Well here we are at another birthday for James who turns 28 today. "28!" you may say "why he's still a spring chicken!" And it is the truth to everyone except James who was complaining to me other other day about how OLD he looks. He feels young he says, but he thinks he looks like an old man with raccoon eyes, thinning hair and sallow face. He direly wishes baldness on himself to get over this particular stage of hair over and done with. That said James actually doesn't care that much, he just needs to drop a few overdone comments once in while. Enjoy these humorous pictures of him.
Whenever James' birthday comes, I go through the inevitable quandary of what to do for him. James is not the kind of person you buy a shirt for his birthday. Never ever buy him anything that might reek of knickknackiness. If it can't be used and if he doesn't actively want it, its usually a gamble to buy him a gift. So my question was even harder this year, "What do I get him and how will I ever find it in China with limited mobility and language skills?". Then it dawned on me! Here I have the perfect opportunity, with a regular audience and keyboard at hand to compose a little ditty in his honor. I tell myself that I'm saving up all the unbought birthday presents to buy him his ulitmate dream gift; the only hat in the world to aspire to and very much like something Ghengis Khan would have worn.
James is one of kind. I don't flatter him when I say that I've never met anyone like him and when I think about all of his characteristics I still have a hard time imagining that I was unique enough for him to notice me. How many random and unrelated facts have I gleaned from him: like oropolitics? (Maybe a better question is how many have I remembered) How often have a I watched him compose silly songs to some imaginary beat in his head? Just last night I watched him compose a farcical love song in Chinese and record it onto Garage Band with a very self satisfied look on his face. How many unheard of nicknames has he given me and boys? (Soupy, Soupster, Zupa, Su etc for me; Beoye Brown, Spongalino, Fungalino, John B, etc for Ari; Shooter Brown, Shoots, ShooterBomb etc for Jude).
How many places have we thought about going together? Yes, James has very seriously drafted plans for us to build a massive boat and sail around the world together. How many times have we fallen asleep discussing the global food distribution system, from production to consumption, both here and there? How many times have we contemplated buying land anywhere in the world and living only on what we can grow or make? How many languages has James wanted to learn? How many times have I seen Ari listening attentively as James gives him a detailed flow chart of how to produce a biogass digestor? How many times has he spent hours designing houses for us, or Mongolian clothing for himself?
How many times has he encouraged me in my education? How many papers has he edited for me? How many nights has he played with my hair while I fall asleep? How many times has he not minced words with me and told me that I'm making too many assumptions and read into situations? How many evening has he read his newly composed stories to me and asked me what should happen next?
Would you believe that this guy has complained to me about how boring he is?
It may seem hard to believe that I dreamed about the kind of stuff James dreams about before he came around. I actually did not jump on his cart. But I am positive that I wouldn't have done as many of the things I wanted to without James' cattleprodding. I am very thankful for his presence in my life, and I am just as grateful that he enjoys mine. He is a wonderful father, and a wonderful friend and husband. I don't think I'll ever be bored with him around.
How much will I miss him when he leaves on trips? Very much!
Love you very much James. Happy Birthday