i woke up to a cold new england morning, the coldest morning so far this winter season. so cold as a matter of fact that fractal ice crystals were growing on the windows of the sunroom. dressed appropriately though, the frigid temperature is no challenge, and i was appropriately dressed as i headed out the door, ready to experience the first day of my 28th year of life.

first thing that happened when i got to work was eliza sent me some birthday well wishes via aim. though she was the first (of many) in the office to do so, the very first person to wish me a happy birthday was actually joel the night before, online right before i went to bed. throughout the day people (friends and family) would either aim or e-mail me with their birthday greetings. about an hour or so into the work day, a group of delegates from downstairs came up bearing balloons and flowers. i was surprised, embarassed, and happy all at the same time. there was some singing but i didn't hear it because i was sort of overwhelmed at suddenly being thrusted into the center of attention. i also felt sad. it wasn't anything about getting old, but i was sad because i couldn't really enjoy it, i had to stay focused for work, can't be sucked into the intoxicating fervor of my special day. with a delivery due, i didn't have time to stop and soak up the excitement.

at noon i had a meeting downstairs, and saw eliza and carrie waiting outside. we all went in and eliza said she had a surprise for me which turned out to be a chocolate birthday cake she had baked! i don't think i've had anyone ever bake a cake for me. that's some serious business! i could never bake for somebody because i wouldn't want to see them in the hospital. i made a wish while blowing out a single candle (my wish wasn't for the speedy resolution of our cd delivery though, it was something more personal than that, looks obvious, very essential) and after the meeting barbara offered to cut a square of cake for everyone. while i was eating my cake i started feeling sad again, because immediately afterwards i would go back upstairs and slave away on my work once more.

this morning i was overly optimistic about getting the cd done early so i ended up not ordering the company lunch because i figured i'd be able to go out and get something to eat later in the afternoon. the entire day i didn't eat anything except for the two squares of birthday cake. if it wasn't for that cake, i'd be unconscious under my desk at work, hunger exhaustion. if i didn't have a project deadline today, you can be pretty sure i wouldn't have stuck around for lunch, probably going to someplace special, get myself a good meal in a good restaurant with hopefully some good company. probably something hot and spicy to counterbalance the cold weather.

close to the end of the normal work day i burned off a cd and raced it downstairs for testing before we'd ship it out. i noticed both elias and rob where no longer there, their brief contracts finally came to a close. they didn't even come up and say good bye before they left! going back upstairs once more to wait for the verdict (before i burn out the rest), i saw a very pretty sunset in the western horizon while walking around the building. i stood outside for a few minutes admiring the colors.

barbara's testing revealed some installation bugs that i had to fix. by the time it was all over, it was already close to 8pm and i was the last man standing, everyone else having gone home or in todd's case, racing the package to the delivery service for some overnight tlc. and just like that it was over, at least until the next delivery. and finally at long last i was able to exhale and enjoy my birthday. but by that time, there was already nobody around to share it with. i wasn't sad at that point though, i sort of reveled in the irony of the situation. i shut down my computer, wrapped my scarf around my neck, put on my coat, turned off the lights and left the office to go home, basking in the post-project euphoria. on this day i turned 28. maybe next year will be my best birthday ever!