Ninety: Snowy Weekend in Vancouver
Mark: Hi, I'm Mark. Jill: And I'm Jill. Welcome to the EnglishLingQ Podcast. Mark: Today we've got our 170th episode and it's December 3rd, 2007. Welcome everybody. We thought today we would talk a little bit about our weekend, as usual. I know it seems like we always talk about the weather, but we did have a little bit of unusual weather this past weekend. We got some snow, which especially at the beginning of December is a bit unusual for us. Jill: And we got it Saturday and Sunday. It's not often that we have two days in a row of snow either. Mark: No, for sure. What's nice about it is we had our company Christmas party on Saturday night. There was snow everywhere and that was great. Jill: Yeah, it was really pretty. Mark: It certainly makes things more Christmassy. Jill: Yeah. Mark: We were commenting on the fact that the real Christmas will be 10 degrees and raining probably. Jill: That's our typical Christmas. Mark: Yeah. At least for our Christmas party it felt like we had a white Christmas, so that was fun; that was fun. Jill: Yeah, it was great. Mark: We had both the LingQ staff members there and the other majority I guess of the people in our office who work for the wood company. We have a joint Christmas party and we had a gift exchange. What did you get Jill? Jill: Oh yeah, we did a little gift exchange. I think $15.00 was the maximum or what we were supposed to spend. Mark: Yeah. Jill: I ended up with a jewelry box. Mark: Nice. I guess we should probably explain the gift exchange itself; how it works. It was kind of fun. I guess very often, I don't know how it is in other countries, but here, especially when it's a group Christmas party like a company or a sports team or whatever groups might organize a Christmas party, you have some kind of present exchange so that everybody is not feeling like they're going to buy a present for everybody else. Typically, you'll buy one present and either you'll know in advance who you're giving it to or, in our case, you buy a present and you don't know who it's going to be given to. Everybody puts their present under the tree and then we pick numbers from a hat and depending on your number you then get to pick whichever gift you like. Jill: They are all wrapped. Initially, they're all wrapped, so the person with number 1 has to go first. They pick a present and they open it, unwrap it, and then the second person can either take that gift away from the person or open a new one. Mark: So, if you like what the first guy opened you don't open another gift. Jill: You steal it. Mark: You say wow, that's really good. I like that one I'm going to take it, so that person then has to go back and open a new gift or if you don't want what he has you go open a new one. Jill: Eventually there are so many that are open that the person who loses their gift if somebody steals it from them they don't have to open a new one they can go and steal another one from somebody else that is already open and it's really a lot of fun. Especially you men, you guys love stealing from each other. Mark: Well, it's more that if you see someone who's got something that they seem to really want. That's where it becomes fun, stealing it from them. Yes, that's right. Jill: And I'm so the opposite. It's fun to watch and I think guys are different anyway, so I don't mind, but when I personally see a woman who really wants something and I can tell she really likes it even if I like it I feel too bad, so I won't take it. You are the exact opposite. You will go out of your way to take something that you don't even want. Mark: Yes, I did do that. It was worth it. Jill: And, actually, it really is a lot of fun. Mark: Yeah. Jill: Everybody had some good laughs. Mark: That was fun. My kids were there too. They were the only kids and you could tell that people felt ashamed taking stuff that they wanted. Jill: Yeah, you used your kids to get what you wanted. Mark: Yes, I wanted that stuffed beaver, yes. That's what I got. Jill: That's right. Mark: It was a funny looking stuffed beaver, but nonetheless. Anyway, yeah, so it snowed all day Saturday and then it snowed Sunday until…it seemed to depend where you were. Like it started raining around my house at around noon on Sunday, but my dad said out at his place it snowed until much later in the day. Jill: Yeah, I don't think it started raining…I mean the snow turned to rain…I don't think it started until about maybe 2 or 3 in the afternoon at my house. It was big, wet, flakes of snow all day on Sunday. You could tell it was just right around zero degrees because it was, you know, very wet and then it just started pouring rain and today is, I don't know, 12-14 degrees outside. Mark: A huge change. Jill: Huge change; very warm. Mark: We got some kind of tropical storms come in from the Pacific and it's warm and just pouring rain. Jill: Yeah. Mark: I guess this is the pineapple express that they call it. Jill: I guess. Mark: Yeah. Anyway, the short time that we had the snow it was great; it was great. On the weekends myself and some of the dads from the school try to get out and play touch football and on the snowy weekends it's just the best. We manage to play twice this weekend. Yes, we did. Jill: Oh, my gosh. Mark: Saturday and Sunday. Sunday was really wet because it was kind of slushy by then, but it's great because you can fall and slide around, oh yeah. Jill: That sounds really great. Mark: Yeah, really, you're welcome to come. We can arrange an invite. Jill: Yeah, I think I'd rather stick needles in my eyes, thank you very much. Mark: It's funny, a lot of people think that, but really, you know, you just don't understand. We're misunderstood. Jill: Yeah, whatever. Mark: Yeah. Jill: But, it was a great weekend too because of the snow it seemed so festive. We don't get a lot of snow in Vancouver and it never seems to stick around because it never stays very cold, so even if we do get it usually it ends up raining by the next day, so it was neat to have it for a couple of days. That really got me into the Christmas spirit, so I made Chris come out with me and get our Christmas tree and put up all our lights and, of course, I have to decorate the whole tree; he wants no part of it. He never even had a tree before I lived with him. Mark: When he lived by himself? Jill: Yeah. I mean he doesn't put up any decorations and even last year when I lived with him he did not want a tree, but I wouldn't let it go, so I got a tree. Mark: You've got to have a tree. Jill: Well, I know, that's what I said. This year he's learned. He didn't even really try to fight it because he knew I would get my way in the end anyway. Mark: Like with most things? Jill: Yeah, pretty much. Mark: Pretty much that how it works, yeah. Jill: So, yeah, he was very good. He came out, got the tree and it was great. I went to the store and bought some eggnog. Once we were out for a few hours and we were cold and we'd had enough of the snow we went inside and basically didn't come out again and drank eggnog and had a fire and I decorated the tree and it was great! Mark: Yeah, I mean there is something nice about the snow and the wintertime, especially when it gets close to Christmas even though it's not that close still. It's quite far away, but still, yeah, it's fun. We haven't got our tree yet, but maybe next weekend. Jill: Well, you know, it is a bit early. We wouldn't normally get it this early, but we have to take it down by the 20th because we're not going to be in town, so I don't want to leave it up for the whole time that we're gone. Mark: Then when you go to take it out it will be all dried out and there'll just a house full of needles. Jill: Oh yeah, it will be a mess. Plus, you just worry about a fire hazard too. I mean I guess it's no different than having wood piled up in your house. Mark: Right. Jill: So that's why I wanted to get it early so that I actually had it for a while, otherwise, there would have been no point in getting it. Mark: Right, yeah. Well, that's good. What else did we do? I'm trying to think…because of all the snow no soccer. That's why we could all play football. Jill: So what did Kindre and the kids do then? Mark: They went tobogganing on Sunday morning. Yeah, so they had fun there. Jill: Up at one of the mountains? Mark: Up at one of the golf courses or the golf course. There's a golf course up the hill. It's private, but you can sneak on and go tobogganing at whatever hole it is when you first drive into their parking lot and so they don't seem to mind. Jill: Oh really? Mark: Yeah. Jill: So a lot of people go there. Mark: Well, I don't know about a lot, but certainly Kindre and the kids and their friends seem to go. Jill: Oh neat; I didn't know. Mark: It's great because you're not tobogganing out onto a street or anything. You know, you're on a golf course and it's down the hill and then you walk back up. Jill: Oh, they must have loved it. Mark: There's lots of snow because it's higher up the hill. Yeah, even a lot of the time when there is no snow down here there's still snow up there. So yeah, we've gone up there the past few years and apparently the dog loved it too. Jill: Gordie. Mark: Gordie was apparently chasing the toboggan down the hill and then running back up to get the next one. Jill: So he got his exercise. Mark: He was just dead after; running in the snow and there were other dogs there and oh yeah, apparently, he had… Jill: That's great. Mark: Kindre said it was his second best day ever. His best day being at (?????) in the summer. (?????) is this park on Vancouver Island where the beach is really shallow for a long way so that the dog could run, jump in the waves and he just did that for hours. So, anyway, he enjoyed the snow. Jill: That's great. Mark: Yeah, otherwise, I don't know. Jill: Well that sounds like a pretty full weekend. Mark: That was a pretty full weekend. After that we kind of sat there watching the rain come down. Jill: Yeah, I was quite depressed, actually, yesterday afternoon and evening once I saw the snow rapidly melting and all the rain coming down. The snow is so much prettier than the rain. Mark: Oh, for sure and then the combination just makes for a big mess. Jill: Mess, yeah. Mark: The roads yesterday were just horrible, the ones that didn't have much traffic on them, because it's just so slushy and quite dangerous too. Actually, leaving our Christmas party that night Kate and Paul couldn't make it up the driveway. That wasn't so good; damaged his car a little bit. My dad was out there with them helping them dig it out at one in the morning or whatever. I mean they were there for an hour trying to dig it out, yeah. Jill: I wondered that though because your parents have a fairly steep driveway and there was a lot of snow coming down. Mark: I know. Jill: And so I wondered when I...you know, we parked outside of the gates to the house on kind of the street, which is where everybody else parked I think and I wondered when I walked down and I saw her car there. I thought, you know, it's going to be tough to get out of here. Mark: I know, I mean, I almost… Jill: It's not four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive? Mark: I have four-wheel drive, so I went down there and I saw her car and I thought oh, I don't know if I'd leave my car there. I almost thought about staying up where you were, but then I thought I've been up and down that driveway before when it's been snowing. Jill: And you have four-wheel drive. Mark: With four-wheel drive it's fine going up. It is actually no problem. I saw his car there and I thought I'd better get out of here before him because I'll be stuck behind him otherwise. Jill: Yeah, they probably should have parked on the street. Mark: Yeah. Jill: But other than that it was a good night for everybody. Mark: Oh, it was great. Jill: Tons of food and lots of wine and desserts. Mark: Yeah. Jill: It was great. Mark: It was great; it was great. Often we've done it in a restaurant, but this year we did it in a house and it's more fun. You get to mingle more and… Jill: You're not confined to a seat at a table the whole time. You know, you can actually walk around, there's just more space and you can talk to more people. Mark: Exactly. Jill: It's almost more relaxed too because you're at somebody's house, so yeah, it was really great. Mark: Anyway, that was our Christmas party weekend and snow weekend. We hope we have more this year. Apparently, it's going to be a cold winter, so we might get more snow. If you've got any thoughts about weather or snow or anything where you are, please let us know, as usual, on our forum. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you all for your comments on Friday. Jill was very happy to receive them. Jill: I was surprised, yeah, to receive so many, so thank you. Mark: And we will talk to you in a couple days.