Yippee! I finally finished my Christmas cards on Friday, and mailed them on Saturday. And today I finished wrapping presents. So it seems that everything holiday-related has been taken care of, with time to spare!
Let's review the past few days in reverse chronological order, shall we?
This afternoon I had a delightful lunch with a new friend, Amy. (I'm giving up on the pseudonyms.) She's been in NC since 1986, so she's the closest to a native as I've met. We ate at Carolina Bakery and Cafe in Raleigh, and then walked around the shops of Cameron Village. I'm told it is the oldest shopping center in the Southeast. It is outdoors. Today the high was in the low 40's, with a breeze that made it feel like the 30's. Brisk, to say the least. But they have lots of cute shops to browse in, and Amy and I chatted about her upcoming trip to Europe. She's going to Paris, Copenhagen, and Munich for ten days. I am so jealous!
The shops were not busy at all, which I thought was odd being that Christmas is only a week away. Of course, many of the shops are more like boutiques, and perhaps most people prefer to stretch their precious gift dollars at big box discount retailers. My money was spread around this year. I bought a fair amount of stuff online, both from regular merchants as well as on eBay. I also shopped at Target, Linens & Things, Bed Bath & Beyond, Hecht's, a bookstore in the mall, and Tuesday Morning (they're great for kids' toys!). I spent probably about as much this year as I did last year, despite being unemployed...I guess I'm operating under the assumption that I will get a job relatively early in the new year.
Yesterday I went with my parents to Salem St. in Apex, where we browsed the cute shops there. (Yes, lots of browsing, lots of cute shops lately.) Then later that night I went to "Cary's only night club," The Depot. My friend Larry is considering becoming part owner, and he invited me to see what it's like. I felt so la-dee-dah important walking in and saying, "I'm a guest of so-and-so," watching the lady speak into her walkie talkie, "She's on the list," and then being escorted in. Of course, there were no velvet ropes or throngs dying to be granted entrance, but still. Now, I'm not much of a night club person. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't really dance (except in the privacy of my own living room!). I don't have anything in my wardrobe that would qualify as "clubbing clothes." And I certainly don't like the pick-up scene. But Larry insisted it would be totally fine to just sit and talk with him and his fiancee. Which is what I ended up doing. It was very loud, so we had to practically shout, but the conversation was lively so overall it was a good time.
Friday morning I had breakfast with Laura at Bob Evans. We met at 9:30...which meant I had to wake up earlier than I have in a looooong time! There was a lot of ice on my car
but thankfully not on the roads.
Laura and I chatted until almost noon about the drama of setting up a Bunco group, her job, etc. Friday evening I went to Larry and Carlee's house for another game night. This time about 15 people showed up! We ordered pizza and Carlee had baked and decorated a beautiful Christmas cake. We were in two groups, not evenly divided. At first both of us were playing Apples to Apples, which was not as fun this time for some reason. Then we switched to Pictionary. I partnered with Carlee and we totally kicked butt! Some of the hard words I tried (unsuccessfully) to draw were "rinse" and "pivot." After six hours I was beat...but I heard that some people stayed until 2 am!
Thursday night I went for coffee with Arvind. He brought his laptop and he showed me lots of pictures. Most were from all the movies he's working on right now, but he also showed me a photo of himself skydiving. He also had some amazing shots of the desert, which I thought were beautiful. We've got plans to see The Constant Gardener tomorrow, and also to hit the craft stores. He likes to get the scraps left over from custom framings and use them in art pieces.