Wednesday, November 24, 2010


On Saturday night I came across two genius party ideas for the er, over 40's. The first was hiring a great singalong pianist-singer and filling the room with percussion instruments for all your guests to explore their inner Stevie Nicks. How fine it feels to bang and shake away on maracas and tambourines, gosh and how easy to master them.  Also by the end of the night it's amazing how well too you can sing. Just ask Nancy's dancing dog.

The other genius thing we came across was the new iPhone photo application called Hipstamatic. It sets out to make everything vaguely vintagey and thus very cool but in the process sort of over-exposes your face. See pic of me below earlier in the evening. Wrinkles and wattle be gone!

But first back to the Percussion Room which was part of a birthday party for our ski buddy Ken. Why particularly good for the over 40's? Well, surely by Sat night you are so tired and worn out by the day's flotsam and jetsam that you don't want to be challenged. (Let me know if I am speaking only for myself)

Nancy and Sally
Despite the stormy, blustery night everyone still ventured outside with the aid of a simple Cosco awning and a $150 Home Depot firepit. A big old College beer keg and Carnitas and there were many happy party goers in the garden. You can go back.

Kevin, Nancy and Ken

Nancy and Ken, birthday guy
I love going out in a stormy night of almost  El Nino proportions, as it was on Saturday night. The rain is sheeting down, thundering and lightening cracking in the last scene way of Chinatown and there is the chance you might encounter mystery and intrigue or Faye Dunaway in a trenchcoat. Of course the only intrigue in our evenings is whether we will make it to Happy Hour, but you get the intrepid picture.

Our babysitter always arrives by 5pm and we're out the door toot sweet which meant we had plenty of time before the Ken birthday at 7.30pm, so we opted for dinner at Ozumo, a Japanese restaurant in uptown Oakland.  Harley, 13, was incredulous:"You're going out in all this storm?" He offered: "You could stay home with us and have fish sticks and watch TV" The fish sticks had been microwaved and were somewhat flabby...tempting. But with another flash of lighting we were out the door.

I had my favourite cold weather outfit on; five-year-old cardigan coat from Anthropologie (one of the best things I've ever bought, you can wear it with jeans or a ballgown) gold Trina Turk shirt (four years old and it's taken me all that time to get used to the ruffles) and very old brown Zara fake suede boots, cheap as chips and love the wet.

Once at Ozumu, we sat in the Sake Lounge which has warm lighting, walls of sake bottles and a large blue-green wave painting. The seats up on the platform are too deep in the back to be very comfortable. (More cushions needed) (Two lower pics from Yelp) If you're like us, you won't like that the TV (sports) is on all the time. Actually I will speak for myself on this one. Kevin agreed he doesn't like to eat with the TV on but I'll must say he was not always hanging on my every word as he might have been and seemed a wee bit distracted by the Michigan State-Purdue football game.

Overall Ozumo is a relaxing and a melt in the mouth experience. Despite that the lychee and "champagne" cocktails were half price, the meal was still pricey and portions small enough to leave you thinking you could go it all over again. I enjoyed the Hanabi slices with avocado and drizzled with a warm ginger and jalapeno and ponzu sauce but Kevin thought was too drowned in sauce to taste of anything else. The cooked seafood dish was tough-ish and the Gindara (below) which was their signature black cod dish in miso and sake, was reliably tasty but be warned these two pieces of fish cost $28.

Just as we were leaving we bumped into our friends Jose and Melinda below coming in and we stopped for a glass of wine with them.
Jose showed us his new Hipstamatic i-phone application and took the pic below and of me above.

The next day after dipping a little too deep into the kegger I had a dose of what a friend would call the "bottle flu". Or it could be dehydration from too much soy sauce. Or standing next the party fire all night long. Or movin' with the maracas. But worse, those pesky wrinkles came back. Hand me the HPSTM darling...


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