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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

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Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

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Felicity's disguise

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Entries in madeline kahn (1)


In Which Communism Was Just A Red Herring

What You Need To Do


Have you ever thrown a party and then realized that you didn't know what to do? Let the cast of Clue be your guide.

What you need to do is to make your guests comfortable. You want to introduce them to each other and make them feel at ease. Point out things they have in common. For example, "Mrs. White, this is Wadsworth; Wadsworth, meet Mrs. White. You both are from New England and are victims of blackmail." Things like that.

What you need to do is decorate your party appropriately. Remove all clutter, trash, dead bodies, and so forth, so that your guests feel they are at a hospitable place and not your messy house. Pick a theme. If your theme is the 1960s, maybe put up a Kennedy poster and leave out your records. If your theme is dead animals in the woods, then perhaps animal heads on your wall are a good idea after all. But make sure that your guests know the theme. Clearly someone thought this was a "maids and butlers" party. How embarrassing!

What you need to do is accessorize, girlfriend! Jewelry, manicures, weapons; they all add that little touch that helps people remember you. "Oh, I remember Sally from Abernathy's party. She was the girl with the black hair and the noose!" And so forth.

What you need to do is not shoot the messenger.


What you need to do is have a list of prepared party-appropriate conversation starters. Politics, sex, and religion are not good things to discuss at a dinner party. Stick to topics like the weather, fashion, monkeys' brains, music, and other such pleasant topics.

What you need to do is control your temper. A guest may aggravate you. Perhaps they root against your favorite sports team or have fucked your wife. This does not give you permission to resort to violence. Kindly excuse yourself and take a minute to compose yourself. Have some brandy. It isn't poisoned. That we know of. If you must go home, thank your host, and leave quietly.

What you need to do is be discreet with about your indiscretions. Perhaps you've been in this situation: you're at a party, you and a lovely gentleman/woman catch eyes, you flirt, you talk, you fuck in the bathroom, you share stories about your childhoods - hold on there, professor! Before you fuck in the bathroom stop to yourself and try not fucking in the bathroom. Put yourself in the hosts' place. What if you were the host and someone had fucked in your bathroom?

Here's what you need to do: you need to keep frisky party activies to ABOVE CLOTHES ONLY. You may excuse yourselves to fool around in one of your respective cars. If your partner does not have a car, and you live in Los Angeles, that shit is most unacceptable you should dump his ass forthwith.

What you need to do is work on your "The police are here" face. The police might come if you're playing music too loudly, or if there are reports of dead people in your house. When they show up to answer the door, you need to make sure you have an innocent face on. Then again, why should the police come? Nobody's called them.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is the creator of Apocalypstick, and she twitters here. She last wrote in these pages about her favorite novels.

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her new album Black Velvet comes out in June