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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

A Happy Birthday

It was my birthday four weeks ago. And I am writing about it just now because I am a procrastinator. But that is actually quite fitting because I was also quite a procrastinator regarding my birthday.

When I was a kid, my dad would get go get a cake for my birthday and my family would eat it together. My birthday was during summer vacation so I’ve always associated celebrating it with family, rather than friends. As an adult, I never really felt like celebrating it all that much. After all, what’s there to celebrate? I didn’t actually do much to make it happen. It was all my parents efforts, aside from that I was born one day after my dad’s birthday and my parents’ theory was that I smelled my dad’s birthday cake and decided to come out.

So, I don’t really have the habit of celebrating it. Sure, sometimes I would take the day off but usually that was about it. It was just another day. However, every few years, I would decide to celebrate it on a whim. In 2006, I sent out an invitation asking people to “come by and have cake” just 22 hours beforehand. This year, I upgraded the event to “Play with puppets! Eat cake!” Look, a doubling of the planned activities! Wow! And I sent out the invitation three days in advance. That was triple the notice! Wow!

It was really more as an excuse to have a gathering because I wanted to see some friends, which I stated in the invitation and was true. I also said that I didn’t want presents but just friends’ presence, which was also true. Since my birthday was on a Tuesday this year, I also said I wouldn’t be drinking. I was never into drinking anyway. (But the side effect of that was that since I said no presents and not drinking, several of them decided to bring me non-alcoholic drinks so my fridge had a ridiculous amount of drinks afterwards.)

So in the beginning, we were just sitting there chatting. After a while, I decided that it was time to break out the puppets. So I brought them out and had a little bit of a show-and-tell. People asked questions about puppeteering and puppet-making and I showed them some of the fun stuff I learned. And then I said I wanted to see everyone to put on a puppet and start talking to one another, which everyone did and goofy conversations ensued. That kind of silliness was what I liked. I would rather have that than drunken debauchery any day. Then everybody decided to sing happy birthday to me with the puppets, which was pretty awesome. Then we had (coffee ice cream) cake.

It was a great night for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. (Actually I probably could have asked for a better one, and not actually get it.) I would like to thank everyone (Rex, Rick, Crisman, Anisha, Beckie, Tru, Jarrett, Jerry, Raymond) for coming, and many others for wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook and on the phone.

In retrospect, everything actually turned out just right, number-wise. I had twelve puppets, twelve slices of cake and a not-so-big apartment. If there were too many people, the place would probably be too packed and I probably wouldn’t have the chance to really talk to everyone. If there were very few people, it would probably be a little sad. And the people that showed up were not casual acquaintances (not that I invited any) but some of my favorite people in the whole wide world. So yeah, it turned out pretty good. I am glad I did this. Who knows, maybe we’ll do it again in a few years. 😀

PS. No, don’t go wishing me happy birthday now cuz it was over long ago. I just wanted to write it down. That’s all.


  1. September 15th, 2010 | 6:17 am


  2. September 15th, 2010 | 9:53 am

    I think it’s great that you had what sounds like a wonderful celebration. That’s the best way to do it…have good friends over and do goofy stuff. Then it’s more about the friends, the puppets, the fun than it is about the birth day:~)

    Good for you, Kelvin!!!

    Sara’s last blog post..Story Photo: Fall Season

  3. September 15th, 2010 | 8:27 pm

    My birthday is right after Christmas, so as a kid it was usually a family affair as well. But now that I’m an adult, I tend to go kind of crazy on my birthday.

    I’m glad you had fun :-)

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  4. September 15th, 2010 | 9:51 pm

    @Jonathan: Wow, you actually commented. 😀

    @Sara: Yep, it was fun.

    @Katrina: Aw, are you one of those that got one present for both Christmas and birthday?

  5. September 17th, 2010 | 8:04 pm

    Ha, I love your parent’s theory! The party sounds wonderfully spontaneous and delightful. I can totally picture it–I’m glad you had a good celebration. I think adults should party like that more often–maybe I’d go out more.

  6. September 18th, 2010 | 12:06 am

    I don’t quite have the mental age of an adult, hehe… 😀

  7. September 19th, 2010 | 2:44 pm

    I know you said not to do this, but Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a great time :)

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..Writing Resources: The Chicago Manual of Style

  8. September 19th, 2010 | 11:40 pm

    Aw you. :-)

  9. September 21st, 2010 | 5:53 am

    Sounds like you all had a great time, Kelvin. It just proves a theory I’ve always had… that you don’t need to be drunk to act like a drunken reprobate! Yay! 😛

    Tony Single’s last blog post..Transient

  10. September 22nd, 2010 | 3:31 am

    Well, the way I think is, if I am going to have fun, I would like to be sober enough to remember it. 😉

  11. Na
    October 4th, 2010 | 11:09 pm

    (Pre-emptive ‘too bad I’m saying it anyway’) Happy belated birthday!

    Your party sounds like a lot of fun, I’ll have to try it myself sometime. What a great way to spend the day – and you’re right, far better than drunken craziness! Far sillier at any rate :)

  12. October 5th, 2010 | 12:22 am

    Sure took me forever to write it and you forever to respond!

  13. Na
    October 5th, 2010 | 12:44 am

    Yah, I’m WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY behind on everything lately! Everything is in chaos this year, I feel bad, I keep losing contact with people :(

    Anyway, hope you had a good bday – it certainly sounds like you did!

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