Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rain and revelry

About two weeks ago, Jane and I decided it was high time for a party. She'd invite her regular philosophy crowd, and I'd invite the psychology newbies. We decided on Columbus Day weeked, thinking people were more prone to come. As it turned out, we were getting a lot of "Sorry... can't make it... I'll be out of town on the three-day weekend." Not to worry, we thought... it'll be an intimate gathering, and it won't be too stressful to throw together. Besides, I would have two weddings to sing at that day, so anything that might make life simpler where this party was concerned was not so bad a thing to occur.

It was soon Saturday morning, and all was still going according to plan. All but the rain. The rain that fell all day long. I did some cleaning around the apartment, then set off for the campus church, where the weddings would be held. About three blocks from my apartment, a pretty good wind gust caught my umbrella and flipped it inside-out, bending and tearing it beyond repair. I made the rest of the walk to campus sans umbrella, showing up at the church soaking wet and very unhappy. I threw on a choir robe, sang my piece, then went home four hours later... in the rain, umbrella-less.

When I got to the apartment, party preparations were well underway. Jane and Josh were setting up food and glasses, rearranging furniture, etc. I went out again to pick up beverages and a few additional items (this time, thankfully, with an umbrella). No sooner had I returned home from the shopping trip that Reuben and a few other people had already arived. They wanted to jam for a while before other people got there, so they'd brought a couple of guitars and a harmonica set. In addition, Jane and I passed around the guitars that we had, and before we knew it, there was a room full of people playing guitars, which was actually pretty amazing (one guy in particular was just phenomenal... he had brought his Ovation and was milking it for all it was worth). Looking on the scene, it was a little weird, what with all the guitars, but fantastic nonetheless.

From one side of the living room, we have Dave in the foreground, Reuben in the red shirt, and the famous Jane, looking festive in lovely leopard print. Incidentally, Dave is playing one of my guitars, while Reuben and Jane have their own.

On the other side of the living room is the other Dave (who is the one that's so amazing a guitarist) playing his Ovation, and Josh, playing my Baby Taylor. The Ibanez sitting between them is basically standing in for where I was sitting.

Shortly after the impromptu jam session had begun, I had to tear myself away in order to meet Russ at the subway stop. In the rain. I found him safely under an umbrella when I got there, and we caught a cab back to the apartment. When we walked in, I was taken aback to find that the number of party attendees had more than doubled since I'd left... there were at least fifteen people there. A number of folks were in the living room, but there wasn't enough room to sit down, so I opened my room up to serve as a second seating area/smoking lounge. At that point, people started calling my room "the bordello" due to all of the red decor, and I welcomed the label happily. Russ was having a great time socializing, and people were having a really good time; Jane held down the fort in the living room, while I played hostess in the bordello (I know that last bit probably sounds a little off-color now that I've written it, which is all the more reason for me to leave it that way). Much drinking took place, mostly red wine and an assortment of beers, and the dual ventilation, open window set-up made it possible for the bordello to avoid getting even the slightest bit smoky.

Much later in the course of the party, I took Russ aside into Jane's room; he and I had agreed that he was going to hear a few of my songs, then help me decide which of them I'd perform at CBGB. The decision was reached that I'd play Violet's song, along with the two that I've completed since moving to New York. On top of that, he also gave me some really good feedback, which I'm definitely grateful for. Russ is one fo those people I trust implicitly when it comes to opinions on my work, regardless of the medium. He's a semi-professional writer, tallented recreational painter, and passionate music affectionado himself, and even moreso than most, so I really respect anything he has to say about what I'm doing. Luckily for me, he had good things to say. We came out of Jane's room to be accosted by a few people with questioning looks on their faces. Josh asked me what I'd been doing with Russ in Jane's bedroom... I told him we'd been making out. He lauhed, shrugged, and went off to get another beer.

When the party finally ended and all twenty-five or so guests had been seen off, it was about four in the morning, and Jane was determined to see to it that we not be wasteful, so she, Josh, and I finished off the remnants of a couple of wine bottles, winding down from the evening and sharing our individual perspectives on the way things went. Jane reported that the philosophers in the living room had taken to opening books of Hegel, Kant, and Heidegger and setting certain chapters to music, but it never got much weirder than that. All in all, only one glass was broken (Jane did it) and one beer was spilt (that one, I'm afraid, was my doing). I finally went to bed at nearly six in the morning, exhausted from a suprisingly excellent party, and satisfied that I'd actually managed to pull one over on the rain.


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