Exhausted and happy

Lunchtime at Union Station Foundation of Pasadena

My feet are aching, my hair a little smushed from wearing a hair net and I’m exhausted from getting maybe less than five hours of sleep. But I’ve got this glow of joy and I kind of can’t stop grinning. As nervous as I was about organizing people, cooking and serving for about 120 people (I actually think it ended up being 135, but I think we made out OK), we pulled it off. Not me — my wonderful friends and I. It was a great time.

Vance, Trinity and Iliki manning the stove

My cooks — Beverly on the chicken, Iliki on the spaghetti and Sam on the salad — all showed up on time. We mostly had enough food. And when we didn’t, Bryan Frank, aka beFrank, graciously went out for four more massive cans of spaghetti sauce and bottled water. Arriving friends jumped in where they were needed — Vance at the frying pans, Fluteprayer assisting with the salad. Trinity, God bless him, even put on a hair net and helped out with the spaghetti meat sauce. Not knowing if we would have enough dessert, we made sure to have one Costco cake on hand, and ended up with two — thanks Michelle! But besides the cake, we had cupcakes (homemade by L.A. Metblogs captain David Markland and his girlfriend!), homemade cookies (thanks Fluteprayer!), a ton of store bought varieties of cookies, even Mexican sweet bread (thanks Ed!). We might have served a little slow, getting bogged down by the noodles, but hey — it was our first time. Since no one was injured and everyone got fed (even us!), I declare the event a success.

Darleene and Sam strike a pose -- in hairnets

In the midst of it all, I think I was too frantic in trying to get everything done and out to the clients to really think about everything that was going on around me. Later, on our way to a Starbucks (where we got hot drinks to enjoy at a local dog park) I began getting misty, thinking of how great the day was. Dammit, I’m getting misty now! But when I think about it, I brought a bunch of strangers — to each other — together, and we all worked together to serve more than 100 meals to another bunch of strangers. And everyone was so appreciative! Not just the clients — many of whom wished me happy birthday, even though they wouldn’t have known me from Eve — but also my friends. When I think about it, this was so much better and more impactful than a regular party. Not only did we have a great time and eat together, we managed to make each of our circles that much bigger, and bring a party to people whose lives are not yet ready for their own parties.

Photo swiped from beFrank's Photostream
Photo by Bryan Frank

I’m not going to say that this was the best birthday ever, because I don’t wish to limit myself. I have a lot of life to live still! And I really, really hope I don’t sound like I’m blubbering (even though I am a little right now), but seriously. This was such a great birthday! And I don’t even turn 30 until Wednesday!

As for photos, I was shooting some, along with Fluteprayer’s husband, but Bryan took the most. His set is already up. Thanks so much Bryan!

Blog-LA-sphere represent!

And by the way, can the blog-LA-sphere be any more well represented???  Thanks for coming you guys!

6 thoughts on “Exhausted and happy

  1. :: jozjozjoz ::

    Happy birthday, Darleene! Wish I could have made it because it would have been a wonderful way to spend a few hours… celebrating an awesome person like you and feeding people who appreciated the effort. You are a gem!

  2. Edward Padgett


    I’m so pleased I was able to attend, felt very good afterwards, even though I was sleepy.

    Will see you next Sunday if I do not have to work.

  3. Sam

    See, and you were so worried about the turnout!

    It was a great time and a great way to celebrate a birthday. Thanks for inviting me!

  4. Pingback: Memorial Day Weekend 2008 at jozjozjoz.com

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