Sunday, January 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Alex!

Alex brought a beautiful (and stinky!) cheese fondue from Switzerland, and we all enjoyed it at Calatrava Friday night. After stuffing ourselves with cheese, we devoured a Panettone George brought back from Italy as well as some lovely Italian dessert wine. Unfortunately, after eating the cake, we realized we had nothing left to put candles into for Alex's birthday, which started at midnight.

So George deftly and decoratively cut up an apple, and this was the result:

Moments later, George emerged from the kitchen and we started singing Happy Birthday. Unfortunately, George then laughed and blew out half the candles himself, so we had to start over. George said, "Act surprised!" and came out with the apple again.

Yesterday I went shopping. This is the time of year to SPEND in Barcelona! Wow. I had been planning to shop in NYC but never got around to it since I went skiing instead, and I'm glad I waited because yesterday I made a killing on shoes. In the evening, Alex's girlfriend Natalia held a surprise party for him at her place. I had the easy job - I was in charge of music. Natalia whipped up an impressive spread, and Alex was indeed surprised (or at least good at pretending to be) when we all popped out from behind chairs and flower pots.

Later in the evening, Alex and Natalia made their announcement to everyone that they had gotten engaged over the holidays and everyone started chanting, "BESO! BESO! BESO!" (Which means "kiss" for you gringos or people who don't know the song Besame Mucho.) And they did. Then I said, "Any other announcements?" And George, who was standing next to Marc, leaned on him and said, "Yes! Marc and I..." And the chanting started again: "BESO! BESO! BESO!"

Poor George. I think he often makes a funny comment in the moment, not realizing he's setting himself up for someone else to make an even better one at his expense! I hope he never changes.

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