>The Long-Awaited, Long Holiday Post

>I always write a post about the holidays. It’s just a matter of when. I’m crazy, and want to get through the easy stuff first before I sit down and crank out a giant epic. But it seems writing the holiday epic has become the thing I’ve done since Steve and Matt let me come aboard. So here we go.

The trip home was pretty uneventful, except for the beginning of it. This trip has taught me that I am one lucky woman. After packing everything up, including bagging all that food for pooch, I took a wee touch longer than I planned. Then little old me had to drag 2 massive suitcases down the hall. For the most part, that was fine, since one was on my shoulder and one was on wheels, but the problems came at doors. Ug. It’s really hard to lug all that crap out our door, into the elevator, and then out the two doors of the building. So while that trip should have taken about 5 minutes, it took closer to 10 because of course, when it could have been handy to run into another person, I didn’t.

This would have been fine if I’d had a little more time on my hands. But alass I didn’t. My bus was leaving at 12:10, and I think I was finally in the cab at 12:07. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to miss the bus and have to make crazy arrangements with my hard to get a hold of parents, but when I got to the station, the line was snaking back, and back, and back, and it was the line for the bus I needed! I was so happy I could dance a jig! So since I’d already bought my ticket, I managed to get on the bus!

But the down side was it was a packed bus. Poor Trix didn’t have much room at all, but there was nothing I could do. She alternated between sitting with her head in my lap, laying at my feet, and trying to put her head in the guy’s lap who sat beside me. He liked dogs, but gees Trix, you didn’t have to make yourself at home that much.

I have to mention something that someone asked me here, because it’s funny. The night before, someone asked me how I was going to get home. I told her we’d take the Greyhound. She was horrified by this prospect, for the sake of the dog, and told me there wouldn’t be much room for the dog. I told her usually we had the whole seat to ourselves, so Trix can just lie down, and I take the harness handle off so she has more room to stretch out. Plus, there are breaks at each station and half way through the big leg of the journey so she doesn’t have to just lay there for that long. The most time she has to lay there is 2 hours. This was not sufficient for this woman. She asked, and get ready for this, if I could get permission for my dog to walk the aisles of the bus, unleashed and free.

I beg your pardon? It took every ounce of restraint not to just convulsively laugh. Thankfully, someone else was with me who also had good sense, and she said that wouldn’t be a good idea because who knows what people would feed her, and not everybody likes dogs, and part of being a service animal is you don’t bug the other passengers of the bus. She said this while I attempted to fashion a response that wasn’t “What are you thinking?” Every day, I am amazed at the things some people come up with that they think are good ideas.

As I rode the bus, I read some Douglas Adams books. I had read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “Life, the Universe, and Everything,” but hadn’t read any more. I couldn’t find “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” so I settled for “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish” and “Mostly Harmless.” I realize after reading these, that I have to go back and read those other books again, because I don’t think I got all the jokes in them.

By the end of the final book, I was getting frustrated, but I think that was by design. He really wants you to realize that things aren’t always what they seem, the things you think are going to have great significance aren’t that significant, maybe reality is what you make it, and nothing gets wrapped up in a tight little bundle. Maybe my mind took it a little too far, because it was wondering why I should bother finishing the book because none of the characters will truly reach a conclusion, and if they do, it won’t be the one you want. I mean, the earth had already been blown up by the Vogons to make way for an interstellar bypass. How could this possibly end well? But because I wanted to see what it was, I finished it. What a strange, strange story. It sucks that Douglas Adams is dead.

It was nice to be home again. Being back home and eating all that food always fills me with the warm fuzzies. God, mom was a food-making machine. We’d just finish breakfast and she’d wash all the dishes, and then she’d stand back for a second and go, “So…lunch?” Gees mom, take a rest! She wouldn’t let me help either, which always makes me feel all guilty.

Christmas was good and lots of fun. I got a shirt and some cute littlethings, and some braille Uno playing cards so I can get my ass beaten by humans instead of just the computer. I got a giant backpack to replace my dying backpack, and a slow cooker, so I got lots of cool stuff. But the biggest present I got was from my brother. He wants to get me an iPhone! Ooo oooo ooo!

I really want one, but I have to do a lot of research. For one thing, I heard the plans for iPhones are uber expensive on Rogers. Anybody got any tips on how to have an iPhone and not lose all your money? For another, Steve and I are on a family plan. Can I get an iPhone as a hardware upgrade and not screw us over?

I’m pretty confident that I will be able to master the iPhone. But I’m scared that I’ll get the wrong version and I’ll end up with one from the pre-voiceover era. I doubt that could happen, but I have learned that anything can happen to me. So…are there any keywords I can say to make sure that the rogers drones send me the right phone? I think 3G is one of ’em, but I have to make sure that there aren’t more. Most people don’t know about Voiceover, so I have to make sure I’ve got all my bases covered.

I want an iPhone I want an iPhone I want an iPhone! *stomps feet like a small child!* But I don’t want to be screwed over by going into things hastily. My brother says don’t worry, whenever I decide, he’ll help me out with getting the phone. Aww. You’re awesome.

Can anyone else explain why Trixie has this uncontrollable urge to grab wrapping paper and run with it when we start opening presents, or chew on tape? She is usually pretty reserved, but every Christmas, I have to stop her from trying to eat paper, and I have to tether her to something because she’ll do it all quietly, and everybody’s so into their gifts that they don’t notice what Trix is making off with. At least this year, she didn’t try and investigate the chocolates on the low table that were open while people were opening their gifts, and no puzzle pieces were harmed this time. Silly silly girl.

One of the presents my mom got my dad was a Turbo Stick from bell. It’s one of those fast internet on a stick dealies designed for laptops and stuff. But since mom and dad live in the land of dialup, it is their gateway to something resembling high speed!

It is so cute to watch my parents use the internet like I’m used to using it. Mom will actually google something, get her answer, and be impressed at how fast and easy that was! One time, she finished doing what she was doing and said “hmmm. Is there anything else you want to find on the net while I’m on?” On dialup, it was get on, do maybe half of what you need to do, and get off because god damn it that took forever, and you’re tying up the phone!

But they’re all scared they’ll go over the bottom usage bracket which is 500 megs a month. If I had that, I’d probably be over it in no time. But this is mom and dad. They check email and surf. I’m sure they’ll be fine. But of course, they’ll only learn this in time. It’s just so cute to watch them learn to use the internet the way it was intended to be used.

We managed to see everybody on my dad’s side of the family, which is pretty cool. Dinner was at my cousin’s place in Ottawa. Man her little guys have a lot of toys. I think I’ve mentioned the twins before. God they’re cute. They’re a curious, vocal pair. They were very, very interested in Trixie, but they listened well when I said when the harness comes off, you can pet. I told that to one of them, and he quickly told his twin. “Don’t touch puppy when that is on. When that is off, you can touch puppy.” Good job, little buddies. You’ll impress another guide dog handler some day.

They wanted to share everything with Trixie, even little balls and things. I had to explain that those things are not for dogs. Then one of them got a flash of inspiration. “Where’s that thing for Buddy?” he asked. They had bought a little stuffed squeaker toy from the dollar store for their uncle’s dog. One of them ran and got it. After I made sure their mom and aunt knew that if Trixie played with this toy, it would be the end of it, and they were ok with it, I started to play tug with Trixie with it. And within three minutes, *rip*! bye-bye poor little toy. The boys were so upset. “Why is she biting it! Why?” I guess they hadn’t seen too many dogs play. So we explained it to them. Their mom said she would sew up the toy and make it like new. She did, and presented it to Trixie again. A minute later, *rip*! I said I think the game was over. The mom agreed, while marvelling at the jaws of my Trixter. Um yup.

God the kids were cute. At one point, they decided that we should stay over. I don’t know, I guess they wanted the party to just keep on going. But then I guess they realized that they couldn’t let everybody stay, so started to pick and choose, in that way that kids do. They aren’t trying to be mean, they just think why couldn’t some people stay and some go home? When they got to me, they said I had to go home, but the puppy could stay. Well, I guess I know where I stand, then.

My sister is always amazed at Trixie’s even-temperedness. By the time she sees her, she’s usually settled down and is pretty calm. But she thinks she never gets excited. Oh yes she does. This Christmas, I wanted my sister to see Trixie excited. But it was just like Pokeroo on The Polka Dot Door. It would always happen when my sister wasn’t around. I was sure she would have seen Trixie go nuts with the twins, but she missed that too.

After we got home from the party, our power went out. I guess all the ice from the freezing rain that day built up on the lines. That’s the second time that’s happened. Am I a jynx? Thankfully, this time, I wasn’t washing clothes, and we’d managed to eat dinner. For most of the time the power was out, we were sleeping. I was never happier to see it back on the next morning. I think Trix was too, because I discovered that there wasn’t enough light for her to see the stairs down to the door, and the poor beast fell down them while trying to get down them so she could go pee for the last time of the night. She could find the top of them, but I guess she couldnt’ judge the distance between them. I felt so horrible. Poor baby.

We watched a couple of movies. They were the oddest pair of movies. Mom rented “Julie and Julia,” that movie about that woman doing every recipe in Julia Child’s cook book and blogging about it, and “United 93.” Ok then. What a combo.

I first have to say I loved the Julia Child movie. When I heard about it, it sounded like the most boring movie idea ever, but it actually ended up being pretty cute. I thought Meryl Streep did a fine Julia Child impression. I’ve only seen a bit of Julia Child, but I could have been convinced that that was her in the movie. But it did make me wonder if Julia Child was drunk all the time.

Watching the movie has made me want to find the blog that was the base for this whole story. I’m curious to know if it was as fun as the movie made it sound. My gut says I’ll be terribly disappointed.

One song got in my head from the movie. I’ve never heard this song before, and now I don’t think I’ll ever forget it because I’ve been humming it off and on for a week. It’s A Bushel and a peck by Doris Day. Damn song. Why had I never heard it before?

In my search to find it, I found this adorable version. That kid is just too cute. I wonder if he or she will find this later and go oh god!

Now, United 93 was another story. I can’t say much good about this movie. I didn’t even want to watch it, because I knew how it ended, and why would I want to watch a movie about a plane crashing whenI knew everyone would die?

I guess the one good thing I can say about it was if the communication was as bad as the movie made it out to be, holy crap that was enlightening, and it needs some work.

What I couldn’t stand was all the Allah. I mean, the first scene was a couple of guys praying in I think Arabic. I know the hijackers were Muslim extremists, but what your run of the mill movie watcher will pick up on is all the prayer, and they will subconsciously repeat to themselves “Muslim prayer bad, Muslim prayer bad.” If that was really how it happened, then maybe I could swallow it, but I know all they had to go on was the bits that people said to people on cell phones and such. There was a lot of room for poetic license, and I can’t help but think they took it.

It’s weird how the human brain works. I think any kind of emotional connection I could have felt for these people was shut off, because when we got to the part where they were phoning their families, I didn’t feel one bit of emotion, not even when they were crying, and I’m a sucker for crying when others cry. I think my mind decided that if I invested anything in feeling for them, it would be too much, so don’t even get attached to them, they’re going to die, and why are you watching this movie anyway?

It was good to see everybody, but it was good to be back here too. This year, we decided not to have a party. It’s just too hard to come back from seeing all the family and then slap together a party that lasts for days. We love seeing our friends, and we’ll figure something out to see them, but New Years is just so hard. Last year I spent more time feeling as if I were half dead than having fun, and I just couldn’t willingly put myself through that again. When Steve agreed with me, then the decision was made. We ordered in, and took it easy, talking to some friends on the phone, and we did our own little Christmas, where I discovered that Steve got me a backpack! Sweet! Now I have two brand new backpacks! He filled it with lots of yummy candy and chocolates and stuff that could be used in the function game. He also got me a shirt, a shirt that I need to have someone describe to me for sure. He got it so long ago that neither he nor his mom, who picked it out, remember what it looks like. It was a good night.

A lot of things can change in a week. I come back, call the huppy’s mom, and find out that he has more teeth, is eating baby food, and is getting really good at scooching across the floor on his belly! Man! I can’t miss a thing!

So another year is in the bag. I feel like I just wrote a post like this. But it is in fact 2010, which sounds weird. I keep thinking of the Brian Boitano song by DVDA, even though I hear now that it clearly says “the year 3010.” But oh well, I could have sworn it said 2010. I guess no evil robot king is going to show up any time soon. I remember back when I heard that song and thought “Wow, 2010 is a long way off.” Well now it’s here. Crazy stuff.

What can I say about 2009? It wasn’t a bad year for me personally. It was pretty stable, Some cool stuff happened in it, and it went way fast. There was a lot of celebrity death in it though. I hope the dying slows down in 2010. It was a little disturbing. And I hope the people who lost their jobs and got knocked around by the economy can find their feet. Let’s have a good year, everybody!

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