Omgwtfbbq. Is my reaction to last night. I can't even explain. As Eden said, we're going to call each other in ten years and say, "did that happen? What was that?"
First of all, Dan took me to the Rice PowWow, and we sat around in the sun (and eventually she shade, when Dan was getting roasted), on the grass, and watched the dancers. And! We won a lovely green dream-catcher in the raffle.
Next, Eden, who's in town for a week to do some shows and see her family, invited me to the Foundation for Modern Music concert in the evening, so I took the train downtown. The concert itself was interesting. I sat with Aaron H, who came down from Boston with her to see the show and hang. I hadn't seen him in awhile, so it was cool to catch up a bit. Both Eden's sisters played (and she opened with some Rumi songs of hers that she sang and played gorgeously in her straightforward and haunting way, and then came and sat with us in the audience). The reception, catered in grand Mediterranean style with dolmas and falafel patties and hummus, and wine everywhere, was quite fancy, held as it was on the stage. Eden got me into it without the fancy-person pass, and it was full of Houston new-music movers and shakers, to whom she introduced me. I am gearing up to go through with giving them my contact information, since they all had cards and I didn't. (Also I'm getting cards). Some of them were odd and eccentric in ways you read about and think "is anybody actually like that?" But they are. And then the catering ladies, when the Zilkha people were rather forcefully kicking us all out, went by with the plates of dolmas that were left and I was sad, and they asked me if I wanted them. I didn't have my own ride, I said, so I'd feel weird carrying a platter around; she just wrapped it in foil and a bag for me, and declared she was my new best friend. It's true. And they were useful, later.
Eden took me and Aaron, after a stop at her mom's house to drop off stuff and change, to hang out with her family. Her sisters, Adaiha and Batya, and a guy named David, were staying, the Modern B&B, which I'd never heard of despite the fact that it's apparently been there for ten years. It's quite swank, and, as the name implies, modern. We came in and greeted people and hung out a bit, and Batya called one of the few pizza places left open that late to order a pair of pizzas for the afterparty, and Adaiha was telling us about how cool the landlady is, and how there's so much stuff provided and there's bourbon and fig newtons and girl scout cookies and all sorts of different almonds on the table just all the time, and she'd just baked some chocolate chip cookies and they were sitting out, too...
And then the landlady came up the stairs. With her friends. Oh goodness.
The party was certainly on. She must have just come from her St Patrick's Day celebrations, because she was more than a little unsteady on her feet (though her four-inch green spike heels didn't seem to be a factor in this wobbliness, which impressed me and Eden thoroughly). She roundly (teasingly) chastised everyone in the room, and then complimented us outrageously, whether or not she knew us. Dr. Evans, my beloved high school orchestra director (who is now Director of Orchestras, Assistant Professor of Music, Graduate Advisor, and String Area Coordinator at the UT Arlington, and conducted the Composers' Orchestra on the concert, and remembered me, and was terribly sweet when I told him how much it meant to me that he let me play in the PVA orchestra even though I sucked) came through the door and was immediately attacked by the landlady and dragged around by his tie. A more hilarious sight I've never seen. She called him Big Hair Big Fun and kept asking him what it was he did. She mistook David, who was staying at her B&B, for Mohammed, the composer of the concert she'd heard so much about, and said he looked all right for an Egyptian composer dude. He went along with it for quite awhile. Her (equally drunk, but somewhat more coherent) pair of flaming queens egged her on, and she stumbled into them and made adversarial bodychecks, and some sort of shoe competition ensued which required that she put her foot on the table, which showed off her bright green St Patrick's underwear nicely (her dress was by no means long). "BAYUM," said Dr Evans, looking diligently up at the ceiling and nearly crying with laughter. This, though setting the rest of us off into helpless giggles, may have been unwise, as it returned her attention to him, and in the middle of a story about her struggles with her health insurance coverage, she scooped out her glass eye and smacked it down on the table right in front of him. "OHHHHHHWWWW", he said, bolting straight up and turning around, looking frantically through the hot-drink supplies on the buffet behind him, in order to avert his eyes from the bizarre sight on the table.
This went on. I can't even explain. Eden and I were both totally sober, and could not stop laughing despite sides and cheeks utterly sore from the giggles. Mohammed did eventually show up, though not in time to partake of the glass we left for him in a convoluted parody of the seder tradition of leaving one for the prophet Elijah. We left a chair and a glass for Mohammed, but Aaron drank it. And by the time Mohammed arrived, things were winding down; the pizza place had called to say that the delivery driver had been in an accident and we were going to get a refund instead of pizzas (how weird is that? He was fine though), the utterly hammered glass-eyed landlady and her man had gone to bed, and there weren't many of the leftover dolmas and falafel and hummus left, so the party was pretty much over in all but name.
Seriously, though, did that happen? It was made extra surreal by the presence of Dr. Evans, whose baffled but amiable interactions with the crazy landlady added a particular note of cognitive dissonance. It was 2:30 by the time Eden took me home, and I had to get up for church, but really: no regrets.