with no roommate and all my neighboring neighbors gone for the weekend (including my upstairs neighbors), i had the most serene night of sleep last night. it was like sleeping in the woods, it was so quiet and peaceful. i didn't wake up until almost 11:00.

with all the talk about black friday yesterday around the thanksgiving table, i wasn't surprised when my shopaholic mother called asking me if i wanted to go with her and my 2nd aunt to the somerville target to do some shopping. i was actually going to go to walgreens to look for some christmas lights on sale, and agreed to go if only we could stop there first. they came to pick me up shortly after 11:00. my mother dropped off some leftover turkey and came inside the house to get something to drink. she remarked how clean the house was. i told her it was because i have a roommate (otherwise the house can easily degrade to a pigsty in a matter of minutes).

i found the lights i was looking for at walgreens - 50 multi-colored LED lights (dome bulb) - but they weren't on sale anymore. the deal i saw online was 3 boxes of lights for $10. now they were selling for $5 each, the sticker price. it was still a bargain though so i bought a box. my mother ended up buying a suitcase on sale for $10. it probably wasn't the best suitcase, but it seemed sturdy enough, and even the store manager - who was hovering around the cash register - noted it was a real bargain. my 2nd aunt seemed restless, and pressured us to get to target.

turns out my 2nd aunt had an ulterior motive. the whole reason why she wanted to go to target was a friend of hers from church had gone this morning (as part of the early morning door black friday buster brigade) and bought 2 dirt devil vacuum cleaner that were on sale for $9 each (normally $20). when we finally got there, the shelf space where the dirt devil vacuum was supposed to be was completely empty. looks like we got there too late, but who could compete with early birds who camped out at the store overnight for bargains?

disappointed, my mother told my aunt that she'd try the watertown target in the hopes that they may have the vacuum still in stock. i could also go online and see if she could buy it from their website. we were about to leave but the gravitational pull of black friday deals was too irresistible, and soon my mother and aunt were drawn into some serious shopping as the cart began to fill up with merchandise. my mother bought a small sewing machine, the singer 1409 promise, usually $90, but was on sale today for $59. i've actually wanted to buy a sewing machine myself, to do some clothes alterations and other DIY projects. my mother had one from the 80's but it probably doesn't work anymore. i can't wait to try out this new machine. the last time i used one was in middle school, in my home economics class. half of the class was devoted to cooking, while the other half was sewing. i think i made a pillow. i never took the class seriously though, it was basically an elective to hang out with friends and fool around. now 20+ years later, i'll be reliving those home ec moments!

while wandering around the store, my mother came across this big pile of vacuums selling for $9. turns out they were the model my aunt was looking for - the dirt devil versa power stick vac. it was selling so cheaply my mother decided to buy one herself, even though i tried to talk her out of it. my parents already have a powerful hoover vacuum cleaner. it's kind of unwieldy, but it's many magnitudes more powerful (in terms of suckage, that's a good thing) than this dirt devil. but my mother reasoned that if she didn't like it, she could always bring it back for a refund.

we finally left target by 1:00. by then i was a little flustered, because i was basically stranded there. i only needed to go to walgreens. if i didn't come with them, i could've have been at home hours ago.

when i got back home, i opened up my box of LED lights. i was surprised to see a little disclaimer saying that these lights were intended for seasonal use only, for a period of no more than 90 days. what if i want to leave them on all year long? would they then fail? advertised as dome bulb, that's actually just a marketing term for essentially naked LED's, without any special bulb. i think the bulbs make a big difference, give the lights some shape instead of just pin-pricks of colors. i strung them up by my front living room window, and set up a timer rig to automated the lighting.

i was out in the backyard working on polishing the rust off of the rear fender. i removed some more rust, but to get it completely back to bare metal is just too much work. the steel brush head of the power drill is just too big to really fit inside the curved inner surface of the fender. i also tried cleaning the rusty handlebar of the trek 800, but i think it's beyond saving. the rust makes the bike look like a piece of junk anyway so nobody would want to steal it. as the final step, i sprayed a few layers of clear varnish inside the fender.

my mother actually came by my house while i was in the backyard. i didn't have my phone with me so i didn't get her message, but i did hear voices out front. by the time i raced back inside the house, she and my 2nd aunt had driven away. later i found out they were returning to target to return a jacket my aunt had bought but was the wrong size. they came by asking me if i wanted to come along (the answering would be no).

for dinner i had some turkey roll-ups. i ate while watching the raptors-celtics game.

i haven't seen the LED lights from the outside yet, but they seem very bright. i prefer some sort of bulb covering, to diffuse the light a little bit. i looked down my street from my window and haven't seen anyone else with their holiday lights out yet. i'm the first! which is ironic, since i have no holiday/christmas tradition. for me, x-mas lights are a purely secular decoration.