The kid in the image above, littler e., who is a little older now, kept us on a tight schedule yesterday on Christmas Eve Eve.
First, there was the shopping with her sister Bigger E.
I was just starting. They were just finishing.
The shopping I mean.
We began on 4th Ave where we always do. Zulu, as was Quintessence before it, is still the anchor for me. The Candy Aisle is the place for them. And we all dig the magazine store just off Arbutus that is still there despite the fact that all the high end and shiny maternity shops are now mutating into designer Toddler palaces.
Or some such thing.
We ended up out at UBC where the kids went crazy in our old friend Allan's dollar store while I went into the empire of evil cheap tech stuff store around the corner to get a hard drive to fit all the junk we now have on the household's big fat Mac that holds about a billion times more bits and bytes than the machine I wrote my entire thesis on.
And you know what?
I was more amazed by, and liked that little SE way, way better.
If that makes any post-Apple 2e sense at all.
The shopping finally came to a close at the campus bookstore where we went bonkers on the back of an old gift card I found at the bottom of an office drawer the other day. It was almost as if we were in a gameshow, running around grabbing as much stuff as possible before the buzzer went off.
We then rushed over to Oakridge (although 'rushed' is not quite the right word for it given that I made the big, big mistake of taking 41st Avenue through Kerrisdale) to drop off Bigger E. so that she could go busking with her friend N.
I then took littler e. home so that she could start wrapping, grabbed my outside guitar (see headstock in image above), and took fullest advantage of my two free hours by heading off to the beach with the Whackadoodle - which was fine because the beach was absolutely empty (which meant I could yell my head off as much as I wanted) and it was only a little rainy.
Dinner was at 6:30, and it was done and over with quickly because littler e. insisted that Bigger E. and I had to be done rehearsing and assembling our holiday set-list by 9:00pm because that was the time that watching of 'A Christmas Story' absolutely, positively had to begin.
To back up for moment, you should know that Bigger E busked for less than three hours yesterday afternoon.
And in that time she and her friend made (get this!) one hundred and fifteen dollars.
There is a little scene in one of our family busking videos from a couple of years ago where a young kid approached us at Trout Lake and asked if he could join us. I gave the kid the outside guitar (see both the Lake and the headstock, again, in the image above). He then played 'Falling Slowly' and Bigger E. sang while I exhorted them to keep going because 'they didn't need me anymore'.
Which, based on all kinds of things, including the busking haul from yesterday afternoon, is really and literally true in all the right musical senses.
And if I didn't know that already, it became crystal clear to me as Bigger E. and I worked on our set list last night.
Don't get me wrong; it was really, really fun, but I was barely hanging on as she used unleashed her voice, her phrasing, and her chops on that little 4 stringed thing of hers to whoosh on by me in a rush of power and song.
All of which means that folks are going to be really amazed over on the Island next week.
And so, without further ado, and in no particular order, here is that list:
-Blue Suede Shoes
-One Great City
-Here Comes Santa Santa Claus (insert D.Sedaris excerpt here)
-Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
-Baby It's Cold Outside
-Fogtown/Hit The Road Jack (while exiting stage, living room and/or porch)
The image of littler e. at top comes from our most popular family busking video in which we do 'The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton' by that genius John Darnielle....The image of the smile comes from the 1:58 mark...
Bigger E. starting to go Indie, for real, is presaged in this one at the 2:00 mark....
Now, back to 'A Christmas Story'....If Ralphie pinned all his hopes and dreams on that air rifle, I probably pinned my most recent ones on that goddamned outside guitar. Both have since paid off in spades I reckon.
The cursing of the guitar is, of course, a Springsteen reference wherein (in my imagination at least) a Darren McGavin-like Dad tells him to turn down the 'goddamned guitar' as he works on his hopes and dreams endlessly in his bedroom and the sound drifts down to the kitchen via the heat vent....And, for the record, my Mom still thinks he of the hopes and dreams sings like a man with a mouthful of marbles unlike, say, her Elvis.