Friday, May 3, 2013

Birthdays Suck, Except They Don't

Mum in front of The Third Bay Restaurant in Martinsville, VA
Mein Gott, how can another birthday have come and gone? I hate, hate, hate the ever-accelerating passage of years because, as each one falls away, the already complex tapestry of life grows only more complicated and often sad, as too many people close to me depart this life or suffer the inevitable infirmities that come with advancing years. Make no mistake, I'm still pretty damn spry for a middle-aged curmudgeon-in-training, and I have far more to be thankful for than to bitch, moan, and complain about; needless to say, this fact has never stopped me from bitching, moaning, and complaining, and I'm sure it never will. (And I don't care what you say, I happen to like my semicolons, so push the hell off.)

But even a grumpy old fart like me knows a good thing when he sees one. I tell you this, I've got the girlfriend to end all girlfriends, a fine family of cats, a mom that came straight from heaven, a roof over my head, and, at least for now, a pretty clean bill of health. All things considered, it was a mighty pleasant birthday yesterday. Most years, I take the evil day off from work, but I reserved that for today so I might have a slightly longer weekend. Last night, Brugger presented me with some nice presents and treated me to dinner at Sushi Republic on Tate Street — which proved why it's won best sushi in Greensboro for several years running — and, today, I geocached my way up to Martinsville so Mum could spend some time attempting to set straight the ornery cuss she birthed all those many years ago. Just for spite, she treated me to dinner at The Third Bay Restaurant, a very small but superb establishment that, back in the darkness of my youth, was actually a Sunoco gas station. As far as dining goes, it's the best Martinsville has to offer, though their hours during the week are sadly very limited — they're open on Friday nights but not on Saturdays, which has often knocked us out of going there for dinner. The meals I've had there I have rightly enjoyed, and tonight's was no exception. Their wine list is anything but extensive, though they do have a few decent dry reds; I was rather taken with the Shiraz I tried. I probably should have gone for the grilled halibut, like Mum did, but I opted for the filet mignon, medium rare, which was absolutely el perfecto. Hey, it's my freaking birthday dinner, and I'll filet if I want to. For dessert, The Third Bay specializes in chess pie, and if you haven't had The Third Bay's chess pie, then your dessert experience is dazzlingly incomplete. I'd go there just for a single piece of that stuff (but preferably more).

Tomorrow is the Spring Book Festival at Binding Time Cafe & Bookstore, just up the way, so I'll be there selling and signing books... as long as there's some poor schmuck willing to have his merchandise devalued with an old grump's signature. If you're that kind of brave soul, please do come on around.

Well, much as I hate them, I hope I'll have a few more birthdays coming round to punch me in the face. It's better than a slap across the belly with a wet trout.

I reckon.


johnpeters said...

Sounds like a perfectly fine and dandy birthday -- glad to hear it. I hope the book signing goes well tomorrow -- if John Hale still runs the place, tell him I said hello (he and I worked at the Bulletin together a number of years ago).

Stephen Mark Rainey said...

Yep, will do. I quite like Binding Time.