so, it's been a minute, but lots of things have happened. the continuance of notebook-gate in my research lab, the "changing" of the zodiac, and my 27th birthday. per my January 4th post, in which i described how shitty my birthdays usually are, this one went decidedly different.
my friend Khadijah threw party for me at her lovely Belvedere apartment. but, i still didn't really want to invite people. i was still stuck in the notion that if i invited people, they would not show up, so the only way to get around that, in my mind, was to not invite them from the start. the initial guest list was only about 7 people... people i KNEW would show up. but, it still wasn't feeling like a party. after talking to a few of my friends, they, in so many words, told me to suck it up, put my big girl panties on, and take control of the situation. "Tell those fools you're having a party... if they show up, cool. if not, fuck them." eloquent words, spoken by my friend Ari. my friend Sika held my hand as we added many names to the evite list. even though Dij wanted to restrict the party to 15 people (i guess she was also underestimating something, namely the size of her apartment), but the list soon swelled past 25. i knew that not everyone was going to be able to make it, but extending the courtesy of the invitation was something i began to enjoy. it became much more than a party for my birthday, but also an acknowledgement to other that people that they are that important to me that i would want them to be there.

Dij, Sika, and i prepared a menu. yes, i cooked for my own party, but mostly because i wanted to. i love to cook. and since birthday-gate 2007, i made my own cake to avoid and store bought bakery disaster. i generally don't like cake, so if i am going to have one for my birthday, i'll make it myself and it will be amazing.
then came my actual birthday. i woke up and felt rested. my mind was clear and at ease. i was in a legitimately good mood. i sat around and watched my morning round of Food Network, then i headed out for the day’s errands. i went hair shopping, grocery shopping, and clothes shopping. i also got yelled at my best friend rachel, whose birthday is the day after mine, for eating at McDonald’s! even though clothes shopping was a bust, i found everything for my recipes for the day. although slightly tired, i headed back home and started preparing for the party.

usually, when i cook, i have a little trouble with timing and small details. but, as if a gift from God, everything just worked and flowed that day. i baked the cake, made the mac & cheese and the salad, and even got dressed and did my hair concurrently. granted, i was 30 minutes late to my own party, but i’m allowed that.

Dij's Lasagna, Sika's Famous Wings, and my Mac & Cheese and Simple Salad

everyone arrived around the same time. even though there a few stragglers, we managed to get the food served to everyone before it got cold. it went off without a hitch really. the food was good and all three groups of my friends (lab mates, black grads, soRhors) mingled together quite well. that was something i was worried about too. i initially only wanted to invite one or two groups for fear that people might not mix well, but it went very smoothly, considering that Dij, originally from Pittsburgh, wore her jersey to the party, right after they beat the Raven's in a game that day. my sorority sisters were kinda hurt behind that :) 


soRhors and an AKA

black grads


cake! with a big, ignorant candle.

after food, we played a round of Taboo, which was so hectic and loud that most people went hoarse! so, we quit after that and dove into the cake. THE cake. i used Ina Garten’s recipe. it was dark, unctuous, chocolatey, sensuous… all the things i want my ideal man to be, but in cake form. a hush fell over the room as everyone quickly grabbed and devoured their piece of velvety, buttery goodness. even better than that, i got gifts! (i haven't received a proper birthday gift since my 21st, and even before then, my family took advantage of the proximity of my birthday to Christmas and usually only gave me a gift for one or the other, now known as the Birthmas Gift.)

once the food coma took hold, people trickled out. i didn’t make it home until after 2a. the next day, i felt hungover and tired, even though i didn’t drink, but that just gave me a chance to sleep in, stay in bed and enjoy all of the messages, texts, and Facebook birthday wishes i received the day before.
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