Friday, April 27, 2007

Happy birthday to me!

I was whining earlier at Phantom's about how people forgot my birthday this year, but now that the day is nearly over, I promise I have a bit more perspective. Actually, it was a pretty good birthday after all. And I have lots of recommendations and anti-recommendations for you, so that you can share the benefit of my hard-won wisdom :)

Let's start with the negative, so I can end on a positive note and justify Rebecca's touching belief in my sunny good nature.

Anti-recommendations:

Cheap Chinese knock-off mp3 players. Even after you decipher the mysteries of the user manual*, you may find the device has strong opinions about your music collection. The only files that mine seems willing to play are Dido (and even then it gets bored and randomly reboots after about eight tracks—although, then again, after eight Dido songs, so do I). It won't recognise the Indigo Girls at all; it hates Michael Jackson so much that it crashes and reboots at least once per track; and the rest of my 80s music (especially Tiffany) causes it to barf every five or six minutes too. If we can't fix it by tomorrow, we'll have to send it back, but since it took three weeks to ship here, and requires return within 30 days of shipping if defective, we may not be able to get a refund. And even if we do, refunds don't include shipping costs, which in an order from Australia equates to about 30% of the total price. Sigh.

Parents. Just don't have any. More trouble than they are worth.

Underpants. As a gift for your daughter-in-law. Especially in a shade of cyan that I haven't seen since the early nineties when computer manufacturers got smarter.

Saying in your birthday card that accompanies said underpants, "I didn't know what size to get you, but I thought, 'Well, she certainly isn't small...'" (Although now I better understand the conspiracy of nature and nuture that inspired my brother-in-law's famous tact malfunction last Christmas. He gave me a bottle of anti-aging cream that promises to make its wearer look ten years younger. Me, "Gosh. Um, thanks!" Him, "Yeah. I hope it works.")

Recommendations:

Ethiopian food. Really. Really truly. And if you are local, this place in particular. It's a little more pricey than some of the other restaurants nearby, but if you are with someone else and just have one of the two-person combination platters, that comes to a total of $50 and you won't need appetisers or desserts (although if you do, I recommend the chickpea fritters for the former, but not so much the semolina cake for the latter, which was pretty ordinary). Also, their coffee is the best I've ever had. Just try to ignore the owner scowling at you miserably from the front of the bar. I think he is watching to see whether you eat properly or spill food all down your front. (I failed).

A Geekman. One who wakes you up on your birthday by bringing you coffee and your present in bed.

Wonderful friends on the other side of the planet who send the world's most awesome present. (A dip pen! With interchangeable nibs! And fancy metallic inks! In the world's cutest bottles!) You rock! And it arrived this afternoon, just when I was feeling like a pair of underpants and a defective mp3 player was not a sufficient birthday haul to satisfy my avaricious nature.

Going shopping on your birthday. You'll find you can justify buying all the things you never usually would. Like fancy teas. And gourmet chocolates. And pretty, pretty new boots.

Blogfriends who are sweet and lovely and email you birthday wishes. Thanks, guys!


___________

*Some gems from the user manual: "Stir or press on NEXT, blue back strip move downward to the last option and go next page to last page and go first page indicate the current activation option."
"If stop at lyric status, please return non-lyric window."
"Upgrade to realize the firmware upgrade, repair, backup function. It's in the waiting status while entering."
"As player is easily telltale, so it is very important for user to protect private secret."

34 Comments:

Miss M. said...

Happy birthday!

Gotta love Fekerte's - their bread rocks! (went there once with a Hall party)

Jana said...

I'm glad it arrived ;-)

Your Chinese instructions made me giggle helplessly.

Seeking Solace said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Propter Doc said...

Happy Birthday - what? No parrot present, no little feathered cuties on the balcony/garden with little signs grasped lovingly in their beaks? Bah! some birthday, load of pants if you ask me!

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

Happy birthday!!

Jana said...

By the way, the solution to your mp3 crisis is an iPod nano

sheepish said...

Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wolfa said...

Tiffany! I think hers was the first cassette I ever got.

Happy birthday! It's still your birtday here, I think. Ethiopian food is yummy.

physics*chick said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Some good some bad, hope you enjoyed it anyway!

Those instructions are too funny... I agree with jana... if you can afford an ipod nano. My ipod came with a pictogram instruction manual (ok, there were a few words here and there). Also amusing, but also somewhat easier to decipher! :)

Geeka said...

Hippo Birdie 2 Ewe!
And may each one get better than the last.

I have to second jana and P*C's nano comment. Although, I am addicted to my ipod's portable hard drive capabilities.

Love the Engrish!
P.S We are the same astrological sign :)

Anastasia said...

happy birthday to you! you're one of my most favorite blogfriends.

i think i might be against underpants as gifts in a general sense.

I heart ethiopian food. we used to share our church building with an ethiopian orthodox church and they cooked for us once and I've got to say...that was one of the highlights of my culinary life. there's nothing like good ethiopian food.

peace out.

Lucy said...

Happy birthday!

RageyOne said...

Happy Birthday!

JustMe said...

happy happy birthday! i hope the parrots congregate on your balcony to chirp you the song!

JustMe said...

omg, and that card is insane... you deserve all the teas and pretty books you can carry.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh man, just this morning I was missing my Ethiopian restaurant back home.

...by which I mean I'm glad that your birthday evened out in the end! And I can't imagine the whole cyan underpants/anti-aging cream situations.

Happy belated birthday.

Kelly said...

Happy belated birthday!! I'm surprised my mother-in-law isn't as tactless as yours sometimes - but thankfully we don't talk about clothes and I would DIE if she ever gave me underwear as a present! You're doing very well with it! :)

shrinkykitten said...

I can't believe you got underwear .... but I do love cyan. And if you have Michael Jackson and Tiffany on your fauxpod, you've no right to complain about an 80s color, babycakes.

Happy Birthday!

StyleyGeek said...

Wow, so many comments! That's like an extra birthday present all by itself!

Thanks for all the ipod recommendations. If we (by which I mean Geekman) can't fix this one, it looks like I might go that way. Although I have issues with DRM, so we were looking for something that would play .ogg files. Anyway, Geekman stayed up late last night and had some "theories" about what could be causing the problem, so we'll try his solutions first.

Psychobunny said...

Happy birthday!!

susan said...

Happy birthday!!!!

Weekend_Viking said...

Happy Birthday. (J's Birthday is on Monday.) Dessert party tonight.

iRiver is good brand of noname brand mp3 player. It Works, can be bought from Dick Smith or JB HiFi, and plays oggs or mp3s. Few issues, manual is written in standard english...

Bardiac said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

Did the parrots come visit?

StyleyGeek said...

Yesterday I was out most of the day, and when I was home, it was raining, and they get unhappy in the rain. Today, though, I've been sitting out on the balcony within touching distance of the feeder, and I just had five of them(!) competing for the seed. So cute!

EA said...

Happy Birthday!!

Phantom Scribbler said...

Do birthday wishes count if they're two days late?

Phantom Scribbler said...

Because my whine is that I was a bad blog host and did not see your whine until this very late date. Sigh.

Happy late birthday?

StyleyGeek said...

Of course they count! And when I complained in the post below about people who don't read their comments, I didn't mean you! People who get 100+ comments in their threads get a free pass on reading and responding to them all.

zelda said...

happy belated birthday! is that really true about the underpants?? oh my!

wwwmama said...

Happy Birthday! This is my bday month too!
I'm so happy someone else still listens to M Jackson and Indigo Girls.

The History Enthusiast said...

I'm a little late, but happy birthday nonetheless! I too had a cheap Chinese, knock-off player...and mine broke after about 2 months. I hope you get one that works! I like the Creative Zen Micro, which even comes in cool colors!

Black & White Penguin said...

Happy birthday!

If you ask me that badly translated manual is a gift upon itself, makes great bedtime reading.

trillwing said...

Happy belated birthday!

Aurelius said...

Happy b'day for last week. It's good to see Fekerte's has improved since I was last there.