After work I drove down to the house and did some organizing of the boxes that are slowly taking over my livingroom. I moved some dishes and such into the kitchen, rebuilt my coffee table and my end tables and then placed them. I set up my two lamps, with one on the end table in the livingroom near the window, and the other on the end table that I placed with the coffee table in the family room. After the lamps were set up I discovered that one of them had burned out every filament in the three-way bulb. I was almost ready to despair when I remembered seeing some bulbs in the furnace closet. Sure enough, I hit paydirt after I dug through the shelves; there was a bag containing a stash of six or seven Sylvania 3-way bulbs up there. Yay, I didn't have to spend more money! After I got the lamps working I hung up a few more pieces of art, placing one in my bedroom and another in the family room. Things about the place are starting to look a little more "home-like" to me, and my comfort level when I'm there is gradually increasing with each step I make.
Around 6:35 roho and enveri arrived at the house. We walked around and talked some, waiting for duncandahusky and takaza to pull up so we could go out to dinner. Apparently traffic and bad directions conspired to keep them away but after a brief phone call I got them steered in the right direction, and they arrived soon after. I gave them the penny tour (there's not enough set up in the house yet to really warrant charging a nickel or a dime) and was pretty amused at their reactions. Their thoughts pretty much mirror what I've gotten from others who have seen the property, so I at least know I'm on the right track with the various things I have identified for upgrades. At this time it's chiefly the bathrooms, the kitchen floor and the kitchen countertops along with the baseboards and some electrical work to make the switches behave in some sort of manner that emulates consistancy and logic.
Dinner was had at Chili's, which has a surprisingly robust Atkins-friendly menu with a very nice price as well. While I'm accustomed to paying high prices to eat out this reasonable cost for a diet-friendly meal provides an added incentive for low-carb folks such as myself to return in the future. A lot of food, a lot of talk and a little drink was passed around. When we finished dinner we walked to the nearby Oberweiss dairy store where Duncan, Takaza and Roho all got tasty dairy desserts. We talked some more, swapping stories about cats and friends, and yes... there was indeed some SMOF-like action that went down. I don't know how it is that I fell into this trap, but every time I'm around a certain group of people I end up "talking shop" about the convention. We wound up spending almost 45 minutes in the dairy store before we drove back to my house by taking a route that I can only describe as "very back-road." As Genet said during the fiasco, "The best way to get to know your new neighborhood is to get lost in it." While we didn't get lost and arrived intact there was definately some Zen Driving going down.
Once back at the house a little scotch was taken in (I really twisted Duncan's arm on that) and we talked some more. Roho and Genet felt it best to get on the road so they could be home at a reasonable hour, so they left around 9:40. Duncan, Takaza and I stood around my livingroom for another 20 minutes or so (at this time I have no chairs or couch, I am truly a poor host) and talked, then likewise decided it would be good for us to drive to our respective crashspaces. A quick tour of the garage ensued and I had to give a demonstration as to just how tight a fit it is for my truck with respect to height thanks to that damn luggage rack. I don't think anybody appreciated until then how truly close I am to having to shoe-horn my Expedition into there. And yes, I remembered to turn off the water before I left this time!
The drive up to the apartment was nice and quiet, with very little traffic on the tollways and almost no stupid drivers. When I got into the apartment Ra was maiowling piteously and as soon as I sat down at the computer to write this entry he jumped into my lap and refused to be dislodged -- I think he may have missed me during the day, but I'm not entirely convinced it wasn't a pity ploy to coerce me to give him a double-ration of food tonight as an "I'm sorry" gesture. He is a devious little creature after all, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out he's playing little psychological games with me.
In the end I enjoyed myself a great deal tonight for two big reasons: the very pleasant company of a multitude of good friends and the burst of productivity I experienced in the house with unpacking and making things more to my liking. The bit of housework I achieved before people arrived really served as a catalyst for me, and it's encouraging to think that I could set a reasonable goal of completing my move-in by this time next week.
Take me home tonight