while wrapping laurie's birthday present (using the large role of pink rosen paper that i bought to cover the floors with when i painted), shannon and her friend (roommate?) eiffelene dropped by my place. shannon was here to pick up a scsi zip drive, and they were here to see what i've been doing with the place. the last time shannon was here was almost a month ago, the day i moved my three wooden bookcases from belmont to cambridge. eiffelene was impressed with the jasmine in the kitchen, which she said was the national flower of the philippines. shannon liked the pink kitchen (i found that people will either like or hate the pink based on their gender).
soon after they left, i walked down to concord avenue to laurie's parents' house for laurie's birthday dinner. this was the second consecutive night where i had some kind of social event on concord avenue. also there were laurie's friends abby and jess (both i've met before), and after i got there, lucy and mervin showed up, followed by ben. it wasn't as awkward as last night's party because i knew most of the people there, laurie's circle of friends. she opened presents in the living room (i gave her an auburn colored wine bottle shaped rice paper lantern lamp from ikea along with a set of 25w lightbulbs). her mother and myself took photos with our digital cameras, susan (laurie's mother) showing me her latest acquisition, a flood flash for her canon which took amazingly well-lit and clear photos. her father sat rigidly on a chair, suffering from a muscle pull in his back, and walked around gingerly all night long. when dinner was ready we went into the dining room. we had salmon leek pie along with potatoes and broccoli. there was much plate passing. afterwards, we each had some salad from one of the largest wooden salad bowls i have ever seen. for dessert, a chocolate mousse birthday cake (courtesy of jess), topped with candles (26 candles? i was too busy trying to pour equal servings of champagne into the glasses to notice). i didn't notice anyone else having seconds on the cake, but i had three slices, i'm not shy when it comes to chocolate. laurie's parents retired upstairs, the ladies went into the kitchen to clean up, and mervin and ben were having a heated political discussion in the dining room. i sort of wavered in between two camps, not quite sure what my gender role was, sometimes helping in the kitchen, sometimes listening to the heated debate.
lucy passed out spicy toothpicks to all the guests and everybody left. i walked back home in the rain, reminiscent of last night's journey home.