Throw a Memorable Party: MillionairePlayboy.com's Tiki Jam 2003
by Mr. Stinkhead
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The fine folks at Solaire wanted us to try out their new Solaire Anywhere Grill. This compact, propane-powered portable grill uses infrared heat to cook your food. We at the MPb offices decided the best way to try out this beauty was to throw a killer party. So superior a party, that we use the word killer, which hasn't been used in the MPb offices since at least 1997.
Sarah, one of our servers, playing with us.
The Place: Buffalo Billiards
We had the grill, now we needed a place to throw this event. There is a sweet ass billiards bar near my place called Buffalo Billiards. They feature a large number of pool tables, darts, live music a few times a week, and their food is great. Much better than traditional "bar food." I recommend the Bison Burger. Bison meat tastes just like regular hamburger, but it's much leaner, ie better for your... if you're into that health-crap! Regardless, they had a great amount of space, and their servers are smokin' hot. After speaking to the manager about reserving the space and getting permission to grill our own food, he hooked us up with a phatty discount on Miller Lite. We had the beer, we had the grill, and then he hooked us up with lovely Sarah and Breanna. Not only were they really helpful the entire night, they were smokin' hot. (I just told you their servers were hot like two sentences ago. Let's try to keep up.) For your own party, if your pad isn't big enough (we're aiming for 30-40 people), look into a local pub or restaurant about reserving some space. I checked out all the local parks, but alcohol was not permitted.
Look at our sweet banner.
The best way to decorate for a party is to choose a theme. Is it birthday? Is it graduation? Is it lost virginity? A popular, and fun-to-do party theme is the island-castaway tiki look. We lucked out in that Buffalo Billiards' patio was already tiki-themed. We were going to go all out with the luau lookHawaiian shirts, tiki torches, etc, however it thunder stormed 2 hours before the party. The rain never came back, but we kept it low key. Right now there are all kinds of discount sales on outdoor party decorations at national retailers and party stores. We completely scored though. The Miller Lite folks kicked in a couple of banners for our party... so we could properly introduce ourselves to the community. These vinyl banners are sweet. If you decide you need something along these lines for your bash, check out your local sign shoppes or photo-copier centers.
Mr. Stinkhead checks out R-Dogg's progress on the grub.
The Solaire Infrared Grill uses propane to heat up coils directly under the grill shelf. It looks like a space heater when its going strong. The benefits of infrared heat are that the food cooks in half the time, and there is little to no flame, so you can cook on your porch, on the beach, or at tailgate parties. You get a little over an hour's worth of time per 1lb. can of propane. We plugged in a can and fired 'er up. R-Dogg and Jeff got the grill lit, and we started cooking. Simply put, the grill is great. Its compact, there's no messy charcoal afterwards, so you can place it in the back of your vehicle when you're finished. For more information on their complete line of grills, check out Solaire's website. Ok, so we know the grill is compact and clean, but that leads us to:
Tuxxer and Lando chow down heartily.
The Food The grill cooked the burgers all the way through in around 2 minutes or less per side. They only needed to be flipped once, however R-Dogg is a habitual flipper. (avoiding obvious joke) This particular model of grill could easily cook 4 burgers at a time. This is great for feeding your peeps and getting back in on the action. For your party, its pretty easy to pick up frozen burger patties and fixin's and then ask each guest to bring a bag of chips, salsa, potato salad, or deviled eggs. Now it's a simple fact that those deviled eggs won't compare to my mom's, but what are you gonna do? Quit talking about my mom! Buffalo Billiards set us up with a good price on frozen patties and the works. We also picked up a tray of their BBQ wings for when the burgers were cooking. Note: a decent portion of our party goers were vegetarian. So it doesn't hurt to ask around first and figure out if you need to offer wimp-uh-meatless alternatives.
The Princess of Power lays out the R-Dogg good.
Accessories Previous parties at my apartment usually end up with someone wearing my viking helmet and coconut bra. Also various action figures from my collection end up in precarious positions all over the place. This party needed some accessories. Right now, nothing kicks a party up a notch more than ToyBiz's Electronic Hulk Hands. They're hitting clearance now for around $15. Everyone enjoyed trying them out and even the I'm too cool for toys/comic books people horded the noisy fists for a while. These things got around everywhere. I was also lucky enough that they both made it back to my place in one piece. Unfortunately, my Stretchin' Screamer Alien is MIA. I love this guy. He's about a foot tall, he's got a stretchy/squishy torso and arms, and a nice plastic head bubble. Pull and tug his arms and he screams. Squeeze his chest and his brains pop up (under the bubble), and he screams more. He's also irrestitable to the ladies. Oh man, now I need a new pair of pants.
If you attended this party and happen to know the whereabout of my precious squishy purple alien, please let me know. I weep nightly.
This takes real talent.
Cathy and Stuart join in.
Lando da Pimp keeps his pimp hand, hulked.
You have to see this picture.
Brogan tries to win PitFall.
Activities Now the first time someone mentions activities for a party, the first thought in my head is magic markers and name tags. Not so... if you don't have a band playing, you should have some activity planned. But here's the trick: it has to be fun for everyone, while being able to last a long time, or be cut short if need be. Also, it can't be gay. Nothing looks lamer than you standing there shouting out rules to some game and the collective crowd rolling their eyes. But our crowd doesn't like organized games you say. Well shit. There are many options you can choose from.
The folks over at Tao Music sent over a karaoke machine for us to try out. The unit is nice and compact and plugs right into the back of your TV. The unit plays any CD (burned or purchased) that you have, but if you put in one of their CDs (they have a vast library), it'll play the words on your television. You'll also get some sweet music videos to watch while you're performing. Read our full blown review of the iKTV karaoke machine from Tao Music.
What did Carrie win?
Lets Make A Deal I have always wanted to be a game show host, so we went with the game show route. We were luckily enough to get some promotional swag gathered up; Cranium sent us a game*; and we got some sweetexclusive toys from ActionFigureXpress.com. You don't need golden press connections to have great prizes. Take out $20 cash and head to Wal-Mart. You can really dig up a mess of fun stuff for $20. Remember, you're not giving them holiday gifts, you're giving them a prize for playing along. We stocked up on water pistols, $6 DVDs, clearance toys, you name it. Then we put each item into a paper grocery bag and stapled it up. We had a stack of prizes we didn't wrap and we would call one person out of the audience at a time. The person could either walk away with the unwrapped prize, or choose one of the bags put before them. There is no simpler game-show set up than Let's Make A Deal. We had enough prizes so everyone went home with something. Also, it was "modular," we could keep giving away prizes as long as we had them, or we could quit if it appeared it wasn't going over too well. I was worried if it was trivia questions, people would be shy and not participate, or if it was too easy it would be boring for everyone else to watch three people playing. And the best part? I didn't have to do any math.
R-Dogg takes home Pac Man
Arcade Games The great folks at Jakks Pacific sent us some of their all inclusive video game systems (review). These controllers plug into your TV's AV outlets and already contain the games. No console or cartridges required, and you get all the old school Atari games you can dream of. We set up the Activision controller, organized a Pit Fall tournament, and the winner walked away with the Namco controller, which included Pac Man and Dig Dug. This controller is pretty sweet because the joystick looks just like the old school arcade controllers. R-Dogg took the top position with a high score of 5860 says he didn't really play a lot as a kid, but he spent time brushing up before hand.
* Actually, if you have a small gathering and you want to play something memorable, try Cranium, it's pretty engaging for adults as well as teenagers. You can pick up a copy at Amazon.com, and you won't be disappointed.
Personally I think the best prizes were the MPb apparel we handed out. You can't deny how sexy Ginger looks right here. Imagine her with that shirt on... Brogan picked up one of our slinky tank tops (that picture is ripe for photoshopping). Now you're drooling right? I'm not one to leave you hanging, you can instantly spruce up your looks and make yourself drop dead sexy like us by picking up these shirts in our Millionaire Store. Proceeds help us keep the pop-up ads at bay.
Tunes The bar had a good sound system, but we brought along our Dream Gear Boom Boom Multi-Box. This thing is great for amping up a walkman or MP3 player if you don't want to disconnect your whole stereo. Need some music recommendations? Check out our Music reviews.
Just like little kid goodie bags, I mean the Oscars, I thought everyone should go home with something. I designed these light switch decals, printed them out on $.20 light switch plates from the hardware store and stuck them on. We had two designs just for some variety. You don't have to feel left out... if you're on a high-speed connection you can download this PDF and print it out on uncut label sheets. Then cut them out and apply to your favorite light switch. Instantly spruce up your pad, without cleaning up anything!
This picture sums up MPb's entire impact on our life together.
The People (meet our staff) I'd love to thank everyone individually that showed up, but we're boring the crap out of our readers here. Let me share a bit more about our staff however. I couldn't have pulled off the evening with out the support of my beautiful girlfriend, the Princess of Power. Besides making the lightswitches and keeping the party running, she finished my conversations when new guests arrived and helped me calculate the bill after drinking my weight in alcohol. I was pretty drunk at that point, but not enough to forget that. Jager and his lovely wife Sweet Pea trucked in all the way from WV. Jager was invaluable in orchestrating the game show. All I had to do was stand up and host. Lando and his charming wife bffer escaped Pittsburg for the weekend. (It's true, 90% of our staff is in a committed relationship...kind of hurts our image. But it's ok, we're allowed to act single at the bars all the time.) Tuxxer and Brutilus stopped by from across town. Fakey Fakowitz and R-Dogg drove all night from Columbus, and R-Dogg even jumped on grilling duty. She's not a staffer, but Wanda did fly in from Minnesota, so I'll give her big props as well. (Ginger, I just called you sexy like, three times)
Jager, Fakey, Stinkhead, Lando
Party guests: Come on by the message board and post your review of the burgers, the party, or any good tales you got. What did you win in our game show?
Pictures Well you made it. Hopefully, we're able to help you a little bit with your Labor Day (or to be PC...end of summer) party. You could repay us by inviting us. We've had a great six months, and we're just going to keep on keepin' on.
Thanks to Peter, Lando, Fakey, and R-Dogg for contributing to these photos.
Thanks to the following places that helped make this party possible: