10P 10: How To Throw a GOOD Party This Summer

10P 10:

How To Throw a Good Party This Summer

written by Cameron Brtnik


“Make it a Potluck”
    We’re finally into the summer party season, and you’ll no doubt be celebrating at your cottage up North, hitting a patio downtown, or throwing a backyard BBQ. You will surely be stocked with cold beers, coolers, freshly rolled joints and other party favours to help keep your guests inebriated. And let’s not forget the staples: juicy burgers, sausages, and some unidentifiable vegan choice. You’ll probably have a couple card games on hand like Cards Against Humanity, or Uno. And this would all seem like enough..but often, it’s not – not if you want to make your party memorable. Here are some ideas to add some originality, fun and excitement to your shindig, and ensure your parties will be the most talked about this summer!
1. Get Decor – Buy some decor at a store. I know it seems tacky, but it’s better than nothing! Eg: Streamers, balloons, and other party favours. Tip: These can all be bought at Dollarama.
2. Plan Some Games – This may seem childish, but as I’m sure you’re well aware, a drunken crowd is a childish crowd. Some ideas: Pin the Tail On the Donkey, Twister (this will turn x-rated pretty quick, unless it’s a family function), Truth or Dare, Card Drinking Games like Kings Cup
3. Have Prizes – Don’t forget to have prizes for the winners. I usually like to have cheesy prizes ie. stuff you can get from the dollar bin, as it makes it funnier, promotes good sportsmanship, and will ultimately save some $. Some favourites: Bag-o-nuts, a pair of socks, or some kind of childish toy. It’s probably good to have a real prize for the harder games like Trivia. For this you can have nicer items like a bottle of Tequila or a movie Gift Certificate. Tip: For a great prize (and to save you more $) you could make a “Dinner for two with Me and You” gift card where you invite that guest and a plus one for a dinner night. They will love it cause they’ll get to spend more time with you!
4. Host a Trivia Game – Everyone likes to play trivia at the pub, but how about in your own living room? And have guests answering questions you designed yourself? Tip: Make it theme related ie. On a trip to Chicago you could include trivia about that city, or for a birthday you can find out trivia about the birthday boy (ask his girlfriend the answers beforehand so it makes it super subjective!)
5. Play Kings Cup – I mentioned this in #2, but I felt this game needed a whole category in itself. You know it – it’s that game you played in college where, by the end, you were either throwing up in the bathroom or making out with a stranger. Kings Cup is still the king of drinking games (see what I did there?) and what I love about it is that you can tweak the rules or even make up new ones along the way. “Kings! From now on no one can use the word ‘drink’ during the game.” Good luck with that one.
6. Entertain Your Guests – Invite at least one talented friend. This could be a musician, a dancer, a clown, or even a chef. It doesn’t matter, as long as they’re prepared to be put on the spot at some point in the night to put on a show. It’s a win-win: They entertain your crowd for free and they get invited to the next party.
7. Play Match-Maker – Know a couple of stand-up individuals in your circle of friends who haven’t found the right one (yet)? Perfect! Act as matchmaker. Whether or not they hit it off by the end of the night, they’ll thank you for your well-meaning efforts. You never know – they may just name their baby after you.
8. Throw a Dance Party – Halfway into the night guests will be chilling on the patio, deck, or huddled inside if the weather’s chilly… That’s when you ask Alexa to throw on some party tunes! Watch as your normally shy friends bust out the Floss. Ah DMX never sounded so good.
9. Make It a Potluck – Make the party a Potluck Party and that will certainly take a lot of the stress off of hosting. You can designate one cook, or guests may use the grill to cook their own food (this comes with an obvious warning).
10. BYOB – Ask guests to “Bring Your Own Booze.” This seems evident but it’s worth mentioning. Imagine the PR nightmare if you ran out of booze halfway through the event – apocalyptic. If everyone brings their own booze, you can relax knowing there’ll be plenty to gulp down for the duration of the event (and even leftovers for dinner the next day!). Oh the joys of hosting. Tip: To make the party amusing put out a bowl of edibles. WARNING: Make sure your guests know they’re edibles! If they’ve never tried them advise doing just a little so your guests don’t disappear halfway through the night. I recommend gummy bears, but just the head.

Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto and part-time party planner cbrtnik.com

Upfront Reviews – The Goonies

                                                                                                                                                                          Trip Home – Summer 2015                                                                                                                                August 21, 2015
Upfront Reviews  
by Cameron Brtnik
Sugar Cinemas sit-in theatre presents:
     I went to the sit-in theatre today located at Sugar Beach at Queens Quay and Jarvis, Toronto. I was pumped; They were showing Goonies, possibly my favourite childhood movie of all time – Steven Spielberg, Chunk, and Rocky Road…It was definitely a nostalgic trip down memory lane. I often take time to watch my favourite movies from my youth – online torrents, streaming sites, and even YouTube make this easily possible – Hunt to Witch Mountain, Short Circuit, Batteries Not Included, The Navigator to name a few of my treasured talkies.
     The free event was put on very well: street performers, contests, free food! (including sweetened popcorn and some delicious butter cookies), plenty of outhouses, and bum boxes – no, they are not a solution to the city’s homeless – an ingenious idea, it’s a box that folds out into a portable seat that you can actually lean back in. We grabbed a couple and took them to a comfy, sandy area to sit down on. But there was a problem: our view of the screen was hindered by permanent, plastic umbrellas, not to mention the obtrusive heads of viewers sitting in cottage style chairs that the smart, early crowd nabbed up in an instant, rendering the aforementioned bum boxes obsolete.
     And then there was the movie screen: It seemed big enough for a small-sized movie theatre; not for a sold-out crowd. I could barely see the screen – stationed in the water, on a dock – even though we were sitting, bums in boxes near the front. Another trifling problem was visual quality; It literally felt like I was watching an old VHS tape. At times it was so dark on screen I couldn’t make out who Mikey was from his brother Brand (played by a young Josh Brolin) or Chunk from Sloth. And there was the issue with the sound: At first it was loud enough but so echoey you could barely make out what the Goonies were saying. Then the loudspeakers blew out and all that was left were the stereo speakers positioned at either end of the beach. The sound was actually clearer, but too quiet for the number in attendance. The staff fixed the speakers fairly quick, but by then some moviegoers had had enough; about a quarter of the audience just got up and left.
     Overall it was a good experience (enhanced by the fact we had snuck in a bottle of wine which has a nice way of increasing the nostalgia effect), and I was on a date so they could have been playing Labyrinth for all I cared. But a little advice Sugar Cinemas: Test your equipment before you put on such a large event! And maybe even get an HD version of the the movie you’re playing. There’s not enough free popcorn in the world that would make a shitty cinematic experience better.
Upfront Reviews
Cameron is a freelance writer
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