Tag Archives: Celebration

Keg-Stand Birthday Party

We threw a keg party for our oldest little dude’s first birthday.

I mention this not to subject myself to abuse, although I have a feeling that’s just what I’ve done.

No, the reason I mentioned it was as a way to continue the discussion about memory and youth. On Monday, I  talked about how I should have saved a lot of money by not taking the young dudes to Walt Disney World until they were old enough to actually remember going.

Here’s the thing: I can’t tell you the number of first-birthday parties to which I’ve gone that were complete wastes of time, energy and cake.

There is no way that a one-year-old little dude or dudette is going to be participating much in the festivities, unless there’s a drool off at some point, much less remember it with fondness later.

A lot of parents seem to forget that their adorable little spawn-of-their-loins doesn’t have an actual brain at one year, nor much control over their muscles (not to mention bowels).

Unless you’re desperately short on cute onesies, then, what’s the point of throwing a huge, big-time party for a one-year-old little dude?

The answer to that question is staring you right in the face. Well, it is provided you’re standing in front of a mirror and looking at it.

*sigh*

It’s you, dudes. You parents are the reason for the party.

No kid will ever remember nor appreciate the party you throw for them. Considering we didn’t remember this when it was time to force Walt Disney World on ourselves, it’s a miracle we remembered this little tidbit.

My wife, known to many as She Who Must Be In Charge Of Every Kegs of beer are one of the most important ingredients when you're throwing a keg party. You could even go so far as to not purchase any cups, but you've got to have the keg and the tap. Can't forget the tap.Little Party Detail Or Else, and I quickly realized that every first-birthday-party was, in fact, for the parents. So we decided, if that was the case (and it is), then let’s really make it for the parents.

Which brings us to the keg party.

Before the actual party began, we had a little celebration with the proto-Sarcasmo involving cake he could barely eat, candles he couldn’t blow out and presents he didn’t understand. But mostly it was about pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Then we cleaned up the mess and got to the fun. We held the keg party to celebrate the fact that we’d managed to procreate and had kept the resulting mass of replicating protoplasm alive, functional and cute as all get out for one complete revolution around the sun.

We invited friends, family and, for one rather fuzzy moment, the mail carrier on his appointed rounds.

A good time was had by all.

Although, now that I think about it, I’m not sure we really achieved anything different by holding an adult party instead of hosting a party for a young dude who wouldn’t remember the party.

Considering the number of kegs we upended that day, it’s a cause for another celebration that anyone remembers any of the party at all.

Although I’m sure it was fun. At least, so I’m told.

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Dude Review: Book Of Mormon

The Book of Mormon stage musical is a hoot.

Well, it’s a hoot as long as you’ve got a relatively open mind, don’t mind some almost overused 13-letter expletives, poop humor, silly names, and a complete and total disregard for the sensitivities of various ethnicities or religions.

When I tell you Book of Mormon is by the creators of the South Park television show on Comedy Central, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, I think you might begin to understand why the play comes across like it does.

The big conceit behind South Park is a bunch of little grade-school kids running around Colorado, getting into very odd adventures and cursing. A lot. Ha, ha. Kids cursing. The thought being, I guess, that kids cursing is  transgressive and funny. In addition to the cursing kids, South Park also takes aim at various societal trends, religions, what have you, and gets into some seriously pointed satire.

So, take an episode of South Parkdrop the kids, remove the restrictions on cursing found even on cable channels, plug in some very catchy musical numbers and make the focus on Mormonism, the fastest-growing “religion” in the world, add in a very basic fish-out-of-water scenario, stereotypes of Mormon missionaries and residents of Uganda,  add in some very catchy musical numbers and there you go. That’s Book of Mormon.

I went to the show with Zippy the College Boy and his sort-of date, Hyper Lad, my sister in-law the Crystal Cleaner, my in-laws and my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Smokin’ Hot In Her Going-Out-To-A-Play Dress, and we all enjoyed ourselves a great deal.

Yeah, there was a lot of nervous laughter at some of the more risqué jokes, and I overheard more than one person express disbelief that this play would or even could be put on in button-down Charlotte, North Carolina.

The show definitely isn’t for the younger dudes and dudettes, for the most part. And it’s certainly not for those who are easily shocked by profanity, vulgar situations, harsh stereotypes or people mercilessly mocking religion.

Other than that, though, you’re good.

The show concerns Elder Price, a hotshot young Mormon kid from whom much is expected as he leaves missionary training and heads out into the wilds to convert the heathens. He wants to go to Orlando, but ends up in Uganda, along with another missionary, Elder Cunningham, who might be the most unsuitable missionary in the world.

Elder Price’s massive ego convinces him he’ll land in Uganda and immediately do something “incredible,” because he’s incredible. Elder Cunningham, who hasn’t actually read the Book of Mormon, is mostly along to have a captive best friend and spread the gospel according to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Hilarity ensues.

Although, yes, there is plenty of cursing and some significantly different interpretations of Mormonism founder Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the Jesus character, the play actually ends up being a celebration of the good bits about religion.

If you parents get a chance to see the show (It’s touring the country, but most performances tend to be sold out, so act quickly.), you really should go. It’s not for the young dudes and dudettes, mostly because of all the swearing and the fact that most young dudes and dudettes are like parrots in that they play back mostly the stuff you don’t want them to hear, but it’s a great night out for parents.

Not only will you find yourself humming the tunes, but it can provide fodder for a great after-play discussion.

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Labor Day

No, even though my Mom kept saying this was the truth, today doesn’t have anything to do with how long our various mothers labored to bring us into this world.

Instead, Labor Day is a day set aside to allow us to labor over a grilling fire one last time before summer ends, to give us one more day at the lake, one more time out in the heat of the backyard with the sprinklers flashing rainbows into the sunny sky.

Or, you know, not.

It could be that Labor Day originally was founded to celebrate the working man (and he was, for the most part, a man back then), who sweated his day away on the assembly line, or out in the hot streets, laying down the roadway the white-collar workers used to drive in to their cushy jobs in the city with their fancypants air conditioning.

Labor Day was designed to honor those who actually produced an actual thing, instead of giving us a service. The people honored by Labor Day were singled out for a number of reasons: 1) to say thanks for helping build this country on their metaphorical, economic backs and 2) labor unions used to have a lot more members, a lot more money and a lot more pull so they could get something like this put on the national calendar with relative ease.

What? It’s true.

Since it’s founding, many folks have tried to usurp Labor Day’s reasons for celebrating. (Hello, Mom, wherever you are!) A lot of folks these days think it’s a celebration of the dwindling few who actually are able to find, get and keep a job for longer than a quarter or two. And a job with bennies? Dude! That’s something to celebrate.

Regardless of the reasoning behind Labor Day, I do enjoy one last fling at summer. I’ll be using the day off to relax in the backyard, crawl under some shade and spray an appalling amount of bug spray at anything that so much as twitches a blood-thirsty proboscis in my general direction.

We all have our own ways of celebrating. That’s mine.

Enjoy yours.

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