About the Author

I was born on a Saturday, the best day of the week for a party. My Father is Bruce and my mother, Nancy, which technically makes me a Nancy boy. I am the younger of two boys. My brother Brad is four years older and is by far the superior dancer.

Our family was Beaver Cleaver in every sense of the word, not in the wholesome syrupy way, but with the love and respect. I don’t remember ever seeing my parents fight. The worst violence I saw in our house was one night at the dinner table my dad made my mom so mad she… she… I can hardly talk about this... She picked up a pea and threw it at him. Can you imagine the horror on my brother and my tender faces?

I learned about parties at birthdays and Christmas Eve. My dad threw the best Christmas Eve parties and my mom made our birthdays incredibly special.

In the fifth grade my parties went from wholesome daytime, crank out your own ice cream, parties to sleepovers. My class was small – only around twenty five people. There was no way for sanities sake that my parents could have let me invite the whole class. My invites were never about social status, they were for who was the most fun. And fun we had. My parents for the most part left us alone. That is all a kid can hope for. My parents trusted me to do the right thing. If that was repeatedly rewinding Saturn III to watch Farah Fosset’s left tit over and over again so be it, although scary movies took center stage. I don’t even want to talk about what that little girl did with that cross. Sometime in the evening my father would join us and tell a few stories. He was such an entertaining father. We just loved him. The best thing was he knew how to leave a room on a high note.

My parents let me plan my own party in the sixth grade and I have been hooked on throwing parties ever since. The party I chose was a sleepover birthday in our backyard. I need to back this story up five months. That year on New Years Eve my parents went to a party with our neighbor jogging Jim. Everyone in our neighborhood had a nick name. There was also Copper Bob and... OK, so only two people had nick names. Anyway, Jogging Jim came over with the biggest bottle of whiskey I had ever seen. It was half as tall as I was. As soon as I heard the front door shut behind my parents I grabbed a canning jar and helped myself. And before you go off thinking how awful it was for a sixth grader to have whiskey you will soon find out that I needed it at my birthday party. A half hour before my guests were to arrive my neighbor Pam’s Akita nearly bit my eye off. Luckily I have a small head and rabbit like reflexes. I only received a small puncture at the corner of my eye. It’s a pretty cool look to cry blood. I highly recommend it, although it plays hell with your crows feat when you are older. And what about the party? It was a success. We got “Drunk” on sips of the giant-bottle-whiskey and my dad told a story about a twenty foot booger that left us rolling on the ground, holding our sides, begging for mercy. His story about the Tiparari was long but worth the punch line. It indeed was a long way to tip a Rari.

That year my parents as usual threw an amazing Christmas Eve party. Near the end of the night my Grandma Lucile insisted on driving home to the dismay of my mother. And of course for about the fourth time she drove off the driveway into the ditch. My dad got her car out and she drove off ignoring my mother’s good sense. About an hour later the phone rang. It was my grandma. She said, “Go put your mother on the other line.” My mom picked up and grandma said, “Nancy, I’m in jail.” My mom got really mad and really laid into her… well as much as our family lays into people. My grandma started laughing hard which made my mom madder. Grandma was finally able to get out that she wasn’t in jail but safely home. That is when I learned not to mess with grandma.

My Seventh grade sleepover party in the back yard was best childhood birthday party I threw. My classmates talk about it to this day. The party didn’t just take place in my backyard. We were free to roam. At one point a few of my guests were up on Pacific Highway in the same place and time that the Green River Murderer was picking up tricks. Up on the highway my lunatic friend Leslie saw a group of upper classmen toughs across the street. Leslie let out a slew of insults that would make his mothers ears implode. The whole gang took off running with the older kids in pursuit. Somehow they got away. Around the same time I walked over to my friend Garret’s house. I had heard that him and my friend David were drinking there. My friend Darren and I met them at the front door. I demanded a drink and well, I don’t have to tell you what they tricked me into drinking. Back at the party another friend smoked a bunch of people out but me. I didn’t let these little things get to me. Life was good.

Because of my father’s Project Management business he had more frequent flier miles than he could ever use. For some reason my parents trusted my brother and I enough to leave us alone when they went on trips. Sleepover birthdays were quickly replaced with house parties. This is where I honed my party planning skills. My brother and I rarely shared parties so I had complete control of the planning for mine - I loved it. I knew right from the start the start that a party needed to start off clean. I would spend weeks cleaning the yard. The grass and shrubs would be trimmed to perfection and the patio spotless. The house would also get a good work over. This may be why my parents looked the other way. Coming back to a clean house from vacation is the absolute best.

The only rule my brother and I had at our parties was there was absolutely no fighting. We didn’t want that vibe in our sanctuary.

The summer before high school was a turning point in my life. My brother was going to be a senior while I was a freshmen. For about a month that summer Brad and his friends practiced for an air guitar contest. They were doing AC/DC’s Bad Boy Boogie. My brother was Angus. Seeing him up on the stage the night of the contest was amazing. They were so good especially my brother - he really was Angus. The other acts paled in comparison. Near the end of the song there is a part where Angus drops his shorts and quickly moons the audience. My brother being who his is didn’t pull his pants up for at least ten seconds. On his left cheek his friend Kari had painted AC and on the other his other girlfriend Lori had painted DC. This sealed his fate.

My brother’s brief stink as Angus propelled him into one of the coolest of the party crowd. Because of him I was able to get into some pretty awesome older parties. And because of him people didn’t mess with me. Although when I would walk from my English class through the senior hallway a bunch of his friends would grab me, throw me on their shoulders and chant Mark, Mark, Mark, Which I loved so much I hardly noticed that they were hitting my head against the heater on the ceiling. The one time I came close to being picked on was when my brother’s friend Keith saw me walking down the hall and yelled, “Let’s tape Mark”. Two guys grabbed my arms and drug me toward a pole. I looked right in Keith’s eyes and said, calm and clear, “My mother will never let you in our house again.” He threw up his hands, backed away, and said, “Let him go.” That is the power of a good home.

One of the coolest parties I got into, because of my brother, was at Black Todd’s leaning house in Allen Town. The house was at the edge of a river and it leaned - not just a little bit, but so much that beer would spill out of my drink onto my shoe. I was a skinny little shit but I felt cool standing there with beer running off my shoe. A lot of that is because Brad’s friends made me feel that way.

One summer in High School my parents went on a month long vacation. Before they left they setup an account for us at the local grocery store – Sally’s Market. Little did they know that the store would sell my underage brother beer and charge it to the account. The coolest thing is the clerk would call my brother Angus. That month there was a party at our house every weekend and the empty beer piled up like a trophy. When my parents got back they were mad at the market for selling brad the beer but I don’t think they were mad at Brad buying it but then again I could be glossing over things.

There wasn’t a lot for kids to do for entertainment back then. My favorite thing was to drive around with my friend Marc and our other friends Tami and Tami. We would get inebriated and drive around our small town on the back roads. Our favorite thing to do was drive through people’s loop driveways. If anyone was in the yards we would wave as we passed by. The people’s confusion made us laugh so hard. One night on a drive through the back streets we were being followed by a large truck. After a couple turns and him still behind us we started to get paranoid. It could have been the Green River Murderer. We drove faster and tore into a side road that we were sure only we knew. We raced up the hill and ducked into a driveway. With the lights out we hid in the car but soon we were blinded by headlights. We thought we were going to be killed but it turned out that we had pulled into the driveway of the guy who was “following us”.

The weekend before graduation our class held a sleepover party at a cabin on Camano Island. From what I’ve heard over the years some people had drama but from my perspective the party was a blast. Although the ending was a little more exciting than I would have wanted. My friend Dave Moles and I stole our classmate Frank’s car. We made it about a quarter mile before the police pulled us over. The officer found two pipes, a very smelly empty sandwich bag, and a small bag that held two bits of paper that looked suspiciously like LSD. He never found the alcohol though. That is due to my David’s slight of hand. I though for sure we were going to jail but the officer said, “You’re lucky I’m off in a half hour”. He told us to go back to the party and tell everyone to go home. We did as we were told but all we got was a lot of “Fuck you” when we woke people up. We quickly gave up and went to bed. I still can’t believe how lucky we were. I was trying so hard to be voted most likely to instigate a party not mostly likely to spend graduation in jail. And luckily we didn’t get arrested because our graduation party was even better than the sleepover. It was so good I took a month off from drinking.

The summer after I graduated was the greatest party time of my life. My parents let us have a party every night - every damn night. I think they thought we would get it out of our system and we did but at the same time we had fun. Amazingly my mom only yelled at us once. She did this so infrequently that you better believe that we listened. Well, as long as drunk people do.

My brother and I may sound like irresponsible kids but we were both out of the house before we hit twenty-one and we never had to come back. Brad and I did come back together though when in my mid twenties we bought a duplex together. If you are on good relations with your siblings I highly recommend this. It is so cool to come out of your front door and have your brother sitting on his deck.

After three years a drive by shooting across the street drove us to sell. Before we moved I read in the World Weekly News that the world was going to end the night before Easter. Of course that seamed like as good a reason as any to throw a party. I called it The End of the World Party. Everyone wore black and I had people scour the thrift stores for the coolest cup to drink out of. The party was an absolute hit. There’s something about wearing black and partying into Easter. Although in my book I call ruining people’s holiday a party mistake but I think you need to do that at least once.

After selling our duplex I moved in with my Partner and my friend Niccole. The house was perfect for parties, complete with a basement with a full bar and pool table. During our time at that house we were invited to a pre-wedding party for a good friend. It was there that I was introduced to lounge music. I knew that the End of The world Party would forever be known as the End of the World Lounge Party. I spent a half a year and hundreds of dollars gathering music. I knew we needed a cigar room so I turned half of our garage into one. I found out that an industrial Hepa filter is amazing at clearing out smoke. The first party was an absolute success. People dressed up and the vibe was so swanky. We had three more Lounge parties at the house that were equally successful.

We also liked to throw wine parties there. We would get the yard fixed up like a park and have the coolest laid back wine party. There were no rules or control. We just drank wine and talked and laughed into the dawn.

My boss at the time was so much fun. He was a total partier. I seriously thought part of my job was to go out and drink with the team. One year we had our Christmas party in a conference room with poker and moonshine. The next year I had the holiday party at my house. Each year it grew a little more until it is the yearly event that has become today.

When my partner and I were looking for a new house at the top of my wish list was a bar. The problem with the house we found wash it had everything, I mean everything on our list, but a bar. Because it had everything else we couldn’t say no. To make up for the lack of a bar we improvised with a rolling cart.

The first big party at our new house was a 30th birthday party that I threw for my partner. It could arguably be the best party I have thrown to date. Although our wedding at my parent’s house was pretty damn good; that went from two in the afternoon to seven in the morning.

This year I threw a party for my fortieth birthday. After a four year hiatus I brought back the Lounge Party. The party was so good it made it in the paper: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=583128

Our holiday party this year has an invite list that is 220 people strong and that doesn’t include spouses. This party has become such a part of people’s year that I don’t dare cancel it. That is the kind of party I want to teach people to throw, one that will be remembered and looked forward to for years. I know you can do it. I believe in you.

    - Markus