Tonight I threw a big party in honor of my 33rd birthday (which was Wednesday) and my new house. Debbi and I bought a bunch of food today, and went by The Prolific Oven to pick up cakes (their cakes are so good I haven't seen much point in getting anyone else's since I threw my first party two years ago).
People started showing up around 4:30. Here's a roll call of attendees:
That totals 21 people, including Debbi and myself, over the course of the evening. And we actually managed to fit everyone in!
- Mike Trent, whom I know from Epic and Apple
- Debbi's friends Lisa and Michel
- Subrata and his girlfriend Susan
- Chad, a gaming buddy
- Bill Humphries
- My cow-orker John and his girlfriend Kate
- My old friend Rob Mahnke, his wife Kristen, and their 1-year-old son Henry
- My cow-orker Anders and his girlfriend Evelyn
- My former cow-orker Tom
- My current boss Mike
- Mark and Yvette, gaming buddies
I gave many tours of my house, which everyone seemed to think is a very nice place (I think so, too!). The common observation tended to be that I have a lot of closet space - which I do. And I'm only using a little more than half of it! I'm kinda glad I didn't buy that one place I saw that was 300 square feet larger; what would I do with it? (OTOH, the five-floor split-level units I saw were pretty cool, and felt big without feeling too big.)
In addition to the food we supplied, Mike Trent brought some See's Candy truffles; several people brought wine; John brought four large containers (1 quart each, I think) of homemade ice cream - vanilla, chocolate, coffee and mint Oreo cookie; and Lisa brought her must-be-famous-by-this-time bean dip, which supplanted last year's party's salsa as the most popular food. (Although to be fair, the mint Oreo cookie and coffee ice creams were almost gone by the end of the night, too.)
We also turns on the Raiders/Patriots game - without sound - which turned out to be a good move, since the game was played during a heavy snowstorm, which made it an interesting conversation piece. People would come out between every few plays and using leaf blowers (!) to blow a line across the field for the five-yard markers. Players suffered periodic losses of traction. The yellow first down line which the broadcast puts on the field had to use "whitescreen" replacement rather than "greenscreen", which meant that players on TV would often have a neon yellow line running up their sides wherever they had white on their uniforms. We wondered how the Raiders could see each other since they had white uniforms, and how the coaches could see anything well enough to challenge a play. It was a trip.
The game was basically up-for-grabs from the start, as nobody could play to their full potential in such weather. The refs made a mysterious reversal of a call late in the game on appeal, which eliminated a New England turnover, allowing them to tie the game and then win in overtime. It seems likely that the Raiders should have won, although it also sounds like the rule in question was poorly written. Oh, well. It's not like it was something important like a baseball game. It was fun anyway!
Monique had been bugging me for two months that she wanted to come to my housewarming party, but it turns out she and Lucy were going to another birthday party, of another on-line journaller whom I don't know. So I missed them. But at least they probably had space to sit down!
The cats mostly stayed upstairs until nearly everyone had left. Too much noise. They each come down to use their litter at one point, although I think I terrorized them a bit and they ran back up. But I think they forgave me. We gave them extra treats.
I was exhausted at the end of it all, but I had a great time. Thanks to everyone who came, and everyone who brought something!
Now that I have this nice place with a nice patio, I want to have some spring/summer/fall parties from time to time. That'll be fun, too.
I went through my usual cleaning spree prior to the party, putting away many piles of stuff in my study and its closet, and cleaning the various items which end up sitting on the tables downstairs. The place wasn't spotless, but it looked pretty nice. Wonder how long it'll last?
I have lots of ideas for things to do with my home, although some of them are projects which I might not tackle for 2 or three years. Here are a few I've come up with:
One thing you'll notice from this list that none of it involves structural work on the building, or even repair work to any of the rooms. It's all improvements or just changes. That's one thing I really like about my home: It's in great shape, so I can spend my time and money making it nicer, not just keeping it livable.
- Buy blinds and curtains for all my windows.
- But a futon/chair for my study so it can be used as a spare bedroom.
- Buy a door - or a piece of plywood - and put it on some filing cabinets as my new desk.
- Get a new dining table. John has an old one he's willing to give me, which is an upgrade over the "urban curb" table I have now, but the chairs that come with his table would need refinishing or replacing. In the long term I'll probably buy a brand new table.
- Buy a new couch, probably a sofa bed.
- Buy a couple of card tables and some folding chairs so I can host gaming. My friend Syd used to be a big Star Fleet Battles player, and we've been thinking about playing from time to time. I loved the game, but could never find anyone as interested as I was in playing.
- Buy an oriental rug for my study, which has hardwood floors.
- Install new wall-mounted shelving in my closet to better meet my clothing-storage needs.
- Install a mantel above the fireplace.
- Strip the white paint off the beams along the vaulted ceiling of my study to return them to their original wood color.
Mark and Yvette have just started looking for a house. They're using my broker and agent, and apparently like both of them - as well they should, since I liked them both myself! My agent phoned me this past week to thank me for referring them. It was my pleasure.
I love my home.