Not with a bang but a whimper (tyrven) wrote,
Not with a bang but a whimper

USO Ball

As has been the trend lately, I was more interested in socializing than taking photographs and so I only have a handful of pictures from the party. Fortunately, popcultureicon was in attendance with his Canon 450D. The lighting was dim so I loaned him my flash and, despite never working with an attached unit, he took an exceptional set that really captures the mood of the party. Every few years it seems the Official Event Photographer role passes to a new person; originally it was goldfischegirl, then the baton was passed on deceitfully taken by me, and now Christopher's assumed responsibility. (This, I fear, means I my camera will get invited to less parties).

meowlet with a World War II era newspaper (she brought a bunch of neat relics from the 40s).

Katie also really likes suxdonut's photo of the cake. Another shot of my costume, also by popcultureicon.

suxdonut and clay88.

[+61 | Slideshow] [Additional sets by: Ashley, Ang, and Tatiana]

The 1943 USO Ball has been my favorite party at the new house, if not the best party I've ever thrown. The theme was very successful; I think it was planned long-enough in advance and offered enough quickly-assembled costume ideas that it was easy for people to come in character. Katie also did a great job compiling the background music, which helped maintain the mood. A fairly decent sized crowed showed up (I'd estimate 50 people?); probably less than the last party, but it was a diverse group of friends which kept things interesting without getting out-of-hand. Quite a few people showed up who I haven't seen in a long-time, including meowlet and seennotheard (who made a fantastic Rosie the Riveter); this made me happy. (Of course, others were missed, such as sidspencer, my father and practically all of Katie's friends who are, apparently, terrified of my parties).

The open mic idea worked out really well (thanks to John for supplying the equipment). goldfischegirl and uncelestial kicked off the set with Nat King Cole's L-O-V-E which was simply fantastic and really anchored the evening. Every party needs some element that sets it apart from other parties and really establishes the mood; at Daddy's Little Girl it was the stripper pole (thank you cagekitten!) - here it was John and Ashley's performance (his recap). I also really liked the Hitler Haiku bit; a number of people wrote haikus and, once they started they kept on coming. I think we're going to do the open mic thing at more parties, possibly each with a haiku theme.

On the downside, I'm still getting the feel of the new house in terms of parties. The whole house audio and dim lighting are huge pluses, as is the mix of seating (for the bookends) and standing room. However, there is a huge chokehold (as herbaliser put it) in the kitchen making it crowded and noisy. Some of my favorite house parties have done a better job establishing different moods for different rooms to distribute the crowd. At the Z-House New Years Party this year, for instance, they had the makeout room (covered in pillows, blankets; only accessible by crawling through a makeshift chimney), which was a completely different energy than, say, the upstairs dance floor. Or, at glitterus's old house, it was the red room downstairs. In this vein, I'd like to put a rug in the blue room and a dimmer on the light to encourage floor seating. I also like the idea of putting on videos downstairs that relate to the theme; for instance, I wish I had gotten a DVD of war broadcasts to play down there to make the basement more inviting. Last, I'd like to get a space heater for that deck (although that never stops people from hanging out up there, even in the rain). Oh, and maybe a disco ball for my bedroom ;-).

The low-point of the evening was when dearnana pushed herbaliser down the stairs with her crutches. When we first moved in, Reg, Laural and myself started a betting pool on who the first casualty of the stairs would be. Apparently it was Laural. She fell down an entire half-flight of rough-hewn glass stairs and scraped herself up pretty bad. Apparently it killed the mood in the room for a few minutes while people tried to figure out if she was alive or not.

Compared to my old house parties, things died down early with most people leaving around 2:00 AM. Of course, they also seemed to get into full swing much earlier - perhaps around 9:30 PM. By 3:00 AM everything had the makings of a adulterous orgy and so velvet and herbaliser escaped with patrick, popcultureicon, uncelestial, dearnana and others to Reg and Laural's for an after party (at which John and I passed out, at some point). That lasted until 10:00 AM which reminded us of parties-of-old; I didn't get to sleep until almost noon. It was disturbing waking up at 5:00 PM and showering as the sun set outside.

I originally planned on selling my costume when I was done, but I've realized that the flight suit is totally comfortable. In fact, I wore it out on the town last night (to Satellite, Chapel). It's amazing to me how high of quality the clothes are at the Army/Navy Surplus store despite being really cheap and look surprisingly good (although not as good as Nazi uniforms; why couldn't Hugo Boss have been born in America??). Anyway, I'm thinking I'll start shopping there more often for my clothing. Oh, and of course I wouldn't get rid of the helmet and goggles; they are World War II vintage that Katie bought me for my birthday.

Anyway, thanks to all of the people who showed up and made it such a memorable birthday! I hope everyone else had as good of a time as I did.

Tags: friends, parties
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