First, a seriously belated thanks to Sheri for the lovely birthday post, with its glimpse into the dark mind of Jimmy and his psycho-sexual fixation on MOR, the meat so thrifty it won't even spring for an "E". I'd never heard of this poor man's SPAM and certainly can't vouch for its flavor, but based on the image in the post below, it's apparently an effective prophylaxis against puppy love.
And thanks for the many kind and thoughtful birthday wishes in the comments, especially because I've been so criminally dilatory this month about celebrating everyone else's birthday. My only excuse is that I'm in a lot of pain, and while that's nothing new, my reaction to it is.
In the past, I've been able to slog through most of these episodes with a sparing use of painkillers, a liberal application of corticosteroids, and a daily refrain of "This too shall pass." But this time -- maybe because I'm getting older and my bony infrastructure isn't bouncing back as fast as it once did -- the bum disc was accompanied by depression, exhaustion, and a pervading sense of What's The Point? I probably should have fessed up about this earlier, rather than just leaving the blog out to rust in the yard, but I know so many people, many from the Wo'C community, who are dealing with so much worse -- chronic fatigue, constant pain, even homelessness -- that I felt like an insufferable wuss for whining about this in public (rather than in private, to Mary, who probably, now that I think of it, would have appreciated you guys taking her shift for once).
Anyway, I had an epiphany on my birthday, realizing that such an occasion, especially at my age, should be a time for reflection, frank self-assessment, and a renewal of purpose. And if I am as honest with myself as I strive -- however imperfectly -- to be, I must further acknowledge that I'm not likely to enjoy the results of any of that, so I should just gorge myself on Zebra Cakes and Meister Braü instead.
Unfortunately, the Dollar Tree was out of both, so I've no option but to make up for lost time with a mass birthday bacchanalia, retroactively recognizing all the unremarked natal days in reverse order, starting with...
November 5: Li'l Innocent! Graceful wordsmith. Gifted illustrator. Two discrete skills that don't often go together. But while Li'l may have perfected this unlikely union, she didn't invent it, because Chef Boy-ar-dee® beat her to it:
You can make German Pizza by adding sliced knockwurst and sauerkraut (rinsed and drained). Then sprinkle generously with caraway seeds.That's the key, people. Everyone knows about the rinsed and dried sauerkraut (I like to blow dry mine, then tease it with a rattail comb to give my German Pizzas more loft and bounce), but don't be stingy with the caraway seeds!
November 1: Chris Vosburg!
"Engineer" Vosburg, as he's known around these parts, is a longtime member of the commentariat and an occasional field reporter for Wo'C. He's a font of Hollywood trivia -- both the locus and the metonym -- and a rich source of fiber and anecdotes about Catalina Island, baseball, Dutch rock bands, print-making, and many other fields of dark and mysterious magic. He also knows his Star Trek (which I know because he was kind enough to listen to the Star Trek podcast I was on, and live-blog it in the comments), so I think this would be an appropriate entree for his personal feast day:
You will be charmed with these dainty little puddings--I imagine Russell Crowe as Maximus in Gladiator holding up a fistful of glistening suet to the crowd in the Coliseum and bellowing, "Are you not charmed?"
But frankly, the Atora looks less like a pudding to me, and more like the Horta from the TOS episode Devil in the Dark.
I realize it's a nerdy comparison to draw, but Chris will get it.
October 18: KWillow! Not only is K a delightfully smart and snarky commenter, she's also one of the nicest people I've ever had the privilege to know, kind to cats and people, and an all around good soul. I almost feel bad, knowing what's coming out of the kitchen for her...
There's a famous soul food joint in Hollywood called Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n Waffles, which I'm ashamed to say I've never gone to, because whenever I've walked by there's always a huge line (also why I've never had a frankfurter from local institution Pink's Hot Dogs) and because Chicken and Waffles has never struck me as a particularly harmonious pairing. But Waffles and Mushroom Soup? That's a classic. Waffles and Pimento-stuffed Olives? Who didn't grow up gorging on that every Sunday morning after church? Add drained, flaked tuna, and you've got a dish that'll throw a birthday party on your tongue. Or, if not, at least the cat will eat it.
October 11: Anntichrist S. Coulter!
What can we say about Annti that hasn't been said over the past 13 years? In fact, I believe it was she who inspired the whole birthday party tradition at Wo'C (certainly it was her nic that "inspired" [if that's the word I want and I'm pretty sure it's not] Sheri to celebrate each natal anniversary with an increasingly scary photo of Ann Coulter; probably because Annti's birthdate is hard by Halloween).
Annti is a rara avis, unfailingly empathetic and generous on the one hand, fluent in fifty different dialects of paint-stripping profanity on the other. The kind of person you only meet once in a lifetime, if that, and one who deserves a tasty and decadent treat in honor of this, the anniversary of the day when she slid through the proscenium arch that is the cervix and began to strut and fret her hour upon the stage. But since she's going through some particularly hard times at the moment, I think I'll spare her the gorge-hoisting fare and just make do with a Florida Green Anole, because we've gotta have at least one...
Sexy Birthday Lizard!
And, oh, what the heck, let's toss in some Charlize Theron while we're at it...
And finally, we come to the last but not least of the missed birthdays, not least because I missed it first:
October 4: Dr. BDH!
In addition to cracking wise in the comments, Dr. BDH is Wo'C Chief Medical Officer, and as such keeps things bustling at the House of Pain. So who, I ask you, would be better equipped to whip up an antidote to this:
A Thaw and Serve Salad! And since Doc no doubt spent many a nerve-wracking hour in medical school removing wrenched ankles from bulb-nosed cadavers, I'm sure he can extract this handy fruit salad tray without touching the sides and making that horrible buzzing sound.
And with that, I think we're back on track. So please join me in wishing a very happy (and in most cases, very belated) birthday to Li'l Innocent, Chris V., KWillow, Annti, and Doc.