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November 22, 2004

30 Going On 13 (Part I)

Hmm. Where to begin describing my Weekend at Roo's? I guess I will break it down by days, but let me first say that I had a FANTASTIC time – it was wonderful to see Roo and Teem again, and meeting Roo's family and friends was great. It was a whirlwind weekend filled with food, fun and frivolity (and very little sleep), and I am very happy that I could share Roo's birthday weekend in such great company.

Oh, and the phrase for the weekend was: "It's not a party until someone says penis."

FRIDAY – I flew to Atlanta at 10 a.m. I was sitting diagonally behind a guy who looked like the twin brother of Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket lead singer), so I stared at him for the entire hour of the flight. Which was great, because Glen Phillips is really cute.

I got in at 11:30; Roo arrived shortly thereafter and we did the slow-motion run into each other's arms for hugging and squealing. Teem waltzed into the baggage claim and we did the whole slow-motion running-hugging-squealing thing again.

Roo chauffered us back to her apartment in style (aka her friend Wendy's SUV) and then gave us the grand tour. Her apartment is super cute - outrageously high ceilings, hardwood floors, tons of character. Her living room is shaped kind of like a hexagon, and her bathroom is pink. Love.

And then I met Timber for the first time. Timber is a li'l sausage of an orange striped kitty and she is undeniably adorable and friendly. Teem and I called her "Tim-MAAAY" (ala South Park) all weekend long.

By this time we were starving, so we walked across the street to The Vortex for lunch – into the skull! The Vortex promises the best hamburgers in Atlanta, and they were pretty damn good. I had a bacon cheddar cheeseburger and TATER TOTS. Our waiter was very sassy and cute.

We walked around Little 5 Points for a bit, and stopped in at Cherry Bomb, a little boutique where Wendy works. Then it was off to Roo's office downtown. We walked in and there were two people at the front desk, who gave Roo an "uh oh why are you here?" look. Roo then dragged me and Teem upstairs so we could meet her fabulous boss ... who insisted that she give us a tour of the upstairs, including the conference room. The conference room? Is someone stalling so we won't go downstairs and see Roo's office yet?

Stall, stall, stall.

We go downstairs and there's a trail of streamers and confetti leading into Roo's office. Her coworkers decorated her desk/office with party favors and streamers and birthday signs, and once Roo walked in they jumped up from behind a partition and yelled "Surprise!" Very fun, and they seem like a very nice group of people who obviously care about Roo a lot.

We left the office and headed to Perimeter Mall, getting stuck in the hellacious Atlanta traffic. We first stopped at Nordstrom, where we perused the perfume section before heading to the Stila counter. Roo sat down with Vince to get her makeup done; Teem and I wandered over to look at the sale rack of shoes. Then Teem went back and started having HER makeup done at the counter. I wasn't interested, so I ran upstairs to look at clothes.

I came back down to check in on them and the third makeup artist convinced me to sit down with him (mainly by offering me "a little slap and tickle"). His name was Christopher, and he was gay. I somehow always manage to get the gay male makeup artists. So while he was working on me we chatted about his shoe habit, his partner, his travels to Europe for shopping, where he grew up (Malibu), what we were like as teenagers (weirdly dressed freaks), tattooes, body piercings, Roo's birthday, restaurants, gay strip clubs, and getting your lips around things. Ahem.

Then we wandered the mall a little bit so Roo could find and buy black pants. A mission she accomplished. On the way out Teem and I bought Orange Juliuses. Mmm, Orange Juliuses. Then we drove out to the Choi studio so Roo could show us where she spends an inordinant amount of time, and so we could see the little kiddies taking their martial arts class (that Roo normally teaches). We met Margaret, the owner of the school, and she gave Roo a li'l gift and card.

Then we drove back to the apartment to get fancied up for dinner at a local trattoria called Il Localino.

Il Localino was one of the highlights of the weekend. It's a small place, but packed with people and there's this great familial atmosphere going. We walked in and they were playing "YMCA" on the sound system. We were seated and the owner, Papa Giovanni, came over to make small talk with Roo. He asked it if was a special occasion (we were all dressed up nicely) and as Roo said, "No!" I blurted out "YES! It's her birthday!" Muahahahaha.

Papa Giovanni put a sailor's hat on Roo and then made a big deal in telling our waiter that it was Roo's birthday, much to her chagrin. We ordered wine (reisling for me and Teem, merlot for Roo) and snacked on bread with olive oil dipping sauce, fresh parmesan, and olives. It was wonderful.

Our dinners arrived in less than 10 minutes (I had chicken piccata), making both Teem and I cringe a little bit because we knew we had to keep Roo out at dinner until at least 9 p.m., and it was only 8. Wendy and her crew were setting up for the surprise party over at Roo's apartment, and our job was to keep Roo out long enough to give her time to decorate and for the guests to arrive.

So Teem and I ate verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly. This place was so efficient (refilling water, removing cleaned plates) that it was like they were able to anticipate your every need/want before you even had it. It was amazing.

Papa Giovanni put another hat (a tricolor with a feather on it) on Roo, and at some point a waiter came over to give her a hug. She was the woman of the hour at this place; Teem and I got no love. Our waiter brought out a slice of tiramisu with a candle in it, then led the waiters and patrons in a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" for Roo.

At some point the man in the booth behind us got up and started dancing in the aisle to Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" while his wife/girlfriend watched with a look of bemusement on her face. He was dancing and talking to us, and it was really funny. I'm always amazed by people who are so un-selfconscious that they can do things that might make them look silly, and they don't seem to care. This guy was in the moment, feeling the music, and so he danced. I only wish, in retrospect, I had taken him up on his offer to dance with him.

We needed to kill more time, so we ordered dessert. Teem had cannoli; I had chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. All very good. Papa Giovanni had the waiter bring each of us a red rose, which was sweet.

We paid the rilly big check and got up to leave; there were mints at the door, so Teem and Roo both took one. Roo also grabbed the box of Stila lip glaze that was sitting beside the mints, which coincidentally happened to be the lip glaze that she had thought she lost in the car. She must have dropped it between the car and the restaurant, and the person who picked it up brought it in and laid it on the counter. Which she just happened to pass. It was really kind of bizarre.

So then, FINALLY, we were able to return to the apartment. Teem dialed Wendy's cell phone from the back seat of the car (just letting it ring, not talking) so they'd know we were on our way. Roo walked in and was "Surprise!"d for the second time in one day. She claims to have known something was up, but Teem and I are good enough liars that she wasn't exactly sure what might have been planned.

I don't remember a whole lot about the party because I was all liquored up. Roo's friends are all very nice, though, and Wendy did a great job planning everything. I did learn how Wendy convinced her husband to groom his pubic hair, which was neat (the way she convinced him, not his pubes - well, until afterwards). Her husband was so good-natured about the conversation regarding his genitals, too. That's a special guy right there.

Another surprise for Roo was that her friend Lara was arriving on Friday night, rather than Saturday as she had said. But poor Lara got stuck in traffic for over four hours and didn't end up getting to the apartment until close to midnight. But Roo was VERY excited to see her, so that was nice. It was funny because several times throughout the night Roo said that she thought Lara was going to be there at the party, but she guessed she really wasn't coming in until Saturday. To which everyone else silently said, "Heh heh heh."

The party broke up ... well, late. I don't remember the time, I just know I was wiped out. Teem took the couch and I slept on the air mattress. Roo and Lara stayed up talking for awhile in the bedroom, but I'm pretty sure I was asleep within about 60 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.

Saturday/Sunday to follow (sometime).

Posted by Highwaygirl on November 22, 2004 10:54 AM to the category Friends

Hee! I couldn't wait to check your site this morning...you're so good at remembering details. I think you need to go back to being a reporter.

And for some reason, it really cracks me up that you called my makeup artist Vince. His name was Stewart, but I think Vince is funnier. Hee! And I'm still amazed how you and Teem and Wendy and Lara and everyone all conspired. Boy. You're good.

Posted by: Roo at November 22, 2004 11:05 AM

Ack! It's Wendy with a Y! I will fix that. And I wasn't sure about your guy's name, but Vince seemed as good as any other I could think up. Heh.

Posted by: Highwaygirl at November 22, 2004 11:24 AM

The best thing about me thinking that Lara really *was* going to show up was the fact that when I went into the bathroom and was all alone, I peeked behind the shower curtain, thinking she was hiding out in the shower. Hee! I am a dork.

Posted by: Roo at November 22, 2004 11:42 AM
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