...late December, back in oh-oh-8...
Tonight was the holiday party at the Valerie Fund Center - well, held in the auditorium at the hospital, but sponsored by the Valerie Fund Center. What an AMAZING night.
They had a comedy-magician there, who was wonderful. The tricks were par for the course for that sort of thing - the steel rings, the card tricks, spinning dishes, light juggling, et al. He was talented and able. He was really cool at the beginning, traveling around the room and doing light entertainment and tricks for the early arrivers, like we were. His jokes were wonderful - very quick-witted and Whedonesque. I love that sort of Joss Whedon / Kevin Smith / John Stewart quick-witted, three-layers-of-connection humor.
They had face painting for the kids - I guess for the adults, too. The Boy is a little too young for this sort of thing. Besides the whole "sit still and don't move your head" thing, he doesn't really recognize himself in the mirror yet. So, painting his face won't entertain him because he doesn't GET it. Whatever - next year, he'll love it.
They had arts and crafts - one table of decorating a sticker-snowman with other stickers, and another table of drawing and coloring. This was staffed by teenagers, who I assume were volunteers. The Boy liked the whole sticker concept and enjoyed playing with them. Mostly, he'd try to stick the stickers on the paper and, failing that, would stick them to his head. This stems from the "get the remote balanced on Daddy's head" game that we play all the time.
They had a disc jockey who is one of the pediatric wing security guards. The music was WAY too loud but well-chosen and an appropriate mix of styles, genres and artists for the varied crowd.
The food was not to be believed - lots of yummies. Cupcakes with about five inches of icing on top. Cookies of varied shapes and sizes. Two types of cocktail franks, baked ziti, chicken of various types. Plus, all the soda that one would want, and decent coffee. Plus, chocolate on every table.
They also showered the kids with gifts to take home - not just the cancer patients and former patients, but their brothers and sisters as well! The Boy got a new one of the drum that he loves to play with, and a toy guitar and a house-thing with lots of buttons and noises and stuff. The drum, we're really excited about. He loves that drum in the playroom. It's his favorite hospital toy.
Maybe we set this aside for hospital use only?
They also had Santa Claus there. We don't do the Santa Claus thing, which I'm not too happy about. But, I knew there would be sacrifices when we chose to raise The Boy outside of my cultural-religious background. Cie la vie. If that's the worst thing I lose, we're doing okay. As long as I can decorate the house and a tree, then I'm happy.
Tomorrow is an all-day barbershop thing, which I'm lukewarm about. It will be fun, I guess. We'll see. I kind of know everything I really need to know about directing a chorus - I mean, it's not like I haven't been directing groups for - oh - the last decade. It is nice to have a reminder about stuff, particularly during this time of extraordinary busy-ness. I've been neglecting my barbershop duties lately, just like I've been neglecting my housework.
I think I'd rather stay home and clean. If my chapter hadn't written a check for $60 to send me, I'd blow it off and stay home. I'll sleep until 8 o'clock instead - it's two towns over, which is a nice change for a barbershop event. It will be fun, I know it will - once I get there, I'll enjoy it greatly.