Monday, August 27, 2007

The Suite Life...

Saturday, we hosted the Summer Wrap-Up event with the youth group from church.

The youth leader also happens to be my barrista at my local Starbucks, so there is a wonderful synergy that swirls around things.

Things were set to start at 4pm. But the youth leader, who I will call Starbuck... because I can... (and because if I called him "Aaron", then all you would have to do is come to the Bay Area, find a Starbucks - there are only a FEW - find the barrista named Aaron, and then you could stalk me, and that wouldn't be good) said he'd come at 2pm and 'help set things up'. What's to set up for a 'come on over and hang out for 4 hours' sort of youth bash, I thought. But I've been wrong before, so I said "Sure, come on over at 2 and you can 'set up'."

So 2pm rolls around, and finds us nearly ready for guests, except for the fact that the back yard still looks like 4-year-olds live here. (oh, and the grass is brown, and the hedges really need to be trimmed, and honestly, if I was having REAL guests, I really should do something like get some landscaping done, bla bla bla.)

[Oh, and did I mention that at the last minute, I *HAD* to move the furniture all around? Yeah. It's a disease. But goodness, did I find bad dust bunnies hiding behind some of the stuff we moved around!]

But to the entry title...

The doorbell rings, and it's Starbuck and two teenagers that he'd given a ride to. They're here to help Starbuck set up for the party. I introduce myself, and the reply...

"I'm Zack...." and "...and I'm Cody..."

Yeah, yeah, I might have let that one pass, if I hadn't just turned off the Disney Channel, where "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" was having a marathon.

Me: "No, really. What're your real names?"

They blink. "Um... I'm Cody and he's Zack. Well, Zackary, but..."

I start to laugh. "Whoops. My bad. I thought you were trying to pull one over on me."

And so we started setting up for the party. My suite life with Zack and Cody.

And what was the party?

Why, they'd brought over water balloon launchers, and there was to be a war.

The yard wasn't big enough. We went out into the street, Starbuck and me, and he said "You know, this probably isn't big enough either. I'd be worried about the kids breaking windows..."


So we did a test-shoot off the back yard into the canyon.

Yup. WAY too dangerous to be shooting them down the street. Those things FLEW.

With a bit of practice, we were able to finesse the launchers into over-the-house war machines. I just had to keep my eyes on folks that they didn't aim too low. Fortunately, no windows were harmed in the over-the-house war.

Even Kelly was allowed to join the "Big Kids" for a few shots.

*actually, that shot ended up hitting the side of the house SQUARELY between the computer room window and Skip's window. It was a close one.*

Apparently the water-balloon launchers are a one-man operation. Or that's what they're sold as.

The kids didn't have quite the height or strength to pull it off, but Ken gave the kids a demonstration, vaulting him into "Coolest Dad" category among the high schoolers.

And then we sent a few guys down into the canyon to act as "Targets", and the kids had at it.

There was little success, and then suddenly Skip came up to shoot, and he caught a lucky breeze (the wind HAD been blowing the balloons too far to the right to hit the target boys), and he nailed one of the guys square in the chest.

I took my life in my hands taking this shot. Heh.

Much fun was had by all... even when we sent them all out after the food and said "No more food until you've picked up 20 busted water balloons from the yard and canyon."

Hmm. There may have been a little bit of Guitar Hero action...

And some games.

The game they're playign is called Ubongo. Does it speak to my "Life With A Geek" that I keep calling the game "Ubuntu"?

OK, it wasn't all sweetness and light. One of the boys found the sand at the side of the house where the local cats have been piddling, and decided to swipe some of it on another unsuspecting boy's shirt. That was gross. And then the same boy got into the sugar-laden sodas, had one, and then had a sugar-induced seizure. I've never witnessed a seizure, start to finish. Oh man, that was fun. Apparently, on his medical release form, it says "No sugar." Hey, that would've been good to know ahead of time. Er, and then a basketball went over the fence into the neighbour's yard, and two boys just went launching themselves after it. Hello? Nice to meet you, Mr. Neighbour. Sorry, I should have warned you about the party. And one of the water balloons vaporized on launch, and the breeze took it into the other neighbour's yard, JUST as Mr. Other Neighbour was getting settled on his patio chair with a nice big foofy drink and the Saturday paper. Yeah, that'll teach him to try to enjoy his own yard when there's a youth party going on next door. Whoops.

And while the guys were all hot for the water balloon launchers, the girls were a more delicate breed.

So we got Midnight out, and played with him.

Note to self: Mascara and lipstick!!!!!

So, in conclusion.

No blood was shed.
We didn't run out of food.
The high school senior boys think Skip is cool because of his Uber Guitar Hero Skillz.
The police weren't called.
And we didn't run out of food.

I'd call it a success.

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