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Birthday celebrations

As I said previously, I turned 56 on the 19th, and a week of celebration has ensued. Worldwide! Well, from Australia to the UK anyway. The sun never set on my birthday celebration, by grab. Highlights follow.

2016-09-19-56th Birthday at Brouwers.jpg
Including those you can't see in the photo: Andy Hooper, Scott Kreidermacher, Rob Taylor-Manning, Marc Laidlaw, Abi Ludwig, Luke and Julie McGuff, Suzle, Jerry Kaufman, Paul Carpientier, Julie McGalliard, Dave O'Neill, carl juarez, and at another table, since we outgrew our space: Jane Hawkins, Carrie Root, and Karrie Dunning

The night of the 19th, friends gathered at Brouwer's Cafe to celebrate. It was a good turnout, with 20 people (including myself) showing up. A lot of them were people I know through science fiction fandom, but the thing that made me anxious going in was that there were several who I knew from college or work or other parts of my life. How would the "outsiders" interact with the fans? As it turned out, they all interacted famously. From the head of the table I watched with great contentment as friends from different parts of my life chatted and laughed with each other as if they were enjoying themselves. I guess not all my friends are as introverted as I am and are fully capable of engaging socially with people they don't know, although I did get a message the next day from a friend who didn't show up apologizing for having had a panic attack and thus bailing out at the last minute. After Brouwers a smaller group retired to my house to drink Woodinville Bourbon and to smoke a strain of weed called Alien Ass Hat, both of which were gifts -- and excellent gifts at that.

2016-09-19 Birthday at Brouwers with Paul Carpentier.jpg
In my birthday finery with Paul Carpentier (and Carrie Root and Karrie Dunning behind us) at Brouwers (Photo by Abi Ludwig)

On Friday I took the train to Portland to celebrate the four family birthday birthdays in September (Mom, Dad, and my sister were also born in September). That evening we were joined by my cousin, Kris, and her husband, Steve, for pizza and wine. The next evening I had another gathering of friends, at Sam's Billiards, but this was an even more eclectic group than the one in Seattle: the old childhood friend from Salem who I may haven mentioned before has gotten back in contact with me 28 years after we last saw each other; her domestic partner, Jim ("happily unmarried for 36 years!"); my niece and her boyfriend; Dan and Lynn Steffan (from my fannish life); Sarah Gulde, who is a fan from Portland whom I'd never met before but who was put in contact with me because she wants to run for TAFF; Adam Lunoe, who is the tattoo artist who did my latest tattoo and whom I wanted to introduce to Dan and Lynn because they are tattoo aficionados; and, very briefly, because he was on his way to work a graveyard shift, my old college friend, Carl Lesher. Once again, everybody seemed to hit it off splendidly, much to my happy surprise. I was particularly happy to see Adam, Dan, and Lynn deep in conversation as I headed out the door. My one regret is that my old childhood friend glommed onto me and wouldn't let go, so I didn't get to talk to anybody else.

2016-09-25 Birthday party in Portland.jpg
Sarah Gulde, Lynn and Dan Steffan, my niece, Jolie, and her boyfriend, Jeff, and my old childhood friend, Elaine, and her partner, Jim

Yesterday I had breakfast with Mom and Dad at Dad's favorite breakfast spot -- a dive called the Dockside Saloon and Restaurant, which seemed wonderfully out of place amidst all the gleaming new condos in the north end of the Pearl District. In fact, a new building is going up all around the grungy old place, and I think it's great that a splinter of old school Portland will survive amidst the splendor.

2016-09-26-Birthday Breakfast with Mom and Dad.jpg
At the Dockside with Mom and Dad

After all that partying, I'm worn out, so it's good to get back to my routine life of physical therapy, blood draws, MRIs, chemo, and movies. More about that in a day or two, I suspect.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2016 07:05 pm (UTC)
Looks and sounds like a great party, and I continue to be sad that we couldn't make it.
Sep. 27th, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC)
Lovely to see all of this. Wish we could have been there!
Sep. 27th, 2016 10:20 pm (UTC)
Happy belated. Looks like a good time was had by all!
Sep. 28th, 2016 12:53 am (UTC)
Glad you had some good birthday celebrations.
Sep. 28th, 2016 06:47 am (UTC)
Thanks for the pix!
Sep. 28th, 2016 02:43 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday that was! Wish I could have been there.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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