29 December 2008
23 December 2008
Christmas Eve: lunch at GeekDad's grandparents with his family, then out to my sister's acreage for sledding and hot chocolate.
Christmas Day: breakfast and dinner at my sister's with our family
Boxing Day: at in-laws with in-laws and step in-laws and step-step-in-laws.
Day after Boxing Day: lunch at sister's with extended family on dad's side, and then to dad's house for supper.
Sunday: the day the world must stop, or else I will die of exhaustion. Seriously.
I have to say, though, that I have so much to be grateful for that serious complaining would be tempting the gods to smite me. We will be spending time with many family and friends, all of whom love us dearly, and all of whom I like. We all have jobs and homes to live in, which is a great deal more than many can say at this time. And we have lots of love, so it will truly be a Merry Christmas, despite the craziness.
And to those who are taking the time to read my blog, I hope you have these things too. And if not the jobs and homes, then at least the love, because it is truly the one thing we can't live without. In that spirit, please to enjoy the following video. Because it makes me laugh, and I hope it makes you laugh too.
Merry Christmas, peoples!
16 December 2008
10. An Ironman suit. Or Ironman himself. Or Robert Downey Jr. himself. Cause the movie rocked, and being able to fly and kick bad-guy ass seems like a good time.
9. My very own personal Edward. Because those ladies at MAMAPop went on and on about the Twilight series, and then I bought the first book, because I didn't want to buy them all in case I didn't like them (you can stop snickering now), and finished it in a day. If you haven't checked these books out yet, you should.
1. That everybody would get why blogging is cool. I'm actually not refering to myself here at all. As I was prepping for parenthood, I discovered the blogosphere, and my people, it is like I was blind and now I can see. There are amazing people out there, writing about everything you can imagine. And doing it really, really well. These are the people who've inspired me to start blogging. Check out my 'Bloggers I Would Vote For Section' to see the people I'm reading. And if you only have time to check out a couple, you can't miss Sweetney, MAMAPop, and most of all, Her Bad Mother. These are the cool kids, no doubt.
10 December 2008
So I was watching The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos last week, and I have to say, I heart George. George is my rockin', late night, news-boyfriend. For those of you in the dark, The Hour is a current-events show on CBC, hosted by the aforementioned George Stroumboulopoulos, a former MuchMusic VJ. If you are somewhat interested in news and current events, but don't necessarily have the time or inclination to watch a nightly news show, YOU SHOULD WATCH THE HOUR. The Hour is both funny and entertaining, and incredibly informative. George does interviews with an incredible variety of politicians, authors, artists, athletes and other newsmakers. Everyone from NATO spokesperson James Appathurai, to NHL player Sean Avery to Tom Cruise (yes, THAT Tom Cruise).
The interview with Cruise was a a really great example of George's work. You know how you see interviews with famous people, and hear them laugh, and joke, and tell stories, and think, 'I could be friends with that person'? I think what we actually mean is, that we'd like to be friends with them, because they tend to be funny, or interesting, or seem to share a point of view. Cruise, however, wasn't particularly funny, or interesting. He was just really normal. Normal as in not particularly eloquent or well spoken or funny, but all the same, passionate about his work and his family, and eager to share those things. George asked a number of interesting questions, about whether you can ever prepare a person for the kind of media frenzy that a star like Cruise incites, and whether Cruise's religious beliefs would be treated similarly if he were a Muslim or a Christian. And Cruise answered his questions, but not with the kind of canned, pre-prepared answers that you often hear from stars, especially of Cruise's caliber. Instead, he sounded like I do when I get asked a question by a reporter, and answer it in about 10 seconds and then continue to babble for another 30. I have to say, it was really refreshing to hear intelligent, well though out questions, and interested and interesting answers, not the usual show business shlock. If you're interested in watching the interview, here's the link.
Cruise is probably George's most high-profile guest to date, but I would be shocked if he didn't continue to snag big interviews like this one, because George is GREAT interviewer. Interviewing people is a skill, and interviewing people who get interviewed all the time is tough. These people hear the same questions all the time, and while they are pros and do their best, we often hear the same canned, preplanned answers to the same canned, preplanned questions. In addition, George doesn't play at trying to be neutral - he puts his own opinions out there, and skewers everybody pretty much equally. He doesn't shy away from asking the tough questions, but he also offers a different, original perspective. Guests on the show seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves, as does George, and its obvious that viewers are enjoying the results.
In short, you should totally check out The Hour. It's worth your time.
05 December 2008
I grew up in a religious family. My father was a minister with the an evangelical association, and my church associations as a teen were of the slightly radical variety. I fondly refer to it as the Church of Big Hair. As a child, we did NOT celebrate Santa. Santa was a nice symbol of Christmas, and was never portrayed as bad, he was just a secondary distraction to what Christmas was really about - the birth of Christ. We still did stockings and such, but gifts were always from Mom and Dad, never Santa. I'm not saying that Christmas wasn't magical for us, because it totally was, and still is, my favorite time of year. But Santa just wasn't a part of that.
GeekDad grew up in a household that didn't regularly attend any church, and Santa embodied all that Christmas was about - giving and receiving gifts, celebrating family, etc. Most of the presents came from Mom and various other family members, but the big gift always came from Santa. He used to listen to the radio as it tracked Santa's progress on Christmas Eve, and Christmas morning eagerly awaited, because SANTA HAD VISITED.
Now that we're a family, I'm reaching to figure out how to incorporate both of our traditions. While my faith has significantly changed in both form and function since my youth, its still an essential part of who I am, and something I very much want to pass on to my daughter. And I know GeekDad also wants to pass on the magic that Santa meant to him in his childhood. But how to do this??
One of my biggest reservations regarding the whole Santa thing is the business of finding out that Santa isn't real. While I obviously didn't experience this moment, I've heard enough stories from various friends to know that it can be really traumatic. It feels to me like I would be lying to my daughter, and I really have some reservations about this. Because as an adult I totally get the Santa-as-a-symbol thing, but there is just no explaining that to a kid who just found out that Santa isn't an actual living, breathing person.
In addition, my sister's children haven't been taught the whole Santa thing, and I know if we tell the Santa stories to BabyA, its going to make family Christmases that much more complicated. So.
I'm turning to you, interwebz. How do you deal with combining secular and religious traditions? Do you celebrate more than one faith? Any advice for a fledgling mom on Christmas, Baby Jesus, Santa, etc.?
02 December 2008
I have something to say to all these Facebook people who are all in an uproar, creating a gazillion 'Stop the Undemocractic Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois coalition' groups. Um, people? More Canadians voted for the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP than voted for the Conservatives. So a coalition involving these three parties would actually represent more Canadians than the current Conservative government, making it MORE democratic, not less. Sorry to break it to you.
Also, Harper has failed to come up with a budget (he can call it an 'economic update', but its still a mini-budget at least) that all the parties can agree on, and therefore failed to lead. When you have a minority government, you basically HAVE to form some kind of coalition, because without it, you can't get anything passed. The entire last session of Parliament was a series of shifting coalitions voting on everything that got passed. In this case, Harper has introduced a bill that the other parties cannot agree with, and a non-confidence vote is a logical outcome of that. But here's the funny thing about non-confidence votes - they mean that the House, i.e. the representatives that ALL Canadians elected, no longer have confidence in the government. So, if the remaining representatives can agree to cooperate, they have every right to form a new government. That's how the system works under a minority government.
And I have to say, I'm enjoying this minority business. I like the fact that no one party can push their agenda through, and that all of the parties have to work a little harder on compromising. I think this state of affairs means that the beliefs of more Canadians are represented. Now, I really don't want another election. As a campaign manager, I'm still recovering from the last one, so I certainly don't want to go back to the polls. But a coalition government, I'm OK with that. If the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP can show of their cooperation skills, more power to them.
And Facebook people? You might not like the idea, but you've gotta come up with something better than 'undemocratic' to fight it, 'cause baby, this is what democracy's all about.