Sunday, April 13, 2014

I have only two emotions: careful fear and dead devotion.

The past two days have been busy and wonderful.

Thursday - regular school day followed by a long student council meeting.  I thought I'd have time to go home, but I went straight downtown to see The National at Massey Hall.  And holifuck, it was a great show.  I love this band live.  I have to say that I'm developing a bit of a crush on Matt Berringer: a white-wine-drinking tall dude with scruffy graying hair and beard, and dark-framed glasses.  That could be my new type.  I loved when at the end of "Fake Empire" he dropped the mic, then threw his wine glass on the floor, and then left the stage.  I seriously want to copy that move at my retirement party.

Bonus - I didn't know until the evening, but Daughter was the opening band.  I love their latest album, and seeing them live was an excellent surprise.

Friday - LONG school day.  It was the fifth year that I organized student council's overnight fast for charity.  The group of forty students started by making bagged lunches for the homeless, and then we took a bus downtown.  Half of the kids volunteered handing out race packets for the Toronto Yonge St. 10K, while the others did a street patrol handing out food (and then they switched).  After that we returned to school for a bunch of activities.  I even was able to take a break and go for a 5K run to Trinity Bellwoods Park and back.

I set up a borrowed tent in our school gym and managed to get 5.5 hrs sleep despite being at a sleepover with forty-teenagers.

Saturday - Still at school.  The kids started with a yoga class, and then we made sock monkeys for another charity that sends them to children overseas.  Ours will be going to South Africa this year.  After that it was time for the kids to break the fast with a lunch of Portuguese chicken and then we were out.  My friend Heather, who was visiting me from London ON, met me at school that afternoon and then we headed back to my neighbourhood.  We went out for a couple of pints and then came back to my place to watch TV because that's all I had energy for.  (I feel asleep, of course.)

Today - I woke up at 7:30 am to run the Yonge St. 10K.  It had rained hard overnight; hard enough to wake me up and make me think that it didn't bode well for the morning's weather.  Luckily, it cleared up and the day was sunny and the weather was fairly warm.  My friend Sara was also running with us, and she met us at my place, since the starting line was within walking distance.

The race was super fun; I love being able to run down a major city street.  My time was decent: 1 hr 4 minutes and 14.8 seconds.  That's only 40 seconds slower than my 10K personal best, which is impressive considering that I was tired.

After the race, we went out for some delicious pizza and did a bit of congratulatory shopping.  I treated myself to all-black high top Chucks.  I've been living in Converse lately.

After Heather headed to the train station, I had a good two-hour nap and now I'm motivating myself to run out and get some groceries.  Next week is a four-day week, but report cards are due, so that'll make it busy, and not so wonderful.  But then it's the long Easter weekend, so yay!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


The kids at school and I are addicted to this game.

I think it was I who actually started it, because I was stealthily playing during a student council meeting one day, and got in trouble.  (Bad role model.)

AFTER yesterday's meeting, a bunch of us sat around playing the game, when we probably all had places to go.  Procrastination.

Today a student council kid walked into my classroom with a phone, and I said "No!  I don't want to see!  NOOOO!!!!!" and he showed me that his friend beat the game.

Across the hall my friend could hear me, and her class was wondering what was going on.  "Oh, she's just yelling about the game she likes," my friend told them.  They laughed at me.

I feel this is all sitcom-y, and supports my hypothesis that I'm really just a sitcom character.  I often look for the cameras.

Next episode: I sleep overnight at school for a charity fundraiser.  Last staff meeting it was announced we have an insect and mouse infestation.  TUNE IN.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Talking about everything I am doing wrong.

Really, I think I'm too sensitive about things.  Or that I care too much or take many things too seriously.  I don't know what it is, but these character flaws of mine lead me to feel down far more often than I'd like to. 

I have to focus on good things.  The little things that bring me joy that will be there no matter what.  So here's a happy list:

1) Kitty cat snuggles with Rilo.  She's a nice cat.

2) Car sharing: this weekend, I needed a car to get to Hamilton for a Stag and Doe.  Car sharing is so perfect for my lifestyle: I love having a car when I need it.  The bonus was that I had the car for 24 hours, so this morning I took myself out for brunch, then went to Ikea and did a big grocery shop.

3) My classes are so nice this semester.

4) I went for a long run this evening: 13K.  I am definitely ready for my 10K race on April 13th.  I'm feeling better about my half marathon too.  If I run at the (slowish) pace that I ran this evening, I'll be able to make the distance.

5) Laughing hard with friends.  I went out on Friday night with my friend Mathew, and I had one of those very special laughing fits that feel so good.

6) Letting myself be lazy.  I often think I should use every free moment to do work, train, accomplish something etc., but sometimes it's just nice to spend the morning bed catching up on the Daily Show.

7) The new Kevin Drew album.  It's so good!

8) The amount of sunshine we are getting these days.  And it's every so slightly warming up.

Monday, March 24, 2014

On the longest winter ever and the return of Miss Rilo.

When Shakespeare wrote of the winter of our discontent, he must have made himself a time machine and traveled to this winter that I'm living right now.  It's awful.  Endless.  Right now it's bizarre because the days have gotten longer (yay more sunlight!) but it's still cold as anything.  I gave up and hibernated yesterday.  I'd had enough.

Today wasn't so bad: a balmy -5 degrees Celsius, but felt like -10.  (Compare that to an average temperature of +5.)  I went for an evening run, and enjoyed the fact that it was still sunlight at 7 pm. 

And there is supposed to be more snow this week.  Gah.

On Saturday, I drove to St. Ratford, to retrieve Miss Rilo from her vacation home at my parents' house.  She is always rather happy there.  I think she likes having two homes.  The only thing she doesn't enjoy is the car ride that is necessary to transport her between her two homes.

On Sunday morning, as I was packing up her things, she knew what was going on and hid not-so-cleverly underneath a rocking chair in the basement.  After I loaded the car, I decided to take a trip to Tim Horton's to treat my parents to some coffee.  Apparently as soon as I left, she figured the coast was clear and headed back upstairs to hang with my parents.  But, when I returned, she bee-lined to her hiding place.

I think her hiding was her half-hearted protest to the car ride, but she was pretty resigned as I loaded her into her carrier.  No scratches, and no fighting, like other times. As soon as we returned to my place, she was her usual cheerful (and sleepy) self.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On getting away and coming back home.

I had an amazing European March Break.  London was so much fun.  I got to attend my dear friend Claire's hen do, spend lots of amazing time with her, and see her house and meet her cats for the first time.  Lots of wine was drunk, and many laughs were had.  We went to the Ritz for afternoon tea (where I messed up the time for the reservation but they still let us in... the Ritz is classy, yo) and followed it up with amazingly decadent cocktails.  Mine had gold in it, and hers was served in a duck egg in a nest of caramel.

Midweek I took the Eurostar to Paris to meet up with my BFF Becca T.  It was so great to see her.  She met me at Gare Du Nord and then we headed to the Latin Quarter for drinks on a patio in the sunshine.  I spent most of my time in Paris wandering around my favourite neighbourhoods, going to museums, shopping, reading in gardens in the sunshine, and catching up with my dear friend.

I holidayed hard.  I was exhausted by the end.   I'm jet-lagged and I was back to work the day after I returned.  I'm pretty hardcore.  When I was in London, I met up with my 25-year-old cousin who is teaching there this year.  He was amazed that I was able to meet up with him for drinks the day after an overnight flight followed by a late night party.  He said "I couldn't live like that anymore," and I felt rather proud that I can out-do a 25-year-old at 34 years of age.  And then, after a week of holidaying hard I was right back at work.

Last night after a long-ish day of school, I came home and went to bed at 8:30 pm.  I felt way more rested today.  At lunch today I treated to a jet-lagged traveler's wish come true.  Staff were summoned for a meeting where we were told that a water main in the neighbourhood was broken, so the water would be turned off in the school, and we'd all have to go home for health and safety.  Yes!  I went home for a very nice afternoon nap.

My luggage was delayed, and I had to hang around tonight waiting for it to be delievered from between 7 pm and 10 pm.  It showed up at 6 pm, and then I spend my evening running a couple of errands.

As I was walking through my neighbourhood, I realized that as much as I love traveling, I'm always happy to be home.  I really do love my city, and my job, and I'm happy to be back to my regular routine and working towards my spring goals.  And then I realized how truly lucky I am to get to travel and visit excellent friends overseas, and then return home to a life that I love.

And now for more sleep.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

On fitness and getting away.

On Fitness

Last year, I decided that I want to try out weight training.  However, I had no idea how to start doing this without hurting myself.  I decided to get a personal trainer two times a week to help me with this.

At the end of about seven months, and even after my first trainer moved to Calgary, I decided that I would continue because I had really enjoyed the experience.  I saw such progress in my personal fitness, and just overall energy levels, that I decided it was well worth the cost.

My second trainer (who was actually really scary intense) moved away at the beginning of the fall, and I ended up with a third trainer, who ended up being my favourite (even though I liked all of them).  I kept seeing a lot of progress in my conditioning, my strength, and my energy levels, but my body weight has stayed the same over the past few months.  However, in December I was diagnosed with a pesky medical condition that least it explains why the needle on the scale won't move.  (Although I have lost a lot of body fat, so that's nice.)

Last Thursday was my last day with my trainer.  I felt a little bit emotional at the end of it, like I graduated from school or something.  I'm at the point where I can work out on my own quite fine, with workouts based on what we've been doing.  However, I'll definitely miss the accountability of absolutely having to work out (and always pretty intensely).  On the plus side, not having set appointments is great.  If I'm done work early, I can hit the gym ASAP instead of having to kill time before my appointment.

Yesterday was my first workout on my own.  I did something I call "factorial rowing", where I row 100 m, then do 12 squat-presses with dumbells, row 200 m, do 12 more squat-presses and so on until 1000 m.  I killed it.  One plus of training is that I know what a good workout feels like, and I can't inadvertently cheat myself. 

Today was actually kind of nice out. The weather app on the phone claimed it was -7 degrees, but it felt warmer because it wasn't windy, and it was sunny out.  I opted to skip the gym, and do a training run instead. (Another perk of no long having set times.)  I did a decent 7K.  I've been forcing myself out in some rough conditions, that running today felt SO EASY, even though I guess it was still kind of cold.

To keep myself accountable on workouts, my goal is to take some time on Sunday nights to plan my exercise for the week in my fitness journal.  For each planned workout I do, I get $5 towards an extravagant purchase.  If I skip a planned workout, I will deduct $5 from my total. 

At the end of the day, I'm super proud of myself for keeping my 2013 fitness resolution well into 2014.  I'm a stronger more energetic person who like exercising, and I'm training for a half marathon which I'm super excited for.  I'm pretty good with clean eating too.  I'd give myself a solid B for my eating.  That's a great improvement from a solid F.  :)

On Getting Away

This has been a ROUGH winter.  I'm talking ice storms, something like 33 extreme cold days, and constant misery.  I'm not heading anywhere tropical, but the spring-like temperatures in London and Paris are more than good enough for me.

Today I was thinking about how I'll be able to wear shoes in both these places.  SHOES.  OUTSIDE.  It blows my mind.  I'm not even sure how you do that anymore.  (Note: I must remember to bring my cute red booties home from school tomorrow.  I want to wear those outside.)

I also realized I'll be able to wear fun things like my jean jacket.  What the what?  And I won't have to pack mittens, a fuzzy scarf, nor a toque.  Mind blown.

I want to go for one run in London, and one run in Paris to keep up a bit with my training.  I realized that I no longer know how to dress for warmer temperature runs.  How many layers do I wear????

I'm also going to do lots of fun things too, and I'm excited for that, but honestly, the lack of snow is what I'm looking forward to the most.  At my parents' house, they still have banks of snow that are five feet high.  It's awful.

Seriously, lack of snow might just bring me to tears of joy.  Be forewarned Claire & Becca T.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Is it awful if.... I read facebook post after facebook post, and have conversation after conversation with my friends who have children and houses who tell me about their weekends of shovelling show and waking up at 5:30 am to sign up for swimming lessons, and how their date nights turn into an opportunity to go Home Depot and buy paint for their bathrooms, and are out for dinner with their sweaters on inside out...

...that I feel really really grateful that I'm sitting on my sofa, in quiet and still, watching a dumb TV show, drinking wine, and dreaming about the reality that I'm flying to London and Paris in a few short days?