Laughing Stock

Happy New Year’s Eve day everyone!  Ahhhh… the last day of the year… for me, always a time for reflection on the year passed and for looking ahead and pondering my goals and wishes for the coming year.  This new year is obviously going to be a life-changer for us with the addition of our new little family member.  And while typically, I tend to feel a little blue around the new year and my birthday (two days from now), this year I am just filled with excitement and anticipation for what’s to come.  Bring on 2012 baby!!

Meanwhile… “Laughing Stock”.  Let me explain.  I’m not sure if you remember my post from last June about “Squeenstock” – our friend Dan and Yvonne’s wedding in New Orleans.  If you are interested, go back to that post and just skim to get the background on the “Stockers” and how the tradition of the “Stock” started.  Ok… now I’ll move forward.  Sadly, Dan and Yvonne are now leaving us New Yorkers and heading out west to reunite with fellow Stockers Brett and Emily out in LA.  Every time there is a major life event in a Stocker’s life (a wedding, a move), we get the group together and throw a “Stock”.  Hence – “Laughing Stock”.  This year, “Laughing Stock” was created to bid farewell to our dear friends Dan and Yvonne.  Emily and Brett came to town from LA and the six of us spent Wednesday evening cramming the most fun possible into seventeen hours together.  One key Stocker was missing… Courtney – out in Minneapolis… but we skyped her in of course.  No Stock is complete without at least the virtual gathering of all of us.

So – way back when when the Jackson’s left NYC for Geneva, Switzerland we had a big two-day send-off party called “Jackstock”. For entertainment at “Jackstock” Adam invented a game – called “The Bag of Chaos”.  This is how it worked…  each member of the gathering came up with ideas for things to do, see and eat around NYC.  We threw all these ideas into the “Bag of Chaos” and one by one, we picked ideas out of the bag.  No matter what the idea – we all succumbed to the bag and just did whatever we pulled.  The game took us on a whirlwind tour of New York – from rowing boats in Central Park, to scoping out the waterfalls display from the South Street Seaport, to drinking beers at Zum Schneider, to a group trip to H&M to buy matching bathing suits, then finding this “Bar in midtown with a pool” (that’s what the card said – “There’s this bar in midtown with a pool”) and going swimming, to constructing a homemade miniature golf course on the roof of our apartment building and playing a round of golf. Crazy you might think?  Well it was a total blast.

Now for “Laughing Stock” we didn’t have an entire weekend… we had seventeen hours (some of which had to be spent sleeping).  We also have a pregnant woman in her seventh month (your’s truly), the Jackson’s literally came straight from the airport along with their pup Alfie, Dan and Yvonne had to spend the entire next day packing up their apartment and it’s winter.  Thus – the idea for the “Bag of Compromise” was born (Thank you once again Adam).  Over a finger-lickin’ good BBQ dinner at The Smoke Joint in Fort Greene, we all came up with ideas for the evening’s entertainment.  This time, activities were pretty much restricted to our apartment and there was an “A” side and a “B” side to each card.  When a card was pulled, we read both sides (each with a different activity) and collectively decided what we’d rather do.  Then… the fun ensued.

Here is a list of the evening’s events (in order) as pulled and chosen from the “Bag of Compromise”:

  • “Youtube Film Festival” – each submits one favorite Youtube video.  All watch.  All vote on the best.  (my submission was “Mommy’s Nose is Scary“.  I’m obsessed with that video. It came in second place to Michelle Bachmann’s bad lip reading video – submitted by Brett )
  • Brainstorm a “Stock Cookbook” – all submit a recipe
  • Skype Courtney!
  • Play a game of Pictionary and make milkshakes for while we’re playing
  • Draw a portrait of another stocker.  (We drew names to determine our portrait subject)
  • “Group pregger snap”!  Translated as group photo with me (AKA “pregger”) at the center.
  • Group Pregger Snap! Notice our matching PJ pants, lovingly crafted for us by Emily at a previous "Stock".

  • “Blind Activities” (For this activity, Emily and I compiled a group of ten household and kitchen items and gave each contestant the same blind smell test – Brett was the winner identifying seven out of ten!)
  • Champagne Toast for Dan and Yvonne!
  • “Acquire six-sided die.  Roll to see who gets to be the “Dolly”.  “Dolly” makeover!”  (For this activity, Yvonne got to be the lucky stocker who received a ten-minute makeover from the rest of us).
  • Yvonne getting her "Dolly" makeover - Photo by Adam Reid

  • Upstairs closet party by candlelight.  (Yes… we have a large closet in our loft that is rather fort-like – so we grabbed a candle, all crawled in and had a little ten-minute closet party.)

That was pretty much the end of our “Bag of Compromise” excitement.  By this time it was after two in the morning and we were all a bit spent (me especially!).  So we packed it in and said goodnight and had a big sleepover at our place.  We rose early for cheesy eggs, toast and lots of coffee (thank you Breakfast Chef Adam) and by eleven AM – everyone was gone.  Another “Stock” gone by, leaving Adam and me – the only remaining Stockers in NYC.  Sniff Sniff.

I must say this…  I appreciate this group of friends for so many reasons… but most of all – how often are you surrounded by people that are so open, and energetic, and creative and goofy and GAME for anything?!  We only get to see each other on average about once a year at this point… but look how much fun is crammed into that once a year gathering!  It kind of holds you over – you know?  So – fellow Stockers… I love you.  Thanks for being so much fun!  My life is much richer having all of you in it.

Now – I must go take a shower and get ready to bring in the new year.  Oh – and speaking of… today is also a special day because it is my girl Faye’s birthday!  So Faye my darling… I’m sorry I can’t be with you this year (we used to spend all our birthdays together) but I’m thinking about you!

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday dear FAYE!!

Happy  birthday to you!

Have a safe and wonderful evening everyone!  Talk to you in 2012!



6 thoughts on “Laughing Stock

  1. Gosh, how fun was that! Thanks for sharing Nell. You all are so crazy cute. It makes me want to be a stocker. 🙂
    Happy New Year!
    I know it will be a beautiful one.

  2. Nell,

    What a great time. Love the bag of compromise. I agree with Ara, as I often do, that Childstock or Babestock would be the next one. And since traveling with a newborn isn’t fun or easy, it gives everyone a reason to fly back out to NYC.

    Take care and good luck!

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