Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ain't No Party Like a K-Town Party...

Cuz a K-Town Party Don't Stop! ....Unfortunately, our party did stop but what an amazing party it was!

The reunion started for me on Thursday when I picked up one of my bestest friends, Dianne Sellner, that afternoon. We dropped her luggage off at my house, grabbed a quick bite to eat then headed back to the airport to pick up Anissa Cottongim. The trunk area of my CR-V was jam packed with alcohol, soda, water and snacks for the hospitality suite so we dropped it off at the hotel in Anissa's room for the night. When the bellhop, Steve, approached my car to unload us I was a little worried that he might say something about all the outside food and drink (I even had a cooler!) we were bringing but he didn't bat an eye. He told us that he would be on duty Friday and would bring us big tubs of ice to cool down all the drinks and he didn't lie. His manager even wanted to charge us for all the ice but Steve wouldn't let him.

After about 4 hours of sleep (because you know Dianne and I stayed up late talking until we started to get silly with sleepiness), we woke on Friday and started getting ready for our second round of airport pick-ups. First was Walter Poole, our webmaster from the class of '86. Once we loaded him up, we went for lunch and then headed back to pick up Tracie Tanner VanHoutan. After a quick run to my house to load up mine and Dianne's luggage, we headed to the hotel. I didn't have time to unpack before we started getting the hospitality suite ready for everyone so by the time the crowd left, around 1:30 a.m. I was exhausted! And I had a splitting headache from drinking different types of alcohol, I think. In hindsight, having your bedroom attached to the hospitality suite is not such a good idea when, at 2:30 in the morning, there are still some people wanting to party in the suite!

Saturday morning started off with a quick cleaning of the suite as it was a huge mess! You could tell some fun times had happened the night before. Not wanting the housekeeping staff to hate us, we picked up empty cans, bottles, food wrapping and tried to make it as tidy as possible before they arrived...you know, cleaning house before the housecleaners arrive!

Thankfully, the skies opened up and we didn't get any rain downtown. This allowed everyone to play tourist for the day. Michelle and the twins came back downtown so she and I took them to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch and Kevin Taylor's family came in right behind us. Kevin's son, Nathaniel and Michelle's twins hit it off immediately and began to play while we waited for our respective tables. Kevin, you have two beautiful children...and your daughter...just get that shotgun ready if you don't already have it out!

I got back to the hotel in time to take a quick shower before me and the rest of the committee headed to the ballroom to decorate the display table. I must say we did a good job! Then it was off to get dressed quickly in time for dinner.

Matt F. was our MC for the night and he and Linh Richards Narum started the party by handing out the Reunion Superlatives which was a lot of fun. Matt brought authentic gummies with him from a bakery in the Dallas area that gets them directly from Germany as gifts for the winners. I was more excited about those gummies than I should have been but unless you've had them from the gummie truck at K-Town high, you just can't appreciate why I was so thrilled. Anyway...the dance started after that and Matt did a great job with the iPod setup and playlist, while Walter charmed his way to a free table and connections for our laptop projector that I snuck in so that we could play a video montage of old high school pictures that were sent to me.

During an intermission Matt presented me with a thank you card and some cash that they collected from everyone for the account we started for the reunion. They collected almost $400 which will help tremendously with the planning of our 25 year reunion. I thought after he gave me the card he would announce the game that we planned to play in order to give away the reunion iPod (which is red and engraved with "K-Town Raiders, 20 Year Reunion".) Instead Matt shocked me with the announcement that they decided to give me the iPod as a thank you gift. I was stunned! All I had been saying for weeks was "I better win that iPod" because I wanted it so badly, but never did I imagine it would be given to me as a gift. It's one of the best gifts ever given to me.

The highlight of the reunion, for me, happened next. Javier Mendoza is our class superstar...an amazing, very successful, and destined to hit it big, singer and songwriter, serenaded me acapella. I am already an emotional girl, and I've never had anyone sing to me....so when Javier came up to sing to me, the tears immediately started to well up. I tried so hard not to go into the ugly cry but it didn't work. I had big tears streaming down my face and snot starting to drip, so at one point I reached behind me for the mexican blankets that were adorning the buffet table and used them as tissue! Javier sang one of his spanish songs so I totally didn't understand what he was saying -- neither did anyone else, except for Mirtha Vaca and Eloy Rojas -- but it was beautiful and Javier is an amazing singer. It was just the best and a girl can't get any luckier than to be serenaded by Javier. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I am so proud to know him. If you want to hear clips of his music or buy any of his CDs visit http://www.javiermendoza.com/ Javi, I promise....if you play a gig in San Antonio I will pack the house!!

Raiderette Reunion - Cindy, Tobey Lee, Tracie, Mirtha, Me

Me and Javier, before Serenade
Me and Matt, reunion treasurer and MC
Walter and Michelle

We continued to dance until we were kicked out of the ballroom. Everyone went back up the hospitality suite for a bit then we decided to head to PolyEsther's on the riverwalk to continue the party. It was hot and we were all sweaty from the dancing but we didn't care. We were having fun and though it looked like we were the oldest bunch in the '80's section, we showed the yungins' how to party.

Cheryl Burton and Todd Sherman
Beth Trusz Clavenna and Me
Javier gettin' down

Tracie and Mirth Vaca-Wilkens

Miche Dunn Peters, Valerie Haney Parker, Steve Harmon

When we closed PolyEsther's and headed back to the hotel, we wanted to wind down before going to bed but the pool area was closed. So Javier headed to the piano that was in the lobby and started playing....we immediately bellied up to the piano, girls and boys alike, like we were lovestruck teenagers and Javier serenaded us all. I was worried the hotel security would say something but they didn't..probably because they were enjoying the show just as much. Javier doesn't play the piano but man did he do a good job. We didn't want the night to end but around 4am we all started to head back to our rooms.

Sunday brought everyone trying to say good-bye to as many people as they could find. Some tears were shed and there were promises of keeping in touch. We already decided that we would hold a 25 year reunion, and not wait until the 30th. Planning a reunion is a lot of work, especially when you're dealing with classmates that are scattered all around the states and some in foreign countries, but when you see all of them reconnecting after 5, 10, 20 years, and you see everyone laughing and dancing and having a good time (spouses and guests included) all of the planning becomes so worth it. For everyone I didn't get to personally say good-bye to...it was great seeing you, I'm so happy you came and I can't wait to see you at our 25th, if not sooner.
For all of the classmates who didn't or couldn't attend, you missed out! (big smile) Pictures of the reunion can be viewed at our website http://www.ktown87.com/

Matt, Anissa, Dianne, Beth, Linh, Pat, Walter -- you are an amazing reunion committee and I could not have pulled this off without each of you. I love you guys tons and hope you'll continue to be on the committee for our 25th! And Beth....you might have forgotten since you were a bit tipsy when you said it, but I'm holding you to being co-chair for the 25th!

Last but not least...to the beautiful person who made a very generous contribution to the reunion fund, I am still in awe of your generosity and at the same time extremely grateful. You are awesome!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

20 Years....Really?

That seems to have been everyone's reaction last year when I sent an email to my high school buddies to start planning our 20 year high school reunion. And it really doesn't seem like we can be old enough to be holding our 20 year reunion...until you see pictures of some people's high school aged children.

The Kaiserslautern American High School Class of 1987, 20 Year Reunion, is this weekend here in San Antonio. And no...it's not in SA because of me living here. We took a vote and I actually voted for Vegas! I'm super excited and super tired with all of the last minute details that a reunion brings about, it's almost like planning a wedding. In the beginning I had one nightmare about the reunion, and Michelle had one too, (see, just like a wedding!) but if the smoothness of this planning process is any indication, a good time will be had by all. And I can't say enough about the sales staff at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel...thus far they have been amazing and so accommodating. I'll post pictures and a post-reunion blog sometime next week. I took the entire week off so that I can recuperate (and so that I can also do some stuff around the house if a wild hair grows up my backside) but the first order of business is a 5 hour spa visit -- you read it, FIVE whole hours at the spa, including lunch! Calgon...take me away!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Damn Dogs

I say that in the most loving of ways. The boys are almost 8 months old now and for the most part are good dogs, but they have their not-so-good moments. I swear, puppies are about as close as you can get to having children! And Darcy and Winston are like having twins!

Mr. Darcy (or "Darcy" as he is known when I'm too lazy to say his full name) thinks he is a cat. Really, he does. He climbs on the back of the sofa and walks up and down it with the best balance you've ever seen from a dog. Sometimes he'll lie there and take a quick nap. And he'll come up behind you and put his head on your shoulder...which is cute, but annoying because you can hear him breathing in your ear and then he starts to lick your neck...and I am very ticklish on my neck and the only tongue I want on it does not belong to a canine! Sometimes he walks back and forth really fast that it makes us nervous. I told him if he falls and breaks a leg I'm not taking him to the vet. He's gonna get a stick strapped to his leg with some tape and hope it gets better! Darcy is also the hyper one. "Settle down" is a command I'm using to get them to calm down after (or before) they start rough-housing, and also to calm Darcy down when he's super happy to see you and wants to lick your skin off. He won't be our snuggler, he doesn't sit still long enough.

Winston finally acknowledges his name but he is very stubborn and will outright ignore your ass! He does not have the balance ability that his brother does so he doesn't attempt to cat walk across the back of the sofa. Instead he drapes himself over the arm. We don't know why...but he likes for his head to hang down. Just today he was in my arms and I was giving him a belly rub and he threw his head back so that it was hanging upside down and he took a little nap. He is the calm one, though he has his energy bursts, and because he's the quiet one, he instigates the mischief -- that whole "beware of the quiet ones" holds true even for dogs! He snores, hates to be outside and every now and then does the "humpty hump" on unsuspecting visitors. I thought getting him fixed would help, but maybe he just needs a blow-up doggy doll?

We haven't had time to really train them (will get on that task in July) but they do know the sit command (when treats, food or getting out of the kennel is involved) and "go to your room" (their kennel) and they understand "go outside" and "go potty." The potty training is getting better, we don't have as many accidents but we have to keep a close eye on them and I hope to train them to ring a bell when nature calls because we don't always see them standing at the back door because they are so little.

Like my real-life babies (Michelle's twins), Winston and Mr. Darcy can go from playing nicely together to dog fight in a split second...as you can see below.

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Get the f*ck off my pillow!