Monday, December 12, 2005

Busy weekend. Seven people came over and threw down cards on Friday night, which was a kind of pre-Christmas affair. I celebrated by providing everyone with a variety of Belgian beers (Chimay, Duvel, Leffe, Lindeman's Kriek) from which to choose, rather than our usual Beijing house brew: Yanjing. Actually, one other person came over, Dawn, but she just watched and socialized. Angela went out to drink some wine with Katie and Lisa. I didn't have a good night playing cards, only winning one hand the entire evening, but still had a good time despite my misfortune.

Sarah_JoshSpent most of late Saturday morning loafing, lunched at home with Angela, and then went out to meet Josh and Efe in the afternoon. We had planned to brainstorm something for the night's performance as we had nothing prepared. Efe had arranged a variety show/partyfundraiser for Care for Children in 69 Space called Houhai Kitchen, which was to include actors, musicians, poets, and street performers. Entertainment between acts came in the form of DJ Pauline who was more than well liked as the evening proved. You can see her spinning in the background of this picture of Josh and Sarah. When I arrived, at about 3PM, the carpenters were still working on a table for the DJ and it was as freezing cold inside as it was outside. I only hoped that the few heaters we'd procured would be enough to warm up the grey stone rooms.

hutongEfe was too busy making last minute preparations at the space, which was a converted Hutong, a kind of old-style Chinese abode, so Josh and me wrote all three parts of our performance, which was a meditation on truth. We planned to simultaneously read various phrases and words, which came off quite well, although I thought we were cut-off just as we were really getting rolling. As a first effort, I can't be displeased. The wimpy heaters had proven ineffective and the proprietors found a natural remedy by dragging in a giant clay planter full of hot coals, which filled the room with coal smoke for a while, but eventually worked in nearly smokeless fashion, although the place never really quite warmed up. The next day, we discovered how much smoke our clothing had really absorbed.

During the party, all of us were doing double duty as staff, and Josh and I spent most of the evening behind the bar serving beer, iceless orange-drink screwdrivers, and whiskey cokes. The event was fairly successful and well-attended. At the end of the evening, someone was playing a riff on a guitar and I joined in, improvising on the stone foundation with a couple of plastic cups. I can be fairly industrious (industrial?!) when it comes to making music. We didn't return home until around 4AM Sunday morning and rejoiced that our elevator was still magically operating and hadn't been shut-down for the night.

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