Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday

Here is the story of how my birthday was almost very un-happy. Thursday this week I had to leave work early to go do a gig. It was in Buffalo so I was super careful to keep my truck locked, and I was even able to park it right close to where I was mixing so I could keep an eye on it.

About 11 that night I went out to grab my water jug to fill it and found that it wasn't there. Then I suddenly realized that both my tool belts were missing as well. This was no small item to be missing as I am well invested in tool belts. It would be something like $400 just to replace the belts, and then get started on the tools.

It took a while to sink in. I reviewed the situation as calmly as I could. I still have an old belt in my truck, and a spare hammer, tape, knife and speed square. So I could still get to work the next day. Then I started to go back over the day and tried to think of any time that I had not been in the truck and it had also been unlocked. I thought of a guitar player who borrowed my keys to get a cord, but that was it. I nearly called him at midnight to cuss him out but decided to throw things instead. I blogged about it with a good deal of inappropriate language, and finally just lay in bed shaking mad till the wee hours of the night.

A brief excerpt from that blog entry:
... no good lousy bastard son of a llamma farmer who likely still wets the bed...
I woke up still ticked off and went striding out to the truck, thinking how I was going to explain this at work when I froze, one foot off the ground. I had piled up all my tools at the back of the barn and gone to get my truck so I didn't have to carry them all 400 feet to where I was parked. I stopped to talk to the boss and then just drove off. I quick ran back into the house to delete my angry post with the elaborate cursing in it and drove off to work with a sheepish smile.

Then the real fun began. There wasn't anything said outright, but it seemed as though the crew was conspiring to keep me from doing anything too strenuous. Every time I tried to jump in on some heavy lifting I got waved off. I even got to drive the Bobcat for an hour, which is more time than I've spent in it in the last six months.

The second half of the day got even better. I rolled straight from work to the gig. I had already stowed all the gear we would need in the back room of a shop that opened up ten feet from the stage. My assistant and I went from zero to noise in just a tick over forty-five minutes. I then had about two hours of the easiest mixing I've seen all summer.

Then my wife popped in to say that I'd better get right over to the Pub because there were people waiting. I had no idea... My guy stayed on to pack out my gear and I hot footed it to the Pub. The Missus had been busy e-mailing because there were about twenty people that I hadn't seen in forever, all throwing beer chips at me.

Well...when the work is all done, and I don't have to do any more driving, it's time to get into trouble. At one point we ordered a pizza because the kitchen was closed. The bartender seemed a little ticked off at that, but he was too busy pouring to make much trouble for us. Hey... when you bring that much business through the door you get a little leeway I think. Five pints o' the Black Stuff (Guinness) and a shot of Maker's Mark later we finally crawled out of that place.

A brief excerpt from that segment of the evening:
... Maker's Mark eh? Well I'm not usually a bourbon drinker but, (clang) hey, that's not bad, whoa dude, you're two pints behind, these are both for you Birthday Boy, oh hey! Is that your pizza? Sweet, let's get into that!


I haven't had a hangover like that since I was in college. It was 4:30 in the afternoon before I could even think about food without heaving. And I was thinking about food a good deal. My parents were taking us out to our favorite little restaurant and I was not going to miss that. By the way, if you live in Western New York you seriously need to check out the Valley Inn in Warsaw, NY. We Daytons have dined all over the world, and in some pretty classy joints too. This place is the hands down winner. And to top it all off, four people can get stuffed for under $100.

My life never ceases to surprise me. Just when I thought it was going to be yet another birthday with eighteen or so billable hours and no real celebration to speak of, my Missus turns it into a full blown party. I'm a lucky fella.

By the way, for anyone wondering, I'm thirty two. Those thirty two years include nineteen years of carpentry, sixteen years of music production, seven years of marriage, and five years of parenthood. What's on your list? Leave me a comment.

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