Monday, April 14, 2014

When your father turns 80, you get on a plane, even if your dress is backwards. SURPRISE!

  My Dad turned 80 on April 3rd. 
 I broke the law to send him a gift- the kind of gift I'll want when I'm 80, excellent booze and something big and fat to smoke. Actually turns out I broke several laws in the purchasing,transporting, and later, shipping of said gifts. I am such a rebel. (Thank you, Cuba, Key West, TSA, Bob's Liquor of GA and FedEx.) Bath products?? hahahahah

My sisters planned a nice little family and friends gathering. I had plans in GA right up to the event date, so wasn't thinking I'd be able to go, but last minute, the hubster bought the plane ticket and pushed me out the door at 4 am... Three hours after I  went to bed, btw.

Did you know that the one way to avoid horrendous daily Atlanta traffic is to drive it's virtually empty highways at 4:30 am? The usual 45 minute to 1.5 hr trek to the heart of downtown took merely 23 minutes. With roads that empty, me going speeds that high, it was like a scene the first season of Walking Dead, minus the zombies.

I had some social media pals make two birthday videos for me to present to my Dad- sort of an inside joke, and something he could get a kick out of. We have the same twisted humor, and share a love of magic.

Here's the magic trick for my Dad, Jack.

 Mont is available for live magic events, and also is a hypnotist. He can help you quit smoking, reduce stress or lose weight. Or just have him come to your party and make your friends act like chickens and dance ballet in your living room.

 I also had an Irish comedian make a mock up of the famous Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday, Mr. President song.  ( I love the youtube videos of her appearing late to the stage, the awkwardness of her drunkenness, the way Mr. President is busted and yet America doesn't get it... or do they? I wish only that the camera had panned to Jackie O's face... just once.)

The real Marilyn.

 This is Mark Manning, an Irish radio and TV broadcaster and voice-over artist, with a brilliant sense of humor, wishing my Dad a happy birthday.

 (one correction: Cookie is not 58. She's 78, but they have been married 58 years in June)
Hire Mark here for professional jobs. He does a lot of corporate work, but you can also have him do his Roger Moore impersonation to make someone's Bond loving day, here.

I tried out the videos on my phone in a crowded bar on Friday night for my Iowa pal, Nancy. She laughed and blushed and was genuinely afraid... Yep. I knew I had a hit on my hands, plus the techno part worked. So. yay.
 Fast forward to Saturday afternoon. ( the short version: park, wait, flight, wait, flight, rent, park, shower, drive, get lost, drive, arrive)

No one knew I was coming.  All I knew was the dinner part was a lobster boil in the garage at one of my sister's houses and lots of people were invited, event to begin at 3pm. My mother mentioned something in an email about Dad not wanting a big fuss, but wait until he sees what it's all about...
My imagination wheels started grinding as I drove the last half mile to the house and saw a bigass stretch Hummer limo on the side of the road. It was well after 3pm...
 Uh oh
 Me: I should have called ahead, or at least texted someone. Crap. They've been doing pudding shots and drinking for an hour, and are now all in that kickass Hummer off to meet Jack's childhood friends and all the old neighbors at some wild party with strippers and flame eaters and Cirque du Soleil hot men in tights serving martinis and feeding people vodka infused gummy bears. They'll be dancing and singing and partying the night away at some secret location, with projected slides of Jack from age 1-80 bouncing off tented walls, where hot girls on trapeze swings rain down cigars and Ecstasy. And I'm going to miss it all. SHIT.

                        We Will Now Pause For A Reality Check Moment

 So, yeah. The Stretch Hummer? Local Prom Night. The men in tights? More like nephews in jeans. Hot girls on trapeze swings? Not so much, more like my three sisters reminding me of the backyard swing set. The same one Mom ran the riding mower up one summer.  (Where was Vine then??)

But you know what?
 We didn't need pudding shots or  Ecstasy. We had this.

                                                   We had family.

                                                   Yes, this little boy

                             grew up and became Daddy to these little girls

who gave him these grandkids

                                                         and these, too.

                 These was a lot of beer and wine at Jack's 80th, some homemade, even!  I need to try that. My nephew makes a mean Strawberry Wine. (not sure he was sold on naming it after me. Would you buy Aunt Linda's Hangover Helper?)
                      We caught up, told stories and apparently did a lot of pointing

                  We had our own version of hotness. hot things. Men and their fire...

                                        and their hats!   I love this.

                               Wanna see an awesome salt and pepper set?

Jack didn't get strippers, but he did get lobster. 
Next year? He deserves strippers clad only in gold bikinis and lobster bibs to crack open and serve him lobster, drenched in butter. Cue video.

                                                    There was CAKE!

                                       There was outdoor sky fishing.

                 Look! The elusive windy mylar trout! A delicacy in 5 states.

 We lit Chinese lanterns-which should be called floating tree fire starters.

                    Am pretty sure some neighbor reported a UFO.

                It's April. So still ...winter in CNY. So, we had a bonfire.

With these lovely ladies. That's my 78 year old mom. Not. Kidding. 
She's hot, right?

Bonfires can be dangerous. 
Sometimes it all depends on who you are sitting next to.

  Maybe that's sibling affection. I sure hope she wasn't offended by the T-shirt I brought her?

    (Specially printed up in matching colors  for the Sister Weekend That Wasn't)
*sidenote I have never had so many party photos of the back of my head. :)

    The fire was still going when we went home tipsy, smelling all outdoorsy and  lobstery, and watched the birthday videos again, while finishing off the Crown Royal Reserve. It was great.

More than great. I'd do it all over again for this. Priceless.

                                               Happy Birthday, Dad.

                         Thank you for making me the woman I am today.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It was my birthday, bitches.

SO,  Of course, I wore this shirt.
 This was the 12th year of giving myself a birthday party. Sure, the hubby helps with some of the details, and ideas... and he does has the final say on the cost, but mostly, I think about a party I'd like to get invited to and then I make that happen for my friends. If you don't get my annual newsletter, you may have read about some of these past parties here or here or seen a video here, or just stalked the pictures on one of my Facebook pages. It's ok. Everyone has a secret.

I figured there was no better way to turn 51, than to make sure a great deal of beer was involved. Enter the date selection of MARCH 15. The closest Saturday to the biggest green beer holiday in the USA.

 So, of course,we rented a bus. Not the big charter thing that took us to the Sweetwater Festival and the comedy club a few years back, but a super cool party bus for 40. Check it out.

We picked up some leprechauns, loaded up a bucket of beers, filled the coolers with booze and  donned the green.

The entrance fee for the party bus was a bottle of vodka per couple. Some people thought that was too much vodka. Some people don't know Linda very well yet. This is me mixing up the first lemon drop shots.

                                           Happy smiling people.

 We went off searching for this. The elusive layered jello shot of Ireland.

Getting closer.
 Here we are, arriving at Mac McGee's where the doorman assured us he needed no ID or cover charge. "Not if you're pulling up in that!" he said.

 We took our green decor seriously, even the bus laser light show cooperated.

We danced a jig  as the Highlanders played, or wait, something smelled funny.

These guys cut a wide path through the bar

especially with the slam banging drummer with his big guns... and gut. ;)

 Back in the bus. The stickers say, "It's all about Linda." The hubster's idea.


Wait.  Is that an empty cup? GARCON!

                       Our bus was famous. Look! It's Lady Gaga and George Clooney!

This dude really wanted a ride. We wanted to know what was under his kilt.

This might be direction giving, or dollar drying, or dance instructions...

      Lots of people stopped me to read my shirt. I met an awful lot of Teds.

On our way to the next stop, things got a little blurry.

       Kinda like this guy's fashion sense. But he sure pulled the ladies.

We met a few dogs. This one had 4 legs. Very long legs.

Our new gal pal was not shy about showing off her large assets.

Somewhere along the way, I needed to be fed. Swear that was a french fry.

                                      Photo op!  I have missed these girls.
                                       Why yes, there was dancing.
                                   And for once, I was glad to see the cops.

This is what happens when the big dog leaves, and we miss him.

Surgeon General reports excessive partying may cause orange beard growth.

 Right on time, the bus arrives to scoop us up.

                Here we are moments later, sounding off  for a head count.

Oops. We left one behind. Time to initiate Mission Saving Private Barry.

The entertaining of the troops.

                                                            'Nuf said.

Back home, we had a birthday tart.

With all these... tarts!

There was also cake.

Glad the number of candles wasn't exact...

                      What a fun day. Thanks to all my old and new friends.

                                     Now, let's have a little karaoke time.

Oh yes, we did.

If I was going to sum up the 51st birthday in one picture.
It would have to be this.

                                                Until next year, bitches.