For the last couple weeks Gage has been grounded from the xbox because he hates homeless kids. Since Roan has grown bored of it (which I believe is strictly because everyone else is so into it, he wants to be different – I understand), Holly and I have had plenty of opportunities to kill dudes together. I’ve completely converted her into an online gamer (a n00b, but not for long), and think she’s soon ready to move on to trash talk and teabagging. She is so proud of how good her avatar turned out, she made me redo mine so it looked like me, and then I had to take a photo (above).
I never bother to try and make my avatars look like me since so much of me is my big dumb ears, which is never an option in any create-a-character. Instead I tend to create two different types of dudes, depending on the options – a ridiculously tough looking brute in inappropriate clothing, or a really creepy gay-leather-daddy type with an awesome moustache. I suppose if I buy a black hoody for my guy it would look more like me, but butt fuck digital micro-transactions. Microsoft already has too much of my money.
Is it sweet or creepy that I think a video game version of Holly is gorgeous and kind of turns me on?
Xmas morning started out with Roan waking Holly and I up and letting slip that he had violated the rules of xmas and peeked at everything before waking Holly up. Then everyone gathered in the living room while the boys tore open their gifts. After Holly gave Roan his last gift he looked at the massive pile of Halo toys and art supplies and asked “That’s it?”. I guess twice his weight in gifts isn’t quite enough. Holly and I left him and Gage to play Halo and went downstairs to rock some Call of Duty before heading out for the day.
We dropped the boys at their father’s house, then Holly and I went to my aunt and uncle’s house in Welland for lunch. The whole family was there, babies and all. Lunch was delicious (the vegetarian lunch that is, can’t offer any opinion on the Death Bird) and afterward my Uncle put his Santa suit on so people could get photos of the babies with Santa. Holly and I jumped on his lap first then grabbed our coats and headed home. The plan was to go back out for dinner at her aunt’s house, but instead she napped an I played games and made robots.
When I was a kid our Xmas tradition consisted of this: I’d sleep like shit all xmas eve, constantly waking up thinking it was time to open presents. By 6am I couldn’t take it anymore, and I’d start peeking at things in my stocking which my mum always hung over the bedpost once I was asleep. That was my parents’ way of keeping me from staring them awake (when I was a kid I didn’t want to wake my parents up, but sometimes I wanted them to be awake so I could ask them something, so I’d stand in their doorway and stare at them until one of them woke up – creepy). Eventually I’d start to make too much noise and my mum would come get me, then wake up my brother (who I always slightly resented because he slept in longer than me, and it meant I had to wait for him to get up on xmas morning) and my dad.
My dad would light a fire and my mum would start breakfast while my brother and I tore into our stockings. We’d eat breakfast (usually muffins or turnovers, something easy to eat) while we opened gifts and tossed the wrapping paper into the fire after each one. We would have an hour or so to play with our toys while my parents got ready to head out for the day. Then we’d tidy up the toys and pile in the car.
My Nan’s house was always our first stop, and we usually got there well before lunch. We would all sit in a big circle with a large cardboard box in the middle (we literally used the same cardboard box for every xmas I remember), one person would get named ‘Santa‘, and they would be responsible for dishing out the gifts. After we opened everything we ate. A short time later we’d gather all our gifts and pile back into the car. We would drive (and sometimes I’d walk) over to my Gram’s house, which was less than 500m away.
I always remember the smells of walking into each grandparent’s house. My nan’s house would smell like a roast, my gram’s like roast and cigarettes. The one major difference in the two family occasions for me was the frequency in which I saw the relatives we were with. My mum’s family all lived in the same city. My dad’s family was spread out all over southern Ontario. It was rare to have all of my dad’s family together. At my gram’s, we would have another stocking to open, then another round of gifts. Then everyone would hover around the main floor kitchen (gram had 3 full kitchens in her house! and they all got used on xmas) and eat veggies and blue cheese until dinner was ready.
After dinner,Â there was a constant flow of peopleÂ gathered around the pinball machine. For me, that pinball machine is an icon which represents those fun family memories. I managed to be lucky enough to inherit the pinball machine about ten years ago, but have rarely been able to have it in my ‘home‘. My parents have been more than kind in housing it and even paying for storage for it when I was homeless and broke (don’t get me wrong, I’m still broke). Recently my parents hired movers to bring it back to their house and I’m really glad they did. On xmas eve we went to my parents’ house for dinner and gifts, and I got to play pinball for the first time in almost 3 years. It really felt like xmas to me once we had a crowd gathered around the machine.
I spent last night and today hanging with Holly, the boys and my family. I’ll post a full update about all the celebrations later, but for now here’s an Xmas rendering I did this afternoon while Holly was napping.
I hope everyone had a great holiday, and I want to tell all my friends I love them and wish them all the best.
Looks like I should have held off on my previous post. Had I waited until now I could have included these photos Syx sent over while we were out at Gage’s soccer game. I’d say they’re the best photos I’ve seen of me, but I still think they’d be cooler if someone else was in them.
I think I like the top and bottom ones the best. You can’t see much of my face in them, but those who know me would identify me immediately.
To see larger versions, click on the images.
Monday night was the annual Kicking the Christ Out of Christmas, Klopeks show. We had planned to go, along with Syx and Taryn who came by after checking out of their honeymoon suite and took me to breakfast at the Flying Saucer. Just before Holly got home, it started snowing pretty bad. We all decided to stay in, and I was absent at yet another Klopeks show. I miss Klopeks shows.
I still had a great time hanging out with Holly and the newlyweds, watching East Bound and Down, and smoking fat dubs. The next morning Syx and Taryn joined me for my morning coffe walk, then I asked for a lesson in photography. Syx is an amazing photographer, and knows a ton. My only interest in learning about basic photography is out of a desire to be able to light my renderings better. Most of the images I produce can look incredibly different just by changing a few basic camera settings. I unfortunately have no idea what any of them do.
Syx did his best to explain white balance and temperatures to me, and I think I got a good chunk of it. He also gave me a hands on lesson while forcing me to get my picture taken (not fond of having other people take my picture, see: low self-esteem). I got my first taste of the other type of modeling. The two photos above were taken by Taryn with her iphone. Syx had me put them up on my monitors while he took a bunch of photos. I was pretty uncomfortable, but fortunately for me the photographer insisted I be smoking a joint in the photo. I’ll take discomfort and fat joints over plain old discomfort anyday.
I’m hoping Syx will email me the finished product, because I’ve never seen anyone look bad or awkward in any of his photos, and I’ve never seen a photo of myself (well, very few) where I’m not awkward or looking like shit. Maybe a nice portrait will boost my self confidence…
I am an incredibly depressed person. I have zero self esteem. As far as I can remember, I have never liked myself. Not the way I look, not the sound of my voice, not my name, not anything. I regularly feel like the world would be a much better place without me. I know my life is good, but I feel I don’t deserve it. I don’t know what to do to change it.
I had a good chat with a friend I don’t see often enough this weekend. It made me really appreciate Holly and all she does for me / puts up with from me. I wish I was a stronger / better person. Maybe then I’d feel like I deserved to have someone so awesome by my side.
Yesterday I spent an hour or so making a card for Roan. I got the above one from him the night before (not really sure why, but I’ll take it!), and promised to return the gesture when I had time. I didn’t feel much like working or cleaning in the morning, so I modeled him and I as robot army dudes kicking some ass. I think he was expecting me to draw him a card, but I wanted to make something nice and that’s not possible with my art skills. Good thing I can Sketchup.
Here’s an image of the models I made of him and I. The actual card has a few images of us and an action scene on the front. I emailed a copy of it to Holly and she was kind enough to print it before she came home. Unfortunately I messed up the layout and a bit of the right side got cut off. Aside from that, it looks pretty pro. Roan loved it, so that’s really all that matters.
I tried to do a sweet rendering of us in action, but I realized after fiddling around for another hour, that it was a bad idea to tie my machine up with a massive rendering. I still have to get the newest layout for the book up to James’ standards before I relax and enjoy xmas with my peeps.
As some of you may have noticed, my blog has been put back to normal. I’ve been asked to restore it since the day I started removing things, but had been reluctant to do so until Holly had made a firm decision on her policing future. I was afraid I’d ruin things for her, but I don’t think it matters anymore.
This weekend past, we went to Wheatly for a wedding celebration. Our friends Syx and Taryn got married in Vancouver in August, and since a lot of their family and friends are located in Ontario they also held a reception type celebration back here.
Holly and I went up with Pepper (who is distancing himself from his true identity) and Chantal on Saturday morning. We stopped for lunch, then went and found a cheap, shitty motel that had two joined rooms for $60 in Leamington. It cost us $20 (including $5 tip!) to get a cab to the party, and the hosts were kind enough to provide free drinks until 6:30. I guess what I’m saying is, it was a cheap weekend for the most part.
Just before dinner I had a conversation with Chantal while we were sharing a smoke. I think we were both a little drunk at that point (I rarely drink, it doesn’t agree with me) and we got into some deep, interesting conversation. We eventually cut it short since we were the only ones not taking part in dinner. I unfortunately didn’t find much I would eat at the party, and ended up having a bun. It went nicely with the bagel I had for lunch (<- sarcasms). The only other thing I consumed was a pot cookie and almost a dozen beers.
After the party cleared out, the bride and groom, along with the groom’s brother and all of us staying in our motel headed over to some shitty little strip club in Leamington. It was classy (<- double sarcasms). There was an agile little stripper who did some interesting acrobatics (along with some nasty stripper things) to this song. It was strange. We stayed there until they kicked us out, then walked back to the motel.
Orbax shared our rooms, and between him and Pepper snoring and trying to find the bathroom in the middle of the night, I didn’t get a wink of sleep. The next morning I was hurting. We had to check out and meet Syx, Taryn and their family for breakfast and I was dying. We got to the restaurant and I attempted to take part, but I had to ask Holly for the keys so I could go wait in the car. I didn’t make it to the car. I barfed all over a snow bank near the car, got a dirty wife-beater out of the trunk, and cleaned myself off, then headed back inside for breakfast. I didn’t eat anything, just some apple juice (my favourite juice!), but I felt a lot better.
The ride home was good, until we got to the falls. It literally turned into terrible roads the minute we hit the St Catharines / Niagara Falls border. When we got home the plan was to nap, but I suck at those. Instead we went out for nachos and drinks with Syx and Taryn who came down for a honeymoon. We had fun, then I finally got some decent sleep. When I got up Saturday morning I asked the magic 8-ball if the weekend would suck. It did not lie – I had a great time.