So this evening I attended a "function" - the 6th Anniversary of one of my company's vendors, a most excellent design operation in Fremont, right on the canal. These people have been doing good work for my company on some online activities for the Hasbro website, though they are a tad (well, a great deal) tardy on their latest, a very ambitious project (which I will mention when it goes live). My boss Rich was unable to attend, so I went in the role of "the client". It was kinda trendy - Martinis at the open bar, Ahi and satay at the buffet, soft ambient techno platters spun in the background.
And I had a very nice time, even though martinis are not my cup of tea, if I may mix the metaphor. The vodka martini made me break out in a sweat. The lemon drop caused me to retreat to more stable terrain (pale ale) for the remainder of the evening . The buffet spread was extremely nice, and I got to talk to and listen to a wide variety of people, the overwhelming majority of which were much younger than I was. I thought I would stay an hour, but ended up stumbling out over three hours later. Over the course of the evening I:
- Congratulated the members of the team working on the current project, and expressed concern over the ever-slipping deadline (thereby dispatching suitably my role as "client")
-Discovered I had driven my project manager on the project back into the thrall of nicotine ("I picked a helluva time to give up cigarettes!")
- Completely failed to recognize the graphic designer of the team, who was dressed to the nines.
- Talked to a lot of people who played D&D when they were kids, including a couple from Bainbridge Island who were big, BIG fans of a particular Dark Elf I know of.
- Listened to the perils of a seven-person sailing crew.
- Listened to the similar perils of surfing in the Pacific Northwest (worst problem? Tan lines from the wet suit)
- Watched the staff hook up the X-Box to their widescreen plasma screen in the conference room (I got the feeling they had done this before) and played HALO.
- Listened to people who were speaking English, in that all the words were English, but speaking in a jargon so involuted that I felt I needed a second audio channel.
- And realized, halfway through, that I had a message on the cel from Kate, who is in Kansas City at a conference with H&R Block. I called her back, and stood at the base of the Fremont Bridge, watching the rowing sculls move up and down the canal in the gathering dark, as we talked about her computer-tax program and the fact that I may have to fly to Rhode Island later in the month. And as we talked, I thought about the sheer strangeness of the conversation, and the distance, and how we were having it, and where we were at this point.
- And I decided I was pretty happy with the entire course of things in this 21st Century, even without the flying cars. And that's when I had the lemon drop and things started getting fuzzy . . .
Loren Eiseley on Dunsany — and Tolkien - *Loren Eiseley on Dunsany — and Tolkien* So, back when I was working on my Dunsany dissertation I came across a reference to a piece that essayist and thin...
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