Dear Feastlings,

The jury is out today.

The Gem Show is over, for all practical purposes, and while it was better than it’s been for the preceding three years, it paled in comparison to the days of yore. On the other hand, today is Fat Tuesday (yes, we’ve made a massive batch of crawfish etouffee) and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day (yes, there’s a special menu, but we’re booked up and have a waiting list. That said, I can assure you that a good two dozen of those people have made reservations at a few places and haven’t yet decided where they’ll dine, and some will have extenuating circumstances that mean they’ll cancel or simply not show up.)

Valentine’s Day at Feast

So while recent rains and a somewhat soft Gem Show have limited what dust there is, the dust still has yet to settle. The settling of dust is always a reckoning- there’s a chance we’ll pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and set to work, feeling the stronger for what we’ve weathered, and there’s a chance we’ll look out over dystopian desolation as the camera pans out. The good news is that the crew has continued to show up, despite the bad news, which is that we still lack the collective experience and sheer numbers to reopen on Sundays. There are enough of us to put on a show five nights a week, but when that show means additional costumes and scenery, a la Valentine’s Day, the staff starts going into overtime, and all the minor irritating habits we have that usually only slightly annoy each other begin to palpably grate on the our coworkers’ nerves. If I hear the phrase, “my bad” once more today, I may black out and come to later on to discover I’ve done something awful, partly because it usually follows an expensive mistake, and partly because there’s an unrepentant tone in it most times I hear it. To me, it means: “I acknowledge that I did something wrong, but those two words are my absolution.”

That said, there’ll be no shortage of people short with me over the nonstop snacking, the retelling of jokes and stories they’ve heard a thousand times, and the smell of kimchi in the office. And then, I reckon, the dust will settle, and we’ll assess whether it’s time for a dusting off of oneself or a bolting of the bunker door. I’m hoping for the self-dusting, personally, as this Saturday’s wine tasting is chockablock with deliciousness and value, and I’m hoping there’ll be a dribble left of this or that, or, better yet, this AND that.

All mixed up

Meanwhile, there’s still room at the Callaghan dinner, at least the one here at Feast.

Callaghan wine dinner with Kent and Lisa Callaghan

If you’d rather attend at the winery, you’ll need to make your reservation through them:


And if you’d rather just bolt the bunker door, at least come load up on wine and triple chocolate cookies before you do. See you soon.

Your pal,


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