A recap of my 42nd birthday

Today has been just lovely.  I got up  and discovered a seemingly boundless supply of birthday wishes scattered across the internet.  You are all wonderful people, you know that, right?

I spent the day in my pajamas.  Rob made me waffles for breakfast.

For whatever reason, not having to worry about other work or what have you, gave me permission to make phone calls that I’d been wanting to make, but hadn’t yet. I now have an appointment on Friday to head up to the North Portland library and spend time with a reference librarian in the Black Resources Center looking at the Fisk University Collection, for The Transfigured Lady. She seems as excited by this as I am, strangely.

I also called Fisk University, in Nashville, to see if I could get connected to someone who could help me track down what degrees were available to a young woman in 1903. (BFAs in English, Education, or Music).  Much to my surprise, the dean of the history department, Dr. Reavis Mitchell, Jr., answered the phone. I was totally expecting a receptionist who would send me to a faculty member’s voicemail.  Dr. Mitchell was incredibly helpful and a pleasure to talk with.  I love historians.

I spent the afternoon writing and then had this funny thing.  I’d invited -e- and her husband over to have dinner with us. I had the menu planned. I had the groceries.  At five o’clock, when I needed to stop in order to cook, I realized that a) I was on a roll with the novel and b) wasn’t in the mood to cook and c) it was my birthday so I could change the plans arbitrarily and no one would mind.

So we went out to dinner at Cabezon, which I’d been wanting to try. It was a wonderful meal.  The lavender honeycrème brulée was really one of the best crème brulée’s I’ve had in a good long time. Just beautifully balanced and the flavors kept unfolding in your mouth.   The whole meal was lovely and the service was good, so I definitely recommend the restaurant.

Rob brought a wine, which he says I gave to him at some point, that paired beautifully with the meal, a Savennieres 2002 Clos du Papillon.

So my 42nd birthday? Win from start to finish.  Hope your day was lovely, too.

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6 Responses

  1. Rob

    Happy Birthday! And here I was sending you work e-mails yesterday. I will claim tech-week-brain and beg your forgiveness.

  2. Amity

    Sounds like a lovely day!

    I majored in history and worked for quite a while part-time in Special Collections in the university library. You’d be surprised how lonely the library was — people never wanted to bother us, and yet that’s what we were there for! And we know the materials better than anyone, and we’re there because we love digging up information and doing research. In the history department, I cannot name a single history professor who wouldn’t love to chat about his/her passions for an hour — half the time I could walk into their office without an appointment and they’d be delighted. And if you ask about something that falls in their general area that they don’t know — just watch the spark that ignites. They’ll know about it pretty soon.

  3. Destructo the Mad

    Cabezon! I laughed when I read the name of the restaurant. They are the ugliest, scariest looking fish imaginable. I remember catching one as a child, and being too scared of its looks to clean and eat it (despite the fact that they are supposed to be delicious). Major wine envy, by the way. Glad you had a happy birthday.

  4. Sara Ryan

    So if you’ve been talking with the dean of the Fisk University history department you probably already know about the Jubilee Singers, yes?

    If not, may I recommend Andrew Ward’s book Dark Midnight When I Rise: the story of the Jubilee Singers, who introduced the world to the music of Black America.

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      I am familiar with the Jubilee Singers, but the novel takes place mostly in vaudeville and medicine shows so they probably won’t make a significant appearance. My main character is a graduate of Fisk, so I had specific questions about what she would have studied.

      But I’m still checking the book out because it looks all kinds of awesome.