August 25th, 2002



I feel bashful. Like Opie on the Andy Griffith Show. I feel like my face is all red and I am looking at the ground and kicking dirt and saying "awww shucks."



An item in mrsloane's journal prompted me to expound on conversation.

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.


Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks

I have been trying to read Cloudspliiter by Russell Banks. I loved every other book I've read by him except Rule of the Bone which was just too meandering a story for me to get into (though I did finish it). Cloudsplitter is just too slow and tries to use a style of writing prevalent in the 19th century That's when the protagonist spent most of his time alive. And it's written in first person as a sort of memoir, so the style makes sense. It's just off-putting to me and I don't feel like dragging myself through it. I gave up after about 50 pages in a couple of weeks. It's about as far as I've gotten before.

Because I really like Banks' other books, I will put the book on the shelf and try again in a few years. Perhaps a few years of aging and added patience will allow me to read through the style and get to the actual story, which Banks' has shown in the past is well worth the wait. I had the same problem with Affliction and when I picked up the book later and got through the slow first part of the book, the author rewarded me with a rich story with interesting fully fleshed characters.


More ginger ales

  • Health Valley Ginger Ale - This was in the cooler in the organic section at Larry's. It's labeled "Ginger Ale" in a plain style and you have to look at the fine print in order to find out that it's distributed by Health Valley. This one was a nice middle ground between a strong ginger brew that I like and the tame mass marker stuff. I had only a few sips of it. Maria was drinking a glass of my Reed's and she hated it because it was too strong and not sweet enough. But she liked this. Drinkable in my review, but not something for which I'd go out of my way.
  • Trader Joe's Organic Ginger Beer - evillinn wanted me to try this and bought me a bottle when I dilly-ed about picking one up. It comes in a 33 oz bottle. Not quite a forty! I wonder if 33.8 oz works out to be something round in metric. This is a pretty good ginger brew. It's not very sweet, and has a medium strong lingering taste of ginger. There is no sugar aftertaste, but the ginger continues to tingle the back of my throat after each swig. Tasty.


Jason says we have to get Utilikilts and goth boots with my bonus money.

I am actually considering this.

But I wonder if a nice shiny black flowing skirt would be better looking on me.