Baby’s First Xmas Party since 2019! I only invited a handful of friends because this was the first time in years having people over and I was lowkey kind of nervous about it?!
First punches since…well, maybe even BEFORE 2019 because that was the Xmas party where I had a hot chocolate bar instead of punch! It was fun gussying up the beverage buffet like old times, that’s for sure.
Punch on the left is “Tree-Trimming Punch” and the one on the right is a kid-friendly apple cider party punch for Chooch and his friends Zakk and Haojie, who hung out on the backporch (it’s a 3 season room with a concrete floor, so…not very winter-friendly) after I went through great lengths to clean it during the week and had numerous convos with Henry afterward about putting the kerosene heater back there and then the day of the party, I brought it up again and he acted like this was the first he was hearing of it, which is tres typical of Gaslighter Guy, let me just say. So we had a fight of course and then he had to go to BUSY BEAVER at the last minute to buy kerosene which is a thing that could have happened much earlier in the week had he fucking HEARD ME.
And the whole ass time, he kept rubbing his lips together about how IT WASN’T EVEN NECESSARY, IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THAT COLD, TEENAGE BOYS DON’T CARE and I was having to astral project my fist to a meditation camp on a planet ruled by Korean unicorns in an effort to keep it from smashing into Henry’s face instead.
We will…revisit this later. It will come up again, I promise.
I had to pick Chooch’s ass from work at 6 (the party started at 7!!!) so I was severely running behind on setting everything up. Because of this, not everything was put out, I didn’t make labels, the kitchen was in final form. I was a mess, as usual. Haojie was the first to arrive and he brought a platter of vegetable lo mein from his family’s restaurant (Tong Garden in Brookline, it’s fantastic!) which I thought was so sweet! Who knew teenagers could be thoughtful?! Well, I’m sure his parents had a lot to do with that.
Then Janna came around 7:05 after saying she was going to come EARLY because she had to “use [our] broiler,” whatever that meant. She made really delicious sweet potato rounds with melted ricotta cheese and craisins and WALNOOTS that she had to borrow from my squirrels, ugh. (Don’t worry – I opened a fresh bag for her, I didn’t take them from the squirrels’ food bowl outside, lol.) Also, it was hilarious when she asked Henry if he had any walnuts, because he frowned, sighed, and said, “Ask your friend.” When she asked me, I whipped open the doors of the beverage buffet to reveal the squirrels’ stash, lol.
Do I have walnuts. Ha!
The only thing I sort of made was a gingerbread dip, but that entailed me walking away as Henry was setting up all the ingredients for me and then never returning until it was time to “fold” in the Cool Whip. I thought I could handle that part so I wrenched the spatula from him.
“What are you doing?” he cried.
“I’m folding it,” I said, like, le duh.
“That’s not folding, that’s punching!” and then I was dismissed.
Also, in the back you can see the kimbap that Henry made which I asked him to stack in the shape of the Xmas tree and he clearly didn’t understand the assignment. It’s fine. At least they tasted good.
Megan’s “thing” is making super creative cheese balls for parties and I was so honored to have one of her creations on my party table! OMG it was so good but no one wanted to be the first one to dive in so she made me do it. I went straight for the head.
I wasn’t paying attention but this coffee table party spread was devoured and I never had a chance to replenish it because I was so caught up in telling terrible stories about myself and showing Picasso-esque nude portraits painted of me and Henry by death row pen pals.
Dude you guys, I saw a YouTube video for gochujang caramel cookies and knew Henry had to make them. They were fucking AMAZING. Maybe I’m the only one who thought that (although there was only one left) but I was obsessed and can’t wait for the next opportunity when “I” have to bake cookies for something because it will be these. If you don’t know what gochujang is because you’re not all about Korea like me, it’s a fermented spicy red pepper paste that is used in a LOT of Korean dishes. It has a very distinct and unique taste and I wasn’t sure how this was going to work, but it’s like a delicious, moist sugar cookie with ribbons of a sweet gochujang caramel swirled throughout. It doesn’t hit you until the end when the heat creeps in. I love these so much. I love gochujang in general though! I put heaping dollops of it on my bibimbap.
Now I want bibimbap.
Gochujang Girl. Also, not me wearing a shirt to my party that I only just bought that day.
There were only 14 people (including us and Chooch’s friends) there that night but it got REALLY LOUD at one point (Henry said it was mostly because of me and Corey). Blake, who lives next door, was out for part of the night and there was a babysitter over there, so I’m sure that was awesome for whoever it was, maybe Henry’s ex-wife LOLOL.
I spent the whole evening sitting on the church pew in the “new corner” of the living room and I have to say – it was more cozy than I expected and it was fun to get a new vantage point since I’m 99.9% of the time sitting on the couch.
Lori posing with Trudy.
Law Firm Squad!
This was the first time I REALLY got to talk to Wonka’s wife, Jess, and it was excellent. We need to have a couples night because literally the only time I ever see them is during one of my chaotic gatherings.
The vacant wheelchair tells me that this was around the time we lost Wonka and Corey to the back porch, where they decided to try and hang with the teens. It was around this time when I noticed Henry lighting the kerosene heater, so I got REALLY obnoxious at this point, yelling, “OH HO HO LOOK WHO’S LIGHTING THE KEROSENE HEATER EVEN THOUGH IT’S NOT GOING TO BE COLD OUT THERE!”
Henry just frowned deeper into his mustache, while Wonka said, “No, it’s REALLY cold back here!”
“I told you it wouldn’t be a problem until the adults went back there,” Henry mumbled. Apparently Corey was trying to turn on the heater himself and Henry had to intervene which is even funnier to me because Corey is just the boy version of me. We have very little life skills.
I loved that all of my friends inter-mingled with each other. I have always prided myself on having totally inclusive gatherings where everyone is introduced to each other and ends up with new friends. I have been to two of Megan’s parties so far and hers are the same – totally chill and not awkward which says a lot because my social skills bend just far enough backward to where I can create awkwardness in almost any sitch.
Although lately, I feel like I’m starting to get a bit of the old me back. I’m a Leo for Christ’s sake but only the people super close to me would know it. In the past, I used to present ALL LEO TRAITS to everyone I met. Loud, outgoing, maybe even a little bitchy…bring that Erin back, please.
Megan tried to leave at 11 and I held her hostage for another hour. It’s what I do.
When I was showing Megan and Eric my Cure wall upstairs, Eric said he felt like he was at the Mattress Factory and that was top tier compliment, honestly. I love the Mattress Factory and most of their exhibits are totally my aesthetic.
There was one point where Corey innocently asked, “Did you get a ring yet?” and I felt so triggered that I snapped, “WHAT? WHAT RING???”
“Oh my god,” he murmured, backing away from me slightly. Then he held out his phone and showed me the feed from his Ring security camera and I laughed, “OH! HAHA, THAT RING.”
I sincerely thought he meant an engagement ring, not that that’s something that has been on the forefront of my mind for 20+ years or anything.
Megan and I “jabber” all day long at work, so it’s been nice to see her more out in the real world lately! Three times in a little over a week this month alone!
I billed this party as a “casual Xmas get-together” and I think it lived up to the description. It was super caj.
Until Chooch hijacked it and turned it into game night. Janna was visibly anguished when she saw Chooch pull out Scattergories. I am a real treat to play that one with! Jess escaped the madness and hung out with Henry, Ricky, and Dawn in the dining room for this portion of the night and I don’t blame her. It got so rowdy, especially with Corey’s bombastic laugh and me screaming at Janna lol.
P was the letter for one of the rounds and I answered PUNK ASS BITCH for “something in the room” and pointed emphatically at Janna when I screamed it. GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS!
Corey answered 9/11 for “Something made out of metal” and I still don’t understand it, but it felt very dark. He was taking this game to some sinister places, that’s for sure.
I don’t know what was going on here, but Chooch looked like a bookie and was acting totally manic.
SHUT UP, JANNA.
(LOL, j/k Janna!)
At some point, it had started snowing really bad?! I felt pretty awful about that.
Wonka wanted a picture of the three of us sitting on the couch like old times and I was happy to oblige! We used to have so much fun here back in the day, with the exception of a few bad seeds who used to hang around. It was really fun to reminisce about some of those random Internet people who I lured over here to hang out (THAT IS HOW I MET WONKA!!!!).
Then I wanted to do one where we were all “Doing Something,” which is how I pulled something in my side and then Jess said it’s actually possible to break a rib by doing stupid, minimal movements so then that sent my hypochondriac mind into a tailspin.
Jess & Wonka!
Dawn and Ricky! I love it when I get to hang out with them outside of the Castle but I didn’t get to talk to them much because Henry stole them!!! But, a bunch of are making plans to go to Castle Blood for the St. Patrick’s Day event that they’re having and I’m excited because I love going to the Castle but I especially love bringing fresh blood with me!
From the moment Corey set foot in the house, he homed in on the Feliz Navidad balloons and said, “I need my picture taken there before I leave.” I Think he said it like 4x!
I love this one because Taemin is part of it!
I would leave those balloons up forever if they’d stay a’puff.
Then Corey accidentally knocked over an ice cream cone planter I got at South of the Border and was so upset about it but it’s totally fine and can easily be glued back together – he is seriously obsessing over it though and even texted me about it again today!
I made those cookies. They’re just the Nestle Toll House ones though where the dough is pre-made and you just break it off and cook it haha. I added Xmas sprinkles though and everyone said they were delectable.
Anyway, the party came to end around 2am, and I can’t remember the last time I had a party that went on this late! It was so much fun, so great to bullshit with old friends and new friends, while drinking punch and pigging it out on party food.
Chooch is already planning the next party (a game night, I have passed the torch to him) so I’m looking forward to more chaos in the future!