Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me ....

... and to Shelby, Aileda, the father of the girl at the grocery store checkout counter, and any other Nov. 19-ers out there.

Having a birthday on a Wednesday means that for the most part, it was just like any other day, filled with work, going to the gym (OK, that's not really like any other day), laundry (nor is that), picking up dog poo in the backyard (nor is that), and other fun and exciting things. But the constant (welcome) interruptions throughout the day from e-mails, Facebook messages, and phone calls made it a much sweeter day. Thank you, everyone!

Last night, we went up to the town of Denton, a college town just north of us. "College town, you say? It must have been a night of loud music and alcohol." Well, the loud music part is correct. After dinner at a mediocre Mexican restaurant, we drove around the University of North Texas looking for our destination (bad planning on my part, as I did not get the correct address). After finally finding a non-permit-required parking space, we walked around campus, trying to find a student who was not talking on a cell phone so that we could ask for directions. Finally, a girl with a violin on her back and no phone to her ear pointed us in the right direction and said, "Follow that cello to the place that looks like an armadillo." So we did, though it was a surprisingly fast-moving cello and hard to keep up with. Sure enough, in the distance was a building that did indeed look like an armadillo . . . the UNT Murchison Performing Arts Center.

The Armadillo
There, we listened to the university symphony play tunes by Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, and some guy named Lutoslawski. (I was going to load up some music to play along so you could get a sense of our evening, but I have no idea how to do that.) Anyway, the symphony was pretty incredible "for a bunch of college kids." And the piano soloist (Vladimir Viardo) was downright amazing. How did he keep track of all those notes!!??

The weird part was the building itself. As I said, from the outside, it was in the shape of an armadillo. Inside, it gave you the sense of being in an upside-down boat or the inside of an armadillo's belly. Either way, a kind of claustrophobic feeling. It was also just a tad bit musty smelling, adding to the sense of either being in a doomed ship slowly sinking to the bottom of the sea or being slowly digested by the world's largest roadkill animal. But, once the music started, my unease passed, and I was able to enjoy the night.

Inside the Belly of the Beast

Now it's back to "real life" and living the final year of my 30s as healthily and happily as possible, so that when I hit the big 4-0 I'll be just a little better off. My goal is to get in some sort of exercise for the next 364 days (yesterday, Day 1, I went to the gym), even if it's just a 30-minute walk with Kai. Anyone else care to join me on this one? (I almost didn't write that second-to-last sentence, so that when I didn't meet my goal, no one would be the wiser. But now I am fully committed. Ack!)

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