Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Joseph!!

Who: VN Editorial Assistant Liz Miller, and the rest of the VN gang
What: VN Publisher Joseph Connelly's birthday celebration
Where: GoKart Racer, Burlingame, Calif., and Vanida Thai Kitchen, San Francisco, Calif.
When: September 10, 2009
Why: Because I left Missouri to dress like Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

The Scoop: What midday outing requires a state id, closed-toe shoes, and two automobiles? These were the instructions given to the VN staff in preparation for Joseph’s birthday celebration. When the day arrived, we piled into two cars and journeyed off to our mystery location. Upon arrival it was clear that we would a.) be experiencing the most intense day of go-karting of our lives; and b.) that, birthday or no birthday, we’d show no mercy. At GoKart Racer they take the business of go-karting very seriously. Between the NASCAR-esque jumpsuits and the heavily insulated safety helmets, there was no doubt that we were ready—or at least looked ready—to burn some rubber.

The VN team ready to burn rubber!

In the 10 minute practice round VN Associate Publisher Colleen Holland came in first place, leaving us all in her dust, while birthday boy Joseph came in a close second. Revved up and ready for the next round, VN Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria took the lead in the five-minute qualifying race. Then it was time for the main event, the 15-minute, no-holds barred speed race. Tensions on the track were high, and while it was—yeah, yeah—all in fun, we all wanted to win—or at least beat Joseph. The winding track and high-speed competition was fierce, causing a few of us to spinout, resulting in lost precious seconds on the clock. By the end of the race it was clear that speed-demon Colleen had again prevailed, and office manager Lyndsay Orwig had pulled into second place.

Thundercats are a go!

After our rousing afternoon of high-stakes racing we were all a bit tired, and more than a little bit hungry. For lunch we went to Vanida Thai Kitchen, a local favorite with tons of yummy veg-friendly options. After a hearty round of tom ka soup we all indulged in lunch combos. As soon as I saw “fried tofu” and “peanut sauce” listed side-by-side, I knew what I’d be ordering. The food was delicious, filling, and exactly what our post-racing palettes demanded.

Upon return to the VNHQ, we were greeted with homemade birthday desserts, courtesy of Elizabeth and Associate Editor Abby Young. Elizabeth’s decadent coconut-lime cake, made with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free cake mix, was rich, zesty, and reaffirmed to all of us why coconut is so amazing. Abby used a secret family recipe to make her offering, a tasty pistachio custard pie exactly the color of key-lime. A fun afternoon was had all-around, and, again—because you can never say it enough times—a very happy birthday to Joseph!


Moira Nordholt said...

too cute! wish i could've been there to bump carts with y'all. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE!!!

Anonymous said...

I knew Lyndsay was a competitor at heart! Way to go!

Allison Rivers Samson said...

That sounds so wild and fun! Go Colleen... I never woulda guessed!!! =)