Theme party ideas for adults

Of course, the first week I miss a scheduled post, 6 people at a party make a point to tell me they enjoy my writing/blog. Did you all work together to guilt trip me? Because it worked. You crazy kids made me a little weepy, d’aww.

Also, I got a slew of nonsensical comments from the interwebs, which the WordPress spam robot completely missed. Probably skipped ’em because they aren’t linking to Christian Loubouton shoes or Gucci handbags. Instead they just link to facebook profiles of attractive people. I’m keeping some of them, because look at this one:

Your website has to be the eltcreonic Swiss army knife for this topic. (from Pocket Cheese)

I don’t know if a bunch of drunks found one of my business cards or I’m just being punished by the blog gremlins.

So, I’ll set aside the part of my Saturday generally reserved to pretending if I lie still in bed I can fall back asleep and my hangover will go away and Katelyn might wake up and I can ask her to bring me a water…and instead I’ll write a make-up post. But don’t ask me to say sorry. Yes, I prioritized getting laid over writing in my blog, and no one can make me apologize for that.

This is what I look like right now.

This is what I look like right now.

Choosing a theme for your party

I have been throwing theme parties since I was 7. I would plan for my next birthday just as soon as the last one passed, brainstorming ideas in my journal. I found that two key ingredients made for a notable party — the type of party people talked about for days after — and that was a carefully chosen guest list and, of course, a well-executed theme.

Historical themes included (and feel free to steal them)…

Teeny Tiny Party – Miniature everything. Cupcakes turned upside down and decorated like cakes. Those toothpicks with tiny pinwheels on them. Half-sized gel pens. Mini skirts encouraged. Palm-sized pizzas. Custard cups of “spaghetti” made from angel hair pasta and the littlest hand-rolled meatballs. Even the invitations were itty bitty.

Under the Sea – If you make ocean-themed blue jello cups, don’t put gummy sharks in them. Don’t put gummy anything in them. The sugar gets all sucked out and the gummy engorges with water and you end up with floppy tasteless shark blobs. Actually, this was entertainingly gross. I also made sea-shell pasta and hot dog “octopuses” (slice the hot dog vertically just past the halfway point, and the dangly hot dog “legs” will curl when you boil them).

Image from Taste of Home, click for recipe.

Casino Royale – Invitations in black envelopes included cut-up card confetti and fake money. I made a roulette table out of a lazy Susan and card-stock. Keno board out of a white board and painters tape. Poker table. Poker chips scattered everywhere. A paper-mache golden egg, covered in a thick layer of glitter, contained prizes for the winner with the most counterfeit cash.

Sweet 16 – Candyland. I found a freaking candyland VHS tape + floor game and left it playing downstairs to add to the ambiance. Giant lollipops made out of balloons and cellophane. Smarties necklaces. Decorations and food were strictly pink, orange, and white. Those little sticky white pork buns.

Murder Mystery Dinner – I wanted to throw one regardless and was willing to write my own script, but I lucked out and found a boxed murder mystery at the thrift store. Aw yis, vintage. Each invitee received a wax-sealed manila envelope stuffed with a packet of instructions, including period costume ideas and character breakdowns so they knew in advance how to play their roles. My mom helped me put on a 5 course meal, and each ring of the dinner bell both signified when to bring out the next dish and to advance the game one round. The murderer ended up being a surprise porn star from the film, “Stiff Upper Lip.”

Image from

I’m a Big Kid Now – For my 18th birthday I encouraged guests to dress up as 5-year-olds. One boy came in a Spiderman costume. Everyone brought baby pictures and we had a guessing contest. Bubbles. Crayons. Finger-painting. At the end of the party, I had a bead-giving ceremony à la YMCA summer camp, where I gave out plastic beads on safety pins to each person in turn, explaining what the color of the bead signified and what each person meant to me. I cried. A lot.

And, of course, with any of those themes you need only add alcohol and they become adult parties. That’s really what I do; throw a kid-worthy party with over-the top decorations and at least one craft activity and/or game, and tack on a BYOB.

The Mashup Formula

I’ve also recently discovered a sort of formula, and that’s the mashup. Take a style (such as a genre or pop culture meme) and mash it with a type of event or holiday. And then throw it on your birthday because, yes, you can have Halloween in February (Sami says it’s OK).  I did “Ravemas,” which was actually kind of temporally relevant because my birthday is two days after Christmas.gingerbread-cookie-club-kids

  • Rave + Christmas = Ravemas:
  • Fishnets, glittery Santa Hats (Claire’s had the best ones), fuzzy leg warmers, antler ears, big black boots
  • Mistletoe & cuddle puddles
  • Egg nog and spiked hot chocolate
  • Twinkle string lights every-the-fuck-where, plus rave-y lights
  • My friend brought his DJ gear and played a house set
  • Cookie club kids decorating sesh

Using this formula, I can think up a mint of other themes for ya:

  • Tim Burton Easter
  • Death Metal Valentine’s
  • German-style Wake (for the passing of your 20s). Ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy. Oi oi oi!
  • Walking Dead Prom
  • Office Party Halloween (put on some bunny ears and pretend you’re in the conference room trying to get a sexual harassment suit)
  • Sci-fi Speed-dating
  • Dexter Pool Party

Get creative, because no one wants to go to yet another Mad Hatter Tea Party this year.

P.S. If you’re asking why I don’t throw more parties, why don’t you offer to host a location for me?

Can you swim in a pool of beer?

Guys in a pool of beer.  2/3rds of an awesome situation

Read the original article on Lords of the Drinks, a sloppy blog with amusing pictures.

Somehow in my aimless stumbling around the internet I found this breakdown of the cost of filling a swimming pool with alcoholic beverages. I don’t speak euros, so  I decided to bust out my calculator. Preliminary research indicates that it is safe to swim in a pool of beer, but I can’t vouch for some of the higher proof liquors out there. I think swimming in a cocktail would just depress me. I’d think of the waste of it all. The sides would spill over and mix in the mud, and well who cares by then I’d be drunk.  Woo party!

Lets say your swimming pool contains 8392.56 gallons, because I grew up derping around in one that size. (Volume = width x height x average depth). Also I didn’t calculate sales tax because I just did my taxes and now I hate taxes.

White Russian

I’m lazy and a drunk, so I make mine 2 to 2 to 1 (vodka, Kahlua, cream).

I don’t know anything about vodka except it makes you drunker and SKYY tastes like nail-polish remover, but this lady calculated the price per galon for Absolut to be $58.26.  Fun fact, vodka is cheaper than Roundup but more expensive than Red Bull.

Assuming you’re buying your Kahlua in liter increments (I know I do) the total cost is…$612,817.04 (at $73 per gallon)

WAIT NO WAY. 3 figures to fill a swimming pool? Don’t believe me? Do your own math.  The internet says the average swimming pool is about 16k gallons. Multiply that by a $70/gallon cocktail and you’re well over my estimate.

Wookey Jack (Firestone Black Rye IPA)

After that sticker-shock, I thought I’d go for a beer. But not just any beer, because in San Diego we only drink the best brews. Wookey can be found for $6.99 a bottle, so it’s half as expensive as your caucasian, dude. But good luck finding 8 thousand gallons of this beer. I just bought the last one at KnB’s.

Total cost: $341,317.79 (at $40.67 per gallon)


Ok, I lied, sometimes we feel poor and we drink piss water. Can I find a drink that doesn’t cost more than my student loans? Since it’ll take 542 kegs to fill the pool your total cost is… $75,874.58 (at an affordable $9.03 per galon)

Makes me feel like I didn’t waste so much money on my education. A fine arts degree at UCSD for less than it costs to fill a pool with cheap cerveza…


And now we’ll finish with the whiskey that’s been on my mind. Whistlepig tastes like freshly toasted pumpernickel and success.

Total cost, 3 MILLION DOLLARS. Or, more accurately, $3,209,726.18 (at $382.45 per galon)

Good thing filling my stomach is considerably less expensive.

You can check my math if you like. It's messy and I didn't use units because I'm not in school anymore and you can't tell me what to do with my life.

You can check my math if you like. It’s messy and I didn’t write all the units because I’m not in school anymore and you can’t tell me what to do with my life.

Map of Hillcrest – San Diego’s “Den of Sin”

My friend hunched over someone’s iPhone. “Drag Queen Fight Dinner Theater,” he said, and laughed. I thought maybe they were watching another La Fuente brawl video. I haven’t been to La Fuente since I ordered an enchilada and got a sauce-drizzled lukewarm tortilla wrapped around dry, unmelted, shredded cheese. I was not drunk, so this was not tasty. But when I was there awhile back I watched one queen push another hard enough to fall — which isn’t saying much as they were both wearing heels taller than mine.

He started naming other places. “Babycakes. Church of the Holy Tank Top.” They were looking at a map of Hillcrest. “Let me see,” I edged in, close.

This map was hard to find the next day until I typed "Hillcrest map gay" into the Google

This map was hard to find the next day until I typed “Hillcrest map gay” into the Google. Click for full res. Or view original source here, on Facebook.

“Gossip Gril is Vagina Stronghold?” I said, unimpressed. “More like where I go to remember I hate lesbians and cigarettes.” My friend replied, “That’s where go to remember I love lesbians and cigarettes.” I laughed.

Cursory stalking suggests Raanan Rosenfeld is indeed a gay man, which might explain this marker on the map he created. I’ve noticed that the kinds of gay men I meet at bars (read: soused) get this mentality of women as walking breasts and vaginas. This is not unlike the inebriated straight men I meet. Though while both groups are thinking, “Yay boobs; omigod I love boobs,” the former either say or imply eww in the direction of my genitals. Once, at Flick’s, a man cooed at me. “Oooooh,” he palmed my crotch, “What chu got down there, honey?” I made this face:

Hi, do I know you, crotch-grabber?

Hi, do I know you, crotch-grabber?

I think he assumed I was straight, so in his mind I deserved a bit of light harassing for coming into his boy bar. I’ve noticed gay men like to test people who enter LGBT spaces. I’ve watched many a straight man be forced to play gay chicken. It’s amusing when it’s not me. Misdirected passive-aggressiveness aside, I love these dens of sin.

Rosenfeld totally missed #1 on Fifth, and I think “Mama Testa. Perverted Tacos.” is a bit of an intellectual shortcut. Still I have to agree with “Shitshow Strip.” So please check out his graphic designer page and be nice and stuff. I am well familiar with that strip of street and its jumbled boozy bodies – and the shouts of, “woo, party!”

My dog died this week, so I looked forward to “Ruining” my “Thursday Morning.” Not to say that I drink to grieve… Monday night Katelyn asked if I’d like to drink and I sullenly replied, “No. I don’t drink to deal with my problems. I drink to give myself problems.”

But by Wednesday I knew it was time for a Gay Gambit. First, go to Gossip Grill and stew in the haze of cigarettes on a cramped ribbon of patio. The trick is to order your drink first, then pass the token to a friend. If you order both drinks at the start, you’ll end up with two tall beers and two bright tokens. Then you’re trapped in a sapphic sardine tin for two drinks instead of just one.

Then graduate to Flick’s, where wells are $2 each. They’re plastic cocktails, so double-fist. I tip on every drink, and by the end of the night when I’m expecting a flimsy screwdriver the bartender hands me a real glass, complete with cherry. I end up over-drinking. Sometimes it hurts your liver to be a regular.

Finally, the gambit ends at Rich’s. It’s the only Rich’s night without cover. I walk the club, determined to prove I am still in control, still able to march without stumbling. Everyone around me is dancing-off the cheap booze they drank for Welfare Wednesday. I think I drank too much, because I woke up in bed at 6am still wearing my jacket and purse…

How to Use a Safe Word

If your Designated Driver is also sometimes referred to as The Handler, you need a situational safe word.  You may also be interested if:

  • You or another person in your party of party-goers does not respond to “Stop it. Seriously stop. Stop. Stop. STOP.”
  • Your wingman or wingwoman is too friendly to people you can tell will be trouble.
  • You have an ongoing relationship with someone who likes to tease you so much that you can’t be sure if Wednesday got removed from the calendar or maybe you just ate too many brownies.

I’m not talking 50 Shades of Gray, safe words here (surprisingly, the amateur soft-porn pretending-to-be kinky writer E. L James does sprinkle in the use of standard s-words ‘yellow’ and ‘red’). No, a situational safe word is a previously agreed-upon term that, once uttered, establishes I’m done here and I’m serious. No more party for you.

There's no real safe word generator as far as I can tell, but using this tool on the "somewhat Uncommon" setting is fairly effective and sometimes hilarious.

There’s no real safe word generator as far as I can tell, but using this tool on the “Somewhat Uncommon” setting is fairly comical.  Get started with your own situational safe word today! Or just use White House.

Ours is “White House.” Used in a sentence: “You were a monster last night. First you got bear arm, then I had to White House you.”

We obtained the term from two very good friends with very colorful hair. At least one of these women gets punchy when she’s had too many martinis and I witnessed the two words calm her like a tranquilizer dart. Yep, I was definitely going to steal that strategy.

For example, two boys offer to buy us bottle service. Katelyn is thinking, “ooh, free alcohol!” I’m thinking that these kinds of things are never free. We hold a retainer, discuss the pros and cons, but finally, I have to do it. White House. We walk away and I don’t have to spend the night fending off make-out attempts while guiltily sipping from a vodka cranberry.

That is merely a concise illustration and is 100% unrealistic because I would never turn down free alcohol and I’m a champ at turning down make-out attempts.

Sour cream for days.

This is what happens when you tell your friends that all you want is sour cream.

Last week I woke up, said “sour cream” and giggled. Hazy memories teased me and I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out if I had only dreamt of clutching a soft stuffed-animal to my chest before passing out drunk.

Katelyn and I reviewed the night. Did we get mexican food? Of course we did, that is when Drunk-Sami started shouting SOUR CREAM. “But I don’t remember posting it on my facebook wall.” No, Katelyn did that as I slept. Right, so I palmed carne asada fries (with SOUR CREAM) into my face, then we went home and I dozed off?

Not quite.

Apparently I felt it hilarious and necessary to flail wildly after my friends strapped me into the passenger seat. “You threw that old big gulp against the window and got water everywhere. I had to White House you for the second time.” The…second…time?

That's kind of a cool word -- Cacao

Yep, I got the Cacao safe word from Portlandia. Click & scroll to watch episode clip.

The first time went largely ignored when she White Housed me for trying to smoke a cigarette. She had to ninja chop it out of my hands. Why did I neglect the sacred words? We figure it’s because she forgot to first use the “joke” safe word: Cacao. The joke safe word is intended to provide its target with the opportunity to cease offenses peaceably without escalating to code White House. It’s also great for tickle fights. We also realized, after analyzing the SOUR CREAM night, that Cacao is essential to the efficacy of White House. Just as yellow always precedes red, you kind of need to give Drunkee McGee a chance to slow down.

We got home without further incident. I don’t even think I shouted “woooh, party!” out the windows at pedestrians like I usually do. I took off all my clothes at the foot of the bed (which is unusual as I usually sleep in at least a t-shirt). I went to the bathroom, then lied in bed. Then I got out of bed and curled up on the floor. I started to whimper.

“Here, take this,” Katelyn said. “Fluffy bear got me through a lot of hard times, too.”


The Right to Bear Arm

Ok, so one of my friends read my last post (Hooray! I have nice friends) and said,

“Sami, what in the hell is the bear arm.  You can’t just drop something like that and not explain it. Also, kicky boots?”

Everyone seems to think I'm adorable.  That does not mean my personality has to match.

Everyone seems to think I’m adorable. That does not mean my personality has to match.

I dressed in my Spyro the Dragon costume for a party in PB, so the fireball told me I had to drink it. In fact, the fireball taunted me for not thinking of bringing my own in the first place. I mean, come on, dragons drink fireball, not Jim Beam out of a paper bag.

I spent much of the night chatting up a pretty engineer. When it became apparent I wasn’t really her type, I released some of my angst by flinging myself violently around the stripper pole in the middle of the living room (I know two people who have these. Apparently they are good for exercise. Also, dragon rage). In a dizzy combination of glee and frustration, I stomped numbly to the sliding glass door.

Outside, redditor boys with creative costumes, attractive PB women, and the usual bros had been tossing the proverbial ping pong ball across a long table into little red cups. These, and empty cans, littered the surface before me. Most of the partiers faced away from the messy cluster, save three, including myself.

Step 1: Brandish arm with menace.

Step 1: Brandish arm with menace.

Katelyn told me later that she blamed what I was about to do on a hapless witness and I got off scott-free.

In one smooth series of motions I swiped my arm across the table, swiveled, re-entered through the glass slider, and closed the door behind me. Apparently the cans and empty cups scattered dramatically. Katelyn asked the sole other witness, “Why did you do that?” Everyone laughed at his expense.

The bear arm results from the potent combination of three things. Me, alcohol, and unrequited lust.

Step 2: Flail.

Step 2: Flail.

Kicky boots are more about a general taste for violence against inanimante objects, though alcohol is also involved. Unlike the bear arm, my need to apply shoe to object can come out of the innocent place of, “look, I kick things and physics happens!” But bear arm is immensely more satisfying.

Good Bear Arm Targets:

  • Empty cans
  • Empty cups
  • Curtains
  • A structure made of playing cards
  • Streamers
  • Doorway beads (sometimes)
  • Shrubbery

Bad Bear Arm Targets:

  • People
  • Full cups
  • Glass bottles
  • Cactus

So….yeah… bear arm.  Good stuff.

You got a problem with that pussycat?

“Hey stop staring! Haven’t you ever seen a dragon before?” – (me as) Spyro the Dragon