21 Things

1.   Today, I turned 21. Yesterday now, I suppose, as it is 1:15 in the morning, but we’re going to call it “today” anyway just because I said so. I’m not where you’d expect me to be on the night of my 21st birthday. No – I’m not blogging from a bar. In fact, I didn’t even go to a bar today. Right now, I’m curled up in my bed, contemplating sleep. Wondering if I’ll be comatose before I finish typing this blog, and thinking that if I do fall asleep, I’m going to have to rewrite this first paragraph entirely. There’s a dog behind me, and it’s blissfully quiet in here, save for the fan. And I have a secret. There’s nowhere I’d rather be. Parties and crowds are for some people. Me? I’m happy here.

2.   My birthday celebrations started yesterday afternoon, at the House of Chaos. When I arrived, I was met by a very excited Monkey Boy, who presented me with this card:

First, it is proof that all of that time spent teaching him letters paid off. AND proof that he finally learned how to spell my name. The double B is hard, you know.

Second, it is a beautiful illustration of chain chomps in various emotional states. There’s happy chain chomp, sad chain chomp, angry chain chomp, and scared chain chomp. As an avid Mario player (where do you think he learned about chain chomps in the first place?) I have never seen a chain chomp be anything other than menacing and extremely annoying. But Monkey Boy is a sensitive child, who tries hard to remind me of life’s most important lesson: Not all people chain chomps are the same. As you can see, this card now has what will probably be a permanent spot on my refrigerator.

3. We continued the birthday celebrations by eating massive amounts of popcorn and watching The Princess Bride at midnight. I love The Princess Bride. That Mandy Patinkin… he’s something. And I’m a sucker for a good sword fight.

4. I got wonderful, singing messages from my parents this morning when I woke up.

5.   Kelly’s amazing husband Dave a.k.a. Computer Guru took the day off work so that Kelly could spend today with me. That falls into the category of pretty fracking awesome, if you ask me – volunteering to be the sole caregiver of two toddlers so that your wife can spend the day with the college student who showed up one day and just never left. (Seriously folks, that’s now I got to Texas.)

6.   In true, atypical me, fashion, I opted to spend my time with Kelly going somewhere more likely to be the locale of a 12-year-old’s birthday party: Main Event – arcade, bowling, pool, rock wall, laser tag, and, luckily, a full bar. We only partook of the bowling, pool, and booze. Did you know that at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday before school lets out for the holiday, the arcades could double as ghost towns? It was GLORIOUS. Why? Because…

7. There was no one to laugh at my bowling, except for Kelly, and she’s allowed.

This, sadly, was one of my better games. I did manage to get a few strikes, thanks to the miracle of curving, but really, I spent more time in the gutter than I want to admit.

Guess the bowling gods know that’s where my mind lives.

Kelly did manage to get three spares in a row on that game. But I really don’t foresee us having a future in bowling. Unless they put the bumpers up. I’m really ALL about the bumpers.

And unless they provide me with my own shoes. Cause really, wearing other people’s shoes isn’t something I want to do on a regular basis. Call me crazy.

I used a ball that matched my shirt. I’m cool like that. Also: bowing is great for UT school spirit. Just LOOK at those hook em’ horns my fingers make when inserted properly into a bowling ball!

8. We followed the bowling with one of my favorite activities: pool. Growing up, we had a table. I have my own stick. It’s purple. But I don’t get a chance to play much, so this was great fun for me. As I told Kelly: I have moments of brilliance when playing pool, in between many more moments of sheer luck, scratching, and how-the-frack-did-that-happen.

9. This photo was taken by a slightly creepy old guy playing pool at the table next to us. Slightly creepy, but mitigated by the possibility that he may have really been just a sweet old not-quite-all-there guy.

I mean, at one point, he asked Kelly if she and I were brothers.

Totally, man. We’re totally brothers. Chest bumps and talking about hittin’ dat.

Or, you know. Not.

10. My pool playing skills decrease exponentially when alcohol is added into the mix. This isn’t exactly news to me, but it did serve to make Kelly happy.

And I didn’t care. I was happy for a whole different reason.

I think I agreed to babysit. I’m going to have to be more careful, or Kelly will start liquoring me up just for the purpose of securing my babysitting services.

11. Oh yeah. And then there was that whole Legal Purchasing of Alcohol bit. I must admit, it was very nice.

I only had one drink today. Oddly enough, I’ve drunk more on a regular weekend. But I only wanted the one. And really, I wouldn’t DARE order two of those.

Vodka, Gin, Rum, Triple Sec, Blue Carousel, and Sprite. The bartender told me it’s called an Audious. All I know is that it tastes like liquid cotton candy, and it hits you about half-way down that you aren’t in Kansas anymore. And I drank it on an almost empty stomach.

Cause I’m smart like that.

12. Not to fear though – I filled my stomach with approximately seven thousand eight hundred and twenty-two calories at dinner. We went to Saltgrass, where I proceeded to devour a ten oz. filet, baked potato, soup, bread, and a free piece of cheese cake.

They didn’t sing at me.

I threatened to kill them if they did.

13. After leaving dinner, only just without the aid of a wheelchair, we hit the grocery store where I bought a bottle of wine, because that’s my drink of choice.

Asti Spumante – Ballatore. Sparkling, white, and sweet. With cheese cubes. It’s heavenly. Only the idea of consuming ANY more food was out of the question for me. Really. I kept telling Kelly: I HAVE to stop eating. And I might have, if it hadn’t been for the…

14. Brownies that Kelly was baking, and the…

15. Awesome Cake that my Awesome Neighbors showed up at my door with. Una and Jenny had apparently been plotting and conspiring, and they came bearing a cake, a card with an elephant on it, and a gift card to Barnes and Noble. (I LOVE my neighbors.) The coolest part though… they wrote Happy Birthday on my cake in Russian. С Днём Рождения!

16. Speaking of multi-lingual birthday wishes, I felt so loved on Facebook today. I got birthday wishes in English, Spanish, and Russian – from old friends, new friends, classmates, and even my Russian professor. It just made me smile to think that people were thinking about me.

17. There were actually 21 candles on that cake. We were a little concerned that the smoke alarm might go off after I blew them out.

18. After consuming EVEN MORE FOOD, Kelly and I prepared to watch a movie. Kelly was determined that I needed to see When Harry Met Sally. She was appalled that I’d never seen it. Only, she couldn’t find her DVD version, and so she showed up with a VHS. This would have been fine, had my VCR not EATEN the tape promptly.

Apparently, it doesn’t care for Meg Ryan anymore than I do.

19. We ended up watching Love, Actually. It was an awesome way to end the evening. She finally headed out just around one. Right before I crawled into bed. I’m already having nightmares about Dave showing up at my door with a baseball bad and killing me for keeping his wife out so late.

20. Kelly rocks. I have amazing friends. My 21st birthday was fabulous. If not traditional, it was certainly me. And still to come is a celebration with my parents, the purchase of a dining room set, and the opening of that brand new bottle of Asti. Thanks so much everyone – I mean it.

21. It’s now three in the morning. I’m going to bed to sleep off the sugar coma.



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