ANTHONY'S BIRTHDAY (stuff I made for it)

     This is a way belated post, because Anthony's birthday is August 22nd. I sort of forgot I had started this post. Now it's Halloween, and we're waiting to see if we get (m)any trick-or-treaters, so I'm just sittin' here killing time.
     Here's the peanut butter and chocolate cake I made:

Recipe below, at end of post...

     Below is one of the presents I wrapped to make it look like a happy little birthday fellow. I feel this is something Martha Stewart might do if she had a sense of humor, or was human.
     (But don't get me wrong, I love Martha just the way she is. Stern, exacting, made of steel...)

     Here's another whimsical birthday fellow I made. Notice he even has weak little arms and legs made of glittery tinsel! He can't really walk with them. But he makes the best of his short existence. He will soon be torn apart.

My special secret for Anthony's cake was to substitute PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS for the regular ol' chocolate chips. Because Anthony is a peanut butter fiend, and that cake is loaded with chocolate enough already.
     Incidentally, the recipe card you see above is from a cookbook put together by a bunch of parents as some sort of fund-raiser I think, way back when I was in 6th grade at Cambridge Elementary in Orange, CA. (I'm 42 now, so that was, like, a LONG time ago.) We've kept that recipe in our family ever since because it's goooood, you guys!

I TURNED 40 : second installment


          When last we left my 40th birthday party, Sugar the pretty pony had just come 'round the corner to visit.

Look at my pretty pretty purple tail... I'm a little birthday pony.

Me and Anthony hangin' with Sugar

          Sugar was immediately surrounded by friends and family eager to pet and praise. My mom had a vegetable platter nearby, so we started feeding baby carrots to Sugar. That was totally fun because of her snuffly horse mouth. Way cute.

Matt with Sugar, Julie with Sugar, Doug making out with Sugar

Aunt Wanda and Lauren with the pony of honor

          After a while, we decided to release the pony and her handler, since they weren't going to let any of us RIDE the pony. But whatever. Anthony, Lauren & Eric, and my stepmom and I all followed Sugar out to her little trailer and got to see all her party clothes and costumes. We waved a fond farewell as the pony was chauffered away...

The birthday pony cake

          Anthony made my official birthday cake, which was chocolate, of the bundt persuasion, and topped with chocolate frosting and MY LITTLE PONIES yes it was! I felt guilty cutting into it. But not that guilty. It was delicious and then gone.

Anthony goes berserk, resulting in the tragic death of the pony pinata

          I LOVE pinatas. I love busting the crap out of them. I love it when adults nervously suffer the indignity of a blindfold and a crowd of people spinning them in circles and then yelling directions at them while the blind one swings a gaily festooned stick around in the air.
          Little did we know that typically gentle Anthony would be the one to bash that little crepe paper pony wide open in a whirlwind of power and fury. Actually, I was not that surprised because I know the warrior that lurks within the quiet man, but everybody else was stunned and excited. During Anthony's sudden attack on the pinata, he even bashed a bird feeder to smithereens and sent shrapnel flying!
          Later on in the day, fired up on candy, I grabbed the poor crippled pinata pony and savagely broke one of its remaining legs, then threw the corpse on the ground and stomped the shit out of it. My Aunt Penney witnessed my act of brutality and said, "Gosh, Tommy, we've never seen that dark & violent side of you..."
          Judging by the pinata incident, if Anthony and I were warriors or soldiers (don't laugh), Anthony would be the one to inflict the mortal wound on our enemy, and I would be the one to run up and kick him while he's down, shouting, "Yeah! Take THAT!"

The best stick pony. (But don't tell the others)

          At the end of the party my mom seemed surprised that I actually wanted to KEEP the stick ponies, and other pony decorations, including the little rocking singing pony. She was like, "But isn't there such a thing as TOO MANY ponies?"
          No. There is not.
          I allowed guests to each take one plush hanging pony and one collapsible pony as souvenirs, but the rest were all MINE. Especially the stick ponies and the little flocked ponies.
          People kept asking me how it felt to be 40, and I kept saying it felt fine. But the next morning I woke up and looked in the mirror. I looked like SHIT.

Wait, I'm HOW old?!


This picture is kind of dark and blurry, but maybe that's appropriate for the occasion?
          Well, I turned 40 this summer, on July 4th. I don't hate it, due in large part to the fact that 4 is my favorite number, and turning 40 on July 4th seems kind of cool. And I felt very loved indeed, since my husband, my mom, and my Aunt Wanda put together an amazing party for me, with a PONY theme! I bet I'm the envy of every other 40-year-old man out there. Right? Because all 40-year-old men love ponies?

A pre-birthday strawberry shortcake at Aunt Wanda's

Anthony created these handmade invitations using prints of an old photo of me

At left: me and my handsome husband Anthony. At right: me with my dad & my mom.
          I feel very lucky that although divorced, my parents get along well with each other for special occasions that involve lil' ol' me. My stepdad and my stepmom are very cool about it, too. Not everybody can say that!
          NOTE ON PHOTOS: All the photos that have black borders around them are courtesy of my awesome sister-in-law, Lauren. She took tons of pictures that day, and then had them printed in a beautiful photo book, which I scanned so I could share them.  :)
          The photos WITHOUT black borders were taken with my cell phone, probably by me unless I'm IN the picture, and then Anthony probably took it. Unless HE'S in the picture, TOO, and then the pony probably took it.

Three shots of the enchanting pony decor, some of which was official "My Little Pony"

          Every little detail of the decorations was tailor-made for me. There were balloons in my favorite colors, teal blue and black, and even black HEART balloons!

Little collapsible ponies, little flocked ponies, pony pinata, rocking pony that sings... (it really does!)

My stepdad, Dan, being a good sport with a bow on his head. You have to do that with bald heads.

Hanging pony garlands: Threat or ill omen?
          At one point between presents and cake, my mom came over to me and said, "I know you would have loved having Courtney Love as a special guest at your 40th birthday party, but we couldn't get her. We have someone else, instead, which I hope will be just as good. They're about to come around the side of the house right now..."
          I froze in terror, staring at the corner of the house, wondering who or what was about to come around the corner. After a few breathless moments, all was revealed...

Sugar, the little birthday pony

          My mom had hired an ACTUAL LIVE PONY to make an appearance! Her name is Sugar, and she was done up in My Little Pony style with a purple tail, purple-painted hooves, and flowers braided into her mane. Admit it, you're jealous! My mom asked me if it was a good surprise, and I said, "Yes, and Sugar is definitely more sanitary than Courtney Love!"
          Julie and I were a little concerned that Sugar would notice the hanging garland ponies and take it as some sort of threat.
          There are more pictures to share, but I'll save it for a second birthday post, so the page doesn't take forever to load. Can you hardly wait?