Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's Mah Birthday!

After one turns 30, any expectation of celebrating one’s birthday in some mad frenzy ie. partying till dawn is quite low. Especially when it falls on a Monday and Hurricane Dean is smashing its way across the American continent. So when the celebrations started from last week, it was a special treat to see many of my friends actually show up at the happy hour at the basement lounge of Saint Ex, a nice downtown bar/restaurant. The DJ was not in the house but the bartender promised to play my ipod playlist. And with hardly any other patrons downstairs, it somehow managed to become our own private space. That had a lot to do with the insane amount of fun we all had. If you don’t count the amount of alcohol consumed.
My road to intoxification began with two quick glasses of white wine, followed by an amaretto sour, a whiskey and tequila shot and generous sips of gin and vodka tonic from whoever was standing next to me. I think I kept saying in my head – must not puke, pass out or make out with anyone. As long as I stuck to that credo, I considered myself pretty sober! But, of course, I was sloshed. Sample behavior:
1. Dancing to “Big In Japan” at least 5 times.
2. Waving a chainsaw-type knife that was going to be used to cut the cake.
3. Saying “I love you” or “I’ve known you for 5 years” to anyone who cared to listen.
4. Singing Spanish songs – without knowing all the words, of course.
5. Stumbling out of the loo, and getting asked if I needed help climbing down 1 step.
6. Taking off my heels, sitting on the sidewalk to eat pizza. New black dress be damned.
7. Telling some random redhead that she was so “brave to carry off those streaks.”
8. Trying very hard to read some menu card on a display window.
Phew! It’s another year… and it’s already off to a brilliant start with news of friends getting engaged, expecting babies and what not. The celebrations continue this weekend on the beach.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No Impasse Here

Recently, after walking for what seemed like an eternity in the hot and sticky mess known as The Outdoors, I was welcomed into the cool environs of a Capitol Hill joint, appropriately baptized the Recess CafĂ©. I wanted to grab a quick brunch before dashing off to do some errands. It was one of those self-service places where you get food by the pound in a box, dump it on a weighing scale and then pay at the counter. Only when I flashed my debit card, I realized I had to eat at least five bucks worth of food for the card to be accepted. Anything less than five bucks, they would only accept cash. With a shrug, I turned around to pile some more stuff on my plate. But I was stopped. An old lady with a string of pearls (a vision that conjurs a name like Eleanor or Gloria) decided to pay for my $3.95 scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausage with coffee. “Thanks, but you really don’t have to,” I said embarrassed and took a quick look in the mirror to make sure I wasn’t looking like a homeless wreck. Nope, I didn’t look too bad for 11:45 a.m. “It’s my good deed for the day,” she insisted and proceeded to pay for me. I couldn’t believe it. She was such a doll. And I had to write about her. God Bless!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Packed Week

A lot can happen in one week and a lot has happened in the past one week. Let’s see, where do I begin? For one thing, my roommate and I discovered a huge infestation of flies in our apartment. A few of them had sneaked in through the porch door at the back and then steadily reproduced – like flies. And apparently they reproduce every 4 days. So after spending a couple nights at some good samaritans, it was time for the fumigation. I got the defoggers and placed 3 cans around the whole house. For extra precaution, I also got a can of Raid for those pesky ones that didn’t die quickly enough. It was time for the extermination process. My friend and I sealed off the cupboards before placing the cans in strategic corners before locking up the place. On my return the next day, the mission was accomplished: dead flies everywhere. Didn’t stop to count but all I knew was that those flying insects were better dead than alive.
I also went hiking to Shenandoah National Park for the first time. It’s a beautiful park with a lot of nice trails and when some friends made a last minute plan to go, I was a fool not to say yes. Unfortunately these friends, who are pretty frequent hikers, failed to mention we would be tackling the second toughest trail in the park. Anyway, I huffed and puffed my way through and enjoyed the amazing scenery. On our way down, however, we had to help a partially blind man navigate the rocks and crevices of the trail. Not only was he blind, he was having some averse reaction to his medication and we got quite worried. While the rest of his hiking group had clearly abandoned him to go off and set up camp at the base, it was left to us (especially one of my friends) to guide him down, carry his backpack and make sure he was not getting too sick. Where was the National Park Police when you needed them?? We weren’t even getting cell phone signal. Finally we got him down near his “buddies” before taking off.
And finally, in a week punctuated with news of heartbreaks and tragedies, the weekend was a time for renewal and healing — with dinner soirees, clubbing and potlucks, of course! My friends A&P had gone on a 7-week tour of Asia and they decided to put up a power point presentation of their adventures. I can only imagine how creative they will get once they start having kids :) But it was a lot of fun. More fun was a sort of impromptu cooking fiesta we had at our place – 7 friends, 6 wine bottles, 5 entrees, 2 desert dishes, 1 broken glass, and just a whole lot of crazy fun. It’s going to be quite a while to live that down!!