I got there around 6:45pm or so, at which time I was further delayed by a fairly impressive linguistic barrier - plus the fact that the party area wasn't reserved for either of the expected names.
But by 7:00pm, I knew where I was supposed to set up, and started hauling stuff in. I really need to consolidate a lot of the stuff I bring, but the appropriate cases and bags are bloody expensive.
Whatever. It was all in by 7:20pm, and I was busy actually putting it all together - and people kept trickling in, despite the "start time" being 7:30pm. I was finished by 7:45pm, and went and sat myself next to mr_seed at valeriesparks's and Josh's table.
There proceeded to be an enormous feast. We were all stuffed by the time the meal was halfway through. At around 9:00pm, Val declared it was time to start the karaoke, so I passed out books to a bunch of scared-looking people, fired everything up, got Val and Apple to sing, and had the usual reaction - nothing.
The start of a party is always sooo much fun.
But after a bit, Val's dad, Manuel, started singing. In fact, it was hard to get him to stop. The man is such a ham. It was wonderful. And things started picking up.
The only sad thing about the dinner was that the idea was to get the two sides of the family to know each other. But apart from the kids, most tables sat with their close relatives - and stayed that way. If I remember properly, in fact, the only person to sing from Josh's side was Josh himself. And it takes some build up for him to do it, too.
But we had the kids getting into it. One, particularly, Isabella, was good. She likes showtunes, and did Nothing and For Good (with another girl from her table). She's, I think, somewhere in the 13 to 15 range. A few minor problems on the high notes, but her voice is still developing. I hope she gets or is getting some training.
I also cracked up at one point - as a good catholic girl, she skipped over the "Jesus Christ!" in Nothing. I'm not really sure why I found it so funny, but I did...
I was told - after we started - that I had to shut down by 10:45pm, which was sad. I had to pick and choose the last few songs, in fact.
I of course ran a little over (I always do), and then on to tear down.
I was out of there by 11:30pm, came home, parked, and went to bed.
I woke up for a bit this morning around 9:00am, and decided to go back to sleep.
Then woke up at 1:00pm. Which means I was kinda late for helping with moahb's move. I got myself cleaned up and dressed by 2:00pm or so, and texted him to see if he needed any more help.
Apparently not, so I went off, bought some paper, and grabbed the lunch I'm just finishing at Red Robin. And now it's time to go home and start printing.