Disclaimer: this blog post does not refer to the Bay-Area based Hip Hop duo known as "Lethal Weapon" (Bumbalo & Menace Meat), but I do really like their music.
Next Tuesday marks a couple of important milestones in my life. First, I will be hitting the 3-month mark of my service in Colombia. So far I feel really good about how I’ve spent my time so far here, professionally and otherwise. It’s a big contrast from my service in Cape Verde, where I was a “regular” Peace Corps Volunteer. Nine out my first thirteen weeks in Cape Verde were spent in training. Then I relocated to a whole new island, city, and community, so I spent most of the next month settling in. As I approach the 3-month landmark as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, I am completely settled in my community, at work and at play. I've got a great group of friends—whether I'm looking to kick the ball around, go out dancing, or play some music.
The second milestone that approaches is my 30th birthday—or as my Colombian friend calls it, “the third floor.” As Tuesday approaches, I find myself quoting Lethal Weapon more and more, even when it’s not completely appropriate. What can I say? There are times in life—especially life in the Peace Corps—when the only thing you can say is, “I’m getting to old for this sh*t.”
I’m not complaining—in fact, I’ve never wanted to be any age other than what I am. Granted, some birthdays are a little more exciting than others. On my twenty-first birthday I got kicked out of Ben Nick’s for peeing in a bucket—not my finest moment, but I still maintain that the management overreacted. After all, it was a mop bucket in the supply closet, and the line for the traditional bathroom was exceptionally long.
In 2004 we threw the first “Official Virgo Birthday Party” at Club Q in San Francisco. The turnout was poor that year, but it laid the ground work for an annual event that would produce some very memorable evenings for me (and others). I spent my Birthday in 2005 DJ’ing the Sol Rebelz album release party at the Shattuck Down Low with J. Espinoza, Lunar Heights and The Attik.
2006 was both the high- and low-point for the “Official Virgo Birthday Party.” That year I co-hosted a party with Bumbalo and Asa at 111 Minna Gallery—a sold-out affair billed as "Hella Fun Guaranteed" that ended a little prematurely and unfortunately. Ultimately, nobody was arrested—only temporarily detained—and nobody was (permanently) injured. Suffice it to say, it is NOT a good idea to pick a fight with a person or persons when everyone at the club has that person's back.
But, like I said: I’m too old for [that] sh*t. Since then, my life and my birthday parties have been a lot more peaceful. The 2007 edition was a nice little show with Bumbalo and Live Audio Explosion (L.A.E.) in Berkeley.
Honestly, I’m not sure what I did for my birthday in 2008, but I’m pretty sure I enjoyed myself. 2009 was dinner for thirty and cocktails at Vo’s Restaurant in Uptown Oakland. In 2010, Lita treated me to tickets to see “Fela” on Broadway. In 2011, I turned 29 at midnight, just hours after I swore in as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde. That was the night I adopted my doggy-daughter, Mia, whom we smuggled onto the plane the next day for our flight to São Vicente.
I may be getting too old for some things, but I’m still not too old to celebrate. The plans for this year are still in the works, but they should involve some combination of bongos, Club Colombia, salsa dancing, and friends. Pray for me!