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Archive for December, 2008

Happy birthday, Mr. Scrabble

December 15th, 2008

In my first month at Queen’s University almost 15 years ago, I toured around the stalls at Club Night and was inundated by pamphlets, posters, people encouraging all passers-by to sign up… Then I stumbled upon a table where two guys were playing a concentrated game of Scrabble, oblivious to the crowd, and the only signage they had was a looseleaf lined sheet with some handwriting on it: “You did it at the cottage. You did it in the backseat of the car. You did it with your Grandmother.” By the end of the evening, I had signed up for only one thing: Scrabble Club.

One of the guys who was playing at the table was Noel, and he was also the founder and president of the club (hey… I wonder if it still exists???). For the next four years, we played every Sunday night at the Quiet Pub, and it was the most motley crew of really terrific and eccentric and smart folks.

Noel was and is one of my favourite people in the world. After school, we both ended up playing competitive ultimate frisbee — in fact, in 2003, our teams played our first pool play game against each other at Nationals in Montreal. One of the tourney photogs caught this shot as we met up:

Why the nostalgia and short-shorts shot? Well, Mr. Scrabble himself is celebrating his birthday in Ottawa tonight with family, and has his lovely wife Lou and baby Gabe as travelling companions; tomorrow, we all breakfast together and I’ll meet Gabe for the first time. Can’t wait.

Happy b-day, Noel. Looking forward to our first Scrabble match since OSPD4 came out. QI? ZA? What the HELL!? That’s right buddy, we were uncool before it was cool to be uncool.

good peeps, in the memory bank ,

Smalltown readings and big heart bailouts

December 14th, 2008

The weekend was a bit of a whir, and I don’t just mean the sound of bald tires spinning on ice…

On Saturday afternoon, we headed up to East Camden — a small town near Napanee. Dear friend Amanda was partaking in a CBC event, the reading of A Christmas Carol, at the absolutely adorable Bookstore Café. The place used to be the town’s general store, and now sells (you guessed it!) books and antiques, amazing trinkets and curios… pipe holders, butter presses, art deco clocks and defunct radios. We’ve vowed to go back, it was so amazing.

The reading itself was terrific, in an intimate and warmly-lit room. The second of five readers was none other than Bruce Cockburn, and Amanda went third:

photo by John Bagnell

Between staves, there were carols sung by a local choir. It was a pretty magical evening, and the cinnamony cider afterwards made up for the Wendy’s that we’d wolfed down before the show.

Amanda with Bruce (who’s really lovely) after the reading:

photo by John Bagnell

At the show we met a fellow named Chris Smith, who turned out to be neighbours with our friend Pascale, whose cottage we’d be staying at that night. We called him Father Chris-Smith (*groan*) for the rest of the weekend… we were feeling that festive.

After the show, Pascale’s cottage was just a meandering drive away… And there, we had a relaxing evening, midnight snack, half-conscious movie viewing, and subsequent lie-in. Sunday a.m., after more and more food, our exit was another adventure. The hill out to the main road proved a little to steep for the rental car’s not-so-all-season’s, and it took Pascale’s neighbour’s ski-doo to bail us out. (Woohoo Colin!)

Hurray for small towns and nice neighbours… and kick-ass snowmobiles!

good peeps, in the memory bank , , ,

For the love of basil lime soap…

December 13th, 2008

So here’s another Christmas purchase I made online, and which will also not be a spoiler… since I couldn’t wait until the 25th to gift it. I got a Basil Lime Lathering Shaving Cube and its accompanying stand from ShopRedLeaf (another fab etsy store):

Mens Rich Lathering Shaving Cube With Chrome Stand

It smelled so amazing when I opened up the package, I couldn’t even try to hide it from John. Really terrific product, and sweet vendor too.

Uhm, did I mention that etsy shopping is addictive?

etsy.com ,

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