Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Is it Friday?

Montreal was super fun.  I had a great trip, and I even had time to relax, sleep in a little, and binge on Netflix.  The wedding was lovely, and I loved walking around snowy Montreal on Saturday evening with a group of friends that I don't see nearly often enough.  (It was an afternoon wedding.)  On Sunday, I spent the afternoon shopping, eating poutine, and exploring with my friend Gloria, and then I had a very pleasant train ride back.

This week is one of the hardest of the school year.  I'm checked out, the kids are checked out, but we still have to do work, especially with the end of the semester looming in January.  Tomorrow and Friday will be long days because I'm involved with student council who is planning the talent show.

I just can't wait until Friday and the holidays.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The sea is a good place to think of the future.

When I arrived yesterday in Florida, it was rainy and cool.  The skies were dark and gray.  It wasn't what I pictured.

There's a cold front here; but it's still warmer than it is back home, or so we told ourselves.  However, this afternoon, the Sun came out and everything felt better.  It was still cool-ish, but the sunshine makes all of the difference.  (I should have packed more sweaters; I never pack enough sweaters whenever I go somewhere where I'm convinced it will be warm - Florida, Kenya, Europe in the summertime.)

This afternoon, once I was free from conferences, I threw on my hoodie and my sandals and went down to the beach.  I had a little nap on a cabana chair, and then decided to walk up and down the beach.  The walk was lovely.  The water was cold, but after I took off my sandals and walked along the edge, I acclimatized and it started to feel warm.   I found a sand dollar and some nice seashells, saw some cool looking seabirds, and watched the sun set. 




There was a wine and cheese reception this evening, where each conference participant got two drink tickets, but because people knew/met people who didn't want their drink tickets, we ended up with many more than that.  We mad friends with some Americans, had tonnes of fun, and then went to a restaurant with a giant fish tank for dinner.

Now it's time for bed.  I hope the Sun shows up again tomorrow.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Colour me in.

This city's getting too small for me.

This all goes back to one of those shitty dating experiences that you are bound to experience if you are going through the torture that is dating in this day and age.

Back in September (the first day of school actually) I went on a really great first date with a guy with whom I had a scary amount of things in common.  Music.  Baseball.  Books.  Travel.  Lefty political leanings.  Social justice.  He'd even been to Kenya for crying out loud.

Anyway, at the end of the date, he asked me out for that weekend right away, and even texted me before I got home to reiterate that he'd had a good time.   We kept texting each other for the rest of the week.  However, come Saturday morning he texted me saying he was really sick with the flu, and could we reschedule for the next weekend.  Well, unfortunately I was out of town the following weekend, and a weeknight wouldn't work 'cuz he was out of town.

We kept texting tonnes during the interim, and finally when I was back from my weekend away, he asked me again to make plans for date #2.

Then I never heard from him again.  Yup, it went from "do you want to go out on Saturday?" to silence.

Crazy, huh?  But based upon the dating experience of other people I know, and my own, it's just a drop in the bucket.  Maybe he was a pathological liar or something, and I dodged that bullet.

Fast-forward to this Saturday when I'm waiting with my friend Sara to run a 5K race for charity.  I'd done the same race last year, and had a great time, so decided to do it again.  It's in my neighbourhood, and you get a Christmas-themed medal and a hotdog at the end.

As we're waiting, I remember that the race is for the charity that disappearing dude works for.  I tell my friend the story, with "I really hope I don't see him here," tacked onto the end.

We run the race, get our medals, and eat our hotdogs.  Before we head out, we decide we need to get our picture taken, because if you don't take a picture, it didn't happen, right?  (Ha-ha.)  We go back to the start/finish line to get our pictures taken, and ask some random guy to do the photography.  He's one of those that will take about ten pictures from different angles to ensure that you get a good shot.

After our pictures are done, I notice out of the corner of my eye that disappearing dude is at the start/finish line handing out medals. Ugh!  He could have totally given me my medal and I wouldn't have noticed.  When I get home, and look back at my pictures, he is in every single shot.  Talk about photobombing.  I spend about five good minutes cropping him out of every shot.  I'll admit, it was catharctic.

Anyway, I think that Toronto is getting too small when my bad dates show up in the background of my pictures.

***

I leave for Florida in the morning!  I'm trying to be excited but I really wish I was going with some of my close friends on this trip.  But alas, I am not.

After that, it's a weekend wedding in Montreal with my friends from university.  Even though that will be cold, I'm looking forward to the train ride (I love trains).  I haven't been to Montreal in forever, so I'm looking forward to doing some exploring.

Happy Monday to the rest of you!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sloooooooooo-an, Christmas, Florida & Montreal

1) Sloooooooooo-an

On Saturday my friend Mathew, and some other friends by extension went to see Sloan on the final night of their Commonwealth tour.

As you all know, I am a huge Sloan fan.  I'm sure I could write hundreds of thousands of words on why I think they one of the greatest bands ever, but I won't bore you.  Let's just leave it at that I really really enjoyed their two-set show.  Yup, you read that correctly.  Sloan are so awesome that they open for themselves!

Highlights of the set for me included some gems from "Twice Removed": "I Hate My Generation" & "Worried Now".  I also loved "If It Feels Good, Do It" because that's an anthem to live by if there ever was one.

Bonus: I bought myself a super cute Sloan toque!  Of course, it ended up be 14 degrees today, so I couldn't really wear it.



2) Christmas Tree: I just finished putting mine up while listening to She & Him's Christmas record that I picked up in St. Louis back in May. 


3)  I'm being sent to Florida for work next week (Dec 8-11).  I'm being trained for our school's fledgling International Baccalaureate program.  I'll be in classes every day until 3:30 pm, but I'm hoping that the weather is nice so I can spend some time in the sunshine.  Then, as soon as I get back from that, I'm off to Montreal for a wedding.  Talk about crazy busy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tiptoe through our shiny city with our diamond slippers on.

Wow, what a fun weekend and so much random stuff to write about.  I think I'll just make a point form list.

  • Visitors!  I got to spend some time with my dear pals Wes from Vancouver and Matt from Winnipeg.  There were art galleries, afternoon drinks, wedding guesting, brunches, new socks, record shopping, and a Gilmore Girls marathon involved.  So much fun.
  • I went to my friend Katie's wedding with my faraway pals.  It was lovely and much fun.  Bring on the winter wedding season, I say.  (I have one more.)
  • I finally found The National's "Boxer" and the Weakerthans' "Reconstruction Site" on vinyl.  At HMV of all places.
  • Wes and I went to a Raptors' game on Monday and holy shit it was fun.  Did you know the Raptors are doing exceptionally well, and are at the top of their division?  Yes, a Toronto sports team is doing well.  Can they please not be like the Jays and actually manage to keep it going until the playoffs?  PLEASE.  I beg of you Drake, keep this going.  (Drake is the Raptors' celebrity ambassador and that's why I am beseeching him to keep the Raptors winning.  Also, I kind of like Drake.)

    Oh, they won too.  Raps 104, Suns 100.  Pretty close and really exciting.  I suspect this won't be my only basketball game this season.
  • Speaking of sports, my baseball buddies (Mathew & Vic) and I have our 15-game passes ironed out for next season, and I'm going to complete the bobblehead trifecta again, I promise you all.  Great players this year are going to be passed out for free in bobblehead form: Bautista, Stroman and the new guy Martin.  Also isn't it funny how obsessions come out of nowhere and take a hold of me?  Two years ago I didn't really care about baseball, and now I'm a freak.
  • Speaking of obsessions, Matt from Winnipeg got me hooked on what has become the most popular podcast ever: Serial (serialpodcast.org).  Go listen now and report back to me.  I would love to have an hour long conversation with someone about this podcast.
  • I also love the new Taylor Swift album.  Yes, I know.
And that is all. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nostalgia.

How do I write this post?  It's sort of a crazy stream of consciousness that went through my head through the past two days so I'll lay it out like that.

Yesterday I ran the Holly Jolly Run which is where people run the Santa Claus Parade route before the parade.  Then my friends and I TTCed up to Museum station to watch the parade from that area. 

Back in university, which was, oh shit, going on 15 years ago, my dear friend Becca T and I would take a study break on a Sunday and go watch the parade from that very spot.

Fastforward to present-day, where I'm in the same spot, with different friends, and I see the University of Toronto Engineering Marching Band go by, and then I remember the dreaded *other* Rebecca, who was in that marching band, lived in the same building as Becca T and I, and annoyed the hell out of me.  For the first few months, my Rebecca, the good one, did not like U of T, and was filling out transfer forms to go to the U of Ottawa.  I remember my fear that she'd leave, and the dreaded other Rebecca would ask me to be roommates the next year.  I would have to, for quite possibly the first time in my life, not be a nice person, and say no just to save my own sanity.

Luckily, and quite possibly because of its close proximity to fun things like the Santa Claus Parade, U of T finally grew on Becca and she stayed.  Incidentally, the dreaded other Rebecca moved out of our residence, so I wouldn't have had to be her roommate anyway.  I saw her a few times after that.  I remember once going for coffee with her and some of our friends and I mentioned that my goal was to become a teacher, and she scoffed at me, as if it was an inferior career suited to the lowliest of minds.  Ironically, the last time I ever saw the other Rebecca was when I got talked into joining the Faculty of Education broomball team in by BEd year.  We played against the engineering team, of which she was a part.  I don't remember the outcome of the game, but for the sake of narrative, let's just say it was a convincing win for the educators.

Anyhow, I left this year's parade a little bit early to walk through the part of campus where I lived for my university career (3 years in residence + 2 years in an apartment directly beside my old residence).  Things have changed; there's a giant condo going up across from my res in once used to be a parking lot, the residence itself seems to have shiny new windows, and the closest convenience store is now a coffee shop. 

However, the rest of the neighbourhood is the same. I can still vividly remember my first day at residence where the Residence Dean knocked on my door to tell me my new roommate, someone who I'd eventually find out is the good Rebecca, wouldn't be arriving until the next day.  I felt kind of flummoxed, since everyone else was unpacking their rooms and getting to know their roommates and there I was alone.

I had not brought thumbtacks with me.  Since I had extra time, I went to the mall across the street to buy some.  That felt like quite the adventure, and I can still picture how big, shiny, and cosmopolitan the downtown neighbourhood felt to a small-town kid like me.  And to think that was going to be my home for the next four years (at least).  Holy shit.

I returned with my thumbtacks to a flurry of activity in the room.  Somehow the mysterious absent roommate had arrived even though she wasn't supposed to, and her family was helping her unpack. Ahhh.  I introduced myself, most likely awkwardly, and set about hanging up pictures of my favourite bands.  When my roommate asked me who the bands, were, I was shocked and appalled that she didn't know, which I now tease her about all the time.  Becca was worried because all she knew of rock music was there was a band where the lead singer committed suicide, and she was afraid that I liked that band, and that it was a sign that I was potentially unbalanced.

Funny to think that two people who were first so apprehensive of each other became great friends for life.  And that I converted the girl who knew nothing about bands, into an awesome concert buddy.  In fact, once my friend Greg commented "it's so awesome that you two were randomly put in a room together.  You both love music so much!" Oh it wasn't always like that.

Just walking through the old neighbourhood brought back these memories, and then I started watching season 4 of Gilmore Girls where Rory goes to Yale, and once again, I started thinking about my fond memories.  Then, I entered into the downward internet spiral of "maybe I should get my master's!" etc. etc.  This all ended with me dragging my degrees out of my closest, and swearing that I should hang them up somewhere, and then digging out the silver medal I won as a graduation reward.  All of this reminds me that I am indeed smart, because I don't think that my university self could have predicted that one of the side of effects of adulthood is that you feel kind of dumb a lot of the time.  Weren't the degrees supposed to negate that feeling?  That's why I should hang those suckers up. And the medal too.

Yesterday I texted Becca T to tell her I was in the traditional standing spot for the parade.  She replied "remember the other Rebecca and the engineering band?" then proceeded to tell me how she was excited for the Twin Forks concert in Vancouver.  I love how things have changed, but they're still the same.

Oh, and you might be wondering why I'm still up so late on a school night.  I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow (well today) because the dreaded ugly chin rash from September has reappeared.  So I'll have to keep my chin up still, ha-ha.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Under Control.

Work is, at least.  I have all of the marking under control, and the planning aspect is under control thanks to the fact that I have someone else (student teacher) teaching 2/3 of my courses.  This momentary calmness will last another week, and then it will be back to normal.

I volunteered to "supervise"  boys' basketball practice on Thursday as a favour to my pal Nigel (who repaid me last Friday with the shaving cream high-five) and as a strategic move.  I figured that if I was forced to stay in the building an extra two hours every Thursday, I could dedicate that two hours to intensive marking, and hopefully stay more on top of things, and reduce the amount of homework that I have to do.  Well, since I'm on top of things, right now I'm chilling and blogging.

(Note: "supervise" refers to the fact they just need a certified teacher around.  There are very nice volunteer coaches who take care of all of the sports stuff.  I'm just sitting in an office right now.)

Anyway, it's nice to have my work life under control at the moment.  I should be using my time to start planning the new course I'm teaching next semester, or even working ahead on exams and such, but I feel that during this Thursday's forced stay at school, after blogging, I'm going to curl up with a book. 

Tomorrow is a PD day, so tonight kind of feels like Friday.  This weekend will be mostly chill I think.  I'm doing a run before the Santa Claus parade with my friend Sara.  It should be fun. 

I'm super excited because my friend Melly, from Winnipeg, told me last night she need a couch to crash on in Toronto on Monday.  I haven't seen her since she lived in Kingston two years ago.  I tell you, November is the month of faraway visitors!

Well, that's about it.  I just wanted to use my extra time to check in on the old blog.  :)