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How To Spend Your 34th Birthday...

...by Sheila, age 34.

Wake up to 4:30 alarm. Switch it off. Laugh. Go back to bed. Get up eventually. Put on long floral dress. Hunt for shoes. Find them in the living room. Put them on. Retrieve DVD to be returned to rental place. Transplant wallet, keys and cell phone from jeans to purse. Get out of house. Go to drug store. Ask for prescription refill. Read Cosmopolitan magazine while waiting. Roll eyes at advice given. Put away magazine in disgust. Pick up prescription. Go to bagel place for breakfast. Have blueberry bagel with strawberry whipped cream cheese and bottle of chocolate milk. Enjoy. Return DVD to Videodrome. Listen to Retroplex on car radio. Go home to listen to the rest of it. Jump up and down when they play "Please (You Got That)" by INXS, in honor of the late Ray Charles. Exit house again once the Retroplex ends. Drive downtown. Find an overpriced parking deck. Park. Circumnavigate parking deck in search of destination--the High Museum Folk Art and Photography Gallery. Enter gallery. Look at photographs. Go downstairs. Look at more photographs. Go back upstairs and leave gallery. Wander down street. Enjoy weather and tall buildings. Contemplate getting a camera to record some of the architectural features of downtown Atlanta. Amble into Ritz-Carlton. Go upstairs and have lunch. Eat crab soup and drink a huge glass of Coca-Cola. Pay out the ass for the privilege. Return to car. Drive back home. Stop by Whole Foods for jojoba shampoo. Stop by Kroger for a chocolate cake. Get home. Put cake in fridge. Meander on internet and reply to happy birthday threads on usual message board hangouts. (A surprising number, I should add.) Fill bathtub. Take bath. Sit around in bathrobe and meander on internet some more. Get phone call from older brother, who says they're on their way over for dinner and movie. Get dressed. Welcome brother and sister-in-law as they arrive. Open presents. (A check for some bucks from the parents, and a bass effects pedal from the brother.) Thank brother profusely. Go to dinner. Settle on The Righteous Room. Have a grilled cheese sandwich and a Strongbow cider. Talk about bars, drinks and drag queens, among other things. Go to Fox Theater. Look at the geeks in costume. Wave hi to some of the people known from other life as sci-fi geek. Get some merlot. Listen to the guy play organ. Sing along to one or two of the sing-along songs. Watch Foghorn Leghorn cartoon. Watch previews. Applaud when movie proper finally starts. Get shivers down spine at opening. Get weepy at regular intervals (Pippin sings as Faramir charges, Sam hauls Frodo up the mountain, etc.) Applaud at other intervals. Applaud resoundingly when "The End" shows on the screen. Wander out into the street in a bit of a daze. Go home. Offer cake to brother and sister in law. Hunt for candles. Dig up four candles in small wine glasses given as Christmas present. Accidentally break one of them. Place remaining candles on cake, to be lit by sister-in-law, who has matches (along with everything else in the universe) in her purse. Wait for sibling and sibling-in-law to sing "Happy Birthday". Make wish. Blow out candles. Have cake. Say goodnight. Let guests out of house. Write a long rambly entry on LiveJournal. Go to bed.