Sunday, October 23, 2011

Deb's milestone birthday

On Friday we partied at Shappy's house in honor of Deb's 50th birthday.

Shappy grilled a turkey, and there were delicious side dishes like squash risotto. After dinner, he wove through the crowd and served Godiva shots in teensy martini glasses that Terry carried on a tray.

Tons of Deb's friends from tennis and sailing came to share in her celebration. And we all mingled. Colleen, especially. She told Larry, "Honey, the bathroom is locked." Only she doesn't know Larry; she meant to tell Kevin. Good thing it was a friendly crowd.

Patrice couldn't make it to the party, but she made sure the gnome continued on his travels to Deb. He hung out in the dining room watching the festivities (here he is ogling Sandra). The journey continues.

We stayed for hours (at one point, Terry was in the corner of the kitchen, gnawing on a turkey bone). It kind of felt like Thanksgiving but with way more people.

Happy birthday, Deb! You were one of my first friends at Highlander, and I wish you the best for your next 50 years. Cheers!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A party for Jess

Jess will be leaving us for the greener pastures of Michigan for his new job. So on Friday we toasted him farewell at the Feldmans.

By the time he arrived (it was a heavy evening of partying for him because his work friends gave him a sendoff), we had all signed the posterboard card with heartfelt messages. Sandy, who gives new meaning to the term "graphic artist," added a map of Michigan that looked phallic but which she claims was not. And the steak-eating, tennis-playing T-Boners also used some colorful language.

Grillmaster Doug cooked up lots of burgers and hot dogs, and we sprawled out in the kitchen and living room watching the Brewer game.

After dinner we played ping pong in the basement. Brian won a close best-of-five, Hans schooled me, and Doug and Shappy discussed the legality of various serves.

I love house parties. Carol said she felt a bit partied out (partly due to the string of milestone birthdays in the last year). But I love hanging out with all my favorite people in one place. Particularly if that place is the home of somebody in the tennis gang.

A few years ago, after a few of us had been at a bar, Doug decided we should do a late-night pop-in at Jess' place. He was undeterred by the fact that Jess hadn't picked up his phone — several times.

When Jess opened the door, he was wearing a navy blue robe and rubbing his eyes. But you know what he said?

"I think I have some wine."

Because that is the kind of person he is — always making you feel at home, whether you're an uninvited guest or his partner on the court. Jess, we'll miss you. But we wish you the best. And because I hate goodbyes, let's just say, "See you around."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oh no, Papa, not the doilies!

Yesterday I came home from work to another tableau: Papa rearranged cake decorating supplies in the living room.

She shredded, she chewed, she showed no remorse. Surprisingly, she did not try to eat the edible alphabet letters, which confirms my theory that no one wants to eat those.

On a nicer note, Michelle helped me with the desserts for Jess' farewell party. She's a great troubleshooter when it comes to frosting. Thanks, Michelle!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ladies who lunch

Today I met up with Joanna for lunch in Kenosha.

When we worked at Nevin's, we used to eat lunch together often. Usually at the Fish Market — red beans and rice for her, something fried for me. Occasionally we would have dinner at Pete Miller's or drinks at The Mark, but we hashed out most of life's dramas over lunch at the Fish Market. (Or at Nevin's at table 41, Joanna said.)

That was 15 years ago.

When we caught up a bit at the Nevin’s reunion last summer, we talked about doing lunch.

Sure, Applebee's is a far cry from our fine-dining and almost-fine-dining days, but it was easy to find. It's good they sat us at a four-top because the appetizer sampler plate is very large. We ate mozzarella sticks, spinach and artichoke dip, quesadillas, and wings like we were still in our 20s.

We talked about everything — friends, family, boys, men, kids, dogs, happiness, the dramas of the day. There was so much in the present to catch up on, we didn't spend much time reliving the past.

And there is something so great about a friend who says, "I am going to give you some unsolicited advice."

Almost five hours later, we were still talking in the parking lot. Which is where we shot an entire series of photos where we accidentally cropped ourselves out. But this was my favorite.

Cheers to another great lunch. There's nothing like unsolicited advice from an old friend!