Sunday, June 19, 2005

Finding My People

Last night I went to the best party that I've been to in a very, very, very long time*! Of course this must be put in context: most of the parties I've been to in the past few years have been departmental affairs -- with the notable exception of when I was still living in Ithaca and an English grad student that I knew from high school would invite me to his very intimidating parties.

This party was held by a woman in my knitting group. She invited some other knitters, some of her other friends, some of her husband's friends, etc. Not only were they all people around my age, but they were interesting people (and not scary at all!). My knitting group is, admittedly, kind of geeky; last night I ended up talking to a chemical engineer about the best way to dye cotton yarn with kool-aid. (The gist of it: you need the solution to be basic. The most practical base to use is sodium carbonate, which is a fairly common swimming pool chemical.**)

A good time was had by all. There was even a minor celebrity (who I had never heard of because I live in a cave or something like that) in attendance. She's a singer/songwriter who is on tour this summer; she was the opening act for one of the groups performing at Bonnaroo. Apparently she went to high school with my friend's husband.

Now I'm somewhat inspired to perhaps throw a party of my own -- maybe once the house is more put together.

*Many years ago I was affiliated with what, at times, appeared to be an alcohol department with a mathematics problem, egged on by a Hungarian algebraist whose mafia name would be "The Bartender."

**I find it strange that in order to buy chemicals that the general public needs to figure out what mundane household use the chemical has (NaOH = drain cleaner, HCl = etches concrete before painting, gypsum = clarifies homebrew beer, etc.) and then buy whatever product it's found in. When I was living at home, things were much easier: If I needed a chemical, I'd ask my mom to bring it home from her lab.