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Monday January 01, 2006, 23:49

Upon reflection of the fifth New Year's Eve party that we've thrown in this apartment, I would like to offer some thoughts that came to me as I began cleaning the apartment after the last party guest had retired for the evening. This year's festivities lasted far longer than any of the last ones, and at an intensity that I had not seen before. Normally, at the end of the evening, the party-goers who remain are close friends who remain on the couch, talking until everyone is too tired to stay awake for any longer. This year, however, the party remained lively to the point that I was chastised by my guests for wanting to turn down the music at three in the morning.

So, the first thing I have realized over the years is that someone will always get too drunk for their own good, and more likely than not, someone will take the opportunity to vomit in the host's bathroom. While other guests may choose more inconvenient locations for their expulsion, most will opt for the toilet, which is why it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the toilet and area surrounding the toilet is spotlessly clean, which means at least a once-over with heavy-duty, all-purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and a wet sponge to the floor below the toilet. After all, the last thing that we want our guest to experience is further discomfort on top of their already uncomfortable position.

The second lesson learned is that evening parties do not need nearly as much food as you might originally anticipate. Because people are expecting to drink, most will go out in advance of the party to eat dinner, leaving the hosts with an exceptional number of meals left in the refrigerator. At last count, we had a plate of miniature sandwiches, six hunks of cheese, much of a pie, coffee cake, and various dips left over in the kitchen. While a lot of the food was eaten, the preparation time could probably have been spent a bit more effectively than it was, but at the same time, people did eat much of the food that was put out, and one does not want to leave drinking guests completely snackless. Next time, we will endeavor to put out a smaller variety of food with an informative note on the invitation indicating that guests should arrive hungry.

Red wine should not exist to be consumed in plastic party cups. People get absolutely insane around red wine, which is how we ended up with a waterfall of dark red running through the microwave, down the shelves, into a bowl of candy and subsequently onto the floor where it will in fact stain anything it touches on its way to the floor, up to and including the floor itself. Red wine glasses should be provided with their own paper towels for easy cleanup in the case that the wine does (and will inevitably) find its way out of the glass and onto the nearest surface it can get its grubby fingers onto. Next year: send the cleaning bill to the red wine drinkers.

This year, perhaps due to the crisp, cold weather that I felt I'd missed in the fall, I get the feeling that the upcoming year is going to be a good one. Just a hunch, but we'll have to re-examine in twelve months to see whether I still agree.

For now, however, 2006 is starting off pretty nicely.

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