Tag Archives: Birthday

SisterFest: Almost Birthday Fail

Best laid plans, or not so much …

As my Sister’s 35th birthday was landing on Thanksgiving weekend, I planned well in advance for the two of us to have a night on the town together a la Cirque du Soleil! I actually ordered the tickets in July using Aeroplan points and arranged fancy pants VIP treatment. Needless to say we were both pretty excited.

Being that I’m an exceptional planner, it was not exactly expected when as we attempted to enter the Grand Chapiteau we were informed that our tickets weren’t for that evening – they were for the prior Friday. Fail! My jaw hit the floor and we shuffled over to the box office to see what, if anything, could be done.

Box office is maybe a generous term, considering that Cirque is a traveling show and all facilities are mobile. Thusly, we stood in front of a mobile ticket booth as I told my sob story. Thankfully the Customer service woman was helpful and determined that not only were my tickets not for the day I had purchased but they weren’t even in my name. Thanks Aeroplan, so glad I paid that extra fee so you would make my reservation for me. Bunch of jerks.

In the end Cirque issued us re-invitation tickets for another night, including the VIP addition! Extremely pleased with how helpful they were, minus a couple of points for it taking an entire hour and us standing outside in the rain during the process.

Thankfully Sister was manning the phone during this time and got us a reservation nearby at Gilead Wine bar, so libations and sustenance were not far off. Dinner was wonderful and we were able to salvage an otherwise awkwardly cancelled evening.

Entertainingly, our dinner was at a restaurant that sat directly across from some modern town homes that had giant glass windowed kitchens. Throughout dinner we were able to semi-creepily be amused by the goings-on in the various kitchens.

The most interesting events occurred in one particular unit where a handsome (from a distance, at least) man carefully made what I could only imagine to be the most delicious popcorn. He had one of those fancy popcorn makers with the red bottom and large glass top, which he placed in front of a large white bowl. Once the popcorn was popped, he slowly poured butter over the bowl and then added THREE further toppings – two shaken, one more poured. He then carefully tossed the ingredients in the bowl with two wooden spoons!

I was far too intrigued by the whole process, but the waiter stopped by and admitted that we weren’t the first guests to be mesmerized by the popcorn routine!

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Despite the giant clusterfuck that our evening began as, we managed to have a great night out and had even more birthday goodness in the weekend – which is another story.

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Who Needs Cake?

Not every birthday boy or girl demands cake at their festivities – and the waitress at local spot Boots ‘N Bourbon read our group just right tonight when she dropped off this inventive cake replacement at our table while we were out celebrating Officer’s Dirty 30!

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Candles? Check
Birthday Wish? Check
Bourbon? Check

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The Party is Over

Its official. I’m 30.

So far, so good though.  No new aches and pains (either than the consistent and expected pain that Sadist inflicts on me), and I haven’t spotted any wrinkles or sprouts of grey – whew.

I spent the weekend celebrating with Family and Friends in Small Town, Ontario and had an absolute blast.  We had a big party on Saturday night and had my favourite dishes from a local BBQ joint catered.  Unfortunately, it was hotter than hades and more humid than a hot yoga class, so everyone was busy trying to cool off and not look as sweaty as they actually were – easier said than done.

I was utterly spoiled the entire weekend – and loved every second of it!  Some highlights:

Pick a Plot – You are a Cat

Remember those Choose your own adventure books? Well Jillian got me one for my birthday, but its from the viewpoint of a cat.  We decided to start reading it outloud while we were stuck in traffic on our way out of the city.  I was shocked at how non ‘G’ rate the book was! Some notable sections of the plot:

  • Our name was Holden Catfield.  Awesome
  • Holden has a girlfriend, apparently she smells really good
  • Holden also has a thing for  tabby cats – cue: rather descriptive amorous scene between Holden and Stray Tabby (Umm.. kitty porn?)
  • The cat’s family includes an Alcoholic Father and an Adulteress Mother
  • Oh, and a Suicidal Teenage girl – who hangs herself (its ok, we saved her!)

I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

Gag Gift #1

Three of my old friends joined me on the Friday evening and had stated in advance that I would have to open my gift as soon as they arrived.  The gift appeared to be a bag full of several small packages, the first of which was wet.
Thankfully, the wet packaging was just some condensation that had formed when the parcel was removed from a cooler in the backseat at the end of their drive – Cheese Curds! Hooray.  Other items I opened, in order:

  • A Picture Frame – Appeared to be identical to one I already have, and contained a fuzzy picture of what I thought was myself and my friend.  I noticed what appeared to be a double string of pearls on *my* neck and started questioning where the photo was taken.
  • Pearls – More specifically, my pearls.  Apparently the frame and necklace were borrowed from my room during a trip to find inspiration for my actual gift.
  • Dhoop Sticks – for a fragrance that lingers on and on… These appear to be mini incense sticks that my friends had taken off the hands of a mechanic when he was working on their car.
  • A Ring – The actual gift! (Ok, and the cheese curds) A beautiful silver oversized ring that screams ‘Look at my pretty nails!’ while I am incessantly waving them around while I talk.

Gag Gift #2

All three roommates (Tigger, Korean and Eleanor) were able to join me for the weekend – which was awesome.  On Saturday afternoon they presented me with a box which contained several items, including:

  • Wendy’s Chilli Packets – They must have been hoarding these for awhile.  I was thrilled, that stuff is like a drug for me
  • Swiss Chalet Sauce Packets – Probably good for my thighs AND my bank account.  Why order and pay for a quarter chicken meal from the Dirty Bird when I can just whip up a saucer of the good stuff and get right to the point.
  • A Decorative Box – Really had to work on my ‘look like you love it’ face with this one, especially when I found that it contained knee pads and mouth wash.

I was quite happy with my haul of assorted sauces, thanked them all and carried on with whatever I was doing.  A few minutes later, while I was sitting on the porch, they presented me with the damn Decorative Box again.  This time, however, it had a magical light blue bag inside it that can only mean one thing: TIFFANY JEWELLERY!!

My roommates rule.

Birthday Bling! and a new Party Dress 🙂

Meats

Must give another shout out to the stars of the show on Saturday night: Pulled Pork and Brisket.

Princess Treatment

Not only did my sister Sandy me gift me with an insane Spa Package, but she also brought a bottle of Pink Veuve!  Nothing like bubbles to ring in a new personal decade! I also spent most of Sunday Champagne glass in hand, consuming copious amounts of Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco that my Mother had sourced for the weekend.

Nothing says Princess quite like Pink Champagne!

The final surprise of the night was a framed picture of myself (Ok, I think it might be my sister, but I’ll admit that I’m probably wrong) fast asleep and sucking my thumb while on my first houseboat trip through the Thousand Islands when I was a little girl – everyone at the party had signed around the photo.  Of course, the frame included a large Princess embellishment, how fitting.

Amazing Gift.
And yes, that is a mustache in the corner.

Mama Bear, you throw one hell of a party.

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Filed under Events in Review, Pictures Tell a Thousand Words, Story Time

Christmas in August

I love August, especially the first week!  Not only is it generally warm and sunny, but this week also includes both my birthday and my favourite event of the year – Toronto’s Festival of Beer.  I believe this year marks approximately my 10th year at the event (I say approximately because I honestly can’t remember.. but its seems like its been a lot of years!), and never fails to be an amazing day.  My friends and I long ago determined that the Beer Fest was indeed, better then Christmas, and have taken to wishing eachother a Merry Christmas on this day – at the beginning of August.  Even my Mom gave me a ring on Saturday to impart the joyous message.

Jillian and I started off my birthday festivities on Thursday by sweating it out at the gym and then enjoying a few libations down on the ‘Coast.’  I left the reunion of Jillian and Mr. Moustache a few hours later and made my way to Union station to collect two of my dear friends that made the trek down from Ottawa for the weekend.  Andre and Eve arrived at 10pm and we all made fast work of getting some beer into our bellies (or in Eve’s case, White Wine – ‘grape juice’ as our waiter called it) at a local watering hole.  I decided to make the most of their visit and had booked the Friday (my actual birthday) off work, so we spent the next day checking out the Beach (yes, Toronto has several of these), travelling on the TTC and dining on Patios. 

In order to keep ourselves fresh for the Saturday’s day drinking festivities, we decided to have a low key BBQ at the homestead on Friday night.  We enjoyed some delicious eats and a few beverages, while feeling as though we were trapped in the 40 year old versions of ourselves – staying in on a Friday night and watching Dateline? Yup, Happy Birthday to me!

Finally, Christmas in August arrived and we all piled on a sweaty Streetcar on Saturday morning, destined for the Beer Festival.  Luckily, the rain that had been threatening to dampen our spirits managed to hold off – but the humidity was palpable. This was definitely the swampiest day I have ever experienced in Toronto, and likely the world (maybe I just ignore the humidity when I’m in the Caribbean?).  Luckily, the sun was shining and the beer was flowing freely enough to make the suffocating humidity a non-issue. 

Like every Beer Fest in my past, the day seemed to go by far too quickly.  I managed a few quick visits with Jillian and Mr. Moustache, saw a few friends from High school on the streetcar ride in, and managed only about two minutes of face time with my partner in crime Depot – at least from what I can recall.  As usual, we spent the majority of the day hanging out near the SteamWhistle area – just because I’m surrounded by hundreds of breweries doesn’t mean I have to stray from my tried, tested and true Pilsner of choice.

Shortly after the event closed its gates we piled onto yet another swampy Streetcar to begin the considerably hazy trip home.  We were down one soldier (Korean) from our initial group – not too bad considering the general insanity of the day.  The weather started to break at this point and we managed to get rained on a bit, but by that point it was a welcome relief.  We swooped into a Thai restaurant to pick up some much need filler on the way home, and then all settled into the couch for an evening of movies, tv and (a little) more beer.  Any aspirations of heading back out into the world for the evening were quickly abandoned. 

Our Sunday started off eerily early, with Andre, Eve and I hitting up a brunch spot at 10am – I guess if you don’t go out on Saturday night, 10am really isn’t that early!  Shortly afterwards they were off on their journey back to Ottawa and my weekend of celebrating was nearing an end. I happily spent the remainder of my Sunday puddled into the couch finishing off the epic first season of Game of Thrones and watching the Ring that evening with the roomies and Officer.

Ithink we can all agree that Nancy’s birthday can officially be retired for the year.  Ahh… 362 days until my 30th, a birthday Month might have to be arranged!

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Birthday with the Stars (sort of..)

A few weeks ago at our Housewarming, someone pointed out that our friend Officer looks a lot like Dallas Green (of City and Colour and Alexisonfire fame).  He was not way off, as Officer does sport a similar pattern of facial hair and dark, thick rimmed glasses – but that’s where the similarities end for me. 

Funnily enough, a guy that looked a hell of a lot like Dallas Green walked by me at lunch today and sat at the table to my right.  I was trying to surreptitiously get a closer look at the character when a pretty blonde took the seat next to him.  A Ha! It was Leah Miller, Dallas Green’s wife and plastic surgery victim du jour. 

Despite the fact that I truly dislike Ms. Miller (or is that Mrs. Green?), and really don’t hold much of a candle for Dallas, I was enraptured by the pair.  Celebrities (even of the D List, Canadian Variety), go to restaurants like normal people too?  I wonder if they’ll order the same thing I did?  I wonder if Leah noticed my shoes?

In the midst of my star struck haze, I was also made to feel like a complete vapid pop-culture leach by my table of coworkers who all proclaimed to have never heard of either person.  Now, I realize Leah is practically unrecognizable these days – but your average Canadian would probably still remember her from her Much Music VJ days, or her more recent stints on So You Think You Can Dance Canada and eTalk. What about City and Colour, or AlexisonFire? Whatever, they’re just old – although one was actually younger then me and the oldest is barely double digits ahead.

Or.. maybe they were trying to make me feel young and ‘in the know’ since I’ve got a bit of the Birthday Blues?  Tomorrow I’m officially one year from 30… and 11 years from 40.  Oh well, 29 is the new 21 right? Or maybe that was the new black.

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