Sunday, November 18, 2007

Your Annual Dose of Gerard Manley Hopkins

I'm 38 years old today.

Take your English Major medicine.

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie.
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

----"Spring and Fall to a Young Child;" G.M.H.

A recap of the childless birthday weekend:

Friday night: Eight of us went to dinner at Bellagio, a fairly spendy Italian restaurant in North Austin that Lee took me to a long time ago. I wanted Italian, I remembered it was good, so we went there.

The evening was...well, quite frankly, kind of bizarre. Our waiter was very good, but just this side of creepy. He served and advised well, but...he was very chummy by the end of the evening. Kind of cracking wise with us, but in a very superior kind of fashion. And though he started the evening with a pronounced speech impairment, it had completely disappeared by the end of the evening (admittedly some hours later).

And the food was really unremarkable, for the most part. Some things were definitely off. The tomato salad was mealy, and I sent it back, and my filet was cold, and I sent it back. (I ended up waiting like 15 minutes for the filet, and when it returned, it was pretty much after everyone else had finished.) Admittedly, the filet, when it returned, was fantastic, but neither of these things were removed from the menu, and they should have been.

The upside to the evening was that our waiter, odd and chummy man that he was, kept the wine glasses full all evening in such a stealthy fashion that my wine glass was never actually empty. Which made me, um, lose track of exactly how much wine I had drunk. Which turned out to be a lot, actually. (It was this kind of evening: Eric, at one point, just stopped talking and said to the group, "You know how I know [Mags] has had too much to drink? When she starts gesturing VERY BROADLY." (I was all, no WAY. I don't ever gesture broadly. Or with my hair. )

After dinner, Bob, Cristen, and Julie went with us to Opal Devine's, where I had two martinis, which was a GREAT idea. I am not sure how I escaped vomiting, but I did; I cruised on the 'not quite so drunk as to hurl' margin for the entire night, and fell asleep around 1:00 AM.

Saturday: The morning was spent tending to the care and feeding of my brand new baby hangover:

  • sleeping in as late as possible (in my case, that's 5:30, but, oh well;)
  • lots and lots of hot coffee
  • a hot Mexican breakfast including eggs scrambled with serranos and machacado, refried beans with lard, rice, tortillas, and fresh salsa, from my new favorite eastside Mexican restaurant, "Juan in a Million"
  • Migraine formula Tylenol (with caffeine!)
  • Fizzy water
  • bready things eaten approximately hourly throughout the day

I watched college football that morning...Missouri beat K-State, and are on their way to meeting the Jayhawks in Kansas City next Saturday. Fucking A. More on that later. I am unduly excited over this stupid fucking football game.

Sadly, due to the combination of my late evening the night before and the lengthy football game, my yearly Movie Day did not yield a vast amount of movies this time. Whereas we used to do five movies in a day, we only did two this time. I saw Michael Clayton and Superbad. I enjoyed them both very much. Because this seems apropos as per lately, here are my Four Word Film Reviews:

Michael Clayton: Clooney owns smart thriller.
Superbad: Crassness aplenty; sweet heart.

Sunday: The Man picked up the children from the in-laws. It sounds as though it went as well as it usually does. Sigh. OG is still hard for them, I guess. I had thought it would go better this time, but apparently not.

I spent the better part of the day grocery shopping, preparing for a lovely gathering over here tonight to celebrate a combination of my birthday and our friends Bill and Carla coming in from Portland. It was fairly small in scope, but we did drain the better part of a keg of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, so I do believe that some fun was had. (I didn't get drunk this time. Still not completely removed from the hangover.)

We had a nice time. It was a positive-feeling group, and I enjoyed hanging out with most of my dearest Austin friends. It was a nice evening, too; upper sixties/low seventies, moon out; clear and warm. It was good to be outside with my friends and kiddos.

So, in a nutshell, there are way worse ways to usher in the next year of my life. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and your hey-there's, your gifts, and your company.

Happy birthday to me.


Karla said... birthday. I thought yours was on the 19th.

yes i suck. don't remind me.

But I am and always will be OLDER than you...some small comfort?

Badger said...

Hey! Happy birthday!