New Year’s Eve Mystery: The Case

Like I said in the last post, when I thought about wanting to do a Murder Mystery Party at some point, I knew who I was asking first – the Game Night group. I knew they’d take little to no convincing, as we tend to like dressing up to play games because that’s pretty much the only way to get us to play a full game anymore – unless it involves alcohol.

IMG_0342

This time, the only alcohol was a shot before the game (for the adults) and the rest was saved until the case was solved. And thank God, too, because there was a lot to keep straight. I was giggly without alcohol. I just kept looking around the room saying “My dream has come true.”

It’s really better to show you how the night went, rather than tell you. But the gist of it is, everyone has a part to play and everyone has a motive. The murderer didn’t know they were the murderer until after they’d committed the crime (which basically was us turning off the light for a second and then back on and looking at Oreo – our pretend victim – and screaming).

IMG_0326

(Note: No animals were harmed in the making of this post. Nor were they hurt at the event. Nor have they stopped being called Steve sometimes.)

The rest of the night we spent questioning and blaming and talking about each other – because that’s what our assignments we received said to do. However, not a single one of us guessed who the murderer was when that time came at the end. Wasn’t the alcohol’s fault – or our acting, everyone put on a good show. We just didn’t look at the provided “evidence” close enough and therefore none of us should be detectives in real life. Except maybe Brendan. He was close at one point.

Some highlights of the evening:
– Caitlin fainting after the murder
– Jennifer’s voice getting progressively deeper the further she got into character
– Jennifer helping Rachel with stretches (as seen here)

IMG_0314

– No one talking about it beforehand but all deciding to treat Liz the same way (as someone you don’t want to be talking to for longer than about 10 seconds). I was the only exception, because I was her lawyer.

IMG_0286

– Shane somehow convincing everyone to give him money.
– The dance-off

IMG_0241

IMG_0226

– Rachel dancing along w/Janet Jackson on TV, but on a delay
– Sami and Austin’s in-character drama
– Shane going full guido in the middle of the game and also sounding a lot like Fonzie from Happy Days
– Shane checking envelopes and drinks for Chuckie before he handed them to him
– Brendan’s accusing of so many people
– Matt just giggling and smiling a lot
– Watching my best friends have so much fun with this party and saying how much they wanted to do it again once it was over.

So here is (part of) our night in photos. I love these kids.

Advertisements

New Year’s Eve Mystery: Cast of Characters

Once upon a time, I got an email from Groupon (as I do every day, sometimes annoyingly) with their daily deals. Leading the email? A $30 deal for a Murder Mystery package. Half the price it usually sells for, to get a 150+ page PDF of just about everything you’d need to host your own event.

You guys, I’ve wanted to host or attend a Murder Mystery party for a long time. Like, ever since the Clue-ish episode of Saved By The Bell. And then again when Hef and the girls did one at the Playboy Mansion on an episode of Girls Next Door (I miss that show…the original one, not the second group).

So naturally, I bought the deal. And I knew just who would go for participating and helping make my dream come true. (I aim high, y’all.) I pitched it to the Game Night Bitchezzz and they were sold immediately.

We held a sort of vote, narrowing it down from the 40 or so possible scenarios to three. The one we ultimately went with was a High School Reunion. As we enjoy having themed events (see: a future Field Day post since I forgot to post about it after it happened last summer and the summer before, whoops)

The story and craziness from that night are too much for one post, so for now I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version as well as your cast of characters and a few other tidbits about them.

The Scene: Murder High (like, really? Couldn’t come up with a better name for it for $30?) Class of 1983 30-Year Reunion
Fun Fact: Only one person in attendance had been born in 1983. The rest of us were after.
Other fun fact: None of us could do the math right and swore this reunion was happening in 2003, therefore looked up fashion and music styles from both 1983 and 2003. #geniuses
The crime: AV Geek Steve Spielson (or Spielman, I don’t remember) who ended up a big Hollywood producer/hotshot or something gets killed at the reunion. But who did it? ‘Cause we all had motives.
THE CAST:

IMG_0198

Terry “T.J.” Johnson
– Former hall monitor, current crossing guard and host of this reunion
Played by: Jennifer
Snazzy accessories: Homemade hall monitor belt and police hat
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: Butch lesbian with a girlfriend named DJ, deep voice, carries around handcuffs though she has no reason to use them. Or does she?
Quote of the night: “DJ and I lumberjack on the weekends.”

IMG_0175

Randy Reporter – Former newspaper editor, now works at the Wall Street Journal
Played by: Brendan
Snazzy accessories: Fedora and reporters’ notebook and pen
Fun facts: Fearless in accusing anyone and everyone, only one who had any idea who the actual murderer ended up being (wasn’t him).
Quote of the night: After he saw in his bio where he had supposedly worked previous to the WSJ, “What’s Playboy?”

IMG_0174

Byron P. Keaton –
Math team captain turned accountant
Played by: Matt
Snazzy accessories: Pens in his pocket, TI-83 calculator, bowtie
Fun facts: May have turned T.J. straight at the reunion, at least for a minute.
Quote of the night: We are still not sure because nobody recalls hearing him talk. Thus, the suspicion.
Side story: Byron had evidence in his possession, despite the fact that T.J. asked him several times if he had any and he didn’t know/didn’t turn it over. Again, thus, suspicion.

IMG_0192

Molly Ringworm – High school drama queen turned famous actress
Played by: Caitlin
Snazzy accessories: “Emmy” and “People’s Choice Award” which may or may not have actually been from elementary school sporting events, sunglasses, pearls and leather jacket (two of which were left at the party)
Fun facts: Caitlin was appreciative of this character because she said since she has had ringworm it only made sense that was her last name.
Quote(s) of the night: “I’VE MISPLACED MY ENVELOPE!” “Where is my envelope???”

IMG_0181
Cindy Crawfish – class flirt who now runs an online dating website
Played by: Anna
Snazzy accessories: Hotness.
Fun facts: Kept going into the other room talking to Chuckie (Class President) with whom she SOOOOOOO was having an affair! Also, at least two of us offered to keep her secrets if she gave us a free account on her dating website.
Quote of the night: “YOU SLEPT WITH STEVE????” (to Sami)

IMG_0190
Nick Nixon – class president who is now running for POTUS
Played by: Chuckie
Snazzy accessories: A full suit, brought home from Boston for the sole purpose of this party, and buttons that said things like, “Vote Nick.”
Fun facts: Chuckie was class president for almost all of high school so it was only right that he played this part.
Quote(s) of the night: To Anna, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

IMG_0223

B.A. Barricade – BA, of course, stands for Badass, which he was in high school. Now he does security for Nick.
Played by: Shane
Snazzy accessories: Earpiece like a Secret Service guy, sunglasses, neck tattoo that says “Make Good Decisions.”
Characteristics added by the actor portraying him: Ability to change accent at the drop of a hat. May or may not be related to Fonzie.
Fun facts: Ended the night with pretty much everyone’s money.
Quote of the night: “Does anybody else have more than $2,000?”
Side story Liz told me about: “Shane asked Brendan to look out for suspicious people. Later, almost at the end of the night, he approached B and asked ‘So you see any suspicious people around here?’ Brendan looked around the room, looked back at Shane and said ‘Nope.'”

IMG_0169

Joe Nebraska – The most popular guy at our high school and now, a high school gym teacher.
Played by: Austin
Snazzy accessories: Letterman’s jacket, swag.
Characteristics added by the actor portraying him: Animal magnetism. Two ladies had a dance-off over him.
Fun facts: This was Austin’s third-ever event as one of the Game Night Bitchezzz and you’d have thought the man had been there from the beginning.
Quote of the night: “Have fun on Christian Mingle!”

Natalie Nebraska – Head cheerleader who now works as a manager at a discount store, Joe’s wifey.
Played by: Sami
Snazzy accessories: Super-high ponytail, matching letterman jackets with Joe.
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: Hair-twirling, cheerleader-ish moves in every day life, sassy attitude.
Fun facts: Participated in a dance-off against Pamela for Joe’s affections to the classic love song, “Bootylicious.”
Quote of the night: To Anna, “It was just once! In community college!!”

IMG_0182

Pamela Abdul – Head of the dance team, now a choreographer, in a feud with Natalie.
Played by: Rachel
Snazzy accessories: Legwarmers, obviously.
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: General peppiness, sassy attitude, killer dance moves, choreographed for Janet (Jackson, duh).
Fun facts: Participated in a dance-off against Natalie for Joe’s affections to the classic love song, “Bootylicious.” Janet Jackson dance on New Year’s Eve choreographed by her, as evidenced by her doing the dance moves right along with Janet…with a 2 second delay.
Quote of the night: After every time she took a bite of food, “My trainer’s gonna kill me.”

IMG_0178

Dani Drums – Band nerd, still a musician but now more on the professional side
Played by: Liz
Snazzy accessories: Marching band wind suit and band clinic T-shirt, clarinet on which she kept only playing Hot Cross Buns.
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: General nerdiness, super-pissed off at Steve, ability to make everyone at the reunion leave a conversation immediately.
Fun facts: At least two conversations with Dani started with the person saying “Oh hey, how are you?” and turning around and leaving as soon as she started to talk.
Quote of the night: “I’m gr…”

Bobbie Bright – Valedictorian, Most Likely To Succeed and now, obviously, a lawyer with her own practice
Played by: Me
Why there’s no photo of me right here: Because photographer.
Snazzy accessories: Graduation gown and a button that says “The Greatest.” Also, business cards and Harvard T-shirt.
Characteristics I added: Just kept telling everyone how I went to Harvard Law and was valedictorian. And how I do all kinds of law, so if anyone needed legal representation.
Fun fact: Totally didn’t go to Harvard. Also laughed most of the night so I didn’t really have any good lines.

IMG_0297

Steve Spielson – AV geek turned Hollywood producer or whatever he was.
Supposed to be played by: Cory
Was actually played by: Oreo

Oh, P.S.: Mugshots.

mugshots

BAHSTEN, part II

If you do nothing else, at all, in Boston, make sure you make a stop at Mike’s Pastry for a cannoli. When we went there, the first night in town, we were in line in front of a couple who had come straight there from the airport. They had their rolling suitcases with them and everything. IT’S THAT GOOD.

Rachel documented the occasion.

Between Mike’s and Toscanini’s (the ice cream place just a couple of blocks away from where my sister and brother-in-law live), I think Boston’s got the market on dessert foods on lock.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

The second day we were there, Sunday, will hereby be known as The Day We Walked Five And A Half Miles.

We started out at the bank they robbed in The Town.*

*This is a true one, actually. Filmed right there. So there. Sadly, neither Jeremy Renner or Jon Hamm were seen that day. Dammit.

But the main attraction for the day was Harvard. FRIGGIN’ HAHVAHD. Where the smahties ah. (That getting annoying yet?)

We walked all over the campus and I’m pretty sure I took pictures of every building there. It’s so pretty! And flat! (I went to school on The Hill at WKU. Strongest leg muscles of my life, those years..)






We saw the John Harvard statue, which isn’t of John Harvard, he wasn’t the founder anyway, and oh yeah, the year on there’s wrong.

Someone had thrown green paint on it for some reason. Someone who likes their historical facts to be true, probably.

Sami and I posed here because it looked like the hallway where Rory Gilmore’s dorm was. (I know, wrong school.)

Across the river, we visited Harvard Business School, where my grandpa went! So cool and so surreal to be there after hearing him talk about it so much. And see the dorm where he lived, which was still there!

Grandpa’s dorm.

Not the Liberty Bell.*

*This is also correct. How ’bout that.

We took a break for lunch where Sami tried to rid herself of the gold coins she’d gotten from the machine earlier as she put money on her card for the T. No such luck.

Then it was back to walking, by buildings.

And geese.

And street performers.

And this family photo session that was going on, wherein the dad just kept throwing leaves at this baby.

Oh, and this happened.

Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without some sort of dessert, too, so, this also happened.

Next up? MIT, nighttime photography, dreams coming true, and why we got a picture with this guy.

Been there, done that

Whenever I get stressed, I have dreams about high school or college. I think I’ve told you about this before. In the dreams I have already graduated, but then find out that there was a class I forgot to go to. Ever. Or a test I didn’t pass so my grades are all wrong and I have to go back.

No thank you.

If when I’m stressed, the first thing my subconscious goes to is high school, that should mean it was the most stressful time of my life, right?

I don’t know. In some ways it was, but who’s isn’t. At least at the time, everything seems to be the worst possible thing or best possible thing when it happens. Until you get past high school and realize there are much more important things to worry about.

My high school experience wasn’t all bad. In fact, I liked a majority of it. I met some great people that I still keep in touch with and hang out with on a regular basis. However, the only one I see constantly from my graduating class is my roommate.

I tell you that to tell you this – in one year, my graduating class will be celebrating 10 years out of high school. They’ve already started the Facebook group and messages and stuff about what we want to do and who wants to come and I could not be less interested.

Same goes for the roommate. We’ve made a pact, I guess you could call it, to not go.

Why? ‘Cause it doesn’t matter to me. If I wanted to see these people or what they were doing I could just look at their Facebook page. And if you do that, then you don’t have to talk to them!

We’re not close. We’re not like my sister’s graduating class who basically all ended up as good friends and a majority of which went to the same college so everyone kept pretty well in touch. I saw some people from my graduating class at college – besides the group of friends I went down there with – and they acted like we’d been best friends when they saw me.

Or, in one case, when they needed help with homework because we were in the same class, all the sudden we’re buddies. When, in reality, you had about 2 words to say to me the entire four years we shared several classes a day.

I’m just not interested. I don’t want to go, so, as it stands now, I’m not.

I’ll just stick to what I’ve already done – helped out at my sister’s class reunions and tried to be an honorary member of that class. I hang out with more of them anyway.

Closure

As I wrote about a few days ago a group of my high school friends – who haven’t all been together since 2002 or so – got together for drinks and catching up. The group has some history, because some of us dated other ones of us and some of us had drama with other ones and we all just kind of stopped hanging out at one point so there’s some unresolved stuff – people thinking other people were mad, sad, etc. And before you read the quotes below, know that Jennifer (are you adding up your shout-outs so far?) just became a vegetarian not too long ago.

So, I give you one of my favorite exchanges of the night.

James: “There’s a lot of beef at this table.”
Jennifer: “And I’m not eating any of it.”

Reunited and it feels so…weird?   

Let me start off by saying you could not pay me enough to go back to high school. It’s bad enough it’s still what’s featured in my stress dreams. Seriously if I’m stressed, I can count on having a dream about how something got messed up when I was going through high school and I really shouldn’t have graduated. Sometimes it’s college, but usually, I’m back at EHS.

And speaking of my high school…it’s fairly likely that if we have a 10-year reunion (which would be next year oh my God I am old) I probably won’t go. Not interested.

That said, I don’t regret much of anything from my time there – except a couple choices of crushes, one of which made me millions of times more miserable than I should ever have let him. And I made some great friends that I’ve managed to keep in touch with.

You see, in high school there was a big group of us, three (sometimes four and as many as six) guys and four girls. That number was always fluctuating because of break-ups and drama and a horrible senior year Spring Break trip to Destin that is a week of mine and Jennifer’s lives that we can’t get back.  But for the most part, our little group stayed intact throughout all four years.

Then there was college. We all went our separate ways, and through the magic of social media and occasional road trips and coming home during the holidays, some of us saw each other.

Correction. A few of us saw each other. I’ve seen almost all of the members of that lil’ group in the past three years. Which is why I’ve apparently earned the nickname of “The Hub.” Because I still keep in touch with people and know what’s going on with them and that’s how I’ve always been. Mostly on account of I’m nosy.

Anyway. Last night, for the first time since 2002ish, four of us got together to catch up. And we made sure we went somewhere that offered adult beverages because there was a significant chance things could be awkward.

Long story short(er), we’ve all changed, but yet we haven’t. We still know entirely too much about each other. We still joke on each other and remember (most of) the craziness. But we apparently needed some sort of closure, because really, we all just kind of stopped hanging out. And none of us really knows why. We’re all grown up, kind of, and can realize that high school was high school and we had a good thing (for the most part). Oh. And one of us – he knows who he is – is still awkward. But we still love him, ’cause if he was any different he wouldn’t be him. (Shout out! I was surprised when you said you read this!)

So yeah. It was good to catch up and I hope we do it again.

And I’m also really glad I’m not in high school anymore.