As mentioned my brother and his wife invited me, and a number of their friends, for a Thanksgiving ``dessert party'', with the explicit instructions none of us was to bring anything. Even my offer of butter and Cool Whip was unneeded, but as you can imagine, it gave me something to talk about. I may have thrown things off by being there on time -- I never got ``fashionably late'' and the Singaporean experience of waiting random stretches of over an hour for students to make appointments drove out whatever sympathy I might have for that -- and showing up in time that they were still slicing cheese and mocking the plastic pan for bunt cakes that my father recommended altogether too much. (It turns out you can, in fact, get the cake out, but it requires some work, and slightly burning the cake, then slightly freezing it.) It turns out that somehow all their friends look vaguely like performers from Saturday Night Live, including a disturbing number (more than zero) of Adam Sandler-esque people. The one exception besides me was the guy who looked kind of like Tony Shalhoub. And considering that I had nothing in common with any of them except for the two people we knew in common things went pretty well, since I could always fall back on describing just what it is I do at work and whether I'll ever actually know.
Actually, I did know some of my brother's older friends, some of whom were at his wedding, and I got to discover their various personality quirks hadn't faded away in time. One curious thing was the one who'd come from the Mountain Time Zone for Thanksgiving (he'd also come out a couple weeks ago for something or other, and plans to come back out for Christmas) really liked the cheeses, even beyond the cakes, puddings, cookies, pies, brownies, and so on. Sometime during the night he finished off the cheeses on the tray, and went back to the fridge for the two plastic bags of sliced but not deployed cheeses, where he ate the whole remainder, except for one last slice that he was quite insistent he not eat. None of us understood this.
Trivia: The New York Stock Exchange resumed trading in bonds on 28 November 1914. It had suspended all trading with the start of World War I. Source: The Great Game, John Steele Gordon.
Currently Reading: 1898: The Birth of the American Century, David Traxel.