First of all, I want to thank you all for the wonderful birthday thoughts and wishes. I truly mean that, and the kind words came from both commenters and non-commenters alike. You are truly the best. In addition to the kind words, I also received some gifts from folks, and those gifts are also deeply appreciated, because honestly, I love gifts / presents / prizes / winnings / loot / booty (oh yes, I LOVE booty) / swag / offerings / sacrifices / things I don’t have to buy for myself, and I love them because of the sentiment attached to each and every one. Thank you all, each and every one.

That being said, a couple of the gifts…stood out above the rest. Not saying that any of the gifts were bad – quite the contrary, they all were wonderful. But…well, I guess I should just show you. I have to say, Elle the Bad-Ass Pirate came through. She wins the First Annual Dark Damian Bad-Ass Birthday Gift Contest, or the FADDBABGC. Check out what the pirate got me:

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Your eyes do not deceive you – this is, indeed, Season 1 of “Heroes”, live and in loving DVD, and encased securely in my brown hand. How excited am I? I. Love. This. Show. You’re talking about the guy who has actually gone online and read all the graphic novels related to the show, you know, the ones that fill in the gaps between the episodes. Yeah. I’m that guy. So when I saw this arrive, I about flipped my wig completely. But the main thrust of my excitement and bewilderment was the message on the “card”:

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Um…do my eyes DECEIVE me? In case the wording is a bit too small to read, allow me to make it nice ‘n’ legible to you: “To Double D – I know this gift isn’t that personal but I know you will LOVE it. Word. You are my best friend. Forever and always. Kickin’ rocks…deuces! Love, The Elle.” Hoe. Lee. Shit. This unannounced stream of…of… NICE is utterly confusing me! Wow. I’ll take it. Thank you, Elle. But wait, there’s more! A couple of days later, this little nugget found its way to my desk:

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Um…shiny foil packaging. A place called “Zazzle”. Obviously this was a bomb. After calling the police, the AFT, the Secret Service, the Fantastic Four, and my momma, I cautiously, tentatively opened the package, saying my prayers and hoping for some forgiveness for putting scotch tape on cats’ paws. And instead of getting all blowed up, this is what my eyes took in:

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Wha….? At first, I was a bit confused. This sign language…I think she was trying to communicate with me! After thinking about it (and looking up websites for Sanskrit writings), I realized what she was saying. Do you know, dear reader? If not, the answer will be revealed at the end of the post.* I called Elle to thank her profusely for the gift, and she gushed (yes, gushed) and asked “Did you like the back?” The back? I didn’t even know there was anything written on the back at all! So I flipped that jive turkey over, and nearly fell out when I saw this there:

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DOUBLE D!! That’s ME! My shirt, one of a limited set (I’ll ‘splain in a minute), was PERSONALIZED!! I realize that I’m making a joke out of all this, but seriously, I was (and am) really touched by the gesture. Thank you, Elle.

I’m always surprised when people actually do things like this for me (yes, even when I outright ask for those very things in a blog post). Understand that I’m mostly joking when I demand trinkets and treats, so when I actually GET a copy of “Superbad” or a book from the Dune series, I’m genuinely thankful and happy. I appreciate you all. Even you, Jali.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Peace.

* Kickin’ Rocks. Deuces!

Explanation: L~ (“Kickin'”, with the L  being the leg and the tilde being the dynamic leg action); * (rocks); ^ (“Deuces”, two fingers pointed down in an inverted peace sign.)

You know you love it.

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