The art of being Californian, it seems, is to cultivate a loose-limbed insouciance while secretly working away like a frantic ant.

--Richard Fortey The Earth: An Intimate History

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Double Booking

There seems to be social trend going around my group of friends that we call double booking. What double booking entails is agreeing to attend multiple social engagements on the same day and sometime the very same evening. Actual attendance to the engagements appears to be optional.

I hate double booking.

Perhaps it is the fact that I have a toddler, so I don't have the prerequisite devil-may-care-go-where-the-wind-blows attitude you need to attend multiple events. Or perhaps because of said toddler, I don't have the luxury of moving about once I've made social camp. Or perhaps, I just feel that time spent with true friends shouldn't be rushed or an afterthought or plan b.

I'm all about letting an evening take shape with little to no agenda. If that shape takes the form of house hopping (or in my younger days, party hopping), then wonderful. But to plan truncated time with people you care for because you have also planned time with others shows these persons that you don't consider them a priority.

The above stated, I am about to finish a weekend of double booking not only on Saturday night, but on Sunday as well. I have become what I abhor, yet I seem to have an uncanny knack for pulling this feat off not only successfully but also with no stress or inconvenience to others.

Saturday, the family unit made the trek up to North County to visit two groups of friends who had the poor taste in making that area their homes. Both of these friend-groups have returned from far away places that I would most likely never ever go in my entire life (Idaho and Iceland) to San Diego county. And their presence here is a great joy; however, when I heard that they had decided to make their homes in hard core suburbia (topped only by Scripps Ranch), I told them that they might as well have stayed in their respective I-lands.

As you all know, I have some very
strict boundaries that circumscribe where I spend my time. North County greatly exceeds these boundaries--and I can't even ride the trolley there. So, it seemed reasonable to combine two social events in the far north on the same night to prevent me from dying of asphyxia or something like that.

Fate also aided me in my plans of social hypocrasy: the female of the first friend-group who has boys my son's age and a little younger was running a triathlon on Sunday, so she didn't want a late evening. We agreed to a 4pm to 730pm social time. Fortuitously, the second friend-group called and asked us to meet them out for drinks around 8pm after their date night and oh-so-generously offered their babysitter to watch our (we hoped) sleeping son.


The evening went off without a hitch. Both times with the friend-groups proved satisfactory and fulfilling. Unfortunately, I think I am addicted now to this trend of double booking because not one day later, I not only double booked, but triple booked.

This time the family unit did lunch with a friend whose husband is in Iraq. I then went home to prepare for a later meeting with the Dinner Divas (of which I made cucumber salad cups), and followed that up with quiz night at the local British pub.

Again a success.

The salad cups are cool and crisp and perfect for the dog days of summer we are so definitely in.

I cribbed them from from Vegetarian Times and the dressing from

1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped (I used red, but I think yellow would be better for the color)
1 carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cantaloupe, finely chopped
1 heirloom tomato, finely chopped
3/4 cup mix of herbs, dill, basil, parsley, mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup parmesian cheese, grated

1/4 cup balsamic dressing (I added about 2 tsp of honey)

3 cucumbers, striped peeled, sliced into about 1/2-inch thick rounds, and middle of rounds scooped out with sides and bottom in tact (harder than sounds)

Mix all the chopped stuff. Toss with the dressing. Scoop into the cucumber cups.
Quick. Easy. So good.

Just like double booking.

I am starting to wonder how many of these things I have in me before I encounter a spectacular failure. I'm already planning a double booking for this coming Friday . . . concert in the park followed by a movie, anyone?


  1. I'm a repeat-offender double booker. Sometimes it works like a charm, sometimes it doesn't. Quick. Easy. Simple. That's what you think when you are in the newlywed phase...beware, Diva, beware the Ides of the Double Booker!

  2. ...please where can I buy a unicorn?