It's official...I'm 40! And thus began my 40 things to celebrate turning 40.
Thank you Craig, Sara, Candace, Robin, Raul, Trisha, Fred, Wendy, Gene, Sal & Aisha for coming out to celebrate my birthday while dining on yummy Chinese food & doing some karaoke.
Craig & Sara, you have been so supportive as I have been planning these 40 things. I love that you both remind me to be silly & have fun!
Candace, my new BFF, I am honored to have shared the karaoke stage with you! Can't wait to get you here again! Oh & I told Mikayla you'd get her another Frog book...we love those types of books!
Robin, what can I say? Who else would bring me a tiara, a coloring book, crayons, bubble, a pail & shovel & little kiddie goodies? You rock! Thanks for the laughs!
Raul, I'm sorry you couldn't stay longer, but I'm glad you showed up. As my oldest & dearest friend, I'm glad I got to share this mission of fun with you!
Trisha, thank you for the beautiful necklace & earring set! I love it! And I'm glad you got to come out & join us.
Fred & Wendy, I am so glad you both came out. I need to see you both more!
Gene, it was great seeing you. Glad we got to chat. I still miss sitting next to you at work!
Sal, thanks for coming out at the last minute. It was good seeing you.
Aisha, no one is going to believe me that you DEMANDED to get on the karaoke stage & sing! I only have one photo of it...wish I had the video. But I am honored to have shared the stage with you to close out the show.
To all of my friends who shared the night's celebration with me, thank you for coming out! Thank you for being at the first event. Thank you for making me laugh & enjoy my 40th birthday. And thank you for being patient with the karaoke DJ...I promise next time we'll find a better place!
So yes, one mission of forty is done. And there is a slight change in plans...instead of being 40 things over 40 weeks, it's now going to be 40 things over the next year. Due to scheduling issues & money & well, life in general, I've had to change my set schedule. I'm still going to do my 40 things & blog about each one. Stick around...it's going to be a lot of fun!!!
So here are the details on the karaoke night...
King Yum is a local Chinese restaurant in Queens that has been around for nearly 60 years. I've been going there since I was a little kid with my family. For us, this place was a real treat. For the record, this is the only Chinese restaurant outside of Chinatown that I will eat at!
Nestled along Union Turnpike, King Yum is a fun place. The red awning out front dares you to come inside & see what's on the inside. And the interior decor should be described in a few words~ Polynesian & luau.
I love the tiki masks on the walls & the private huts in the corners. The waiters are older gentlemen who bring plenty of character to your dining experience. I would believe that most of these guys have been working here since the place first opened.
We're seated in the big room, right by the karaoke stage. Robin & I are the first to arrive. As we are seated, our waiter brings us a bowl of these delightful fried wonton wrappers & two bowls of dipping sauces; sweet & sour & hot mustard. I love these!!! It's the best place to get them as the family that owns King Yum also owns the noodle factory that makes these fried wonton wrappers. And they are truly the best in NY!
One by one my guests arrive & I am reminded how happy I am to start these 40 missions of fun. I'm looking forward to seeing these friends at future events...yes my friends, that is a major HINT!!! Take it!
Robin has brought me a bag of goodies. Let me explain that Robin is a big kid at heart. She knows how to make people laugh. And she knows how I appreciate a great laugh! In my bag of goodies, a cute little tiara. I immediately put it on. Along with the shotglass beaded necklace. There is a bottle of strawberry scented bubbles that will be brought out a little later on in the night, plus a Strawberry Shortcake coloring book, Disney Princess crayons, a pail & shovel, a bug watch, & a soaker Frog toy. I will have to thank Robin again for these goodies...as they all made me laugh!
Russell is the karaoke DJ & his wife Edna works the crowd. She gets people to sign up to sing. To sing you have to put your name & song choice onto a little slip of paper. Russell then calls you to the stage...at some point...if you're lucky. I'll explain that comment in a moment...
Note:remember the preacher who claimed the world was ending on May 21st? Well, he was a topic of discussion during our dinner. So everyone was joking about the world coming to an end...
To start the karaoke party off, my brother from another mother Craig will be called to the stage first. He will get things started with 'It's the End of the World' by REM. Great choice Craig! Great performance! Way to get it started!
Next up, Sara & I will join Craig on the stage to belt out 'Build Me Up Buttercup'. I love that song! Classic.
Candace will come to the stage as Craig leaves, then she, Sara & I will rock the 80's with 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'.
I will spend the night bouncing from seat to seat around the table to chat with all of my guests. I will make sure people 'socialize' as we dine & enjoy the karaoke show. I will also make sure to take tons of pictures. I can't believe my friends are shocked the camera came out! Duh! Are you people new to knowing me??
Some of these people I have known for years, a few are from my childhood, some have worked with me, one I now call friend thanks to a mutual friend who I call my sister, & one is a friend I've had for over 30 years! But all of these people here tonight are very special to me. I am blessed for knowing them & I am honored that they braved looking for parking in an area with no parking to come out & help me celebrate my birthday. I am lucky to have these wonderful people in my life. And I wouldn't have wanted to start my 40 missions without them!
A highlight of the night...Frank! Frank is this adorable gent who has been to karaoke the other times we have gone. Sara, Marisol & I first saw him during our first test run on karaoke night at King Yum back in February. Frank came out & performed 'Quando, Quando, Quando'. If you don't know the song, get to YouTube & find it. Frank was quite the showman! He had us laughing. So I was thrilled when he took the stage & did his song.
Now...about my comment earlier about Russell calling your name to perform if you're lucky...there was a group at the table next to us also celebrating someone's birthday. It was the birthday for a little girl. Now I'm happy to see the kids, but they took over. They were allowed to sing 10 songs in a row without being told they had to get off the stage. This was not fair. I only mention it because my table waited & waited all night to sing & not everyone made it to the stage! I didn't think this was fair being Russell kept telling my friend Sal to wait as he wanted to 'make sure every table performs'. Russell, learn to work the room better. The adults in the parties are the ones drinking & eating all night. We are the ones bringing the money into the restaurant which will keep you employeed. Learn to cater to us a little better bud.
At some point towards the end of the night, Russell will finally call Sal to the stage. He will sing 'Honesty' by Billy Joel. Who knew Sally Ribs could sing? Thanks for the shout out Sal & for the song! You rocked it!
Robin & I will join Sal to sing 'Help!' by the Beatles. It was wild!
To close out the show, Aisha will force her way to the stage. After waiting around all night, she will convince Edna that Russell is ruining the night for us. Edna will see that my group has since dwindled down from 12 people to now only 5. Some people got tired of waiting around. I don't blame them. Plus it was getting kinda late. So finally Aisha & I will be asked to the stage.
Please note...Aisha is a great friend. She is a riot. She is the first person to make everyone in a room laugh. She is also the first person in a room to hide away...oddly enough. She has a great sense of humor, but sometimes hides in her shell. But I am thrilled she is out tonight & I'm stunned that she is forcing herself onto the stage!
We close out the night by singing 'Easy Lover'' from Phil Collins & Phillip Bailey. This is actually a good song for us. Aisha will have fun with it. She will actually give us a show. And then to end the night we belt out Prince's '1999'. The show ends with a round of applause.
I am honored to have shared the stage with my friends over the night's events. I am still stunned that Aisha got up there! I'm just bummed that Fred & Gene missed it. We are definitely going to have to get her out again to a karaoke place...
So 1 mission of my 40 is now done. I'm excited. I'm expecting lots of fun & great laughs & great memories with great friends.
Stick around folks...the fun is just getting started...
Me in my tiara...who knew 40 would look this great?????
Me blowing out the candle on dessert...a plate of ice cream, Jello & pineapple...the King Yum special!