Balloons: Nothing out of the ordinary – but a very festive Safeway helium assortment nonetheless.
Cake: Josie baked a ‘trial’ cake a couple of days before Keith’s birthday using the octopus mold acquired for the occasion just to make sure the cake would turn out of the pan and would not be a disaster on Keith’s actual birthday. It did turn out great but proved somewhat challenging to decorate. Asked how he liked it after a taste sample, Keith was somewhat reserved in his excitement. We found out later he didn’t really like the idea of cutting off the poor cephalopod’s tentacles and serving them up to his guests. Remember, Keith is a friend to all animals. So it was agreed to revert to Plan B – a simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Everyone was happy and no animals were hurt in the process.
Presents: Keith had a very short wish list and had been hoping for a Nintendo Wii console for some time. He wasn’t disappointed and he now has one of his own to add to our growing collection of electricity-consuming gaming devices. He was quite happy and relieved to see a wrapped box matching the size of a fresh from eBay Wii. Within minutes of opening the box it was already plugged in, in turn incrementally expanding the carbon footprint of our home. In all seriousness, this is a great invention. Unlike all of the other gaming consoles that seem to encourage the player(s) to sit on the sofa, this one requires the player(s) to stand up and physically simulate the action of the characters on the screen – a golf swing, a bat swing, a tennis swing and yes, I suppose even a sword swing. It is especially great for him because it seems like a fun way for him to get his body active and moving again. The added greenhouse gases seem to us like a worthwhile trade-off.
Rat Hunt: This was actually an idea that we hatched on a variation of a typical Easter egg hunt with a couple of twists to appeal to a group of 11 year old boys. Hidden around the yard were a bunch of extremely well camouflaged plastic “rats”. For every rat they found, Keith and his friends earned “points” used toward “purchasing” goodies from the “store” which essentially was a dining table full of fun junk. They found almost all of the hidden rats and subsequently cleaned out the store.
What made the day even better was that Keith’s uncle John arrived just before the party after traveling some 25 hours from India where he, Nancy and their boys have been living for the past 5 months or so. There was a moment while we were eating dinner the following day that a surprised Keith asked John “What? You mean you work for Google?” John nodded yes. There was a long pause while Keith pondered this. “Sweeeeeet!” he finally said.
Sweet indeed. It was a great Wii-kend for him.
Now fast forward to Monday where Keith headed down to Stanford mid-afternoon and is currently holed-up in a patient room in 2 North at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital awaiting the beginning of the second course of immunotherapy that begins in the morning. He’ll receive three days of a special antibody infusion and if the previous course is any indication he will not be feeling too well toward the end of the week but should recover by this time next week. It’s no fun but it’s important and even Keith understands this. He says he is going to use this week to study up on the strategy of some of the Wii games he received so that when he gets back home he will be one step ahead so to speak.