Got a few scribbles for you today as well as a massive update and some pictures.
So this past weekend was my huge birthday party. I suppose I’ll start with Friday morning and go from there.
Friday morning I woke up to finish running some last minute errands. I went and brought my cat Amsterdam to the vet to be boarded for the weekend, because anyone who has met him knows that he’s a little brat, and we had a lot of people that were going to be sleeping in the living room, on the floor, couch etc. Amsterdam is a terror at night, so he had to be removed from the equation for the weekend. I also went to Sam’s Club and bought a bunch of breakfast food for everyone to munch on over the weekend.
Around noon I left to drive up to Hartford so I could meet up with Brian Carroll and Mike Smith. Then we all headed over to Bradley International airport to pick up Brian Clevinger. We got there just as his flight was getting in. On the way back to New Haven, we stopped in Cromwell to eat lunch at a diner, and hung out for a bit and chatted about whatever. Just as I was getting back into New Haven, Mookie’s train arrived, so we made a quick detour to go pick him up, and then we all went back to my apartment to await the arrival of everyone else.
The very first thing we did was fire up Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and Brian Carroll and I went through the co-op tutorial for everyone’s enjoyment. We had a little bit of trouble getting the hang of working as a team at first, one instance in particular that springs to mind that no words would do justice, but eventually we were doing… ok. This provided quite a bit of entertainment for a while, and Brian Clevinger discovered the joy of my PSP, and more specifically, Lumines.
People started to arrive… Yuko, Brian Carroll’s girlfriend finally made it in after getting a bit lost. Scott, Ben, Lori all showed up. Matt got home from work. Aaron from Radbu arrived. Simon, half of the team that handles my advertising/merchandise came down from Canada. Pierre couldn’t make it due to a family emergency.
I had been planning on waiting to open birthday presents (which I told people not to bring but they ignored me), but Yuko was pretty anxious to have me open theirs, so I did. The theme of my birthday seemed to be guns and alcohol, because that’s what I got. Yuko and Brian got me a really cool replica dueling pistol from colonial times. Scott gave me a bottle of Captain Morgan’s, and when Matt came home, he gave me a brand new paintball gun, tank, mask, the works. Aaron drew me a really cool picture of the Xbot and the Gamecube fembot, which I’ll have to get online soon to show you. Oh, and my parents got me that huge two volume Far Side collection. It arrived from Amazon.com the day before. It’s awesome.
We left for the movie theater at about nine, all piling into a few cars. Toby and his girlfriend Dara were running late, so I told them to meet us at the theater. I had bought fifteen tickets for Sin City the previous night, so nobody had to worry about getting them. When we got there though, they had just started to form a line for entry into the theater for the 9:50 showing. Luckily we were towards the front, and as soon as they started letting people in, we rushed up the stairs, chose a row, and counted off fifteen seats, and then reserved them with coats, shirts, shoes, whatever, while everyone else was getting soda, or popcorn or still on their way, or whatever. Once the entire group arrived we managed to take up an entire row of the movie theater.
The movie was perfect beyond words. I’m not going to get into a review here, but I couldn’t have asked for anything more. And everyone else in our group felt the same way, because it was all we could talk about on the ride home. And the rest of the weekend was filled with continuous quotes thrown into every conversation, like “You piece of shit cop!” and “May as well try and punch god”.
It was pretty late when we got back to the apartment, and people were starting to get a bit tired, so we just relaxed with some video games, watched some Arrested Development season one, and hung out. I think around 3am everyone started turning in for the night, and we set people up with whatever blankets and pillows we could spare, and whatever floorspace they could grab.
I woke up around 10-11am on Saturday, and a couple of people were already up. Mookie was fixing to make pancake with applesauce instead of eggs, because he’s a vegan. We sort of just hung out for a bit, and woke up one by one. After sitting in the kitchen for a bit having breakfast, a bunch of us went into the living room to play a demo of God of War we had gotten in the mail. It was pretty damned fun, and cool to watch. Then people started showers and such, and I went out back to play with my new paintball gun. Toby came with me, and he had never been shot with a paintball gun before, so I loaned him a pair of jeans, and I blasted him with a few rounds.
Everyone was sort of doing their own thing, some of us were playing Splinter Cell, some people were playing City of Heroes of World of Warcraft on the computers, etc etc. Ian J. and Meredith arrived, which was a nice surprise because I didn’t think they would make it. Early afternoon we decided to pile into the cars again and head over to this extreme indoor sports place, which had Lazer Tag and Go-Karts. We played arcade games for about an hour, and then went to get in line for Lazer Tag. We were a group of 14, which was perfect because that was the maximum, and we split off into two teams of 7. The game was pretty fun, but the arena was really small. Some people’s guns or vests were less than accurate, but a good time was still had. We decided to skip out on go-karts because the line was way too long. We all stopped for Quizno’s on the way home, and then sat around watching Arrested Development for a couple of hours.
After that it was a whole lot of Halo. Matt and Scott played Axis and Allies in the kitchen, and Briana, Mookie, Ben and some others played Karaoke Revolution in one of the bedrooms. Toby and Dara had to leave, as did Ian and Meredith, due to work and school obligations. My girlfriend Britanny showed up after work which made me very happy because I had been missing her all weekend (Friday was her mother’s birthday, so she couldnt come to the movie, and she had to work on saturday). She is such a sweetheart. She baked me a birthday cake (carrot, since she knows I don’t like anything chocolate) which was awesome because I hadn’t been expecting to have a birthday cake. We all hung out, and I was in the living room playing Halo when the clock struck midnight and I was officially 24 years old. Britanny and Briana lit some candles on the cake and came in singing happy birthday.
Afterwards we all went into the kitchen to have some cake, and I got talked into performing some silly birthday game (that I think they made up) where I run my finger across the frosting on top of the cake that spells my name, and then smear it on my nose. Then I can’t talk until I finish my piece of cake and everyone can say whatever they want to me and I can’t talk back. I played along. The cake was really good though, and having Britanny around made my birthday that much better.
We relaxed, played some more Halo, and then Britanny and I played in some Burnout 3 crash party before heading to bed. It was a pretty exhausting weekend.
On Sunday morning everyone was starting to leave, to get back to school or work or whatever.Aaron and Simon took off to make the drive home. Britanny left to do some studying while I brought Brian Carroll and Brian Clevinger back up to Hartford. When I got home that afternoon I was beat. I relaxed for a bit, caught up on my email, played some Splinter Cell on Xbox Live and slept. Then I went to pick up Britanny so we could go out to dinner for my birthday, which was fun. Unfortunately she has a couple of tests this week and a big lab due, so she had to get back to work on that, but she gave me her birthday presents, which were really surprising and thoughtful. She gave me a Green Lantern trade paperback, a Halo 2 poster, a funny video game magnet, and biggest of all, a pair of sneakers. I own about 8 pairs of New Balance 574’s, in different colors. Back when Britanny and I were in New York, we saw a pair in green that I really liked, but didn’t buy them because I didn’t want to carry them around NY all day. When I got home I couldn’t find them in any stores, or anywhere online. Somehow she found them and ordered them for me, which was a really sweet thing to do. She’s so thoughtful and loving, and she makes me so happy. I love her so much.
Slept like a rock Sunday night. Monday I got up and picked up Amsterdam from the vet, and then came home and spent most of the day doing my taxes. It was a pain in the ass, and I owed some money (but not as much as I expected), but at least it’s done and out of the way for another year.
I’m back to work with my regular routine now, but here are some pictures from the party for you.
Here is Brian, Scott, Brian and Yuko. I have no idea what Brian Clevinger is doing.
Me and Mike Smith playing Splinter Cell, with Toby and Dara next to me. Mookie in the background
Ben, Brian and Yuko eating Mookie’s balls. Rice balls or something. Something vegan. I dunno.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory co-op mode. Most likely Mike and I playing.
Toby and Dara.
Ian J. (of RPGWorld) and Meredith (of Skirting Danger)
Getting ready to leave for Lazer Tag.
Toby and I taking out the trash.
Briana, Mookie and Brian hanging out, watching World of Warcraft.
Some Halo 2.
In the CAD Office, with my girlfriend Britanny, Toby and Dara. Britanny is holding the replica pistol I got.
Mookie and Simon playing Halo 2 in my room.
Brian Clevinger taking a City of Heroes break.
Here’s me cutting the birthday cake my girlfriend made.
Standing around waiting for caaaaake.
Matt and Scott playing Axis and Allies.
Me with frosting on my nose, playing along with that silly made-up birthday tradition.