In HER Eyes . . .

When the gauntlet was thrown down by a fellow blog friend, I had no choice but to pick it up and run with it.  Is it gauntlets or scissors you aren’t supposed to run with?  I always get that mixed up.  Eh, whatever, too late.  It’s more of a slow amble anyway, since my entire diet has consisted of cookies for the last two weeks, so I really don’t think I’m dangerous with any sharp objects right now.  Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh, right . . . gauntlets.  I suppose you are wondering what on earth I’m rambling about, yes?  Either that, or you stopped reading about 6 sentences back, and who can blame you.  But, if you are still hanging in there (and really, why?  Seriously, there is something wrong you with you.  Might wanna work on that in the new year), let me explain . . .

I was reading my friend Darla’s blog post today, and laughing hysterically at her ridiculousness, when I came upon the comments.  This is where I then saw another blog friend throw down a challenge . . . on almost every single person’s comments on the post.  Accordingly, I imagine that not much work was being done today at Peg’s place of employ, but it sure was fun to read.  This was her challenge:

Well, after all that work, by both the brilliant and clearly insane, Darla, as well as the evil genius, Peg, I had no choice but to join in on the fun.  Besides, it’s not like I was going to be posting anything otherwise today, so this is just a little extra bonus for all y’all, right?  Right?  Hello?  Oh well, I’m used to talking to myself.  I have a husband and two boys.

Ok, before I get too far afield on this tangent . . . again . . . let me present you with my choice as the most fantastical of all photoshopped wonderment that came from Darla’s twisted and wonderful brain.  I present to you . . . In Her Eyes:

slide123-e1387717534553

Swoon!  Who could resist that face?

Ok, now that I’ve participated, as instructed . . . it’s your turn.  If you haven’t already hit the bubbly (and hey, even if you have), go to Darla’s blog and pick one of her fabulous pictures and feature it on your blog.  And . . . go!

Well, now I’m off to have my own fabulous New Year’s fun . . . game night at my sis-in-law’s house and then in bed by 12:30.  I really do know how to party!  Cheers to you.  See you in the new year.  Have fun and be safe, everyone!

Advertisements

Holiday Winner!!

When I posted this last week, I told everyone it would be a quick turn around.  So here we are, turning it around.

Turn the beat around . . . love to hear percussion . . .

Try to get that out of your head today!  Yeah, sorry about that.

mugs

Ok, so turning it around (the giveaway, not the beat!), let’s get this party started!

photo 2 (2)

And without further ado . . . the winner of the last giveaway of 2013 on Misty’s Laws is:

photo 1 (2)

LILY!!!

Well, Lily, my friend . . . it seems your week just keeps getting better!!  Starting with a minor fender bender, then an engagement, and finally, the most exciting thing to happen to you in your entire life . . . winning these two mugs!!!  Woo-hoo!

So, send me your info at mistyslaws at gmail dot com and I’ll get these in the mail to you as quickly as possible.

And, since this will possibly be my last post of the year, I just want to wish every single one of you a very festive and happy holiday, filled with fun, family and fruity cocktails!!  Feliz Navidad, my peeps.  Happy Everything!!

Holiday Quickie

Ok, I told y’all that I was going to do another giveaway before the holidays, and with commenting time, picking time and shipping time, in order to get the prize to the winner prior to the big day, I realize that I have to do this thing NOW.

So, that’s what this is.  I ordered a mug for someone for Christmas (if you receive it in the mail, act surprised and like you didn’t already see the same one on the site!) and was mistakenly sent multiple.  Thus, I am going to Santa them straight to you.  Holly Jolly, Fa La La.  Just call me your favorite Ho Ho Ho.

mugs

So, that is two mugs, each of varying size (one is a taller mug with “I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie” on it, and one is regular sized with “Fra-GEE-lay!” on it) for you to win!

In order to enter, just comment below and tell me your favorite holiday beverage that you like to drink this time of year.  Be it egg nog, hot cocoa or a festive cocktail, just share it below and you will be entered.  I’ll give everyone a couple of days, but then I’m having my kids pick a name this weekend, so if you want in, comment quick!

That’s it!  Told you it was a quickie.  Wait, what did you think I meant?  Pervert!

You Win Some, You Lose Some

BJLNn0hYWTKTqYd

In case you are wondering, the loser in this situation, at least based on recent occurences and evidentiary support, is me.  We’ll get to the winner in a moment.  But, as to that whole losing thing, it seems that my good buddy and pal, LIFE, has decided to be a cold, hard, manipulative bitch lately.  Maybe it’s that time of the month, huh Lifey ole friend?  And lest you think I might be over-exaggerating my present loser status (But Misty!  You just had a super rad weekend with Val!  Full of fun and shenanigans.  Surely, it can’t be all that bad, right?), let me present to you Exhibits A through D.

Exhibit A:

Last Friday I was hit with a massive chest cold which knocked me on my ass and out of work.  But, since my job sucks (still), I couldn’t just lay in bed in misery on that cold and rainy day.  Oh no, I need a note from a doctor to take a sick day.  Yes, that is correct.  My employer treats us like toddlers that cannot determine when we are able to make it into work and when one of our sick days needs to be taken.  So, despite the fact that my throat hurt like hell and anytime I spoke to someone, I sounded like an 80-year-old asthmatic with a pack-a-day habit (mmmm, sexy), I hauled my ass into the shower and out to the clinic to wait 2 hours just for a note.  That’s it.  No meds.  Nothing.  Just needed a note, thank you very much. 

Exhibit B:

So, remember that whole broken washer saga thing?  And remember how I commented to everyone that it was fixed and I had a functional washer once again?  Yeah, so scratch that.  The working washer only worked for a couple of weeks before it broke again.  And this time, we were told that we needed TWELVE parts to fix it.  So, we had to order the parts, wait for them to be delivered and then schedule another appointment for all of those many parts to be installed.  In the meantime, I’ve had to trek downstairs to my Father in Law’s place to use his washer, which is a huge annoyance.  And although I am very happy that at least I don’t have to go to a laundromat, I want my damn washer to work again!  Especially, when you go downstairs and put in your delicates, leaving another load of delicates in a basket pending washing, and you get busy with trying to decorate the tree and forget to go down again for 2 hours, and your Father in Law, who is just trying to be helpful, puts your wash in the dryer and washes your undies on hot with Tide.  Oy.  I love him for trying, but oy.  I really need my washer back.

Exhibit C:

photo 5

That.  Yep, that would be a mouse, peeking out from the dishwasher in my kitchen.  Now I know where all those little black pellets I found in my pantry have been coming from.

Exhibit D:

Tree

The Fucking Tree.  That Goddamn Fucking Christmas Tree!!  This might be a familiar tale, if you have been reading this blog for a while, because it seems that I go through this same Groundhog Day extravaganza every single year.  You see, I’m married to an elf.  He is the most holly jolly of all Christmas elves, while I tend to skew more towards a Grinch-like countenance.  However, over the years, he has definitely pulled me over to the dark candy cane side of holiday spirit.  Which is all well and good, until it comes to the tree.  I am the one who has to decorate the thing.  Meaning lights, bows, ornaments.  The kids help with the ornaments, but up until that point, it’s all me.  Oh, did I mention I’m allergic to pine?  Yeah, that’s another little added bonus to the decorating hell I seem to find myself in every year. 

Blog1

This is what my arms look like after a few hours wrestling lights onto the tree.

And look, I’m not trying to be a martyr about this whole thing.  I’m not forced to do the tree, I do it willingly, even knowing what will happen to my arms.  It hurts and itches for a few hours, then is all gone by the next day, so I can deal.  Plus, the hubs just doesn’t have time to do everything, and he does all the outside lights.  So, it’s totally fair.  What isn’t fair is when you spend hours wrapping the lights all around this big majestic beast of a tree in your living room, getting it to look just perfect, and making sure every single strand is working and lighting up before plugging each one into the next . . . only to have the entire thing go dark the next day.  Then, you realize it is the bottom strand that is dead, and are happy your husband picked up an extra strand at Home Depot the previous weekend, and wrestle with the tree to remove that bottom strand and then replace it with the brand new, just out of the box one . . . only to have the whole damn tree go out again the next weekend after you’ve already put the bows on it (in case you’re wondering, I left it dark for a while before replacing that first bottom strand)!  Not believing it could possibly be the brand new strand you put on just a couple of days prior, you test out all sorts of things, before you come to terms with the fact that the new strand is indeed the culprit.  So, you pull that whole thing off, discover one extra strand in one of the Xmas boxes and put that on . . . and a half hour later, everything but that strand goes out.  You are now super pissed, out of lights, and possibly having a mini-breakdown, as you throw a tantrum, complete with whining, stomping, and threats to get a fake tree next year. 

So, in case you lost count, that would be FOUR times the lights went out on the tree, THREE restringing of the lights, ONE temper tantrum and ONE threat to get a fake tree.  All with the kids asking a million times if it’s time now to put the ornaments on.  And that’s just THIS year.  The same damn thing happened last year.  I think I may be cursed.

2xGBoUDD82neYo9

So, still doubtful that I’m a big, fat loser in all of this?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  The Defense rests!!

Now, on to the winner in this scenario . . . the winner of my most recent giveaway.  Yay!!

IMG_8365

In case you forgot . . .

And, as always, I left the pickings to my spawn.  More specifically, my oldest and first born son, 8.

Handpick

And the winner is . . . . . .

Emmapick

EMMA5150!!!!

Congrats Emma5150.  Send me all of your info (mistyslaws at gmail dot com) and I will get this prize package out to you presently.  I might just be able to swing it so as to arrive before Xmas!!

And, for all of you big losers out there (don’t worry, you’re in good company . . . with ME), stay tuned for yet another giveaway coming next week!  How did you get so lucky as to get TWO chances to win Misty Laws awesomeness in one month?  Well, partly because of a shipping snafu that sent me extra stuff that I’m going to pass along to you, but mostly just because I’m awesome.  I will even try to post, pick and send in time to arrive before Xmas as well.  No promises, but I’ll try.

Shenanigans with Val: Top Hats, Ghost Stories and Bertha’s Mussels (Part 2)

And here we continue our tale of Val‘s visit to my fair city and the fun times that were had . . . . . . (if you missed Part 1, go back and start there).

When we left our heroines, they were heading off to a haunted pub crawl, planned by tour guide extraordinaire, Misty Laws (moi), who just so happens to have the sexiest sandaled feet in town.  (But enough about my brilliance and beauty.  No really, stop . . . you’re embarrassing me!).

We arrived at our destination, the sidewalk in front of a bar in the area, that interestingly enough, was not actually on the tour.  But, it’s a very well-known bar in the city, so it makes sense that it would be a good place to congregate for those about to depart for the tour.  Once we checked in and received our ghost stickers (to indicate that we were on the tour), we hung out for a few minutes with some others, waiting for it to start.  As we were waiting, we noticed an interesting gentleman.  He had a top hat, a long black coat, a long braided ponytail, a cane and some sort of golden binocular spectacle things perched atop his head.  As you can see, Val was a bit unsure about this character at first . . .

IMG_8582

But he turned out to be our tour guide!  So, we started to warm up to him.  Especially since, upon arrival at our first destination, he relayed to us the story of how on a previous tour, one of the patrons screamed out “BITCHES!!” in answer to one of his questions.  Ok, he’ll do.

IMG_8589

Did I mention it was pretty damn cold that night?  Yeah, so after a brief introduction, we moved into our first stop, Eat Bertha’s Mussels.  We all grabbed a beverage, a hot buttered rum for myself, and settled into the warmth of the bar to listen to some ghost stories.  Something about a light going on in the bathroom mysteriously, blah, blah, blah.  We might not have been paying that much attention.  Mainly, Val and I got silly and took pictures.

IMG_8601

Majestic braided ponytail beneath festive twinkle lights.

IMG_8592

Val & Bertha.

Once we finished our beverages, and after some socializing with our fellow ghost tour patrons, we moved out of the warmth of Bertha’s (spoiler alert, we’ll be back), and back out into the street to hear more tales of spooks and ghouls.

Our next stop was The Horse You Came In On Saloon, a very historic and famous destination pub in the area.  Val showed the appropriate level of respect and awe at this fact . . .

IMG_8661

Totally impressed.

And then shit got real when our tour guide extraordinaire pulled out a device that was supposed to track spirits and supernatural presence and passed it around for us to find anything interesting out on the street.  So, of course, we all started using it on each other.  I’m sure that none of you will be surprised that Val made the thing beep and blink like crazy.  Yeah.

IMG_8673

Val’s sexy leg and leather skirt. Mrow!!

Once we entered the bar, and naturally procured another beverage, I realized that we were in the presence of a celebrity.  That’s right, one of our fellow tour guid-ees was a famous comedian from the well-loved 90s sketch comedy show, The State.  None other than Joe Lo Truglio!!  (Hey, famous people like ghost stories, too!!).  At first approach, Joe wouldn’t fess up that it was actually him, unbelievably claiming that he had never heard of The State!  But, when I produced photographic evidence of his identity, he could hardly deny it!

You tell me.

You tell me.

And then Val licked him . . . just to be sure.

IMG_8687

Once Val was finished molesting our new friend Joe, sadly, it was time to move along from The Horse, on to our next destination . . . of which I have forgotten the name.  Let’s be honest, things were starting to get a little fuzzy at this point.  But what I do know is this . . . standing outside of this next bar, listening to tales of ghosts and spirits . . . it began to snow!  It was magical.

IMG_8615

Once we warmed ourselves inside this next bar, drinks firmly in hand, we started to get cozier with some of the other patrons . . . and the tour guide.  Despite Val’s initial trepidations as to the acceptability of our guide, she had become enamored with him throughout the tour, and he seemed quite taken with her as well.

IMG_8625

But, Val being Val, she was not content to just cuddle with her newfound friend.  Oh no, she had to take it to the next level.  She needed to . . . bite his beard.

IMG_8628

Not sure our finely attired friend was quite ready for Val’s level of insanity awesomeness at this point.  But he was a good sport and went with it.  Sometimes, that’s really all you can do when Val wants to lick/bite/fondle you in some way.  Just go with it . . . shhhhhhh.

Besides, once we left the establishment and moved on to our next location, it was evident that Mr. Bitten Beard could handle himself . . .

IMG_8665

It’s practically like they were soul mates. 

Once we arrived at our final pub destination, and once again got some beverages to warm our insides, we bought a drink for our new friend to thank him for a job well done and an entertaining evening.  He graciously accepted and we socialized with him, along with some other new-found friends, for a bit before he had to be off.  But not before this happened:

IMG_8722

Told you they were soulmates.  True love, right there.

Oh, and as for those new-found friends?  Yeah, they were incredibly rad.  A married couple that were out for a fun night, and were not afraid to have a good time and participate in some shenanigans with Val and me.  Need proof?  Here:

IMG_8684

Anyone who will allow me to photograph them flashing with ghost stickers on their nimples is ok in my book. 

So, even though the official tour was over, nobody was ready to be done with the night.  There was much fun still to be had!  So, we asked the bartender where a good place around there to get grub was (thinking we should probably get some food in us at this point), and headed on down the street to another pub/restaurant type place called Koopers.  (Yep, remembered the name of that one, somehow).

Once the food was ordered, and another round of drinks naturally, we started to get to know each other better through inappropriate hand gestures and interpretive dance atop of the tables.

No, not really, but it’s a testament to Val and my tales of craziness that you believed me there for a minute.  We just chatted about our families and asshole exes, etc.  Oh, and then this happened . . .

IMG_8768

Val’s cleavage . . . you’re welcome!

IMG_8777

She likes to bite things almost as much as she likes to lick them. Almost!

I would show you pics of our companions being silly (the ghost stickers ended up on the hubby’s nimples at one point, and there was also much breast grabbing and showing), but I’m trying to be respectful of our new friends’ anonymity, since they do not know about our blogs and hence had no idea that they might be the subject of public ridicule/infamy.  But I’ll just say, that they were wild, wacky and fun.  It was a perfect pairing.

Once we realized how late it was getting (for them), and that we were going to have to bid our new friends adieu so they could drive home to DC and be all responsible adults and such, we had to find our way back to the original meeting point, so that they could then find their car.  Being somewhat familiar with the general vicinity, and after walking the wrong way for a bit, I eventually led us back to where we began.  But not before discovering a dark alleyway that, of course, had to be investigated:

IMG_8808

Hey, it’s midnight in the city . . . let’s see what’s down this narrow, unlit passageway!!

And then we found a ship . . . in someone’s backyard:

IMG_8816

Which, obviously, was there for the sole purpose of climbing upon and documenting more shenanigans.  Of course.

So, now is the time when Val and I come to a crossroads.  Having said goodbye to the somewhat responsible adults of our foursome, and having a young night stretched out in front of us, we decided to grab another drink in one of the myriad bars surrounding us.  But first . . . being girls who had consumed quite the impressive amount of beverages thus far, it would only stand to reason that the time was upon us to do what only comes naturally . . .  we had to pee.  So, we entered the bar in front of which we initially began our journey, and stood in the very long queue for the bathroom, which we discovered was so massively long because only one working toilet was inside (of 3 available).  People are nasty.

While waiting, some toddler chica decided that we would be the appropriate people to line jump in front of.  Um, excuse me?  “Oh, this is my friend.  She was holding my space.  But you can go into this stall if you want.”  Oh, you mean the disgusting one that is overflowing with nastiness?  Gee, what a lovely offer.  How about we just beat your ass for you instead?  No?  Would you prefer to get in the back of the line then?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Barely avoiding yet another opportunity to harm someone who was desperately asking for it that night, once our bladders were empty, we decided to leave the overly crowded and mostly college aged bar to head to someplace a bit more our speed.  And this is where we come full circle and walk across the street to our first stop . . . Bertha’s.  The place was practically empty, so we slid right on up to the bar and perched ourselves there for the remainder of the evening.  No hipster bullshit college place, this was a real bar.   So, we chatted up the bartender, who was a real man and gave us shots without all the bottle flipping attempts at impressiveness, thus impressing us all the more.  Until he started pouring the whiskey.  Oh god, not the whiskey.  But, being the classy fucking ladies that we are, we did our damn shots of whiskey, then requested the next offered shot not be quite so . . . whiskey-y.  And thus, a beautiful friendship was formed.

The night got a little fuzzy, but apparently, at some point I posed for a portrait?

We closed that joint down after many, many, many more drinks.  Basically, by the end of the night, we were no longer patrons, but employees, and we sat there chatting with both bartenders as they did their final cleanup, and the bouncer, who had the most delightful hair (apparently after a certain amount of shots, I forget I own a camera, because there are no pictures taken after the boat.  I know, I’m ashamed of me as well!), a blue dyed checkerboard pattern shaved into each side of his head and a floppy mohawk happening in the middle.  They were rad dudes.  Eventually, 2 of the 3 went home, but we stayed for a much longer time, exchanging life wisdom with our new favorite bartender (of whiskey shot fame).

Eventually, we realized that the sun was probably about to come up, so I dragged Val’s drunk ass into a cab and we headed back to our hotel room.  I had a baby shower to go to the next day, and if I didn’t love her so much (Hi, Thoughtsy!!), I probably would have bailed, because me and 3 hours sleep (that bitch!)  have never and will never get along very well.  But, the bitch and I were forced to endure each other’s presence on that fateful Sunday morning.  Oy.  Although luckily, neither Val nor I were hungover the next day, and nobody puked!  That is such a huge win, based on the sheer volume of alcohol that we ingested over the course of that Saturday into Sunday morning.

And thus ends another tale of the adventures of Val and Misty.  Somehow, nobody got arrested or killed . . . again!  So, obviously, we are doing something right.  Huzzah!

Shenanigans with Val: Elf, Old Lady Beatdowns & Hipster Bars (Part 1)

994371_473276739459066_1027674132_n

Here it is.  The moment you all have been waiting for . . . the recap of Val‘s most recent visit.  Well, at least the first half of it.  It was, as always, the most epic of days, which means we packed a ton of epicness into a small amount of hours.  So, I’m gonna have to split this thing up so as to do the entire story justice.

We begin our story with both of us arriving in Baltimore, where we would spend the next 24 hours, traveling in and around the city.  Somehow, she beat me there, even with her mandatory stop at Waffle House, and the fact that I only live a little less than an hour away.  Normally, I’m waiting for her ass, so this was different.  However, I found her comfortably ensconced in a nice lounge chair in the lobby, and didn’t make her wait too long.  Once we checked into our room and changed into our good, theater-going clothes, we set off to our first planned destination . . . Elf: the Musical.

photo (19)

When Val and I first decided that this would be the day she would once again grace my fair state with her awesomeness, as always, I did my due diligence to see what was going on.  When I found out that Elf would be in Baltimore that weekend, it was decided.  I asked Val how she felt about it, she responded “smiling is my favorite,” and we were off!

When we arrived at the theater, we obtained some beverages, lest we get parched during the long performance, and then found our seats.  They were excellent seats, about 12 rows back and right in the middle.  Perfect view.  When the show started, we were so excited.  The first thing we saw was Santa, and we were like two little girls on Christmas morning again.  “It’s Santa!  I know him.”  We were giddy with excitement.  When Buddy came out, who looked like a six foot tall Martin Short but sounded exactly like Kenneth from 30 Rock, we were already completely enchanted and in love with the show.  It was like the movie, but just different enough to make it fun.  And musical, of course.

iPhone51

Being super excited and stoked to be there, and loving everything about the show, we occasionally made a comment to each other about some of the funny or interesting parts of the show.  But quiet-like, because we have class, dammit.  And we were laughing at all the funny parts, of which there were many.  Well, apparently, our joviality and friendship highly offended the woman to my left, because about 40 minutes into the show, I suddenly found myself face to very ugly mug with the meanest and nastiest person ever.  She thrust her puss right into my personal space and proclaimed:  “If you two don’t cut it out, I’m going to call the manager and report you!”  Commence my shocked look towards Val to see if this was for real happening.  “I’m getting really sick of your shit!”  Holy crap, I think that really DID just happen.  What the hell do we do now?

Yeah.  We were actually and totally struck speechless.  Us.  That NEVER happens!  We just could not even believe that someone would actually be offended that we were enjoying ourselves and laughing at a musical comedy, and would so nastily and rudely tell us to stop having fun.  We weren’t bothering her in any way, but apparently she was a very angry elf.

After we recovered from our initial shock (and wondered to each other if we were allowed to laugh any more), we were pissed.  At intermission, Val was pretty much set on beating her ass at the end of the show.  However, that mean old Grinch was just lucky that she was as fast as she was mean, because she raced away from those seats the second the show was over, and Val was unable to catch her.  Probably best, or we would have spent the rest of the day at the police station.

Once we escaped (barely) having not murdered anyone, we took a quick trip back to the hotel room to change into a bit less fancy duds.  It would be the last we would see of our lovely hotel room for the next 12 hours or so.  However, we were unaware of that at the time, so we did not dally.  We turned right around to head out to dinner.  We had made plans to meet another blogger, who lives locally, for drinks and some food before we went off to our next destination.  (Yes, we were very busy girls that day).

When I set up our meeting place with Bluz, he checked out the locale online and immediately balked at the idea of going to a “hipster bar,” averring that he was decidedly “unhip.”  Reassuring him that I had no idea of the restaurant’s hipster status when I chose it, but that I only chose it because I had reviewed the menu and was intrigued by the offerings, and also that it was within walking distance of our hotel, I convinced him that his non-skinny jeans wearing ass would be just fine.  Plus, I had Val.  He would have met us in Satan’s bathroom if that’s where we were headed.

And actually, he almost got his wish for a different joint, since we arrived there before him and were gonna text him to meet us across the street at a beer garden that looked rad, but that was right before the bartender got his hooks into us and realized we were easy.  No, not like that!  We’re ladies, yo.  But he offered us a free shot, so we had no choice but to stay.  Free booze?  Um, yes please.  I mean, obviously.  We have class.

Oh, and did I mention that we spent most of the time making fun of him?  The bartender, that is, not Bluz.  I mean, what else could we do when he tried to get all fancy by flipping bottles, and then ended up dropping one.  And then there was the attempted selfie (he was supposed to be taking a pic of us), where he just looks like he’s eating his thumb.

IMG_8575

Plus, he patently refused to light our shots on fire!  What kind of crappy bartender was he, anyway?  Damn.  I mean, it didn’t stop me from pimping out my good friend Val to him, so that he may actually own her now and have her living in a pit in his basement.  As long as she just keeps putting on the lotion, she should be fine.  Besides, I’m not worried about her.  She’s a tough bitch.  She’ll be wearing his skin by the end of the week.

Once we finished our food and drinks and lovely conversation, we had to say adieu to our friend Bluz, so that we could head on over to our next destination . . . a haunted pub crawl in a historic seaside area known for its lively nightlife.  Oh yeah, it was on.

Alas, my dear readers, this is where I must leave off on this marvelous tale.  I will continue with the second half, and thrilling conclusion, later this week.  And just to give you a taste, there will be . . . beard biting, top hats and canes, and much late night (early morning) drunken shenanigans.  Pretty sure you are not surprised by that last part.  Until then . . . . .