Halfway through September, a second S3S gathering, the Vitanzas reopen their home (is it ever closed?), and the surprises keep coming.

So here they are, moments of interest, objects of curiosity, and observations of no particular importance from a newb’s p.o.v.

No, seriously, how big is that deck?
About 10:00 p.m. only a handful of people remain in the Vitanza’s living room, plus, of course, two or three in the kitchen (always a few in the kitchen). This seems strange considering at previous Vitanza parties–I’ve been to 2 others if you count the preview visit–navigating the rooms has remained difficult until close to midnight when the crowd thins.

Suddenly the back door opens and the party’s size triples.

“Smoker’s are back,” someone says.

The picture below does no justice to the numbers of the Second Society of the Third Sophistic. They congregate on decks and patios. They smoke. They chat by floodlight and candlelight. I know Meredith Hilst is counted among their ranks.


Helms is where?
Hawaii. Some say with a student’s family. Others say with a friend he met at a football game. Most whisper of a mysterious romance with a woman remarkable for both her charm and her wealth.

At the party, he’s reached via cell phone. Victor immediately asks to speak with him.

“Who gave you permission?!” he demands.

The reply never comes. Helms once again has gone underground.

ac3Does it come in a can?
No, we learned, yeast bread does not.

He looks like he’s standing in a trailer park.
There’s a picture on the Vitanzas’ bookshelf, old enough that I remember it in black and white. There are other photos on the shelf, but Keri (my wife) is fascinated by that one. I think it is one of Victor’s relatives.

“I’m not sure. Ask Victor.”

She does, and we learn that it is Kenneth Burke. I suppose that counts as a relative. Someone confirms that the small doorway he seems to be coming in or out of–although it looks suspiciously like a medium-sized motor home–is, in fact, an airplane.

I will fight you for the last piece of that.
Toni’s corn casserole. It’s that good.


A few other notes to offer some context on the weeks that were/are.

First Year Report
With a manifesto to design in 805, book reviews to write for 801, and rodeo footage* to cut for 804, you can look into our faces this week, and nostalgically relive your first wave of pressure in a Ph.D. program.

*We took a class trip to the Westminster Apple-Rodeo Festival to shoot on the fly. One of the treats was Shawn Minor, the current World Champion Bull Rider. Mythologically fierce bull + Shawn Minor = easy. Other elements of the rodeo offered a little more opposition. I’m sure you’ll see soon (after all, we’re making videos).

Sergio, Alicia, and Mark put together a few designs for the Serious Gaming Colloquium. Here’s the final version, selected mainly for its comment on the continuing problem of dragon hate crimes in World of Warcraft.

RCID Lessons Learned
From the Body Colloquium: If you see this man driving a convertible–

–run. Or if you like your kisses with a little bruising, go ahead: pull over.

ac5Coming Soon
Party at Art and Donna’s. Promises of an urban hike. Bring your canteens.


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