Originally posted: 01/03/07
As has been the case for almost every New Year’s Eve that I can remember (although it becomes noticeably less and less disconcerting the older I get), we were left devoid of any definite plans for how to ring in the new year until the eleventh hour, figuratively speaking. Sometime last week, Sandra, my live-in girlfriend, began trying to convince me that we should be the ones to host some kind of a celebratory shindig. Under normal circumstances, I’m more than willing to host a party for any type of occasion; hell, my family was dysfunctionallly-famous for the raucous affairs we used to host back on
But as is often the case, my rubber arm was twisted ever so gently, and before I knew what was happening, Sandra was out with her sister spending $250 on the kinds of appetizer foods that only girls would ever think to offer, and I was running back and forth to Long and McQuade and the sketchy guy in West Queen West who sells me my used stereo equipment in a last-ditch attempt to get my turntables spinning (I have absolutely zero experience and even less confidence in my aptitude where setting up electronics is concerned). But when I left
Dinner at Foley’s mom’s place was fantastic as always. Essentially the same group of guys has been heading over to Foley’s old homestead in
The bender was a little slow getting under way, and had a distinct 8th grade dance feel to it early on, with most of the girls hanging around the chocolate fountain and most of the guys standing around, drinking themselves stupid. I was somewhat preoccupied with spinning the tunes, trying to play an appropriately music-snobbish selection of rare soul grooves that was clearly being appreciated by only myself and DJ Drummond, who was offering some seriously helpful advice while looking on with a sense of pride at my fledgling attempt. At one point Foley walked over and pulled out a Culture Club album pointed to the Karma Chameleon track and said: “If you want people to dance, play this.” Drummond and I both laughed at him, and Drummond offered the advice: “Don’t ever play that.” So we went back to the James Brown and the Stevie Wonder and the Marva Whitney and the Milli Jackson, watching dumbfoundedly as nobody got it. I even went so far as to play Dylan’s Changing of the Guard at , an appropriately profound allusion to the turning of the calendar that exactly nobody noticed. A few hours later, and many, many cocktails later, Nicole’s boyfriend Jeff showed up and offered to take over the musical duties, which I was more than happy to hand off.
Standing outside on the balcony five minutes later, I noticed that the entire party was shaking their collective money makers on the improvised dance floor, and when I stepped back inside, sure enough, DJ Jeff was giving the people precisely what they wanted: Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon. Fuck me.
And I guess that’s the lesson to be learned for spinning tunes at a party. If you play that ultra rare music that you paid a small fortune to get on vinyl, the only people who are going to appreciate it are the people who would never in their lifetimes be caught dancing in the first place. If you want people to dance and sing along and have a good time, you have to give them what they want, even if what they want is
On to the goods of the bender. Ash and Jax didn’t take any time in trying to establish themselves as the life of the party as the loaded sodas were flowing freely and frequently, but I think the nod on the night eventually went to the two single friends that Devon was kind enough to bring along. Honestly. What would the odds have been that the two single girls would have ended up going home with Ronnie and the Bomber respectively? I think Flats and I put it at approximately 2 to 3. I believe there was some evidence linking the Bomber and his date to a little bit of extra curricular activity taking place in my office, but that has yet to be substantiated. And the entire ordeal may or may not have ended in a scene reminiscent of something out of American Pie, with Sully trying to barge in on Ronnie’s baby to catch a Mr. Skin approved glimpse, and there was some impromptu debate over whether or not stitches might be necessary back at the Bomber’s place. Say my name, bitch!
There were very few casualties, with the lone exception being my spilling an entire platter of meatballs onto my own carpet at six in the morning. Sandra’s theory (and one that makes more and more sense the more I think about it) is that when people come to a party and they see all of this high class food on display and artwork hanging on the walls, they immediately understand that this isn’t one of those high school keggers where it’s cool to put your fist through a wall or piss off the balcony or have sex in the office. And there’s probably something to that. But I tend to believe that has more to do with our simply getting older and less ambitious. Whatever.
There was one minor incident involving a guy who may or may not have been Laura’s boyfriend. Apparently he and Sully were chirping one another in the hallway near the bathroom, and when I got in the middle of it they were both about to go at each other. I’ve known Sully since I was about 10 years old, and I’d never seen this clown before in my life, so it was a no brainer. No offence pal, but you’re at the wrong party. We left that bullshit behind about 10 years ago.
It turns out he kicked Laura (his girlfriend) out of their cab about fifteen minutes later, leaving her alone on College Street at three in the morning, so it looks like we probably made the right call. You don’t need guys like that hanging around.
Anyway, Sully, Jamie Lee and I ended up listening to tunes until sometime after while Sandra and Little Buddy sawed logs on the couch. All in all, I think a grand time was had by all. It was good to get the post-midnight calls from those who couldn’t be there: Dan VZ, Sweet Nate, Lisa and Blake, and my parents. Class acts, every one of you. Thanks to Sandra and Jamie Lee for all of the work they did putting the entire production together, and thanks to everyone who stopped by and didn’t destroy my pad. We’ll see if we can do it again next year, maybe at someone else’s place.