May 26th, 2007

Lady Liberty

The Return of Red, Hot, & Blues!

Whew.

FINALLY got the eVite out for our annual 4th of July party, which this year is technically a 30th of June party. But for once, we don't conflict with Origins! Wahoo!

I've already had some email bounces despite my meticulous attempts to clean up my address book, so if you are usually invited and you don't get the eVite, send me your current addy & I'll update.

As always you're welcome to bring someone. And if you've never been invited but you'd like to come, ping me here or drop me an email & I'll add you. I know I'm missing addresses for some people's SOs, or current addresses, so if you don't see your SO on there, send me their addy or just bring them.

One thing I want to just say up front: This has always been a truly open party to which I invite just about everyone I know, or my housemates know, and I'm keeping it that way. I am extremely well aware of various feuds and grudges going on amongst my social circles. However, not being personally involved, and for a variety of other reasons, I'm still just inviting everyone as usual. If you're wondering how I could possibly invite X horrible person, that's why. I'm leaving it to the invitees to decide if there's anyone attending whose presence they can't tolerate to the point of declining to come. Frankly, I've gone through this event before barely seeing half the people in attendance, so I think there's space to avoid anyone you don't want to see if you decide to come anyway.

I've changed the eVite a bit this time; for one thing, I'm putting out the hat for donations for the fireworks show. I wrestled with that one a bit, but what it comes down to is that usually the fireworks are subsidized by one or two very generous guests, and this has been a tough year financially for a lot of people, myself included. I'd like for us to still be able to offer a spectacular display like we always do, but I'd also like to ease the financial burden. If I was really flush right now I'd just pay for it all myself, but I'm definitely not. People have always been really cool about contributing to the party, and that's what's made it possible for it to be so huge and inclusive and such a good time for everyone, so I'm hoping no one finds it too awfully tacky to take donations.

Also, I'm being more insistent about not having children present after 10pm. I really don't want to kick anyone out, but for the past couple of years, the "adult swim" time hasn't really materialized because there are kids there till 1 AM or later and everyone feels like they have to police themselves, and I know that a lot of people look forward to the chance to be a bit more hedonistic later on in the night. If there are parents who want to stay later, maybe they could go in together on a hotel room with a babysitter-- there's a hotel less than half a mile down the road.

Now it's on to actually planning this thing, in amidst planning for FSG. I think we still have the shade shelter in storage...have to see if all the parts are there. Got to start doing playlists (totally SWEET to be able to run all the music off my mp3 player this year!) Got to finalize the menu and start storing up ingredients...got to start cleaning the house...figuring out where everything's going to be placed...and the most important thing, of course-- what I'm going to wear! ;-)

I know I'm going to be recruiting some help beforehand:

--Roughly three people to come over the night before and sous-chef for me-- chopping veggies, prepping foodstuff, maybe decorating, nothing too grueling (and will be fed).
--A couple of hale & hearty types willing to commit to coming over early the day of and helping with setup (shade shelter, chairs, coolers, hanging signs, moving tables, putting out food, etc)
--Someone to make a major ice run right before the party (unless I find someplace that delivers at a reasonable price)
--Anyone who is staying late or willing to come over the next day for a bit and help with cleanup will get about a million billion good karma points from me
--I might ask for help with random tasks beforehand like small shopping trips, printing signs, etc.
--During the party, anyone who's willing to take a turn manning the grill or being my bitch for an hour will earn great gratitude.

...and I know we'll be looking to borrow some stuff:

--Coolers
--Chairs (though people are usually good about bringing chairs)
--If anyone has a sprinkler or other water toy for the kiddies, they always go nuts over that
--Wireless speakers
--Possibly a crockpot or two (depending on the final menu)
--Possibly an extra grill
--We might end up needing to borrow a DVD player for upstairs, since the household ones have been functioning poorly of late
--Fun party stuff-- an extra bubble machine, party lights, etc.
--Not so much a "borrow" as a "use", but glowy stuff and sparklers always go over big when we have them...

I'm also going to be looking for really good prices on some stuff, so if you happen to find a great internet deal, or if you live near me and see that the local supermarkets are having kickass sales, drop me a line:

--Red, white, & blue decorations
--Plastic tablecloths, plates, cups, utensils
--Corn on the cob
--Coke products
--Any kind of meat for the grill, but especially boneless chicken and andouille sausage
--Pecans
--Veggies-- peppers, onions, squashes, mushrooms, carrots, celery, salad veggies, okra
--Condiments
--Marinades
--Breakfast stuff (for the overnighters)
--Sweetened lime juice, tonic, grenadine, seltzer, other mixers
...and I'm sure I'll think of more stuff.

Whee! It's almost party time!
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