Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Celebrations

I'm not the kind of person that normally attaches a great deal of weight to new years, but I have to admit that I was worried that 26 was going to suck. My plans to take advantage of a rare work-free weekend with a celebratory trip to the coolest destination for hipsters in their twenties (Colonial Williamsburg, of course) fell through at the last minute and I lost all motivation and ability to plan for my birthday. I had visions of dressing my cronies in fancy attire and taking over the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station, and then I remembered that it was in Grand Central Station, and we'd have to compete with a bunch of commuters getting drunk with their office mates. And then I remembered Monte's, the crazy Mafioso restaurant whose red carpets, big old fashioned bar, valet parking and deserted interior always simultaneously lures and repels me when I pass by it on walks down the empty sidewalks of Third Street by the Gowanus, and my heart swelled with hope and then was deflated by its 11pm closing time.

Long story short I held several friends captive for several moany hours of brainstorming and worrying, convinced myself that I would do nothing fun for my birthday or for any day of my entire 26th year, and then went and had a great time. There is hope for life after the quarter century after all.

Friday, my official day of birth, was commemorated with a lovely evening of best friends, good food and bad tv. Dinner was at Long Tan in honor of my newly matured palate that has finally developed a taste for Thai. After a trek back to our house, Mark and I got to pontificate on the Chinese and Japanese languages and make lots of gestures and references to the two giant character stretched across Sabine’s chest and felt very spoiled. We followed that up with a few good lashings of the Newlyweds with Nick and Jessica and then it was time to turn the lights out on a very good day and rest up for celebration part deux the next night.

The dashing and generous Kurt, a fellow Aquarian just 367 days younger than I, hosted our joint celebration at his house, and cleaned his house for 9 hours in preparation and the masses descended to destroy it. There were lots of bodies, many of them strangers to me, squeezed into a tiny apartment, a birthday cake almost as big as the bathroom and plenty of bottle social lubrication. And then there was the karaoke machine.

Did I forget to mention that my dad and K gave me an early birthday present? If I told you already, I probably also said that it was a welcome but funny surprise, since I’ve never been a major karaoke fan. And if I told you already and then you were at the party, you saw me turned into a big fat liar, a very sweaty, out-of-tune, big fat liar, who felt perfectly justified to rule the machine with an iron Michael Jackson glove, because it was MY party and MY karaoke machine, and that’s what beer will do to a birthday girl.

So thanks to the birthday boy, thanks to the now deaf guests, thanks to my sweet friends and Mark, and thanks to my dad and K for shaking the birthday blues right out of me, and providing me with these most excellent digital memories.