Life: Seattle and the Phoenix Rising Party

February 8, 2010

In the end, we were left with a whole lot of oysters. After all, this party for my stepmother Christie in her Lake Washington-side home in Renton, Wash., came with its own oyster shucker, who at the end of the night fastidiously packaged all of the leftovers for us: kumamotos, Olympic something-or-others, some variety from the Hood Canal, mignonette, horseradish, cocktail sauce, prawns larger than human ears. This morning, David breaded the larger oysters in crushed saltines and flour and deep fried them in canola oil.

Raw Bar on Flickr

Raw Bar

I should have parties catered more often. Gourmando, a Seattle catering company, knocked this one out of the park, tastiness-wise. The bartender served special, Patron gold-based Phoenix rising drinks, dusted with gold foil. The head chef kept adding beautifully browned and meticulously constructed hors d’oeuvres as they came piping off of the kitchen stove.

Pots on the Stove on Flickr

Pots on the Stove

Food Prep on Flickr

Food Prep

This was a celebration for Christie, and my sister Maggie flew in from Washington, DC, to be there, too. We got gussied up and Christie’s cousin Marian, a hairdresser from Cincinnati, did very impressive things to the coiffures of both Gardner sisters. The evening was atypical for me; I am standoffish when it comes to both family and females as a general rule. This is not for lack of love, but for lack of interactive grace. My sister always apologizes when she hugs me, and makes it quick. Last night I did my best—sticking my vulnerable neck out—to be more integrated and human-like. I hope it worked. I quite enjoyed myself. Despite likely trampling on various conversations and asserting too many opinions and/or gagging on my own foot.

Getting my hair did on Flickr

Getting my hair did

Maggie's Hair on Flickr

Maggie's Hair

Sisters on Flickr


Maggie, Christie, Lyza on Flickr

Maggie, Christie, Lyza

See the rest of the photos on Flickr


  1. Jeff H. says:

    What fun!

  2. Todd says:

    I feel like I’ve missed the point of what was being celebrated here. I see it involves your stepmother and the phrase “phoenix rising”, but that’s all I know.

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