I had a pretty good day today… I'm taking a class on VB.Net, and training weeks are always easier than work weeks. I wasn't even supposed to take the class, but all my other teammates were busy. Lucky me, I guess. My observations after the first day: .Net kicks ass. I have never used a software package as polished, as well designed, and as powerfully user friendly as Visual Studio.Net, and that's saying something. VB.Net is everything I spent the last year wishing VB6 were; what I wouldn't have given for structured exception handling, to name just one thing.
We've enrolled Charlie in training. This week was just the owners, no dogs; learning how to teach our dogs, so to speak. Hopefully Charlie will pick up most things quicker than he has housetraining.
On the other hand, Saturday was the grand opening of the small dogs part of the University City Dog Park. The "small dogs" area is larger than most complete dog parks; the "large dog" area will be pleasantly huge, the kind of place where you can launch a frisbee for your Great Dane and not feel hemmed in. We took the dogs, of course, as well as my mom and dad, Conner, and Jen's Grandma. It was a romping good time, we even got on the evening news (briefly), and we may have discovered the secret to housebreaking Charlie (may, I say).
As noted, my parents and Conner were up this weekend to see Jen's play. It was, all in all, a very full but quite fun weekend. I realized this weekend that one of the things I love about my dad is that he's always ready to play. It's most noticeable when he sees a very young child—he gets this mischevious look on his face, he makes funny noises (some of which I have learned to duplicate), he's just a very fun guy to be around. I realized this because he was making a very strange sound this weekend because it seemed to totally captivate the dogs, Charlie especially. I think my dad's willingness to play has been a major influence in my own life; at least, I hope so.
Sunday morning—the morning of my birthday—we went out for a fantastic brunch buffet at the Millenium Hotel with my great-uncle Jim Cholmondelay (a.k.a. "Jim Who?") and his wife Jean. I have to say, it was one of the better starts to a birthday I've ever had. It's hard to go wrong when you start the morning with valet parking, champagne and St. Louis-style potatoes and finish it with chocolate-covered strawberries and more champagne.
Jen's play is (finally) over, so we can all relax a bit. It was a really good play, and despite the occasional hellish moment, I'm glad to have been a part of it. I met a couple of cool people, I learned a lot about how (not) to build a set, and I got to see a great production.
Jen reminds me that I should perhaps list what I got for my birthday. Her wish, my command:
- Monsters, Inc DVD, and a Monsters, Inc. flashlight. (I love this movie.)
- Three stuffed Stitch dolls (Elvis, a Hawaiian, and what appears to be a Vampire). Elvis is currently gracing my desk at work, because he's just too cool. Thanks, Laurie (who also sent me a very nice card…).
- A black wrought-iron stand in which to display the octagonal UofL paving stone my mother gave me for some previous birthday. It actually seems to make quite a nice end table.
- The Official Iron Chef Book from Lindsay. So far it's really cool. Really, really cool.
- A long card (or short letter) from my Grandma Phyllis, and another from my Grandma Nancy. With any luck I'll see the latter at Thanksgiving.
- Money from Jen's Grandma, and I have yet to decide how to spend it—one of life's nicer problems, fortunately.
- A book called The Thousand Orcs from Conner.
It was a really good birthday, actually <inside_joke>(even if I did have to bake and ice my own cake. ;)</inside_joke>.
Oh golly, how could I have forgotten? Tangerine is incredible. Vegetarian comfort food indeed. Chicken fried portobella mushroom is super fantastic.
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