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Heirloom Bean Chili with Garnishes (cheese, rice, avocado, and onions)
Winter Green Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Quince and Apple Crisp
Agua de Jamaica
Dark Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake
Beer / Coffee Porter / Pot Filler / Gluten-Free Cider
After COFFEE TIME, Eric picked me up at 6:25 (he had to work from home today) so we could go to Jeremy's. I had his Ganong Delecto dark peppermint creams and Christmas card, plus Jeremy's FROSTY THE SNOWMAN Advent calendar and Christmas card. I'd also decided to give Ayler my old NIV Reference Bible (from 2010) for later in life. HA! Eric and I talked about life on the way there ("Christmas spirit?" "Well, I can't bitch about it being too early to mention Christmas..."), Wo's Restaurant, his not seeing Jon's new place apart from moving help, that Kwong Chow dinner, and his asking if I liked hot or cold yoga. Hahaha, no! I do know there are places near Jeremy's that offer it, though. We passed by the Boiling Point Hot Soup Restaurant which I'd seen on Yelp a couple years ago, too. The Canucks played Toronto at 4 today, and won 2-1, which I heard about later. When we got to Jeremy's apartment, I could hear what seemed like Randal pontificating on something, so I commented on this to Eric in a low voice. After hearing a little more of this "pontificating," I understood that it was the pre-dinner prayer. Oh well!
I saw Ayler and Hiero for two minutes as they were getting ready to leave with Harmony, and Ayler greeted me with "You should be here earlier!" Hahaha! I told him that Eric had had to work from home today, so that hadn't been possible. Then Jon said that I could have been there earlier had I not been too lazy to take the bus. Whatever - Eric had enabled it by being home when I called his cell at 2:30 to see what was going on after he hadn't answered my email reply last night! I asked Ayler if that meant he wanted to see me more, and he said yes. I think that's a good sign, so I said I'd see him on Monday. "And then Wednesday!" he said. No, that isn't going to happen! I managed to offload the Bible to Harmony since she had the cleanest hands out of her and the kids before they left. Later, Jon said that if I didn't hear from him, I should come on Monday - his student had been sick last week, so he'll call to see if the lesson is still going on. I also said that I'd sent Steph his address, so she'll send him that baby card with Henry (but I said "some mail") when she gets around to it. I gave Jeremy his FROSTY THE SNOWMAN Advent calendar, which he apparently really loved because he used to watch that exact FROSTY THE SNOWMAN cartoon religiously as a child! Hahaha, I'm glad that he really loved it! Of course he thanked me! He was also surprised at the pile of mostly change that I dumped on the donations table, deciding to raise my payment by two loonies and a toonie. (Jon's smoker friend Edwin left at this point, too)
I talked to Dilys and Trish about using Ayler and Hiero's leftover mugs (kid cooties can't get us!), wedding card / wedding thanks etiquette, early Christmas decorating / Christmas songs, Jesse's brother Hubert holding hands with a girl named Amanda at their first group meetup at a movie (that worked for them), Steph / Lisa / Fraser / Henry (Dilys had seen Steph and Lisa with my parents at a White Spot on Kingsway [?] while she was pregnant with Fraser), cookbooks, reading books, non-fiction, swearing around kids, hillbilly society, and documentaries after saying hi to a guy named Jonathan / Caleb / Jesse / Christon / Gino / Quan / Rebecca. Then I finally got a chance to ask Kevin whether he'd received the MEGA SUSHI email two months ago (couldn't do it at the Wo's Restaurant dinner), but he said that it must not have come through his inbox, then apologized. Nothing to be done about that!
Later, the phone was off the hook, so some people showed up randomly. I told Dilys that at the last dinner, I had accidentally locked Jon out of the apartment when he came back from taking the kids home with Harmony; I'd locked Jeremy's apartment door out of habit! I shouted over the music to ask Randal about NaNoWriMo, but he hadn't done it. He did say that there was a local challenge to write a novel in three days - yeah, I could never do that! Also, he mentioned that it was too loud with the music and other conversations. Not as bad as the Shark Club, man! I said hi to Ivan, who said I looked the same with my festive "jeweled" shirt and Santa hat - OF COURSE! Dilys asked if the clock chimed - yes, it did! Someone asked whether Jeremy had a VHS collection, but nope! He did have vinyl records, for sure! Christon told us about the Willingdon café $5 meal ministry before he left early.
Later, Jeremy was showing Trish some Christmas ornaments and decorations (including candy canes, which my nephews had recognized) on the Christmas tree. Lots of yearly ornaments and inheritances from his grandma! There was a bird feeder decoration from his grandma, and Eric wanted to ask Jeremy whether there was a leftover Communion glass there. Nobody heard him, so I used my existing NG lungpower to relay the question. Jeremy gave us a look, looked at the decoration again, and laughed - there was indeed a Communion cup! I had to laugh and said that Eric had NAILED IT! Ivan, Randal, Eric, and I talked about "accident" kids like Hiero and Ivan's brother Nathan, kids ten months apart, Richmond life, renting, his paying cheap rent to his parents, night shifts / managerial positions not being worth it for sleep / money considerations, the high gasoline prices (147.9?), Ivan's having to make FOUR trips to and from Richmond / Steveston to the Italian Cultural Centre because Stanley's wedding cake fell through (but they then got 500 different doughnuts from Steveston - PLAN BETTER FOR LESS DRIVING!), a pharmacist job, the new Shoppers Drug Mart near my place, the Richmond Centre Shoppers Drug Mart, patients wanting to set him up with their kids, my mom wanting to set me up with John Law once, how Mom acts when she's drunk (like the mooncake at Thanksgiving lunch 2007 at the townhouse - Kevin said that I had a good memory if Randal couldn't remember what happened WHEN HE HAD BEEN THERE!), Dad and others getting old, and the declining attendance at VCEFC.
I remembered to ask about the small group situation (Crossroads), but everyone in existing positions is overstressed and overstretched because there are fewer people around since they've left for various reasons. Awana is still a thing, but the leader-to-kid ratio is something like one leader to eight kids, as opposed to one leader for three or four kids like when I was doing it with Anita and Melia. The Fellowship situation may be starting up again with another version of David Fellowship, but lots of people have pre-existing small group commitments once or twice a month already, so the connection aspect may not be there if people only go to the big group once a month or so. Eric and I left at around 10:10, after I'd asked Ivan whether the church website had a livestreaming service, but he and Eric just chuckled - nope, probably not, although I do remember that they record the services and put them up at some point during the week.
When we left after I had drunken trouble with my winter jacket (Jeremy laughed - but I did thank him for hosting and all of that), Eric wondered if I'd had an enjoyable evening - I had, and so had he. He reminded himself not to go into robot mode, and I reminded him again when we got near that important turn-off. In the parking lot at 10:30, I asked what it meant if the computer restarted randomly or Windows didn't start up properly some of the time. I'm sure it could be a number of things, but I didn't want to set up something right then. He isn't even going to church tomorrow because he has a lot of work to do! I'll just email him later sometime, but it is time for bed now! Yep, Jimmy seems odd in the "wait a minute - why are you not saying anything?" way, but it's best to leave that alone.