Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Festivus!

I know it's a little late, we are in the midst of Christmas Eve's eve, which is a very exciting time indeed. It is still "Festivus", born out of the day Frank Constanza, George's father from Seinfeld went to buy a doll as a gift, but it got broken because him and another customer were fighting over the same one. It is the last few weeks of December, when everyone in the family gets together to air their grievances at each other, then come the "feats of strength" where people are tested for their dedication and loyalty. So far, I've gotten by unscathed. Either I didn't let anyone down, or no one really had expectations of me in the first place!

With my family, there is much chocolate making, turkey baking, tinsel, mistletoe (which, by the way is poisonous, so don't eat it), melting snow, and music. My little gift to myself is to learn and play a lounge/jazz version of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" with my electric guitar. Maybe this will drown out the sound of my sisters playing Celine Dion on the piano upstairs.

Yes, let us get in the spirit of giving whether we are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other special holiday. The holidays are truly encapsulated in the excitement or the insanity we have over getting together. Seasons wishes!

At dinner my sisters took turns making fun and acting out my parents expected roles and reactions to our conversations. It was the airing of grievances. My father was a little nervous about getting things all ready for Christmas: him and I have to move all the furniture, we're out of milk, our water heater is busted etc. He told my sisters to stop taking long showers in a stern voice. And because my mother was bugging him other things, he broke down and stated that he will get up at 6am (to avoid the maddening crowds at the malls) to get milk. She then smiled, acting as if his generosity was of the willingest type, and said: "Great! Then I can sleep in and be lazy." My sisters were discussing their plans and then my parents asked my youngest sister what she was up to: *taking on my their usual attitude of exasperation, due to them having to live with us five crazy kids*: "I was just going to stay home. I don't want to go ramming all over town. It's always go go go. I worked all day." (of course she didn't work all day) "I just want to be home and relax."

My sisters are all social butterflies, which means they can add to the noise around home, and drive us all up the walls. My other sister then took up the torch and started acted out my father and how he can get a little tired of the 24/7 social event planning, and a little drastic in his proposed solutions sometimes: "I've had enough of this socializing quite frankly. I'm ready to cut the phone lines off!" His bark is actually worse than his bite. My mother changed the subject (as she always does. We could be talking about insect repellent and she would say: "speaking of which, I had a patient in today who has a retinal blastoma...") and started talking about my older sister, who should be coming home any moment from Vancouver. She was sentimentalizing the gathering, saying "who knows? We may only get to see her once a year from now on," a big exaggeration. No one was sobbing. Then my sister who's going to Africa, which my parents have their concerns about, went along with their logic and started applying it to herself, in the thickest of sarcasm: "yeah, who knows? You might not see me either til next Christmas. That's IF I make it back at all. I could be mugged, raped, kidnapped, or sold for rice!"

I am entertained by my family, but I know their schtick so well that I usually sit quietly and eat my supper while I do it. I could recite the family scripts in my sleep. The biggest stress of every family occasion is probably trying to round us all up at the same time to have family pictures. My mother grieves about not having pictures of us all but then she chooses to display the ugliest pictures of us in her office. Of course we go through the same hassle every single occasion, whether it's our first day of school, or because she wants a picture of us when we're "dressed nice". Anyway, this gives you an example of how families all harass each other but yet it's fun. Like the Douglas Coupland book, I'm sure "All Families are Psychotic." Have fun being reminded just how psychotic your family is. Tis the season for it!

Now, my idea of having a good day before Christmas Eve, is getting away from the family and going out with friends for a flick. I'll have family all weekend. What I need is to. get. out. So, Jeff and I are going out to see the new movie Syriana, starring George Clooney, about terrorism and the global economic dependence on oil. I'm psyched. Nothing like a good action movie to get the adrenaline pumping! Jeff just told me he's falling asleep, but I still wanted to go, so we're going to go get coffee and hang out cause that's what friends are for. Good friends don't let good friends do what they want with themselves. We've been friends since grade six, so he knows it's not that easy to bail on me. He just spent a day like today shopping, so I know that he must be exhausted because every mall is a madhouse, but I still wanted to go. After all, it's Christmas, so here we go! Time to go get absorbed by the big screen!


Blogger DeeM said...

Happy Festivus, sounds like you have a great family!

11:54 a.m.  
Blogger FFFrapgirl said...

I downloaded Syriana but the file is corrupt! Damn! So how was it! Sounds like a normal family you have! Happy Holidays should make an audio file of your holiday song and post it!

1:09 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

deem -yeah, they're neat. HF!

candi -Syriana was great, but a little confusing keeping all the subplots and names straight. It's a movie you could watch a few times and notice more each one, and the visuals are impactful. I left the theatre a little creeped out. About the audio posting: what's the best way to do that? Is there a program you use? How do you do it?

2:05 p.m.  
Blogger FFFrapgirl said...

Simple..hit up programs,accessories,entertainment,sound recorder.. There ya be..then you can save your file and shrink the size...You can upload the file to and they will give you a link...

3:31 p.m.  
Blogger Blackempress said...

Merry Christmas!
Good narration.. Hope u all had fun. WEll families are like that. :) Great to have em.

Btw Cud u tell me how u got to "somewonderful page"?It wasnt on the blog lists.:) Just asking.

10:07 a.m.  
Blogger Blackempress said...

Merry Christmas!
Good narration.. Hope u all had fun. WEll families are like that. :) Great to have em.

Btw Cud u tell me how u got to "somewonderful page"?It wasnt on the blog lists.:) Just asking.

10:18 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Thanks Candicane!

Blackempress -I found the "somewonderfulpage" via a search through It is quite a useful site. If someone on blogger posts on an esoteric topic somewhere in the middle of the Adriatic sea, I know about it.

1:27 p.m.  

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