November Memories

One of the reasons Marc and I enjoy appreciate blogging so much is purely selfish. We enjoy looking back on our lives and what we were doing last year at this time or even two years ago. Soon we will be able to look back on three years ago! My how time flies when you are having fun.

Last year on the eve of December we were here . . .
After just having spent three weeks in Zanzibar . . .
As I said, we have had our blog for almost three years now and it is so enjoyable to have a journal (with pictures!) to record our lives. Speaking of journals, I recently found this blog that could be ripped from a page of my journal in high school. It claims it is fiction but I sooooo want it to be true! (Maybe one day when I am feeling brave I will post a snippet of my journal for all to see.)

Marc and I decorated for Christmas on Friday and after 7 1/2 years (Ack!!) of marriage we finally decided to get a Christmas tree. We never get a real tree because we always go home to Alberta for Christmas but this year I decided it twas time to deck the halls (or living room) with a tree. (If you can call an artificial tree a tree.)

We (read I) had a great time putting up the ornaments on our new purchase. I had taken my Christmas ornaments from my mom's house about 6 years ago but since we had no tree to decorate had not taken them out. It was so fun to go through my childhood ornaments and think of all the memories.

We also put on our gas fireplace on for the first time in almost two years to the day. Marc's parents and Shareen and Craig were visiting in November 2006 and this picture was taken after one of Craig's basketball games. Oh what a funny picture!! I especially love S and C's great pose, not paying any attention to the weird goings on beside them.
After decorating the tree, I made eggnog cream puffs for dessert which were so easy and tasty and we inhaled them in front of the fire after dinner. (I think I had about 4 and Marc about 12.) ;) Cream puffs reminded me of when I made them in Kapsowar. Making them with no electricity at a high altitude was much more difficult than making them in Chilliwack.
Kapsowarian cream puffs. . .
A Chilliwackean in the process of making cream puffs . . .

The living room and tree in progress . .

Is it just me or is Santa eyeing those cream puffs?

The finished product . . .
Hope you all had a great last weekend in November and happy December to all and to all a good night!


Kylie and Marc's Movie Pick of the Month

If you're bored sometime this month you should pick up the movie "The King of Kong, A Fistful of Quarters." (I am giving you a month because you will be bored sometime this month so go to Blockbuster and get this movie. Also there is no more late fees which is really a godsend for me.)
Anyways . . . It is a documentary about the quest for the world record in Donkey Kong. What an interesting look into a segment of society I have never been privy to. So enjoyable!

5 out of 5 Kylie and Marc stars (actually squares)


Mr. Wrinkly Pants

A conversation often heard at our house about 20 minutes before Marc has to go to work:

Marc: "Oh I forgot to find work pants." Ruffles through closet. "Here's some that aren't too wrinkly."

(Why is it that Marc has a closet full of wrinkly pants? Well I could blame the teeny, tiny, old fashioned, wrinkle making washing machine and maybe the insufficient dryer with limited space that literally ties our clothes into wrinkly knots , but the actual reason we have extra pleats and creases in our wardrobe is that I have absolutely no desire or impetus to iron those creases out.)

...Marc pulls pants out of closet, shows them to Kylie.

Kylie: "Marc those pants are way too wrinkly to go to work. Those pants are ridiculously wrinkly!"

M: "Oh they're pretty good, I'll just let them hang over the chair for awhile. The wrinkles will fall out after I wear them."

K: "MMMAAARRRRCCC, that's ludicrous! Those pants are are SOOOOOOOOOOO wrinkly, you can't be seen outside in pants like that! Give them to me, I'll go iron them."

M: "No really they're not wrinkled very much. They'll be fine."

K: "Give me your pants you crazy boy!" (Marc reluctantly hands Kylie his pants to quickly iron before he has to leave.)

Faithful readers, since we continually have this discussion at home with no resolution, you need to help us out. Are these wrinkly pants? Would you wear these to work? These wrinkles are a teensy bit extreme but Marc definitely would have said that they would be fine if they sat out for a bit.

marc wants it noted here that he explicitly stated this particular pair of pants at this particular place in time were NOT in fact fit to be worn to work... i do have standards you know.

i would like to advise you that if you were to vote pro-wrinkly, you would have all the emerg nurses in chilliwack solidly in your camp as Marc has long had a reputation as a wearer of exceptionally wrinkly clothing. Just two nights ago he was swarmed by teasing nurses as he started his shift who asked him if he had just gotten out of bed. (I was out of the house and therefore shirked my ironing duty.)

marc wants it noted here that he was wearing a scrub top. i cant be held accountable for the laundry practices of the chilli gen hospital.

Another factor in your decision may be this video made by his preceptor upon his graduation from residency making fun of his wrinkly attire back then (For those of you lacking time, the laundry improved Marc starts at 4:30):


the eagles are back!

our favourite dog walking spot, island 22, is once again populated by a convocation of eagles (yes, a convocation... i looked it up). the salmon are running.

here are some pics i enjoyed recently:

torr may not think this is abnormal but monique is amused.

biking in cumberland tracking a tumbling river through thick forest i tried to capture the majesty of the outdoors environment available just outside of town. i was totally unsuccessful but i feel i managed to capture the majesty of my bike.

brad tackling polynesian dance. he's good. very good.

we were ecstatic that obama was elected by a decent margin. i think most of the world shared our enthusiasm. kenya was particularly ecstatic, although predictably they are somewhat optimistic about the impact this will have on their day to day lives. kenyans are naive democrats (having only had 3 presidents in their history, 3 of which held onto power illegally as long as they could - kenyata 14 yrs, moi 24 yrs, kibaki 2002 -now, having sparked all the craziness last december by proclaiming himself president with blatant disregard for actual vote counts)

obama's father's village.
kibera slum in nairobi.

many kenyans are quite excited about the prospect of new roads and more jobs and generally a better life for all kenyans now that obama is the president elect. yes. in kenya. kenyans are very optimistic.

not everyone is so happy about an obama victory. james dobson posted this letter on the focus on the family website in the days before the election. in it he demonstrated his lack of grasp of reality in a clear, concise and incontrovertible manner. it is a fictional letter written in 2012, looking back on 4 years of an obama presidency. i won't say too much about james dobson, but i dont have to. he says it himself... here are some quotes from his letter predicting the future:

he starts with some of his regular material

Doctors and lawyers: “The land of the free”? Physicians who refuse to provide artificial insemination for lesbian couples now face significant fines or loss of their license to
practice medicine, following the reasoning of a decision of the California Supreme Court in
North Coast Women's Care Medical Group v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Benitez),
which was announced August 18, 2008.13 As a result, many Christian physicians have retired or left the practices of family medicine and obstetrics & gynecology. Lawyers who refuse to handle adoption cases for same-sex couples similarly now lose their licenses to practice law.

Nurses and abortions: “The land of the free”? Nurses are no longer free to refuse to
participate in abortions for reasons of conscience.23 If they refuse to participate, they lose their jobs, for they are now failing to comply with federal law. Many Christian nurses have left the health care field rather than violate their consciences. A number of Christian nurses challenged their loss of jobs in court, but the Supreme Court ruled that medical professionals do not have the freedom to refuse nonessential, elective care on the basis of conscience. In its decision, the Supreme Court followed the reasoning of the California Supreme Court in the 2008 Benitez case.

Doctors and abortions: “The land of the free”? The same restrictions apply to
doctors: Doctors who refuse to perform abortions can no longer be licensed to deliver babies at
hospitals in any state. As a result, many Christian doctors have left family medicine and
obstetrics, and many have retired.

although he branches out a bit

It had become increasingly difficult for the Boy Scouts to find meeting places anyway,
because in 2009 Congress passed and President Obama signed an expansion of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, which extended federal civil rights protections to people engaging in homosexual
behavior. So the Boy Scouts had already been kicked out of all public facilities.

after a few more pages he really starts to get irrational

Therefore they allowed cities and states to limit gun ownership to active-duty military personnel and police officers. Citizens in those areas who are discovered
owning guns have been subjected to heavy fines and imprisonment. Inner-city violent crime has increased dramatically.

and eventually turns apocalyptic

Israel: “The home of the brave”? In mid-2010, Iran launched a nuclear bomb that
exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night Cabinet meeting, Israel’s prime minister agreed. Israel is reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain. President Obama said he abhorred what Iran had done and he hoped the U.N. would unanimously condemn this crime against humanity. He also declared that the U.S. would be part of any international peacekeeping force if authorized by the U.N., but the Muslim nations in the U.N. have so far prevented any action.

finally true christians are forced out of the country to sanctuaries like new zealand.

Parents found in violation of this ruling have been subject to prosecutions for
truancy violation, resulting in heavy fines and eventual removal of their children from the
home.28 Thousands of home schooling parents, seeing no alternative in the United States, have
begun to emigrate to other countries, particularly Australia29and New Zealand,30 where homeschooling is still quite prevalent.

i couldnt make this stuff up. 4 years from now. the politics of fear. one blogger put it well when he said, "james dobson owes the American people an apology"


WOW syndrome and our distractions

in my constant quest to be better at my profession (and procrastinate in the morning while drinking my coffee) i came upon an article recently in the globe about a common new anxiety syndrome, dubbed "WOW syndrome" or Waiting for Obama to Win. apparently a constellation of symptoms is sweeping the westernized world... they include obsessive checking of polls, reading around the election, fretting about the dirty tricks the republican party has up their sleeve and trying really hard not to think about those gun toting paramilitary wackos in montana and what they might currently be up to. this is most likely due to a virus leaping oceans with the aid of international airlines, but could possibly be secondary to a constellation of memes hopping their way through various conciousnesses by means of electronic signals transmitted by the intersuperhyperweb and/or television broadcasts and/or (and most dangerously) oscillations in air pressure, forming waves that impact on the tympanic membranes of unsuspecting citizens, which then send electrical signals DIRECTLY INTO their auditory cortexes.

both kylie and i seem to have a mild form of this syndrome and will be happy tomorrow night to have some sort of closure to this particular anxiety. along with many americans, canadians, palestinians and various europeans we are collectively hoping that finally the american public will stand up and repudiate the last 8 years of leadership in an undeniable manner. obama winning by a landslide would go far to rebuild the international goodwill that the US frittered away in the months after sept. 11.

what could go wrong? so many things... the republican party could pull off their hoodwinking of the christian right in the US one more time. i just saw a video on CNN of an american preacher telling his congregation that the upcoming presidential election was a direct struggle between god and the devil. guess who he thinks the devil is... on the plus side, the story was about the IRS threathening to yank the charity status of churches that tell their parishioners how to vote, so someone is starting to get it. it drives me nuts that so many people still equate moral voting patterns with abortion and gay marriage. mccain is no more likely to ban abortion than obama, or bush jr., bush sr. or stephen harper for that matter. as for the gay marriage stuff, i could get myself in trouble here, so i wont say too much, but if you are a conservative church going heterosexual american for whom gay marriage is a big political issue... it's none of your business who gay people marry! relax, release your homophobia and turn your energies towards paying off your 9 credit cards.

this could turn into a long post if i continue to rant about all of these issues, so i will try to keep it short. i am scared that the republican party will do something highly illegal to rig the voting process and the mainstream media will refuse to cover it and the republicans will sweep into the whitehouse and proceed to drain the country's coffers with an illfounded war and disenfranchise the islamic nations and directly contribute to an increase in terrorist activities and organization and... oh, wait a minute... that has already happened. twice. i guess i am just worried about history repeating itself again and again over and over in redundantly repetitive manner.

i am also concerned about the class divide that the republicans are exacerbating and attempting to exploit between palin's "real america" (read small towns, rural areas and predominantly white christian) and the rest of america (read new york, san francisco, and racially diverse (and quite possibly gay, muslim and liberal as a population)). this is a short term strategy with long term consequences.

we arent just probama b/c we lived in kenya for a year (did you hear he has direct ties with raila odinga, the maverick ODM leader who has been previously jailed for an attempted military coup?) i dont actually know that much about obama, although i have followed the US election to some degree. i just feel that, almost regardless of the candidate, america needs to announce to the world that it is ready for a new epoch, and do it definitively. he seems like a decent guy for the job.

enough about that... i will show you in pictoral format what we have been doing recently while waiting for obama to win.

we had a particularly enjoyable halloween this year, with a record number of extremely polite trick or treaters... and b/c we took our pumpkin in at 20:00 we didnt get a single teenager with a stupid mask and a pillowcase (i always harass these kids but its a fine line between gentle teasing and getting a rock through your front window). i think we had more kids come by b/c of the advent of halloween decorations involving lights; our complex now looks inviting and ripe with candy, not dark and far away.

kids were already coming by as we got home, so we carved jacko here in under 5 minutes out of a maverick white pumpkin (white being a very maverick trait... among pumpkins).

the morning after halloween we loaded up the 4runner and trucked/ferried out to courtenay to visit our friends matt, monique, liam and tor once again.
playing a little dance dance revolution... i bought a second dance mat the next day.

liam at preschool.

ostensibly we came out here for my work (and if you are from revenue canada, be advised that i certainly did), visit our friends and for kylie and i to get a feel for the town, but in reality i am here to mountain bike. this was the site of the MOMAR last month and i wanted to ride some of the things i ran. i went for a quick rip outside cumberland by myself last night before dark and was toured around more extensively by monique today. i hope to go for a big ride tomorrow as well before the election results start rolling in.

i didnt manage to take any pictures of myself, but i got a few nice ones of monique riding some suitably slippery stunts.
nice sequence of monique bringing it home.

check out the grippy mesh fixed all the way up this fallen log. made it easy for monique to land that drop in a controlled manner.

this one was a little too slippery and high consequence for her to risk it. there were some beautiful fall colours on this side of the mountain.

cumberland (courtenay's neighbour) is quite a nice little town, with a kickass bakery, an espresso bar where kylie assuaged her anxiety by ingesting caffeine and reading the paper and a HUGE network of bike trails.
in the foreground, the espresso bar where kylie calmed her nerves. in the background, the bakery... they make an amazing spinach and feta croissant with pine nuts, and some seriously soft doughnuts. we could learn to like it here.

gobama go!