Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Turning 34 Years Old

Another year and another birthday, or at least in this case, birthday week.

As both Christina and Monica (my family in Edmonton) were going to be out of town during my actual birthday, the 26th of March, they each planned little celebrations prior to their leaving town.

Monica arranged a small little party that included delicious cakes made by my niece Claire in her Easy Bake Oven and a candle stuffed inside of a slice of meat. Little did I know at the time that the presence of meat was foreshadowing for my actual birthday.

Chrissy took a different approach and presented me my gift prior to her leaving for work in Texas. She always stresses out about what I may want as a gift so to help ease her mind I gave her a list of suggestions. Even with my suggestions she was still nervous; but she had no need to be. I quite like my 'man valet' organizer.

So, on my actual birthday I woke up to an empty house and hit the snooze button with no remorse twice.  
I went out to the mail box to check if my mother still loved me and found out that she did. I got a nice card from 'sunny?' Thunder Bay where she is visiting my brother Richards family. Also included with my birthday card was a true card celebrating my birth. Mom ended up inheriting a bunch of personal items from her aunt and included in those items was the following birth announcement that my mom wrote up 34 years ago.

I thought it was pretty cool! Plus, its funny to see that Mom's handwriting has not changed a single iota during all that time.

Once I got to work and started up the computer I was greeted by a bunch of emails and facebook comments wishing me well from my family and friends. As well I got a 'doodle' from Google wishing me a  special day.

I usually play it pretty quiet at work for my birthday but Chrissy all the way from Texas had other plans. She arranged her friend Mary to enact "Operation Cupcake" and deliver me and my office-mates treats. I was taken completely by surprise.

Mary knowing that I had been 'orphaned' offered to take me out for supper with her husband and brother so I wouldn't have to celebrate alone. To sweeten the deal she suggested BBQ food and I immediately took her up on the offer. Shortly after work we met at a new restaurant (open about 6 months now) called Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus.

My pictures can't do it justice. The whole spread was awesome from the poutine like 'Slop', starter through the platter and ending with the peach pie. I can say with no hesitation that it is the best BBQ food in Edmonton and possibly the best BBQ I have ever had. It is a must try and I'm looking forward to going back many times.

While leaving the Kingsway area I got a text from my buddy Jeff D to go see the new Rock movie "Snitch" up at North Edmonton Cinema. I readily agreed and jumped in my car hitting the theater 5 minutes before the show started. I grabbed my ticket and then texted Jeff who was still on his way. Eventually, he arrived at the theater and as we texted each other to meet in the lobby a strange thing happened. It turned out I went to the wrong theater. It was a typical Stuart move. If you ask Chrissy she will tell you that I am a complete idiot with place names and stores. For me, every grocery store is Safeway, every crap country singer is Kenny Chesney, every theater is the one in Clareview, and Stadium and Colisuem LRT stations mean nothing - they are the place where they play football and the place where they play hockey. Jeff was cool about it all and we each watched the same movie in cinemas 20 minutes apart. It was a somewhat fitting end to the day.

Reflecting on a day like today, or week like the past, I feel fortunate to have such a caring family and to have so many great friends. I don't say it enough but I appreciate you all. Thank you.

BTW - I originally started this blog to document my 31st year. After that first year I just decided to keep posting and with the odd short sabbatical I have now been blogging for 3 straight years and have produced 233 posts. Who would have thunk it.

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