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My birthday got off to a really nice start yesterday. After going through
the normal morning routine I watched a DVD that my mom got for me for my
birthday featuring a kind of compendium of events from 1953. I was actually
born in 1955, but my mom got the 1953 disk because she knew I was working
on the new novel set in 1953. I got some good information from it.

Then I watched my Chicago White Sox get their butts kicked by the Boston
Red Sox. But that's okay, the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 and
I'm still flying high from that one. I think that Boston is going win the
series this year, that would be my bet. They're playing some great ball.

I was still watching the Sox when my BFF Julie called and asked me out
to dinner for my birthday. So I said hell yes — of course!

We went to a Mexican restaurant on the north side called Rancho Chico.
We had been there a couple of times before. Julie got the house specialty
chicken dish and I got the cheese enchiladas that had seemed like my
holy grail over the last three months.


Julie with her chicken dish.


My cheese enchiladas. Delicious!


Holding up my enchiladas.


A great photo of Julie laughing with
her flour tortilla.


My frozen strawberry margarita — almost gone!


Julie's frozen raspberry margarita — totally gone!


Then Julie surprised me with a birthday present — It was
a CD, Sting's Songs From the Labyrinth, which I had really
been wanting — Perfect!


After dinner we stopped at World Bazaar and Julie
did a little shopping. Here's me resting in a chair
with a couple bottles of wine.

Then we went back to Julie's place. The first thing we did was listen
to the Sting CD. After the music Julie's daughter Laura stopped in for
a few minutes. Laura took our picture together — thanks, Laura! Then
we opened one of the bottles of wine and watched a DVD Julie had of jazz
trumpeter Chris Botti, who also happened to have Sting as his guest on
the concert for a couple of songs.

After that we went out on the patio and drank wine and talked a while.
Then we went back inside and Julie played her harp.

It was a great birthday — the Best Ever.


The turtles cannot sing and yet they love.
— John Dowland, "The Lowest Trees Have Tops"

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