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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Still Here.

That was my toast at my family Christmas dinner: still here. After our tumultuous year I'm thinking of having it done up on a crest in Latin and put over our front door ("Etiam hic", or so says one of the free translations sites).

Lucas is feeling a bit sick so, in an attempt to find a quiet activity that he would like, we looked at the last 12 months worth of photos in iPhoto.

So much gained and lost.

The count, for those of you still trying to keep score is as follows:

Losses column
Mother's who died: 1
Father-in-law girlfriends who died: 1
Cats that have been put down: 3
The million little intangible cuts that make up a crap year (alternate family motto "Another Day, Another Indignity")

Gains column
Sisters married to lovely men: 1
Houses sold for a decent profit: 1
Bigger, better, nicer houses bought: 1
Healthy members of my immediate family: 3 (counting me)
Children that continue to amaze, delight, confound and teach: 1
A million intangible things (friends, family, haiku-like moments of joy, etc etc)

So, how to score the year? Honestly, as much as some of my braver friends have tried to spin it for me as being a year that had good and bad equally, it has felt like one damn thing after another. With a little over 11 hours left to the year, I'm honestly watching my back...and when this year is gone I will do a little celebratory dance...I'm seriously toying with the idea of taking the calendar out to our little bit of land behind the house, lighting it on fire and then taking a great big piss on it to put it out.

Anyway, since this will probably be the last post of this year, (I have one more briming in my head about one of my Christmas books) I want to take a chance to wish my far flung friends (and you, gentle readers – all three of you) the very happiest of New Years. May it be the best ever.

Still here indeed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Wrap up!!!

Ok, so here is my only mention of this and then I'll try and be all positive and happy: This was the first Christmas without my Mom. Bev loved Christmas, she loved giving and recieving gifts, she loved the food, the family, parties, everything. The lot. She ate it all in. So it was hard this year. Hard to not get calls from her about gifts for other loved ones, hard to not shop for her, just hard. Not "spoil the fun" hard, or "god, I need a drink now" hard. Just a kind of dull ache at times.

Anyway, the wrap up:

On the morning of the 24th we had our little family Christmas: I'd got croissant etc from the local baker, fancy coffee from the place we get our beans ($15/half pound, and still not the most expensive) and we set the table etc first thing. We opened our gifts and Lucas was happy and so were we. Lucas got spoiled, and both Chris and I managed to get each other things that we both wanted/needed/loved. It was really nice. Since we had managed to get everything wrapped on the 23rd we managed to relax the rest of the day until we went to my Mother in Laws that night.

24th Part II: French Canadians traditionally celebrate Christmas at night on the 24th so we always to go Christine's Moms place that night. We ate chicken pot pie, turkey, Buche de Noel etc etc etc (too much etc mb) and opened our tons of gifts. It's amazing how on years where everyone buys electronic presents the gift pile is so much smaller, but so much more expensive. One of the highlights of the evening for me was when the two boys, Lucas and his cousin Anthony, took some battery powered cupboard lights ( can't figure out how to explain that better) and went into the bathroom, turned off the lights, got into the bathtub and pulled the shower curtain closed. They then sat in there turning on and off their lights and laughing... if anyone came to see what they were doing Lucas would defend their parameter with his weapon of choice, the toliet brush (which surely counts as a biological weapon).

The 25th we went to Dad's, Marjorie and Darren were there and Lea and Nathalie came a bit later. We opened even more gifts and ate and ate and ate. At this point, it should be mentioned that I clearly ate too much, or ate the wrong thing or something, because I didn't get to keep my Christmas dinner, in so much as I stored it for a few hours...

We slept over at Dad's and I made Chocolate Pancakes for breakfast and then we came home and collapsed in bed.

I'm going to need a holiday from my holidays. (There will be pics on my .mac site soon, within the next 2 days for sure).


Ok, so the start of the holiday season saw an marked up swing in the amount of spam I've been receiving. I find the flow of spam fascinating. One year I cobbled together all the products being offered by the spammers into one giant lifestyle. It went like this: I would be sitting in my Genuine Israeli Army Surplus Camp Chair™, breathng through my Genuine Israeli Army Surplus Gasmask™, with my new NATURALLY ENLARGED BREASTS™, admiring my GIAGANTIC CAWK™, playing with my WORLDS SMALLEST RC CAR™, safe in the knowledge that some nice man in Nigeria was taking care of my economic future.

This year's all seem to be of the phishing/virus delivering variety. They bore me.

Email from beyond

I haven't been in a very posting kinda mood. I'd love to be able to say why, to put my finger right on it but I can't: busy with work, busy with life, depressed a bit... a lot of factors I suppose. The other day, as part of a "clean up your damn computer and work area" convulsion, I started going through emails. I came across a bunch from my mom. It was odd, in an "odd strange" not "odd, omg I need to cry and then drink and cry some more" kind of way. Emails have an immediacy, a "receive, read, click reply, write reply, send" nature about them at the best of times. My Mom's messages were typically of the three lines with lots of " the way... such and such happened" variety so they leant themselves to this kind of behavior heavily. I'd get a couple a month only, since I talked to her on the phone every other day, but they were always chatty and bubbly, about how I hadn't answered the phone and how she didn't feel like leaving a message and how it was really nothing, but here is a funny story etc. I recognize that other generations have had similar messages from beyond, saved cards and letters and even postcards, but all of them lack the immediacy, the sheer sense of a (for lack of a better term) faux-synchronous nature.

It took everything I had to not click reply.