Since the slideshow doesn’t have captions, I’m also posting a Cast Of Characters:
Aaron: The Man of the Hour. I brought him into the house at 7pm, as planned, and he was utterly surprised to find not a handful but over a dozen people sitting in his living room. “Uh, hello!” he said.
Amy: My college roommate, best friend, and main co-conspirator. She drove up from Dayton to help with the party, knowing full well that she’d be coming up again the following weekend for the Pixies concert we’d gotten tickets for.
Mark: Co-conspirator #2, and Keeper Of The Refrigeratables. Mark actually arrived first and started setting things up before Amy showed up. Around 9pm or so, the couple of beers and one Jell-O shot Mark had consumed began warring with his impending flu, and he ended up yarking outside on the front step. After everyone left (which was shortly thereafter), he came in and spent some quality time curled up on our bathroom floor.
Kris H.: Co-conspirator #3, Bringer Of The Ice, and Holder Of The Ice-Cream Cone Cuppiecakes. Kris and his girlfriend Jamie (see below) were also instrumental in the planning of the evening in the weeks prior. From what I understand, they arrived just after Mark, but before Amy.
Jamie: Kris H’s girlfriend and silent conspirator. I told her about the party before I told Kris, to try to gauge whether he’d be able to keep it secret. 🙂 Jamie took on the task of cooking the chicken wings, although I left faulty directions and they turned out a touch underdone. My bad.
Kris Fries: One of Aaron’s closest friends, especially after high school. Aaron and Kris used to be inseparable concert buddies Back In The Day, but family and fiscal responsibilities (not to mention a lack of noteworthy concerts) have kept Kris at home lately. He and Aaron still trade e-mails on a regular basis, though, and we sometimes go over to their place for dinner and a DVD.
Kathy: Fries’s wife of three years and mother of his son, Sam. She doesn’t always look *quite* this crazy—she spotted me with the camera and apparently struck a pose. In this particular shot, it’s a little after 9pm, and most everyone’s getting ready to bail. Mark is out on the porch, apologizing for yacking in our bushes.
Jesus (a.k.a. Jessie): Aaron’s Mexican friend. 🙂 (I’d say he’s “Hispanic,” but Jessie would make fun of me.) Jessie’s actually my age, as he was one year behind Aaron at St. John’s High School. Jess had quite a scare several years ago with cancer, but it was detected early and the chemo took care of it, no problem. He still sports the shaven-head look, though… he seems to like it.
Kelly: Jessie’s wife of… several years, anyway, and mother of his two daughters. She had two kids already, so Jessie and Kelly have four kids total, plus various birds, chihuahuas, and other fauna. We’re actually hoping to hang out with Jessie and Kelly sometime after Christmas.
Jason: Another friend from St. John’s. Jason’s always been pretty cool, IMO, although him “finding God” a few years back really helped him mellow out and exorcise his negativity (for the most part). He’s a graphic designer, percussionist, anime enthusiast, and generally funny guy.
Joe: The only UPS invitee who showed. I’ve gotten to hang out with Joe once or twice before, and he’s always very cool and laid-back. I like Joe. Joe gave us a free washer and dryer, and berated Aaron for not getting the part we need for the washer. Heh.
Matt: Aaron’s younger brother. After most everyone else bailed, and Mark was enjoying our tile bathroom floor, Matt hung around and talked for a while. Matt’s fun, if garrulous. But he gave Aaron a House of Meats gift certificate for his birthday, so I’m not complaining or anything. 🙂
Me: “Hey, Amy, can you take my picture?”
So, here I am. That’s me. I planned this whole thing… with help.
Kitty Mei: Who started out the evening being slightly high-strung, but ended up curled up on a chair after most everyone had left. She didn’t freak out and go hide like we’d thought she would—in fact, she went upstairs to keep Mark company while he was feeling unwell. How sweet.
And that’s everybody who was at the party. It was a good time, and although I’d kind of wished a couple other people had shown up (including Aaron’s friend Chris Walmsley, who lives in Columbus), it’s a good thing many more didn’t show. I don’t think our living room can handle much more than we had.
Bummer is, now I’ve got a jones to be a little party-hostess more often… and I know we’ll never get that many people at one party again.