Joe’s Guest Post

aka, I’ve stolen this from his facebook page

Birthday Surprise

by Joe Busch on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 10:26am

I don’t normally indulge in personal stories, but this is a good one and I like to wave my geek credentials when I can.

For the last month, my lovely girlfriend Kate has been talking up her gift to me as if it were being handed down directly from God Himself. I don’t think I can overstate how intentionally high she was setting the bar. Part of me assumed that this was mostly jokingly, as no gift I could imagine could possibly live up to the hype she was giving this.

Alas, Monday arrived and we did the birthday celebration thing. Kate stopped off at work to give me red velvet cupcakes and the first part of my present. When talking about gifts and expectations previously, I had said to her that “as long as it’s not, like, a double-sided dildo, I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok with it.” This is what I opened up at work then:

Giant gummy worm resembling a double-sided dildo? Of course.

Kate cooked me a wonderful four course dinner – chicken parmesan, a spinach, mandarin orange and corn salad with a homemade vinaigrette, asparagus risotto topped with parmesan cheese, and red velvet cake balls coated with white chocolate. It was damn good.

After dinner, it was present time. I tore off the wrapping paper and opened the box (a re-appropriated Game of Life box) to discover a very nice red button-down dress shirt and a Twins tie. I was quite pleased with this. It didn’t meet up to the absurd expectations Kate had set, but I didn’t really expect it to. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good birthday.

Tuesday cometh. We went to look at a few condos after work (for fun, mostly) and then went back to Kate’s. The plan was to head down to Rock Bottom (in her building) with our laptops and be semi-social geeks. It’s a regular ritual of ours. Kate gets some writing done, and I do some research or screwing off the internet or whatever else seems pertinent at the time.

A couple of things were off, though. I found it odd that Kate still had red velvet cupcakes in the refrigerator and, moreover, they were decorated as baseballs. Kate was also acting very strange when we got back to her apartment. She wouldn’t tell me what was up, relenting to let me know when we got our drinks at the bar.

We head down to the bar, get our drinks, and she finally starts talking. She reminds me of a situation from a month ago – we were at Rock Bottom watching Game 6 of the World Series, and I was checking my phone and watching twitter and so forth. I must have seen a good tweet or something, because I mentioned offhand that it would be neat if I was to ever run into Aaron Gleeman, a baseball blogger and podcaster that I follow online, and just chat with him and have a drink or two.

Kate ran with this. It turned out she’d been emailing with Gleeman for almost a month, lining up a meetup. It wasn’t just a get together for a drink, though. Gleeman and Jon Bonnes run a weekly podcast at various bars, and they together resolved to have the podcast at Rock Bottom – with me as the so-called special guest.

The rest of the night was a whirlwind of nervous anxiety, drinks, chatting, and fun. Aaron and Jon are pretty much just normal guys. They arrived, we did the handshakes and introductions and grabbed a table. Jon pulled out his equipment – some microphones, his iPhone, iPad and mobile keyboard. We podcasted. I got to geek out and talk Twins, baseball stats, and so forth. I’m not sure how to adequately describe it, really. It was a ton of fun, and suddenly Kate’s oversell on the gift wasn’t such an oversell. Should you be interested in hearing it, it’s online here:

Most memorable birthday of my life.

I feel like he does a damn good job at explaining it. He’s technically supposed to be my editor too, because clearly he is the better writer, but he has better things to do, like tweet about baseball.


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