Friday, July 27, 2012

Great Adventure Shindig 2012

My crazy July is finally coming to a close. We did the Dark Knight marathon last Thursday into Friday, then met up with Katie Friday to try and buy Puck a suit, but there was a freak fire in Union Square that blocked the entrance to Nordstrom Rack, so we couldn't get in.

I went down to Princeton to pick up Yoshi and Morgan Friday evening and we visited the Princeton Record Exchange and did some grocery shopping at Wegmanns before heading home.

Saturday morning we led a group of friends (Beth, Perri & Dave, Morgan and Laura) to Six Flags Great Adventure. We rode Kingda Ka, the big rollercoaster; Superman, and a few other rides. We really only had time to do half the park, so maybe another trip is in order.


Sunday I was actually a bit glad that yoga was cancelled because it gave me time to clean up and do all the laundry after sending Morgan on his way home. Plus, I had to work a little bit before leaving the office. They've been keeping me busy all this week, although my intern has helped shoulder a lot of the load - I'm so glad we got her for the summer.

Tuesday night's Open Love NY was the largest crowd we've ever had - 63 by Murray's count, including our presenters. However, we had to cancel our leadership team meeting last night because of scheduling conflicts, so that was one less thing this month. So last night I finished my Harry Potter marathon and made a second batch of ceviche, this time with bay scallops added to the snapper. I marinated it for about an hour in freshly squeezed lime juice, chopped garlic and chile peppers (jalapeno and serrano) and then added avocado, diced onion, cilantro, salt and pepper.

I'm just glad that this weekend is going to be relatively placid. Puck is coming out to MMMM tonight, then there's a Papacookie event Saturday night, and hopefully yoga on Sunday, after a month-long hiatus. There's some stuff bubbling under the surface, but not ready to talk about it yet.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Birthday dinner

Sunday morning I woke up from a dream ….

I had just gotten the keys to a new apartment, an extremely large apartment. An enormous floor-to-ceiling marble column, 10 feet in diameter, was the dominant feature of the room. However, the old tenant was still occupying it and was having a poker tournament in part of the main space. The entire tournament was conducted in Thai. I hosted a small housewarming party with my closest friends in a cluster of sofa and chairs on the other side of the room.

And that is what basically happened for my eighth birthday on Sunday in the waking world when I hosted a small party of eight for dinner: Kacey and Becker, Piper and Jet, Puck, Storm and Morgan (previously referred to as Alex, from Pennsylvania). Instead of Thai food, however, we went to the New Malaysian Restaurant in Chinatown.


Flashback 48 hours: this weekend started with a Friday night MMMM, where Puck and I introduced Morgan to some of our friends – Kiwi, Ilan, Rachel, Danielle and Jill from SBU (the latter whom Morgan met at the Steampunk World’s Fair a couple months ago).

Saturday the three of us spent most of the day watching a run of the TV show Firefly, which Morgan has never seen. In the evening we went out to Empire Steak House on 52nd Street for dinner and walked back home through Rockefeller Center. We went out again to Rodeo Bar & Grill on Third Avenue and 28th to meet up with Aaron and some of his friends for a drink. The honky-tonk bar was kitschy and loud, peanut shells on the floor, so it wasn’t really my kind of place, but we didn’t stay too long.

Sunday we finished Firefly and Puck went out to meet some out-of-town friends who were staying at the nearby Doubletree hotel while Storm came over and played violin with me and Morgan.

Dinner was wonderful and everybody seemed to like the food at the restaurant. Plus, it seemed that everyone was having a good time and enjoying each other’s company, which is important to me. Piper and Jet brought me a present of five framed photos printed from my blog of me and various people at events throughout the past few years. She’s noticed that I don’t have any photos of people in my apartment, and it’s true – I only had three framed photos and none of them are prominently placed. It was sweet of her to help me fix that omission.




After dinner we walked a block to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and got some dessert (caramel sea salt ice cream was the popular choice) and then went our separate subways. Morgan, Puck and I finished the night watching the movie Serenity to cap our Firefly marathon.

This eighth birthday has been a real treat for me. Everything I planned came off perfectly (believe it or not, that rarely happens). Morgan is the first out-of-town visitor I’ve ever hosted at my current apartment, and the only friend I have who dates back eight years ago to the event I celebrated this weekend. So it was fitting and extremely satisfying to bring together the new and the old – as the saying goes, one is silver and the other is gold.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Birthday musings

I'm really excited about my birthday coming up. It's probably the most anticipated birthday I've ever had. And maybe it's because, for the first time, it's something that I've planned all by myself, without anyone else really having a say about it. I decided what to do and whom I wanted to be there purely on what would make me the happiest, without really any regards to anyone else's wishes or traditions.

There's something else about this birthday that makes it special to me. Three years ago was my last birthday with Tara's family. Two years ago was my one and only birthday with Bonnie and Hiba, along with Puck and Katie. Last year, I spent my birthday alone because Puck was in Russia and I was still recovering from breaking up with Bonnie so I really wasn't feeling companionable without Puck being there. As sad as that sounds now, I think I made the best of it by going to see Parts I and II of the Harry Potter finale. So it was something memorable and historic that I did for myself.

So this year, I look at my celebration as coming full circle from birthdays that have involved ex's or those that I might not look back on very favorably. Of course, I do cherish those happy times with them, but when it comes to birthdays that are so important to me, it's easy to spoil those memories with the melancholy of the fact that those relationships don't exist anymore.

Plus, this week leading up to the big party on Sunday has managed to play out like the whole Marvel Studio strategy for The Avengers, namely, that I've been able to have one-on-one time with each of my major attendees before they all come together with their SO's for the blockbuster extravaganza. Puck and I spent Saturday through Monday together, last night Kacey came over to watch Sherlock, tonight Piper comes over to see Vertigo. Alex will arrive at Nearing Friday afternoon and we'll ride home on the train together before going to MMMM that night with Puck. And Sunday, Storm is coming to teach violin right before the party. I seriously couldn't have planned this week better, but it all came together rather organically and I'm only now seeing the beauty of the entire event as it is playing out.

I was telling Kacey last night that I feel incredibly blessed this year by not just my life in general, but also by the quality of people around me at work and in my personal life. The core team at work has been together and stable for more than a year now, and it's a fun and dynamic group of individuals. I've been more aware of it lately because we have a summer intern, which has caused us to sort of "reintroduce" ourselves and make our group dynamics more visible.

And of course, the people in my personal life, both here in New York and elsewhere, are all wonderful in their own right and co-create joy and friendship with me in many different ways. We've all come so far together in just the past year. I can't wait to see what happens now.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Calm before the storm

It's been a very quiet two weeks since my last post, which was around the time Storm came over for my first violin lesson. I've done hardly anything with my social life, other than the Open Love NY meeting and seeing Shotz! with Kacey, Becker and Puck on Monday. After that we went to Anyway Cafe for a late supper, and Kacey snapped this lovely shot of us with her iPhone:


July is going to be an incredibly busy month of fun (and not-so-fun) activities. In addition to the usual OLNY and movie nights, there's House JAPaN's housewarming party tomorrow, my birthday weekend and Firefly marathon with Alex after that, then two medical appointments before the Dark Knight trilogy with Puck and a group trip we're organizing to Six Flags. Plus an OLNY leadership meeting on the 27th.

On the home front, my apartment replaced all my windows so that's caused some disruption. I've been thinking about replacing the playpen with a proper couch, but I haven't found one that I love yet. Since they had to move my air conditioning unit, I don't have any place for my altar, so I'll have to figure something out.