middle school throwdown.

Tesni, Julia, and Kelsey’s birthday party this weekend was seriously one of the greatest parties of all time.  The theme was to come dressed as yourself in 7th grade.  Decorations, favors, and music were all coordinated with this theme, and it was simply perfect.  I was so impressed by all the effort they put into the party, from the zine-like invitations to the period-accurate party favors.  And it’s amazing how much fun you can have when you go to a party or dance night where you actually know the music.  You know: real, actual songs from your past instead of a DJ trying to look cool by mashing up who-knows-what.  Oh, what a pleasure.  PLUS Nicole was down from DC, so that was an awesome surprise as well.

photo from Nicole.

 

photo from Tesni.

photo from Tesni.

I may have enjoyed it so much I had to sit the rest of the weekend out, but it was worth it.

I’m thankful for my friends.  I love you guys.

bridal mayhem for mia.

This weekend I hosted Mia’s bridal shower at my house, and then went to her epic Hawaiian-themed bachelorette party.  I thought I’d share some of the fun here.  Also, WordPress wants me to replace the word “bachelorette” with “baccalaureate.”  NOT THE SAME THNG, GUYS.

Maddie working on her chalk drawing. Gozer working hard as well.

 

Everybody loves Baby Mia.

 

Hydrangea explosion.

 

Guests!

 

Mia and moms.

 

Preparations.

 

Hawaiian babe.

 

Ipanema hangouts.

 

Seitan tostadas are delicious.

 

 

Mad Dog, this one’s for you.

Oregon Hill is full of all kinds of characters, perhaps none as recognizable as Mad Dog, who died last week.  He could often be found on the corner of Idlewood and Laurel, holding a cardboard sign that said simply “MAD DOG NEED BEER.”  It’s hard to sort out my feelings about Mad Dog, because he was by turns infuriating and endearing.  So adamant that all he needed was a beer, when actually that might be the last thing he needed.  But so thankful whenever I was able to give him some food.  Just last Monday night he was raving about my pasta at the SynerGeo community dinner, and it made me feel great because it was my first time making that particular dish.

I hear that in recent months, things had really started to turn around for him.  The folks at SynerGeo had helped him get his disability benefits in order, so he was receiving a check from the government and could afford to rent a small place from my landlord.  Still, his health was failing.  Another friend who lives on the block and works in hospice care checked on him frequently, and spread the word when he began to go steeply downhill.  I was told that he was surrounded by friends and neighbors when he died.

I’m not going to pretend like we were besties or that I knew him super well or anything, but I can honestly say I’ll miss Mad Dog.  He won’t be there when I pass his spot on Idlewood anymore, and I won’t stop to have a little chat with him and mirror his crooked smile on my walk to work in the mornings.  And that’s one little thing less to look forward to every day.

penultimate = just getting started.

This weekend has been non-stop, what with hosting a pre-wedding “Penultimate Bash” for Mandy and Ian, going to their wedding, meeting up with a new boss / friend for dinner and drinks, dancing dancing and more dancing, having some band dudes stay over, and finally getting to catch up on writing today.

The Penultimate Bash on Friday night was quite the memorable evening, complete with all manner of delicious food, a keg of Magic Hat, lovely paper garlands to add to the festivity of the backyard, a mustache-shaped pinata made by Mandy (filled with candy, liquor, and offbeat fortunes), and a raging living room dance party.  It was a great group, comprised of childhood friends, art school friends, comic book friends, death metal friends, Alabama friends, bookstore friends, and ghosthunting friends.  I love seeing how different types of people are connected through a couple, and how they’re all necessary.  I seems like when friends are so diverse, rather than all looking alike and being into the same exact things, they really have something to bring to each other.

The next day’s wedding in Mandy’s grandparents’ shady backyard included cool lemonade, oldies for toe-tapping, a huge meal of barbecue and mac n’ cheese, handmade clay planters by Ian’s mom, homemade barbecue sauce from the happy couple as favors, and tons of seersucker.

I’m still exhausted from all of this, but my spirits are high.  I’m so thankful to have shared in some beautiful weddings recently, and the reasons why I love these couples, both individually and together, have been occupying my thoughts quite a bit.

I’m off in a bit to the new Moment Mansion, for a cookout with Matt, Jenny, and lots of other people I love.  90-degree weather is no match for me today.  ❤