There was a party, and even as I am writing this, there is actual, legitimate turning-23-ing going on. Some years ago, my ex Maartin and I threw a Tuxedo Karaoke party which was... less than karaoketastic. We decided to use the midi backtracks my mom makes for her singing students, but if you're not an Eisteddfod kid, it can be very hard not to hear mono-tonal generic bell-like sounds and stand in bafflement as to where the song starts or indeed which song it even is. We also went with the stellar option of trying to display the lyrics to each song on the computer monitor with "Tell me when to scroll down. Now? How 'bout now?" as regulation, and the end result was rather as much chaos as you'd expect.
This time I was going to do it right, and I was going to do it comfortable, goddamnit. Pyjama freedom for all. Of course when the invites went out, that meant more threats of nudity than I dare relay, and I wasn't even that hesitant to turn them all down.
Since the dreadful Tuxedo Karaoke, I had started scouting out karaoke tracks to keep just in case we were ever to attempt it again. Years of this hoarding means I have hundreds of tracks now, and the above picture is the front cover of the meticulously handcrafted karaoke catalogue I set up for my guests to use. It took some (ah ha ha ha. Some. I'm a bald-faced liar, "some" is wildly incorrect here) cajoling to get people to join in, but I had incentive. I had gold-foil covered chocolate Kruger Rands for willing participants, and they may well have mystical powers not unlike leprechaun gold.
When I was a kid, (all of the "kid" years, really, no need to narrow down) I was a fucking weirdo. (I'm a creeeeep....) PE and sport days were absolute obligatory, but the teachers knew me. They knew me well enough that when only a doctor's note could excuse you, I was the one sitting on the bleachers next to the kid with the broken leg, reading Thief Of Time. I didn't like sports, didn't like watching them, and didn't like participating- but to at least some degree, that was because I outright sucked ass at all of it. I tried out for the netball team, putting in many hours over weeks of hard work and training with the rest of the hopefuls, and didn't even make the M-team. Sometimes we'd play softball in PE class, and I LOVED being at bat, even hitting the ball sometimes, but then after that there was some form of running involved and rather a lot of angry people seemingly arbitrarily shouting at me to either keep running or for god's sake's stop on one of the, fuck, I dunno? Corners? Those things. Mostly, I didn't hit it, and it became clear that in this hellish sport, I was never going to be allowed to keep holding the bat, so that went pffffft too. In the sort of mini-around-the-neighbourhood marathon the school orchestrated for presumably Faustian reasons, the teacher simply handed me a water bottled and gestured to take a seat next to her at the first check-in point. Athletics like long-jump, and high-jump and what nots and doo dabs were never anything less than marrow suckingly embarrassing, and once everyone had realised I had a greater chance of actually, medically breaking my neck on the hurdles, I got to sit all that shit out.
But I'll tell you what: when accolades day came, and everyone who had achieved some kind of recognition for the semester got called up to the auditorium stage to receive their medals and hurrahs, I wished so hard for javelin throwing prowess I think I burned a bald-spot into Mrs. Potgieter's hair. I was always handed a little piece of paper with a gold sticker and some ribbon on it for Eisteddfod or the play, but all the people who had dared to hurdle their hurdles and jump their jumps (and rugby their rugby) always got solid, shiny, gorgeous medals. I cannot possibly express the extent of my longing for a medal. They seemed so tangible and irrefutable, and the weight of it around your neck must feel like the very measurement of real praise. In comparison, my little certificates were essentially no better than participation stickers to me.
I complained loudly and continuously enough that my awesome dad (of whom you have heard not a little) did his darndest one day (maybe not his utter darndest, though. I feel there's at least a small component of "take this and shut the fuck up, kid" to it, he could have put his back into it a little) and covered a milk jug's lid in foil to make me a make-shift medal.
Yeah, it didn't work. But now, years later in my age and wisdom, I can look back at that as one of my favourite gestures ever.
My point is that holding one of these damn chocolate Kruger Rands feels like the medal I wanted, and I find it as hard to eat as a cake with a face. Excellent prizes for humiliating yourself to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, I think.
Baby Sam came along and fairly terrorised the cats. This is a generation of felines who have never had to deal with terror more or less at their standing height, and so his gentle "coo"s- and, you know, inoffensive jumping up and down and squealing at pitches hitherto thought outside the human hearing spectrum- shot Tesla through the house like a little lilac-pointed white ball of four-legged piss-streak. Much like when Sam sneezes or coughs (or does anything that a grown-up does, but in miniature), it was fucking adorable.
This is the moment I have been hoarding Karaoke tracks for. It's Brenda and Sam singing Sexy Back with all of the aplomb that goes with Brenda and Sam singing Sexy Back. I put out all of my hats, scarves, sunglasses and props (of which there are many) so people could pimp out their pyjamas to suit the song they choose.
Here's Dirk doing two different songs (as evidenced by him wearing two different hats), but doing what looks to me like the equivalent of two moves from the same dance. To whit:
And since I was behind the instant camera, you may wonder if there's any photographic evidence that I attended my own party. Behold:
Yes, that's me doing Wicked. Somehow I realise I end up spending a great deal of my life dressed as a wizard, and I'm kind of OK with that.
But of course, you don't want to know about the stunning solos that included such classics as My Baby Just Cares For Me, I Got You Babe and Baby Got Back. You want to know what kind of awesome presents I got, largely because that's all I've been talking about for weeks.
My own personal death-timer from Duane. BEAUTIFUL. And now I can cosplay Mort if the urge should strike.
I also got a shopping spree from my dad, which netted- among other lovelies- sparkly shoes. His reaction was of course "Where the fuck are you going to wear those?" to which Duane responded most pleasingly on my behalf "Everywhere!" in a tone that suggested it was exactly as silly a question as it sounds. I got a Sheldon doll from Dirk, who knows me on levels I apparently don't even know myself because holy fuck how awesome is that? I'd never have thought of that, and I was drooling over these dolls not a month ago. I obviously am not as Sheldon-y as I thought, because didn't even give half a thought to ripping the packaging open and clutching my little Jim Parsons to my chest.
Brenda, who is inscribed upon my soul in many ways, got me more books. That's a little like buying a drunk a drink, which is why I love her. You know someone cares about you if they're willing to feed your all-consuming mania.
So as mentioned, my dad sent me on a spree, which is possibly the wisest way to satiate a female on a birthday. I decided to go to Menlyn which is one of the bigger and more confusing malls in the area. This is place is huge and Escher-like in its lay-out to the extent that a few years back, a kid (who was actually a friend of Cousin Carla's, in this small world) stabbed two other boys in the video arcade and one died while the paramedics were trying to find their way out of the mall. My rationale in this choice was that at that size, Menlyn ought to have everything. Spoiler: they didn't have everything. But more importantly, when we arrived there at about 10 AM, as soon as we parked the car a screeching alarm went off and people started barrelling out in their multitudes. My personal favourite was the small army of ladies in hair foils mid-colouring running out in their hairdressing capes, although I do feel rather bad for the state of their follicular health after that. There was no clear instruction on what was happening or what to do, although the bomb squad and fire department seemed to be there, and a shop owner locking up told me she reckoned it was probably just a drill. Weeks later and I still have no idea what it was, although on the phone a security personage with the mall said it had been an actual fire.
(Just as an aside: one of my favourite gifts I got was a tin of Hello Kitty sweets and a lollipop wrapped up in a foil plate. Seriously, that made my week.)
There was also a very pretty boy there who looked like Daniel Radcliffe, and I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that my spastic attempts at smiling at him and my efforts to glance in his direction without seeming Tina-Fey drunk went absolutely no-where. Progress though, at least I hazarded the chance to look Tina-Fey drunk instead of staring at my shoes.
I'm willing to call this one a win. The party ended up at the exact intersection of Drunk and Too Drunk that yields inside jokes and cringe-laughter, and I got practically a week and half of festivity out of it.
Now, however, my attention turns to that greatest of domestic evils: moving. At the end of the month I need to be elsewhere than the home in which I currently reside, lest the new owners take umbrage to my bibliomanic squatting. Also, you know: packing. Finding a place to move into and putting things into boxes for the express purpose of moving them hither to thither are two things I have not yet done. I have turned off the panic button for now, instead quelling it with lashings of West Wing episodes and too much sugar. I'm sure it'll be fine. Me, four cats and about four square acres of books-'n-bits on Brenda's couch will probably be a healthy life experience. Should that cease to be an option, I can always earn my way in pub-trivia winnings.
At least I have a fall-back plan.