Monday, December 31, 2007

Not enough time in the day

There is a detailed, second by second account of Christmas in the works. Unfortunately, I have not had the luxury of lying around on the living room floor stuffing myself with chocolates, conjuring fun blog sentence structuring, as I have been indulging in that fun activity called, "work". I had Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, but it was back to the grindstone on the 27th. Nevertheless, I managed to pack a veritable medley of fun activities into those two days which I will elaborate on over the course of the coming week. Tomorrow evening Ian and I are going to a New Year's Part being hosted by some friends. I am very excited... almost Christmas Eve levels of excitement.

Also, I have become far far too domesticated. This evening I purposely went to the drug store to stock up on Christmas cards for NEXT CHRISTMAS BECAUSE THEY WERE ON SALE! I used to make fun people who did that kind of thing, now, I think such advanced planning is genius.

Speaking of genius, Ian is watching a show on TV called Jesus Camp. It brings a whole new level of 'shocking' to TV. It is horrific to think this sort of conduct is permitted in modern America.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So last weekend I was Christmas shopping at a local mall. I flitted from store to store offloading all that unnecessary cash in my account to money grabbing retailers having a merry ol' time. My merry feeling was a little bruised by the lack of Christmas cheer displayed by store staff. Here, in mucho liberal Canada, it is frowned upon for people to wish strangers a "Merry Christmas"for fear of offending non Christians. Store staff are expected not to say anything but if they must it can only be along the lines of "Happy Holidays. Give me a break. This is PC thinking taken that one step too far. So what if non Christians don't like it- they still indulge in the commercialism of Christmas, don't they? They still take 'Christmas' vacation, don't they? It angers me that the powers that be succumbed to the whims of some non Christians simply to appease ludicrous mob mentality. I could go on and on about this one, but for the sake of my blood pressure I shall close the lid on this one and yell Merry Christmas at whomever I wish.


Ian and I had our Christmas date last night. We went to a little bistro in the town run by a Frenchman from Nice and his Quebec City wife. What a phenomenal gastronomic experience it was. I was very surprised at how tasty rabbit liver mousse and bison were. We were provided with a delightful 2003 French red that was the perfect perfect match for our main course ( Bison for Ian and Angus Striploin pour moi). The owners are wonderful and very quirky with that wonderful expressive body language only the French possess. Each utterance from la femme was melded with dramatic hand movements, exaggerated head bobbing and that particular 'bof' sound the French people have perfected. What a perfect start to the Christmas season. ( Note I typed Christmas and not any of that pc mumbo jumbo).

Sadly Ian and I have to work tomorrow, but hopefully for only a few hours and then it is back home and over to the Kings to indulge in some Christmas cheer. I am very excited for gifts, time off work and food. I expect I will be found passed out in a pile of turkey, rum balls and gift wrap. Turkey OD is a serious condition.

I saw a ridiculous sign at one of the local gyms yesterday. This particular place has one of those old style cinema signs ( the ones with removable letters in black with a a white background). The person in charge of advertising was evidently sick the day punctuation was being done in class. The sign read

"Give the gift of health free spa"

Methinks there should have been a member of the puncutation family resident between the words health and free. Still it made me laugh.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Storm Day

Today we had the first snow storm of the season and I must say it was quite spectacular.... what with watching it from the comfort of my nice warm living room. I have charted the day's events below. Prepare for a thrilling read....

So below we see the tree that I spent the first half of the morning admiring, (the second half of my morning was spent deciding between thickening and moisturizing shampoo.. for those of you that care, I went with moisturizing and I do regret my decision). Note all the gifts under tree. All wrapped with love by me. Ian has an aversion to wrapping gifts, but not to opening them. I posted a picture with the top of the tree missing. I did have many other pictures with tree top evident but who knew "Del" areally did mean Delete.

When the stresses of tree gazing and decision making started to take their toll I chose to gaze at the antique decorations we have on the tree. The bauble below, is very beautiful and came from East Germany.. that should give an indication as to how old it is.

After such an historical bauble I felt I needed some comedic relief in my day and had a little giggle at the decoration that Ian made when he was in Grade One. Aww. Admire this one as quickly as you can, as when Ian discovers I posted this on the world wide web, I imagine he will have a little petition drafted demanding its removal.

And then the storm came. I had an invigorating hour watching the snow plough guys.

Once the snow was scrapped I ventured outside to see the damage. This pictures demonstrates just how much snow fell. The path leads from the car park to the back door of the apartment block. Impressive levels of snow. What, ho, old chap.

This is a pristine, untouched blanket of snow which was destroyed by me moments after taking this picture. There is nothing as satisfying as breaking fresh snow with a body jump.

My boot print- if you look closely at the snow it looks like snow is quite the glitter fan what with all the sparkles. Of course there is a scientific explanation for the whole thing. My memory fails me at the moment, however.

The storm brought with it snow, in the common sense of the word, and 'blowing snow'. I like the patterns left by the wind whipping up the flakes... sort of a snowy attempt at Saharan winds.

Yeah, I know, wow. Best part? I jumped into all of it afterwards. Point of note..snow LOOKS soft. It is anything but.

I did of course pause to admire the beauty of a silent night.

And then the snow came back and Bambi got lost.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Game on

On Sunday Ian and I went to a Toronto Raptors game ( of the basketball variety). To be honest I wasn't all that excited at the prospect of watching ten guys throw a ball around a sprung floor for a few hours so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself on my feet, cheering and screaming for the Raptors. I also watched a living sporting legend take to the court in the form of the Houston Rocket's Yao Ming. Is that guy ever tall- all 7' 6" of him. However, due to his height, he looks rather clumsy loping from one basket to the other. The most entertaining aspect of the whole evening came in the form of a man dressed in a costume. Let me explain- most, if not all, basketball teams in the NBA have a team mascot, and for the Raptors it is a guy dressed in a red Raptor suit. However, this mascot has taken the costume one step further by now sporting an inflatable costume complete with giant head and little arms making him look like a Lilliputian with an unusually oversized 'tete'. There are numerous videos on You Tube of this little critter doing his dance moves, tumbles and comedic acts. They are hilarious! He comes on court during breaks in play and half time. Sporting events in North America are very very different to those in Europe. They are considered a huge day out for friends and family and while crowd participation is encouraged, the crowd isn't as frantic as at a Premier League football game. Instead during half time people are asked to come from their seats to court to take part in games with an emphasis placed on children participating. The whole ambiance of the game is intended to make the game as comfortable as possible. There are ushers to guide you to your seats, soft seats to sit on, numerous food vendors and if you are lucky to sit in the good seats (as Ian and I once did), a menu is provided for you to select your goodies and an assigned usher brings them to you! Also, music is constantly playing so I get to sing along! The people sitting beside us must have been very happy to hear me warble out the lyrics of Kanye West's, "Stronger". A world apart from the plastic seats of GAA games. Anyhoo, the Raptors won the game and no one was quite as content as me. I may have become a fan and have become a little more receptive to Ian watching every single one of their games on TV... in case you hadn't realised, I happen to be dating a die hard Raptors fan. While the basketball was enormous fun my one goal for the coming year is to finally see the Toronto Maple Leaf's play on ice. Getting one of these hockey tickets is akin to winning one of Willy Wonka's limited chocolate factory tours- basically impossible. However, I am undeterred in my quest.

I have to award a great big round of applause to those running the Distillery District in Toronto. As the name suggests it was once a haven for liquor production but now houses art galleries, select bars and a yummy chocolatier. During the festive season the bars host many corporate Christmas events, so during the run up to the season the District is providing free rides home after a night of celebratory drinking. I am so happy to hear that someone has taken this step and is providing an alternative to drink driving. It is only taking effect on certain dates but, no matter what, it is a very positive step and something I highly commend.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Marks and Spencer, come back to Canada. All is forgiven. What is Christmas without your overpriced finger foods that are to die for and bottled mulled wine.

Come back... I am begging.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.

Christmas shopping is GO! However, Ian and I have encountered a little problem- we are magpies in human form. Every single store we go to we are instantly drawn to the Christmas decoration section. It's unbelievable. We have absolutely no self control whatsoever. Like two high stoners we clutch each sparkly bauble oohing and aahing, covering ourselves in tinsel and turning on ALL the singing Christmas toys and hosting our own caroling event in Aisle 26 of Canadian Tire. I give store staff one more weekend before they start pining our pictures at checkouts reading "Beware- Christmas Toy Abusers".

Wal-Mart has gone 24 hour. It's great. The aisles are deserted. We went there on Saturday night at 11pm and were able to turn on all the toys with buttons saying "Try Me".. well ok, then.
Winter... brr.

So here are a few pictures to prove how delightful Canada is in Winter. These were taken after a few hours of snow, a night of freezing rain, a freeze, a little more snow and then a giant dump of snow. It looks very very pretty, but dear Lord in Heaven, it is hell to walk on. Hence the giant black boots. They are my snow boots and the most cherished item I will possess this Winter. No one is coming between me and them. I went for a trample in the snow to test how waterproof they are, and the verdict is "Success". I would take a few more pictures but the locals are giving me weird looks as it is. Obviously they haven't met someone that is in complete and utter awe of snow. Once the snow plough guy and his salting mate get here I'll get a few pictures of them. It's fun watching them plough the drive like possessed demons, oblivious to the giant kerb they are about to run into and watch their little heads wobble like Bobble Head Men on impact. It doesn't deter them.. it's as if the kerb is a mountain they have to scale.

The photos I have provided aren't very clear... it's frickin' freezing outside. Be grateful for what I managed to achieve.

Below is the view from the balcony

And another..can you see the reindeer on the 'lawn'?!

Mighty Boots.