Christmas-themed Shenanigans.

Having just written out the overseas Christmas cards to send off, I got Em to take a picture of me to update on my plurk page. Here are some of the photos that ensued!

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This was the final one taken, and the one I chose.

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This one made me LITERALLY pee myself when I saw it! I had to go up stairs and change my underwear! I just kept thinking “What do *I* look like? A Chinese man?!!! Buddha!”

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This was a contender for the plurk page.

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This one I look a bit startled. The red-eye reduction light is WELL bright!

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This is obviously my “Christmas? Meh!” look! And bah humbug to me!! lol

Hope you enjoyed that embarrassing set!

Pre-Christmas Organizing and Stuff…

Just basic ramblings about stuff for today.

We put up most of the Christmas decorations last night. We’ve got a decorated artificial 5ft tree by the lounge room window and we’ve got a dinky little 3ft fibre optic tree at the bottom of the stairs on the other side of the lounge room. We’ve got a fibre optic Father Christmas by the TV and have a nativity scene, an advent Santa and a Santa snow-globe on the gas fire mantle, and a wreath on the door.

Over the weekend the fish tank needs a good cleanout. JUST in case we get guests over the festive period. Not likely, but it’ll be a nice pressie for the fishies to have a clean tank for Xmas anyway.

After that, I’ll have to clean out the freezer section of the fridge, to make sure we can house the goodies over the Xmas period.

On a separate note. I tried to get tickets for Hamlet today, as I’d heard there were some limited seats available from the box office for today’s performance. I lucked out sadly, but the guy on the phone said I should keep trying as some tickets do become available through the day. I will try again in a few weeks though, as I have to watch the pennies until the rent is paid.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. Catch ya later.

Happy 200!

This is my 200th post on my blog, yay! You’d have thought I’d have so much drivel in me (me!)?

We got woken up this morning by the sound of knocking on the door. A Parcel Force man was at the door, delivering this Christmas gift!

Snacks for Em…

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And ones for me…

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What a lovely surprise they were. Not long after mum called, so I was able to thank her profusely. 

I started thinking I had a more substantial post than this within me, but it’s gone now 😦
I’ll come back later…

Randomist, Dreams.

Just wanted to say that I am really loving and enjoying using my Zen X-Fi. It does take a while to get used to using something new, doesn’t it? I’ve just worked out the playlist bit and now have a BIG 80’s mega-mix playlist with over 400 songs. I’ve made one of all my U2 stuff and another of all my Bowie stuff. And Em worked out how to get AAC files on there for me. It’s really, really good!

Now, on to these dreams…

I had a crap nights sleep really. Chris came up to bed for cuddles (she’s been doing this for the last few months). Once me and Em are both settled, she comes to my pillow and lays next to me for cuddles and smooches. She normally stays only about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes she doesn’t even come up. But over the last week, I’ve had a couple of nights where she’s outstayed her welcome, hogged my pillow and made it nigh on impossible for me to get comfortable and go to sleep.

I eventually did last night, after some hours. She eventually disappeared and I finally got my pillow back in the early hours of the morning (around 5-6am).

Once I was comfortable, I started to have dreams. The first one was about James May (yes, the bloke from Top Gear!). I dreamt I had a thing for him, we met up, he was driving me around in a car and I was flirting with him! I came round from that dream thinking “that was a bit weird, but kinda cool. James is alright!”

I went back to sleep and had a Doctor Who themed dream then. Not too deeply DT’ed, but I saw enough of him 🙂 It more centred around John Barrowman’s character, Jack Harkness and how he came to be the “Face of Bow”. Very strange for me to dream something so plot-heavy. But it was cool.

I didn’t have any other dreams after that and still feel VERY tired. Might need to have an early night tonight.

I’m planning to fill my 1GB SD card with 101 Christmas songs and play them on my Zen in shuffle mode tonight! LOVING using the shuffle mode with my playlists!

L8rs!

The Kodak EasyShare Z1012 IS

It’s the biggest bang for the buck! As Em says. It’s our big joint Xmas present for this year. We just took delivery of it 3 days ago and it’s AMAZING. HD stills AND HD video! Amazing quality. I want share some of my fave pics and videos taken with it already. Of course, everything can be viewed on my Picasa site.

But here’s a taster.

 

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Children In Need 2008.

Well now Christmas is TRULY on its way now another Children In Need is done and dusted for another year.

The theme for this year was “do something different”, did that extend to the BBC One program itself? Hell no!

Still hosted by one of the world’s worst presenters in God’s universe, Sir Terry Wigon (Wogan) (Eurovision is a totally different matter – he’s sort of in his element there) along with Tess Daly – who actually held it together and helped to make it a little less shambolic.

Everyone elses favourite female presenter, Fearne Cotton, was helping out too (she seems to be universally hated, but I like her).

The night started off with *yawn* McFly doing a song. And it just kept descending from there.

The cast of The Bill doing a Blues Brothers style musical medley.
Performances from Duffy, Girls Aloud, Take That, Sugababes, Boyzone (yawn, yawn, yawn)
Thank GOD I wasn’t up late enough to see Jason Donovan’s performance!
The cast of Eastenders doing a “songs from the movies” themed musical medley – Lord help us all!
Terry Wigon and Tess Daly having a Strictly Come Dancing dance-off.
The BBC newsreaders doing a ABBA-esque-cum-Mamma Mia style musical medley (help!)

I think by the time the newsreaders came on I thought, “I’m off to bed”. I don’t know why I do it to myself every year. You’d think I’d have learned from last year that it’s just awful and cheesy and full of crappy music acts that I don’t want to see, etc, etc. I NEVER LEARN!

Apart from a passable special episode of Q.I., the best part of the show, and the only REAL reason I kept enduring it, was this.

Now isn’t THAT interesting?! SO cannot wait for Christmas now!!!

I Spoke Too Soon

Despite what I said in my earlier post, there ARE no repeats of the second series of Doctor Who. I stupidly thought there would be because it ended on the David Tennant – 10th Doctor Christmas Invasion episode last week. But that, sadly, seems it. Godammit!!

So now, apart from Einstein and Eddington coming on towards the end of the year, I WILL have to wait til Xmas for a DT fix…well, actually airing on TV anyway!

Bankruptcy, Hospitals and Christmas.

Where do I start? For starters, Em goes to hospital on Tuesday for surgery. She’ll be there for about 5 days and will need 4-6 weeks recuperation time.

Next. Money woes. We are BEYOND broke. But these days, who isn’t? We’ve seen Citizen’s Advice and they will be helping us negotiate with creditors. We need to change bank accounts and may eventually have someone else operating an account on our behalf. In the New Year we’ll no doubt be officially bankrupt, but bizarrely it’ll probably mean we’ll cope better than we have done in recent years.

The down side is that this year will be an extra lean Xmas. I mean we’ve not been extravagant by any means in recent years. We would just indulge a little on having nicer food (IE: buying from M&S rather than ASDA). But it’s going to be really tight this year so not even nicer food will happen. Keeping a roof over our heads is just a TAD more important!

Despite all this, I feel upbeat. We’re doing stuff to sort out our debt. Em’s surgery will hopefully result in her improved well being. And Xmas is all about being thankful for your lot and (not forgetting) celebrating Christ’s birth.

I know there are people out there still FAR worse off than us. How can I be anything but upbeat about our future?

I Tell Ya, It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!

Oh my Lord! What is the world coming to when Santa’s can’t “Ho, ho, ho” any more?!

Australian Santa’s have been told to no longer “Ho, ho, ho”.
Read the story here.

HAPPY Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving. Sounds like everything I love about Xmas, only without the presents…as far as I know. I’m not up on Thanksgiving history/culture.

It does seem odd that in such a God-fearing country as America is, a lot more people seem to put more emphasis on Thanksgiving than on Xmas. As far as I know, it is when the turkey dinner is traditionally eaten, not as it is in Europe and in particular Britain when it’s at Xmas. Families seem to try harder in the U.S. to be together for Thanksgiving. People don’t feel pressured into exchanging presents, as we do with ever increasing financial strain, year after year at Xmas. Lastly, it doesn’t seem to be an overtly religious event (despite it being called Thanksgiving – IE: giving thanks to God – I assume – for a plentiful bounty and all the “good things” in our lives), despite the name of the holiday.

I wish we had Thanksgiving in England.

But then, maybe not.

I do love some of the aspects of Xmas. I think the time of year is better. It’s just that little bit later into winter. Not so ideal for shopping, but lovely for Xmas eve and Xmas day, sitting around the fire, having lovely, big and hot meals that make you feel like you’ve put on 10 pounds in 1 hour! I love Xmas decorations, trees, garlands, wreaths. As a kid I use to LOVE making paper chains! And of course, although I rarely get them these days, I LOVE the presents.

I love sending cards. And although some are religious, and although I’ve been a total hypocrite and been to church a few years back to enjoy them, I LOVE Xmas carols and Xmas songs. We have a church not 5 minutes walk away, and we went in 2005 for the carol service. But it was really lovely. It’s a non-domination church, and it was quite liberal (as churches go), not doing lots of preaching and stuff. It was a really nice service, and we all sang carols. It was lovely.

As much as I love Xmas though, there are things that are overbearing about it.

The compulsion to buy presents. The more expensive, the better. And the relentless ad campaigns that go with it. I mean, it’s in full swing on TV (and all other media) now. The supermarkets started filling their shelves with Xmas themed food weeks ago. I haven’t been in a supermarket for about 6 weeks (last visit, early October), but the last time I went, there was already stock on the shelf. The campaigns on TV will just get more and more manic. Soon the Xmas songs will start (mostly in shops and that, so I have been spared so far, as I really don’t get out much these days), and so by the time Xmas day comes, you’ve heard “White Christmas” at least 50 times (subliminally, and non-subliminally), Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody” about 100 times, and the new favourite for “playing to death”… The Pogues “Fairytale of New York” what feels like 500 times, but is in reality probably only 150 times!!

Supermarkets start to look like we’re heading for The Blitz at around December 18, and if you’ve missed something off the shopping list and don’t remember it until Xmas eve, you might just want to write out your last will and testament before heading off to the supermarket for that last vital thing, because you may just die there, waiting in the queue!

One last thing that I use to hate about Xmas as a kid. The only thing in fact. Australia. I HATED living in Australia at Xmas. Xmas in the northern hemisphere looked SSOO lovely. And all the stories whilst growing up were all northern hemisphere biased. All the little things like Santa arriving by coming down the chimney! HEEEELLLLOOOO…no house in Oz that *I* ever knew of had a chimney. How was Santa ever going to leave our presents? Break in through a window? Then of course there was the sleigh and the reindeer. Rudolph with his shiny red nose. Not because it was minus 10 degrees in Oz, but because it was more like bloody 25 degrees on Xmas eve NIGHT! Silent Night? Silent night…on a tropical evening in Sydney?! Doubt it!!

The one nice thing that Oz has for Xmas though is Carols by Candlelight…outdoors! That’s nice. Although, again, traditional carols are a bit northern hemisphere/wintery themed. Very odd to sing “Winter Wonderland” on a summer’s evening in 25 degree heat!

I really do love my winter Xmases though. They are the best.

So, happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. Xmas, the steam train, moves ever closer.