In completely unrelated news, and completely unrelated to this post...we're currently sitting on the couch listening to Gustav Holst's The Planets, Jupiter: The Bringing of Jollity and Anya is dreaming on the recliner very loudly. I wonder if she's dreaming jolly things.
STEPHEN turns twenty-five years old today. Here's the difference in our thinking: Stephen thinks the most significant part of this birthday is that his insurance rates go down. I think the most significant part is that he's been alive for a quarter of a century. It seems so grandiose and spectacular.
However, Stephen's not one for making a big hullabaloo about birthday celebrations, so we're getting together with a few friends and eating a checkerboard cake (have no fear, I'll post pictures post-cake-baking). Saturday, we at ate Smoking Guns, which is a world famous (being on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives constitutes as world famous, right?) BBQ joint here in KC. Stephen's mom had a brilliant idea that we should eat at all the places around Kansas City that have been on Food Network. So we can check that one off the list. It was delicious, too. (Which you don't have to take my word for it, just check out all the trophies and ribbons they've won)
Sunday, we went with my parents to take Megan back to college (she came home this weekend for the first time in almost a month). We made a family trip out of it and ate at Heroes (best onion rings and long islands ever) on Pine Street. It was, naturally, delicious. Then we came home, at some of dad's excellent cookies, and watched the Chiefs lose to the Raiders (lame sauce).
I hope Stephen's having a good birthday weekend. (He assures me he is - no dry-walling involved!)
It's hard for me to imagine, what with the mere twenty-two and a half (the half is very important) years I've put under my belt, what it's like to be alive for a quarter of a century. If Stephen were money, he'd be a quarter. Wonder if he'd be a state quarter or a commodity quarter, or just a regular run-of-the-mill quarter. A state quarter probably thinks it's better than regular quarters because people collect it, so I don't think that's quite Stephen's personality. Some commodity, rare, limited time quarter (like you see on those weird infomercials) would most definitely have a personality problem. I mean, talk about snotty and thinking highly of yourself. So I guess that makes Stephen a run-of-the-mill quarter. But before you start getting upset and say that I'm making Stephen out to be a nobody, listen to my reasoning:
A "run-of-the-mill-every-day" quarter isn't just a flat little coin that's lost in the couch. I mean, it might be, but I'd equivocate that to some worthless couch potato guy that does nothing with his life. Definitely not Stephen. A quarter can be anything. It starts out polished and shiny, untouched. It can be put used to buy candy, or soda, or crackers. It can be saved up and used to buy a car, a house, or an engagement ring. It could be used to pay for breakfast at McDonalds, or dinner at Piropos. Or it can be used to pay for car insurance. It can be given to charity, sent to a poor country to feed someone else. It can be given to someone sick to make them better. It can even be welded onto some wire to make the face of a metal ballerina. And by then, maybe that quarter doesn't look so sharp anymore. It might be tarnished, blackened, or even bent in places. But, maybe someday someone polishes it up and places it in between two plastic sleeves and a cardboard frame to be kept clean and and in good condition: a valuable memory of what money "used" to look like. A token of a bygone era (just ask my dad, he collects all sorts of coins).
My Stephen is ridiculously talented at fixing things (everything, from computers, to houses, to jewelry, to cars, to food, to...well...everything. We haven't yet found something he can't fix), he is kind and compassionate, and very intelligent. So while maybe sometimes he seems a bit tarnished (even to himself), just like a "run-of-a-mill" quarter - it doesn't show what's on the inside - or where the quarter has been or what great things it's done, or the awesome things it's still going to do.
25 Things We All Love About Stephen:
1. His talking skills - everyone loves to talk with him (even strangers).
2. His ability to fix our cars.
3. His weird love-affair with James.
4. His ridiculous Garmin work stories.
5. His work ethic (good grief that boy works hard).
6. His ALWAYS well-timed jokes.
7. His seemingly endless knowledge about everything.
8. How great he looks in argyle.
9. His mad recording skills.
10. How well he takes care of his mom.
11. His loyalty.
12. His cooking skills.
13. His weird man-love with all of his boyfriends. I know you guys love him.
14. His ability to be mature.
15. His ability to be immature.
16. His funny voices and impressions.
17. His willingness to help with anything, and everything.
18. How excited he gets about food.
19. How intimidating he was in high school as lead bass drum.
20. His mad timpani skills.
21. His ability to fix all of our broken electronics.
22. His shit-eating grin (sorry - that's what he calls it when other people smile like that).
23. His awesome dance moves.
24. His goofy nature.
25. The sideburns.
That was probably the easiest list I've ever made. :)
Happy Quarter-Century-Anniversary-of-Birth, Stephen!
Probably the best picture of Stephen ever.
Vanessa and Anya