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January 24, 2003
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Big Review and Bob's Birthday

I was very surprised when the big review of all my work of the last three months took just one hour. Okay, maybe not *very* surprised, but I was surprised that there wasn't any more comment or question than that. One of the reasons was that one of the major marketers wasn't to be found. At the last review, she'd had the most to question, and I'd expected that for today, but she just wasn't there.

Turned out that her son had come down with something that had put them all in the hospital. I'm glad she took care of him first.

I had the usual post-deadline letdown, and I'm pretty tired anyway. I posted project stuff while Jet slept, and folded in all the feedback and edits from the review.

When he woke up we had lunch together, and I pulled out the bag of pecans and had Jet help me shell them. He was eager enough. This was new stuff to him. I started by doing the cracking and letting him pick for a while. Then he asked for the cracker and smashed a few nuts with it, thoroughly, even with his small hands. I showed him the way leverage works, and how it was easier to smash them if he grabbed the ends of the cracker rather than the middle. He happily pulled apart the smashed ones and carefully separated nut from shell and put the nuts into the nut bowl. I was impressed the he knew what the difference was.

By the time I had fifteen minutes before a meeting, the two of us had managed to shell half the nuts we needed for a pecan pie. So I just pulled pecans out of the freezer for the other half, and quickly made the pie shell for the pie. John took over when my meeting started, and he baked the shell with our new steel pie beads. He then made the filling for the pie. It smelled *wonderful* as I met.

When I was done, we packed up Jet and the pie and went to the Hamilton's. Mei said that she hadn't planned on a dessert, so John firmly believed that it couldn't be Bob's birthday. I, on the other hand, understanding a little about how Chinese do things, bet that it was Bob's birthday. If I'd actually bet something, I would have cashed in. Hee. As it was, the three of us hid in the office, and John scared the hell out of Jet when he surprised Bob. It took a little while to reassure Jet, and I ended up carrying him for a while. But when Sudipto and his wife arrived, Jet was okay with things. Andrew helped by being a great sport and playing, quite gently, with Jet.

Dinner was wonderful. A multitude of dishes, some of them quite good. I asked Mei for her recipe for egg fu yung, as it's a very untraditional dish, but she found that everyone that took her classes was asking for it. I don't have a recipe that tastes any good, and hers was very tasty. So I may have to make it sometime.

Mei had lied about the dessert, and hauled out a beautiful ice cream cake, which everyone had a chunk of. Then we all had slices off the pecan pie. Mmmm for homemade. It was wonderful. Not *too* sweat, and not too rich, and the toasted pecans were the star of the show, as their tender, crisp selves were great in the mild sugar custard. Yummy.

Jet got quite the workout through the evening. Andrew went upstairs with a slip of paper attached to a thread. He dangled it in front of Jet, and Jet tried to catch it. He really loved that, though he'd get frustrated after missing it for too long. So long as he got it every once in a while he was okay with continuing the game. He had fun talking with their lovebird, and the two of them made noises at each other in a near-conversation.

Bob then made the mild mistake of letting Jet chase him around the kitchen island. Every few feet, he'd look back and act surprised and shocked that Jet was still after him and start running again. So Jet was running and laughing continuously. They did this until Bob got tired, and stopped. Jet stopped, looked at Bob, and then pointed and commanded, "Go!"

Bob laughed and went.

They kept it up for a good long time and I finally took pity on Bob and let Jet chase me for a while. That was good. I ended it by picking Jet up and tickled him. Then Jet gave Bob an ice cube and loved the reaction so much that he started giving every ice cube he could find to him. They ended up with Andrew handing Jet an ice cube, and Jet would give it to Bob, and then Bob would slide it on the floor to the far side of the room. Jet ran after it, picked it up, brought it back to Andrew, who did the whole thing over again. I think they had to have done it several dozen times.

Jet finally asked to climb into my lap and nurse. So I nursed him for about five minutes before he fell asleep. We talked for a while longer, and had a good time. I was pretty tired, though, so we left around 10.

It was COLD outside, and we'd left Jet's car seat in the car. When we put him into it, he woke up and started just crying, hard. So I ended up tucking my down jacket around him. My body warmth had already warmed the coat up, so Jet quieted and went back to sleep very quickly. I'm glad that the coat was enough. I was pretty cold, though, until the heat started working. Luckily, the diesel Passat's great about generating heat quickly. Whew.

When we got home, we put Jet to bed and went to bed immediately afterwards. It was really neat to have an evening out, but as tired as I am, I know why we don't do this too often.

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