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August 5, 2000
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Putzing About and Dinner in Suburbia

Bacon and eggs breakfast with cinnamon toast, of the same bread that I'd made garlic toast last night. Yum. Then John ran off to do errands while I sat home and made ricotta and started the cheesecake by making the graham cracker crust, but then got distracted when I didn't have enough eggs. I read a little, puttered a little, and then John came home and we had lunches. I ate some of the leftovers of taco salad, and John ate some green chile stew he'd made for himself a bit back. He missed the stuff and I couldn't really eat it, so weekend lunches was the perfect time to indulge in our own tastes.

He ran off to get eggs, and when he got back I finished separating the last egg, beat the whites of four eggs until they gave me soft peaks, and then beat the yolks with the pound and a half of cheese, a cup of sugar, the zest and juice of a lemon, until it was mostly smooth. Then I folded the whites into the cheese mixture and turned the whole thing out into the crust, that was sitting in a springform pan. The whole thing went into a pan with water in it up to an inch of the top of the springform and all that into a 325 degree oven. That's when I went upstairs to the computer to try and write.

The upstairs is hot enough that that was a pretty tricky business. I get lethargic up there, just hot and tired and cranky and I spent a whole lot of time playing Angband before I actually set any words down, and by then the buzzer went off for the cake. John was outside all this time working on the Passat, putting on rear brake shoes and stuff. I set the cake to cool on a rack and when upstairs to do a little more writing and then check on the state of the auction. Someone had taken Starling and I to our new limit; and some thoughts of upping the max floated into my head, but I really didn't have any desire to go beyond our maximum again.

It's really, really weird realizing that if I really wanted to win all I really had to do was probably put down a $10,000 bid and just take whatever anyone else pushed me up to. But after thinking everything through I wasn't sure that I wanted to really win that much. It's also definitely not as if John were putting any limits on what I was going to spend, either, it's more me. That much money for what is, essentially, a jacket? I could get a completely custom designed jacket just perfectly fitted for me after the baby's born and it would cost a third what I was going to put up. But how do you price a dream?

I really don't know.

I only knew that I'd likely resent any other expenditures I did during the year if I did go much higher. So when Starling called to tell me that we'd been overbid and that we could just get off the hook I said, "Yeah. It's our max and we said that if anyone outbid us they deserved it." She then went on to call Carl to tell him we weren't going to bid anymore, and he, sweet wonder that he is, took it up to $6k, eventhough he'd said that it was insane that anyone would pay $5k for a leather jacket.

And I don't regret any of it.

That's the really cool part. I don't regret any of it. If it had gone the other way, I wouldn't have regretted that, either.

I showered during the last half hour of bidding, and found that the price had shot up nearly a thousand dollars in the last five minutes. So even the ending price was enough above ours that there were no 'Oh! We lost it only by one bid!!' types of regrets for me, either. So that was nice.

We then went into Denver suburbia and met up with Doug and Robin and their three sons, Zach, Sam and Levi as well as Doug's present boss who just moved here a month ago from Texas. Robin had been pregnant with her first when she was just 26 and it was interesting listening to her tales of being the youngest in her birthing class in Redmond. I feel so old, but there had been women in her class that were in their 40's. So it was very keen to absorb what it was like to have kids that young. The three boys are extraordinarily rambunctious, and were running around a lot in the backyard, playing. I can't imagine keeping up with three.

We talked about work, about Denver, about the shift from Redmond, about all the things that had happened, and the things that hadn't happened, how well we'd done since we'd left the jobs we'd been comfortable with and doing the adventurous things and getting so well rewarded for it. Doug's company had done really well, and then gotten bought by Nortel, so he had nearly twenty times the value of stock as he had when he started with his new company. Comfortable to know that both of us had done well. Interesting to see us all in the same place again after years of being out of touch.

I can still remember going out with Doug and John when they were rooming together in Redmond, for John's first year out of school and Doug finishing off his degree and then working and the three of us out grocery shopping. Doug knew that I never drank, but he always swore that the three of us seemed drunk when we were in the store, because we'd end up giggling so darned much. That was really, really funny and a cool memory to dig back up again.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner of BBQ'ed chicken, a really fantastic spinach salad that had toasted almonds, apples, and bacon bits with a lovely sweet and sour vinaigrette, and some potato and fruit salad as well. And then the dessert came out. The experiment actually worked, though not quite in the way I'd hoped it would. The ricotta turned the cheesecake much drier than I'd thought, nearly fluffy, and not at all rich. Though, given that there was nearly no fat in the whole thing, I should have expected something like that. Anyway, the good thing was that I'd brought along a can of blueberry pie filling/topping that worked out beautifully with the drier cheesecake, as the cake didn't overwhelm the topping and the topping lent more flavor to the whole thing.

Turned out the kids' bedtime was my bedtime as well. 9 p.m. and I turned into a pumpkin and half dozed on the way home with John. We talked over Fezzik's leg and decided that we wouldn't do the more strenuous walk with the samoyeds in the morning, and, instead, we'd take him out to Walden Ponds, near Boulder, and just let him go swimming or something. Just a flatter, less crazy walk as the extra stress didn't really seem to do Fezzik much good, though the moderate exercise would likely help him out. When we did get home, I just went directly to bed and feel deep asleep.

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