Jan 13 2009

How Did I Spend My Birthday?

Me. On a Nighthawk.

Me. On a Nighthawk.


It was my birthday present, from me to me. I needed to stay close to home this year, so what could I do that would satisfy my lust for adventure, my appetite for adreneline? I wanted to do Jim Russell’s 1-Day Grand Prix Master Program at Infinion Racetrack in Sonoma. But it’s $2.5K. And you don’t get to keep the car. That ain’t right.

So instead I enrolled in the Bay Area Motorcycle Training Program. I don’t have a bike, but have thought about it. I just thought it’d be super fun. Plus I’m tired of being always a passenger, never a driver. On motorcycles, anyhow. And I also thought it might be a good skill to have. Like driving a stick: You never know…

Great program. Great program. Not down with the 7:45 call time at CCSF at 7:45 on a Saturday & Sunday. I don’t think anyone was.

Welcome to the machine.

Welcome to the machine.

But the good news is you’re done at 2 (though they tell you 1). The instructors are awesome. You get lots of time on the bikes. And that is… about it. Get a lot of sleep beforehand, because even if you’re fit, it take strength just to operate the bike on the most basic level.

So that was the planned portion of my birthday celebration weekend. With that in mind, I knew better than to go nuts on Friday or Saturday night. So Friday was nice (and stupid early as well): Served breakfast at Glide Memorial at 7am, followed by a luxurious lunch, then a matinee, “Waltz With Bashir”. Not a real feel-gooder for one’s birthday, in hindsight. But I’d heard an interview with the filmmaker, Ari Folman, and was absolutely riveted with his story and his approach to making this a film. It’s stunning to watch. After that, I felt like a day at the spa. After that, what could be better than fondue? When was the last time you had fondue? And that was all about day 1 that I’ll put in writing.

Besides riding a bike, Saturday saw the arrival of an unexpected houseguest. That happens a lot around here, for some reason. But I love my friends, so I don’t mind a bit. It just meant I got absolutely nothing done, and ended up going out that night. Not the best idea, but well worth it.

Sunday I had planned on having just a few friends over after the final day of riding. Though after Saturday night and another 6am wake-up call, I was not as excited about this plan as I originally was. But of course once my peeps showed up I was happy and it was grand.

What did I learn this birthday weekend? I’ll tell you:

1. Getting up at 6am for any reason (when its dark out) 3 days in a row sucks, especially  when its your birthday.
2. The Ooh La La is the best fondue choice at the Matterhorn.
3. Motorcycles are really heavy!
4. Motorcycles are really fun!
5. I look really good on a motorcycle.
6. It’s alarming how much champagne and cheese and chocolate 5 gals can put away.
7. The peanut butter hot chocolate at Bittersweet Cafe will give you an orgasm in your mouth.