01 February 2005


and so has another year passed in my macrocosmically insignificant but personally gratifying life. the age of 29 was almost immediately preceded by the purchase of my first ever pair of glasses, which does nothing to ease the feeling of being within a hair's breath of the archetypically dreaded 30 (though i am certainly looking forward to at least the first half of my tercery decade with no small amount of anticipation, sitcom sentiments by and large to the contrary).

this birthday was a multi-tiered affair. the prologue to the natal comemoration (sp?) entailed numerous homemade birthday cards from my homeroom (Tammy supervised the cardmaking). they were beautiful! if i can discover the secrets to putting images on this website, i will certainly scan some of them in to give you a gander. a few students also gave me presents. one was a homemade bookmark and dried goods sculpture, another was a notebook that two students had drawn beautiful pictures in (homemade presents are ALWAYS the best). a few students gave me a bear, and i put it with the menagerie of bestowed stuffed animals behind my desk. the bear's name is Fritz Chocolate, if you are interested, and he has developed a companionship with Fluffy Pink and Ernest Prescott IV.

at the end of the school week we had a get-together. and what a way to bring it in, by golly! it was perhaps one of the loveliest and most unexpected fetes since my brother planned a do for my 16th. Tammy was the author of the whole delectable evening, in cahoots with the other teachers at suratthani school. she had invited Alfy and me to her house for a quiet dinner. we mosied on up to her place and were greeted by a covey of colleagues on her front porch, which was quite a surprise indeed. i then got the scoop on the evening's prep. it had been planned for two weeks and everyone had been most meticulous about keeping me in the dark. three folks had been delayed just before the party due to a speech competition adjudication, so Tammy had asked Alfy to stall. he turned every light on and left every screen door open in the apartment, which he knew would get my goat and prompt one of my little "we need to talk for a second" lectures. once we got to the ground floor, he "suddenly realized" he had forgotten to put on his shoes. masterful.

but the fun didn't stop there! oh no! it turns out i had blindly stepped into the midst of an unfolding murder mystery when i stepped through Tammy's gate. the others were so taken up with their parts during the ensuing few hours that it was difficult to follow the actual clues as they were divulged. it was rampant glory! Alfy and i finally left at about 2:30am after having pledged (drunken) undying love for numerous attendees and, of course, requesting a place in heaven for Tammy.

a few hours later Alfy and i rousted ourselves to phase 2 (yes, you heard me, PHASE II) of the birthday extravaganza. we pulled our sorry selves out of bed and tramped to the bus station to get to ao railay. there were six of us heading over, and it took an interminably long time. after a best forgotten journey, we skidded straight onto that beautiful beach and collected photons for a timeless stretch. there were more tourists there than last time, but the bungalow fares were actually lower than they had previously been. we met up with Judy and her friend Chris, wiling away a languorous evening in good company. i am beginning to second Bruce's sentiments that krabi is the most enchanting area in thailand (though kanchanaburi and kao sok are close seconds, let me tell you!). the next morning, Scott and bruce and i went to the diamond cave (WOW!). the experience was heightened by the fact that Scott, a science teacher at our school, had NEVER been inside a cave before. how cool a weekend is that? we swam some more and eventually headed back to civilization. Jane and Giselle spent a great deal of their time in their room, a swanky affair that was 1/5 its usual price and therefore actually affordable. does life get any better?

so much goodwill and sweet sentiment on and near my birthday has galvanized my love for this little life . . . this wee speck of a thing that gives me so much joy. the greatest success with which this Year of 29 could meet would be to make the people i know and love feel as special as they deserve, if only for a few moments. my greatest birthday present is you. it is a blessing.

blessings to you, w
Publishhatever your age (though so far 29 is looking like a very good age. i highly recommend it).