But before the big blowout, we gave Ken his birthday present. Here's the story:
Over the years, Ken has expressed an interest in having a drum kit in the house but it just didn't make sense due to how much noise they make. That is, until I saw this in a magazine when I was flying down to see Heather in May. It seemed to be the perfect solution: he could get the drum set experience, use headphones when necessary, have a huge pool of different sounds and use a computer (MIDI) input/output with it. So I put it out to the families and there was an enthusiastic response since Ken is one of the hardest people to get gifts for, and especially on a significant milestone like this, we all wanted it to be special.
After talking to a few music stores about what set was most appropriate, I put his on layaway and made arrangements to have Dad & Austin help me pick it up the day before the party. We picked it up around 3:30p on Friday, knowing that Ken would be home around 5p. We rushed home so that Dad and Austin could put it together. Two weeks prior, I had separately ordered/received a monitor (speaker) for the drum set but it was so big, I couldn't hide it or keep it at work. I asked our neighbors across the street to harbor it for awhile and also the day before the party I fetched it. While Austin and Dad put it together, I watched the door since Ken wasn't answering his cell phone. They got it put together and working just in time. When Ken arrived home, we told him explicitly not to go down into the basement.
But I knew that keeping him out of the basement all night and the next day until the party was not going to be practical due to all the prep. So when Dave finally arrived in from the East Coast Friday night, I handed Ken a wrapped set of drumsticks and a card and this video takes it from there. Behold the raucous delight. (There is some use of exuberant strong language, be warned.)
The party could not have happened without the contributions of Dad, Austin and Dave. We had over 50 people here and with the added decorating touches for a birthday we were prepping up to an hour prior to the party. Despite that, I underestimated how much soda we'd need and had to make a run to the market midway through the party so now we have enough to hold us through the next BBQ season.
Scenes from the party: Dad, A.K.A. Iron Chef Sakai, prepares for grilling duty. A festively notable fruit side dish by Sarah & Mika among the potluck side dishes brought by our guests. Preparing to sing and eat cake. Rocking out in the basement. Birthday boy with his #1 fan. As the roving reporter and historian, I spoke with our guests and in the process unearthed some facts about barnacles: (You may recognize Sarah from her own amazing birthday celebration, documented HERE and HERE.) Slideshow of all the pictures from the day:
Thanks to everyone who came out and made it so memorable.
Happy Birthday to my sweet one!