rob called me early this morning about some mac repairs. "you're not still asleep, are you?" he asked. "no no," i replied, "but after this phone call, i'm going back to bed." when i finally did wake up, i was happy to see it was pouring rain outside. today was the day of the block party on my street, but if it gets rained out, they'll postpone it until next sunday. i unfortunately couldn't make it today because i was having dinner with andrew's family, so the whole day i was hoping for rain, so the block party could be rescheduled for next week. the whole day i waited for 4pm so andrew could come back and give me a ride to david's house for the dinner party. in the back seat of the newly quieted audi was two bottles of wine, one of which was the sentimental 2001 turning leaf california chardonnay that renata gave me as a present the very first time she came over to my place for dinner back in january. since i don't drink, andrew thought it'd be a good idea if we brought the wine along. i harbored some unspoken reluctance, but decided to go along with the plan and figured i could always just buy another bottle to replace this one.

we (andrew, maura and i) got to david fitzgerald's place in somerville at the same time that andrew's mother judy got there. it was her birthday last weekend, and this dinner party was also a belated birthday party as well. the last time i saw judy was over two years ago, i went over to her place in cambridgeport for dinner and to fix her mac. the last time i was over at david's place was a year ago (020529) to watch some nba playoff action. the last time i saw david was last weekend, when i caught him dancing at the gay pride parade.

including myself, there were 11 guests total: three davids (the host and two tenants), one dan (the downstairs neighbor), one albert (a harvard summer school student from seattle), one julie (another tenant), andrew, meghan (andrew's fast talking friend and former roommate), maura (andrew's girlfriend), judy, and myself. everyone had an opportunity to go downstairs for the tour of dan's apartment (featuring a semi-gloss navy blue kitchen). the last time i was here i hadn't bought my own place yet, but now i was able to see it with a homeowner's sensibility and everything old seemed new again, i had a greater appreciation of this very lovely 100+ year old house. a makeshift combination of two folding tables were pieced together in the living room to make enough room for everyone. unbeknownst to me as this was my first time family dinner with these people, there's a tradition of everyone going around the table and saying a little bit about themselves. this round table introduction last well over 30 minutes as those who weren't answering stared hungrily at the food in the middle of the table.

after dinner, a discussion about religion and god and whether there are absolute truths consumed the party. i left the table to use the bathroom (i felt a wee bit gassy from all the macaroni and beans i ate) and go look for a wine glass in the kitchen. i tried a sip of the chardonnay since i figured it was originally intended for me, at the very least i should receive a small sample of it. not as bad as the white wine i tasted at the wedding last week (that one tasted like medicinal urine), a sort of light flavor, but still had that alcoholic taste (can't they make wine without that flavor?) which will always remind me of medicine. i didn't participate in the discussion. i figured it was a thought exercise for the believers, and being a self-centered atheist who believes everything he himself knows to be the truth, i didn't want to stoke the fire of debate even more with my controversial viewpoints.

dessert came in the form of coffee and small glasses of aperitif. i tried some of this fruity flavored concoction, and even though it was a very small amount, i felt light-headed minutes later, the sharpness of my reality losing its edges. is this what being drunk feels like? like feeling really tired and sleepy and relaxed? because if it is, then i must be feeling drunk for every single night that i stay up late beyond my means. david chastised me for leaving the spoon in my coffee cup (if he only knew how much sugar there was). next came the birthday cakes (for judy and meghan, meghan's birthday was yesterday), two chocolate discs, each with its own set of sparkling candles. judy and meghan took turns blowing out their cakes, then we ate. dave (not santa dave but the espn sportscaster stuart scott lookalike dave) didn't have any because he doesn't like the taste of chocolate and maura refrained as well, chocolate having an almost allergic effect on her (i've never met a person who doesn't like chocolate until tonight, and two of them at that). andrew gave judy her birthday present, a 30 minute long tape of live recorded bird songs in the forest from his recent california vacation, which we all got a kick listening to on the stereo.

as the evening drew to a close, everyone helped out with the cleaning, some doing the dishes, while others cleared the table. a tentative date was scheduled for another family dinner next month. we said our good byes and i left with andrew and maura back to my place. i was happy to see that the rain continued to fall unabated. andrew grabbed his travel suitcase and drove back up to vermont for the week. i came home to discover that my weblog was down (although my e-mail was still working, miraculously), perhaps my hosting site is sustaining yet another brazilian hacker attack. my e-mail to the customer support team hasn't yielded any replies yet and their real-time technical assistance web client doesn't work because it fails to recognize my username. bruce instant messaged me to let me know the good news: the block party was canceled, so it's probably going to get bumped to next sunday.