Well, it finally happened and I turned forty today. I feel, perhaps oddly, fairly happy about that. A few moments where you face the serious possibility, or at least the strong probability of…well, of not turning forty seem to be enough to reverse the usual angst about this "milestone." Unlike the year that preceded it, this last twelve months has been both a lucky and happy one for me. Despite closing up shop at Network Clarity, I ended up with a great job with a great team at Microsoft, and I ended up able to take some time away from the computer industry, contemplate how to go back to finish my Ph.D., and move into a great house up north. My brother is healthy and employed, and things appear to be looking good for him as well. You really can’t ask for much more than that.
My friends from Saltspring Island came down this weekend by kayak, paddling from Sidney over to Roche Harbor on Friday. Sounded like a nice paddle, albeit with some tough parts. We cooked a great meal of grilled pork and asparagus on Friday, served with a Paul Bara NV rose champagne from a couple of years back. Then, after a mellow Saturday spent at the farmer’s market, going to the art gallery, and taking photographs,
we had a terrific dinner at Steps Wine Bar and Cafe in Friday Harbor. Madden had his birthday at the beginning of this last week, and roasted a whole lamb, braised some juicy tender beef brisket, and grilled chicken; last night we explored the seafood aspects of the menu with a delicious tempura rock cod with a sesame apple fennel "slaw," a fish sausage cased in a ring of squash and grilled, and a slab of fresh-caught sablefish on a celeriac puree with what appeared to be a truffled stuffing for the sablefish. Combined with a Roederer Estates rose sparkling wine from the wine list, and the incredible 2004 Fevre Chablis Les Clos (tight, minerally, but with good lemon cream aromas), the meal was completed with a "smores" with house-made graham cracker cake, chocolate sauce, and the best "marshmallow" I’ve ever had.
Today, after my friends took the ferry back to Sidney, I went back to Arctic Raven, a wonderful gallery in Friday Harbor that specializes in native American art. In particular, Lee has recently exhibited both Richard Hunt, and is now finishing a Susan Point exhibit. Some of the Susan Point works were incredible, especially (in my opinion), the glass or sculptural works. I finally made up my mind between a couple of yellow cedar sculpture pieces, and found a serigraph/watercolor for the living room. All in all, a terrific birthday weekend.