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September 20, 2002
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Washed Week and Erie Homecoming

This week's been a wash. I'm tired. I'm sick. And I have been trying, very hard, to just go to sleep at night instead of writing so that I get more sleep. I occasionally drink some hot tea at night to try and get my chest to decongest, and that's about it.

Work's been very busy. Jet's been doing well at night, until last night when the beginning of the full moon started. I managed to finish Angband and actually kill the biggest baddie of all. I even have the text dump of everything after I wandered around for a while trying to figure out how to retire after actually killing the big bad guy. It was addicting to play with a full set of artifacts on. Roomfuls of demons, orcs, and even trolls were as nothing. I now understand why the really great guys in The Lord of the Rings could wade through throngs of orcs without batting an eyelash, if there's anything like Angband-style upping of toughness and how much damage one can take after experience.

This is a game I've been playing since 1999, so it's been a while in the making. A meeting here, a compile there, and a slow network or non-existent network now and again all contributed to the advancement of my Ranger, Talia. It was a really slow network this morning that caused the finish of the game. Hee.

Plus getting all the data I needed. It's made life a lot less frantic, though it now means I get to do a lot.

Tonight was the Erie Tiger homecoming parade. We met up with the Goodells at 5 at one end of the main street through Erie, where they were having a fund-raising BBQ. They were already there, and at the head of the rather long line that we then got into. Jet looked so little and lost on the ground amid all the people that I picked him up and put him on my shoulders. He hugged my head and sat there, looking at everything while John and I just waited to get to the head of the line.

I was very glad that Jet was on my shoulders. The next thing I know there's someone/something falling into me. I back up. My left ankle gets badly scraped, but I don't lose my balance at all. There's a guy, fallen over o his bike at my feet. His foot got stuck in his strapped pedals and he fell over while trying to stop and get off his bike in the midst of the thickest of the crowd by the BBQ.

John noted that he probably should have gotten off the bike and walked it well before he'd gotten to us. I could only be very, very, very glad that Jet was on my shoulders and not on the ground where he might have gotten hit by the guy or his bike. My ankle turned all colors of black, blue and red in a stripe down the inside. It wasn't any worse than any soccer injury I've ever had, so I just ignored it. No reason to get upset and upset Jet.

Evenso, Jet started crying when we put him on the curb next to Alex and Ashley. He calmed down when he could sit on my lap and eat potato chips right next to me. I don't know if it was the crowd or the near-accident or what, but he just wanted to be by me, so I snugged him close and we ate hot dogs together. John and Ray talked shop, Joan and I ignored them, and the kids looked or the parade. When the parade started, John put Jet up on his shoulders, and Jet watched everything that went by, sometimes pointing things out and smiling at me.

The parade was mostly high school kids on 'floats' set up on flat beds pulled by big trucks. everyone had candy to toss to everyone around them. There was one bunch of kids on bikes and trikes and scooters. Alex had been invited to do the parade o his bike, but he decided not to do it. Instead, he and Ashley had a great time picking up thrown candy. Between the two of them they filled Haley's stroller. That was fun to watch. When it was all done, Jet was happy to come down and stroll around. He'd lost his fear, and was willing to walk with us on the way back to where we'd parked the car.

He saw a bunch of seagulls up in the sky, flying. He waved at them, and then flapped his arms at them and said, "Wow!!" He just had his head back looking with all his might. I have no idea why there are seagulls in the middle of the continent, but they're here, in force. There were at least a hundred birds up in the sky. We just watched them for a while, and the Jet decided to try and run across the parking lot. There weren't any cars, but I don't like him running into parking lots. So we went together, and he held my hand and we walked around a little.

Instead of going home and watching TV or something, we went out to Dairy Queen (after patching my leg up) and this time Jet shared John's peanut buster parfait while I ate my hot fudge sundae in peace. I got toasted pecans on it instead of the usual chopped peanuts and it was very good. I enjoyed that a lot.

We went into the Safeway to do the usual weekly stocking up and found the pickup truck carts! Cool! Jet got into it willingly, but then started climbing out when he wanted to talk to us. He actually did better in the seat than he did in the truck cab because he could see us and talk to us directly, even if we couldn't completely understand him he seems to be used to making eye contact with us.

He's been getting more and more capable this week. He's definitely talking more and doing more. We bought Monsters Inc. on Wednesday ad got to see it that night and Jet went from watching it and being afraid of the opening sequence to saying, "Boo!!" whenever Boo said, "Boo!" Hee.

He says more now. He tries more, too. I now can see why some folks call the twos the terrible twos because his abilities are really growing by leaps and bounds, even as his experiences don't quite keep up, so he tries *everything* and looks at us to see if it crosses some boundary he didn't know about. Like his crayons. He's drawn thoroughly on his book, and now he's tried to draw on the walls, the couch, us, his clothing, the furniture, the TV, the VCR, all his toys, and he's even tried the carpet. We've been pretty good and attentive and stopped him from most of those cases, and he hasn't tried drawing on anything we've stopped him from again. He's gotten to draw in newspapers, magazines, and he's gotten the idea that he can pull anything he wants out of the recycling bin to draw on, but he wants to draw o books, my cookbooks, and anything with pages. I can see why the distinction might be something that has to be tested. And some of it is very specific. He's learning how to tell the difference.

I could see why that would be hard for some people to take. As the only way Jet gets to learn the distinction is by being consistent. It also has to be done over and over with things that are different by Jet's perspective, even though they might not seem to be different from my perspective. His books, for me, aren't any different than my books I that he really shouldn't draw on either, but he knows his books are his... so it's very different to him.

It's been interesting to see, very clearly, how I've classified things and how Jet's trying to learn the classifications by just trying them all.

Multiply it all by all the things he can do, and it gets to be very interesting to figure out how to be consistent about the boundaries for food, climbing, walking, various levels of talking, sitting (no, don't sit in that puddle!), playing, and lots of other stuff.

He surprises the heck out of me, too, sometimes. He picks up things. He'll put things away. He'll do his best to clean up spills, even when he took a glass and deliberately turned it upside-down. Though he doesn't do that all the time. He'll also pour cereal on the floor and then dance on it once in a while.

Jet can now do his cutout puzzles. He'll just take a piece, look at the board, and the put it in about the right place. He'll then grunt and try to brute force it into place. He did that the other night, and put away the whole board five or six times.

Jet's also, occasionally surprisingly compassionate. John stubbed his toe, hard, on something and hopped up and down yelling. Jet came up to him and puckered up and smooched John on the injured toe. Hee.

That's been fun to watch.

Hmmm... adventures for the week... we ate at a little Italian place Monday night after meeting John at church after a meeting he had. It wasn't very good. Thursday night we went to Souper Salad and Jet ate pepperoni and soup and bread and the picked Oreo chips out of his ice cream before drinking the melted ice cream.

Wednesday the work bunch went to Mina's and Sudipto finally got food that was hot enough for him and it made Chad cry and Cary hurt. They'd all ordered burritos with the really hot smothering sauce. Whew. I enjoyed my empanada happily, which was spicy but not too hot. Bob remembered the tres leches cake Mina had made for her daughter's birthday, and we asked if she would make one for us, and she said that she would with a few days notice. MUCH nicer than a Safeway cake, I think.

We're having a few families over next weekend for dinner, while Dave and his son Kevin visit. So we have some plans, including ordering Mina's cake.

John and I made bagels tonight, too, after we got home. John chopped and thawed green chilies for three of the bagels, and I kneaded raisins into another one. We'll see how they do, and we bought lox and cream cheese for them. It should be good.

We also have a bunch of plans for the weekend. A number of things to finish. The weather, this last week, has turned, very decisively to fall. We don't open the windows at night and the mornings are nippy. I'll have to move the parsley and rosemary into the house, I think, as they won't freeze well, and I think that the rosemary, at least, should do really well inside at night and outside during the day. It's done so well in the herb garden outside, I think it can take the sun. I'll also have to move my garlic chives in, too. All the Thai basil and regular basil have died off simply by being near the door that's open some nights. It knows that it's getting colder and darker.

The nights are getting near freezing as the days drop into the 60's ad 70's. It's such a sudden drop from the 90's, that I'm not surprised that everyone has a cold of some sort. I just don't really want to catch anything more than what I already have.

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