Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006: Year in Review

There's something about the new year that makes me a little sad. It's almost as if with the holidays over, you have to start all over again. And while many would relish the time to start over, I actually hate it. Although this year might be different, if only because there is no snow and it doesn't seem to be as dark and cold (I think it's a seasonal disorder thing that affects me at this time of year) which makes it a little bit better.

I always take stock at this time, look ahead to the new year, think back on what happened this past year and decide how I want to make things different. While it seems to be easy to do, it's always around April where I go back to the same old thing. I'm hoping this year is different.

The holidays have been good, I've been able to visit with a few friends, I'm on my way up to Toronto this morning to spend time with a few other friends. I've been quite creative in the visiting thing this year. I had originally tried for two days to visit but with the dog I had to cut it down to one. I'm having lunch with one friend, spending New Year's with three others, having breakfast with another and then stopping for tea (hopefully) with my cousins so I can see their renovations that they've been working on. Whirlwind, I know, and considering that I'm running on lack of sleep (hello, standing in a parking lot until 1:30 with Elaine and Frank) and the fact that I have managed to NOT avoid the yearly holiday infection that seems to hit me on the 30th, I'm not anticipating getting much sleep over the next couple of days. Which would be the other reason why I took the two weeks over Christmas this year.

This past year has been full. Full of emotional turmoil, full of personal life turmoil, full of work turmoil, full of family turmoil, full of everything. That's not to say that it hasn't been a good year, just that if I could go back to last January, I would have done things differently. But like I said above, time to look ahead and think about what I DON'T want in my life this year. I was fortunate to have spent some time travelling (which I love), some time with my sister/brother in law/the kids, time with my cousins, time with my friends, time with myself. I firmly believe that it's this time you have that allows you to recharge and prepare for the rest of it. There are a lot of things that I'm looking forward to this year. Getting to travel a bit more, getting to meet new people, getting to be involved in some pretty cool stuff. Hopefully the small stuff won't get in the way of the big picture.

So to all of you...Happy New Year. May it bring you health, happiness, and all that you're hoping for. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Christmas Rush is Through

I have this Carpenters song running through my head today and it's making me a little bit crazy.

Speaking of crazy, the holidays are over. Which is sad to me, because it always seems to go by so fast. This year was no exception. It's like rush rush rush from December 1 to the 25th and then suddenly it's back to reality.

My niece however, got up this morning and told me it was Christmas all over again and wanted to know where her presents were. Sigh. What a kid.

Christmas is always a fun holiday in my family because we all get a little nuts. No matter how old we are, we're still a loud and rambunctious crew who make merry and cause trouble. Think about it, four kids, with two spouses, two kids and a parent. Sitting in a room where you spend several hours opening oodles of presents and going crazy over what you got them (or vice versa). It was fun. And my brother, I have to say, was the funniest with his "woo hooing" over the socks, the coffee maker, and the shirts with a new tie. You know you're old when.

As expected, the kids were up at seven thirty, just chomping at the bit to open gifts and see what Santa brought them. It was pretty much over by eleven after we had eaten, opened a few presents from each other, and just enjoyed the morning together. My sister and I decided to forgoe the mall today and just veg out and enjoy the day. My youngest niece has developed a bit of a chest cold and had been up most of the night last night.

Hopefully everyone else had a good day and enjoyed the time with family or friends (or both) and that you all got what was wished for.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Do you hear what I hear?

Well, I can't believe it's Christmas Eve already. There's something odd about December, how it slips by almost unnoticed and then suddenly it's Christmas Eve and you realize you have had no time to do anything but run around like a crazy person.

This year it's green outside. No snow. Especially strange since two weeks ago when I was here there were MOUNTAINS of snow. It's supposed to be a balmy 7 degrees Celsius (that's about 50 F) and if you really wanted to brave the soggy grass, I'm sure you could get a few rounds of golf in.

I'm looking after Benny the wonderdog this year as my aunt and uncle are in Florida and let's just say, the last three days have been interesting. He's learning a thing or two about the word NO. Especially around the kids. Overall though, I have to say he's been quite good.

I arrived early on Friday and picked the kids up at daycare. They were happy to see me. My sister was at the house when we got home and she was from IKEA. She decided to get a trundle bed for the girls to sleep on since I had to take up residence in the bedroom of the youngest. Unfortunately, after spending all that time putting it together, last night my brother in law broke the bed when he laid on it. We packed it back up and were going to make the hour and a half drive back to get the metal bunk beds but could not locate the receipt. So no beds for you girls.

In what is becoming a nice little tradition, the girls and I headed off to the Grand Theatre today to see Beauty and the Beast. While I didn't find it as good as Annie last year, it was quite an excellent production. The girls of course loved it. They also got to meet Belle afterwards as she was signing her cd's in the lobby. (The actress that is). To see their faces was just priceless. They're wired for sound of course, and it should be interesting to see how long they manage to stay awake tonight. Last night the youngest was up until well after eleven.

I'm looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation. I'm also hoping January stays a little mild like it is now. I hate January and February. I always get so down in those months because it's so dark and cold. And I've already been thinking about how I want my next year to be. No, no Charlotte from SaTC. But just a resolution to not let people treat me badly. We'll see how long that lasts.

Looking forward to one more day of hustle and bustle and presents and goodies and food and good cheer. So to all my friends all around, may you have a wonderful holiday where ever you are and may you find peace and joy in the new year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'll be home for Christmas

I'm procrastinating.

No really. It's a typical thing that I seem to be famous for.

I had a list of things I needed to do this week. Finish shopping (check), do a load of laundry (check), clean the bathroom (check), pick up last minute items (check), pack (che...oh wait a minute).

I am procrastinating.

I have just spent the last hour doing absolutely everything I could find BUT pack.

You would think that I would want to get things done so I can sit back and relax and enjoy my evening. But nooooo.

Hmm, maybe I should go get gas tonight instead of tomorrow.


UPDATE: Ok so I'm packed. And the last hour or so I've been sitting here kind of feeling weird. Not that I'm not looking forward to my vacation, or being with my sister and brother in law and her kids, just that...well, let's just say that it hasn't been a really easy couple of months. And without going into detail, there have been a few things going on the last little while that have really been screwing with me. And it sort of culminated in a bit of a breakdown a couple of weeks ago. Not that I'm trying to be ambiguous, it's just that putting that karma out there isn't worth having it come back and bite me in the ass. Because while I should be enjoying the time off, there are little nagging things that bother me. And there are things that just continue to go on in my family that make me angry and sad at the same time. And I'm not looking forward to that drama. Added to that, being away from my "stuff" for a week and a half isn't all that great either. I'm afraid I'll forget something, or I'll need something, or there will be something that happens etc. It's just...complicated. For now, I'll just put it out of my mind, think about how much fun it is going to be to see my niece's faces on Christmas morning, and also the fun I'll have with my sister and remember that there is nothing too great that I can't bear.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Three More Sleeps

Until the two week vacation. Three more sleeps. Lord help me get there.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hold Your Tomatoes

I decided that I wanted to get on the 24 bandwagon. Considering that I had wanted to watch this show in the beginning and didn't, I figured it was about time I got on board. Unfortunately I got on board just before season 6 starts. Meaning that I have just about three weeks to catch up on all five seasons I missed.

My aunt and uncle love this show. And I wanted to not watch it with them this year because I hadn't seen the last four seasons. My friend Rina is a huge fan and she's always raving about it. And hey, Keifer Sutherland isn't all that bad either.


I'm about halfway through season 1 and I'm kind of bored. I hope this thing gets better because it's really hard to get through.


UPDATE: Ok, I have found that fast forwarding through all of the filler parts, namely, the parts with Elisha Cuthbert trying to act, it's not so bad. I'm part way through season two. It's getting better. But only because Keifer Sutherland ROCKS THE PART OF JACK BAUER. Seriously, this man is so great. And it's all because he's Canadian, eh? And of course, my favourite quote so far "That's your problem, you want action but you're not willing to get your hands dirty". OR something to that effect.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

80 characters or less

How exactly are you supposed to say what you have to say in 80 characters or less? And by this, I refer to eBay. Stupid stupid ebay. And it's stupid stupid sellers.

I have had my first problem with eBay and right now I'm trying to figure out a way to fix it, without losing my shit completely.

I won an auction back in November and paid the $40 for it. It shipped on the 6th of November. I haven't seen it. After going out to the P.O. Box I had it shipped to (went to a U.S. address to save money) I found out it never arrived. So I emailed the seller. Asking what was going on.

Not only did they not ship to the address I clearly specified in both eBay and Paypal, but they shipped it to my old address in London. And because packages were hit or miss at that location (sometimes they left it at the door, sometimes they left it at the post office) I have no idea if it went to the post office or if it went to the door.

So when I go back to the seller, they say to me "I used the address listed in eBay". Uh hello, the clearly marked PRIMARY SHIPPING ADDRESS in eBay is the one in MIchigan. And the clearly marked SHIP TO address in Paypal to CALCULATE THE FREAKING SHIPPING COSTS is the one in Michigan. And nowhere, NOWHERE do I see the address in London.

Guess that's $40 I'll never see again.

UPDATE: Spoke to Canada Post, well, left a request with Canada Post. We'll see what happens. I'm thinking this package ended up at the doorstep of my old apartment unit and the person who lived there probably kept it. Or it got stolen. Who knows. I got a response from the seller, and as expected...they are pretty "unintelligent" which explains A LOT. They can't even spell. I asked my aunt, who sells stuff on eBay and she said something about the confirmed address. When I looked in there again, it was all in there properly. You would have to be pretty dumb to send it to that address. The confirmed shipping address, ship to address, primary address, confirmed address, and main address are all the one I gave them. Including an email I sent them saying PLEASE SHIP TO THIS ADDRESS. Sigh...

THURSDAY UPDATE: Just got an email from the seller, they've received the package as a return. They're going to ship it out. Which kind of makes me laugh, because they asked for the new address to ship to, so this time, not wanting to take any chances, I decided to give them the Canada address. They write back "CANADA?" and I'm waiting for the email back saying that I owe them more postage. At which point they will feel the anger that has no depths when I rail at them for sending it out wrong to begin with and then asking me to pay extra. I'm really in a bad mood today. It's been three weeks of this bad mood. And frankly, I can't even think about counting the days to my vacation. In fact, you can ask my friend Elaine what kind of a bad mood I'm in...she got the wrath this morning by email. Sorry Elaine.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Feel a Little Guilty

Ok so here's the deal. Chris in NF and I got into a bit of a banter about not liking Nickleback. Or rather, how he doesn't like Nickleback and I do. And I think I may have taken it a little too far when I said something about the book One Hundred Years of Solitude. And the reason why it bothers me is because it's written by an author that he really admires. By saying it was hard to read, I may have offended him.

Which I didn't intend to do.

And of course, as luck would have it, I had two hours to kill in the ride home tonight and all I could think about is what an ass I can be when I think I'm being funny. Ergo, crossing the line.

So Chris, if I offended you, apologies. I will try harder with the book. I think my problem is that the prose is so descriptive, and normally I like to imagine the setting in my head, so I'm getting lost in that and losing the real sense of the book. Which I will try harder to appreciate.

I'm still standing by my Nickleback feeling though.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm dreaming of a snowplowed Christmas

So last night, while I was out for a work function, one of my coworkers told me that our boss had gotten stuck in the snow in Woodstock. He was at a standstill in what he called "the parking lot on the highway". Which of course made me laugh because he's from Northern Ontario, where it snows all the time. Then I spoke with my sister this morning, prior to my departure and she told me she needed an hour and a half to make the 30 minute trip home from work last night. Then I read the paper which told the story of a 10 car pile up due to the weather. And then I check the radar image. And really, I wish I had copied it because it would have been funny to show. You see, there's the image of the south western region of the province with about six big circles going out of the centre. And within four of those circles was a huge mass of blue. With lots of yellow and green in the middle. And in the yellow and green? About 2 cm of snow an hour.

I didn't really believe it. After all, it was bright, sunny, and cloudless in Windsor. And while we got a slight dusting, it was really just cold. I've seen the snow in London as a child and we haven't really had a huge snow storm in a few years. My sister said to me, "remember that Christmas Eve where you couldn't get out your front door two years ago? This was worse."

Various photos taken in London this morning. Apparently it shut down the entire city. Even buses were cancelled. And that means CITY buses. Which haven't shut down in over thirty years. Cars had been abandoned in the middle of streets. It was like the apocolypse. Except with SNOW.

But I made it safely. No real problem until about Highbury Avenue where the far lane was covered in snow and there was no way anyone was driving in it (including me, who has suddenly found her fear from her wipe out last winter in a farmers field) which made driving difficult. Added to that, I had to endure the snow packed highway in to my sisters town. Which was equally unpleasant due to the car in front of me who kept braking quickly and no matter how far back I stayed, I always ended up having to brake as well and worrying I was going to spin out again.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas indeed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Little Pretty Things

I will post scrapbook layouts soon too, I promise. But for Even though I know only Rina will enjoy my exciting life...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

How time flies

I've been a bit AWOL lately. Been busy. It's been two weeks (well, really three) of crazy running around with the head cut off. And while I love it being busy, because I actually have to really buckle down and get things done, the fact that my sleeping is becoming affected is not really pleasant. I've got one more week to go and then hopefully things will calm down. We'll see.

I'm also planning on posting some creative stuff that I've been working on. Have to get my act together today and take some photos. The Christmas cards are on the list for today. Those have to get done in addition to putting up the tree etc. My shopping is almost done. All I have to do is get something for my brother, a little something for his girlfriend, and a gift for my mom. Which is proving to be difficult. My creative mind just is at a loss on that one. Oh and of course, pick up what I need to for my sister and brother in law.

I was kind of sad on Friday. For starters, I found out my friend from high school who had planned to come down to visit wasn't going to. She doesn't do driving on the highway very well since the birth of her second child. And while I understand completely, I'm a little sad she couldn't make it. Then I got on the phone with my nieces and talked to my sister. They were in full on decoration mode on Friday (P.D. Day) and my oldest niece was upset they were decorating without me, protesting that they had to wait for dinner time since that's when I'd be there. I could hear my youngest niece in the background calling out that she was under the mistletoe and someone had to come kiss her. It's times like those that I really miss them. Miss the whole "being part of the family thing".

My aunt and I finished more shopping yesterday. It was pretty hilarious when we got a little lost in Troy trying to find the Meijer I had been to back in May. "are you sure it was Rochester Road?" "ya, pretty sure, where's Somerset?" "all the way down there" "oh, ok, maybe I'm not sure it was Rochester Road". I have to admit, we have a lot of fun when we go over. If only because we crack each other up with that kind of thing. Good times.

I can't believe it's December already. And the strange thing about December is, it seems to just slip by. And for me, when I think of it in terms of weekends in London, it's like "ok, this weekend I'm home, then I'm home in two weeks, and then...oh crap it's Christmas!" I hate how it's December 1 and then you blink and it's Christmas. Sigh...always the way.

In other non-holiday related information. I was supposed to go volunteer this weekend at the Liberal convention. I was actually pretty excited about it. I make no bones about the fact I wanted Kennedy to be the new leader. And while I'm still on the fence about how I feel about Dion, I'm just glad it wasn't Ignatieff. And if you needed a reason why, just read through some of the reports coming out of the convention, about him rethinking whether or not he'll stay Liberal. That bothers me, a bit. It would have been fun, if only for the fact that Justin Trudeau was in the Kennedy camp, and I would have enjoyed meeting him. And yes, I know he's married....

Sorry, but it's whip cracking time, back to the cards and the decorating.