Dead Basil Weekend Coming Up

Dead Basil: Sign of the First Frost
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
The basil died this week. It is officially winter as far as I'm concerned. That, as I've said before, is my gauge. Basil died, irreparably, once there's a frost. I woke up Tuesday morning to see the wilted leaves on my now pathetic looking plants. Went back in the house and reluctantly fished out the winter jacket. Because of regular standard time, the sun is up when I wake up for work, and I'm preparing for at least watching for spectacular sunrises while I check my morning email at work. I'm kind of refusing to put the bike away quite yet, though.

So, for the first weekend among the dead basil:

    I'm going to a "speed networking event" hosted by Citigal Magazine tonight. Networking is exactly what "speed" things should be about. I remember when the concept of "speed dating" was hot and it seems to have died down. Maybe because I'm married -- and out of the market per se -- but I guess the concept of "speed dating" just never clicked with me. I've read a lot of the research, and on paper, it makes sense. It's efficient, it's based on the premise that many people just know when they've found Mr/Ms Right. I've read Gladwell (and I like a lot --not all, but a lot -- of what Gladwell has to say) and I think his Blink makes a lot of sense, especially based on my personal experience. The greatest roommate I ever had -- Deirdre Fellner -- I knew I liked instantly the minute we shook hands. Some of my best friends and I just clicked the minute we agreed on the greatness of Robyn Hitchcock or the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. It just seems so wrong when you try to orchestrate and quantify and time something like this. "Blink" happens because it's organic, not because it's staged.

    However, the concept of speed networking really sounds like it's tailor-made for business. It IS all those things: it's efficient, you go in with an empirical goal (and criteria), you measure your success in an almost Six Sigma sort of way. It -- like a well-run business-- should be planned and staged and quantified. I guess when it's personal, I want to take my time and let "feelings" take over, and give it room for second thoughts and reflection. I want to get to know the real person behind the five minute presentation they choose to show me. But when it's business, naw, I don't want to spend a lot of time on this. I'll take the PowerPoint version of what you're all about. Give me the elevator speech, because that's all the time I've got for you. That's what bidniz is -- efficient, cost-effective, empirical. So we'll see how it goes tonight. I'm looking forward to it. It's a lovely north shore establishment -- perhaps they'll have some kind of Italian-basil frosted appetizer to nosh on.

  • Friday night -- are you sick already of hearing about the big Yi-Yao game, aka Bucks v Houston? I'm almost glad we didn't get this game in our 22-game season package. According to The Bratwurst, over 100 million Chinese tuned in to Yi's NBA debut, and I heard on Cramp and Adler this morning that the big matchup is poised to draw more viewers in China than Americans who watched the Super Bowl. Thing is, Yao is a seasoned all-star veteran, and Yi is a competent rookie. This is NOT going to be an even matchup. However, the game should be good -- because the two teams are indeed a good matchup. I think I'll watch it on TV curled up with the kiddos. Dinner of course, will be some whole wheat pasta tossed with that homemade pesto I made two weeks ago.

  • Saturday night is a big ol Birthday Party for Dr Chow's Frank Chandek as well as O'Keefe from (and at) O'Keefe's House of Hamburg. This is going to be one of the few Nights of Surreality that doesn't involve Mark Shurilla and the Greatest Hits. Why? It's not necessarily the music. For one, besides Dr. Chow's Love Medicine (of course, Frank will take the stage as he ages a year), a band called the Tempermentals is playing, along with (speaking of Speed Dating) Mr. Wrong. Then, up from Chicago comes that band they played with at the VFW post, Cooler by the Lake. They mix up a whole load of genres with a look so sincere you can't believe it's real. I'll be talking to lead singer Rory Lake because he's apparently got some kind of rock and roll story and connections that tell a lot about where he gets his interesting stage presence from. I remember thinking that day in Chicago: WTF? What is this guy's story. Well, I'm gonna find out.

    But that's only the cake. Here's the icing: due to a double booking incident, this party almost didn't get the back room at O'Keefe's House of Hamburg. (You didn't know there was a back room at O'Keefe's, did you? Neither did I!) There's some karate kung-fu club that was planning their periodic meeting/sparring that same night. O'Keefe didn't want to cancel either (the club is a group of regulars), and Cooler By The Lake already make plans to come up from Chicago, and already got their Friday night Racine show axed for reasons I frankly don't understand. I've heard the plan, then, is to clear our the front of the bar for serious Kung Fu Action, and that back room will still be the place to party with Dr. Chow. So when you show up at the House of Hamburg, don't be freaked out if some Uma Thurman and Bruce Lee wannabees come flying into your lap. Just brush them aside, order yourself a fine German brew from your Irish proprietor, head to the back, and let the psychedelic garage blues prog metal party begin! I'll bring some pesto dip left over from the package I defrosted from dinner Friday.


Cynthia said…
don't even ask Ernie about the time I almost cried harvesting all my basil before a heavy frost.....

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