Tag: parties

Post-Pandemic Party Playlist

I’m not what you’d call a particularly social butterfly. I have no trouble in a crowd and often have fun. But I also have days when I don’t feel social. Lately, I’ve been daydreaming of a post-Pandemic party. We have this huge deck which we haven’t really taken advantage of, as far as parties go, thanks to everyone being isolated for the last year.

A few days ago, I began to put together what I call a “Post-Pandemic Party Playlist.” Just a bunch of fun songs that I imagine playing in the background while we have a bunch of friends over, the grill fired up, a cooler full of drinks on the deck, and food scattered about the house. I imagine some people downstairs playing pool or ping pong in the family room. The kids might be in the game room playing Xbox with their friends. The grownups are all out on the deck, or hovering around the food in the kitchen.

Normally, I find these kinds of parties to be fun, but I’m an early bird, and am ready to wind things down by 7 or 8 pm. But in my imagination recently, I picture these parties going on well into the night. I picture a lot of joking and laughing. I imagine a kind of release and relief. No one is talking about the Pandemic. For a few hours, we all pretend it never happened and just enjoy the fact that we can be out with friends, having a good time again.

Kelly and I are both scheduled to get our second dose of the COVID vaccine later this week. Maybe such a party isn’t too far-fetched sometime in the not-too-distant future. We have a Karaoke machine. I think we’ll have to include that in the party as well.

Oh, and if anyone is wondering what’s on my playlist. Here it is. I listened to it a couple of times today while spending most of the day writing code (yes, working on a Saturday). It made the time go by quickly.

  1. Thunderstruck by AC/DC
  2. Strip Adam Ant
  3. Love in an Elevator by Aerosmith
  4. Lonely People by America
  5. Blame It on the Bossa Nova by Annette Funicello
  6. Love Shack by the B-52’s
  7. I Want to Conquer the World by Bad Religion
  8. Fun, Fun, Fun by The Beach Boys
  9. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
  10. Shelter from the Storm by Bob Dylan
  11. Wild in the Streets by Bon Jovi
  12. Let the Day Begin by The Call
  13. Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
  14. Viva la Vida by Coldplay
  15. Tessie by Dropkick Murphys
  16. Pump It Up by Elvis Costello
  17. Vacation by The Go-Go’s
  18. There’s a Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon for New York by Louis Armstrong
  19. Be Good Johnny by Men at Work
  20. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
  21. Feelin’ Love by Paula Cole
  22. Goodbye-Goodbye by Oingo Boingo
  23. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
  24. Supernatural Superserious by R.E.M.
  25. I Love L.A. by Randy Newman
  26. Freewill by Rush
  27. On the Loose by Saga
  28. Come on Eileen (cover) by Save Ferris
  29. Spam by Save Ferris
  30. Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty
  31. Jump by Van Halen

I imagine this list will continue to grow until this imagined party actually takes place. Listening to it gives me hope that this party will eventually happen.

And the winner is…

My company had the holiday party this evening and Kelly and I arrived there at 5 PM.  I received numerous comments on my clothes.  Kelly made sure that I was sharply dressed.  It was a fun evening, good food and drinks, and good company too.  At around 7 PM they started the raffle (each person attending had a ticket).  They worked their way from the smallest prize up to the grand prize.  About halfway through, they called my number and I walked up to the front of room and accepted a $25 gift card to Champps.  (When I got back to the table, I joked with Kelly that if our other number was called, she’d have to go up to accept the award.)

Our other number was called for the grand prize.

And so, Kelly walked up front and accepted our prize, which was 2 free meals at Chevy’s and 1 weekend night’s stay at the Residence Inn in Arlington.  How cool is that!

We were home at 8 PM.

Today was payday, which is always nice.  Not much reading today.  I’m 70 pages through The Hard SF Renaissance, and about 55 pages through A Man on the Moon.  The latest issue of NEW SCIENTIST arrived yesterday and I’m working my way through that as well.

We have some last minute holiday shopping and errands to do tomorrow morning (early, to avoid the crowds), and then we’re having brunch with AJ and Denisse.

Wedding showers, parking tickets, baseball, oh my

Despite being up so late last night, Kelly and I were up before 8 AM. Everyone else was up shortly thereafter. I decided to cook breakfast for everyone. stubiebrother helped. I made two batches of pancakes, and Jason made a whole bunch of scrambled eggs (with an without cheese). People said it turned out pretty good, and there were plenty of pancakes and eggs to go around.

Various people had to run errands. Around 11 AM, Kelly and I headed over to Union Station to pick up Ian and Jan. We saw them over by the outer curb, and I pulled over to pick them up. I was stopped there for 12 seconds, but nevertheless, I think I got a parking ticket. At least, a women was taking down my (new) plate in a hand-held computer and I suspect I’ll be getting something in the mail. Since I’ve never had a ticket of any kind, it will officially break my streak, but I imagine the streak would have to be broken at some point.

Back to the house and more introductions. Various people ran errands. When Jason got back, he and I headed across the street to the courtyard and threw a ball around for a little while. My arm felt great until the end, when it was, once again,killing me.

Around 12:30 we were all ready to head over to Sarah’s for the shower. Kelly took her parents, Ian and Jan and headed over. I took Jen, Jason and Mom. We stopped at Giant for 5 bags of ice (80 lbs of ice!), and then we headed to Sarah’s. We were there right on time. Kelly and company had already arrived. The place looked great inside (and Sarah was all dressed up, which I had never seen before). Carmen and Leanna were already in the back, and Sarah’s parents (who I’ve met once before) were there too. The shower was a lot of fun. Lots of people showed up, including AJ and Denisse. We spent a lot of time out back, in the hot sun. There was all kinds of delicious food: fruits, bruchetta, mushroom dips. It was great. Eventually we all made our way inside. Sarah and company did a wonderful job setting up and decorating for lunch. Lunch itself was delicious with pastas, and chicken, and other delicious goodies. After lunch Kelly and I opened gifts. We have generous friends and family and we both had a lot of fun opening gifts. Then there was cake, and shortly thereafter, it was time to go. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to Sarah and thank her for the incredible job she did on the event. We had a terrific time. We were delighted by the fact that so many of our friends and family came so far for the event and we were really glad to get to be able to see all of them.

AJ and Denisse came back to the house with us. Various people napped and rested and prepared for the evening events. Around 6:30 PM, we all headed out again: the girls to the dinner, and the guys to the Rockies/Nationals game. AJ, Jason, Kelly’s dad and I took the metro to Nationals Park. It was the first time I’d ever been there. We had seats way up the first base line in right field. The weather was gorgeous and there was a nice breeze up there. We got to the game in the top of the first inning. It was a lot of fun, the four of us hanging out, watching the Rockies rout the Nationals (6 runs in the 5th inning!) We ate hot dogs and drank beer and ate peanuts and sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. I was a little anxious about the metro ride home, but it wasn’t crowded and we lucked out by walking onto trains. The game was over around 10:10 PM and we were home before 11 PM.

Mom, Kelly’s mom, and Jen were back. Kelly was off at the bachelorette party. We got home just in time to watch the edge-of-your-seat final relay race where Michael Phelps won his 8th gold medal. Everyone in the room was on their feet and cheering when he won. Slowly, everyone went to bed. Kelly got home (safe and sound, and mostly sober) around 1 AM and after that, I ran AJ over to the metro station so that he could head home.

It was a long day, but a great one, spending time with friends and family, celebrating. Kelly especially seemed to really have an especially good time today.


I was up at 7 AM and headed over to Saturn to have my car serviced. It believe it was my 117,000 mile maintenance. A while back I received a $500 gift card from Saturn. Each time I use it, I can get 15% off parts and labor on service and so this time the whole thing cost me 15% less than usual and saved me about $7.50.

I headed home after that and did a few errands. I was going to head over to the post office, but I ran out of time. It seems that they have processed my change of address so that I have stopped getting mail at the old house. Probably not a big deal since I’ll be at the new place in less than 2 weeks, but it’s still annoying since I specified July 25 as the last date for getting mail.

I drove to Kelly’s and arrived there shortly before 11 AM. I’d wanted to get a new book so we headed over to Barnes & Noble and after a moderate search, I picked up The Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately and thought it was time for a change. I was attracted to the book for several reason. First, I’ve never read it, but have heard that it’s one of the most thrilling novels ever written (it’s about a jail break and revenge). Second, it’s huge: 1462 pages and by my estimate, over 483,000 words. That isn’t quite the longest book I’ve ever read (Shogun was 537,000 and A History of the American People was just over 500,000 words). I have a strange attraction to long books like this. There were several editions to choose from in the bookstore. I ultimately chose the Modern Library edition, but there was another edition that was compressed to 600 pages and I couldn’t understand how, until I saw it was an “abridged” edition. What a sin!

We went to Hard Times for lunch and I had some excellent chili. Then back to Kelly’s. Later in the afternoon (after a nap), we booked four excursions on our honeymoon cruise, one at each of the ports we’ll be stopping in. We have one more to go (in Jamaica) and will hopefully have that booked soon.

Around 6 PM, we headed out to Reston for Todd’s 40th birthday party. The route took us on the Dulles toll road and I did not have my EZ Pass in the car. Fortunately, we had just enough change for the round-trip journey. The party was fun. The house was on a lake and there were lots of people there, many of whom we knew. We left somewhere around 10 or 10:30 PM.

The Great Halloween Party, Charlie Brown

[We didn’t get back from the party until 2:30-ish in the morning, but I’m dating this entry on the 27th because the bulk of the events took place on the 27th]

Today was the day of Kelly, Carmen, and Jesseca’s halloween party. It’s been in the planning phases for weeks, but today it all came together. Kelly and I spent the latter part of the morning and early afternoon at my house. We watched The Shop Around the Corner with Jimmy Stewart, while I did a number of odd chores. Kelly headed over to Old Navy while I rested up some in preparation for the big party. Finally, around 2 PM, we headed out to run a bunch of errands we needed to do before the party.

We headed down to Potomac Yard and picked up a wireless router for Kelly. We stopped in the Barnes & Noble to see if they had an October issue of LOCUS, because that issue has a review of the July IGMS and I wanted to see if my story was mentioned. We met Carmen at Target and then headed over to Shoppers where we bought beer and ice for the party. Carmen took the beer with her while Kelly and I headed into D.C. to pick up a cooler from her friend. From there we headed into Arlington to pick up liquor for the party (Vodka, Rum, and Tequila–thanks to Doug for the advice). We made a brief stop back at Kelly’s place and then headed over to Jesseca’s to set up for the party.

We arrived at Jess’s just after 5 PM. The party was to start around 8 PM. We spent those 3 hours getting set up, decorating, and dressing in our costumes. (I learned how to tie a noose in order to hang a skeleton from the ceiling.) By 8 PM, I was in my full Bing Crosby getup. Kelly was dressed as a kind of vampire. Carmen was a black-eyed pea. Jesseca was a geisha. Guests started to arrive. At the peak of the party, I think there were around 30 people. Some pretty clever costumes, too. Todd came as Le Chifre, from the latest James Bond movie. Kristy came as a fallen angel. There was little red riding hood, attacked by the big bad wolf. There was another geisha. There was an ice queen. A marine. The best costumes, perhaps, were Paraag and Sam’s. They cross-dressed. Paraag came as Pocahontas and Sam came as John Smith. She’d made both costumes, and she really looked like a conquistador in hers.

We had a fire pit in the back yard, music and scary movies playing, lots to drink. We had snacks and eventually, ordered pizza too. The weather cooperated. It had stopped raining in the morning and was clear and sunny most of the day. It was a little cool at night, but the fire helped.

It was after 2 AM when Kelly and I finally left. I think we were both exhausted, but Todd, Chris and Jesseca were heading off to another party.

I have some pictures from the party that I will post but I haven’t uploaded them yet so they will have to wait until later.

Happy Halloween!

Holiday party

Our holiday party starts in about 20 minutes and these will be the first 20 minutes I’ve had today to just relax. It has been one of those days. Nothing I planned to do got done. I spent the day putting out fires that were not even my fires to put out. I also busted my badge, snapped it clean in half when I was helping to setup for the holiday party, earlier this morning, and I now have a new badge. But I liked my old one, and liked the fact that it never had to be replaced until now. I’m a sucker for “streaks”.

There is a rumor going around that after the holiday party, we are going over to Pentagon Row (where my gym is) to go ice skating. In the winter, they put up a small outdoor rink. I haven’t skated in a while, but I played hockey when I was younger and that is how I learned to skate. It will be interesting to see how much I remember. (It really hasn’t been that long; certainly sometime within the last 10 years.)

One problem: I’m beginning to feel tired. I’ve been up since 4:30. The holiday part will last until 7 PM. Who knows how long the ice skating will last. I’ll get home late. It will be a long day. And I have one more day at the gym (tomorrow) before my day off (Sunday).

Off to the gym

I’m on my way to the gym in a minute, but I thought I’d mention that I was just invited to Denisse’s (of AJ and Denisse fame) going away drinking bash tomorrow evening. Denisse heads to Switzerland on Monday to finish up her Ph.D (AJ will be staying here in town) and she’s having this going away bash. It begins tomorrow evening at 7 PM with drinks. It continues later in the evening at a different place for more drinks and kareoke.

I told her I’d make it for the first part, so it looks like I have plans for a Friday night for a change!