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What an AWESOME birthday! September 14, 2008

Posted by brianlatimer in Fun, Home.
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Saturday, September 13, 2008 was my 40th birthday (ack!), and I had a great time. Not only did we have a great party planned at the Tech Museum, but my Dad had surprised me by flying in from Missouri to help celebrate. Truly a wonderful day, and one which I’ll always remember.

I just wanted to log some random impressions of the day, while they were still fresh in my mind.

Friday had ended on a very high note, with Dad flying in to surprise me. Tricia and I stayed up rather late, preparing all the final items needed to ensure we were ready for the party (getting some of the food prepped, finalizing my music playlist to be played during the event, etc.) AND, Mom & Dad had sent along another great surprise, in the form of a slideshow of pictures from my life, set to the tune of “Nobody Does It Better” – which they titled “Brian – the First Forty”. I was very touched by this, and was able to come up with a way to incorporate it into the day’s events, by bringing my MacBook Pro to the party, to play it for our guests.

We were able to pick up the (HUGE!) cake at the bakery, and make it to the Tech Museum right on time, and had no trouble at all getting setup in the event hall. We even had a lot of help from some of our friends (thanks, Yana & Megan!), who showed up early to help us out. Some other impressions from the day:

  • BIG event hall: Very nicely decorated – and including several macro-focus images of plants, insects, animals, etc. (pretty cool) The Tech even had printed some great “Happy Birthday” banners, had festive tablecloths and confetti on the tables, and just really did a great job helping us make the day special. (and don’t forget the “Never Say Forty” banner which Patricia had printed ;-)
  • TONS of balloons: From Party Fiesta, which went a long way toward making the area really feel like a festive occasion.
  • Catering: Via Buca di Beppo – always great Italian food. Although we started serving a bit late, due to some confusion on my part, it seems that everyone enjoyed the selection of items we had available.
  • Fruit / cookies / cake – Patricia made lots of goodies, which she always does an awesome job with. And, the cake – which indicated a very “Happy 39 1/2 Birthday” – was especially good, too. Yum!
  • Hats: Everyone got a custom-printed hat, which we had made, indicating “I was there…” on the front, and “Brian’s 39 1/2 th BIrthday; September 2008” (yes, intentionally-awkward verbiage, just for fun). I was happy to see so many folks wearing them, and hope they enjoy them in the future, too.
  • Name tags: We had printed blank name tags for everyone, with the “Happy 40th” logo from our Evite, and a few placeholders for them to fill in funny entries. We left them room to write whatever they wanted, starting them off with “Hi, I’m {name} and I {message} the Old Man” placeholders. Many folks had interesting and/or funny things to say, allowing all the guests to get to know each other better.
    • Most touching: My dear friend Donna, who indicated “[…and I] miss working with [the Old Man]” Awww…
    • Funniest: My buddy, Ken, who alluded to the … challenges I face in keeping my communications short: “[…and I] continually get emails that ramble on and on and on and then ask some questions and even more questions from [the Old Man]” :-P
  • Slideshow: As indicated, my parents had created a very-touching video for to me, with pictures over my first 40 years. There was a minor hiccup, in that the larger projection screen in the event room wasn’t available to us (darn!), but we still were able to display the video on my laptop, and everyone commented on how much they enjoyed it. Lots of embarrassing pictures of me as a kid, but hey – I guess that comes with the territory, huh? I’m just fascinated that my non-technophile parents were able to put together such a moving tribute; thanks, Mom & Dad!
  • Sign board: We picked up a large picture-frame matte, which Tricia had placed a copy of the Evite in the middle, and decorated sparsely around the sides, allowing all the attendees to write messages on. It really meant a lot for me to have such nice wishes documented there; this is going to be one of my most cherished possessions.
  • Segway: In the main lobby of the museum, they had a representative from Segway allowing us to try out this rather curious “personal transporter. Several of us had a blast zooming around on this device – not the least of which, was the Birthday Boy.
  • The movie: We watched a showing of “Blue Planet” in the IMAX dome, there on-site at the Tech, Before it began, they had shown slides indicating “Happy 40th Birthday, Brian – from your friends at The Tech”, which drew applause and cheers from my guests in the theater. I even had a chance to thank everyone again in the theater, and really felt like a rock star while there. Absolutely awesome.
  • Balloon giveaway: As mentioned, we had tons of balloons, which we needed to get rid of, once the event was over. Some of our guests were able to take some, but for the remainder (well, at least those which didn’t break free, and float up to the top of the museum – whoops!), we took them outside. There was an event going on in the Plaza, and there were lots of kids around. I had a blast with one of the Tech staffers, handing out balloons to many of those kids, and making them smile.

It truly was a wonderful day, and one which I’m incredibly thankful to have had so many friends – and family members – attend. Thanks to all who were there to help me celebrate in style. In case anyone is interested in the full set of pictures, find them up on my MobileMe Gallery:

    http://gallery.me.com/latimer/100051

And, Thank You, Patricia, for going through all this effort to make my 40th Birthday an incredibly memorable one. I absolutely loved the day – and certainly love you, for everything you did to make it so.

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