Monday, May 22, 2006
This was kind of a fun game--we each had party blowers and did a kind of wave by blowing them out--and then, we brought it back! Figuring that we're all at some level of experienced higher education, you figure it wouldn't take us such a long time to coordinate...but it took quite awhile...
This is at her 80th surprise birthday party on Sunday. The weekend was so exhausting--Wee and I put together a scrapbook, and could only find mostly pictures of me and grandma--I know, how bad could that be? We spent all Saturday putting it together--finding pictures, printing pictures out at Target/Sam's Club, making scrapbook pages and designing the layouts...exhausting! But it came out really nice. We asked other family members to bring photos too. Isabel found an old portrait--the one behind the cake...grandma's the little one in the center. Uncle Filip said she was 1 in the picture (which makes him about 6). He had exact dates, but I don't remember--something 1920s. Then he mentioned that he fell flat on his face--very strange segue, but well...it's nice that he was standing when he told me the story. Grandma forgot at somepoint that she was wearing the crown--a 21st birthday crown with pink faux fur/fluff trim and real blinking lights! That was really funny. She's so funny. It seemed like she had a really good time.
This year she's 80. I tried making her the blackout cake from my favorite Cake Book, but something went wrong. I swear, it's the baker and not the book. On Thursday, I went to Food Emporium and bought what I needed, and then proceeded to follow all the instructions in the recipe. I used the page proofs I had made copies of (for some reason or other) because they easily adhered to the fridge door. I buttered and floured the pan--I know I buttered and floured the pan--but apparently not as generously as I was supposed to. Anyway, once all the measuring was done, I mixed it up, and put it in the pans. Made the filling. Made some shrimp flavored noodles with a tablespoon of oyster sauce (delicious, fast, esay dinner) and ate that. Tested the cake. Let it cool. Let it cool. Let it cool. Tried shaking it out of the pan. Tried digging it out of the pan...that's why in the picture it's still in the pan...It was still a good cake and birthday I think!
At Brown Sugar Thai restaurant--I'm represented by the Thai Iced-tea in front of me--somehow I ended up at the head of the table...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Friday: The trip to Boston begins with four Subway sandwiches, traffic, and rain. We get there in 5 hours, and it's freezing cold and raining. Mital drove the whole way up; Hetal slept in the back recovering from a cold. Some talking points included: thinking about the song for the first dance; the type of icing and flavors the cake should have; Dunkin Donuts. Swati's apartment is a nice little place, and she kindly left us some champagne to celebrate. We drive around to find parking but get gas (which Mital and Hetal pump while I mind that we aren't locked out of the car and not freeze to death) and pick up Katie from Logan airport. We stop at CVS to pick up snacks and medicine, circle around Boston a few times by accident, and return to the apartment. Hetal's Target airbed is broken, but she and Mital sleep on it anyway. Katie and I share the other airbed. The fan and two windows are open. Before dawn, the heat in the room has turned off and I wake up freezing. I walk around the apartment looking for heat, and Katie awakes too. She shuts off the fan and puts on thick socks. I shut the only window I could reach without stepping on Hetal. I fall asleep again a little less cold.
Saturday: Mital wakes up early to move the car before the meter parking starts--and while I think about waking up to join her since I remember where the car was parked, I doze off. A bit later I hear Hetal yelling instructions and regret not going with Mital to prevent any sisterly conflicts. Mital returns with bananas, muffins, and Oreo Pop Tarts from Shaw's (an area supermarket chain). The bananas and cranberry low fat muffin are delicious, but I couldn't bring myself to try the Oreo Pop Tarts without milk. Hetal dozes; Katie and I try on Indian dresses; Mital goes over the night's program with us; we think about how cool it'd be to do American wedding vows in a white dress in Kauai. Mital has the same laptop as I do. We get ready for lunch at Anna's--a Mexican fast food-like place in Cambridge. Anna's is pretty good, though I still vouch for the other place in Cambridge by Harvard with the super-sized sodas and never ending nachos. Still they're two different kinds of places. I order a chicken quesadilla, but end up with a cheese quesadilla with rice and a few other items that weren't chicken--am not sure what happened there. Hetal and Katie go to CVS for earplugs and teabags. Mital and I run to Burlington Coat Factory to get sweaters because we're freezing. Mital gets a cute white fleece, and I get a blue terry sweat jacket, which is also kind of cute. We head to the Comfort Inn, which is at the center of a spiral it seems since we go around in circles to get to the road it's on. Tina and Cristina are the first to arrive at the Comfort Inn. The Comfort Inn staff isn’t the brightest or friendliest bunch. We finally check-in and relax and get ready. We leave when Hetal and Katie call to say that the cabs to the restaurant Brown Sugar (a Thai place where Mital and Gajan had their first date) are going to leave. We wait awhile to be seated--all 11 of us, but I catch up with Maria and Tina in the doorway. I sit at the head of the table between Cristina and Uma, and eat Pad Thai country style (spicier and tastier than your ordinary Pad Thai) with a very intense Thai ice-tea. All really great, but I think there are comparable Thai places in NYC. Our party bus arrives, and we load in. Dawn, our driver, is a gracious woman who always gets out of the bus with her blue umbrella to see us off and back on. We get booze, mix drinks, and tend to the necessary bachelorette theme of penis paraphernalia. For example, my penis name tag's name is Happy. I give Hetal's penis the name of Ji-normous. Mital wears a nice devil-eared headband, bachelorette sash, and a white feather boa. Mital uses the bus's bathroom--a square contraption that requires you to flush by pulling and pushing, what I imagine is a trap door. We stop at a bar, are all carded, and head upstairs where we don't do much. I use the bathroom. A guy asks me and Tina to play pool, and we inadvertently blow him off. We pass around some cider; Tina buys a beer, which I drink some of and enjoy. We head to the next place across the way by running in the rain. The next place is a dance club that was empty. Apparently, it's a happening place, but that night around 11pm it was pretty desolate. Mital does a few of her requisite dares since she talked about Gajan or the wedding when she wasn't supposed to--a bachelorette party rule. It is really funny. We dance, and the room fills to a normal level and feels mostly like a high school dance with boys on one side and girls on the other. Hetal points to a strange old man from the Rutgers clubbing scene dancing by us. Tina and I go to buy an Amaretto Sour to share, and everyone piles onto the bus. We eventually find them and climb on too. We ride around for a long while, apparently to avoid Boston highway traffic. We end up at a place called The Rack by Quincy Market. We go to the dance floor, and it's a dizzying strobe light extravaganza. Hetal rescues me from some drunk guy who grabs my hand and smiles. Ew. We toast and throw down a large shot of SoCo and something else, but I drink half before feeling a bit woozy. A man very unattractively tries to get some of our attention, and we return to the dance floor though I opt out for the chance to sit and watch. Hetal joins me thankfully. There are polls in this bar, and many bald or shaved haired men. Before Hetal and I return to the party bus, a guy asks me the only probably sincere question of the night from a guy: why do you have a penis on your shirt? I tell him that I'm part of a bachelorette group, and he understands almost immediately, which is nice. Hetal and I wander in the rain and in heels around the cobblestones of Quincy Market looking for State Street. We ask some people selling sausage to drunk people where it is, and they're kind and tell us it's that way. So we go that way, and idiots are telling us idiotic things. For example, Your back must be freezing! (I was wearing a backless shirt.) We find the bus, but Dawn tells us the worst news of the evening: the bus has no power. The bus has no lights, no power steering, and no power brakes. Eventually the other girls get on the bus, and we manage to get to a gas station where Dawn gets us into three cabs and Katie and Hetal manage to knock off 150 bucks of the bus's total cost. We get back to the hotel--I grab the larger airbed. Leah and Uma also have airbeds, so I go back out to grab a smaller Aerobed. There in the parking lot I see two cop cars and a fire truck. We go to sleep around 4am. Everyone is pretty sober but exhausted from the drive up and the long night.
Sunday: I am constipated all night and have to run to the bathroom every few hours or so. Finally it's 8am, and finally I am unconstipated, so I shower--unfortunately, the shower sucks and I don't think about wandering around the room to find shampoo and soap, so it was really a rinse. Katie wakes up to get ready for her flight at 11 something. I read the New Yorker I brought with me, and Mital wakes up to drive Katie to Logan. I volunteer to come to keep Mital company on the way back to the hotel. I grab my aerobed to pack into the car. Mital and Katie grab a small breakfast, and I don't think much about food since we'll be back within an hour or so--and since my stomach finally stopped cramping up until an a couple of hours ago. So we pile into the car, and follow the directions on the car computer. It's still raining. Mital is driving, I'm in the passenger seat, and Katie is behind me. We go around a rotary (traffic circle), but miss the exit we needed to take to get to the airport. So we head straight. The computer we're using for directions recalculates and gives us some ridiculous directions, so we opt for making our own route to get back to that turn we missed. We make a right at the next light, and make another right and another to get back to the road we need to go in the opposite direction of. It's in total a six lane highway--three lanes going one way and three lanes going the other. A man selling flowers for Mother's Day (or maybe every day) is on the opposite side. There is no traffic light. We drive towards the median, and Katie shouts, "No! Mital!" And then there's impact. The car jumps the median--an approximately 6-inch high sidewalk that is about a 3 feet across to be a kind of island. And we land, and there's an explosion, some screaming, some accelerating, some panic, some flowers on the windshield, some pain--like being punched in the face. Katie yells to stop the car, to put it in park, to get out of the car. I open the door and get out, hardly comprehending what is happening, but Katie's a good leader and I followed. Mital did not get out of the car--Katie went in on my side to see how she was. The man who sells the flowers came over. The man who owns the land we ran up on, I think so anyway, asks if we're okay and says that he is calling the police. He asks if we need an ambulance or anything. The flower guy assaults us with unkind words. He presumes that he knows Mital; he presumes that we meant to run over his flowers. He holds onto her license. We wait for the police in the car. Katie calls up the roadside assistance. Mital's arm is hurting. My face is burning from the sting of the airbag. The airbags hang limp and pathetic like the airbeds in the apartment on Friday night. Being hit with an airbag in the face/head feels like being hit with the full force of a full size airbed. Imagine that amount of air in the same mass as a regular size pillow, or imagine fall face first from a great height quickly onto an airbed. My plastic frame glasses that I've had for so long, I stopped thinking about how long it was ago, broke on the right side. Katie also calls her boyfriend AJ for her flight numbers so she can reschedule her flight. I'm relieved that she's not leaving yet because she seems to be more aware of what's happening and how to handle it than either me or Mital. The police man comes and asks what happens. He's rude and unsympathetic. Another police car pulls up. The flower man says he's not pressing charges; he just wants to be reimbursed for the flowers that were destroyed. A fire truck pulls up. I fix Mital's hair because her arm hurts too much to lift and retie. The firemen ask if we're okay. Mital wants an ambulance. I call Hetal to let her know that we need someone to pick us up. I call Hetal to let her know what happened. I call a few times before she picks up, and it's hard to speak because all I want to do is cry. The ambulance comes, and Mital goes to the ambulance with two really kind men. They permit me and Katie to come into the ambulance with her. I gather what I think is necessary--an umbrella and the keys. I roll up the windows. I look for Mital's glasses. I look at the open tin of biscotti I brought along for the trip. I am cold and wet, and feel that this is how the car should be left, and go into the ambulance. Katie keeps our spirits up. She talks about how the ambulance is a lot like the party bus--except without the disco lights. The cop gives back her papers along with a $20 citation. I give him the keys to the car. The ambulance man straps us in, and Hetal and Alisa are behind us while we head to Boston Medical. The tow truck company calls asking for Katie, while Katie struggles with United Airlines to switch her flight without a penalty. We disembark. Mital sits in a wheel chair, and we follow her into the ER waiting room. And we wait. I call Cristina to ask if we can get a ride with her back to North Bergen, and she is wonderful and says she would. And everyone is wonderful because they help pack up everything without forgetting anything. We move to Urgent Care Center and wait. I try calling home, but no one is there. Everyone turns up in the Urgent Care Center waiting room, and we wait. Katie and Alisa go to the airport so that Katie can make the next flight. Around noon, there's still no word on the condition of Mital's arm, and Leah, Uma, Tina, and Lauren head home. Cristina and I wait. We go wait with Hetal and Mital, and Mital gets the news that her right forearm has a fracture--possibly the worst news she could receive at this point since her wedding is only a few weeks away. Still, it's great news that no one else was seriously injured or killed considering what the worst possible scenario could have been. The fracture is pretty deep and misaligned. It looks like the bone is holding on by the last layer of bone. Mital gets a cast, and we wait. My face hurts, and Cristina suggests that I should have washed my face to get the powder from the airbag off. I wash my face in the sink in the waiting room. Cristina reads a paperback mass market version of The DaVinci Code and we all discuss the finer points of how poorly written it is, yet still addicting. Mital emerges at some point with a cast larger than what we anticipated: it goes over her biceps and reaches all the way down to her fingers. The doctors recommend surgery as soon as possible when we return to NJ. We grab lunch. Set up blankets to prop her arm up. I refuse to sit in the passenger seat. I think if one more airbag flew up into my face that day, I would die--not that I think Cristina is a bad driver, but that it was still raining and we were still in Boston. The cold that I wanted from Hetal to make me skinny finally hit me--I could feel the post-nasal drip dripping down my throat--and my throat swelling up. My face had red blotches--and it still stung. I felt nauseous and had a headache. I should have gotten checked out too, but I felt more exhausted than injured. We got back to North Bergen in good time. The best part of Sunday was seeing how Jon cleaned up our apartment and rearranged our bedroom. The best part ever!
Monday: I did not go to work. I went with my mom to get new glasses and to go to the doctor. The doctor gave me tons of drugs, suggested that I get an MRI since I had whiplash, but whiplash nonetheless. He also said that he heard a murmur in my heart, and though that's entirely unrelated to the weekend, that I should eventually have it checked out, but to not worry about it. I'll have an echo soon enough.
Tuesday: I went to work today. It was probably the worst decision ever especially because I didn't take any drugs. My neck became extremely sore--from the whiplash and from the stress of work. From 9:20-2:45 I worked on a thankless project that was supposed to be done the day before--and I mentioned it in an email I wrote saying that that's the only thing that is probably important that I won't be able to do since I won't be in. Then I rushed to put together some notes for a meeting, and that failed entirely. I shouldn't have bothered and just waited until the next meeting. All the correspondences I received were rude and demanding. A few people asked if I was okay, which is nice. And of course, I said I was. What else could I say that would not bring on the suggestion to go home? I obviously had tons of work to do. I left at 5 when my mom came from the Hoboken store to pick me up. Grandma made some really delicious chicken and potatoes, and I took a drug that made me feel better.
Wednesday: It's 12:25 and 25 minutes into Pam's birthday! This week is flying thankfully.