i've been looking forward to this weekend for ages. it's the annual Solstice party, you see. and it's always a good time.
mr. p came over early to help with the brownies. helping, in this case, meant me sending him to the store because i didn't want to deal with it. if you've ever shopped at Market Basket (or DeMoulas, or Johnny Foodmaster), you know exactly why i didn't want to go. i've never seen anything so close to a blood sport outside of professional wrestling. i mean, grannies are gunning for you with their carts, just because they can! and that's just not right. plus, it's impossible to get out of there in under 20 minutes. don't care if you just go in there for a gallon of milk. it will still take you 20 minutes. have i mentioned that i have the patience of a flea?
so off he went, and came back (you guessed it) 20 minutes later with the goods. i made a pan of jenn's ultimate brownies, doctored up with almonds and vanilla. hey, jenn - i'd love to tell you the brownies tasted as good as they smelled. unfortunately, the teeming hordes descended on the pan before i ever had a chance. i didn't even get crumbs. guess that means people liked them, you think?
we got out to bob and sharon's place around 3:30 or 4, and the piggie was roasting away. i didn't realize this (tho it makes sense) until jason told me he and mari had been tending said piggie, complete with straw hat, since the day before. it takes a looooooong time to roast a pig. poor j and m - at that point, they looked like they'd been roasted too. fortunately, they and the pig only had another hour to go, and then they got to shower and enjoy the party.
it's such a great group of people, and i love seeing them all in one place. there are people i work with, used to work with, never worked with, play poker with, drink beer with... oh, yeah. it's always good to be friends with a brewer when you throw a big party. ;) as always, there was a lovely tap setup, 4 different choices. and mr. p actually knew enough people, or was comfortable chatting, that i could wander off and just bounce from group to group, seeing how everyone is doing and what's up in their lives.
and being out there... man, oh man, was it nice to get out of the city. out there surrounded by friends and green space, hearing just voices and the wind in the trees... balm for the soul.
well, there was a little more noise than that. the Bunzey Park Experience played three really tight sets (after the little kids got thru messing around with the drum kit). never ceases to amaze me how happy live music makes me.
the only drawback to the day would be the mosquitos. for some odd reason, i bruise from mosquito bites. so despite applying pretty much every repellent i could find, i still look like i've been bludgeoned by midgets. the skeeters were out in full force by the end of the evening, and i'm pretty sure if we hadn't kept an eye on the dogs and the kids, a squadron of skeeters would have carried off one or two.
i was sorely tempted to stay around the house Sunday, and fritter away my time doing tons of little chores. but i did drag myself down to the jazz concert at the Hatch Shell. lovely afternoon. didn't stay for the whole thing, but heard James Carter and Diane Reeves. saw a few people i know wandering around the crowd, and a few of the security guys from the music gigs.
sat out on the island for most of the time, avoiding the crowd, listening to the music waft over the water, and watching. one little blond boy made me smile - he must have been about 2 1/2, and just discovered running. he kept doing his Running Man laps up and down the island, with a sweet goofy grin. there was plenty to watch in the basin, too. we actually didn't get any of the storms, but a fair number of them blew through on the other side of the river. fascinating to watch the grey anvil storm clouds marching across the town, and puddles of sunlight skim up the river.
people were out there on the water pretty much any way they could be - motor boats, wind sails, kayaks (question: would you take your cell phone in a kayak?) and small sail boats. one colorful little flotilla scooted out to the center and then opened up into a half dozen wind sails. beautiful. sitting there watching knots of boats gather and unlace across the waves in an intricate ballet, it donned on me that i actually have no idea what to do with a sail boat (besides follow directions and duck if the boom swings your way). so i thought, 'well, i'll pick one and watch what they do. that should help.'
boy, oh, boy did i ever pick the wrong boat to watch. or actually not, because these boys were the poster children for what not to do. a lesson in the negative, that was. they had come from the boat house right across the river. no idea how they got across, tho, because they clearly didn't know how to get back. they spent a good half hour getting smacked around by the sail and running into the pier repeatedly. the thing that really amazed me was that after seeing all this, a friend of theirs (in Gucci shades and heels) got *into* the boat with them! oh, lordy be. for all we know, they're still over there, looking wistfully across at the boat house.
took myself over to the brewery after that (yes, there is only one, in my universe), and had the good fortune to run into an old workmate. funny, he and i worked together for 3 years, and it only donned on me the other night that he sounds exactly like Al Pacino. i also ended up with a job offer. huh. who'da thunk? we'll see where it goes, but it was very gratifying to be able to talk the game well enough to get a serious offer. and maybe that's the next adventure.