Birthday 2008 Part 2: The Cake was not a lie

Day 2 started with me groggily getting out of bed, grabbing my work laptop and heading into the basement. An hour later, I had the network back up with access to the internet. Unfortunately, I ended up having to reset my router causing me to lose all of my security settings and MAC addresses for each laptop allowed on our network. Fortunately, I wrote most of them down in my little black book. This was followed by futzing around a bit online, checking e-mail, message boards and news sites, then starting to do a little packing.

I take pictures of each toy I buy in its original packaging before I open it for a personal project I am working on. I set up all the stuff I had bought the previous day so I could take pictures of each item, then open it and pack it.

During all of this, I could hear Duke had finally roused himself and started to dismantle his projector and and components. I offered to help and started to bring the components downstairs. After we had brought just about everything down, we began to setup the frame by putting hooks on each corner for the projection screen. The frame was 10 feet x 5 feet. The screen stretches to about 9’x5′. We had to use some zip ties through the grommets in the screen to make up the difference in distance to the hooks, but it worked with a little work.

Next came the mounting of the projector. Its a ceiling mounted projector and we aren’t allowed to drill into the ceiling so we took the setup Duke had in his room and did the same thing in the living room by putting up a shelf and then mounting the projector to its underside.

Once the shelf was up, we decided it was a good time to take a break and go grocery shopping for the food we’d be cooking up later. On the menu was burgers, hot dogs, pork chops and chicken. We also picked up plenty of soda and snacks. I made sure I grabbed a few of those POM Iced Teas that I recently discovered. I was also put in charge of getting the hot dogs, while Duke got something else. When I found them, I stood in front of the display for at least 5 minutes completely perplexed. There were at least 20 different types of hot dogs in front of me. I clearly didn’t read the hot dog horoscope that morning to know which I was supposed to choose, so I basically blindly reached my hand out and grabbed an acceptable package and then picked up a second of the same kind. It would have to do. I’d be eating the chicken mostly anyway.

We got back and Duke set to finishing the setup of the components while I showered and shaved. Christy had apparently gotten there while I was shaving after my shower. I greeted her and she quickly went back to drooling over the projector setup Duke had finished up. Transformers happened to be on HBO and we caught the end. The diagonal of the picture was said to be around 96″ I think.

Needless to say, it worked out pretty darn well. The XBox 360 and the Wii were also part of the setup so it didn’t take very long for us to break into a four-man Smash Bros. Brawl game, passing the controllers around after each match. Peggy and Joaquin had come just before we started, I believe. When they got there I wanted to show Joaquin the Revoltech figure I had gotten the day before because it was from the same series that he had burned to cd for me at Otakon and he had gotten a different Revoltech figure from the same series and really like it. Dan and Brendan showed up not long after with some more chairs. I had brought up Davidson’s computer chair, which he either hadn’t moved yet or left behind, and dubbed it the birthday seat for the day. We then proceeded to play Smash Bros., Mario Kart Wii, and Rock Band for the next 7 hours or so. Duke would randomly pop his head in and let us know that a new type of food was on the folding table in the next room, ready for our consumption. A little later he randomly put a table in the middle of the living room and then came back out with an enormous bowl of tater tots. Score! We still managed to demolish it by the end of the night, but I’ll be damned if there weren’t a lot of tater tots in the bowl. Davidson popped in for a bit at one point to return a book, give me porn, give us his seal of approval on the projector setup and mostly to have a few minutes break from his new puppy he had gotten the night before. Moose, the puppy, apparently doesn’t sleep nearly enough during the night yet, much to Davidson’s chagrin. I look forward to meeting his Pet Monster soon, but I digress.

Christy said she was going to bring ice cream cake. She did not lie and it was delicious. I tried to cut it though and it was solid as a rock. My wrists didn’t fair very well at my further attempts to cut it, so I handed the knife off to Dan. Appropriately, not long thereafter we switched to Rock Band and started with the Portal song, Still Alive by Jonathon Coulton.

As Christy, Peggy and Joaquin all needed to leave (it was a work day the next day), some people started to come. Toby, his girlfriend Danielle, and both or their brothers, Eric and Garrett all came since they were all going to help Toby move out the next day. Danielle, Duke’s girlfriend, and Duke’s brother, the Dutchess, Chris showed up as well. Chris is actually a percussionist so its impressive to see him play drums on expert in Rock Band. I had stepped out for a short bit to happily receive a birthday call from Brenna. Then I came back and played a few more songs. We ended up playing until nearly midnight.
It was a long exhausting day, but easily one of the best birthdays I have ever had. It meant a lot to see so many people I only get to see maybe a few times a year (read as Peggy, Joaquin, Christy, Chris, etc) and I’m pretty sure everyone involved had a great time.
This is going to be hard to top next year.

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