It was so good to see Cheri again, as we chatted, and I found out that she's working on a Fantasy novel while she's been off work. Mark gave us both Christmas gifts, something wrapped, plus a teddy bear in the bag with it. He's so sweet, and I've missed him a lot. I need his cheerfulness and wicked sense of humor... It was great to see Joe, my former boss, too. It's been a rough go, again this year, but things are looking up. An informal poll had only about 60% unemployment this year, as opposed to 80% last year. Still, that's daunting, as these are a lot of bright people. I can only hope I'm lucky enough to work with some of these people again.
Addenda: we always meet at "Stratus Cafeteria #1," The House of Orient. This is an excellent mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant, that never does huge business. I think all of us loyal former Stratus-ites help keep them in business. Well, I think they got a great Christmas present, last night, with our huge party half-filling the restaurant. I noticed the grins and hugs behind the register. Does my heart good to think we help them through the holidays. Best Tangerine Beef on the planet, too.