Happy 40th birthday, Bryan! A few of the reasons I adore you:
1. On our first trip to Argentina, you were excited about my suggestion that we spend two hours a day of our vacation in private tango lessons.
2. When I’m upset, you infuriate me by cracking jokes until I laugh.
3. You took me on a road trip with our 5-week old baby.
4. You have a steel-plated backbone.
5. On one of our first dates, you took me on a surprise kayak camping trip. You packed candles and a tablecloth.
6. You make a mean chili.
7. You cried over our vows.
8. If it’s important, and you say you’ll do it, you do it.
9. When someone handed you the microphone unexpectedly at one of Hillary Clinton’s rallies, you introduced a stage full of political bigwigs, one by one, without a list of their names.
10. You’re humble about your smarts.
11. It takes you about an hour to wrap a present so it meets your standards.
12. You’re a fighter.
13. Your resume is so absurd, it reads like fiction.
14. You’re helpful.
15. You taught me to respect bourbon.
16. You look incredible in a suit. Or a white cotton undershirt.
17. You’d be just as comfortable chatting with a Nobel Laureate or the drunkest guy at the dive bar.
18. You have more energy than anyone.
19. You can’t wait for the new episode of Dancing with the Stars.
20. You’re one of the kindest people I know.
21. When you’re phone rings, and the caller ID reads unknown, you assume it’s the Secret Service because it almost always is.
22. You like to help.
23. Once you’re in the shower, there’s no telling when I’ll see you again.
24. You have a lovely voice.
25. You married our friends in English, German, and Chinese.
26. You always smell good.
27. You take me seriously when I ask you how my makeup looks.
28. You love to celebrate.
29. You drink the water, eat at roadside stands, sample charcuterie in a village with 12 houses, and you never get sick.
30. You make things go.
31. When you arrive at the bar, you’re there to close it.
32. You are snuggly.
33. When you dip me, I know you won’t drop me.
34. You like to make things.
35. You’re an optimist.
36. I have never had to ask you to do the dishes.
37. You love to swim.
38. When I asked you to stop pointing out coiffed and professionally lit ex-girlfriends while we were watching TV, you did.
39. You can’t stay mad.
40. If our little boy grows up to be exactly like you, I’ll be proud.
Attention reference-guide addicts! My genius husband’s company, Small Batch Inc., just built an awesome tool called Wikirank, and you should go play with it. Wikirank shows you which Wikipedia topics are the most popular, and which ones are seeing the most action on a particular day.
It also lets you compare topics against one another and embed pretty graphs on your Internet website, like so:
As you can see, monkeys are kicking robot ass, but ninjas are still a contender. I feel smarter already.
Me: No. No. … No.
Bryan: But this is Batman vs. Dracula.
Bryan: Csssh! I can’t wait until Hank is old enough to get a vote.
Me: Hank only counts for a quarter vote.
Bryan: And so, it will always be 1.25 to 1.
Me: Shit, I suck at math.
Me: I took my shirt off in front of the neighbor.
Bryan: Explain that.
Me: I took my shirt off without realizing the shade was up, and there he was. I actually made eye contact with him. He got all flustered and looked away.
Me: No, I was wearing my indestructible white bra. I just dropped to my knees and crawled out of the room.
Me: I know.
Bryan is adventurous about most things, and especially food. Wherever we go in the world, he tries the sausage. Good idea in Germany, but Malaysia? Anyway, lately, he’s taken to trying meat of all sorts, which is how we ended up preparing Matambre for Christmas. Turns out it’s a very typical Argentine dish, and you should know how to make it, because it’s awesome.
It all started when Bryan dragged me into the butcher shop around the corner, and then pointed to stuff while I tried to translate. The conversation with the butcher went like this:
Bryan: What is that?
Me: What is that?
Me: What is matambre?
Butcher: Meat and things.
Bryan: I want one of those.
Me: Uh. OK. How do you prepare it?
Butcher: You put it in boiling water for two hours, then freeze it.
Me: In the freezer?
Me: Freeze it?
Butcher: No! You freeze it with the post in the sink.
Me: You make it cold?
Me: OK. Do you cook it in the plastic and everything?
Him: Yes, yes! Then you break it with the sink.
In answer to my utter confusion, the butcher mimed preparation of the meat, which ended with us putting the roast in the sink and whacking it hard with the bottom of the pan.
Apparently, a lot of people serve it cold as an appetizer, though they don’t put it in the freezer to get it that way. It’s crazy tasty, and a lot like corned beef, except the vegetables are already rolled up inside with a couple of boiled eggs for good measure. That’s why it looks sort of like a severed arm when you first open it up. Delicious.
Me: One of my hairs is trapped under tiles.
Bryan: A criminologist would be interested.
Me: What are you saying there?
Bryan: Things could get ugly if I lose.