Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Office Party

July is the best month of the year for celebrations. Our anniversary is on the 2nd, my assistant's birthday was Monday, my father-in-law's birthday is the 12th, my niece Maddy's is on the 15th and a few friends share a birthday on the 9th of July. Also, my blogging pal, Dave of The Quaker Agitator, celebrated his 50th birthday on the 8th.

Yesterday was also my brother's 50th birthday and his office had a surprise party/roast for him (since he lives in Scranton, I can call it The Office). My contribution was a slideshow of his life, with my captioned comical commentary accompanying the pictures.

As I was putting together the pictures to include in the slideshow, I realized that our family enjoys flicking the finger. The family unfairly blames me for this nasty habit (my daughter insists that I'm the only mother in the world who asks her daughter to pose for a picture giving the finger). I had an assortment of shots of us giving the finger salute, from the kids, as well as adults. I decided to intersperse these pictures throughout, with the caption "You are #1!!" The Office even posed for a shot (pictured above), which I labeled, "Those in the Nose Know You are #1." We ran the slideshow during the party on a projector to maximize the embarrassment factor for my brother. It was a big success all around.

As is always the case with these projects, they end up taking up much more time and effort than you expect. I gathered a few pictures of the early years from my parents and pulled together digital pictures that I've taken over the last several years.

I then went through the boxes of pictures that I have in the attic, looking for funny/embarrassing shots of my brother. During my trip to Miami, my other brother and I also went though all of his pictures. Going through my pcitures, I ended up spending the whole day immersed in my own life in pictures, which was an enjoyable (and emotional) experience. I reminisced over the various stages of my life, from Scranton to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh to my days here in Philly.

And then, of course, in doing this, I called up the spirits of my old friends through my visual walk down memory land. A few days after I looked through my photo albums, I got an email from an old friend from Pittsburgh, who was coming to Philly and wanted to get together. Later that day, I got a call from another Pittsburgh pal, who now lives nearby in Philly, who was hosting a party for the new Temple Law School dean, inviting me to stop by. The next day, another old friend/colleague that I haven't talked to in about a year called to refer a friend with a legal problem.

I drove to Scranton yesterday morning for The Office party and spent the night at my parent's home. I was probably the first time in over 30 years that I woke up in my childhood home on my birthday -- a special treat.

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