Sunday, October 30, 2011

a haunted dinner party

we like throwing parties around here.
lately i've been toying with the idea of dinner parties--
how they bring people together,
how they are just structured enough that people who are total strangers can come together and talk like they've known each other for years.
(for some excellent literature on this idea, read this)

so we put it to the test:
we invited a hodge-podge of friends from here and there,
very few of whom knew each other,
decorated the house all up,
and called it a haunted dinner party!
on the eve of all hallow's eve.

candles galore,
cobwebs hanging from the chandeliers,
burnt name plates
fancy folded napkins
and an exceptionally scary songlist

all was set for a truly ghastly affair.
(all thanks to some expert party-planners.  read: roommates & mr. mcintosh)

even my sweet little typewriter got spooked.

the guests arrived, terrifying and morbid:
and then we dined:
salad with carolann's amazing almond brown sugar dressing
mini stuffed peppers
caramel popcorn balls

and best of all, at the end of the dinner, we told ghost stories.

(please notice all the orbs in these pictures--i guess we were visited by more than just spooky dinner guests!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

leaf me in heber

friday night i escaped my homework, job, dating, and all other forms of stress,
and rosie, my darling darling sister, and i drove up to heber to be with my cousins.
we ate grapes and cheese ball on crackers and hummus on pita
so warm in our truck,
so dark in the canyon.

we played games all night and laughed and laughed
and in the morning we made german pancakes and butter-caramel syrup
and raked raymon's whole lawn so we could jump in the piles and have leaf fights.

and death in the leaves.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

trippe it like a lady in the finest fashion

Every woman can take on a new beauty, a new charm, if she will practice lightness on her feet, will wear her clothes rightly, and will carry her accessories as well as her arms and head in a graceful and smart manner.  As for me, I am practicing, and one of these days I am going to hear someone say, to my back, or course, "Isn't she charming?  She has the carriage of royalty, the poise of a princess...Truly charming, truly charming."

--Marilyn Madison, Inspiration, October 1925
(found in Vintage Notions, p 182, during my tuesday detox 
of wandering through the library shelves)

women whose innate poise i envy:

now a word on my posture.  it is getting worse and worse.  a short history:
1998-2000: in ballet, my teacher made us hold cans of beans or corn or soup out to our side at the barre to strengthen our posture.

2002: i remember once in high school, sitting on a church pew four children down from my mother, and she looked over at me and started laughing because she said my posture was so bad.  (apparently when not in ballet class i really let myself go.)

2004: then i came to college and dated a guy two inches shorter than me.  (man how i loved him.)  i think i lost 3/4 of an inch of all that lovely ballerina posture trying to shrink to his height.  it was subconscious of course, but when you spend every second next to someone inches shorter than you, you kinda start to shrink to be closer to where they are.  (*sigh* romantic, no?)

2007: then there was the ogio backpack that i got for my internship in samoa.  that thing ruined any semblance of hope for regaining that 3/4 inch.  and i'm sure studying english (read: at least three books with you at all times) didn't do much to rectify said posture either.

this week, 2011: every time i sit down to read, write, or type, i find myself moving into what i will call the turtle posture.  it looks something like me with my shoulders pulled up to my ears, spine in a perfect C curve, head poking out like a chicken.  in other words, no wonder i haven't gotten a library date in a while. (jk i've never gotten a date from the library.  alas.)

so we staged an intervention.  following the instructions of Marilyn Madison (quoted above), we four girls (the lovely three i live with) stood in a circle, feet 4-6 inches apart, and whispered lovely words for 5 solid minutes.  words like "boulevard" and "delightful" and "fountain" and "mellifluous."  (yes, this was part of the instructions: "heels 4 to 6 inches apart...hands in front of you...stand still five minutes.  remember, no shifting or wiggling.  what to do for the five minutes.  think beautiful thoughts.")

now, i can't say it's gotten my posture to the "charming" point yet, but i have been eavesdropping on the people walking behind me, in the off chance one of them notices the 3/4 inch i'm reclaiming.

(title of this post brought to you by Stephen Gosson's 16th century instruction on reading.  thank you english master's program.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

frosted windowpanes...

last night i made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and listened to karen carpenter for the first time this season.  

let the games begin!  i am so warm and cozy in my nutmeg&cloves kitchen and fire-red knitted socks,
i can hardly stand it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

life lately: the fall edition

there are two weeks in october that are the most fragile weeks of all.  
this year, mine have been something like frosty jugs of frozen apple cider straight from the orchard
pecks and pecks of sun-warm peaches


baskets of vegetables from my mom's garden
and falling asleep holding my harmonica


while dreaming about my next major purchase...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

(gasp!) a murder mystery at manavu estates!

there was a dinner.
there was a murder.

six weapons
nine rooms
and one murderer.

six suspects...


...all impeccably dressed, if i may say so.

we spent the evening giving riddles and getting clues,
guessing at murderers and weapons and rooms,

and when it all came down to it,
i was the murderer after all!  (mrs. peacock!  who'da thought!  with the candlestick of course.)

what a fun night--a chance to get to know new people,
a chance to dress up and play a part so so removed from how we live today
that i can't help but be totally enamored and enchanted
by the fringes 
and the coiffed hair,

the fedoras and suitcoats,


and of course, the special appearance by the newsies (& a pilot from the great war)!

it seems to me that deep down all we really want is a chance to dress up and have a party!

and say jake, what a party it was!