Saturday, December 14, 2013

o holy night of sunflower seeds on a paper plate

Last weekend we went to a holiday party for the clinic where AK is interning, which means almost everything about the party was top secret for reasons relating to the intricate traditions of psychoanalysis. Can I say that I got a nice scarf in the white-elephant gift exchange? I don’t even know.

Can I say that the host’s house was super posh, in a way that was one part early California mission, one part Buddhist monastery? The host herself was wearing a non-sheer version of the dress below, and we had a good time.

Hands on.
Last night we went to a party for Razorcake, the punk rock magazine editor Todd Taylor invited me to contribute to after I met him at my reading with Sean Carswell in June. It had never occurred to me that I could write for such a publication, because one time in seventh grade I wrapped embroidery thread in Rastafarian colors around tiny braids in my hair, was asked what reggae bands I liked and had no answer. I’ve been very careful about being a poseur ever since.

Rastafarian or dirty hippie or seventh grader who raided her mom's sewing supplies? The late eighties in the 'burbs were a confusing time.
My upcoming Razorcake articles are about poetry and prosthetic limbs (stay tuned!), so I’m interpreting “punk” in the broadest sense of the word.

Anyway, I think it’s okay to blog about punk rockers. Even if they have their own intricate traditions.

They were dressed in their finest button-studded jackets and many-zippered pants. They gathered on the back porch of Todd’s house, which he bought with twenty years of savings from people who’d let a massive ant colony live and bury its minions under the carpet.

I didn’t know many people, but thankfully a writer named Brodie—whom I also met at Skylight but had since developed one of those internet-disconnect relationships with, where I was like, “Oh, you’re @Fair_Dig!” and it took me a minute—proved to be the friendliest person ever, and immediately introduced us to his friends, who included an awesome and funny ESL teacher/real estate blogger named Bianca and a girl named Simon who kind of acted like she was in a mosh pit the whole night.

There was only one baby at the party, and she wasn’t wearing anything with a skull on it, I’m pleased to report, just a little bonnet and polka-dot socks. Her dad carried her around so she could stare at things.

“She’s at this stage where she really fixates on things, and I’m glad,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Yes! You’re not blind!’”

Not that there's anything wrong with blind kids! Or guide dogs with...bunny ears? See forthcoming article about prosthetics, etc.
At one point, standing on the patio and watching our breath form icy puffs, AK pointed out a pile of sunflower seeds on a paper plate.

“I love that,” she said. “Someone’s like, ‘Let’s put some sunflower seeds out, but not even in a bowl.’”

We agreed it was a welcome contrast to last weekend’s party, at which all the food was a little…Pinteresty. Gluten-free chocolate cookies and what appeared to be mini macarons, dusted with flecks of peppermint or pistachio powder. I should add that the big vat of guacamole at the Razorcake party was heavenly, because great food doesn’t have to be ready for its Instagram close-up. 

Macarons are the Jenna Jameson of food porn.
I’ve theorized to AK before that aging punk rockers (no offense! I’m an aging non-punk!) are some of my favorite people. They prove that DIY can be a noble but unpretentious philosophy, not just an affectation because you’re young and poor, or an affectation because you’re a yuppie who likes to drink artisanal coffee from a mason jar. (The cups at one Razorcake meeting were Laura Scudder’s peanut butter jars with the labels only half scrubbed off.) They prove that you’re never too old to be truly committed to what you love.

“I guess there are lots of ways to be a grown-up,” I said, looking at the plate of sunflower seeds. There were also some of those addictive salt-and-pepper potato chips, which I ate straight from the bag.


bronwyn said...

I choose Laura Scudders specifically for the jars. Thank you for giving us all permission to not scrub off the labels.

Peter Varvel said...

Thank you for confirming, once again, that "there are lots of ways to be a grown-up."