in the late afternoon i walked the 15 minutes up the hills of somerville to highland avenue to catch the 90 bus that'd take me to wellington station in malden for clarissa's birthday party (scenes from last year's fiesta, which coincidentally enough was around this time of the year as well, go figure). earlier i went to the beacon street liquor store near my house looking for some tarantula, a blue margarita drink. they didn't have any so i got some kahlua mudslide instead. in hindsight it probably wasn't the most responsible thing to do bringing alcohol to a child's party, but i'm not very responsible. at the bus stop i waited well over 30 minutes before the belated bus finally arrived from davis square (two 88's had already gone by since that time). by then i couldn't feel my cheeks anymore and my toes were probably frozen. i didn't think it'd be that cold but waiting in the subzero temperature with strong winds for half an hour has a way of doing that to a person.
i've taken the 90 one other time before, and i'd forgotten what a circuitous route it takes. first it goes underneath mcgrath's highway and heads to sullivan station. from there it takes some back roads to assembly square mall, where behind a long wall would be the future site of new condos as well as the somerville ikea. by the time we finally arriving at wellington station, the sun was nearly set. the only good thing about arriving late was i didn't have much of a wait before my next connecting bus arrived, the 108. there was nobody else waiting when the bus showed up, but then suddenly a stream of people burst out from the train station, apparently too cold to wait outside. the 108 brought me almost directly in front of dan's place.
mike o, his wife, and his daughter were already there when i showed up. mike k. and cathy soon arrived as well. the food spread was abundant as always (eventually cymara would try to get people to take some leftovers when they left). kevin and keshrie came with their little boy tyler, and cymara's friend from work brought her two kids too. if i'd known it was BYOB (bring your own baby) i would've picked up a kid before i came. when punam asked why i wasn't a bigger presence on facebook, i told her how it felt like an online depository for proud parents to post photos of their children and that there should be a separate facebook for people like me who don't have families and who could care less. after the cake ceremony, it was time to open the presents, but the birthday girl was easily distracted so gifts were opened at irregular intervals. clarissa's favorite new toy seemed to be the little mermaid doll with the automatic articulating fish tail. as much as it was a birthday party for clarissa, it was also a party for daddy (dan) to work in a few rock band songs on the wii when the guests started to clear out a bit. by the time everyone had left, punam was gracious enough to give me a ride back to cambridge on her way home.