Not long ago I was looking at pictures and found one of my seventh birthday party, held at the local Dairy Queen. I know I was seven and in the first grade because that year I had found a shirt with a brown seven on the chest and brown stripes circling down the arms. I had to have that shirt because it had a seven on it and I was going to be seven! Can you believe it? I was even wise back then. So anyway, I am looking at this picture (photographed in 1980) at my mom wearing her classic '70's polyester pants of checked fabric (everyone's mother at that party had them on- ask to see the picture sometime, it's great!) and I realized that in that photograph the age she is there, at my seventh birthday party, I am now (or will be in a moment) seven years OLDER than she was at that time! Hello mortality. When I look at my mom in that picture, I am her elder! What's even crazier, I have checkered pants too- not the polyester kind though.
To celebrate our birthdays, Nikki and I took a quick overnight trip to the ATL this weekend. A little shopping and a lot of eating. I bought a great pair of red tennis shoes to celebrate the fact I am now my mothers elder. I may look older, but my feet are going to scream youth. After working most of the day Friday, we headed out and went straight to one of our favorites, Bahama Breeze. Yum to the tenth. We went back to the mall, shopped a bit, though about seeing a movie but decided to go to Starbucks instead and get a nice frothy drink. While in line, I said I would like some dessert- Nikki had the same thought. We work together well like that. Tis also the reason I can see my cheeks when I smile. But where to go get dessert at 10pm? I'm not sure if you have ever had one, but I love the sizzling apple crisp at On the Border- wonderful. We head on over, not thinking that they will also be bringing an endless supply of tortilla chips and salsa. You may be telling yourself about now, but did they not just eat Bahama Breeze about four hours ago. Yes, we did. Do not judge me.
Of course, they bring the chips. Of course, I eat them and get a bowl of white cheese for dipping... and two more Dr. Peppers. Even though I was not hungry, I had gone after dessert and I was not going to upset my lovely wife by not ordering one to share. By the time I left that second restaurant with my second dinner complete, no amount of Nexium would keep my sensitive stomach in line. I had committed a terrible sin. I am ashamed. If Samuel drove the Lard A** bus instead of the Buzz Bus, I would have called that number and paid my four dollars.
On to the birthday, so I am turning 38. 38? Yes, 38. So in celebration, I decided I would create a list of 38 of my favorite things, in no particular order (except the last one- I saved the best one for last.)
1. No surprise: Dr. Pepper, however, let me be more specific. Dr. Pepper in a glass (not plastic, not a can) with crushed ice. I once had a little boy tell me in vacation bible school tell me that in heaven God will give us punch and cookies. I think Dr. Pepper and pizza.
2. No surprise: Disney. All things Disney.
3. Jazzy. He's grown on me and I actually think I will miss him when he runs away... I mean if he runs away.
4. Road trips: I love the destination, but I also love seeing the things on the way there... especially every chic-fil-a along the way. Which brings me to...
5. No surprise: Chic-fil-a. Need I say more. By the way, the best Dr. Pepper of any fast food restaurant. Perfect combination of syrup and seltzer.
6. My family: they are my cheerleaders. Even when I am stupid, which is very seldom, because remember I'm wise.
7. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Relaxes me.
8. Cds: I have a ridiculous collection of cds, mostly shows. I love to look at my cd shelf and see which ones have scratched covers. That's my way of seeing the "most played" cd. I also like thinking back about what was happening in my life when I first heard that cd. The first time I direct Annie, I listened to Ragtime a lot. The first time I did Beauty and the Beast, the summer of Tarzan. The Christmas I was having a strong disagreement with Nikki, Chicken Little. Read into that what you must.
9. The color red. I've always liked red, bright hurt your eyes red. I have, however, only owned one red car in my life. Perhaps the next one?
10. Wind in the summer: Not hurricane wind, but a brisk breeze, especially around dusk.
11. The smell of fresh asphalt. It reminds me of my childhood. Yes, we used to play around the tar plant. Just kidding, it reminds me of a campground we would go to. Yes, I used to camp. Used to is the key phrase. When your little and your parents tell you something is fun, you usually believe them. When you get older, you can form your own opinion and about camping, I have.
12. Oprah: I've never thought of you as inspirational, if anything I blew you off, but your new network is my newest favorite guilty pleasure. I also have new respect you, Oprah, except for that whole Obama fiasco.
13. Shorts: I hate pants but since it is inappropriate to walk down the street in your underwear, I enjoy a good pair of shorts. From looking in my closet, plaid seems to be the color (?) of choice. Must harken back to my seventh birthday party.
14. Laughing till I cry. I put a lot of pressure on myself. Sometimes, especially when I'm tired and Nikki is under the influence of Tylenol PM, I get so giddy I can't breath. Nikki is really funny (or mean) when she is sleepy.
15. People who are confident in their abilities. If you are good at something, show me, don't tell me. Confidence is not intimidating as most people think, but comforting. Especially if you are a dentist.
16. Cool Ranch Doritos. I remember being in the first grade listening to a record storybook of Star Wars (you know the kind where you turn the page when you hear the chimes, but since this was Stars Wars, it was an R2D2 beep) while eating Nacho Cheese Doritos. I thought life could not get better, then came Cool Ranch Dortios. I haven't looked back since.
17. A show or movie that I can't shake for days after viewing it. Be it funny, emotional or just so well done that I can't stand it. Which leads to...
18. Movie soundtracks: I sort of covered it with my cd likes. I love a good movie that makes me go out and buy the score right after or the very next day. I get a lot of my stage ideas from listening to music from movie soundtracks- those without words. One of the most vision inducing: the movie Dinosaur. Yea, go figure.
19. Cream Cheese goes good with everything. Even Cool Ranch Doritos. Yes, I have tired it.
20. Spanish moss hanging from trees.
21. Palm trees. I love Florida, and not just because of Disney. You may say other states have palm trees, but not like Florida.
22. Here I go again, another reference to Disney. Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. Para to the dise and then some.
23. Adidas tennis shoes. Nike hurt my feet. Puma a great but for some reason I have to get at least a size larger. When you wear pumas, it is almost a mental thought of thinking you've eaten too much salt and now you have water retention.
24. Pineapple: it hurst my mouth, but wow, it is good.
25. Vinylmations: I did not know you a year ago, but you have opened my creativity. People may laugh and stare, but ours is a special friendship. My wife loves you too, although she doesn't want to admit it. Kinda like me and Jazzy.
26. Jesus loves me. He gives me so much more attention than I deserve.
27. The smell of laundry washed in Tide. Bounce fabric sheets too (fresh scent.)
28. Water color paints.
29. The Wizard of Oz is the greatest movie ever made. I love the lyrics to the beginning of Somewhere Over the Rainbow- not the ones you hear in the movie, but the lyrics that you can only see on some pieces of the sheet music.
30. Picture books. I don't read much, but I love to look at beautiful photos and illustrations. That's the way I read most newspapers. If the picture looks interesting, I'll give the article a chance.
31. I love it when I can make people excited. You can tell when it is genuine and when it is out of courtesy. I only like the genuine. Notice I said excited instead of happy. Excited is about forty-three steps beyond happy. Happy is one ingredient in the cake of excitement.
32. Nerds. Because they make me feel better about myself and give me confidence. Some may say that I am a nerd, but I scoff at you and ask my vinylmations for their opinion.
33.City buildings at night.
34. Having my calves squeezed. Most people have tension in their shoulders. All of my stress goes to my calves. To squeeze them is to make me buy you a car.
35. Wedding photos of Nikki and me. By far the happiest, most fun day I have ever experienced. There is nothing about that day I would change or do over.
36. My parents house when you first walk in. I love the smell, the thoughts, the memories. I love how being there makes you feel like everything will always be perfect.
37. Showbusiness. Everything about it.
38. My Nikki. There is no one else I would rather share a birthday with, or a life for that matter. I know there are three reasons I was created. Two of which are a whole other blog. One was to love Nikki. Before I was born and I was nothing more than a spark in the hand of God, He knew He was creating me for the purpose of loving Nikki. For years I knew the other two reasons, but until number 35 above, I didn't realize the third. How appropriate that the day I was born is also the day she was born. How funny to think that in the many years ago on my third birthday, my future was being set into motion. She is my best friend, my secret keeper and my reason to breath. Every night when it is time to go to bed and cozy up in the covers, I get an excited jump in the pit of my stomach- it feels like Christmas Eve every night. She's the greatest! It also helps that she likes, chic-fil-a and doritos too.
So, 38. 38? Oh, who cares. Where's the cake?!?!?
PS- I'll pull out that picture of me in the "7" shirt at Dairy Queen. You'll agree, it was quite magical.