Kicking off the evening, the Stanford Harmonics offered rousing acapella renditions of Melissa Etheridge's 'Breathe,' Seal's 'Waiting for You' and other pop-music favorites to an enthusiastic audience. Once appetizers were cleared off the tables, I introduced Eric Cheng who began his presentation of underwater photography from on his recent dives in the Bahamas, French Polynesia and Indonesia. The audience cooed over the irresistably cute photos Eric took of clownfish (made famous by 'Finding Nemo'), whereupon he shared the interesting fact that clownfish genders are fungible - if a female partner of a male clownfish dies, the male will actually transform to become a 'mom' to their hatchlings. "I hope this isn't a spoiler for anyone here since the movie's been out for a few years, but at the beginning of 'Finding Nemo,' Nemo's mother dies, and I was wondering if Nemo's father would slowly become a girl-clownfish over the course of the film." Alas, a story about transgendered fish probably is a bit much for a G-rated movie, so Nemo's father remained a guy for the course of the Finding Nemo.
As the presentation continued on Eric's other dives, he pointed out the difference between old-school underwater photographers (who shot film) and modern-age digital counterparts, who now gather around laptops on the boat as soon as they surface. "People ask me why I'm single, but if you look at this photo, I think you can see the reason," Eric remarked, showing a photo of himself with a dozen other divers, all of them men.
flashfire raised his hand and quipped "Well, maybe female divers become male in contact with the open ocean?"
Dessert hour, Chuck Siegel from Charles Chocolates did a brief presentation on his chocolate company and how different grades of confections are created, as waitstaff passed his sinfully delicious creations to guests. Immediately after Chuck's talk, I announced the first of our raffle prizes: gift certificates to Charles Chocolates, a box of his finest dark candies which were won by very appreciative guests. After the first drawing, I shared a bit about Keith Ferrazzi and his NYT bestselling book, Never Eat Alone (Keith has generously donated four signed copies for this event) and invited the guests to stand up and switch seats to a different location and introduce themselves to someone they didn't already know - and discuss the Essential People of your life with a stranger and hear their thoughts.
(Special thanks to Takeover Lounge for burning the midnight oil in getting the printouts ready at the last minute)
The final raffle prize of three $100 gift certs to Tarboosh came courtesey of Carlsen Audi, who parked the stunning new Audi Q7 in front of the restaurant for guests to poke and prod. All in all, a great evening of fine dining, great wines and awesome company. I'm absolutely thrilled and exhausted so I leave you with photos. If you wish to come to the next event, do drop a comment here and I'll make sure to add you to the next guestlist.
|Girl Friday (Thursday, actually) |
Our gracious hostess Jenn, at the door.
|About to open a wine with Pat|
|Tammy Chen & Your Host||Pazornik & Co.|
|Herro!||Sunyata & Friends|
|Conversations & Wine||Stanford Harmonics|
|flashfire & brad||Eric Cheng, presenting|
|The new Audi Q7||"So if your mate dies, you become female..."|
|Food & good wine||Everybody! Everybody!|
|Scrill from an evening's take.||Never Eat Alone, won by Sunyata|