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December 20, 2001
a year ago
two years ago

Party At The Rio

There was a holiday gathering this evening. The day itself was pretty busy. Haley was happy, healthy and hale this morning, so Jet went over to Joan's and Joan was happy to take him for four hours. So I got a lot of stuff in in the morning, however, Bill called a 1 o' clock meeting. So I went over to pick Jet up a little early and still the phone rang when I arrived back, while I was putting Jet down for his nap.

I missed picking it up, but knew which meeting room to call since Bill had been kind enough to send that information out in an email. So I hooked up with them; however, two other members of the meeting didn't show up until 2. Which was when the whole lot of them had to swap rooms anyway, and they called me back. I was glad Jet slept for two hours, though the meeting meant that I wasn't able to take a nap with him.

He woke up at 3, they were arguing fiercely over a point I didn't care that much about, so I got him, changed him, brought him upstairs and nursed him while I listened to the discussion rage back and forth. For a bit it sounded like we weren't going to resolve anything, and then things slid the other way again, and with two changes, we all reached an agreement on the main portion of the work right at 3:30, which was when Bill had to leave.

Tomorrow is one of the plant closure days, so no one expects to get anything done, really. So this was our last chance.

When that was all done, I ate a couple of tamales for lunch, feeding Jet bits of it as I went through it. He enjoyed the bits he got, and didn't protest when I tucked him into his car seat and got everything ready for the meeting with everyone else at the Rio Grande, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Boulder. We got out the door a bit after four and reached work a bit after four thirty, and John finished something up while Jet crawled around and played with stuff. There are a whole lot of toys in John's area, so he had plenty of things to be intrigued with, including a tiny air hockey game. I really didn't want Jet to eat the puck, so I pretty much kept it in motion the whole time. He was utterly intrigued by the frictionless motion, and watched and tried to grab it for nearly fifteen minutes. He really liked it.

Eventually we headed into town, and baby karma worked its magic again, and we got a parking slot only half a block away from the entrance to the restaurant. We had to pay forty minutes of parking meter time, but after that, we were home free. So that was good. We headed in, expecting to be late, but there wasn't anyone there. We waited a good half an hour in the front lobby, with a few trips to the bathroom to get Jet changed and stuff. He also depleted his cracker supply something fierce.

Finally someone arrived, and ten minutes later another half dozen people arrived, so we went upstairs, got carded, stamped, and found stools around tall tables for all of us. Jet stayed, for a good portion of it, in either John's or my arms. I fed him most of a jar of turkey and sweet potatoes, and he ate it happily while getting distracted by everyone that wandered by. Still he got most of the jar into him, and he was much happier for having some solid food.

Eventually he got to explore the floor a little and then we tucked him under one of the bar stools for a while, as it left him free to explore the stool and the floor around it and play with a few toys. My back got a break, and with the stool over him, no one was liable to step on him, which was a very good deal. He had his squid, the jet plane, and various bar implements to play with including coasters, napkins, and a couple of straws. He drank a bit of my soda through his straw, but he preferred his sippy cup of water. I was glad that I'd brought that for him.

The party was actually for Loren, who was home for the holidays from Japan. He's worked over there for the year, and is going back for another year's adventure all over Asia. He's been having a great time, and came back home for the holidays, doctor's appointments, and dentist checkup stuff. He also had other legal stuff to take care of, like banking things, and other stuff. So he'd been working in Longmont for the week, and was here to party with everyone, and was going to go to San Jose to work for a week after the holidays before going back to Japan.

So he was having a good time with everyone, and he was an excellent excuse for everyone to gather and enjoy a holiday party together before we all scattered to our holiday plans. I got to see Jennifer Longstaff for the first time in a long time and got to talk with her a bit about Bill and our group and what she might expect if she got into the group. She was looking to transfer somewhere, and really liked the people in our group. She's very much a software person, though, so it was really funny seeing what it was that she found intriguing or interesting or worthwhile versus what I did. I gave full disclosure of everything I didn't like as well as all the things I did like about working with Bill, and that was very useful for her. Good and bad and that it was a mixture was very useful, and, I think, more realistic than I, maybe, could have done a few years ago.

I kind of hope to see her in our group sometime. She's very much an outspoken extrovert that would be good representation for the group as well as someone that would speak up when Bill's just rolling along. Sometimes I think Bill really misses having an extrovert to work things through with on the team.

We all got a table to eat some dinner after the drinks. Jet got a high chair, which he really liked, because he could now see everyone and everything. He loved the neon lights, the ceiling fans, and the people rushing back and forth. He sometimes got a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of noise, but he'd recover when he got something interesting to play with, to eat, or to watch. I was pretty impressed.

I got really dry when I talked with Jennifer for a while, and ordered a no-sodium seltzer water with a slice of lime, and I let Jet drink from the straw as well. He drank happily, and then spied the lime slice. He reached out, pulled it off the rim of the glass, and then stuffed as much of it as he could into his mouth. I expected surprise or something at the sourness of what he'd done. Instead, he blissfully tried to stuff more of it into his mouth and he started sucking all the pulp out from between the section skins. He really enjoyed it, and it occupied him for a good half an hour as he tried to get every drop of juice and bit of pulp from it.

Turns out John used to really enjoy sour things, too, so it looks like Jet got that from him. I'm the one that used to use sugar on my grapefruit. Jet'll eat that stuff straight in a flash as well. So he's really into the sour things as well, the more intense, it seems, the more he likes it. No scurvy for this baby!

I was very glad of my one-on-one conversation with Jennifer. The general party stuff was just milling time for me, and I know I'm not too good at it, or too comfortable with it, but it was doable. It was nice, however, to have some closer conversation with Loren and Jennifer. David also got into the conversation about Japan, and he related some really keen tales about watching live sumo wrestling. Including the tradition of picking up your seat cushion and chucking it when the champion gets upset by a mediocre wrestler. He had been astonished to see the prim and proper Japanese suddenly picking up their cushions and throwing them. That sounds pretty cool.

Precisely at 8:45, Jet started wailing. It was his pumpkin time. I picked him up, bounced him a little and he cheered up again. He'd been eating steadily while we had our dinner. Not only the lime section, but some rice, black beans, and bits of steak out of my steak enchiladas. He enjoyed the meat bits a lot. He'd also been drinking out of his water cup, my seltzer cup, and was not terribly hungry. I also changed him a couple of times during the party, so he was relatively dry. So he was actually pretty cheerful by the time we'd finished gathering everything up and got out to the car.

We tucked him into his car seat and he was chirruping and chortling and bouncing about for about five minutes into the drive, and then he went fast asleep. He was completely out like a light. We went back to work to let John get the Baby Buggy, and I drove the sleeping Jet back home.

He ate, got changed, and went to sleep solidly a bit after ten. We cleaned up the house, got a few things squared away. John got all the Christmas letters copied, and we got our cards from the nearby Photomoto. The cards make me giggle every time I see them. I hope people like them as much as we like them. It should be funny, anyway.

I went to sleep as soon as I could while I could hear John working in the kitchen. I know Jet woke up sometime before John got to bed, and they did whatever they did and Jet went back to sleep again. But I think he only got up the one time before midnight, so the party seems to have not overloaded him. Yay!

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.