Jan Terri is the Spirit of Christmas 2014

You know how there’s these ghosts? These Christmas ghosts? And they’re not so much all dead people as they are spirits in the pagan, pantheistic sense? Well, they say every Christmas gets the ghost it deserves (what? they do TOO say that. Now).

And this Christmas, that spirit is legendary chanteuse Jan Terri.

Now, my 2014 was memorable, even if parts of it have been blacked out for my own protection and ability to sleep at night. But it wasn’t all bad. For some of my friends, this year was indeed all bad, and they cannot wait to see its ass out the door. So it is to them that this little ditty is dedicated. You expected an angel singing the praises of the Mother of God and this, THIS, is what you got instead.

Happy New Year!


That’s right. Get the pen and paper ready, cuz I’m only going to go through this once. If you’re seriously lazy, just go through raincoaster’s Amazon Wish List but you’re not, are you? You like it hard.

I do, in fact, have a shipping address now although for several opsec reasons there’s no point in attempting to SWAT me there. Like, I’m not actually there.

Here we go. Make sure your wallet is sitting down for this; we don’t want the loonies to fall, do we now? Pour yourself (and perhaps your wallet) a nice tumblr of something bracing and let’s begin, shall we?

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State for obvious reasons. And no, I’m not going to torrent it.

Chanel 19 or Chanel Allure eau de parfum, or Christian Dior Dune eau de toilette. Or Casmir by Chopard, which happens to be 75% off right now. Hey, I’m easy. If you can’t decide, just get them all.

Fun novelty yarn and knitting needles to make a hat and a circle scarf, because all mine are still up in Penticton and I like knitting.

Cross training shoes and/or running shoes, size 8 1/2 and some workout gear. Technical pants, rain pants, thermals, that sort of thing. Because this “being fat” thing? I’m so over that shit.

Pierre Omidyar’s cellphone number. I’m gonna give him an earful about being on the payroll since July with nothing but zeroes beside my name.

Speaking of phones, a phone would be nice. Doesn’t have to be a new phone. But this iPhone 3 is not long for this world and I’ll need another mobile device of some kind. Of course, if I got Pierre’s number I would just tell him John Cook promised me a new laptop and phone, plus phone plan and rocket stick for unlimited internet and that would be that. Well, until someone tells John Cook anyway, but what does he care?

A pony. A Caspian Horse would do, but I might need a sturdy Welsh cob at least until I lose some weight. A horse would be an acceptable substitute. Plenty of room in the back yard here, and if the neighbors ask about it I’ll just say it’s my support animal.

A walking or workout buddy to make sure I get offline at least for one hour a day. Gym membership is not exactly practical, given I never know where I’m going to be from one month to the next.

Bubblebath, bath oil, bath bombs all accepted gleefully, especially any that smell like real roses. Put that $13 no name gift pack back on the drug store shelf, it’s not what I’m talking about. Love by Escents is just about perfect, and so is their Spice one.

Chocolate truffles, chocolate coated almond brittle, or the like are all gratefully accepted. Salted caramels too!

While we’re on the topic of comestibles, let’s discuss beverages:

Good quality coffee is a necessity, and as I have a Bodum coarse ground is what I need. Or a manual coffee grinder; I find the grinding quite soothing and I do it while going through my email in the mornings. It’s better for my adrenal glands than plunging right into reporting after brushing my teeth.

Armagnac, any Scotch that begins with L or B, The Botanist or Hendrick’s gin, or a fancy liqueur that mixes with a hundred things like Grand Marnier would make special occasions that much more special. I’m very tired of ordinary drinks. Very.

But ordinary wine? Whoooooooole other story. Bring it on. Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Merlot,  or some more unusual grapes would be great. Whites? Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc, or a nice dry sherry like Alvear’s Fino. For sparklies, I like Cava rather than Prosecco, and frankly can take or leave Champagne. That’s one expensive taste I never picked up, along with truffles, which I loathe.

Any old-fashioned or weird bar gear would be good. The Wish List has a ton of Reidel stuff, but anything that would be in James Bond’s bar cupboard would also do. Second hand or first hand. And what the hell, an Absinthe fountain would always remind me of the time Rebecca bought me an Absinthe at Clive’s after Social Media Camp.

When it comes to beer, I like anything but lagers and pilsners. My favorite, oddly, is Central City Red Racer IPA, but it’s a special case. Love Winter Ales, Dubbels like Grimbergen, any beer that tastes like fruitcake in a glass. Red ales are also on my favorites list, along with pumpkin ales. And do not turn your nose up at that pumpkin spiced whiskey from Spicebox; it’s actually quite good.

I could use some good pots and pans, particularly now that I’m not moving around so much and have a home base of sorts. This Calaphon Cookware set is just about the platonic ideal of what I’m talking about here. One thing I’ve learned from living in a dozen different houses over the last year: you can get away with cheap knives, if they’re sharp, but there is NO substitute for good pots and pans.

Fun scarves are always welcome, as are fun socks.

Cheeses, particularly blue, aged cheddars, California jack cheese, St. Andre Brie, or goat cheese camembert, along with some Carr’s table water crackers, would be very welcome. Why is there table water in the crackers? I’ve never known and always wondered.

Anything for the table made of silver would be awesome; silver plate is fine. By this I mean teaspoons, pickle forks, sugar tongs, knife rests, napkin rings, etc, etc, the more mismatched the merrier. I collect this stuff.

I also have a silver charm bracelet, and silver charms are el cheapo but still impressive. It shouldn’t be hard to find a charm that says something about me or something about you. How about this nice wine bottle? And it’s on sale!

A new backpack with a section to protect my laptop would be good. The one I have is several years old and although it’s holding up incredibly well, it has shredded parts on the straps. And of course high quality luggage would never be turned away, particularly a very large rolling suitcase. The ones I have with me are small, and you can just fit much more in one big one rather than three small ones.

A cosy sweater that comes down below my butt would be awesome; cardigan or not, I don’t care (size 18 alas!). Or a simple tunic top. In fact, now I’ve found leggings that fit, I might never wear anything else. Except my beloved Thuggies, of course, of which I would accept: The Grim Sleeper Zip, the Safety First, the Original Lumberjack in red because I already have blue, or the Peguin. In Mini Thug, as I have dropped a size thank GOD.

Come to think of it, Agatha Christie books would be swell. Most of mine were stolen by our neighbor when we lived in Richmond, and I haven’t replaced any of them. Still love Tommy and Tuppence and Miss Marple, though.

Can I think of anything else? A massage? A bathing suit, but you can’t buy that for me; it is impossible to successfully buy swimwear for a woman other than one’s self. FACT. Anything that makes travel easier or time off more fun would be welcome, basically. How I wish Greyhound had that “one year pass” deal in Canada. I’d have saved a thousand bucks this past year.


UPDATED TO ADD: who ARE these people sharing this post to Facebook? Well, they’re more ambitious than me, that’s for sure.

I’d also like a nice feather pillow and a new white sheet, the last one having been basically worn and torn to shreds over the past year. A new laptop (did I mention that?) and a portable bluetooth speaker. And meat; I’m not particular what kind, having had bear, venison, moose, and other exotics. Just: meat.

Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day, and Happy Birthday to Shane McGowan

Slightly belated, but only by a couple of hours.



That’s right, it’s Shane McGowan‘s birthday! Or was, until a couple of hours ago. Yeah, Jesus is dead and Shane McGowan is alive; whodathunkit?

Normally we have a tradition of posting the Fairytale of New York, but for some reason I’m just not feeling it this year. Had the Christmas spirit going pretty well up until Christmas itself, whereupon I decided I needed to kill something. I killed the mood instead of a bystander by going for a two hour walk with my cousin, where we found a nice little sailboat, about 25 feet of sailboat, washed up on the rocks at English Bay.

A real, live shipwreck for Christmas!

Which brings us to today’s story. Normally we have a tradition of posting A Christmas Story by Sarban (NOT the one with the Red Ryder BB Gun) but in honour of whoever is having a worse Christmas than me because they got shipwrecked on a night when all the hotels are booked and everything is closed, I’ll link instead to the truly spine-chilling “Christmas Eve on a Haunted Hulk.” Enjoy?

If that doesn’t float your boat, here’s a slick and enjoyable remix of Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas, in mellow hip-hop style, via Doc Rocket on Facebook.

Merry Christmas, love (?) Sherlock

Merry Christmas from John Watson and Sherlock Holmes

Merry Christmas from John Watson and Sherlock Holmes. Are you ready to unwrap the packages?

Sherlock fans (and Johnlock fans) have waited TOO DAMN LONG! Sure, sure, you think waiting 365 days for Christmas is hard? How about waiting almost two full fucking years for a new episode of the iconic BBC series? 15 January 2012 was the last day we had an original Sherlock; since then, some of us have tried sustaining ourselves on a diet of fan fiction, but my diabeetus flared up again and there are only so many “John looked at Sherlock. Sherlock looked at John. Manly man-on-man longing was in every manly glance…” passages you can read before you dissolve into giggles.

Well, our long wait is OVAH!

The BBC has just released a seven minute mini-episode featuring teaser after teaser (although honestly anyone could have spotted that bitch in the saffron, I mean come on!) And it is damn good.

It better be damn good. This will have to sustain us until New Year’s Day.

As for that package-unwrapping referred to in the caption at the top? Well, here it is.

Continue reading

A Christmas Clean-Up

raincoaster reporting for Christmas Cleanup duty

raincoaster reporting for Christmas Cleanup duty

Note: Bloggers may be larger than they appear in amusing holiday-themed kitchenwear.

There’s a certain element of bloodthirstiness to many of the holiday celebrations, isn’t there?

Yes, there is. Shut up.

Think about it; who’d be celebrating Christmas now if Jesus hadn’t died young? If he’d quietly expired at the age of 70 or so, surrounded by children, grand-children, and great-grand-children? Nobody, that’s who. You can’t be a martyr without the sticky ending; just ask James Dean. And where there’s bloodshed, sooner or later, there is gonna be an underpaid member of a visible minority with a mop and a pail cleaning up that shit.

This post is about that. Where there’s Christmas Bloodshed, eventually there will be Christmas Cleaning Crews. As I am spending this pre-Christmas day cleaning up the place I’ve been house and pet sitting for the imminent return of The Owners, who clearly have higher house standards than I’m used to (a warming drawer for plates? Does even Goopy Paltrow have one of those?) I thought I would procrastinate by blogging about the process.

I guess digging under sinks to find cleaning products and figuring out what they are each supposed to do has an element of present-opening about it. Or at least it’s akin to digging through the bowl of assorted candies to find the green jellybeans and the licorice allsorts. Only if you get it wrong, you don’t just spit it into your napkin; you get to replace the hardwood floor. So, SUSPENSE! BLOODSHED! Back to the topic…

Remember that old seasonal classic The Night Santa Went Crazy, by Weird Al? Sure you do. In case you forget, here’s a claymation video to remind you.

Sure, sure, who doesn’t love a picturesque serial killer with a mysterious backstory, eh? But did you ever think about the poor clean-up elves who had to go in afterwards and sanitize the crime scene so it could be properly staged by the bored housewife the real estate agent hired to make it look saleable? Didja? Well, you’re about to.

There’s a game.

Seriously. It used to be simple: if you could imagine it, there was porn of it. Now we must be all wanked out, because if you can think of it nowadays, there’s a game of it.

Behold Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa’s Rampage edition.

Tragedy! Santa; the toy giving folk-hero, and purveyor of fine Christmas goods, has had enough. Endless requests from greedy children wanting more and more every year, tax increases, pressure from elf unions, bills, reindeer!
It is your duty, as an employee of Polar Sanitation Inc, to clean up the grizzly aftermath of Santa’s bloody rampage. Elves, reindeer and ruined masonry from Santa’s brief breakdown are all strewn across his famous workshop.
So don your cap, grab your mop, and get this place sorted out so the company can get a replacement in here ASAP, and restore Christmas for another generation!

Can’t imagine what that would look like? Thanks to YouTuber PewDiePie you don’t have to. He’s got a game run-through that would make Freddy Krueger proud.

Laura WAS decorating the Christmas tree...in a sense

Laura WAS decorating the Christmas tree…in a sense