Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Adventures in Party Planning: Sneakers and Pigskins and Sushi, Oh, My!

The last week in January, Junior Woman's Club held its winter formal at Ridglea Country Club, and in keeping with this year's clubwide "Journey to the '80's" theme, Friend Robyn decked out the place "Sneakers and Corsages" style . . . .  (And, to quote the Shake & Bake girl, "ahhhh helped."  With the day-of setup.  She did almost all of the heavy decorating lifting either by herself or with help from her amazing mom.)

Gotta love Friend Robyn. When she couldn't find suitably blingy high-top Reeboks, she broke out the purple paint and glitter, and when her search for checkered Vans likewise turned up empty, she made them by decoupaging plain slip-on Keds with panels cut from black-and-white racing flag-patterned bandanas.  Seriously, who does that?  Totally tubular!

She also spray-painted cassette tapes neon colors and massed them in tall vases for maximum effect. Still more tall vases were filled with purple gel spheres and aqua lights to create this cool neon effect, and Madonna-esque corsages (think lots of hot pink, aqua and black lace mixed and matched with yellow, green and hot pink roses) were clustered on aqua tree branches coming out of the tops.

 I have to tell you, it was amusing as heck to see the reactions of the Ridglea staff when we handed them the hot pink and neon green tablecloths.  I'm sure they were thinking, "What the hell kind of wedding is this?"  A "Wedding Singer" themed one, of course!  Speaking of singers, Robyn booked a great band, The Live 80's, who crooned early MTV tunes from a stage tricked out with multiple monitors playing video clips from the era.  There were tons of people on the dance floor, including Ms. Social Chair herself . . . who managed to break her foot through overenthusiastic dancing.  But that's another story . . . .  Half of the space was devoted to casino games, as is traditional at our formals, but new to this event was a flip-book station.  You danced, or pantomimed, or whatever, in front of a movie camera (they provided boas, funky hats and sunglasses, silly signs, inflatable guitars, etc.), and the resulting film got broken down into its separate frames, printed and stapled into a little flip-book, like the kind that used to come in Cracker Jack packages.   Best.  Party.  Takeaway.  Ever. 

(I should note that our church discovered this concept a couple of years ago and rolled it out at our annual "Deck the Halls" Christmas kick-off.  Must have been the same flip-book people, because they had the same props - props that are "funny ha-ha" in the context of an adult party, but a tad "funny odd" at a kid-oriented Christmas party.  In their defense, they did throw some pharoah headdresses and other tangentially Biblical accessories into the pile, but did the kids go for those?  Would YOU, if you were ten and had a choice between wearing an angel's halo or a day-glo orange fur pimp hat?  Yup, pimp hat wins, hands down.  So now, each year when we break out the holiday decorations, we reminisce over the advent wreath that we made when Connor was seven, the nativity ornaments from the following year - and the flip-books featuring the kids break-dancing in full-on Huggy Bear regalia.  In keeping with that part of the Book of Matthew where - oh, forget it.)

The week after Formal, Friend Melanie and I threw a Super Bowl party at her house for friends both mutual and separate . . . except that somehow I managed to biff the Evite to my separate friends, result being that Friend Melanie and I threw a swell shindig for our mutual friends and her separate friends.  (To my peeps who were expecting an invite:  I added you to the distribution list.  I swear.  What happened beyond that point, I cannot say, but I'm fairly sure that the forces responsible were also behind the freak ice storm that all but shut down North Texas the week of the Big Game, the ticket problems at Cowboy Stadium, and the Black-Eyed Peas' poor vocal performance at halftime.  Had I not been distracted by severe weather-slash-sick children-slash figuring out how in the heck we were going to pull a Super Bowl party together when the roads were danged near impassable and the stores were running low on everything, I would have checked in with you all to make sure that you got the invites.  But, yeah, that didn't happen.)
Anywho, um, here's what you missed (click on photos to enlarge):

Yes, those are Jello shots on the coffee table.  Mel makes killer Jello shots.  Also killer bacon-wrapped shrimp, pictured on my favorite stadium plate above.  Totally fun to throw parties with Mel, as we have the same "loose" style (and, we now know, nearly identical collections of football-themed serving pieces).  And you have to love a girl who decides that the television in the master bedroom is really the best sports-watching TV in the house, SO SHE MOVES HER KING-SIZED BED INTO THE CLOSET TO MAKE ROOM FOR MORE SEATING.

Later in February (post-thaw), Friend Ashley hosted a third adult-friendly and totally fun party - an Asian-themed surprise party for her hubby.  (Not shown here:  the guest of honor donning a sushi chef outfit, complete with headband, midway through the festivities.  I guess he had it in his closet.  You think you know people.)  Ashley did a fantastic job with the setup and the food.  Pictured below, clockwise from left:  the sushi table, the dessert table (featuring Rice Krispie dessert sushi, coconut sticky rice "frushi" and "panda poop cookies"), the tea station and a close-up of some delish frushi.

I guess you could call the one on the left a fried food station?  But it was some really good fried food - and, next to it, a yummy and super-healthy salad station, so, you know, there's your yin and yang right there.

Photos of the birthday boy as an actual boy were scattered everywhere; in fact, if you look at the first set of images above, and if you look REALLY HARD, you can see a picture of him tucked inside the bottom of the vase holding the river rock-and-bamboo centerpiece.

As you can see, I have very creative friends-slash-partners-in-crime . . . .  And I love them.  Like, totally, fer shure.

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