This past Thursday was the 60th birthday of my dad. And his twin brother, my uncle Clark. Here they are at my wedding 13 years ago -- aren't they cute?
My dad is on the right. He's wearing a tuxedo and my uncle Clark was wearing a funky outfit with one of his cool vests and they swapped accessories. See? How cute is that?
(BTW, don't ask me who that asshole posing in the lower right hand corner of the picture is. I have no idea and I don't know who invited him either.)
Anyway, we headed down to my parents' house on Friday night to celebrate the big event, and a good time was had by all. My dad followed his usual celebratory path of drinking several glasses of wine, telling me he loved me about 18 times, telling me how much he's looking forward to going camping with the kids and me next week about 25 times, offering to draw up plans for construction project we're planning to create a breezeway between our house and our garage, which he claimed will be "sexy," and spilling red wine on the white carpet, which has been a specialty of his for years. None of which I'm complaining about, because my dad totally rules. Rock on, Dad! My uncle Clark doesn't like to be fussed over but he seemed to have a good time too. It was a fun evening, capped by watching the jazz dance from Will's Winnie-the-Pooh play and both kids' performances from the talent show on video -- and then we headed home. We were all in bed by 11:30 that night.
Unfortunately, we had to be up early the next morning, as Rachel had a swim meet at 8 a.m. I think it was because they concentrating on the butterfly stroke last week at her practices, but the races she chose were the 25 fly, the 25 breast, and the 50 fly. The 50 fly! Man, the one was tough. So few kids wanted to swim it that they only had one heat. Rachel enjoyed this meet as much as she had the first, despite finishing last in each of her events again. I'm trying hard to stay low-key about the whole thing, but I have to say, it would be nice to see her finish ahead of at least one kid in one race before the end of the summer. At least she doesn't care -- it would bum me out a lot if it bothered her. I can live with it bothering me a bit :-/
When we got home, Ryan was getting ready to go to the office. Actually, he sitting there working on the computer, just as he had been when I got up in the morning, and when when we got home, he worked some more and then had a quick lunch and then headed to the office. Didn't come home till about 9:30 that night :-/ He is remaining cheerful about how much he's had to work lately, mostly I think because the end is in sight. The brief he's been killing himself to get done gets shipped out Wednesday, and then he'll take Thursday to get his desk or order, so to speak, and then starting Friday, he's off for a little over a week. So that's good.
I spent the rest of Saturday doing laundry, balancing the checking account, shopping online, and enjoying the commercial-free rebroadcast of Live 8 on MTV. Actually, upon realizing they were going to show a number of acts I didn't care about sitting through, I watched the second half of "Moulin Rouge," which I'd started the day before (that movie rocks if you have seen it) and then went back and scanned through what I'd DVRed of Live 8. Highlights for me: well, obviously all the Beatles songs sung by Paul McCartney and others (George Michael coming out to join him on "Drive My Car" seemed like an odd choice, but I like George Michael so whatever); when the guy who I guess was the lead singer of The Verve came out during Coldplay's set and they did a long, very cool version of "Bittersweet Symphony"; and seeing Robbie Williams whip up the crowd in London. I love Robbie Williams, and I know he doesn't have a huge following here, but seriously -- that British crowd was loving them some Robbie Williams. Anyway, that was really cool! I'd barely taken notice of Live 8 leading up to it, but after hearing about it last week, I was sorry I'd missed it, and evidently MTV had taken a drubbing for cramming so many commercials into the live broadcast, so it ended up working out well for me at least that they rebroadcast it on a day when I didn't have a whole lot going on.
Shopping I did: I found shower curtains for our master bathroom, and I got Mermaid a new bathing suit and a swim robe (monogrammed with her name) from Land's End. The shower curtain is significant because our master bathroom is the very last room in the house that has been left unpainted, and I'm anxious to get it done and I'd picked a general color scheme but I wanted something a little more concrete than "these three colors" as a jumping-off point. The shower curtain I picked is fabric, and I was about to order it from one place where they were ~ $50 a piece (and I need two because our tub is extra long), which was hard to swallow for a shower curtain -- but then I looked around and found them for less than half that on another site! So yay, Bullock's Framing & Decorating! Anyway, once I get the shower curtains, I can use them to pick paint colors and maybe think about some accessories...
Yesterday, we took the kids out to breakfast (Ryan was feeling bad about having not seen them all day Saturday) and then a sitter came over, and we took off for San Francisco to see "Les Miserables" at 2 pm. That was pretty cool! I love seeing plays, and I especially love musicals, and this one was pretty amazing. I thought I only knew one song from it -- "On My Own," which Michelle Kwan skated to several years ago -- but I recognized a couple of others too. "On My Own" was still my favorite song, though, sung by what turned out to be my favorite character, Eponine, the doomed daughter of the sleazy innkeeper and his wife, in love with Marius, who loves Cosette. I thought Eponine was much cooler than Cosette, but she was kind of too cool for Marius too, and she was doomed and all, so I guess that was part of why I liked her.
Ryan and I were starving once the play was done around 5, so we walked around a bit and ended up at Morton's Steakhouse, a very upscale restaurant. They had this "verbal menu presentation," which means they bring out this cart with raw steaks, raw vegetables, and a live lobster with its claws taped up so it can't attack you, so they can show exactly what you can order. I could have done without that! The poor lobster tried crawl off the plate while he was sitting next to me, and I couldn't blame him, I have to say. Also, I was pretty relieved when the waiter handed us printed menus when he was done, because there was no way I was going to be able to remember everything he'd told us. I had filet mignon, and Ryan had some cut I can't remember, cooked cajun style, plus we shared an order of mashed potatoes, and then we shared a really amazing chocolate cake with Godiva chocolate sauce inside. Mmm! Very nice. We discussed the play and the characters and all through dinner and enjoyed ourselves. Had a nice nice drive home in the red machine, spent some time with the kids before we put them to bed, and then caught a new episode of "Six Feet Under."
All in all, a very nice weekend :-)