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September 28, 2002
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Big Party With the Old Redmond Folks

Today was a remarkably busy day.

Neither John nor I have caught up on sleep, yet, and we had so much to get done today that we just punted on sleep and just got stuff done. Jet has been gradually settling back into his normal get up just once a night sleep schedule, so we're able to catch up at night, a little.

This morning, he was up at the late hour of 7:30, but both John and I are tired enough that it felt really early. Still, it was late enough that John couldn't get back to sleep, so all three of us got up and we headed into Boulder. The McGuckin's twice a year sale was going on and I wanted to see if they had more of the recycled sketch pads for sale. There was also the Brewer's Shop right next door, which isn't a shop for brewing beer. It's actually a shop for coffee and tea. And they sometimes sell green coffee beans.

It turns out, however, that John had talked to them and you actually have to phone them in advanced to get green coffee beans from them. So, instead, we hit a little roasting shop that was next to the now defunct Chinese steamed bun shop. Turns out that the roasting shop is now defunct as well, and there is, instead, a little tapioca pearl tea shop!! Turns out, however, that they also sell espressos, roast their own coffee, and had pretty much bought out the equipment and supplies of the old coffee roasting shop.

The guy there said that he had more green beans than he knew what to do with, and sold them to us for a third off the price and gave us an extra half a pound on the pound because it loses weight in the roasting process. That's a deal. I was glad of that. They didn't have any pearls ready until after 11, and it was only 9, so we headed into McGuckins.

Jet liked the walk over, as he got to swing between John and I. We're as careful as we know how to be of his shoulder joints, but all fun has its risks of a sort. And Jet was having a whole lot of fun walking and then 'wheeeee' jumping for a bit, and then walking again between us. It was a good way to keep him distracted from all the things that were around him and to keep him moving while we crossed a pretty busy street. Once we were across, though, he got to explore the parking lot and bits of the front area of the store. After one too many bins of nuts and bolts emptied, we tucked him into the seat of a shopping cart and wheeled our way through the whole garage sale area and then went to check out the art supplies.

Sadly, they didn't have any of the cool sketch pads for sale. They did, however, have a bunch of normal spiral bound notebooks for sale for only fifty cents a pop. So we got four of those. John said that Jet wouldn't mind the lines. I'm not quite as convinced, but we'll have to see. They're cheap enough it should be easy for me to use them or do something simple with them if Jet doesn't like 'em.

We headed back an hour too early for the pearls, so we just headed back into Erie and stopped at the post office so that I could mail a package. Home again, home again, and Jet napped while I napped by him and John napped for two hours. Jet didn't nap for long, but then he nursed and we snuck into the basement and I rode the exercise bike on intervals. I am feeling really out of shape and need something to do.

Jet played happily for a while, but then discovered that the Playskool whirligig thing was battery-less, so I had to stop and find the new batteries that John had bought, take apart the back panel, put it all together again and then get back on the exercise bike. Miraculously, the thing remembered where I stopped and when I kept going, it kept track. Jet, on the other hand, was not nearly so accommodating, and was startled by how much louder, faster, and stronger his whirligig got. He also decided that the back part, with the panel and everything, was far, far more interesting than the side he'd played with for so long. He started thumping it up and down to make the panel come loose or something, and finally gave up on it and started heading for the stairs.

Instead of going up the stairs, however, he just stood at the bottom of them, and got grumpy at me for not letting him go upstairs. Finally, I turned Rug Rats on the big screen TV, and on hearing Baby voice, he came to investigate and watched quite raptly. I was glad of that. When we were done with all that, I did some stretching out of the Yoga For Dummies book. It was nice to do something simple and something that still felt so good. Jet decided to help me and jumped on me and wrestled with me for a while. He liked that. I then heard a thump from upstairs.

We headed up. John took care of Jet while I marinated all the short ribs we'd bought. There were going to be a few more people than we'd originally thought, so we made a few more ribs. I then hit the showers and when I got out it was nearly 3. I'd told Mina's that we'd be by to pick up the cake around 3. They had it all ready in the dark and deserted restaurant, they're usually only open from 5-9 on Saturdays. Oops. I should remember that for next time. They had this enormous sheet pan with a huge mound of aluminum foil on it. We didn't even look, and just paid the bill with a little bit more for the trouble. John took it outside while I shepherded Jet around. He really didn't want to get back into the car, so we followed him around for a while; but I was worried about the cake, and we finally just had to take him and get him home.

Once we were home, Jet insisted on nursing. When he nursed, he fell asleep. That surprised me, given the hour+ nap he'd had earlier. He went right to sleep, at quarter to 5, and for the next hour and a half, we didn't hear a peep out of him!

Wow. Two naps in one day!

And then the party started. Dave and his son Kevin arrived first, then Bob, then Chad, and then the Goodells all came in a bunch. Dave had fun seeing everyone, and then Bob took him for a test drive of his new Mercedes, and they were gone for a while. So I started the ribs, since we had all the sides and most of the people were here. Jet didn't wake up until I was completely done cooking, and had eaten half my dinner. He spent about half an hour in my lap or leaning against me figuring out all these people in his house. But once he warmed up to them, he did just fine. Ryan and Dan arrived last, but were greeted just as heartily, and came inside as it started getting cold and dark outside.

Jet really enjoyed playing with Ryan. When the Goodells started making noises about going home, I remembered Mina's cake!

We got it out of the fridge, and uncovered it and it was gorgeous!! It was all whipped cream and a huge layer of strawberries all over the top. Wow. John surprised me and got out some birthday candles and lit three! I don't quite know why he lit three of them, as Alex is more like five, and I'm certainly not three, not even three decades... but it was a good number for Alex and I to blow out together. So we did, while everyone sang "Happy Birthday" for us, as we were both born on the same day, October 2! Alex's party is going to be next weekend, and Jet's invited to go and try and skate. Hee.

The cake itself was wonderful, tender and moist with just the rich plainness of whipped cream all over it. There were tiny candies and everything, and Jet ate it with both hands while seated in my lap. He was much neater than when it was his birthday cake, but he really knew what to do and how to do it this time, too. I was pretty impressed and he didn't get a single frosting handprint on me. Yay!

Everyone got huge slices and we got some folks to take most of the rest of it back home to folks that hadn't made it to the party. I really enjoyed the cake. I was also pretty amused and happy that it was my birthday cake, too. Earlier in the day, I'd gotten a package from Jay! Yay! It had a copy of Monsters Inc. in it! Jet immediately gravitated towards it, but I kept it from him as I think he recognizes it from the copy we have. It's pretty cool, though, getting something from someone that I've really enjoyed and loved.

I also got a package from Kathy in the mail, and Jet and I opened it on the patio, and it had wonderful things. One is exactly the kind of notebook I'd been looking for Mom and Dad before they left for China. It's a moleskine notebook. One of the small ones with grid on each page, perfect for engineering notes and drawings from meetings. They fit in a pocket, a purse, or a bag, easily, and are so light they can be carried anywhere. I had thought about sending Mom and Dad plain notebooks so that they could note things in Chinese as easily as English, if they wanted, and/or sketch things; but I don't really know if they would have. I journal so much, that it wouldn't hurt to have this as a record just for myself.

I love the idea of being able to draw thoughts, ideas, flows, data, and other things, as my Visor disallows that so completely. I would, however, miss the ability to journal at length anywhere I pleased, if I only carried a notebook and had to handwrite things.

As it was, though, I was very happy with the gift, along with two interesting fantasy novels that look like they might have a good twist on very old material.

The last bits of the evening were spent talking with Dave about how things have changed. It's been four years since we left. Odd to think of it as being that long. Kevin's grown up so much, he's definitely a young man now, not the boy with his friends chasing bugs instead of kicking a soccer ball. It was really cool to see him like this, making his own decisions, having good reasons, and doing the stuff he has to do to take the next steps. I'm pretty impressed.

Folks left with much thanks, and Jet took a while to get to sleep. He kept opening his eyes enough to spot where I was and roll towards me, he finally ended up on the edge of the futon. I hope he'll stay there all night. We'll see.

We helped Dave and Kevin set up their beds in the basement. Kevin had appropriated the futon in front of the big screen TV, and was watching Speed TV showing the new Harley Davidson. It was pretty cool. We got everything settled down there, and then went to bed. Tired.

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Copyright 2002 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.