Originally published on October 13, 1996
Anecdotes on the grill, hip-hugging and pressure cooked people sprawled about the deck with all sorts of psychoses just a spoon feed away. All told, it seems everyone left with a pleasant evening under their belts after chortling on cheese dip, assorted dishes and the chow din of new acquaintences.
Bob and Peter had never met. Michelle was new goth bird. Allie announced she was moving in with Bob, saving $800 a month, helpful since she too is leaving Columbia Research for greener pastures, that is to say, her hunt for that illusive green card, saying that CR has a long record of hiring aliens but dropping the ball on green card sponsorship.
The gathering began late, which of course threw off my own psychological equilibrium for most of the early part of the day since I had hoped for an early start, early end, but things softened and turned to a generalized sense of fun once Peter and Michelle arrived sometime shortly after 1730hrs.
The afternoon heat chilled rather quickly, finally underpinning the autumnal ambience to the other seasonal changes visible in the sheets of orange-brown leaves blanketing the backyard matched by the brilliant, cascading angles of the fading sun.
But she's no mere fawn. Peter had burned some bacon earlier that afternoon, and when Sue suggested the microwave was a saner choice for the chore, Peter of course started in with his own variation of Shipwreck rationale.
Michelle surnamed Carnes as in Kim no relation, immediately backed Sue as Peter mumbled off into that land of geez, can't I ever be right about something, even when pushing the I'm wrong about nothing spin cycle. Maybe not. Perhaps I'm being ever slightly unfair for the sake of a short line of bull. Admittedly, I wasn't there in the kitchen, although at one point I nearly bolted from my chair to race upstairs as my complaint-driven pathos peeled back the stench of newly formed carbon gathering in my ever sensitive nostrils, but Sue witnessed to me later, and I have no problem imagining that when she said he started explaining something about hot grease and the natural water in the bacon combining to blacken it, he was pulling a big time, uh, well you know what I mean. This a been a banner weekend. Had a swell time on the bay feasting with the three Spence dolls plus Pitch. I'm sure this topic has come up before but I forget your opinion on crabs. I would imagine Philly to be a great place for the critters, even while somewhat overshadowed by the world famous Philadelphia cheesesteak culture.
His mom is a dear, a small hairspray-blonde Jewish cabana queen who looks and talks like she just stepped out of a Seinfeld episode. She kept trying to feed us sweets from the fridge. One year our colleague in the online fantasy baseball league wimped out in getting our Phillies tickets. She bailed us out with her influence, calling the front office, seating us in the best seats we'd ever had over the four games Sue and I had shared with the Nuthouse Gang, right near home plate just a few rows up and a few seats down the first base line behind the net.
Peter and Michelle are gone for the day. They'll sup at his parent's house tonight, and she'll fly back to Indiana tomorrow afternoon. Peter got a call this morning suggesting he's still in queue for a job interview at, I think, one of the places he's interned. That's timely, since we mildly roasted Peter the last hour of last night's gathering focussing on his need to find a job because neither he nor we are rolling in web business yet, and in order to really be worth his ambition in GSIS stock, he needs to improve his own skills and speed with practice, not on my time and dollar, but on his own.
No feelings were unduly trampled, and I feel the exchange was blithely enlightening, as he admitted that he has often been chastised for a lack of speed and creativity in his work, and is hoping to improve on these fronts in time. I'm committed to helping him where and when I can, but he must certainly begin to pull his weight in some area, and for now that appears to be simply paying the agreed upon rent, and then working to improve his skills in areas that we both can exploit so that he indeed can become a healthy factor in the growth potential of Graphic Solutions Ink Systems and CYFII, his own company. In other words, we're each still operating in good faith.