I really need to count the posts that I begin by saying “wow, it’s been a while since my last post, huh?” Oh well… at least I didn’t start this post with that line. As you might have guessed, I have once again become busy due to school. Last year, you guys followed me from the start of my first year in college to the end, where I would often marvel at the plethora of new experiences I would face. Er- Sadly, it does not appear that I have many posts between the end of Freshman year and now. At any rate, I have now begun my Sophomore year, so as you can imagine, the difficulty has increased exponentially. In addition, I have more or less gotten back into the routine of college life, so I cannot say I have had many new experiences. Every so often however, I am fortunate enough to encounter a new experience, even if its more likely to be an insignificant anecdote to the average person hearing about it rather than a meaningful event.
As a brief recap, recall that at the end of my Freshman year, we were scrambling to finish cleaning our apartment before the deadline. After finishing past midnight, we said our final farewells to our friends and headed to a hotel to stay the night before departing the next morning. My neighbor (who was driving me home), my favorite room mate, and I were staying at a comfy place called Suites Inn, which, if I were awake enough at the time, I would have surely taken pictures of. The inn was done up like a lodge/summer home type of deal so imagine my surprise when I walked in through the ordinary hotel-room door and finding two floors in our room. There was a kitchen, a King sized bed upstairs, a similarly sized bed downstairs, some couches, a TV, and more. Of course my neighbor took the bed upstairs (their dad had booked the hotel prior) and I took the bed downstairs. My room mate (the third wheel) slept on the couch and was pelted with pillows from above, since the second floor was open to where you could see the first floor. It was a rather peaceful, yet fun, last night together.
As summer went on, each of us was busy with our own things. In fact, we barely stayed in contact. You know how it is– you cease to see someone for a while and eventually the begin to fade from your thoughts. Obviously I didn’t forget about any of them but it was weird to not live with them over the summer, you know? Come Fall, we were once again together, this time for Sophomore year. I now room in a two bedroom apartment with the person who was previously my neighbor. My room mate from last year is stuck with 3 other random people who as of yet I have not met. My friend who used to live a building over last year now lives a few additional buildings over. Other than the housing changes, there isn’t really much change from last year routine-wise.
To deviate from our cycle of doing class work, eating, and sleeping, I was looking forward to my birthday, which was coming up soon after the start of the school year. Oddly enough, my new room mate’s birthday was two days after mine, so that week was sure to be exciting! Of course, as luck would have it, I had two difficult exams the same week. Oh well– at least I had the weekend.
Since I’ve moved around a lot, I’ve never really known enough people at a given place to have a birthday party, so I have never had one. To be honest, probably the last birthday party I even attended was in 4th or 5th grade. As usual, I didn’t plan on holding any such event, especially since I was busy in college. I mean, I hadn’t for the past 18 years so it wasn’t exactly something I felt I was missing out on. This year, I was once again reminded about how wonderful my friends are, both online and in real life, having been given a birthday to remember.
For one, my online friends such as the folks over at Onigiri IRC wished me a happy birthday, which of course made my day. (I have been hanging around with Onigiri for a few years now). In addition, one member also mailed me a letter and a small gift while was something I had not done before with someone I had met online… It just sort of put some perspective to the people I call friends online. I actually ran a slight experiment regarding online communication by erasing my birthday from my barely-used Facebook (which I was forced to get by my government teacher in highschool) and watching how many people remembered my birthday. I wasn’t trying to be arrogant or anything by expecting people to wish me happy birthday. I was just curious because in the past, I wondered how many of the posts on my wall were due to Facebook’s birthday reminder. It’s kinda interesting how technology is taking over even some of our basic responsibilities/tasks, no? Only one person wished me happy birthday with my birthday information erased, but I don’t hold any ill will to those who didn’t, so don’t worry! (I guess I’m just a scientist through and through…)
However, the thing that made this birthday the most memorable, at least for me, was the fact that my good friend (also known as “cat-collar girl” or “the friend from the building over”) worked hard to celebrate our birthdays (mine and my room mate’s). As soon as the weekend came, she took the opportunity to bake each of us a cake of our favorite kind. Since my room mate is obsessed with apples, she baked them an apple cinnamon cake. During the summer, she had asked me what my favorite fruit is (mango) so for my cake, my friend made a mango cake, which appeared to be the favorite for others as well (hooray mangos!)
Since my friend lives in a studio apartment, she has only a tiny kitchen with an equally scaled-down oven. As a result, she came to our two-bedroom to bake in our kitchen. Unfortunately, my room mate had left a little while ago to eat dinner with some of our mutual friends for a sort of birthday-outing. Luckily, it all worked out (even better, in my opinion) fine in the end. When my room mate came home, they brought our other friends, including my room mate from last year. Suddenly, our apartment was holding six people so our living room became a lot more lively. As the cakes were finishing up, someone popped in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom into the Wii so that everyone took turns trying to take the other down. As the game began to get old, my room mate brought out an object that sealed our fates as nerds: a Pokemon board game.
As one person kept calling it, the game was basically as time consuming as Monopoly, only with more ways to completely screw over the people you were playing against. Someone also had the bright idea to listen to Pokemon music while playing the game so my room mate promptly popped in 2.B.A. Master, which could be heard through the apartment with the help of a sub woofer. We previously had the sliding door open for some fresh air, but as this started up, someone just said “Yeah… Let’s close that screen door” since we were approaching pretty high levels of nerdery.
At last! Just as we were starting, my friend announces that the cakes are ready. For each person, there were plates set out with a slice of apple cake and a slice of mango cake. Since they were right out of the oven, they tasted wonderful… Especially the mango cake. Even I, who is not much of a cake/sweets person, took seconds. As we ate, the Pokemon game raged on, establishing itself more and more firmly as a horrible game. My room mate asserted that it could be finished rather quickly, but with five people playing (one sat out), we concentrated more at messing each others’ plans up rather than doing anything productive. My room mate from last year exclaimed at multiple times “I HATE THIS GAME” combined with expletives here and there.
I can’t really write more about the game– It was long. Much longer than it needed to be. I think some people were starting to get tired, but I had fun though. I think I’m the type of person who has fun if the people around me are having a good time, even if I’m not the one participating the most. It just made me happy overall that someone cared enough to celebrate my birthday and that everyone was gathered to enjoy the company of each other and have a good time. To top it all off, my friend (who baked the cake) got both me and my room mate a copy of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which I am quite excited to watch. Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day? My nerd-cred is safe. (Drat… I think appending “-cred” just lowered it.)
Overall, it was a great night. Thank you so much to all who helped make my birthday this year totally awesome, and thank you for being my friends!