While birthdays are always fun to celebrate, there’s something especially wonderful about a 75th birthday. I’m used to celebrating birthdays that don’t mark huge milestones (although at the time 21 sure did seem like one), but just another year passing. 75 is a little bit different.
This year one of my part-time jobs while going back to school full-time has been to work with Will Bradley, introduced to me by Snooky, on transcribing his book from handwritten notes to electronic version. While at first I thought it would just involve typing, something I was positive I could handle, it has evolved into weekly meetings where we discuss the novel, teaching Will to use email (and now Facebook!), using Craigs List to sell some old items, and developing a frienship different than many I have known in the past. While my friends all have something to offer, there’s something to be said for 75 years worth of experience and knowledge, and I’ve genuinely enjoyed learning about art, writing, ‘bling’, European drinking contests, JoPa, random migrating birds, and much, much more.
In celebration of this milestone, I had some good friends over last night, and we enjoyed veggie lasagna (per Will’s request, to make sure he was getting enough veggies), fabulous rosemary garlic bread (thanks to Laura’s culinary talents), and some surprise holiday funfetti cake.
I’ve always found lasagna to be easier than I would have thought, and even more delicious when you add zucchini, sweet potato, onions and mushrooms. This time I even added ricotta (which I have since learned is supposed to be a staple), and I was definitely a big fan.
GARLIC BREAD: 10! SERIOUSLY loved this. Almost want to take off a point because it was so good I had too many pieces, but that really wouldn’t be fair. Lucky I still have one leftover piece in the fridge…
BIRTHDAY CAKE: 8.5
It wasn’t the prettiest cake, that’s for sure, but it certainly was good. -1 for the excessive frosting (I kept applying to cover any mistakes, and this resulted in about 2 inches of frosting around the edge), and .5 for the lack of a cake container (meaning it sat on a cookie sheet with a mixing bowl on top of it. Classy, I know). That being said, the combo of chocolate whipped icing, funfetti cake, AND funfetti holiday icing (green) sealing the two layers together, it was pretty incredible. To top it all off, the candles were a big 75, which looked great 🙂
After dinner we headed to a local sports bar, Champps, since we’d heard they had karaoke on Friday nights (a bit more convenient than Bub’s Thursday night karaoke). My original big goal was to convince Will to come with us, but this turned out way easier than I anticipated (I asked, he agreed). My new goal was to convince him to sing.
Once arriving, however, we were all a bit surprised by how many people were there (the entire restaurant was filled, with what I would guess to be over 100 people), and that the karaoke was playing over the sound system for everyone to hear. Definitely intimidating, so I decided to submit a song request before I thought too long and hard about it. It was Will’s birthday after all, and the least we could do was perform the most incredible song of all time for him.
Before you know it they were calling for ‘Janice and Snooky’ over the loud speaker and we made our way to the front. The big takeaway from last night’s karaoke was again the importance of song choice and performance. While not the best singers in the house (I speak for myself, anyways. Snook was pretty fabulous), but ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ pumps up the crowd every time. People all over were singing along and getting into it right along with us. That in combination with Snooky’s awesome performance, and our clear passion for the song, led to awesome crowd response.
During the 12 measure break mid-song (it’s a LONG song) we announced that it was dedicated to our good friend Will Bradley, who just turned 75, and the entire restaurant burst into applause. Serious applause. Not half-assed, I know I should clap, applause. There was whistling, screaming, and extended clapping. It felt awesome, and I was so happy that Will could feel the love, and how cool it is to be 75.
After the performance finished we headed back to the table and lots of people wished him a happy birthday on the way. While the performance/singing may not be a 10, the experience of performing in front of that many people, to celebrate Will’s birthday, was pretty incredible. THAT was definitely a 10 🙂
Until next time, I’ll be practicing…