Monday, January 17, 2005

Christmas Comes But Twice a Year

Tip: If you're planning a surprise birthday party, you can not fail if you schedule the event a minumum of three weeks after the recipient's birthday.

Friends were gathered. Our apartment was secretly and festively festooned with streamers and ballons (Zach's blue fan-to-table streamer sculpture was award-winning, but maybe not quite as satisfying to him as the pairs of "balloon boobs" he originally dreamed up). A cake was hurriedly baked and iced to perfection. Karaoke-making electronic magic and extra-chairs arrived with my dad. Panicked calls urgently summoning Mark home to deal with a ficticious broken kitchen sink faucet that was flooding our house were made. The shutters were closed. Bets were hedged about Mark's impending facial expression. And then he and the Academy Award winning Mikes arrived.

Mark's first words were "what the fuck is this?"

"This" was the birthday party for the boy born on Christmas day, the dude who never gets to celebrate with friends. While it may not have been quite as fun as showing off his newly purchased Resident Evil 4 game to the two Mikes, as he had been tricked into believing he would spend the evening doing, it certainly was better than coming home to help me deal with the broken kitchen sink. (THANK YOU again, Peter, for pointing out that the original burst pipe idea was flawed because our apartment has not a single exposed pipe. It's the details that count.)

After the surprise there was cake. And then there was Karaoke. From an extremely limited selection, we managed an impressive array of star performances. Who knew that so many twenty-somethings were so well versed in Sinatra? Or that "Stop in the Name of Love" had such raunch potential? I'm currently nursing a bruised and sprained knee from the stuffed crocodile that attacked me during "Crocodile Rocking", and Nick's rendition of "Take My Breath Away" has left me feeling asthmatic. But otherwise, it was a good night, and Mark was happy to have so many people get drunk and make fools of themselves in his honor.

Just like in the good ol' days when whatever two siblings weren't the birthday kid received a concilliatory present of their own on the real birthday kid's day, I got a present of my own yesterday, when my would-be Christmas gift from Mark finally made it to our house (after missing us by a couple of hours in New Mexico.) So today I attempted to alleviate the pain of my crocodile inflicted wounds with a long soak in the tub and this fantastic contraption.

(Picture the photo of a beautiful "bath caddy" that I've unsuccessfully been trying to upload for hours.)

What a brilliant, brilliant invention. No more wrinkled pages and soggy paragraphs from a book unconsciously allowed to rest on a soapy chest, no New Yorkers ruined by a sudden nodding off. And that Captain Hook-like thing on the back? No less than a wine glass holder, my friends. Not featured is the accompanying candle holder. Yes, the candle holder, which can hold normal table candles (is that what you call long, skinny candles?) or votive candles, depending on your lighting/aromatherapy needs. Ahh, serenity.

Please forgive me if there are spelling errors in this or any other post. For some time now, Mark has been hoarding a bunch of Subway Sub Club stamps that for some inexplicable reason (or just plain stubborness) he refuses to a) stick on his Sub Club card, b) use, c) give to me to use since I eat at Subway once a week, or d) move. And he has decided that the only rightful place of residence for the stamps is on top of the dictionary that stands on the shelf to the left of this computer. So therefore, until I finally decide to just steal them from his weird self, I can't gaurantee the spelling on this site. Blame Mark.

Earlier today Mark asked me for some suggestions of topics he could use in the Beggining Conversation class he's teaching this semester. I came up with the following five suggestions in succession and in succession he negged them all. He had already lesson planned for each and every one of them. They were:

  • Ghosts
  • The Future
  • Cultural Differences
  • Movies
  • Food

Either Mark and I are very compatible or we are very, very boring.

Or do all foreigners have the same conversations on the same five topics with all Americans?