Happy Birthday, Steph!

Spent tonight hanging out with Liz and Steph, helping to celebraate Steph’s birthday. There was a pirate theme, which was in full effect (Liz went to town, and really pulled out all the stops).

I for one, got to pull out my own stash of pirate paraphenaelia, which I got as a surprise birthday gift, several months back.

On walking in, I’m greeted by a skull and treasure chest.

Inside, checking out the spread. Note the small ceramic jug on the right. I bought that guy while I was in Columbus at a festival called “ComFest.” Paid $5 for it, I think. In my mind, I always wanted to drink Tequila out of it – but since this was a pirate party, I filled it up with rum. Granted, it would have been better had it just said “XXX” on the side – but you work with what you’ve got.

Some time ago, I had a conversation with Mandy about the proper way to drink from a jug. I know I’ve seen it demonstrated before, but I forget the actual process. You’re supposed to put your thumb through the hole, and then swing the jug around so that it’s sort of balanced on the back of your arm – something like that.

I tried a few variations, as the night continued. But mostly, I circumvented the fancy drinking style and just lifted it up to my mouth.

They always have such great food, everytime there’s a cookout here. Mmmmmmmm.

Pirates don’t drink out of ordinary glasses – they drink out of skulls!

Steph’s outfit, complete with the vest that she custom made (and the pattern that she stitched on the back).

Later on in the evening – Steph drinking from the skull, Jim hanging out after a rather nasty bicycle accident on the way over.

Liz, grilling up the veggies. I swear – onions off the grill are fast becoming my favorite summertime cookout food. I swear it’s like eating candy.

Steph and Marcus, trying out one of the many hats.

Mandy and Keith. Tonight, Keith and I got into some great conversations – a little about sound (he’s starting his own business, specializing in sound proofing roooms/apartments/residences), and a little about music. We both talked about guitar a good deal (he’s been playing since he was 8); I mentioned my recent discovery of Erik Mongrain and how it reminded me of an earlier guitarist whose name escaped me. Keith was able to identify it pretty quickly, and the guy I was searching for was Stanley Jordan.

When he mentioned Jordan’s name, Keith’s face lit up. I remember seeing photos of Jordan, back in the heydey of when I subscribed to “Guitar” magazine and had dreams of heavy metal glory. For all the press that guys like Malmsteen and Vai and Van Halen got, whenever I’d see a mention of Jordan, there was always an air of respect him and his rather unique two-handed playing technique. Looking forward to hearing his work.

Liz, sipping from the rum jug.

A great shot of the sisters – Steph and Mandy.

Happy Birthday, Steph!

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