Monday, October 5, 2009

thank you, yes, it was a great birthday!

a few years ago, someone asked me, "what are you doing, working on your birthday??? why didn't you take the day off???" i thought about it for a minute, and really couldn't come up with a good answer. so, because of that, ever since, october fifth has been an automatic vacation day. or two.

or, this year, three. which, of course, means that i am currently in the middle of a five day weekend. poor me, right? :)

and, listen, not to rub it in further, but it's been a great day-- very low key, very normal. probably very boring to you, and the great majority of people who are reading this, but i've loved every bit of it!

got to sleep in until 6:20 this morning. got out of bed and did some exercising. or, rather, thought about how often other people must exercise. all this while watching my pittsburgh steeler highlights on sportscenter. and eating mint chocolate ice cream.

played a little online chess, and scored 36 points on a scrabble-esque game, on a word i'm pretty sure i made up (nixy). wasted time on farmville, and got matched up on eharmony with a woman named eunice.

started an angry letter to eunice's parents about how cruel it was for them to have named her eunice, but thought better of it before sending.

caught up on a couple of emails in between a game or two of madden football, and then it was (where else?) off to the MOVIES!!! it was a double feature day-- two movies for two dollars!!! ...well, i mean, no, that wasn't exactly the theater's offer-- they screen an old and dusty film every monday afternoon for two bucks, and then i... well, yeah, then i just snuck into see the other flick. good times.

today's old and dusty movie was from 1932-- 'a farewell to arms' starring gary cooper and helen hayes. it was a bit melodramatic, and fairly dated, and the print was awful, but was it worth two bucks? you bet. i s'pose if i was disappointed in anything, it was in the misleading title of the film. gary cooper's character was injured in the picture, but came away with nothing more than a bump on the head and some achy feet. i thought for sure he was going to wind up an amputee.


the movie i snuck in to see was excellent, though. ricky gervais' 'the invention of lying'. i laughed out loud quite a bit, and found myself unexpectedly sobbing during one scene that hit a bit too close to home. i thought the movie was great. just brilliant. not a bad birthday gift at all, that film.

but what's really made my day so special is all the love i've received on my facebook page! i am absolutely overwhelmed by all the well-wishers. and what they've said has just been so moving, so heart-warming and humbling... like, bernice, for example...

"ryan, you have touched my heart in more ways than can be explained in mere words. you are my light. you are my compass. you are my one and only reason for..."

okay, no, actually, that's not true. she just said 'happy birthday.' but, i believe you have to sometimes read in between the lines to catch what's really there... y'know, underneath all the, uhm, y'know... stuff-- like, for instance, arlene. when she wrote, "ryan, i hope you have a good birthday" i think it's fair to assume that what she TRULY wanted to say was, "ryan-- normally i don't wish people a happy birthday, but i'm making an exception for you because of how SEXY you are! hubba! hubba! grrrrRRRrrowwl!" and...

...well, no, see, again, that's-- sorry-- that's also not entirely accurate. as i don't even know anyone named arlene. or bernice, for that matter, but i HAVE been besieged with a TON of fantastic people in my life. really. and i'm incredibly grateful for each and every one of them. even the ones who couldn't wish me a happy birthday without using the words "old" or "ancient" or "methuselah".

speaking of such things, if i had the chance, would i trade 37 for 27? ...maybe. but i loved being 36. and i don't long for days gone by. i can remember the past with a great deal of fondness without a hint of wanting to go back to do things differently. i can look back and recall what it was like to be a kid and smile at pleasant memories, without being touched by the ghosts of embarrassing events that used to haunt me.

it's why i'm looking forward to being 37. i can easily relax and realize that the person i was at 27, and 17, and 7 has made me the man i am today-- the guy whose biggest problem in the world at the moment is having so many friends that he doesn't even know how to thank them all for their kind wishes and cheerful thoughts.

today, i am george bailey, screaming "merry christmas" to mr. potter, while running down the snow-covered roads of bedford falls. today i am the richest man in the world. completely blessed. overjoyed. today, i'm thanking God because it really is a wonderful life.

lol, finally-- a movie title that got it right.

the five things i fell in love with today...
actually, the five things that make this old man feel like a kid again...

1) walking through a revolving door.
2) magic shell chocolate fudge ice cream topping.
3) smelling the leather of my old baseball glove, as i hold it close to my face.
4) singing hymns in an old and tiny church.
5) the anticipation i get when i'm in a movie theater, and the lights start to dim! i love that!

song of the day...
"younger men grow older" by richie havens

movie of the day...
"it's a wonderful life"

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