Saturday, December 31, 2005 at 7:01 p.m. | 0 comments
I know, I know... it's been more than a week since I put anything into this blog, but I have a REALLY good reason...

I couldn't be bothered. I'm on vacation and LOVING it.
under our tree

Yes, it's true, I was away on vacation (and good lord did I need one) and couldn't be bothered to type. Where did I go for my first vacation this year? Well, nowhere. I sat at home with Catherine. Though we did do a lot of shopping.

Christmas went well. After work on the 23rd Catherine and I went to my mother's house where we met up with my brother, Graydon, and his girlfriend Tammy. We opened presents (I got a very nice jacket and sweater), had dinner, and went to bed after Graydon and Tammy went home.

The next day we went back into the city to meet up with Catherine's parents. We had dinner, picked up our mass assortment of presents, grabbed Truffle, and headed to Brantford for Christmas.

This would be the first Christmas in years where I didn't have to run all over the world in one day. We woke up, opened stockings, had breakfast, opened presents, then had dinner. The whole day was over in the blink of an eye, yet somehow it lasted longer than any Christmas has in years.

The next day was the Wilkinson family Christmas, so Catherine and I went to Guelph. There we saw my Dad, Bern, all of her kids, and my best friend, Chris. Even snuck in a phonecall with Jer during all the fun.

After that, a day in Brantford (watched Harry Potter 4 again), then came home with Truffle on Wednesday. From there, returned gifts as needed, shopped around, got a bargain or two, and largely stayed at home and watched season 1 of Alias (a lovely gift from my father).

Gift highlights:

I make this list more for myself to look at in the coming years, but the rest of you can enjoy as well. No, no Xbox 360 on this list as I'm holding out for a Nintendo Revolution and preparing to order a TIVO from the States.

What I gave Catherine:
Wrapped in one giant box thanks to Larrie from work, I got her a purse from Jacob, Sex & The City season 4 (she got season 5 from my father), a pair of slippers, and an FM Transmitter for her iPod that didn't work and had to be replaced. We did this yesterday and I picked up one that was $20 more money, but on sale for less than the price of the original one I bought her. It may have been a mistake, but I was happy to not point it out.

Truffle got her an egg spatula. Catherine was pleased.

My list is more extensive, but this is my blog, not hers.

I got season 1 of Alias (from my dad), a new fan (from my dad), season 1 of the Batman Animated Series, Serenity, a new sweater, body pillow cover, and Colouretto (a game) all from Catherine. I also picked up more sweaters, shirts, a jacket, lots of Kinder Surprises, a UWO game, a couple of books, cash, and lots of memories that I will soon forget.

This was the year of my buying DVD sets for people. I made season 1 of Lost for my father, brother, uncle, and Nathan, then gave Sex & The City to my mother and Catherine (please, no jokes), Dead Like Me to my father, season 3 of Buffy to my brother, and Firefly to my uncle. What can I say? Catherine and I enjoy our TV. Hence the purchase (soon) of a Tivo.

Tivos are amazing. I just wanted to say that.

Other than that, vacation is winding down as is this year. This is it for this year, new posts on the horizon, new adventures, and hopefully lots of positive change. If not, I expect to go postal mid-April.

Watch for it!

Happy New Year!
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 11:22 a.m. | 0 comments
With the holidays once again upon us, we are bombarded with Christmas specials old and new alike. For no reason other than I want to, I'm going to present you with four of my holiday favorites.

A Christmas Story DVD1. A Christmas Story

Produced in 1983, this low-budget film probably didn't have aspirations of becoming a holiday classic, but the infamous "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" found its way into our hearts. The movie, based on a book by Jean Shepperd, follows young Ralphie and his endless pursuit for a BB gun that no one seems to think is safe for him to have.

Great moments include sticking your tongue onto a frozen metal pole, the pink rabbit suit, the leg lamp, and the Santa Claus from Hell. As holiday classics go, no film captures Christmas so well as this film. I don't know what it is about it that reminds me of my own family so much, but it's stuck in my hearts. Catherine's family hasn't seen it, so I've bought it to show them what they've been missing.

Christmas Vacation DVD2. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Some would say this is the most crucial of all holiday films to watch and aside from A Christmas Story, I'm prone to agree. Chevy Chase's film about a holiday gone wrong when his family all visits for Christmas is hilarious and each year manages to impress and delight.

Randy Quaid stands out in this film as Cousin Eddie, and if you look closely you'll notice Juliette Lewis as Audrey, Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Chase's mother-in-law, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) as the the stuck-up neighbour.

Gotta love this movie for the huge tree, the house of a million Christmas lights, and the dead cat. Every holiday ends well if there's a dead cat involved.

Scrooged DVD3. Scrooged

An update of the Charle's Dickens classic has Bill Murray taking on the role of a man visited by ghosts to show him the error of his ways and teach him the true meaning of Christmas. This film could easily have become heavy-handed, but the entertaining ghosts, including Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present, kept things light.

Bill Murray was outstanding in this movie, and I remember the first time I saw it I was more than a little scared. It seemed dark at the time, particularly the Ghost of Christmas Future, but now I can't get enough of it. I'm still hooked to Al Green and Annie Lennox's 'Put A Little Love In Your Heart' song from the end of the movie.

Great scenes include Bobcat Goldthwait and his shotgun rampage as well as seeing Murray and Kane beat the snot out of each other.

Elf DVD4. Elf

A new entry, yet somehow timeless already. Will Ferrel knocks it out of the park in this Jon Favreau (Swingers) film about a grown man living among Santa's elves at the North Pole. Ferrel is appropriately clueless about how the outside world works when he goes off in search of his human father played by James Caan.

I loved that Caan had a very controlled performance while Ferrel was reigned in just short of Jim Carey-type excessiveness. Ferrel was endearing as Buddy and seeing him lean in to Caan and loudly whisper "I like to whisper too!" fills me with the giggles.

Other great moments are fighting with the fake Santa, syrup on everything, and of course Will Ferrel crushing Bob Newhart by sitting on his lap. This movie will make the rounds on television sooner than later, and likely become a holiday classic. Now if we could all just forget that Christmas With The Kranks ever happened...

5. Other notable entries...

Miracle on 34th Street, It's A Wonderful Life, Nightmare Before Christmas, Peanuts Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Home Alone, and too many others to list all make their way into our hearts each year. One of the biggest thrills at Christmas was the number of specials on and I remember watching all of them with my family. One day I'd like to do that with my own kids. For now, though, I get to hog the remote.

Only three days until C-Day...
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 12:19 p.m. | 0 comments
Nathan discovered this insane video the other day and has found a way to make sure that everyone else can see it as well. Nate is a great source of information of how to upload pictures, videos, and all the other useless junk we see on the Internet these days.

I'm semi-proud to present it to you.

I give you... Arnold in YOSH!

Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, December 13, 2005 at 4:16 p.m. | 0 comments
On the one hand, I feel guilty making fun of a co-worker, especially since she took us out for lunch today, gave us a Christmas card, and a scratch ticket (I won $4).

On the other hand, this is just too damn funny.

I overhead a co-worker pitching our ads to a potential new client, and she said if you don't want our personals ad, we can send you a remnant ad instead.

A remnant ad is nothing more than a small box or even just a line of text that gets put in if there's a bit of space left over after the paid advertising has been put in the paper. It's a nothing ad and just filler.

I told the co-worker not to pitch those to publishers as it sounds like she's asking them to put garbage in their papers. I had to explain, using visual aids, what I meant before she understood.

I said "remnant just means 'left over.'"

She said "Oh well, I didn't know. My Latin's not that good."

Nathan and Sandy nearly had a heart attack from laughing so hard.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, December 08, 2005 at 11:30 p.m. | 0 comments
• An 87-year-old man dropped dead while waiting in line at a government office in Bogotá, Colombia. He’d been applying “for a certificate to prove he was still alive.”

• In August 2000, a 44-year-old woman named Angel Destiny fled for her life dressed only in pajamas after half of her house in Cardiff, Wales, collapsed into rubble. Destiny, who makes her living as a psychic, told reporters, “I just didn’t see it coming.”

In other news, I'll be beginning a Christmas movie countdown... flicks that I've loved and that I feel you should all love as well. Look for the first installment tomorrow.

I also just finished reading Ultimates 2 #9 and have made a pdf for those who want to read it. The most shocking issue ever and an instant classic. It's just that damn good. A smack in the face if there ever was one. Brilliantly done.

Anyway, Catherine's in bed, I'm tired, and I just finished talking to Pushee whom I haven't spoken to in ages. This seems to becoming too commonplace these days... close friends that I don't see anymore. I think I've forgotten what Aaron looks like. I just have the warm glow of text messages on my cellphone for company.

I can't wait for Christmas vacation to start...
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 at 2:33 p.m. | 0 comments
I'm still not sure where I sit on the topic of the Bryan Singer-less X-Men 3, only that I'm as much curiously hopeful as I am concerned that this film will suck.

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The teaser trailer has been released and is available to view through Apple's website, though I am heartily vexed as I can't run the video on my Mac computer here at work. This causes me great anger as Apple, Quicktime, and Macs are all part of the same company, yet Apple, in its money-hoarding wisdom, is forcing complete system upgrades in order to get the latest version of Quicktime, something I'm not yet prepared to do with my work computer.

So, I'll have to wait until tonight. A startling number of characters are slated to appear in this film though, including Multiple Man, Omega Red, Callisto, Juggernaut, Stacy X, Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Jubilee, M, and quite a few more. I'm very interested to see these new characters alongside the complete cast (except for Alan Cumming's Nightcrawler who won't be in the film).

The most interesting addition is Kelsey Grammar as the Beast. Not sure how I feel about the look, but the casting is pretty dead on. Frasier as a super-hero. Quite the concept.

That's about it. Been busy otherwise. Good weekend, though Truffle has a bad eye and needed to be taken to the vet for an exam. She's fine, but we're out quite a bit of money. The things we do for those we love...

Worth every penny. Catherine was amazing throughout the whole thing. I'm just way too much of a softy.
Posted by Parallel
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