This past week was "birthday" week! I celebrated turning a quarter of a century, in style, over a week's time with my family, friends, and students. It was awesome. I had a very good time with my husband and my co-workers over the weekend and my students and co-workers continued to shower me with small gifts of appreciation throughout the week; moreover, I was able to release a lot of stress in preparation for my new career venture (more information on that later:-)). All in all, the past week has been jam packed with great laughs, quality times, weight loss sabotage, birthday re-gifts, and red velvet cake.
Tuesday through Friday:
I had to work on my birthday (cause I'm grown) and it wasn't that bad. On the day of my birthday, my step girls bought me a slice of vanilla cake :-). Wednesday, my co-workers bought me red velvet cupcakes (delicious) and a card. Thursday, we had pizza from Papa Johns. Talk about weight loss sabotage! Every time I tried to "be good" to save up for the weekend, I kept getting another sweet edible gift.... at least I got something, right? My mother sent me beautiful multi-colored roses and my aunt sent me a necklace from Tiffany's (which clearly looked as if she received as a gift and didn't want it). But it's okay 'cause now, I have a necklace from Tiffany's!
My husband treated me with dinner at Grand Lux Cafe and we went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes. First and foremost, I've only been to Grand Lux once before with my good friend and her husband when she visited LA a few months back- and then I only ordered a margherita pizza and the Creme Brulee Duo (dark chocolate and vanilla)-- which was delicious. This time however, I believe I had the best meal of my life (no joke). I ordered the Jamaican Pork Tenderloin. Now, I do not eat pork often (Imma chicken and seafood lady). But this meal was by far the greatest merge of Island/Jamaican flavors I had ever tasted. The entree came with Spicy Jerk-seasoned pork tenderloins, black beans, brown rice (your choice of white or brown rice), and mashed sweet potatoes. The suprising part of the meal was the flavor of the black beans; these were no regular cuban/latin black beans. They had a Jamaican kick to them and tasted as if they were flavored with Jerk sauce. The brown rice was delicious! It didn't taste hard and grainy like most brown rice and it paired well with the beans. And the mashed sweet potatoes were heaven, of course. My only critique would be with the way it was served; it came with two large pieces of spicy fried wontons that looked like wings; and the rice and beans were on opposites sides of the plates (which baffled me because it's "rice and beans" not "rice" and "beans"). Other than that, it was heaven in my mouth... can't wait to taste it again.
To continue the evening we saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes: IT IS THE BEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER! No lie. I think it rivals Fast Five, which was also a very great movie this summer. In my book, Rise of the Planet of the Apes ties with Fast Five for the number one spot. I won't spoil it for you because the movie premiered Friday but if you haven't already made plans to see it.... SEE IT.
I was apprehensive about going out with my good LA friend Sunday night. Nothing about her. It's just that I had had so much fun Saturday that I didn't want to do anything else for the weekend but recuperate. But, because I don't have to work until later this week, I can recoup later ;-). Anyway, we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I love Cheesecake Factory for more than just the cheesecake; I think they have delicious appetizers and great entrees. But this visit was just weird from the beginning. Imagine going to a birthday dinner and not knowing if the person who is taking you out is going to pay for your meal and you know that if they didn't, you wouldn't want to spend too much money anyway.... Well that's how I felt at dinner. Pair that with thinking about the long term- the rest of the night- and the anticipation of more food and alcohol consumption, and therefore, more money exiting my wallet. So, instead of ordering the Jamaican Shrimp (which is Cheesecake version of the same Grand Lux entree, only with seafood; I wanted to compare the two), I ordered a small margherita pizzette and a house salad. My Weight Watchers buddies would have been proud but my stomach wasn't (I'll explain later). So, after having a margarita drink, pizzette, salad, and half of a red velvet cheesecake, I was cool.
Then the horror started. We were heading to Laugh Factory for Chocolate Sundays; we didn't know who was performing but we were excited about getting some good laughs and good drinks. By the time we arrived to Chocolate Sundays- I was pretty intoxicated with only a salad, bread and cheese in my system. Not drunk, just pleasant, as some would say. We stood outside for an hour (my feet were killing me) and finally got in around 10:50pm (the show was supposed to start at 10pm). I am going to spare all of the other not-so-attractive details of the evening and skip to the part were I found out that Kevin Hart, Deray Davis, Scruncho, and others were performing. I HEART KEVIN HART!! And he was sooooo funny. Let's just say I laughed non stop all night. Also, Ludacris and Tony Rock were in the house! By the end of the night, I was so glad that I went out. I haven't been out with friends in a long time and I can't wait to do it again!
All in all, my weekend was the highlight of my life since turning 25 and I'm very excited for more. I can truly say that I've got it together (or whatever together means for now). I'm ready for success and whatever life has in store :-).