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for February 4, 2004

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Seeing Is Deceiving
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

There's so much we could talk about this week! Anyone and everyone will offer you an opinion about Janet Jackson's boobies and David Boreanaz on the cover of TV Guide. The Grammies are awarded next week to a list of nominees you could've drawn up before the hangover wore off. Spirit and Opportunity roll along the Martian terrain like a blindfolded, remote controlled game of Pin the Tail on the Other Planet.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your piñata! You can talk about these fleeting thrills and geologic peaks with any old watercooler demagogue. Instead, let's talk about you, and by you, I mean me.
You can have adventures anywhere. With this in mind, we went to a corporate holiday party last Saturday night. "Last Saturday night?" you ask, "I'm pretty sure I flipped the calendar page to January and kept writing 2003 on checks. What gives, my turtle dove?"
Last December, our delightful Paulie Gonzalez took a job with a small company just as December's snowy wrath fell upon us. The holiday party was postponed, giving Paulie just enough time to learn and forget names. Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love, no ace in the memory department, knows you sometimes forget names too and could use a strategy in this tacky situation. Assuming you're part of a couple, and one of you blanks on an important name:
Your forgetful partner: Honey, this is -
Your partner places his/her/its hand on a pre-appointed place on your body, preferably not your butt. This lets you know your significant other has blanked on a significant name, and you're stepping up to the plate.
You: Hi, my name is [insert your name here].
And for Heaven's sake, don't say, "Insert your name here."
You: And you are…?
Without a moment's hesitation, the Mystery Man, Woman or Pet will tell you and your mortified partner his/her/its name, and the problem's solved. Just between us, this happened often, and only once did the target fail to respond in this useful manner.
However, speechlessness was not really unexpected at this party, where people showed up hours late and brought children. We felt underdressed without a brood. The children, utterly self-conscious, held running races on the dance floor and practiced break dancing, which gave the adult strangers something to chat about where stupefaction at the décor might be an overriding impulse. A magician strolled around the room, accosting children and confusing adults with card tricks. It was like a wedding without a happy couple.
Ethnically, the crowd was quite mixed, and this mixture was reflected in the music choices of the DJ, who plugged along with pleasant Sub-Continent pop until the first strains of Madonna's Borderline caused Your Delight to sigh, "It was just a matter of time, wasn't it?"
You see, there's just no way around this. New Jersey is full of halls and venues tastelessly decorated by the color-blind and fabric-impaired. This particular location offered a Victorian motif but backed the offer with glass and chrome. Smokers from events upstairs and downstairs smoked in a two-storey atrium through which everyone attending the upstairs event or events passed, thus infants smelled like smoke and smokers heard wacky wisps of untraceable gossip. The set up was not ideal.
After we met a large number of nice people and ate some bland buffet food, we departed for the parking lot on a path that took us through a hallway between two weddings. The doors to one were open. Paulie glanced in and asked, "Don't those people own mirrors?" The answer came a second later when the DJ blasted a Whitesnake song. There's a reason we call Edison "Edissppi." We wondered how those very nice people upstairs would escape the downstairs Hatfields and McCoys.
After hours of good behavior, we were relieved to find Tea Bag, some bad apples and friendly faces at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick. Tea Bag is the latest project of Bad Karma's guitar wizard Doug Vizthum and former HWA and Hung Like Christ bass player Rob Buckley, and they really tear it up on stage. It would be hard to do the band justice in print; you'll just have to see them yourself. One listen, though, should fix you right up after the weirdest evening in your recent memory.

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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