Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year and All That Jazz.

I really don't give a rat's ass about New Year's Eve anymore. Gone are the days when I wanted to go out and party all night. Gone are the days when I wanted to dress up in a fancy-shmancy new dress and sexy high heels. Gone are the days where I paid an exorbitant amount of money to get into the bar I usually go to for free. And gone are the days where I think waiting 2 hours for a cab is reasonable because it's New Year's.

Give me my love, a few close friends and maybe even some family. Give me my own living room or perhaps a friend's comfortable rec room. Take my keys away and put a glass of wine in my hand. Turn on the stereo and have Dick Clark muted on the TV. Conversation, laughter, the retelling of stories that we all know. A kiss as the clock strikes midnight. A phone call to those that aren't with me.

What could be better than that?

Not much in my book.

In keeping with tradition I wish you all a Happy New Year! Tonight I shall raise my glass many times. One of those times I shall be toasting you. All my new, wacky, wonderful friends in blogdom.

Happy New Year my friends. May the new year bring you joy and peace and happiness and all the good things in life. May it be very good to you and yours.


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Geek Nite Out.

It's a posting frenzy on Wings today. Three in one day has got to be a record. (For me)

* * * * * * *
Tonight Eric's buddy from up the street called him on his "Mike". For more than an hour they miked back and forth while Eric sat in front of his computer. They were both looking at the same computer store's online flyer. What should I buy? What is he buying? What are you going to buy? Blah blah blah.

For crying out loud. Just go across the street already. Then after all that they called a third guy from up the street and the three decided to actually go and hit the stores in person. Woo hoo.

Then after spending however many hundreds of dollars on computer stuff they're going to go out for dinner. Ain't that sweet? (Let it be noted that after Eric told me that the card he wants is only $100 I found out it will actually cost closer to $200.)

I still can't believe that we moved to a street where there are other Eric-like guys.

So while Eric's out being geeky I've decided to be geeky here. We're having a Lord of the Rings Marathon. For the last 3 years at Christmas, my family and I have gone out to the theatre to see each installment of the trilogy on the screen. This year we were a little lost that there was no new one to see. So last night we watched the extended version of the first one. Tonight it's the extended version of the second one. Tomorrow night, number 3. Not only did we get the extended version for Christmas but my Dad did too.

And Eric has already sent away his cheque (for $4) for the handy little case in which you can nicely showcase all 3 extended versions.

Aren't we a bunch?

It's All About Me....

I just got into a list mood. So I decided to expand upon my Random Facts About Me list. Beware though. This list is all about me.

Red is my favourite colour.

I have seen Weird Science hundreds of times.

I never wear white shoes.

My toe nails are always painted. Once time Eric painted gold stripes over my red nail polish. And then I went out shoe shopping.

I get stressed out easily.

I think that every woman should own at least one pair of red shoes.

When my parents come to visit, my mother usually leaves me a note (and sometimes a treat) under my pillow. I always look for it as soon as I get home.

I check blogs and email all day.

I have driven from Ottawa to Sarnia in 5 hours and 45 minutes. (That's pretty impressive.)

I can do toe tricks.

I cry when I'm angry. This frustrates me.

Lying is something I do well. But I don't do it often.

I once dated a man twice my age.

I'm comfortable with public speaking but I would rather speak in front of 50 strangers than in front of 50 friends.

I gave up making New Year's Resolutions years ago.

I'm thinking about taking up New Year's Resolutions again.

The boys used to make the girls play kissing tag in grade 3. Even then I loved boys. I had a crush on the kisser and secretly liked being caught.

I was the first girl in my class to wear a bra. (And it wasn't 'cause I wanted to.)

I once found myself being mean to a classmate just to fit in with the cool kids. I did it without thinking and have never forgotten how terribly I felt in the next instant. It is a moment of regret for me.

I have no confidence or coordination when it comes to sports.

I usually assume that people will forget me after meeting me.

I have nightmares about Tornados.

I really dislike talking to children on the phone. I'd rather they not call and thank me for the birthday present or the Christmas present or whatever.

I have been known to be jealous of my husband's video games.

Eric and I fight about things I never thought we'd ever fight about.

I didn't realize that I had even posted this when I did. It was kinda a work in progress but since I did already, what the hell, I guess that I'll leave it.

Get Stuffed.

I have been eating turkey for 6 days now.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Posting without really posting.

This is a good way to post when I don't really have time to come up with a real post. Thanks Jen. Here's one of those lists I feel compelled to complete. And actually I usually enjoy doing these listy things. And reading them too.

1) Name the last four things you have bought

-groceries
-wine
-gas
-Christmas cds

2) Name four drinks you regularly drink:

-red wine
-rye & coke
-coke
-coffee

3) Last time you cried?

Christmas Eve.
(But I almost cried yesterday when I managed to slice my thumb open on a corkscrew)

4) What is in your CD player?

-Car: mixed cd that my best friend's boyfriend made
-Upstairs: Moby
-Downstairs: Christmas cds

5) What is under your bed?

-box of toys
-stored comfortor
-books

6) What time did you wake up today?

-11am

7) Current hair?

-Long, dark brown, curly

8) Current clothes?

-really cute black sweater & cranberry-coloured cords

9) Current desktop picture?

-Christmas scene

10) Current worry?

-will I or won't I?

11) Current hate?

-my bitchy side

12) Favorite places to be?

-Home
-on vacation
-in bed
-at the cottage

13) Least favorite place?

-work
-at the Doctor's office

14) How tall are you?

-5’8”

15) Favorite expression?

-"bloody hell"
-"yikes"
-"I am so sure"

16) Two people from your past you wish you could talk to:

-Ben & Lou. 2 great friends from university. God I miss them.

17) Favorite day(s)?

-Saturday

18) Where would you like to go?

-Britain/Scotland
-Australia
-Out West
-Alaska
-New Orleans
-Maine
-oh the list is too long to continue

19) Where do you want to live when you get married?

-already married. It's kinda a done deal. But if I could I'd go somewhere without snow.

20) Favorite foods?

-all things bread
-french fries
-king crab drenched in butter
-ice cream
-peanut butter lindt chocolates
-another list too long to continue

21) Color of most clothes you own:

-black & red

22) Number of pillows you sleep with?

-two

23) What do you wear when you go to sleep:

-nothing but skin

24) What were you doing at 12AM last night:

-reading in bed

25) How old will you be in 10 years:

-42!!!!!!!!

26) Are you paranoid?!

-I don't think so. Do you think I am? Oh maybe I am! Did you say something? Why are you looking at me like that? What?

27) Do you burn or tan?

-Both. Start with a burn.

28) What is the brand of your wallet?

-Liz Claiborne

29) First piercing/tattoo?

-ears when I was quite young
-nose when I was early 2os
-tattoo when I was early 20s

30) What are you reading?

-The DaVinci Code
-The Captain's Verses
-I, Elizabeth

31) First enemy?

-Chana. That bitch. She just couldn't keep her hands of my guy.

32) Last person you yelled at?

-My Husband.

33) Latest crush?

-It's a secret. Could be anyone of you.

34) The last thing you ate?

-Spinach Dip

35) The last time you had sex was....

-night before last

Monday, December 27, 2004

Snaps of our Christmas Eve.

Just a few pics of our Christmas Eve. Crazy times were had.



Ally & Alycia.
My crazy sister and her funky girlfriend.



Alycia did my eyes for our Christmas Eve.

And Mom's too...

And then she painted Dad's head...

Our favourite pastime.

We call him Kitty.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

American Chopper Christmas

I sit here at the window looking out at a typical Montreal street-scene. We are on the downside of Christmas now. And it makes me sad. In a few days people will take down their lights and decorations and we will be subjected to the dull black, white and eternal grey of winter. There will no longer be any Christmas to look forward to. No cheery red and green to dress up the season any longer.

As much as I love December I sometimes wish that Christmas could be in February. It would certainly give this winter-bound country something to look forward to through the long winter months.

But that’s just me. I often say to Eric that if I ruled the world it would be a very different place. (Perhaps I’ll expand on that someday….)

On Christmas Day I can honestly say that I did something I’ve never done before. Well, I can say I did a couple of things.

Firstly, this is the first Christmas that I have been apart from my small family on Christmas. I am with my husband’s family which, of course, is still family. But it’s the first time that I have been apart from my own parents and only the second time I have been apart from my sister. (The first was when she was in Australia, travelling for a year.)

The second thing I’ve never done before is watch the American Chopper Christmas Day Marathon. Who knew? But watch it we did. From noon on Christmas Day we were glued to American Chopper, until I finally packed it in and headed to bed with my book (The DaVinci Code) at midnight. It was still going when I closed my eyes.

I like that show. It’s interesting and funny but to watch it for 12 hours did prove to be a little much.

This afternoon I shall curl up on the corner of the couch with The DaVinci Code and read by the pale light pouring through the window.

One thing is for sure. It’s sure nice to sit back and just relax. We shall be kicking into high gear again tomorrow when we celebrate Christmas with my family.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A Christmas Card.



So this is Christmas.

I will not wish you Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings. I will wish you a Merry Christmas.

To me, Christmas means warmth, family, friends, kindness, peace, love and hope. These are things that I wish for you all. So when I say Merry Christmas I want these things for you. And I treasure these things.

I count you among my friends (and some among my family).

And so I wish you the best.

I wish you the warmth of family and friends.

I wish you and yours peace for the season and for the coming year.

I wish you hope and joy and love.

I hope that you enjoy the festive lights as you drive to your parties and your gatherings.

I hope that if you're trapped in a mall looking for last minute presents that you can smile and take your time and be kind to the sales people. A little kindness goes a long way.

May there be a glint of the magic of the season in your eyes when you wake up on Christmas Morning.

May you believe in the spirit of Santa Claus this year.

Be safe.

From the bottom of my heart:

Merry Christmas.







One More.

Only one more day of work. One more early morning. One more commute. And then I'm off for ...... 10 days straight.

Oh I am sooooooo looking forward to time away from the office.

I hear that there is life outside of working and commuting. I hear that you can enjoy a Monday just as much as a Saturday if you're not working.

I can't wait to find out.








Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Day After.

Yesterday was a good day. Lunch out with friends, birthday cards, emails and phone calls and presents. And so many birthday wishes (poems even!) from my blogger friends. Thanks for that.

Last night when I got home from work there was a surprise waiting for me. My parents! They had travelled to see little old me on my birthday. Ain't that grand? We ate pizza and listened to Christmas music and yipped and yapped well into the night. They just came for the night. Isn't that fun?

And today the birthday continued. I met a dear friend for coffee in the middle of the day. What a nice break from the busyness. By my count this is Day 5 of birthday celebrations. (It all started with the tiara.)

And now my folks are gone and I sit here on my couch all by myself. My man is working late and I am in my comfy clothes with a glass of red close by. Tonight is a Me night. Tonight I shall blog and read and catch up on email.

There will be no furious last minute cleaning or baking or cooking. There will be no phone calls (if I can help it). The TV or the stereo will be on in the background. The tree and all the lights will be lit. The fire will be roaring and I .... shall .... relax.

Feels good.


Monday, December 20, 2004

But I Only Look 22.....

Today is my big day. Today I'm .......... 32. But, of course, I only look 22. Right?

I think that it's extremely unfair that my birthday falls on a Monday. I hate Mondays. (And it's so bloody cold out there today!) On the other hand I've been celebrating my birthday almost all weekend. Gotta love that.


31 was a remarkable year. Bought a house, got married, met new friends, bought a new car..... oh I could go on and on.

Am I where I thought I would be at 32? No. But even though I'm not where I pictured I'd be, it's still a pretty darn good place. I have a good life. I have wonderful friends. Although I'm far away from my family and old friends, my husband and my new friends are wonderful and I'll never feel alone as long as they're close by. And my blogger friends are close to me no matter where I live. I am thankful for that.


Although I might wish that I could say I'm 28 or I might wish that I look 22, I would not for one minute go back. My thirties have been wonderful and generous with me. I am richer in so many ways since I passed the 30 mark.

Yay for 32!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tiara-wearing Hostess.

Success. Sweet success. The whole weekend was a success.

Friday Night:

After racing home from work and blowing through the house like a tornado to get my last minute cleaning done, we waited for our houseguests to arrive. My best friend (Krista) and her best boy (Nick) drove 7 hours (from my home town) to spend the weekend with us and to help and participate in my fabulous dinner party. Krista and I drank copious amounts of red wine while we made up some of the food and set up the table. Then we drank more copious amounts of red wine while the four of us sat and chatted late into the night.

Things managed to get a little silly and for whatever reason I ended up rummaging around for my wedding tiara. Don't ask me what made me get it out. But dammit it sure seemed like a great idea and I absolutely needed to have it on. So I found it and wore it. (Everyone was jealous of me, I'm sure.)

Once we finally decided that perhaps we should go to bed since we were all looped, I realized just exactly how toasted I was. I managed to bouce off of every wall from living room to bedroom. Apparently I also managed to make my toothbrush fly across the bathroom and out into hall. (I think that's all a big lie though) I am a wild party.

Perhaps I kept the tiara on in bed? I can't remember but it probably would have seemed like a good idea at the time. ("Let's pretend I'm a princess tonight....")

Saturday:

Morning came pretty early and with it came one of the worst hangovers I've had in years. Actually, I can say that it rivalled the hangover I endured the day after my infamous 25th birthday although -- thankfully -- it didn't last as long.

As I stumbled out of bed to find some Advil and a glass of water, the evening started coming back to me. I had forgotten about ridiculous tiara-wearing until I saw it carelessy discarded on my dresser the next morning. Oh god. Excellent start.

I tried to make a decent start of it but just making a pot of coffee proved to be too much for me and my hangover so I went back to bed and forced Eric to get up to keep our guests company.

Suffice it to say that the whole morning was a complete write off.

Once I started feeling more human, the day ran pretty smoothly. We made up the rest of the food and sent the boys out for last a few last minute things. Krista started harrassing me into opening a bottle before guests started arriving. Twist. Twist. Twist. It was a done deal. First bottle opened. And so the night began.

We ended up having 2 cancellations so what had started out as a 14 person dinner party was reduced to 10. (Still a goodly amount for my small house.) We had enough food to feed at least 20 more people so needless to say Eric and I will be eating well for the next few days.

It was a great time and went off without a hitch. The drinks were flowing. The food was good. The company was wonderful. Our last guests left after 2am and the four of us were up till almost 4am.

And yes. The tiara came back out by the end of the night.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Delightful Blue Blush.

Often enough I have sat, rapt, in front of my computer waiting for my Gmail notifier to blush blue.

That cheerful shade of blue that means "Yahoo! Someone likes me."

So it seems fitting to link to Shadowbox's latest post: Ode to Gmail. It made me laugh and nod my head in agreement.

Thanks Shadow!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Keeping Company.

Do you ever glance around and find yourself in a state of awe at the amazing people around you? I do. And often.

Sometimes I feel like the tagalong that the cool kids tolerate. Nothing is ever said or done to make me feel that way. It's just that I so completely respect and admire the company that I'm keeping that I almost feel like I don't belong.

I'm not as talented as them. I'm not as funny. Nowhere near as insightful or eloquent. My best can still leave a lot to be desired and my imagination is sadly lacking. I work away and strive to do the best that I can but I wonder sometimes when I will be exposed for the mediocre being that I am.

I am blessed to know such extraordinary people. They make my world a better place.

Ice Cubes Down My Shirt.

Sometimes I'm just merrily moving along in my own little world and -- SPLASH! -- someone throws a glass of freezing cold water on me.

That's what it feels like anyway.

That'll teach me to get too comfortable.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I am so ..... linguistic?

Thanks to the Horse Guy for this one. What the hell? It was fun and a distraction.






Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence



You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.



Free to a good home...

It's proving difficult to give away turkeys. There is a need but since I can't drop them off at a food bin I'd have to go right to the food bank. It's way on the other side of town and only open till 4pm and not at all on weekends. Kinda difficult when I work till 430pm.

I have not given up. I will find the solution to my turkey conundrum. I will!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!

Here is my dilemna for the day.

I do not have a deep freeze. I have an upstairs fridge and a downstairs (beer and pop) fridge. Both have good sized freezers so I never bothered getting a deep freeze.

Every year my work gives me a turkey at Christmas. Usually I give it away but last year I did not.

This means that I still have a turkey in my freezer.

Soon I will be adding the next Christmas gift turkey to my turkey collection.

That means that I will have 2 turkeys in my freezers.

And soon I will be buying the Christmas turkey. You are shaking your head right now but neither of my gift turkeys are big enough for our Christmas dinner. So that means that I need to buy another one. (I have already put this off long enough.)

That means that I will have 3 turkeys in my freezers.

One of my guests for Christmas dinner is Kosher. I had to buy a kosher turkey breast. And it is quite large.

That means that I will have 2 smallish turkeys, 1 big turkey and a good sized turkey breast in my freezers.

And here is where the problem is: My freezers are full. (Already I have been forced to put all my Christmas baking in a cooler in the garage!)

So for dinner for the next few nights we need to eat 4 frozen pizzas, perogies, waffles, bread, cheesecake, roasters, soup, spagetti sauce, hamburgers, chicken, 5 lbs of ground beef, vegetables, penne, finger foods and whatever the hell else may be lurking in the freezers.

Oh goody.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Crunch Time.

I am throwing a dinner party this weekend.

Pretty cool eh?

Actually I don't know what got into to me. What started off as a dinner for 6 has grown to a sit down dinner for 14. What was I thinking? The guest list just kept growing and pretty soon it took on a life of it's own.

Have I mentioned that I've never cooked for more than 4 people?
Or how about that I only own a small, rickety table with 4 rickety chairs?
There's also the fact that I live a half hour outside of town so I may be putting up a good number of tipsy houseguests.

Ah well. I know it's all in good fun and every single person coming is a good friend of mine. I'm borrowing a table from a neighbour and stacking chairs from work. My best friend is coming from back home and she is an amazing cook so I plan on letting her take over. I bought lots of wine (and plan to buy more) so if all else fails I'll just get everyone drunk and it will be remembered as a fabulous time.

Besides what could possibly go wrong?

Ha ha ha.

So preparation for the weekend has now begun.

(Did I mention that we had a snowstorm here and that it took me almost 2 hours to get to work this morning?)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

All Dressed Up.



Christmas Party Fun last night. Since we so rarely get dressed up we thought we should take a couple of pics. You'll excuse the background please.

Anyway, we had a fun night and I remained reasonably sober. The meal was fantastic and we had fun dancing all night. Well, I should amend that. I danced. Eric sat at the table except for the couple of times I managed to drag him to the dance floor. (The dance floor could have used a little chunk and a little funk.) My boss, of all people, spent more time on the dance floor than any of the men (4 bumps on a log) at my table. I even got a couple of pics of the Director of Operations doing the Macarena. Ha! They will be filed safely away until I need them. I especially thought it was funny when the bigwigs got out there and boogied to Strokin'.

(Stroke it Clarence Carter but don't stroke so fast...)

There was another Christmas Party in the next room and they ended up crashing our party and dancing long into the night. I told my boss that they should invite the crashers every year. They seemed like a lot of fun.

So that's that. Today is housecleaning day. Must get back to it as hordes of people will soon be descending on my little house for the next couple of weeks all in the name of Christmas Cheer.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

But I Waaannnnna go...

Duran Duran is coming to Toronto. On a flipping Tuesday. I can't even just go down for a weekend. This makes me sad. I'd have to take time off work, pay for travel, tickets and lodging.

I can't justify it but damn I would haved liked to go.


Friday, December 10, 2004

A Day Gained.

Friday evening. 6:05 pm and I haven't left the house all day. How wonderful and unexpected.

I had to wait for the plumbers to come this morning (which is a whole other story). Because they weren't due until 8am or so, and I usually leave my house no later than 730am, I was able to gain sleep. Then, of course, they were late. They were here for a couple of hours and then after they left I had breakfast and contemplated going into work. Winter storm warning in effect here today so I called in and arranged to take the whole day as vacation. (I needed a day off as those around me will attest too.)

So I found myself with a whole delicious day stretched out in front of me. I made a lasagne, changed the bedding, did laundry, wrapped presents, did some Christmas baking and did some emailing. I also put some more decorations on the upstairs Christmas tree. My "to do" list got a little shorter today. I feel like I'm finally getting ahead of the game.

Tomorrow is my work Christmas party. I've gone for the last two years and it's ended up being a rip roaring good time both years. I've got a new sexy black dress to wear and sexy silver heels to go with it. I can hardly wait to have a cocktail or 8 and enjoy the company of my coworkers for once.

Lucky for me I married my designated driver. And lucky for me he never seems to mind carting his toasted wife around. In fact, he seems to find it incredibly amusing and always reaps the rewards of a happy, tipsy and amourous spouse.

Fighting the Battle.

The Inner Bitch is losing her battle. The nice me has a clear lead. Ha ha!


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Do They Know it's Christmas?

Am I the only one floored that Do They Know it's Christmas? is 20 years old? I was turning 12 when that came out. I remember singing that song on the school bus on the way home from school. If I'm completely honest, I have to admit that I still have the original "45" that I bought way back then. (Along with all my other 45s that I can't listen to.)

My 2 girlfriends and I thought that song was the cat's ass. While everyone else in our class was into Michael Jackson, we were huge British Rocker fans. Duran Duran was my absolute fave and their pictures plastered every spare bit of space on my bedroom walls (much to the dismy of my Mother). Imagine my swoon when we would watch the video of this great Christmas song and sigh every time they panned on Simon LeBon or John Taylor. Oh god.

Now they have remakes of the song. Who would have ever thought 20 years ago that song would be remade at least twice that I can think of off the top of my head? None are as good as the original though. At least Bono (remember when he was Bono Vox?) makes an appearance in the remake but they totally lose me with that little Rap bit close to the end. It just can't hold a candle to Boy George, Paul Young, Simon LeBon, Bono, George Michael and the whole gang.

Do They Know it's Christmas?
--Band Aid

It's Christmas time
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmas time
We let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms aroundthe world
At Christmas time

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmas time it's hard
But when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where theonly water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bellsthat ring
There are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time
Feed the world
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Andthere won't be snow in Africa
This Christmas time
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time
Feed the world
Let them know it's
Christmas time again

(Here's to you) raise a glass for everyone
(Here's to them) underneath that burning sun
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas
time


I am feeling just a little sentimental right now.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Remembrance.

For the last seven days now I've been opening up quotes and treats from my advent calendar. While they're all fantastic quotes, one has stuck out in my mind:

There are few sensations more painful, than in the midst of deep grief, to know that the season which we have always associated with mirth and rejoicing is at hand.

--Sarah Josepha Hale

While I'm not in the midst of deep grief this brings to mind my Grandparents. And I have found myself thinking about one or all of them at odd times lately. I actually lost my Mother's Mother on the cusp between Christmas Day and Boxing Day. That was... twelve years ago now I think. And maybe between that and finding myself without any grandparents left has made me think often of it these days.

I miss them. My Grandparents were all special and very unique people that I feel I didn't get the chance to know. That saddens me. My Grandpa M. (Lou) passed away when I was 18. 18 with the weight of the world on my shoulders. It was summer and I quit my job to stay with my Grandma M. (Pearl) while Grandpa was in the hospital. They lived in Toronto and there was no other family that could have done it at the time. We clashed. All the time. It just used to drive me crazy that she was still convinced that he would be coming home. He was 69 and I knew better. He was never coming home. What I didn't realize is that this was her, coping. But how could I have known then? I still remember shutting myself up in the bathroom with the phone cord stretched under the door sobbing on the phone with my Mom. I didn't want my Grandma to hear me but of course she did.

Lou had a profound effect on me. I got to know him in the end. We bonded and I took care of him. I wasn't there when he died and I've always felt badly about that. But shortly after he died he came to me in a dream. He came to say good bye. He brought someone else I didn't even know, and in my dream he brought me a bag of marbles (allys) to give to my sister. I remember that dream so well. We sat in the sun while reclining on lawnchairs at the side of my parents' house.

My Grandma M (Pearl) died a year and a half later. I'll never forget the profound disappointment I felt when I thought she had forgotten my birthday (which is very close to Christmas). And then she passed away suddenly. We travelled down to Toronto for the funeral and when I came back there was a birthday card in the mailbox for me addressed in her shakey handwriting. That was tough. I still have that card. I framed it.

My other Grandparents (Mary & Cecil) lived into their 80's. They were not taken from us so early. Cecil had a sad end. I'll never forget the last time I visited him in the hospital. It was Christmas and he cried when I said goodbye but I don't think that he even knew who I was. He was tiny and pathetic and heartbreaking in that hospital. It was hard to see and it was hard to leave him. I was living far out of town when he passed and I'm thankful that I was with my sister when we got the news.

My Grandma Mary passed away only a year and a half ago. She lived a long life so there's no sadness for a life cut short. But there's a certain sadness in my heart at the life she lived. Mary saw the world differently from the rest of us and she had the potential to be cruel and hurtful. But I still loved her. Loved her very much and it hurt more than I ever thought it would when she died. She waited for me. At least I like to think that she did. I got to my parents' house after 11pm that night and ended up going to the hospital for a quick visit. What was supposed to be a quick visit ended in a painful farewell and hours of hand holding until she took her last breath. She couldn't talk at the end but she watched us and it seemed that she understood the words that we spoke to her. I spoke at her funeral and thought I would be fine. As I was up at the podium my legs started to shake uncontrollably and I found myself in tears. I hope that she has found the peace and happiness in heaven that she never could on earth.

It was sad that I had no Grandparents left to attend my wedding. They were missed. At one point in the evening, I was standing outside the tent with some friends. I looked up and could have sworn I saw my Grandpa Lou. The funny thing is that the flash that I saw of him was never as I had known him. He looked like he looked in my own parents' wedding pictures. Big, strapping man with a brush cut. I never knew that version of Lou. As he approached, the illusion disintegrated and lo and behold it was my own father walking towards me.

Anyway, all that to say that I miss my Grandparents. I sometimes daydream that they can see me now and I hope that I'm making them proud.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Banishment of the Inner Bitch.

Eric and I have been married 6 months now. Yep 6 whole ones. May not seem like a big deal but truthfully I had never even been in a relationship that lasted longer than 6 months before I met Eric. So not only is marriage still new to me but being in a long relationship, period, is new to me. The highs, the lows -- they're all foriegn territory. And more than once I've found myself completely mystified.

We've fallen into a rather disheartening pattern. We bitch and argue at each other. Constantly. Well if I'm being honest I should say that I bitch. He argues. We seem to have lost the knack of communicating without using the bitching or the arguing. It's gotten to the point where it's quite frustrating.

Last night after yet another bitch and argue session Eric challenged me. He asked me to commit to him to not bitch and argue for a week and he would so the same. (Isn't he sickeningly upbeat and positive?)

I didn't even know what to say. (Without being completely negative anyway.) The first thing that came to mind was that this would mean that Eric would get away with murder all week because I wouldn't be allowed to complain (point out his shortcomings) at his lack of help around the house etc. But then again....to not have him argue with me about the stupidest little thing? Hmmm. That could be interesting. Let's just say that I could tell Eric that the sky is blue and he would list all the reasons why the sky cannot possibly be blue. I like to tell him that when I die I will leave instructions in my will to have "He argued me to death." inscribed on my gravestone underneath my name.

Anyway, he finally got me to agree to said challenge and trust me, it has turned out to be quite difficult. Within the hour I had this urge to complain/bitch at him about something. I was strong though and didn't do it but that was only the first night! I have to get through a week without telling him off? Eeeek.

Wish me luck keeping my inner bitch under control. I'll need it.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Free List.

Sometimes watching a movie or a tv show, I'll find myself hitting Eric on the arm.

"Hey! He's on my free list."

This, of course, means that if so-and-so ever, for some reason, wanted me for one night that I would be "free" to do so. So once Hugh Jackman realizes that I'm what he's been looking for all his life, I am allowed to spend one fun-filled night with him. And once Colin Firth breaks up with his french girlfriend, he can knock on my door and be sure to find some solace in my open arms. And Hugh Grant? Oh baby. What are you waiting for? (Notice the accent trend?)

Eric has a free list too. J Lo is on his list and so is Salma Hayek. There are other's too as I have had my own arm punched on my more than one occasion.

The Free List is a funny thing. I'm sure that we're not the only couple to have one. But why? I mean really. Why do I care if Eric wants to get with Paige Davis or not? Why get into a discussion regarding something that will never happen? Because it's just fun to share these ridiculous fantasies I guess. And trust me. If Angelina Jolie ever gives Eric a booty call? He's not going without me. (She's on my free list too.)

Other boys on my Free List:

Viggo Mortenson -- Aragorn. Need I say more?
Mr. Big (Chris Noth) -- Sex & The City's own. Oh I loved him. Sex appeal galore. (Although Aiden had it goin' on too. )
George Clooney -- quiet, confident sexiness. Yum.

(Please note: the Free List includes, but is not limited to, the above names.)

Friday, December 03, 2004

Prize Well Deserved.

Today marks a successful day 7 of Eric's new smoke free lifestyle. He's doing so well. He's not even testy. I know that he has moments when he'd kill for a smoke but all in all it's going pretty well.

Congratulations on a smoke-free week baby! You can look forward to a "prize" tonight from your pleased wife.



Wednesday, December 01, 2004

It's Here!!! (I'm a spoiled brat)

I'm so excited. And let me tell you why.

I am almost 32 years old and for the past few years my Mom has taken to sending me and my sister (wherever we may be) a homemade, personalized advent calendar. Yahoo! It's December 1st and there in my mailbox is my advent calendar. It was conservatively dressed in a paper wrapped package but I knew what it was and could barely suppress my excitement as I headed for home.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I love Christmas. I'm a sucker for decorations, music, wrapping paper, cards and last but not least the spirit. Receiving my calendar just brought it all together. Every day from now until Christmas I get to open a tiny package. Inside each package is a little treat and a quote.

In today's package?

December, the diamond-frosted clasp linking
twelve jewelled months to yet another year.

-- Phyllis Nicholson


And with it I received a wine glass charm. A Christmas tree no less! How fitting. Let me attach it to my wine glass as I sip between sentences.

Thanks Mom. You have no idea how much I enjoy these little treats and quotes that you time-consumingly and thoughtfully put together for me. Big hugs across the miles.

Don't you just love it?

Baby It's Cold Outside.

Happy December!!! December makes me happy. And now that it's here I can unapologetically play Christmas music and be Christmasy to my heart's content.

So this morning I tuned my desk radio to the "official Christmas radio station" so that I can be enveloped in Christmas music all day long. At home the CDs are out and waiting. I will likely drive Eric mad because he'll be stuck with songs in his head all day long. His favourites seem to be Eartha Kitt singing "Santa Baby" or Dinah Shore telling us "Baby It's Cold Outside". He'll be whistling to these tunes for the next 25 days. Ha! I love it.

And today the city is welcoming it's first snow storm. It's been snowing big fluffy flakes of snow all morning. It's beautiful. It would be almost perfect if I didn't have to drive in it.

But what a perfect way to usher in the Christmas season.