Archive for December 31st, 2008

31st December
2008
written by Steph
I hope all of you have been having a wonderful holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Christmukkah, or some variant thereof (Whatevermas, for example).  This year Tony and I decided to NOT separate over the holiday season – it seemed cruel to think that we were going to see loved ones, only to be apart from one another – and instead decided to problem solve and bring our loved ones to us collectively!  As much as we love it, our condo is way to small for us to have more than one overnight guest, never mind two families, so we opted to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg for several days.  This wasn’t your grandmother’s cabin though, as it was pimped out with a hot tub, pool table, and several flatscreen tvs.  I was a bit disappointed in the kitchen, which was far from fully equipped (there was only one pot that would have been large enough to boil anything!  And if you advertise that your cabin sleeps 8 people, maybe you should make sure that you have provided enough silverware for that many people at any given meal!  Foolish!), but we made do and made some lovely meals.  I was grateful that this year we got the light-end of the traveling, and it was fantastic that our families got along like a house on fire (including our brothers, who reinforced our motto of “Why have children when you can have dogs?” 😉 ).  We spent lazy days watching movies, playing the diabolical Scene It, and – once we had procured powercords for the respective systems – playing games on the PS3 and Wii.  When did Mario Kart become so evil?  Seriously, the computer is out for blood in the Wii version!  It was still fun though, and one of the highlights for me was watching our two fathers play Ghostsquad on the Wii and try to kill as many people as possible.  Tony and I had played earlier, and despite three tries, never managed to get a headshot on the final big boss.  Our fathers?  Got it on the first attempt.  Bah! All in all, it was so nice to have everyone all together at Christmas, and also to try something new this year.   Even the dogs got to be a part of the celebrations rather than being sent to the kennel (aka, “puppy jail”), and they were spoiled mightily by our parents, much to their great pleasure.  I do hope we’ll be able to make it up to Toronto in 2009, perhaps after it’s thawed up a bit!  For New Year’s Eve, we had several invites, but all involved flying, and we decided to keep up our streak and just bum around this year.  We look forward to playing more video games, eating delicious Indian take out, and watching movies (I intend to convince Tony that on NYE, it only makes sense to watch the 5 hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice!  If that fails, then I hope to be allowed to watch When Harry Met Sally!).  It’s gonna be hassle-free, we’ll be together, and that’s what will make it great!  However you choose to usher in 2009, have fun and stay safe!  See you on the other side…
31st December
2008
written by Steph
Wheee!  I'm my own longitudinal study!

Wheee! I'm my own longitudinal study!

2008 was ostensibly my best reading year in a long while, and I’d say this was true not just in terms of quantity, but also quality!  I started to keep track in earnest of the books I was reading in 2007 (I began my listkeeping near the tail-end of 2006, but it was already too late by then to remember everything I had read that year).  I think this exercise has reinvigorated my interest in reading, and by tracking what I read, I’m finding out how to get the very most out of my reading experience.   This year, I read 44 books, which is just slightly more than double the books that I read in 2007 (20 books), and likely far more than I read in 2006 (13 books recorded).  I definitely feel as though this year a made a conscious decision to devote more of my personal time to reading, and that is certainly a decision I have not regretted.  Perhaps more significant is that I didn’t just read more books this year, but I appeared to read books that I enjoyed more overall (after all, what’s the point in reading more, if you’re enjoying the books less?).  My mean book rating this year was 3.69, which is an improvement over 2007’s mean rating (3.52), and an even greater increase when compared to 2006 (3.31).  See plot for geekish visual exploration of my reading trends.  Further in-depth evaluations of my reading habits of 2008, as well as the complete list of what I read, after the jump.  I promise there will be no more graphs.  Probably. (more…)
31st December
2008
written by Tony
Slightly better than a pencil in the eye.

Slightly better than a pencil in the eye.

Jesus. I like to think that I'm a pretty good boyfriend, but I had to throw in the towel about 45 minutes into this steaming turd of a movie. Fortunately, Steph being a normal person, the feeling was mutual. This movie is an embarrassment, for everyone, not just those who were tricked into watching it. I know for a fact that the only reason Steph got this movie was Colin Firth, which is fine. I've come to terms with the fact that she would leave me for him, cursing my lack of an English accent. Sweet, sweet Colin aside, this movie was terrible. Steph and I agreed that this is the work of alcohol. Let me explain. You see, Meryl Streep, Mrs. Weasley (that's who she is, and who she should stay) and Cybill Shepherd's friend all got together one night, drank a bunch of dirty martinis and sang along to ABBA. Then, in the midst of their middle-aged reverie, one of them (or possibly all three) decided to make a movie where they act like fools for two fucking hours.Which is fine, if you're a drunk 50 year old woman who wants to lose two hours of your life that you can never get back. Never. (more…)