Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Birthdays are great – especially mine!

Ah… Another year wiser, another year closer to death. Well, at least now my golden years will be in FULL HD! But let’s start at the beginning…

Birthdays are always great, and when Sarah is involved, they tend to be even greater. While it would be hard for her to top last year’s present to me of a surprise trip to NYC for great food, drinks, shopping, and shows, she really outdid herself this year!

It all began on Sunday, when I proved that I’m not so old by running the San Fran US Half Marathon! That’s 13.1 miles of beautiful scenery from Fishermans Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and back. Our buddy Ted (of “Jen and Ted” fame) and I share the same birthday, and the duo were coincidently in Frisco for the marathon/birthday weekend. I’d like to say that I ran the marathon “with” Ted, but since he finished about 50 minutes ahead of me, that would be a lie.

After burning about 2,500 calories, and having two birthdays to celebrate, Jen, Ted, Sarah, and I all headed to a phenomenal dinner at Restaurant Gary Danko! Five of the best Michelin-star-awarded courses that you will ever consume! I started with the foie gras and it got better with every course and every bite! The scallops with butternut squash puree were amazing, the beef tenderloin was perfect, the cheese course was over the top, and the passion fruit panna cotta was sublime! And that was just
my dinner!

But let’s get back to the gifts…

It all started last Spring, when the real Steve Jobs announced the iPhone. Being a gadget geek, I haven’t been able to get enough info on the device over the past eight or nine months. But, the key item that kept me from actually purchasing one on my own was the inbred frugality coded into the DNA of all Western Pennsylvanians. It wasn’t so much the $599 original price (softened to $399, but still steep) as it was the “first year” cost. After AT&T released their iPhone rate plans, some other geeks did the math and found that the cost of the iPhone plus the required plan was over $1,900 in the first year! And, you were locked into a TWO year contract! As my grandmother would have said, “That’s dear!”

Even with the cost, I talked about the iPhone a lot, and Sarah correctly identified that as a great birthday present for me. But, as is usually my ADHD case, about a month before my birthday, I went on an exhaustive search for a cheaper alternative, narrowing my choices down to several phones and screwing up Sarah’s plans in the process.

So, what’s a resourceful, thoughtful, generous gift-giver like Sarah to do? Go for my #2 obsession these days - HDTV! That’s right, high definition television. FULL high definition television! 1080p baby! The holy grail of all things entertainment, or so I’ve been told by every guy I know.

I’ve struggled this season to watch yet another round of Steelers football on standard television, and I have to tell you that I die a little more each week. Not seeing the individual blades of grass or the beads of sweat really diminishes the entire sport. How have we survived as a species on such a low technology form of entertainment delivery? Even Darwin would be perplexed.

But, as is usually the case with Sarah, she does everything better than expected! I’ve had my eyes set on a 46” LCD, and Sarah did me one (inch) better and surprised me with a 47” LCD! If Sarah’s thoughtfulness could be measured in distance, it would be defined by that extra inch! That’s an extra 4.4% of viewable area, and an extra 4.4% that I love Sarah today!

But that’s not all! Sarah upped the birthday ante by including a spanking new PS3 with Blu-Ray DVD plus Spiderman 3 on Blu-Ray, and a few other movies! Wow!

And, to top it off, Sarah made my favorite meal – homemade pizza! One with REAL pepperoni (as I was beginning to think that turkey pepperoni was the only thing available in these parts), and one with thinly sliced potatoes, rosemary, and lemon puree (Try it! It’s fantastic!).
For the finish, Sarah made a very cool, and very beautiful, giant cupcake cake (since cupcakes are another one of our recent obsessions)!

All in all, it was another fantastic birthday, but only because Sarah made it so! It wouldn’t have been so perfect without Sarah planning and stressing the entire day, and I loved every minute of it! And I love my new HDTV as much as I love Sarah. In fact, it’ll probably being a tear to my eye now every time I “shhhh!” her when I’m watching television!

Aww, that makes my heart hurt…


jejackson1 said...

What an amazing weekend we had out there with you two! Everything was perfect, and apparently made even more so when you got your HDTV! You are very lucky to have Sarah...I hope you're thinking of some amazing ideas for her birthday! We loved being a part of it all and will hold you to a visit here soon.

Anonymous said...

Jason, We did have great fun, but in the future, you will need to get permission from my attorney to post pictures of you and me jointly blowing out candles at an intimate birthday celebration at GD. Good times, good times...


Kandy said...

Happy Birthday Jason!!! Sarah really knows how to celebrate. We love the giant cupcake idea. Great Blog.However, I think you should change the title to, " One Great Couple on One Big Planet".

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason, It's Alicia. Happy belated birthday. Every once in a while I check your website to see what's happening 3000 miles away. You two are perfect together! That's so great to hear/read. I even read them to Mike so he can enjoy the stories too. We hope you two can make it in for the wedding. Take care!