Thanks for all the good wishes
Yes, yesterday was my birthday. I didn’t post because I was still feeling guilty about my total failure to respond to the birthday wishes from last time around. So first of all, thanks for every birthday wish you gave me last year. I’m lousy with birthdays and I don’t have the will to change this, I suspect, so I’m probably not going to remember your birthday in advance unless you tell me. In any case, your wishes were all so wonderful last year that I reread them this year with equal pleasure. And thanks to all of those who remembered unprompted and sent me a message here or there.
Dad was sturgeon spearing as he always is this time of year (no fish yet, in case you are curious) and the political news hadn’t left me in the mood for a celebration anyway.
At left, my birthday treat to me. This is an “heirloom tomato napoleon.” I would call it more of a stacked up Caprese salad. I get the version with fresh basil leaves and they leave off the air-dried beef. (This wasn’t my photo.) The one I had had red and purple tomatoes and it was really pretty. And delicious. Such a luxury — juicy sweet tomatoes on my birthday in the depths of winter. There’s something about the mixture of fresh tomato juice with the creaminess of cheese.
My mother would have been horrified. Her credo: you only eat tomatoes in season, or if they are stored or preserved (canned are fine), but you don’t pay for fresh vegetables out of season — not good for your pocketbook, not good for the environment. I mostly agree with her, I have to be honest, but there’s something about this particular dish that is so inherently cheering to me, when the tomatoes are really ripe, that I make an exception on this one. The tomatoes come from a hothouse in Canada. I asked. It was really good, even at a price for an appetizer that is off the map for around here.
Then I went to Starbucks and had my gold card member birthday treat: a quad venti cascara latte made with ristretto shots.
One thing I always find remarkable on birthdays is the segments of one’s life that make themselves visible on that day. Dad was gone early in the morning but he left me a package of my favorite candies in the world — when I was eight. Obscura and I chatted a bit about our parents’ computer problems. Ex-SO and I had a long conversation about life, the universe and everything — he and his wife are buying a house. I felt a little left behind (as one does at these milestones) but then I thought about the responsibility of owning a house and felt relieved again. I saw the pictures of the speared fish start to stream across my facebook. A colleague from my last job sent me a long email — it’s graduation certification time. And some long time Armitage fans dropped messages that also made me think about my blogging longevity — approaching seven years now. Which was how long it took me to finish my doctorate.
And then I read some more news. And poured a can of Oskar Blues Old Chub. And drew my conclusions. Historians are starting to get very worried. Studying German history, I always used to wonder how people perceived a horrible development from the inside. Particularly bystanders. And now I am starting to see, on a very personal level.