edit: Okay, I have to intervene here, and let everyone know right off, that Jack did NOT make the hors d'oeuvres. It was Amanda's husband (whose name I don't know). Jack is very talented, but . . . not so much in the kitchen, ("Talented enough," he just yelled from the family room.)
The Invisibility Dress at the Bloglandia Ball
by Jack Riepe
The lights dimmed in the great hall of the Lightner Museum and the faint strains of music began to compete with the sounds of arriving guests. The rise and fall of laughter mixed with greetings -- old friends coming together face-to-face for the first time -- filtered through the main gallery's ornate doors. The ladies touched and hugged each other, admiring the exquisite gowns that mirrored their perception of art, color and self-expression. It was at once a celebration of the craft . . . And an induction into a special society.
The men grinned and exchanged handshakes. They looked like a convention of secret agents in their tuxedoes.
The Bloglandia Ball was about to cap weeks of planning and last-minute changes to works of art that were as revealing as they were complex. It is fitting that this event was being held in a museum, as many of these gowns would soon hang in a New England art gallery.The wait staff strategically positioned themselves inside the main hall. Each was invisible in a stark black dress and white apron that hinted at Gaulic origins, but faded in a rumor past the hint. The trays of hors d'oeuvres might just as well be levitating in thin air."Perfect," she thought to herself. "Everything is just perfect." It was her plan to view the ball from the outside, before becoming part
of it. To sense it before becoming absorbed by it.She looked down at the tray of canapés on her arm. Each could have been a cloisonné miniature. There were perfect little pancetta ricotta crostini, sculpted sui mai, and culinary delights adorned by edible flowers. Even the napkins in her other hand were filmy pieces of lace, fashioned from the wedding gowns of famous people.
No detail had been overlooked.
The doors opened and the crowd streamed in on a surge of color, paper and fabric designed to bloom in this intimate light. There was e.b. . . . Jill . . . Stephanie . . . Lisa . . . and SPF (Some Pink Flowers) . . . each adorned by a distinctive artistic statement. Boone moved through the crowd wearing pants of his own design -- sort of like "Yellow Submarine meets The Jungle Book."
The music picked up.
"Show time," she said to herself, moving through the crowd behind the tray."Canapé," she'd say over and over again, coming within an ace of touching the legendary names she'd linked to that week. "Hors d'oeuvre," she'd offer, close enough to the sources of light and images she been studying for months. But none saw her in the black guise of service. There was a tricky moment when e.b. reached for a quail's egg decorated to look like the Sistine Chapel. And Boone paused for a moment in the act of scarfing up a dozen gyoza.At ten minutes of ten, she slipped through the kitchen to a pantry. The serving dress was on the floor an instant later, having served its purpose. She slipped into her "Soul of New Mexico" gown, and liberated her hair with a tug on a ripcord that led to her ponytail. The skirt flowed around her hips like the Rio Grande wrapping around an island. The jeweled pattern of her blouse caught the ambient light -- and tickled it.She stepped out into the great hall and heard e.b. squeal . . . "Hey everybody! It's Leslie!"
*** Oh, how fun this has been! Thanks to Jack for DREAMing up the dialogue for this post; thanks to Amanda and her wonderful cooking husband for BEing such sports and letting me post their delicious photos (you can get the recipes for this stuff by visiting their blog, by the way); and thanks to e.b. for inspiring us all to PLAY!***