Today is my birthday. It’s been a good, relaxing day. It’s not a particularly big year, so I don’t feel any specific anxiety about aging or anything like that. I’m healthier than I’ve been in a while, eating well and exercising. Since my last birthday, I’ve lost 20 lbs. and I’m feeling good. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the obvious fact that I’m balding, but that’s not particularly birthday related. My relationship with PJ is the best it’s ever been, and my career is going well. All in all, I’m happy with myself, my life, and the world around me. So, having a good, relaxing day seems in order.

I woke up early and opened my presents from PJ. These included a iPod nano, which is what I had wanted most this year, a soapstone Ganesha, and the first two seasons of Sex and the City on DVD.

I spent most of the day loading music onto the iPod. Of course I just started loading stuff without really knowing what I was doing. This ultimately meant that I ended up downloading many more tracks individually than I would have had to if I had just slowed down, read the instructions, and thought about it for a second. (I have music on two different computers, and that led me to make a poor decision early on.) But now I have 150 tracks on the ipod and lots more room — about 98% — left to slowly add more music over the next few days.

Soapstone Ganesha

I’ve decided to sit my new Ganesha on my desk. Here’s a picture of it. Click on it to see a larger version. This is my third Ganesha statue (or statuette — they’re each only about 5 inches tall). I also have some postcards of Ganesha.

This is the first Ganesha PJ bought me. I like it the best so far, since it’s so detailed:


And finally, this is my third Ganesha. I really like that he is posed so differently in each of these statues and that each is in such a different medium.


I’ve always liked elephants, and Ganesha is the remover of obstacles, so I’ve adopted him as my talisman/patron saint/god/good luck charm as I write the second book. I’m not sure how well he’s working so far — I clearly needed another one; maybe this will do the trick to get me writing up a storm over the coming six months!

For dinner, we went to Rhapsody, a restaurant in nearby Nelsonville. We’ve been there a few times before and haven’t been all that impressed, but we’re tired of the restaurants in town so we thought we’d go again. To my surprise, I have to say that I had the best meal I’ve ever had in Athens County!

I ordered the house salad with blue cheese dressing for a starter. It was huge. When we saw that the price was only $4, we figured it would be small. To the contrary, it was a plate full of delicious greens, carrots, cucumber, and tomato. I also thought that it was perfectly dressed. My entree was the asparagus ravioli with sauce bĂ©arnaise. It was so delicious. The ravioli was handmade, and the asparagus inside was yummy. The seasonal vegetables featured asparagus that had been fused to the ends of carrots — at least that’s what I think it was. And finally, there were three little mushroom croquettes that were crunchy on the outside and totally scrumptious. For dessert I had Tahitian Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee and coffee.

When we got home, we watched an episode of Sex and the City. I didn’t get a chance to write my review of the movie. (In sum, I thought it was enjoyable and ultimately satisfying even if it was a little long and totally wasted Jennifer Hudson.) Since seeing it, we’ve been trying to watch episodes on HBO on Demand, but we’ve outpaced their availability. So, I mentioned to PJ recently that we should just start buying the DVDs and watching them. It’s so funny to see the characters as they appear in the first episode. First, they look so young. Second, their characters aren’t all fully formed yet — Miranda is such a shrew and Samantha’s sexual freedom is portrayed so tragically. Hopefully, we’ll get to watch an episode every day or two.

Otherwise, I read part of Margery Allingham’s The Crime at Black Dudley and watched Wimbledon. I can’t believe that Andy Roddick lost so early in the tournament. I had him going all the way to the semifinals. My bracket is all shot to hell by his, Sharapova’s, and Djokovic’s early departures. I had entered the Tennis Channel’s competition for predicting how the tournament would go. Oh well. My top picks, Serena and Rafa, could still win of course, though Venus is actually looking better than her sister so far. I love them both, so whichever one wins — if one of them wins — will be great.

Ok, that’s enough blogging for one birthday. I’m off to watch Kathy Griffin.