Thursday, January 29, 2015

March Break Booked!

In typical Christielli-fashion, it was a concert that was the impetus for me to actually plan something.

I had been planning to use my March Break to visit all of my pals in Vancouver: Becca T, Wes, & Rawbean (and I'm also hoping to make it to Victoria to see Jabba).  I was dawdling because well, I didn't want to think about the cost of a flight etc etc.

Then today, my #1 crush Hayden tweeted an article about his new song, which also had a listing of his upcoming shows, including one in Vancouver DURING MY MARCH BREAK. He's playing w Dan Mangan, and I am seeing them in Toronto at the end of February.  I bought those tickets way back in August when I was eating delicious Indian food at Claire's place in London.

Anyway, this concert would be a great show for Becca T and I because we both love Dan, and I used to drag her to Hayden shows all the time in university.

So, I booked a flight, and booked the show.  And within a span of 1.5 hours, now Wes is joining us for the show, and Rawbean and I will visit Jen in Victoria on Sunday.

This is all shaping up to be a lot of fun!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

First Concert of the Year.

I had a super fun weekend, which I needed after last week which didn't start out the greatest.

On Friday, I went to the mall with Mathew because he had to return a bunch of things, which I made fun of him for.  Then we saw the movie "Selma" which was very powerful.  I haven't seen many of the films that have been nominated, but I can't help thinking this one was so powerful and important that it should definitely get more recognition.  Also, I think EVERYONE should see it.

Before my I went out on Friday, my friend Paul messaged me to see if I wanted to see a concert on Saturday night with him: Elliott Brood & The Wilderness of Manitoba.  I was happy that I was free and able to go to the show. They are both bands that I've seen before and enjoy live, even though I haven't kept up with their albums. Also, I hadn't been to a show with my friend Paul since the summer; it seemed like all of the fall concerts conflicted with his work/travel schedules.  It was great to reconnect with a friend, and live music.  It's been two months since I've been to a show!

I always feel like myself most at shows.  It's weird, but live music puts me in such a great space that it's vital for my mental health.  Even though I'm one of the most logical, methodical people you'll meet, I have a huge creative side that loves the arts whether it be music, literature, film, or visual arts.  I think the arts in general bring me the closest to my spiritual side than anything else on earth, and they are essential to my well-being.  As soon as the first band hit the stage, I felt re-centred and oh-so-better about everything.  Elliott Brood were great because they closed the curtain in between sets, and opened up to a stage filled with balloons and lights.  It was a magical evening.

Today was a nice day because I was able to catch up with other friends over brunch and dinner.  Just as art centres me, so does friendship, and I'm lucky to have a life rich in both.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Teaching is Ridiculous.

On Monday, I had a little bit of a bad day, and it soured my mood for the next couple of days afterward.

However, yesterday out of the blue I got an email from a former student wishing me happy belated new year and asking me how I was doing.  In my reply, I told her that her email really brightened my day.  She replied back to me updating me on her life in university and how yesterday she just had a feeling that she needed to email her favourite teachers from high school. Awwwww.

As I read her email I thought that it's kind of ridiculous that I get paid money to form these awesome relationships with the students I teach.  It's so rewarding that I get paid a healthy salary to make an impact on lives, and in return, such an impact is made on my own life.  I estimate that I've probably taught almost one thousand students at this point in my career, which is rather awesome.

Anyway, I need to keep this in mind next time I'm frustrated over the enormity of my marking pile*, a jammed photocopier, kids not doing their homework, a slow computer, a busted electrical fuse, a dusty chalkboard ledge that makes me sneeze, extra pointless paperwork, a grumpy colleague, and all of the other little things I complain about way too often.

*My marking pile is actually non-existent right now.  I finished marking all of the term work for this semester. Next week is exams, which is a bit of a break.  Woo-hoo!  A guilt-free work-free weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Don't Let People Mess You Around.

Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" is a pretty good anthem for when people have got you down.  Very 2014.

However, I have realized that my ultimate feel-good anthem is Sloan's "If It Feels Good, Do It". Very 2000.

I have been listening to this song for years and years, and I don't think I ever even realized that it was about shaking it off, until recently. I really just listened to it without thinking, but now it's become my go-to when someone's messing me around.



Also, the video is freakin' awesome. (Note: there's another longer more artsy version with people talking about rock 'n roll, which I like, but today I'm in the mood for the song straight through.) 

I love the crowd jumping around and their energy.

I love the scissor kicks and guitar-shredding in time to the lights.

I love the "Sloooooo-oooooan" chant in the middle of the song.

I love how the song takes me back to when I was in university, and I had nothing better to than study, cause hijinks with my friends, and obsessively listen to this song.

I low how this song is ultimately an ode to rock 'n roll, yet at the same time really is about being true to yourself.  The line "you can't wear your heart on your sleeve, if you're just going to leave" is one of my favourites, and I wish I could quote it to people all of the time, but just not enough people out there are up on their Sloan.

Anyway, it's one day past Blue Monday, the supposedly mathematically-calculated most depressing day of the year, and I was having an okay one, until somebody messed me around, but you know what, I'm not going to let them, because I'm just going to listen to Sloan instead.  And maybe some T. Swift too.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lines.

The other day I was looking at myself in the bathroom mirror.  I can't remember why, other than I was lost in thought at the moment.  I was surprised to notice a deep vertical line right beside the inside of my left eyebrow, which was pulled down at the moment.

I relaxed my eyebrow to its regular position, and the vertical line was still there, although less pronounced.

I started thinking about this line, and noticed my left eyebrow going back down on my face.  Then it hit me: I have a wrinkle from thinking! I have never noticed this before, but when I am thinking, I scrunch up my left eyebrow, and this action has lead to a permanent crease on my forehead.

I'm almost 35, and I haven't worried too much about wrinkles yet. I don't own any anti-wrinkle creams, because I am very skeptical that they even work. I'll admit that my skincare regime is best described as low-key, whereas perhaps some may say it's straight out negligent.

However, I've always believed that it's working for me since I often get compliments on my skin.  One day I was talking to one of my VPs and she stopped mid sentence and said "you have beautiful skin... What do you do?" I thanked her and admitted that I don't do anything special.  I wash it, throw on some moisturizer as needed and that's that.  And it seems to be working, I guess.

But this thinking wrinkle...

As I was staring at this line on my face, I remembered something that I read recently on the celebrity gossip site that I frequent (guilty pleasure = dlisted.com). Kim Kardashian had stated that she tries to smile as little as possible because it causes wrinkles. (Although what about duck faces, Kim?)

What a sad statement, I thought, which reflects how messed up our society is.  We are so obsessed with looking youthful that a woman will willing admit that she tries not to make the best facial expression out there that signifies joy, makes you look better, and actually makes you psychologically feel better.

Smile lines should be battle scars that anyone should be proud of.  They say "fuck yeah! I've had lots of fun and laughter and happiness in my life and I'm proud of it!" Really, people should want smile and laugh lines at as young an age as possible because it means you've lived well and with happiness.

Which brings me back to my thinking line.  As I stood there thinking about it (and cementing it further on my face no doubt) I realized this thing on my face is a battle scar hard-earned by all of the planning, calculating, writing, creating, problem-solving, reading, reflecting, hypothesizing, wondering and thinking that I have done over my almost 35 years of life.  I'll keep it, thank you very much.  And I'm going to be proud of any lines on my face because it means, that I have lived, goddammit.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On track (ish).

Last week I was maybe getting a B- on my new year's resolution of being healthier.  I was rocking the healthy eating, made it to the gym on Tuesday, but then started feeling sick and congested and could not bring myself to exercise on Wednesday.

During the weekend, I felt worse, hibernated indoors and ate some garbage, which definitely brought my overall mark down to failing. However, I managed to get to the grocery store, buy healthy food for the week, and I've rocked the healthy eating again this week.  Even better, I made it to the gym on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and feel awesome.  I did some weight training yesterday and I feel sore and I'm so happy because I missed the feeling of the after effects of a good workout.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy that a crappy first week of resolution did not knock me down.  I'm often really hard on myself if I'm not feeling well.  All weekend I was internally berating myself for being lazy, but now that I have a clearer head, I realize that no, I was actually not feeling well and that's okay.

This week, I'm pretty high energy and have been getting lots of shit done at work and even feel like my workload is under control.  Awesome.

Not only that,  my place is relatively clean, I got my nails done, went out for drinks with my friend Joanna Go9 who was in town for a convention, and registered for the Sporting Life 10K in May.

I think the moral of this story is to remind myself that sometimes I do need to rest and recuperate, and that's okay.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Random Pointless Post

Wow the January blues have come at me fast and furious and earlier than usual this year.

This time of year is always super busy at work.  One semester is ending, and I'm trying to cram a few more concepts into the kids' heads, while trying to catch up on marking and write/prep my final exams. All while it is bone chillingly cold outside.

This weekend I was supposed to write an exam, and catch up on my marking but what I did instead was hibernate and finish reading two books.  However, I stayed late today at school and got so much done. I grudgingly have to admit that I am far more productive at work than I am home, probably it's because I have the motivation of that when I complete my task I can leave the building and go home.  When I'm home, I'm already home and I don't have that push.  I think that I need to put a few more hours in at work, as opposed to dragging my marking around all the time and not doing it.  Sigh.

Anyway, that was boring.  Let me think about what else is going on these days.

I was running some errands this evening, and a dude at the checkout near me at Shopper's gave me his Optimum Points.

I have started watching this season of The Bachelor because apparently I hate my brain cells and want to kill them.

I should probably do a book review post because I've read three already this year.  All involve mysteries and death.

Nerd confession: my Lego sources told me about a set of Lego songbirds and I bought it online and they arrived tonight. It's completely geeky but they'll look good on my windowsill.