The 3rd was a Thursday, and that meant Farmers' Market funtimes for all. I got a gracious plenty of strawberries, having determined that this was a good plan for cake-related birthday funtimes. (There are several of us local people who have a birthday around the same time: Tif in late May, jamoche and me in early June.) I told my aunt that there would be same, and she declared (at 11-something Thursday morning) that there would be a party Friday in my honor, and I should invite "all" my friends. And also that I should come with her to my next-eldest cousin's housewarming, in L.A., on Saturday. Then she drove off merrily, leaving me doing the "bzuh?" face.
I arrived at Tif's later than I had planned due to getting timesucked in Target, but I made up some of that time by driving rather than BART-ing. People were there, we watched many lovely things, including MythBusters (MIXING PEPPER SPRAY AND FIRE IS THE BEST IDEA EVER YOU GUYS, OMG) (JD showed up at the end of that, so we'd timed it well, as he doesn't particularly see the attraction of the show: he must be missing the EXPLOSIONS ARE COOL gene), and then there was chili, and Glee, and strawberries-and-cake-and-whipped-cream.
It was awesome. The love from the internet started pouring in full-steam about then, and omg, you guys, you really amazingly know how to make someone feel generally adored. ♥ Thank you all.
Due to the short notice and my current difficulty in working more complicated logistics than about three people, I didn't try for all my friends as my aunt had encouraged me to. When planning for an event with Proper Notice, I usually take a good three hours or more to list out not just the people who come immediately to mind, but all my friends who might possibly be available to come, all my friends who I'd love to come but couldn't, then start narrowing down based on available party size and priority and interpersonal dynamics. (That last became very important in the parties of my youth, where I made the crucial error of putting people who Did Not Get On together at a birthday party. Never again.)
This time, I rejected the idea of even attempting to Do It Properly and just pinged JD, Ryan, and Tif, this being both a sensible Transport In My Car limit and also people who know each other, get on, and can often be relied upon to have a certain amount of flexibility in their Friday Night Plans.
I attempted to sleep. This did not entirely go well; I slept through the times I'd wanted to be up. I'd wanted to head over to my aunt's and help her with the preparations. That didn't really happen either. I picked up the rest of the party and we showed up. Socialization, meeting-the-dogs, hilarity, refrigerator magnets, gossip, and dinner preparations ensued. raranax was making this GORGEOUS cake, although the beginnings looked slightly dubious at first, being a small slab of very flat cake.
Dinner was bread and vinegar and oil, salad, collaborative pizza building, and finally, the cake.
♥ ♥ THE CAKE. ♥ ♥
There were 13 candles: 30 candles on the tiny cake was not particularly practical in this case, and they matched, and in any event I am in some cases 30 going on 13. (I believe in IRC the usual claim is that I am in fact a 13-year-old boy, or at least I have the sense of humor of the same.)
There was some hemming and hawing about singing, but in a bit the singing commenced. Then Tif and my cousin busted into the Birthday Dirge. "There are 30 more verses!" someone chirped, after the first verse or two. However, I blew out the candles instead, after having thought of a wish. My breath was barely big enough; I hadn't inhaled with that in mind. But I made it.
The cake was fabulous. FABULOUS. Imagine a heavenly combination of whipped cream and Nutella, except slightly more substantial and not potentially gross. ♥ ♥ ♥
Then there was Cranium, and general hilarity, and cleanup. We all left around midnight; I asked my aunt about plans for the next day; she said that she'd come by to pick me up around 10:45. It was an excellent birthday.
When under stress, I make Lists. When not under stress, I do that too, but it's an excellent way of coping. Instead of immediately starting to Prepare for the Whole Day Trip, I hopped in bed and started making a list in the smartphone's To-Do function. I reasoned that I'd sleep sooner that way, and I was right. I woke up too early, went down my list (because while I can't think for myself when my brain is just booting up, if I've already done my thinking, I can follow my own instructions), and was outside and waiting for my aunt by 10:17 (she showed up at 10:29, after a last-minute addition to the agenda from my uncle).
Rather than driving to L.A. and dealing with the road and traffic and all, we were to be flying, and flying on my uncle's plane. This was my first experience with it, and the smallest plane I'd been on. I enjoyed it (and took notes); the major differences mostly involved not dealing with airport security, the safety briefing (brief), being able to see the cockpit and see out the front, getting serious gadget envy about the aircraft-grade Garmin GPS-plus-assorted-instrumentation unit, and the side-to-side as well as up-and-down turbulence. Oh, and the seeing-out-the-front led to a moment or three of sheer terror as we landed the first time, because I'm only used to seeing the ground at an angle out the side windows, not seeing the ground at quite that angle out the front.
A rental car was waiting for us at the field on the other side, and we hopped in and were off quite quickly. I had the presence of mind to use my smartphone to snag the location of the exit from the facility, which would become important later on. L.A. traffic bites even when you're not the one driving, even when it's not actually rush hour. But we made it to my cousin's OK, and my aunt called Uncle Davy to get directions to the specific place after we'd hit the right complex.
Socialization ensued. I knew five people at this party: my aunt, of course; Uncle Davy (brother to my aunt, Aunt-Fayoumis, and Dad), Uncle Davy's two boys: cousin-the-elder (now about 40?) and cousin-the-next-eldest (the one who's directly older than me in the family and this batch of cousins, the electrician, the one this party was for), and cousin-the-elder's wife (who I've been chattering back and forth with on Facebook a bit). There was also Davy's-ex-K/C, her husband, Davy's-current-wife, Davy's stepdaughter and boyfriend, cousin-the-next-eldest's girlfriend, her mother, the girlfriend's buddy and his girlfriend, Kevin-the-cousin's-buddy-who-helped-reno
There were runs for things like beer, ice, napkins, paper plates. There was an album of the transformation of the house from battered Barbie's Dream House (magenta carpet, pink walls) to Livable. My cousin opened his housewarming gifts, to much hilarity. He tried putting the bowl on his head; I wish I'd got a picture of that, as it was the running gag. Cousin-the-elder's shoes got put inside the ottoman.
Eventually it was time to leave. (It was, in fact, twenty minutes past time to leave; the pilot would be waiting for us.) I'd soaked up one more bottle of hard hard lemonade than I'd been intending. Lunch was ... well, I'd had breakfast, and then we were flying, then it was afternoon, and there was food there, but it wasn't a real lunchy lunch, so I was a bit fuddled. But all was good times. My aunt called the pilot to let him know where we were and our estimated time of arrival, so he would know what was up. We skedaddled.
We drove back, according to the directions and my phone's satnav. On the way back, I accessed the address I'd saved on the way out, after learning that the endpoint address my aunt had was for the main door to the airport, not the entrance that we'd come out of. This turned out to be a very good thing, as otherwise we might have been hopelessly lost. Address plugged in, Manic Pixi Dream Girl navigated us right to where we'd come out, and one U-turn later, there we were, only twenty minutes late, exactly in line with our belated departure. We hit the bathroom (plane is too small for one onboard) and hit the plane. The pilot booted us up and got us in the air. (I still don't know if the foil windshield protector he folded up is designed with airplanes in mind, or if it's meant for cars. Either way, it's necessary for both planes and cars in California.) My aunt slept. I wrote.
By the time my aunt dropped me back home, it was nearly 8. I got supper and then crashed. It was a good day.