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This is CRAZY LAND.

Aged cheddar, skating, and FAMILY GUY / FARGO: 2009 is finally here!

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND 2009, EVERYONE!

I’m glad 2009 is FINALLY here! Believe me, I learned stuff in 2008, but that doesn’t mean I’m not glad it’s in the past now! 😉

Jon picked me up yesterday afternoon, and fielded a phone call from Harmony on the way to pick up Eric (waved to Veronica): seems she’d be late, since she was making guacamole. (we discussed Raymond’s change in plans as he’d heard about it) Turns out Myles dropped her off later, which was fine! Had pasta, quail, some interesting red bean-based Chinese dessert, curry, chicken wings, and more stuff while saying hi to Dave’s parents and catching up with Dave himself… too bad Tiffany had to work! Talked about the IIHF Canada-US hockey game (yay for two LATE empty-net goals to make the final score 7-4 for Canada… Tavares also got a hat trick!), the Calgary-Edmonton game, Christmas, blogging, flights, delays, Dennis, wedding stuff, jokes featuring really rushed pre-marital counselling, and other things. When a player named Ryan Ellis was being interviewed on TV, I said this to Eric: “You can tell your Victoria buddy that there’s someone out there with the same name as him! Haha!” (I discovered this about myself, Catherine Anderson (geordiecat76), Graham Hurley [Korey’s Ontario friend], and of course many others!)

Mom got me my present from Auntie Esther (Laughing Matters: Learning to Laugh When Life Stinks), and I rejoiced because my book collection was in even numbers again. Eric thought the beer had affected me already, and Jon said he’d just get me another book if I liked even numbers so much – CHEH! The guy who wrote the book is featured in the PULSE every time we get it, as well – Dad said I was familiar with that, at least. Yup, and I read it during service most times! (Jon said not to deflect it and say that others probably did the same – meh, shut up! :P) I also got some socks of unknown origin from the family laundry (Jon said to take them!), and saw the green blingy sweater my mom was talking about at the Ho family dinner – I like THAT, but not the matching skirt! (I DISLIKE SKIRTS!)

Seems Harmony was trying to call a friend all day, but instead was calling a wrong number – oops! Grandma was a bit confused as to why there was no US goalie in one of the games, so Dad tried explaining to her the concept of pulling your goalie for an extra attacker… it didn’t quite work, heh. Steph would love to be the Mountie making the post-game presentations to the players of the game, for sure! (too bad she’s in Regina, heh) I had a bit of beer, and some powerful ginger ale – no pop in that house! Jon decided to see what the beer and ginger ale would taste like together, but selected ME to be the guinea pig! Then he added my Ceres red grape juice to the mix, and was about to add the coffee – ew, no! The ginger ale just seemed to overpower everything else, which is what I told him when he asked how it tasted!

Eventually we went over to Eric’s for about five minutes, where the Great Champagne Exchange happened: you better believe we needed the fake stuff as opposed to the real thing! Eric, Jon, and I discussed his mother’s cool Chinese ways on the way over, haha. (Jon dropped us off there before going back home to collect Harmony to go to Kendrick’s) She can be like a Chinese mother, and not know it – she loves getting us food even AFTER certain SLB escapades, heh! Said hi to his parents, watched a tiny bit of AIR FARCE (Sloppy Second Joe?!), saw this cute blue musical wizard plush that Steph found for them, and got a New Year’s hug from Veronica. Eric and I discussed emails, accents, certain friends, Fellowship plans, skating at the oval, fake heart attacks, and more on the way to Nathan’s. I was transported into nostalgia when I saw a certain 7-11 on Granville, haha. (Grandma saying that Jon should have bought medicine at Yaohan instead when he was really mailing letters!)

Christon had to help me across the ice rink that was Nathan’s front walkway, since Eric decided to find parking somewhere else. Turns out we got there at the same time as Jeremy – I don’t mind his seeing me as petrified of the snow, heh. (it’s happened before…) Nathan was actually home, which was a good thing since some time elapsed without our seeing Eric! After a while, we started to wonder what happened – then Nate got a call that Eric was stuck in the snow about two blocks away. I certainly didn’t mind guarding the house while the guys went to relieve some strangers’ kindness! Read some health / pharmacy magazine, had some Orville Redenbacher popcorn courtesy of Christon, quickly checked my email, and started on a 20th anniversary re-release of E.T. box set that Nathan got in the meantime.

Shared the seat and some popcorn out of a bowl with Jeremy, and didn’t mind his placing his stuff on my jacket – it was brand new from Regina, I warned him. When it came time for Nathan to order his free pizza, it was entertaining! “Hi, I think I should have a free pizza on my account. What do I want on the pizza? *looks around room* Meat…? Anything else, guys? Mushrooms? Green peppers? HELP!” Hahaha! Had some Tostitos multigrain chips and salsa that Eric brought along, too. Amused ourselves by looking up Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa and chop suey – Eric had never seen the Chinese medicine before in his life, while I said I’d kinda grown up with it. Jeremy said it was the best stuff ever, and I tended to agree with him on that point!

Saw Nathan’s dad go in and out of the room while doing laundry – Jeremy was surprised at the dryer buzzer noise, and thought that Nate’s house just had random noises all the time, haha. Reminds me: I should do my own laundry! Ha, he should have been at the house a few years ago when the old TV was about to implode, and warned us by making a high-pitched noise which we could hear every time we went into the basement! Daniel was given a huge amount of money to replace it! We also discussed the perils of skating: if you tie your skates up and then feel they’re too loose when you go out on the ice, then you have to go back OFF the ice and retie the laces! But then if you feel it’s too TIGHT afterwards, do you REALLY feel like going back off the ice again and then taking everything off / putting it back on again!? Very ma-fan, to be sure!

Jeremy described the driving conditions when his dad drove down from Kelowna to pick him up at the airport: luckily, his dad is used to driving in the snow! It was actually snowing when they were in Abbotsford, and they saw these guys trying to race each other… not in THOSE conditions! The whole round trip took about 10.5 hours, which we figured was average given the snow on the roads. At one point, the powdery snow from other vehicles was covering everything: Jeremy was on the phone to his mom to tell her where they were, and suddenly couldn’t see anything except white! In that case, you drive and hope you haven’t turned the wrong way or anything! He also described a Kelowna Rockets game to us: the shots were uneven (27-11), the score was misleading, they got their own private bathroom (YES!), and it was still a good time even though he missed one family celebration! At least he wasn’t delayed much coming home… there was a 45-minute unannounced delay while they were on the plane, though!

While we watched the UNCENSORED version of Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005), Jon called Jeremy to say that he didn’t know when we’d be seeing him. That didn’t surprise us at all, man! The movie was pretty funny – I won’t give anything away except to say that you never know where people get ideas for sex changes and doppelgangers! We finished with about twelve minutes left to go till midnight, so Christon prepped the champagne while Nathan searched for something suitable to watch on TV. The Hong Kong countdown was hilarious (philanthropists and singers on stage, all bundled up?!), Nathan judged some based on musical quality, and we managed to find one from 1987 – that’s not even a round number of years!

We found the Christmas tree / Yule log channels – those get high ratings?! Sweet! (and we noted the logs’ changed positions every time we went back to those channels – “who’s the hand that changes it when it’s not on a 15-minute loop?”) Saw a few shots of Elton John, some of Ryan Seacrest, re-informed Nathan that Dick Clark had had a stroke a couple years ago, and toasted each other at midnight. Also watched WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? and laughed at the low blows dealt Drew Carey by the improv comics! (Nathan thinks that Ryan Stiles and Jeremy kinda look alike, and have a similar eye mannerism – Jeremy wouldn’t know about that himself! Reminds me of how my mom thinks Eric and Jeremy would be too similar to be groomsmen at Jon’s wedding – I said, “tall skinny white guys with metabolism / diet issues do NOT all look the same!”)

Nathan and Eric played some NHL 2009 – turns out Jeremy and I thought the same thing about the updates in the game. It doesn’t automatically transfer data based on current hockey teams, which is too bad. We had to think of it like car models – it’s like how the 2009 models came out in 2008! Then Jeremy asked if you could play the same team against one another: Nathan said you could, which made me think of STREET FIGHTER where you could do that too. THAT confused me the first few times I saw it, haha! (Eric says that the hockey uniforms are light and dark to distinguish individual teams, and the announcing in-game is hilarious since the lineups are exactly the same!) Jon called later to say that he was maybe half an hour away, which is about the time Christon decided to leave. “He called you LAME!” “Tell him that HE can drive my dad downtown tomorrow morning, then!” “He says to stay up all night till 5:30, and THEN sleep!” “Somehow, I don’t think that’s happening!” Hahaha!

By the time Jon did come over, it was almost 1 AM. Jeremy had gone into the Mount Pleasant cheese shop and asked for some aged cheddar, but was told that they only had five-year-old cheddar! If THAT’S not aged, we wonder just what qualifies as such! Jon made some chai tea, got a cutting board for the cheese, and happily took some more beer out. Asked whether I’d had any of Jeremy’s stout IPA (or something), but I said that Jer had finished the whole bottle by himself! (the equivalent of three pints?! oh my…) We talked for a bit before watching Fargo (1996) – yay for wood chipper murders! Jon mused that he recalled watching this with Mom once, but she didn’t like it very much! After a particular scene in which much profanity was used, I wondered if Mom had objected to the language – he didn’t remember! (Jeremy: “Hey, it’s in ENGLISH at least!” Hahaha!) Discussed dark comedies, other movies, Jeremy’s parents thinking FARGO was uninteresting, Jeremy saying the movie was funnier with us than with his parents, and other things.

When the movie was finished, we watched the commentary while helping Nathan clear up and looking up hockey pool stats. Note to self: Don’t attempt carrying four mugs at a time up the stairs, since you’ll need to hang on to the railing! Jeremy left pretty much after the movie was done: biking home in the snow at 3:30 AM isn’t the greatest prospect in the world! (some of us had been up since 8 AM or so!) Jon, Eric, and I left at 4 AM after Nathan attempted to take a power nap while leaning on the entranceway to the stairs. It was actually snowing outside, but Jon helped me – Eric figured it was easier if Jon drove me home, and he was right. No way was I going around the corner in that weather! Got home at about 4:30 after seeing a car spin out of control (nothing serious), and saw more traffic on the road than normal – it’s the New Year’s dynamic, man! Discussed accidental calls to Aaron Cheng at 1:30 AM for two seconds (I was trying to play around with Jon’s phone to figure out who called him twice in the span of ten minutes), Harmony’s real call a few minutes afterwards, Eric Ho, and other things. Quickly checked my messages before falling into bed: Lex, Rob, and Andrew wished me a Happy New Year… and I had to block another ICQ porn bot. Lovely…

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