The Hess Report

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me
I'm way behind on this stuff, so I'm going to be brief. Well, not brief brief, but its not going to be as lengthy as I had originally planned.

On November 23, I turned 33. I don't hit a prime age for another four years. I have Dad to blame for thinking about stuff like that. For some reason while I was growing up, special mention was made on a prime birthday. Primeless, my big day fell on a Sunday this year, which was nice. I always envied the kids who got to play hooky on their birthdays, and I never did. So not going anywhere on my birthday feels like skipping school to me, even now. It also meant that the girls were going bonkers on Saturday in anticipation of their birthday plans for me.

So we buckled, and they got to pony up on most of the presents a day early. I got some really neat stuff. And dinner was great. Gourmet!Joy spent, quite literally, hours over two days making my birthday cake: a chocolate-orange torte. Though it was less than an inch in thickness, it had several layers, including a rich chocolate filling, slivered almonds magically prepared, candied orange peel made from scratch, and a light chocolate crust. It was un-freaking-believable and rich beyond belief. I think it was the best dessert I've ever eaten.

Sunday morning, the kids climbed into our bed around 8 o'clock and lavished me with all the affectionate birthday-like attention that a father could ask for. Let me just say that I am treated wonderfully by Joy, Maddie and Lucy on every day of the week, and even more so on the weekends. We're all so happy to have unencumbered time together that it usually turns things up a notch or two on the nice-o-meter. But in my life so far, that Sunday is without compare in the sheer volume of love and good feelings bouncing around the house. It was so palpable that if you had brought Hitler's desiccated corpse into the place, it would have sat straight up and said "Ja. Sogar kann ich die lieben fühlen."

Great birthday. Fun presents. Incredible food. And man, was I feeling the love. (Speaking of which, if you've never checked out the artwork of my artistic alter-ego Harkyman, you should bop on over and take a look. And thanks to Jim Markham ten years ago for the slogan.)

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