I guess I'll start with yesterday morning. Roshani had to cancel on me, because she came down with stomach flu, poor baby. Ick yuck. That left me a few people short at dinner, and especially lacking a sparkling female to keep the conversation lively. I was bemoaning this lack to Kevin, and he pointed out that I could, in fact, invite Karen if I wanted to. I was startled by this concept, but realized that I had been wanting to show Karen my place, and show Karen Kevin (so she would acknowledge that he does in fact exist, which she had been quite dubious about), and that she would be a perfect dinner companion. So I called her -- and she said yes! Eep!
I spent the rest of the day in happy anticipation and pleasant cleaning and cooking. I finished unpacking -- hooray!!! Such a relief to have the living room free of boxes I can't tell you. I was sick sick sick to death of the damn things. Took them all downstairs and threw them away, too. The room looked so much more open and lovely afterwards -- I should have taken photos. I will soon -- I'll walk through and give you a tour of the whole place. I almost had time to clean it all -- the master closet is something of a mess, since that's where all the last minute items I didn't have time to deal with got tossed. As the day went on and time grew short, my menu got smaller and smaller, but I still ended up with several dishes, and it all came out pretty decently (could have cooked the green beans a bit longer, oh well). Nalo and Jennifer and Shannon and Rich arrived, and we had wine and fruit while waiting for the rice to cook -- somewhere in there Karen arrived, and I showed her the place (which she likes, I think, though it's still a bit bare...Kev's definitely got a pretty minimal aesthetic, and it's been interesting trying to merge his tastes with mine). Then more alcohol (Jennifer brought fabulous daiquiris) and lots and lots of food and much good conversation. Very pleasant.
After everyone else left, around 11?, Kev and Karen and I stayed up talking 'til 1:30 or so. Fun! Karen does in fact acknowledge that he exists, and I think she even likes him a little. He's reasonably likable, once he actually starts talking to you. Kev can be very very quiet in large groups.
This morning, I woke up to Karen curled up in my living room, wearing a beautiful flowing white nightgown (which, with her long black waves of hair made her look just like a medieval princess), reading The Thread That Binds the Bones (the only Nina Kiriki Hoffman she hadn't read). I made us tea, and then checked e-mail while she read. Now she's making us omelettes, yum... A little later, Roshani and Tom and Zoe will come by, and we'll all go to lunch at Artopolis; I want to introduce them, and also show her the place where I eat so often these days. Not sure what we'll do after that -- maybe IKEA, maybe sightseeing, maybe she'll just head back up. Depends on what she's in the mood for.
Whatever we do, it'll be good. It's lovely having her so close -- not that a little closer wouldn't be nice (can't we just pick up Madison and move it an hour south? It's not so big...), but still, to be able to do a spontaneous dinner invitation is delightful. And having my friends in my new home makes it feel even more mine somehow -- I need to get more of them to come visit, to intensify the effect. :-)