This morning (well, October 31 – I’m a bit late with this post) as I tumbled out of my car with coffee, bag, keys, and scarf in hand, my co-worker yelled from across the parking lot: “Happy birthday, baby!” Really. Loud. Yep, today (a few days ago) is my birthday and I am 29 years old. I’ve pretty much accomplished the little plan I had, back when I was an impish 25, to get a career which I would: 1. not hate and 2. be able to support myself with. Today I walked into the New Mexico State Archives and spent the morning in the vault researching charcoal and lime kilns operated in Lamy, NM during the 1890s.
I am not sure why, but I have an affinity for ovens of any kind, so this research quest was pretty fun. Sometimes being an archivist is like “Googling” all day, except way better (in my opinion). It’s like I am Google and the vault is the internet! I go inside the vault and search through tangible things for historical information. But it’s somehow more mystical than just information – it is wisdom and memory and ghosties! Okay, I might have got a little carried away there, but it IS Halloween 🙂
So, it’s a little weird for me to feel like I actually accomplished a big goal. Lately, I have the overwhelming feeling of: “Now what?”
More on that later.
First, I’d like to document my little celebration day.
I made tutu collars for the dogs, and Andrew and I walked them around our neighborhood. I was planning on making a skirt for myself, but by the time I finished with the collars, I was bored by the project. (Typical.)
Later, Andrew treated me to dinner at an Asian “fusion” restaurant called MuDu. A few people had recommended it to me as the only place in town with good Thai food and this was our first visit. I love Thai green curry more than any meal on the planet (and I wanted it for my birthday, dammit!). I love soaking a spoonful of jasmine rice in the bowl of rich coconut, spicy curry paste, and fresh Thai basil flavors. And eating it up. Andrew and I had a good conversation about “Now what,” which might be better illustrated by this song he picked out:
I also tried sake for the first time. We got a “flight” of the bright and fragrant sake, which means you get a variety of sake in small glasses. I am not sure I liked any of the drinks too much on their own, but they were a good complement to the meal. And they definitely did the job of getting me tipsy. It was fun to try all these new things! On my birthday!
Good green curry (which MuDu’s was!) always happily brings me back to Portland, Maine and my enduring favorite green curry cooked by Saeng of Saeng Thai. I have many fond memories of Saeng Thai. Once, after a particularly rowdy summer night in my early 20s, I woke up at noon and walked almost 5 miles to her restaurant on Congress St. I then consumed a huge bowl of green curry and two servings of rice. I hadn’t even showered that morning or probably brushed my teeth. My first thought upon waking was: “I need Saeng’s green curry.” I swear I didn’t think another thought as I walked, zombie-like, all the way to the other end of the peninsula. It was nearly 100 degrees that day, and humid, and I got lost numerous times, trying to make sense of North, South, East and West. But I did get there, sweating and immensely hung over. After finishing the meal, Saeng congratulated me on my eating abilities: “You have a small frame… but you eat a lot!” I had to call a friend to drive me home.
Sigh… those were the days… 😉
So thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday – it worked! I also enjoyed the small mountain of cards I received in the post mail. Hannah’s were especially special (even though I don’t agree that I am strange!):
photos to come…
(Horseshoe crab from Zeichen Press and dead rat from… )
At the end of the day, I took a self-portrait (with my new camera that I love!), mostly to examine whether I had any wrinkles yet. I think I’ll do this every year, from now on, to chart my decline (hehe, kidding) (sort of):