To all the scrapbook makers, bakers, and craft partakers--this section is for you. Because you´re always looking for a way to nourish healthy friendships, and have a little fun while you´re at it, this guide to ¨nice¨ (read: not drug, alcohol, or cruelty focused) parties should give your brain a jumpstart on new ways to entertain come rainy fall, winter, and beyond. (And hey, naughty folk: It wouldn´t hurt for you to read this either, jerks.)

Fall Bake-Off 2004

Dark days are coming... this time next month the sun will be gone by 4:30 in the afternoon! Which means one thing: baked goods! Yes, fall is the perfect time to start packing on a little personal insulation. This party offers you and your chums a chance for a little friendly competition, where everybody wins because everybody eats! Instruct all your invitees to create their most personally famous baked good, be it Angie's Orange Sweet Rolls or Jeff's Sinful Butter Horns. Also, instruct those attending to write down the recipe and make photocopies. At party time the recipes are set in front of each item, to be collected by participants. Not to go all Martha Stewart on your ass, but a thorough host might also provide an area for guests to make decorative covers for their "Fall Bake-Off 2004 Commemorative Recipe Books." Before the chow down, the host introduces pre-selected judges who taste each dish and rate them in categories like "most interesting" and "saltiest" or "best dish to eat in bed." After the judges have made their way through the line, it's buffet time. Before the end of the evening, the host announces the winners and awards prizes. Your mother would be so proud! MLS

Vegetarian White Trash Pot Luck

This works best in the summer, but true white trash knows no season. Put a kiddy pool in the front yard and set up a circle of chairs. You can soak your feet while enjoying Rainier, a Tangtini, or boxed wine with Crystal Lite. As far as potluck is concerned, try these wonderfully cultural dishes: TVP chili, meatless pigs in a blanket, mac & cheese with tofu weenies, and... this: a canned, halved pear with a dollop of mayonnaise, some shredded cheddar cheese and a maricino cherry in the middle. Let your imagination run white. The best thing about this party is that it starts out as a joke, but after a few minutes you say to yourself, "Hey, I could get used to this." EJ

Easy-Bake Oven Party

Big ovens are the epitome of everything a young urbanite hates: long hours laboring over banana bread and depressing turkey dinners, burned knuckles, and your stepmother who never managed to make anything of herself other than barefoot in the kitchen. It's time to reclaim wasted memories and do what Portland hipsters do... make cooking kitsch and throw a party! Not only can you find totally pink 40-watt 8x12 inch ovens that date back to 1963 (try eBay for vintage ovens, toy stores for new ones), but you can whip up incredibly intense recipes like wild mushroom flan or spinach quiche. Check out the book The Easy-Bake Oven Gourmet by David Hoffman for more ideas, and myspace and for Easy-Bake party postings. JR

Regime Change Party

If George Bush loses the election, everybody pours out of their houses and into the streets of Portland, whooping and singing and dancing. Before long, this turns into the biggest spontaneous street celebration in the history of politics. People carry boomboxes on their shoulders, and everyone stays up until the sun rises, looking to the future with a newly salvaged glimmer of hope. EJ

Water Party

I was first inspired to throw a bottled water party after Pepsi released Dasani water and I went completely apeshit for it, proclaiming it the most refreshing water I'd ever tasted. I had to know was my palate really sensitive to this--the perfect water--or was I just an idiot? A water party is tons of fun, because it solves the debate once and for all. Throwing the party is easy: pick up bottles of a few of the usual suspects--Arrowhead, Aquafina, Fred Meyer bottled water, some insanely expensive Swiss water at Nature's--and fill up the Britta with tap water. Chill to the same temperature. Gather a few friends together, and let the tasting begin (note: guests must not wear flavored lip gloss). I recommend serving water in glasses rather than plastic cups, and it's fun to fool people by serving the tap water in a wine glass and the expensive Swiss water in a mug--just make sure you know what water is where. Tabulate the results and solve the quandary once and for all: is Dasani really better or are you just a corporate slave? KS

Geek Party

As proven in the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right to Party" video, we geeks know how to have a good ol' geeky time when we get together. Sort of. But since sober geeks are so Algebra Club, be sure to snag some booze (get intergalactically trashed on Klingon Blood Wine or blue Romulan Ale--while both are supposed to be exclusively sold at the Vegas Hilton's Star Trek-themed casino, they're easily buy-able off of eBay) and geeky games (try the Buffy board game, Lord of the Rings, or Risk). Fire up Halo on the Xbox, and you've got yourself a party the likes of which haven't been seen since Revenge of the Nerds. Now you just need to trick some girls into showing up. Good luck with that. EH

Scrapbooking Party

Don't let those summer memories fade, collect them in a book. But don't do it alone! Spend a rainy Tuesday evening with a group of your friends, drinking wine, eating snacks, listening to good music and scrap scrap scrap booking the night away. The host should provide art supplies, beverages, and light noshing, always keeping in mind the number of people invited. Each guest should bring a "book" of some kind and a collection of photos they wish to scrapbook. A few art supply ideas include: stickers, ribbon, wire, thread, markers, assorted papers, sequins, and just about anything else found at a craft store. Or look online at for lots more ideas. Plus make sure to have extra pairs of scissors, glue sticks, Xacto knives, and plenty of anal retentiveness. MLS

Naked Lady Party

Throwing a naked lady party is easy, fun, and beneficial to all. Just gather all the clothes you're sick of or haven't worn for a year, and have friends do the same. Pile everyone's clothes in the middle of the floor. Have a cocktail (or energy drink) while waiting for the inevitable stragglers, then dive in and start trying on clothes! Every naked lady party has a distinct personality, and some can get pretty cutthroat. But more often than not, you'll find yourself in the middle of a mutual admiration society: "That sweater looks SO good on you!" or "If that green mini skirt had looked that good on me I'd have worn it every day!" There's no downside: You get a revved up wardrobe for free and your friends--unlike the Buffalo Exchange--will value what you bring to the pile. EE

Breakup Cheer-Up Party

"Hey dude. I heard you and Susan broke up. That sucks... but don't sweat it. She was an annoying nag anyway. And now you get to spend some time with your old bros. So, to cheer you up, me and the crew are gonna take you out. We'll get that girl off your mind. Here, smoke this. You've got some ice, right? I've got some Wild Turkey. Soon we'll go out and have cocktails. You'll have more than us, of course, because you need it. And we're buyin'. You'll get sloppy, and meet some new girls. After scaring them off, we'll take you to a strip club. You'll have some shots, lose your wallet, and fall asleep on the bar. But hey, you won't be thinking about your ex... or at least not until tomorrow." AT

Spelling Bee Party

Circulate the word among your friends that you're having a spelling bee. Inevitably four or five people will brag about their spelling skills, shrug, and say casually, "Sure, I'll be there." Download a list of spelling bee words from . When the party starts, the tension will be palpable. Great spellers will trash talk each other saying things like, "Well let's see you bring the spell, hotshot." Or, "I bet you can't even spell disestablishmentarianism, you pussy." Let everyone have a few drinks--pumping themselves with a false sense of invincibility. Finally, proceed. Each person spells a word in turn until they get one wrong, then they're out of the game. In the end, there will inevitably be a spell-off between the two best players. They'll sweat a lot. The best speller will win and the loser will make excuses about how they misheard the final word. KS

Get Christmas Over With

I threw this party once, and it was the best party I've ever been to. Celebrating a holiday at the wrong time never felt more right. Drag the decorations out of storage, set up some lights and a Christmas tree, and put on some of your favorite Christmas music. Eggnog and fruitcake are musts. Ask everyone to bring a present and have a gift exchange. Then, when Christmas rolls around you can just lay on the couch alone in your apartment watching bad movies, without pondering whether you should jump off the Fremont Bridge. EJ

Tupperware Party

In this pinch your penny economy, saving leftovers and maximizing the usage and longevity of your comestibles is a must for stretching your food dollar. But if you're like me, you have a refrigerator jam-packed with recycled margarine and cottage cheese containers filled with who knows what! Thank goodness there's Tupperware™, the worldwide phenomenon that has lasted over 50 years! Still using the same basic idea--showing people what the product can do in a fun environment and trusting they will buy the product--it's like hosting your own personal infomercial. can get you started with a party kit and ideas. And who knows, you may even make a little scratch off the whole affair! ML

Wedding Party

You don't need real marriage to have a wedding party. Just marry someone you kind of like as a friend--just for the taste of it. I married this girl in high school just so we could have the party. It's best to rent out a ballroom or a church for the big event. Everybody has to dress up, cry, and make out with somebody they're not supposed to. The best man should get so drunk that he professes his love to the bride and the groom socks him in the face. Somebody has to come out of the closet, and somebody has to strangle a relative. Just like a real wedding, this event is all about celebrating true love. EJ

A Party Of Literary Proportions

It helps to have a crowd of (ex-) English majors for a wingding like this, but Portland maintains a sizeable population of well-read geeks, so it shouldn't be a problem. Required is some thoughtful (yet minimal) preparation on the part of each person, so don't invite the bouncer at Nocturnal just because he's hot. Each attendee selects a character from a well-known work of literature, arrives dressed as said character, brings a wrapped copy of the book featuring the character, a potluck dish at least slightly appropriate to the work (lasagna for Death in Venice or corn pone for The Sound and the Fury), and keeps his/her identity completely secret. As soon as all guests arrive, you try to identify one another through questions and "normal" conversation. (As Cyrano, I might speak a little French--it's pretentious enough already, so why stop--or, as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, grunt a lot.) Two options for unloading that pile of wrapped books: Each correct guess earns a copy of the corresponding book--this makes it possible for one person to leave with 10 books--or, the more communist way, having each guest choose one. As a bookworm, I find this party very enjoyable... almost as enjoyable as walking in on Jane Eyre and Holden Caulfield getting freaky in my bedroom! WG