* Hovering over the food table. It was a night for noshing; our host has packed up most of her utensils and dishes, so she requested finger food. I was drawn to the baby carrots for some reason. Also some homemade taquitos. Lots of bread and cheese. Little chocolate tarts topped with blueberries.
* The mini-Burning Man in the backyard. The host is an artist, and she burned two paintings that she made during a low point of her life. She said that creating them was therapeutic at the time, but so much good has happened to her since, and now she doesn't need them to exist anymore. Powerful symbolism, leaving this part of her life behind. She did not allow us to see the paintings -- she broke the frames and folded the canvases in half before laying them on the bonfire. Then we watched them burn, slowly turning to ash and embers. I never saw the original artwork, but the memory of their destruction will always be with me. And perhaps that's a part of art, too.
* Chocolate tasting. SE found three chocolate bars in the kitchen, and a group of us opened them, traded bites and comments. By far the most interesting was a milk chocolate chai bar, flavored with cardamom and cinnamon and anise and other chai-like spices. It was almost two strong to eat as a chocolate bar, although we agreed that, melted and mixed with milk, it would make an excellent drink.
* Showing off my new toy (the iPod) to SE, SF, Jed, and others. SE had asked me to bring it along so that she could get a look at it. Everyone was impressed by the size, the design, the picture quality.
* plantgirl's cute new haircut, which I kept meaning to tell her how much I liked. Maybe I'll remember to tell her next weekend. Or maybe she'll just read about it here.
* Pillaging the garage. We were all under strict orders to take at least one thing home with us. R, naturally, gravitated to the power tools. Someone found a lovely little chest with all these neat small drawers. The first time through, the only thing I found was an iPod cover (it won't fit the new one, but it will fit the old one that T is inheriting), which didn't make it home because I couldn't find it when I left. Later, when I was chatting with folks in the kitchen, our host passed through with a nice leather-bound journal. This I could not resist, and it's sitting on the floor by my desk now.
* Chatting with folks in the kitchen. Why is it that parties tend to gravitate to the kitchen? Even when the food is located elsewhere? We conversed about all kinds of things: comic books, portable technology, corporate cultures, the utility of librarians to search technology. My favorite part of any party: settling in with a handful of friends to have a satisfying and wide-ranging conversation.