New Year's Eve Survival Guide

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Rocks Off and our friends have developed something of a pet-name for New Year's Eve. We call it Shitfest, and we've chronicled a long list of happenings gone awry at NYE parties over the years.

Confused? Don't be. Chances are you can relate. For the past seven years or so, at every New Year's Eve party Rocks Off has attended, we have witnessed - or, unfortunately, been a part of - some sort of mass mayhem, of which we may or may not have been the direct cause.

It usually involves two people, usually a couple, whose problems are so dire that everyone can't help but be involved. In the case of Friday night, henceforth referred to as Shitfest 2011, we have a few suggestions to keep you out of the kind of trouble we've been in before.

Do have a good time.

It is, after all, New Year's Eve, so feel free to celebrate and give 2010 a final hurrah. If you had a great year, finish it with a bang. And if you didn't, well... finish it with a bang. Think of 2010 as an ex-girlfriend whom you bumped into at a bar, just after both of you got dumped. Your entire relationship may have been rocky, or downright sucked, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy one final evening together, right?

Oh, and that reminds us - if you're so inclined, make sure to take condoms with you to whatever party you choose to attend.

Don't have too good a time.

You may be making a bevy of resolutions pertaining to being a better person next year but, put bluntly, no one else cares. Your 2011 will be off to a hell of a start if you get plastered and end up doing something regrettable. If you tell off your significant other, for example, she's not going to wake up next to you in the morning and say, "Happy New Year, baby!"

The same goes for your friends. As always, getting drunk isn't an excuse for being a jerk. And if you end up hammered and get pulled over on the ride home, the cops aren't going to let you off with a warning. Believe it or not, no matter when you decide to drink and drive, they're going to put you in jail. Oh, and no drunk texting, either. That's always problematic.

Do avoid the freeway.

It's amateur night, folks. Plenty of teenagers and young adults will be drinking at their friends' houses and then, so sure of their abilities behind the wheel, driving themselves home. Hopefully, you're smart enough to enlist the help of a designated driver (or be one yourself), but like mama always told you, we're not worried so much about you as we are of the other people on the road.

Don't get on the freeway.

Seriously. Amateurs everywhere. And there's bound to be a wreck or two.

Do think about what you're wearing.

White T-shirts and polos, guys? No, no. Even if you're playing designated driver (for which Rocks Off and the greater Houston area thank you), someone's bound to spill something on you at some point in time. Go with black, dark green or something you don't mind becoming tattered.

And ladies, if you're planning on being out and about for some time, please don't wear heels. In case you haven't noticed, most guys won't (notice, that is). But we will notice if you want to go home at 12:15 because your feet hurt. And we'll remember it all year, too.

Don't put too much thought into what you're wearing.

In all likelihood, besides when you first walk in the door, no one will pay much attention to your attire. Unless it's ridiculous, of course. If you plan to show up in a toga, we applaud your confidence. Especially if you're a female. God bless ya.

Do bring the girlfriend/boyfriend if you're a fun-loving couple and can handle a party situation.

Is your significant other a seasoned veteran of sorts? If you've taken him or her to a number of parties without incident, do so tomorrow night too. You'll both have a good time, you're guaranteed a midnight smooch, and you might even get more than that when you get home. But make sure to decide who's driving before you head to the party. Gentlemen, be gentlemen. And if you really don't want to be, take a cab.

Don't bring the girlfriend/boyfriend if your relationship is on the rocks.

Trouble in paradise? We've been there; everyone has. But that doesn't give you the right to force your problems on your friends. Rocks Off has been witness to far too many passive-aggressive fights evolve into full-out brawls as the guy and gal in question down a dozen drinks.

Don't send a mass "HAPPY NEW YEAR'S!!" text to everyone in your phone book.

Every major holiday, our cell phone is inundated with a few of these, and it's the text-messaging equivalent to chain mail. If you must text us, include our name at the end. Otherwise, we'll know that it was a mass text, and no one likes to be just another number in your phone book. Especially your professional contacts.

Do make attainable resolutions.

Lose five pounds. Exercise more. Cut back on smoking. Be less of a pretentious jackass. All of these things are within all of our grasp, and we plan to pursue three of the above four - Exercise more? Are you kidding? - but all too often, around February, we're forced to hear our friends lament about failed resolutions, and nine times out of 10, it's because he or she set expectations too high.

We'd all like to look like that werewolf from the Twilight series, but it's not always feasible in a short amount of time. Sit back and think where you'd like to be in six months

Don't play "I've Gotta Feeling" at the NYE party.

Because if we're at the same party as you and that song comes on, we will find you. Seriously. In fact, now that we think about it, no Black Eyed Peas, period.

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