Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Gigli Day!

Well, I’m writing again. All of this can be attributed to three things: 1) I saw Michael Chabon read at the Wisconsin Book Festival last Thursday evening, and he inspired the hell out of me; 2) my Halloween party and the associated menu planning, decorating, and cleaning frenzy is over; and, 3) I’m having the Gigli of days. Which is to say, painfully bad. Bad to the point where I almost decided to never speak again, because every time I opened my mouth I plunged in with both feet. But these kinds of bad days can, on occasion, prove very motivating when you want to get words on paper. Or in your hard drive.

(Great. Now I have that inane “Bad Day” song in my head. Does anyone have a portable lobotomy kit on hand? How about a rusty spoon?)

So yes, we hosted our annual Halloween shindig with old college pals last Saturday evening, and my digestive system is still recovering. The menu:

  • Two varieties of puff pastry tartlets: one stuffed with brie, cranberry sauce, and walnuts, the other with roasted squash, caramelized onions, feta, sage, and pecans
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Swedish meatballs
  • Cider Cheese Fondue
  • Spinach Dip with cubed bread and raw veggies
  • Chips with salsa and black bean dip
  • Crackers & cheese
  • Mulled cider
  • Pomegranate martinis
  • “Partytime” beans. I know, it sounds like something a hobo would bring to Thanksgiving, but they’re not half-bad.

I have a feeling I’ll be eating Partytime beans for weeks to come. I apologize in advance to my husband and coworkers.

We usually watch scary movies at this event, and this year my friend Wendy brought a copy of the hard-to-find Black Christmas, which I’ve been wanting to see since I learned it basically set the bar for horror films to follow, including Halloween. It was directed in 1974 by Bob Clark, who also directed Porky’s and A Christmas Story. Try as I might, I struggle to find the connection between these three films beyond … Bob Clark. The film also stars pre-Lois Lane, pre-psychotic ravings Margot Kidder. She plays a drunken whore.

It was an incredibly thoughtful and moving performance.

My overall impressions: if you’re a fan of the genre and want to crack some easy jokes at Margot Kidder’s expense, it’s a must-see. If you yawn at mysterious calls “coming from inside the house!” or roll your eyes at sorority girls in peril, you may want to skip this one.

Anyway, the party was attended by our closest friends and the toilet didn’t break, so I’d have to say it was a success. As for my Monday, not so much.


  1. Uh, yeah... didn't actually have that song stuck in my head until you mentioned it. Thanks. The Party and Its Accompanying Food sounds like it was fab. Pictures? Margot Kidder as a drunken whore, huh? Couldn't have been anything but entertaining. ;)

  2. I had that song stuck in my head yesterday! It's incredibly annoying. You have my sympathy and I do not have a rusty spoon.

    Stopping by to say hi. Hi.

  3. Would have loved to see Chabon-- Kavalier & Clay is a fave of mine (but instead saw Chris Rose read essays on post-Katrina New Orleans at the Cafe Montmartre- btw, powerful stuff).

    Why must they schedule things in this way? I needed that whatchamajig Hermione had in one of those Potter books...

    But I digress.

    Between the party and the Book Festival, sounds like you had a fabulous weekend-- kind of sucks to have the Gigli of days on the heels of it.

    Hope today is better.

  4. Yum, Party Beans. The gastrointestinal party that keeps on going long after the guests have left.

  5. At first I thought I read "Mullet Cider."

    I am a cheesehead as well, and I guess I've seen too many mullets.

  6. Anonymous11:53 AM

    Your party toilet anxiety reminded me of how our septic system used to back up when I was a kid, and my parents worried when extra people would be over.

    Good times. Nothing like a bathtub full of sewage to give you life perspective.

  7. Anonymous2:33 PM

    Black Christmas, huh? sounds terrible, yet intriguing.

  8. Oh my god, the tartlets and the fondue sound incredible.
    And as bad as your day was yesterday, I hope it wasn't a Battlefield Earth kind of day.

  9. Say more about how Michael Chabon inspired you...I've always found him a tad creepy (albeit prolific and talented). But I've never seen him in person.

    Sorry about your Gigli day!

  10. Your Halloween party menu sounds yummy and inspired!
    If an unbroken toilet is the stick by which we are measuring the success of a party, then Yay! I think our most recent shindig was a hit as well. My mom always figured that if the cat didn't have diarrhea all over the living room rug in front of a room full of guests, it was a hit. That being said, my high school graduation party was not.

  11. Sorority girls in peril sounds serious. We must not ignore this plea for help.

  12. Your party sounds very yummy! Glad to hear you're writing again! I haven't quite gotten back to it myself...

  13. Ok...I just gained weight reading that menu..YUM! Glad it was a success.

  14. Did you make those tartlets? If so, would you please share the recipe?

  15. Jeez.
    That list of food makes me want to burp.

    The only remedy for getting rid of a bad song from your head is to start singing another bad song.
    Preferably one from Sesame Street or Disney.
    "Come and play! Everything's A-Okay!"

    There. Now "Bad Day" isn't in your head anymore!

  16. Oh Jess, that party sounds EXCELLENT! And the menu? C'est excellente! Although, I wouldn't have known whether to be constipated or shit my pants. Somehow, I would've figured it out.

    And Black Christmas? Thank you, we're going to have to check this one out. Margot Kidder playing a drunken whore...or...another drunken whore. HA! We shouldn't miss this one!

    Glad that you're writing!

  17. No more Gigli days!

    Fun party! Glad it went well.

  18. yes, tartlet recipes, please.

    Or, just make 'em and ship 'em to NC at your earliest convenience.

    Thanks much!

  19. Sounds like a wickedly cool party! SO cannot wait to get settled and have Halloween parties!

  20. Sounds like my kind of party!

  21. What fun. Sounds like you had a blast.

  22. baker'smadre8:38 PM

    I put potato peelings down my in-law's garbage disposal and backed up the kitchen sink and they had to call a plumber on New Year's Eve. But I'm pretty sure they already hated me before that.

  23. Yum. Menu sounds great!