Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hoodies and Scarves

Amanda and I enjoyed our Sunday off together. When we had to do some running around, it was still warm enough to forgo a winter coat. So I decided to go with the hoodie Amanda gave me for Christmas and the scarf I finished up a few months ago. It was jussssssst right!

Anyway, we did some running around, some minor shopping (we needed more coffee packets to the Tassimo coffee maker we got for Christmas), and then came back here for a quiet evening. We're all set for New Year's Eve tomorrow night!

I probably won't have a chance to update this blog tomorrow night because we won't be getting back until fairly late. Just in case, thanks for reading in 2012, and I hope you'll keep visiting in 2013.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Doodling

I downloaded Paper for my iPad tonight and started doodling right away. I decided to draw as if I was still doing the whiteboard drawings at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library.

This is the result:

I'm hoping to do some more sketching with this program, and I may post some drawings on here if I'm happy with the results. Or I might start drawing some of the comics I have ideas for. or I may just doodle and you'll be stuck with my normal rumblings and photos of Amanda and me kissing. Either way, it shouldn't change my updating schedule too much!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Post-Christmas Disbelief

It's been a few days since Christmas, and it still hasn't sunk in that it's over for another year. Our Christmas tree is still up, and we've got it lit up most nights. We are looking ahead to New Year's though. We'll be at Amanda's sister's place to celebrate on New Year's Eve with her family and friends.

2013 should be a good year. I'm here in Grande Prairie with Amanda, our wedding is scheduled for July, and I couldn't be happier!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Back... To the Future

Amanda and I are rewatching the Back to the Future movies. Last night was the first, and tonight is part 2.

On the whole, these movies hold up incredibly well! Granted, the predictions of the future in 2015 are... interesting. It's neat to watch and see how much has and hasn't happened. Okay, we still don't have flying cars, but we've met or passed the predictions in other areas. We don't have moving monitor waiters, but we have stuff like Siri that could conceivably handle basic order-taking. We're well past CRT monitors, phone booths are endangered species, and hardly anyone owns a personal fax machine at home. We've got video chatting and things like the Nest thermometer that makes automatic lights look like a joke.

And, of course, we have iPads. They really don't show anything even remotely as advanced in terms of computers.

That said, the price for all of this neat stuff is a *serious* lack of hoverboards. I wanted one so badly as a kid, and believed the special feature where the movie's director claimed that hoverboards really existed. I remember one year where I wrote my annual letter to Santa and asked for a hoverboard. I even told him that if he were to give me hoverboard, I wouldn't need a single other gift. In retrospect, even if they had existed, it's probably for the best that I never got one. I barely stood up properly on a normal skateboard, much less a hoverboard that would put me higher off the ground.

Anyway, we're enjoying our trip back to the future. I thoroughly recommend it if you haven't watched any of the movies for a while!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

It was a very quiet Boxing Day, helped in part because it was so cold outside (it's around -33 right now). Amanda and I spent some quality time playing with the iPads we got for Christmas and making coffee with the Tassimo brewer her parents gave us.

She and I took this photo together on the couch a few minute ago.

Doesn't she look cute in the pyjamas she got for Christmas? She joked that it is her new Cookie Monster outfit.

Anyway we're back to work tomorrow and we will be resuming a regular schedule starting then!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

And so it ends again for another year. Amanda and I just returned from her parents' house where we spent most of Christmas Day with her family.  It was a good Christmas. Between Skyping with my family last night and being with Amanda's family today, it felt like a very full Christmas.

Now Amanda and I have one more day off together before we return to work, and we plan to make the most of it!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Kiss

Amanda and I took this photo together moments after returning from the Christmas Eve service at the United Church.

Have a merry Christmas tomorrow everyone.  Best wishes from the Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie!

Happy Christmas Eve Morning!

Happy Christmas Eve Morning!

Today is my favourite day of the year.  I love Christmas Day, Canada Day, and my birthday, but Christmas Eve is the best.  Anticipation for Christmas is at its peak, and all the preparations are over (by necessity, if not reality).  The days are getting longer again, though imperceptibly, and it's hard for me to not be optimistic about the future.  Finally, there's looking forward to New Year's, only a week away.

All that said, there's a certain element of melancholy too.  After all the days and weeks of preparation and anticipation, there's a very real sense of how quickly it will be over.  In 48 hours, Boxing Day will be here, and Christmas will be a very long 364 days away.

So, I think I'll grab a glass of eggnog, maybe turn on some Christmas music, and carry on with gift wrapping or something else.

Merry Christmas everyone, from the Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wrapping Progress

I finished up some more wrapping tonight.  I wrapped a gift to Amanda from my parents that arrived unwrapped (it came from a company that missed the gift wrap), and a bunch for Amanda's family.  Half of her niece's gifts are done, everything for her sister and brother-in-law is done, and we're down to 12 gifts to wrap.

Hopefully we'll finish that wrapping and our little bit of Christmas baking tomorrow morning and afternoon before we have supper and then go to a Christmas Eve church service.  Then it'll be a quiet Christmas Eve together.  Just the two of us.  :-) And then the next day will be about family -- opening gifts with my family over Skype, and then going to Amanda's parent's house for the afternoon.

Christmas is just about here, and we're just about done.  All that's left is to enjoy it. And we intend to!

Saturday, December 22, 2012



I was super-motivated tonight.  It may have been the caffeine, but all I could think about was getting stuff done.  So I did some dishes, finished up all of our laundry, and played a fair bit of the video game I'm playing right now.

There were a few other things that I thought about doing, like working on my contest entry for the Library's short story contest, or doing some more knitting, but my caffeine-fueled ambition has faded for the evening.

But now we're in good shape for the rest of our days off!  I'm hoping that the weather will cooperate somewhat so Amanda and I can go for a wander tomorrow.  With all the snow, it'll be great wandering through the park, and perhaps we'll get a chance to take a few photos together for a change!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Freedom Five

As of 5pm this afternoon, I was free, free!  Amanda was shortly afterward, too!  We're off for *five* (count them:  one, two, three, four, five!) days together over Christmas!

What's on the agenda?  Well, we have to finish wrapping gifts for her family and maybe do some baking.  We might do some cleaning, too.  That's about it.

Now all I have to do is get over this illness that came out of nowhere last night...

It's okay though.  I'm off, Amanda is off too, and Christmas is only 4 sleeps away.  Life is great!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just in case...

I don't believe in the Mayan Apocalypse that some people are predicting.  That said, before I go to sleep tonight, I plan on holding Amanda tight and telling her I love her just in case.

I'll see everyone tomorrow.  :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 more sleeps...

The countdown is well underway.  Just six more sleeps until Christmas.  Our shopping is long done, presents to my family have been shipped, and we just have some leisurely wrapping and maybe some baking left.

Oh, and we need to watch all of our favourite Christmas specials.  What's on the list?

Charlie Brown Christmas
Garfield Christmas
National Lampoon Christmas Vacation
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Anime Christmas Episodes
     Chrono Crusade (my personal favourite anime Christmas episode)
     Kimagure Orange Road
     Ranma 1/2
     Those Who Hunt Elves

Other than that, Amanda and I are going to spend lots of time together, enjoy every minute, and make up for all the weekends where one of us had to work part of.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pressure Relief

The pressure is off.  On Sunday night I was getting incredibly stressed out about a final Christmas gift that wasn't coming together as I had hoped.  Amanda tried her best, but I couldn't be persuaded that life would somehow go on.

The next day I talked with someone at work whose relative was having major troubles, and it helped me gain some perspective.

Then last night, Amanda and I managed to get things all together, and I mailed out our gifts to my family this morning.  They should arrive on Friday.

So the pressure is off.  Other than wrapping gifts for Amanda's family, we're ready for Christmas!

We celebrated by trying a bottle of wine along with supper (stuffed chicken breasts, Kraft Dinner, and broccoli).  It wasn't good.  It was a bottle of wine from the Cupcake Vineyards in California and we weren't very impressed with it.  So we toasted, tasted, and poured most of it down the drain.

...but we did it cheerfully!  We're ready for Christmas.  Bring it on!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Favourite Person

Apparently tonight I was Amanda's niece's favourite person.  As soon as we walked through the door and took our shoes off, she was saying "Uncle Jake, want to come see my room downstairs and my new books?"  So I followed her down, and once she determined that she couldn't find the books she was looking for, she spent 15-20 minutes showing me her "laptop" and how it worked.  During that time, she pressed the buttons for most of the letters of the alphabet, heard the pronunciation, and saw a pixellated picture of an animal that started with that letter.  (For the record, using "queen bee" for Q was an awesome idea).

Amanda joined us to tell us supper was ready, and her niece gave Amanda a quick demonstration of her laptop, but it was much briefer.  I don't know if it's because I've seen her more often than Amanda has lately or what, but she was definitely my buddy tonight.

Xmas Party Two

Amanda and I just got back from her staff Christmas party.  Her dad took all of his employees and a few close friends/relatives out for supper, which included two comedian acts, and then Amanda, her brother, his wife, and I went out bowling afterward.

Overall it was pretty fun.  I joked that the comedians had a three drink minimum, as I was one of the few people not laughing like crazy at their jokes, and I'd only had one drink with dinner.

Anyway, we're done with work Christmas parties for the year, and now it's back to work for Christmas -- wrapping and baking.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Saturday may be Christmas baking day.  I make nanaimo bars throughout the year, so I may or may not make them on Saturday.  I do plan on making shortbread cookies though, and maybe some rum balls.

For the past four years, I've normally done some kind of Christmas baking for myself, but it's always been hard to justify.  Why do so much work so I can overeat cookies?

But this year it's different.  Amanda is here!  What seemed like a lot of effort to overeat on cookies seems like less effort so we can each enjoy some.

So with any luck I'll wake up Saturday morning feeling ambitious and hearing the flour and butter calling my name.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012



I'll wait while the world provides the 4-letter words for me.

It took FedEx 3 days to get something from China to Grande Prairie, but hasn't been able to finish the delivery six days after that.  They made an attempted delivery, then informed me that the only place they could hold the package for a pickup was in Edmonton. We had the address changed the next day so it would be delivered to Amanda at work, and even now five days later, it hasn't made its way to her.

So FedEx, how can you deliver something halfway around the world in 3 days, but fail to finish delivery within a city in the next 6?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Apparently I can knit approximately 1 1/2 inches (project dependant) in a half hour.

...The math may not work out well.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Last night before we went to bed, Amanda checked the weather on her phone.  It said that the temperature was -2.  We assumed it was an error.  There was no way the temperature could have been -2 when it had been -20ish earlier in the day.

We were wrong.  I checked the wireless thermometer on our kitchen table and saw -2.7.

It had warmed up.  Today was incredibly nice, and the first time in about two weeks I went for a walk at lunch thinking that a walk would be pleasant.  The other days I went because I had to for one reason or another, mostly for buying cough drops.

Anyway, we're scheduled for another three or four days of mild winter this week, and I intend to enjoy them!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Plans Ahead!

Another piece of the wedding puzzle has fallen into place.  We've tentatively booked a person to perform the ceremony.  There was a minimum of fuss and/or muss which was very nice!  :-)

Christmas is coming together fairly nicely too.  I wrapped a bunch of gifts last night, and the extra stickers I put on them made Amanda and me smile.  Now as long as the couriers cooperate tomorrow and Tuesday, things should be pretty much perfect!

Keep your fingers crossed for us please.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

We like our coffee...kiss!

Amanda and I took this photo together last week in Starbucks when we stopped in for some pumpkin spice lattes.  This is the last photo you'll see for a while with me having lots and lots of hair.  Amanda and I stopped by Great Clips today and I got my hair cut.

...I picked a bad time though.  It's supposed to get down to -28 tonight, and I picked today to get rid of the extra insulation for my head.  I guess I'd better keep multiple toques handy at all times for a few days!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Comedy and a Farce

A short update on life:

Amanda and I went to the Grande Prairie Live Theatre tonight, and it was good.

I'm fighting with various courier companies who don't seem to have the slightest idea how to deal with people who live in apartment buildings and may not be home all day to wait for their ring on the interphone, and it's bad.  The fight will continue.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Winter Party Kiss

Amanda and I took this photo together on Saturday night at the Library's Christmas party.  It wasn't officially a Christmas party, as a few people wanted just a winter party, but the point of the get-together was the same.

Anyway, Amanda and I took this photo in front of the circulation desk.  We were both looking fairly spiffy, though I had ditched my tie by this point.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Competition

It's official.  The Pouting Couple of Kamloops has some competition.

Amanda and I were at Starbucks on Saturday and took this photo at Amanda's suggestion as a bit of a joke.  We had a hard time not laughing while looking at each other's sad face, and this was the best one.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Still Sick...

Amanda and I both stayed home sick again today.

Our secret way of getting through it today?  Animal crackers.  I went to the grocery store because we needed a few things and because I wanted to let my car run for a bit.  When I asked Amanda if we needed anything beyond a few staples of sickness-comfort (juice, etc.), she suggested animal crackers.

I bought some, and even though the animals were unrecognizeable, the crackers were delicious.  They really helped while we were sitting on the couch this afternoon.

Anyway, I'm really hoping we're both healthy tomorrow.  ...I'm sick of being sick.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Illness for both of us

Amanda and I are both sick today.  She called in sick, and I came home after less than an hour.  We spent the rest of the morning sleeping in bed, then the entire afternoon and evening sitting/laying on the couch.

I managed enough energy to make a pot of my chicken noodle soup, and now we're in bed over an hour early.  It was weird having a day with both of us sick.  Neither of us is a stranger to illness.  Early this year, I missed most of a week of work with a nasty flu, and Amanda has missed a few days of work this fall/winter.  But we've never been sick at the same time.

On one hand, it was good.  We were both out of energy and not feeling great, but we got to spend the day together on the couch.  When we were feeling up to it, we even caught up on some shows that were recorded on our DVR.

The rest was bad though.  When you're sick, it's nice to have someone to make some juice, or grab a tylenol, or put a blanket on you.  With both of us sick, those moments were in short supply.  It was more like when I was sick while living alone in Tumbler Ridge and having to take care of things myself, except that it was two of us doing it side-by-side.

That's not to say we abandoned each other to our own miseries.  We tried to help each other along.  If one of us had to get up for something, we *did* spare the other person the trip.  Amanda managed to make something for lunch, while I managed supper.  Because of that, at least we're well fed and won't be getting sicker from eating poorly.

It was just hard.  It's hard to see Amanda fighting to get up to grab herself some juice when she's clearly exhausted while I'm unable/unwilling to do it for her because I'm feeling pretty lousy too.

I'm hoping beyond hope that we're both healthy tomorrow.  Barring that, I'd settle for at least one of us being healthy.  Both of us being sick is for the birds.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Busy Few Days...

It's been a busy weekend.  After Amanda finished her half-day of work yesterday, we did some running around and shopping, then went to the library's Christmas party.  Today we did a lot more shopping, cleaning, and went to the Santa Claus parade downtown.  Fun times were had!

We're all done shopping for Christmas, and I managed to make enough room in our living room to set up the Christmas tree.  To save on some room, I just assembled the top two portions.  The tree is much shorter, but also fits better in here as a result.  It's kind of a novelty to see my ornaments make the tree seem crowded!

I piled our gifts to other people under the tree.  I'd post a photo of it, but those gifts are still unwrapped and I don't want to spoil the surprise.