It Doesn’t Get Any Groovier Than This

It’s a well-documented fact that I like items of a retro nature. Lava lamps. Dogs-playing-poker tapestries. Avocado green appliances. The Bee Gees. So, when my birthday rolled around on Friday and Tara presented me with this, I was absolutely thrilled.

She had been teasing me with hints all week. “It’s something you’ve always wanted,” she said. She had elicited input from friends and family, and one person (hi, Esther!) told her, “He’s going to love you even more after this, if that’s possible!” Suffice it to say, I was pretty intrigued, and my mind raced with possibilities. I actually compiled a mental list of things I had always wanted in a vain attempt to figure out what my girlfriend had gotten me.

  1. A Volkswagen Bus. Ever the hippie at heart, I have long coveted a Volkswagen Bus. Preferably a Type 2, with curtains in the windows and a split windshield. Gotta have room to haul around all those lava lamps, after all.
  2. A walk-on role in Martin Scorsese’s next gangster movie. Who wouldn’t want to hobnob with the greatest director of the past 40 years and work side by side with the likes of Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, and Leonardo DiCaprio? It wouldn’t need to be a big role. I’d be content as Guy Who Serves Drink To Joe Pesci’s Character Before He Goes Apeshit And Stabs Fellow Bar Patron To Death With A Ballpoint Pen Over Some Perceived Slight.
  3. A rock ‘n roll recording contract. OK, so I can’t sing. Or play any instruments. I don’t even like karaoke. But none of these minor details dissuades me from the rock ‘n roll dream! I’d love to strut around stage wearing tight leather pants while thousands of adoring fans chant for an encore.
  4. A meet-and-greet with Abraham Lincoln. I’m about 150 years too late for a sitdown with the sixteenth President of the United States. Le sigh. I’d love to pick his brain about topics like being born in a log cabin and the Emancipation Proclamation and all those vampires he hunted in his youth. Plus, I could change history by warning him away from the Ford Theater that night.
  5. An official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time. But I’d shoot my eye out.

Each of these items I summarily dismissed as unlikely gifts from Tara for various reasons, so I remained stumped until the moment I tore open the box. You should have seen my eyes light up when I saw the beautiful beaded curtain with the rainbow-colored peace symbol inside! Both she and Esther were right. I have always wanted a beaded curtain (I was even going on and on about one that was in the beach house in Lincoln City a few weeks ago when I crashed spring break), and I absolutely do love her even more since she gave me such a thoughtful gift. That, and concert tickets to The Shins, who are playing in Bend on May 25th. Best birthday ever!!

And it was. Last year I got an oil change for my car and didn’t even have cake. This year Tara made me a fantastic seafood quiche for breakfast, then we went into Portland for a visit to Powell’s, and ended the day with redneck eggrolls and red velvet cake. She showered me with attention and love and I ate it up like a beaver in a forest.

Today also marks the end of the first week with both the kids and Tara under the same roof (they go back to their mom later this afternoon). Things have actually gone incredibly well, which doesn’t really surprise me given how perfectly everybody has gotten along ever since our first weekend together in Boise last November. Rusty and Audrey love her cooking and sense of humor, and we had many good conversations and played a spirited (if rather lengthy) game of Trivial Pursuit last night. Yesterday we all went on a hike to Falls Creek Falls in the Washington Cascades, and that was a blast. All in all, a fun week! I love how well everything is working out.

Here are a few pics from our adventure yesterday.

Audrey, Rusty and I posing in front of the falls.
Snowmelt made this section of the hike treacherous. Luckily, nobody fell.
We’re so fierce.
Falls Creek Falls, Washington. Probably the best-kept secret around here. We were the only ones at the lookout the whole time.

31 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Get Any Groovier Than This

  1. See! I knew you were gonna dig that beaded curtain!! :)) As soon as she posted that on FB I instantly knew it was perfect for you. She’s good 🙂 (Hi Tara!)
    Oh, I remember that hike to Falls Creek Falls when Scott and I visited! Remember we ran into that loose Siberian Husky on the trail and I thought it was a wolf? LOL I screamed so loud it jumped and ran the other way! Glad you had an awesome birthday Mark, esp. since Mom and Dad are never around on your BD.


  2. Glad you like the beaded curtain, though I already knew you would love it. 😉 And I like seeing it hang on the closet door!

    Thanks so much for a great couple of weekends…I’m loving it up here!


    1. I’m just glad that you don’t roll your eyes at the mere mention of hanging a beaded curtain in the house. You embrace it – and that means the world to me. Love you, babe!


  3. Okay first, I’m so freakin’ excited to read about your beaded curtain gift because I LOVE those things! In fact, I had TWO sets when I was a kid. One had those plastic multi-colored beads that made it look as though my bedroom was in TV sitcom, “I Dream of Jeannie.” The second one was wood, like the one you have, except they didn’t have that cool peace sign.

    Second, HAPPY BELATED Birthday, Mark!!!!!

    Third, I laughed my ass off at your #4 mental list. HILARIOUS!

    Fourth, I LOVE those pictures of you, your kids, and Tara! OMG…that waterfall looks AWESOME! Oh, and the picture of you and Tara donning your ‘fierce look’ reminded me of the Broadway musical, “Cats.”


    Thanks so much for sharing your weekend, buddy! Enjoyed reading about it!


    1. A fellow beaded curtain aficionado?! Woohoo! I knew I liked you for a reason, Ron. I like both the wooden and the plastic ones. And I also loved “I Dream Of Jeannie!” Major Nelson was one lucky dude.


  4. I told Tara I was going to get you a van and she said not to because she got you this really cool beaded curtain and I said “OKAY!!” I mean, honestly, how can somebody ever compete with a beaded curtain that has a peace sign on/in it? I mean, really??


  5. Hey–it isn’t our fault that our transatlantic cruise ended in Rome on your birthday–we called and sang! And you had Tara there-what more could you ask for (except a VW bus).


  6. Now that’s my kind of birthday – much better than the sucky one i had in December! My first car was a VW bug (it was orange with black on the trunk, so I called it Ladybug) & I loved it! A beaded peace curtain is not my idea of the ideal gift, but to each his own.


  7. Aww, happy birthday you groovy guy! LOL I’m so happy Tara knew exactly what to get you. I’m only sad there wasn’t a maple bacon bar with a candle in it, but there’s always Thanksgiving and Christmas. 😉

    Those Falls are GORGEOUS!


  8. I always wanted a rock ‘n roll recording contract too…and I do, in the shower and in the car, but my dreams end there. Love your new beaded curtain…good job Tara!


  9. I can play Blister in the Sun on the drums….I think that means we are half way there for a new band.


    1. Well, this was nine years ago…she either got it from a vintage store in Portland, or (more likely) Amazon. It’s still hanging in the basement of our house in South Dakota, all these years later.


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