Sunday, December 10, 2006


Well, I'm feeling a little tired and foggy today (it's nowhere close to morning anymore). I didn't really drink that much egg nog, but I also didn't eat anything between lunch and about 12:30 AM. We received our first guests around 7:40 when Stuart and Hilary made an appearance, and Shoemaker drifted out the door sometime around quarter to three.

The evening was full of old and new friends, Loyal Leaguers, olives, dogs, elves and lots of good cheer. There were surprise guests, surprise turns of events, heartfelt moments and Andy S. wearing an oven mit.

You have to understand, The League of Melbotis last hosted a big party as a mid-day sort of affair about six years ago. Prior to that, we did some bar-b-q's, and that's about it. We, traditionally, don't do a lot of entertaining. So, yes, mistakes were made. But when we moved back to Austin, I was not about to let the Holidays go by without some demonstration of our appreciation for our pals.

We also have an insane amount of booze still left at our house, so if you can send over about eight frat-boys, have we got a treat for them... Otherwise, Jamie and I are just going to have to drink all this stuff before it goes bad.

Next year, a more focused BYOB.

Stuart and Hilary appeared first, and we scarcely had a few minutes to chat (ask Hilary about the Budweiser room at SeaWorld) before the flood gates opened and my house became full of all sorts of guests. Zoomy. Jason and Elena from down the street. Justin and Tanya from back in the day (Monarch Soccer '84 rules!), Peabo and Adriana, to name just a few.

We handed out some door prizes. Several attendees won bottles from the Jones Soda 2006 Holiday Dessert Pack. We sampled some of Tanya's Cherry Pie Soda, and it was surprisingly good. A marked change from last year's debacle with Jones Soda. Pez dispensers, M&M's and other Holiday surprises were handed out to a lucky few.

"It's not just a party," remarked Steanso, "It's a game show."

Winner for surprise guest of the evening: Well, I sort of knew they might come, but John and Julie B. drove in all the way from the N. Houston area. Julie said they were a definite maybe, but Julie's in school and John works a lot of hours, so, you know, if they didn't come, nobody was going to get bent out of shape. Anyhow, I have no idea what time it was, but I looked up and said in my head, "Oh, there's Julie." And then it sort of clicked "Julie lives in Houston". So, anyway, kudos to the B's.

Winner for surprise info of the evening: It took a minute to click thanks to Mr. Eggnog, but Mr. Shoemaker described his lovely girlfriend as his "fiancee"... so Shoemaker is getting married. I can scarce believe it. Sadly, Keora wasn't there for reasons which Mr. Eggnog has wiped from my memory bank.

Winner for heart-tugging reunion: The League and Mr. Eggnog. No, Mel's original owner, Jenny, came by with her husband. Mel freaked out and went all puppyish for a while, and proceeded to follow Jenny around for a good chunk of the evening. Jenny informed me that she is now going to write a Lifetime movie about women who give up their dogs, only to be reunited with them.

Winner for defeating The League and Steanso's best efforts: The firepit. John B. gets an ingenuity award for finally getting the fire started with an emergency run to the store and the purchase of a Duraflame log. Kudos to John B.

Winner for best food item: Goes to Cousin Sue's pumpkin dip. When I asked, "Was this good?" upon seeing the empty dish (when I finally got a chance to go try some), was met with a resounding response in the affirmative. So, Susan, you need to make more.

No Win: I could not get Peabo and Adriana to name their soon-to-arrive child "Lil' Ryan". Apparently, it does not translate well into Spanish. They claim that, phonetically, it sounds a bit like "to laugh at" or something along those lines.

Endurance Award: Steven and Lauren may have clocked the most minutes at the party. Arriving with the first herd and departing with the second, we enjoyed the heck out of having these cats at our house.

Winner for name I caught, but failed to pronounce correctly all evening: Elena? Helena? She lives three houses down, so I sort of better figure this out.

Most ignored: The two ice-cream cakes (which are really cool and look like Yule Logs) we bought and promptly forgot about that are now sitting in the freezer.

Most-discussed: The League's "shrine" (as many called it). I had many people come to me after visiting upstairs to say "I have never seen anything like that before". I am not certain that is good or bad.

Best Elf: Rami. Hands down.

Best-effort: to Pat for, reportedly, knocking down several of my action figures and then trying to get them standing again. Only to knock down several more plastic heroes. Repeat.

Best footwear: Jamie, for giving up on her skirt and boots and switching to jeans and her sock-monkey slippers around 11:30.

Overall thank you: To the many party-goers who worked so hard to wear out the dogs. From Justin's initial game of fetch, to Shoemaker tossing the ball for Lucy at 2:30, the dogs are totally crashed out today. That's a rare treat, and we thank you.

All in all, a grand evening. I forgot to take pictures. I think Jason snapped some pics. If I can get some photos to post, or can link over to his site at some point, I shall do so.

We want to send out a thank you to everyone who attended and even those folks who couldn't attend. It's tough to demonstrate your appreciation for your friends, en masse, so this is my best effort. Sure, we may not have loved every moment of our time in Arizona, but it really led us to appreciate the value of good folks like you Leaguers.

We plan to repeat in the second Saturday of December, 2007. Mark your calendars now.

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