Friday, October 22, 2004

Party Prep Madness

OK, so the party planning stress is really starting to build up now. But in a good way.


Our annual Halloween party takes place in eight days, and planning is going pretty well so far. But Christ, there's a lot left to do. See, you gotta understand, I do this thing in a big way, at least as big a way as is available to me within my somewhat limited means. Each year it grows bigger: more decor, more guests, more music, more everything. It's a pretty damn good party, and it's getting better each year we throw it. The crowd of fiolks gets more varied and more sizable each year: this year, I'm guessing well top 80 people over the course of the evening, although it could be significantly more. We shall see.

So here's what we've got planned so far:
  • 6+ hours of mixed music, in a single 520MB+ MP3 file. Exhaustively selected, tinkered with, cross-faded, and sequenced by yours truly. I'm trying to pretend that this is complete, but I'm a hopeless tinkerer when it comes to party mixes and I know that I'll be fucking around with the mix until the day of the party.
  • Music distributed throughout the house and into the backyard via wireless networking, a Shoutcast server, WinAmp on various computers and laptops, and powered speaker/subwoofer setups all over the place. Server is in place and working, and I've got enough computers, speakers, and laptops at my disposal to put the thing together.
  • Movie clip trivia contests. About 20-25 movie dialogue clips, each about 30 seconds long, sprinkled liberally throughout the music mix. Basically, if you hear the clip and can be the first person to get to me and correctly identify the file the clip is from, you get a prize. Last year it was scratch-off lottery tickets, I'm trying to think up some other ideas for prizes this year.
  • Front yard and front of house decorated to look like a graveyard, with "wrought iron" bars on the windows, skeletons hanging from everywhere, bones, tombstones, lights, fog, etc. Graveyard is ready, window pieces are built but not decorated. Still have to sink a bunch of anchors in the brick on the front of my house to hang everything.
  • A lot of beer, a lot of wine, a lot of food, a lot of folks bringing more of the same.
  • Kids party with 1 or 2 nannies working upstairs. Spooky movies, stories, and games for the kids throughout the evening, and a Halloween Ghost Hunt in the backyard (each kid gets a souvenier flashlight and goes poking around the backyard looking for little toy filled jack-o-lanterns and lollypops dressed up to look like ghosts). Gotta decorate the lollypops and the rest of the goodies SHOULD be delivered by UPS by Thursday. If not, well, let's not think about that shall we?
  • Tons of decor. Between my brother and I we have plenty of props and whatnot, so the place will be fairly steeped in atmos-fear. Fake fog will be in abundance, no doubt. Almost NONE of the interior work has been done yet. Hoping to get all the window works done this weeke, but the rest will have to wait until after the house is cleaned and ready to go -- no point in putting a bunch of Halloween crap out just so that we have to clean around it later.
The cleaning will be, thankfully, quite a bit easier this time around. My sister-in-law is coming down for the party this year, and being the delightfully spoiled NYC girl she is she has offered to pay to get our house cleaned professionally before the party. This is one of those fantastic combinations of generosity and selfishness -- if she didn't do this, we'd be putting her to work to get the place ready, so it's a win/win all around.

So it's coming along nicely. But, of course, my weekend is looking insanely busy again. I was hoping to get some chill-out time in tonight, but I just got a call from my mom and her car has died (second time this week). I'm kinda stuck at the office until she gets the car towed, and then I'll need to go pick her up and get her home, so who knows how long that will take. Then, tomorrow is soccer game, elementary school fund-rasier/Rennaisance Faire thing for an hour or two, and then back to the house to work on decor. Sunday, we've got Sunday school/church, grocery shopping, Halloween spooky symphony concert with the kids, and hopefully some time to get more party-prep work done that evening, and then ... well, then the weekend is pretty much finished.

Taking next Friday off to make sure that things are all put together for the party. Typically I wind up working my ass off all day on the day of the party, setting up tables and decorations, cooking, cleaning, stressing out, and by the time the first guest arrives I'm friggin' exhausted. Plus, I get all wound up and forget to eat, then when the party gets rolling and everything is going well I relax and knock back a-couple-a-few strong cocktails and whammo! Empty stomach! Drunk! The goal is to have the entire house put together and ready to go on Friday, so that Saturday we can just get the cooking and food prep going early, have a good solid lunch AND dinner, and spend as much of the afternoon just trying to keep things low key, maybe even cramming in a power nap mid-afternoon.

We shall see.

Mood: Good, if a bit anxious
Now Playing: Gregg's House of Horror 2004 Party Mix (Current Tune: Mdoest Mouse, "Float On")

1 comment:

Karl Elvis said...

Dude, post a torrent for your party mix. I want it!