Happy Holidays to all who have stopped here and made me laugh, think, and laugh some more. May the ghosts of Christmases past be friendly, may your travel woes be few, and may the baby Jesus keep your turkeys moist.
Shopping for Christmas gifts is daunting unless I front load the experience by buying something exquisite for myself. This year, I started my 'me shopping' early by getting tickets to An Evening With David Sedaris at Massey Hall.
Mr. Sedaris was in fine form reading stories old and new, some with a Christmas theme and one with a local connection. He continued on with selections from his diaries and then had the lights turned up and hosted a lively Q & A session with the audience.
Hearing one of your favourite authors bring his stories to life is not an experience to be underestimated. If you need proof, track down a copy of his audio recording Live from Carnegie Hall. It's a rare gift to hear experiences unusual or even mundane filtered through a critical eye to the place where you feel both the humour and the heart of the situation.
I was distracted briefly when he began speaking about encounters with his fans and in particular a flight attendant who told him that sometimes for fun while cleaning the cabin, they hold open a garbage bag to passengers and say "You're trash" or "Your family's trash" to amuse themselves. The distraction was borne of recognition of a flight I took and mentioned here. Have a look at the last line.
At the end of his hour and a half presentation, David did what he regularly does on his book tours and invited those with further questions, comments or just wanting a book signed to join him in the lounge downstairs. I'd forgotten the book I'd brought and so went into the night with a smile and adding another item to my growing list of dreams come true.
It's easy to spot people with Christmas spirit - some wear holiday sweaters, others smile at you for no reason, another might let you ahead of them in the grocery store line, but there's always one special person who really drives it home.
When you're in control of an SUV filled with children, have taken the time to attach a wreath to your front grill, nearly run me over in an intersection and then give me the finger, well, you win!
A few nights ago, while I lay dozing under a warm blanket of potato chip crumbs in front of the television, I kept hearing a faint beeping sound. At first I thought it might be my hearing aid but quickly ruled that out as I don't have one.
After hearing it again a few minutes later, I realized it sounded like the beep my treadmill makes when you change speeds or programs. Considering I've been too lazy to even hang clothes on the damnable thing for months, I ruled that out too.
As my confusion grew and the sound continued, I decided to crawl my way up and out of the chesterfield and went searching for the source. I opened the door to the back room and was horrified to see that not only was the beeping coming from the treadmill but it was also flashing my weight in red letters (you enter your weight I suppose for humiliation purposes?).
I pushed the stop button, the power button and the other buttons I don't understand but it continued to beep and I swear, laugh. I unplugged it and thankfully, it stopped its menacing taunt.
Considering I haven't been that weight for months, who's laughing now? Stupid treadmill.
Some amusing searches turned up -- “man comes around strum” and “president’s choice self carve turkey” but one in particular made my eyebrow do that funny arch thing I’ve been practicing since childhood.
This was the search that caught my eyebrow: “chilling drinks with hailstones”. Sure, that's strange but stranger yet was how Google decided to involve itself.
Often if you type a search into Google and you've spelled something incorrectly or the term is similar to something else, they intervene and politely ask “Did you mean _______?”
In this case, Google asked instead of chilling drinks with hailstones, “Do You Mean chilling drinks with gallstones?” Don’t believe me? Click here. Unless they’re suggesting that you somehow combine organ harvesting with happy hour, I'm at a loss.
In other search related news, I was thinking I needed a blog header to spruce up the place a little. I was trying to figure out who could help me with such an undertaking and remembered that Chris, most excellent writer of The Radloff's Random Midnight Thoughts also runs an outfit called HippieBoy Design. While I hate overachievers, I have to say, I’m still smirking at his excellent handiwork. When I find myself stuck for something to write (90% of the time), my glazed gaze now has something worthwhile to fall upon.