Sunny’s Birthday Party
Lois’ Place, Amherst MA
Nadezhda authorized me to use her name only if I spelled it correctly. MCO Peabody (“Try not. Do.”), Cautiously Concerned about Confidentiality, and Drunk on Power reminded me to use their pseudonyms. The other veterans of blog fodder tossed it off as old hat. Jeff (“I’m all the way in”), Sudhir and Beata have already topped out in terms of informed consent. My plan for the evening was to multitask. Although the main goal was to celebrate friendships, I needed a survival strategy for viewing a Thai horror film: it seemed the perfect setting for writing up my pal Hunju’s defense on The New Asian Female Ghost Films.
That was before we began eating, and talking, and eating, and drinking and eating, and teasing (and eating and eating – we left lots of leftovers!) I found my way back to the scene of the Great Indonesian Noodle Feast by kinesthesia, feeling the roads by dint of remembered gustatory pleasure. Between the din of conversation and regular outbreaks of laughter that badly-subtitled film never had a chance! Sudhir, Pete and I got nerdy: how do you tell someone about yourself – genetically or teleologically? It depends on how you orient yourself in timespace:
are you looking forward to a purpose (“teleological”) or looking back for origins (“genetics”)? Beata’s excitement about differential equations led (later in the evening) to Sudhir’s confession that he takes refuge in numbers, because who understands Homi Bhabha anyway?!
Radhika tried to muscle Sudhir out of dessert but he wasn’t about to let that happen! “No no no!” Liene was distraught by Laras’ pie-cutting technique but didn’t want her to stop: “Continue!” The group was inspired by “the asian pie-cutting thing,” also known as “the politics of pie-cutting.” “How are you supposed to cut a pie,” someone asked. And the inevitable: “How many doctoral students does it take to cut a pie?”
Not that the cake fared much better! You know that I was ecstatic at the synchrony of having set up a Tumblr blog for this semester’s teaching called – yep, you guessed it: cutting the cake. The title is inspired by Neal Stephenson’s Calca 1 which asks how to get eight equal servings from a square grid.