Today is my 48th birthday. I have decided it is easy to be happy on your birthday when you are happy and not waiting for Jake Ryan to show up in his Porsche to make you happy.
I don’t need anything, so asking Deren for a gift would be silly. It’s not like he can wrap what I really want from him… a two-car garage. For every occasion, I would like an experience from Deren. Memories are made of this and all that. We planned a getaway for Sunday night and I took Monday off because my company lets you take a day off for your birthday. It really is a great company. I didn’t know where we were going but I took the dog to my ex’s house and packed a bag.
Saturday night, I made a nice dinner for Derwood. We grilled pork chops, made a salad and the pièce de résistance….orzotto with pearled barley, shallots, leeks and mushrooms. Wow, it was soooo good!
Barley is good for weight loss, which is why I bought it. It fills you up so you don’t feel like eating. Barley is the most fibrous of the whole grains. I have learned a lot about barley since Saturday night. I have learned that two people who have just eaten a lot of barley should not be trapped in a car together for any length of time. We ate Trader Joe’s barley which is 37% fiber. Do you know what eating 37% fiber barley will do to your insides?
The farting never stopped. Deren’s barley processing was about 4 hours behind mine for some reason so the total barley farting time was about 12 hours. Barley farts smell horrifically bad. Barley also bloats you up, sure you don’t want eat more because your stomach has filled up your gullet and the only space left for food is behind your forehead. Barley farts smell like burning tires, like an industrial accident involving hundreds of burning tractor tires. It’s extraordinarily bad and we drove to the Oregon coast dealing with the Barley Fart Phenomenon.
Barley farts aside, we had a really fun drive to the Oregon Coast. Deren was restricted on his snacking because he tends to veer a bit whilst driving and eating; so the hummus was put away. Yes, I know you are a very safe driver Derwood, just save the appetizers for later. He told me that I should eat the sweet potato tortilla chips “they’re not fattening.” Then he launched into a speech about how good sweet potato tortilla chips are for me. “Catch yourself there?” I asked him. He knew he was busted, which made him laugh and then he choked on his fattening Kettle Chips and almost stroked out at the wheel. That’s it Mario, just keep the hands at 10 and 2.
We went to the antique shops in Aurora, Oregon. A town composed of just antique stores and some restaurants. We continued on to the coast. Initially the plan was to go to the Newport Wine and Seafood Festival but I’ve done that on my birthday and I’m old and crotchety now and don’t like crowds so we continued on to a little town called Depoe Bay.
Depoe Bay has a rather seedy, touristy downtown right on Highway 101. The village is famous for Gracie’s Sea Hag bar and restaurant’s clam chowder. It’s a great recipe but the place is past its prime. Deren snuggled up to me and pointed across the channel and said, “that’s our hotel.” Oh. Gulp. The Channel House. I know that because it is painted in big letters right down the side of the building. Well, it’s on the ocean so at least it has that.
In college, my pals and I would mock ourselves by saying “Judge a book by it’s cover but don’t read it.” I judged the Channel House too quickly. Wow! It’s a bed and breakfast but seems like a hotel. We stayed in the Admiral’s Suite which was a nice hotel room with a fireplace and a tv in a small living room. Through a door was a bedroom with two walls of glass that stuck out like a box over the ocean or it seemed that way. Off the bedroom was a deck with a hot tub. FABULOUS!!!
We had great food and many laughs and years from now we’ll say, “Remember when we went to the coast for your birthday? The time we ate the barley?”
Happy Birthday to me!