So what's new? I already mentioned that Tom brought me gorgeous tulips which I've been trying to maintain despite their suicide attempt on Monday. I woke up needing to use the bathroom. When I returned to my bedroom, I saw they'd jumped, plastic juice-jug vase and all, from my dresser. Many of the tulips were mangled and they made a mess of my open shirt drawer. (Perhaps now I'll remember to keep it closed.)
But getting back to my birthday, Saturday I found myself all alone in the restaurant. Carolina was trying to find a parking spot. Laura, Madrid and Tom were stuck on trains (the most popular NYC excuse for lateness--goodness knows I've used it myself. The best part is, half of the time it's true.) Tom was also slowed down by the fact that the first round of the NFL draft took way longer than expected. After thirty minutes of sitting there by myself, people started showing up. Then Madrid called to tell me I was as the wrong Two Boots location. Actually, the restaurant she was at has changed its name to Reboot. Hence the confusion.
We ate yummy food (though Madrid claims it used to be yummier), I got sweet presents (a rose from Madrid, home-made earrings and stationery from Carolina, a home-made bracelet from Laura and a Barenaked Ladies CD from Jenny. They also ordered me some cake (actually a "peanutbutter bomb") and sang to me as I blew out the candles. I'd originally planned to go dancing at Niagra after, but we were having fun talking, so we stayed at Reboot. Madrid was the first to go home, and we forgot to take a picture (see above) until after she left. Oops. We decided sometime soon we'll get cuted up again in the same clothes, take a photo of her and me and pretend it's from my birthday.
The next day, Tom and I went for bagels. Oh, how I love a good everything bagel. For lunch, we ate sandwiches while we watched The Science of Sleep, a trippy movie staring Gael Bernal Garcia. Thank goodness he's pretty or the movie wouldn't have worked. It's sort of a romance wherein a shy guy can't tell his dreams from his waking life. He does a few charming things (in that special way that crazy people are charming), but we'd never believe the girl liked him if he wasn't so pretty. Then I opened my present from Tom. Upon his female students' recommendations, he got me a handbag. A salesgirl helped him pick a straw handbag with brown leather handles. It's pretty, but now I may have to buy brown sandals.
After lunch, we met up with Tom's friend Debrah (Deborah? Debra?) and went to a bar called Pete's Candy Shop. I was disappointed to learn that it didn't actually sell candy. I totally think bars should sell candy, by the way. We were at this particular bar to meet up with Debrah's kickball team. They're city employees. Several of them work in a department that investigates charges against the police. Anyway, the team was called The Government Kick-Backs. We all made shirts with the team name on the front and our numbers and nicknames on the back. My number was 27 (because I turned 27 that day) and my nickname was Grafty Bitch.
In college my nickname, among some friends, was Crafty Bitch. My neighbors loved crafting, and whenever I crafted, I found it easier and my results were better. "You're like that crafty bitch in elementary school whose handprint turkey always turned out better than mine!" Julie exclaimed. So I just adjusted it a bit. Everyone was amused by my name, though I had to define graft for a few people ("practices, especially bribery, used to secure illicit gains in politics or business; corruption").
Brooklyn has a crazy kickball league! The picture does not do the insanity justice. Many of the teams were in costume. One team smeared themselves with fake blood and strapped on horns. Another team (mostly guys) wore denim vests and Daisy Dukes. Yet another team was pirates! We were pretty low-key in our t-shirts. Tom was awesome. Me? Not so much...but I was probably not the worst one on the team. We got killed (our opponents had been contenders the season before) but we had fun.
Some of the fun could be attributed to frequent trips to the bar across the street, not to mention how cool the kids on the team are. Unfortunately, I'll probably not see them again. You see, we played to have fun with Debrah. Debrah was there to support her girlfriend, who is team manager. Debrah and the manager broke up. Thus, no more kickball. But we didn't know that as we left the game. Tom drove me back to Harlem and we had supper at Melba's (He had a Po' Boy. I had a burger.) It was delicious! It was a nice day.