Weekend of celebrations

Weblog posts are chronologically oriented from newest to oldest, top to bottom. So I want to review this weekend of celebrations in reverse order so the latest news is up top. This post pays tribute to the syndicated sports weekly television show George Michael Sports Machine (no, you non-sports fans, not that George Michael). Back before cable TV and Sportscenter made cross-country sports highlights an hourly affair, my favorite wrap-up of the weekend in sports was the half hour of highlights hosted by George Michael on Sunday nights. His gimmick was that he stood next to this gigantic machine which looked like a prop from a 1960's science fiction movie UFO, with reels and gargantuan plastic nobs and buttons. Whenever he introduced a highlight, he'd press a button on the machine as if launching the video clip. Cheesy and yet so alluring to the male mind when paired with sports clips and Michael's melodramatic monologue.
If you used to watch the George Michael Sports Machine, you'll now want to imagine his commanding voice...
"Our first stop, a dock along the the coast of Puget Sound. A group of friends gathered to celebrate a birthday, but then, an unexpected bonus! On the scene arrived...

But something was different. Look at the highlighted area in this replay [sorry, you'll have to imagine a slow-motion video clip]; yes, that's right, on Lynn's left hand, it's difficult to miss...a huge ass rock, glittering in the late afternoon sun. That's right, People Magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year is now off the market as he popped the question to his pop star girlfriend L.Mill in the San Juans this weekend during a kayaking trip. Fans expecting a wonderful sailing trip to celebrate a birthday (more on that in a second) were stunned and delighted by this bonus surprise. Like putting a few quarters into the vending machine and having two bags of chips leap from the fifth story instead of just one.
[My first gift to them will be to find a better photo than this quick shot of them munching on fries (they did not have the munchies, to head off the suspicions of some of you cynics), snapped during a trip I took with them to...

...The Gorge. Great people, happy times! Okay, now back to the George Michael Sports Machine.]
Now, we fast forward just a few minutes later. Let's go there thanks to the Sports Machine [George hits a fake button]. Kate organized a sailing trip and dinner for a group of her friends because today, Sunday the third of August, was Laura's birthday. Laura and her friends took a relaxing two hour sailing trip around Puget Sound on a 70 foot sailboat, then dined afterwards at The Islander which took over the facilities formerly owned by Leo Melina's. Onlookers reported that the birthday girl was in high spirits, even taking command of the sailboat at times and stopping to sign some autographs before whisking away in a darkened limo after dinner.
[Laura is commemorating her 30th birthday with a vacation titled 30 days of fun, and it includes a biking trip through Italy, mostly Sardinia. I have negative vacation time and I'm immensely jealous. Someday I'd like to ride the Dolomites. Maybe I need a 30 days of fun trip myself; after all, the next decade is just around the year's end for me.]
Crank the Sports Machine back yet further, to Friday evening [George flips a fake switch and the dummy reels start turning]. The scene? The deck of Jason's mansion in Queen Anne. Juli, fresh having retired from Amazon to pursue a freelance illustration career, was expecting a nice dinner out with her husband Todd at a Spanish restaurant. Funny, she thought, I don't recall a Spanish restaurant here on this residential street in Queen Anne.
The first sign that things were not what they appeared was when she spotted friend and noted billionaire playboy Eugene [that's me] getting out of his car. And then, after walking up a few steps, she realized they were headed to Jason's house. The final clue? A giant cooking tray set up on the sidewalk by Jason's deck. Yes, this was no Spanish restaurant but a surprise party to celebrate Juli's new freelance career. And who had Todd invited but the Paella King of Seattle himself! Not only that, but Jason had invited Kevin (a fellow Amazonian) and his St. Louis folk rock band Oat Soda to play on his deck in rehearsal for their gig at Seafair the next day. It was the hottest ticket in town. Celebs ranging from Tom Skerritt to Ian Ziering to Penelope Cruz were spotted downing paella and some of Todd's special homemade white wine sangria.
Something must have been in that sangria, too, because the party soon spun madly out of control. As soon as Oat Soda started playing...

...host Hugh Hefner, errr, Jason, began leading the crowd in chants of, "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!"

Meanwhile, retired billionaire playboy (there are a lot of those in this story) Dan and his fiancee Lori suddenly burst out in an Irish jig...

Dan later tore away his shorts to reveal a kilt on underneath, emblazoned with the Confederate flag. When he tried to tear even that away, security guards dragged him away.
Meanwhile, inside, leggy European model Margo shocked onlookers by throwing off her Blahniks and dropping to the ground to do the retro dance move "the caterpillar" across Jason's living room floor.

It was a crazy party that ended only after the police were called in to break things up after a few revelers who had formed a mosh pit leaped off the deck and landed in the neighbor's hot tub.
[The paella was delicious, and Oat Soda was a lot of fun, BTW. Both should definitely be on the list of party planners in Seattle.]
That's it for the George Michael Sports Machine. Hello to affiliates WXBQ in Los Angeles, KRZQ in Omaha, and WBBC in Shreveport. See you next weekend.
[An unexpectedly eventful and busy weekend. I'm so so happy for Juli, Laura, and Bill and Lynn. Good karma all around. Somehow, in between I managed to fit in a round of golf at Port Ludlow where I promptly shot 114, the only real bummer of the weekend. I don't know how, but on the front nine I got the shanks and lost something like 8 golf balls. It's really frustrating because I finally started putting well and averaged two putts a hole. I'm going to blame the sangria.]