December 26, 2008
welcome christmas

Hey, all y'all. Bet you thought I wasn't coming back till 2009. I hope we've all set up our RSS readers, 'cause I don't think I'm going to be posting any less erratically in the new year. (Or any more erotically. You can get that elsewhere on the Internet, or so I've heard.)

Dudes, I actually have to look up what was happened when last I wrote…

Oh yeah. Blake's birthday.

My whole strategy this December has been to focus only on the next goal. First it was Blake's birthday, which, despite the lack of party, was kind of a big hoohaw. After that, I was spending the week making my costume for my (major) student recital debut. And when I say "making," I'm talking about hemming the places where I turned a sleeveless velour turtleneck into a v-neck choli (almost like turning a sandwich into a banquet), stitching up my troupe armband by hand in the midst of a wildcat sewing machine strike, knotting lengths of novelty yarn onto an elastic waistband, and assembling all the makeup I've accumulated in my life. Also: I painted my nails for the first time in about 7 years, and tried to convince Blake that I was turning into a cyborg. He remained suspicious. "It's just paint, Mommy." Jessamyn painted henna on my arm, a design that's lasted till now in certain parts. I was ready.

The big day was…well, perfect. We were the only group to collectively choreograph our own dance – the rest were teacher-led classes and improv performances. We all looked AMAZING, and I even stopped minding The World seeing the belly I've been hiding since I came out of my mother's. We developed a new catchphrase ("It's okay, we're belly dancers") and spontaneously flashed our gang signal at each other before the dance started. We even had a miracle: Souzan does not perform in front of strangers, but she did, perfectly. (We all pretended not to notice, so's not to call her attention to her death-defying feat. She was our Coyote, but she got herself safely to the other side of the canyon.) I didn't screw up the improv verse under my leadership. It was so good.


With the dance debut done, I had a scant 12 hours to make ready for Mo & Brand's housewarming/xmas party. Fortunately, I didn't have to do anything but bake cookies and show up with the Blake. We had to miss Sarah & Leo's yearly do to dance, so this was our chance to sit and relax with the gamer geeks and geeklings. I miss those guys since I moved to B-ton. It just doesn't get any easier with time. But the party was nice, and the food was excellent and Blake accumulated many interesting new bruises and abrasions whilst playing in the basement.

After the weekend was done, it was just a matter of charging through my last week at school. I'm behind the 8-ball with two of my classes, so there was one period on the last day spent in tests with no fun at all. The others were treated to cartoons, although my 11 Faiths are apparently too sophisticated to enjoy the Tick. I didn't know there was such a pitiable condition.

The only other event of note in this week was when I scraped another car on Wednesday morning, resulting in a $500 cheque to some very nice people. Ho ho ho. It was totally my fault: I was trying to get through a gap in stopped cars, and I misjudged the distance. So in a week when everyone else in the GTA was skidding around in the winter wonderland, I just lack discernment. (Obviously.)

On Saturday I hosted a troupe tea to celebrate our successful debut and fight over Secret Santa stuff. Such a good way to end the year with the women who have changed my life forever. Sayward even give me a drop-spindle, a craft I was purposefully avoiding so that I could have the semblance of a social life. I can kiss that idea goodbye. Get ready for 2009: the year of the roving stash.

On Monday, Mason, Blake & I headed up to his parents' house for an Xmas sleepover. For people with four grandsons already, I'm continually surprised that they are so enthusiastic about seeing an honourary fifth. For me, the highlight was not the heated, late-night discussion of shifty Catholic priests, but rather the WWF wrestling ring of Mason's youth, unearthed for Blake's enjoyment. My boy had them all, including a ref. So we had the traditional Christmas smackdown, in miniature.

And then, on the way home, my transmission went on vacation. We were towed from the Kawarthas on the day before Christmas Eve, and the shop tells me that I'll be carless for a week into 2009 as well as on the hook for a 2 grand transmission. Ho ho ho…Santa, is there a mechanic in your family? Two repair bills in a week? Ho ho oh well. I've had a good run to this point.

Mason & I spent the time leading up to Christmas in an orgy…(wait for it…) of crafting. By the time Decemberween dawned, we had reduced the basement to a jumble of clean laundry, crafting supplies and a few unfortunate toys that got caught in the friendly fire. We spent almost all of the 'ween knitting, sewing and finishing things. And the best part was that it was fun. Blake was excited and happy, we were excited and happy, and there was a "Christmas in the trenches" feel to our final countdown of craftiness. Everything on my list was crossed off, with the exception of my mom's scarf that still needs an hour or two, but which I'd intended to finish on Christmas day (note to self: when hosting the family dinner for 10, don't expect a lot of time to sit n' knit).

I brought Mason to church on the 'ween, keeping him as far from my mom as possible. It worked, too: there was no apocalypse scenario, no fires to be doused. And I got to bring my sweetie to the big swirling chaotic mass of spirituality and grandparent-indulgery that is Xmas Eve. Also, for the second time in a lot of years, I didn't have the yearly "we are not going to your Mom's on the spur of the moment!" Decemberween fight that I've had with the Boy since we got married. Best Decemberween in a long time.

Yesterday I hosted my family for Christmas dinner. It was pretty good, right up until the point when the hat I'd made for my dad was widely mocked and I felt the need to retreat to the laundry room with my glass of wine before I burst into tears. I got over it. I had to. And everything else was excellent. My first turkey was juicy, completely cooked and, well, still had the giblets inside, but that wasn't a huge deal. The only snag was my spectacular lack of drinks, leading us to forage through the liquor cabinet for half-forgotten bottles of novelty whiskey. Even that was sort of fun, in retrospect.

And with the spectacular exception of my dad, all my other presents were well-received. It was a good Christmas. Of course, this one had no marital trauma, but it wasn't that that made me the happiest: it was putting my Blake to bed in his new pj's and then going to snuggle Mason while he finished reading "World's End." It was talking to Preacher on the phone. It was knowing that I had lots to do and many new things to be this year, and most of them were wonderful tasks and interesting identities. I'm happy. Merry Christmas, my peeps.

decemberween crafts

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*