Saturday, April 18, 2015

Taking a moment.

Right now the fasting-for-charity teenagers are happily sewing sock monkeys and drinking juice. Some colleagues of mine were kind enough to stop by and help out, so instead of making a monkey for the fifth time, I've come outside to enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and solitude.

I'm sitting in the city park across the street from my school. I can see my classroom window, and think fondly about how the room is quiet for the weekend, but it'll be back to normal by Monday. 

I've given ten working years to this place, and even though some days it frustrates the hell out of me, I'm glad that I've come to think of this quirky little building as my home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Overload

As far as weekends go, this one was quiet.  There was some drinks, some brunch, and a few errands, and happily I did not open my backpack to do any marking.

Now it's on to a super busy week.  Report cards are due on Thuraday and I'm frantically trying to get a few more sets of assignments marked in time.  Tonight I got a major set of lab reports marked while watching the baseball game, so that feels like an accomplishment.

Last night I went to the Jays' home opener.  No marking got done.  They lost.

Oh and I have a houseguest.  My pal Vern got a job in the city and needed a place to stay this week.

And Friday is a big student council event where kids fast for charity and sleep overnight at school. I sleep there too.

Is it summer yet?

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Baseball

Thank goodness the season started.  I'm going to make a bold statement here.  I like watching baseball more than I like watching Netflix.

Home opener is on Monday.  I'll be there.  Next Sunday is Jose Bautista bobblehead day.  I'll be there.

The Jays took 2/3 of their first series at Yankee Stadium which is significant, since Yankee Stadium is their Achilles heel.  Last year they broke a something like 19 game losing streak there.  Damned Yankees.

I like how this season is starting.  2 HRs so far for my man EE.

Also myself from two years ago is in shock how die hard into baseball my current self is.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Long Weekend

I had a rather chill long weekend.  The pile of marking I lugged home from school, and then all the way to Stratford and back, has barely a dent in it.  Oh well.

Things I did, in point form:

  • Started watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, which is hilarious and amazing.
  • Did a little bit of shopping in Stratford where I splurged on a new Jays' hat.
  • Watched four movies with my parents (Gone Girl, St. Vincent, The Theory of Everything, Maleficent).  I crafted a cute little cross-stitch fox as I watched.  I want to craft more while I watch things.
  • Got a little bit of exercise in. 
  • Caught up on sleep.
  • Watched the Jays' exhibition games in Montreal.
  • Watched Jays vs NYY opening day game which was amazing.  We won 6-1.  Please be representative of the season.
And that was my chill long weekend.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reading habits as of late.

I've been quite bookish so far this year.  Sometimes, life will get ahead of me, and I'll go a few weeks without finishing a book.  However, thanks to a bit of down time during March Break and my current obsession with getting ebooks from the Toronto Public library, I've been reading quite a lot lately following a dry spell in late February/early March.

This year, I've seemed to solely read fiction with a focus on mystery/thrillers for the most part. During the school year, I crave escapism in my literary adventures, and I've found that my favourite escape these days is in a good mystery/thriller that also has an interesting theme and/or plot twist.

I've also noticed that as I have all of my life, I read a majority of books written by women.  I can go on and on about sexism in the literary world.  I closely follow writer Jennifer Weiner on Twitter because I like her books and her super hilarious tweets about The Bachelor.  However, I'm come to appreciate her also for being vocal about how books written by men are reviewed much more frequently than books written by women.  Books written by male authors, such as Jonathan Franzen and Jeffery Eugenides, that are about "women-centric" subjects like relationships and family are widely praised and reviewed, whereas similar books written by women are often belittled as "chick-lit".  Lori Lansens wrote an excellent novel called "The Girls" which is a fascinating story of the lives of conjoined twins.  I was dismayed when the paperback edition of this novel was slapped with a bright pink flowered covered that would scare off most men from reading this worthy story.  Of course, the fact that the colour pink is feared by men is another way in which the feminine is looked down upon in our society but that's another rant.

Anyhow, the point of this is that with entrenched sexism in literature, I don't really feel that bad about my very skewed reading habits.  However, I read an article somewhere earlier in the year (probably on Buzzfeed, I'm sure) about how a great new year's resolution would be to read more books by diverse authors since it's important to read stories about people who are underrepresented like women of colour, other ethnicities, and authors from the LGBTQ community; not to mention how important it is to support these authors so that there is more diversity in what gets published.

Anyhow, I have read a couple of amazing books in the past few months that are notable.  I love Roxane Gay's collection of essays "Bad Feminist" and her novel "An Untamed State" was excellent although brutal and graphic (not a light read). Celeste Ng's "Everything I Never Told You" because not only is it a fascinating look at an Asian American family and the prejudice faced by this community (which is entirely underrepresented in all forms of media), it's kind of a murder mystery!

This year I also want to read novels by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Helen Oyeyemi.  Are there any other books/authors that you'd recommend that would help me in my goal about increasing the diversity in my reading?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I, I do it all the time.

Today as I was marking with a friend/colleague in my local Starbucks I said "You know, I'm more on top of this marking stuff than I was last year.  That's good news."

It's true, I am.  I am teaching the same course that I did exactly a year ago, and it provides a good benchmark for me.  For example, a lab report that I was frantically marking on the plane back from France for March Break last year, was marked way before March Break this year.

Then I paused to think.  "However, I am completely losing the work/life balance battle this year, so I guess I'm not that good."

Last year I was in tip top physical condition, and training for a half marathon.  Today's exercise was walking to Starbucks to mark.  I had a backpack on though, so extra weight, ha-ha!

Basically, I think I can win one or the other: life or work.  Last year I was winning life, but I know I was more stressed with work.  This year I'm winning work, but I'm way more stressed about life.

HOW CAN I WIN BOTH?

That's the million dollar question that I'm going to be trying to crack ASAP.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Decade.

It's March 23rd, 2015.  This means that I've had this blog for a decade.  Ten entire years.  Holy shit. (I've even set the date and time of this posted so it posts EXACTLY ten years from my first post. Details, that's how I roll.)

I've been composing this post in my head for quite awhile, since one of my many good blog friends reminded me that my decade blogoversary was approaching.  (FYI a traditional ten-year anniversary gift, according to Hallmark, is tin or aluminum.)

I started this blog on a complete whim.  2005, as all of my longtime blog friends will attest, because they most likely started their blogs in that year too, was the golden age of blogging.  I spent a lot of time reading musician Matthew Good's blog back then, and when he started linking to fans' blogs on his, I decided I should start a blog, and when it got good, I would send him the link.  He stopped that linking practice long before I ever would have considered sending him the link to this blog.

Heck, I never even came up with a title for this thing.  That's what "Permanent Title Currently Under Construction" means.  When I had a to fill in a blog title, I blanked, typed that in, with the good intention of thinking of something clever that describes the content of this blog, whatever that would be.

Ten years later, I can comfortably say that the content of this blog is me.

I don't think I ever thought anything would really become of this blog.  Sure, there are some bloggers that have found internet fame, or even book deals from their blogs, but that's the equivalent of a Little Leaguer making it to the big leagues.  However, I can honestly say that this blog did change the course of my life.

I know that if I'd never started this blog there are so many people I would not have met, trips that I would never have taken, friendships never forged, connections never made, bridal squads that would have been minus their token Canadian member, concerts not attended, postcards never sent, and memories never made.

I have friendships that have almost lasted just as long as this blog.  My blog friends live across the country, in other countries, and across oceans but some of those friendships are concrete as anything in my own city.  Heck, it really helps because if a girl can't sleep because she's going through a nasty breakup, she's got friends in all timezones to hear about her heartbreak and make her feel better.

I've got travel buddies who will host me in their city, come visit me in my city, or we'll just meet up in some other random city.

Most of my blogging friends stopped their blogs long ago.  Some of us hang on, and usually for the same reason, and the very reason why I keep hanging on.  I've never been able to keep a journal, or any sort of record of my life, but for some reason I've been able to use this medium to write about me for ten whole years.

After all this time, I have a cool journal, and I've met people that have become my dear friends.  I am so thankful for this.

I'm going to end this post with a picture of me.  Back in 2005, I was adamant that I would never post a picture of myself on this blog because what if someone came across it and knew it was mine?  I used to send early blog buddies emails with pictures if they wondered what I looked like.  Anyway, here's a recent selfie (hah! a word that didn't exist in 2005) that I like.  I'm in my classroom, in front of the chalkboard, wearing my green cat hoodie.  The lighting is good and I liked how it turned out, so here I am.



Decade #1 out.  Here's to decade #2.