Last blog (and more than a few before that) was all about work.
|I'd take the perilous dead tree bridge over the 10 East any day.|
But I'm happy to say that this week it's all about play!
|Careful, those apples will seriously sneak up on you.|
I haven't necessarily slowed down recently so much as I've just worked harder to even out the work-to-fun ratio. It's easier than ever to justify because I just celebrated my 23rd birthday yesterday. Yup, ol' J-Mil's the big two-three... I'm finally entering the adult version of awkward adolescence. It's like turning 13 but knowing how to be existential about it.
So this weekend I've peppered in a few fun celebrations. Among the best was a little affair last Friday evening at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, which I'd never been to before. They were having a special late-night event called Night Dive.
|Casually nodding to a Beatles song near YOU.|
The poster for the event was disappointingly deceptive... I was very unhappy to be told by aquarium personnel that I would not in fact be allowed to drop acid and drive a submarine around the deep sea tank.
Still, it was a pretty grand event on the whole. It was cool to go to an aquarium at night, especially when said aquarium was filled with art vendors, live bands and booze. I went with Casey and our Long Beach native friend Alana. Once we arrived in downtown LB and got our tickets, we grabbed dinner at the little cluster of food trucks parked outside the aquarium for the event. Once inside, we got to check out all the different aquarium exhibits, learn about how we're killing whales, and even touch sharks!
YES, I touched a mother-flippin' shark. Several in fact. Mostly tiger sharks and baby hammerheads. They were just swimming around in the tide pools like it wasn't no big thang. Fun fact: sharks are actually very soft!
Know how I know that?
I touched a fuckin' shark.
Another interactive highlight of the trip was touching jellyfish. Which is neither as painful nor sexual as it sounds. The aquarium had a little tank set up and you could ("gently") bop 'em on their little jelly domes. I would've given anything to do the same with my new favorite sea creature and possibly animal of all time: lumpsuckers.
For your reference:
|Looks like a jive lumpsucker to me.|
It's a chunky little fish with suction cup feet that it uses to "perch" on rocks. Like. What? How did I not know this was a thing?
|Lumpsuckers defy science.|
My heart just about melted. Likewise, my brain melted when the last performing band came on out of nowhere with a bunch of sick music and terrifying identical lumberjack masks. They call themselves "Fartbarf"... I fartbarf you not.
|If I saw these guys on the street I would fartbarf my pants.|
Despite what the name might suggest, they're actually a pretty talented, high-energy band with great heavy electronic dance beats and just enough pop in the mix to keep you from running in fear from their masks.
Their sound hits a lot heavier live, but you get the idea. It's the kind of music I would love to take back to people in the 1800s just to fuck with them.
The aquarium apparently hosts a bunch of special events, so it may be worth visiting again in the future. I think I just need an excuse to giggle at little baby lumpsuckers.
My mom and sister also came up over the weekend to celebrate my birthday. We didn't do anything too crazy, though I got to have birthday dinner at a great place that already has a ton of clout but which I will promote anyway: Cafe Gratitude. Oh my nom. Where swanky meets vegan meets delicious. This is a 100% organic vegan restaurant that defies all "leaves and twigs" accusations about vegan diet. This food is INCREDIBLE.
|And incredibly photogenic.|
And it doesn't hurt that the waiters compliment you based on what you order. For instance, when I ordered the "humble" with a fresh-squeezed "divine," the waiter wrote my order down, gazed into my hungry fat-ass eyes, and said, "You are humble and divine."
"Thanks, I know right?" I responded just before ordering him to bring me a Q-tip to clean out my belly button.
I finished my meal with a coconut cream pie that was better than it looked.
|Isn't that vegan food just miserable?|
In terms of other birthday treats, I spent my actual birthday evening at Writer's Blok, where the group organizer Paul got me a banana cream pastry with a candle in it. There's something about being handed sugary treats in front of a bunch of strangers who don't get one that really makes you feel special. I also got M&M cookies and a California Pizza Kitchen giftcard from my boss... no, not my full-time job boss who I told about my birthday multiple times and who didn't once say happy birthday to me yesterday, but rather from my writing program boss who I didn't once bring up my birthday to. You know, the one I'm leaving. *face palm*
Well, this birthday bitch is going to milk the surrounding birthday days for everything they're worth. If you need me I'll be celebrating how great it is that I am alive. You're more than welcome to do the same, from the comfort of your home.