My sister has reminded me of my duty, and demanded a birthday list. So here goes.
1. My birthday will be an odd one, this year, because I’ll be on a plane for most of it, traveling back from a week in Oslo and Amsterdam. I haven’t flown overseas in over a decade, so I can barely remember what it’s like – maybe that is a mercy. Anyway, normally I hope for clear weather so that I can roam all over Vancouver, haunting every shiny store within city limits, but this year I’ll have to replace that with hoping for good travel conditions: that I don’t miss any of my flight connections, or find myself seated beside rude (or alternately, really nice, chatty) people.
2. Tradition dictates that I ask for a birthday coffee and a birthday muffin. I can kind of get into bitter airplane coffee, in the spirit of adventure. Or maybe jetlag just makes anything caffeinated taste that much better. Finding a muffin worth eating might be a lost cause this year, but hope springs eternal.
4. So here’s what I want, in a perfect world (one that revolves around my petty demands): I want to come home from my trip, to a carrot cake from my favourite bakery. Best carrot cake in existence – I am a trained expert and I know about these things. Or, ok, let me give this next one some preamble. I’ve never been a cupcake person. To me, they have always just been dry spongey things with too much fluffed-up icing on them. It’s a craze that passed me by entirely. But I was in my other beloved bakery, last easter weekend, and out of some weird, peevish inability to choose anything, I just gave up and asked for a cupcake. And I don’t know what shifted, then, but that cupcake astonished me. It was a serious, solid wodge of cake. It was like something made for me by a close friend, crafted from their deepest love. The next day, I went back and bought six. So yes, those capcakes, I want them on my birthday.
5. Here’s an oddly practical request, as if to make up for demanding that cakes magically materialize in my apartment. I really need laundry bags. I need them so much, that it has become kind of an obsessive want. And since I must be fussy, and everything I own must serve my hardcore hobbit lifestyle, they should be made from undyed canvas cloth (I would say undyed linen, but even I can sometimes acknowledge that moderation is best).
6. I still don’t have a pair of sunglasses.
7. I have only recently discovered that, by prudent application of water, I am actually able to keep plants from dying (mostly). So now I want lots of them, filling up my new balcony. Particularly high-growing leafy, tree-ish ones. Can you grow a rowan tree from a pot? That would be the best, ever.
8. And on the subject of balconies, I also need a chair. Just the most basic, classic wooden kind – with the flat armrests that also work as perches for your beverage. It’s an added bonus if somebody else has already used it, and weathered the wood to a nice, dull grey.
9. This last one is mostly just wistfulness. I was hoping to find a studio space in town – one that Brandon and I could use – but after keeping an eye out for the last few months, I’m having to admit defeat. What we want, and what we are able to pay, just does not compute. So I am leaving off that search for the foreseeable future, but man, a well-lit, private studio space within walking distance would be better than a whole shiny forest, for serious.