A few days ago, my friend Kero turned 30. (In the picture, she's in the front row, second from the right.)
To celebrate, she had a dinner party at House of Genji, a teppanyaki-style restaurant in downtown San Jose. Teppanyaki is always great for a party - the cooks bring out the raw ingredients and prepare the food in front of you on a hot grill. The best chefs will also be showmen - throwing shrimp at you so you can catch it in your mouth, flashing his knives around in great shining arcs, and chattering up a storm.
The guy cooking for Kero's party was pretty good. He didn't talk a lot, but he had good aim when he threw food and he was very fair about engaging everyone in the party. First, he prepared the fried rice. He brought out a mountain of butter and I think he used nearly all of it as he cooked - now I know why fried rice from teppanyaki restaurants is always so much tastier than what I make at home! After cooking the egg and adding steamed rice and sauce, chopping up vegetables and adding them in too, he cleared the grill for the entrees. Most of the guys got steaks, and most of the women got seafood. Funny how that worked out! The birthday girl got both - steak and lobster, how delicious! - but hey, when you turn 30 you can eat whatever the heck you want.
So I was doing some math, and I realized that if Kero's 30, and we met in sophomore year of high school, I've officially known her for about half of my life. Weird! I don't think she's aged a day in all that time. It's truly amazing what some good Filipino genes will do.