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Because I’m a greedy brat who still pines to get his hands on loot at Yuletide season.

La Grosse Femme d’à Coté, Michel Tremblay

Limits to Capital, David Harvey

The boom and the bubble, Robert Brenner

Bonheur d’occasion, Gabrielle Roy

The Museum of Useless Efforts, Cristina Peri Rossi

While I was in NYC, Mother Nature made sure that my neighbourhood, Villeray, would look suitably festive for Christmas. She dumped many inches of snow upon our streets and sidewalks, and now the drifts pile up around cars and decorate the steps of walk-up apartments. When I walk down the residential streets at night, the snow radiates in the glow of Christmas lights. It is still a beautiful novelty for now. The snow will probably seem less delightful by March, but that’s an update for another day, another season!

And here comes Banchi, jumping onto my lap to say hello, and now climbing onto the printer, from where she has a vantage point to look over the street. Yesterday, she briefly went out onto the balcony and played in the snow. She doesn’t drive a car, so the snow has few downsides for her. Merry Christmas, Banchi! I will say it now, since on the day itself, I will be thousands of miles away in Edmonton, and will not get a chance to say it in person.

There have been some small dramas this week here in Villeray. On Monday, I received a visit from crack-smokin’ Pierre who lives with his mother in the downstairs apartment. He said that water had trickled from my apartment into his. I went down to see what was up. Pierre’s mother, Francine, was doing the dishes, and when I said “Salut, Francine!” she did not look up from her task. I think she was very grumpy. Regular blog readers will recall that this is the second time my apartment has leaked water into hers. Upon looking closely at the ceiling and the wall, there was a thin but long trail of discoloured water making its way downwards. So Pierre and I returned upstairs to see what was causing it. Pierre, after some sleuthing around, isolated the source of the leak to my kitchen sink.

Thereupon I phoned the landlord, Monsieur Armand Ouellet. He told me that a plumber would arrive the very next day. And lo, so he was, punctual as Big Ben. The kitchen tap was apparently not in place properly, and a five-minute fix was all it took to prevent any future leaking. No more need to wash my dishes in the bathtub. Thank goodness for that.

The remaining drama of the week was the small jubilation at the news that my new communications company, Villeray Communications, started in partnership with Matt, will embark on its third contract soon… Combined with a contract for me at the National Film Board of Canada, starting in January, it looks as though 2009 will bring more work than ever before.

What could be better than the kind of work that builds your own business, tests your skills, and forges new ones? Bring on 2009, I say. Early signs are that it will be a gooder. I am grateful.

Last, but certainly not least, from everyone here at this blog, namely Banchi and me, the best of the holiday season to you all.

With Christmas approaching, freezing cold temperatures outside, my girlfriend’s company so addictive, I have slowed right down. I live for pleasure first and foremost. This can’t continue indefinitely, I know. But it is going to be so good while it lasts. We are eating warming wholesome food, enjoying drinks with friends, and lazing in bed late. So good. Everything is so good.

I feel almost nervous about returning to any form of writing. With an Edmonton Journal article and revisions to my manuscript awaiting, there is no shortage of work. But it’s rather like jumping into cold water. You know it will probably be OK once you get used to it, but in the meantime, you procrastinate.

As I am doing now… Posting some random photos!

new york

I took this during my stay in NYC, when the murk and mist made everything so photogenic.

As for the photo below, I took this the other morning, before my girlfriend and I sat down to devour it all.



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