Saturday, June 20, 2009

Appetizer Issues

I am planning a party for my company's 50th Anniversary later this summer. This is a $2 billion company (that's sales, not profit) and the CEO wants the party to be "nice." By nice he means, lots of drinks, food and good service. It will be for our supplier executives, local politicians and other "strategic relationships."
My boss thinks that having all passed hors d'oeuvres screams classy and upscale. While I agree that it definitely lends itself to an exclusive feel, I think SOME stationed appetizers are called for in any event, for the following reasons:

1) It adds to the atmosphere. Having people serve your guests is fabulous, yes. But an fruit & cheese display or a crudite are inexpensive ways to make food look bountiful and elaborate.

2) Stationed hors d'oeuvres give your guests the opportunity to graze freely. They don't have to wait for a server to make their way around with food still on the tray. They can take as much food as they want without feeling like they're being monitored (which could be good or bad depending on your guests!).

3) Have you ever chased down a server because you had something wonderful and wanted more? I am not ashamed to say that I have.

4) Food that is better presented at a station: carving stations, mashed potato bars, hand-rolled sushi stations, etc. (OK - seriously, have you ever been through a mashed potato bar?! Hea-ven.)

5) You don't have to use a cocktail napkin as a plate.

If I don't get my way, I'll certainly make it work. But there will be trouble if anyone complains that they didn't get enough food.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What can Brown do for you?

I don't know if this counts as surreal; but I'm going to call it that anyway.
Over my lunch hour, I determined that I would run the seemingly normal errand of returning an item I had ordered from a department store via UPS. (Note: this would not have happened if there was a Macy's in Iowa. Or a Nordstrom, Anthropologie, H&M...But I digress). Because this is a normal errand that I'm sure happens quite often over lunch, you would think that the clerks in the UPS store would expect oh, say, customers...
When I walked into the UPS Store the "gentleman" working there was sitting down. Fine. He seemed to be leaning forward had his arms stretched out in front of him. Really, I just wanted to get in and out, so I wasn't paying attention.
"You have something to go out?" He asked.
"Yes," I replied.
"Just set it there with the rest of them."
"Uhhhhh," that would be me.
"Oh, you actually need to pay for it?" Him again
"Yes, yes I do, " I said, finally realizing he thought I was with a business that already had the paid sticker-thing on it.
"Oh, OK."

After he finally stood up, I realized that he had been sitting on a weight bench (the kind you do curls on). As I continued to look, I noticed that there were multiple sets of weight equipment in that general vicinity. Lightbulb! He hadn't just been sitting there.


This fact was confirmed when he came up to the register and I noticed that he had GLOVES on for the weight lifting. And he was sweating. Profusely. Gross.
To his credit - he had made a valiant attempt at an excuse for the weight lifting gear. A printed sign was posted on it that said, "We ship weight equipment." Apparently he just hadn't planned on any customers seeing that sign.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Does this mean I'm old?

My summer officially begins this weekend. I'm kicking it off with my 10-year high school reunion on Friday and Saturday! So hard to believe it's already here.
I was lucky enough to plan it with my wonderful friends, Ashley and April who live in Sioux City and Long Beach, respectively. We made it something we would enjoy so I hope everyone else does too. In any case, I know the three of us will find a way to have fun (we always do!). I have spent the past couple nights working on decor so if it all works out, I'll post pictures.
Then Sunday is my & Sparky's one-year wedding anniversary! Which I can't believe either. I'm still going through wedding withdrawals a year later. Let's just hope I remember to pull the cake out of the freezer.