Monday, November 24, 2008

Birthdays And Such

Sorry that I didn't post anything on the weekend. Real life intruded. While some people were immersing themselves in the blog bat around and some people were waiting on pins and needles for the new Guns N' Roses album to drop and even one person was truly enjoying the package they received from me, I spent the weekend at Tracey's house.

When I do that, I can read other people's blogs and I can comment. I'm just not fully functional in the posting department. I don't have access to the vast resources that only my PC can provide. I'm stuck improvising on images and information. So, I usually don't end up posting too much when I'm over there. I can only set up so much before I go and most of those posts went to my music blog.

Saturday, I went to a child's one year birthday party. First at a Big Bounce facility, which is loads of fun. Somewhere in the vicinity of a dozen kids and possibly three dozen adults crammed into a tiny space. The kids get to play in these huge bouncy forts, filled with a constant rush of air. It's loud. Then there is sugar coated, studio created, bubblegum pop blasting over that. I couldn't hear the adults talking and I chose not to sign a waiver to enter the cesspool of children's drool that lives in the ballpit of the third bouncing structure. So, I made my fun by capturing the entire event with digital cameras. It seemed like everyone gave me their camera to shoot pictures with, while they mimed conversation.

I was expecting problems with the kids, but they were well behaved for hyped up children. It's the adults that were vicious! Put out three boxes of cheap pizza, that tasted like cardboard with a pound of oregano on it, and adults turn nasty trying to get slices! I almost had my pinkie finger bitten off. There was no place to sit, because the "well behaved" adults crammed in everywhere while I was taking the only pictures of the birthday boy attacking his cake. At least those shots exist.

After that, it didn't matter where I stood. I was in the way of some random adult. It never failed. At least I found a dime on the floor and I eventually snagged some cardboard with oregano piled on, so I came out ahead. This day is about the kids, so I was happy that they were having a good time. The guest of honor's parents are long time friends of Tracey's family, so we happily went. I would do it again if I had to do it. I'd just have Tracey snag some more oregano flavored cardboard for me.

Then, it was time to drive back to the house for the rest of the party. That's where the real fun began. Tracey and I ended up driving someone back to their house on the way to the party. Her husband was only attending the house party. It was on the way, so that was fine. We pull up to the house and the husband had already left for the party.

We finally get to the house and we were greeted by a wall of people. The extended family had shown up. Let me tell you, I heard stories I can't repeat on this blog. Maybe not even Thorzul's or Gellman's blog. Some of these people needed to jump back in the gene pool for awhile. While it didn't make for interesting one on one conversations, the people watching aspect was through the roof!

There were presents for the one year old there. Mountains of presents! But this party didn't seem to be about the child. It was about the extended family. Let's just say that I'm glad there were bottles of Smirnoff Ice available. I'm not a huge drinker and I hate the taste of beer, but I do appreciate flavored alcohol. I'm just glad that it was there and that Tracey was driving. She stuck to Coca-Cola. She's also used to the drama from the extended family.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I hated every moment of it. On the contrary! I loved every moment of it! I found it to be a very interesting experience. I wouldn't want to do that every weekend though.

I am disappointed in one thing though. One of Tracey's sisters flew into town on Sunday morning. I waited until the evening time for her to get home, but her errands prevented that from happening while I was still there. She doesn't make her way up to Chicago from the Atlanta area very much for anything but business, so it's a treat when she can visit for awhile. At least I'll see her on Wednesday when we see the band Dreams play in Mokena, Illinois. Their cousin is the drummer.

I bet you're saying to yourself, "What does this have to do with cards?"


But here's where the card talk comes in, folks!

I arrived home on Sunday night and I'm sorting through my Saturday mail. It's mostly junk and bills. I got the Rolling Stone magazine on Friday, but the Entertainment Weekly is late. Such is life. I stop on an envelope that looks like an invitation. I know a few people that just announced their engagement, but none of them live in New Mexico. Then I see the return address. It looks familiar. There's a baseball stamp on the front and a White Sox sticker on the back. It's Kris from Aardvark Trading Company!

Kris always sends really cool stuff and I recently received a cryptic e-mail inquiring about my address. I open the envelope to see... another envelope with a wrong address, another baseball stamp and a postmark of October 17th. I open that to find...

An Isotopes greeting card of Robert Andino, who has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Marlins (as I'm sure Mario could tell you), that looks like it was signed by him. Very cool! I love the hat and sunglasses! I open the card to find this note...

That was nice! Kris didn't have to do that. I love it! But wait... there's more

I left out one important detail.

In order to see this hand written message inside the card, I had to remove something that was blocking the view

It was a baseball card. I recognize the back of that card. It was a 1991 Donruss Series 1 card. Maybe this would be my missing Barry Jones card from the set, which is no longer missing thanks to the generosity of Canadian bloggers.

No... it was something else.

I pried off the blue painter's tape to remove the card. I flipped it over and found this.

An autographed Bobby Thigpen 1991 Donruss Series 1 card!!!!


This brings my autographed Bobby Thigpen card collection to three different cards. That is so amazingly awesome. Words cannot describe the feeling of joy that came over me when I saw this card. The fact that the journey took over a month makes me cherish and appreciate this kind birthday gesture even more.

Thank you, Kris! You have made my birthday a little more special by extending it (unexpectedly) for over a month. Mere words cannot begin to thank you enough for this pick-me-up. Thank you.


--David said...

Both stories are great ones!! Reliving the party day through your words was a fun, and funny, trip down memory lane of obligatory parties I have had to attend. Enjoyed those for the sights and sounds and people-watching. Very cool present for yourself, too!! Awesome!

steveisjewish said...

Kickass and happy birthday!

Dinged Corners said...

Sweeet! Kris is an incredibly generous person.


Steve Gierman said...

For the record, my birthday was October 21st. This package was delayed by a postal logistical nightmare. :)

Steve Gierman said...

And it was just confirmed that Kris took the photo and that is Robert Andino's autograph on the front.

The card is one of roughly a dozen made and only half of those were signed. I will definitely treasure the Andino card!

Mandino said...

That is so cool! I used to remember playing with cards and having the cards being signed. Also, I had made some of the invitation letters done in paper, but I can't believe that the invitations now are on DVDs?! I got to visit Silver Screen Invites and I found out how true the invitations are...

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