Friday, September 30, 2011

Fan of Friday: Week of 9/30/2011

This blog highlights every reason why I CAN'T WAIT to get a kitty and every reason I am absolutely terrified to get one. I like my skin where it is...

Presenting Cat vs Human!

Images Courtesy of Cat Vs Human

All the Best Mommas are Lionesses

If you haven't heard this story yet, be ready to get emotional. A photographer was taking pictures near a vertical cliff when he spotted a lion cub that had fallen below the lip of the cliff. Its little legs couldn't get it back up the cliff face so his mommy came to the rescue.

Images Courtesy of Daily Mail

And she even cleaned him up when she got him back. I bet my mom would do that too! But she's a rock climber so it'd probably be easier to get down to me. Climbing back up with me in her mouth may prove challenging though...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If I only had the time, space, and money...

If you and 22 of your friends have 2500 hours to kill, why don't you round up 380,000 Lego bricks and build this?

Image Courtesy of Yahoo

The car can't drive and the doors refuse to open, but for $40,000 worth of Legos, it can be yours. Just kick yourself into time laspe like these Lego engineers and it will be over before you know it.

While this is cool, I won't be truly impressed until I see a fully functioning car built from Legos. So get on it people!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pilot 6: "Pan Am"

Where to start, where to start...

After watching the premiere of Pan Am last night, I was left feeling confused. I went into it with certain things I expected to like and certain things I expected to disappoint me, and now, I feel like those two lists have switched.

Here's the summary: the show follows four (maybe five, it's too soon to tell) stewardesses and two pilots working for Pan Am Airlines in 1963. International travel and intrigue, romance, feminism, all within the aluminum hull of a brand new Clipper aircraft.

Ok, so let's break down my original expectations and what has since happened to them (To help summarize things because I can't remember any charcter names, this is how I will refer to everyone: French stewardess, redhead sister, dumb sister, crazy British stewardess, Dean from "Grounded for Life", Number 1 from "Scrubs", and Christina Ricci.)
  • I only expected to like Christina Ricci. Christina Ricci got the least back story out of anyone. I know she's a beatnik, hippy type who can make her hair shrink on command, but beyond that? Who knows? So, I can't say I like her yet, but I do like Frenchie and redhead. They seemed to be the two that best fit their roles. I didn't feel like they had plastic hair and no emotion. With that said, I didn't expect to like dumb stewardess and I still don't. She's like a human mannequin and I will treat her as such.
  • The backgrounds are horrible. I don't mean like the character backstory, but the CG images of airports and cities. I understand it's probably easier to create an image rather than build a set or clear a street of anything not "1963", but it just looked really crappy.
  • The character backgrounds are crappy. Like I feel like I've said time and time again, I hate pilots that feel pilot-y. I'd much rather get to know the characters as they get to know each other. Giving me too much backstory doesn't build some sort of connection between us. It doesn't draw me in to get you the numbers you want for next week. Actually, it probably does the opposite. Let me get to know them as a "person" and then learn the reasons they tick.
  • I want them to focus on the 60's details of things. I originally didn't want any emphasis on the era and just to focus on storylines but I think I'm more intrigued by the era now. You could just walk onto an airplane with your signature on a ticket? No ziplock baggies full of contact solution and foundation? Airplanes used to serve food and the stewardesses actually prepared it? Wow...
  • I don't take either of the pilots seriously. I didn't know who would be cast as the pilots but I expected older, mature men that tried to take advantage of the stewardess because of their position. I did not expect young, immature guys who were basically complete horn-dogs. And Dean from "Grounded for Life" needs a haircut. Just because you style a haircut from 2011 like it's 1963 doesn't mean it looks right. It just kind of looks like he has a mullet. Umm, pass!
  • They set up long story arcs. I expected the show to be about how hard it is to be a stewardess. The outfits! The weigh-ins! Restocking the pillows! But I was impressed last night when a couple of larger storylines were set in motion: where is crazy British stewardess and what is she up to and what will happen to redhead sister as a new part-time spy?
All that being said, I'm left feeling a little better than I was originally about this show. I may give it an episode or two to see how it develops but I'm not holding my breath. It earned a solid C. If it starts to feel less thrown together and slows the rate at which we get to know the characters, it might not be bad. But I've seen more shows ruin themselves than save themselves so I'm fairly pessimistic about this one.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Want to Annoy Everyone Around You?

Well then I have the solution for you!

Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly energetic and obnoxious, I refuse to talk. I only sing. And I narrate everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, I do in song.

My song of choice?

Cars, by Gary Numan.

It's so easy to change the lyrics to this song. It makes anything more interesting, and makes everything you say sound like a robot. Usually my husband gets hooked and we have hours and hours when we only communicate in this song.

There's only one rule! You can't change the last line. No matter how little sense it makes, it must always ALWAYS end with "in cars, do doo dop, do do doo dop"

Just try it once. If after one time you don't want to do it all day, yell at me in the comment section. But it's so catchy that once you try it, you will not be able to stop. No matter how much you want to, you won't be able to.

And here's my favorite version of it:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Little Girl in the Big City

For my first real business trip, I was sent to New York City to work on a robot for a university up there. It was awesome and it highlighted how awesome my job is and how lucky I am to have it. So without further ado, my pictures!

 Brooklyn on the left, a tiny Statue of Liberty in the middle, and Manhattan on the right

 Skyscrapers breaking through the trees of Central Park

 Me being silly on a bridge in Central Park
(I'm supposed to be breaking out into song like "Enchanted")

 30 Rock, man it's tall!

 The Staten Island ferry with the lit up skyline in the background

The new World Trade Center disappearing into the fog

Next time I visit, I hope to have more than a day to explore. I'd love to do some shopping. I'd save up for months just to afford some fancy shopping. Also, my childhood best friend was fantastic and gave us as much of a tour as possible in a couple of hours and I'd love the chance to really get to catch up with her. You know, while walking through Bloomingdale's...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pilot 5: "Charlie's Angels"

There are a couple of reasons I've only reviewed comedies so far: comedies usually air for at least 6 episodes, giving audiences a chance to grow and it is a hell of a lot harder to screw up a comedy than a drama. Speaking of which...

Hey! Did you guys see "Charlie's Angels"? You didn't because had absolutely anything better to do? Good for you!

 If you actually have guns, you don't need to pose like three girls taking pictures on the last day of 8th grade. 
Just sayin'.

Ugh, I tried my best to watch the first episode so I could review it but man, I can't tell you a lot of what happened because my brain was screaming this the whole time:


Now for the breakdown. The con's:
  • Does no one in television know how technology actually works? No, satellite cameras wouldn't allow you to see into someone's hotel room window with enough clarity to know if someone is tied up on the bed. This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to TV.
  • I don't want a young, hot Bosley. No. Just no.
  • The things that were supposed to be surprises just weren't. Between the ads and press, combined with the camera angles and foreshadowing, I could predict everything about 30 seconds before it happened, at minimum.
  • Stop throwing around the word "Angels". It's not an actual title, like "Sergent" or "Captain". It gains you no respect.
  • Wear some pants. A belted button-up shirt is NOT a dress. I bet fighting crime is easier with pants on.
  • Seriously, slow things down. The first ten minutes could have been stretch to an entire episode, creating a great cliffhanger once we were already attached to the characters, rather than a moment whose sole purpose was to bring in the bigger stars. Add to that secret tattoos and the backstory about meeting as orphans and it just becomes a pilot-y mess. This is what I meant when I was talking about "Whitney": I do not like pilots that feel like pilots. You don't have to tell us everything in the first 42 minutes. WAAAAAAAAAY too much.
  • Did they make casting decisions based purely on who would fit into the outfits? I could randomly pick three women from my work (remember that it's probably only 5% women at my job) and they would definitely be better actresses than anyone on this show. I guess they probably did the best they could with the writing...
The pro's:
  • Ummm...I heard the guy from the Old Spice commercials will be joining the cast?
Seriously. Do not watch this show. Don't do it! Not even in an ironic sort of fashion. Just say no.

D-, and the only reason it's not an F is because the clothes were pretty. Excuse me as I go clean the brain puke off of mine...

If you have absolutely nothing else to do and refuse to heed any of my warnings, click here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pilot 4: "Whitney"

I swear I've been seeing previews of this show for months now. From the clips I'd seen, the show looked like it would just be an embarrassment based show. Watch Whitney humilate herself every week as everyone else plays the straight man. That being said, I wasn't looking forward to watching this show. I forced myself to watch just so I could review it for you guys (that's love for you).

Honestly, I was really happily surprised.

Here's the premise. Whitney lives with her boyfriend of three years and she is afraid of marriage. Period. That seems to be the whole premise. Pretty straightforward and simple and it paid off. And now for a more detailed breakdown...

The pro's:
  • It didn't feel like a pilot. There were some statements that were made to kind of identify the characters (how long they were dating, what they do for a living, blah blah blah), but most of the episode felt like we were already three seasons in. I claim this to be a good thing because I don't like pilots that feel like pilots, too much set up and you're left waiting and hoping things develop. No big life upsets to start things off. This show just felt like, "Here's our life. Watch the funny happen."
  • The chemistry was really good between Whitney and her boyfriend. It felt almost real and I appreciate that level of comfort. That being said, if the show screws with their relationship and pulls a Ross and Rachel, I won't be happy. 
  • It wasn't an embarrassment-based show. Yes, there was some embarrassment but it wasn't over the top and made me cringe every five minutes. They added in touches of these moments with a fairly careful hand.
  • Another funny woman on TV not afraid to make a fool of herself. Good job TV gods.
  •  The truth-isms they aren't afraid to make.
    • Cosmo is for skanks!
    • Five times a week is A LOT of sex. Just saying. Who has time or energy for that?
    • I don't listen to voicemail either. I'll just call you back and you can tell me then.
And the con's:
  • The laugh track is WAAAAY too intrusive. Every ten seconds for at least five seconds is definitely over the top.
  • Everyone is a little brash. While it's funny, it doesn't really draw me in. I need to connect so I come back again. 
  • It moved too fast. The episode felt like they squished two episodes together. Slow things down and let things sink in.
I'd give this show a B+.  My biggest fear is the direction of this show. How will it grow? If it's the same thing every week, I may stick around for half a season because it is entertaining but it needs to be more than a sitcom based on the pure form of the word: situation comedy. There are only so many situations I find comedic without evolution and growth.

But good job guys. I'm actually relieved and somewhat impressed. You can also be impressed here.

Pilot 3: "2 Broke Girls"

This show had to be the show I was most nervous about because I wanted to like it sooooooo badly. So badly.

The show stars Kat Dennings as a snarky diner waitress, Max, who befriends the new waitress, Caroline, a broke heiress who just lost everything.

It has everything I need in a good comedy: snark, wit, and an actress who isn't afraid to be funny. The kind of squishy face, ugly, realistic funny I need. I hate shows where an actress attempts a joke or a prat fall and looks gorgeous the entire time. Seriously! Go for the joke and no one will remember how weird your face looked when you were selling it.

Ok, so let's start with the pro's of this show.
  • Kat Dennings. I L.O.V.E. her! What is it with all the great actresses on TV this season? 
  • The other characters at the diner. It was smart decision to base most of the show at the diner. You can have the people who work at the diner, the regular costumers, as well as any guest star you want as someone who just wanted a grilled cheese sandwich. 
  • The show is already being set up with a direction. Between Caroline's business back ground and Max's skill and work ethic, these girls are going to open a cupcake shop. The episode ended with the total of the money they've saved for their $250,000 dream.
And now the con's.
  • Max also works as a nanny for a rich heiress. The rich heiress is just a pointless character thrown in for easy laughs. The dumb heiress thing is overplayed. It may be used as a foil for Caroline and her new life compared to her old one, but you could have fast-forwarded over that whole part and you wouldn't have missed anything.
  • The apartment they live in was supposed to be realistic of an actual New York apartment. They kind of missed the mark there, unless all waitresses are living in a giant two bedroom with a backyard. It does look like someone was murdered there 15 years ago, but it would still be an amazing steal by anyone's standards.
  • This may just be a future con but I hope they don't earn the money they need for the cupcake shop too quickly. That's a lot of money to save and unless Caroline suddenly gets access to her frozen assets, it should take AT LEAST two seasons to reach that goal, but by that time, will any cupcake shops still be in business?
I give this show an A. With some tweaks, it could easily be a show I look forward to every week, like "How I Met Your Mother" (Was anyone else as disappointed with the premiere of HIMYM as I was, minus the twist ending?). Fingers crossed because I do really want to like this show and I'd like to see it be given the chance to evolve over a couple of seasons.

You can judge for yourself here.

Pilot 2: "Up All Night"

I went into this show skeptical. I was completely ready to be proven wrong. Sadly, I'm kind of still waiting.

So here's the premise: A couple that loves to party has a baby and they try to adjust to their new lifestyle and hilarity ensues. Christina Applegate plays the producer of a talk show, starring Maya Rudolph. Will Arnett is a former lawyer who is now a stay-at-home dad.

Before I go into my review, here are the reasons I was worried.
  • First, the show is based around three characters. There's a reason why ensemble shows usually do so well: you don't get overly sick of the amount of screen time of one of the characters. I'm already getting sick of Christina Applegate's character and I've seen less than an hour of her. Also, with only three characters, the potential storylines are limited when creating realistic characters. 
  • Second, the show is based on a raising an infant and the adjustment. The show is painting itself into a corner if it focuses too much on the baby and the problems she causes. Eventually, parents adjust, kids grow, life goes on, and it stops being funny. 
  • Third, it's on at a horrible time. I would have never known it was on if I weren't flipping around in commercials of the other show I was watching. 
  • Fourth, the show after it, "Free Agents", is crap. If I get bored, I may review it, but it's probably not worth the review. When "Free Agents" gets canceled, "Up All Night" will either be floating alone and if it doesn't find another sitcom to latch onto, it will probably get lost in the shuffle.
  • Lastly, before they had the baby, they were portrayed as hard partiers. Like, dancing on the bar kind of drinkers. Maybe this is just me, but if you partied that hard for that long, I can't imagine you become this amazing parent nine months later. Their house is filled with baby toys and looks like a messy version of a Pottery Barn catalog. Did they become pod people once she got pregnant and changed EVERYTHING but the desire to go out and stay out all night? No remnants of the life they used to live?
I'm kind of cheating because I've already seen the second episode as well, but I'd give the show a B, (a B- before seeing the second episode). There isn't a hook to this show yet. It needs to hook me in. I don't get excited to watch it. I watch it because I don't have cable and it's on hulu.

Also, the biggest way this show can improve is to round out the cast. In the second episode, we saw more people who work on the talk show, but unless they bring some more people into the home life portion as well (in-town relatives, other stay at home dads, even a cleaning lady), the show will just turn into a show about the talk show.

Additionally, if the show chooses to stay focused on just the three characters, they need to be developed and less over the top. There was a moment in the second episode where they were editing their facebook profiles so that the cool new neighbors would think they're cool. That's relatable. Not being able to find the normal cheese in a grocery store. Relatable. Trying to stay up all night on your anniversary, drinking and singing karaoke. Not relatable. Just because the title is "Up All Night" doesn't mean they actually have to be up all night in every episode.

I'll keep watching it because, well, I still don't have cable and I do hope that it turns itself around. I love Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph, but my love alone won't save this show from a one season run unless some changes are made.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Style Challenge Day 7

I know it's a couple of days late, but I TOTALLY COMPLETED MY CHALLENGE! YAY! The hardest part was Day 7 because Day 7 was the first day of my business trip to New York City!

I don't know about you, but I don't travel well at all so this day was a HUGE challenge, but no worries, I totally nailed it!

So let's break down while this outfit worked so well for me. First, it was comfortable. Jeans that fit really well so there was no belt buckle stabbing my stomach all through the flight. Long top that stayed down so I didn't have to keep pulling at it on the plane. Secondly, it was great for getting through security. My shoes were easy off, easy on due to the elastic and my watch never had to come off because it's plastic (Lego R2D2 watch. Thanks hubs!) Third, it was warm. I am always cold on planes so even though it was 90F in Tucson when I left, I was toasty. Also, it's much easier to cool yourself down with the overhead vent than it is to warm up.

Pictures of my trip to come!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekend Outfit: Style Challenge Day 6

I've been waiting for a while to get the opportunity to wear this outfit. And my friend's afternoon art show seemed like the perfect occasion.

These sandals are deceptively tall and I kept falling off them all day. But other than the height, they stay on my feet really well, which is a very good thing given how heavy they are.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Style Challenge Day 5

Friday! This week has gone on forever and it probably won't feel like it's over until next Friday.

Anyway, Friday is traditionally my dress up day and this week is no exception. My sister gave me a vintage dress in a bird print a couple of years ago. While I like the dress, it's kind of boxy and hard to work into my wardrobe. Because this week is supposed to be challenging, it was one of my goals to finally style it properly.

The belt I wanted to wear was AWOL this morning (I tore my closet apart looking for it) so I had to make a last minute substitution. Also, my shoes are much much cuter than the Polyvore one's, but they're the closest I could find.

Too bad I didn't see the Santa guy in the halls today at work. He gets so excited when I get dressed up on Fridays. I love my coworkers.

The TV Just Mocked My Style

I was watching an episode of "The Middle" today on Hulu and I suddenly had the feeling of deja vu. After a quick print screen, I had proof:

I have the same sweater as a 14 year old social outcast from a teeny-tiny town in the middle of Indiana. As much as I like Sue, she's not exactly a fashion icon...

If anything, this is a major push for the closet revamp I'll be doing next week.

Ugh. Low blow TV gods.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Style Challenge Day 4

Because Tucson has been getting an INSANE amount of rain over the past, the temperature is finally starting to drop. Translation: I can wear my new peacock blue turtleneck without dying of heat stroke.

The only thing I would think about changing would be swapping out the flats for my slick, sexy pair of boots. Not exactly functional at work...

One of my favorite parts of this look is my make-up. It makes me feel like Joan Holloway from "Mad Men". Very 60's and very mod.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Style Challenge Day 3

I call this my "Grandma appropriate" work outfit: pearls, sweater, and pink flats with a ribbon bow. This outfit is a good example of one of the major flaws of Polyvore.

Work Outfit: Style Challenge Day 3

While this outfit looks awesome laid out, the string of ivory pearls with the light beige cardigan just made everything look kind of dirty and mismatched.

Next time I think I'd wear a gold pendant instead. I do like it, though, because it's quite the change from my outfits earlier this week. It's muted and subtle, but still stylish.

New TV is Starting! (Pilot 1: "The New Girl")

You know who I hate? Pretentious people who talk about how they "don't watch TV". Like TV is something you should be embarrassed to partake in.

Well, HELL NO! I love TV! And I am so excited the Fall season is starting! I'm going to be soooo unproductive these next couple of weeks.

Anyway, solely as a service to you, I'm planning on watching all the new series and letting you know what I think.

First off, "The New Girl", starring Zooey Deschanel. I may be quite biased because I absolutely love her (if I could rob someone's closet, it would probably be her's) and you should, too. Have you heard "She and Him"? Go on Youtube and listen to them.

Anyway, the premise of the show is Jess breaks up with her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her and moves in with three guys she meets on Craigslist. She doesn't understand men, they don't understand women, and hilarity ensues. Fairly typical sitcom stuff.

The reason I like this show is the reason I like movies like "Juno": it's all about the details. She makes up songs all the time, which I think 99% of the population does, at least while folding laundry. The pretty girl makes the "Lord of the Rings" references, not the token nerdy roommate. She acknowledges how ridiculous she's acting when she's trying to seduce her boyfriend rather than being some sex kitten. She's pretty but she's a complete nerd. The nerdiest person on the show is the pretty girl. It's a refreshing change.

While some of the characters are still fairly two-dimensional (especially with casting changes due to Daman Wayans Jr. being recast), but since I've only seen the pilot, there's room for growth. What I find reassuring is that the characters acknowledge that they want to grow and develop. Also, she's got a model best friend but she's just filler to add a shot of estrogen to the show. She needs the most development.

So, after watching just the pilot, I'd give it an A-. Good money is on Fox picking it up for at least the season. I just hope they don't try to develop a love connection between Jess and one of the boys. They need to stay platonic for me to be on board. If the show can get a solid direction, it'll probably last a couple of seasons, at least until Zooey Deschanel gets bored with TV.

You can watch the full pilot here on Hulu.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Style Challenge Day 2

While this outfit is definitely more casual than yesterday's, it has kind of the same theme: black and white with a pop of jewel-tone color.

I only managed to wear the oxfords until about noon, when I noticed that the tip of one of my heels had popped off. With some superglue, it should be good as new, though. It's hard to tell in the picture, but I put them back on once I got home to take the picture.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Task of the Week: Style! (Day 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I started the challenge of dressing well for an entire week. About three days into it, there was a night that totally screwed up that plan (to summarize, when my husband was away on business, an alarm went off at 4AM somewhere in the house and I refused to go back to sleep as to not be stabbed to death, obviously).

Well, I'm going to attempt it again! Seven days of styling! And this time, this time things will be easier because of my new mistress, Polyvore.

Since I've attempted this challenge once before and failed, the obvious question is "Why does completing this mean so much to me?". To put it simply, style is the new tool I'm going to use to help define myself. While, internally, I haven't been in much confusion lately, I just can't seem to get other people to grasp what to do with me. I want everyone else to perceive me as the competent, successful, young, fun, female engineer that I am. If I look that way, maybe it will be easier for other people to treat me as such.

Also, style has just always kind of eluded me. I've never been able to figure it out. It just comes so freakin' natural to my sister and I look at her and think to myself, She looks nice, but I would NEVER be able to see those things on their hangers and think to put them together. So, with the help of Polyvore, I think I can think of style more as an equation. I can manipulate pieces until it makes sense and then test the results.

So here's the Day 1 Polyvore version (none of the items being exactly the same, except my Spin Pins, but pretty close substitutes), my Forever 21 geometric print dress with a pink cami under and my Mark for Avon boots. I got really good feedback on it too! The old man, who kind of looks like Santa Claus that I pass in the hallways and tell him every Friday when he asks that I'm all dressed up for him, the cleaning lady who I can't really understand, and my manager all said I looked pretty, I think.

Geometric Dress

And here's the actual version (please excuse the crappy quality due to poor lighting and a self-timer because the husband isn't home yet):

Sunday, September 11, 2011

To Honor

I won't waste your time with the story of the 14 year old version of me finding out about the attacks on 9/11. The day was mainly filled with a confusion and fear I couldn't grasp, in Tucson, thousands of miles away from the destruction of buildings I couldn't have told existed before that day.

I've been reading a lot of stories this week about people's experiences on that day and, to simply put it, they fall into two categories: those who were there and those who weren't. Those who ran to their street in hopes that the news bulletins weren't true and those who had to believe what the TV was telling them. But no matter which group you fell into, you were filled with fear. Whether it be an adrenaline based fear as debris rained down around you and you just wanted to make sure you lived to see tomorrow or those who didn't know if their city would be the target tomorrow.

More importantly, after the fear waned in the hours, days, and weeks after the attack, there was a sense of unity. "United We Stand". This weekend, when most people are focusing on the events of the day itself, please take a minute and focus on the strength we had afterward. Why can't we relive that as well?

On September 15th, 2001, I was very proud to participate in this flag. I actually passed out from the heat during this picture, taken during the moment of silence because it was the only time we would stop cheering. If you look closely at the bottom righthand corner of the flag, you can see that the red stripes are wider than anywhere else in the flag. This is where I was. This is where everyone crammed in to fit as many people as we could. There were hundreds of extra people and we were all proud to be there.

So please, today, take a moment to remember the good as well.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fan of Friday: Week of 9/9/2011

If you are lucky enough to have a Culver's in your city, stop reading this, get in your car, and go get yourself a Concrete Mixer. Oh. My. God. It's like a Blizzard from Dairy Queen but richer. And creamier. And just yummier.

A Culver's opened up in Tucson and, although I've only been once, I'm constantly now craving their custard. Too bad it's still new enough for the lines to be insane. And the lack of a veggie burger kind of pisses me off too, but since DQ doesn't have one either, I won't hold it against them.

So here's the menu. Pick out what you want before you go in because I don't think they display the mixer options (or it was just so crazy in there that I couldn't find it). I have to recommend the Raspberry Cheesecake, but it is the only one I've had so far.

Now to convince my visiting in-laws to go there tonight...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Evolution of a Good Hostess

This past Saturday was our housewarming party (Sorry about the delay, we still don't have internet.) and, after finally realizing that I throw horrible parties that are always flops, this one was actually a huge success. At the time, I was in complete awe as to how one of my parties actually became a hit (No, seriously, my parties are notoriously BAD. I had a Halloween party a couple of years ago and only 2 people showed up). After some post-game analysis, here's what I've found for having a sure-fire hit on your hands:
  • You don't have to be the life of the party to have a good party. I am not the life of the party. I get anxious in conversations and I don't like making small talk with new people. However, just because I'm not a good party guest doesn't mean I can't be a good hostess. The key is to make sure that there are at least 2 or 3 people at the party who are good party guests to keep things going. 
  • Location, location, location. Our new house is amazing for parties. It's got such a good flow for conversation and enough elements to keep conversations going, like the view and the backyard. If your house/apartment doesn't have good flow and traps people on the sofa (like the last two places I lived), you can always have a party somewhere else, like a friend's house, a restaurant, or a ramada at a local park.
  • Use your strengths and know your weaknesses. We don't throw good parties at night because we don't drink and what's a party after dark if there's no alcohol involved? No one wants to go to that! Instead, our housewarming party was in the afternoon and no one expected to be drunk by the end of it. People were much more willing to show up to my party if they had time to go to alcohol-induced parties later. Also, you know how I mentioned that I'm not a good party guest? Well, my husband is usually a really good guest, but at most of his parties, he's busy fussing over the grill, leaving me to play hostess all by myself. At this party, there were only appetizers and I made them all in advance so I could fully utilize my hubs.
  • Let your guests in on the timeline. If you plan on having a sit down dinner or are having a party based on a specific activity, let your guests know when the event plan on starting. A lot of times people turn down invites because they can't make it to the whole thing and don't want to show up late or leave early. If you don't plan on serving dinner until an hour or two into the party, let them know so they can be late. Also, on busy, holiday type weekends, a lot of people double or triple book and it's not cool to trap them with a party from 12 to 4 when lunch isn't served until 3 so they can't leave until 3:45. 
  • Invite people you've never invited before. There's two reasons for this. 1) Once you've throw a bad party, it's really hard to get those people to come to one of your parties again. Unless they absolutely have nothing better to do, they will find a way to get out of it. 2) You never can tell who will be an amazing guest. I invited some of my coworkers and, although I'm not particularly close to them, they came and we had a great time. I'd even consider them friends now. You just never know.
The best part is I finally feel like the bad-party curse is broken.The pressure is off. I know it can be done. Whew. And exhale.