By virtue of the simple fact that no one else really cares enough to do it, I am the Portland Phoenix's "party planner." This means basically nothing except that every six months someone will half-jokingly ask for "an update from the party-planning committee" (there used to be two of us -- hi Bridget!)...which is a subtle hint that said person wants to have a party, thinks it's time for an internal morale-booster. So then I send around a few anemic emails being like, "what days work for this party" and no one answers and then I just pick a day and suddenly no one has a single day free and then finally we settle on a date/time/place and I send out more emails being like, "please bring money or food or whatever" and then the whopping 8-9 of us depending on who actually works here get together and drink and I embarass myself. That's basically what it means to be the party planner.
PERHAPS I could benefit from reading The Party Bible, a new book from Adams Media by Connor Pritchard and Dominic Russo (the adult children men behind Comedy Central's Workaholics. The book is a surprisingly comprehensive guide to throwing parties that range from relatively wholesome (like the Prom in Your Prime party) to the ridiculous (the Mrs. Robinson Party, at which "each strapping bachelor is responsible to find and invite a date ten years his senior") to the even more ridiculous (the Awkward Party, where guests and hosts are invited to "ask people to take pictures of you, alone," "never laugh," and "freeze and stare in the middle of conversation") to the truly absurd (The Fake Wake). Each party description includes tips about invitations, setting up, possible activities, playlists, menus.
Along the way, Pritchard and Russo offer general thoughts on partying -- "Five Entertaining Things to Do at a Shitty Party," and how to clean up hungover.
While I am not interested in throwing a Neon or Nothing, a/k/a The Tight and Bright Party for my coworkers, I'm sure I can glean some ideas for our Summer Pool Party -- at which I will be sure to freeze and stare in the middle of every convo.