This evening, I got to host our fourth and final dinner club event for this year’s round , although I hear that there will be a latter recap dinner on someone’s houseboat at the Dalles, apparently, which sounds like it would be very fun. Moving on from that, today was my turn to host the dinner club, as I waited until the end and had a very casual home dining style, since we don’t have a dining set to work with here. So, even though tonight was not necessarily as humorous a night as some of our other dinners, and it got off to a very late start (more on that shortly), it had the pleasure of being a dinner of people who were comfortable around each other and capable of dealing with rather serious dinner material including the state of the world and the nations in it.
Despite my incredibly poor skill at separating myself from conversations and fellowship, I managed to get home early enough to get the wings started and to change before any of my guests arrived. This is fortunate, because before 5:30 one of the couples showed up, and we got to chat a lot while I was cooking. It was a long while before anyone else showed up, well after 6:00PM, in fact, it was probably close to 6:30. And it was even later, around 7:00PM, before everyone arrived and before most of the group started eating. We had, as might be imagined, way more food than anyone would eat, as I had cooked several pounds of chicken and there was green curry that was moderately spicy, a soup dish, as well as ice cream to polish everything off. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food that was cooked, so it was a success that way, and I certainly enjoyed myself with the food and the conversation once I got to sit down at least.
It was, for the most part, a night of serious conversation. Even our lighthearted subjects, like squirrels trying to plant acorns in the fairways of a golf course, ended up in some serious ground involving being hunted by hawks and owls. Likewise, our conversation about my getting banned from traveling in Thailand and what other countries I would be banned from was also somewhat uncomfortable, and that’s not even getting into our examination of the weirdness of Portland (and television shows based here) or the unreality of being around movie sets all the time, or the sorry state of the world. We even had a talk about dysfunctional Thai politics, which is a fairly depressing subject that I occasionally write about. I suppose it is ironic that I chose Thai food to represent my own turn to host the dinner club, and even though I chose the theme before the coup and Thailand’s political fame as a dysfunctional basketcase of a nation, the fact that I had such unpleasant experiences there towards the end of my time makes it somewhat ironic, if characteristic, that I would choose to highlight a particularly awkward area of life, even if it was decisive in leading me here to Portland in the first place. But if there is one thing I do instinctively and well, it happens to be awkwardness, so there’s that.
 See, for example: