Saturday, December 29, 2012


You know you're in for a long bus ride when the the (wo)man who's about to sit next to you on the Greyhound hacks up a lung and then says "Don't worry, I'm not contagious" in a phlegm-riddled voice. "Heather" had the body of a woman, the face and voice of a 50-something man, and a cough that was terrifying to hear.  But the plus side was that she (?) and I were on an express bus from Kelowna to Vancouver with no stops in suburbia along the way. We actually arrived in the city almost two hours ahead of schedule; so early that I couldn't raise my mother on the phone (she's a bit cel-phone challenged, and it often sits, forgotten, in her purse, which is where it was tonight as I tried to contact her many many times), and so I took a cab home instead of getting a ride with mom.
It's good to be back in my sitting room with my spiky Charlie-Brown Christmas tree. I bought myself a few belated-Christmas treats tonight: a little yet powerful laptop speaker, some warm socks, a box of hair colour... gonna see in the new year with no roots showing, dammit! It was a good year for prezzies: mom gave me some money (yay!) and a juicer, which I am going to start using right quick, as the Christmas indulgence has taken its toll and the scales are telling me it's time to EAT LESS. Dad continued a fine Christmas tradition we started last year: he waited until I was in Kelowna and then took me to buy a pair of boots. Boots are a fetish of mine (I seldom wear shoes, actually) and I can't really afford them and Boxing Day usually produces some great bargains... Last year I got some fabulous red boots, but this year I needed some practical, comfy everyday walking boots. I got these:
I LOVE Keen boots! And these are as comfy as they look...
He also gave me a mandoline, which was a cast-off gift, because it was in his kitchen and he wasn't using it and I was like "I wanna make more salads this year!" It has a safety handle thingy, but I have already managed to julienne my thumbnail with it. However if I master it, I will have many thinly-sliced vegetables in my future.
Christmas was a little dull this year, I have to admit. Christmas Eve rocked, because I spent it with my mom, and we had a lot of fun. We went to the Christmas Jazz Vespers at a big church downtown in the afternoon and then we ate Beef in Guinness sauce at her place with her roomie, her eccentric cougar millionaire friend S, and her lonely and rather wistful friend Q. It was better than it sounds, trust me. Then I went caroling in West Van with some friends late at night and had a couple hours' sleep at my mom's before getting on the Greyhound to see my dad.
Unfortunately, his ladyfriend, L, was really sick with a nasty ear infection. PLUS my brother and his wife hadn't made it out of Vancouver because they needed to rent an SUV to make the trip, and there were none left. So we didn't really do... anything. In the past we've visited neighbours or stayed at home and drank too much wine or went skating on the pond down the street... but there is definitely a critical mass of people and wine that must be reached before fun and shenanigans can happen. And we didn't reach it this year. My dad and I are very similar in some ways, but for whatever reasons, we don't really click. Without my brother there, it was pretty quiet. Oh, and his dog had died last spring, so the house seemed very big and quiet. I often found my dad's dog really annoying, but it wasn't the same without him trying to eat all the Christmas food. I just don't feel as if I can be myself with my dad,  and I don't have much to say to him. So we watched a lot of Netflix and tv, ate too much, and went for a couple of bracing walks while his girlfriend suffered through her ear infection. So as I mentioned, I am happy to be home! Better luck next year.
Boring Christmas aside, I have been feeling pretty good lately. Acupuncture seems to be helping my mood, and even those painful acupressure seeds in my ear seemed to be effective, if annoying. Tomorrow night I am off to see Gogol Bordello at the Commodore, which I am very psyched about! I saw those guys years ago in Seattle and I am thrilled to see them again. I still have another week to go before school starts up again, and I plan to enjoy my last days of freedom to the max. My next mission is to find something cheap and fun to do on New Year's Eve, something involving music and dancing. I am damned if I'm going to start 2013 in a boring way!
Happy Christmas and New Year to all of you. May your year start any way you want it to! Love and peace and creativity and fun to all. xo

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