Happy birthday to me,…

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear meee....happy birthday to me! :-) (And happy birthday to M'ris too!)

My mother called at nine this morning to wish me a happy birthday -- she woke me up, 'cause Todd came by yesterday and we played Civ until past midnight (so he was actually the first to wish me a happy birthday (though Kev was the first to notice it *was* my birthday)). Jed came in third, since I called him briefly before bed, but surely made up for his tardiness with his charming birthday posting.

I've been opening presents. Kevin has adopted the Karina-style of many small presents, although he doesn't do them with quite her flair yet. It takes practice, I think. Last night, I opened the big one from her, and it was a zippered bag -- full of lots of tiny wrapped presents. All smelly stuff -- creams and lotions and bath salts and lip balms and more and more and more. There were just lots of them! Much fun. So far from Kevin I've gotten a new computer game (big trouble -- clearly he doesn't want me to actually *finish* my Ph.D. -- I think he's just jealous, 'cause my Ph.D. is funner than his Ph.D. :-) and a tea baller -- he had brought me back some loose tea from Harrod's in London (after his Zurich trip this summer) and we didn't have a tea baller to use it with. Unfortunately, I had bought one myself last week (never ever buy anything birthday week -- I know the rule, and I have only myself to blame for breaking it), but luckily, he bought a larger one, not so suitable for individual cups of tea, but perfect for making a pot. And I have a pot, so on Sunday, I will make a pot of lovely Ceylon afternoon tea for my guests. (We're having a small birthday brunch on Sunday, and if you live in Chicago and I know you and you're wondering why you didn't get an invite, it's because my Chicago guest list is still very disorganized and you should drop me a note and remind me to invite you.) It feels very civilized, now that we have the capability to brew loose tea in mugs *and* pots.

One of the best presents this week was entirely unplanned -- an unexpected visit from Kirstie! She was in town for a conference (how much more often is that going to happen in Chicago than in Salt Lake? lots!), and ended up coming by for dinner on Wednesday and staying late. We ate curry, we drank bad champagne (it's traditional for us), we showed her the place, we talked and talked and talked. So nice. I do like unexpected presents of unexpected people. :-)

I can't goof off entirely on my birthday, mostly because I spent yesterday in a frenzy of pre-birthday goofing off. (In addition to computer-game-playing, I picked up a copy of the new Young Wizards book by Duane -- A Wizard's Dilemma. We're back to Nita and Kit, and this one is much better than the fourth book (which was entertaining, but just not up to the levels of the previous (the second is still my favorite)) -- well worth the read. I love this series. And apparently, she's written a sixth, which doesn't appear to be out yet. Want it want it want it!) So today, I have to do some work -- also clean up some for the party, since I'll be out most of Saturday (visiting visiting relatives). I picked up some more exam list books in Hyde Park yesterday (also had a nice lunch with another old friend, Katherine Riley), so today I take a stab at some more epics, I think -- either The Odyssey or The Ramayana. Kevin will be around; maybe I'll make him make dinner, or maybe take me out somewhere nice. Working, reading, hanging with Kevin. Sounds pleasant -- pretty much what I want to do on my birthday.

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