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May 9, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Walk and Party

Sunday was the Walk in the morning. Fezzik did well on it, but he had pretty bad diarreha, which scared me with all the talk about how chemo might affect digestive systems and everything; but it seemed to go away the day after. It was just a gorgeous day and the water ways were all full, deep, with water and were running pretty swiftly. So swiftly that at some points, when Fezzik was in mid-stream, it was everything he could do just to oppose the current and stay in one place. He seemed to enjoy the challange.

Haiku, however, really fought the currents and there was one point when she was going after a stick that was floating downstream that she actually swam with the current and before we knew it she was a good twenty yards behind us and going faster. She eventually got the stick and clambered up on the path and shook off. Boris ran back with her to be sure she was okay. It was cool to see him anxious for her like that.

There were no blue herons or eagles this week and I think I forgot to mention that last week. There were two enormous blue herons that we saw along the trail and at one curve on the trail it was evident that while the wind wasn't blowing down where we were, it was definitely blowing at a slightly higher altitude. A bald eagle was just floating up there, watching the field, huge wings outstretched, flicking a feather here or there and just perfectly balanced on the invisible force field of the wind. Great head bent to watch the ground beneath. It just floated there, nearly supernatural, riding the wind.

The evening was a small BBQ at Jonah's with Stacy and Boo and plenty of herbal iced tea, turkey based grill stuff and I brought a plate of fairly tender biscotti with dried cranberries, bittersweet chocolate and toasted pecans. They're sinfully easy to make and I'll have to bring them into work sometime. We sat and watched the World Wrestling Foundation's pay per view as Stacy was hooked on 'em and Jonah wanted company for his misery. Fezzik came along as well and had fun with Shiloh but really, truly wanted the ferrets for his very own.

Monday was a dive back into the pressure cooker. Still lots to do and luckily Bob was here so I could talk with him. I had a problem to solve, still and some really awful side affects. Mario and Sudipto pitched in really well and helped me test things way beyond where I'd have gone with them. It's always good to have testers that don't think the way the developer does. Then they do the most gawdawful things that the developer never thought of and should have. So I got other things to fix.

Also the Marketing folks were giving the stuff to a few thousand field reps, who all pounded on it and found about three particular problems. That was really nice to know that with that many people, that that was all the problems we were having. The problem, though, was that one was what my boss described as a 'Demonic' problem, as it appeared only on some systems but not others without any descernable rhyme or reason. Ugh.

Tuesday was the all-day training on our new stuff. The bad news was that it was all-day right at the worst time for all of us. The good news was that they decided to push publication of things until Thursday because of the one day delay and everyone was trying to test thing to a standstill while we were gone. The training was okay. But it took all day and then that night John had invited about 45 folks over to our house for dinner.


Well, the guys from our French office, which had hosted John so well when he was there, were over and he wanted to have a nice little social event for them. But he also didn't want to make me fling myself from the roof, so it was a BBQ, simple and easy and Frankie, the house cleaning lady, was here during the day so we didn't have to do a single thing to the house. That was very, very useful. What was even more useful was that, on the way home, John said, explicitely, that if I wanted to run away from the party at any time that I should and could. Reinforcing Carl's original admonishment that it was okay to get away from social situations that one simply didn't enjoy. It didn't help my mood any to find out that I weighed 160 when I kind of randomly stepped on a scale. That was a trigger to much unhappiness. I pretty much freaked at that, eventhough I hadn't been that unhappy at being 155, this was just too much. It was also interesting to find that about five minutes later I was nearly happy about it because it was something I could do something about, not like this phantom bug that I had no clue about and couldn't do anything about.

The folks were great. They were all cool, friendly, everyone brought something yummy and nearly all of them took it back with them when things were through. Those that didn't, we just brought everything into work the next morning and left it in the break room, where it promptly all disappeared. I did wander around at first, to be sure that everyone was entertained until there were enough people for everyone to entertain themselves. There was one couple that brougth a little girl in a mini-van and when I went out to see them, Fezzik followed me and then led, going to the car, first and to the little girl very, very first. He likes kids and when she flung her arms around his neck instead of cringing from him, I knew that they'd be okay. She loved him, petted him everywhere and sat with him when she was eating. Fezzik was very patient and gentle with her. That was neat to see. Everyone also made much of Fezzik, as they all knew about his cancer and treatments, so he got lot of attention, food, and lay happily panting in the center of the party on the deck.

When I made sure that everyone had drinks, had a chance to get at the food that John was prepping, got all the saurkraut into a pot with good spices and seeds and stuff, had a chance to thank the Gibbons for the gorgeous flower, and made sure everyone was set that had brought stuff I actually did take the chance and went upstairs into the book room. I sat down at the foot of the 400 shelf feet of paperbacks, and started reading trashy romance novels, by myself.

It was good.

Comforting to just be in the little nook and read.

I eventually went back downstairs, ate a little dinner, socialized a little as folks were leaving. I carefully didn't have nearly as much dessert or dinner as I normally would. Some of the ladies helped with the cleaning up and got most of the paper plates, plastic utinsils and all else thrown away neatly. That was nice. When the last of them left and John was picking up I went down into the basement and rode the exercise bike.

I pushed. And it'd been a few weeks. The same few weeks that gained those extra pounds, some of them were, of course, water retention from the period, but the rest was just a bit too much. So I rode pretty hard and John only found me when he was mostly done. I showered and we went to bed and he was very happy for the party and I was very, very happy that I'd done what I wanted to do. That was very, very useful.

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