Thursday, 30 December 2010

21st Century Revival


You may recall that Hubby and I were recently dismayed by the fact that we've lost the television remote.  Not that we don't have three other remotes, but that this one is required in order to ensure that whatever we're watching is stretched to the right screen size - wide or square, short or long, zoomed in or out.

And holy shit - he found it.  "I just had an effing revelation" he claimed.   

The whole recovery started when last night I asked him to go online and find out how much a new one would cost.  40 friggin bucks, apparently.   

"I'm telling you - it's in that couch" he said. 

"No, I checked the couch a hundred times, inside and out, under and behind cushions, behind the lining.  It' not in the couch"  I replied.

"I'm telling you, it has to be."

"No way.  You definitely picked it up with your phone or something and put it down somewhere else in the house.  You just did that last week!"

I had him there.  Last weekend he came upstairs and brought his phone, its charger, and the basement tv remote with him into the kitchen. 

But he wouldn't let it go.  This morning he repeated his hunch:  "It's in that damn couch."

"Nope."

Well, he proceeded to pull out the couch from the wall and dive in behind it.  I ignored him.  He dug around back there for a while and then his head popped up from between the wall and the sofa.

"Oh my god, com'ere!"  he said. 

"No way.  You're kidding."

When I refused to get up from my comfy chair, he explained how he "just knew it" - he just "had a feeling".  He explained how when you reach behind the pillows into the lining, you think you've gone as far as you can, but there is apparently a lining behind the lining - and Hubby was apparently smart enough to know that. 

He jumped up from behind the couch, arm out-stretched in the air, remote in hand. 

Ahh, sweet redemption. 

The obligatory victory dance and crazy laughter followed, and he is, as we speak, singing up a storm in the shower. 

Ok, so, Hubby: 1; Wifey: 3,226,517. 

_

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

What's the 411?

I heard some interesting news stories recently, and as part of my goal to inform and enlighten, I’ve summarized them here (with some editorial comments, of course) for your reading pleasure.

The British government officially recognized the iconic Abbey Road crosswalk as a national treasure. 

Finally, a government makes a good decision.  After years of tourists taking their shoes off and arguing over who gets to be Lennon, this new designation means that the crossing can only be altered with the approval of local authorities, who must consider the historic significance.  I just hope the “local authorities” are put through a rigorous screening process.  We wouldn’t want just anyone making these decisions.  How can we trust them to “consider the historic significance” with the appropriate vigor?  This isn’t some stupid old church or castle – this is the Abbey Road Crossing, for godsake.

Apparently, ballerinas should cut back on the sugar plums.

That’s nice, eh?  A New York Times reviewer “critiqued” the Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy ballerina for her weight.  The ballerina, as many others, has struggled with eating disorders, and some smartass pompous asshole critic said she "looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many."  What a joke.  In fact, I think the friggin Sugar. Plum. Fairy. should actually be chubby – it would be more realistic.  And if he wants to critique the show, fine, but critiquing the show and passing personal judgments on the performers are different things.  Who does this guy think he is?  Well, I Googled him, and it turns out that he does seem pretty effing stuck up.

Avatar was the most pirated film of 2010.

That’s hilarious.  Not only does Avatar make the most money in theatres, but it encourages a proportional amount of on-line theft.  The 3D film, which James Cameron devoted 10 years to making (loser) was apparently downloaded 16.6 million times.  Cameron hoped that 3D filmmaking would combat piracy by persuading more people to see the film in theatres, but Avatar was downloaded 33% more than last year's most pirated film (Star Trek).  Well, that’s what you get Mr. Hot Shot.  I haven’t seen it, and I don’t intend to.  Much like Lord of the Rings, I am stubbornly resistant to all the hype.

George W's memoir has sold more than 2 million copies.

Who is buying this shit?  “Decision Points” was released in November and surpassed the two million sales mark shortly afterward.  Bush was paid $7 million to write about 9/11, his Afghanistan and Iraq war decisions, and his response to Hurricane Katrina – as well as his resolve to stop drinking.  Sarah Palin's 2009 memoir, “Going Rogue”, sold 2.2 million copies.  I can only hope that people read this stuff for a laugh – or perhaps out of pure fascination – because if they are reading it to get insight into these two idiot’s minds, they’d better look elsewhere.  I bet their day-to-day interviews and speeches are far more revealing.

_

Monday, 27 December 2010

Gimme gimme

Charitable and loving spirit... blah blah blah.  Gimme some presents!

We all know we don't need a bunch of new stuff every year.  But that doesn't mean we don't like to get it. 

All of my gifts this year were wonderful.  Ma-in-law made me a gorgeous knitted scarf.  And not a fuzzy old lady scarf either - a silky jewel blue scarf that took her at least 30 hours to make.  Hubby actually spent day upon day making Pops-in-law a Cribbage board too, so I guess Pops and I have to make each other something next year to balance it out.  Maybe I'll make him some hooch. 

We got some other great gifts too, of course - almost everything on our lists.  Beautiful jewelery, home decor, towels and sheets, makeup and bath products, gift cards, squash balls and sauce, just to name a few (those last two are Hubby's of course).

We also bought ourselves a laptop - which we LOVE.  And with his own holiday winnings, Hubby bought himself an Ipod touch.  He is, as we speak, laughing gleefully as he video-chats with his buddies in Hometown.  

Even Patches and Tuxedo are in the gift-receiving spirit. 

Tuxedo just loves checking out the gifts under the tree

And Patch can't decide which she prefers...

her current food bowl...

or the auto feeder that her fairy godmother got her.


As for me, although I received several amazing gifts, I think I've identified my favourite.  


This is my parka cape - ie, my new better-than-a-snuggie snuggie. 

It has a zipper to allow for the conversion from head-hole to blanket, and pockets to keep my hands warm (or, in my case, to hold my remotes).  The only problem is that when I walk up the stairs, it trips me, and when I sit down, it pulls backwards and chokes me. 

Hubby says one day he'll come home to find me strangled by my own parka cape.  That would be a shame, I guess, but nevertheless worth the risk.

_

When it's all said and done

I woke up at 6 am yesterday with a combination of the excitement and nervousness akin to that of Christmas Day as a child, and my wedding day last year (though to a lesser extent, of course).  I was really looking forward to this, and, in the end, it was friggin fun. 

A few things I learned: 

First, when it's your kitchen, you're in charge.  Sweeeeet.  If you ever want to give your family orders, your kitchen on the day you're preparing a giant meal for them is the day to do it.  They're really quite helpful and they generally have to listen to what you say. 

Second, if you are willing to rely on people to do what they do better than you, you will get credit for it.  Without my chef uncle to help me make Cornish game hens, who knows what we'd have eaten.  And if I had not relied on my guest greeters, and game players, and pastry rollers, and gift distributers, and ribbon rollers, and drink pourers, and vegy choppers, and food platers, and desert servers, and dish washers, "my" dinner would have been - and my house would still be - a disaster.  This is not a task you can accomplish all by yourself.  But you do get to pretend that you did. 

Third, no matter what all you scrooges say (haha), two trees are totally worth it.  One tree for us to enjoy upstairs, and one tree for 20 people to open gifts under downstairs.  And, maybe a third tree next year (just to piss off Hubby, who is really looking forward to dragging them out of the house this week).   

And finally, I learned that it isn't really about all that shit anyway. When it's all said and done, Christmas is never about the hell we put ourselves through.  It's about being charitable, and expressing love, and ultimately, getting presents - or wait no - maybe it's just the first two. 

_

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Let the festivities begin!

Well, the day is officially here.  Boxing Day!  The day we've all been waiting for.  The day where 16 family members will be joining Hubby and I for a holiday dinner, the likes of which I have never prepared before.  

Not to say Christmas Eve and Day were not also great, but today is Main Event.   

Christmas Eve was spent on last minute errands, a suchi dinner, and opening our gifts (including THIS brand new laptop!).  We missed our families, but it was nice to not be rushed on Christmas Eve, and to sleep in our own bed. 

But Christmas Day was a different story - of course it was spent preparing for the Main Event. 

We moved furniture, wrapped gifts, set tables, vacuumed floors, prepared food, and peeled endless stickers off of endless bowls, plates, cups, and other serving dishes.

And you should see the refrigerator.  I'm sure I've never seen so much cold food in my life.  

We had one setback though.  

We went to the neighbours' in the afternoon to spread some holiday cheer, and they offered us a drink.  Bad idea, given that I've been too occupied/stressed to sleep or eat.  Two glasses of white on the emptiest stomach of all time is NOT the best decision I've ever made.  Awesome.    

Well, I'm not sure if you've ever had an afternoon hangover, but it isn't pleasant.  After I slept it off for a bit, I battled the headache and rose above it, only to stay up until midnight getting everything just right.  

So far it looks good.  And I have a minor sense of the childhood Christmas-morning glee. 

More to come...

_

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Fa la la la la, la la, la la

Ok.  I am officially in the spirit. 

Deck the Halls with bows of holly!   Yes, we have 2.5 Christmas trees – a little fake one in the front window, and two big real ones for the tv room and basement.  And yes, I certainly did have to buy more decorations for this heightened level of festivity.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

‘Tis the season to be jolly!   I’ve shopped and shopped every night for weeks, and baked and baked all day last Sunday, and I’ve enjoyed nearly every minute of it.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Don we now our gay apparel!   And I’ve been wearing my Santa hat and blinking reindeer nose at work almost every day, too.  Fa la la, la la la, la, la, la!

Troll the ancient Yule tide carol!   I’ve watched almost every Christmas movie ever made… National Lampoon’s Wonderful Life, Home Alone Elf, and Bad Santa Miracle … and I love them all!  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

See the blazing Yule before us!   We just bought MORE fire wood and Hubby is wheel-barrelling it from the giant pile on our driveway through the snow to the back shed as we speak.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Strike the harp and join the chorus!   And I’ve been looking up lyrics and guitar tabs to prepare for the family sing along that I intend on forcing our guests to take part in.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Follow me in merry measure!   Hubby and I even drove around looking at Christmas lights the other night, and actually, I’ve just heard of one more particularly crazy street that we will have to check out in the coming days.  Fa la la, la la la, la, la, la!

While I tell of Yule tide treasure!   And you'd better bet that I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that I was bitten by a rabid Christmas elf and therefore have gone Christmas crazy with yuletide cheer - crazy enough to invite 20 people to my house for Boxing Day dinner… AND that I can’t. friggin. wait.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Fast away the old year passes!   And I’ve been making my list, and checking it twice, thrice, and four times, to make sure we have everything we “need” in time for the big day (including a green table runner, spreading knives, and two sets of salt and pepper shakers).  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Hail the new, ye lads and lasses!   And I expect to get everyone drunk enough that they’ll be more willing to play my games and eat my food.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Sing we joyous, all together!   And Hubby was merry enough this morning to sing Christmas carols in the shower. (Only, they weren’t real Christmas carols – they were Hubby’s Christmas carols, with random lyrics and rude rhymes – but I enjoyed it nonetheless.)  Fa la la, la la la, la, la, la!

Heedless of the wind and weather…   Well, despite my seemingly endless Christmas spirit, I continue to curse the winter every damn morning when I leave the house.  Fa laaa laaa laaa laa, laa laa… laaaaa… laaaaaaaaa…..

If you're feeling Christmassy like me, check this out
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Monday, 13 December 2010

Four day weekend - friend or foe?

I think I feel more tired after four days off than I did before.  

Ok, maybe not.  

But it's close.  

Given that I was brilliant enough to invite 20 some-odd people for Boxing Day dinner (and that 19 were crazy enough to accept), I have a lot to do.  Not to mention all the other holiday related garbage - um, I mean, planning - we have to do in December.  

So I took Friday and Monday off to make a dent in my ever-growing to-do list.  And I was fairly successful.  That's a pro.  But I've also completely worn myself out.  That's a con.  


Day One
  • Woke up at 5:30 when Hubby went to work, and failed to fall back to sleep - con
  • Watched The Young and the Restless for the first time in months - pro
  • Got groceries and other so-called "necessities" at Walmart - con
  • Cleaned the house - con, mostly
  • Argued with Hubby about changing the sheets - con
  • Changed the sheets by myself - bigass con
Day Two
  • Scrapbooked (which is, by the way, a pretty nice gift, considering the time it takes to get it right ) - pro
  • Did laundry - con
  • Invited the neighbours for dinner - pro
  • Cleaned the house better - con
  • Got better groceries - con
  • Ate dinner, drank wine, played games - huge pro
  • Went in the neighbour's hot tub (against my better judgment) - minor pro
  • Took advil - pro, I guess
  • Drank water - pro... yeah, pro
  • Fell "asleep" - big pro
Day Three
  • Slept in (kinda) - pro 
  • Ate Kraft Dinner for Breakfast - delicious pro 
  • Played Wii with Hubby - pro
  • Until we had to work as a team, and it was all downhill from there - con
  • Scrapbooked and watched "The Santa Clause" - pro, and pro
Day Four
  • Woke up at 5:30 when Hubby went to work, but managed to fall back to sleep - pro
  • Went to the dentist for a "check up" (ie, an xray and a dentist poking each of my teeth once with a sharp stick) - con
  • Went shopping... for two hours - um, pro
  • Ate A&W for lunch - disgusting con 
  • Continued shopping... for two more hours - dwindling pro
  • Went to the bank (to beg them not to drop me as a client after seeing how much money I spent today) - con
  • Went to the post office (to pay more money for mailing gifts and cards) - con  
  • Scrapbooked again - pro
  • Took a hot bath - PRO
  • Bloggy bloggy bloggy - pro pro pro

Et voila.  Here we are.  And overall, it was a fun and productive four-day weekend.

Don't worry.  I promise to be more festive in the coming days.  

__

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Is having a car really worth this?

Hubby’s mom recently pointed out – and I wholeheartedly agree – that vehicles are nothing but an utter and complete nuisance.  SUCH a pain in the ass.

Allow me to demonstrate. 

For more than a year, to change from floor heater to window defroster on Hubby’s truck, he has been required to manually click the switch located beneath the dashboard, by his feet. 

Troublesome.

On top of that, for a few weeks, Hubby has been driving around without signals or reverse lights.  He can simulate signals with a complicated brake-pumping, signal-flicking method, but I think we can all agree that's not a feasible long-term solution. 

Troublesome and frustrating.   

And kinda dangerous, actually. 

And so, a few weeks ago, I drove Hubby around the neighbourhood to find a mechanic to fix the lights.  The dirty guy had no idea what the problem was, and ended up avoiding Hubby’s call. 

Ok... let’s try someone else. 

So Monday morning we drove our two vehicles to my regular mechanic to fix the truck lights and heater.  Hubby drove me to work in my car, after which we planned to switch-er-oo the vehicles to get my oil and tires changed. 

Well, in the end, they had no idea how to fix the truck heater, and never even got to my car, BUT, apparently fixed the truck lights – for $300.

So Tuesday we both drove again – this time to Canadian Tire – to fix the truck heater (and to hopefully pull the previously planned switch-er-oo to get my oil and tires changed). 

Well, on the way to Crappy Tire, the truck taillight fuse blew again. 

So… not fixed, then.  Fine.   

And, to top it off, the idiots at Crappy Tire couldn’t fix the heater either.  Apparently, a $500 part is needed.  And when Hubby didn’t want to pay for a problem that wasn’t solved, he had to argue with the Canadian Tire “Service Manager” to get some of his money back. 

Dirty. 

And of course, they never got to my oil and tires. 

So, this morning, my car was the priority.  Again, we followed each other to my mechanic.  Hubby drove me to work in his truck, after which he planned to go argue with my mechanic about the $300 for his un-fixed lights.

Well, there’s not much the mechanic can do about the $300, he says, and they’re still troubleshooting the damn light problem. 

And we can’t really afford to fix the heater right now.    

And although my car’s oil and tires are taken care of, my muffler is apparently hanging by a thread.

Goddam it, you have to be kidding me. 

 

Thursday, 2 December 2010

When life gives you lemons...

Hubby called me at work this morning with some apparently traumatic news.

“I forgot to tell you!” he exclaimed.  “A bus hit my truck yesterday!”

Huh. I gotta say – I’m not surprised.

Apparently Hubby was at a red light waiting to turn left, when a city bus tried to squeeze by him in the right turning lane.  And all of a sudden, his truck jolted.

It took him only a few seconds to realize what had happened, and even fewer to get damned pissed about it.

“So I kinda chased after him for a bit.”

Ok, a little more surprising.

Hubby in his pickup truck, pulling out of the left turning lane and turning right, weaving around traffic, blaring on his horn, racing behind the city bus.

What did he intend on doing about it?

“I don’t know!  I didn’t know what to doooo!  Maybe I’d get out of the truck and talk to the driver at the next stop, or something.”

Yeah.  Good idea.

“So then I thought ‘this isn’t gonna work’”

No, I should think not.

And when he finally pulled over to check the damage, and saw that no real damage had been inflicted, he was really at a loss for what to do next.

“So it was number 644.  I remembered so you could tell them.”

Sorry, so I could tell them?  Tell who what?

It seems that Hubby thinks the City should at least know that a stupid bus driver hit his precious truck.  And that I should be the one to enlighten them.

“I just think it’s unfair.”

Well sure, it's unfair.  But that’s the whole reality of city buses and everything about them.  Unfair.

It’s unfair that they splash people when they drive by, and that they’re never on time, and that I can get a ticket for 'parking and riding'.

And it's certainly unfair that they can hit your vehicle and totally get away with it.

But we all know what they say about fair.  That’s the kicker.  When something is totally unfair, there there is usually absolutely nothing you can do, except grit and bear it.

Or chase them.  Yes, I suppose you can always chase them. 

So when life gives you lemons - chase them.  And when the going gets tough - chase them.  And when a bus hits your pickup truck, whatever it takes and no matter how futile, for god's sake - friggin chase them.

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