Big shoes to fill, or every excuse is a good excuse for a party.

Summer is blurring by and I’m on the road more than I’m at home of late, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let life pass me by!

While not a “big number” birthday, it was still my birthday this past weekend and I decided to throw a little house party. Hey, every excuse is a good excuse for a party and our beautiful home is finally ready to entertain, so why not ?

On Friday, Niko kicked off the celebrations by showing off his “dad style” by borrowing my size 12 Yeezy 700 Analogs and taking them for a spin around the house. He thought he was the funniest three-year-oldi on the planet even though it’s pretty normal (if perfectly adorable) behaviour for his age.

Niko Yeezy 700 Analog

That evening, we celebrated another good friend’s birthday by taking a “cooking class” at Sorrentino’s facility in behind their cafe on 109 Street and 106 Avenue. As we donned our nametagged aprons, our guide for the evening, Chef Phil, asked us to go around the room and say what we hoped to learn from the class, at which point I told poor Phil right to his Yorkshireman’s mug that I was there to have a glass of brut and watch other people cook me food. He thought this was I was just being cheeky until I did exactly that for the next four hours. Worse still, for Chef at least, I managed to set off a trend of chatting and dilettanting amongst our group of friends, all of us getting increasingly inebriated, until Phil basically had to abandon all hopes of teaching our sorry lot and ended up making the bare minimum of food for us so that we wouldn’t waste the fresh ingredients. Fun was had by almost all! If largely at Chef Phil’s expense. Sorry Phil. But hey, that’s democracy inaction for you.

cooking class

Recovering from that “cooking class” hangover like a man ten years my junior,ii I wiped myself off on Saturday morning, went for my usual Saturday morning 5km run through the river valley, and started setting-up for the big partay. Now, it’s not easy to wrangle 40+ people that you’d actually consider “friends” at this age, and I did have to go down the list a bit, but even with a few notable absences, there was a fantastic turnout for this multigenerational party. Turns out that having a house party, particularly one marking the occasion of your birth, is really a very relaxed way to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a few years and you’d only really like to talk to for maybe five minutes. I have to say that it worked a charm! The “specialness” of the event, marked most notably by the catering, certainly helped. Seen herebelow is the Blue Giraffe Creamery ice cream truck that parked on my driveway, serving unlimited quantities of nitrogen ice cream, waffle sticks, bubble tea, and green onion cakes. It was a smash hit and the weather cooperated beautifully. I was just happy that it wasn’t raining (as forecast earlier in the week) and that Jarrett and his wife from Blue Giraffe actually showed up. I hadn’t even met them before and only found them through What The Truck‘s handy dandy contact form. I figured it was worth a gamble and, as usual, with risk came reward! Although I did hedge my bets by hiring a more trusted caterer to handle the Mediterranean and Thai finger foods that represented the “main course” inside the house. Together, with a bit of luck on my side, they were ice cream and apple pie. FTW!

birthday party

Kicking off at 6pm to accommodate our few other friends with young kidsiii (and of course our own), our little ones had a sleepover at their grandparents’ house so that the “adult party,” which started at 8pm and continued until 2am, could do its thing unencumbered. The troopers huddled late into the eve under our new mood-lit backyard gazebo, and atop our newly yellow-painted deck, are seen herebelow with your humble (and hoodied) author poking his big nose out of the corner.

gazebo troopers

The gifts ? Not that I needed any, thoughtful cards are all I want at this point in life, but starting with bottles, another very enjoyable assortment! Even some gummies this time. Thanks Justard ?

birthday goodies

And books… oh the books!iv While I love me some booze (see footnote ii), I love it even more that I received just as many books as bottles on this most joyous of birthdays. I can occasionally (very occasionally!) struggle with insecurity around the degree to which I flaunt my only-somewhat-modest success, particularly in this town, worrying that it might engender envy and resentment with those closest to me,v but that they still cater to my infovory and unrepentant philosophising reminds me not to worry so much (ferfuxake). If they secretly hated me for my fast cars and piss-filled antics, they probably wouldn’t show up at all. Who knows, maybe I’m tempering with age, learning to accept myself and all of my various eccentricities. I guess that wouldn’t be so bad.

Birthday books

As long as this journey is a shared one, and one leaving a tangible legacy with big shoes to fill for my successors, I’ll consider myself very fortunate indeed.

Just gotta keep on blurrin’ on.
___ ___ ___

  1. Yes, this wunderkind is still technically only three-years-old! And he’s still tracking to hit the 4-foot-tall mark by his fourth birthday. A 7-footer in the making ? Place your bets…
  2. I really do have a hell of a liver. It might even be my best internal organ. In fact, it’s definitely my best internal organ! Not that there’s anything resembling competition when your bladder is literally nicknamed “the acorn,” your stomach and guts have intolerances, your lungs are below average in capacity, your heart sometimes forgets to beat, your pancreas is as delicate as bone china, and your spleen shuts down completely when it hasn’t had enough sleep. Without a good liver, what’d be the point ? 
  3. Most of our friends from University are only now just getting married, more than half-a-decade after we tied the knot, meaning that they’ll be close to a full decade “behind” us when they start having kids. It’s certainly not a race but fuck me if youth doesn’t help raising little ones. Matching the energy of a 3-year-old is undeniably a young man’s sport, never mind all the mid-night wake-ups.
  4. Why Chris Hitchens ? And from two different people ? Beats me considering I’ve never read anything of his but we’ll see how it goes. I’m open-minded. Also not shown here was another copy of Taleb’s Fooled By Randomness, which I already obviously had and even have another copy coming as part of the new Incerto “Deluxe Edition.” I already have Yuval Hariri’s books too, but at least that one came with a gift receipt.
  5. Though goodness knows I’ve already pushed many of their buttons a great many times over the years, and yet here they all are!

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