mom's 60th bday surprise bday (+ bonus a tour through the Crowley's board game archive)
Why hello there! This is my first attempt in writing a teendrama recap in, um, forever. I got this trip to Sweden with Mr. Eric Freid all planned up in about 8 days from now and I really want to catch up on the tdrama before I take off... hence the 3 big posts this week (Mom's 60th, ski season recap, SXSW). A little teendrama philosophy real quick: I keep this site as kind of a scrapbook for myself and friends and when I fall far behind (e.g. now) it's almost like 6 months worth of good times just goes unnoticed. Think of the stuff I flaked on this past year: Mike + Jos' wedding, bday #31, SXSW 07, PICNIC @ Amsterdam, World Series, etc. I always find myself wanting to refer back to these memories as teendrama posts and its kind of a bummer realizing I never got around to writing a recap (disclaimer: last year is a weird case as its not just me being lazy w/ teendrama, instead I lost 9 out of 12 months of photos to one stolen laptop and one fried laptop). So, anyway, let's catch up!
Hey Mom, happy 60th birthday! (er, this was back in March, btw). My dad - notorious for messing up with big surprises for my Mom - wanted to surprise her with a huge surprise bday party. He had me and JJ act like we weren't going to come home for Mom's bday (using McD's St. Paddy's party as a cover and the old "but we'll be back next weekend for Easter!" excuse) but then managed to sneak home on Saturday to set up the *bowling alley* he rented out for the big bday surprise!
Dad was stressing about the whole thing - "make sure there's enough drinks and food and make sure everyone parks in the back", etc. We did our bestest, even making a little makeshift "No Parking" sign so Dad could roll right up to the front without having driving by everyone else's cars. Slick!
(JJ's first album cover? "No Parking in the Zone of Love")
So here's the big moment of surprise - I think about 60 people where there, bartender + fully catered and the whole thing. Good job, Dad!
And all 18 lanes were fired up for people to bowl on. (btw, this is the old "Mills Bowl," home of Matt Ala and Mike Schultz's bday parties, Cub Scout outings and where I learned how to play Street Fighter 2.
Dad took over as emcee for the night, mixing in some trivia questions with his play-by-play analysis of the...
... bowling tournament he set up! 16 teams x 64 players! All competing for cash and prizes (er, more on that soon).
A quick break for a photo opp with my Mom and her sister, Auntie Jean.
Me and Katie got paired up in adjacent lanes... the last two in the bowling alley. Since they were kind of last-minute additions (they got turned on as soon as the little kids that were there before finished playing), the guy running the place forgot to raise the "bumpers" that covered the gutters. Here's Katie showing how it's impossible to throw a gutterball - almost guaranteeing us victory, right?
Oh wait a sec, I should probably mention that this is back in Massachusetts where there's not "big ball bowling". Everything is little: little ball, little pins... candlepin, sucka!
And, you should also know that my Mom plays in a weekly league (with a lot of the folks that showed up for the party). I guess they're pretty good so the competition was FIERCE.
Meanwhile, poor Shoops and her torn ACL / MCL had to use the little handicapped bowler setup.
I was on a roll for a few frames - I think I threw two strikes before I started getting all cocky and tried to digi-video it. Then I went cold. My end score, eh, I dunno... prob something like a 70? Maybe I broke 100? I can't remember. Surely not as solid as my Wii bowling skills...
Oh, the Dig also went all out and got *trophies* for all the top scorers!
A bunch for top single scorers, highest team score, lowest score, etc...
Shoops got one for Best Handicapped Bowler.
And Baby Emma got one for Cutest Baby. I think Jackie Rink got the award for Worst Bowler. Ha!
And then for the main event... according to my Dad, my Mom has always wanted to do one of those game show booths where you go inside, they turn on some giant fan, all this money blows around and you have some 60 seconds to grab as much cash as you can. Well, it just so happens that the bowling alley has a little blow-up machine that does *just that*... except they're with skeeball tickets).
Soooooo... my Dad gives me $500 in $5 bills and I go to work trying to get them floating around in the machine. It doesn't work so good unless you crumple all the dollarz up.
So then we call Mom over to get in the booth...
... and flip the switch on the thing! I had to get in there too - down on my hands and knees digging - to keep all the dollars from getting stuck in the corners. I dunno how long we were in there, but it felt like hours. My arms were burning by the end from all the dollar shoveling. I think Mom ended up with like $200 worth of $5 bills - most of them stuffed down her pants and shirt! Hahahah!
Me, digging. (this was during out test run w/ Dana)
Late night, me and my Dad's BFF from high school, Donny R.
Who was later escorted out by the muscle in the family, Uncle Neil (jk - but it kind of looks like it, no?)
And that's it for the birthday party... next up?
LIONS PANCAKE BREAKFAST! Some fundraiser or something. I bought a bunch of raffle tickets and won nothing. Here's Dig with his "Kind of Medway" getup (not to brag, he he is a selectmen in Medway - wait, which makes me + J, um, PRINCES, right? Princes of Medway!!!).
Oh, we also got our picture taken with the Easter Bunny - for $10 bucks!!! [Flickr]
The fundraiser was at the new(ish) Medway High School... first time I've been there to poke around. I was most impressed by this pink hallway.
J and I took a stroll through the halls, finding this commemorative plaque of all the Medway High School Class Presidents past.
A closeup gives shoutouts to our old pals Mike Geary and Kelly Johnson! Well done kids!
Down the hall is the *Student Council* President shoutout board... hey Mike.d!
And Mike.d showing up again on the History Award board (nerd!).
And then Mr. Driscoll (Mike's dad!) has his portrait hanging in the lobby (he used to be the principal - remind me to tell you about the time Mike.d pulled the fire alarm @ a high school dance our freshman year)
And that concludes our tour of Medway High. On the ride home I was digging through my Dad's CD collection... who knew he was a closet Weezer fan!
Back at the house, and it's birthday gift openin' time. I got my Mom an *autographed copy* of a cookbook my old Cub Scout buddy Todd Simcox wrote (he's now a weatherman up in Maine).
Here, check it out. Anyway, our favorite celebrity meteorologist was nice enough to autograph a copy and send one down for my Mom's birthday. Thanks Todd!
And I got J (who's bday is two days before my Mom's) a Mike Greenwell jersey. Awesome.
Me + J + Katie spent the rest of the afternoon digging out old board games. First up, Mall Madness (maybe one of the greatest games I've ever played?)
In case you've never played (really???), you start with $200 bucks and have a shopping list of items to get at the mall. Instead of rolling dice, this little brown box tells you how many spaces to move and - when you swipe your little plastic credit card - whether you made a sale or got DENIED. Occasionally the little robot guy tells you to "send a friend for ice cream" (almost worse than being banished to the parking lot). Ha!
Next up, Life... you know, kind of boooorrrriiinnggg next to Mall Madness. You're just spinning the little wheel (which never even says on the board btw) and moving forward 5 spots at a time... if you don't get a good job up front, you're fucked. And the only way to earn any cash after that is by suing your friends. (Boooorrring, tho accurate?). NEXT!
Leverage! This game that's been tucked in a corner of my old bedroom forever... been *dreaming* about pulling it out for Game Night, but turns out this game is a dud. It's supposed to be like checkers on a balance board, but it's just super confusing. SKIP!
Clue, The Great Museum Caper. Museum Caper is to Jonathan what Leverage was to me and Mike Anderson. Basically Clue, but with surveillance cameras and moves like "cutting the power" and "jumping out windows". Eh, kind of fun... but feels a little unbalanced with three players (me + J + K). I'm going to say dud (J was devastated that his childhood memories didn't hold up). NEXT!
Next up, Guess Who! A classic! Both players get a card with someone's picture on it and then you take turns asking "Yes" or "No" questions about someone physical appearance ("Are you bald? Do you have glasses?") until someone narrows it down to just one person (er, or takes a bold guess).
Q: "Do you want to have sex with me?"
After six or seven wins in a row by J (so frustrating), I finally won one. Then we switched up the rules... no questions about appearances, but about the imagined personalities of the person - ha!
"Did you ever work at a video store?"
"Do you have sex with your socks on?"
"Are you mad that your mustache is not as awesome as the other guy's?"
Hahahahh - kind of the best way to play, I highly recommend it.
Annnndd so that's it's it for Mom's 60th. Worth mentioning that I stayed another day for St. Paddy's day in Boston, and then stuck around all week cause I got hit with the deadly SXSW Scurvy (I still kind of have the cough, btw) and eventually just stayed through Easter. 10 days in Medway = 9.5 days to many! (aaww, just kidding Mom!)