“Hey.” Annabeth slid next to me on the bench. “Happy birthday.”
She was holding a huge misshapen cupcake with blue icing.
I stared at her. “What?”
“It’s August 18th,” she said. “Your birthday, right?”
The Last Olympian (pg. 372)
This is my third time rewriting this introduction, and this time I’ve decided that I’m just gonna be as weird as I want because this is MY blog and I do what I want.
Anyway, last weekend, my friend Rachel came up to visit and we threw a birthday party for a fictional character.
Now to be clear, this wasn’t just any fictional character, but Percy Jackson, hero and protagonist of the The Lightning Thief (which was recently named as one of Time‘s 100 Best YA Books of All Time), its sequels, and many spinoffs. For longtime readers of Maggie’s Musings, it should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series. I grew up with these books, and even now as an adult, I still love re-reading them. They hold a special place in my heart.
I usually don’t remember dates like this, but Percy’s birthday just so happens to be the day after my brother’s birthday (speaking of which: Paul, if you’re reading this, IOU one (1) birthday gift and a cake or other treat of your choice). And since Rachel was already coming to visit that weekend and she also happens to be a Percy Jackson fan, we thought, why not? Let’s live the lives our twelve-year-old selves would’ve wanted us to have.
Blue food is a running theme in the Percy Jackson books, so of course Rachel (right) and I (left) had to make blue cupcakes.
I guess I should explain the blue food.
See, Gabe had once told my mom there was no such thing. They had this fight, which seemed like a really small thing at the time. But ever since, my mom went out of her way to eat blue. She baked blue birthday cakes. She mixed blueberry smoothies. She bought blue-corn tortilla chips and brought home blue candy from the shop. This — along with keeping her maiden name, Jackson, rather than calling herself Mrs. Ugliano — was proof that she wasn’t totally suckered by Gabe. She did have a rebellious streak, like me.
The Lightning Thief (pg. 37-38)
Getting the cupcakes ready to put in the oven. (I promise I helped!)
In the oven…
Protip, don’t hold fresh-out-of-the-oven muffin pans while posing for a photo.
While we waited for the cupcakes to cool, we worked on painting our own bead necklaces like the characters in the series have.
“I’ve been here since I was seven,” Annabeth said. “Every August, on the last day of summer session, you get a bead for surviving another year.”
The Lightning Thief (pg. 97)
Ready to decorate! (Yes, we made blue frosting for the blue cupcakes)
The finished products!
Nico glanced inside my room. His eyebrows furrowed. “Is that… is that blue birthday cake?”
He sounded hungry, maybe a little wistful. I wondered if the poor kid had ever had a birthday party, or if he’d ever even been invited to one.
“Come inside for cake and ice cream,” I said. “It sounds like we’ve got a lot to talk about.”
The Battle of the Labyrinth (pg. 361)
And the final setup, featuring the banner Rachel made, my Percy and Annabeth Funko Pops, and, of course, the books.
“Make a wish,” she said.
“Did you bake this yourself?” I asked.
“That explains why it looks like a chocolate brick,” I said. “With extra blue cement.”
I thought for a second, then blew out the candle.
We cut it in half and shared, eating with our fingers. Annabeth sat next to me, and we watched the ocean. Crickets and monsters were making noise in the woods, but otherwise it was quiet.
“You saved the world,” she said.
“We saved the world.”
The Last Olympian (pg. 372)