P: It's so good to see you guys! It's been forever!
M: We should try to set a monthly dinner date...we've missed you!
S: So what's new?
J: Tracy just turned four. She's growing ridiculously fast. Seems like yesterday she was a tiny infant in my arms.
S: Oh...that's so sweet. Did she like the teddy bear we sent?
M: She loved it! She named it Puki and the two of them are inseparable!
两对夫妇很久不见。It's been forever! 是夸张的说法，意思就是好久不见。 So what's new? 有什么新鲜事呢？ Jesse和Miika的女儿Tracy刚过四岁。She's growing ridiculously fast. 长得太快了。 Tracy很喜欢Paul和Sara送的泰迪熊，走到哪里都带在身边，The two of them are inseparable.
P: So how's work these days, Jesse? Times are tough, huh?
J: You know, you guys are such old friends...I'm not going to beat around the bush. I got laid off last month.
经济不好，Times are tough. Jesse说，大家都是老朋友，我就不拐弯抹角了。I am not going to beat around the bush. Beat around the bush, 是兜圈子的意思。I got laid off我被裁员了。
S: Oh, that's awful! But we should level with you too...the hospital cut me back to part-time.
M: I'm so sorry to hear that! You work such long hours! What explanation did they give?
S: They said they were outsourcing most of the hospital's paperwork to India...it costs like a third of what they are spending now.
J: Makes sense from a business perspective, but it's very unfortunate for you.
Sara也坦白地说，她在医院的工作从全职改成兼职了。 Level with somebody，向某人坦白。 Part-time，兼职工作。医院减少她的工作时间是为了节省开支，把大部分文书工作，paperwork，都外包到印度去了。
S: How about you? Why did you get a pink slip?
J: The company is "restructuring"...which in this case is a fancy word for going bankrupt.
P: Well, you two are some of the most resilient people I know...so what's the plan?
M: I'm taking more freelance writing work. I can do that from home and still watch Tracy. That way we save on daycare.
J: And I'm thinking I'll go back to school and finish my Master's Degree. Then when the economy picks up, I'll be much more marketable.
Miika说自己打算多做一些自由撰稿工作，freelance writing work. Jesse则打算回去完成硕士学位，Master's Degree，等待市场回暖。