December 02, 2007

So the Blog Chix and Their Husbands Came Over.

As usual, I was the only non-football person present; I'm starting to pick up some of the nuances of the game. Slowly. (As Rita Mae Brown once put it in quite a different context, that would be "as in, slowly the Ice Age ended."*)

Caltech Girl and I discussed the cultural phenomenon of The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls. She definitely felt the latter was worth a read, and a lot of fun. The entries are apparently longer than those in Dangerous, and have more explanatory text. ("Developmentally appropriate!" she joked, and of course I laughed.)

"Some of it's practical," she informed me. "Like the segment on what girls should carry with them at all times."

"Well, that would be everything the boys have in their pockets, plus lipstick or chapstick—and a tampon," I responded. "Right?" She smiled, and her husband rolled his eyes. So everyone was happy.

Justene of CalBlog and her husband informed me that as their daughter's sponsor into the Catholic Church, I'm now responsible for any misbehavior she engages in. (Of course, that would be a sobering thought if she weren't quite such a well-behaved young lady.) As I understand it, though, they still get the credit for her accomplishments. Certainly there's some fine print I should have read, somewhere.

Juliette of Baldilocks and I laughed about our experiences in rough neighborhoods with scummy men, and compared our reading material. She's deep into the mighty Thomas Sowell (always a good choice)—and digging Conflict of Visions right now. I'm still pimping Jonathan Rauch's Kindly Inquisitors to any multi-cellular organization I come into contact with. The cool thing is that we realized that some of the arguments that Dr. Sowell makes in Conflict of Visions are very similar to those Rauch put forward in his book: the process by which one reaches conclusions can be as important as the conclusions themselves, because scientific and philosophical inquiry must have a way of correcting its mistakes.

Of course, Rauch and Sowell take quite different routes to get there; the books probably make a nice complementary set.

At some point the subject of Larry Elder came up; Juliette and I both admire him intellectually, and have each had a chance to talk with him at some length. Razor-sharp guy, very articulate. His good looks didn't enter the discussion, of course; neither Baldilocks nor I are that shallow.

I also gave Juliette a good laugh by completely flubbing military terminology. "Let me help you out, Sister," she told me, and explained the finer structural points I'd been missing.

And, as advertised, Justene and I had a few cigars. She enjoyed a Cohiba, and I took a Punch (my Cuban of choice). It was too cold to take them onto the balcony, so we just smoked them in the dining room, with the rest of the crowd moving as far away from us as they could get. Justene's other daughter—the hyper-moral one—looked on disapprovingly, waving the smoke away from her face.

"She doesn't like it when I drink, smoke, or cuss," Justene explained. (Once again, that Yeats line about "youth restraining reckless middle age" comes to mind.**)

I suggested a game of poker at that point, but the CalBlog family was up past the curfew its teenage taskmasters have set for it, so after we finished our smokes the CalBloggers went home. Caltech Girl, the Caltech Hub, Baldilocks, Attila the Hub and I talked for a while longer, until the party broke up around midnight.

Now that everyone's gone, I'm considering cleaning the house—something I couldn't be bothered to do before my guests came over. (A the H decided in his kindly fashion that there should be snacks at my party, even though I had explained this afternoon in my literal-minded way that all I'd promised was red wine and pizza, and those were therefore the only items that were contractually required of me. He set out some chips, dip, peanuts and grapes early on in the evening, and people liked them just fine, even though they fell outside the purview of the gathering's stated intent. Thank goodness I'm not turning into my minimalist, non-domestic mother; that would be simply awful.)

* The quote is somewhere in Six of One. As one might imagine, Brown's current fiction is outside of my reading parameters, but I loved her earlier work when I was in college, and went to a few of her book-signings in my youth. (The Wikipedia entry, BTW, does not mention Plain Brown Rapper. This might be just as well; that book didn't age nearly as well as Rita Mae.)

** It's here, on page 76.

Posted by Attila Girl at December 2, 2007 04:24 AM | TrackBack

Pictures - I demand pictures!

Posted by: Greta at December 3, 2007 05:41 AM

Had a great time before I lost my keys. :-)

Posted by: baldilocks at December 3, 2007 09:20 AM

Greta--I'll send them via the "secret electronic passage." Couple of anonymous bloggers there, ya know!

Juliette--Yes, that keys thing. But you're still not as bad as I am; at one point my driivng glasses were at large for a full week! (Had you had to stay here, we could have had cold pizza for breakfast together. Yay!)

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 3, 2007 09:48 AM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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