Where We Went This Year! (22,000 miles of driving!)

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Todd's Birthday

It was a long birthday, start to finish! It really began on Sunday, the 10th, when Angie and I moved into our new apartment which we found on Craigslist (actually, which she found on Craigslist) while we were back in New York. It's on Mission Boulevard, in Mission Beach - a long strip of land that serves as a kind of 'outer bank' buffer for the part of San Diego that's just north of where I-8 spits dead-ends into the Pacific. Mission Beach is a slightly tatty section that, nonetheless, has managed to contain the late night shenanigans somewhat and keep the commerce in a few areas while leaving lots of other areas as quieter beach communities. Our place is adjacent to one of the more commercial areas, but only adjacent to it, so while there's stuff going on, it's still a stone's throw away and not quite on top of us. And it also means we have a good cafe and a few decent open air restaurant bars nearby, the kind you go to for fish tacos and margaritas - which, one our next day off, is something we absolutely intend to do!

The little spit of Mission Beach itself is about three or four blocks wide, for much of it. On one side is the Pacific, just as you imagine it, with lifeguard chairs and wide, soft-sandy beaches and thundering surf, and on the other side is the bay, with a surfless shore, lots of families with very small children, boats docked, and a retirement community of really charming little houses with back decks that get the morning sunrise to the East without the wind in your face coming off the ocean.

We're right in the middle. In fact, if you'd like to see exactly where we are, here's the link to the Google Maps page: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=3681+Mission+Blvd,+San+Diego,+CA+92109&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=44.388698,94.658203&ie=UTF8&z=16

Anyway, so we moved in Sunday morning and Angie went to the grocery store and bought ... well ... a LOT of groceries while I unpacked our stuff. She got back around 4 and we'd invited everyone from the show (though it basically ended up being the cast and the band) to come out to our apartment for a barbecue (yes, we have a grill, thankyouverymuch - AND a deck outside. which Butley has decided is a great place to hang out and from which occasionally to watch the street traffic below) and a general point-of-origin for all manner of beach-going, be it surfing, sunning, frisbeeing, or what-have-you.

After we all returned from the beach, we commenced to the food prep, and thus the stereotypical teenage behavior commenced. Specifically, that of EATING! O My Word. It was like throwing a bag of birdseed into a flock of pigeons. You couldn't make enough food fast enough. Angie brought out a plate of caprese (mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil, drizzled with olive oil) and by the time she'd gone back to the kitchen to get forks and bread, it was already half scarfed down. What I thought was enough food to feed the two of us for the rest of our time here in San Diego utterly VANISHED inside of an hour. Amazing.

Afterwards, we all sat around and played silly games that, again, would just never happen at an adult party but which were fun nonetheless. For instance, we played "Shakyface" - which is a game wherein the participants literally shake their heads from side to side at the highest possible velocity while someone else takes a flash photo of it. The resulting images are not unlike those of test pilots in the Apollo space program, with ridiculously extended cheeks, droopy eyes, and all manner of mid-air deformities. OK, so it's pretty fun...Then they played a game where one person announces one distinguishing factor, such as "First one to break and start laughing on stage", and then they count down from five and each shout out who they think it will be, they go around counting the votes for each person, and the winner with the most votes gets to choose the next topic. "Most likely to leave the business and run for public office," or something like that... The wild thing was how honest with each other they all were - granted, they've all been living in dorms together in New York for awhile, so they've reached a certain level of familiarity, but still. I can't imagine people my age doing that. But then again, people my age probably already know who each of those people are. And they already know each other well enough that each other's choices wouldn't be that much of a surprise to each other, frankly.

So - they all left around 10p and Angie and I collapsed. As did Butley, who LOVED having all those people around but who was nonetheless pooped as the day ended.

Then, this morning, we got up, took Butley for a walk & then Angie went to lie out on the beach a bit while I did a little homework/paperwork here. Then it was off to rehearsal for all three of us, as we kept Butley in one of the band members' hotel room so we wouldn't have to come all the way back to walk him during our dinner break. Jared, who's actually the musical director, misses his bulldog, Stuart, so he was glad to have a little dog energy in his home for a bit. So Butley watch the Olympics on Jared's TV while we were in tech all day long.

And all the day long, I was feted and wished a happy birthday, receiving cards and presents from family and folks at the theater - it was great! I've never been so happy to turn 21 as I was THIS time. And during the dinner break, the theater made us all dinner and there was a cake after for dessert in which were placed not quite 41 but certainly very many candles which I worked assiduously to blow out until it was apparent that they were the funny-when-you're-twelve candles that keep relighting. I remain convinced, however, that my wish still counts.

Picking up Butley from Jared's room this evening, loading him into the car and driving along the freeway with the windows down and the ocean breeze tumbling through the window, I had to think how great my day had been. But the surprises were still to come, as I discovered when I took Butley out for his evening walk along the bay and the phosphorous was particularly active, rippling in waves behind a hand swept through and leaving a starry set of footprints behind us. A perfect quiet ending to a perfect day of celebration. And all especially well coordinated by Angie, I have to say, who is - at this very moment I sit writing, at 2:21 am - sound asleep, poor thing. It seems standing stock still in a corset for twenty minutes while the lighting designer re-writes a cue isn't exactly the most restful way to pass the time.