Sunday, January 13, 2013

Surviving Christmas

In fact, we did not die over the Christmas holidays, despite our best efforts.  The last two times I went home for Christmas I swore never again. It was like running a gauntlet. You were constantly running around, trying to see family and friends, plus get some shopping in. The two previous times we came home utterly exhausted and managed to leave a few people behind pissed off that they didn't get to see us, or spend enough time with us. I wasn't expecting this time to be much different.

But it was. Not entirely sure how that happened. Perhaps we're getting better organized when we travel. I actually had a master list of things that needed to get done when we were home and all but one of those things got done (never did get that lunch/coffee with one of my friend's and his new lady, but I did get to see him twice, so it was all right). But we got through the list of things to do and see, managed to get pretty much a new wardrobe, eat out at the places we wanted to go and still find some time to go to the gym and even some downtime. It was easily the best trip back to Newfoundland I've had in years.

Almost as miraculous, I was only up 1.6 pounds after the holidays and Cathy managed to lose almost a pound. I have no idea how that happened. After everyone congratulated us on our weight loss it was almost immediately followed by a plate of food or an offer to go out for supper. "It's Christmas! It doesn't count if it's Christmas!" Newfoundland, the place where weight loss schemes go to die because of love and kindness, I swear to God...

Not everything was perfect, of course. Spending about 90 minutes getting my teeth scoured by the dentist was not fun, but after three years kind of necessary. I'm also getting used to my new glasses. After years of being...lovingly reminded...that I should go and get my eyes checked, I caved in. And I do need glasses, albeit a very mild set of lenses (the optometrist called it a "standard middle-age man prescription." Lovely). They're called progressives and they are, frankly, a pain in the ass to try and master. I'm constantly bobbing my head up and down trying to get things in focus.

The only other downsides were being asked when we're moving home and having to tell people that's probably not happening anytime in the foreseeable future. Both our parents, and a lot of our friends, would like to have us close to Newfoundland. But we just don't see it happening. We also have to remember that Christmas in Newfoundland is not reality. There's a lot happening, people have time off from work, everyone is excited to see you. But about a week after Christmas, people start getting on with their lives. Back to work, back to school, back to the routines.

The really hard one to answer was when were we going to be back again. Well, for Cathy's that's always a straightforward answer - this summer. Once we finish our travels (After a friend's wedding in Kingston we're off to California for a few weeks), she heads back to St. John's. But for me, it's back to Iqaluit. I honestly don't know when I'll be back. I could get there in October for a week, but the organization I work with normally has their AGM that month, so it's dicey. It won't be Christmas as I suspect we're staying put in 2013. It could be the summer of 2014 before I return.

I've said in the past that I'm all about travelling these days...that I spent most of my life in Newfoundland and now that I have the chance to travel and see some of the world, that's what I want to do. But I confess, not getting back to Newfoundland for 18 months or so...that's proving to a surprisingly unpleasant thought. We'll have to see.

Oh, and for those tuning in for a Republic of Doyle review, I think the show finally broke me. I had a friend who works on set swear this season was better, but then I saw the first episode and watched pretty much every Irish stereotype imaginable run across the screen and wanted to hit my head against something. I assume the reason they didn't have actual Irish people playing the characters (as opposed to Mainlanders with ear-bleedingly brutal accents) was that they might have murdered people on set once they were given the script.

I'm not sure how many times I can write "there's some potential there, but they really need some smarter scripts and to tighten things up because it can be really stupidly sloppy sometimes." I've been saying it since the first season. We're on season 4. I'm resigned it's not going to happen. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then I think reviewing Doyle might be as close as I should brush with it.

On the upside, that new CBC show "Cracked" wasn't half bad. The initial ads for it were brutal, but once they switched their campaign, I was intrigued enough to give it a look. There's some potential there. I'll try and catch it from time to time...

Coming up, some New Year resolutions, the next trip, a few thoughts on Cape Dorset artist Kenojuak Ashevak, an idea to make some money from the blog and hopefully something resembling a semi-regular posting schedule...

Last Five
1. Glad rag doll- Diana Krall
2. Top of the world - Van Halen
3. Big bop/Hey diddle - Paul McCartney
4. We walk - The Ting Tings
5. Citizens of tomorrow - Tokyo Police Club


John, Perth AU said...

Darn it. I came here at least expecting some Buckmasters Circle stories after watching the second episode of Doyle. I'm guessing the people there are the equivalent of the Australian "bogan". Look it up.

John, Perth AU said...

Thought you should know Walter's in episode two, plus an actor named Joel Thomas Hynes, who is apparently an award winning novelist as well. He's pretty good and looks to be returning in future episodes.

Adam Snider said...

Ah, yes, episode two. Suspend your disbelief and it was fine until the very end. In order to setup a pretty obvious future plot line (Jake is suspected of murder!) the writers have Jake do something incredibly stupid: threatening to kill a guy while in a bar that he knows is wired! It's wasn't entirely out of character, but it was just so stupid that I couldn't believe it. And it made it painfully obvious that the guy is going to turn up dead a few episodes down the road and Jake will be the prime suspect.

I still enjoy the show and I still watch it regularly but, honestly, half of the fun is now pointing out all of the stupid/implausible things that someone in the writers' room thought was a brilliant idea.

(Sorry if this comment posts more than once; I'm having an issue with logging in.)

John, Perth AU said...

I'm the first to admit I don't watch Doyle for the writing. I just love being able to see St John's, a city I'll likely never see in real life. One of my favourite games watching Doyle is to find the locations on Google Street Map. My proudest moment was locating the beating scene in the one about the taxis, 68 Freshwater Road. On Street View you can see a handwritten sign saying "SET", so it may have been taken during filming! Maybe someday I'll be able to try cod's tongues, who knows? Until then, for me Doyle is part dramedy, part travelogue.