Today 16April2023: Birthday (59) 2023

I remember reading all those tax documents, and they said that until 59 1/2, you get this penalty and that cost. When I first learned the details of 401K and IRA retirement plans, I thought it would be forever before I reached that milestone. Now I am only six months away, and I was blessed to work for Nike (NKE) with its outstanding stock run up over my twenty-six years career, and thus my account balances are good (not great, but I am below the 8x by salary at 60 as the markets have been tough on 401Ks for a year).

My birthday morning had me trying not to rush, sleeping in until 7:30ish, and passing on going to church (which would require me to start at 6AM to make that work). The blog was nearly 2,000 words which took a few hours to write, as you can imagine, dear reader. While doing that, I had an NYC bagel for breakfast with cream cheese (chives flavor) and some capers with liberal coffee, Equal Exchange brand, made in my French Press. I tried to not rush my Birthday, as often happens; the day disappears too fast if I rush.

After dressing, I loaded the cargo bay in Air Volvo with my Dungeons and Dragons stuff and my Apple laptop. I headed towards Susie’s place, but seeing the time was close to lunch, I stopped at McDonald’s and ordered Dad’s favorite, missing him on my 59th birthday, and had a two cheeseburger meal with fries and a shake, Dad’s usual order. I then drove directly to Susie’s place at the hummingbird house in Portland (Tigard) at Allegiance Senior Care LLC, 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116.

Susie and Michelle Nixon (owner of Allegiance Senior Care LLC) were waiting for me. They had a cake, balloon, and other items to celebrate my birthday and even sang Happy Birthday to me. Unexpected and very kind. Anassa, the weekend nursing aide, was there too and sang along. Next, Anassa moved Susie to her rocking chair in her room, and I pulled up the chair next to her.

As it was my birthday, I picked the movie. I went to Disney+ and selected Ratatouille, the Pixar/Disney movie about a rat that can cook. A mostly forgotten animated film (it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature) that suggests it is about a rat learning to cook, but instead is actually about learning to set aside your preconceived notion and privilege to recognize talent and pushing through to discover a better future for everyone. In this story, the sad, bad guy, played with anger by Peter O’Tool, loses everything to find a better and happier future by abandoning privilege. It is fun and about food and cooking (giving even a few lessons on kitchen etiquette). Still, the animated film is also a modern-day fable about discrimination’s cost and its resultant talent loss. The music, no singing, is wonderful, and the credits go on forever, allowing for the best credit music I have ever heard. Recommended.

Anassa moved Susie (she was complaining that her butt hurt after sitting so long) onto the bed, and Susie was comfortable now. I sat next to her in a chair while we listened to music from the Broadway Musical Moulin Rouge!

Cake in bed. We had a few slices of my chocolate on chocolate cake.

I stayed with Susie until I started to fall asleep in the chair (I could have soundly slept in the chair, but Susie always notices me not moving and then asks–loudly–if I am alright). Susie was unhappy and told me she “hates it when I leave,” but she relented and let me head out at about 4PM. I did cry a bit in the car on the way toward Dungeons and Dragons.

Louis is back for the evening (he and Jennifer were visiting family last week).

I stopped by Oak Hills Pub and had a Ruby Beer for my birthday and some cheeseburger sliders (still thinking of Dad). I read some news on my laptop, checked my phone for any events at work (none), and watched a Shut-Up-and-Sit-Down video on Brass (a board game I have, but they were reviewing the new version that I don’t have and is out of print). While the beer did not make me less sleepy, the break helped me escape the sadness and depression. I did not want to do anything anymore and wanted to just find a blanket to pull up and sleep the world away–depression turns everything you like into gray and unwanted work. Even knowing what it is, does not help you, and it is tough to break out.

Nothing like the near death of your 5th-level paladin character to break you out of depression! We had a combat-centric game that night. A running battle first in a city with endless bad guys (Matt V having an excellent rolled map that allowed the battle to run through a city for nearly fifteen rounds of combat–just roll it to the next area while rolling up the previous areas) was our first challenge. Next, we negotiated with pirates and agreed to take them on to our ship (the pirate agreeing it was “our” ship), avoiding another battle (Matt V, our DM, gave us inspiration for avoiding the battle). Finally, we found ourselves (our characters, but it can be immersive, so it does feel like you are actually doing this–not pushing figures on a board) in a ship-to-ship action. There I, my paladin character, took a critical hit while trying to rescue another character and spent some time being closer to my god, Death, as I was dying for a while (I play a lawful good paladin of Death–an unusual choice). My dying form was recovered and healed. I jumped right back in with a whole nine hit points–being a paladin of Death, I am never afraid of dying–it is part of the job.

The game board as we started into the ship-to-ship action. My figure is mixed in with those firing the ballista in front of our sailing-styled space jammer. I am guarding them against the pirate crew we added to the ship as per our agreement. I may be lawful good, but I am not lawful-stupid.

We did take a break from the non-stop combat to celebrate my birthday with brownies, with me blowing out a candle after everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. Excellent.

The night ended abruptly as we hit 9PM, our stopping time, with nobody ready for the action to stop. A good night of Dungeons and Dragons and the best cure for depression, like I said.

I returned home, the sadness returning a bit, but I went to bed early–I was tired. At first, I suddenly had trouble breathing; this happens when you focus on sleeping and suddenly can’t breathe. I just tried to be calm, and it went away.

I got up, had the next day off, and bought more pants and shirts from LL Bean. I must shorten the pants, but I like them and the shirts. My pandemic life had me only using two pairs of pants, one dress shirt, and one pair of Nike shoes. I am upgrading to multiple pants and shirts–leaving behind my days of wearing only t-shirts. It is something I decided to do for retirement (which I have put off, but the upgrade of clothing still is something I would like to do).

A bit later, I returned to bed; I went to sleep and managed to sleep the night through.

Thanks for reading.

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