I waited all day for midnight to roll around, because that meant it was my birthday, one of my very favorite days of the year, even if I do have to share it with my twin sister. Some people hate their birthdays, hate getting older, hate something, I don’t know what. Me? I love it. As Bruce says, it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive. If it were, I’d be headed straight to hell, because I got to spend tonight, and these early morning hours, just plain happy to be here, sticky from a wet-hot day of riding Rhoda around on errands, to work, for play, zipping through the empty streets of late-Monday-night New Orleans. I rang in midnight with D. and some beignets before heading over to Harrah’s for a couple drinks and some slot play. I watched the poker tables for awhile, noting the scolding that woman got after she showed her two aces–the guy she beat would have bet it differently, apparently. After some unsuccessful, but fun, time at the slots, I stepped outside to the warm wetness of high humidity, the kind that fogs up my glasses immediately. I snapped this picture of a palm tree and the glowing Harrah’s ball from the steps of the casino. Both of them are so terrifically artificial. Yeah, the palm tree’s a total plant, an impostor. But heck, what isn’t a plant in this town anymore? We make our environments, even the parts we imagine are outside human hands and consciousness. I’m totally fine with that. The casino is a sad artificiality, one that sells joy that isn’t actually for sale. But tonight I thoroughly enjoyed zoning out inside its air conditioned and smoky comfort, because that’s what I wanted to do. And it’s my birthday, so it’s most certainly my prerogative. Then back on the bike, Bruce in my ears, speeding up St. Charles. Wheeeee!