Yesterday turned out to be a much more delightful birthday than I could have hoped for!

The morning started with a visit from my friend and former neighbour Jahan, who came back up to town from Kirkland to pick up his bed. After we loaded his mattresses into his pickup truck, we hung out and watched Family Guy.

Then I discovered that my little sister, Nettie, who is currently serving a tour in Iraq, went on my Amazon.com Wish List and purchased the "Big and Tall" office chair that I have been needing badly (small office chairs hurt my knees). Thank you so much, Little Sister!

In the afternoon, I took the bus down to the Amtrak station to pick up Mom. She arrived on time, and was very happy to see me. I have to confess, I'm happy to see her, too! After picking up a rental car, we went and had a late lunch at Pelmeni. Then we got her checked into her hotel room.

We talked a bit about the tension between us lately. "I know you think I'm awful," she said. "Mom," I replied, "I don't think you're awful. I think you're wonderful. So we don't see eye-to-eye politically, and we bicker over email. So what? Sometimes, bickering's just a way for people who love each other to communicate!" She seemed delighted by my saying this.

After leaving her at her hotel to clean up after being on the train for 3 days, I went home and took care of some things. Then I went back to her hotel room to pick her up for dinner. I also showed her the Message for Obama book I was published in. I explained I did it for Nettie, and she seemed very pleased.

Then we went to the Cliff House for drinks and dinner. I was incredibly pleased by the turnout for my birthday dinner! Ted was there, and Richard and Brian, and Robert, and even [livejournal.com profile] man_of_snows and his partner Justin attended! It was like Faerie Coffee for dinner!

Dinner itself was wonderful. I had the Chicken & Dungeness Crab, and at the end of the meal, the restaurant brought out a HUGE complimentary sundae for me with a candle on it, while Ted serenaded me with a lovely birthday song. After making my wish (for financial security), i shared the sundae with everyone. It was a lot of fun, and I was stuffed! It was an expensive meal, and Mom paid for much of it... and I am grateful for it.

After getting Ted on the bus to go home, I took Mom back to her hotel, and then headed home myself, satisfied with a delightful day.

Thank you everyone who made me feel so loved on my 41st birthday!
Today's turned out to be a surprisingly good day.

It didn't start out that way, though. I was bored, broke, and out of cigarettes this morning, and hadn't done anything productive at all. Hadn't even showered, and was just sitting around playing games on the computer at around noon, when my friend Kokii showed up. She was on her way home from work (she walks by my apartment building on her way home) and shouted up to me to come keep her company because she was going to play hooky from her afternoon classes.

Kokii is a trip. She's 20 years old, and is from Juneau (though we never met while I lived there). She's a student at WWU's Fairhaven College, and is a bundle of childlike energy. With her, it's always an adventure. She's a princess, and always makes me laugh.

I was thrilled that she got me out of the house today. We went to the drug store and grocery store together, created some chaos (she loves doing that), and she bought me a pack of smokes, so I wouldn't have to bum all hers.

Then we drove downtown to пельмени (Pelmeni) and had lunch. Now, for those of you who don't know, a pelmeni is a Russian dumpling, similar to a pierogi, except it's not fried, just boiled. Served with melted butter, vinegar, sour cream, hot sauce and cilantro, and a slice of bread, it's absolutely delicious. Warm, tasty, inexpensive, stick-to-your-ribs fare. What more could you ask for?

I first discovered pelmeni when I was living in Juneau. Up in Alaska's capital city, there's a pelmeni shop downtown. It's a hole in the wall, and it only serves one thing: pelmenis (either meat or potato), and soft drinks. That's it. And it's open well into the wee hours of the morning, which in Juneau means it's just about the only place to get hot food after hours. It's very popular after-bar food, and more than once when I was working a late night shift at the Juneau Empire, I'd go to pelmeni after work for some boiled dumpling goodness.

When Kokii & I were first getting to know each other, we'd swap stories about Juneau, and we both would wax poetic about pelmeni. To our delight, we've discovered that there's a pelmini shop here in Bellingham! It turns out that it is owned by the same people who own the shop in Juneau, and the menu is exactly the same. Kokii's been threatening to take me there for a while, and in order to get me out of the house today, that's exactly what she did.

We sat in the front window of the shop and ate our pelmeni, and Kokii found a copy of Tom Sawyer on the shelf of the shop, and demanded that I read to her while we ate. So I did. And we people watched. It was fun!

Afterwards, we went back to her place, and I did my laundry while she studied. After the washer was loaded, I channel surfed, and discovered that the first episode of Babylon 5: The Lost Tales was available OnDemand! YES!

After getting her permission, I ordered it, and kicked back to watch the first new Babylon 5 episode in years. Pelmeni and Babylon 5, in the same day? I'm in heaven!

I really enjoyed the episode, "Voices in the Dark", and was thrilled to see the Technomage, Galen, back. Sheridan was good, too (though I would rather have had Delenn back). Lochley, though... ehhh... I mean, the story was good (it was written by JMS, so of course it was good!) , but of all the characters to reprise in this, why Lochley? Bleah. The weakest link. Now Ivanova... I would love to see Ivanova back!

And the special effects... my, what a difference 10 years of advances in CGI makes! Impressive. I am really looking forward to seeing more of this series.

The only sad thing is, with the deaths of actors Richard Biggs and Andreas Katsulas, the roles of Dr. Franklin & G'Kar can't easily be reprised. *sigh* But the Internet rumour mill suggests Londo, Garibaldi, Lyta, and even Bester (!) are coming back!

Anyway, after B5, I used her phone to call my bank, and successfullt convinced them to reverse a $29 NSF fee which wasn't my fault (score!), and then went back home. [livejournal.com profile] detailbear called me over skype, so we had a nice video chat, and then I put away my laundry. Now I'm getting ready to watch the latest episode of Heroes on nbc.com, and then go to bed.

Yes, it's been a good day. Thank you, Kokii, for getting me out of the house!

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Title translation: Pelmeni! Babylon 5! What a good day!
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