Ways to Enjoy the Present: Crab Feeds

I think the glare of the cell-phone camera adds a nice sheen to the deli meats, don't you? If you are at all enticed by the "antipasto platter" to your left then you should consider dropping $30 dollars at your local neighborhood crab feed, where all this and more (and more, and more...) can be yours. Crab feeds are lucrative fundraisers for churches and social clubs and seem to be very popular around here, especially to Italian Americans and the 50 and up crowd. I sometimes like to go to them with my family, who have been hitting the crab feed circuits since the early part of the 1980s. The first rule of crab feeds, it seems, is to never diverge from this order:

1. Amble into gym, locate picnic table at which your family is seated, and sit there. Tie on provided plastic bib with crab illustration. Make smalltalk with people who aren't your immediate family but are at your table by some grave mistake. Try to identify "problem" diners by asking leading questions like "You big into crab?"
2. The antipasto platter and several carafes of red table wine arrive (see photo, above). The problem diners make hideous displays of greed and all the mortadella goes missing before the antipasto platter even brushes the table. Plan strategies against them for later.
3. Iceburg lettuce salad with a cherry tomato. Pass.
4. Soup. Minestrone or Clam Chowder. Right around this time the true crab feed hobbyists will procure their supplies from some carefully concealed kit-- individual butter melters, personalized crab crackers, and other things you didn't realize were so essential until you saw them and felt envious.
5. Rigatoni
6. After the rigatoni, a sort of Christmas Eve anticipation can be felt throughout the gym as diners notice the crab feed volunteers suddenly pick up the pace. The crab is HERE in the building!
7. Bucket after bucket of crab arrives like you've just won the lottery in a dream. Wrestle away legs and claws from the problem diners and eat until you no longer like the taste of crab (usually about 3 buckets in). Here is another glamourous cell phone photo of the carnage. What you're seeing is the small plate left behind after a volunteer had cleared my big plate. Greedier denizens will now start putting uneaten crab into baggies that are hidden in their purses for some fake homebound relative.
8. Mutter "why did I do that?" under your labored breath as an eternal raffle announces its gift baskets and spa days into infinity.
9. Chocolate icecream with wooden spoons like you'd get at the ballpark, tastes like wood and a faint childhood memory of chocolate.
10. Without much warning a dj appears and a disco ball is lowered. Hits from my grandparents' youth are on. Elderly couples emerge from the labyrinthine tables with smiling faces, no doubt thinking "it's great to be active still!" looking every bit like actors in a commercial for bone loss drugs.
11. Disco and r&b hits, alternately drunken dancing or leaving.
12. terrible terrible gas


Lurks in the Harddrive

In the process of backing up most of my computer (I anticipate and would almost be relieved by a crash), I found this word document.

So I'm sitting here in a silver lame and electrical tape Barbarella costume exuding 60s mascara hairspray in front of a computer screen with library books (most of them untouched) all around me, trying to come up with a paper on Pan-Africanism and pulp fiction. It's halloween. I'm nostalgic for things I never thought I'd be nostalgic for: a big sleazy house with a big sleazy party, to come home at 3am reeking of booze, B.O. and cigarrettes, and have a stomach queazy with romantic uncertainty. I'm bored. And I don't give a fuck about Pan-Africanism or pulp fiction.

Wait. Someone in the next room just yelled, “Grab my nipple, bitch. Grab my nipple.”
Things are looking up.

Halloween, 2006.
Adolescence Eternal


Friends Reduced to (Or Exalted As) Dream Symbology in 2k10

I had a dream recently wherein I want to say "an old boyfriend" but that wouldn't exactly be right... let's say instead a fascinator from my old co-ed days had gotten married and I found myself at an informal reception held in the happy couple's honor in a sprawling southern style mansion with creeping vines and a wide verranda. The house was the at the end of a country road that I often travel on in dreams that are going to include alien feelings and a party that I'm trying to leave. This union came as quite a shock to me, for when I knew him this fellow was more the rambling type that Joni Mitchell would have written a song about, embittered, after a brief but memorable affair (and here I am, too, with pen in hand) than the sort to go tying the knot. As he chatted amiably with guests and barbecued, I combed the house for a Sega Genesis where I spent the remainder of the dream playing a made-up, side-scrolling dream game comprised of blurry little ghosts with blurry objectives.

The video game portion of the dream was probably a gift from my boyfriend's subconscious to mine as we slept. The earlier portion was probably brought on by a meeting with a high school friend who told me he was living in an honest to goodness house in a neighborhood inhabited mainly of parents. He then introduced me to his fiancee. We were at the grocery store. I was probably wearing a big wooly nightmare and clutching something like a $12 homeopathic ointment for fungal itching, I don't really remember and it isn't important. "Are we really that age?" I kept thinking for the rest of the day and any other time friends of mine seem to be accepting adult responsibility for the direction of their lives with confidence and grace. Could it be that I'm holding myself back by subscribing to a limiting myth of myself as possessing an attractiveness as a member of society and a general set of abilities akin to those possessed by a urine-soaked lunatic? And yet, subscribing to this myth is deliberate in the sense that being viewed as capable and successful in the eyes of a society with which I often have trouble identifying holds little appeal. I'd like to believe that it is possible to achieve success by a definition more intrinsically human (more humanistic?) than what is currently offered by society... some sense of satisfaction brought on by finally becoming what you always were...or something? I was going to launch into the movie Slacker and why I had a hard time watching it (because I identified with it) but on second thought I think that review would be a redundant addition to this topic.

See you in my dreams,