Sunday, April 29, 2012

You Can Never Be Too Old for Beer Pong

As this post's title suggests, this weekend, I learned that you can never be too old for some good ol-fashioned beer pong.

Over the past few weeks, my coworker Phil (and his roommates) have been working their hearts out to plan this ginormous BBQ bash, to celebrate their roommate's "emancipation" from tax season. Let's just say, I was a firm supporter of the purpose of this event... trust me, I still remember those hours we were putting in during my Winter quarter tax accounting internship.

I was actually quite interested to see how this event panned out... I mean, over the past couple of weeks, it was quite apparent that Phil (and his roommates) had this party planning down to an absolute science.

Firstly, the sheer AMOUNT of meat that I was told was going to be readily available should have kind of grossed me out... after all, they had to be prepared to feed at least 60 people (the projected number of attendees, last I spoke with Phil). However, I have to admit, it didn't gross me out in the least... what can I say?

I. Love. Meat.

Spoken like the true dainty and ladylike individual that I am... ;)

Anyway, my friend/twin, Joyce, and I arrived a couple of hours after the party was set to begin... and my God, Phil's projections of attendees was no exaggeration. I wish I could've snapped a picture of what greeted us when we entered his apartment... people were packed from end to end... there was literally NO space for people to move around. I have to say, I'm not good with estimations and all that, but there had to have been more than 60 people squeezed into that place.

I don't even want to think about the number of safety violations we were in the midst of encountering.

It was like a college frat party in its finest sense. Complete with ginormous TVs...

(No, seriously. Can you TELL just how LARGE that TV IS?!?!? What. The...)

And, of course, a keg...

To be honest, I can't even remember the last time I've THOUGHT about a keg... let alone actually seen one.

And finally...

Okay, so to be fair, I knew well in advance that there was going to be some elaborate beer pong tournament going on. And to be fair (again), I'd mentally prepared myself for this fact in order to temper my excitement levels because, quite frankly...

I. Love. Beer Pong.

Fine, fine, fine. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the biggest fan of any sort of alcohol, beer or otherwise. But I love games! And I (used to) love ping pong! It only makes complete and logical sense that I would fully appreciate the finer joys of beer pong, right? Damn straight.

Well, except for the fact that... if you think about it... my GOD, is it unsanitary or WHAT?!? Like, those ping pong balls are flying all over the place... and sure, you're rinsing them off after each turn but... well, really? Really. Let's be honest here, how clean are these things actually getting?

But I digress. Phil's apartment had two separate beer pong tables set up, to enhance the timeliness and efficiency of the beer pong tournament (if you know Phil, you know this is pretty much... well, par for the course). As we parked it in front of one of the tables, I noticed the special props that were being used to aid the tournament...

I actually never asked, but am still quite curious... why in heaven's name was a coffee pot being used to pour the beer into each cup? I wasn't sure if there was some scientific reasoning behind this or if it was just because... but knowing Phil (and the master orchestration of the rest of this party), I figure there MUST be some scientific explanation behind this.

Ohhhh welllll. Apparently I need no reason to just jump right on that bandwagon...

When in Rome and all that.

After much anticipation, we finally got around to playing our turn... to be honest, I can't remember the last time I PLAYED beer pong... and let's be real here, coordination isn't exactly my forte. But who would've thought?!?! Joyce and I actually made quite a few in!! It was all very exciting. Unfortunately, no pictures were snapped in the height of the action because, I mean, come ON, people! Full concentration here!!

Okay, in all things full disclosure, Joyce and I lost in the first round, but in our deFENSE... it was a really close game! Both teams were down to one cup by the end of it, before Alex (the girl on the opposing team) made the winning shot.

All in all- good times. Honestly, once you just force yourself to forget about the whole unsanitary component of the game, beer pong is quite possibly one of the most entertaining of games. I mean, the adrenaline, the camaraderie, the friendly competition... God, I am such an avid supporter and fan.

You know what else I'm an avid supporter and fan of? Any and every BBQ/beer potluck/beer pong tournament that Phil and his roommates plan in the future... just a friendly FYI (gotta secure my invite for the next bash at some point, right?! Right ;)).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inside Louisville's (Indian) Debutante Society

WOW! Has it been a long time or what? Since coming back from my vacation (teardrop), I feel like my weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of activity sooo... I apologize for the lack of blog posting. I know you have all been waiting on the edge of your seats. 

No worries! I'm back in full swing! After THIS weekend, there is no way I could stay away from the Maliyacular for much longer. What happened this weekend? Why, I'm so glad you asked. A few of my friends/co-workers had been planning a trip to Louisville this weekend for another friend/coworker's bridal shower. 

I know, I know... Louisville? Really? Trust me, these were my thoughts exactly. I mean, I'm all about the Midwest but even I have to draw the line when it comes to the state of Kentucky. But what can I say? We're pretty great friends, so Stephanie, Urmi and I decided to grace the bride-to-be, Neha, with our presence at her bridal shower in Louisville (where her mom and a bunch of her family friends live). 

The road trip started out uneventfully enough... Neha had gotten a Zipcar for the four of us to pile into early Saturday morning and begin the sojourn to Louisville. After a minor snafu at the tollbooth (involving some reversing into oncoming traffic after realizing that the Zipcar did not, in fact, have an iPass... a slight issue given that we were in the iPass lane...), all continued along fairly smoothly. 

We finally decided to stop a little over halfway through to fill up on gas and have a little snack. We'd gotten a super early start so none of us had eaten any breakfast that morning. Well, when you're in the middle of nowhere Indiana, your options are limited.

God, I can't remember the last time I was inside a Steak n Shake... oh wait, yes I can. It was one late night at Ohio State and... well, we were sitting next to a table that, not going to lie, definitely had vomit dripping off the side of a table. 

Ah, the memories. Way to class it up, Ohio State. OH-IO and all that.

Anyway! No better way to really embrace the whole Steak n Shake experience than with... 

Who knew Steak n Shake actually SOLD cottage cheese?!? And you think you can't get a healthy, well-balanced meal at a fast food restaurant...

But I digress. After our healthy, well-balanced meal, we were ready and waiting to continue the rest of the drive to the grand city of Louisville.

Oh, it was all so very lovely. The rest of the drive was fairly uneventful until we actually GOT to Louisville. And this is where the chaos of the weekend actually began to play out. So here's the thing. We all know and love Neha- she's so down to earth, friendly, easygoing... we all thought we knew her so well.

Yeah. Until this trip. Sooo... long story short, it turns out that Neha is a Louisville debutante of sorts. I mean, this girl's suburb literally consists of resorts that are masked as people's houses. I swear, it was like we were living out some sort of a lifestyles of the rich and famous scenario. I can safely say that, by the end of our introductory drive through Neha's suburb, Urmi's, Stephanie's and my mouths were fully agape. 

It sure didn't end when we entered Neha's house and... upon being given our introductory tour were greeted with... well, let's be honest here, a shrine.

A shrine to her sister that is.

Yes, my friends. That's right. Those all belong to just one individual- Neha's sister. Good to know Neha's family is quite... well... accomplished, I guess you could say.

After we had a couple of hours (and some of Neha's mom's AMAZING Indian food) of rest, relaxation and... well, recuperation from the slight shock of Neha's newly revealed debutante-ness... we decided to hit the streets of Louisville.

Trust me. I'm in your boat... I wasn't exactly expecting all too much. This weekend was the start of the Kentucky Derby's celebratory activities, with "Thunder"- basically a huge carnival and fireworks extravaganza taking place right downtown. Before heading downtown, we decided to do a quick dinner at Neha's friend's sushi restaurant... which turned out to be QUITE delicious.

And quite the spectacle. That's right... you're never too old to sake bomb...

Sure, we were sake bomb'ing at a suburban restaurant, with the majority of patrons being 50+ years old and... well, blatantly staring at what the heck a sake bomb entailed... but WHATEVER. I love sake bombs! So FESTIVE, if you will.

By that point, we were running a little late, so we jetsetted downtown, where Neha quickly found us a parking lot and, upon quickly scanning the lot (a whole two seconds, really), declared there to be no parking attendant and therefore, no reason why we would need to pay for a parking ticket. City-dwellers that we are, I can safely say that none of us really had faith in this reasoning... but, well, Neha was already quickly scurrying off to get us to the fireworks display in a timely fashion... what else could we do but follow the girl?

Sooo... we were planning to watch the fireworks from this high-rise building, where Neha's family friend owns a restaurant and allowed us to come up to the third floor for better viewing. We were all quite excited because these were some prime spots, we'd heard (from Neha). As we get out of the elevators on the third floor, we actually run into the most adorable little old Indian man heading onto the elevator... with a bottle of Baileys in hand.

You know, the usual.

Anyway, he is only like the most adorable thing ever and was chit-chatting with us for a few seconds (God bless inebriation, right?), before indicating that he had to head back up to the 18th floor since he was hosting his OWN party up there. 

Well, that was that. We had our 3rd floor party to get to! We quickly found the apartment number we were initially instructed to head to and opened the door with a fair amount of gusto... only to be slightly confused.

White people? We just didn't understand. We literally backed OUT of the apartment after swinging open the door like we'd owned the place... until we found out that these people are only like the friendliest things alive. After some questions and answers, we discovered that we actually WERE in the right spot... it just happened to be that Neha's Indian family friends who had invited us over were sharing the apartment viewing party with... well, some white people. Diversity and integration... imagine that.

A few minutes into some friendly conversation, we found out that we were actually a half hour EARLY for the fireworks. Fine by us- we can easily entertain ourselves. So, while we're sitting there, chit-chatting amongst ourselves, the conversation just happened to circle back to that adorable little old Indian man we'd run into earlier.

I mean, you know me. I love little old men. So a little old Indian man? Sigh- heartstrings. A little old slightly intoxicated Indian man? alkds;jlfadsj;lfj! God bless little old drunken Indian men.

So, when Urmi or Stephanie jokingly mentioned they'd like to see what kind of party HE was throwing... well, I don't know if they really expected us (read: me) to run with it... in their defense, I don't think they know about my slight Adoration of little old men. But... well, they sure do now. 

In my defense, I mean... he'd TOLD us what floor his party was on. And let's be real here, this building was FAN-CY. We wanted to see as much of it as we possibly could! And come ON! Indian people in Louisville? Everyone knows everyone else! Neha would be BOUND to know at least ONE person at HIS party. I was just doing my part... expanding Neha's network, if you will.

In any event, before we knew what was happening, the four of us were back on that elevator, heading up to 18... assuming we'd figure out what apartment his was some way or other. As soon as we got to floor 18, we ran into some white people who were hanging out in the hallway outside one apartment, where it seemed like a bumpin' party was going on... was that our party?!?! Upon seeing the confused expressions of three Indian people and our token white friend, one of the guys slightly smirked and pointed just down the corridor, as if he knew where we should be heading.

Ha. As if he knew where we should be going. WE didn't even really know where we were going. Curiosity got the better of us though, so we turned down that corridor and were greeted with...

Lord. Does EVERYONE know how Indian people behave? Shoes outside the door? As cliche as that was... well, at least we knew we'd found our spot! Before we knew what we were doing, we (okay, maybe it was just me) swung open THAT apartment door as if we owned the place (we were getting pretty good at this by this point). 

Let's just say... well, apparently all brown people DON'T know all brown people in Louisville. Poor Neha did a brief scan of the party and was all set to peace the hell on outta there but... well, come on!! We're friendly folk. And sigh, that little old man was so all about getting us some beverages since we were there. 

So, yes, my friends. That's right. We certainly did acquiesce when he offered us some gin and tonics. We didn't want to be rude after all. 

AND, in my defense, Neha DID end up finding some aunties and uncles that were her family friends, thank you very much.

So, gin and tonics in hand, we certainly did enjoy that grand fireworks display from this lovely apartment's 18th floor balcony.

God bless the lifestyle of a debutante. This apartment was Posh, with a capital p. Complete with gold-plated sinks and everything (that's right... I wasn't the only shameless one. Urmi faked trying to find a restroom so we could give ourselves a little self-guided tour of the place... sure we all followed along, but that is just a minor side note). That's right. Gold. Plated. 

Immediately after the fireworks viewing, we were just hanging out for a little bit, chit-chatting with some of the aunties and uncles (like I said, we are friendly people), making merry with the party hosts...

See? Now you tell ME that he is not simply the most adorable little old man you have ever seen. Thank you very much.

Anyway, before I knew it, Neha decided to drop this stupid bombshell of an idea... leaving the party. 

Not going to lie, I kind of spluttered at the thought. I mean, WHY? We WERE behaving ourselves... as much as any party crashers could, at least. Sigh, I simply didn't understand her reasoning and logic (at that point, I was so high on high-society life, that Neha's explanation that not knowing the hosts of the party should suffice as a legit enough reason to get the f outta there was simply incomprehensible for me). 

Alas, we finally ended up sneaking out of the party to Neha's car... and no parking ticket/towed vehicle! Who knew?!?! We certainly weren't in Chicago any longer... that car would have been towed and probably on the way to being destroyed by Lincoln Towing (not bitter at all, really) if this kind of thing (read: not paying for prime parking spots) had happened in Chicago.

We ended up just going to one bar and then heading to Spinelli's for some pizza...

And fried Oreos. 

We were in Kentucky after all. 

Well. After THAT eventful introduction to Louisville's high society, I can safely say that Urmi, Stephanie and I could not WAIT to see what Neha's bridal shower on Sunday was going to be like. I mean, precedents had been SET.

And I can safely say... we were NOT disappointed. Neha's bridal shower was held at her neighborhood's clubhouse and MAN! Was it decorated to the nines. I'd never been to a party that had a color theme, but we'd all been encouraged to wear green or peach to her shower (so SOUTHERN, right?!?!)... and it actually turned out really well!

But, again, we couldn't get over the people-watching. Let's face it, 70 Indian aunties crammed into a clubhouse for a wedding preparation sort of activity? One really shouldn't expect anything BUT some seriously PRIME people watching experiences. Especially considering this seemed like some version of Louisville's Indian debutante society... if that kind of thing ever existed.

Not going to lie... the shamelessness pretty much flew out the window after last night's chaos, so you better BELIEVE we were blatantly checking out these aunties' diamonds GALORE. I mean, talk about bling. Stephanie, Urmi and I weren't even TRYING to be subtle about it... mouths fully agape and everything. Hell, why stop there? Why not snap a picture or two?

Seriously... doesn't this woman in green look like she's some sort of Bollywood star? Damn not being able to snap a picture of her left hand (complete with, I'd have to say, like a 20-carat diamond). Sigh... I would just like to clarify- I am not a creepy stalker of sorts. I just appreciate high society, thank you very much.

Oh, but how I'm quickly losing focus here. The bridal shower was SO well-put together. So festive, so fun! Complete with delicious treats...

And... well, nothing shy of pure entertainment...

Who knew aunties could actually get cray?

I can safely say... this entertainment style is a FAR CRY from the experiences I've had with my parents' family friends. I guess this exemplifies the difference between "my kinda people" (South Indian, Malu) and... well, those of the Punjabi background. (If you are Indian, you will likely understand this reference.) 

All in all, all that mattered was that, at the end of it all, in spite of the chaos, in spite of the BLING CENTRAL... our darling Neha had a wonderful time (below with her lovely friend, Allison).

All I can say is... girl, can't wait for that wedding of yours. I mean, I'll do my best to be on my best behavior but I certainly can't make any promises, let's be real here...