Sunday, September 28, 2008

BYO-ing the Ultimate Icebreaker

I agreed to accompany Lex to an engagement party last night. I had met the bride-to-be at a very dark and noisy bar about 2 months ago but I'd never met the groom before. But Lex told me all she knew about them, and so I knew it would be okay.

A few days before the party, Lex casually mentioned that she would be baking some cookies to take to the party. Um, hang on - what? So I shelved the mental image of cocktail dresses and champagne toasts (the usual engagement party idea), and instead probed a little further about just what kind of party I'd agreed to go to.

Turns out the happy couple had invited a bunch of people around for a party in their backyard - no muss, no fuss, and instead of engagement gifts, it was a total BYO experience. Okay, totally not your stock-standard engagement party - but nevertheless a good idea. To be appropriate for the overall occasion, I did wear a cute red dress, heels, and chandelier earrings, but nothing more froufrou than that.

With my outfit worked out, thoughts turned to what BYO contribution I could make. Flashbacks to my last home-baked experience came into my head. The incident also known as "Flaming ANZAC Biscuits Being Thrown Off The Back Porch in 2007" made me break out in a cold sweat. Baking is just not my bag, baby.

I decided not to take anything to the party, which in itself isn't even like me. I would normally bring a packet of chips or a bottle of wine or something. But on this occasion I totally wimped out. Terrible, no?!

And so Saturday night rolled around and I filled up on a huge dinner at home, had a couple of beers with Lex at some bars en route to the party, and figured I'd just steal a beer from the happy couple's fridge and not worry about eating anything when I got to their house. Yep, I was going to this BYO party as a complete freeloader.

In retrospect I should have at least attempted to cover this up by asking Lex if I could carry her home-made cookies into the party, to at least give the appearance that I was contributing something. But admittedly that thought didn't occur to me at the time and now that I think about it, it sounds a little desperate. So I'm glad that I did the next best thing.

I broke the ice with total strangers by being Lex's one-woman PR machine. I talked up those home-made cookies like I was on the Home Shopping Network! And total strangers began making a beeline for the kitchen to seek out these white chocolate & pecan cookies with just a touch of pumpkin spice thrown in for good measure. And they were not disappointed at all - Lex, and the cookies, were an utter hit!

And no one even noticed that I was stealing beers from the fridge.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yep, it's a funny one alright

Burn After Reading Movie Photos (16)
Originally uploaded by divxplanet.

I discovered last night that, at times, I am so far removed from reality that it's almost funny.

Because last night me and Lex went to the movies to see "Burn After Reading". And after nearly three years of going to free movie screenings together, we actually had to pay for these tickets. We had no idea that movie tickets are $10.50 each - what's up with that?! See, I have been so spoiled that I'm actually shocked by this.

But hey, we wanted to see the latest offering from the Cohen brothers, that we coughed up the cash relatively easily and we both really enjoyed the show. Typical Cohen Brothers stuff - right down to the ending, where the characters tell you what happened, rather than show you, but parts of it were really quirky and clever.

Then it was up early for me today, off to read 3 lines in the recording booth, which took about 5 minutes max. I swear, if I could make a living doing voice-overs, I absolutely would. It's relatively easy work (in terms of sitting still and just getting paid to talk), but sometimes it can be hard too. For instance, just how am I supposed to make the word "operator" sound warm?! I just don't get it. But I must have done something right, because I collected another healthy payslip at the end of it all. Niiiiice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lost in (cyber)space

I'll admit that my lack of blogging lately has, in large part, been due to a lack of anything to report.

I was going to write a bumper post about the Labor Day holiday and how Hurricane Gustav ruined my attempt to get to New Orleans with Katie. I was going to regale you with how that actually turned out to be a GOOD thing, because Katie came to Chi-town instead and we had a blast. But once the dust settled after that crazy long weekend, I figured that catching up on sleep was way better than telling tales.

Then I was going to tell you about how my sister announced her plans to come and see me for 3 weeks next month. But a lot of the plans I'm making for that are a surprise and because she reads this blog, I'm hardly going to spill the beans here. So that will have to stay a state secret too.

So all that's left is for me to tell you about the movie premiere I went to last night, called "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" starring the always-adorable Michael Cera from TV's Arrested Development (aka Lexie's future husband - although if Jason Bateman stepped forward and wanted to marry her too, she' d have some tough decisions to make). But you know what? Given that I have to leave the office now for a work event, you'll just have to accept my short-short summation & general overview that says that the movie is really good - and Michael Cera was adorable in person (as always). But for my way of thinking, audience Q&A after a film screening sucks the big one. Audience members should be screened beforehand and made to achieve at least a minimum intelligence level -or at least demonstrate some evidence of a personality (of any kind - 'multiple' would be a bonus). The people that posed the questions last night were absolute morons. I wanted to ask for the microphone just so I could look like I had a question - but really I wanted to run around the cinema and smack every other question-asking moron upside the head for being so dumb. Very Stewie in "Family Guy" of me, but hey - it's been one of those weeks.