Zen and the Art of Dinner Party Planning: A Moving Feast

I’ve been learning the skill of mindfulness for the last few months.  This means being completely focused on the moment at hand, and really doing whatever it is you are doing.

So yesterday while driving home from New Jersey, I listened to The Seanachai, rocked out to D.R.I., Violent Femmes,  Bob Dylan and Lou Reed (I’ll address the multiple personality disorder in a future post), and planned my dream dinner party.

See, I spent the whole weekend on vacation from my normal life.  No children, no anyone except my mother, who remained blessedly unobtrusive.  But I did get some blog reading and commenting in, and it was much fun, and included the kind of laughter I haven’t experienced since watching Burn After Reading.  I almost forgot I’m supposed to be depressed!

So anyway, it was a marvelous weekend.  I decided I would prolong the delirious happiness by crafting a guest list of people who would amuse, entertain, and delight me, and most likely each other.  Here it is.

Oh, and don’t be offended if you are my friend and weren’t invited.  It might only mean that you are not goofy cynical or loony twisted enough for this particular gathering.  Not everyone has that special gift.

Tom Magliozzi & Ray Magliozzi from the Car Talk NPR radio show  (They are both geniuses who went to MIT, and now fix cars and talk about it on the radio for a living.)

Pamela Villars (With whom I’ve become familiar through other dinner guests.  Her comments are fabulous, her poetry even better.)

Ram Venkatararam (Currently hiding from authorities, but I’m a damn good cook.  Or is it a damned, good cook?  Perhaps both.  Anyway, I’m sure I can lure him out of hiding for some lentil dal, naan, or gulab jamun (my favorite dessert).

Fundamental Jelly (You know, I had to put a blurb here so he wouldn’t feel left out, but I’m not too clear on what exactly his area of expertise is. But he’s funny.  Oh yeah.  I think he went to clown college or something.)

Alan Truitt (Every dinner party needs a cubicle dweller.  They are known in the wild to be remarkably observant of human behavior.  It’s almost like having a psychic at your party, but for free!)

Emma Thomas (A local friend who happens to be some kind of nuclear genius or something.  She can be my go-to gal when I wish to rehash the days of radiation protection via time, distance, and fear.  Ahhhh, good times.)

Melissa Schuppe (we hate all the same people)

Joe Schuppe (because he needs to laugh more)

Jennifer Bangley (An old friend; bright, talented, and witty with just a hint of dark.  My favorite kind.)

Jon White (Former punk rocker friend turned government lackey.  Well, not quite.  To quote the man himself, he is a “family man, Wiccan priest, ex-literature professor, ex-labor union hack, ex-street activist, now a USPHS Commissioned Corps oncology social worker and disaster responder.  Might make us all look like dolts, but somebody’s gotta do it.)

Chuck Cleland (Because he’s funny and he can talk about math and what could be better than that?  Anyone who becomes a fan of the R Project on Facebook has to be great at a dinner party.)

Jamie Stanek (His Facebook profile picture is his face on Jesus’s body, holding a PBR.  Need I say more?)

Amy and David Sedaris.  If I have to explain them to you, you are definitely not invited.

I’m also open to suggestions, though I’d prefer it if the guests were all alive.  And that does not include being reanimated.

I’ll work out an imaginary menu soon.  Please refrain from sending me your particular food sensitivities and preferences.  This is my party, after all.


42 Responses to “Zen and the Art of Dinner Party Planning: A Moving Feast”

  1. I really don’t have the time today to help you properly with your lumpish blog, but I will point that a name change is in order. See, when I first saw the title, barelyknittogether, I assumed you were referring to 2 or 3 lazy women sitting around a trailer living room too unmotivated to throw a stitch. Is this the persona you wish to project? Think.

    And your little dog too, missy.

    • I leave enough things undone throughout the course of my day that I am the equivalent of two or three lazy women. You should know, Harmony, that small numbers are spelled out.
      As for the rest, I love throwing back shots of whiskey stitches and other things as well, but I spend so much time humoring bloggers lately that I haven’t done much knitting. I’ll get back to it. Like any of my addictions, it waxes and wanes in appeal. And actually, this is exactly the persona I wish to project. Thank you very much.

  2. I am honored to be included. I will bring my psychic abilities.

    Hey, that means I’ll be bringing a date!

    Can we hire The Violent Femmes to serenade us for the evening?

  3. I’m thrilled too! And now I can think of absolutely nothing interesting to say – too much pressure.

    But count me in. 🙂

    Oh! Shall I bring wine?

  4. Excellent list, especially the Sedaris siblings. I need to mention that I was actually kicked out of clown college. They told me they had no use for a minimalist clown—you know, just one clown getting out of a car.

    • Are minimalist clowns less scary, FJ? I can’t imagine they would be. They are still clowns, after all. By the way, since Alan’s vacay is now in June, you better get a move on those snub nose lizard things so you can make the party. Or were they blunt nosed? I actually really love the cow-nosed ray. They kind of feel like mangoes. Huh.
      Anyway, thanks for visiting. And you might need to ditch your new partner. She’s kind of a bitch. But she is hot, so your call.

  5. Yes, a minimalist clown is still a clown and therefore totally freakin’ scary. Harmony is going to be around for a little while and she totally ripped you off on the doula thing. The word was too funny to pass up. Flounce it all.

    • And you, FJ. Those lizards must have some kind of ISP, way out there in the wilds of wherever you are. DSL? Satellite? You just can’t stay away, can you?

      See, this is why I need another blog. I can’t very well have some guest come in and write about just any old thing. I’ve backed myself into a niche here that doesn’t allow much flexibility. I’m a mommy blogger, dammit to hell.

  6. I’m not sensing any excitement re. The Violent Femmes…

    So, if not them, can we book a hot new band I just heard? They’re called “The Village Idiots”

    • No! I love the Femmes!! We must have them. I just got distracted by Harmony and her hawtness. Personally, I get enough idiots in my day-to-day dealings. Let’s go with 70’s and 80’s punk and maybe some hardcore, and then we’ll get Cold Play or something to finish us off when we’re all too drunk to sing so loud. To bad the Grateful Dead aren’t still around. Wait a minute! They ARE! http://www.inquisitr.com/14430/the-dead-tour-dates-2009/ Except for that one guy, who, ironically enough, is DEAD.
      But I’m not slamming the Dead. I went to way too many shows than is healthy for a young person. I could go on. But I shouldn’t.

      • And also, y’all are totally messing up my tweeting. I’m so absorbed in comments now that I hardly ever start up TweetDeck. Get with the times, gentlemen. Twitter is the new Facebook which was the new MySpace which was the new comment thread.

  7. I’ve seen the Femmes three times. They never failed to disappoint. But what’s the dealio with them suing each other? They just can’t seem to get along.


    Yes, you’re right about Twitter. So, this week it happens. If only to keep an eye on Bob Trusty. LOSTL!

    • I never desired to see them, they were definitely more of a cassette tape kind of band. In a vintage VW. My favorite concert ever was Oingo Boingo. That strikes people as odd, but Danny Elfman is a genius, and the band put on an amazing show. It was in NYC, I can’t remember the name of the club. I also enjoyed Killing Joke at City Gardens in Trenton, NJ. And of course I partook of the Grateful Dead a bunch of times but I can’t remember them all. Strange.

  8. I tweet! Do you tweet? Do we all tweet? Should we all tweet? Does Harmony tweet?

  9. I think Harmony just mostly terrorizes us.


  10. I took in Killing Joke at a place called Larry’s Hideaway. The show was recorded and made into a 10″ LP called “Ha” Killing Joke Live.

    I’m the guy in the crowd clapping and screaming.


    I’m actually having to work today! Oh, the humanity.

  11. I’m too easily distracted.

  12. Bearded clowns!!!! I must search the internet for pictures of bearded clowns…

    I mean, I must get back to “work”

    I won’t get fired. I’m dedicated. I’m focused. Here I go!

  13. Okay, that didn’t work.

    yeah, you can have my job when I get fired.

    Fired like a bearded clown from a canon.

    Hmmm, wonder if there are any pictures of bearded clowns getting fired from canons…?

  14. I’ll be looking to see it posted here tomorrow.

    Keep an eye out for FJ.

    I’ve studied his avatar: he’s the clown in the suit.

  15. Hey you two get a room. In fact, you can have my room..I’m in a hotel…w/ wifi. Hot, no lizards.

  16. Order one up. Check the lizard escort service.


  17. I believe you’re talking about the Happy Endings Lizard Escort Service, sadly it is out of business. Hey, BKT don’t mind us, we’ll turn out the comment light when we’re through. UMM…wasn’t BKT a serial killer or something?

  18. I was. Sorry to hear those fine folks and reptiles are no longer around.

    If BKT was, or is, then I’m guessing that if we keep this up, we’re going to end up on her list.

    Maybe we should take this over to your place and let Harmony sort it all out.

    • Gosh! I always miss all the fun. That’s what I get for going to the circus. I have some photo ideas for wordless Wednesday. We’ll see how they pan out.
      I recently mentioned that BKT is indeed a serial killer, who waits until after she binds and kills to torture her victims. Never say sociopaths don’t have a heart.

      • My grammatical error kept me awake last night. I’m sick like that. I should have said, “Never say sociopaths don’t have heart” or, “Never say a sociopath can’t have a heart,” or something like that. Except maybe it is possible that if you put them all together they do only have one heart.

    • And isn’t this what dinner parties are all about? Witty repartee, undertones of questionable things? You are quite the chatty one, alantru. Are you the mouthy fellow that every one regrets inviting?

  19. “I always miss all the fun. That’s what I get for going to the circus.”

    Okay. That is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day!

    Too rich…

    Yes, I seem to recall something about a serial killer…

    I am the delightful one whose witty dinner party conversation always sparkles… At least that’s what it says on my business cards.

  20. I’m going to need to read that again, maybe twice… 😉

    Speaking of sociopaths… Where are the pictures of the clowns?

    • They were all too disturbing. And frankly, I’m trying to budget my time better, and photoshopping Fundamental Jelly’s old avatar into a cannon just didn’t make the to-do list. But obviously, tracking comments did.

  21. Cheers.

    Fair enough indeed. And good call. Have a great day!

  22. More friends of Alan!

    dont forget to serve 3.14159! its tasty AND required in almost everything in daily life! AND im pretty sure it keeps you regular! LOSTL!

    These ‘Violent Femmes’ sound like mean women. Maybe they need to sit down and relax, perhaps a pedicure!


  23. Bob!

    Thank goodness you’re here!

  24. Jamie Stanek Says:

    I’m in.

  25. […] So, following in the footsteps of barelyknittedtogether (who threw a virtual party), I invite you to meet virtually, with words or though visits. Some of you know each other already […]

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