Posted by: cassymuronaka | September 1, 2011

Party animals

And so we are down to the last two weeks before my giant chick leaves the Suburban nest and begins a new life at UC Santa Cruz. The last month has been a high-pressured whirlwind of shopping trips to purchase anything from 20,000 pairs of socks at Costco to a tiny combination dorm room safe at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I suppose the latter is intended to protect not only his keys and wallet but what’s left of the family “fortune” after tuition is paid for the first quarter of school to the increasingly grasping paws of the regents of the University of California.

Sunday was Jake’s going-away party with about 15 of his friends. In attendance was my sister’s labradoodle, Toby, who also hasn’t left yet. I kept the meal simple, but all six hominids and canines were completely exhausted by Monday morning. Jake, who is growing sideburns and a beard, spent the better part of the afternoon looking like Wolverine — or Elvis — floating silently in our pool in the huge inner tube I had purchased at end-of-the-summer sales.  I, on the other hand, only occasionally rose my from my computer to leave my dark and air-conditioned Bat Cave. I think my husband slept most of the day.

During my pre-party frenzy, I had cooked couple of pork butts that I then shredded and let mesh with a Carolina mustard and vinegar barbeque sauce.  For a while, you could barely breathe in the house because of the simmering vinegar combined with the humidity level during last week’s heat wave. All the dog fur tumbling through the rooms didn’t help the air quality. The house needed to be dusted and vacuumed anyway, but dogs rapidly shedding their summer coats added an extra layer of fun to getting ready for the celebration.

While slow-cooking in the backyard, I had to keep a keen eye on my tools, which rested on a small table that was just low enough for any of the dogs to access.  The Doodle was the most ambitious, and I had to keep chasing him away, although I didn’t have to worry about the dripping grease issue this time (see blog post We had a metal cup firmly anchored below the drum smoker, so that the day didn’t end with three disgusting grease-coated dogs who had been trying to get pork drippings to slide down their throats.

There isn’t much to report about the party, other than the fact that the kids took me at my word when I told them to take home any leftover desserts (I wasn’t about to send any leftover barbequed chicken out the door, and the pork was long gone by the party’s end). Despite the fact that almost every one of the 15 young people had somehow made room for double portions for cheesecake brownies, blondie brownies with Heath bar chips, and grilled and carmelized pineapple, plenty of the sweets remained. Between the longing looks that were being sent to the remaining desserts as the party attendees threw away their paper plates in the kitchen trash, and my own desire not to run amok amid the sugar after everyone went home, I eventually mentioned that those desserts really ought to go home in doggie bags.  Naturally, all the kids left was a little bit of the fruit.


  1. this post made me hungry.

    • I knew that it would.

  2. Sweet time!

  3. Fun! You’re a good mom to do all of that. 🙂 Looks yummy, too.

    • Thanks Jackie. A last burst of maternal energy before he leaves.

  4. Sounds like you did a ton of work. Jake is a lucky guy to have a mother like you.


    • Thanks Janice….

  5. He does look like Elvis!

    • Oh, he’ll love reading that, Alice.

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