Last Wednesday, I woke up to no class and a thick coat of ice blanketing New Haven.... and to my Michael Jordan birthday. What is this, you ask? Why, it's my 23rd year, of course, also known as Groundhog Day, 2011. If you don't know why Michael Jordan is important to me, figure it out. Go to Wikipedia or something. Anyway, given that I didn't have class because of the treacherous traveling conditions for the YDS community, after snuggling with Luna for a bit, I made this breakfast:
That's OJ with diet ginger ale (Nathan, Elise's boyfriend, taught me this delicious mixture), French Vanilla coffee, toast, two eggs over easy, and freshly-sliced kiwi. Yummm.... Then I opened a few presents from my parents, including a box of recipes copied from my mother's recipe box. Will come in handy as I continue to explore cooking all my meals at home. While I was making my breakfast, I opened the fridge to retrieve the OJ and the eggs, and I found this:
Just in case you can't read that, it says, "This is nothing that concerns you, Grace Killman. Go away." More on what's in that package later...
I was woefully, lazy, but eventually made it into the shower, and when I was in my room getting dressed for the day, Luna came running in, looking like this:
The note read: "Happy Birthday, Auntie P! I love you!" I'm "Auntie P" to Luna, from Elise and my camp counselor days at Camp Gailor-Maxon when we referred to each other as "the AP." I'm AP 1, She's AP 2. So, naturally, the AP has come to mean "Auntie P." The "P" doesn't mean anything anymore, like the AARP. Anyway, here's the note laid out:
I ended up heading up to school, after accomplishing nothing all day, to go to Contemporary Christian Spirituality. The ice was so slippery that I literally skated to the road from our front porch, being extremely careful. I didn't wipe out then, though I did finally wipe out early yesterday morning cartoon-style, landing flat on my back. After class, I went to the Berkeley eucharist for Candlemas (Berkeley is the Episcopal seminary at YDS) and to see my fellow Episcopalians sign this fancy book that's been around since the early 20th century. I headed over to the Berkeley center to have a glass of wine with some friends, then headed home to meet Elise for dinner after yoga. Cheese pizza is one of my favorite things, and our friend Michelle taught us how to make brussel sprouts in an especially delicious way, so that's what I wanted for dinner. I had been supremely blessed throughout the day with phone calls and text messages, so I sat down to respond to them all while Elise made dinner, then ended up video-chatting with Mama and Daddy. Nancy (our landlady) even stopped by with a gift of energy lotion in honor of my birthday! She's the best... Anyway, while I was chatting with M & D, Elise suddenly came in with my favorite birthday cake, chocolate malt! Sneaky Mama and baked the layers herself and made the icing, then sent them in pieces to Elise, who assembled it in the kitchen. Hence the secrecy of the note in the fridge... if you know Elise, you should congratulate her on successful secret-keeping. The cake looked like this:
Yummm.... delicious. Luna apparently thought so because she got ahold of the icing bag, and we were a little concerned about her health, since chocolate is poisonous to dogs. However, only an excess of noxious fumes resulted... the next couple days were pretty quiet, with the exception of Nathan arriving to visit Elise for the weekend, and Patrick taking the train down from Boston for my birthday party Friday evening.
Anyway, Friday evening rolled around along with my birthday party. For no reason other than fun, I decided to make it a formalwear event, and people really showed up, dusting off cocktail dresses, suits, tails and tuxes. I'm really into themes: my twenty-first birthday party was Seven Deadly Sins-themed, and my twenty-second birthday was Who You Were in High School-themed. This, I guess, was You Stay Classy, New Haven. Here are a few pictures:
All in all, it was a great night with lots of friends and fun. Special shout out to Mike Brooks for the veggies, Kara Scroggins for the homemade hummus, and Elise Addington for broiling my funfetti cake instead of baking it! On Saturday, Patrick, Matthew, Elise, Nathan and I all went to brunch at the delicious Claire's Cornercopia, where I had huevos rancheros. Nothing can compare to the huevos of Elmo's in Chapel Hill, but it was definitely a must. Patrick and I picked up Amy from the train station that evening, and we went to this delicious taphouse in town called Prime 16. The veggie burger wasn't that great, but the beer was and so were the sweet potato fries. We had one of those epic, multi-hour dinners, picked up some cookie dough at the grocery store, and fell asleep watching The Princess Bride. Side note: did you know they vaporize snow in Manhattan? I know, crazy. Amy told me. We ate Claire's AGAIN the next day, (Lithuanian Coffee cake, a recommendation from my college chaplain who did her MDiv at YDS, was on the menu this time), then took Patrick to the train station. Amy and I spent the afternoon catching up and taking it easy, then after I took her back to the train station I watched the Super Bowl with Elise, Nathan and Matthew. I wrapped up the weekend watching a couple episodes of Dexter... Elise got me hooked.
All things considered, it was a wonderful birthday weekend. I'm so, so thankful for the grace of good friends, both old and new, willing to travel distances to see me and give in to my peculiar whims. Forecast for my Michael Jordan year, if the first few days are any indication, looks good.