August 26, 2009

how to throw a party when your mortgage pymt is due...

Here I have a couple of tips on how to justify having a decent bash with virtually no dough. When friends and family hear nothing but your complaints on how broke you are and how everything is a constant struggle - how do you invite them over for an all-day/all-night rager? The funny thing is that when I go to a party - I expect NOTHING. I bring my drinks and, if necessary, my seat for the evening. However, when I invite people over (well at least in the past) I like to have food and beverages available. I used to take pride in cooking up some sausage & peppers and pulled pork, having a variety of chips and snacks and some always-popular Grey Goose, Captain Morgan, beer and wine. Over the past year the snacks have dwindled to say the very least. You're lucky if you can find a handful of Kashi in the pantry and not-so-lucky if you find the crackers I bought for Christmas... 2007. Basically, you are on your own. Parties that used to start at 2 pm now start at 8 pm. If you haven't had your din din by then you are shit outta luck. So here are my ideas for throwing an economy-friendly party when you are in the same, old, patched-up raft as me. (Can't use the term "boat" anymore. No longer applies to my lifestyle... and it's actually laughable that I am pretending that it once did).

Tip # 1. "The invite conversation"

"Hey, (insert names here), we are having a "get-together" on Saturday if you guys would like to come." I prefer the term "get-together" over "party". This way if only 4 people show up you don't look like a huge loser and if 80 people show - it will be impressive to your friends that you consider 80 people "just a little get-together" and leave them wondering what one of your "PARTIES" might look like. (I am aware that I use far too many quotations and parenthesis and I make no apologies for that). Once invited, the invitee may ask "What can I bring?" ... this is a crucial moment and you've got to NAIL the answer with a quickness ... Possible answer: "Well, we will have a few things to snack on but if there is something in particular that you would like please bring it along." OOOOH bad choice. This leaves the invitee thinking 'Well F that, I aint bringin anything, just wanted to be nice and offer.' Another possibility: "Hmmm, I think we will have everything covered - OH ya know what? Shirly was supposed to bring some chips and dip but she just called and won't be able to make it." NOT BAD. At least this person will probably say "Oh, no sweat, I will bring some chips!!" Pretty decent, however, you can buy chips yourself - a bag of chips is what? Like three bucks?? Get a little arrogant. BEST ANSWER: "Ahh ya know what? Would you mind bringing some pizza strips/calzones since you live right near -whatever bakery -? Kim was going to bring them but she is unable to come. I'll give you money for them when you get here." This is key. Always mention that you will pay them for the goods. Nine times out of ten they will say "Oh get outta here!" And if they don't ... either pretend you are already drunk when they show up and just keep "forgetting" to get the cash OR call them the day before, say you are sick and canceling the party and then call someone else and try the whole thing all over again. Also, very important, remember to NOT post the pictures on Facebook after a fake-cancel. If you use this method with even TEN guests - you will have a decent amount of food.

Tip # 2. "The booze, the ice and the start-time mislead"

Now, I always have some alcohol on hand. A half empty bottle of tequila, rum, wine, vodka and maybe some random Kahlua or something odd that I have no conceivable liquid to mix with it. I always buy a bunch of beer as well. However, I tell everyone that "I will have some beer and stuff here but just bring what you like." This way you aren't exactly saying, "I have nothing for you" but you also aren't saying, "Don't bring anything, it's taken care of." People typically bring their own drink anyway. Normally you will end up with 90 extra beers, a fridge full of weird little wine coolers and junk and often times half empty bottles of rum and wine. Score. A good thing to remember is to tell some people that the party starts at 4 and others that it starts at 2. You buy a few bags of ice for ONE cooler. Around 3 o'clock you call the "4 pm guests" and say "Hey could you do me a huge favor, our ice is getting COOKED out in this blazing sun, can you pick up a few bags for me?" When they ask "How many?" Just say "Eleven." Should be plenty.

There you have it. Sounds so simple doesn't it?? A sure-fire way to have all the food, drink and ice that you feel comfortable with at your backyard festival of awesomeness. Nobody will know! Everyone will thank you for your hospitality and you will be sittin' on sunshine!

Good luck! (Don't invite me, I aint fallin for that shit).

August 25, 2009

the little, insane things ...

Growing up, I remember being SO excited when we would move the furniture around in my bedroom or give it a face-lift with new paint and bedding. I couldn't WAIT to get tucked in that night because I felt like I was in a new and fabulous place! Little, tiny changes made a world of difference. As a 32 year old, the same still rings true, to a certain extent.

I love decorating my home.. buying new pillows and accessories, using different colors to transform my rooms into new spaces. It keeps things fresh. I do go overboard sometimes and spend hours trying to figure out the ideal spot for a new vase or picture. My poor husband just shakes his head and smiles. Part of my charm I guess. So yesterday, it was no shock when I asked him to please help me move the treadmill, yet again, to the other side of our bedroom. (This treadmill has been moved about eleven times in a 2 year span of time, due to my insanity and indecision). He routinely arose from his recliner and swapped bureau for treadmill within 4 minutes. Done. I, then spent a decent 20 minutes arranging my jewelry tree, frames and jewelry boxes atop the bureau until they were JUST PERFECT for hallway viewing. (Apparently, I think that while our guests are on their way into the bathroom they will peek into my bedroom and notice that my bureau arrangement is simply unacceptable and they will then laugh and point and make jokes behind my back about it). With the new setup looking fabulous I went about my day. I got a little surprised this morning when I crawled out of bed and, for seconds, forgot about the earth-shattering change. The best thing about it is that while I am 'treading' I can once again watch TV, a movie, or as luck would have it, my Roseanne DVDs. An hour that used to feel like 2 hours will now feel like 20 minutes. Simple Changes.

August 24, 2009

2:30 convo

"Why does your breath smell so badly? What have you been eating outside? Is it dead things? IS IT DEAD THINGS?!!??!!!!!?"

This is the conversation that I just had with Brody. It was rather one-sided.

i smell a memory...

It is amazing to me how a simple sniff of perfume can instantly transport me back 15 years. Or how a song by Bread makes me feel like I am 4 years old, playing in my Richmond backyard, fixing up some plastic raspberries for mom's lunch. They say the strongest link to memory is scent. Well, I have to agree with 'they' on this one. Most often, cologne, perfume and lotion do the trick for me. C.K. One reminds me of my days as an Almacs girl... right down to the smock, the name tag and the scrunchie. Sometimes a man can walk past me on the street and I am sent straight to Christmas night, 1987, seeing dad in his sweater putting on his Pierre Cardin and getting ready for a night out with good friends. There may also be a random, funky smell that takes me back to the Rocky Point haunted house, I can still see the shark's teeth on that little, wooden door.
Music is just as strong in this department. Some of my most treasured memories are of my first 6 years in Richmond, living quietly in our newly-built ranch with our stone wall and our blueberry patch. So many songs from the late 70's and earliest 80's give me the ability to feel that comfort and happiness over and over again. These are times that I never want to forget. Times when your neighborhood was a community. You had dinners together. Everyone was kind and friendly. And the most important thing was my little family enjoying our first NEW home together.
There are two points I am making here: One - Alzheimer's is the scariest thing in the world to me. I can only hope that our friends and families are safe from this horrible disease in our lifetimes. I am begging this beast to not take our beautiful and happy memories away from us. And Two- if you are searching through my ipod and you come across some lame artists and songs - don't judge - those are my memories ...

August 23, 2009

good bye, good man ...

Today, I said good bye to a wonderful family friend. I can't remember a time when he wasn't a part of my life. A dedicated family man, loving father, husband and friend to anyone that met him. He could make a mouth-less man smile, with a sense of humor that could not be beat. He always threw the best parties and made you feel SO at home that you never wanted to leave. A genuinely caring and awesome-spirited man. Ted, the world will miss you greatly. Rest in peace.

August 22, 2009

thank you note ...

I would like to express my gratitude to the lovely little CVS on Warwick Avenue. I can't tell you how many times I found myself nearly shattering your well-intended, yet malfunctioning, automatic door. It never mattered what my choice of footwear was for the day. Four inch heels would slow my stride a bit, sure, but not enough to time my entrance into the store correctly. Heaven forbid I was wearing super-speedy flip-flops ... I narrowly escaped painful neck injuries and a broken nose on more than one occasion, for sure. While I never actually walked directly into the door I was just as annoyed at the fact that I had to pause time and time again before getting "clearance" to enter. So, you can imagine my excitement when I took that most familiar pause only to learn that this was a shiny NEW door. Sliding over to the side with great agility and speed, this door opened with a smile! I am once again proud to be a loyal CVS customer - thanks again, guys. Strap on your jet-packs and leave your helmets at home, this door is ready for you.

August 21, 2009

Sudafed dream ...

How appropriate that my first real live blog would be about my whacked out dreams. I have always had the pleasure of remembering several dreams a night. Those who know me have had the misfortune of hearing about them. (Sorry guys). About 10 years ago I had a year and a half of my snoozy life dedicated to Michael Myers (Halloween). I had no choice but to create a journal just to document those nightmares ... and, alright, I was hoping to meet up with John Carpenter to discuss a possible trilogy. Either way, my subconscious mind is quite active whilst I am drooling on my adorable pillowcase. Here is a wonderful dream that I have bookmarked from two nights ago ...

The Holly or The Sleighs???
Yeah. This one was most ridiculous. There I was ... FRANTIC... standing in some bargain outlet store sweating over the choices of Christmas wrapping paper. I needed exactly two rolls to complete my mission of "papering" my built-in bookshelves. Yes, apparently I wanted to be the coolest kid on the block with my brilliant Martha Stewart-like decorating idea. I was with two other people and I guess they refused to tell me that I was a lunatic. So picking up roll after roll - red and white polka dots, little Santas, green trees, horns, bells ... FINALLY, I see the platinum of all papers - the holly. Ohhhh it may have been buried under the Rudolph paper and sure the corner was a little jacked up BUT it was glorious and EXACTLY what I was looking for. I grabbed that roll and desperately began searching for it's match. I'm sure you have already guessed the ending to this pointless tale... there was no match. Saddened, I had a big decision to make. Do I take this single sent-from-heaven roll of holly wonderment that I was in love with... or do I get the hideous freak-brother double roll of sleighs gliding down little mountains of marshmallows??? I can see you biting your nails. Didn't think I would leave you with such a cliff-hanger did you?? Well the answer is this: I put both choices down, bought pretzels and left.

The end.