Okay, does it say anywhere on here that this is a children's program? No. It says, "Bring the whole family." It doesn't say, "Come only if you have a family," now does it?
I arrived at the library at about seven until 10:00 and joined a few people, which quickly grew into a lot of people, standing outside in the cold, as the library didn't even open until 10:00. Does it make sense to you to say a program is going to start at 10:00 when they are not even going to open the doors to the place until 10:00? I'll answer for you, "No."
Once inside, there were no signs pointing to the area in which this little fête was taking place, and although the majority of people turned right into the children's section, I wasn't sure if the event was there or if they were just going there because they had, well, children with them. I poked my head in that section and I didn't see them all gathering anywhere, so I thought, "They must be going into the children's section to kill time with their kids until it starts."
After venturing upstairs, where I found my friend Jason who works there, he told me that it was downstairs, around and behind the stairs—a room that you can access through the children's section.
I found the room, which wasn't very big, and had a low stage across the entire length of one side and only about eight chairs set up. Most of the people were on the floor. With children. There were three musicians on the stage, and I actually knew the guy playing the guitar, although I couldn't place him at first as he was someone on a cross-campus team that I'm on that hasn't met for a while, hasn't met all that many times in total, and I don't see him at any other time.
A lady who seemed like she could have been in charge was standing behind me, and looking at the clock that indicated it was 10:07, she asked, "Is that the correct time?" Someone acknowledged that it was, and she made her way up to the stage to start.
"Hi, I'm Miss Jane, and this is Miss Emily," she said indicating a woman standing beside her. "Uht-oh," I thought. "Miss Jane and Miss Emily? Like in grade school teacher names?"
Then the baby talk started, "Boys and girls, are you with a grown person who sometimes gets a little fidgety and can't sit still? Yes? Well, if that happens, it's okay to just take them outside the room for a few minutes until they settle down. Would you do that for me if that happens?"
The trio played a nice little holiday song, which very well could have passed for an "adult song," so I once again got slightly hopeful that this wasn't exclusively for children.
Then they introduced the lady who was going to read the first story. I was thinking maybe it would be something like 'Twas the Night Before Christmas," but that was not to be. The lady opened a book that was about 12 pages long, with huge illustrations in it, and font the size of a large drink at McDonald's.
The book was about a little boy with an unfortunate choice of name, Peter, who was venturing outside on a cold winter's day. She held the book open and a little bit to the side of her face, and she read the two sentences on each of the two pages facing the audience. And then she hesitated while she moved the book in a semi-circle so everyone around the room could see the pictures. The first couple of lines were about Peter going outside to play in the snow.
"Did you play in the snow last weekend?" she asked, and somehow by the tone of her voice I knew she wasn't asking me.
At this point, it was becoming very obvious that this was a children's event, and in an effort to not seem like some kind of fifty-something-year-old pedophile, I started looking at the daddies in the room, some of which were actually kind of hot. But I dangerously digress...
She went on with the story and eventually read some line about Peter putting a snowball in his pocket and going back inside his house.
"Do you think that snowball in Peter's pocket is going to last???" she asked dramatically.
At this point, with daddies and peters and pockets on my mind, I sent a BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry text to Joe telling him that I'd be arriving at his house earlier than planned.
As soon as that excruciating story ended, they announced the next musical number, and I thought, "Okay. I'll wait until that starts and then I'll slip out in the middle of it," as I was not fortunate enough to have a little kid with me to take his squirming grown person out of there immediately.
"Boys and girls, one of our next musicians is going to be playing an instrument that maybe some of you have never seen. They're called bagpipes..." at which point I audibly groaned as I hate, hate, hate bagpipes, and she continued, "And it's okay to put your fingers in your ears if this is too loud, because this instrument is loud and there is no way to adjust the volume on it."
As soon as the woman started blowing into that contraption, I bee-lined it out of there.
This little Christmas tree near the coffee shop—which is right at the entrance to the library—and made out of books really appealed to me:
I arrived at Joe's and shortly after that we left for the Carolina Premium Outlets about 30-40 minuets away in Smithfield, NC. We considered going to the new Tanger Outlets in Mebane, but we thought it would be an absolute zoo there, since it's new, so we went to Smithfield instead.
It was a rainy day, which didn't add any enjoyment to walking around the stores there, since you have to walk outside to go from one store to another. We made stops in Harry & David's, Yankee Candles, Pepperidge Farms—which I was all stoked about until I realized it wasn't Hickory Farms, Bath & Body Works, and Carolina Pottery.
We overate at the nearby CiCi's Pizza, and then headed back to Raleigh.
After eating so much, I really, really, really needed to go to the gym, but I only had about an hour once I got home before I had to head out again, and the cold, drizzly day after an afternoon of shopping and a car ride home, just screamed, "Take a nap." To which I succumbed.
I met Robert and two of his co-workers, Patricia and Denise, and Denise's friend Elissa at the Armory in Durham at 6:00, where we played bingo until about 10:00. It was Drag Bingo, and this month's theme was Winter Wonderland. All of us ate dinner there to support the event, and I had two hotdogs, some chips, and a Milky Way bar, along with a soda.
None of us won, but we had a good time. At one point in the evening, they passed out a sheet of paper for every two or three rows of tables that had one of the Twelve Days of Christmas items on it, and our two rows of tables got, "Three French Hens."
All we were told when the sheet was handed to us was to make sure the other people sitting in our two rows of tables knew what we were and then we'd get further instruction later.
While waiting, we tried to remember all of the items in the song in order, and having trouble remembering what there were eleven of, I Googled the song lyrics on my phone, where we were reminded that it was eleven piper's piping, but in the course of it were horrified to see that Wikipedia said that it was four COLLY birds.
COLLY birds? Really? Really? Not calling birds? Really? Look for yourself. They do concede down in the variations section: "Some misinterpretations have crept into the English-language version over the years. The fourth day's gift is often stated as four "calling" birds but originally was four "colly" birds, using another word for a blackbird. The fifth day's gift of gold rings refers not to jewelery but to ring-necked birds such as the ring-necked pheasant. When these errors are corrected, the pattern of the first seven gifts all being birds is restored. There is a version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that is still sung in Sussex in which the four calling birds are replaced by canaries."
Who knew all that?
Anyway, what ended up happening was that the two emcees got in the middle of the room and started the song, "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..." and then everyone at the two or three tables that had "A partridge in a pear tree," stood up and sang that line. You had to sing the line AND act it out.
And so that continued all the way around the room all through the song. It got quite funny before it was all said and done. The lords of leaping people were out of control and I thought the people doing the maids-a-milking were quite funny with their mock udder milking. Fun, fun, fun!
I was supposed to meet Joe downtown after Drag Bingo, but by the time I left there my stomach was doing somersaults, no doubt due to all the crap I ate today, and how much. I checked in with him telling him that I absolutely had to make a stop by home, for reasons I won't go into but that you can surely surmise, but that I did plan on going out.
However, once home, I decided to stay there. Really, the last thing I needed on a stomach that wasn't stable was to go downtown and take in more (empty) calories of bourbon.
I had a devil of a time finding this holiday favorite of mine. Bob told me about this song that Anne Murray did, and when I tried to find it on youtube, it wasn't there by her.
However, I found this recording of it, which is called "Three Wishes" instead of "Christmas Wishes," and although I really don't care for this arrangement of it, it turns out it was one of those songs on that tape that my dad brought back with him, and I love, love, loved the version that was on it, although it was a male singer and I have no idea who it was.
I did listen to an MP3 version of Anne Murray's recording, which I like much, much better than this one for sure, but I couldn't find a video of it.