Today I’m supposed to list 10 people, living or dead, with whom I’d like to have dinner.  I’m also supposed to include the menu.

It’s not clear if I’m supposed to list 10 people that I’d invite to a big dinner party, or if I can have 10 smaller, more intimate dinners, so I’m going to go for the latter option.

1.) I’m going to have to put my Daddy at the top of this list.  He passed away in June of 1995, and I miss him terribly.  I know that a single dinner wouldn’t be nearly long enough to catch up on everything that’s happened in my life in the last sixteen and a half years, but I’d happily take whatever I could get.  If only…  For the menu, I’m going to have to go simple – a nice, juicy, medium-rare steak and potatoes, with a good beer.

2.) I’ll add my Great-Grandmother (about whom I wrote a few posts back).  There’s so much I want to know about her and her life!  For the menu, I think some form of schnitzel with sauerkraut and maybe some spaetzl.  I don’t know if she was a drinker or not, but I’d think a good beer would also be appropriate for the meal.

3.) Okay, I’ve got to put Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran on the list, because, well, who WOULDN’T want to have dinner and drinks with the rock star they’ve had an immense crush on for more than half their life?!  I’ve no real idea what we’d talk about (I’m sure I’d be completely tongue-tied), but I think he’s currently vegetarian, so I’d take him to Mother’s for some fantastic Mushroom Stroganoff and a glass or three of red wine (by which time, hopefully, my fan-girl shyness will have worn off a bit).

4.) Cleopatra would be an interesting dinner companion.  I’d want to hear how she managed to hold her own as a powerful woman among powerful men.  I’m certain she’d have a very refined palate, accustomed to all manner of exotic delicacies, so I think I might introduce her to the joys of a simple cheeseburger, washed down with a soda.

5.) Antonio Stradivari.  I’d like to be able to tell him that his instruments are among the rarest and most prized ever made, and see if he might be willing to share any of his secrets to settle some long-standing debates on WHY his instruments are so superior…  I think we’d stick with a meal familiar to him, a nice Osso Buco with risotto and a hearty red wine.

6.) Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess.  I only “discovered” her blog a few months ago, when her post about Beyonce the giant metal chicken went viral, but good lord is that woman funny!  I admire the fact that she can be so blunt about both the pain and absurdity in her life, being at once touching, raunchy and hilarious.  I wish I had her apparent lack of filters, although I don’t think my subconscious is anywhere near as warped creative as hers.  I’m not sure what we’d eat, but I think wine slushies would be a virtual obligation, and we might actually need to dine in a bathroom somewhere.  Wolf Blitzer would be an honored guest, as would the adorable Hamlet von Schnitzel, but I’m afraid Copernicus would have to stay at home with Beyonce and James Garfield.  Being that Jenny and I both live in Central Texas, and she’s only the second person listed so far who is actually still alive, this one might actually be a possibility some day…

7.) Krish Dhanam.  I saw him speak at the Get Motivated! seminar that blew through town in December, and he was by far my favorite speaker on the stage that day.  I found myself daydreaming that I might one day be able to do what he does, and be as inspiring, motivating and downright *entertaining* as he is.  Granted, he had the legendary Zig Ziglar as a friend and mentor, and I don’t, but I’d love to spend 90 minutes just absorbing whatever skills and wisdom he might be willing and able to pass on.  Dinner would be something spicy and earthy, maybe Ethiopian, mainly because I think he’s a man who appreciates the good things in life, and would enjoy the intense flavors.  If he is a drinker, the Ethiopian honey wine would be an excellent accompaniment to the meal.

8. and 9.) Bobby McFerrin and Yo Yo Ma.  I had to put these two together, in spite of my pattern up til now.  This would need to be a long, multi-course meal, and I would probably do very little talking as I simply listen, observe, and absorb the energy and atmosphere created by these two diverse and immensely talented friends.  I don’t even care what cuisine the food is, or what is brought for us to drink – I just want to share space with them!

10.) Shawn.  Because, aside from his severe dislike of mayonnaise (about which I am usually somewhat ambivalent, unless we’re talking about tuna salad, in which case it’s a requirement), I can’t think of any other foods upon which we disagree (for either likes or dislikes, whether simple or exotic).  We both enjoy trying new foods as well as enjoying established favorites, he’s always willing to share whatever he’s got (and enjoy a taste of mine in exchange), and we never run out of things to talk or laugh about, which is why he’s my favorite dining companion of all time.  On the menu?  Whatever we feel like at the time!