*Simply because they don’t celebrate birthdays, not because I want to knock on your door at 7am on a Saturday morning, smushing a copy of “The Watchtower” under your door as you and the kids hide quietly just on the other side, pretending not to be home. Oh, I know how it goes down.*

Another year gone. Since the average life expectancy of a black man is 70 years (or 22, if you live in New York City), I’m damned close to mid-life. *Sigh* What’s a boy to do?

Keep on living, that’s what.

Do you think for a Bolivian second that I’m gonna get all maudlin just because I’ve officially moved out of the 18-34 demographic, and into the “They’re too old for us to care about marketing toward…just throw some Depends on top of a station wagon and call it a day” category? Think again. I don’t roll like that. I roll fierce. Turning 35 is just opening the door to the rest (and best) of my life, and I mean that shit.

How did I spend my birthday weekend, you ask? I’d LOVE to share!

As you may recall, 4YO (yeah baby, he’s FOUR now. He wants a Chevy Avalanche for his next birthday. Or maybe that’s me who wants that. I forget) had HIS birthday on the 9th, and we had a party planned at Satan’s Foyer at 10am. 13 kids showed up for this gala event, and at $10 per kid, plus drinks, the grand total for the party was $23,452.51. But it was totally worth it to see him laughing and playing with his friends from daycare.

Arrival time: 10am
Departure time: 2pm

Four hours in Chuck E. Cheese is about three hours and 47 minutes too long, unless you lost your wallet up in there. The Humanity Neck Punch urge grew, and my fist balled up reflexively, like it does when I’m riding the subway in Washington D.C. or whenever I walk through Wal-Mart. I hate Chuck E. Cheese, with a passion I usually only reserve for driving in Dallas and Andy Dick.

My band had a show Saturday night, a benefit for children with AIDS. We were the headliners, meaning we had to wade through several other bands until it was our turn to rock. Now, those of you who’ve heard our stuff will agree – we’re not heavy metal. I mean, we can get down like that, but that’s just not our thing. There were several heavy metal bands there last night, playing noteless songs and growling out repetitious lyrics like “DIIIIIIIIIIIIE! [loud, unintelligible grunting and growling] Reign in BLOOOOOOOOD! [more grunts, a moo, a couple of donkey brays, an alligator hiss, and the sound of two wild boars mating]” You can’t even understand them! And the music…from a skill standpoint, those guys are very, very good. But when your music sounds like a jackhammer pounding a tin roof and french nails scraping a chalk board, it’s more like noise pollution than actual music. A sneeze is more musical. And has less saliva. Our set was decent. We’ve played better, but when you don’t start actually playing until after 1am, your sets tend to be subpar. We’ll get ’em on New Year’s Eve.

I had the distinct pleasure of going to Wal-Mart, where I had to park on the SIDE of the building, damn-near the Sam’s Club parking lot next door. There were THAT many idiots – I mean, shoppers – there. I hated it, but I needed supplies, mainly Tang (or G-Vang, as I’m now calling it, since I buy the Great Value Orange Breakfast Drink Mix instead of actual Tang. Shit tastes the same to me.), a 100′ extension cord, and outlet spike for the lights I had planned to put up on the outside of the bungalow. The Christmas section looked like Beirut circa 1987. I think I saw orphans. The very embodiment of the Christmas spirit occurred when, in one of the narrow-ass rows in that area, and old man looked me dead in my eye, scowled, and moved his buggy in order to prevent me from turning down the aisle I was aiming toward. My fist balled up again. But I just smirked and spun my buggy around and went the other way. I don’t wanna punch an old man in the neck. Fuck that wreath. I was in the checkout line for 20 minutes.

Arrival time: 1:30pm
Departure time: 4pm

The rest of my birthday I spent chilling. I got some cool gifts from the family, and we put up our trees (we erect two Christmas trees – a 6 foot fiber optic one as the main tree, and a little 3 footer for the kids to decorate, so they don’t pull the nice, expensive, and irreplaceable glass and ceramic ornaments off the main tree). It was quite nice. I appreciate all of you for the sweet comments, the text messages, the phone calls, and everything else. I love you all for it.

Oh! Check me out, pre-beard:

That’s a soup-catcher, not a beard. Also known as a flavor-saver.

Here’s me with a beard:

Oh, yes. Rockin’ it HARD. See the grays right there at the chin? I’m OLD, baby.

Here’s 4YO and 7YO at the party:

My wonderful offspring.

Here’s me, rocking a tie today at work (RARE):


Oh yeah.

Here’s me, saying:

Peace.

Uncle Phil Edit: JB(S), I’mma whup your ass when I see you again. Don’t think I won’t. Do you REALLY think I look like my man James Avery? Check it:

Damn. I kinda do.

*sigh*

That’s your ass, JB(S).

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