See, I like conversation. A weighty discussion of politics, or science, or health, or especially books is something I prize. So that's what I set up my parties to be. They are invititations to conversation. No loud music to talk over, food and drink provided (bring something if you want, but I don't want people stressing over their contributions and missing the fun), casual attire (go to a club to strut your stuff), no making out, no video games. I love party games, like Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary and Scattergories and Balderdash and Scruples. Games that induce conversation. Well... at least they have when I've played them at parties. If they induce fistfights at your parties, please let me know.
When I lived in Redmond (January 2000 to July 2001) I never really decorated my place. My friend Sara was over and told me I needed to do something with the place and that she was gonna help me do it. She never really followed through, but she asked me what I wanted the place to do. What theme did I want? I had to think about it. I could go with "a cool guy lives here" or "an intelligent guy lives here" but what I eventually thought of was "enjoy your conversation here." So we looked at how to arrange my furniture. Looked at what to put up. At the lighting. My place right now is all right for conversations, but it could be better. I need to get my computer and office stuff moved into the walk in closet. Then get another comfy chair and an end table on which to put a cup of tea. My entertainment center has doors I can close on the TV so no one is tempted to turn it on.
While the weather is still warm, another great option is to have everyone retire to the dock overlooking Lake Union. Watch the sun set and tell each other tall tales. Lots of room for people there.
Anyway, when I have an open invite party, please don't think you need to know me to show up. And you don't have to talk much either. Just hang out and find out that neither I nor my friends bite. At least not at my parties we don't. And just ease your way in if you feel comfortable. It's meant for people to get to know one another, unlike a club where one rarely has the opportunity to tell more than whether the people you meet are good looking or good dancers. And sometimes neither of those cause it's too dark or too crowded to dance.