The Joys of a Summer Birthday

When I turned 14, we tried to organize a party for me. My birthday is August 14th, and even though school started the last week of August in Hawaii, most people were still on vacation for my actual birthday.

Regardless, we kept trying, but every date fell apart. Every time mom put off the ordering of the cake, until finally in September, on the 25th, she came home with this gorgeous chocolate number with a marzipan lion on the top and said “Happy birthday.”

Best. dessert and breakfast. ever.

When I turned 15, my mom planned a surprise party for me.

I had no idea. She’d kept it a complete secret.

She’d invited my Aunty Marsha and my friend Noelle and, because she didn’t know people in the drama program at my high school very well, she’d asked a friend of mine there if he would invite the people there that he thought would want to come. She reserved a lunch-time table at Koho’s, which was the fancy restaurant for the middle class in Maui, and then kept completely silent until my birthday.

My birthday arrives, and after a really awesome wake-up that probably involved opening presents from her and having chocolate-chip pancakes I got dressed and we headed out to Koho’s.

We walked in to find a table with 16 empty spaces and Aunty Marsha and Noelle taking up the other two.

I was really surprised.

Apparently the above-unnamed friend in the drama program had totally bailed on inviting anyone to the party or even showing up himself, and hadn’t bothered to tell my mom. (That, or no one in the drama program wanted to come to my birthday — while either is likely, I’m betting on the first one. I did have some friends in high school.) Hence: a party with four people.

In the end it wasn’t bad. I honestly was just happy that two people had showed. We had a great lunch and afterwards Noelle and I got to be mall rats for a few hours — I bought the game Legend of Dragoon for the PlayStation One and maybe some other things, but Legend of Dragoon is what stands out in my memory. Then we decided to go to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunset. We got up there, saw the sunset, and then in the freezing cold that is 10,000 feet above sea level with the sun below the horizon, our car broke down.

We managed to catch a ride down the mountain with some nice dudes in a truck, and when we got back down we dropped Noelle off at her house, where her dog bit me.

At this point I had to start laughing, because the whole day had been such a comedy of errors.

When I turned 18 I had to work on my birthday. It was tech week for the show I was assistant-stage-managing, and we were doing a cue to cue and light refocusing.

I was determined to be optimistic about having to work on my birthday because I was turning 18 and could visit the porn shops and get a tattoo, both of which were really important things to me. I did actually end up getting that tattoo during my break — an Eye of Horus on my right inner wrist.

However, when I got back the director and the stage manager decided to have a screaming fight over half the theatre, the stage manager using the PA system (or “Voice of God”) to make his point. Shakily, upset by all the yelling, I went outside to stand with the actors having a smoke. Dale, that fabulous man, put his arm around me and said in his wonderfully scratchy voice, “Welcome to birthday hell, darlin.”

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On the Oregon Trail. No dysentery. Yet. (Picture heavy)

This past weekend I spent at Spring Mysteries Fest, which I can’t tell you much about because, well, Mysteries. Oath-bound secrecy, etc. Also, this is not my pagan blog, so what I can talk about will be said at Innocence and Immanence sometime this week. Regardless, SMF is at Fort Flagler, an old military base. Pictures during the event are not allowed by any save the sanctioned photographers (though we did get a photo of just our group, which is okay, on Saturday in all our big feast finery + my Creepy Muppet Smile + at least one photobomb by another Canadian), but while I was waiting outside for my mom to pick me up (she was six hours late) I snapped a few shots of the amazing view.

Ft. Flagler is a pretty cool place, but it hasn’t changed much since it was closed down for military use…in 1953. After being shut down for military use it was purchased by the State of Washington as a state park. So this means 1950s bunks (sans ladders, because army boys should be able to just leap up to the top bunk), 1950s bathrooms (TINY), and 1950s hot water heaters (also tiny, and overworked). Despite these small inconveniences (roughing it, eh?), we had a great time (I did have a bottom bunk, which is good because I would not be able to use a top bunk, not even with make-shift nightstand ladder) and great weather.

Even waiting for my mom wasn’t too bad; the Gods provided for me, as They always do. I did fine. Except the sunburn, which you can vaguely see on my hands and face in the three pictures below. Only my hands and face; I was fully covered with clothing. Hot water still kinda hurts though.

Continue reading “On the Oregon Trail. No dysentery. Yet. (Picture heavy)”

Passports and Fear

Us-passport enhanced
US Passport enhanced (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My passport is missing.

Actually, my passports are missing. I have two, both current: US and Canada.

I only need one to travel (technically*) and I cannot find either of them.

I keep them in a special silver case that protects them from electromagnetic rays and beaming up by aliens and other various nasties. Yes, I love my passports so much I got them their own tinfoil hats.

But the last time I used them was my trip to Orlando in January, and as you may recall when I arrived home I injured my spine. So that entire time period is lost in a fog of concussion and narcotics, and I don’t remember where I put them.

This, of course, wouldn’t be a big deal even a few years ago, back when the US still trusted Canada and I could go across the border on a road trip with nothing more than a driver’s license and the wind in my hair. (And clothes and food, obviously.)

Things are different now. The US no longer trusts its next-door neighbor; terrified of Canadian terrorism, or perhaps liberalism. But fear not, increasingly conservative and fear-locked United States! Canada is following in your footsteps! Not only are we trying to take away the right of choice for uterus bearing people, restricting mobility rights for people who don’t “look their gender”, but our BC Liberals are increasingly cutting back funding for arts, education, and anything else that may help the spread of actual liberalism. In fact, our Liberals are like your Republicans.

There. Do you trust us now? Is it enough that we are trying to be like you? If I hide my tattoos and have normal colored hair and wear a pretty dress and make-up so you’re sure that I’m female, which is apparently important because I’m CAFAB, will you let me through? If I promise not to spread liberalism or fresh ideas or freedom?

Ironically enough, I fled Bush-led USA for Canada in the hopes that the country of my birth was still as liberal as I’d left it. That’s been steadily changing for the past several years now. I’m sitting here and watching the world go down in flames.

 

*I say technically because when traveling I don’t volunteer the information that I have more than one citizenship, as it can lead to me being sent to fucking Gitmo. I always have both passports on me, however, in case the information does come up. Technically I should be able to travel with one or the other, but in the increasingly fear-based climate of my home countries I find it’s safer to carry both.