December 25, 2009
Happy Christmas one and all! I wanted to tell you about my abnormally early drive home. As each year dictates, I go to the folks place for Christmas Eve which is when we have our Christmas. Trying to do it on the traditional Christmas morning had become rushed and almost impossible because of the face time we would have to put in at the homes of our relatives. It was just annoying, no time to enjoy it for ourselves. So now we do it the night before so the relatives can enjoy our company to their little hearts content without having us arrive with the demeanor of disgruntled ogres. We may still be arriving feeling less than cheerful right off the bat; it just takes a little bit to settle into the new surroundings of Nana and Gido's home and the abundance of family awaiting our arrival. Back to the origins of the ramblings: after the gift opening, each of us began toying with our respective mountains of new stuff. I was pleased to receive the one thing I had asked for, plus a very large and unexpected surprise. Everyone got what they had asked for in addition to the weird oddities they would never waste a wish on. For example: black 'satin' dorags. My mother is so hip she put it on (correctly without instruction which is phenomenal) and proceeded to throw up the gang signs that only a mother could conjure. Normally after about an hour or so everyone will gather at the dinner table for grilled cheese sandwiches. By the time that would normally occur, we were all so enamored with our new possessions that the grilled cheese portion of the evening was nowhere near as formal as it has been in years past. I had already fallen asleep on the couch on top of the cat's new blanket. It was soft and kept my abdomen warm. I awoke at 4am and assembled my jacket, boots, etc. for the drive home. Floyd needs some Christmas face time too. He also needs to be fed before I leave for the whole of Christmas day. The drive home was a strange beauty, but absolutely comfortable. The icy fog had draped itself onto every inch of the freeway and had spread throughout every nook and cranny of the trees, lamp posts, and buildings. It looked and felt post-apocalyptic. The apocalypse = sheer comfort. Odd indeed. I think it's the stillness of the atmosphere. The quiet. The sense that knowing that there's just you and few others that managed to persevere and survive. The 30 minute drive showed me one pedestrian and 4 cars. A really small amount of survivors compared to a regular day in this booming metropolis. I decided to take the scenic route: the road along the north bank of the river. If there was any place that would feel still and fragile, it would be this road. A piece of a time capsule appearing untouched by the cruel hand of time. Going up the hill to the NW downtown 'core', you can generally always see the university across the river. Even when it's a groggy day of overcast the lit construction crane is more or less always visible. This morning, nothing in sight. It's as if The Fates had reached out and woven their thread throughout the chasm between myself and the university area. A weave so thick that absolutely nothing was in sight, save for a few shrubs and trees directly in front of me. I pulled over to indulge in the moment. I reference The Fates because it felt as if it was their responsibility for the lack of activity and warmth, it was stagnant and freezing, your lungs would be a good testament to the temperature. Everything had ceased to move, not a whisper nor a shudder from any form of life that was evident to exist in this spot, just the sight of my frosty breath.....and the exhaust from my car accompanied by the kind of too loud, slightly hard rock tunes emanating from the vehicle. Oh well, the feeling of being all alone in the world still remains. I cherish it. Now The Fates can snip the life of that moment in time and end it all for good. Or at least until the next apocalypse. Warm wishes and good tidings to you and your kin! Happy Christmas, yo! Breathe.
December 9, 2009
For the first time (in recent memory that is) I actually felt patriotic. It's not that I've never been proud of being Canadian and I'm not a self-hating Canadian, I just never really FELT Canadian. Or FELT happy about it; no warm fuzzies. But today, that all changed. Roar of the Rings: 2009 Curling Trials. I saw the Women's Draw this afternoon. It was really cool (no pun intended) and inspiring. I should be a curler. A Champ. Picture this: clear ice sheets with the announcer coming out to get the party started. Then pipers enter as leaders of the pack; all 8 teams follow and the crowds of many cheer and applaud. Then an almost deliberately planned silence falls amongst the Coliseum. Not forced, we're just polite like that. The national anthem begins. Everyone sings loud and proud, even the parts en francais. Another part that makes us who we are. Bilingual. Bountiful. As the afternoon games carry on, the Coliseum's level of support and rivalry intensifies. You could feel it in your bones, so much so that it gave you goosebumps. I went with my friend Stephen and we each were cheering for different teams on different sheets. His team was ranked top, but lost by one point. My team won. Victory! Yet they have a few rounds to go in the semi finals in order to see who is going to the Winter Olympics this year. Hahaha, I saw a man with a foam hat in the shape of a curling rock. Very hip. A good day all around. How was yours? Eventful I pray. Funny how a few hours in the presence of athletes and their sport (one of which I never really gave a passing thought to) could change my perspective and give me a renewed sense of being. Yes it's cold outside, but I'll march into it knowing that I, amongst many others, were born to handle it with ease. Gotta get some long johns. ASAP. Going to the Roar made me think of one of my favorite movies: Men With Brooms. Nothing but Canadiana throughout. Curling (of course, now you understand the segway), big comfy Cosby knit sweaters, The Tragically Hip, and Paul Gross: a hunk by nature and a devastatingly true Canadian to the core. Side note of a Gross recommendation: Due South. Just watch it. Nothing beats The Hip. Nothing. Not even the man in the foam hat. Another film I saw a number of years ago is also entirely Canadian in content and phenomenally refreshing: Souvenir of Canada. Based on the book of the same name by Douglas Coupland. You can watch a few trailers here. Go out and venture into your local TV entertainment retail outlet, whichever it may be (I choose HMV to start) and purchase this amazing film. You will thoroughly enjoy it. Let me give you a little taste: you see modern lit interpretations of Native totem poles that are found across this great land, dual headed geese that stand at random and some that grow on the walls. Knits, quilts, tuques, and maple syrup. Can't forget that. It all sounds delicious. What dreams are made of, right? Want to go to a dreamland? Visit the Rockies. You won't see or wish to be anywhere more beautiful. A gigantic playground for the mind, body, and soul. Come play! And don't forget to try our syrup. Breathe.
December 6, 2009
My friends! 'Tis the season of boxes, bobbles, and bright sparkly things. Are you as excited as I am?! I should hope so. I seem to find myself lost between the me of present day and the me of days past. This year I am more proud of my Christmas tree than I have ever been: all my ornaments coordinate and I made my own tree topper because I had "lost" my star. Lo and behold, I find the damn thing once I have my elaborately constructed owl topper complete and perched upon his new throne. It was a good thing. The star wouldn't fit the eclectic theme anyways. The owl by the by has been named Crepuscular. The me of days past: instead of unplugging the tree lights and going to bed, I turn off all the other lights in the apartment and sleep on the love seat couch. I must sleep in the fetal position in order to fit comfortably. I choose to sleep there because I like the gentle light that haunts that corner of the room. It's a comfort. Safe for a sweet slumber. Try it, I guarantee you'll love it, at least once.....unless you have an addictive personality which is also wonderfully acceptable. For the first time in my gift wrapping career, when I folded the seam over the side to tape it secure, the pattern of the paper lined up perfectly! How amazing is that?! I couldn't believe it, even though it was just on one side, it's definitely worth mentioning. I took a photo to immortalize the moment. Geek. I never use gift bags, it's such a cop out. There's no creativity in it. Boxes, that's the way to go. Just imagine the possibilities you have with all the different types of ribbon, bows, bells, and glitter! How glorious and exciting! The twinkle in my eye explodes with immense glee. Gushing, just gushing at the thought of how delicious this season is. No matter that it's -30C (or colder) outside, December is the place to be. And it must have snow or it just isn't the same. Wild rabbits. I saw one this evening and he was perfectly white. No gray or brown tipped ears. He was pure and undeniably attractive. I wanted to take him home. Instead of whisking him away to a place of warmth, I stood there and thought for a short while about his life as he cautiously bounced away. Where does he live? Is he concerned about the ice? (I have never seen a rabbit slip on ice. Have you?) Is he cold? <--- I got a wee bit sad when this thought crossed my mind because the worse case scenario popped in my head: nowhere to sleep and freezing. What does he eat now and where does he get it? Has he befriended some lonely homeless man who feeds him fresh lettuce which he purchased with his panhandling earnings? They are family. I smile with the complimentary warm fuzzies and go inside happy with the thought of the small family that exists close by. I love that song. Do you? You should. Jefferson Airplane - "White Rabbit". Ideal for any season, any day, any time. Grace Slick. Absolutely the greatest name ever. Maybe I'll get my name legally changed. Good idea you think? Hmm.....moving onwards and upwards..... My family. A combination of outspoken weirdos with very strong personalities. The holidays are always interesting of course. This year, we have a big twist: family holiday vacation to Hawaii. Dad and I had the same concern: is there enough liquor on that island for all of us? Will we make it through? Eventually we lowered our blood pressures in a timely and safe manner when we were sure that there would be a plethora of alcohol. Disclaimer: we are not alcoholics, it just makes everything more fun and slightly more bearable sometimes, when we need a situation to be bearable. You know what I mean. You probably have the same family. And I'm sure you would have the same concern we did. I desperately need to clean this horrid living area that is my apartment. I must do it before I leave for the Pacific. My one and only is caring for Floyd and they don't need to deal with the mess. I'm a slob. Amongst all the gift shopping for others, I've managed (yet again) to buy more stuff for me. Damn it. I mean that sarcastically and truthfully. I don't need that stuff, but I wanted it and am pleased to have it. I woke up yesterday to the mail being hurdled through the mail slot of the apartment door. To my surprise and sheer joy, the ring I had ordered finally arrived. A beautiful modern ring with an antique charm. Perfection. I bought a small handful of new make up. As usual, I don't need it because I have an enormous amount of make up for someone who doesn't wear a lot of it. I figured, why not? I have a mildly glamorous company/supplier Christmas party on Saturday and I can't wait. Musn't forget to charge the camera battery, that will be a serious accessory for the evening. Many friends and colleagues will be there, cheer, laughter, and spirits will be had and hilarious photos shall ensue. Once again, Floyd is sitting on my lap. It's cute and sweet and he keeps me warm. Better than him laying the keyboard and giving you unintelligible gibberish. Watching "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction" quite funny, a few old jokes here and there, but funny nonetheless. I still have to see "Gentlemen Broncos", nothing but pure quirkiness there. "Oh my holy crap. Surveillance does. I hate those." I think I'll watch "Fear and Loathing..." instead, I need a fill of White Rabbit and shenanigans infused with drugs. Sounds fun and all in a fire apple red convertible in bat country. Joyous. Well I must depart. Off to sleep like a fetus in the glow of Crepuscular's throne and have visions of sugarplums dance in my twisted mind. Try it, satisfaction guaranteed. Breathe.