Sunday, August 28, 2005

It just keeps getting BETTER

This morning was supposed to be the end of my my 30th Birthday Tour, when Holly and I woke up in Las Vegas. Little did I know, there was more fun to be had.

Me, myself, and  a lifeguardMandalay Bay Hotel is known for its fun pools. Unfortunately we didn't have time to make use of the pools until our last day, before our morning return flight. Perhaps a strange move --to wake up at 7:30am just to go relax at the pool, but it was worth it!

Mandalay has a large beach-like pool that emulates minor ocean waves (except a little cleaner). Plus they have a river-like pool, with an easygoing current that pushes you around a meandering circle. People sit in inner tubes to float around, and at one point a tiny waterfall pours over you. It feels like you're swimming without really trying to swim. And in 100-plus degree weather, the water feels great! Then we basked in the sun for about ten last luxurious minutes before checking out of Mandalay.

Later at the airport, as Holly and I overhear some amusing conversations, such as this one:
Arlene*: Hey hey hey--can you check for me if you can see anything on my neck?
Brenda: What do you mean, like a hickey?
Arlene: (frazzled) Do you see anything?
Brenda: No, no...
Arlene: Well you know I'm going to get picked up in an hour and...
Brenda: Ohhh you didn't really do anything bad --did you??
Arlene: Uhhh... No! No...
Brenda: Hahahahaha, yeah right.
Both: Hahahaha.
Brenda: Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!

And then later...
Cindy: It was such a good idea to go to club Pure.
Donna: I know, I think everyone had a good time!
Cindy: Everyone was so trashed!!
Donna: I know, hahahaha it was so fun. How did Jenna get home? Did she walk home?
Cindy: Oh no we drove her home.
Donna: Hahahaha! I just got the funniest message from her just now.
Cindy: What did she say?
Donna: She didn't know how she got home, and she's still totally drunk, and "Thanks you crazy bitches, for a great weekend."
(*names are fictional. Cuz I don't know who these people were.)

Then, while we are waiting to board our plane, I hear a low, chummy and strangely familiar man's voice. I look up to see the guy talking to his buddy, and slowly I realize that I am looking at Will Arnett, who stars in my favorite sitcom, Arrested Development (He plays Gob, pronounced like "Joe" with "b" on the end).

I want to run up to tell him that I love his show, but right as I think of this, he gets up to board his plane to L.A.! Arghhh! I want to run after him to tell him anyway, but my flight is about to board too, darnit. Oh well. I am thrilled to just have seen him so close. I wonder what he was doing in Vegas! And does Amy Poehler know??

We get back to the San Jose, where the weather is beautiful: comfortably hot and sunny, with a slight breeze (unlike the unbearable desert heat of Vegas). Holly and I ride the super-clean VTA train back to her Pleasantville-like apartment, and I then drive my convertible Junebug back home.

As I pull into my driveway, I see tents and crowds of people in the streets; apparently there is some kinds of arts and crafts festival! Neat. I decide I'll have to check it out later. Then as I open my apartment door, I realize that something about my apartment looks different.

My tv is silver. And my room is somewhat tidied up. Wait. Do I have a silver tv? Wait. My room wasn't this clean when I left! Wait. What is that red thing on the tv? Is that a big BOW?? I look to the right, and my sad old black tv is sitting on the floor, unplugged.

I finally come to my senses and realize that somebody has snuck into my apartment and replaced my near-dead tv with a fabulous shiny brand-new Sony Trinitron WEGA, all hooked up to my VCR and iPOD!!!!

Birthday TVI run up to the tv and grab the red bow, attached to a set of photos documenting how my friends Todd and Karen straightened out my livingroom, installed my tv, and finally celebrated their masterful execution of the secret gift plan with lemonade and iced tea down the street at Cool Cafe.

I am in total disbelief. I am partly humiliated that my friends had to straighten out the mess that I left before taking off for Vegas. I am amazed at how sneaky and generous my friends are!! Thanks Karen, Todd, Todd, BK, and Tim!!! I have such awesome friends!!! I'm not worthy!!!!

I suppose it shouldn't have been so surprising, because for years they have ridiculed my insistence of putting up with my horribly erratic tv, hinting at buying me one for my birthday. But I didn't really believe they would go through all that trouble.

After thanking my friends on the phone, in hysterics, I unpack a little bit and head out to browse the festival outside my apartment. I see a lot of unappealing folksy art, but I do find some cute baby clothes to buy as gifts. Then I come to a block where there are chalk paintings on the floor! I wonder if my chalk artist friends, Sara and Cuong are involved. The first one is a beautifully lit Renaissance style painting, and I wonder if it's by my friend Cuong. Then I spot my coworker Annette, who tells me that the painting is indeed by Cuong, and then she shows me Sara's, which is a beautiful rainbow butterfly. By far, their pieces are the best of the show.

Hello, Nicholas!I then run home so I can drive to Dave and Joann's house for dinner to see my Aunt Ruth who is visiting from out of town. Dave and Joann's little boy Nicholas has become surprisingly active since last I saw him, giggling, kicking and making all kinds of cute animated expressions. My cousin's 22-year-old cousin Melissa is also there, who gushes over my recent b-day travels, job at Yahoo, convertible, and sunny-day life in California.

After a hearty meal of barbecue beef, shrimp, veggies and more, they send me home with leftovers. When I get home, I turn on my shiny new tv, and the best action movie ever is on: The Transporter. The perfect end to a perfect day. (Y'all ready for Transporter 2???) I am the luckiest person ever. I LOVE IT!!

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