I'm making this post while quite thoroughly sleep-deprived. Consider yourselves warned. :-)
While editing my next "real" post in the wee hours of the morning (tired as I am, sleep just will not come), I found a photo on my camera that gave me a case of the giggles that I decided to share. It's actually a picture of yours truly, taken at the annual luau party we have for residents & families every year.
Every year, I get to play bartender (especially funny when you realize the beer in my fridge at home averages 4 years of age), and every year I have to experiment with an assortment of blenders to produce pina coladas.
Virgin pina coladas, that is -- you know, the alcohol-free version. (Hey, when you've got folks on meds, you do not want to add R-OH compounds to the chemistry!) There's just one problem (assuming you decide to ignore the fact that there's just one of me making drinks for over 100 people, that I have to periodically run to fetch a bucket of ice myself, that I am working amidst a tangle of semi-legal extension cords and drippy liquids, or that this year I had only ONE blender)...
Y'see, the rum in a pina colada does a lot more than add flavor; it acts as anti-freeze while you mix the drink. Pour rum into a carafe of ice & pina colada mix, and the ice remains semi-liquid while you blend it all into a smooth, refreshing drink. Remove the rum from the equation and you have ice that desperately seeks to re-freeze the instant it is crushed by the blender's blades, leading to a chunky, semi-solid slush with a large air pocket surrounding the blades at the bottom of the carafe that prevents it from actually being liquified.
In short: it ain't easy, folks. This year I had to rush things even more than usual (you can only make so many pina coladas at a time with just one blender!), leading to the situation depicted in the photo below.
Yes, that is indeed yours truly looking a tad silly in a loud (semi)Hawaiian shirt...
Yes, I am indeed using surgical gloves to keep my hands (and the drinks) clean...
...and yes, that is indeed an entire pitcher/carafe full of alcohol-free "pina coladas" I am trying, without success, to pour.
The truth is, the "pina coladas" in the carafe didn't so much as change shape from what you see above, much less pour, until I gave up and began using a small soup ladle to transfer the stuff into cups.
Amazingly, despite a few very diplomatically-phrased comments about perhaps combining a bit more of the pina colada mix with a bit less ice next year, everyone appreciated my efforts (a big chunk of pineapple & bright red maraschino cherry in each cup probably helped).
But when (if!) I ever make pina coladas at home, you can bet I'll put in some rum... it's just waaaay easier that way!
PS - At AJ's suggestion, Mom & Dad brought the Pipsqueak to the luau; although I had very little time with her, I understand she had a grand old time watching the dancers, sipping punch, and getting ooh'd and aaah'd over by the staff (most of whom hadn't seen her since before her 2nd birthday).
My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅-- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!