Schnuth Summer Luau 2008

Time to post something besides Twitter updates, cool as they might be.

In my own inimitable tradition, I planned a luau in honor of a.) the onset of the first day of summer and b.) our Hawaii vacation last month. Parties are a great excuse to get everyone together and drink and play video games, and I’ve hosted a couple successful ones since we’ve lived here. (Aaron hosted a few successful New Year’s Eve parties at his apartments before that, too, but that was quite some time ago.) Our circle of friends hasn’t been as socially close as we were, say, eight years ago, and a formal invitation to come over and see everyone all at once seems to have appeal.

I did a decent amount of research online and located some Hawaiian music that reminded me of what we’d heard while we were there. We had two hours’ worth of mellow Hawaiian music: mostly guitar and vocals (in Hawaiian), with some Hawaiian chants. It turned out to be just about perfect, as far as ambiance goes. Not too overbearing, but noticeable enough that a few guests commented on how non-cheesy it was.

The mainly authentic Hawaiian menu included oven kalua pork, macaroni potato salad, grilled veggies, chicken long rice, and poi. As it happened, the frozen poi I bought online tasted absolutely wretched (although the company I bought it from did have excellent customer service), and a pretty hefty rain changed our grilling plans. So, we ended up with no poi (because it tasted like cardboard) and sweet potato french fries. Oh, and the chicken long rice got slightly burnt to the bottom of the pan, but it was still plenty good. I was a little flustered about getting everything ready on time, but Aaron played the host and kept our guests company while I finished everything up in the kitchen, and everything turned out fine.

By the time dinner was over, we’d all started on our respective drinks and were ready to watch the 52-minute Hawaii Vacation DVD (while Aaron washed the dishes). I hadn’t been sure how this would work out — I mean, this is an hour of home videos we’re talking about here. Luckily, Yours Truly has just a smidge of video editing experience from college, and managed to keep it interesting; we didn’t skip through any of the DVD, so the chapter stops I’d put in turned out not to be necessary for the DVD’s premiere. Our friends commented later that the DVD was a lot more interesting than a photo slide show (which we did for last year’s Japan party).

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included the first three minutes of the video:

About the drinks. I found recipes online for the Pina Colada and Blue Hawaii, and we bought the necessary ingredients for both, plus some. We’d exchanged our Canadian funds for booze after our trip to Canada, so we had a few flavored vodkas plus coconut rum, in addition to our Blue Curacao and Peach Schnapps and Bailey’s and Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao and various mixers and a 12-pack of Michelob Ultra. (Hey, Aaron told me to buy something he’d drink, and I didn’t figure most people would be down with Guinness.)

Piña Coladas

Usually — these days, anyway — our friends aren’t the big drinkers they used to be. I was worried that we’d end up with more booze left over than we’d drink in a year or three. Due to the unusual tropical drinks we were serving, though, our partygoers were pretty free with the alcohol — especially the Blue Hawaiis.

Which made playing Rock Band that much more fun.

That was pretty much the rest of the evening: playing Rock Band for Xbox 360. THAT was fun.

Rock Band, Jason, Aaron & Matt

The few photos that I took are up on my flickr photostream. I don’t know if they successfylly convey the good time we all were having, but trust me: it was a blast.