April 11th, 2010

planet

our housewarming

Last night we had our first house party, and I think it went really well. So let's rundown the timeline... we moved in March 24th, we had the housewarming April 10th! I think I've done something equally crazy at every place I've moved into. If you wait until you "feel settled in" you'll end up having the party two years down the road, when nobody even remembers that you've moved. So the best thing to do is set yourself a deadline, make things presentable enough, and go.

Consequently we did not have the pictures hung up, they were just on the floor leaning against the walls they were supposed to go on. There's a room full of boxes in the basement that's a little scary, and our office has some boxes of clothes that I just pushed against the wall. It took me 20 minutes to find the coffee filters this morning for the late-staying guests. There are suitcases in our bedroom where our "cannot lose" clothes are being stored.

But that all meant the place was at least in good enough shape to show off to people, there were lots of tours and everyone agreed our new house is awesome! In the last week we made tons of progress... moved boxes downstairs, bought patio furniture, finished unloading kitchen stuff. I got the blue room where I wanted it... my craft room, instead of a catch-all junk room! A lot of our clothes got hung up or put away. On Saturday I spent a lot of time cleaning and getting the house ready, but also took a nice nap in the afternoon.

So I was able to stay awake until 2am, enough to hear some neat late-night conversations and keep the food and margaritas going for everybody, and it was a blast! Then we had some after-party crowd come over from a bar, I dozed off upstairs for a bit. Woke up at 4:30 and had a glass of milk and a cupcake with everyone. Then I went back to bed, woke up at 8:30 and heard people talking out back still, so I made coffee and sat with them. We all hung out until 1:30 in the afternoon or so. That's gotta be a new party record.

I'm a little sad that I missed a lot of the afterparty because there were DJs and lots of dance music and craziness, I'm sure. But I got to talk to lots of people and meet a few new folks, catch up with friends and see everyone just hang out and relax. So I can't really think of any point of the party I would have been okay with missing. There are always these shifts of people who come and go and you just go along with it. At one point they did shots, using some tealight holders because no one could find our shot glasses, not even Marc. Oh well! At least Marc was usually up when I wasn't so he made sure people finished off the food and margaritas and everything.

Things we did well:
- Had a carafe of lemon water out by the drinks at all times, so people felt like they could stay classy drinking water. I mean of course we refilled it with tap water all night, but actually filling your glass with tap water at a party when everyone else is making drinks at the bar zone can feel tacky for the more refined, yes? This way when people felt like switching to water there was nothing to hold them back.
- Rotated food in and out of the fridge. Timing the food and worrying about health/safety might seem totally nerdy but I actually got complimented on it, and the later crowd really appreciated the fact that there were cheese cubes out that hadn't been sitting on a table for seven hours.
- Experimental "not bruschetta"... 2 cans diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons basil, olive oil, 3 cloves chopped garlic, all mixed together in a bowl and chilled for a few hours before the party and served with little garlic toasts things I found in the grocery store bakery, pre-toasted! I'd felt all guilty about using canned tomatoes and all that but guess what nobody cared, it was all eaten in like an hour.

Lessons learned for next time:
- Make more than one pitcher of iced tea.
- We need an ash tray for outside! A little pyrex bowl worked fine but I feel like it's sacrificed now.
- Fold out the futon beforehand, so there's not some drunk person trying to figure it out to pass out there at 3 in the morning.
- Colby cheese is a big hit. Pepper jack not so much.

Incidentally, our guinea pigs are totally cool with parties now. I remember the first one we had after adopting Pinky & The Brain... the little guys were huddled together in the same house all night wondering what was going on. Now, for some reason, they just chill out and do their thing.

We proved that the house is great for parties and I'm happy. This afternoon, we're going to sit around and do nothing... a little cleanup, but no stress, we can take our time. And a break from unpacking! The house looks very nice now and I'm satisfied.