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Alternative New Year’s Eve January 1, 2014

Filed under: Activities,General Ideas and Concepts,Parties/Social Gatherings — lauraherberg @ 3:03 am

I no longer want to spend New Year’s Eve hoping to land at the best party in town just so I can get super wasted and find someone to kiss at midnight. Call me crazy. And yet, staying home and watching the ball drop on TV sounds equally awful.  So what are people like me supposed to do on New Year’s Eve?

Enter the “Alternative New Year’s Eve.” Now this concept is not something I came up with.  But, this year, as I was hoping to find something different to do on December 31st – my google search of that phrase wasn’t really turning up very many good suggestions.  So here are my own personal ideas for outside-the-box, yet, perhaps equally satisfying, ways of spending the last holiday of the year.




Host a “Make A _____” Party 


The blank could be “story,” “movie,” “painting,” “song” – whatever creative pursuit strikes your fancy.  The idea would be find other people who are excited about spending New Years Eve on the chosen craft, get a bunch of coffee and snacks, and get together and GO! Work, work, work… through midnight, through the morning, until you pass out.  Ideally wherever you guys are creating would also be somewhere that you could all crash. Then, the next day, have a presentation party where you all show off to each other what you made.


Move Through It 


Some major cities host runs or bike rides that start at or around midnight on New Year’s Eve.


Get Spiritual 


At midnight, focus on your breath without worrying about having to kiss someone.  It’s becoming more and more popular for yoga studios to offer late night classes on New Years Eve.


Work It 


Get paid to “celebrate” New Year’s Eve.  Try to find a catering or bar tending gig. Or, if you lack experience in those areas you should still be able to find some kind of “event staff” gig – working a coat check or something like that.  If not, sign up to baby sit or to be a group’s designated driver for the night.


Act Natural


Being out in nature seems to me like the antithesis of a typical New Year’s Eve party – which can be pretty nice.  Try camping, ice fishing, snowmobiling – maybe even just have a bon fire out in the woods or down by a river.


Document Someone Else’s 


Instead of experiencing your own New Year’s Eve, spend your night recording someone else’s.  Use your iPhone or just an old fashioned pen and paper to document what this person does. This would probably still be interesting if you just followed a friend around at a party but I would challenge you to go a little bit outside your comfort zone and document, say, someone driving a cab, working at a 24-hour diner or maybe a toll booth. Tell the person you’re a “freelance reporter.”


Host A New Year’s Day Brunch 


Spend all night prepping for the most fabulous New Year’s Day brunch ever.  Then be ready to be entertained as all your friends trickle in around 1pm the next day and tell you about their nights. If you feel like it, go ahead and become the most drunk person at brunch. You deserve it.


Avoid It All Together 


If you plan a flight strategically enough it should be possible to fly across the International Date Line without ever hitting midnight on December 31st.  Or if that’s too expensive, then wherever you are you can just pull an all-nighter on December 30th so that on New Year’s Eve you’re so tired you fall asleep before midnight and wake up on January 1st.


Article Club August 18, 2013

Filed under: Activities,Parties/Social Gatherings — lauraherberg @ 9:22 pm

Wish you made more time to read articles but it’s hard to incorporate that into your routine? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to join a book club but you feel like you just don’t have the time to squeeze another book in your life?

Introducing the “Article Club.”

You choose how often you want to meet but I think weekly or bi-weekly seems reasonable.  One person chooses the article each week, makes sure everyone gets a copy of it, and they also choose where the meet-up should happen.  Then you meet and discuss.


Jello Shop

Filed under: Food,General Ideas and Concepts — lauraherberg @ 9:12 pm

Coffee shops blew up in the 90s.  Then somewhere in the 2000s cupcake shops went out of control.  Inspired by my mother’s ceaseless love for gelatin creations, I think it’s time for Jello products to once again have there hey-day.  This time, as part of the consumer dining market.


This is what I’m picturing:

Probably a diner-like place with 50s decor, but also maybe a sleek, modern joint.  Everything on the menu is a Jello product, except some of the beverages.  These are some of the things we might see on the menu:

-Large items made from fun Jello molds, to take the place of birthday cakes

-Jello cocktails.  You’ve heard of Jello shots, but what about a sophisticated Jello Cocktail that you eat with a spoon.  Gelatinous Pina Colada anyone?

-Those pudding grave yards with gummy worms and the Oreo dirt.

-Tomato aspic and other savory Jello’s


-Jello jigglers

-pudding pops

-Jello with a gourmet twist – say, raspberry Jello with organic, local basil and black peppercorn

-Any kind of insane, kitschy Jello or pudding treat you can dream up

I think treats could be available at the counter but it might be fun to also explore a kind of sit down model where you get waited on – that way you can be appropriately served your Jello item and it will just add another layer to the experience.


Dance Party Instead of Aerobics Class (Preferably in the Morning)

Filed under: Activities,Parties/Social Gatherings — lauraherberg @ 8:49 pm

This idea challenges two core social norms:

1.  Dance parties have to happen at night.

2.  Aerobics classes need to be guided and structured, like “simon says.”

But here’s what I’m saying:

1.  Dancing is a great work out.  I break a sweat so hard after a night of dance partying and am usually sore the next day.

2.  Aerobic activities commonly happen in the morning.  Dancing should be no exception.

I’m not saying kill late night dance parties or cancel that 6am tae-bo class (do people even still do tae-bo?), I’m just saying sign me up for that 8am sober dance party.  Now THAT’S an aerobics class that I’ll look forward to getting out of bed for.


Non-Traditional Paint By Numbers

Filed under: Objects — lauraherberg @ 8:26 pm

As great as it is to have a host of paint by number options for generic landscapes, boats, and kittens – it would be great if the paint by number world expanded. Here are some ways I think paint by numbers could, and should, easily expand:

-Local gift shops could offer paint by numbers of local landmarks.  For example in Detroit you could paint by number the Renn Cen or Michigan Central Train Depot. Perhaps the latter is an annoying idea but c’mon, you know you it would probably be a hot item with Detroit’s German visitors

-This one kind of makes me want to puke but I do think there is a market for ironic paint by numbers, i.e. a bag of Doritos or an iPad

-Paint by number your own photo.  You should be able to scan your own photo and get a print out of how you can do a paint by number of that photo.  This would be really great for portraits in particular.


Yard Games Venue February 6, 2011

Filed under: For Detroit — lauraherberg @ 1:50 am

It seems like it would be a good to create some sort of a yard games venue on a vacant lot in Detroit.  What I mean by this is that you could rent equipment to play croquet, bocci ball, horseshoes, and maybe some other playground games like four square, tether ball, etc.

There would be some kind of a manned trailer where you would rent the equipment from and there would be things like horse shoe stakes already driven into the ground and four square courts already painted.  Maybe there could even be a really simple bar area that only sells local beer in bottles.  I think it might also be a good idea to have a bunch of kiddie pools for people to sit in in the bar area.  So you could actually be in the pool drinking a beer.  Beside the kiddy pools there could be some vintage-style folding lawn chairs. Maybe there could also be a “water park” area with a sprinkler for people to jump through and slip n slides to use.  The Crocodile Mile always looked like a fun one.

I think that we’d make people pay by the hour and give them wrist bands.  We’d “open up a tab” with their credit cards when they walked in and charge them and remove their bands when they’re all done. What do you think would be a reasonable hourly rate?

I feel like this would be pretty low-cost to maintain. I was thinking in the off season we could maybe do winter games like set up curling courts or something like that.  Or, just close.

I feel like this is one way to cash in on and bring some community value to some of the vacant lots in Detroit.  That said, perhaps not everyone would be a fan of a bunch of (likely white) 20-somethings  drinking and playing yard games in the lot down the block from their house. But who doesn’t like horseshoes and sprinklers!?


Tarp cover for a car for when it snows December 29, 2010

Filed under: General Ideas and Concepts,Objects — lauraherberg @ 8:41 pm

This is just something that I think people should do that I think would make their lives a whole lot easier.  Right when it starts to snow or if maybe just whenever you park your car for the night in the winter, put a tarp over it.  The tarp will stay attached to your car by hooking little bungies into the hubcaps and also into the front of the hood and back by the trunk.  This way, if it snows, instead of having to shovel all that snow off, you’ll just have to pull the tarp off.  Sure, your windows will probably be frozen underneath but that won’t be more than something a little anti-freeze and scraper could fix.  I really feel like this would make tons of people’s lives easier and if I had a car I would try it out.  I might try to try it out on one of my roommate’s cars…




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