November 30, 2011

Bad news and birthdays come in threes...

Fortunately, this post is about birthdays and not bad news.

As I've said before, we have three birthdays in the span of three weeks at our house. In the middle of that birthday marathon is both Halloween and Election Day (guess which holiday tends to get lost in all the chaos).

So because I can't combine birthdays into one large fiesta, I'm combining them into one large blog post.

Kicking off the birthday brigade was Kayden, who was turning 11. Leading up to his party, the kids had saved and saved their money in order to buy an Xbox 360, with me matching their savings.


The next day, I drove four rowdy preteen boys to the go-karting place and let them run amok:


As the hours passed, I realized something: this place hates parents. There was nowhere to sit down, nowhere quiet to relax, no coffee and no alcohol. Fun center, my ass. I finally hid inside an out-of-order arcade game shaped like a truck and growled as anyone tried to poke their head inside.

Nevertheless, the boys had fun.


Then it was time for my 29th birthday. It was definitely low-key and un-birthday-esque, which is just how I like 'em. After work, we went out for a nom dinner, then came home. Keene hid away in the kitchen for a while, then emerged with this:


Can't tell what it is? Look at it from the side:


A. Starbucks. Birthday. Cake.

It was amazing. It was the best, most Kelli cake I had ever seen.

He even drew the weird mermaid on top:


By the by, I don't think many people realize what the Starbucks logo actually is. It's a mermaid with a weirdly split tail.

Here is the logo you know and (should) love:


Here is an early logo showing the "mermaid siren" in its entirety:


Mythically, the siren seduced sailors before offing them. Supposedly, she enticed them with her song and not with her insane flexibility. Right.

Since we're being random now, here's a random picture of Keene, taken sometime around my birthday. I think.


Just a week after my birthday, it was time for the fifth anniversary of Keene's 29th birthday.

(Thank you, Alison, for the clever play on words!)

Normally, Keene's birthdays are just as low-key as mine (if not more so...I mean, he doesn't even age, so it's just another day, really). However, we discovered Fishbone (one of Keene's favorite bands) would be in town, playing an intimate, multimedia show that week. We took the kids to his sister's house, then went to what turned out to be the longest show in my life.

To start, we watched a documentary about the band called Everyday Sunshine. Despite not being a big fan, I really enjoyed the documentary. If you come across it, it's definitely worth your while to watch. Afterward, there was a Q&A session with Angelo and Norwood, which was pretty cool.


Angelo wandered around prior to the show, so Keene was able to meet and talk with him briefly, acting like a giggling groupie the whole time, I'm sure.


(If you look to the left of the glaring light, you'll see Keene talking to Angelo, who is on the right side.)

Opening for Fishbone was a band called The Dendrites, a local 9-piece ska band. They were simply amazing and not just because the trombonist and trumpeter lost their shirts.


Finally, around midnight, Fishbone took the stage:



By this point, I was so exhausted from standing all night and my head hurt like a mofo. The show was going on five hours and the main act had just begun.

Also, I won't say I'm too old for concerts on weeknights. However, I am too old to participate in crowd-surfing and moshing at 1 a.m. on a weeknight, especially when I've only had two beers. As a new member to the 29-year-old club, I did not approve.

But we stayed until the end--with Keene looking like he was torn between skanking and preserving his old man body--and finally got to bed at 3:30 a.m.

And the next morning, I looked like this:


All day. I couldn't close my eyes for fear that they wouldn't reopen.

Nevertheless, 2011 was a trifecta of birthday goodness.

November 16, 2011

Wait a minute...

This is on the Starbucks' holiday cup:


The wink says it all. I know your little secret, Nutcracker Soldier Man.

November 1, 2011

Halloscenes from Halloween

I'm just going to say it: thank god Halloween is over. I mean, it's a fun holiday for sure...but it's a lot of work to have that much fun.

We eased into the three-week-long celebration with homemade candy apples:




Then the weather was like, "Oh crap! Totally forgot that it's supposed to be uncomfortably cold by Halloween night." The weather went from a summery high of mid-'80s to a snowstorm overnight:


Meanwhile, I worked on a costume hat for a friend. Her daughter, Alice, was going to dress up as Alice in Wonderland...so my friend would accompany her as the Cheshire Cat.



Next, it was time to start putting together my own costume. After joking about it for months, I finally created the Pickles the Drummer skullet.

"Who is Pickles the Drummer?" every reader except Keene will ask.

This is Pickles from Metalocalypse:



The hat started with a basic comb-over design, then I added looooong braids, sewing a few of them over the top of the head. Then the tricky part: the goatee.

Now, I was going to do something risky like gluing it to my face. Fortunately, Keene offered the idea of using thin wires. We threaded wires all throughout the sideburns and goatee, leaving two poking out the top corners. At the ends of these wires, I attached small buttons. This way, we could unbutton the goatee to eat or drink.

While working on the goatee, I did a drunk-Pickles impression:


Throw in a black tee and crocheted wrist guards and my costume was finished:


Oh, and I found a witch costume for Maia for a dollar at a garage sale. Exciting, huh? Well, don't let the sour look on her face fool you...she actually liked it. And I liked not having to spend a lot of time working on another homemade costume.


All costumed up, Maia and I went to a Denver Craft Ninjas event where we decorated sugar skulls:



My friend, Elizabeth, discovered her true calling of making sugar skulls look like Mexican wrestler masks:


Here were mine and Maia's final products:


Finally, it was the big night. We went to a friend's house for dinner and to meet up in a big trick-or-treat group:


Now what you won't notice, but would have if he weren't wearing a mask, is that Kayden finally decided to give this old taking-candy-from-strangers thing a try. He's at the end, dressed as the Scream guy.

Surely, you can pick out the other 11-year-old boys in the group?

Finally, I waited and waited to hear back from Keene about whether he thought it was okay to post a picture of his coworkers all dressed up (and him sporting the Pickles hat at work). But I never heard back. So instead, here is a picture of him all by himself at work:


Annnnnnnnnd now it's time to hang up our Halloween hats, metaphorically speaking.

But not really: