Monday, June 15, 2009

Mike turns 40

Before the day is done, I need to offer a public HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY! to my best buddy Mike, whom I've known since the third grade. Historian, raconteur, bon vivant, and family man (the last two items probably produce a certain amount of static), Mike blogs at Naked Villainy, where he wears his special brand of conservatism on his sleeve, dubbing himself the Maximum Leader and blogging in the self-parodic third person.

Like me, Mike's a bookworm. His pet subjects are history, politics, and philosophy, but he's happy to engage in discussions on just about anything: sports, cooking, religion, whisky, etc. Want to get on Mike's good side? Ply him with scotch and praise William Churchill. If you happen to be hiding some Cuban cigars in your contraband locker, share one with Mike and your passage into heaven-- well, his version of heaven, which might resemble a cosmic Hooters-- is assured.

Mike and I have scarily similar temperaments, but frequently divergent tastes. Such similarity and contrast are what make our friendship work, I think. My own leanings are more toward science, religion, and philosophy; Mike gravitates toward history, politics, and philosophy. When cooking, I'm more of a slice-it-up person; Mike is more chunky-style in approach. Mike likes watching team sports such as hockey and football; I'd rather watch individual sports like singles tennis and boxing (and the occasional Ultimate Fighting tournament). Both of us are fans of "Battlestar Galactica," and both of us came away from the series finale with very mixed feelings (my long essay on the theology of BSG is here).

Mike is also a proud husband and father of three: two lovely daughters and one squirming, wriggling, energetic son. I'm sure Mike would be the first to say that no family ever achieves perfect harmony or fulfillment, but I'd counter that perfection is what we see in and through the imperfect. Mike's children-- the eldest of whom is my goddaughter-- faithfully reflect their parents' values in their own thoughts, words, and deeds. Mike has turned out to be a fantastic father, and he did well to marry a woman who so perfectly complements him, truly meriting the term "better half."

On June 15, 1969, my best friend was born, and my life has been richer for it.

Happy birthday, bro.


1 comment:

The Maximum Leader said...

Many many thanks for the years of friendship. I too am richer for knowing you.