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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Birthday Soirée

So I've been around the block 47 times. And by block, I mean the sun. Or, put it another way, I have 29 years experience at being 18.

The actual birthday was almost a week ago. My family would have celebrated it with me last weekend except I was pushing my limits. That business about how you're only as old as you feel, well, on my actual birthday, after having ridden 150+ miles through 5,000+ feet of Ozark elevation in two days on inadequate training: I didn't feel a day over 114.

My brother graciously hosted. I couldn't think of a restaurant that wouldn't run afoul of my nephew's allergies, my parents' tastes, my upcoming apheresis (I eat a cleanse diet for a few days leading up to the treatment so steakhouses, fried chicken, that sort of thing are out)... Or I'd think of a place and then realize it was louder than a Black Sabbath concert and the last time I ate there I left with an enormous headache. So grilled salmon and mahi mahi, at a house that's only louder than Black Sabbath when my nephew gets excited (his default setting).

Bonus, I got to play with my camera. Didn't do enough really, both my daughters were there and I took a few shots of them but they didn't really come out (my fault, shooting in a home is tricky business because even a bright and airy home is actually dark enough to hid Bin Laden for a year or two.

My nephew is more into posing for the camera than my kiddos anyway. And for some reason he was in costume.

Corinna took my camera from me and started shooting me. She wasn't looking through the viewfinder, and I had the 35mm f1.8 on there—set wide open in aperture priority, my default setting. If you don't look to see where your focal point is, it's just dumb luck whether your subject will be in focus or not because your depth of field is so shallow. So I turned it to automatic, which I don't think I've ever done before, and it spits out these crazy red arrays of autofocus assist beams. I didn't even know the camera could do that.

Dessert was banana cream pie and three flavors of gelato. We would have had paw paw custard as well, Corinna made me a pie of that earlier in the week. And we learned things.

Specifically, we learned that there is a minority of people who don't tolerate paw paws. They taste a lot like bananas, and the custard was very good, but then I needed a seatbelt on the toilet for a couple of days. Yikes. It's not an allergy, apparently, it's a trace chemical that some people, and I'm one of those lucky folks, can't handle. I always thought I had an iron constitution but I'll take a pass on paw paws from now on.

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