I already outlined the debauchery that went down on my actual birthday – the gift that Kelly gave me – time, movies, bowling, and general excitement. As promised, here are the rest of the spoils from my 21st birthday. Really, I did pretty well.

From The Parental Units:

The previously mentioned dining table for which I’ve been planning. Old table: outside on the patio. New table: much less… round. Also while at IKEA, I managed to locate a rug, some candles, a few glass canisters for my kitchen, and a small ironing board. Mission accomplished – next project, working on the artwork. I’m just not feeling the collages.

My mother has apparently been collecting for awhile. And paying attention to my wishlists. Because she totally gets my penchant for old school dresses and muted colors.

I’m super excited about the pearls, which I know were my grandmother’s and I have a sneaking suspicion might be real. After performing the bite test and coming up with no dents, scratches, or scuffs… never know. Even if they aren’t I think they’re gorgeous.

I love pearls. I consider them one of the marks of womanhood, along with the ability to cook a roast, and owning one’s own vacuum cleaner.

I know. It’s very forties of me. All I need now is my very own record player with some Rosemary Clooney and Glenn Miller 45s.

Finally, after many months of drooling on my part, I am now the proud owner of a 50mm f1.8 canon lens. There will be a post to come detailing the wonders of this little baby. Suffice to say that I am in love with the depth of field I get off a f1.8 shot. And the fact that I don’t need a flash indoors. And… and… and… *passes out* Not pictured are the remote shutter release that will enable me to take better photos of fireworks and other things requiring a steady camera, and some faaaaabulous comfortable pants. I have to say, I’ve had my ups and downs with my parental units, but as an only child, I’ve never been shiffed when it comes to birthdays. Ma and Pa pay attention, and they’re pretty good at figuring out exactly what I want. So: Thank you!


From Australia:

I have a very dear friend, KJ, who lives in Melbourne. She and I don’t chat as often as we would like, as she has three children and a husband and a job – you know, that whole family thing – and I have classes, meetings, and exams.

KJ and I have a history of pulling off some interesting gifts. One year, I spent the better part of a night convincing a bakery in Melbourne that it was acceptable to sell me a cake to have delivered, even though I was a fourteen-year-old from North Carolina. A few years later, I managed to be in Australia for her birthday.

She’s sent me things that have enormous meaning between the two of us – a bracelet with the flag of Nigeria, in reference to a mistake we once made about Camus and his Algerian surfer bums. You’d have to have been there.

I know she wanted to be here this year. When I was in Australia, we took great pleasure in sampling many kinds of alcohol. But because of that whole family thing, flying half way around the world wasn’t really a possibility.

Instead, she sent me a martini glass. Simple… but perfect. And very her.






From Jenny and Una:

Aside from the incredibly sweet cake with Russian Happy Birthday written on top, my awesome neighbors Jenny and Una also showed up with a Barnes and Noble gift card. How did they know, I want to know, that I so love gift cards?

See, cash I feel like I need to use responsibly. But gift cards? Well, I’m Guaranteed to spend them on something fun. In this case: Books! Maybe they realized that I’m hoping to spend significant amounts of this winter break reading. Beats me. All I know is that I have some of the best neighbors ever.







From My Dear Friend Dan:

I can’t actually provide a picture of this, because the postal service is a little bit slow, but I do know that it’s coming, thanks to My Dear Friend Dan’s inability to pull off a surprise. And because I had to give him address. And because he’s so worried that I’m not going to be pleased that he keeps telling me he hopes I like what he sent.

I happen to know that he sent books.

About language.

And he’s worried?

*falls over laughing*

That sums up the birthday extravaganza. It seems to have been followed by a stomach bug… nothing like going to IKEA around the holidays to ensure sickness… but just as soon as I can pull myself out of bed, I will be headed off to Barnes and Noble, with my new camera lens, wearing new comfortable pants.




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