Sunday, December 20, 2020

Preparing for a COVID Christmas!

...So how does one make the most of the Christmas season, when you can barely visit other people?

Erika and I have been doing a fair bit of retail therapy here in Burnaby, buying gifts to send people we cannot visit in person. I found a wonderful series of t-shirts put out by a company called Spiritual Being, based on the Rider-Waite tarot, but using, for the major arcana, things like Pinhead from Hellraiser or, say, a bowl of ramen that riffs on the "moon" card, or a slice of pizza, or... I've bought a few for friends, and one for myself, but can find no website for them that I might direct you to; they're sold at Sunrise Records, though. Pretty fun stuff!

And speaking of t-shirts, I've also been digging out some of my old XL and 2XL t-shirts that I've, uh, "grown out of" in recent years. I've been tipping the scales at 350 pounds or more for some time now, with COVID being no help at all; I finally decided (following my wife, who led the way) to go on a diet: a low-carb/ keto diet, which means that I can now *almost* fit in my old Nomeansno Mama t-shirt! Almost. I've been on the diet since the start of December, and as of today, weigh 334 pounds; I could stand to lose 100 more, really, though would be perfectly happy to make it down to 250 pounds, if I stayed there. Not sure about how keto will affect my cholesterol, but it's doing great stuff for my blood sugar, so...

Meantime, Erika - also making good progress on keto - is decorating the only kind of tree we're allowed here in our apartment: a fake one! She's got a very deep history with some of the ornaments, remembering when and where she got them - some from friends, some from family, some from when she lived in other parts of the world with her parents. I'm afraid my family traditions don't include such attachments, though we are putting at the base of the tree an iguanadon and a hadrosaur that I remember getting for Christmas when I was six or seven, and at the peak of my enthusiasm for dinosaurs. We also recycled a few decorations from a damaged, tiny fake tree that my Mom used to have up in her apartment. 

With family on our minds, I also dug out some old rolls of film that I'd found in my parents apartment when cleaning it out after Mom died. I had wondered what was on them for quite some time: turns out it is photos of my mother, father and I some 15 or 20 years ago - before his cancer, before her stroke, when they were living in Maple Ridge in the senior's building they were caretakers of. There are a lot of uninteresting images - photos taken of seniors in the building who have long passed, whose relatives and last names are unknown to me. But there are also photos of my parents and I, during one of our happier periods together...

That last - showing a much slimmer me, shortly after my return from Japan in 2002, I think - also shows my Mom's Chinese food - something she lost the ability to make after her stroke in 2009. You can also see a partially-played game of Scrabble on the freezer, a yellow stuffed animal I brought my Mom as a gift from Japan, and a painting done by my late friend Thomas Ziorjen, inspired by Monet's waterlilies (based on photos Thomas took at a pond I had showed him; Thomas killed himself awhile back, and that painting is now somewhere in our storage). 

There is also a photo of all three of us - Larry and Helen MacInnis, and me, together; there aren't many of these, in fact. Looks like I still had some hair! 

It's an interesting Christmas, then - not a time for big family gatherings, but a great time to diet, reflect back on our lives, share gifts with each other (preferably by post), and of course, decorate the apartment with Christmas things. Which is more my wife's trip than mine - I've just never been that sentimental about Christmas, though I do like the "giving" aspect of it. But I love her own sentimentality about it, envy it a little, even, that she has this deep attachment to these delightful ornaments, recalling who gave them to her, when, where she was living... I have that sort of attachment to some of my records or books or movies, so I can understand it well, and totally support her in her decorations - though I'm leaving her to do it, mostly. I thought Erika looked like a 50's housewife in a homemaker mag in some of these photos... 

All told, it's not THAT bad as far as pandemic Christmases go. And there's tomorrow's Zoom with Sonny Dean (see below), Tuesday's Zoom with David M. (see below), and Wednesday's viewing of The Silent Partner (yet to get a post, but, uh, see above, I guess). I'll have a day to myself soon to wrap Erika's presents...  and then Christmas will be upon us. 

It could be so much worse. I'm a very lucky person, really. Not a bad Christmas for counting blessings, either. 

1 comment:

Allan MacInnis said...

I figure I must have been 360 or over at the start of the diet, circa Dec. 1 (I tapered into it but around then). I am now around 328, and losing a couple of pounds a day (I was 331 yesterday evening). It works well.