James in a Santa hat at work. Last couple days or so. Today there was a rather heavyset middle-aged man ordering at the counter, and he called out “Hey, Santa!”

At first I thought it was just some customer, but a bit later James came out and sat with him and the woman he was with for a bit. Then I realized it was James’ dad and stepmom! They recently moved to Vegas, but must’ve been here visiting.

I recognized them from photos I’ve seen online… Facebook snooping, you know.

They were planning some outing or other for tomorrow after James gets home from school. They were sitting just a short distance from where I was, so I was able to overhear part of the conversation, but not all of it. I think the girlfriend was mentioned, however. “Bring her along,” Dad said.

And I think I caught her name. Tara. Apparently she works there with James. She did look vaguely familiar that time I saw them together on the bus, but I didn’t recall seeing her working there.

Is she why James never speaks to me at work anymore, I’m wondering?

After a few minutes, James returned to work behind the counter. Dad and stepmom remained, lingering over their food and drink. I thought of maybe speaking briefly with the dad and telling him what a fine young man I think James is, but decided it was a bad idea.

A side effect of all this is that now I have the song “Santa Baby” stuck in my head and can’t get rid of it… even though I hate that song!


The tenants at Jim’s rental house have moved out. Now there’s going to be a period of repainting, cleaning carpets, and maybe some repairs, after which Joe and I, and some guy named Philip, and Jim himself, will move in.

I’d thought maybe all that would happen this month, but Joe told me we’ll probably be staying put until March or April. Sigh of relief on my part because, although I do want to be living on the West Side again, I wasn’t ready to leave this house, location-challenged as it is. I don’t think the buses are as convenient at the West Side location, and I really didn’t want to deal with all that in bitter cold weather. Joe said Philip will probably move in before we do. I’m confident that everything will work out for my highest good, and I’m just going to leave it at that.