It was an eventful week. Jack had a birthday, for one, but actually not "for one," as he seems to have leveraged his birth day into spanning an entire Birth Week. Last Monday night he said, "It's my birthday this week and I want steak tonight." Now, Friday night is steak night, not Monday. I mean, we're not weird about it, it's not like Tuesday is meatloaf and Wednesday is spaghetti and Thursday is pot au feu with winter vegetables and a nice beaujolais, rain or shine; no. But Friday is the end of the work week, a day on which Jack usually feels as thought his brains have been beaten out and his soul filled with concrete, so a nice filet mignon is one way he rewards himself for a job well done. You can also think of it as a nice way to flip the bird at my Catholic upbringing, if you're not yet tired of me complaining about the Pope and His Medieval Rules That I Do Not Agree With.

So. Monday night I picked up three steaks and he brought home a pricey-looking Chateauneuf du Pape. [That's French for Ninth Castle of the Pope -- that's right, it seems that the Pope used to have NINE CASTLES. And he was a DRUNK.] So Jack poured me a glass of Papist vin rouge and for the first time in my life I understood how all those wine people can taste hints of gooseberries and parsnips in a young burgundy, except I had a drink of this particular Chateauneuf du Pape and it took me a minute to figure out what I was tasting, and then all of a sudden I shouted "APRICOTS!" It's fun; I suggest you try it. And then naturally for the next few days any time I ate so much as a Wheat Thin Jack would shout "APRICOTS!" and as the week progressed we found lots of other things to shout at each other during dinner, like "CARDBOARD!" and "GASOLINE!"

Anyway, I seem to have this thing when I drink unfamiliar red wine: I get insomnia. And after this fancy-pants bottle of red I went to sleep as usual at around 10:00 p.m., then woke up at 12:30 a.m., and lay there in bed awake until 5:00 a.m. Honestly, can you think of anything more fun than that? What a delight it was to roll over and check the clock every twenty minutes for four and a half hours. I actually did read a little, with a flashlight tucked under my chin, but no matter what I do I seem to be always exactly halfway through this Norrell & Strange book and occasionally I get a little creeped out by it, so, you know, great insomnia reading! Let's stay up all night working that gray-tinge-of-death-always-hovering-in- the-corner-of-your-eye angle!

Tuesday was spent putting one foot in front of the other -- on four hours of sleep, small things are easily lost and it becomes very important to concentrate. Wednesday was back to normal, whatever that is, and woot! Thursday was Jack's birthday and it turned into SakeFest '05. As in five! Bottles! Of! Sake! Normally, as a parent, I don't sit around getting hooched all the time, and I think it's also a good policy that at least one of us remains sober enough for that trip to the emergency room so if I'm holding a bleeding, crying child I don't also reek of Old Crow. But woo-hoo, did I feel like shit on Friday morning. We were supposed to be getting ready to go up to Pismo Beach to visit friends for the weekend but instead of showering and packing I just lay on the couch like a corpse and watched Jackson absorb the horror that is Oobi.

That's when Jack introduced me to that ancient cure of the Kennedy Clan: beer for breakfast.

I think I'm going to stop drinking for a while.