~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Birthday, Part II


This morning’s present was a DVD of Grosse Point Blank, one of my favorite movies. I can’t believe I didn’t own it already!

We had a quick breakfast, then did the Queen Mary’s Ghosts and Legends Tour, the tickets for which were part of our package deal. (We also got tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the LA Zoo, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and an LA Galaxy soccer game, plus a coffee table book about the Queen Mary, a 50% off coupon to a Best Western in San Diego, and a signed photo of a Radio Disney DJ. Sweet deal!) The tour was a production with special effects rather than an actual tour of the haunted areas of the ship, so it was expectedly cheesy, but it was still fun. Since most of it was low-lit and I have abysmal night vision, I probably missed a few things.

At one point, they told us about a crewman who was playing chicken back and forth between an automatic door and got cut in half. I turned to Ken and, sotto voce, asked, “Does that mean he haunts two rooms at the same time?” Hee.

After that, we went across the way to the Aquarium of the Pacific, because, you know, they have otters! They have moon jellies and crystal jellies and weedy sea dragons and leafy sea dragons and otters! We managed to hit the otter feeding time and I just about asploded from the cuteness. (I want to do their behind-the-scenes otter experience next year, which includes feeding the otters.)

Lots and lots of squee, but I also got tired (stupid cold) and had to sit for a bit. The Aquarium of the Pacific has astonishingly uncomfortable benches that don’t seem to have been constructed for human beings. If you try to lean back, you pretty much sliiiiide right off them. Since it was a Saturday, the place was swarming, although we were highly amused by the barely walking toddler wearing an AC/DC t-shirt.

Full of oceanic goodness, we made our way back to Manhattan Beach (with me being geeky and taking pictures of the Goodyear blimp on the way) and met up with a bunch of our Styxfan peeps for a birthday dinner of sorts: Nanci, Lenny, Monk, Cindi, Sheri, Karin, Fran, and Thom. Nanci, Lenny, and Monk brought me presents even though they weren’t supposed to, and others brought cards, and I was just happy to spend time with my friends.

I’d randomly picked a restaurant using the powers of the GPS on my iPhone, and although the deli was small, the portions were big and mouthwatering. I had a roast beef and brie panini (nomnomnom), Ken had a big salad (he let me steal his goat cheese), and we split some seasoned fries with a cajun mayo type dipping sauce. Then the waitress brought me birthday dessert! Some kind of cookie/brownie thing drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces and topped with whipped cream. I forced everybody to eat some, because I was already stuffed. But it was goooood.

Then it was back down the street for another night at Pancho’s, where we met Louis and Angela. Tyla and her mom and brother showed up for a short time as did Tani and Johnny, and Maria joined us, too. Ken and I split up and sat at different tables for different views, which confused Taylor (who ended up sitting at Ken’s table). Between the second and third sets, Ken brought in ginormous cupcakes from Costco, which I attempted to foist off on all my friends, and then on any drunk person I could make eye contact with. When they asked what the occasion was and I said my birthday, many strangers felt it was then appropriate to wish me a happy birthday and hug me. I’d had several glasses of wine, so I had no problem with that.

(Sheri got a great photo of me and cupcakes, but I can't figure out how to link to it on her Facebook page. Grr.)

The band once again rocked, and Taylor’s guest vocals on two songs were gorgeous, and Jimmy, the lead singer, announced it was my and another patron’s birthday, although almost nobody heard him. Ken got his timpani mallets signed, which was very cool.

At one point late in the evening, I’d turned to say something to Nanci, and suddenly there was a Todd drumstick wedged in the crook of my elbow. Apparently it had slipped out of his hand, because others saw him turn and look at Koko and laugh. All I knew was that I’d gotten a birthday drumstick! Whee!

We headed home after that, arriving at 3 a.m., and got about four hours’ sleep because we had to get up bright and early the next day for…


SheriH said...

Hey Dayle... I "tagged" your "cupcake" photo on MySpace, so then you should be able to save it and link it here.
Also... Tani & Johnny were there on Friday night, not Saturday.. and did you mention Todd & Angie showing up on Friday? LOL!!! It was a whirlwind weekend (especially for you!) for sure!

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Thanks for the tag! Let me see if I can insert it now...

Ack, you're right, Tani and Johnny were there on Friday. But I did remember to mention Todd & Angie that night! It's all such a blur now!