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Christmas, 2014

What I Gave:
Dad - Crown Royal Whiskey (as usual)
Carol - A teakettle from the Dutch store in New Westminster
Kelly and Jay - A decorative coffee grinder, also from the Dutch store.
Jay - A cookie sheet. Kelly said he wanted one, and it was cheap, so I added it to the other gift.
Lisa - Happy Trumpets, by Pedro Gonzales and his Mexican Brass.
Matthew and Abigail - Chocolate coins. Wanted to get them chocolate letters, but the Dutch store was sold out of everything but F and U. Same to you, pal.
Mom and Nancy, by request, did not receive gifts. Unless you count my making the mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner.

What I Got:
Lisa - 25 dollar gift certificate from EB Games
Kelly, Jay and Dad - Xbox 360.
Carol - Bag of Turtles.
Mom - LED flashlight.

The Xbox I was not expecting at all. I'd mentioned that it might be nice to get one, since the price was bound to drop now that the Xbox One was out. Looking for myself, I found that they didn't drop as much as all that, so I'd told Kelly to forget about it. But I guess she didn't.

I worked Christmas Eve until three, got a ride with Kelly to Lisa's place. It was the first time Kelly and Jay had taken the new South Perimeter road as an alternative to the Port Mann. They both agreed that it was faster, with the added benefit of not being tolled. I told them to enjoy it while it lasted, because the Patullo is going to be rebuilt soon enough, and the new bridge will be tolled as well.

Kelly's ongoing problems with her leg may have a solution soon. Or not so soon. She's going in for MRI next October. But the doctor is suggesting the problem may not be in her leg at all, but a pinched nerve in her spine or elsewhere.

Jay and I picked up the Chinese food as usual. It was particularly good this year. Dad and Lisa forgot to order anything green, so for a change I had a bit of everything. Then after gifts, we played Scattergories. I don't remember who won, I just remember that I missed getting any points at all on two rounds; the first because I thought someone else was keeping score, the second because I used the wrong side of the card. Still scored higher than Kelly though.

Lisa got a bottle of tequila, and offered everybody a shot. I figured 'what the hell' and took one. Kelly was amazed, not just that I took one (I never drink), but that I shot it in one while keeping a straight face. I don't know why she's surprised. I've always been stoic, and I'll do anything for a joke. In other words, the only reason I took the shot was because I thought it would be funny. And honestly, it really didn't do much of anything except feel warm on the way down. Alcohol just doesn't do much for me except taste bad.

Next day was Christmas with Mom. Kelly and Jay were supposed to go in the morning, while I was going later, so I wasn't expecting to see them at all. I made the mashed potatoes, then called Mom around noon to pick me up. When we got to her place, there was a message from Kelly, waiting at the gate, so I went down to let them in. Lisa arrived shortly after, so we got to be all together after all.

None of Mom's friends joined us for dinner this year. I was kind of relieved.

On Boxing Day, in keeping with the theme of shining my life up a bit, I wanted to get a new coat. Something pea-coat style, something that looks more adult than the hoodie from Army and Navy that I've been wearing for four fucking years now, or the goretex shell I've had for fifteen. I took the bus down to Commercial Drive and walked the strip, just browsing. In a vintage consignment shop, I found two coats I really liked, and got them both for half price. Total price, including tax, $107.10.

And today, the goal was to get a new cell phone. I've checked with Fido and Virgin, but I'm thinking of sticking with Bell if I can persuade them to let me keep the plan I've currently got (1GB of data for 55/month). I was thinking of upgrading to a Galaxy s5 because it allows a memory card up to 128GB and it's important to me to have enough space for my entire music collection. But now I'm thinking of splurging on an iPhone 6. It would be nice for a change to have the latest and best.

I also went to EB in Metrotown (after first taking the bus to Queensborough, thinking there was still an EB there) and got three games for the Xbox: Halo 3, Red Dead Redeption, and Skyrim Legendary. Damn was it packed!

I'll have to talk to Bell's customer service tomorrow to see what they are willing to do for me.

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