Sunday, December 25, 2011


Sunny, -10C, no wind, snow on the ground and the occasional patch of black ice this morning.  All-in-all, meterological conditions that send the Guardian or Daily Mail into paroxsyms of weather-laden gloom and, for all I know, boosting climate-change deniers the length and breadth of the country. Apologies to my UK friends but from over here, that's how on-line media appears.  One snow-flake and it's snowmageddon.  Start hoarding the canned goods Mabel, that snow-drift is an inch deep, we'll be cut off for days!

Not that I'm becoming a smug pseudo-Quebecer with the whole mon pays ce n'est pas un pays c'est hiver thing but the conditions today were perfect for a winter run.  As always the first mile was a bit cold, but I warmed up soon enough and the remaininig distance was a joy.  The ice made me slow down enough to enjoy the scenary.  As you might expect it was pretty quiet, so quiet in fact I had to remind myself to check both ways when crossing the street!  I got honked up once, by some old boy on Barrington Street who I think took exception to me running in the bike lane.

I listened to Handel's Messiah on French CBC Radio while I was running, and it made me wonder.  Sure, it's a traditional Christmas piece, or at least the first part is (it's 60% Easter), but at heart it's an English oratorio, written by a transplanted German for a German king and sung (this is the crucial thing) in English!  I enjoyed it. but I can imagine there are retired colonels all over la belle province writing to Le Journal complaining about the steady erosion of French on SRC!

I also realised that the Messiah was a great piece of music to run to.  With so many short movements from adagio to allegro, you could do a great fartlek run.  Never mind "let's do 4:00 pace to the lights" or "race you to the tree" you can say "let's go hard to the end of 'the glory of the Lord'".  Sounds geeky I know.

I kid you not, but I finished my run to the Hallelujah chorus,  Seriously.  Honestly.  I couldn't have timed it better.  In fact, if I'd tried to do that, I doubt I would have nailed it as precisely as I did, with the opening bars as I hit the final kilometer and finishing as I turned down Summit St.  OK, I might have blown through a couple of traffic lights and I certainly finished with tears in my eyes.  Must have been the cold.

Also, as I was runnimg, I was already standing too (take that Kevin Mallon);  double-plus bonus

My one dilemma for the holiday was, perhaps a surprising one.  With la belle being away I can watch a ton of movies.  She's not really a movie person.  Unfortunately I am.  Probably got it from the old man, who was not only a big fan of the movies, but a big fan of seeing movies in a cinema (that's theatre, or theater, to you).  She's not as bad as some people I have known, mind you, who took a perverse delight in being counter-culture and not watching movies.  All it meant was, instead of appearing above such quotidian proletarian pleasures and eschewing the new opiates of the masses they just didn't "get" the zeitgeist and made it increasingly difficult to have any kind of conversation!

Anyway, back to my dilemma and what movies to watch now I have my druthers.  I had considered, and rejected a marathon; all six Star Wars movies, the Bourne or Oceans 11/12/13 trilogies for instance, mainly because of the time.  Hell, if I'd done Star Wars I could have started this morning at eight and still be going strong close to midnight.  A friend suggested Lord Of The Rings.  It makes sense to watch all of them in a row, after all I've tried watching them separately and all I do is get confused and what, they've already killed Richard Sharpe?  Time constraints again came to mind: it would be nice to do something this Christmas besides watch LOTR, besides I've got to be back at work on Tuesday!

My criteria were that they had to be Christmas movies, but nothing with red-and-green and sprogs of holly on the cover, nor those black-and-white tear-jerkers either.  You know I hate Christmas, and while I was prepared to indulge in the schmaltz at the shop by playing cheesy Christmas music, don't expect me to do it in my spare time!

From my own (surprisingly high) stack of DVDs, it's got to be Love Actually and When Harry Met Sally.  WHMS I can watch any time, but Love Actually makes me feel homesick if I'm not careful, even though it has been said that Richard Curtis presents an unrealistic view of England!  So long as I watch it early in the rotation before the port kicks in.  What else?  The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe came to mind, it's kinda Christmas in the middle.  If I was going to do that then I got Prince Caspian as well, basically because I haven't seen it yet.  I wanted to get Die Hard, after all, it happens at Christmas, yippe kay yay, but Vid Dif were all out.

Instead I went for Ben Hur, now there's a solid three hours of my life committed.  Kinda biblical in it's own way, but more slave-galleys than the original.  The film is so long you have to flip the DVD over mid-movie, like an old LP.  Maybe I'll have ice-cream in the intermission, just like we used to do in the movies so many years ago.

Finally, for now, Moonraker, because what's Christmas without a Bond movie?  Every Brit worth their NaCl knows this.  All this from Vid Diff, and it didn't really cost me anything because every time we have a draw at work I seem to loose the big prize (apart from the Flak Jackets. thanks Terry) but win a Vid Diff coupon.  Between that and the Running Club, I don't think I've spent any of your actual money at Vid Diff for a while.  Funny that it's Blockbuster that went out of business.  Any other ideas, let me know,  I've still got a Vid Diff coupon to burn before New Years.

Well, time to Irish up some coffee and get comfy on the couch, I've got a stack of DVDs to burn through....


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