It’s my birthday today, and I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do about that fact. I guess I should aspire to have a life as great as my Facebook friends have, so I should check-in at a great place for brunch, followed by a post about how my beautiful wife made me a homemade pie (accompanied by an amateur-hour photo of said pie taken by my iPhone), followed by a check-in at an even ritzier place for dinner (accompanied by an amateur-hour photo of my steak taken by my iPhone), followed by a post about how we’re off to see “Wicked” or the Golden State Warriors or Mumford & Sons, followed by a post thanking everyone for the birthday wishes, telling everyone how great-
. . .
Sorry, the weather woman just entered my peripheral vision. Where was I again? Oh yeah – telling everyone how great my birthday was, thanks for wishing me a happy birthday, and, most importantly, ending my post with:
Speaking of the weather woman, I’m still getting used to the Bay Area’s local news channels and personalities. I feel like when we were weighing the pros and cons of moving halfway across the country, “having to find a new favorite local news team” would have been one of the top cons had we thought of it at the time. In Minnesota, we had Frank and Amelia on WCCO – they were married, Frank made awkward segues after reporters finished their stories, Frank brought his cute old Italian mother on the show to make Italian food, Amelia was articulate and easy to look at, Pat Kessler was a great political reporter (and frequent guest on my favorite radio talk program with Dan Barreiro), and they did a solid newscast. There was a comfort level there that I think we might have underappreciated.
I’m watching the Bay Area’s WCCO equivalent right now, “KRON.” The weather woman is, umm . . . well-endowed. And whoever does wardrobe decided, Ratings Matter. Cleavage is a scientifically-proven eye-magnet, after all. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to cleavage – I’m not some wing-bat who thinks this woman’s cleavage is going to ruin the youth of America – but it’s sort of unsettling to see that much cleavage on my local news team. Amelia was fashionable, but tastefully and professionally fashionable. And I understand basically all news-women are good-looking for a reason, but this feels a little desperate.
Wait – what did she say about the weather today?
Oh yeah – sunny and mild. Like most every day here. I guess when the weather is almost always the same, you have to spice it up a little. I’m not sure I can trust the cleavage weather-woman, but I’m not sure I need to, either.
I decided I don’t like birthdays. There’s too much pressure on them. Everyone keeps asking me what I’m doing for my birthday, and “I’m going to write a blog post in my underwear” doesn’t seem to carry the panache that they’re looking for. There’s something not quite right about other people getting to be disappointed in my lack of birthday plans. Can’t I just sit around and do nothing all day? Isn’t that, like, the greatest birthday ever?
Okay, I’m not really in my underwear, but close enough. The news team is confronting jerks who park their cars across multiple spaces in crowded parking lots in order to protect their precious ego-enrichers from dings. They confront an agitated BMW owner, who defensively stutters out something about how the parking lot is “poorly designed” so he has no choice but to park his $80,000 car across two parking spaces. This local news team might be for the birds, but this segment is gold. Gold, Jerry!
“Look at you all up in the news trying to catch people,” a woman in her minivan says as she digs her fork into her Chinese to-go box and her 3-year old child runs wild in the passenger seat. She has committed the offense of parking her gas-guzzler in a parking space clearly reserved for “low-emission” vehicles, and, in case you didn’t get the hint from her eating Chinese food as she gets interviewed by the reporter, this woman is incredibly relaxed – it’s like she’s been confronted by the KRON news team every day of her life for the past 20 years. She turns to the camera, gives a wry smile, and cryptically deadpans, “Someday, when you screw up, somebody’s gonna get you.” Okay, that was brilliant.
If Facebook didn’t exist, the best part about birthdays would be getting mail. Like real, live, mail. I got one of my big sister’s classic care packages last night. It was filled with caramel puff corn and her adorable daughter’s “artwork,” and a card that made my lip quiver a little bit. I’m opening a card from my amazing grandmother right now, and I’m not even sure I can finish it. She started off saying how she’s having Thanksgiving “with the usual crowd,” which is definitely the greatest adjective any 85-year-old Scandinavian grandmother has ever used to describe her family. I haven’t missed her Thanksgiving stuff-yourself-silly meal in 29 years. This emotional pain might hurt more than my gut usually hurts around 1 p.m. on Turkey Day, and around 3, when I’m in desperate need of a sugar infusion, I won’t have my younger sister around to fetch me a Mountain Dew, either. Geez . . . it’s starting to get a little dusty in here.
And now, to open my mom’s gift. Deep breath.
Hold on a sec, KRON weather update time. A welcome respite from that glass-enclosed cage of emotion.
Okay. I swear I’m writing this in real time, and I just opened the gift to find a book written by none other than WCCO’s own Mark Rosen, the sportscaster on my favorite Minnesota news team. This is just crazy. I don’t think I would have ever dreamed of writing about local news teams until I stumbled into cleavage-canyon this morning, and now I get this book from my Mom when I’ve definitely never discussed the topic of “favorite news team” with her? Freaky. Killer gift, Mom.
I guess I should get back to my real birthday, though. I have a big day planned, after all – a day of wandering around San Francisco and simply enjoying a relaxing day with the woman I love brunch at the Ritz-Carlton, followed by dinner and wine tasting in Napa Valley, followed by a sunset horse-carriage ride on top of the clouds over the ocean and through the mountains with my lovely wife. All accompanied by pictures taken by my iPhone, of course.