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Thursday, February 3, 2011

David's birthday

We celebrated David's birthday at Mondo, a Susan Spicer restaurant in Lakeview. It is across the street from the Steak Knife, the first restaurant at which we ordered a BOTTLE of wine. I was a teenager dating a man 12 years my senior (yeah, whatever, don't retrospect that was a crappy relationship so I guess you can judge!) and this was all new to me! Ah, memories!
Mondo was very good and different from other Spicer restaurants I've been to. It is more casual - no reservations and it's in a strip mall - and has a friendly vibe. The food is relatively inexpensive, as are the cocktails, but the main course portions are a tad small. If you're hungry you would want to get an appetizer as well (which we did). I had the lamb and it was out of this world. We also ordered cocktails (I had the Negroni, which had a pleasantly bitter aftertaste) and glasses of wine, because we discovered the bottled wine list later. But the glass wine menu wasn't bad; it was more than just Cabernet and Chardonnay and we both had Malbec.
When we walked into the restaurant we saw David's old boss from his last job sitting in a booth with his wife. We stopped to chat and catch up on old times. That was David's first job as an attorney and he learned a lot from this guy, who is an entrepreneur through and through. When we wrapped up our meal we were told that David's boss had actually picked up our entire bill. Sweet!

I got David a few gifts, but all were fraught with drama. Example:
- I ordered DVDs that are on back-order until October.
- I ordered two pairs of shoes from Aldo (yeah, I'm pretending David's not in his late 30's) and one pair arrived literally 10 hours after I placed the order (?!?!) and the other...never did. Eventually I got a cancellation notice from Aldo.
- I ordered a cushy Egyptian cotton bathrobe to replace the one David shrunk (who makes a bathrobe that can't go in the dryer, anyway?!) and through a series of mix ups it was sent to the wrong address: my parents'. I kept my last name and my mother is a frequent shopper; I think the mix up happened because the company had to make a change to my order. Somehow when they re-did the order they picked up the wrong address.

My only non-drama gifts were a piano lesson cd (he's wanted to learn) and David Pogue's "missing manual" for the Mac OS. Overall David's pleased and his new shoes look sharp!

When I asked David what he wanted for his birthday, he told me itunes gift cards. But I don't like giving gift cards since it's basically just giving him some of his own money. I have no problem giving them to other people, though. I know a lot of people think of them as "thoughtless" and yeah, sometimes I AM just being lazy!
What's your view on gift cards? Do you give them? Do you like to get them?


  1. Sounds like a fantastic birthday dinner!!! That is quite a list of things to go not as planned for your presents!! I think it's awesome your whole dinner was paid for, I LOVE when we get the phone call at the restaurant from someone wanting to take care of the bill for guests coming in that night. It's always so much fun to be able to tell someone, oh you're all set!!!
    Giftcards, I personally love. I know that some believe there is no thought that goes into them and I totally get why you wouldn't want to give David a gift card but for me it's free money and I'll definitely take it!!! I also give them if I don't know the recipient very well or it's a young person.

  2. Wow, you did run into some difficulties w/ David's present! Sounds like a great selection of gifts, though!

    I like gift cards, esp ones to book stores. I love getting books but since I own so many, it's difficult for people to know what to buy me. And now that I have a nook, I really like gift cards as they obv can't wrap up an e-book for me. ;) I don't think of them as lazy!

  3. I love getting gift's nice to be able to choose something I really like. Of course real gifts are nice too, but I never think of a gift card as the easy way out.

    Those are great gifts you got David, but talk about drama :)

  4. how is a dvd (or anything for that matter) on backorder until october? ridiculous. happy belated bday to david! gift cards - they do seem "lame" but it guarantees the person will get something they'll like/use and it takes a lot less effort on your part to "pick out". i don't think anyone minds getting them so i don't know why there's such a stigma attached to them? all i can think of is because people think there needs to be some sort of grandeur when it comes to opening presents? who knows.

    thanks for the shoe advice! i feel rather unstylish for even contemplating the boots since no one voted for them haha. now i need to see if i even own anything that would be worn with the ankle boots... otherwise why am i keeping them.

  5. Well, the nice thing is that you tried to get him a lot of cool or useful gifts. That's funny though how many of them got rerouted or weren't shipped. I like gift cards, but I totally understand when you share a bank account. It's just like handing over a little cash.