I went to a party last night

It has been a long, long time, and I don’t think my brain can process it. I was a quiet little lump all night, like usual, but the sensory overload of a half dozen conversations going on at once always leaves me dizzy. I also stayed up later than usual, and slept in until 7:30. So this is what sybaritic decadence feels like…

I had made a big pot of jambalaya for the party, using my usual method. Oh, this requires peppers? Chop up every pepper in the house and throw it in. Onions? Same approach. Add two teaspoons of Cajun spice…are you mad? Heaping tablespoons. That’s not much, so double it.Then the usual Law of Garlic, you can’t add too much. Cooked it all up with a pound of rice and some Impossible Sausage (so it’s still vegetarian). Don’t forget the red pepper flakes and cayenne!

It came out pretty well — good flavor, a little bit of a kick but still mostly acceptable to a room full of Minnesotans. Not too acceptable, I guess, because there were plenty of leftovers, but that’s OK. Guess what I’m having for breakfast this morning? It’s mighty fine, and it will wake a fellow up.

It better wake me up good, because I have an exam to grade, a problem set to assemble, one lecture to write and another to figure out what it’s talking about, spiders to feed and snuggle, and lots of dishes to do, both at home and in the lab. I’m home alone while Mary gets to frolic with a four-year-old, so it’s all on me.

Totally random, but I found this excellent summary of social media this morning.


  1. ANB says

    If a half dozen simultaneous conversations leaves you a bit overwhelmed, try the ER (where I presently work). Even in this small rural hospital, there are times when there are literally up to 20 people talking, and at a range of decibels, none of them soft. It can be quite challenging. Usually, it’s “only” 6-8 people talking at once, though at four in the morning, it’s sometimes–only sometimes–very quiet.

  2. Oggie: Mathom says

    I hear you regarding multiple conversations. Since my injury, surgery, recovery, Covid lockdown, and ongoing problems resulting from the neck injury, Wife and I do very little socializing. Less than before my unplanned retirement. Now, we only go out to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. With the whole family — me, Wife, Girl and her husband, Boy and his wife and toddlers — all of eight people. And I have a real problem dealing with the three conversations swirling around me.

    Your gumbo sounds good.

    My old Italian cookbook died a few months ago. Fell apart. So I found an Italian cookbook that was created by a group in Italy who are preserving regional dishes. Right now, I am marinating a hunk of beef (yeah, still eating meat, though much less than a few years ago) in red wine, onion, celery, cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns, and carrot. I will strain the chunks out of the marinade, reduce it, sear the meat, then pot roast it really slow for about four hours. I’ll serve it with some pasta and a salad.

    Some of the recipes look and (the few I have tried) delicious, but others (sheep offal cooked in vinegar in the style of Abbruzzi, for example) I’m not even going to attempt. Lots of vegetarian (or vegetarian with meat fat) dishes. Lots of bean dishes.

    I don’t know where you find the time to keep up with everything going on in your life. For me, the only way that I have time to do half of what I want to do is by not working anymore.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    When PZ is properly rested after a couple of months of vacation, he will be ready for the shack the B-52’s are singing about.
    And then he can go to the “exploding customer” restaurant where Monthy Python works.
    Myself I get overwhelmed by the noise levels of public places, and often avoid them.

  4. magistramarla says

    Overlapping conversations are even worse when you wear hearing aids.
    Mine are electronically set to make voices sound clearer, but a large group of voices can be overwhelming.
    Music does not sound right unless I pull out my phone and adjust them to “music listening mode”.
    Then, I have to remember to adjust them back when someone wants to talk with me.