>Holiday Wrap-Up Chatter

>Well, it’s that time of the year again where I babble about the holidays and such. it looks like ever since I’ve been here splattering whatever I have to say all over this place, I seem to do some kind of holiday wrap-up. Look at that. Without even meaning to, I’ve started a traddition! Now that I’ve said that, I’ll have jynxed it and I won’t be able to do it next year or something. This one’s looking like it’s going to be a freaking novel, so…you’ve been warned.

This holiday sort of came up out of nowhere and smacked me in the face. Sure I had all my shopping done, but when it came time to actually go home, it was a big scramble. Because of the nice snow storm that came on Steve’s birthday, the roads positively sucked. Hell, they even shut down Meals on Wheels. That scares me. I know why they did it. They wanted people off the roads and not endangering themselves, but in times like that, you’d think the people who are the most screwed are the elderly people who need meals brought to them. But anyway, since the roads were pooched, I wasn’t jumping on a greyhound bus to get home. So I was trying to figure out which of my siblings I could hitch a ride with. I ended up heading home with my sister on Christmas Eve.

I have now learned that my sister is a sneaky devil. I love it. She and her boyfriend picked me up at the bus station, and said we were going out for breakfast at a certain restaurant. But before we did that, we drove and drove and drove to find a place where Trixie could go pee. they kept saying the snow banks and puddles were treacherous and they had to find just the right one. I thought this was weird, but I thought gee what do I know about Toronto’s sidewalk conditions. I found out later that while my sister was helping me take Trixie to pee, her boyfriend had scooted out to pick up a christmas present that my mom and dad had ordered that could only be picked up in Toronto. Yes, I have a sly sister. Or maybe I’m the biggest idiot to walk this earth. Steve’d probably say the latter, since I was totally down with “hanging around the bus station” so he could get to know it, which was the line he fed me so we’d stay at the station long enough for the people surprising me for my birthday to show up to scoop us up and take us to dinner. Wow. that was almost 9 years ago, and I still fall for shit like that. I’m dumb. Yup, it’s official.

Christmas was pretty cool. Mom loved her Looneyspoons book, and wondered how on earth I was able to track down an out of print book. I’m just that good, mom, I’m just that good, hehehehe!! I got some new clothes which is always a bonus, and most of them fit, so yea. We didn’t see mom’s side of the family which was a downer because we didn’t get to see them, but a relief because seeing them would mean driving almost all the way back here. It’s getting hard to see my friend that lives in Ottawa. Damn him for having a job and damn both of us for having busy lives! Just damn it all!

I knew this Christmas would be a bit weird because Grandma is not with us anymore, but I didn’t know what aspect would drive the point home. We went to a gathering at my aunt’s place and we saw bunches of people there, but not everybody, and there were just people everywhere, so it didn’t hit me there. Then we had Christmas, and it was just us. But when her husband came over for Boxing Day and we had dinner, that’s when it hit me.

I don’t know how it always happened, but even if we were at a small table, two conversations would start up, one involving Grandma and half of the table, the other half would get talking to her husband. It would always be kinda distracting because you could hear elements of each conversation, and Grandma would somehow manage to get herself into both conversations. She just loved to talk. Of course, this time, with her gone, there was no double conversation thing going on, and that’s when it kind of hit me. You just never know what will make the point that someone’s gone, but something always does, no matter how small.

Now that I’ve gone on about the usual holiday crap, it’s time to get into the weird things that happened to me over the holidays, one of which was my sister telling me, “Hmmm. When Trixie pees, it’s kinda green.” Green? What does green pee mean? She couldn’t really tell me what shade of green, and when explaining it to my mom, she’d say, “well, this colour of green” and point at something green I guess. I asked mom to come out with me and watch Trixie pee, but it sucked because most of the times we’d be out to pee, it was dark, or it was too early in the morning and she wasn’t up with me. The only time that was in the full light of day was at noon, and mom was usually pretty busy then. But the times she did go out, she always said, “Well hmm, it’s darker, but there’s a lot of it. It’s concentrated, which is weird because she’s drinking a lot of water…”

Because i’m terrified of anything going awry with my poocherooski, I asked the guide dog mailing list I’m on what green pee could mean. There was a unanimous cry of “It could be an infection! Go to the vet!” Sir, yes sir! So I went, they took a sample, and said it was fine. Oh well, I’d rather be safe than sorry. And with the service dog discount, I didn’t get charged out the wazzoo.

So why else would Trix pee green? I still wonder if she’s peeing green to this day. I can’t really check, ya know.

Over the holidays, I also got a lesson in the weirdness of Ontario’s hydro supply. On the last day of sanity I figured I was going to have before heading back here, I decided to do laundry. I might as well wash all the stuff so I have clean clothes to bring home rather than dirty ones. I washed them, put them in the dryer, and a few minutes later there was a large gust of wind, and…the hydro, she gone.

For a little bit, I thought oh it’ll be back up soon. But after a couple of hours, I started to question that certainty. Then we noticed people next door didn’t have hydro either. Hmmm.

Dad called the hydro folks and after getting put on hold, shuffled from number to number, told they were just too busy to take his call, and other phone fun which was sure to send dad’s stress level through the roof, he finally got an answer that a major power line that supplied bunches of hydro from here to southwestern Ontario got clonked by a tree or some other wind-related fun, and we wouldn’t have power for two days, or maybe a week.

Steve was already back at our apartment getting ready for our party and such, so I thought I should call and see if our lights were on. He said they were, and his lights were on at his parents’ place. Now, I was thoroughly convinced that the hydro guy was feeding us a load of bull.

You really learn exactly how much we depend on power, especially mom and dad. Their water is pumped from a well. No electricity, no pump, no water, suckas! There’s nothing much weirder than having to use a bottle of water when brushing your teeth, or pondering how badly you really have to go no. 2 because once that toilet flushes, you’re kinda shit out of luck, har har.

Mom had to drive to town with my wet clothes and wash them in the town laundromat that was working. I was sure the hydro guy was full of crap until mom said the town had its own generating station. I called my friend in Ottawa, and he said his power was on, so that was good news. On our way to see him, we realized that yes, in fact, the problem was more widespread than us. It was so weird. there would be pockets of people and offices with power, and others without. It really makes you wonder how all this energy supply stuff really works.

While I was home, my brother got talking about this big crazy site full of mp3 copies of works in the public domain. I guess volunteers read for it and then submit their renditions of the work. One of the poems up there was Robert Service’s “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Dad knows that poem, and used to recite it…well…the pieces that he likes anyway. Silly dad. Here’s the Sam McGee page. Sadly, none of those readers, good as they are, could hold a candle to dad. maybe he should submit his own. The closest was Caliban’s, but sometimes I found the poor man’s voice irritating. I will say all the readers seemed to give it their all.

So have a look around the site. there are a lot of versions of the bible, and some things are incomplete, but you may find something you’ve been looking for.

Has everyone else noticed their spam count has gone way, way, way the hell down to pretty much nonexistent? I haven’t heard about a botnet getting its head chopped off or anything, so can’t figure out why we’ve been blessed with so little spam. whatever it is, it can keep it up. I like opening my email and not seeing ads for all manner of pills, services, or other unwanted crap, along with people crying for help and money.

We had yet another party to ring in the new year, and this one was pretty cool. It was even free of boxes of rocks! Woo! It was a good time. The only part that sorta sucked was when we tried to go out for dinner. We phoned the place where we wanted to go and they said that they were open for regular hours, no reservations necessary. So since there were 5 of us and we’re all blind, we figured we’d just cab there. So we pile into two cabs, arrive at their door, and…find out the place is packed and they don’t even want us to wait! We have to find another place to go! Luckily, a place down the street was pretty empty, so we walked through the bloody cold to get there. I think I made the lady laugh who answered the phone. I asked if we could come down and eat there. She said sure. I told her I was coming from a place that was packed to the gills. She said there was lots of room and she’d even reserve a spot for us. I told her we would be hard to miss, we were five blind folks and a guide dog. I don’t think she believed it was true, or maybe she thought the guide dog was leading all of us. Ug, that would be hard for the poor beast. The girl on the phone soon found out we were really five blind folks and a guide dog, and no, the dog wasn’t leading all of us.

It was all good from there. I don’t know about everybody else, but I had a damn good time. there’s nothing cooler than having a good long laugh with friends. It really left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Oh boy, I’m turning into a large sap.

After dinner, we came back to our place and since one of our buddies had brought champaign, we thought we’d pop it for the new year. Oh boy did it ever pop. When it opened, it spewed champaign all over Steve. but we were lucky. We didn’t lose that cork. When we popped the second bottle, because we ended up losing a bunch of the first bottle’s contents all over Steve and stuff, the cork flew off as if jet-propelled! We still haven’t found it. Hmmm. What does that say about the year? One buddy thinks it means the Leafs are going to win the cup. all I know is it started off with a bang.

Even though 2009 is already 8 days old, I figure what holiday wrap-up would be complete without a look at 2008. I think it’s been the most stable year I’ve had in the past hmmm…5 years? woe. That’s weird. I didn’t have any major life-changes happen, and other than losing my grandma, it wasn’t a bad year. I wonder what 2009 will bring. Happy new year everyone.

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