Near Lake Union, our hostess is celebrating her own birthday with class. Instead of presents, guests have been asked to bring donations for the BABES Network, a support system composed of and entirely for HIV-positive women. A room in the house is now full of clothes, games, and supplies brought by partiers, who are rewarded with pork tacos and a delicious cheese ball. It's a great, funny crowd of karaoke-happy good folks, and things get thrilling when a fireworks display lights up the lake. A guest proclaims, "Those are the best fireworks I've seen since the Fourth of July when Mike caught on fire!" Mike absently rubs at his nipple, recounting the time a bottle rocket fell into his shirt pocket.
Elsewhere, another group of celebrants are finishing up a month of parties. Janclub was the idea of some new Northwest transplants—a theme party (e.g., Showdown in the Old West, One Step Ahead of the Fun Police, and A Tale of Two Hangovers) every Wednesday through Sunday night in January at a different house. Partiers were encouraged to attend all of them and invite as many friends as they could. Tonight's theme is Kegs & Eggs, although the host says, "I got assigned this theme, but I wanted to have a Michael Jackson party." When a guest requests it, he cooks up a great-looking omelet. The Janclub idea works swimmingly. All kinds of people are meeting and laughing, and some former strangers are now fast friends, though a couple of the marathon partiers look exhausted: It's been a great month, but February can't come soon enough.
Want The Stranger to blow up the karaoke machine by singing Elvis's "American Trilogy" at your house party? E-mail the date, place, time, and party details firstname.lastname@example.org.