Monday, April 8, 2013


Well, I'm another year older.
I'm OK with that.  I don't feel old... I feel as if in ten years I'll look back on my life right now and say, "man was I young and stupid" and I find that comforting.  Every year, I like myself more because I've had more experience and know more about myself and the world as a result.  This year's lesson was that if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't -- and that when something is right, I'll know.
Because my birthday was a Sunday this year and a certain someone has to get up for work at 5am, my celebratory activities were kind of spread out over the whole weekend.  On Friday, we went into the city to stand in line at the TKTS booth in Times Square with all the tourists to try to get half-price play tickets for that evening.  We scored two tickets to Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which I've wanted to see since it came out in January.  Yes, it's cool that Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce are in it, but I was mostly interested because the play is written by Christopher Durang, who was one of my favorite playwrights in high school.  He has an absurd but not surreal writing style, dark humor but not too heavy.  It was pretty good; not high art or anything.  I hadn't read any reviews before seeing the play, but I think that's what most of them said.  I laughed a lot and David Hyde Pierce was great, though subtlety was not one of the play's best qualities.  I do want to try to go back in the next couple of months so I can see The Testament of Mary or an off-Broadway show called All in the Timing (by another absurdist playwright I used to love).
Before the play, we had late lunch/early dinner at this hole-in-the-wall Turkish place right next to Katz's Deli called Bereket.  I wouldn't have chosen it myself, but my date insisted (and hey, he was paying).  Either I was really starving or this was the BEST Turkish fast food I've ever had.  I highly recommend it.  I also had to get my obligatory Magnolia cupcakes since we were in the city and everyone deserves cake on their birthday (or two days before their birthday).

Bereket kebab restaurant in the LES
stuffed grape leaves, falafel, bean salad, baba ganouj
Magnolia vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with buttercream
long wait outside the theater before seating time

On my actual birthday, the only special thing I did was go out to eat twice and spend a lot of quality time at home.  And that was exactly what I wanted.
using my cat as a pillow, typical

As for the food, I just have to say that If you go to a restaurant that has crab cakes Eggs Benedict on the menu and you don't order it, you are either:
a) kosher/vegetarian/allergic to shellfish, or
b) a fool
or I guess you could be like my friend Adam who has a serious egg phobia (but I count him among the fools for that).

The boyfriend also made a good call with my birthday present.  First of all, I demanded that he not get me anything because I'd rather spend money on experiences than on stuff, but I'm going to have to ease him into that concept.  I guess Amazon put the Star Trek blu-ray set on sale this past week because he got this in at the last minute:
excellent birthday present-buying skills on this one!
It's kind of a big deal because he's a Star Wars boy and doesn't really approve of my Star Trek fandom.  Now, the trick will be making him watch these with me (minus the first one) in anticipation of the new movie coming out!

All of this made for an excellent birthday weekend, but one of the things I looked forward to most was the season premiere of Mad Men last night.  There are a handful of shows that we can all agree are great (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, etc.) but Mad Men is my absolute favorite.  Not only is it written well, engaging, and expertly acted, but I don't think it's exaggeration for me to say that it's also some real art.  Beyond the dramas, romances, and cute (or sometimes powerful) historical references, the show has also been using a lot of interesting story-telling devices, editing, camerawork, and symbolism to get different messages across.  I haven't felt this way about a show since The Sopranos and The Wire.  This season looks like it will be just as good as all of the previous seasons.  I'm excited.  There's a lot more that I could say about it, but I don't want this to turn into a whole post about Mad Men.

Only twelve more weeks until my next vacation!  Working three jobs (one unpaid) until then, plus the extra full-time job of keeping myself healthy.  Aaaaand -- GO!


  1. Yay birthdays! I loved this line - "Every year, I like myself more because I've had more experience and know more about myself and the world as a result." It's so true! We learn so much every year and we should always be thankful for that.

    That plate of middle-eastern goodness looks delicious as do those cupcakes.

    Glad you had a good birthday!!!!