party time

I’ve always loved putting on a good party. When I was just fourteen I began organizing holiday gatherings for my siblings who were home for college break. Sitting slouched on a spinning vinyl bar stool, a mustard-yellow telephone in the crook of my neck, I spent hours calling over a hundred friends—doodling all the while on our phone book until it was plastered with inky black patterns. “Bring some beer and something to eat,” I’d request, and they'd oblige. My parents had as much fun as anyone at these gatherings—the steady stream of our companions coming and going meant a constant supply of kids for my dad to bait and tease.

In San Francisco my roommates and I continued my tradition of a winter party to celebrate, as much as anything, the lengthening of the days. Warm and inviting, we adorned our spacious flat with candles, strings of tiny white lights and brilliant fires crackling beneath the marble hearths. Savory aromas wafted from the kitchen’s roast turkey, honey-glazed ham and buttery homemade cookies. Sharply dressed party goers quickly filled the apartment to the brim, each bearing a bottle of wine or champagne. In the back corner of the kitchen, a table chock full of homemade guacamole and hummus, chips and pita, veggies, dips, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, nuts and chocolates served the ravenous mob. Out on the back deck chilly merrymakers crowded around a keg—warming their hands with their breath—and spilled down the steps into the garden. In one room dancers writhed and jumped to funky music and in another guests lounged shoeless amongst fluffy pillows and a Flokati rug.

Some of the unfamiliar faces I met during those evenings perhaps had seen and heard the revelry from the cold sidewalk below, through the sweating bay window, and had invited themselves in to partake of the festivities. Inevitably, in the wee hours of the morning, a handful of bobble-headed guests lingered by the glowing embers. As I brushed my teeth I’d bid them goodnight, encouraging them to “party on” if they so desired, closing myself in behind two large pocket-doors.

And so, today, I find myself throwing another party, but this time it is to mark my son Calvin’s seventh spin around the sun and to acknowledge, and support, his constant battle with epilepsy. Not unlike all of my past festivities, however, it is an opportunity to surround ourselves with many of those whom we love. It is a chance to break up the long, cold, winter days by raising a glass or two of wine. It’s an occasion to meet new friends, to eat delicious food, to delight, and perhaps dance, to music. But most of all we come together to celebrate life, and for me now, it's a time to celebrate Calvin’s story. 

Please donate to epilepsy research in honor of Calvin's seventh spin around the sun at:



  1. Such a handsome picture!! Happy 7th, Calvin!

  2. Happy Happy Birthday Calvin! I am so lucky to have been on the guest list! A wonderful time was had by all! What a great group of friends your Mom and Dad have, Calvin. I hope to see you again soon!