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ON INDEFINITE HIATUS

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Totally Kickass Parties has, for a variety of reasons, gone on indefinite hiatus. Your support and readership has been much appreciated.

Good entertaining tips never get old, though, so, for your reference and use, a Table of (Blog) Contents:

WHAT THEMES MAY COME
Party themes and ideas, ranging from Toga to Tax Day.

TALK TO ME
Answering questions from readers on topics as diverse as the lifespan of wine to mathematical calculations of the ideal chicks-to-dudes ratio.

SHARING IS CARING
A wonderful guest post offering tips on how to turn your party into a socially conscious soiree.

MY-FAVORITE-FOODS-DAY
Meditations on a variety of different foods and ingredients, and tips on incorporating them into a number of party themes and types.

THE DEMO TAPE
From the perfect salsa to a delicious dry rub for ribs, a collection of great (and simple!) recipes lives here.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Books, TV shows, and John Cleese’s guide to wine for beginners — recommendations of things that just make life better.

YOUR WEEKLY RX
From Uncle Margarita’s perfect tequila & lime concoction to Auntie Maude’s cocktail advice, all your drink-related needs can be met here. Except for, you know, actual drinks.

And don’t miss the pages in the header, which provide an overview and introduction to everything you could ever want to know about proper party-throwing technique.

So long, everybody, and, as ever… party on!

VERY BELATEDLY, BUT WITH GOOD REASON::YOUR WEEKLY RX

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Yes, I know this is a couple days late. But… when you listen, you’ll understand why, I hope.

I sent it to the State Department on Wednesday, when she called. I heard from them this morning that both old ladies are still alive. So… things could’ve been worse, I guess…

WEDNESDAY::THE DEMO TAPE

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THE GRAPES OF RAD: A RECIPE TO RELISH

Yeah, that’s right. I just threw down two terrible puns, and we’re not even onto the actual recipe yet. This shit is OFF THE CHAIN, y’all!

:red grapes, 1 small bunch:
:green grapes, 1 small bunch:
:2-3 medium-large shallots:
:1 bunch watercress:
:kosher rock salt:
:black pepper:

Fire up the oven to 400 degrees; peel the shallots, loosely wrap them in foil, and then pop them in the pre-heated oven to roast. They go quickly — about twelve minutes should do you up right — so don’t forget that shit. While they’re cooking, though, you get to do something even more fun, and that is… finely dice grapes! I know it sounds whack, but the textural contrast with a regular, undiced grape is really incomparable. Trust me on this. Also trust me that it should ONLY be attempted with a truly sharp knife, or else the drudgery will force you to turn that dull blade to your own wrists. For serious. Dicing grapes is about as much fun as entering data into a spreadsheet, which makes it kind of fitting for a party celebrating why you hate your job.

Once your grapes are diced, toss them in a big bowl; chop your watercress and throw it into the mix. Let the roasted shallots cool, then dice that shit up too, and add it in. Toss in a pinch or several of rock salt, grate in some fresh black pepper, and combine. (Note: the best non-mathematical method of combinatorics is to use your hands. And that’s not some weird matroid theory-based sexual entendre — I’m just sayin’, your hands are more effective than a spoon.)

And now, like the obscure math jokes, you are finished.

Works well on: eggs (poached, fried, omelettes); sandwiches; salads; fish; poultry; as a bruschetta. It’s as versatile as you are, motherfucker!

TUESDAY::MY-FAVORITE-FOODS-DAY

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THE GARRULOUS GRAPE

Why grapes? Because, well, if you are full of hatred and invective towards the world, then you have been sippin’ on some sour-flavored hatorade. (My amazing job was really stressy and weird the last two days. Don’t judge me for my puns.) Also, grapes call to mind several things appropriate to an I-Hate-My-Boss Party: grape jelly (which smacks of school lunches, arbitrary hierarchies, and authoritarianism), those weird peeled grapes that you can use at Halloween parties as fake eyes to gross people out (which, of course, is a deeply Jungian symbol of how very much you’d like to hold your boss’s entrails in your own bloodied, but finally satisfied, hands), as well as the kind of Dionysian bacchanalia that you wish your life would be if you didn’t have to slog away at your fucking job so much. Finally, they can also be a potent and politically weighted reminder that no matter how much your job sucks, it’s still better than picking fruit in the pre-Cesar Chavez days. Or, let’s be honest, the post-Cesar Chavez days.

Plastic fruit: as artificial and tacky as your boss’s overblown sense of self-importance.

Whatever symbolic weight they might assume, grapes are, truly, an underutilized foodstuff. They’re so much more than just something to be eaten plain or Smuckerfied; a delightful grape relish can go with eggs (poached, fried, or scrambled!) and works wonders in a sandwich. If you have never experienced the unadulterated delight that is grapes and pork conjoined, then I invite you to have at that shit, unless you are Jewish, in which case you’ll just have to suffer. (But you should be used to that, right? Zing! Too soon?)

Yes please.

Grapes are a delightful party food because of their physicality as well. They can be held aloft above a lover’s mouth, debauched toga-party style, thrown into the waiting lips of a friend when you’re bored, or crushed underfoot like you’d like to crush your boss. Also, they keep well, so if you leave them in the office fridge, nobody will hate you by the end of the week. Well, they might, but it wouldn’t be about the grapes.

They will not incur you any wrath. (See what I did there, with the “grapes” and the “wrath”? Oh, shut up.)

MONDAY::WHAT THEMES MAY COME

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THE I-HATE-MY-BOSS PARTY

This is going to be tough for me to write, because my boss(es) are awesome. Because my entire job is absurdly badass. But that’s neither here or there; it’s just me boasting. And nobody likes that.

Ahem. Anyway.

This week includes amongst is festivities not only 4/20 — which I trust my readership can figure out how to celebrate all by themselves — but also Assistants’ Day, formerly and less politically correctly known as Secretaries’ Day, and more appropriately known as The One Day A Year Where Somebody In The Office Pretends To Care About The Person Whose Job Is Almost Certainly The Shittiest And Most Underpaid Of Them All. There almost certainly won’t be a party at work, so I advocate throwing your own. I hope that development is not too shocking for everyone to bear.

Who hasn’t been there?

What might a delightful “I Hate My Boss” party entail? Well, you can always throw in some DVDs of “The Office” (or, head on over to the NBC website for the same) and be glad that you at least don’t work at Dunder Mifflin. More interactively, you can print out a picture of your loathed boss’s face, stick it on a pinata, and have at it in an incredibly unsubtle, but highly therapeutic, regress to childhood. And what’s more fun than that, truly?

Now imagine that with a face you simply cannot WAIT to pummel into a bloody pulp!

If you get along well enough with your coworkers — and, most crucially, know that they share your attitude towards the (Wo)Man In Charge — then they’ll be a solid bet for invitees. Otherwise, call up your regular crowd, and invite them to share their own stories of hatred and pain. If you’ve got a dart board, you can go with a rotating cast of everybody’s douchey bosses at the bulls-eye. Just be sure to have plenty of booze on hand; not just because that’s a good strategy for life in general (which it is), but because nothing makes people want to drink themselves under the table like the thought of their jobs.

We all know it. We all hate it. We all want to drink it away. Well, except for me, because my job is awesome.

THURSDAY, ONE DAY LATE::YOUR WEEKLY RX

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They’re still gone. They’re still checking in.

You guys, I do not know what is wrong with my family members.

..but I hope they make it back home soon.

TUESDAY::MY-FAVORITE-FOODS-DAY

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THE LUSTROUS LEAFY GREENS

We’re a little bit behind here, so, combo-ing two in one: leafy greens! They’re delicious, they’re nutritious, they’re cheap if you’ve just sent the bulk of your net worth off to the IRS, they’re oddly reminiscent of cash if you’re flush with the stuff. I believe the phrase I’m looking for here is this: everybody wins.

Whether the greens in question are common (e.g., spinach) or slightly more esoteric (kale! collard greens! mustard!), there’s one preparation that never fails. Saute those motherfuckers with some garlic, maybe a little onion if you’re into that, olive oil, a dash of white wine and a drizzle of lemon, and then toss in some mustard. That shit is what is commonly known as “delicious.” Alternately, and slightly more healthfully, steaming and tossing on a little balsamic is also a fine way to go — although there’s no real need to be concerned about health when leafy greens are on the menu, because they are amongst the healthiest fucking food on the planet.

And did I mention that they’re cheap? There’s no better way to get your vitamins when you’re broke than with a little foliage. So, kids, go to. Go to and enjoy your leafy greens, and know that they are something that the IRS can never take from you.

(Of course, if you got a fat tax refund, know that the IRS is funding your splurging on massive quantities of leafy greens. These things are never straightforward.)

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