Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

BéruBBQ, or My Big Fat Greek Blogger Gathering

On Friday evening, Julia threw another one of her terrific soireé barbecues, this time to celebrate Michael Bérubé's ongoing recovery from his emergency appendectomy, as well as to take in the local Greek festival and just generally pal around as we NYC-area bloggers are wont to do. And because so much of the conversation was on an intellectual level at least four or five strata above me, I took pictures, as I'm wont to do. You saw the infamous scar yesterday; here's some more fun stuff!

Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden in front of the garden area; Julia's backyard is always lovely and pleasant (as, in point of fact, are Teresa and Patrick)!

Did we mention that MadKane has started podcasting? She was going to pass around the recorder so we could do a group podcast, but Julia (back to the camera, talking to Uncle Donald, and if you squint you can see HM in the background) suggested we all get a little mellower before that happened, and of course we got so mellow we forgot to do it...

Julia's Beleaguered Husband tends the grill (whence came magnificent steaks and chicken and hot dogs!), as Randy Paul looks on. Because I tend toward taking unposed pictures I often do get these back-to-the-camera shots, so all due apologies to those whose smiling faces didn't make it in this time.

Left to right: Rob with his Hulk shirt (yes, he inked the image on the shirt) reminding me not to get my thumb in the way, Janet and Michael, and Scott Lemieux.

Even though it's smile-for-the-birdie posed, this picture of the Two Robins (my husband and eRobin of Fact-esque) is one of my favorites.

The Talking Dog holds the Loquacious Pup, still struggling to wake up from her nap in the car on the journey to Julia's. One of the great things about Julia's backyard gatherings is how all-ages-friendly they are, and how the folks who haven't brought their kids along inevitably wind up talking about them, which delights me.

Julia's neighbor made this wonderful corn-based concoction, the taste of which was indescribable but terrific, although Randy and his wife Mércia recognized it as being of South American origin.

And then it was off to the Greek festival at the nearby church parking lot! You can just about see Lindsay Beyerstein there on the right, looking off towards the house as we waited for the rest of our contingent. And I'm pretty sure that's my car on the left.

At the festival. Water Gun Fun, I tell you!

And bouncy castles aplenty! This picture is for Robin's dad, because I'd never heard the phase "bouncy castle" until I came across it recently in an email he sent.

Patrick and Teresa stopped to listen to the Greek music, as Patrick was fascinated by one of the stringed instruments, whilst Julia treated us all to loukoumades (fried honey puffs which she accurately described as "like zeppoles only coated with honey" instead of powdered sugar, which makes them crusty and crunchy on the outside).

The music got a bit loud for us, so we waited for the others outside the entranceway, where a few flea market-type tables were set up. What's the collective noun for Godzilla, anyway? I decided to call this a Mecha of Godzillas.

We then returned to Julia's for coffee and dessert (Lindsay brought yummy homemade cupcakes, and of course there was baklava!) before the drive home.

Hey, did I mention that we passed the Mets bus convoy and police escort as we going to and from the party? They were on the Manhattan-bound side of the Grand Central Parkway near Shea as we drove down, and on the other side of the Major Deegan traffic jam by Yankee Stadium as we headed home. Thought that was pretty cool. Oh, and I also found out my EZPass suddenly doesn't work... but I digress. A lovely gathering as usual, with great food and scintillating conversation and smiles all around - thanks again, Julia!

Update: The invité d'honneur muses as to whether blogger gatherins are the new salons (or Algonquin Round Tables if they're in restaurants, I suppose)...