Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Meme...

Christmas Meme - Dixie invited everyone to play, so I thought - why not? I'm not feeling the greatest, and I'm three days behind in posting. This is fun and easy!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? If it can fit in a box, I wrap it. Heck, even if it doesn't. I just love wrapping gifts.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. No pine neeles sticking in the cat's paws for weeks afterwards.

3. When do you put up the tree? December 1, but if I had my way it would go up November 1.

4. When do you take the tree down? first week in January

5. Do you like eggnog? Luv it especially when it's accompanied by my buddy Captain Morgan

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Tough call. I'd have to say my Holly Hobby Doll House when I was four

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, my mom was heavily into ceramics when I was a child, and her and my father made ours - poured, sanded, fired and painted.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My brother - he never tells you what he wants and always buys the latest gadgets before you even get the chance to think of it.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Ryan, my nephew, right now - he's 3 and obsessed with the movie Cars, so it's great.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? I don't know that I've ever received a bad one...

11. Mail or email Christmas card? Unless they DON'T have a computer, it's an e-card

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a tie - The Year Without A Santa Clause and Christmas Even On Sesame Street

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Normally I'm shopping year round, but this year it's all last minute.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? That I have - but only when I know the other person will use it.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? TURKEY

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? White on the tree. Coloured everywhere elese.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Spiritual song would have to be O Holy Night, but for fun - nothing beats Jimmy Buffet Merry Christmas Alabama.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay at home. There's no place like home.

19. Can you name Santa's reindeers? Easy peasy...Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph

20. Do you have an Angel on top or a star? It varies from year to year since our family angel just couldn't hack it anymore.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Well, at home we open them Christmas morning, but at my sister in laws, we do it Christmas Eve.

22. Most annoying thing(s) about this time of year? Overcrowded mall parking lots where people follow you as closely as possible to get your spot.

NOW, for my Christmas music. I've mentioned three very important holiday items to me. And I will post here for my friends (it will also make my quota for songs - YAY - two birds with one stone).

The first is a song from A Year Without A Santa Claus - it's called I Believe in Santa Claus, and it's a sweet tune and always makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

The second is from Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. Called True Blue Miracle, it's a beautiful song about the wonders of the season.

And this third one is from JB's album Christmas Island, a song from which I believe I posted in my first holiday entry. This is called Merry Christmas Alabama and it also contains Jimmy reading The Night Before Christmas at the end of it. (Sounds like the song is done, but it's not, just takes about thirty seconds for the narrative to start) It's my favourite off his album.

Enjoy gang!

Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Freestyle Fridays - Pre-Xmas Ramblings from an overworked, overstressed Elf

Just who does the big guy think he is anyway?

Oh right - I forgot. He's "Santa Clause". He knows when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good.....

Yah, you ever stop to wonder HOW he knows all this? It's not cuz he's got super powers, or a magic mirror that tells him every single action of every single boy and girl, and it's certainly NOT because he's Albert Einstien.

It's because of US - the elves. That's right kiddies. We are the most top-secret, intricate network of spies this world has ever seen. Forget the CIA, forget the KGB. I know they spilled a little of our secret intelligence for the movie The Santa Clause (personally I think Tim Allen makes a better St. Nick than the big guy anyway - but DON'T tell him I said that), but they didn't get to the heart of the ELF organization.

I know, I know. I'm not supposed to spill any of this to the outside world, but seriously, I'm so sick and tired of S.C. getting all the credit for Christmas going smoothly. He gets all the cookies, all the milk, and all the glory, while we slave year round to make toys, gather intelligence and basically do his job.

In every town, all across the world, there are elves strategically placed in every community, in positions of honor. Some are teachers, some run businesses, and yes, some are even politicians. But it's what they do after hours that results in all the intel that S.C. has. I'm not going to give away EVERY secret, but just let me say this - check your garden gnomes periodically. Once all the information is gathered, it's compiled by a staff of four hundred female elves, all of whom are mothers, and they are the ones who make up the naughty or nice list. He doesn't know it all, he just reads it off the paper.

He's a figurehead I'm telling you. The only reason he's the face of Christmas is cuz he looks good in red - frankly it's not my colour. Not even green does me justice, but when I lobbied to change the Christmas colours to blue and silver I got death threats - if you can believe that. Who says Christmas is about peace and love? PFFT. You should see a typical day at the North Pole. Elves swearing at eachother, throwing toy parts, smoking on the line (which should be an immediate grounding, but he always lets it slide), and in general CHAOS.

Like today for example. All I did was tell Zippy that the Barbie he was working on had two left arms instead of a right and a left and he told me.....well, let's just say I can't repeat what he said without blushing, but it wasn't nice AT ALL. In fact if his mother heard that, she would have dragged him into the middle of the wash station and rinsed his mouth out. But she was on her lunch break.

I'm so frustrated I'm ready to QUIT - but there's not a lot of work out there for elves. Believe me, I've been surfing the net and the best I can come up with is working for those 1-900-sexy-elf numbers, and frankly, I find that a little demeaning. I did find an ad to work in a luggage shop, but the woman who ran it, Anndi, had an unnatural attachment to the inventory, so I high tailed it out of there.

I mean, I guess it's not ALL bad. There are worse places to work. Ever since they let Hermey open his dental shop, we've all gotten brighter smiles. And they do cover 80% of the work. Absolutely brilliant idea of his, that Hermey. Because the only place where candy and chocolate are more prevelant than the North Pole is Cupid's , but they've got their own dentist (with full coverage). And Rudolph will sometimes act as my night light if I have scary dreams about that Heat Miser guy. He threatened to melt the Pole the last poker game, all because Blitzen had a straight flush to beat out his full house. Thankfully, some guys named Vinny, Bruno and Guido talked him out of it very nicely, I'm sure.

And that Grinch guy? He's not evil. It's his JOB to steal Christmas every year from those Who's. Trust me, they know he's coming. And he hates to do it, he really does. That Jim Carrey gave him a sense of humor, but that's nothing compared to the real one. He tells the funniest jokes, and I have to be careful not to be drinking around him. Last time I did that, I spewed milk from my nose and had to clean up the stuffed cow we were sending to some crazy cow lady named Dana.

What about Frosty? Well, of course he makes his appearance every year for the kids, but the rest of the year he lazes about here doing absolutely nothing. Just sits on his fat, snowball behind and watches sports. He's got bookie in Vegas, and his gambling debts are legendary around here. SC is always bailing him out. BUT, he makes the best snowballs for the weekly battles, AND he has no problems helping out if you're REALLY in a pickle. This year, he really helped us out with his knowledge of something called Wild Irish Rose for some guy named Matt-Man. Apparently he wanted a fountain that just pushes it out all day every day. So we did that. It was nice of him. The stuff smells funny though, and Jingle and Jangle had a couple of shots of it. They couldn't stand for two days.

And, it IS great to watch the smiles of the kids on Christmas morning - we get it via satellite on the SCN. *sigh* Yes, he has a network named after him too. We all get bowls of popcorn and potato chips and veggie platters (that's Mrs. C's idea - she thinks we need to balance our diets and she's right), and watch sixteen different screens all day long. We did some pretty special gifts for a couple of very special girls named Bethany and Alice. And there's some amazing "guy things" whatever they may be, for a two select boys named Bug and Brennan. So we like to see how they react to these specialty items. There's nothing to compare to the smile of a child who's seen his hearts delight - except for maybe the smiles on the faces of the parents.


I think the weirdest Christmas requests came in 1956. We had an influx of requests for hippopotamus'. What is the plural of that... oh well. Anyway, Gail Peevey released a song called Hippopotamus for Christmas, and wouldn't you know it - kids wanted them. Go figure huh? We had to do some fancy footwork around that, let me tell you. This year, we've had numerous requests for a grey haired, soul singing angel? Where the heck are we gonna get one of those?

Yeah, you know, maybe it's not all so bad. Are we underpaid? Yep. Underappreciated? Yep. Overworked? Oh hel...I mean heck yah. But, in the end, is there any place more magical at making dreams come true?

Nah. That darn mouse ain't got nuttin' on this place.

*checks list*

Black velvet pictures - check. A moose head? check. A miniature Soul Patrol mansion? And what is a Galford? And can someone tell me WHY we're running short on rubber ducks?

I think I'll go finish working on that Britney Spears play set. I just have to make the miniature booze bottles and it's ready to go.

Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen Redux (sorry Turnbaby!) - What I Love About Christmas

Ok, got a little behind this week. (And this was ready for yesterday, but I got swamped at work and by the time I was done bowling and got home, and did laundry....anyway, you get the idea. I forgot to post). So I thought I'd take a cue from Matt-Man, and Bond, and pull a Christmas TT out of the archives. I've updated a few, but otherwise, enjoy!

Oh, and today's tune is one of my ALL time favourites - two of the most beautiful male voices ever recorded (besides Taylors) - Bing Crosby and David Bowie. This is the FULL version of Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.

Ok, so, with it being Christmas time, I thought I would do my Thursday Thirteen about my favourite time of year.

SO….that being said – here we go…..

Thirteen Things about Angell and Christmas

13. The Carols – and no I’m not talking about my mom, although I do happen to love the woman. No, I mean the wonderful Christmas songs that fill us with cheer, a little bit of sadness, and generally remind us that there is something worth smiling about. I listen to them from the middle of November, and I don’t stop until New Years.

12. The presents – and no, I’m not talking about the ones I open up. I’m talking about the ones that I give to other people. I just love watching their faces when they open up what I’ve gotten them. This year, I got you-know-who Wrestlemania tickets, and let me tell you – keeping this secret is the hardest one I’ve ever had to keep.

11. The lights – oh my god the lights! The wonderful, colorful, fabulous, creative, twinkling, sparkling, creations that adorn the houses and trees in your neighbourhoods or in the city. There is nothing like a crisp winter night spent wandering through the streets taking in the amazing displays.

10. Family – ok, so I see mine on a regular basis, but there’s just something different about everyone getting together to pick out Dad’s Xmas gift, or finding just the right outfit to take the nephew to see Santa (after all, these pictures will outlast his childhood).

9. The Food – and yes, I mean all the junk. The cookies, baked especially for the season. The chocolates that everyone gives everyone else in the office. The smells of turkey and stuffing cooking on Christmas day. And of course, those specialty dishes that everyone hauls out for the season – and they’re ONLY made during the season.

8. Santa Claus – You’re never too old for Santa. Frankly, and to those that know me, this will come as no shock, I still believe in him. Every year, I leave out cookies and milk for the big guy, and a few carrots for the reindeer. Of course, every year they’re still there in the a.m. and I have to try and stop everyone from drinking the milk. But one day they’ll be gone….

7. The shopping – most people think I’m insane when I say that, but I love the hustle and bustle of malls during the season. It’s different from the usual crowds. Everyone seems a little lighter (even while arms are overflowing with packages), more cheerful.

6. The weather – ok, so this year is a little screwy here in Toronto. But the usual winter weather for this time of year is clear, crisp and cold. But I can usually see the stars at night – not very clearly, but I can still see them. I don’t know about you – but I can SMELL Christmas in the air.

5. Wrapping presents – yes, I know I’m insane. But I love to wrap gifts. It’s calming and relaxing, and just overall enjoyable for me. In fact, most of the family enlists me to do their wrapping for them.

4. Generosity – Yes, I agree that it should come out every day, not just every Christmas. But to see complete strangers going out of their way to help someone else makes my heart smile. If every day could be that way….

3. The events in the city – skating at city hall, taking in the windows downtown, hot chocolate in a little cafĂ© after shopping all day, concerts happening in the court areas of the malls, Santa sightings, craft exhibits. There’s a never ending array of things to do during the holidays.

2. The smiles – look at the people that surround you. Not all of them will be, but most will be smiling. Not necessarily at anything in particular, in fact, they might not even be aware that they ARE smiling. But it’s there. And it makes you think, for just one moment, that there is hope for this world after all.

1. The Holiday TV Specials – there are new ones every year to look forward to, and the old ones are still so great. I watch A Christmas Eve on Sesame Street every Xmas eve (usually by myself cuz HE’S asleep). And I can’t miss A Year Without A Santa Claus (this year they made a live action one that was GREAT).

SIGH – with so many great reasons to love Xmas, why would anyone be a Grinch?


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

(This is our tree and the song playing is a staple at Christmas time in our house - even though my Dad keeps trying to ban the CD)

Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

*cough cough* Here it comes....

Ok, this bites.

I have two major parties this weekend, not to mention the annual family Christmas brunch and a work shift - AND I'M GETTING SICK.


I mean, it couldn't come in January? After the holidays? After all the parties and fun? Of course not. Because life just doesn't ever work out that perfect. LOL.

So we put our Christmas tree up yesterday. My nephew came over to help decorate it and it was so CUTE - but of course he had to shake and ring mom's heirloom glass bells - and let's just say that's the end of THOSE ornaments. It's her own fault really. Who in their right mind gives a three year old breakable objects that make noise? Only my mother folks. Only my mother. I'll post the pics after they're uploaded.

I'd really like to write some more, but my stomach just doesn't want to allow me to concentrate on what I'm typing. It's not doing so hot. With all the stress I put myself through, is anyone really surprised?

My choice for today's Xmas tune is a little ditty that is just like me - truly Canadian. To my American cohorts - I'd like to introduce you to two gentlemen by the names of Bob & Doug MacKenzie. And I give you the Canadian version of THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.


Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday again......

Well, I survived it. My first shift in blue - and I HATED it. I was almost in tears ten minutes into it. But I smiled my way through it and was assured by my supervisors that I did a fabulous job and they are grateful that I am there. And I am grateful that I still have a job, but it just showed me that I need to get on the stick about this pardon. Only then will I feel whole again (warning - Drama Queen alert!!!! LOL).

Ok then. On to things that ARE in my control but feel out of my control. It's 20 days until Xmas and I DON'T HAVE ANY SHOPPING DONE. I wish I had a credit card so that I could just shop online. I could get it all done in one fell swoop then. XD So I'm going to spend today thinking of what I need to get, and then this weekend (I know that the malls will be crowded as anything, but I can't go if I have no money right?) get it ALL done and then I can take my sweet time wrapping it all. That's actually my favourite tradition (well, one of them anyway). Sitting in the family room with my mom, cups of hot chocolate and Bailey's, with either a Christmas special or Christmas music playing, and wrapping gifts.

And speaking of Christmas music, here is a ROCKING tune by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I just saw these guys in concert - my last one in a red shirt - and they are just too incredible. If you haven't seen them in person, or even heard of them, RUN to your nearest site and download at least one song.

And in the mean time, I found this video on Youtube, along with a whole bunch of others. Now, THIS is what an angel sounds like.

Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Looking Good in Blue?

Ok, so today is my first shift as an usher, and I HATE it. I don't want to do this. But if I want to stay with the company, and have a chance at getting back into the security side after my pardon comes through, than I have no choice. I know that my boss and supervisor don't want to lose me, which makes me feel better I guess.

I just know that the red shirts will look at me differently. It can't be helped really. I have no power any more. LOL. That sounds stupid right? But it's true. I can't remember if I said this in my last post about my pardon, but if security gets little respect, ushers get less. And I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. I hate standing in one spot, and to be subjected to six months of the same spot....well, it's just going to drive me nuts.

I know that as soon as I put on that blue shirt and jacket I'm going to lose my mind. Completely and totally. I guess it's probably a good thing I have to leave the house early today and that I'll probably get there before most of them so that I have time to bawl my eyes out, fuck up my make up and do it all over again.

I wish someone understood how much this is going to suck, but I guess it could be worse. There could be NO way for me to still be with the company right now. If this had happened between hockey & soccer seasons, I'd be fucked out of my second job. Sure I'll probably have to take a pay cut, which is REALLY going to suck, and I won't get to work other venues, but at least I can still be with the people that make me happy.

My friends.

Now they give me reason to smile. I know at least that THEY won't look at me differently. They'll just be doing the same thing I will, and that's counting down the days until I'm in a red shirt again.

God I can't wait.

Now, enough tears. I need to smile. And one Xmas tune that is guaranteed to make me do that is a little hit by Gail Peevey back in the 1950's (I believe and please don't shoot me if I'm wrong) called Hippopotamus for Christmas. It's fun, and silly, and just the thing to get stuck in my head before a game.


Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Twenty Five days of Christmas Music...

That is to say, I'm going to post twenty five of my favourite Christmas tunes - one a day - until Christmas morn. Now, I'll still be writing - on what subject I have no idea - but it won't JUST be music. At least I hope not. I mean, I should have stuff to write about seeing as how the Christmas season is the most exciting time of the year.

Keeping Dana's very informative list in mind (I won't post any that she has on there) I will try to cross the spectrum from traditional, to amusing.

Today, I thought I would start with one of my favourite fun songs from my King of the Keys (Florida Keys that is) Jimmy Buffet. (Warning: there will be a few from him in the coming days).

Off of his Christmas Island CD, this is Ho-Ho-Ho And A Bottle of Rum. (By the way, for those that didn't know, JB himself was born on Christmas Day 1946 - the same day God chose to take W.C. Fields from us - which Jimmy himself has said proves that God does have a sense of humor).

Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.


With love and pride