fajrdrako: TARDIS in winter ([Christmas] - 02)

I wanted to point out [personal profile] commodorified's wonderful Litany For A Season of Night and Storm.

How can it be a whole month since I have posted here?

The solstice has come. The season has turned. We escaped an ice storm by sheer blind luck and that isn't sleet in the air, it's Christmas.

Under the influence of my friends, I spent an hour or two last night watching cat videos on YouTube on my television - after spending a good part of the morning watching Michael Wood's show about Alfred the Great and petting [personal profile] maaseru's lovely white cat, whom I call the Little Princess. But her name is really Minou.
fajrdrako: (Christmas)

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.

fajrdrako: (Default)

We watched Die Hard this evening. The original one, the first one.

How young Bruce Willis looked.

How young Alan Rickman looked.

And both of them so wonderful.

Still an excellent script, and I'd forgotten enough of the story that the suspense was intact.


Dec. 17th, 2012 11:38 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

  1. Went shopping at South Keys, and at Shopper's Drug Mart. Bought piles of Christmas presents and all sorts of things for the house (like toiler paper), but I forgot the first thing I went out for - bus tickets. Aargh!

  2. Set up a Symbaloo page, since iGoogle, which I'm heavily dependent on, is going to disappear next year. I got quite into the Symbaloo thing.

  3. Didn't go to the gym due to awful weather, but I did do a good session of yoga at home. Happy about that. Fourth day in a row. Can I keep it up? I'm going to try.

  4. Still reading Chaucer.

  5. Went to Lynne's place for a Christmas get-together with her and Lisa, and did a sort of guided exercise in discussing Christmases we have known. Fun. My most remarkable Christmas was the Christmas of 1976, spent at my cousin's gorgeous 18th century thatched home in Somerset, England. Best memory of that day: cousin Tim (aged 8) waking me up by whispering into my ear, "Cooey!", then saying earnestly, "Be very quiet... Mummy told me not to wake you up." He was a great kid.

    But they have all been good Christmases, every one of them. And I'm looking forward to the one coming up.

  6. Had a lovely online chat with [livejournal.com profile] rosiespark about Skyfall. Thought about Bondfic, but didn't actually write much.

  7. Freezing rain all day. Or maybe not all day, since there was plain rain part of the time. Generally a miserable day for getting about. Ugh!


Dec. 14th, 2012 10:41 pm
fajrdrako: (Christmas)

Quite a day! I was up at 6:30 to go to the gym early. Then on my way home I went to Britten's, the magazine store on Bank Street, to see if they had the British GQ with the pictures of Daniel Craig in it. They did. I really can't afford magazines right now, but I knew I had a Britten's gift card from last Christmas that I could use. So I went home to get it, and came back to Britten's about 11 a.m.

And the magazine wasn't there.

So I went to the gentleman at the cash and said how I'd seen it only a few hours earlier - had someone bought it? Turns out that the next month's issue of GQ had come in so they'd pulled the old one. But it was still on the premises. They went rumaging through big boxes of magazines under their table, and eventually came up with it - on the very bottom.

So then I went to buy a humidifier, which I also couldn't afford - it was on sale for $79 - but I told myself it was like getting medicine, because I keep being told that people with Sjogren's need to have humidity. (Not forgetting that if I have too much humidity, I'll be struggling with candidiasis again! You can't win!) Anyway, Glebe Pharmacy had a humidifier/lamp that I found most attractive, and after looking at what the other stores had to offer - some more expensive, some less, none as attractive - I decided to go for it. And discovered that if I bought it with the points from my Optimum Card, which I didn't even realize was valid at that store, I could buy it for $13.

When I got home, I took all the fannish pictures down from the walls of my bathroom, mostly pictures from Doctor Who and sketches of characters in Game of Thrones, and picture of Peter Wingfield. I washed the frames and mounted pages from GQ... I knew it featured Daniel Craig as Bond, but I didn't know, or expect, that it had pictures of Ben Whishaw, too. Turned out it had more pictures of Wishaw than Craig. So I now have the following on my bathroom walls:

(That's my hairdryer and 2012 calendar below.)

- - -

Read more... )
The magazine cover, with Daniel Craig on it, is taped to the front of my bathroom door - with Christmas cards around it. The outside of my bathroom door is a little more casual, a little more seasonal and unplanned, than the walls inside.

Then Marion and Vicky came over, and [personal profile] maaseru. We ate Christmas food watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon, of course), and We're No Angels. There was turkey with dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce; stir-fried kale and leeks; baked potatoes; Caesar salad; carrot cake; mince tarts; and eggnog. I made Pears Roasted in Maple Syrup for dessert.

Yeah, nice day.

fajrdrako: ([Medieval])

I was listening to CBC radio for a while today, and there was an item about Christmas, and gift-giving, especially for children. One woman had a suggestion that I liked; that each child understands that he or she will get four presents:

    Something you want
    Something you need
    Something to wear
    Something to read

Of course, I would always say the "something I want" and the "something to read" were the one and the same.

They didn't mention Christmas stockings, but I think that should be for edibles, mostly: candy and oranges. But I will never forget the Christmas I was three, when a small bear named Brownie was looking out of the top of my stocking on Christmas morning. It was love at first sight.

fajrdrako: ([Christmas] - 03)

Lovely day. I got up early, partly because I had promised to cook a soufflé for breakfast, but mostly because I was as excited as a kid about Christmas. I made Gloria's muffins, bacon, and cheese soufflé, with a nutmeg sauce for Yolande, who brought fruit salad.

We talked, we laughed, we emptied our Christmas stockings, then we opened our Christmas presents, each thing more amazing than the thing before. Did you know they made Spider-Man waste baskets, and sold them at the Dollar store? I now have one under my desk. The previous waste basket is now demoted to recycled paper status. And people actually looked at my wish-list. I was even give a box of tarot cards I've long wanted, but which couldn't be bought in Canada - they had to be smuggled into the country via American friends.

I talked to Lyn on the phone for a while, and napped, and made two Christmas scrapbook pages. Then had a lovely turkey meal at Pin's place, and watched Downton Abbey Behind the Scenes, which was fun, but mostly a recap of the first two seasons. Then the Christmas Downton Abbey special. We worried about the dog. And Mary's story... my goodness. Not to mention Bates.

fajrdrako: (Default)

Wishing happiness, peace and freedom for all of you.


Dec. 23rd, 2011 11:36 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

I didn't really mean to have two meals with bison in them today. But at lunch with [personal profile] commodorified and [personal profile] fairestcat at the Arrow and Loon, I couldn't resist biso pizza. It was delicious.

Then [livejournal.com profile] maaseru got a bison and sweet potato pie with cranberries at the Red Apron for supper. It, too, was incredibly delicious.

What else did I do today:

  • Wrapped the rest of my Christmas presents, set up the stockings. This may not sound like a big job, but it was.

  • Played around with my Dreamwidth style and colours. After fiddling with it for ages, I went back to the style I already have.

    Did that twice.

  • Bought groceries.

  • Cleaned up my desk. (Also not trivial, as it involved considerable filing.)

  • Wrote Christmas e-mail to my cousins.

  • Emptied and refilled one of the shelves by my door, so that now, instead of holding old fanzines, it holds a plastic container with my gloves, mits, and soles with cleats for icy days.

There was snow on the ground today. All day. And sunshine. One of the picture-postcard winter days. We might even have snow for Christmas... Which really doesn't seem as desirable to me as it used to.


Dec. 23rd, 2011 09:32 am
fajrdrako: (Default)

    O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi. - O. Henry, 1862 - 1910

fajrdrako: (Default)

  • Went to IKEA. The new IKEA. The IKEA that just opened this month, that's the biggest IKEA in Canada.

    Well, it's spiffy. It's nice. Plenty of space everywhere. There were horror stories about crowds, but it wasn't very crowded today. We had a good time browsing - my friends were looking for storage furniture, and I was very impressed by some of it. I particularly liked the Hemnes shelving. Too bad I don't have room for a wardrobe.

  • We stopped at the bright, spacious new IKEA cafeteria and I had my favourite IKEA sandwich: the open-faced shrimp sandwich, and a cinnamon bun, with Higgins & Burke Earl Grey Tea.

  • After we'd been inside for hours, we came out to rain, sleet, and cold, cold weather. In the dark. Reminding me that even though we've very little snow, it really is December.

  • I've been watching some TV lately but haven't had time to talk about it. A few highlights:

    1. Unforgettable - I saw a random episode while wrapping Christmas presents. I quite liked it. I didn't find the protagonist's ability to remember things was played up, or even used particularly dramatically - and didn't Fox Mulder have that same ability? But I enjoyed it; it didn't feel phoney like so many TV cops do, it felt like real people in the story.

    2. Deadwood, which I saw at a video-party at Tasia's place. We watched the first three (or four>) episodes. Though I wasn't particularly bored, I wasn't enthralled, either, and wouldn't go out of my way to see more. I particularly liked Calamity Jane. I some ways it felt realistic; in other ways it seemed self-consciously contrived, as if was trying too hard for false authenticity. I also really liked Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran.

    3. Watched episode 2x07 of Lost Girl, the one about the strippers. There was some interesting interaction in it; I liked Lauren's scenes, though the revelation of her secret (and the identity of her girlfriend) was a little unexciting; why build it up as a mystery?

    4. Saw Castle 4x06, "Demons", the Halloween episode. Enjoyed it. Especially the spookiness. But, but... a few days ago I watched episode 1x01 with [livejournal.com profile] lunacy_gal and [profile] funkym3485, and noticed how the style has changed. In the first episode, Castle was sharper, sleazier, had a bit of an edge; and Beckett was more of a hardened cop. They've both become nicer, and I liked it better when they had rougher edges.

    5. Don't we get Christmas specials any more? Or even Christmas episodes of things? Have Halloween episodes taken their place?


Dec. 3rd, 2011 10:44 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

I did some Christmas shopping this morning, taking the bus up to Fabricland on Walkley Road - it took two buses, but was much simpler and quicker than I'd expected it to be. The only trick was to figure out where to catch the #8 at Billings Bridge.

I was surprised to see they were having a sale, 40% to 60% off many items - which was in my favour, since it meant I could get the things I needed for less than I expected. Nice fabric for a tablecloth, for example, at only $6 per metre. Yeah, I'm happy.

But yesterday at The Bay they were having a big sale, too - 15-20% off. And this is before Christmas, when you'd expect business to be booming and prices to be up. Worrying. Is Fabricland in financial trouble? Is The Bay? I hope not. I like both stores, and if Fabricland goes... where do I buy my fabric then? Rockland Textiles? Is there anywhere else? Wal-Mart used to have fabric - does it still?

fajrdrako: (Default)

I have a tradition of putting up my Christmas decorations on the first Saturday in December. It's a day I look forward to; I put Christmas carols on the cd and play them while I decorate.

This year, I couldn't wait. After having listened to Christmas music in the car with [livejournal.com profile] maaseru for two days, I was ready. This I did today:

  • Yoga.

  • Breakfast with [livejournal.com profile] maaseru and Pim at Kettleman's on Carling at Woodroffe. Becuase the one on Bank is closed. I had coffee and half an apple turnover, while reading a thick flyer advertising businesses of Southeast Asian interest in the area, and we talked about real-life superheroes.

  • Went to Canadian Tire, where I bought a pan to protect the bottom of my oven. What a thing. While looking at the Lysol and scrubbing brushes with Pim, she remarked sourly how looking at these products was a sign or being grown up. I denied it vehemently.

  • Went to the pet store, where Pim bought toys for her hamster and I went and looked at the finches and budgies.

  • Bought flaxseed oil, in the hopes it might make me less itchy. I made a resolve to drink much more; I'm parched all the time and my skin seems to be drying out.

  • Back home, I scrubbed the bird cage, a job that was somewhat overdue.

  • Purged and declutterred and organized my closets. Three bags for the Diabetes Association.

  • Put up my Christmas tree. I realized, to my embarrassment, that when I put it in its box and took it down to my locker last year, I stored it upside down. Doesn't seem to have harmed it.

  • Made supper: ham, rice, asparagus and green beans.

  • What happened to the French homework I meant to do?
fajrdrako: ([Bird])

~ ~ ~

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
~Author Unknown

fajrdrako: (Default)

Did all my exercises in time to go for dim sum with Marion and Vicky. We all ate sparingly, and it was delicious - wonderful. Afterwards, we did some shopping at the Chinese grocery next door to the Mandarin Ogilvy, then went to my place to watch and episode of Moonlight (1x03, "Dr Feelgood") and Hawaii Five-O, the 2010 version, 1x01, "Pilot".

Enjoyed both, especially Alex O'Loughlin's roles - and of course, Jason Dohring in Moonlight. Marion tells me a lot of people slash the two leads in Hawaii Five-O,, and I can see it - the dialogue is quite catchy. Sadly, I don't much like Scott Caan, and I don't think he'll grow on me. Still. Never say never. The slash I would like to see would be in Moonlight, where I don't like the girl at all - don't like Sophia Myles - but I'd love to see a Mick/Joseph pairing. (Note to self: search online for such a thing. If anyone knows of any stories with that pairing, do let me know!)

I wouldn't have had time to watch both because I had to be off to a potluck dinner at Lisa's, but Marion helped me chop vegetables for soup while we were watching Hawaii Five-O and the timing worked out perfectly. Lynne drove me to Lisa's and we had a lovely dinner - I brought Asian Mushroom Soup, Lynne made macaroni and cheese with tomatoes, and Lisa made peanut butter cookies. A good time was had by all.

Then we went to see the Christmas music concert by The Hallelujah Gospel Chorus. Not my choice - I really dislike Gospel music, and the alternative was a student production of Twelfth Night which I'd have loved to see. But Lynne loves Gospel music and Lisa chose that too, so I was outvoted.

And though I really still dislike Gospel music, I did enjoy the concert. Some of the new tunes for familial songs were lovely, and I particularly liked their version of Handel's Messiah. There was lots of singing along, and I didn't flinch at the religious angle because... well, just because: I can't say I didn't know it would be there. They encouraged the audience to sing some of the songs too, especially before the concert. I amused myself by singing some of O Come All Ye Faithful in Latin just because I love the Latin words. "Chorus angelorum" in particular.

The concert was at the church where I used to go as a child, and where I was baptized, Kitchissippi United Church, which used to be Kingsway United. I looked around for ghosts of my past, but aside from it being a familiar and standard style for Canadian United churches built in (probably) the 1940s, there was nothing familiar about it, not even the Sunday school room, where I stuck in my head for a peak. I endured some horrible hours there. Not too many, fortunately - my parent's weren't so cruel as to force me to go when I hated it so much.

As a child, I thought that church boxy and ugly, and longed for something with Gothic arches or a traditional spire. It seems nicer to me now; plain, friendly architecture without pretensions. Not the loveliest of buildings, but there are so many much worse.

fajrdrako: (Default)

Ever since September, Lyn has been planning to take me and Beulah out for dinner. I figured the time had come - no point waiting till 2011 - so I pushed them into finding a time (tonight) and a place: my choice - the Sala Thai restaurant on Alta Vista at Bank. I chose it because I wanted a Thai place; I was missing Sacred Gardens. And I'd never been there before. I love trying new places.

I might have liked it even more if I'd checked their website beforehand, and seen that they wished for world peace. Way to go.

It turned out to be delicious. Friendly, efficient service, a washroom on the ground floor, and refilled water glasses - what could be better?

Around noon, I went to the nutritionist again, for the end of week 2 of the programme. I've lost 4.4 pounds. (Yay!) We discussed a few things I'd been wondering, like: is stevia a good sugar substitute? Answer: yes. And should we weight our food before or after weighing it? Answer: after.

The [livejournal.com profile] maaseru and I went to Panda Garden for a disgustingly healthy lunch - steamed squid and vegetables, mostly. (Okay, I had one chicken wing. But not the kind with sauce.)

I had lots of energy today - got all my exercises done and two loads of laundry washed before going out.

After dinner, Beulah and Lyn came to my place where we exchanged Christmas presents, and watched an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - I'm so happy to know they are fans, too. It was "The Shark Affair", about the survivalist pirate. Superb! Another episode that was too early for me to have seen back when I was twelve. There were even scenes with a budgie named Sam, who spoke. I pointed it out to my little feathered guys but they weren't impressed. I suspect they thought Sam wasn't colourful enough, being in black and white.

fajrdrako: (Default)

I'm playing a CD that's a compendium of Christmas music. The current song is "From Russia With Love". Why is that a Christmas song?

Not a problem... I like it... just puzzled.

fajrdrako: (Default)

I got up at eight and managed to do a load of laundry, all my exercises, and set up the dishwasher before meeting Pim and [livejournal.com profile] maaseru for breakfast at Tim Horton's. Then I wrote many more Christmas cards and mailed them, before going to Michael's for stocking stuffers and to Future Shop for a few other presents.

Then we went back to my place, where Marion and Vicky joined us for dinner. I showed them my Coba pictures, and we watched DVDs and exchanged Christmas presents. They gave me a lovely little silver-coloured bird that delightfully matches the bird in a snow-globe that I already have on the mantlepiece.

The bird... )

It also reminds me of the Christmas cards Jenny gave me in Avebury, with a picture of an English robin.

We had a good talk about the season coming up at Stratford, which looks terrific.

fajrdrako: (Default)

One of my Christmas presents was the most wonderful alarm clock ever. It's Stephen Fry's Infallibly Polite Alarm Clock.

First, it wakes me with the chirping of birds. Yes, I have a fine source of live chirps in my own apartment, but the Little Feathered Guys don't do anything on command, and they sleep even later than I do this time of year.

Then the polite birds fade away and Stephen Fry addresses me in a deep velvet voice: "Madam, your horoscope is promising very considerable profit and equal quantities of pleasure. The world merely requires your presence for the process to begin." He says about 130 different phrases, so it'll probably be a while before I start getting repetitions.

He's totally adorable and I've discovered I love being addressed as "Madam" by such a resplendent voice. It makes me smile. It gives me happy and somewhat naughty thoughts.

He is also standing by to talk me to sleep, but I haven't used that function yet.

fajrdrako: (Default)

Our Christmas dinner was lavish and lovely, and we all ate more than we thought we would. I even managed two helpings of plum pudding with rum hard sauce - how did that happen? Individually, they were small portions, but still.

We'd been planning to go to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie, but none of us felt like moving. So we watched two episodes of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes TV show, "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Crooked Man". "The Crooked Man" had a canary in the show, and whenever it started to chirp, my Little Feathered Guys started to pay attention and to sing along. They like it when birds are included in the cast. [livejournal.com profile] maaseru were pleased to see (and recognize) Fiona Shaw again.


fajrdrako: (Default)

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