My wife's company throws the nicest Christmas parties. They are held in the Tower Club, on the 42d floor of this tall office building in downtown Dallas. I loved looking out the plate glass at a bright planet in the sky. I tried my hand at karaoke, singing Rundgren's "Can We Still Be Friends?" (note to self: don't sing songs with lots of sharp notes when you have such a flat voice) and Duncan Sheik's "Barely Breathing" (note to self: no matter how much a song reminds you of the woman you dated in college, if you can't hit the notes, the song won't come out right). My wife set out the Rush Limbaugh Collection loud tie which her stepmother, a political conservative, gave me, a relative Eugene Debs, several Xmas seasons ago. I in turn gave it at the party to my wife's interesting co-worker, who did a very workmanlike version of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' "I love Rock n Roll" (and who does not have a black heart, really?), who in turn will give it to her ex-boyfriend the Republican. Rush Limbaugh--the gift that keeps on giving. We felt like dancing, which made me set aside my usual standards about dance music and actually gyrate to things like "Super Freak" and "Baby Got Back". At least they did play "Love Shack". My friend scottm stole the night for me when he did a very Mick Ronson-ish (if Mr. Ronson were chanelled through Anthony Newley) version of "Ziggy Stardust" at the karaoke machine. I didn't win the door prize of twenty dollars in lottery tickets. My wife and I are dinosaurs. When "Ice, Ice, Baby" came on, we thought for a moment the song was instead its sampled beginning, from "Under Pressure". I selected the vegetarian "Puff Pastry", which was so good that I was thrilled I went meatless. My wife is a technical writer, which makes for an interesting set of folks. I spoke with the woman who went to Ouachita Baptist University near where I grew up about the Gurdon Light, the ghost light near my home town. I told her about the fossilized seashells which line a gravel road near remote Okalona. I wish I were better at socializing with strangers, but I got through this event fine. Tomorrow it's back to work on the brief du jour.