Here is a dark photo of the birthday girl and her husband through the smoke of the book burning.
Today was a million times better than yesterday. I had the worst migraine I've ever had on Monday. Today though? Today was migraine free, plus the weather was amazing, plus I got to run my six mile route, plus it was my friend I.M.'s birthday and fun cookout - which equals awesomeness all day long.
My girls had their own stuff going on. Coadster studied and went to The Airliner for cheap pizza night with some friends. Stinky had a meeting with her dad for religious education classes. She wasn't super happy about it, but it's important to her dad, and a little organized religion never hurt anyone...Except for the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and centuries of religious oppression. Okay, but you know what I mean.
So, yeah. The birthday party was great. When I first got there, one of I.M's guests was inviting her neighbor, who just happens to be a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, to the party. The author said that it was his birthday too that day, but didn't come over. Which is too bad, because I think it would be fun to help a Pulitzer Prize winner celebrate his birthday. Don't you?
My beautiful friend S. was there with her two boys and K. and my friend, Wendy showed up with the best sangria I've ever had in my life. It was made with raspberry wine and ginger ale and some kind of lemonade vodka and tons of fresh fruit. I only had one glass, though, because I had to drive.
Earlier, there were about a hundred million kids running around like banshees, but they all went home after it got dark and I.M. started a fire in the backyard with a bunch of her kids' artwork that she couldn't keep anymore. We talked about just how many trees had to die so our kids could give us 54,782 adorable pictures of trees and flowers and dinosaurs. There's only so many of them you can keep without renting another place just to house them all, you know?
As we were sitting around the fire, the guy pictured above came and sat down with us. "I.M. said you guys were friendly, so I hope you don't mind if I join you," he said. Since there were about seven women and our friend Matt H. sitting around, no, we didn't mind one bit if a cute, fun, young, guy came and sat down with us. He was great. A couple of other, younger hipster type guys followed and we all commenced to talking shit.
I.M. put an old encyclopedia on the fire and when a few eyebrows were raised about the book burning, I.M. said, "Shut-up. It's an obsolete encyclopedia that's been sitting outside for a few weeks and it's a little damaged anyway."
"Kind of like me?" I asked.
"Maybe. You've been left outside and you're a little damaged?" the first hipster boy asked.
"Yeah. I guess that doesn't sound so hot, huh - to describe myself as damaged."
"Well, you're only a little damaged. Everything sounds so much better if you say 'it's a little' whatever it is," The first hipster boy said.
"So, if I also described myself as a little heinous, that doesn't sound that bad either, right?"
"Right," he assured me.
"K. remember what I told you the kids in high school called me?" I asked.
"Churlita Tiny Tits?" K. guessed. (My real first name starts with a T. , so the real life nickname actually did flow better together)
"No. That's what they called me in junior high. In high school, we moved to Ottumwa and some of the kids would describe me as being nice, but just a little bit diff'ernt. But they put 'a little' in front of it, so now I'm thinking it must not have been all that bad."
A little later, my friend Matt H., who has this weird fascination, or maybe, obsession with Britney Spears, had K. call him, so we could hear his Britney Spears ringtone. After a good (or bad) listen, one of the hipster boys said, "So, this is what I imagine hell to be like - sitting around a fire, burning books and listening to Brittney Spears."
Since the book was unreadable so I didn't have to feel guilty, and the company was great, and the Britney Spears was funny and didn't last very long, I thought it was closer to heaven.