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now it's time to coast
Last Friday, I turned 40. For months I've thought about what I wanted to write to acknowledge this milestone birthday. Not only does it mark another decade in one's life, but 40 is usually viewed as the halfway mark by a lot of people.

Yet for the most part, I've felt pretty unfazed by its passage. When I turned 30, one could argue I freaked out and had my midlife crisis prematurely. As I approached 30 I took stock of my life and decided that it wasn't what I wanted and it wasn't making me happy. I decided at the age of 29 to divorce my high school sweetheart; the mother of my 3 boys. I left an American-dream kind of suburban family life, and made a severe career shift at 32. I was in the wrong life, with the wrong person, and working in the wrong profession. As painful as it was to admit these things to myself, and as painful as it was to leave my kids, I have never had any regrets for the choice I made. I may very well have not made it to 40 had I stayed.

Turning 40 has naturally caused me to take stock of my life again. Is my life perfect? Of course not, nor do I have the unreasonable expectation that it ever will be. But I am happy. Immensely happy. I have a marvelous woman to share this life with is who generous, kind, supportive, and devoted. I thrive in her love for me. In return, I find myself even more madly, deeply in love with her every day. I have a fantastic extended family and wonderful parents. I have three great kids who are becoming young men right before my eyes. I'm arguably in the best health of my adult life. I've quit the habit of smoking and I have a physically demanding job which keeps me strong and active.

In short, life is good. 40 ain't nothin'.

To celebrate my 40th, welfy planned a getaway weekend for us in Northern Kentucky and treated me like a king. We stayed at the Wildwood Inn in Florence, a hotel specializing in "theme" suites. We stayed in the Utah Canyon room, since Welf knows I've missed getting to travel out west since I've stopped trucking 48 states.

We dined at a posh seafood place in downtown Cincinnati. It was here that, at the age 40, I had my very first (and probably last) martini as a pre-dinner cocktail. For an appetizer, I had the best black mussels dish I've ever had in my life. For the main course - oh.my.god - salmon stuffed with blue crab and brie and a glass of pinot noir. Back at the hotel, Welf changed into a little sump'm sump'm she bought especially for the evening. Needless to say she looked incredible.... and fade to black. Fade in... later we enjoyed the in-room hot tub for a while before calling it a night. I have the best wife ever. Period and end of discussion.
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It all sounds great. I'm glad things are going so well. I'm right behind you, my 40th is is May.

How're you doing with 40 rapidly approaching?

I'm doing well, but for a few specific reasons. First, Bob is turning 47 on Sunday. For some reason, that comforts me. And, probably more importantly, our wedding is just a few weeks after my birthday, so I'm much more wrapped up in that. Lastly, people still think I'm younger than I am. :)

30 didn't bother me, 31 did. 30 was a landmark year, but 31 was just "in my 30's". I'll probably feel the same way about 40.

dude! you are 40? it cannot possibly be. why, that would... that would make... me...


happy goddamned birthday and by the way, old farts, hot tubs are for BEFORE, not AFTER.

The hot tub is for soothing sore muscles and joints after all that exertion.

either you're doing it all nite luther vandross style, or 40 is even sadder than i have been led to believe.

off topic, birthday boy: what would be a good name for a guy starring in a 1970s show about truck drivers-cum-superheroes of the future who drive death-battle rigs in a coliseum-style show every week? Jake Brake is the best i got right now, that or Jake Brake 2000. but i know you could do way f'n better.

I prefer Jake Broke or Jake Break.

Kenny Worth
Reynold Burts

Actually, are you thinking a name or a CB handle?

the GF thinks it should be a CB handle. i beg to differ. i want a real moustached-American name. Kenny Worth is getting there, but he sounds like he could also be a bit of a pussy.

i think we might just have a winner. thank you sir/madam.

Wow, I dunno that I can do better than Rig McHardy. The only problem I forsee is it getting redundant if you want to use "rig" in other places more generically (I'm assuming this is for the lyrics of a concept album).

Though I supposed he could be Rig McHardy but his buddies call him Big Mack, or Mack or something.... sticking with the truck name theme.

I just thought of the names they'd give guys on MST3K: "Blast Hardcheese! Slab Thorngristle! Crunch Buttsteak! Big McLargehuge!"

"Rig" could actually be a nickname, I suppose.

those were all from a single episode... Space Mutiny, i think.

i have always loved Big McLargehuge. Thick McRunfast is another amazing one.

I seem to recall a site where there was a list of all the names they came up with.

Theme hotel! I've been dying to stay in one. Especially the one in . . . California? . . . that has a different color for each room. Ahhh, novelty.

Should we ever go back, I wanna do the Happy Days suite. Kitchsy cool.

All of those rooms are, like, messed up cute. I hope you two took a whoooooole lotta photos.

We both took a lot of photos of the room.

That's it! And it's actually much cooler than I even remembered.

I spent my 30th birthday in Philly seeing a Japanese pop group. I was one of maybe 12 people there who was an adult that was not brining their kids. So I understand about milestone stuff.

The next week, I had a party but no one went in for the theme of CAROUSEL.

As I recall I worked on my 30th birthday... then had an impromptu party thrown for me by aloneinky and a few friends. That seems like another lifetime.

Congrats man! 40 is sneaking up on me as well and it's comforting seeing it through your perspective. I don't know why it's been weighing on my mind so much lately. I suppose it is just another year down.

I think it's natural to think about it. Other than it feeling weird to say "I'm in my 40s" it doesn't really bother me. I don't forsee 50 bothering me either.

Now 60... *shudder*

Yeah, I think, for me, part of it is the resignation that I'm not, say, in my 20s any more. So, when 60 rolls around it'll be like, "Man, I'm sure not in my 40s any more!" Heheh.

I'm only the best wife ever because I have the best husband ever.

Happy Birthday! Now, why haven't you ever had a martini before?

That's why it was a specific request of mine for my 40th birthday. I had never had a martini and wanted to go some place where I could order one and have it properly made.

I just think I don't like gin. I'm more of a whiskey feller.

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