Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Steady Decline Followed by Death

video

Today is my birthday, my 30th. I've known a few friends who have gone all-out for their 30th - pub crawls, private rooms at restaurants, trips to Vegas. Mine was far less grand, but I definitely prefer it this way.

Last night, I went to my friend Abby's birthday party in DC, which was held at a bar called Stetson's. It was a great place for this celebration; Abby doe a joint party with her friend Esmerelda, and between the two of them something like 150 people were invited. I'm not sure I know 150 people, or even half that, that I would invite to my birthday party. But Abby is much more sociable than I, and was in her element from what I saw. It was a lot of fun, especially since we have many friends in common that I have not seen in some time. And I had a few nice conversations with folks I hadn't met before; the highlight was probably when one taught me how to play craps. I think all I actually learned was enough to lose a great deal of money if I ever try to play craps.

Before giving me a ride to the Metro to go to the party, Sarah & Paul presented a freshly-made marble cake. Before we left for the district, we enjoyed a few slices. Made from scratch, and extremely tasty. I thought it was very sweet and generous of them.

Today, I met with Meg & Rich and Jane for brunch at Fireflies. I hadn't been in what felt like ages, and was looking forward to treating myself to biscuits and gravy to celebrate. But they were all out, so I ended up getting the also-excellent breakfast club. After some very nice presents, a nice meal, and some subterfuge, the waitress brought out another cake that Jane made (from The Joy of Cooking I gave her for Christmas). It was also delicious.

I'm amazed at how generous everyone was, and I feel very lucky. All of this - invitations out for very enjoyable evenings, cakes, presents, and most importantly the friendship that accompanies them - gives me pause. It is an embarrassment of riches, and if I have to turn 30 and grow old, I am grateful I get to do it in such estimable company.

And to explain the video embedded above, it is one of my favorite gifts this year. Meg brought it back from her trip to New Zealand. It is a small tin boat that contains a very simple steam engine jet-drive. Basically a boiler, heated by a candle, that exhausts heated water, creating a vacuum in the chamber that sucks in cold water, which is then heated, repeating the process. We ran it in my tub after lunch, and it is a riot.

2 comments:

you're older than you've ever been said...

That is awesome. I hope the boats you design are half as cool.

Sean Krueger said...

Happy Belated Birthday. We are both old now. Kyla seams to think she sees grey hair on me. Not good. So I shaved my head. No more grey hairs.

Cheers!!

THE MIND IS NOT A VESSEL TO BE FILLED BUT A FIRE TO BE KINDLED