January 24, 2002

Gotta Have It

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Life’s a Party

Finding the balance between your social life and academics at college can be a pretty delicate procedure. I am a rabid proponent of having a crazy social life in college. Although we are here to learn, we need to keep in mind that these are the last four years of our young, irresponsible life cycle. That said, I am sure that we have all been to plenty of parties over the last few years where the vibe just isn’t there. Creating “party mojo” is a key ingredient in any college student’s curriculum vitae, but unfortunately there are no courses in how to throw a successful bash.

Luckily, I have kept a careful log over the last several months, consumed several different beverages, and taken note of some of the great things that make for an evening worth remembering (or in some cases, forgetting). Grab your seats, class is in session.

Shaken, Not Stirred

Sure, rolling a keg into your bath-tub is one way to go about entertaining, but to really get a party going make sure you serve drinks that don’t rhyme with “Feast.” A rum-and-Coke may be experimental, but here are a few drinks which will have your guests happy and feeling less like Anthony Michael Hall and more like James Dean.

The Apple Martini has become the drink of choice for the ladies. What’s in an apple martini you ask? It is 1.5 oz. of vodka, 1 oz. apple schnapps and 2 oz. of sweet-and-sour mix. If you are a guy, I wouldn’t suggest walking around with one of these in your hand.

For guys, I would suggest buying some foreign beer such as Dos Equis XX Lageur or Red Stripe, a Jamaican beer. For mixed drinks of the more manly sort, I would suggest a Screaming Orgasm: 1/2 oz. vodka, 1/2 oz. Irish cream liquer, 1/4 oz. Kahlua and 1/4 oz. Amaretto.

Drinking with gadgets adds a whole new dimension to the night. A great Internet site, Xunga.com sells all sorts of drinking devices from the Sudsucker (a beer funnel that reduces the foam in beer) to ShotRocks a re-freezable shot glass set that is one of the greatest stocking-stuffers since candy-canes. Of course, any party is better when you remember it, so partake in all libations rationally. (http://www.xunga.com)

Feel the Music

Parties without music aren’t really parties; they’re discussion groups. Until the beats start bumping, the chances of your party taking off are slim at best. If you have some cash to spend, lay down some money for a well made component system. The best price and feature set I have been able to find is the Panasonic SC-AK66. At just under $300 this system packs five speakers, Dolby-Surround sound and a robust 70 watts which is well beyond the threshold required to achieve earth orbit.

One of the more interesting investments is the ability to hold Karaoke parties in your home. The Singing Machine STVG 700 is a portable karaoke machine ($299.99), created by the folks at MTV. The machine has a CD/casette player and a graphical display built in to see the lyrics. With this machine, “Livin’ on a Prayer” takes on a whole new meaning. And you thought Carson Daly was just a pretty face.

Late-Night Snacks

Regretfully, this is the department where I have yet to find substantial options. Although Mama Theresa’s and Hong Kong are open until the early morning, there aren’t many other suppliers of delivery food. Thus, be sure to have the microwave ready to warm up some snacks as the night goes on. My personal favorite frozen snack: the Jalapeno Poppers available at Wegman’s for about $6.95 or frozen pizza bagels (approx. $6.00) which come in a variety of flavors.

When all else fails, go out and purchase a home deep-fryer. The Oster Fry-Smart Deep Fryer is my choice for ease of use and price ($60.00). You may have to put the George Foreman away, though, because this fryer is huge and you will need to have a lot of counter space available. However, once you start making yourself some homemade French fries at 4 in the morning, you’ll be saying, “George who?”


As we all know, driving drunk is a bad idea, so keep these numbers and schedules up on your refrigerator (don’t try memorizing them; you’ll be too hammered to make the necessary synaptic closures when you need to). The TCATs run in Collegetown until 2:00 am. If you miss the last bus, make sure to call a taxi from Ithaca Dispatch at (607) 277-8294. If that doesn’t work, call your friend who is home studying for an Orgo test; he or she will be happy to pick you up if he/she is a true friend. If you’re the host, it’s your responsibility to make sure everybody gets home safe — otherwise, have pillows aplenty for overnighters.

The Dog That Bit Me

There is no true way to avoid the hangover or the clean-up the next morning. However, you should try and get rid of most of the beer bottles, cups, and ash-trays the night of the party.

The next day, if you feel like you just went 12 rounds with Tyson, pop open Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief Effervescent Tablets ($4.39, available at “http://www.cvs.com”). Although these tablets are based around a very effective marketing scheme, they actually do the trick. Make sure to follow the directions and you will find that you will be ready to face the day. Oh yeah, one last tip, have your party on Saturday, that way you can have Sunday to rest. It’s in the Bible and who are we to argue?

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