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December 31, 2003: All wrapped up

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I talked Richard into opening his main birthday present early because I knew he would want it for the trip to and from Seattle (a 30-GB mp3 player), and since that and Christmas kind of wiped out the rest of my budget for gifts, I didn't really have much else to give him (also the mp3 player was sort of a 'big' gift anyway). While we were at Fry's this past weekend I bought him the software to learn Mandarin, which I told him I would wrap for him even though he knew about it, but he ended up opening up the box and installing it before I could even wrap it. So this morning, faced with the fact that he has received every single one of his gifts early, I grabbed something he already owns and wrapped it deliberately messy, with a whole lot of extra tape, and then I woke him up by yelling "Happy Birthday" at him and made him open it. Unfortunately he was a little too groggy to fully appreciate the humor at the time; it wasn't until we were sitting in the little bakery about an hour or so later, eating breakfast, that he started to laugh about what I'd done. So that was my final birthday present to him, I suppose - a way to start the day with a laugh.

He has the day off today from work, lucky him, but I had to come into work. It's quiet in the office since people are still off on vacation, and it is hard to focus on work when I can look outside at the river and the pretty day and it just reminds me that if I was home we could go do something fun together like go for a bike ride or even just a walk before the weather turns on us again. But that isn't really going to happen today, so instead I am focusing on tonight, when we will dress up in pretty clothes and go to our favorite restaurant in Old Sacramento and eat far too much marvelous food and wander around all the stores and see how they are decorated for the holidays, and then watch the fireworks over the river. We did not bring any leftover Christmas cookies home with us which sort of defeats the whole idea of toasting in the new year with leftover cookies, but there is ice cream in the freezer if we feel the need, and I will mull a pot of cider, and maybe I might even swing by the store and buy a package of those silly poppers that explode in showers of confetti and tiny paper streamers, just so we can set those off at midnight and confuse the cats and make noise and be as goofy and silly as we want to be because we might as well end the day (and the year) as we started it - with a laugh.

Happy 36th Birthday to my favorite guy. Happy New Year to everyone else.

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