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May 10, 2002
a year ago
three years ago
four years ago

Annual Review

It was a rather strange but nice day. It's overcast this evening after a brilliantly sunny morning. There's supposed to be rain over the weekend, and I can only hope. The dry season's been really bad here, and I always like rain anyway, since it happens so rarely here.

Jet had a pretty wicked night again, and I was up for a lot of it. I woke up at 7, thought I should just stay in bed, and finally got up at 8. Then I remembered that Bill was expecting me in sometime this morning. So I went upstairs, and he still hadn't said how long, so I wrote him and said that I would come in from 9:30 to 10:30, just to set the expectation. I didn't hear from him, so I nursed Jet, ate an orange and went in.

I didn't have much appetite because I knew that at least part of what I was going to be going in for was my yearly review. I also thought there might be a meeting on the other big, last minute project I had. Neither of which were very good for my equilibrium, my sleep, or my appetite.

So I went in. And it was good.

The review, that is. It was probably the best review I've had at Xilinx. And while there were no raises for anyone this year, I did get the biggest option grant I've gotten since I got here, especially if I take into account the fact that they're in proportion to my hours. I also got the unexpected feedback from my boss that I had often gotten things in far shorter time than he'd thought I could. That was very cool.

There were also a slew of things he said and wrote about the past year that was not only really good to know but was provably true. There were facts and statistics and real results that went with each thing. So I had to believe it all. It wasn't just empty compliments or whatever, it was real stuff I did that helped in the quality, timeliness, and, best of all, the pleasantness of the work involved.

It was really good.

We didn't have the meeting on the project, we were all too tired. The deadline on Tuesday had just eaten everyone. Sudipto had actually worked all night to get the deadline done on time. So he slept all Tuesday and even today he was looking a bit beat.

So I went home in time to get Jet, nurse him and get him to sleep and then I spent two hours doing things to the house and around the house that I'd put off for all the deadlines for the last couple of weeks. Filling the bird feeder, watering the plants, and generally puttering about. We had lunch, I made pad thai, thanks to Carl! I then did a little puttering around on the Internet and puttering around in my own brain and in Gaiman's American Gods.

Gaiman does gods pretty well. He's had several comicbooks about them. Neverwhere was about some of the lesser ones and variations and versions of small gods. I like how he snags some essence that has to do with the importance of belief to human existence. Maybe it's another rendition of the same concept underlying Difficult Conversations, that emotions are important to people, more important than they'll say or even than they know. That there are underlying bedrock beliefs that people simply have to have to exist and that bedrock, for Gaiman, is the ground upon which spiritual beings walk, live, breath, and eat. The whole problem of Truth versus truth or fact and how impossible it is for some people to know or distinguish which is which, and where that line wavers, is where Gaiman's story often lie.

It's eating my brain. And while it was eating my brain, John was taking Jet out to the front yard to prep for the driveway. They were just out there, with John working on stuff and Jet wandering around playing with everything he could get his hands on. Jet had woken up, John had fed him solids and taken him outside with him. They were having a grand time while I read. I only knew they were out there when I heard the sounds of an ice cream truck. I peered out and saw John with Jet under one arm, putting away his wallet with the other.

I went outside. It was windy, cold, and the sky was filled with clouds, and John gave me Jet and fished out an ice cream sandwich and a Nutty Buddy and we proceeded to eat ice cream out in the cutting wind with Jet begging for bites from each of us in turn. He got plenty of bites. I took him in while we were only half through, and John came in as well, with all his tools. John showered while I played with Jet and John then made chicken taco salad for dinner. Yum.

We have to shop tomorrow, as Haley and Alex are coming over for the afternoon and evening and we need to feed them dinner. We also need to stock up on some basics.

The evening was quiet, and Jet got tired early. We got him to bed, and John went to bed early, too. I stayed up and read too much. But Jet also got up every hour, so I just went up and took care of him. That was easy enough. But it was another late night on top of a bunch of others, and tomorrow is going to be a bit hard. We'll see. I was glad, though, to get through most of American Gods and another chapter or two of Journey to the West - Volume 2. The Monkey King is a lot more humble than when he started, and I'm still pretty amazed at how patient he is with the stupid monk.

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Copyright 2002 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.