To You and Yours This Holiday Season from James Howard,
Winnipeg's Favourite Librarian-slash-Columnist-slash-Blogger:
Season's Greetings, one and all! I hope that this holiday season finds you well.
It certainly has been a busy 2009! I offer my congratulations to the city of Winnipeg on its twenty-nine homicides this year -- no more, and no less, than the number of homicides in 2008. In these turbulent times of uncertainty, this continued stability is a testament to the staying power and sticktoitiveness of our One Great City.
(If anybody should be murdered between now and the end of the year, I kindly request that our statisticians and news media agree to bankroll them for next year's tally.)
Slurpee Champions of the World again as well -- well played! It's good to know that our priorities are, as always, in order. Consider my hat off to all for their tireless efforts.
The year was a busy one for me, personally, as well. I completed my Master's degree this past August and returned to Winnipeg to find employment; owing to some insanely fortuitous timing, I landed a temporary full-time position within a week of my arrival. I owe Red River College a debt of gratitude, for offering the opportunity to a wildly untested commodity like me -- and I owe Uptown Magazine my gratitude, as well, for letting me carry on as a columnist during the full year that I wasn't even in the province.
But today is, as it turns out, something of a milestone for me; disbelieving phone conversations with two different levels of government this morning, and a previous provincial bursary that one only finds out about by winning it, have confirmed that my student loans are now officially paid off in full.
So I am, in short, tremendously lucky. I would pretend that the aforementioned triumphs have anything to do with talent or skill, but nope, mostly luck. So the year was a success in many ways -- besides me being single again, but that's really my own fault -- and with my Christmas shopping well behind me I look forward to an enchanting afternoon of public interaction tomorrow.
Tomorrow, as I'm sure you are all aware, is Christmas Eve; I will be working at the fine Library you see above until it closes at noon, and at that point I will be released into the downtown with time to kill and with no real pressing commitments on my hands. Those of you who know me well know that this combination can only end in hilarity, disaster, or both.
So! Tomorrow afternoon I intend to head on down to Portage Place, and just... hang out. Sip a coffee, take some holiday photos, and enjoy the zen-like schadenfreude (I know I use that word often, but in my defense I really enjoy it) of keeping my head while everyone else around me is losing theirs.
Perhaps I'll uncover the true meaning of Christmas! But, then, perhaps not.
So unless I get stabbed to death while I'm there (and I hope I don't; it would throw off the nice twenty-nine figure we earned this year), please feel free to check back in the next little while to find out what Portage Place looks like on the increasingly desperate afternoon of Christmas Eve.
And even if you don't, I'd nonetheless like to thank each and every one of you readers for every time you drop by and humour my efforts. This was a record month and a record year for traffic on this site, and I think that my writing skills might be better now than they've ever been before -- so it's probably all downhill from here. But my promise to you all is that I will do my utmost to remain, as you can tell from the enclosed photograph, one dead sexy beast of a man.
Happy Holidays to all!
James Howard, Level 4 High Risk Blogger