits, being born on the same day of the year.

I need to unbutton my pants I’m so full. We walk back to the hotel. I’m far past the stage of staying up till 4 a.m. getting hammered and sharing my life story with strangers. I won’t say I’ll never do that again, but it’s going to be a rare occurrence any longer. The hangovers are just too draining. And I so hate wasting a day with my head stuck in a dirty toilet. Unless it’s my own personal toilet, that is.

We get back to the room, cozy on up and watch a little SNL. I know! I know! Stop the madness Manic Mom! Slow it waaaaay down you crazy woman! Hey, did I not tell you I am middle-aged now. I need to start slowing down. We go to sleep and I get pissy cuz the room next door is hosting a party with probably 20 people and they’re even singing Gwen Stefani’s Sweet Escape, complete with Wee Hooooos! I remember what it was like to be young, to be partying till all hours of the night. It wasn’t that long ago. But I’m tired. I want to sleep.

Somehow, sleep finds me. So, I sleep.

We’ll skip the part where we wake up cuz that’s private. Let’s just say, no kids, no worries, and leave it at that.

Today, we walked around the city, held hands, made jokes, went into some thrift shops and used book stores. I got this book called Downers Grove, which is where I went to high school.

Hubby was a real trouper because he could probably care less about browsing through musty smelling stores. I was in heaven. I love doing that stuff. I love eavesdropping on conversations, thinking about how I would start a novel with someone’s words as they walk by me.

Then we went to La Pasadita, which is an authentic Mexican place we used to go to when we would be in the city late-night, drinking so much and being stupid and thinking we were immortal, driving home all hours of the night. We got a killer burrito and chowed down. Then came home.

Diva made me a cookie cake, decorated it, and they all sang to me when we got back. I missed the kids. A lot. I wanted them with me at times when we were away. But it is so good to sneak away for a little healthy one-on-one with your spouse, to know that you can get away, still be in love, still laugh, talk about the things you’ll do when the kids are gone, and know you won’t be bored of each other.

Finally, one of Hubby’s cards to me featured an old couple and the old lady was blowing out her candles. The old man says to the old lady:

“Did you wish you were young and sexy again?”

The old lady’s reply:

“No. I wished YOU were young and sexy again!”
~ ~ ~
Want Manic Music? You choose the songs you want from Manic’s list. Anything from Neil Diamond, Jane’s Addiction, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, New Order, Dave Matthews to name just a few. Go here and leave a comment. I am picking three winners later this week, so stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

glad you had a terrific birthday!!! And isnt that wine yummy!!! And at only 16 bucks a bottle I can have it every night... sighs with a wine smile!!!

And hey shouldnt you have had a tim tam cake???

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Hey Ramblin--OMG, that wine is sooo yummy! $16 a bottle! Shit! We paid $11 for a freaking glass! I'm getting some bottles!

Tim-Tam cakes... so Yum! But alas, a new diet starts tomorrow--only 54 days till Florida!!!

Jenster said...

I love the Octave idea!! I think we may start that. But I'm going to wait until it's my birthday (everyone else's is before mine). That way I won't have to wait on them until next year.

Your celebration sounds perfect. Nothing like hot hotel sex! ;-}

JODI said...

First off, Happy Birthday--life is just starting at 38 and it only gets better. Have you not realized the older we get the more people respect us?

Hey you went to Downers Grove HS...not me but I went to Fairview Elementary (for first grade). Stranger thing is my daughters' fourth grade teacher once taught at the school...when I said the school with no walls she knew I wasn't fibbing.

I call Downers Grove every week.

Let me know if the book is worth the read.

xxxx said...

That sounds PERFECT! I want crab legs and chocolate cake so bad right now. Well, that and hot hotel sex, but I'd settle for the crab legs.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Who the hell said anything about hot hotel sex???

Stephanie J. Blake said...

So you got everything BUT the hot sex???

What a rip-off!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Colorado--I didn't 'say' I didn't get hot hotel sex... I just didn't 'comment' on it... uh huh!

Frannie Farmer said...

Got flowers, albeit from Jewel.
At first I thought you meant the singer ... then I remember that Jewels is a grocery :)
Glad your birthday was terrific. You deserve it - and there is something to be said about the one-on-one time with the husband, even if you spend it sleeping!!!

Stephanie J. Blake said...


Morning sex. I see. Okay.

Well, GOOD for you!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I am such a morning person in that aspect. No other way am I a morning person, like I don't jump out of bed and happily percolate my coffee! Just that way.

Kate said...

Good times! Yup, I remember when this might have seemed like a pretty tame weekend to me. Now I am envious. :) So glad you had a great birthday! Hopefully the sun will come out to stay soon. Sending some of ours up to you!

And yes, I totally want to steal your octave tradition and make it ours!

Anonymous said...

The bean is so cool, I am from Minnesota, but we went out there for the openeing of Mill park in 04, to see Poi Dog.

Anonymous said...

Pooker Pie! It sounds as though you may have been "WATCHING TV"!! My girl ELLEN always says "take that happy and love it ands roll around it". Every day I learn more about everything good that happens to us and if it's not good for us or someone else---do something about it!!! So---"I FEEL GOOD"...a bit tired before my next journey, but I love it! See you next week. I can't wait!!! Bought the kids a bunch of treats that are bad for them!!!