Monday, December 31, 2007

The End Of 2007

I am about to head out into the world and see what fun Ottawa can provide for me for the last hours of 2007. It was a fine year. I wanted to put together some form of photo retrospective, but I didn't get the time since I spent a long time find new homes for the things I got for Christmas.

I shall leave you with this picture of all the candy I got over the Christmas holidays. It shall serve me well over the next couple of months, since I'm currently too poor to afford snacks. It's a ridiculous amount. Remember, I didn't buy it for myself. HAH

I look forward to talking to you all in 2008! Have a great night!

The Nutcrackers

When I was 9, my mom gave me a wooden nutcracker for Christmas. I thought it was pretty awesome, and when I was 12, she decided to buy me another one. Each year since then, I've gotten a new nutcracker at Christmas, and it has become one of my favourite traditions.

The blue one on the left was the first one I got. He has survived a lot... his hat broke and fell off, I accidentally busted the moving mouth part right out of him, and he survived the year that our basement flooded and lots of our Christmas decorations got ruined, with only minor paint damage and dirtiness. The one on the horse is from last year. It's pretty awesome. The little guy is the smallest one I have... its no more than 3 inches tall.

These guys are bigger. The middle one is somewhere between one and two feet tall. The Russian one is pretty sweet, and so is the Irish guy. This year, I got the silver one, and he has a pretty awesome sword.

I thought I would share this with you all because hey, why not? HAHA

I may be back later, after I return to Ottawa, with one last post for 2007, so I can make 31 posts in the 31 days of December. Cheers!

The Good Friends, Part 2

Saturday night, we all headed on over to Steph's place to celebrate Jacey's birthday [she'll be a big 2-1 on Thursday!] There were good times at Steph's, but then we went to Finnigan's which was much less packed than normal, and pretty boring to be honest. Thankfully, we were only there for an hour and a half until closing. Subway was delicious as always, and I did get to see some fun people, so that was great.

Jenny drove Bill and I to Steph's after Subway so that we could pick up our booze and walk home, but we ended up chatting with Steph in her basement until 5am. We had a great conversation about everything we could ever imagine, and it all started with Bill mentioning nipples. Classy.

This afternoon, Momma, Darrell and I went to my aunt and uncle's for dinner and it was pretty awesome! After we got home, I called up the girls for one last hurrah at Tim Hortons!

We ran into Jodie, Michelle and her friend Dan. I proceeded to quiz Dan about his entire life in a lightning-round type of game. It was fun. For me, at least.

People told me to not bug Dan like that, but then, to the shock of everyone involved, when they were leaving, Michelle and Jodie were headed to the door, and Dan sat down at our table. As Michelle walked by the window outside, you could see that she was furious. You see, Michelle likes Dan [and several others] but Dan just wants to be friends. Needless to say, Michelle came back eventually.

Dan is possibly the nicest person I've ever met. He just seemed like a genuinely good person. He told us stories of how he just goes out of his way for others, and it was touching.

In other news, things are looking somewhat good for my sister. There is still the chance of a relapse like usual, but she may ACTUALLY be ending things with her loser boyfriend. She has kicked him out of her house, and is planning to move in with mom and eventually sell her house [since she can't afford it herself]. Step one is that she is staying here at mom's tonight, which is the most progress we've ever had in this situation. We really need the loser to get his shit out of her house. That will be a major accomplishment. Once that happens, things should get a bit easier, and if mom can keep her staying at our house, we may finally get this thing over with. If any of you are the thinking-good-thoughts or the praying type, please hope that this will finally be the end of a very smart girl's relationship with a very stupid, alcoholic, and from what i've deduced, abusive asshole.

That's about all I have from Renfrew, my friends. Tomorrow afternoon, dad will be driving me back to Ottawa where I will get to ring in the new year with Andrew. Today also happens to mark 6 months of Michael-Andrew togetherness, which is a grand feat in my eyes.

Happy New Year to all of you lovely folks! Have fun, and take a cab!

The Good Friends

Over the past few nights, there has been much drinking or amaretto, and general merriment. On Friday night, there was fondue.

Lesley played me a jazzy little tune.

Jacey chopped up some apples and bananas for us, and there were also some raspberries.

As the only guy, I decided that it was my duty to light it up.

The chocolate looked a little gross while melting. This was my first fondue experience ever!

Lindsay and I enjoyed the bananas the best.

Elyse was her usual happy self.

Kristin was her usual wine-drinking self.

Stephanie and Jacey were looking at Kristin.

Lindsay was nicely buzzed, while Rebecca was tanked.

The walk to the bar was a snowy one.

But Rebecca and I really wanted to get there to see the band.

Later that night, I walked home in complete silence, as main street was dead.

My street was pretty quiet as well. And very pretty.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Missing

It's been over a week since I came to Renfrew, and I miss Andrew tons, and I know he misses me too.

I'll be back in 36 hours babe! I will see you soon!

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Shopping Begins

Today started out as a nice relaxing day at home. That got pretty boring, so Momma and I went to spend some of my gift cards [I was spending, she was along for the treaturous, snowy ride]. We looked all over Home Hardware, but I didn't see anything I really liked. I came close to buying a cool DVD shelf in the shape of an X, but then I decided that I don't really need it. I will try again another day, or I will sell the card to Momma someday!

At Wal*Mart, I bought two DVDs... Smokin' Aces [which contains much blood, but it is so good that it DOESN'T make me queasy. Also, this is the movie that I saw on my first and only date-with-girl. Sorry Kailey! I also bought Super Troopers, because I had another $6 of gift card left, and I was NOT leaving without using that $6. $6.88 later, I own Super Troopers. Woo!

Upon arriving at home, I had to shovel the driveway and the mailman's path to the front steps, because the 1-3cm of snow we were supposed to get turned into about 6 inches. Bastards. It only took about 45 minutes, and I talked to our neighbour Colleen for a few of those minutes while she cleared off her car. After shoveling and supper, Mando and I went to Liquidation World for some fun lame shopping awesomeness.

We found these amazing Chinese man candles that were 4 for $1. That is a pretty good deal, so I decided to buy them. I also bought salt and pepper shakers shaped like metal dice, because they're sweet.

We found these little doll furnitures, so we put the men on them. There was also a beautiful tiny couch that fit the four men nicely, but that picture is on Mando's camera.

Jacey and the gang came over tonight to play Cranium.

Amanda and Derek were the eventual champions.

Lindsay and I were third, but we made up a lot of ground, so we were still happy! Momma took these pictures with her brand new camera that is identical to mine, but was $70 cheaper. Grr!

Amanda and Derek would not get into a group picture, so we group pictured right around them. Take that!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Alison and I got home from dad's and our big family dinner [30ish people on my mom's side] was in full swing; minus the eating. Things were still cooking [the turkey was taking a little longer than planned] so we got in some good chatting time with everyone. Sadly, my camera was upstairs and I was not, so there are no pictures. I'll take pictures of Easter for you.

The meal was again delicious, but there was more work involved with this meal, because mom's family doesn't believe in paper plates. Us kids always take on the dish washing responsibilities, since the parents provide the wonderful meals. Much to my chagrin [because who doesn't want to say chagrin?] most of the people my age were lazy jerks, and found ways to get away and not do the dishes. Five of the nine people around my age managed to slip out the door before the first plate hit the dishwater. My cousins can be major disappointments sometimes. But Alison and I washed and dried the dishes for 30, along with our cousin Jonathon [the only one of his four siblings who stayed] and his girlfriend Annie, who was super nice to help out.

While dad's family events always last into the night, mom's family event never lasts past 9. I've always wished it was the other way around, but I'm realizing that at least no one tried to duck out from dad's event. Maybe the 'good Catholics' of mom's family aren't the great ones after all!

Boxing Day

I slept for 12 hours. Momma and Alison and Darrell did not wake me up to go to Wal*Mart with them. This kind of annoyed me, because I did not need 12 hours of sleep, and I would have liked to be a part of the family shopping outing. Boo.

I relaxed for most of the time I was awake. Then I hung out with some of the gang at Tim Horton's for a few hours, and we played cards. Then I came home and uploaded my pictures, and I typed out these three blogs, which took a good hour and a half. Fun, no?

I went through my gift cards... these are the stores I will be shopping at: Tim Horton's, Wal*Mart, Home Hardware, Old Navy (2), West 49 (2), Bluenotes and I got a stack of poker chips for Top Of The World. Awesome.

The Unwrapping

Christmas Day was a full one. After 4 hours of sleep, we were up at 8:30 to open presents with Momma and Darrell. Sadly, I only took three pictures of this, and they are all of my sister. We had a good time though, the four of us, with me in my penguin pyjamas from Andrew hehe. I gave mom a clock with black and white pictures around it, of us kids, her and darrel, her parents and her as a little girl. She LOVED it.

My gift for Alison was two film reel canisters which were packed with popcorn and movie candy, and also the movies Eraserhead [because she has wanted it forever and couldn't find it] and Reefer Madness [I went with a cult movies theme].

She absolutely LOVED the gift. But, in true 'Alison and Michael can guess anything' fashion, when she was still unwrapping the outer box, she was taking off the bow [made of a filmstrip] and she said "Is it Eraserhead?" ... a giant box and she guessed one of the DVDs? WHAT THE HELL!

But I can do it too. I can pick up two DVDs and tell you which is which. Alison and I are awesome.

After a quick nap, Alison and I were off to dad's for round two of gift fun.

Dad, Joanna, little tiny baby Angela and Josh.

Sarah and Rachel. Aaw.

Rachel playing with the [somewhat creepy] Shrek Barbie that Alison gave her. I gave her a nice tasteful tree ornament HAHA

Alison and Angela. Aww.

Joanne and the babies. Aww.



The family. Poorly set up, but they insisted on being on the floor, so I had to sneak in while the timer was going, and I look gigantic compared to everyone else. Dumb. lol

After the day of gift giving and receiving, I wont lie... everyone loved the gifts I gave. The little girls got ornaments, Josh and Sarah got candy and movie passes, and I got dad and Joanne a nice set of pasta bowls. It was the first time my dad has ever seemed like he truly ENJOYS what I got him, so I was really happy. Later that day, I gave my godmother [my aunt Frances] a sweet sushi set from an awesome store called Zone, and she was thrilled. Yay!

Things were pretty darn good on the receiving end too... I got a 40 and a mickey of amaretto, some DVDs [the last season of Seinfeld, to complete my collection, and seasons 2 and 3 of Lost], an insane amount of gift cards [like, I won't even say how much they total... its less than you're thinking, but its still a lot HAHA]. Most shockingly, my father bought my a shirt. A black zippered DC hoodie. And I frigging love it. Well done, dad!

The Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has always been a tradition on my dad's side of the family. A good 30 people get together [this year at my dad's] and stuff ourselves silly. Once the food has settled and the complaints of being full have died down, we do presents. In the golden days, Christmas Eve used to last until 4 or 5 in the morning. Since my grandma died a few years ago, the family has to make a bit more of an effort to get together [since there is tension all around] so it only lasts until about 1am.

Aunt Sharon. She's hilarious.

My cousin Cheryl and her boyfriend James.

Me, still stamped from the bar two days earlier. The stamp is STILL there faintly. I don't know what they used, but it was permanant!

The group [half of it] at present time!

Random shot of Uncle Lyle.

Alison laughin' it up.

Joanne with cookies, which look pretty purple in this picture. Weird.

Little Madison... so cute! But there are too many little girls. Gary's impending child better be a boy!

Christmas Eve was a great time. We used to do a Secret Santa, but that kind of ended, and now we do a draw for a gift... one for the guys and one for the girls [the children still get kind of spoiled, so they don't get to play haha]. I won the guy gift this year, which was a big can of hot chocolate from Tim Horton's, and $25 for Home Hardware. Not too shabby!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Kitchen Floor

Remember what Jenny did to a barstool on Friday night? Well Michelle decided to recreate that moment on my kitchen floor last night.

Last night's party at Lindsay's turned into Bill, Amanda, Elyse and Michelle meeting at my place to have a drink or two and then head to Lindsay's. Things were fun at my place, and also didn't involve going outside. Lindsay txted Elyse, and there were less of them than there were of us, so Stephanie drove them over here and we had a great time.

Michelle had an especially great time, which resulted in Elyse and Lindsay cleaning things up and taking her home. Congrats, Michelle!

A 26er of amaretto later, we went to Finnigan's and had a blast... saw some great people that I've missed, and I was already too drunk, so I didn't have to spend a dime! Lindsay and I left 20 minutes before last call because we were starving and wanted to beat the rush at Subway. Luckily we did, because the line was out the door for an hour, and we just watched and ate. It was delicious!

Tonight, I believe Bill is going to take me and maybe others driving in his new car. Sweet!

Happy Festivus!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Barstool

Yesterday afternoon, aunt Frances came to pick me up. Between getting in the car and getting to Renfrew, we had several stops to make, so what is normally a 90 minute trip at the most, when traffic is heavy, became a 4 hour trip home. But she got her new curtains, we picked up my cousin's girlfriend Jenna, I got my FedEx package, and Jenna got her luggage from her aunt's place in Kanata. It was 7 by the time I got home, so I ate supper and then napped.

Around 10, Mando and I went out to Subway. We called Bill and Michelle but they were both MIA. Elyse and Rebecca were heading to Wal*Mart since they were open til midnight [ooo special!], so we met them there since we were going as well. We had good fun until the store closed, and then we met the rest of the group at Coco Jarry's where a New Orleans-inspired band was playing [as they often do] [see: Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo]. Some of our high school teachers were there, so I chatted with them for a few minutes. On the way out, through the crowded side of the bar, Jenny [see: tanked off her ass] decided to vomit all over a barstool. My mother was appalled when I told her, since this is her favourite haunt, and was sure that the owner would be pissed since that sort of thing never happens there, and he's a bit of an angry man, although he's very nice to Momma and her friends HAHA. Luckily for us, we were heading out the door.

Some people got Jenny cleaned up, thanks to the abundance of snow outside, and then we spent a good twenty minutes standing outside between two other bars trying to decide which one would be least crappy, since a Friday night in Renfrew isn't too exciting. We eventually chose Finnigan's [which is usually home to a bit less trash]. Finally, some of us headed to Stephanie's to hang out, where we [see: Jacey and Stephanie] took care of Kristin.

This afternoon, Momma and her bf Darrell and and I went to visit grandma for a while. They dropped me off at home and headed to Darrell's sister's for supper, and I headed over to the liquor store where I saw 6 people I know, and about a million people I didn't. Apparently people love booze at Christmas. WHO KNEW!?

Tonight I will be heading to Lindsay's with a 26 of Disaronno in tow [see: preparation for good times] and then we'll be hitting up Finnigan's since Saturday IS the night to go there. Have a safe and happy pre-Christmas weekend, everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Early Christmas

Last evening, Andrew and I bussed very slowly to the new Heart and Crown on Preston St. which is probably the best pub in Ottawa. We were there for his work Christmas party, even though his last day working there was last Friday. We had a great time and ate and drank amazing things. The best part is that Sara picked up the dinner bill. Thank you Sara! We love you!

Afterwards, we slowly bussed all the way back to Andrew's to do our little Christmas exchange... he got me awesome boxers with penguins on them, because he knew that my favourite pair of boxers ever had been with Christmas penguins. These particular penguins are holding beer, fish or candy canes. I love them haha. He also got me PJ pants which I have to wear on Christmas Eve [I've never been part of one of those 'Christmas Eve Pajama Tradition Families (CEPTF)' so I guess he is instilling this tradition in me, since he IS part of a CEPTF. He also gave me wicked awesome socks from American Apparel. I think they need to be worn with shorts to show their wickedness, but he says that even in the winter with pants, and I will know how awesome they are. True enough, I guess HEHE. Finally, he got me the book Why I Hate Canadians, by Will Ferguson, which I am very excited to read. He knows that I LOVE the book How To Be A Canadian [by Will and his brother Ian] but he couldn't remember which of the books it was that I liked. Earlier in the day, I had brought the book I had so he could read it over Christmas, and he gave a great sigh of relief that he hadn't bought the same book. Yay!

So what did I get him, you ask?

Over the past few months, he has been constantly pointing out an Aquaman DVD [the original cartoon series] that he wanted oh so badly. Being me, I completely ignored him each time, and only ever caught a glimpse or two of the DVD, which he would check out in every store in the city. I got that for him. I also painted this painting for him, which I didn't know if he would like or not, but he says he loves it, so I'm happy!

This morning, I finished my last exam. 5 semester done. 3 more to go. Yay! Now, I'm just watching TV while waiting for my aunt to come pick me up, pick up my package at FedEx, and then be off to Renfrew!

By the way - those are Andrew heads on kangaroo bodies. Oh Andrew heads. And he's wearing Converse shoes.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Anger

This post contains two subjects. First, an uprising. Second, severe roommate hating.

1. The Uprising

Today, I received an email from a classmate named Amy, asking how I felt about our Remote Sensing final exam. She told me that many people in the class had complaints about the exam. First of all, the prof told us that the exam would cover only the information learned between the midterm and the end of the semester, but it ended up covering the entire course, which meant that people had not studied for some of the questions. The other point of contention is that English is the 5th language of the prof. All semester, we suffered through his thick accent and his use of foreign words at random, and diagrams were frequently foreign as well. But on the exam, where the wording of the questions means everything, it made things very difficult.

Three girls came up with a letter that most of the class agreed to sign, either by meeting up with the girls, or by scanning or photographing their signature, which they would attach. I chose photographing.

I am excited by the chance of getting more marks. I wont lie, I wasn't adequately prepared for the exam, and this could really help me out if the university agrees with our complaints.

2. The Severe Roommate Hating

I had a package that I missed when Mr. FedEx stopped by. They will hold the package for 7 days at their depot on Moodie Dr., which is at the very end of the city, and is not accessible by bus. Tim said that he would drive me to get my package. This was at 5 and the place was open until 8. It involved us bussing to his sister's place at Algonquin college [in the West end] to pick up his car from there, and I said that was fine. He said we would leave in 15 minutess and T told him to come get me when he was ready. At 5:45 we left and he said that he left an extra 30 minutes later so that we could stay out of heavy traffic. By the time we bussed to Baseline and then to his sister's and got in the car, it was 7. Then he said that he had to pick up his girlfriend at work at 730. Then he inquired why my aunt can't take me on Friday when she picks me up to take me to Renfrew for Christmas. Then he said the timing doesn't look good. Then he asked if it was really that important. I let him bring me home after wasting 2 hours of my time, and I'm royally pissed, and now I'll have to get Frances to take me. I didn't want to ask her cuz she's already being nice and taking me home and shes not my chauffeur.

I am furious with Tim. He didn't have to take me, but he said that he would. Then he backed out of it just like he did with my drive home for Christmas, and just like he tried to do when we moved in and all his stuff was here, but he didn't want to finish helping me move in. Lucky for him, I will never be asking him to do another thing for me. I'm done.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Cookie

Natasha Dawn [see column to the right] has had some creative ideas in the past, but I think this may just be the best of all. It is a Cookie Michael!

I am told that Cookie Michael tasted delicious... but really, who needed to hear that to know it was true? I am a big fun of my purple shorts, although the jury is still out on the red toenail polish. Thank you Natasha!

Wait. No. Boo, Natasha. You have reminded me that every year that I can remember, I have made similar cookies and decorated them with sprinkles and icing and the whole lot. It has been a family tradition. But this year, I don't foresee it happening, since I am only getting home on Friday night, and that is so close to Christmas. I think an email to my mother is in order. I will keep you all updated!

The Lights

Tonight, Andrew and I grabbed some hot chocolate and took a chilly stroll up to the Parliament buildings.

Getting a good picture from dead center was a bit difficult, since apparently other people love the buildings as well, and wouldn't get out of the way.

We warmed up by the Centennial Flame, although the hot chocolate was already iced, and there's no turning back after that.

We headed back down Wellington St. and the cold prompted us to slip into the Château Laurier. I had never been inside, so Andrew showed me around the lobby, and we looked at all the great pictures from royal events of the past.

Finally, we faced the cold again and made our way to Chapters, where we searched for interesting books and had lovely conversation. It was a good night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Roommate

I don't know how he does it, but Tim is able to transform the living room into a friggin' mess in a few short hours. Most of this was not here when I went to bed last night. Everything he does is kind of a mess... if he ever leaves his door open sometime, that means his room is fair game and I'll take a picture of it. It is BAD [especially considering the fact that it is right next to my beautiful, perfect room HAHA].

What else of Tim's is a mess? That would be his gift wrapping skills...

So what is in those 5 gifts for his girlfriend? There is clearly a CD, a bottle of nail polish, and I saw her sporting a toque, and I saw a pair of mittens kicking around as well. I will let you, the precious readers, decide what is in the 5th package.

What did she get him? I beautiful pair of jeans and a sweater that looked awesome on him. Better than anything he owns, which isn't hard because he owns some BAD clothes. He complained about the nice clothes the entire time I was talking to them. He is so ungrateful.

And finally, one last gripe about the man on the other side of this wall? After asking if I'd like a drive home on Friday since it is on his way, he has revoked the offer. I can wait until Saturday and get the drive, but I want to get home, so I have elected to find a new mode of transportation. My dad has taken that day off... he'll be getting a call tomorrow!

I would just like to finish with a small celebration... not only have I been doing a very good amount of studying for my final two exams, but my boys won on both Survivor: China and Project Runway Canada... congrats Todd and Biddell - his dresses were gorgeous, AND he told Iman to "shut the fuck up" when she told him that he won. Awesome. I love you Biddell.