Monday, August 17, 2009

Partying like it's 1959...

Time to play catch-up. I've been partly lazy, partly just too busy to sit down and blog, though I really wanted to. So, I will try to encapsulate the last week or so without boring you to tears with innocuous details.

Mrs. N. threw me the party to celebrate my coming of (old) age. We had to do it about 10 days after my real birthday, due to conflicts with my family being able to travel to Rochester sooner. My brother and his family were moving to a new apartment earlier that week, so he was knee deep in packing around the time of my actual birthday. My mom was traveling with them to here, so she had to wait to come up as well.

They arrived later than was expected on Friday, so unfortunately my time with them wound up being limited, as they had to leave on Sunday morning. My in-laws arrived earlier in the week from Florida, and were staying with us. Now, I like my in-laws; no, really I do. Seriously. It's just that having them there for a week, things get a little claustrophobic for me. However, since Mrs. N. only gets to see them twice a year, I would never ask for their visits to be shorter. It does take a little mental adjustment on my part to deal with four people in a house instead of two - all using one bathroom.

What was especially nice was seeing my niece, my brother's daughter, as it had been a bit since I saw her last. She just turned 12, and our birthday's are two days apart, and she was born 36 hours prior to my liver transplant, so we celebrate those milestones together when we can. She is also now up to my shoulders, and that is a little frightening.

So, we come to the party. Yes, it was what I expected. I was a walking target, and was not disappointed at the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune thrown at me. Turning 50 is different than turning 40. Turning 40 for me was somewhat subdued in the abuse department, as just two years earlier it was doubtful as to whether or not I was going to make it to 40. I think that this was making up for lost time.

My brother came armed with a box full of things that every 50 year old sure have: a bottle of Ensure, Depends, and other goodies designed to drive home the fact that I am now AARP material. He also made me choke up with a speech on how 12 years ago, "we almost lost him."

He's a good kid brother, let me tell you. My 12 year-old niece Donna Rose gave me a handmade card that she was very proud of and that I was very touched by.

Mrs. N. took it a step further and used her painting abilities to make me an over sized AARP membership card. Think about the "big checks" that they give people and organizations at special events and you'll get the idea. I knew I should have never let her take painting lessons.

However, I have to hand it to both my sister-in-laws, and my niece Michelle for they topped both of them. My one SIL went so far as to write a poem for me, which was hilarious, and coincided with the presentation of a cane with a rear view mirror and a bell. Very ingenious. Michelle gave me a card that I have to say, was nothing short of genius. It was made up of pennies from each year from 1959-2009, arranged in rows, with certain ones marked off with events that happened that year. 1977, when I graduated high school, 1987, when I started working in Brooklyn, 1985, when I graduated college, 1997, when I got transplanted, 1989, when I got married, etc. I was totally floored by that.

I also got some very nice actual gifts, including the second season of Saturday Night Live, as well as Battlestar Galactica - Season 4.5. All in all, it was a very nice party.

Now, I also did my first improv show last Saturday, and it went well. Michelle and her boyfriend came in from Buffalo to see it. I have to say that I have not been that nervous for a show in quite some time. it was only after I got my first big laugh (thankfully, right at the beginning of the first routine) that I was able to settle down. The way this show worked was that we were paired off in 3 teams of 3 improvisers, and each team had 23 minutes over the course of the evening to perform 4 different routines, hence the name of the show, "Catch-23." We came in second, but the points don't really matter anyway. It was good to get that first show under my belt, and all in all, I was pretty happy with it.

More to blog about later, especially the big benefit show for the organ tranplant program we're doing over the next 2 weekends.


jay said...

Sounds like a great party, Mr N - the 'pennies' card was particularly ingenious and I think it should be framed!

We tend to wait till people are a bit older till we throw them that sort of party, so I suspect you can expect more of the same in the future. Nine years ago, we did one like that for my Mum, when she turned eighty!

Glad to hear that your improv show went well! There, now you have the nerves over with, you can enjoy it! Or doesn't it work like that?

Gaston Studio said...

OMG, that penny thing must have taken a lot of time and effort to put together which must have made you feel fantastic that she cares so much to do so. Also very clever!

Sistertex said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY...welcome to the over 50 ranks. :) For my 50th birthday we all flew to Florida to be with my parents (and to escape winter in Minnesota as my birthday in in December) and went to Disney World. Funny stuff Mr. N to be sure, I love the presents your family took the time to create, such love! And though you appreciate the 'regular' gifting it is the humorus one that had the most time put into them and the ones you will remember above all else. I love things like that.

So glad you were able to celebrate 50, not really so bad is it. :)

Congrats on the play going well, uh I still remember being *so* nervous before each show, but then I am just the nervous type, though I hide it pretty well. I can see where improv certainly would make you more nervous as you aren't always totally sure what is going to be thrown at you. Sounds like you really do well at it.

I was starting to wonder where you were. So glad it was 'good things' taking up your time, preventing you from posting. Wishing you more of that!

Bina said...

Your party sounds like it was spectacular! You have a lot of people who love you, that's for sure.

And the penny idea? Brilliant! I never would have thought of something like that, but I would love to have a gift like that! Thanks for the idea!

So glad your improv went well. I can't even imagine how nervous that must be. And I would love to see a VIDEO of it!!!! Maybe one day someone will tape it and you can let us watch it?? Seriously, I would love to see it!

Peter said...

Turning 50 is a major milestone: congratulations!

Glad to read such personal presents were offered by people who may be far away, but visibly caring.

To be honest, I haven't got a clue what I'll do when I reach the big 5-0: being in good health seems like the best gift I could wish for.