Sunday, November 8, 2009

My birthday at Sluggo's

Sluggo’s is smoky. Very smoky. But because of all the times I’ve been there after tennis, it feels like home.

Of course I had a good time on my birthday: drinks, pizza, seeing my friends. What’s not to enjoy? So I thought I’d tell you something about each of the people in these photos — a mini-story, if you will, about friends old and new.

1. My BeadStyle friends: Kelsey is our new assistant. She is funny and enthusiastic and puts up with nicknames like Kelsey Lately.

Cathy makes sure we always have baked goods at work: brownies, lemon bars, a tower of treats. She also makes really tasty cookies at the holidays and lets me go on a donut run when necessary.

Erin always made us laugh with her workplace pep; it could have been the song in her head. I think she and Kelsey may be related.

2. I also work with Keith, who is the nicest IT guy you could imagine. Plus, he is quick to help when Papa needs to go to the emergency clinic.

Jeremy is an editor who can give you a nickname in French. So try not to do anything too stupid around him, mais oui!

3. Patrice, Jean, and I are on the same tennis team. Patrice was my tennis partner last summer. She's supercompetitive but down to earth. Just by saying, “Enough of that” — in a really nice way, not bossy, of course — she helps me re-focus.

Jean and I played a match together last summer, against the best team in our flight. We still took a set from them. Not too shabby, right?

4. Louis and Michael are my ping-pong friends. Louis teaches me cool stuff like the slide-and-glide. Who knew that ping pong could also give you an aerobic workout? Michael has helped me with my forehand and never gets impatient when I hit bad shots, which is often.

5. Even though Denise just got married and moved kind of far away, she came to have a drink with me. One thing I forgot to mention: she was one of the most organized brides ever. She had a list of friends to photograph at her wedding and she sent postcards from her honeymoon.

6. Mary and I have been friends since we met at M.E. Lou ten years ago. It's through her that I met Stacy (who's not in this photo, maybe she had had enough of Sluggo's by then?) and Katie (of Pickled Egg fame).

I've known Michelle (who's in the center of the photo) for about ten years, and one of my first memories of her was of a New Year's Eve party where everyone was having a blast watching the DVD she brought. In case you were wondering, the tagline of Center Stage was "Life doesn't hold tryouts." Michelle will never judge you on your pop-culture proclivities.

7. Last but not least: Ben. He asked, and I told him, what I wanted for my birthday. A pepper mill. When he was at the store picking out my gift, he pictured how it would look in my kitchen. (My pepper mill stands proudly on my countertop.) I love this attention to detail. (Though, if I deliberated over such a decision, he might say, "It's a pepper mill.")

Anyway, I'm excited about all that the next year has to offer. Thanks, everyone, for your company!

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