Talk About Your Hyped Up Gift

Wow. This guy has a heck of a lot of willpower. 47 years ago, Adrian Pearce was dumped by his girlfriend, but right before she dumped him, she gave him a Christmas present, and he has never opened it. He used to put it under the Christmas tree until his wife finally insisted it be banned from there. Every now and then, he has a moment of weakness and goes to open it, but he has always stopped. Now, it has grown into a great big mystery.

He tried to get in contact with the ex-girlfriend years later, but the number he once had was no longer hers.

This would be where most people stopped and said “Aww, how sweet!” But I have to go and spoil it by putting in this lovely ditty.

“Open me first at Christmas,” said the tag for her to see.
Upon my gift wrapped shoe box, beneath her plastic tree
And even through the air holes, I can smell her cheap perfume.
It set my puppy tail a waggin’, though it didn’t have much room.

Open me first at Christmas. Can’t you hear me whine?
Open me first at Christmas, I’m running out of time,
I’m running out of time.

Her boyfriend stuffed me in this shoe box, while I was fast asleep.
Being the runt of the litter, that used pet store sold me cheap.
And I smelled chicken grease on his fingers, and it made my poocher hunger grow.
then I heard curses through yellow chain smoke teeth as he fumbled with the bow.

Oh and now she’s shaking my shoe box, and it gave my poocher heart a lift.
Soon she’ll be unwrapping me, her warm and snuggly gift.
Oh but what is all this shouting? His other girlfriend is on her phone
I hear suitcases being packed and the door is slammed, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m all alone!

Well, what are we gonna do now, folks?
Before you all return for your next forced entertainment period, you get to vote. What we’re going to do with the little puppy at the end of the song. Will the puppy live or die? It’s up to you.
Yes, this is an open democracy. Just pretend you’re an emperor at a Roman arena
who wants the puppydog to live?
(some applause)
Who wants the puppydog to die?
(bigger cheer)
Well, right to lifers, I guess you lose again.

She’s gone, she’s never coming back, but I’ll be a big surprise anyway.
When the apartment manager’s niece opens me first, come next Christmas day.

Open me first at Christmas. Can’t you hear me whine?
Open me first at Christmas, cuzz I’ve just run out of *coughcough* time!

Gee mommy, is that a polaroid? Aaaaaa!

I’m sure Adrian’s present was much less…traumatizing. It might even be disappointing if he does open the gift as part of some charity event since it has been so mysterious for so long. But I figure I shouldn’t be the only one with that horrible image in my head. Mwa ha ha ha.

Have A Giant Holiday Wrap-Up

Holy crap, it’s 2018. I feel like these holidays snuck up on us, then jumped on us, and now I’m still in disbelief that they’re over. In a small sense, they’re not quite over because I haven’t seen the nephews on my side of the family and we might see them this weekend, but everything else is over.

I think the Christmas season would have been a bit merrier if there wasn’t a roving cold going through the family making people sick one after another. This cold/flu/whatever the heck wasn’t messing around. It sent some pretty tough people to the doctor, and hung around plaguing some other pretty tough people for a week or two. It seems to hit you, then just when you think you’ve fought it off, it comes back for a second round of punches. I haven’t got it yet, and I really hope I don’t.

We got tons of time with Steve’s sister’s little guy. That boy can move, climb, do stairs, and his new favourite thing is throwing things. Food, toys, things that aren’t toys…you name it, if it’s within range, it’s probably going for a trip if you don’t catch him in time. I accidentally taught him a new word, but I think he misunderstands its meaning. Whenever anything would clatter to earth, I would say “oops” or “oopsy” or “woops.” Now, he says them after hurling something to the ground. Um, oops.

He’s adorable and a lot of fun. One hilarious thing he does is if you sing a song like “the wheels on the bus,” he doesn’t sing, but he does all the hand actions, and if you’re not singing, he stares at you. He also loves it if you laugh and cover your mouth when you do it. Like most kids his age, he loves having the same book read over and over. I think I could read the “Grandma and me” book from memory. I was almost hoping he would bring it to me and ask me to read it.

Watching him move around puts a whole new perspective on the world and how many things could be scary in it when you don’t know what they do. You can suddenly lose your balance and fall over. You can fail to realize you are under a table, stand up and bash your head. Doors can pinch your wee fingers. People way bigger than you can accidentally bonk you. There are hot things, sharp things, things that look like smarties that aren’t, things that look like they could be fun that aren’t, things that were fun that now no longer are, and they’re all waiting for you to set them off. How in the world do we survive this stage without crumpling into sad heaps of fear?

But instead of being scared, he is full of curiosity and wonder! Many times, you can hear him say “Ooo!” or “Wow!” as he looks at something. He is full of wonder, wondering what that is that he has just found, and we are forced to wonder what he just found and what that might mean.

He also makes it very clear that modesty is a learned thing. He got this adorable, fuzzy bathrobe for Christmas. He came down to show it off to us, and he looked like this little bundle of fuzz with hands and feet sticking out. Then, in a flash, the robe fell off and there he was in his birthday suit, and he didn’t care! He ran through the basement and we had to convince him to put it back on. We had to watch out that he didn’t just stop and pee on a random book. Oh no, “Grandma and Me” might be “Grandma and Wee!”

He got several adorable toys, and their songs and sound effects will follow me for quite some time. One was this little barn with animals and songs.

That video doesn’t have all the songs in it, and it even cuts off the end of one of them, but it has 3 of them that are chasing me around. I’m a terrible person. In the one that says “you give them all the things they need, and you get love in return,” I wasn’t thinking, and for a moment I was mortified. “What? Did it say you’ll get lunch in return?” I thought. Thankfully, I kept my mouth shut and heard what it really said.

Another big hit was this firetruck.

To the dad in this video, go ahead and let Dannie chuck it. It will survive just fine. I don’t think we’ve heard half the things it will say, but it likes to sing the song about “heading out to help, everyone in town, in our red firetruck, hear the siren sound.” We also heard a lot about seeing the flashing lights, and putting the ladder up and down.

There were some other big hits he got, but I can’t remember what they’re called so I can’t find the videos. One was a digger with a little backup beeper on it. Now, when I hear a real backup beeper, I keep hearing “Cat power!” in my head.

He also tested Shmans’s tolerance for little kidlets, and she was amazing. He would fall over her, hug her, try to feed her his bottle of milk, and she took it like a champ. How many times did I pet her and find her with sticky spots where he had probably been? Poor Shmans.

And if he wasn’t testing her patience, there were other doggies who would join in. This was so funny. I brought her into another gathering and kept her in harness. There were two little tiny dogs and several children there, so I was hoping to keep her calm. But this one dog thought there was something wrong with her and just kept poking at her. Sniff her eyes, sniff her harness, sniff her butt. It made me think of how we test responses of people who are in comas by shining lights in their eyes or pinching some skin to see if they flinch. Shmans was not responding, and this made the little dog more insistent. I realized that she would not leave her alone, so after getting approval from the people who owned the house, I let her loose. I don’t think I have ever seen two happier dogs. I think the little dog was sure she had just resuscitated Shmans, and Shmans was so happy to let loose. For the rest of the afternoon, the two dogs could be found playing under the table and being goofballs.

Tans was also amazing because about 3:30 in the morning when all this craziness was set to start, Tans barfed on our carpet. It seems I haven’t documented this fully, but at least once a year, Tans will barf. It’s always in a different month of the year, and we’ve started calling it playing barf bingo. The first two episodes have been talked about, but it happened again in August of 2015, then November of 2016, and just when I was a little too confident that we would make it through 2017 without incident, there it was. She had gotten sick once earlier in the week, but I only saw the evidence after I had fed her her breakfast, so I couldn’t make her skip a meal. Everything seemed to be going along ok, and then on the morning of Christmas Eve, we awoke to what sounded like someone slowly pouring a bottle of water on the floor. Yuck! So that breakfast got skipped, and despite everything being nuts, she didn’t have another upset through the whole holiday insanity.

Tans and Trix didn’t play much, but they got a couple of sessions in. Trix still likes to bark. But Trix is definitely getting older. I can actually hear her legs shuffling along. Don’t get me wrong, she can move, and she did a lot of moving to try and chase people around the kitchen all holiday, but the shuffle is audible. I think she might be moving a little better now, since the poor beasty had to have a toe amputated because it was full of some nasty cancer. They say the cancer didn’t make it to the bone, so she might be ok, but yikes! I don’t know if I’ve lost my mind, but Trix’s head looks noticeably smaller than Tans’s. Is this just something I’ve never noticed before or could it have shrunk? That’s probably not possible, so I’m going to go with the idea that I’m nuts and Trix’s head has always been smaller. Finally, she has this obsession with water, so much so that we have to restrict it, and we have to keep lids down on toilets and bathroom doors closed so she doesn’t try to suck water out of the shower drain or slurp it out of the john. We had to keep the little nephew out of the bathroom anyway, and couldn’t leave water down because if we did, he would probably make his own lake with it, but it’s so strange to see Trix need the restrictions. She hasn’t drank out of a toilet since she was new with me. I told her no and that was that. Now, it’s like she’s driven by a compulsion to drink more than she could ever need. In fact, Brad says if you let her, sometimes she would drink until it just comes back up. She has been tested for all the physical things that could make her thirsty and they come up normal, so we’re left with the conclusion she is doing it because old dog is old. I definitely am trying to get my Trix snuggles in when I can, again, because old dog is old. She seems to think I’m a decent person still, thank goodness.

Steve’s dad moved at the end of November. Now, we should never run into last year’s problem of not being able to get him to Christmas stuff. His place is much smaller than he had, but I think it’s perfect for him, and we all fit in it, even with two dogs and a baby walking around. It was neat to finally see it, since we hadn’t been there yet.

I have learned that I can be such a baby. Steve’s stepdad bought this game called Pie Face. Basically, there’s this apparatus with a chin rest and another part that’s slathered with whipped cream. Every time you turn the handle, there’s the potential to get a splat of whipped cream to the face. So, you have to spin the dial, and whatever number it comes up with, you have to turn the handles that many times while your chin is resting on this chin rest. If you manage to spin it the prescribed number of times without getting splorched, you get the points. In our game, you got double the points. In any case, once you make it to 25 points, you’re safe.

Here’s a video of some people playing it.

Let’s just say that’s not the way I looked. Apparently they have hilarious video of me. I look like I’m playing Russian Roulette. I know my face was all screwed up, and I did not like turning that handle. I kept hearing people saying “She looks like she’s going to have a heart attack!” It was a fun game…there was just something really freaky about never quite knowing when you were going to get covered in goo. That sounds gross.

While I’m all weirded out by getting splattered with whipped cream, some people really don’t like those gift exchanges where you can trade gifts with other people. At one gathering, the way it works is everybody brings something kind of generic that anybody might be able to enjoy. If you’re a woman, you bring something more feminine, if you’re a guy, you bring something more masculine, so there are enough things and everybody gets something. So, all the women draw cards and pick from the girls’ pile and show everybody what they got. Then they draw again and choose to either keep what they have or trade with someone else. The people who drew higher cards have a greater chance of leaving with what they want. Then the guys do the same thing.

There’s this one guy who just hates this game. He always gets annoyed when someone takes his gift, or in the old days when anyone could take anything, when he would end up with a more girly gift. Apparently, he has always been not the biggest fan of this game, so it’s not because he’s getting older or anything. It’s almost become a sport to make him trade, just to watch him get all sad. Yes, we’re evil. I don’t know if he just wants to get something and keep it, or if he can’t remember all the things and it’s too hard, but every year, he gets annoyed. If he would just be cool about it, we’d probably leave him alone.

So that’s the run-down of our Christmas craziness. Like I said before, we decided not to go out last night to hopefully head off this stupid cold. So it’s back to work with me. We just have the nephews on my side to see and then we’ll be all done.

What can I say about 2017? For us personally, it was a pretty decent year. We all were healthy, the nephews got a little older, we went to some shows, everything stayed relatively ordinary, which is the way we like years to go. As for the world, that was another story. It’s never good when every time you look at news, you just keep saying “That can’t be real! That’s not possible,” but it is. It is frightening to see so much open racism and hatred, but I’m happy to see a lot of resistance to that hatred so it’s not all bad. I really hope 2018 can bring better things for everyone.

You’re A Foul One, Mr. Stolen Package

Among many tips, police say that if you’re receiving packages on your porch, you should have a camera there to discourage porch pirates from stealing the packages. What I’d love is a camera inside a particular stolen package, a lovingly-wrapped box of especially-disgusting diapers.

It seems Angie Boliek had one too many Christmas packages stolen, so she decided to fix the next thief’s wagon. Her son had been sick the last week, and he had been producing some disgusting output. She packaged it up with a note that said “Enjoy this you thief!” and left it on her porch. The next day, it was gone.

Hopefully that thief doesn’t have a vengeful streak and she does get the last laugh.

A Cell Would Be A Fine Place For These Selwoods

Now, there’s a family whose parties were probably anything but fun. most of them ended up in jail for Christmas.

Meet the Selwood family. We have a guy who doesn’t mind stabbing a buddy for asking him to share his steak dinner, and also doesn’t mind stomping on other people’s heads, among his 17 convictions. We have another guy who tried to blow up an ATM to get the money. We have a mom and son duo who repeatedly get involved in fights in public. We have another daughter who squirted a neighbour with toilet cleaner for complaining about her loud music. She’s the only one on the loose at Christmas, but she’s just getting out. Yikes!

You might think your family is dysfunctional. I think this one has you beat.

Jingle Pins

Nothing says holiday season quite like dot matrix printers programmed to play Jingle Bells, so let us all take a few moments to enjoy that now.

Oh, and merry Christmas to all of you from Carin and I. Thanks for being such great family, friends, acquaintances and people we don’t know.

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, He Knows When You’re Awake, But He Didn’t See That Light Pole, So His Leg Now Has A Break

If Santa has a harder time than usual getting down your chimney this Christmas, this might be why.

Gerard Krokus, an experienced skydiver, was helping Santa deliver the Elf named Kristoff to a nine-year-old girl while flying in toys to the Beach Bums Operation Santa Charity Volleyball Tournament on Saturday. 
In the video you can see Krokus with a parachute above him coming in to deliver the toys, before his speed picks up and he crashes into a tree and a light pole near the sand volleyball courts.

the pole gave him a broken leg for Christmas, but it apparently didn’t stop him from taking a few pictures before heading to the hospital to get it fixed.

There is a GoFundMe to help pay his medical bills, since I guess the North Pole hasn’t gotten around to figuring out the whole universal healthcare thing just yet.

It Used To Be Fun

Gill doesn’t seem to be feeling Christmas this year. I’ve been there, though for different reasons.

Some of my favorite memories are coming downstairs Christmas morning and sitting by the fire to open the stockings. Other favorite moments involve sitting in the living room of my family’s 100 year old farmhouse hot chocolate, or in later years a coffee at my side opening gifts and having laughs and joy.

When The Fun Stopped

Having a disability meant having to collect money from the government, and being on a very fixed very low income. When Christmas advertisements come around in early November, sometimes I am still reminded of the farmhouse fun, but others, especially if it’s some fine jewelry that I couldn’t possibly afford to give my mom I have mixed feelings.

How It Makes Me Feel

For the most part there’s a touch of sadness, but sometimes it spirals down in to something that resembles anger mixed with embarrassment. Case in point, in 2013 I bought my sister something from Wallmart, and initially she seemed grateful, but a few months later she basically told me I was “white trash`.

The Tiffany’s Incident

Not to be out done my sister that same Christmas gave my mom a bracelet from Tiffany. It needed a little fix up a few months later, and since we were in Toronto we went in to Tiffany. I immediately got uncomfortable, and longed to tell my mom to leave me outside because I clearly didn’t belong in such a classy place.

What’s My Point?

I honestly feel that the holidays should be more about time honored traditions, the turkey, going visiting, or gathering around great-aunt Merna’s piano to sing those classic carols.

Rudolph The Resigning Prime Minister

Damn you, Jonathon Gatehouse. You and your National Today newsletter just ruined Christmas and Canadian history for me for the rest of time.

Today in history

Nov. 15, 1948: A farewell address from Prime Minister Mackenzie King — who was also apparently the voice of Sam the Snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

He’s right, you guys.

Sam the Snowman:

Prime Minister King:

Other than some extra whistling on the S’s, it’s uncanny. Why was this glossed over in high school?

No, I didn’t forget the Christmas Wrap-Up. Here It Is

So here it is, February 5th and I’m finally writing the post I always do about our holidays. Although horribly late, it’s not as late as it seems because we only finished having get-togethers 3 weeks ago. Why? Because weather and circumstances are evil.

We had the best plan ever. We were going to spread the get-togethers out so that we didn’t end up doing the massive Christmas get-together hop that left us all exhausted. We thought we would have the thing with Steve’s dad early. We were going to do it at Brad’s place. Everything was a go…until weather made it so Steve’s dad couldn’t get to Brad’s place. So…the rest of us got there, but not Steve’s dad. It was an awesome day, except for the part where it didn’t serve its purpose. We eventually had a Christmas thing at Steve’s dads in mid January. Oops.

Steve and I spent actual Christmas with my family, which was a lot of fun. Our first nephew is almost 2, so he can provide all of the entertainment. You have to watch what you say, though, because he’s hoovering up words like a sponge. He loves Steve. and if it was allowed, he’d have Steve bounce him all day. “High? High? Boing! Boing! Boing!” He doesn’t know what Tansy is, though. He tries to sit on her, scream into her fur, pull her tail. We all have to be on guard so he doesn’t unintentionally hurt her. He has his own little dog at home, but she’s a lot smaller, and doesn’t lie as still. We sometimes have to protect him when Tansy tries to play with his little dog, and gets carried away.

My sister’s baby is getting bigger, and is starting to form a personality. He notices every little noise, and jumps, which I’m not used to. Even my dad’s cough would make him startle.

Then our get-together with Steve’s mom and company got delayed because a bunch of them got the flu! Yuck, I’m glad I never got that bug. It even hit Steve’s sister’s baby. Poor little guy! We eventually got together about a month or so ago.

On the subject of that little nephew, he’s starting to figure out how to move, and yup, we’re in trouble. Apparently he can get into a lot of mischief in a short time. He’s also fascinated with pulling hair, as I have learned. Hmm. We’re going to a family party today. Maybe I should tie my hair back.

After buying a few toys for the nephews for Christmas, I have learned that VTech makes a lot of kids’ toys. I only knew they made cordless phones…shows what I know. But I feel like they make every kids’ toy known to man. Is it me, or does that giggling kid not sound a little creepy sometimes?

Also, some of the grandkids got together at my grandma’s house. That was fun, reminiscing about the trouble we got into as kids. Plus, Grandma got to see the new little guys, so that was a good thing. Hopefully none of her fake fruit went missing…some of it got carried around and played with a little bit.

Christmas was good. We got just the right amount of everything, and we got a new microwave. The one we’ve been using for about 17 years started howling like it was being injured and taking longer to warm things up. It’s weird having a microwave that actually works. I always end up heating things up too much.

Through our attempts to label said microwave, we have learned that they don’t make Braille label tape like they used to. If you don’t use it for a while, all its stickiness goes. I had to borrow a friend’s tape because mine looked like it had been put through the war. When we tried to label the microwave, the labels fell right off! Even glue wouldn’t hold them on. We eventually had to call in the CNIB to label it, and those labels stuck. My only thought is if you don’t use the tape, it goes bad. But I don’t ever remember that being a problem before.

I think that sums up all the holiday get-togethers. We certainly got our wish that they were spread out…but they were spread out *after* Christmas, which wasn’t part of the plan. I do have to say that having a couple things in January made that month feel a little less dreary though.

What can I say about 2016? Although it wasn’t a very good year in a lot of ways, for us personally, it was a pretty good one. Getting two baby nephews and having a whole year of good health for us and everyone in our immediate circles makes 2016 a decent year. Now let’s just hope 2017 can be a decent year for everyone. I know it didn’t get started in a good way, but there’s a lot of year to go. Hopefully it can get turned around.

Hail Mary, Full Of…Uh, Guys? Is She Supposed To Be Full Of Those Things?

These songs, as you may have noticed, are just a tiny bit different. But while this observation did not get bye you, the same cannot be said for the person responsible for printing up the lyric sheets for this year’s Catholic Joy to the World Festival.

A Christmas carol service in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo has accidentally printed out the lyrics to late rapper Tupac Shakur’s ‘Hail Mary’ in its programme instead of the 15th century Catholic prayer. 
The mix-up occurred at the 2016 Catholic Joy to the World Festival at the city’s Nelum Pokuna Theatre during one of Sri Lanka’s largest Christmas celebrations earlier this month.
Instead of finding the words “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee/blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb”, the carol singers were invited to reflect on the 1997 song’s themes of mortality, violence and sex and whether they wanted to “ride or die.”

If it hasn’t happened already, somebody please find a way to mash these up. It would make things so much easier next year.