Sunday, April 4, 2010

Birthday, mine

So, the cat is seven more-or-less now, which means I'm sneaking up on 42.

Want to do something for this birthday as it's a sort-of special one.  I mean, 42 -- the answer to the ultimate question.  I need to mark this day with something significant.

(Not as impressive/expensive as my 40th party.  That was a once-in-a-decade sort of thing.  But I do want something fun.) 

This is causing a great deal of frustration-face over here, because I can't seem to find something that will satisfy me and simultaneously not exclude half my friends due to expense or physical-activity-level or whatever.

I had a good idea.  I really did, but the idea slipped out from under me the day after I had it.  See, Disneyland was running this promotion where if you do a day of charity work at one of, like, a zillion charities, they give you a free ticket.  And I thought, well, that is the perfect way to get in touch with the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything -- do some charity work and then party like you're 8.  I was gonna select a good (not-too-physically demanding) charity thing, and ask my friends to sign up for it, and then pick a day we'd all go to Disneyland -- with, of course, the idea that anyone not wanting to do a Saturday of charity work could just buy a damn ticket and join us for the fun.

See?  Good idea.

Disneyland cancelled it the very next day.  Apparently, they'd reached their goal of a million volunteers/free tickets, so were pulling the plug on new sign-ups.

And while I've looked at tons of other ideas (none of which had the elegance of that one), I still can't find something that feels right.  I mean, there's indoor skydiving ($50 per person and the experience is over in minutes), indoor electric go-kart racing (also $45 per person, pay extra for pizza, and I'm not sure I trust anyone who offers indoor electric go-kart racing Bar-Mitzvahs), renting out a sweet old-fashioned bowling alley (potentially the cheapest alternative as it isn't based on the number of people).  Have also looked at just going to Dave & Busters or Mini-Golf (when their "party packages" include a hot dog and a reference to "the birthday child," perhaps I'm looking at the wrong place).

I even considered having a backyard barbecue.  (Although I am now in possession of a backyard, I would have to acquire a barbecue.  And foldy chairs.  Perhaps a whole patio set.)

(In the course of looking for the right event, I've come up with the total perfect birthday present for a friend of mine (really, it's perfect) but the fact that I'd have to take off a day of work to do it prevents it from being a good idea for me to ask all my friends to participate in).

Little help from the blogosphere?   


TammyG said...

You could come to Indy and pet a wolf! (

Janiece said...

I'm a Backyard BBQ kind of gal, myownself. The cost is manageable, since you control the menu, and friends and family can participate by bringing something to contribute.

We usually pair the BBQ with card games and such.

Of course, I'm partial to events that are long on visiting rather than doing something when there are large groups involved. If everyone's running around on go-karts or riding rides, I don't get a chance to talk to everyone. Activities I usually save for me and the Smart Man or small groups.

Have a good one!

Wil said...

The suggestions above are both good. It is about time you got a nice BBQ grill and decked out the patio so you can entertain. But, that is a separate issue from your birthday.

In fact, 42 is a momentous birthday ... it is all downhill from there. You might consider taking some quality time to be alone with your self. Perhaps at the Tassajara Zen Center:

"For a few days, step away from the busyness and pressures of your life, and find the rhythm of your own breath. Feel the summer breeze, enjoy delicious food, and immerse yourself in the healing waters of the hot springs and the refreshing cool of Tassajara Creek.

Located in a remote mountain valley of the Ventana Wilderness east of Big Sur, the hot springs at Tassajara were used by the native Esselen people long before it became a popular resort in the late 1800s. In 1967, the San Francisco Zen Center established Tassajara as the first Zen monastery outside Asia, and we continue to welcome guests each summer.

We warmly invite you to come refresh and renew at Tassajara—you can join a retreat, explore Zen practice, or just relax and let go of everything beyond the simple pleasures of the moment. We look forward to seeing you this summer!"

Whatever you choose to do, alone or with family and friends, I hope you have a good time.