FRIDAY September 23rd - My Birthday Eve
1. I enthusiastically left work at a reasonable hour and dropped off my week's worth of accomplishments in book-making at the developer's office before heading to the bank at Whole Foods to deposit a few checks and buy myself some flowers. It was there that the oh-so-helpful WF's cashier informed me that "the place" to buy pinatas was at The Pinata Store. Ofcourse!
2. After a refreshing nap, April picked me up for dinner. I told her that despite how hungry we were, we had pinata shopping to do. When I explained where the Pinata Store was, she exclaimed, "Perfect! That's right by Lulu's Diner which is a really wacky joint that you'll love."
Unfortunately - both the pinata store and Lulu's diner were closed! The pinata store looked like fun, I couldn't wait to return in the morning to pick one out for my party. Lulu's 24 Hour Diner also looked like fun. It was covered with kitchy murals of purposely ugly half-naked women and chickens and things. April and I were rather vexed by the fact that the door being locked at 7pm, considering it is a 24 hour establishment. A guy with a paper hat sweeping up inside pointed at a sign on the door that read:
Lulu's Diner is always open - except between sundown on Fridays and sundown on Saturdays when it is closed in celebration of God's Holy Day, the SABBATH which is written as one of the ten commandments in the Old Testament. Don't you read?
3. After 4 months of barely looking, I finally found other Jews in San Antonio... I was pretty amused!
4. We went out for sushi instead, in celebration of my Birthday Eve.
5. Then April took me to The Bijou, which is a fancy little movie theater that serves beer and features only independent films and has people employed there whose job it is to bring you decadent cakes in the middle of your movie. We split a chocolate truffle ordeal and made fun of a British film we decided to see. We couldn't see Broken Flowers like we had planned because it started too late.
6. April dropped me off and I spent the rest of the evening opting for rejuvenation! I took a bath and chanted with Krishna Das on CD and then meditated for world peace.
SATURDAY September 24th - My Birth Day
7. I awoke to sunny skies. It just goes to prove (or surmise) that when you asketh of Lord Siva, Lord Siva grants - together we successfully thwarted a hurricane. (Sorry Louisiana, really.) Call me crazy, but I think the mystical Hindu God of Auspiciousness has really taken a liking to me. Regardless, if the ominous thunder clouds from Hurricane Rita stayed out of range then my birthday party could go on - no worries.
8. I started cleaning up my house in preparation for the birthday party.
9. Stephanie & Patrick took me out for birthday brunch. We went to Twin Sisters. I had the vegetarian quiche.
10. We returned to the Pinata Store to pick one out. I was really overwhelmed by all the choices. There were just so many loosely familiar, frilly, and hollow paper mache characters of different sizes as you can see from this photo -
Its a little grainy because it was taken with Patrick's all-in-one gadget that really doesn't serve masterfully at any one thing (phone, camera, wireless Internet) but is handy when you need it.
Picking out a pinata was a tough decision. Very few of the options looked like what they were supposed to be - so much for fine Mexican craftsmanship. I was also very adamant about not encouraging violence toward (representational) living things (such as people or animals). When I finally gave up this act of futility and picked out a hula girl, my friend Julie (calling me on her cellphone from the carousel in central park NYC to wish me an HB) scowled at the idea of battering the female figure. Ugh! So, I went with something I didn't think anyone would have an emotional attachment to...
11. We returned home and I played with my new and temporarily intact Spongebob Squarepants pinata.
I also acquired the appropriate "Official Pinata Stick" - Spongebob's soul would be destroyed in a matter of hours!
12. Having made good headway on the much-needed house cleaning, I went out into the world to run some errands. I needed some party supplies as well as pinata filler. Ironically, they didn't sell filler at the Pinata Store.
13. I also attempted to become a proud owner of a new iPod but Circuit City and Best Buy were swarming with people. I guess all their way-too-generous-moms had spoiled them too with birthday money to splurge with.
14. I returned home and cut a crack in Spongebob's ass to insert him full of sweetness and glee. Having completed the surgical procedure, I hung my pinata outside my front door. The poor thing dangling from the knob of a tree looked pretty bummed. After all, it was the gallows...
I suppose I was asking for it. Hanging up an object full of candy outside your home fully warrants the attention of neighborhood kids.
This is Caleb and Trevian - I was rather startled by our conversation which I will recount in this short play:
Travian: (running over) Ben! BEN! What is that?
Ben: Its SpongeBob. Doesn't it look like him?
Caleb: We don't watch that show. Its stoo-pid.
Ben: Yeah, I don't watch it either.
Travian: Is it full of candy?
Ben: (raising his eye-brow inquisitively) its filled with something...
Caleb: (demanding) Give us some candy!
Ben: Don't you mean, give us candy please?
Both: Please, Ben? Pretty please? OH Please! I'll be your best friend!
Ben inserts his fingers inside Spongebob's square pants and pulls out two blow pops and hands it to Caleb and Travian.
Caleb: Awww, I don't want a grape one! Gimme somefin else...
Ben: Beggars can't be choosers there bucko.
Caleb: (disappointed) Aw Man.
They ran off and I resumed some yard work but they quickly returned with bamboo sticks and they had that devilish look in their eyes as I hoped to have in a few hours.
Ben: Are you boys really going to make me bring the pinata inside?
15. The Pinata came back inside and I started on the make-your-own sixpack I compiled at Whole Foods.
16. I received many phone calls from friends that remembered (thanks guys) and then finished getting the house together.
17. I made Guacamole while Patrick surprised me with his investment in a few tiki-torches to provide light and citronella for the party. I arranged and lit tea-lights all around in preparation of my first guests. Exhibit A is my bedroom all festive:
18. My birthday party officially begins with the arrival of the first guests -
Ok, maybe Patrick and Stephanie don't count since they live across the yard. Brad arrived soon after bringing with him a multitude of delicious chocolate rum cakes. He really outdid himself and I think the cakes were definitely in competition for "yummy-est treat" against the guac. Then, to my surprise Nick appeared. Nick and I face eachother sitting at "Intern Island" at Lake/Flato. He told me he would be in Austin all weekend at ACL which was another event spared by Hurricane Rita. Perhaps Lord Siva is a Coldplay fan.
In a very short while (or at least the pictures make it seem) there were people filling up the yard. Here is Nick, Stephen who is husband to another fellow intern - Lindsey, and a circle of more Lakefladians in the back.
I'll take a quick moment to point out forlorn-looking Dave on the bottom right, because he gave me a framed kick-ass print he developed at the UTSA photo lab among other things. Everyone else is clearly having a good time.
John Paul and Alain - some chuckling Whole Earthers.
Jonathan, Cameron, Chris, his wife Karen, and Heather's back - all from Lake|Flato. Cameron was good enough to divulge the great secret of turning 26 - its the no pressure year. All the disappointment you create by not meeting the expectations of others when you turn 25 has surely warn off by your 26th birthday.
19. The Blush made me blush - I had quite an embarrassment throughout the evening when friends kept on showing up with bottles of wine. Not that I'm anti-vino or anything, but I haven't been drinking wine at home since I moved. This entirely stems from the fact that I own no wine glass. I apologize to anyone who came to my party and had to drink wine in a blue plastic cup. You classy folk deserve better!
This is staged stimulating banter between Heather and I. And more -
Heather, Jonathan, and Chris. Alright, maybe I divvied out my tavern glasses for the wine. But still.
Dave, Brad, and his girlfriend Vanessa - I usually label this kids "my pretentious artsy friends" and you must understand that's why I love them. C'mon, Brad's got the Andy Warhol glasses and everything! Supposedly they love me because I'm NOT pretentious. Boy, do I have them fooled...
Nick, Stephen, and Lindsey - interesting fact: S&L make homemade pickles, or at least they attempt to.
Here they are taking what was dubbed, "the sorority girl photo."
Jeremy (on the left) who I originally met at the Shambhala Center and now work with at L|F, talking with Johnny who is Patrick's swimming coach from high school. The dude on the right... yeah I have no idea who he is, but he doesn't appear to be having nearly as much fun as he should. I like that Jeremy really branched out and spent alot of time connecting to people. Later he said, "Life's too short to just hang out with people you know at parties. Hell, parties are too short."
Vanessa, looking unamused about being in the vicinity of Ivan, who is quite a character. And friendly! Also, a friend of Patrick.
20. I so enjoyed having one of San Antonio's most resounding local talents - my friend Jake with drummer - play in my living room. I really wish I had given them more attention but...
I was too busy sitting on top of Jake's wife, Marcy. It was really cute, I asked her why she didn't bring their beautiful daughter like they had at my last party, and Marcy said that she wanted to come so badly she cried! Apparently little Cleo had a wonderful time at the potluck.
Brian and Alison. And Mr. Square Pants. Brian got me the greatest present ever - an authentic circa mid-80's Mr. T coloring and activity book with stickers. Its amazing!
Wendy and Willie. Or maybe its Willie and Wendy. Also, Jake showing off his broken "G" string. Wendy is so good, always drinking the coke (while her evil twin sister (they're 18) always has beer.)
This was Alison and Marcy indicating that it was time...
21. I busted a pinata stick-shaped cap in that spongepant's ass!!!!
It was really convenient that some of my friends are Mexican to ensure an authentically good time.
Here is Jake's drummer explaining proper pinata hoisting protocol to Heather*.
"Wait! Can someone hold my beer?"
After the first strike, we gave up on protocol and they tossed it at me!
Here is Heather* gathering some bounty.
* Jeremy's wife Heather is featured very prominently in the pinata photo montage. I think its funny since he had the camera.
Poor guy didn't even see it coming.
22. I journeyed into the house to collect another beer from my secret stash and just as I shut the door to the refrigerator, I heard the birthday song being sung! It was 3/4's of the way through before I bolted out the door and back outside to relish in the final verse. It was rather humorous. Uhhhh...who are we singing to?
Stephanie made me a funfetti cake. I hope that whole world peace wish comes true one of these days...
I like this picture because everyone is enjoying their pinata treats.
It was a great birthday, and the cops though hovering on the street nearby, never even gave us a hard time. At around 2, things began to wind down.
23. Stephanie and Patrick helped clean up. By 3 I had past out.
SUNDAY September 25th - My Post-Birthday
24. I awoke to the most blissful sounds I've ever heard. All the neighborhood kids had discovered the candy littered throughout the lot. It was such a joy to share in their excitement.
25. I went to work at my last day at WEPCo.
I was hungover.
(More to come on that...)
MONDAY September 26th - My Post Post-Birthday
26. I BOUGHT AN IPOD!!!!!!!! WHEEEEEE!