So, technically I should be out enjoying a New Year’s Eve party. But I wasn’t invited anywhere. And I still don’t enjoy drinking, so I know I’m not really going to have fun at a bar.
A wise man told me today that the New Year’s Eve parties you see on television never happen in real life. Good advice.
Instead, I’ve been nobly distracted by a new computer game: Civilization IV. I haven’t played a computer game in a long time and it is a nice feeling. Especially with a god game where I get to find enemy empires and show them the error of their ways in opposing the greater Roman empire. (Maybe I’ll enforce Confucianism on them too? That’ll learn ’em.)
I’ll probably regret my choice to stay home in the coming days. But for now, full steam ahead.
I went to the museum yesterday with a new friend. They had an exhibit of historical Edmonton buildings all made out of Lego. How can that be anything but cool? And they were very well done. The dome on the legislature building looked as curved as you can get when you are dealing with little blocks. But was best were the small touches. Like a drunk waiter hiding in the corner of the Hotel Macdonald. The gothic character peering down from the bell tower. The large rabbit peering out of the woods around the High Level Bridge. All in all, very well done. There were a few other anomalies; They had a construction site, and I swear that the bulldozer was a Lego kit that I had long ago.
After that we checked out the rest of the museum. It was the first time I had ever been there. Voyage of discovery. I found the aboriginal section depressing. There was quite a lot of it, and I think they want people to leave there feeling poorly. Here are these great and nobel savages. Look what the evil white man has done to them. (And yet, I’ve been led to believe that the natives weren’t all that pleasant to each other long before Europeans showed up.)
I wish Canadian history could focus on something else.
The rest of the exhibits were more science based. Lots of rocks. Lots of birds. Lots of bugs.
I have Scandinavian heritage. So my family traditionally celebrates on Christmas eve. This is the first time we’ve had a tree in the new house, and it showed.
Our second tradition is that we use a live tree. (It follows from the third tradition. We’ll come to that soon.) Since there was a large wind storm, a lot of trees blew down in the parks around here. So my parents helped themselves to one. So we’ve got a huge tree. It’s only the top of the one that fell, but it is the tallest we’ve ever had. Fortunately, this place has a vaulted ceiling, and could probably accommodate an even larger one. Unfortunately it is a vindictive tree. It is oozing sap. The sticky kind that soap and water can’t take off.
Our third tradition is that we use candles on the tree. No electric lights, but honest candles. Fire hazard? Of course, but we are careful. A bucket of water is kept close at hand, and it has never been needed. However, the new house is more particular than we are used to. The fire alarms on the second floor started going off every ten minutes. They are not battery operated, and are too high off the ground to reach, so there was no way to turn them off. We eventually found that having the ceiling fans going could keep them off. But my dog is now practically hiding under a bed. He doesn’t trust the quacking duck chew toy I gave him anymore. He blames it for the screeching.
This Christmas with the family is rather strange in respect to presents. It’s almost un-Christmasy.
My sister is still stuck in the nether regions of Florida (popularly known as Miami.) So it is not a true family holiday. But we are still giving presents.
The ones I’m giving to my parents are… selfish. I did not go out and spend money for them. I’m giving them old stuff of mine that I no longer need. In my defense they are still better than what they have.
I’m giving my mother my old iBook. It’s three years old, and she doesn’t have a computer of her own. Plus, it’s a Mac, the perfect computer for Mommies and Daddies. My father always hogs the all-powerful Windows laptop he has, which is frankly too large for a normal human being. And my mother is not going to be stressing its capabilities.
I’m giving my father a digital camera. It’s just slightly over a year old, and much further in technology than the five year old one that he has been happy with.
I also picked up some duty-free loot when I left Jamaica, so I am not a completely heartless son. The thing is, that we’ve almost all admitted what presents we are giving each other. No surprises.
I know one present that they are giving me because, due to their having a PO Box instead of an address, it was shipped directly to my place. I felt the need to “test it out” to make sure it worked. And, truthfully, it made it one of the best car trips from Edmonton to Calgary. It was an FM transmitter for my iPod. So I was not at the mercy of the radio stations and could listen to good songs for the three hours on the road. It made the trip so much better.
Now I’ve wrapped it back in the box, given it back to them, and admitted what I did.
“William, don’t leave. If you do I’ll be the only visible minority.”
“Well there’s still Ellen. She’s short.”
“That just makes her less visible.”
Names changed to protect the innocent.
I was quite the social butterfly today.
Work was a joke. Well, there was work, but in the afternoon, we didn’t. There was a Christmas lunch. Then a Christmas Pictionary tournament. Then a Christmas leave-early. That was party #1.
Then, in the early evening, I went to what is called a “Friday Feast” put on by friends of friends. Good time. I took charge of the gingerbread house construction. Someone had already baked the pieces. I put it together, and got the abode stable. With help from an excellent mortarer who worked well in the subject of frosting. Then I stepped back and let other people decorate. (Gummy bears looking out the windows. Green candy representing a convincing Christmas tree on the side.) I also designed and made the traces for a gingerbread castle. I would have liked to have seen it made, but there was another party to get to.
Cameron’s house warming party was #3. Mostly co-workers, so I knew everyone. There was a hockey game going on, that didn’t interest me. But he has a very nice place. The windows are huge. You can see everything outside from anywhere in the place. And they overlook a busy intersection, so there is always something to watch. And listen to, unfortunately. It will probably be a problem in summer.
I just came back from Salsa lessons. I would have stayed later, but some yahoo at my company decided it would be a good idea to have a meeting at the crack of dawn. Almost literally.
I haven’t been to a lesson in several months. With my acting class over though, my Tuesdays have freed up enough that I can remedy the situation.
They are fun, and a pleasant excuse to keep your hands on a pretty woman for extended periods of time. And you get hot and sweaty. How can you go wrong? (Well, not that hot and sweaty.)
Interestingly, I was dancing with a lovely woman today. She was the spitting image of another woman I met in Jamaica. Except quite a bit shorter. I might have been distracted by the volume of tattoos on their bodies, and that’s why I think they look alike. Similar spread. And their names? Both mythical figures starting with the letter “A”.
On Thursday, I was at my improv class. Last one.
A couple of people were going to an RFT party afterwards. And I will admit, I was jealous. Theatre people are the coolest to hang around, and I don’t often run into them at social settings. But I hadn’t been invited, so I just privately yearned.
The next day I was on my computer, getting around to cleaning up my email. I had fallen behind because of my vacation. (Is there anything you can’t blame on a vacation.) Then I find one from the second day of my trip. It had the invitation to the party in question.
This has been a weird weekend.
I keep thinking I haven’t done much, and really I have done lots.
Firstly, I thought I hadn’t been productive much, but I finally got around to updating my finances, and getting pictures from my vacation sent to appropriate parties. Neither task is done, but a good chunk of them is.
Next, I thought I hadn’t been goofing off properly and getting out. But I’ve done something every day. Friday night I attended the theatre. Saturday I played RPGs and then was at the bar until one in the morning.
Today has been a bad day for goofing off though. I slept through my alarm, so I didn’t go running. And the plan to do Karaoke tonight looks like it has been cancelled. I’ll make up for it by watching a movie tonight. And I think I’ll try doing a salsa lesson on Tuesday.
It must be hell to be an obsessive-compulsive during an election. You go out to vote, place your ballot in the box, and then spend the rest of the day compulsively obsessing over whether you actually put the X in the correct box you wanted it in.