Important things to know:
Actual "Spanish" sangria, as in "the kind of thing actual Spanish people throw together for their backyard parties": apparently, whatever cheap red wine they can find, whatever cheap lemonade/soda they have on hand, whatever half-rotten fruit is in the house, throw in some brandy to up the alcohol content, get drunk ASAP. Good times.
Recipe for Sangria de Cleo, as concocted last night:
1. One (2) silvertone metal punchbowl, the better to retain coldness
2. Three (3) bottles of red wine
3. One (1) 2-liter bottle of Minute Maid lemonade
4. Twelve (12) oranges, medium-sized--they came together in a bag, I don't know
5. However many strawberries were in that big-ass box from Sam's. Except we used maybe half of them
Wine. Lemonade. Into the bowl!
Oranges, cut up the middles into large round slices, you know, nice-looking ones to float in the sangria. I got about four slices out of each orange--the middle third of the fruit. The ends that are too small to cut, squeeze 'em. I found an old juicer at our house (approximation) to make it a bit easier. Can also use lemons, limes, grapefruit, any citrus fruit on hand. Tangelos, get crazy, I don't care. Oranges--as opposed to lemons and limes--add sweetness, however, and there is no sugar added to this recipe.
Strawberries: These were The Vet's idea, and he sliced them up lengthwise. Added a nice flavor.
(Alternative fruit: An interesting idea I'd heard was sliced peaches. I'm kind of against the authentic Spanish idea of throwing any old shit in there; I think if you pick two or three fruits that complement each other well, you get a more distinct, interesting flavor. Welch's also has a fantastic peach-white grape juice that might be a great substitute for the lemonade, although it would be sweeter and you'd have to compensate with more citrus. I also wondered how pomegranate juice, now that that's widely available, would shake out.)
Put the bowl in the fridge; let the fruit soak and the punch chill for a couple of hours. Boozy strawberries = v. fun to eat later.
Optional brandy: We thought we had some, and then we didn't, and looking around, we didn't even have any vodka in a pinch. So there wasn't any extra alcohol, either. Which ended up being nice, because we had a nice, mild, fruity punch that had enough of a kick but not so much that you couldn't keep drinking it. My advice would be to only add the brandy if you really want to get people drunk fast; otherwise, you can possibly have it on hand so that harder drinkers can spike their own drinks individually, but the general public can have the nice mild punch.
II. Rock Band
I had never played Rock Band before in my life.
Don't get me wrong; I've watched people play Guitar Hero for hours. I just get very anxious about getting up and doing things in front of an audience, so I never wanted to participate. Plus, I just don't really play video games, never have. But at the same time... it's really, really boring watching other people play a game for hours on end, so I thought, well... this is going to sound stupid, but I've always drummed out pretty elaborate rhythms with my pens and pencils while working (I was talking to my mother this morning and said, "You know how I tap my pencil?" and she immediately went, "OH YEAH, I KNOW"), so I thought, well, I could probably play drums pretty well. I'll give it a shot.
Of course everyone immediately goes, "Are you sure? I don't know that you want to start with that, drums are HARD." But I persisted, because if it's the one thing you think you can do, "hard" doesn't matter. And you know what? It turns out I was right. I ranged anywhere from 43% to 94% over the course of the evening, but I think I only failed out a couple of times ("My Sharona" KICKED MY ASS). And I stayed on Easy the whole time, because I figured I'd save medium for the next time we played. The problems I tended to have were 1) playing the correct beats/rhythms, but accidentally on the wrong drum (I kept my eyes on the screen because I figured it would be better to learn to do it that way, like touch-typing); 2) getting distracted by the lyrics and losing my place; or 3) playing the correct beats and drums, but somehow getting a fraction of a second behind, which meant that none of them counted. I think "Monkey Gone to Heaven" was the one I did the best on. "Creep" also went well, if I recall correctly. Oh, and anything by The Cars seemed doable. Everyone was gleeful that they'd finally sucked me in, and I was feeling very pleased with myself... until our friend David C. also started playing the game for the first time and was even a better first-time drummer than I was. *shakes wee fist at sky* But he's also fantastic on mike and a lot of fun to play with, so he can stay (the Queen of the World said graciously).
(Oh, and he also had a good bit of gossip about this year's OmegaCon here in town, and why it is pretty much going to be the first and last OmegaCon, mostly having to do with bad management and the con going $60,000 in the hole. Aww.)
The one downside to playing drummer on Rock Band: I had some kind of charlie horse in my leg most of the night after I got home, because I was very not used to dealing with a kick drum pedal. In fact, my leg (particularly around the hip) still hurts today, even after two Aleve, because I am apparently prematurely decrepit. WOOOO! HOW Y'ALL FEEEEEEEL?