The Bishop Birthday Bash!

Well, this has been an interesting weekend.I'm showing off my cake.

It’s my birthday today. Normally I don’t go out of my way to celebrate my birthday; at the most, all I’d ever do is go out to dinner with my parents. In fact, the last time I had a birthday party of any kind was twenty-five years ago. I had mentioned that to Jennifer, and she resolved to do something about that. She spent the past couple of weeks working behind the scenes getting the party ready, and also working to get me gifts. We scheduled the party for this past Friday, set the venue, and I simply waited for the time to come…

On Friday, as soon as work was over, I made my way home, to be met by Jennifer when I got there. I had thought I would be waiting until after the party to open my gifts from her, but she was insistent that I open them as soon as possible. So, as soon as I walked in the door, I opened them. She had gotten me the Battlestar Galactica tabletop roleplaying game, volume two of Batman: The Animated Series on DVD, and a black polo shirt with a Decepticon logo on the left breast. I was ecstatic, especially considering she didn’t know what I wanted (as I didn’t know). After changing into my new shirt (as it was more appropriate for the night than what I had been wearing), we soon left for Stracks, while picking up George along the way.

When we arrived at Stracks, we got shown to the back, where they had set aside tables for our party. As George and I helped Jennifer put balloons up and set the cake at its place, friends started showing up.At Strack's... from left to right, George, me, Brian, Heather, Meredith, and Jonathan. By the time all was said and done, friends had shown up: Heather and Brian, Meredith and Jonathan, Brian, Sean, Jinny, and Henry, Bridgette, and Louie. Not only that, my parents showed up, so they got to meet a good number of my friends. A couple of hours were spent eating, catching up, and generally engaging in good conversation… and then Jennifer brought the cake out. Yes, it was a Doctor Who cake. :-) It was DELICIOUS, and everyone seemed to agree on that aspect. By the time 9 PM rolled around, though, it was getting time to head out, as Jennifer and I needed to head on to the next part of the party: drinks, dancing, and karaoke at Drink Houston. I thanked everyone for coming, and while most went their separate ways, Louie, Jennifer, and I made our way to Drink Houston.

When we got to Drink Houston, we stood around for a bit and had a couple of drinks while waiting for Becky; she and Brian couldn’t get a babysitter so they were tag-teaming the party.It's always good to see Becky. Once Becky arrived and was introduced to Louie, we got another drink or two, and headed out to the dance floor. It was interesting, especially when Becky and Louie danced; Becky’s a damn good dancer and Louie’s taken several salsa and swing classes, so it was interesting seeing a friend who could keep up with her. After a while, though, Louie had to take off as he had people waiting for him at another club. We wandered between 80’s Retro and Drink (the main club), as a guy dressed as Michael Jackson (who we see every time we go, but not dressed as MJ) was dancing there. As I watched, he even danced with Becky and Jennifer. Soon, though, as we danced in 80’s Retro, Chris and Brandy showed up. The final chorus, and we gave it our all.We danced and drank with them for a while, then we went over to Center Stage Karaoke. I went up first, and sang (more like butchered) Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”. Shortly after I sang Becky had to leave. Then Chris went up and sang the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” and was surprisingly good at it. After a bit more dancing and drinking, Chris and I ended up singing the last song of the night: Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel”. To my surprise, the club then started shutting down; it was already 2 AM. We left and made our way to Denny’s, where we caught up, talked, and generally sobered up by eating food. Well, more like Chris and I did, as Brandy and Jennifer were sober and our designated drivers. At about 3:30 or so, we parted ways, and I went with Jennifer back to her house, finally crashing at around 4 AM.

After we got up on Saturday morning, I called my friend Dave to make plans, as Jennifer and I were going to spend the afternoon with him and Louie. After meeting at Dave’s apartment, we made our way to the Town & Country Center and browsed around Barnes & Noble while waiting for Louie to show up. Once he did, we made our way to Nori Sushi Bistro to have a light lunch. Once we finished eating, we made our way to Louie’s townhouse, where we spent a few hours showing Jennifer his place, watching college football, and seeing a DVD of Louie doing competitive swing dancing. At 4:45 or so, we excused ourselves and made our way up to the Woodlands, where we were meeting Mom and Dad for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. As usual, the meal was delicious, and I actually managed to keep from overeating (not having the onion strings on the burger helped). Jennifer and I had talked about seeing a movie after dinner, but neither of us felt like going to a theater. So, we went back to my place, and I showed her Dr. Who and the Daleks, which was a theatrical film based on the TV series from 1965 starring Peter Cushing. Once the movie was over, we were worn out, so we headed to bed.

Sunday was more or less an uneventful day, as neither of us had anything of note planned. We ended up having lunch at Texas Roadhouse, where I had a salad and Jennifer had a sandwich… and we both ended up with enough left over where lunch today was taken care of. :-) Once we got back to the house, Jennifer had to leave for a couple of hours as she was meeting Becky for coffee. When she returned, we ended up having dinner with the folks, and once that was done (complete with a couple of long conversations on various topics), Jennifer made her way back home. As for me, I worked on a few things on my PC and watched some TV, and eventually headed to bed.

When I got up this morning, I got the last of my gifts. :-) The first was a copy of the board game Space Hulk; I had seen it in a Games Workshop store, but as much as I wanted it, I had been ambivalent. The fact that it was a very limited printing didn’t help matters anyway, and if Games Workshop held true to form the next printing, if any, would be in 2029. So, Mom ended up getting the game for me. :-) As far as Dad goes, he had bought an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Professional, but didn’t realize he couldn’t use it to upgrade from Vista Home Premium. With that pitfall and the fact that Vista SP2 fixed his primary issues, he decided to give the software to me for my bday. Now, before I can upgrade, I just need to update my video card and get a USB dock for a spare hard drive…

As far as tonight goes, I’ll be staying at Jennifer’s, where she’s cooking a bday dinner for me. After dinner, well… I brought my copy of Enter the Dragon; she had never seen it and it’s one of the big influences to Mortal Kombat, so I figure she might enjoy it (especially as she liked the first MK movie). She’s just been incredible to me this whole weekend, and I’m so grateful for everything she’s done for me. It’s been a wonderful birthday, and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate all the well-wishes and good times my friends have brought me. They’re the best. Really.

Thanks, everyone, and here’s hoping 36 keeps on this high note. :-)

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