when nerds collide

The best party! All those old-school uber-geeks make me strangely happy with their lack of social graces and their propensity to converse by announcing Ideas loudly and then go on in monologue. Of course that can be an irritating trait but when you throw a lot of them together it works well. I looked at the flight maps and vacation photos of fjords and reindeer from that one guy who goes on cruises, blathered abotu politics, etc. Someone shattered one of my precious illusions by telling me that Keanu Re3ves was born in Canada — crap! that means he can’t be the dumb actor that we democrats put up for president! I’m trying to picture Leonardo di caprio being the figurehead of government, but i just can’t get the funny picture of Keanu posing and strutting and mouthing political slogans…

As usual it was the best party food in the world as all the foodies showed off with their insanely good potluck. The best thing might have been the blue corn spoon bread. I ate a little bit of everything.

And I tagged along on K.’s tour of her Master Garden. “Is that lady a farmer?” Milo asked me, tugging on my skirt. Wow, the most amazing compost and rows of veggies mixed with flowers and strange volunteer squashes that are very mysterious and unknown. I ate a leaf of lovage, which looks like the tops of giant celery. fun fact learned: the hay beneath the tomatos is not only a useful mulch, it prevents leaf diseases and spotting caused by splashback. Her “fruit bush” projects were inspiring… i hate espaliering as it seems strangely cruel and ugly, but 3 foot high apricot or fig tree bonsai looks nicer and the point is then you can reach all the fruit. K. also nicely lent me an old book of intermediate-level piano music and i can hardly wait to take a crack at it.

Moomin was lovely at the party and had fun. We watched him in his swirling purple cloak, standing back and doing running attacks on a hedge with 2 swords flashing heroically.

At some point I hung with L. the only other chick there with a small kid, and begged her to give me the real low-down on the neighbor-city moms’ club political controversy. It was juicy! And she knew all! We dished joyously. Can’t wait to pass it on to Jo, Squid, and Ep. Not that it affects us or anything but the melodrama of it has a sick fascination. L. also told me that the neighbor-snooty-city club doesn’t allow “political discussion” on its mailing list, which made me feel small surge of pride that the RWC one fought to keep the list flexible and uncensored.

I watched F. do her beading thing which she always seems to do at parties. After a while as she felt me watching her she began a sort of half-apology-but-not-really speech about it and how she doesn’t have time at home… and I began ranting about my musings on sociability and how it should be just fine (and in fact in this crowd of eXtreme geeks, is just fine) to sit at a party and read or do whatever you want and have your mind engaged. And why it should be okay and “more social” at a party to just sit and stare into space when you could be knitting or reading or drawing or writing and just feeling the pleasant social vibes? what is “acceptable” and what isn’t.

I like to watch her beading, anyway, as it’s so enjoyable to watch someone’s hand doing something skillful and technical in a practiced way. Sometimes little things like the way my boss at the Lobe School used to be able to take out his leatherman tool and open it instantly and fluidly to the right attachment for the job without looking… I admire this sort of skill as much as many people admire a professional athlete. The bartender in 26 mix the other night could put an arm behind his head and with a single graceful motion like a ballet dancer or a magician, whip out a cigarette and put it in his mouth. He looked like an alien creature with an extra hand, because the hand was coming from the completely wrong angle — hard to describe but if you look in a mirror and try to reach your mouth from behind your neck with the hand of the opposite side than usual, you’ll see how hard it is.

A person who shall remain nameless lost his temper amazingly and began cussing and yelling at some guy or guys. We woke up to it in the middle of it, ahving assumed it was all in fun but then realizing the yelling and anger were real. I think we calmed the angry a little bit. Of course I wondered whether it was actually not much more sane and good to yell and cuss at people who either like Bush or cynically accept his ascendance, and I didn’t hear the argument, and maybe such people should be beaten up and left by the side of the road while rioting happens everywhere rather than peaceful backyard parties. So on some level I was a little in awe of this outburst of righteous anger. But on another level it was odd and made me worry about my friend and his temper! He was shaking and incoherent and I thought he was gonna have a stroke and die right there in front of us while holding the plate of kebab.

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