Wednesday, December 31, 2008


As I write this it is now 2009. A couple of hours ago it was still 2008. Like, this isn't going to screw me up. By the time I finally remember that it is no 09 it will be 2010 ... are we going to call it '10? Now that is really going to screw me up.

The change of a calendar date has very little significance for me, especially this one . I mean, it just isn't natural. We are in the middle of a season, not the beginning of one (OK technically this is not the middle of winter but since we've had half a dozen major snow storms and its -22 C with the windchill, it sure as hell feels like the middle) so it doesn't really feel like anything has changed. It's been a year, but a year since what? Since the last time we said it was a new year ...

Perhaps this is me being incredibly egocentric (really Vic, you egocentric?), but I judge the new year from my birthday ... that's a year, folks. One year older, deeper in debt, and even more grey. Making me think that the year is changing now makes me feel even older ... gee, thanks a lot.

Was a time where the main significance of New Years was the part possibilities. I remember one year, in Kingston, just before I met Collette, I was still cooking; I was hopping into a cab in front of a hotel as Ma was hopping out of it ... yup, party party party.

Unlike Christmas, Collette and I have spent New Years in our own home, in our city. For a few years our New Years tradition was going to the Laugh Resort, a local comedy club, where you could have dinner on the main floor, go to the third floor to the see the show then to the sports bar on the second show afterwards. We loved that. It was in that bar that Collette discovered that the little green circles in the Nacho Grande were not olives ... OK, many cocktails had already been consumed and once she bit into it, she did indeed realize that it was a jalapeno.

We have also spent many New Years with my family in Kingston. We are pretty lucky in that my family does a New Years Day dinner where everyone comes together so if we spent Christmas up north, we could still see all of my fam. That was not on the agenda this year. Quite honestly, we were just too tired. If it wasn't for Collette's being alone on Christmas, we would have stayed here ...

So we decided to hang out in Toronto. The Laugh Resort is long gone (fuck you Mark Breslin) but they put on a "comedy extravaganza" at Massey Hall. I haven't seen this show, but it doesn't have the same funky feel to it as the comedy club and it was 60 bucks a pop, so we decided to pass on that.

Toronto puts on a free event at Dundas Square in front of City Hall. They call this First Night ... why isn't it New Years? Is there something offensive about the phrase New Years that we had to change it? No .. don't tell me .. I'm sure it would just piss me off. We briefly considered it, thinking it might be fun to do something outside but ... we didn't recognize any of the acts that were playing, we knew we would be jammed in there to the point that would get my claustrophobia ringing like a DefCon-4 alert, and it was going to be -22 C .... so the old folks decided to stay at home.

So I picked up a couple of sirloins, a bottle of wine, some shrimp ... and since we have been buying movies non stop since we got home from Christmas, we decided to just stay in, stuff our faces, and watch a few movies. Oh .. and I know this will shock you ... there was also beer.

So, a quiet New Years eve, but a very satisfying one. We actually went out last night. We went to a restaurant where the waitresses wore skirts that I thought were belts and they had half price margaritas .. and we went to see The Spirit. I may write more about this later, but let's say it was a unique movie, mostly in a good way. Hell, it has Samuel Jackson in a Nazi uniform, Scarlett Johanssen in lingerie and Eva Mendes in a wet suit ... really, how can you go wrong?

New Years is supposed to be this time to get sort of philosophical, reflect on the year just past and project to the one ahead. Um, sure. I ate steak, drank beer, cuddled with my woman, and watched movies where shit blew up. That's my notion of philosophy.

Happy New Year.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Yeh, yeh, yeh, it's been a while since my last post. My business has a large seasonal element to it which means the month or so before Christmas I am editing into the morning hours and dodging the whining calls from my studios on the cell phone.

Christmas also means our travelling season is upon us. Collette gets a couple of weeks off for the Christmas holidays and since our families live in different cities, we usually spend a good percentage of that holiday on the road.

In the 25 years that Collette and I have been together, we have never spent a Christmas by ourselves, in our own house. Look, for me, being as atheist as one can get, the only significance Christmas has is a calendar date to get together with our families so it is something I look forward to. Still, it would be nice to spend at least one Christmas in the city where we actually live .... or some southern resort getting sun burnt and getting some rum-inspired tattoo I just know I will regret later.

The other significance Christmas holds for me, is that it's the anniversary of my mother's death. This is not a sad occasion. Ma has been gone long enough, now, that I can use this time to remember her, the person she was, the major influence she was in my life, and how much I miss her.

Which brings us to this Christmas just past. Collette's father, Nick, has just moved into his new condo and although he has a room mate, Fred, it's his first Christmas without his wife. There was not going to be a big family gathering this year so we wanted to go up and at least cook the old guy Christmas dinner.

So up we go to Parry Sound. This winter our entire country has been inside a giant snow globe of crazy weather but if you want winter, go to the Canadian Shield. I cut a little video (at the bottom of this post) that will give you a brief a glimpse of a true Ontario Christmas ... even if one day was more snow than rain.

There was no room for us at Nick's place but luckily his old house had not closed yet .. but it was empty. So we packed up our double air mattress, one of my small monitors and the Xbox I got for Christmas, loaded up some DVDs, a couple of games, some beer (you knew there would be beer didn't you?) and set ourselves up all comfy.

Collette spent a lot of time with her dad and Miss Hayley and I tramped around town, taking video and playing with the ball and exploring the Fitness Trail. Christmas Day Collette did the chef honours (being back north always brings out her domestic side) and we had a quiet time with Nick.

We didn't get to spend much time with the rest of the family as they live 40 minutes away from Parry Sound and the weather was sketchy. But the purpose of the trip was to spend as much time with Nick as possible, which worked out as his room mate, Fred was away for his own Christmas day.

So, a quiet day, without the usual chaos and clutter, giving something to someone who needed it, even if it was just company, some attention. For a guy who doesn't believe in Christmas, that works for me

Untitled from Victor Kellar on Vimeo.
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