Saturday, April 26, 2014

Surprises and 37 Years Old

I was never good with surprises.  Back when I was young, a lot of my celebrations in life were shared with my brother.  Given we were born three years apart, I had a bunch of birthdays where we would sort of share the cake and both wear the awesome Voltes V clothes we had, or would both get die-cast metal robots as presents (my brother got the Valkyrie from Macross.  I got the hero from Orguss.) and basically celebrate things in unison because back then, it was the best way to make sure the other didn't get envious.  As I got older, and gained my circle of friends, I'd find myself excited when I started to get my own "thing" on my birthdays.  Around some time in college, however, was when I started to have birthdays where friends would surprise me - all claiming to be busy, only to show up at some event to greet me and my surprised mug.  This happened for a few consecutive years.  So when in the years after, I started to find myself celebrating birthdays on days when others also celebrated other events, I found myself getting disappointed.  Frustrated even.  And I then realized I didn't want surprises anymore.  I didn't like anticipating for something excitedly, only to realize at the end of the day I was exciting myself for nothing at all.

Yeah, I'll admit it - I have my selfish moments.

Maybe it was because of my training with film making that I tend to notice small details.  Maybe it has to do with storytelling and writing that my brain very quickly takes tangents of possibility and crafts scenarios around them.  Or maybe I just... hope too much at times.  But I soon came to realize I was just.. making it worse for myself each time I got disappointed.  I swore off surprise parties.  I always told my friends that I didn't want them anymore.

Luckily, Rocky and good friends like Prince still finds ways to surprise me.  And this year was definitely a very special one.
Let's start at the beginning:

I decided to hit O bar to "salubong" my birthday.  It wasn't meant to be anything special but as it turned out, it would be quite the beginning of a wonderful birthday celebration.

Upon arriving, Rupert and Jheyar both welcomed me and warmly greeted me for my birthday.  The staff would find ways to greet me as they did their duties.  Art Sam Lee, and other good friends such as Prince, Justin, Bench and Luningning greeted me as well, with Prince deflecting my attempts to request that the night be a quiet one.  Little did I know, "shhh"-ing the people around me about my birthday was not going to happen.  The spotlight shined and next thing I knew, O bar was greeting me with its usual song.  Tequila flowed and gyoza filled my tummy as I said thank yous and wished Rocky was with me that night, but work is work.  Prince teased me there *was* something being prepared for me and I begged him that I not be asked to climb up the stage.

Then, the Happy Birthday number happened.  Let Let opened it with Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday song to the president, then it shifted into a newer song with darling Precious Nicole in a birthday cake dress with actual candles (yes, "69!") at the belt area and H.B.D. on her head!  Crazy! They lit the candles and insisted I blow them out.

Admittedly, that alone was enough for me to feel very special about my birthday.  But no, more was to come!  Prince, as it turned out, had been in communication with a lot of our mutual friends including those in the geek circles.  What followed next was the kind of gesture one usually only gets when one has hit some kind of celebrity status:

The lovely greetings were pouring in, from friends, from acquaintances, from the staff, from friends of friends.  It was touching and lovely and admittedly, it brought a tear to my eye. I truly appreciated how all these people have taken the time to be part of this, and in as much as Prince might try to downplay how special this was, I will state it truly did feel great to be the recipient of such a gesture.   And yes, it was touching how there were many ways I was being greeted, including as a Geek, a Game Master, and yes Mamita!

As I posted in Facebook:

Once again, I would like to thank all of my friends (geeks, gamers, office mates and everyone else as unique and crazy as me) for putting up with me all these 37 years of my life. For accepting me despite my drama, my anti-spoiler stance, my love for gaming and geekery, and ultimately for seeing me as someone they have chosen to be part of their lives, no matter how big or small a role it may be.
Thank you to my family, who has always been loving and supportive despite any differences we may have.
And most of all, thank you to those who shower me with love and treat me as members of their family, like Prince Poi, Nico, Ramon, Rupert - most especially to Rocky Sunico who has been my anchor, my love, my discerning critic, my partner for never ceasing to trust in me, encourage me to be better, and make life wonderful.
And lastly, to Yoshi and the late Poy-poy, for letting me have the unconditional love only dogs can give, even if I spent 33 years of my life fearing dogs.
Thank you all. I am humbled and very happy.
I love you all.

Most of the people in the pictures were friends I had barely had time to reconnect with, and yet to see them greeting me for my birthday was such a happy moment.  Once again, Prince Poi thank you so much for taking the time to make this wonderful gift happen.

And just when one would think it was done, he'd follow it up later in the day with a courier-sent greeting card.  At a time when electronic messages and "HBD" seems to be the norm for what counts as greeting another nowadays, getting a card was admittedly a thrill.

And yes, I am keeping the contents of the card private. :-P  Just me and Rocky to know what it contained.  But again, thank you so much, Prince!

From work, my good friend Karlo made this sketch of me and Yoshi which I have to say was such a delight I had to make it my profile pic immediately.

I love how Yoshi is there smiling, as he peers out from my bag!  And yeah, the eyebags are pretty accurate heheh.  Is it just me though, or can you also read that as, "Who wants to ploy..." heheh!

Then, dear friend from back when I was young at O Sonny send me this photomontage of all the "good ole days" back when we used to hang out at Malate.

It was very quirky seeing all these old pictures!  There was a bit of an "OMG" realizing even Voldemort made an appearance in the pictures.  And sharp-eyed readers might be amused to see a very young and cute Rocky in stripes in the pics.  But man, these definitely bring back memories!  Ah those days.

More and more messages came in, greetings on both Facebook and via text, this birthday was truly lovely and gay.   Who else but Rocky would deliver the coup de grace that would celebrate the geekiness that surrounds our lives?

Rocky woke me up to this sight.

Yes, that's a host of wonderful surprises in the shape of a T!  I tell you, I think I was blushing like a cartoon character as my senses came into more focus to realize the display before me was a surprise Rocky had successfully kept me from picking up!  I wasn't sure whether to scream, to dance, or to squeal.  Okay, fine, I admit I sorta did a bit of all of those at the same time.

So starting with the yummy nom noms, Rocky knew I loved Jamaican patties and got us each one to devour with a relish!  He also got us Subway sandwiches to make sure we had something to eat for that brunch.  But the best part was that he actually got Quickly!  And he even got the kind I wanted (no I'm not repeating what it is! Do your research, folks..) and kept reminding me I had to start drinking it before it melted.  But man, that's just the beginning... 

You see, I have this thing about rescuing stuffed toys.  I used to have a larger collection of them back when I lived alone, and admittedly I had to give up a large number of them when I opted to take a gamble at moving out and living alone.  There are those odd days I notice a stuffed toy being sold at some sale and Rocky would tease me about how I would be trying to rescue them again.  (I do, actually. I mean, so many of them look so cute and sad that no one loves them..)  Rocky got this uber cuddly round pig that I have now come to officially name as part of the collection.

This, my friends, is Squee.

Then, there's this box.  Oh gosh, this box...

Is that a cigarette case.... oh wait..  OMG..
Serenity.  Blue Sun.
Oh my...

A few months back, Rocky and I were at a shop looking at this very thing! I recall admitting how nice it looked and how exciting it would be to actually own it.  They were Malcom Reynolds pendants which were kept in a precious cigarillos box!  The box kept reminding me (probably wrongly though) of the box which the Preacher showed Kaylee at the pilot episode to gain passage on the Serenity.  But man, Rocky got us these wonderful Firefly memorabilia!

And it gets even more awesome...

Tim Burton playing cards. 
Seriously.  Tim Burton playing cards!  I love his artwork, I love his vision, I love his work!  And these cards are just beautiful.  Absolutely stunning.  I haven't opened the pack yet (part of me still feels selfish about letting others peek at it too!) but I can already foresee how fun it would be seeing his artwork to represent each and every card.

Now I admit, I'm no huge trekkie/trekker fan.  I have yet to truly go through the Original Series nor Next Generation.  I did watch Deep Space Nine and I will admit a love for Voyager.  Captain Janeway remains my favorite Captain despite the many groups online that feel she was the weakest among the Captains.  I enjoyed the Voyager run far more than most did, and I will admit Rocky getting me to see the shows has tempted me to actually try running a Trek game someday.

But then he actually decided to get me this!

And its magnetic! OMG!!! I know I probably am geeking out more than most of you understand, but come on, on the show you see them normally just grabbing the comm badge, then pushing it against their clothes and its suddenly nicely on their uniform!  Now I get to do that very same action!  And as Rocky put it, now anything I wear can become a uniform!

I'm such a geek.  Tee hee!

But wait, there was one last item which I didn't ever expect.  After Paul, Dante, Oneal and Rej got a bunch of us geeks to see Blink for the first time, we were hooked.  Dr. Who had become a fandom we enjoyed immensely and slowly Rocky and I had been growing our collection of items.  Given the shows myriad of characters, there was one character whom I dearly loved the most.

And Rocky got these:

A mini Journal set of 3 Dr Who notebooks.
OMG!  Check them out below!

The notebooks are so beautiful I just went speechless.  And of course, Rocky knew me enough to tease me that he knew I'd be so tortured about wanting to use them, and yet not wanting to "ruin them" by writing on them.  I admitted to him that he was right, and that I just... wah, I still don't know when I'd actually write on them.  They're just so beautiful and fantastic and...

Spoilers, indeed!

So yeah, this birthday has been tremendously awesome.  Rocky's geeky bundle of joy was such an experience I can only pray to find a way to make him feel just as special and loved as I did today.     This was such a cherry to top the day off that I am a tremendously happy doggie right now.

And of course, there's this:

I love my life with you Rocky.
And I love all these people who have allowed me to be part of theirs as well.

Thank you so much for making my first step into being 37 such a delightful experience.  

Thank you for making my birthday such a memorable and wonderful day.

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