Not that I’m counting or anything. The bad news is: tomorrow is my 52nd birthday. Not really "bad"… just not very exciting. Of course, another birthday is still preferable to the alternative. And life is good. Particularly since – and this is the really good news: I’m not in jail!!!!! Every time I call Garland Baker, my Costa Rica Expert, he asks, "Are you calling me from jail?" Very funny.

For my present (birthday, not "now"), I’ve asked my family for three whole days without sarcasm. Our family has gotten to be expert at sarcasm, me included. You can’t ask a question or make any remark at all around here without getting slapped back with a sarcastic comment. Sarcasm can be funny, but only if used sparingly. It can also be cutting and mean. Which is all it is when it’s not funny. Not to mention tiresome. All of us sitting around on our high horse trying to be funnier and smarter than everybody else. Ick.

So that’s what I want for my birthday: three days of pleasant straightforward chatter. Familial kindness. Can we do it? Surely. If not, there’s more wrong around here than bad habits. I’m betting on bad habits, though. There just doesn’t seem to be any negative energy floating about. Dr. Phil wouldn’t spend 15 minutes on us.

Because WE are so normal.

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