now to finally clean the kitchen after our weekend of victory

Now that was a SPLENDID weekend.

Nicole and I hosted a pot-luck at my place on Friday, based on a delicious giant ham and a big dead bird. I also made Eight Hour Eight Bean & Lentil soup for the vegans and vegetarians, which takes more than eight hours, but involves eight hours of constant stirring, as well as potatoes, steamed broccoli, and garlic portobello mushrooms with red peppers. It was an old-fashioned feast, and about twenty wonderful people came, most with their own delightful contributions, like home-made pulled pork sandwiches or berry wine. My oven lied a little about how hot it was, so we didn’t get to eat any chicken until around 9:30, but excepting that: COMPLETE SUCCESS. We all had so much food and good company that the last guest didn’t stumble out to a cab until 2 a.m. (Tony, sadly, didn’t make it until after midnight, as work prevented him from catching an earlier bus into town, but I set aside a plate for him.) Once again, thank you to everyone!

Saturday was just as great, as it was Duncan’s Dress-Up-Like-Duncan Surprise Birthday Party and A Mad Dash for the Down & Out: Tom Waits Tribute Night! I went to his party dressed as Cake Fight Duncan, in boxer shorts with a cake crown made of a birthday card and safety pins. It was a pleasure to attend, even though we left early to make sure we would get to Tom Waits night in time to get in, and it was a pleasure to catch up with some people I hardly ever see.

The Tom Waits Tribute Night was another sort of thing altogether. Completely incredible, it was gloriously mad gypsy dirty yet soulful and sweet, like circus music dancing through love songs with boots on. Some of the acts played it sinister, sandpaper rough and intense, while others sang as if their honeyed throats were on fire, a broken hearted sound that could only be put out with poetry or glass. My heart could have burst, it was so full with joy and pride for my friends. It was an astounding show, as memorable as a favourite birthday, as inspiring as only an insanely talented trumpet player twisting out a solo on top of a hammond organ can be. I’d tell you some highlights, but I’m sure if I tried, I’d describe the whole show.

The after party was pretty nice too. I spent most of it on the couch, curled up by a fire, swaying into the early morning surrounded by warmth and more music, singing a little and catching up with old acquaintances I dearly adore. Tony and I were almost the last to leave, starting our walk home just before dawn, safe from the chill with each other. We lucked upon five raccoons after only a block or two, a family, maybe, playing together, foraging along the sidewalk. When we got close, we stood very still, until they got used to us as we crept along beside them. One of them, slightly braver than the rest, tiny paw raised, body tense with investigation, came up and touched my leg three times, like casting a spell. It worked, we were enchanted, and smiled all the way home.

Sunday we spent almost the entire day cuddled up in bed, exhausted from being up so late, but glad for it. We forgot completely about the live Jonsi webcast concert, so we watched movies on my laptop, (Return to Oz, Reign of Assassins, & Ghostrider), and poked at the internet until it gave us some of what we need for Halloween, content anyway. Amazon provided Laika’s dog costume trimmings, minus a collar and dogtag, and another site had actual soviet space patches covered in bad-ass rockets and lightning. The next thing we need are matching flight suits, but I’ll be in Seattle next weekend, and there’s a rather epic military surplus store there that should set us up. Aside from that, the only thing missing are my four antennae, which I expect to find at Circuit City or a Radio Shack.

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