Exactly half a century ago, the world got a little smarter, a little funnier, and a little cooler. It got a little boy named My Dad. Today is his 50th birthday, and since I can’t be at home making him a birthday cake, I’m going to make you all listen while I tell you how awesome he is!

My dad is smarter than you. He just knows everything – a Renaissance Man, if you will. He reads (and owns) too many books and knows the answers to too many Jeopardy questions. He loves music (especially jazz), but he doesn’t discriminate – he listens to everything. I’m sad that I won’t be able to listen to The Puzzlemaster Presents with him tomorrow morning, but he’ll figure out the answer long before I do anyways.

If his cooking were artwork, it would be classified as “abstract”, with one exception. Eggs. The man makes omelettes like it’s his job, always sneaking in a little butter on the pan when my mom isn’t looking. I still can’t manage to make an omelette without the whole thing breaking in half, but his never do.

My dad is also the guy who couldn’t decide what flavor of boxed rice pilaf he wanted, so he made three different ones at the same time. I believe there is a word for that, and I believe that word is “genius”.

My dad also loves to travel, see new places and learn new things. Before any trip, he does tons of research to make sure that we don’t miss anything important, and don’t waste any time. Whenever I talk to him, he reminds me to make the most of my time here in Rome, and take full advantage of this amazing opportunity. When it’s noon on a Sunday and I have yet to get out of bed, it’s his voice in my head that talks me into getting up, going out, and exploring this amazing city. After 4 months of living here, my favorite restaurant is still the place he took us to 5 years ago, on our first visit to Rome.

If there is fun to be had or jokes to be made, he is there. If there is a dance floor, he’s always the first one on it and the last one off it.

Happy, happy birthday Dad! I’ll be eating Spaghetti alla Carbonara tonight and wishing you were here too!