The celebrations started on Thursday, and continued on...
Friday, Day - I took Friday off, which is a treat unto itself. It was mostly quiet: shopping, straightening the house and cooking. I prepped my infamous Grape Jelly Meatballs, some olive cheese bread and brown sugar-macadamia-brandy-glazed brie (and of course, completely forgot pictures of all of them - sorry). I also made this week's Tuesdays with Dorie dessert as my birthday cake - a cherry-fudge brownie torte with mascarpone mousse topping. (I'm currently still in bed, trying hard to convince myself not to go down and cut a piece for breakfast, but that's a story for another day.)
Plus, I sent my mom flowers. Sending your mom flowers on your birthday is good karma.
Friday, Evening - This was what I'd been waiting for. You see, for several months now, a group of us has played the Battlestar Galactica Board Game together. We're kind of obsessed. It's one of those groups where we play the game to have fun, and not necessarily to decimate our opponents, so I love playing with them. However, there are seven of us and till now, we haven't all been able to play at once. The new expansion allows for seven players, though, and we'd waited months for the stars to align so we could all get in the room together. It just so happened to be on the night before my birthday.
So, everyone arrived with lots and lots of booze and lots and lots of food. My friend Risey brought fixings for bruschetta with carmelized onions, port and blue cheese which were out of this world, and my friend David picked up my favorite red velvet cupcakes. (And yes, our gaming group does eat better than most...) There was so much food that we didn't even bother ordering dinner.
Me and David (or "DJ David K"), whom I love even though he's always the Cylon/Bad Guy
Now, some of what happened during the evening won't make sense without some knowledge of the game, so bear with me. First, it's based on the new Battlestar Galactica show, so all the pictures on the cards are of the new actors. Basically, there are four types of characters you can play (pilot, military leader, etc.) and each type contains three different characters - each with their own abilities and drawbacks. At the beginning of the game, you choose who you want to be that game. Everyone usually chooses someone different each time we play.
The gang, arguing some obscure point that is crucial to the humans' survival...
I always play Apollo. Always. It's because of his abilities and how I like to play, but the guys insist it's because he's cute. (Which, okay, fine...he is. But, still...) It's become a running joke now, to the point where I'm referred to as Jenna/Apollo - or "Slash" for short.
On a side note: choosing our characters was hilarious. What we do is lay out all the character cards and everyone decides their first choice. You put a token on your first choice; if two people want the same character, we roll for it - high roll gets to play the character. No one usually puts in against me for Apollo because a.) most people don't like playing pilots and b.) I'm Apollo, dammit.
So, I put down my token on Apollo, walked into the kitchen, and came back to find everyone else's token on Apollo, too. Bitches.
"Oh, hell no. Ya'll need to get your tokens off my boy!"
(And yes, of course, they let me play Apollo. It was my birthday, after all.)
Anyway, I won't bore you with the details of the game, but we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves. And then the clock struck midnight. Yay! It was my birthday! Everyone immediately starting singing Happy Birthday, which was adorable.
Out came the torte (delicious) and a bottle of champagne, so we stopped for a "birthday break". At this point, I'm thinking the night is pretty much perfect and can't get any better. I'm totally unprepared for another surprise.
They'd been planning it secretly for a while, apparently. First, there was an adorable card filled with inside jokes about Apollo and gaming. I loved it. Inside the card was a gift certificate to a game store, because what else do you get a gamer for her birthday? Since I have a whole list of games I want, this is awesome.
But there was one more gift.
Remember, these guys are all about inside jokes, and they insist I'm all about Apollo. So, I unwrapped a framed picture of the guy who plays Apollo in a scene from the show, wearing nothing but a towel - and barely at that. They'd even added a cheeky "note" from "Apollo" - written to "Slash".
No caption necessary.
It was completely silly and completely perfect.
I can't tell you what a fun evening I had, and what a great start to the year this has been.
Risey, David, Davy, Shawn, Bryce and Sam - thank you. You guys are the very best.