Monday, September 10, 2007

You say it's your birthday...well, it's my birthday too!

Unlike some people I know who like to drag out their birthday celebrations… J  My birthday this year falls in the middle of the week, Wednesday to be exact, and both the DH and I are busy. So, we decided to celebrate early by going out Saturday night.  All-in-all I’d say that it was an excellent birthday weekend.  It was another overly-booked too-busy-to-play weekend, but I had fun.

Saturday morning was spent contemplating my life, or at least my life for the next year.  For the Jr. League Leadership Academy retreat, our LA instructors brought in a life coach.  Normally, I think this is all hooey, but despite several references to the Secret, I got quite a lot out of the exercises.  The life coach had us imagine what our best year would look like if the next year was it.  We had to list all the things we would have done.  Then we examined the past year’s successes and failures.  This was both uplifting and depressing!  There were several things I wish I had done but didn’t do for usually pretty sorry excuses.  L  A little unnerving was the partner conversations that followed these sections – sharing our list of hits and misses with another participant.  While it is fun to share the good things, it’s weird to opening discuss things you’ve done wrong; however we soon realized that we all make mistakes and no one is perfect, and that was rather comforting.  We also discussed our values and the various roles we play in our lives.  One of the most useful parts of the exercise was the concept of the Limited Paradigm – what perceptions we hold about ourselves that keep us from reaching our full potential.  We had to write out this limited paradigm, then develop a new Empowering Paradigm – a way of thinking about ourselves that will allow us to go out and succeed.  All of these exercises are based on a book called Your Best Year Yet; while I don’t normally go in for this kind of stuff, I’m seriously thinking about reserving this book at the library. J

After the retreat, I grabbed some lunch and took off for the Child Saving Institute’s Touch-A-Truck event.  Wow, what an event it was!  The basic concept was that the CSI Guild brought in various trucks (semis, ambulances, fire trucks, race cars, bobcats, dump trucks, tractors, etc.) and let little kids climb on them (supervised, of course) and see how they worked.  It was quite a success; for an inaugural event, they had over 2000 children attend.  This was my first event as a Guild member and I think I’m really going to like it! J

On to the birthday celebration.  The DH and I headed to Darwin’s Bistro, a new establishment that serves fancy and partially local cuisine.  The chicken is free-range and local, I know for sure.  Not so certain about the sea bass… J  I had duck, so I probably wasn’t dining locally at all, but it was delicious nonetheless.  After some bread and apple-cinnamon butter, we were presented with an amuse bouche of lamb tenderloin, juju fruit and spinach with a French vinaigrette.  Mmmm…. For appetizers, we chose the Tuna Rolls and Stuffed Shrimp.  DH wimped out on the new dining experience and picked the Caesar Salad for his entrée.  C’mon!  Be adventurous, honey!  I had the Crisp Duck, which was accompanied by sweet potato mash and bacon-sherry red cabbage.  So good!   

We didn’t stay for dessert, as we intended to try to catch Lady Chatterley at the Film Streams Theatre downtown.  This was the first movie we’ve attended there, and I must stay it is quite an impressive theatre.  The great thing about independent movies is that, barring a huge concert at Slowdown next door, we will never have an issue with parking.  We found a space just feet from the front door and headed to the ticket booth, where the DH requested “one adult and one member”.  Yea!  He bought me a Film Streams membership for my birthday present!  This was something I talked about getting as an anniversary gift (a dual membership that is), but he waited and got me a single.  

Now, as a movie, Lady Chatterley just kind of drug on.  I’m sure part of the problem is that we are just so accustomed to fast-paced action flicks, and seeing French literature “come alive” on screen is not just the thrill-ride one would expect. The movie was almost 3 hours long, and 90 minutes into the movie, just as Constance realizes she is pregnant by the gamekeeper, DH’s phone rang (on vibrate of course).  It was his mother and he went out to check the message, as she never calls past 7 p.m.  Turns out she’d taken his father to the ER.  So off we went to the hospital, leaving Lady Chatterley preparing to break the news to Sir Clifford.  I’ll probably have to rent the DVD someday to see the rest…  Fortunately my father-in-law was OK; it was serious, but not too-serious.

Sunday morning, I hopped out of bed to curl my hair.  After I spent the morning at the Jumble Shop, shifting the summer clothes out and the fall clothes on to the racks, we had Diva Soma troupe photos.  My hair seemed to hold up in the intervening 5 hours before the cameras started flashing.  We spend several hours scaring small children and old men in the park, climbing over rocks and the fountain in our gypsy costumes.

I must say again, it was definitely an excellent weekend…and a great start to my 29th year.