Like sand through the hourglass

Holy frick on a stick it’s been two week since my last post.

WHERE IS THE WORLD SLIPPING AWAY TOO?

I don’t know about you folks, but here in Vancity it is frozen like a frozen thing. We’ve had big puffs of fluffy white stuff falling from the frigid grey heavens for two days straight now. I don’t go anywhere without my massive winter coat and big boots because goodness knows I wouldn’t want to end up stranded in a rogue snow drift unprepared!

Goodness knows.

Speaking of unprepared – can we hit the pause button so I can possibly get my act together and think about what needs to happen in preparation for the big December Two Five?

Everywhere there might be a feeling of Christmas, but there’s also a feeling of urgency and stress!

Egads.

In similar news, Marc and I keep racing about like mad gophers, trying to keep up with all of our work and volunteer-related commitments.

I’m still doing the comedy thing, but definitely taking on less gigs than earlier this year, what with my sanity being held together by an all too fragile thread. I’ve also been hosting the Storytelling Show, running up a storm (up until the buckets snow started falling to the ground that is), and doing a ton of United Way speaking engagements.

We’ve also been knee-deep in DIY home repairs (Ms. Java can you hear me? I have foolishly followed in your footsteps!), repainting our walls, and installing new carpet in the upstairs.

I am pretty ready for our house to go back to normal.

Whatever that is.

BUT HOLY COMFORT BATMAN.

Who knew what a difference a new carpet could make?  I never!

It’s seriously like walking on heaven. My little feets smile up a storm every time I get out of bed and step on that sweet, soft carpet-y goodness.

Riiiiight….

OKAY.

I promise to actually write a real blog post this week, not just this insane mish-mash of my life’s eccentricities plus a collection of photographs of all the delicious treats I eat.

But until that time!

Here we go…

YES.

A+ Snacks.
A+ Snacks.

Cat.

Evil Nymeria.
Evil Nymeria.

Birds.

Conspiring to murder.
Conspiring to murder.

Book.

Book LOVE.
Book LOVE.

Boy.

My love.
My love.

Happiest of days to you my fab chaps!

I hope that everything for you is both merry and bright.

Love Actually, is, all around (can we move the Japanese Ambassador to 4pm tomorrow?)

Well, it seems as though the Christmas season has officially arrived here on the West Coast of Canada.

Which means, it’s only a matter of time before I watch my three favourite holiday movies:

Muppets Christmas Carol

Home Alone

Love Actually

It’s actually the third film on this list that was the impetus for me writing this post.

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I was thinking about when would be an appropriate time to sit down for our yearly viewing of this masterpiece, before asking myself (for maybe the millionth time) – DID ALAN RICKMAN REALLY CHEAT ON EMMA THOMPSON?

This questions has been plaguing me for the past ten years.

Common consensus would say, yes, Harry and Mia did in fact engage in coitus (hence why we see her putting the necklace on in her undies, with an unmade bed in the background – I HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE MANY TIMES) but I have such a hard time accepting this reality.

But most likely this is because of my all-consuming, and always growing love for Ms. Thompson.

Ya know?

EXACTLY.

Anyway, even though to me, this movie is perfect (to paraphrase Rick Grimes and all), here are a few other problems that always arise upon every viewing.

*holds up sign of mummified human being*

Too much?

ONWARDS!

1. I don’t believe that Colin Firth’s (Jamie’s) wife would cheat on him with his brother. I mean, THAT GUY? Really? HIM? Could they not have cast some crazy, smoking hot dude (a real Carl if you will!) to play this part?

And why is everyone so disappointed that Uncle Jamie isn’t staying with the family for Christmas? HIS BROTHER WAS SEXING HIS WIFE BEHIND HIS BACK! The fact that his entire brood of blood relatives is willing to excuse that horrible behaviour, but is insanely upset that Jamie won’t carve the bloody turkey is WAY COLD. And I’m not buying it!

Although “I HATE Uncle Jamie!” has become one of Marc’s and my most favourite sayings to date, so – not all bad I suppose.

2. “Miss Dunkin’ Donuts 2003.”

COME ON RICHARD CURTIS. We all know Aurelia’s Portuguese Dad isn’t using that as his insult of choice when he’s fat-shaming his other daughter.

What the hell man? IF you’re going to go for the cheap weight-related joke, at the very least use your imagination and don’t just go for the lazy laugh!

3. That photo of Harry (Alan Rickman) and Bernard (his son), framed on Karen (Emma Thompson’s) dresser cracks me up every time I see it. Bernard just looks completely nuts, and is making the most bonkers face of life.

I can never NOT see it now.

4. What is UP with the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary (Is that her title?) who likes to make fun of Natalie? Is she in love with the Prime Minister? Why the hell would she make such a crappy comment about the size of Natalie’s bum? I mean, isn’t that crazy unprofessional? I DON’T GET IT.

5. Daniel (Liam Neeson) and his step-son get over his wife’s death way too quickly. Also, no one learns to play the drums in a week. TAKE THAT YA WEE MONGREL!

6. Do we really think that backpack is chock-a-block filled with condoms?

7. What is UP with girls from Wisconsin? Is Christmas Eve and Budweiser some kind of lethal sex combination for these young ladies OR WHAT?

8. Look man, I think Kiera Knightley is as lovely as the next gal, but what the heck is up with that wedding dress? Midriff baring? In the middle of winter? And is she wearing feathers in her hair? I mean, look how effortlessly amazing Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is in his suit. Could we not have at least tried to match this?

9. Also, am I the only one who thought that Mark (Peter’s best friend) was in love with Peter? I still kind of wish that this was, in fact, the case. And that he really did hate Juliet, because she had taken away not only his best friend, but the love of his life.

10. LAURA LINNEY. What are you doing friend!? TAKE CARL AND RAVISH HIM. We all die, over and over again, every time we watch you waste such a magical chance to bed Carl the enigmatic chief designer-cum-underwear model!

So there you have it dudes. My (small!) beefs with one of the best holiday movies of all time.

Do you agree?

Disagree?

Let me know.

But in the meantime, I’ll let Joanna have the last word:

All I want for Christmas is YOU.

(And you.)

(And you!)

Tis the season

I’ve been thinking.

It’s funny the memories that stick.

No matter how hard I try to focus on one single moving, sentimental, emotionally wrenching moment that my sisters, mum, and I have shared, the first thing that always pops into my mind is this: a snap shot of us sitting on our the living room floor, parked in front of the roaring gas fireplace, Christmas day eve.

My little sister is eating a bowl of bran buds cereal.

She sits cross-legged on a lavender and brown floor rug, her roomy sweatpants covered in cat hair.  What is left of her Christmas day finery is swamped by a large, black hoody and the thick, knit scarf she received in her stocking earlier that morning is looped loosely around her shoulders and neck.

A Christmas cracker crown sits on top of her head, lopsided, sagging slightly to the right side, like the droopy smile of a dreaming child.  Her back rests up against the steamer truck my mother uses as a coffee table and she is laughing so hard, tears repeatedly spring to the corner of her eyes; one after the other the come, each taking the place of the others that are now streaming down her cheeks and dropping to the floor.

Her face flushes deep scarlet and as the trill of her giggles descends in pitch from high heehees to low hohos, I catch an eyeful of all the freshly masticated bran that sits dead square inside of her mouth.

My mother, my older sister and I are all laughing as well.  Jessi has been complaining for a couple of days that she hasn’t had a good “go” in almost a week, and is worried about the lack of fibre in her daily diet.  After a solid twenty-four hours of hearing about our sibling’s lack of progress in this sensitive, intestinal department, we’ve decided that the digestion of one big bowl of roughage should not only help her out, but should also be a family affair.

At first reticent to the idea, as clearly emphasized by her emphatic “don’t-look-at-me!” pleas, Jessi eventually wholeheartedly embraces this experience, and even acts the color commentator to her progress, using her spoon as microphone.

(All of this happens in-between her bursts of gut-busting laugher.)

As Jessi slowly makes her way through her late evening snack, she pauses a moment, dries her eyes, and lets us know, unequivocal in her sincerity, that she really hopes that this endeavour will work in her favour.

We let her know that we too, are rooting for her.

And she’s set off again, laughing so hard we have to give her a swift whack on the back.  Little flecks of bran that originally flew down the wrong tube are quickly assigned a new trajectory, and their landing pad sits clear across the living room.  A bedazzled reindeer get the worst of these food fireworks.

Our cat Simon, skittish on a good day, beetles quickly under the nearest sofa, spooked by Jessi’s demonic half-cough, half-cackle.   His increasingly whacko behaviour has me more than certain he is only half-cat.

After a few sips of water and a more tempered back rub, Jessi picks up her spoon and takes another bite of her now soggy, limp buds.

“That was a little scary, she says.  She pauses before continuing.  “I would never want to die constipated, full of bran.”

Oh how we roar, alongside the flickering flames of the festively-decked fireplace, on that Christmas day in the evening.

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The usual, please

This Christmas I went running.

It’s tradition.

I don’t know when exactly this custom of mine started, but for the past five or so odd years I have found myself pounding the pavement – sometime betwixt the hours of nine and five – come the twenty-fifth of December.

And I love it.

Many of you who read this blog know that I am a bit of a nut when it comes to running.

For those of who don’t, running is my meditation, my calm. It allows me to bring focus and clarity to the busiest (and most bonkers) of days; it allows me to both greet the morning sun, and to bask in the late afternoon dusk.

When I run, I am life.

I am love.

And on Christmas –  a day that marks so much love and life, that is chock-a-block full of bustle, and laughter, of wrapping, and lace – I like to sneak away for a half hour or so.

I lace up my runners, and slip on a toque, and run, run, run, until my lungs fill with fire, and my eyes cry wind-swept tears, and my cheeks burn from the sun, and the fine sea salt spray – and I can feel my blood rushing from the top of my head, to the tips of my toes.

And with each stride, with each step, I feel this love and life.

So yesterday I ran.

From my mother’s house I flew – across park, road, and path, buoyed (or blasted) by strong gusts of wind, I raced up to the top of the Halifax Citadel.

My breath strong, yet steady, and my legs felt weightless (although that could have been the cold.)

And there, at the top, overlooking all of the city –

I felt on top of the world.

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And all through the house

Happy Christmas eve beauty cats!

After a good twenty-eight hours of traveling, M and I finally made it to Halifax safe and sound.

We had a long wait at SeaTac, so we enjoyed some wine and dessert at one of the airport’s lounges.

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Wines from Spain, Argentina and Chile. We liked the Chilean the best.

It’s a hard life, but you know, we’re happy to take one for the team.

(It’s pretty nuts knowing that it’s cheaper for us to drive to a DIFFERENT COUNTRY and then fly back to Canada, than to just purchase tickets out of YVR, BUT! That is a post for another day – I am too relaxed, and the house smells too good, and I am wearing too sparkly of a skirt, and I have a too sleepy cat in my lap to care all that much.)

I am warm, and happy, and snuggly, and fab.

The city here is cold, but beautiful, and our house twinkles in the glow of tea lights and fire light, and the snow flurries wink as they dance past the windowpanes.

ALSO. We have big, BIG news!

My sister and her long-time partner Mel just got engaged!

This fills me with so much happiness it’s practically impossible to communicate just how truly chuffed I really am. They are a brilliant couple and I cannot wait to see them declare their love for one another in front of family and friends next summer in New York.

We’ve only been here but a day and things are rolling like rolling things.

Here are some snaps for the past twenty-four hours:

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Fireplace mantel decked to the nines.
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Snoopy skating about the place. An all-time favourite ornament for all three sisters.
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Beauty sister.
Basement cat Simon. Getting pats from Mr. M.
Basement cat Simon. Getting pats from Mr. M.
Monsieur Rufus doing his own thing, despite our pleas for him to get off the table.
Monsieur Rufus doing his own thing, despite our pleas for him to get off the table.
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Cousins are doing it for themselves. In flannel.
Our tree trimmed with care.
Our tree trimmed with care.

Wishing you all the merriest of merries, and a Christmas filled with laughter and love, friends and family, peace and joy.

I toast to each and every one of you! xx