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Totally awesome

My long weekend: Day One

My birthday is in December and this year I’ll be turning the big 3-0.  I wanted to do something special but with my birthday being so close to the holidays, it’s hard to plan anything big.  Understandably, most people are too busy between shopping and office parties to add one more item to their “To Do” list.  Not to mention that money is strapped that time of the year for a lot of folks, myself included.  Take all that plus the fact that I never got to do anything outside for my birthday and you’ll understand why I decided to celebrate turning 30 early.

Of course, I had to have an 80s theme for the party.  Judy and Fred took care of the cake.  Judy had asked me for some suggestions earlier in the summer and my response was, “Just make it 80s themed.”  But then my mind started turning and I threw out some more specific suggestions.  “You could do Pac-Man.  He’s also 30.  Oh!  Or you could do Pizza the Hut from Spaceballs!  No!  Wait!  You could do Pac-Man eating Pizza the Hut!”  Judy stopped me after that.  The day of the party, Judy arrived with cake in hand and she did not disappoint:

The day was hot but there was shelter and plenty of cold drinks for everyone.  We grilled out because I never got to do that for my birthday before.  Fred’s mom was tending to the grill at one point and remarked, “It’s nice and cool over here!”  We also played a lot of games, including 80s Trivial Pursuit that Fred found at Goodwill on his way to the party.  However, there were some pieces missing from the game (which is probably why it was only $3).  The only die had colors on it and it was for a supplemental 90s Trivial Pursuit Travel Pack.  The wedge pieces were also missing.  So, we improvised.  We used the color die and assigned numbers to each color.  However, the die had brown on it and no purple.  The board had a purple space but no brown.  So brown became purple on the die.  It was a bit confusing but we made it work.  My favorite quote of the party was: “Brown is purple which is one which is blue which is headlines.”

I wasn’t expecting it, but people brought gifts.  Yes, I know it was a birthday party, but that wasn’t my intent with throwing a party.  I just wanted my friends and family to be all together and have a damn good time.  But still cards and gifts were given and it was all very thoughtful.  Lynn, one of my best friends from high school, had made a 3 hour trip to come to the party.  Her card quoted my blog on preferring cash for my birthday.  As soon as I read that, I got a pit in my stomach.  Growing up, whenever a friend had a birthday, Lynn would take some money and hide it in everyday objects and the birthday girl had dig it out.  It was funny – when it was someone else, of course.  She’s hidden money in jars of peanut butter and rolls of duct tape.  So, when I opened her gift, I was a bit relieved to see that I got a roll of toilet paper and not something sticky.

Later, when we cut into the cake, we found one more surprise:

I had a great time and I think everyone else did, too.  It was great to see my friends and my family (Jess flew in from the east and my cousins, aunt, uncle, and Grandpa K. drove a couple of hours to make it).  When I turn 40, I’ll definitely be doing something early and outside again.  However, I’ll make sure that I plan something for fall and not for one of the hottest days of summer.

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Posted by on August 19, 2010 in About me


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How I celebrated America this past weekend

Working retail means you work holidays.  The only time our store is closed is Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Now, working on the holiday can be good.  Since I’m full-time, I get paid for the day whether I work it or not.  If I do work it, I get time and a half.  And let me tell you, I can always use the extra money.  But this year I had the whole three-day weekend off (a rare occurence).

Saturday we went to a local art museum that had recently opened up 100 acres of ground.  Since it was a beautiful day, despite the heat, we walked around the grounds, looking at the different pieces of art set up along the walkways.  There were yellow benches in various places and no two benches were alike.  The first one we saw sloped down like a slide.  Another was a small semi-circle sticking out of the ground.  Yet another was shaped like foothills with valleys and hill crests.

Other pieces of art included an old battleship sitting in the lake, clothes hanging from a clothes line as if it were occupied.  We had to observe it from the shore, but there was a deck with a security post in it.  Peeking through the window of the security post we saw three televisions, two showing a robbery happening on the ship.  The third showed us just outside the door.  Through the glass we could also hear the walkie-talkie as guards worked to stop the robbery taking place.  Our favorite piece of art, though, was the basketball one that showed the path of the ball’s bounce with red and blue pipes.

After the museum and running a few boring errands, we went to Fred’s parents’ house for a cookout.  Being a vegetarian, I always worry about there being food for me at cookouts.  However, Fred’s mother is aware of my dietary needs and, being the kind woman that she is, not only bought Boca burgers for me, but took the time to marinade eggplant and onions for grilling (on a separate grill, nonetheless!).  The food was good and the company pleasant.  Watching the dogs play was a lot of fun as well.

Sunday Fred worked during the day so we didn’t do our Fourth of July celebrating until the end of the day.  We went to the city’s fireworks downtown.  It was beautiful and fascinating.  I always am in awe of fireworks and wonder how they can be made to do certain things, like form a heart.

Monday was another hot day but we spent a good chunk of it outside.  Me, Fred, and his parents (mine live far away or we would have been with them as well) took a small road trip to a state park.  We had a picnic and then hiked along a trail through the woods.  I was so hot and tired by the end that I slept most of the ride back.  I felt I was being rude, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open!

Overall, it was a fun weekend.  It was relaxing and tiring as well, but well worth it.  Happy Independence Day, America!

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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in About me, Everyday Life


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