June 2007

June saw the ninth and final meeting of the Dialectic Dining Club, at least in its original incarnation. This is because Annelie and I are leaving Ann Arbor for Sweden, and thus the Club is losing its founder, webmaster, and principal goofball. However, the most excellent news is that Steffi has agreed to take over the club and try to keep it going. This may mean a change in name, a change in membership, and a number of other changes, but here I must recall the words of the great Heraclitus (see the History page):

Everything flows and nothing stands still.

So it seems quite appropriate that the DDC should continue to evolve.

Nevertheless, for a bit of closure, we decided to return to the site of our inaugural meeting, Dominick's. This time the weather was considerably less icy, and we were able to enjoy the festive, if casual, outdoor seating. This meeting was quite the blowout, with ten people in attendance: Alan, Annelie, Begoña, Bethany, David, Gregory, Rafael, Steffi, Sue, and Ute. With a special mention going to Rameesh. We had a wonderful time, and I will carry with me to distant lands the fond memories of all these dinners and all these people. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

May 2007

On May 3, a rather large group assembled at Connor O'Neill's and partook of the fine beverages and a maelstrom of appetizers, which we shared tapas-style.

The DDC welcomed new members Gary, Pacia and Forrest, who regaled us with tales of internet startups, submarines, and life in Alaska. We also had as special guest Luciana, fresh in from Oregon. Stalwarts Gregory, Annelie, Sarah, and Alan were also in attendance, making this one of our largest gatherings.

April 2007

In April we had a lovely meeting at Casey's Tavern, a swingin' local pub with good food. A group of regulars was joined by new member Steffi, just in from Germany.

We had a highly multicultural evening, with English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, and onion rings. We got to compare life on three continents and dream about visiting both the beaches of Bahía and the Icehotel above the Arctic Circle. A pleasant exercise to perform in a cozy little pub with good friends.

March 2007

The Club met on March 1 at The Red Hawk Bar & Grill, a really nice little Ann Arbor landmark. There were a couple of new people, including (and in fact exactly limited to) Adna and Esther, as well as a few salty old regulars, who made themselves obnoxious by airing their beer snobbery.

Esther was kind enough to come by on the way to an art show at which she was exhibiting. (Since then, you may have seen the installations she and Alan did at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.) This was a very multicultural meeting, since for the first time we had a sizable Brazilian contingent, leading to a lot of talk about Brazil, and in fact a lot of talk in Portuguese. It was a good time.

February 2007

The Dining Club meeting on February 1 was a small one, but featured a new diner, Sue. We had delicious Indian food, though it turns out that the Shalimar Cafe is being sold off (maybe they shouldn't have opened it only three blocks from their other restaurant) and currently features an incredible shrinking menu. While we munched our naan we talked about travel to warmer places, Spanish films, and the history of the English Language Institute, among other topics.

January 2007

The Club met after the holidays on January 4 at the Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, a very popular local establishment with fine food and beer. It was a windy and wet night, so it was especially nice to be somewere cozy with friends. It was a small group this time, but we had tremendous fun talking about Esperanto, vocabulary assessment, the films of Werner Herzog, and calendar mnemonics. Gregory and Alan were narrowly restrained from buying a round of onions for everyone in the house when they learned that there was no charge for onions. Luckily, they were indeed restrained.

Sadly, this was the last Dialectic Dining Club meeting for John, who will soon leave Ann Arbor to return to his native New Zealand, where he has better things to do (like chair a department) than eat in brewpubs with silly people. His good cheer, wry smile, and abundant knowledge on virtually every damn topic will be sorely missed.

December 2006

The third meeting of the DDC was held at Café Felix on Main St., a pleasantly posh bistro-styled establishment that offers Spanish tapas, which were accepted. The "core" members were all there, and a couple more showed, making this the largest turnout yet.

Conversation meandered among topics ranging from new methods of vocabulary testing to home remodelling to the oddness of squirrels to non-Americans to the question "Are linguists less prejudiced than most people?"

Since nobody remembered to bring a camera, there were no pictures from this meeting. Oh, well.

November 2006

The second meeting of the DDC took place on Thursday, November 9, at Leopold Bros., a unique local establishment that brews its own beer, as well as vodka and a Chilean specialty called Pisco. It's all organic, too. They also have pool tables, which saw some use.

There were half a dozen intrepid, organic beer-drinking souls there for the DDC, with a couple of new faces making an appearance. There was also a large group from a recycling conference there, but we stayed clear of that dubious lot. I'm sure they could have sorted our cans.

Conversation ranged from the various forms of Autism to the etymology of the word "gobsmacked", to the Swedish affirmative ingressive. For some variety, we also shot some pool (see the photos page).

The next meeting will be held on December 7 at Café Felix, which has a rather different atmosphere, and tapas! Everyone is welcome!

October 2006

The inaugural meeting of the Dialectic Dining Club took place on Friday, Oct. 13, at Dominick's, a quirky Ann Arbor establishment known for serving beer in jelly jars. In retrospect, we should have ordred some jelly, to see what it would come in. Ah well, another project...

The meeting was attended by about half a dozen intrepid individuals who braved the unseasonably and unreasonably chilly October air to bask in the ever-so-slightly warmer air of Dominick's, which, as Alan pointed out, seems to be economizing on heating, or on insulation, or both. Nevertheless, a terrific time was had by all, with jars of beer and bowls of soup flowing freely.

The conversation ranged over many topics, including the history of the temperance movement in Sweden, the political situation of the Maori in New Zealand, the difficulty of defining the term "hispanic", the different experiences of atheists in America and Britain, the rackets of Argentinian cab drivers, and the future of the Dialectic Dining Club.

There was a consensus that Thursday would be a better night to meet than Friday, since some people are rumored to have something known as "a life" and might therefore not be available on Friday evening. So future meeting times have all been changed to Thursday. If anybody has a problem with this, please let us know.

The next meeting, on November 9, will be held at Leopold Bros. We look forward to more seeing more jolly faces! Please consider signing up for the mailing list if you're at all interested.