Birthday Love

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I am nearly speechless at the amount of love my friends have shown for me this week. I want to note it all so that I can look back and remember how loved-up I feel right now.

At 4th Sunday Spin on the 28th, lots of people braved the cold to hoop. Guy and his son, Tano-chan, baked me a cake. Two cakes, actually, made in their rice cooker. Added to the cream puffs I brought and all the snacks and drinks, we had quite a party as dozen of people came and hooped through the chilly afternoon.

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Amanda made a video montage of my 43rd year. She cared enough to show me what I can't see for myself. I watched it and boggled. Was that really all in one year? Was this me? I'm pretty amazing. You can see it on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=410700771954

The night before my birthday, my Artist's Way group called. I had skipped the meeting in order to satisfy my superstitious need to clean the house before my birthday. They sang Happy Birthday (in harmony!) to me over the phone and promised to eat my cake. They had a bouquet and card for me, too. I was truly not expecting that. They remembered. They made a big effort for me. I was touched.

On my birthday proper, I started the day with freshly baked cake and presents from Mom, who'd sent a package of books, seeds and pink hair dye. At lunch, Sorcha met to give me the bouquet from the night before and treated me to Indian buffet.

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Tod took me to dinner. He has a masterful way of finding just the right restaurant. This year it was Nagamine, a vegetable kaiseki place in Ginza. And he always gives me books for my birthday. Now i have a field guide to Japanese birds (this makes me very, very happy), an OSHO book, and a novel to enjoy.

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Heather drew this mandala for me and brought me two mix CDs and treats from Utsunomiya. We hooped in Hibiya park and then dashed off to yet another party!

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Tracey put on the most amazing event as a gift. "It involves dancing and food" was all I knew in advance. Her friend Petra re-created Trinidad and Tobago for us. First we watched Carnival parades while cooking a feast of Trinidadian dishes. Then fueled by rum punch and inspired by the gorgeous sexy dancers on the TV, we learned to wine and palance. "How many inches of pipe you want?" Trini music is sassy!

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And then as a cap to the birthday week, I threw myself a party in four parts on 4/4. It is self-indulgent to throw your own party, but I had a plan. The "shi shi" party was a fancy dress-up party to banish any bad demons hanging around my double digit fours (four, shi, is a homonym for 'death' in Japanese). It also gave me an excuse to wear a beautiful dress into some unusual situations.

Starting at Koishikawa Korakuen, ten of us strolled the park carrying large bunches of helium balloons. There were many smiles and photos. Then we connected with another half dozen friends and headed over to a billiards bar in Suidobashi to shoot some pool and the breeze while we warmed up after our promenade.

By the time we reached our dinner destination, the party had swelled to 20. We enjoyed an excellent vegetarian Italian meal at Aoi Napoli complete with a sparkler-studded birthday cake. Most everyone went home after the meal, but Tracey, Ashley, Tod & I went on to part four - a bath at the neighborhood sento, where a woman bathing with us said she'd seen me with the balloons at the park earlier. Nice way to close out the day.

Thanks to everyone who wished me well, played with me, gave me a present, or thought about me on my birthday. It is such a pleasure to have you all in my life. I and fueled by your love and ready to have an amazing and excellent year.

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Glad you enjoyed yourself!! What a great birthday!

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