Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Small Birthday Party worth Sharing Big (to ALL my readers here). How to Keep the Excitement Going when there are Fires to Extinguish.

A display I saw that got me excited
about my birthday.
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Being piss poor is one thing, but celebrating an occasion is a must. Somehow I managed to come up the money to have a birthday party for myself to be shared with among close friends. No matter how rich or poor you may be, any good occasion should be shared with friends and celebrated with others too, and now my readers here can also be part of my special occasion. Below are the links to my past birthday celebration:
Restaurant Crew Celebration 2011
Birthday Dinner at Traders Hotel 2010

The chandelier I wish to have
Impressive List
A birthday party is like a metaphor for the way I would rule a country if I were the Prime Minister. Before I could even have a birthday party, I must check out the list of friends I have who would be worthy enough to be invited to be in my cabinet, so to speak. Wow, it sounds like I could have a career in politics (as if...) So I popped out my tablet, and check to see who I should invite. Firstly, of course, priority is given to friends who would really liven up a party atmosphere. I sent out a mass text message to my list,  of course I have already forecasted who would really attend, and whom wouldn't. Those that I've texted, is a form of obligatory invitation, for even if they don't respond, I wouldn't be at any loss. And those whom I've texted and expected they would reply, they really did. What an impressive list! Of course due to the small space of the venue, I am not making it into a huge crowd-like party, that would lose the appeal of intimacy and close-ness - some guests would sure feel left out in such big crowds (see how much thought I need to put into). It's also easier for me to clean up the house after the party, so I have to bear that in mind too. Thank goodness, those who RSVP-ed are quality people. It's a good mixture of people from different industries - Ms.H from the music industry, Mr.B from training, a college professor Mr.J, a film writer Mr.S, Ms.T from fitness, a married couple and some other poofs I won't mention here. Now, I must respect people's privacy and wouldn't divulge any real names for this group of people are quite "well-known", some are respected in their own rights. Of course, the other reason is they granted some of my birthday wish list.

Utensils ready
Small is Good
Of course the way the invitation is sent out must have some form of call for action. Seriously, I have no time to wait for anybody's respond, so I was clear about the deadline. The smaller the crowd the better, for then I wouldn't have to prepare so much food and clean up too much mess afterwards. Besides, I'm not the sort of person who wants a whole truckload of presents (like some of my friends), and invite one huge list of people. I also open up my invitation to my students too. The one glaring point I notice is my students from the city are much too stuck-up (or perhaps too busy?) to respond, unlike my students from the rural towns or from the Northern states are really nice and cordial. Sending invites is a good way to filter the courteous ones from the unappreciative. That way, in the future, I can further narrow down my list of friends for other gatherings I might have (the next one probably in Paris, ceh...). I love small stuff, so most of the things I prepare tends to be small in portions, but that allows me to have variety! Seriously, I need to dig in deeper to find out who would eat what and which food is suitable, so a profile review is a must for each guest invited.

For past artistic events I've attended can be accessed below:
Myanmar Art Review
Smartphones Unveiling Event
Fire-y Dragon Displays
Christmas 2011 Display
PC Fair Review KLCC
Student Art Fair
MaSIF Fashion Review
Spring/Summer Display Review
Fashion Show Review
Fashion Sales Preview Party
Launch Event - Pikom ICT Capsquare

The dessert portion is a bestseller
Variety of Food
I remembered my 18th birthday, and I was in the Sixth Form where I invited all the girls to attend my party. I cooked for the first time too, I invited girls from different races, and was glad at least some whom are not Chinese. I hate it when a group consists only mainly Chinese, or Malay, or Indian. I like my birthday party to be for everyone, of course I learned a lesson from the first birthday party I planned. It turns out the food I made wasn't too sensitive to the palate, so to speak. But my girlfriends walloped the food just the same, hehe. Especially the Malay girls. Now, being in this type of mode to plan a birthday gathering, the food I had in mind would be of variety - mostly fried, halal, non-halal and maybe even vegetarian. I decided to cook part of the food, and the other part I would buy from outside. The problem is - I still haven't a clue how many guests would actually come! I hate wastage, so I need to do an estimate - this requires a sharp and observant mind like mine. I bought 7 big bottles of soft drink, and I still have some tea leaves left in the jar, so I could make some tea if anyone wanted one. I've ordered a cook to prepare some fried foods for me on the day itself.

A mixture of halal and non-halal food
Porridge and Crackers (for the demanding guests)
I hate dealing with friends whom are undecided whether to attend or not, but they are still bearable compared to this one that declared he would only showed up if certain criteria of the gathering are met and he's even dared to tell me that he would come not bearing gifts. Thank goodness, with my wisdom, I managed to slip in a few warnings like I might serve porridge and crackers for guests who have the flu. I'm sure he would be one of them if he did in fact showed up with his demanding persona. Porridge and crackers seem like a mighty fine way to cull the effects of the flu, tis the season of the flu right now here in Malaysia. This particular friend of mine truly need those for he's really overweight and crammed in food like there's no tomorrow! I would be very afraid to have him in my birthday gathering, for the fear that food would not be enough! Most of my guests are slim, lean and medium-sized bodies, but for the sake of variety, I thought of adding him along. But soon, his mouth would be his undoing - if he ever shows up in my party! Courage, please guide me.

After party garbage to discard
Out of Context
The evening when I was expecting my guests, I quickly estimate who would arrive. I divided my friends into 2 groups - those who take things seriously and those who doesn't. The first were the group who take themselves quite seriously, meaning most of the time I would have to share about my life happenings, and take the effort to infuse the fun spirit, because most of the times they just keep quiet. Sometimes this group would steer into some serious (or sensitive) topics of conversations, which I have to quickly extinguish any potential fire that might ignite. That's the thing - it's easier to extinguish any fire with people of the same head as if compared to a group with many different heads. There was an incident when my overweight friend (yes, he did shamelessly appeared without any gift whatsoever at hand except his big mouth and 3-stomach) delved deep into the topic of religion, where my other 2 guests (who is a couple for a year now) have some very reserved opinion about it. It was also an opportunity for me to see how this couple is doing for I cared about them and they have sort of distanced themselves from me, and from the looks of it - very little display of affection between the two during the party and probably trouble in paradise? Anyway, when the topic of religion was kept on going, I quickly interjected and tried to change the topic. The problem is - somehow, some other serious topics crop up in the end, and this time was about corruption! Yes, I do acknowledge these issues are real, but as usual, for this group, they're too much into their own world to see that they're actually at a party! Cheer up a bit, fellas?

The pristine condition before the pillage
In the Spirit
Quickly, after the mentioned time, I easily whisked my first 3 guests away with their consent, and get ready to serve my second group of guests - whom I would say doesn't take life too seriously. But my first 3 guests are very interesting to have as company, for their view of the world is a total opposite of my other guests. Since I'm the Prime Minister of this party of mine, I can do anything and get away with it. One of the guests from the second session actually texted me to enquire who are the first group of guests, which I hated to answer, but did so quite gracefully like an actor should do. It's very hard to manage guests with different temperaments, and being a host, I have to keep an open ear to listen to any potential sarcasm or comments that might "offend" the other party. I wouldn't have to worry much for the second group of guests who are coming, for they are really different, in a way, they know the context of the event - which is a party, and they know they're supposed to have fun anyway. And what fun did we have! The jokes was outrageous but the camaraderie between friends are there and I truly feel it. And the presents....and the laughs and the jokes. If my life were to end tomorrow, this would be the best way to celebrate it. The food were all finished by the last group, thank goodness I have the foresight to "ration" the content appropriately, which was necessary due to the fact I couldn't predict how many were really coming.

Entertainment center - who needs it
when the Host is entertaining enough?
Tips for becoming a Gracious Host
This is one of the tricks I used to give a visual feast-y expectation. The plates I bought fit nicely on the palm, and the content of the food I would piled up so high for my guests, most of them would squeal "enough already". It really worked, as evident in the same technology used by Apple to make their 3.5inch screen looks "big and delicious" (see how I'm that creative to connect one with two). I also volunteered myself to be the waiter, since I am the host, it keeps me busy whenever the topic of conversation in the group turned utterly boring (also to ration the food, tsk, tsk). Always expect your guests to fumble or spilled stuff and liquid - and always assure them everything is alright. Only invite the number of guests whom you can handle during and after the party. And the after party is always plenty of work - the cleaning. But for this party, I kept everything simple and easy, so there weren't much back-breaking work to do. Also expect any late-night guest came knocking on your door. I received one, and this one is one of the dirtier boys, which I have to clean the little "unseen mess" he left behind. Geez, talk about being a popular party.

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