Archive for December, 2007

Yesterday Danielle and I ventured into the grown-up world of home furnishings.  It’s a strange world to me.  Until very recently, I believed that thrift stores or online ads were the best places to pick up a comfy couch for a cheap price, but like most married men I’ve learned that my taste in home decor is seriously lacking.  That means “Real People” couches and no more stacks of milk crates covered in homemade quilts for end tables.

After three months sitting on a lumpy futon in our living room, our criteria for our new couch and chair were simple, if not broad.  It must be comfortable and not look like crap.  These simple criteria excluded more than half of the living room sets at The Brick.  I mean, seriously… who buys ancient Greek themed couches and chairs?  I’m pretty sure all the ancient Greeks are long dead.

After sampling many couches by sitting, lying, lounging and napping we found a set we liked and prepared to talk turkey with our salesperson.  He gave us a number and we wished him a good day which lead to him getting a new number from his manager.  We liked that number and bought a nice faux-suede couch and chair set with a small matching ottoman and some free throw pillows.  I never thought I would even own throw pillows and now I have four… two for my couch and two for my bed.  Marriage does strange things to a man.

The delivery truck is scheduled to show up on Thursday, so let’s hope The Brick is more punctual than Rogers.  They’ll bring in our new furniture, set it up and haul away our old stuff if we don’t want it.  That’s where YOU come in.  Does anyone out there want a fully functional, free and lumpy futon?  I’m not sure if it would make much of a bed having been used as a couch for a long time, but for what you’ll pay for it, it’ll make for perfect furniture (I’m looking at the single guys out there).

Let me know if you want it (first come, first serve) and if you can’t arrange to pick it up, I’m sure we can work something out.  I’d hate to see this bad boy end up a landfill when it could still find work as a washed up napping spot.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Happy Hogmanay (or “New Year” to those of you not lucky enough to be born with Scottish blood).  Here’s hoping that all of you have a 2008 that was even nearly as great as my 2007, and that I have a 2008 that is more restful and a little less eventful than my 2007.  I also hope that it’s nearly as awesome.

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So, you’re stuck at work on the Friday after Christmas with very little to do.  You’d go shopping online, but you’re tapped out after the holidays and you’re sick of reading gossip sites to find out which hot, young celebrity is the latest to get busted for DUI (it’s Mischa Barton, by the way … some guy on the bus told me this morning).  How on earth could you spend your day!?

I’ve got it!  You could browse through over 400 of our official wedding photo proofs online!  We finally got around to picking the ones we didn’t want you to see (for various reasons), and we’ve made the rest available online.  We’re directing all traffic through our official wedding site at wedding.dacd.ca so that we can also post a gallery of photos taken by our friends and family, and to host some streamed video (including my grand entrance set to the Rocky Theme from the rehearsal).  If you have pictures that you want to send to us, drop me a line and I can set you up with an FTP account, or arrange to pick up a CD if you have no idea what an FTP account is.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my regularly scheduled nap.

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I’m back in the office and still suffering the effects of having eaten every single type of roasted meat under the sun.  Despite feeling overstuffed and fat, I have found great delight in doing my best to curb earth’s problem of massive animal overpopulation (I can actually hear the vegetarian hatemail pouring into my inbox).

Five days with my parents, in-laws and beaux-parents (French for “in-laws” which sounds nicer than people who appear to be legally obligated to opening their front door late at night in a blizzard, which my actual in-laws would do out of kindness and not legal obligation) has taught me one very important Christmas lesson.  I am extremely blessed to be surrounded by a large and wonderful array of various family members with different titles, mother tongues, traditions and tastes.  I certainly felt that in spades around the time of our wedding, but was overwhelmed by friends and the actual event to have it fully register, but this Christmas really brought it home.

We started in the Ottawa Valley by spending a couple of days with my parents (including shovelling a few feet of snow of their roof) and grandma, and a pre-Christmas dinner of roast chicken with my great aunt.  On the evening of the 23rd, we opted to drive to Montreal early to beat out a freezing rain storm and spent a few days avec mes beaux-parents, Gilles and Madeleine and my sister-in-law (or belle-soeur, if you like) Lisa, where we visited with my new uncle Normand, feasted on turkey legs and tourtiere after a Christmas Eve mass at Notre Dame Basilica and hit the sack in the wee hours of Christmas morning after opening presents.  On Christmas Day, we headed to my in-laws (Linda and Tom) for a feast of roast beef with the fixin’s before opening more gifts and watching a slideshow of still unseen wedding pictures (and VIDEO, including the now-famous Rocky entrance) and some photos of Minnesota of fall and winter.

We spent a lot of time laughing, relaxing and eating.  Then we ate some more, played some games, continued laughing and had some dessert.  Despite my concern at running around, we actually had a lot of time to relax and enjoy spending time with family.  We made plans for the coming year and reminisced about the joys of 2007 (mostly the wedding).

Yesterday, after heading to the movies in Montreal and watching Charlie Wilson’s War (a really good movie, by the way) we even had time to do a little shopping and pick up some new clothes.

All in all?  Best… Christmas… ever.  However, we came back home to find that our Christmas tree, while still alive and well-watered, had started to give off an odour much akin to cat pee.  I’m serious… the whole house smells like ammonia.  Has anyone ever had that before?

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We’re iced in here in Montreal after spending a few days eating food and shovelling snow in the Ottawa Valley on our First Annual Christmas Tour.  I’m writing this on a very difficult French keyboard, so I’m cutting it short, but we hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas.

Dave & Danielle
(yes, she helped write it!)

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Today is the shortest day of the year.  Well, that’s not quite accurate.  Today is technically the day where the Northern Hemisphere will receive the least sunlight, so for some people, today might feel like the longest day.  If you want to get all fancy, you can refer to today as the Winter Solstice (although it technically starts at sundown this evening) and you can also be historically accurate by throwing a big pagan party.

To celebrate the first day of winter, Danielle and I will be driving up to the Ottawa Valley tonight (where winter is originally from) to spend a few days with my family before heading to Montreal.  It’s our first Christmas together and we’re going to visit all our family in one big run.

A highlight of the trip will surely include Christmas Eve mass at Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal.  Between not being familiar with the mass in general, and my French being more than a bit rusty, I think I might be in trouble as far as following along goes, but I can’t wait to hear singing, listen to the organ and to see it in all its splendour.

So, whether your celebrations be Christian, Pagan or otherwise, I wish you all safe travels and good wishes.  I’ll be posting erratically over the early part of next week, but I imagine few of you will be reading regularly either.   Happy solstice everybody!

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Being self-taught on the guitar isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  For a few years now, I’ve felt as though I’ve kind of reached the end of what I can learn on my own.  I can play chords easily and sing along as I play even complex chord structures, but my ability to play even simple lead parts hasn’t really progressed in the years I’ve been playing, and I think I’ve learned everything I can on my own.

So, what to do?  I figure I have three options:

  1. Give up trying to learn any more and be happy as a sing-a-long player for campfires and cottage porches
  2. Play with guitarists who are FAR better than me and be sharpened by their skills, picking up new tricks and ways of doing things by osmosis
  3. Take some lessons from a professional teacher.

The first one sounds boring, the second one sounds terrifying (imagine doing ANYTHING with someone who is far better at it than you are) and the third could be quite expensive.  I think I’m going to do some more research online to see if I can advance for free from the privacy and comfort of my own home (especially on the electric guitar).

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Ah, the day of the Corporate Christmas party.  A day full of promise followed by a day full of regret… it’s an electrically charged 48 hours.  Since both TV and internet news have been obsessed lately with advice of what to do (and NOT to do) at your work Christmas Party, I’m torn between carefully following every rule and throwing caution to the wind and breaking them all.  I’ll likely mix and match as my heart desires.  Does anyone know if you get severance pay when you’re “let go” for reasons related to poor behaviour at a party?

Before I lose my job, and in the midst of working like a dog before I take off for the holidays, I’m going to be finishing up my Christmas shopping.  I think next  year I’ll do all my shopping online and let UPS deliver everything.  It’s just easier that way.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some future regrets to commit.  Adieu.

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We had houseguests overnight at our new place last night.  Danielle’s mom and stepdad were driving through TO on their way back to Montreal after a long stay in their native land of Minnesota.  This was our second round of honest-to-goodness houseguests in our home and I have to say that I like having people stay with us.  We have a really nice place, and it’s that much homey-er with family around.

Talking about our upcoming trip to Ottawa and Montreal for Christmas made me realize that we’re leaving in just a few short days, which gives me very little time to do ALL my Christmas shopping (including shipping stuff to BC).  Since my corporate Christmas party is tomorrow night (at a pretty swank lounge here in TO), I’ll lose yet another night.  That means I have two nights to scramble and get gifts for twice the normal number of people I’m used to shopping for.  Wish me luck.

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