I feel so lucky to have so many amazing and inspiring and wonderful people in my life.
On Friday night, Sultan and Nigel met me at Tosca for a pre-birthday drink after I got off my shift. We put on some Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima and Maria Callas tunes on the jukebox and talked about long distance relationships. Having come up with no answers, we decided to get another drink at the Adler Museum. We all enjoyed the convivial vibe of that place. I hadn't been there for years. We continued our discussion on relationships, and basically came to the conclusion that it's better to take the risk and go for it, no matter what the costs, than to never know. At least I think that's what we decided. My memory is a little fuzzy.
Saturday morning I called Alexei. He laughed at practically everything I said. I don't think I was being particularly funny, I think he was simply happy to hear my voice, and was pleased that he was the first person to wish me a happy birthday. He said that he and his friends were going to go out and celebrate my birthday together with some cervezitas.
I went to the Giants v. Dodgers game on Saturday with my dad and Sheila and Karen. Sadly, the Giants lost and those damn Dodgers fans are so incredibly annoying in their royal blue jerseys and they have the nerve to be all cocky in our stadium. Needless to say, we lost miserably (well, we had one good inning). Not a triumphant way to start off my 37th year.
The rest of the day/night made up for it. Nora was in town performing the piece we collaborated on at ODC. Since she told me last minute, I didn't have time to squeeze in seeing the performance, however, I did get to attend the photo shoot/dress rehearsal. She has changed some of her choreography and also the way the film is projected. Her 70 minute solo inspired me and my friend Jen to pursue dance once again. She is so incredibly athletic and her body is ripped. But her choreography is so emotional and artistic that it's not just a "look what I can do" type of a show. Most people come out of her show very moved. I wish Nora was still living in SF so I could resume my classes with her!
Jen and I drove over to the Lower Haight to meet my mom, Angela, Sultan, Jayson, Estelle, Julie and Sheila at the Indian Oven for dinner. I've always loved that place and it's such a mellow, low-key, unpretentious (albeit HOT) place to have dinner. I'm so tired of these snobby overpriced restaurants. We toasted to celebrating life and feasted on tandoori and curries and drank a few bottles of Albarino with our meal.
Then it was off to Do Re Mi. I must say that the star of the evening was Sultan, who on the way over there said he was going along for the ride and would listen to the rest of us sing. But then we couldn't get the microphone out of his hands. He and Jen and Julie harmonized on "Endless Love." And he and Jayson serenaded the girls with the Backstreet Boys "As Long As You Love Me." I drunk dialed Maciej in the Philippines when we sang "99 Luftballoons." I regretted doing that the next morning. I wonder how expensive that call will be. It's funny how it seems like a good idea in the moment, and how I might not have done that sober.
Jen and I went for a final final at the karaoke bar in Japan Center. I met a Brazilian guy who looked like a French sailor. And a cute Japanese boy with blond hair named Yu. There was a group of 21 year olds who wished me a happy 24th birthday and I'm not sure if I should take offense to that or not! The bar stayed open until 2:45 am. Jen and I went back to my place and played with Cloud by the fireplace and I kept her up with my diarrhea of the mouth until 4:30 am.
On Sunday, we had a repeat of last year's brunch and tried to go to Zazie, but when we heard it was an hour wait for a table, ended up going next door to Bambino's once again. Jessica, Young, Sultan, Sheila, Jen and I had a fabulous brunch there by the way!
Later that afternoon, Jen and I rushed over to Fort Mason and the Magic Theater to meet Sarah and Martha for a preview of Bill Pullman's Expedition 6, about the space shuttle Columbia disaster and the astronauts who were stranded in the space station for 6 months. The play was an amalgam of news bytes that that were pieced together to form the narrative with an ensemble cast, live music and the use of low-flying trapezes to feign the effects of gravity. The Magic Theater provides such an intimate space for theater, the way the seats curve around the stage below. The way the factual news-like lines of dialogue were delivered offered a more psychological interpretation of their experience. We all commented on how surprised we were that we knew so little of what really happened with Expedition 6--the story buried under headlines about Shock and Awe and the war in Iraq.
How do I sum this up? I will sum it up as I began. When I went home that evening and snuggled up with my kitty cat, I thought about how lucky I am to have so many inspiring and wonderful and amazing friends in my life, and that I get to share so many fun and happy memories with them.