Posts tagged with "Christmas"

Waiting For A White Christmas

I can’t wait until the Christmas hol­i­days. I’ll have a chance to work on projects I’ve put on hold to make time for paid work. A chance to breathe. A chance to do noth­ing. Some seri­ous me time, inside my warm house, watch­ing a movie while wrapped in blan­kets. Lazy maple bacon every day, her­mi­tiz­ing. I may even decide to go home and visit peo­ple I always mean to see when I’m in Toronto, but never have a chance to.

I’m busy with side-work until the new year, and cur­rently not accept­ing new work. On the social end, I’ve come to a point where I’m not only booked, but double-booked, and find myself hav­ing to pri­or­i­tize plans and decide what I’d rather do. It’s been great for keep­ing my brain busy, and whereas I’d nor­mally feel over­stim­u­lated, I’m now rev­el­ing in all these awe­some expe­ri­ences and peo­ple I get to meet.

This doesn’t feel like a tran­si­tion phase, as the tran­si­tion, or what­ever the hell it is, already hap­pened weeks ago. I was at fork in the road, and now that I’ve taken the first steps, I find myself on a one-way path through a tun­nel with­out any exits, won­der­ing what’s on the other end.

Christmas Wish-List '08

Updated tastes for 2008. Many items from my 2006 and 2007 lists are crossed out, which is why cat­e­gories like “fur­ni­ture” aren’t smaller now.

I’ve been told that I’m noto­ri­ously hard to shop for. Not only am I extremely picky, I have eso­teric (and expen­sive) tastes, and I usu­ally buy — and so, have — the things that I want. This year, I real­ized that good gifts are things peo­ple want, but which they don’t buy for them­selves because they can’t jus­tify the cost. It doesn’t have to be lav­ish, but maybe a lit­tle over­priced, some­thing you wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily buy for yourself.


  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II (about $2800) — Yep. This is the big one. I had the Mark I on my list back in 2006. This one is full frame, does dust clean­ing, and records video now. Even though I have a cam­corder already, I want this for low-light and low depth-of-field work that con­sumer cam­corders sim­ply can’t provide.


  • Tea Forté Morehouse glass ($25) — A double-walled glass that can be used to keep tea warm (or iced tea cold). Made with a cover for the leaf on Tea Forté pyra­mid bags to stick out. No con­den­sa­tion means no coaster needed. Love the design and functionality.
  • Tea Forté tea trays (×2) ($7) — For hold­ing indi­vid­ual tea tags. Comes in sets of two with four colour choices, but I like bone white.
  • Bodum Assam 1.5L teapot ($50) — My pre­vi­ous, smaller Assam teapot broke (rather eas­ily) as I was clean­ing out the fil­ter. I can’t give up my love of Bodum prod­ucts though. I already have tea mak­ers for sin­gle serv­ings, but I don’t have a pot for when I have guests over.
  • Oxo Candela Flare (set of eight) ($130) — I’d put these on the ban­is­ter that sep­a­rates my hall­way from the stairs. It’s pretty bland right now.


  • B2C Expandable Dining Table ($699) — To replace the cheap, scratched-up din­ing table I have in my kitchen now. Frosted glass? More like frosted sexiness.


  • Tenori-On ($1200) — I’ve been wait­ing for this to be avail­able in Canada for more than a year, and it’s finally come. I’ve always wanted to get into music as another medium of cre­ativ­ity. I come from a musi­cal back­ground (as opposed to visual arts), but the Tenori-On com­bines both, in a sim­ple, easy-to-use interface.
  • Aromatherapy Car Diffuser ($16) — For keep­ing the car fresh, with refill­able scent pads.
  • Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard ($80) — I’m hop­ing the next MacWorld Expo will announce an update, not a dis­con­tin­u­a­tion, to the Mac Mini, which I’d get for a home the­atre sys­tem (my TV is soon to be dis­con­nected because I don’t use it enough). If this holds to be true, I’d have to buy a key­board, which I could already use now.
  • MicroFly Tiny R/C Hovering UFO ($20) — Small and easy-to-fly. Something I’d use to play with Dolly.
  • Colibri Throttle Silver Plaid Lighter ($60) — Much to my dis­may, the electro-quartz trig­ger on my old Colibri died. It was one Christie gave me for my birth­day, with my name engraved on it. I’ve been look­ing for a lighter ever since, and this is the first one I’ve ever really con­sid­ered. I’m super-picky about lighter design.
  • Auto LED ($25) — Plugs into the cig­a­rette lighter of the car, and glows blue (which would match the meters of my car). Pull it out, and it becomes a handy-dandy flashlight.


  • Rez ($20) — One of the most under­rated and genre-busting games of the PS2.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition ($20) — DMC has always been one of those series I hear about, but never got a chance to try. The spe­cial edi­tion adds game­play and fixes var­i­ous issues.
  • Metal Slug Anthology ($20) — I love the arcady feel of Metal Slug. Something you can turn on, and play with your brain off. The entire series in one game? Yes, please.

Christmas Observer '07

Another Christmas with Shirley and her fam­ily, although this time Bill’s fam­ily came down as well. I spent Christmas Eve night and Christmas day at their house, par­tak­ing in the Christmas expe­ri­ence with those who believe in the impor­tance of such a ritual.

Presents under the tree

We were wrap­ping presents (from “Santa”) until mid­night on Christmas Eve. The tree must have been raised the two feet off the ground to fit every­thing under­neath. Negotiations went on through the night as to what time to wake up, but the kids woke us up at 6:30 any­way. Looking back on the pic­tures of 2005, you can tell how much they’ve grown in just two years.

Loads more pic­tures behind the cut.

Continue read­ing “Christmas Observer ’07″…

Holiday Stretch

Hi there.

I’m already in hol­i­day mode. Sure, I have one day of work left — Monday — but my brain has checked out. I even took the day off yes­ter­day and made it a long week­end because I have extra vaca­tion days left, and they can’t be car­ried forward.

The chaise lounge on which I do my writing

This is how I spend most of my time nowa­days: on my new chaise lounge from EQ3, with a mug of tea by my side, in a gen­er­ally unkempt man­ner. Unshaven, with the flour­ish of a cowlick in my hair.

Last year, in which I declared that Christmas is dead, I stayed home out of spite, not directed at any­one but myself. This year, I’ve decided to go to Shirley’s for Christmas Eve and Christmas, and Pat and Jen’s for New Year’s.

But there’s a stretch of a sev­eral days in between in which I have no plans. Even though it’ll be a chance for me to do some extra writ­ing, work on my photo projects, maybe even relax a bit, part of me wishes I was busy like every­one else.

I know I don’t have any­thing to com­plain about. I’m lucky enough to be spend­ing the “impor­tant” days with friends who are impor­tant to me. I’m even lucky enough to have a choice of where to go. But I know that dur­ing the stretch, when other peo­ple has some­where to be, some­where to go, I’ll feel some­what for­lorn. They’ll have a place where they belong.

Maybe I’ll belong here, at home alone, on this won­der­ful chaise.

Christmas Wish-List '07

A look into my cur­rent tastes, updated for 2007. This list is some­what shorter than last years because the ones I haven’t checked off still apply, and I’ve been guilty of some spend­ing this month; The first two sea­sons of Robson Arms on DVD (which I des­per­ately waited two years for), sea­son six of Trailer Park Boys, my mit­tens, a RAZR 2 (the cell phone I’ve had for five years died), an elec­tric tooth­brush, and var­i­ous gifts.


  • Bogen / Manfrotto Background Support System 314 ($280) — To quickly set up dif­fer­ent coloured back­grounds in my pho­tog­ra­phy room.

    Bought it on sale, which was still $260.

  • Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead ($475) — My cur­rent tri­pod isn’t strong enough to hold most of my lenses in place, and the lock­ing mech­a­nism is extremely chintzy. Very frus­trat­ing when work­ing with dark shots. A ball­head would give me tremen­dous flexibility.
  • Gitzo GT3530LSV Mountaineer 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs ($625) — Carbon fiber tub­ing makes for an extremely light and portable set of tri­pod legs. Packed with all the impor­tant lit­tle fea­tures like an anti-leg rota­tion sys­tem, the Gitzo leg lock­ing sys­tem, and remov­able rub­ber feet.


  • Rubix Cube Ottoman ($129) — A black, two-toned square ottoman to go with my leather couch.


  • Bodum Assam 2-Cup Tea Press ($25) — I have one of these at home, but it would be great to have one at work too, so I can make more than one cup of tea at a time.

    Julie bought me a Stokes gourmet Formosa tea infuser for Christmas 2008. A lit­tle cham­ber for loose leaves dan­gles from the top, as opposed to a press, which can cre­ate bit­ter­ness in tea.

  • Braun Impression WK 600 Kettle ($90) — A large ket­tle for my tea. Right now, I have to boil water in two cup inter­vals, which takes a while when guests are over.

    Andrew and Alex bought me a sim­i­lar model for my birth­day, and it’s SWEET.

  • Tingler Head Massager ($15) — On Jason’s rec­om­men­da­tion on my recent post about man­ual stim­u­la­tion. The reviews say that it helps put you to sleep, and that can never be a bad thing.

    Found a cheep one at Zone for five dol­lars! Doesn’t vibrate or any­thing but still pretty good. Next is find­ing some­one to use it on me.


  • Orange Box ($50) — A nos­tal­gic trip back to the days of my favourite game ever: Team Fortress Classic for Half-Life. I hear the game­play has changed a lot, but I don’t care. We’ll prob­a­bly be play­ing this at the next LAN.
  • Odin Sphere ($40) — A side-scrolling fan­tasy RPG for the PS2 that I don’t want to miss.


  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA ($52) — My favourite anime of all time: a com­bi­na­tion of fas­ci­nat­ing uni­verse, and very intel­li­gent action. I cur­rently have a copy in Japanese with French sub­ti­tles. While this helps me learn more French, I also don’t under­stand much the phrases.

    Found a copy of this for download.

  • Reno 911 sea­sons 2–5 ($90) — An hilar­i­ous, orig­i­nal look at law enforce­ment. Trailer Park Boys from the other side of the law. I have the first sea­son (thank you Music World for going out of busi­ness and giv­ing me 20% off), but I’d love to get the rest, along with the movie.

    Bought all of these on a lark. Did not regret the decision.