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Archive for May, 2010

I can’t reveal the details — apparently it brings bad luck — but I had my fortune told yesterday, and I’ve been assured that good things are in store for my 30th year.  I can’t wait.

Chris took me to Coney Island yesterday for my birthday (which was today).  I’d never been before, and Chris had a hunch I’d love it, just like last year, when he had a hunch I’d love fried chicken at Sylvia’s followed by Cirque de Soleil.  We started things off with Nathan’s:

Chili cheese dog, bacon cheese fries, pepper & onions dog. In retrospect, I would've preferred a regular old hot dog, but I can't complain.

After that, our tummies needed a rest before we hit the coaster, so we headed into the park.  Chris won me a stuffed animal at the horse-racing game. (We were the only two players and a winner was guaranteed, but he was hero nonetheless.)  I had my card reading, which I am dying to talk about, but if I want to believe that the fortune she told me was true, I’d better believe that her warning about the bad luck was true, too.  We went on the haunted house ride, the bumper cars, the Thunder Bolt and the Wonder Wheel.  The bumper cars stood out for their fun factor, and the Wonder Wheel stood out as the single most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.  Check this thing out:

See the inside circle of cars? They swing back and forth.

At one point, you’re swung out away from the ferris wheel so all you can see is the ground far, far below you.  My entire body was sore when we finally got off because I’d spent the whole ride clenching every single muscle in fear.  The 7-year-old girl in the car in front of us was totally unfazed.  I’m pretty sure that if I’d ridden this ride with the twins when we were kids, they would’ve been climbing all over that car, making it swing even more than it already was.

I had my fortune told, we stopped briefly by the Freak Show, which was definitely the low-light of the day, and then on to the cyclone, which was thrilling.  Who do you think was more scared?

Next we had ice cream and beer on the boardwalk.  We almost felt like we were on a beach vacation, until we turned around.

Check out that backdrop! Apparently something called Luna Park is supposed to open later this month, but we saw no sign of its construction.

For our final act, we stopped by the aquarium to say hi to some of Chris’ friends, including this electric eel:

It's electric! Hey, did you hear about the drunken prank some dudes played recently, when they coaxed an eel up their passed-out buddy's butt and it ate his bowels? I don't think that eel was as big as this one.

For dinner, we hit New Corner, an old-school Italian restaurant that made a delicious carbonara and had the good sense to top its veal with prosciutto and mozzarella.  We timed our meal perfectly to catch Homeboy Chris lose the Kentucky Derby.  We’re pretty sure everyone else in the restaurant had money riding on the race.

We got home much later, and much more exhausted, than we’d anticipated, but it was my 30th birthday (observed).  We had to rally!  Met Nate and E at the museum for First Saturday, when they let you in for free and serve you beer and wine and play live music.  It was wall-to-wall people, so we didn’t stick around for long.  Ended the night with friends at Hot Bird, a new spot on Atlantic with outdoor picnic tables.  We walked a crooked line home and collapsed into bed at 3:30 a.m.

Today, for obvious reasons, we didn’t move much more than from bed to couch, except to make a run to the grocery store for diet cream soda and Tostitos cheese dip (the birthday girl gets anything she wants, Chris said!) and to set up the air conditioner in the living room to face the record-setting heat.  The thing about setting up an air conditioner, which is already an unpleasant job, is that it’s always really hot when you do it.  If you’ve ever tried to get a portable air conditioner into a window equipped with a sliding security gate in an apartment situated above the boiler room of a 100-unit building during 90-degree New York heat, you won’t be surprised to hear that it was not my finest moment.  Against all odds, Chris and I survived in tact, mostly because he realized halfway through the job, at the height of my meltdown (and with that heat, it really did feel like I was melting), that the best thing for everyone would be for him to just get the hell out of the room.  It was a slightly uglier but ultimately more successful variation on 2008’s air conditioner installation attempt, when Chris and I nearly met a premature end but luckily decided after 10 minutes of attempting to install a unit in my living room that it wasn’t worth it; two years later that air conditioner sits in its box under my bed, still never installed or used.

So I’m 30 now, and I have a bunch of messages on Facebook to prove it.  I kept track throughout the day — and of all the voice mails and emails and texts.  A birthday reminds you how large the network of people who care about you really is, and for that I’m grateful.  And this is no different from any other day, but I’m also grateful for my three boys, who were the perfect companions for today’s lazy version of a birthday celebration.  And with that, I’ll leave you with a video of our newest addition, Wade, in which he discovers ice:

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