Xy = 37

Today is not only the four month anniversary of Katrina’s landfall. More importantly, it is Xy’s birthday.

We celebrated by dining at La Crépe Nanou. Our friend David took us out there about a year ago, and Xy promptly designated it as her favorite restaurant, mainly for their namesake dessert.

We had a good meal, then came home, and someone got his ass handed to him in a Scrabble challenge: 322 to 238. Ouch!

XXXVIII

My birthday. 38 is the first number I’ve hit that sounds old to me. And given my game knee, which doesn’t feel any better after two days of rest, I’m feeling kind of old too.

Today is also Martin Luther King Junior Day, but of course MLK was born on January 15th, not the 17th. You know you’ve arrived at icon status when they celebrate your birthday on a different day each year.

Benjamin Franklin was born on this day, as well as Al Capone and Muhammad Ali and Vidal Sassoon and Eartha Kitt and James Earl Jones and Jim Carrey and Kid Rock and lots of other famous people. Ladan and Laleh Bijani were born on this day, seven years after me. They died in 2003. That kind of puts thngs in persepective.

Xy = Thirtysomething

Today is Xy’s birthday. She thought she was turning 37 for a while, and was relieved to discover she’s only 36. Yup, she’s old enough that she forgot how old she was. I reached that point a few years ago. I have to stop and do the math.

Last night we celebrated with dinner at Restaurant August, which just might be the best place in town right now. When the local restaurant critic gave August a five-star review last summer, it was front-page news. Zagat says John Besh is the “hottest talent in New Orleans.” A mention in the esteemed USA Today, seen over Christmas, goaded us into action. I just had to find out what this hype was about.

It was an amazing meal. I’m still amazed by the bill. Would it be less gauche if I put it in Roman numerals? With tip, it came to $CDXXV for four people. Damn. At that price, you expect everything to be absolutely perfect. Amazingly enough, everything was.

After a couple Sazeracs, I had the warm goat’s cheese salad with frisé, Serrano ham & sour cherries. It may have been the tastiest salad I’ve ever eaten, and it was so beautiful I wish I’d taken a picture. My venison was damn good, too; for dessert I had a plate of five different chocolate things and some Irish coffee.

We took along our friend Jason, who looked after our house and cats while we were in South Carolina, and his date, Megan. They were great company, and everyone had a good time. We took the streetcar there and back, and marveled at Jason’s larger-than-life appearance on a couple billboards on Canal Street, advertising Southern Comfort. After dinner, Jason said it was the best meal he’d ever eaten.

I’d have to agree, if only I could shake this funk.

Dad = LXX

I called my dad to wish him a happy birthday.

Turns out he had a bunch of guests there for a big party, so I called back a little later and caught him just when the last guest had left.

Turns out it’s not just any birthday party… It’s his 70th birthday.

I had no idea.

I’m a bad son.