Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Day: Savouring Christmas Before Taking it Down

You know your family is getting old when you wake up for Christmas at 11am. We had eggs benedict and then opened presents. I got a Family Guy DVD, some CD's (including my old Mono CD that mysteriously went missing several years ago), and a book of slam poetry by Shanke L. Koyczan. I gave my dad a nose-hair trimmer that I found at an electronics shop, some beef rub for his prizewinning cattle, and a special magnet for my mom. The trimmer is waterproof so you can use it in the shower. My sister made my parents magnets too using our family pictures, and luckily we got a few more of those despite the camera threatening not to work. We had a tough time getting a shot with my older sister's boyfriend's eyes open. In all the pictures we have of him, he looks like he's sleeping standing up. I made mix CD's and gave special soaps and chocolates. I figured everyone loves chocolate. My nursing sister got new scrubs, the nutritionist a book on nutrition, I got my sister who lives in Vancouver a book on Fung Shue with some incense, and the others got earrings and books.

My dad and I quickly got started on the furniture, rearranging the house so that we could all sit at the table. My sister called our Christmas tree a "celebration of homosexuality tree" because the tinsel was technicoloured. She also changed what she had written on our fridge message board, which was: "rock out with your cock out," a phrase she appreciates probably because it is so catchy, but also because it's vulgar. My father saw it, but read it wrong and asked: "what does rock out with your lock out mean?" The phrase was then edited on the board to match his reading, and "rock out with your lock out" became the motto of the day.

The relatives gathered, and we celebrated by eating shrimp together and opening up the wine. I thought of my friend that I went to visit last year in Portugal, and drank some of the green wine she had given me as a souvenir. My aunt wanted to try some, but after a sip, concluded it was "corky". We started allowing alcohol at family gatherings after my grandfather passed away two years ago. It makes it easier for some to have a good time, and with the multiple conversations going on in the kitchen while we whipped up the mashed potatoes, the younger children playing and scaring us by jumping out from unexpected corners, we had a good time. My mother had supplied the little children (my cousin's four sons) with some Halloween paraphenalia to play with. One of them commented that "there's nothing better than a box of masks." I suppose in a way, that's true.

As things wound down from the big meal, we started playing Taboo and Hoopla. Taboo is fun because if you're the buzzer, you get to buzz certain "taboo" words that the person trying to explain a word isn't allowed to say. They have to get clues so people can guess what the word is, but it's really tricky to explain them without the taboo words, so you've got to be creative. My uncle played for the other team, and for awhile, he was on fire! Then he seemed really surprised that they didn't guess "ancient" when he said "when you get to be my age, you're..." and things started to go downhill. He got called for using body gestures when he put his wrist up in the air and said "I have one of these" referring to his watch. You aren't allowed to use gestures. Soon enough, we drove him off the team.

We got frustrated with the Hoopla cards because there were all these American geographical hotspots that we'd never heard of, and famous people from the eighties that no one knew by name. Do you know where Cape Canaverale is? I didn't.

After eating turkey, suddenly I got full and tired. I mean really full then really tired. It was like someone injected me with morphine. It wasn't only the turkey. It was also the potatoes, the carrot salad, the dressing, the gravy, the fruit salad, the trays upon trays of cookies and dessert, the coffee, the wine, the water, chocolates, baked brie, walnuts, almonds, etc. I had to lay down and then I felt like all my cells were vacuum cleaners trying to suck up a giant mess. I could almost hear my stomach trying to break down the food, blood squooshing as it carried away chunks of lard from the gelatinous gravy. I thought of Ariel Sharon who just had a stroke and who warned people to take it easy on the food this season. Man I should have listened to him! Luckily I didn't have a heartattack.

So, now that the New Year nears, I have lots to look forward to and lots to work on. I have to apply for internships and jobs not only for next semester, but for the upcoming summer. I have to start jogging again, working out, and losing some weight. I must perfect my song and take up Candi's idea of posting some audiofiles, and generally live healthier and better.

2005 was a strange year because it started so strangely, with such a diverse mix of happy and sad things, all at once. I was enamoured with the person who came to visit me, who I met on the Internet. Within moments of actually meeting her, I felt like we had known each other for years, and we became close, but then that day we met, she lost one of her best friends to the tsunami, and it broke her heart. They didn't find him for about a month, and that not knowing where he was was probably the most terrible thing for her. Because of what happened, I don't think she'll ever be the same. They lived together for a couple years, he made her smile and brought her scorpions from the dessert. She had kept in touch with the family, but at the time he was away touring Thailand with his girlfriend. That was a year ago today. I don't think I'll ever forget it.

So Boxing Day is a bittersweet time of rememberance. I can't talk to my old friend because she won't talk, she doesn't want to talk, and would presumeably like to forget that entire episode of her life when she came here to this freezing cold haven from a country that sports palm trees at this time of year, for some sanctuary. The nice thing is that I get to relax and enjoy all the leftovers from yesterday today. I've cleaned up the errant nutshells from our cracker, and my ears are elated to have so much new music to listen to.

Take my Post-Christmas poll in the sidebar ------------------->
First, I'll leave you with one of my favorite spoken word poems from Shane L. Koyczan's collection, "Visiting Hours":


I've been told
that people in the army
do more by 7:00am
than I do in an entire day

but if I wake at 6:59am
and turn to you
to trace the outline of your lips
with mine
I will have done enough
and killed no one
in the process.


Blogger shyloh said...

Great story. I lick what your dad said ha. I would do the same thing I guess.

The poem was excellent. Made me smile.

4:19 p.m.  
Blogger shyloh said...

Oh god. That was LIKE not lick. Geesh... Sorry! See I am the queen of typo's.

(shy blushing now)

4:20 p.m.  
Blogger Javier said...

It scares me sometimes that I'm getting older. But I have been blessed with a great family and friends that I have nothing else to care about.
Although I'm more material boy. I can do crazy things for money.

I did get few presents for christmas. It's nothing expensive but my mom gave them to me hoping that they would like me.

You are welcome to my blog anytime you want.

+ F Favier B.+

4:58 p.m.  
Blogger FFFrapgirl said...

Cape Canaveral is in Florida.

I love the phrase rock out with your cock out too!

Looking forward to hearing your audio files...

We always played trivial pursuit, the same game for years..we all had the answers memorized..

Alcohol and Christmas and shrimp..nice mix we did that too.. I never had alcohol on xmas growing up either... dry household..

Hope 2006 treats you well Sirbarret!

5:13 p.m.  
Blogger transience said...

beautiful. i don't think a tribute to family, friends, old memories and new could be written any better. that said, hope you're enjoying the rest of the hols.

1:04 a.m.  
Blogger DeeM said...

I'm coming to your house next year for Christmas.
What an excellent post. (I love the Family Guy)
Bittersweet, with the story of your friend.
However, what a great poem at the end. Who is this poet?

9:44 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

shyloh -aloha licker! I hope you're not erythrophobic. Hehe

janvier -I feel old too, but it makes you appreciate things like family and friends indeed. I will consider this an official invitaion.

Transience -Thanks. I am enjoying them very much. Nothing to complain about holidays.

Candi -Right. Cape Canaveral. That's what I meant to say, not "Cape Cavernale"

Deem -Family Guy is over-the-top, in a good way. The poem is from a slam poet named Shane Koyczan from his book "Visiting Hours"

2:34 p.m.  
Blogger MoDigli said...

Your Christmas sounds so fantastic! I love having a big day with lots of family, tons of food, and then BOARD GAMES!!! I swear it is the FUNNEST! and I am so jealous cause my family is too small to ever have such an experience again.

4:53 p.m.  
Blogger madamerouge said...

Rock Out With Your Cock Out in 2006!

10:43 p.m.  

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