Month: March 2012

The Time I Went to Disney World for my 23rd Birthday

I was once lucky enough to go to Disney World over my birthday, and it was not my 9th birthday (I saw Phantom of the Opera for my 9th birthday, which spawned a year-long Phantom obsession that included me dressing up as the Phantom for Halloween, which is clearly what normal 9-year old girls do).  I went to Disney World for my 23rd birthday.  And it was awesome.

Photo by me! And all other photos in this article too.

Look at that cake!  That’s my Mickey Mouse cake!  That I got when I was 23!

Anyways, backstory:  My birthday always fell over Spring Break in college and graduate school.  I decided to go home during my first Spring Break in graduate school, because North Carolina was cold and Florida was warm and therefore Florida seemed better.  My mother casually suggested that we should do something special for my birthday, like go to Disney World, and I was immediately all: “YES. YES PLEASE. YES LET US GO TO DISNEY WORLD KTHNX.”  I grew up two hours from Disney World, and went to Disney tons of times as a kid.  Also, I collect plush Mickey Mouses (yes, still, I just got this for myself and I am definitely a full grown adult maybe probably) and so Disney World is pretty much a happy place for me. Fortunately, I really like my family a lot (I know not everyone does and I know I am lucky) so the idea of spending a few days in Disney World with my family sounded like happy fun times to me.

Which is how I ended up at the gates of EPCOT on the morning of my 23rd birthday.  For some reason the ticket person wanted to see all our IDs, and when she saw it was my birthday she said, “OH MAN HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  HERE IS A BIRTHDAY BUTTON YOU NEED TO WEAR IT.”

You can sort of see the button there. And also the Mickey Mouse Luke Skywalker Action Figure that I got. For my 23rd birthday.


My Awesome Birthday Parties

I had some incredibly elaborate, themed birthday parties growing up, thanks to my parents, in particular my mother.  Here are a few of the ones that stand out in my mind:

When I turned five my mother had a ballet-themed birthday party (I was doing the obligatory one-two years of dance and ballet that all little girls do between the ages of four and seven).  We’d rented a room at the JCC to have plenty of space.  All the girls were asked to come to the party wearing little leotards, and everyone received a tutu, a feather boa, and a tiara upon arrival.  My mother had a dance teacher friend, who taught us all a little dance to what I think was a Paula Abdul song, but I might be wrong.  Toward the party’s end, all the parents came back, and we performed our hastily-learned dance routine for them.  Afterwards cake and ice cream happened.  The cake had a ballerina on it.

I was totally over the ballerina thing a year later, and I was starting to settle into my adult likes and dislikes, so for my sixth birthday I had a ghost-themed party with ghost-themed games.  This would have been a better Halloween party, but I didn’t care; my birthday was in March, and I wanted a ghost party.  Everyone had to come dressed up as ghosts.  Most people came in sheets, myself included, but I remember this one girl–we’ll call her Sarah K.–who was always beautiful and put together (she grew up to be beautiful and put together, and i think she might have gone to Harvard?  That bitch).  She showed up to my party in this elaborate, beautiful ghostly flower-girl and makeup costume and I was so jealous of her and also sort of hated her for looking better than I did at my party (I had some intense emotions for a six year old).  Anyways, this party was awesome.  We had a mummy-wrap toilet paper game, and this game where my mother strung our playroom with yarn, and we had to navigate it as a “spider’s web” maze.  The cake was a ghost, of course.  This was probably the best birthday party I ever had ever.

This is the most effort I put into a costume EVER!
(Photo credit: abbynormy)


Raleigh First Friday

I’m going to sidetrack from the birthday month for a minute.  Friday night I made a rare trip to downtown Raleigh to support my friend Heather, who was having a gallery opening at Flanders, a trendy and well-regarded Raleigh gallery.  I don’t often get to Raleigh, because it is a bit of a trek (30-45 minutes, depending on traffic), I frequently get lost, and one of the last times I went to Raleigh I got into a car accident.  However, every time I’m in downtown Raleigh I wish I got there more frequently.  It doesn’t have the gritty, community vibe of Durham, but it is a more urban setting and definitely has the ability to buzz.

First Friday is Raleigh’s monthly gallery night (Chapel Hill has second Friday, Durham has third Friday).  Flanders is down the street from CAM, Raleigh’s contemporary art museum, and a number of great galleries.  I’ve visited some other galleries in the past, but I spent most of this Friday on Martin Street and in the Warehouse District.

Jon and I kicked off the evening by getting dinner at The Pit, before heading over to Flanders to see Heather.  I’ve been to Flanders several times, and it is always extremely sceney.  The atmosphere is very much big-city art gallery, which I always say makes me feel not cool.  However, I knew much of the audience there that night.  So I guess I was sort of cool.

Heather’s work is being shown as part of a group show, called Codework.  All the following photos were taken by me, on my iPhone, so apologies for the graininess.

Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!

All the works in the show dealt with language, communication, and interpretation.  Since I have known Heather, she has been interested in codes and language.  This work is from her newest series, which takes locations that we frequent in our daily lives (the above is a parking lot, but she’s also done cubicles and funeral homes) and maps them out in an abstract but still understandable manner (I hope I got that right Heather!)

Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!
Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!
Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!

The above two works are some of Heather’s binary works.  She takes text, oftentimes famous, and converts it into ASC-II (I think, this is all very tech-speak!) which she then converts into binary, which she uses to make these amazing, hypnotic, vortex-y pieces.  I love them.  As you can tell, Heather’s work is incredibly thought out and very cerebral, you can learn more by checking out her website.

I was also loving Peter Oakley‘s carved-marble sculptures of every day objects.


Birthday Month!

Hey guys, guess what?!  It is March, which means it is my birthday month!

You can listen to that song to get in the mood.

My birthday is in 10 days!  I’m excited for many things.  Like cake!

If the cake is a lie I will cut a bitch, seriously.

Also, balloons!

English: Toy balloons Русский: Воздушные шарики
Image via Wikipedia

I really love balloons.  Especially balloons on sticks.

Also, feeling special for a whole day!  My birthday is on a Saturday this year too, that is the best day to have a birthday!

Queen's Official Birthday parade 2007
Image via Wikipedia

That’s how I’m gonna feel on my birthday.  Totally.

Anyways, I’ll be posting about vaguely birthday-themed things leading up to THE DAY.  And also maybe I’ll post about awesome things that happened during my birth year so we can time travel to 1985 and all its glory.

So that’s that.  Happy March everyone!