Things I learned this weekend

  • Nellie’s vacations are always bittersweet for me. As an introvert I love the alone time, but I always miss her too.
  • Two years after I saw Once for the first time, I watched it again. Still just as amazing. The scene in the music store where he teaches her “Falling Slowly” gave me chills, just like it did the first time.
  • The city of Toronto is holding a design contest for a revamped north building at St. Lawrence Market. Good. I love the farmer’s market on Saturdays, but that building is both hideous and a logistical nightmare.
  • Eighteen pound cats do not enjoy falling into bathtubs full of water. They enjoy it even less when their owner takes too long drying them off because he’s nearly strained a rib muscle from laughing.
  • The Santa Claus parade seems ridiculously out of place when it’s foggy and 14 degrees. Oh, and fucking November.
  • That said, I’m excited that Swiss Chalet has the festive special up and running already.
  • There are few three-word sentences in moviedom as cool as “Gregor fucked us.”
  • If I ever own a house I’m going to make my living room into a replica of Cumbrae’s, complete with butchers and bags — bags, people — of pulled pork.
  • My team was teh suck last night (except for Carey Price) and hasn’t been very good at all this year.

Ah, vacation

It’s been a long two days. Since my last post we spent six hours waiting in the airport, took a bumpy ride into Halifax and thought hard about making the drive to the farm but were thwarted by the oncoming storm. Had the flight left on time, or even close to it, we could have made it to the farm ahead of the severe weather, but with half an inch of snow on the ground already I wasn’t risking it. We ended up spending the night at Nellie’s cousin’s place — which was an adventure in itself — and making the mildly treacherous drive to the farm yesterday. When we left the cousin’s place the power was out; when we reached the farm the power was out there as well. Awesome.

It wasn’t a problem not having power during the day — we were happy just to arrive, finally and in one piece — but as it turned dark and the temperature outside fell, the house began to cool off. A LOT. We also discovered that we were the only two houses around without power, so with tens of thousands of people around the province without power that night we figured we weren’t high on the fix-it list. My parents called the info line and left messages, but we decided the best place for us was in the car, so we took a trip into town, ostensibly for dinner and groceries, but also to keep warm. Good thing, too; the temperature outside had fallen to numbing levels. Returning home, we crossed our fingers as we got close to the farm, but no dice. Or, rather: no lights.

A few hours later, wrapped up in blankets, we saw a power truck pull up. They told us it was a blown transformer and predicted we’d have to wait at least another day for a replacement to be put in, so we went to bed early, wrapped in swaddling comfiness, hoping to sleep through the coldest of it. Happily the workers — who had been going for 36 straight hours, in what must have been -30 windchill — found a plan B and our power came on. I’ve never been so happy to hear the smoke detector chirp.

Today I woke up, stood on the hot-air register downstairs, microwaved myself a croissant and luxuriated in the feeling of my first shower in two days. I luxuriated in the flush toilets as well, but nobody needs to hear about that. Suffice it to say modern living was a big hit this morning when everyone got up.

No time to waste, though. My father still hadn’t done his Christmas shopping, so off we all went to Moncton. Some five hours later we’d braved malls and power centers, and eaten Festive Specials ’til we burst, and returned home to relax, at last. We inspected my brother’s newly-renovated house next door, during which time I was humiliated at foosball by my nine-year-old nephew, but quickly learned how to play and beat him in the next two games. Pwned. Then Nellie wrapped presents while Dad and I did battle at cribbage, and now we’re all just laying about stuffing our faces with bonbons* until we fall asleep. Now THIS is what I flew back to Nova Scotia for.

Tomorrow I’ll have to wrap presents and help my mother make apple pies, but if those are my chores I’ll happily struggle through. If I don’t have time to blog again before tomorrow night, then Merry Christmas everybody!

* To date: chocolate-covered peanut butter balls, chocolate macaroons, peanut butter chocolate drop cookies, three kinds of fudge and Lindt chocolates. Up next: my father’s homemade strawberry ice cream. Then sweet, sweet cardiac failure.