Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

My dad, my sister and I have a long-standing joke between us when we are together. Someone will say, for example, "gosh, I'm hungry!" Inevitably, one of us will respond, "not near as hungry as me!" Which then leads to "I could possibly be one thousand times hungrier than you are!" and it continues, escalating and certainly ad nauseum, until we laugh to much to go on.

And yes, we are all adults. Grown up adults, as you can see.

I am so blessed to have such an amazing father. So much of who I am today was shaped by this man. I inherited this strange, mostly inappropriate sense of humor - finding jokes less funny and preferring quick one-offs and biting commentary. This sense of humor that gets us in trouble. Like the time in the hospital when the doctor told me that my liver function had improved and I responded that it was a good thing I'd stopped drinking. Needless to say, only Dad found that funny. Which was really how it was intended all along.

I also learned about eating from my father. A fearless eater back in the day, he'd eat street food in Mexico without a care. "You don't have to like it, but you have to try it" was the rule at our table. That rule lead me to my love of all ethnic foods - Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian...there isn't a food I won't try. And the response when I report that I had Puerto Rican stewed pig ears and belly? "Good for you!"

Now only did I learn what to eat, but I learned how to eat from Dad. One time at a church potluck, while grace was being said, I caught Dad moving out of the corner of my eye. I quickly followed and we positioned ourselves near the buffet in order to be first, trying not to laugh. By the time grace was over, we were positioned and ready. Always be first - so that you can be coming in for seconds while the line ends. Yes, we are an embarrassment to our kind.

I'm so proud to be Dad's daughter for the things that he has accomplished. At the tender age of 60, Dad decided to learn a new trade. And he uncovered a hidden talent to become a primo videographer, editor and flash designer. I call him for questions in Illustrator and he always has time to be technical or design support for me. I nurture my artistic side foregoing a more lucrative and more ambitious career in paralegal work because I want to know what I want do when I grow up NOW rather than later.

And of course, the passion I have for politics. It's no surprise that we were both political science majors. And even though neither of us do anything in the political science field, as you can see from this blog and his blog, it is a lifetime love.

So, today is the old man's birthday and I want to wish him the best. I love you a million billion times more than anything, Dad. And you can't top that.

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