Well, it would seem as if we got out of Vancouver just in time as, by all reports, the city has been blasted by another storm that has made getting around almost impossible. “Christmas is cancelled,”my writing partner matter-of-factly informed me Lawren, meanwhile, reports that his car is stuck, essentially trapping him at our house with the dogs. I sincerely hope he is able to get at least two day’s worth of protein out of that can of kippers sitting in the pantry. At least he has the dogs to keep him warm. Unfortunately, Lawren is a light sleeper so that dogs had to sleep in their own bed, greatly offending Bubba who apparently spent a good hour crying and barking in outrage. Eventually, they all settled down and fell asleep Lawren, however, made the mistake of poking his head up to make sure they were alright. Bubba, who proved an even lighter sleeper than Lawren, immediately perked up at the sight of him and resumed his plaintive appeals.
Here in Montreal, it’s been more slushy than snowy. Fortunately, as the out-of-towner, I haven’t had to do any driving. Instead, I deferred to my sister who did the honors, taking us to the city’s St Leonard district where we picked up Italian pastries and visited my auntie Jeanette who is spending the holidays in the hospital as she undergoes tests. Her neighbor to her left is a chatty 75 year old woman who monopolized most of the conversation until we offered her a big cookie. After that, she did more chewing than talking. The neighbor to her right was a guy, that couldn’t have been that much older than me, who had suffered a stroke. He, in contrast, hardly said anything. My aunt was, as usual, in fairly good spirits, heaping praise on the hospital staff as she polished off her lunch, a prickly pear, and the cake my mother had sent. Hopefully, we’ll be able to spring her before the New Year.
As is the case with most European families, Christmas Eve is the big night in the Mallozzi household. We sat down a feast of scampi and prawn followed by a dessert assortment highlighted by a collection of macarons my sister picked up for me. Unlike most of the Canadian macarons I’ve had to date, these were excellent – and very unique. Flavors included: foie gras and fig, olive oil and sundried tomatoes, salmon and dill, raspberry and pepper, goat cheese and squash, and avocado and saffron. I believe they ship. If so, I might offer a prized selection for one lucky/adventurous reader.
Also, as per Christmas tradition, my mother phoned up every relative she could think of and had me talk to them. Among the cavalcade of calls was one to a cousin I hadn’t spoken to in years. She congratulated me on my success, reflecting back on my youthful obsession with comic books and role-playing games that no doubt paved the way for a fruitful career in making shit up. Reflecting back on her reflections, it suddenly dawned on me that while comic books and role-playing games may have helped shape me creatively, I can’t honestly say I ever left them behind. I still read comic books (and my complete collection of Asterix and Obelisk books in the original French), watch cartoons (anime in particular as my personal library now holds well over 3000 dvds), and have never curbed my desire to pick up the occasional action figure, statue, or toy. Hell, if I had the time, I’d probably still be spending my Friday nights playing Dungeons and Dragons. Dear Lord! I’m freaking Peter Pan in and cobras cufflinks!
Well, again in keeping with European tradition, we opened our present last night. My mother got enough wine to last to her 150th birthday, I got Fondy a Wii while my sister got her a spa package that I picked up for her back in Vancouver (“Hey,”said Fondy last week while going through our online VISA statements, “have you had a massage lately?), weights for my sister, and while I asked for world peace, I received shaving products and a crazy assortment of macarons which was just as good.
This morning, I worked out the first scene of my Stargate:Universe script while showering. I do some of my best writing while either showering or driving. Go figure.
Hope all of you are doing well and enjoying time with your respective families!