Sunday, March 20

Open Bars, Karaoke, and Secret Santa: Navigating the Holiday Party

Originally uploaded by Paulscheer.
(This is an Essay I wrote for Rad Bad Magazine)

What am I doing here?

It's 7:30AM on a Friday morning, I'm singing Neil Diamond's America in an after hours karaoke bar, with a group of people I've never seen before and I'm not even exactly sure where here is? But I know one thing; I want waffles.

Let me explain, this isn't normal behavior for me. I've fallen victim to the effects of pandemic that sweeps our nation every December, The Holiday Party and I love it. If only every month was like this. Think about it Open Bars, Bad Music, Delicious Canapes, and the dulcet sounds of dudes doing coke echoing off porcelain bathroom walls. You can't beat it and get this, it's a Tuesday Night!

The Holiday Party has restored my faith in the magical powers of the season, because the holiday party is the only time of year where regrets don't exist, bad ideas are rewarded, you can't do or say anything wrong, and ultimately every awful choice gets discarded as soon as the last person leaves the party, because no one remembers them the next day.

Now I've always been a couple years behind the curve, I'm the guy who started watching the Sopranos last July and then went around telling everyone else how great the 1st season was the following September. So it's only proper that as I entered into my mid twenties I had yet to truly experience a genuine holiday party. When people talked excitedly about Holiday Parties I never paid it any mind. To me for the Holidays Parties meant Ugly Sweaters, Weird Relatives and eating Mince Meat pie in someone's living room while I was forced to look vacation pictures of people I didn't care about in places I'd already been too or have no desire to go. The closest I've ever came to corporate one is when my boss at CompuServe made his secretary get a few bottles of Mountain Dew and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and had her put them about the reception desk and told us all to "Dig In!" He then proceeded to thank everyone for their hard work and gave the entire staff free Frosty gift certificates to Wendy's, not that that wasn't awesome, because Frosty's can cost you, but it wasn't exactly the Christmas party I was looking for.

This year it was all going to change. I received my invitation to a party that was supposed to blow away all others. I heard legends about this party, no cameras allowed, no spouses or significant others. It was the Skull and bones of Holiday Parties, hell they even had a bar code on your invitation. In previous years they apparently they pulled out all the stops to entertain the masses, they had set up retro arcade machines, given out free back massages, had open sushi bars and one year they even flew in penguins. I was a holiday party virgin and I was going to get fucked. (I know that's crass but that's the way I felt.)

As I entered into the cavernous area where the party was taking place I wasn't disappointed, it was 3 stories tall, over 4,000 people were in attendance, there were open bars every twelve feet, a specially created make out room (with beds), a small laser light show and of course dancers dressed head to toe in white dancing on elevated platforms next to a large billboard that occasionally posted words like "Love", "Peace" and "Heart". It was like a corporate rave. I was unsure of the theme of the party, I believe it might have been "Glow" which was hard to necessarily personify so they just opted to make everyone where a blinking amulet and called it a night. Truth be told, I'd wear anything as long as there was free liquor and mini cupcakes involved and there was both.

Now I won't bore you with all the specifics of my evening because listening to one talk about their awesome night can be akin to looking at pictures of some one else pets or children, it's only really interesting to that person. Instead I'll with share with you now some important lessons I learned from my holiday party!

1.) Don't Drink Anything That is on Fire: While it might be a novelty in the moment, it will black out so much of your night that you'll even have trouble remembering pivotal moments from your childhood.

2.) Camera Phone Pictures Are Your Friend: Speaking of blackouts, camera phone pictures help you fill in some of the moments that aren't so clear, remember pictures don't get drunk they are your only ally to figuring out who you hooked up with or why you decided to break that ice sculpture of a Swan.

3.) Let the Dancers Dance on the Platforms: Even if you think you got the "Right Stuff" security won't tend to agree with you. Stay off the platforms and that goes double for staying out of cages.

4.) Beer before Liquor-Never Sicker, Liquor before Beer-You're in the clear: Not entirely true.

5.) Don't Go Public with your Secret Inter-Office Romance: There is often a good reason why it's a secret in the 1st place, like one of you is married or one of you is dating someone else at the party, it especially gets messy the next day. This goes double for secrets...No one really needs to know that you and your roommate walk around the house naked and pretend your Russian circus performers!

6.) Texting is better than Drunk Dialing: Let's face it any call to an ex is trouble but it's a lot harder to make an total ass out of yourself with text messaging. Chances are the agility required to send a proper text message when you're drunk might even dissuade you from contacting that special someone entirely. Play it safe and type.

7.) Don't Tip at the Open Bar: You are just going to make everyone else feel guilty, don't be a jerk and rock the boat, corporate is taking care of it. Plus who comes prepared with that many singles.

8.) When in Doubt - Grind: You may not want to but you must grind or let yourself be grinded on, even if it's by a married woman who is easily 250 pounds heavier than you.

9.) Dudes Don't Take Off Your Shirt: There is no good time for a dude to take off his shirt. Keep them Buttoned, Keep them Tucked In, and Keep them on!

10.) Positive K is not Your Friend: Knowing all the lyrics to Positive K's "I've Got a Man" and singing them to someone you've just met on the dance floor doesn't impress anyone, except for Positive K.

11.) Neil Diamond is Your Friend: If pressed to sing Karaoke sing Neil Diamond. This is for the fellas and the ladies, he's the only singer that will make you sound good when you are drunk, because it just sounds like your doing a Neil Diamond impression.

12.) Not Everything is an Anecdote: Think about it, no one really wants hear your 25-minute story about a flight delay, which has no pay off besides the fact that your flight was delayed.

13.) When all Your Friends Leave So Should You: Without your support system how will you know that it's a really bad idea to travel to Queens to a great after hours Karaoke Bar with people that you've never met before when you are only a block away from your home.

14.) Don't rally a group of 10 people by inviting them over to your tiny studio apartment at 5AM: Kind of Self explanatory. The worst party of the party is waking up with someone from the party that you don't know and it's even worse when it's more than one person that you don't know. Leave your party at the party.

Ultimately at your Holiday Party you're going to make some important choices and none of them are going to sound bad in the moment, but they will be and you can't hide from that. I guess the most important thing to take with you is to make sure that when you wake up the morning after your holiday party and do your mental checklist of the embarrassing things that you said and did just make sure that you ended up just slightly less messed up the most messed up person at the party, that's all you can ask for because that guy was a total jackass.

The next Holiday Parties are only a couple months away-I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 2

Jake and Bill's Sword Fighting Party on NYC's 92.3 K-Rock

Originally uploaded by Paulscheer.
Jake Fogelenest (Squirt TV) and I hosted a brand new Radio Show from 10PM-2AM all last week on WXRK-FM, 92.3 K-Rock. It was named by the fans and we were too lazy to change it.

We had some amazing guests: Ben Lee, Sarah Silverman, Rob Corrdry, Rob Riggle (SNL), Samantha Ronson, Matt Walsh (UCB), Andrew Secunda, and Rob Huebel (inconsiderate Cellphone Guy)

It was a lot of fun, if only you could hear it...I wonder how you good do that....Hmm!