“Hug or Blow?

Blow or hug?” Zeynep wondered out loud while the birthday candles melted onto her rich chocolate cake. It was past 1 a.m. in Amherst. Not exactly the time one would expect a party, especially having just completed a cross-country flight. “Welcome back!” she said to me and Little Brother. (We spent our summers in Turkey and Romania, respectively.)
Anuj (creative visionary and primary organizer) wasn’t there for the pre-party, playing chauffer while we discussed (among other things) the differences between “simply connected surfaces” (no holes) and non-simply connected surfaces (has holes). (Did you know that mathematicians begin by ignoring 3D space, collapsing everything into 2 dimensions?)
[What comes next is an exercise in mathematical metaphorics. I am probably stretching them completely out-of-shape.] [[Oh well.]] ­čśë Anuj will be pleased (?) to learn that he has no holes. [Steph has a few about the size of cannonballs but that’s another story!] He is not a torus (Steph, btw, is a Taurus but oh-so-close to Gemini).
Once Zeynep arrived the party rollicked on! Rajiv took pictures but I bet he didn’t get one of Alenka’s gift of a beaker filled with flowers. I am so jealous! I want one!!! Jake is back to being sleep-deprived. John and I compared political notes on Turkey. Tate jumped in (and was just getting ready to tell me how wonderful commutable matrices are when Zeynep arrived – next time?)
Lava looks totally manly. Ricardo spoiled Anuj’s golf swing by taking video. Sue (sp?) and Clara (?) kept to themselves in the kitchen but I did walk in on some kind of bizarro knife play – I ducked into the bathroom fast. Did I miss anyone?
My evening didn’t end when I left. Just to add some more excitement, someone (who is learning how to drive) decided to weave over the center yellow line. What are those flashing lights behind us? Sigh. Fortunately, the cop bought my explanation that he weaved, “Probably just because we were talking.” It didn’t hurt that my registration and driver’s license were current. And that LB didn’t say “We just left a party!” Instead he said we were going to “Amherst” and coming from “Amherst.” I added, when the cop pressed, that we were at an apartment on Pleasant St. Unbelievably, the cop accepted the most ragged learner’s permit you’ve ever seen and issued only a verbal warning. Whew!

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