Thursday, August 4, 2011

Party Like It's 1898

Over the weekend a friend of mine from South Korea was in town, and we got a chance to hang out on Saturday.
One of the places I took her was Uncommon Objects on S. Congress.

Their door says 'no photography please' and even though I saw other people sneaking photos with their iPhones, I'm a big rule abider, so no actual pictures of the current offerings on display, but I can show you the amazing book I got:

Eighty Pleasant Evenings was published in 1898 by the United Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston and Chicago.
As the title suggests, the book is a guide for throwing various parties and socials.
I said to Husband that I want to throw all 80 in the space of a year, but after doing the math and seeing it works out to about 7/month I realized that people would probably stop responding to facebook event invites and might even drop me off their friend's list completely.

But, really, who wouldn't want to attend A Dime Social?
"Music and two or three bright recitations or reading may open the evening, after a general conversational time, while the guests are assembling. A paper or talk may be given on the process of coining. This may either precede or follow the "dime game", which we quote from The Household.
See that each person present is provided with a United States dime and a lead-pencil, also a sheet of paper upon which the following list has either been written or printed, with numbered blank spaces for the answers. When these have been distributed, announce that a certain length of time will be given in which to find upon the face of the coin the following articles.
1. Fruit of a tropical tree.
2. What the Siamese twins were.
3. What a lazy man seldom gets.
4. The division of a country.
5. The cradle of liberty.
6. Another name for an isthmus.
7. Something a schoolboy makes.
8. Something a bootblack wants to give you.
9. What we love to sing.
10. What a self-conceited man does.
11. What you might do if very angry.
12. Part of a river where the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet is sometimes found.
13. An instrument to catch sound.
... [then there are more clues for the reverse side of the dime]...
KEY.
Articles found upon the face of the dime:
1. Date 2. United. 3. Ahead. 4. States. 5. America. 6. Neck. 7. Figures. 8. A shine. 9. America. 10. Knows (nose). 11. Stamped. 12. Mouth (Greek letter, Delta). 13. Ear.

Some slight reward may be given to the one having the most correct answers.
For refreshments have cake and ice-cream, peanut sandwiches and lemonade, or strawberries and cream, and charge a dime; also, if desired, have a long table on which may be arranged various articles for sale at that price."

Now doesn't that sound fun?
And who could resist A Washington's Birthday Social!
"Invitations are worded in the usual form, with the word "Costume" in the lower left-hand corner. These costumes may be simple or elaborate, the essential points being powdered hair for all, kerchiefs, and black court-plaster patches for the ladies, and for the gentlemen long hose, knee-breeches, buckled slippers, and lace ruffles in coat-sleeves. Hanging in a conspicuous place should be a life-size portrait of George Washington, framed in evergreen or in red, white, and blue. Flags and draperies of bunting may be added as decorations, wherever desired. Pin the name of some famous Revolutionary character to the back of each guest, and require him to guess his own identity by means of conversational hints from various sources.
  Sheets of paper, dainty pencils attached by means of narrow parti-colored ribbon, should be previously prepared. The first page may be decorated with a flag and a patriotic motto. On the inner pages are eight or ten questions or topics for conversation, each numbered, with a space below it for the name of a partner. Each guest engages, or is engaged by, a different partner for each topic. When arranged, all converse five minutes on each topic, beginning, ending, and changing partners and topics at the tap of a bell. 
  Peanut-shells may be provided, split and tied with narrow ribbon, and containing slips of paper on each of which is written half of the name of a State. These are passed and matched to find partners for refreshments. Just before serving the cake, coffee, and ice-cream, a march should be introduced; and the evening may close appropriately with the singing of patriotic songs."

In all, it's a really humorous look into the past. I was surprised at how people today are still playing similar games, such as the icebreaker where you put some famous' name on people's back and they have to guess who they are.

And rest assured: I will definitely be throwing at least one pleasant evening.
But there's just so many to choose from.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

"*sigh*... Austin never put this much effort into their soccer team" is what Husband muttered upon seeing the setup for the Lonestar Rollergirls (not that he's still bitter the team moved to Orlando, or anything). It's true. The Rollergirls had a large, enthusiastic crowd, boisterous announcers, and a camera crew so they can stream the games online. But, they have also been around a lot longer than the Austin Aztex were.
We finally decided to watch a roller derby match since we had heard so much about it and since it takes place so close to our home.
 Every match, a huge track is constructed at the Palmer Events Center, along with bleachers for the fans, a stage for bands, and stands for the announcers. The seating appeared to be first come, first served, so get there early to get a good seat as people save entire rows for friends coming later. You can also stand to the side of the track for a closer view.
I haven't seen the film Whip It or the show Rollergirls and didn't really know anything about the rules, apart from the description on the website: "Four 8 minute periods played between two teams"
Hmmm... 8 minute quarters. That's a pretty short game!
 Wrong.

It lasted 3 hours (not including the time waiting for it to start).

Although a jam can last up to 60 seconds, some are shorter. They stop the clock in between. And every time someone is injured. And during penalties.
For a major penalty, the player had to go sit in the penalty box. Which was sponsored by the Dunham Law Firm. So every time someone would go to the penalty box the announcers would shamelessly plug "and when you find yourself in the penalty box of life... JAIL... called the Dunham Law Firm at xxx-xxxx..." which made me laugh.
For minor penalties, they would spin a wheel to determine what the player had to do.
 As you can see from the fan signs, some of the penalty (?)challenges(?) were pillow fight or two lap duel or tug of war or arm wrestling, and a player from each team would compete. Most of the ones this match ended with one girl on top of the other attacking them. It got pretty messy.
Before the match and during halftime they had bands play, which was a nice addition to the night. I don't remember the band who played at halftime, but The Bipolar Bears opened the night, and I enjoyed their set.
The next match will be this Saturday, August 6. You can buy tickets at the door for $15 or go here for more options.

I'd be up for going again, but I think it'd be more fun in a group of people. I should also probably pick a team to root for, rather than just clap for everything.