dinner party

100% grass fed beef really does taste a lot better than the ordinary, unhealthy cornfed variety.  Props to Ian and King Corn for that revelation.

Holidays are nice and restful usually, which is the point after all.  But then I went and threw a seven person dinner party today with no corn in the meal.  As the movie will teach you, that’s very difficult to do; almost everything we eat has corn in it, from the beef and the dairy they produce, to artificial sweeteners derived from corn, to the eggs and butter in baked goods, and so on.  So I managed it, with difficulty, but it all tasted good in the end.  And sometimes arbitrary restrictions like that encourage greater creativity.

Most of the folks didn’t know each other, or that well, but that was part of the point; to try to forge links among the people I know and like.  There was a paper reason for everyone there, and I could have invited a few more folks, but I wanted there to be a link between everyone there so we had at least some built in excuses for conversation.  And that worked out all right; it wasn’t raucous like old friends would have been, but new friends?  Perhaps.

And we didn’t talk except for maybe ten minutes about forensics.


The eves are better than the days themselves. The holidays are full of mandatory things, and mandatory things are only sometimes pleasant. They often boil down to a meal and a conversation and an ending, and that’s about it. It’s grown even more stilted now, as the family has grown unstable and we’re pulled in many different directions. We’ll never again have a real Thanksgiving, with everyone there. Perhaps we never did, but it feels less complete, now that the house is sold, and that little private world is gone.

But the night before a holiday is a lovely time; a quiet anticipation. I let myself not worry about the things I have to do, and just relax into the ritual of a day off; not just a day off, though, but a day set aside, a day that cannot be productive. On an ordinary day off I might be writing new things, or doing laundry, or tabbing a tournament. But a holiday is set aside for boredom, yes, but also for rest.

And the night before; it’s a good night to curl up and watch a movie (which I did. Troy. it was bad. I didn’t care). or read a book. or just sit on the sunporch and watch the fog roll in again. Last year I went to the Marconi club and drank my aunt under the table. These things all work all right, and we’re better for them.

Best Halloween Costume

The best Halloween costume for 2007 was an 11 year old boy dressed up as Alex Rodriguez in a Red Sox uniform.

“It was the scariest thing I could think of.”