Becky is a rat.

Somehow, she pulled off the most wonderful surprise birthday party for me tonight. She had told me that we had something going on tonight, and I assumed it was dinner.

However, Chris Ortiz wanted to take me out for some port after work, so I had to do that! 🙂 We went to a little place in Clayton called Sasha’s Wine Bar and Market on Demun. That place was amazing!

The ambience was that of a trendy spot, grown out of the neighborhood it was in. The ceiling was covered with wine crates’ logoed ends. The tables were frames with poured concrete, and medium sized pieces of broken tile placed atop during the curing. You had to plan carefully where to place your glass! The lighting was the “open wire” style lighting that I like so much, and really added to the feel of the place. Were it five years ago, you could imagine dot-com’ers penning megamillion deals right there.

We enjoyed a couple glass of port — Chris had vintage, I had tawny — and a wonderful European cheese tray, the highlight of which was the Stilton, complete with figs, dried cranberries, and pistachios. Decadence at its best!

As is typical with Chris and I, we were all over the place, discussing the human senses, his special healing dieting he’s currently entertaining, and loads of other things. I love talking with Chris, as it’s mental gymanastics of the kind I don’t get very often anymore, and thoroughly enjoy. It’s not the opinionated, in your face, “you’re wrong” kind of discussion — it’s thoughtful, passionate, and has room for more than one opinion. I like that!

I was late coming away from the wine bar, and called Becky to see if I could meet her somewhere for whatever her plans were. She said to just come on home, and we would be okay with our time. I made my way home, and slowly got toward to the neighborhood. I saw a ton of cars on our street, but that didn’t register until later.

I got to the front door, heard some voices, and assumed it was the tv. I walked in, and Frank Brune began snapping photos. I turned the corner toward the great room, there were 30 pairs of eyes looking at me, and in an uncoordinated way, saying “Surprise!” I was indeed surprised!

The spread was large, and the house, despite the large number of folks here, felt largely uncrowded. We could’ve had fifty folks here, and probably not noticed. That is nice!

Needless to say, it was a great night, and a great way to celebrate my 40th birthday, our 5th wedding anniversary, and our new house. 2004 is shaping up to be a wonderful year!