Thanks to everyone who took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday either through posts, phone calls, emails, or heartfelt photos like the one my buddy Alexander sent me today.  The latter almost brought me to tears as it stirred memories of my last few weeks on the show – how Alexander would greet us by marching into our offices, dropping to his knees, and throwing out his arms, middle fingers outstretched and waving.  It’s the small things that make up the happy memories.

Speaking of happy memories, last night – a tick past midnight – Akemi gave me the birthday card she’d been working on for – well, since Toronto: a multi-colored masterpiece of construction paper, cardboard, colored pencils, markers, photos, stickers and (occasionally odd) sentiments.  A few excerpts…

Today, I celebrated in fine fashion – by having friends over to watch football and cheer on my fantasy football team.  Sadly, the Snow Monkeys last because the Dallas Cowboys don’t play to win; they merely play not to lose.  Oh, and apparently Roddy White is already looking ahead to his retirement.  Still, it was memorable for the company and, of course, the food…

Ivon brings the main course: chicken tacos. He slow-roasted the chicken himself. We popped it in the oven and served it piping hot. How piping hot? Well, hot enough to burn Ivon's fingers when he removed the lid with his bare hands. Fortunately, I keep the aloe gel on hand. Hey, Ivon, if you're reading this Akemi wants to know if you're fingers are okay.
Akemi makes sweet potato mash.
Rob Cooper dropped by the Faubourg on his way over and picked up some desserts.
Lawren takes credit for the cookies his girlfriend made.
The assortment of truffles Akemi and I made. The winner: Akemi's rum and marscarpone dark chocolate truffle.
The dessert spread.
Look at how much fun everyone was having!

Birthday celebrations continued tonight with dinner at Boneta…

Our affable hosts: Rob and Hillary. Now THEY are power eaters. I've enlisted them as back-ups on round #2 of my Vancouver food truck tour.
Thyme gnocchi with chanterelles mushrooms and goat cheese. Buonissimo!
Rob encouraged me to help myself to the birthday balloons. Belonging to the girl at the next table.
Akemi admires the creepy artwork.
I told her I'd get this one and hang it over the bed so that she could wake up to its soothing imagery.

 I enjoyed a wonderful rainbow trout.  We finished the meal with a dessert medley that included…

The house tarte tatin. I was expecting an earlier, slightly different version that used to be served with a scoop of ice cream the size of a softball. Still, very good.

I’d like to remind everyone that Joe’s birthday festivities will continue throughout the week so feel free to celebrate in your own way.  As for me, I’m heading off to bed to continue reading Terry Brooks’ First King of Shannara.  So far, so very good…

53 thoughts on “October 16, 2011: Happy birthday to me!

  1. Hey, Joe!

    Did you catch the fight at the end of the Georgia/Vanderbilt football game Sat. night?

    Oh, and happy date of inaugurating your existence!

  2. Joe, please remember that you have 2 weeks (14 days) minimum of birthday.
    I do apologize for being a day early in extending the greeting, but I fully anticipated a great day for you. And, us Libran’s have to stick together.

    Much health, wealth, happiness, prosperity, and GREAT FOOD in your new year of being. We look forward to spending it with you daily via your blog.

    AND…don’t forget, we are eagerly awaiting news of the Joe Foodie Gathering. I have my fingers and toes and all crossable parts crossed, that the timing will be right.

    Happy Birthday again.
    night nite.

  3. Akemi – your creation is wonderful….YOU RULE!
    Great collection of Joe pix.

    Alexander – looking forward to more from you sometime in the future.

    Of course, our Joe regulars – Rob, Hillary, Lawren, and Ivon.

    And, last but not least….the little babies – Jelly Maximus, Bubba, and Lulu.
    Joe, bless you and your wonderful family and extended family.

  4. Ivon burned himself, huh? hmm.. that probably explains the slightly blurred pic he posted on TWITTER earlier – – And, perhaps Rob’s [insert TWILIGHT ZONE music] Glowy eyes…

  5. Happy Birthday, Joe! I am so glad to hear that you had a great day. Lots of good food and good fellowship. What more can you want than that? so good to see that Sunshine is still speading his good cheer in your direction.

    wow, what a beautiful and so creative card. That is so very thoughtful. I would think it should be kept on display all the time. That is such a blessing.

    You never sent us an address to send you a card…maybe I should be grateful as my artistic efforts are very poor. but it is the thoughts that count so——sending my good thoughts your way. Happy birthday!

  6. @ Joey – Yer old. 😀 But I’m…older. And fatter. And, I’m guessing, probably sporting more facial hair, too. 😛

    @ Sparrowhawk – Here’s some pictures. Don’t try to figure out what I’m dressed as – I guess a gypsy-sort, but not in the normal fancy dress ren faire style. I realized late Friday that I had put all my coin (real coins) jewelry in the safe deposit box before the hurricane evac, so I didn’t do my normal gypsy thing. I also hate wearing a bodice so I rarely go the sexy route anyway – more like the comfy, practical route. Afterall if *I* lived back then, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a restrictive bodice. Keeping up with popular fashion has never been my cuppa.

    Anyway – here I am (the Hobbit in the middle), with Jamesie, all healed up, and Jackie, a real sweet lady who beats a really mean drum.

    My sister and me with Aya Thorne, who is sooooo damn cute it’s not funny! He’s very shy, too…which makes him even more adorable. 🙂 (Yes, I AM standing in a hole…funny you should ask. 😛 )

    “Wait,” you say. “That Aya fella isn’t all that special.” Well, that’s because you can’t judge how someone looks by just one picture…just like you can’t say that I look like James Earl Jones in Conan the Barbarian based on my silly haircut and cheek-y smile.



    Okay…I give. I DO look like James Earl Jones… 😛

    Anyway, here’s Aya, showing off his baby blues and looking truer to himself:

    *sigh* Makes me wish I lived in Scotland…and was 20 years younger and 100 pounds lighter! Okay…120 pounds lighter. 😛 I’ll start the diet tomorrow, and maybe next year I will wear a bodice! Now, to invent a time machine…

    Nites, Joe!


  7. Glad you had a fabulous birthday. Jeff was rooting for the Patriots. He cannot stand the Cowboys. And the Giants won which he was happy about, but bummed he didn’t get to watch. They seem to win only when he isn’t watching. His favorite fan tools seem to have the opposite effect.

    Hope Ivon didn’t burn his hands too badly.

    Alexander is very funny.

    @Baterista Gilder, I saw Ronny Cox on Dexter tonight. He was outstanding.

    I found this fabulous dress I want to buy for Patrick’s school’s gala (in April, but hey when you find the dress of your dreams, you buy it when you find it). Bad news is that it’s unlikely my husband will agree to let me buy it (very expensive) AND go see Lou Diamond Phillips at his play in Dallas next week. The choices. Let’s just say if I was asked if I wanted to buy a golden retriever with the money or the dress (and you all know how I would just love to sit in a pile of golden retrievers puppies all day long), I’d buy the dress. But I have to convince the hubs that I will wear it more than just 1 time. Difficult. I have my 30th high school reunion next year. I bet I could wear it to that, too. Plus the Gala in 2013, 2014, 2015. And I’m sure I could find a lot of other benefits to go to, too, which would spend even more money. LOL.

  8. Happy Birthday Joe!! Sounds like you had a great day! Well apart from football, sorry to hear that you lost, albeit just be glad the numbers aren’t swapped cause then you’d have my dismal record…

  9. Happy Birthday!!! Thanks for sharing – made me smile. Especially:

    ‘I told her I’d get this one and hang it over the bed so that she could wake up to its soothing imagery.’


    Best wishes for the upcoming year, have fun, fine food, and don’t stress!

    Yum, those truffles…

  10. Happy Birthday Joe! Great to see you had a good day. Love the card from Akemi. She has a giving soul you don’t see much of these days.

  11. Sylvia said “And, us Libran’s have to stick together.”

  12. Joe, hope you had a happy birthday!!!! Loved all of the food pictures. I will eat desserts in your honor all week!!!! Have you read any of the Time Travelers stories by Andre Norton? They’re pretty good.

    Hope you have a good day!!!!

  13. Hi Mr M!

    Glad to see you had a good birthday and indeed VIVA the celebrations!

    I’ve just noticed that you read Skippy Dies!! I read it over the hols. This is a distinctly Irish book and gives a real insight into life in Private Boarding School Ireland – and the rareified Dublin well-to-do set. It contains (for me) many laugh out loud moments….something rare in a book. I was a little confused/disappointed at the ending ( I have to admit) but overall a well worthwhile read!!

    Your thoughts?


  14. Happy birthday Joe! May you always know good food, good books, good friends, true love and success. And many, many more birthdays. Ahem, I’m still older.

    BTW, this weekend, I polished off Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony by John Scalzi. Thoroughly enjoyed each and will opo by the author’s blog to tell him so. Thanks for recommending him here.


  15. Isn’t it great to be back home?!? I love the card Akemi made, better than any store bought one. What a neat card!!. I usually celebrate my bd much longer than a day, it can last a month, well maybe it just seems like it to my hubby. Congrats and many more!
    Are you glad to have your exercise room back? Is it getting any use? I had an stationery bike once, it was a great clothes hanger…

  16. Happy Birthday Joe! I hope you have a fabulous year – hopefully a few new sci-fi/space projects to choose from…

  17. I celebrated Joe’s birthday by taking my wife out to a luscious steak dinner (the fact that it was our anniversary was purely coincidental). I will further celebrate Joe’s birthday week by going to work, going on a short three-day business trip, and watching my son’s football game next weekend (he’s left-tackle).

    Since we all celebrate Joe in our own ways, what ways are you all celebrating? I’d like to take notes for next year 😉

  18. Glad to hear you celebrate for a week. But when mine falls on a weekend, I celebrate for the week before AND after. Give it a try! And Happy Birthday! Pls post some more Stargate memories to help celebrate!

  19. That birthday card is precious! So much better than a store bought one. And how nice of Alex to send you a picture of himself for your birthday! 😉

    And happy (belated) birthday! You’re what, 30, now? 😀

    And while I’m sorry your Snow Monkeys lost, I was very pleased with the last minute of play of that game. That’s the Brady I wish we’d seen all game.

  20. Happy Birthday Joe! And today is my sis’s birthday and she seems to have inherited the same mischievous Libra genes. Okay that is the cutes Akemi Sad Rabbit Inc card yet, luv the pic of lonely Lulu fussin’ that she didn’t get a pic with you. ‘sup with that?

    I hope “I want to go to Vegas with you” replaces that boring ol’ “be my Valentine.” I watched way too much Arrested Development this weekend and then had a horrific zombie dream last night, with my me riding a yellow school bus full of survivors through deserted Atlanta and being blocked creepily sentient zombies led by a young Kathy Bates. My sister kept getting off and on the bus and I had to pull her in the window, then she got brave and tried to poke on of the zombies. I’m going to have to shore up some bravery before I watch season 2 of Walking Dead.

  21. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Been busy, sadly with memorial services and other stuff, so I didn’t notice your birthday.
    The card is great, omg– you got the cold butt for no pics together! PRICELESS! ROFLMAO. Remedy that problem please for your next blog!
    Ouch on Ivon’s burns. 🙁

  22. I know it kinda late but still, Happy 46th Birthday Joe! And just in case I forget, Happy 47th Birthday Joe, And may you have many more.

  23. Happy Birthday(a little late), Joe! I had no idea my favorite blogger was a fellow October baby! I am in good company!!!

  24. Sounds good on shannara, stay away from Jordan’s ” the wheels of time” series. You must be immortal to finish the series. (Maybe he was paid by the word count.)

  25. Happy Birthday, Joe!!
    May all your dreams and wishes come true, stay happy and healthy! 🙂

  26. Hey Joe, happy belated birthday! I was away in Santa Cruz this weekend. It’s my virtual second home and someday my literal second home.

    Thanks to you and your blog, my inner foodie was in full force as that area(Capitola included) is FILLED with tons of hole in the wall, out of the way, tiny restaurants that are full gourmet, family owned places that have menus full of family specialties. They’re the kind of places that are so small, too, that they’re considered large if the have more than three wait-staff.

    I’ve mapped out the places I’d like to try next time I go as this trip had a lot more structure to it and the amount of time needed to properly visit one these places, I just didn’t have.

    I did get to see a movie set, though! Apparently, they’re shooting a movie about a local legendary surfer and thankfully, they’re using the actual spot he surfed. Insider tip: I surfed there, too!!! It’s a spot called Pleasure Point and it’s usually where the longboarders and old-timers surf. I’m a longboarder but I’m not that old yet. The movie is starring Gerard Butler, I was told, so look for it in the next year! I’m used to seeing places I’ve been in movies, but NEVER somewhere I’ve surfed! That’ll be awesome!

    Sorry about the snow monkeys. I’ve already won in my money league making me 4-2 and as long as Nick Folk doesn’t have a career night tonight, I’ll be 6-0 in that league!


  27. Yay for Gnocchi! Never heard of it before I saw it on Masterchef Australia (my personal favorite of all the Masterchefs!). In honour of your birthday I decided to buy both seasons of SGU. Why I waited? Well Season 2 just came out this week in the Netherlands and since I wanted to do a marathon…I had to sit on my hands and wait for ordering season 1. Actually I wanted to wait for a box containing both seasons but I dont think that will ever happen :(. Would be great to have all three series in all-seasons boxes!

  28. Birthday Happy You Too, Joe! The view’s not so bad at this age. 😉

    Loved Akemi’s card — You can tell she spent a lot of time and effort to get it just right!

    I thought the Cowboys just don’t play. (not a fan). *ducks tomatoes and hard objects thrown by the other Texans*

    So I guess the Fajita Feast we enjoyed yesterday was in honor of you. Isn’t it nice that all your friends celebrate you in such loving ways.

    The truffles look delish. When will you be mailing out samples to all of us?

    Das — Love the pics. I agreed with your first statement about Aya when I saw the picture.

  29. Joe I’m eating a piece of triple chocolate cake right now in your honor. Awesome card that Akemi made. Very professional looking. Loved Lulu giving you a butt salute. Alex sure knows how to wish someone well. I miss him! I bet he practiced that pose while stuck in Toronto traffic. (Well, maybe he better keep moving while practicing that.) Probably just getting you back for leaving. Now why are you insulting the Dallas Cowboys? You picked em! I’ve heard much worse said about them around here in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. How does it feel to be older?

  30. С днём рождения!! Многая лета!!

    Romo caused my loss this week….he is/was my back up for Philip Rivers (who, for the record is not that much better). Best of luck to both the Snow Monkeys and The Wraith next week!

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