Sunday, November 22, 2015

Things I Did This Weekend

1) Went out for drinks on Friday after school with colleagues.  Came home and went to bed.  I'm officially old.

2) Saturday was super shopping day.  I had to exchange a necklace that I'd bought about a month ago at Swarovski because a couple of stones had fallen out.  So I did that, then got talked into buying the matching earrings.

After that, I browsed a shoe store and splurge on Blundstones.  I'd been wanting them for awhile and really like mine.  They have stripey elastics.

Mathew and I had plans to hang out for the first time since baseball season ended.  We ended up heading to Yorkdale, where I bought a new ring and a blingy toque with a pom-pom.  We also had dinner in the food court and watched highlights from the seventh inning of ALDS game five on his phone.  I think we're both still in withdrawal.

3) Today I watched a lot of Nashville on Netflix.  It's a super fun show to binge watch because you do not need to pay that much attention to a musical soap opera.  If I fall asleep for a bit, I can still figure out what's going on.  In between episodes I went for a coffee run, got groceries, and wrote a test.  So I think I managed to have a day that mixed the productive and unproductive.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Belly laughs.

I could really use a good belly laugh over something ludicrous that happens in real life.

The last time I remember one is when I took a class on a field trip in September, and the kids had to wear hip waders to collect bugs from the river.  One kid put his on backwards and got stuck in them. I have a photo of the facilitator patiently pulling him out of his waterproof pants.  It's hilarious.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I'm sure the darkness defines where the light is.

Oh, Paris.

I've probably been spending more time than is good for my mental health following Friday's attacks on Paris.

Some tragedies pack more of a punch on one's psyche for a myriad of reasons.  This one has really haunted me because it took place in my favourite foreign city.  I've visited Paris four times, and its streets, sights, smells, and sounds are ingrained in me.

The second reason that these tragedies are haunting me is that they affected innocent people doing things that I love to do: going to sports events, eating at cafes, and going to rock shows.

To think of people being targeted at events like these in a familiar city chills the fuck out of me.  I actually had a nightmare about violence at a concert the night after the attacks (I should have probably watched less coverage).  I actually went to a concert last night, and I felt so weird doing something that other people were killed doing the night before.

I've been reading a lot, and just not about Paris.  The day before there was a similar attack on innocent civilians in Beirut.  There was little coverage, and no global outpouring of grief.  Innocent people were doing every day things like going to the market, and lost their lives but it doesn't get the same coverage in the Western media because they look differently than we do, worship differently, and live in a part of the world where we assume that violent attacks are an every day thing.  We can so easily push that attack out of our minds.

I feel like absolute shit that Beirut has been ignored and what it means about humans.  And I am guilty of selective grief.  I think we live in a time where we are recognizing (and even fixing) so many of our failings.  There are valuable discussions going on about sexism, rape culture, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, body shaming, and so many other dangerous thought patterns that have hurt and oppressed many.  At the same time, there's a huge divide in how we react to tragedies that happen far away from us to people who are different than us.

We can do better.  Violence and hatred are definitely not the answers.

This Mr. Rogers quote has made me feel a bit better:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

We need love, light, and understanding for all people, no matter where they live, how they look, or who they worship.  I think understanding and helping will cure some of the world's evils far better than bombs or hate.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Weeknd and etc.

It's been awhile, hey there, blogarinos.

Last week was pretty standard.  Busy busy at school, Friday night drinks after school, etc.

However, I felt pretty badass staying out late on Tuesday night!  And for benevolent reasons too!

Our school is partnered with an organization that aims to connect students with arts, culture, and sports.  They are able to get free tickets to a lot of events in the city and pass it on to students/  My colleague who is in contact with this organization is often looking for teachers to chaperone students to some of the these events.  We can often get executive suites at the ACC for shows, but they must have an adult in attedence.

Anyway, he put out an email saying that a student who had done some volunteer work in the community had gotten tickets to see The Weeknd, but needed a chaperone.  I figured that hey, if a friend had told me they had free tickets to that show, I'd say why not and go, so why not go with some kids?

Other than the student requesting tickets and her brother, I assembled some students together and we went to the show.  It was a great time.  Now, I know that The Weeknd's lyrics are not the most progressive, but I shut off my critical brain for a moment to enjoy the fact that the kids were having a great time at an even that they really wanted to be at.  I don't think most of them would have ever been able to afford the show, so it was a great thing to be able to do my part to make it happen.


It's still only November, but I can feel the year waning.  I'm still trying to kick this plague from Halloween, and I'm convinced that it's been holding on to me tightly because I haven't been taking very good care of myself this year.

I've not been making enough time or effort to eat properly and exercise.  I use the business of work as an excuse, and the fact that I've been teaching the senior level biology courses that require more preparation from me as an excuse.

I need to get the fuck out of this slump.  I feel like crap.  I have low energy, and I'm just not feeling like myself.  I don't get as excited for things as I used to.

I made the mistake of not traveling enough this summer.  My rationale is that I would save money and use the extra time to take better care of myself.  However, I spent more time watching TV than anything, which really isn't me.

I find myself sneaking out of making social plans to stay at home.  I use excuses like marking, cleaning, etc. but I tend to spend more time procrastinating than anything else.

I'm becoming my own enemy and I hate it.  I'm in a slump, and I'm doing it the way I do most things, with 100% effort.  I'm slumping big time.

I need to get through this week.  Report cards are due on Thursday.  After that deadline, I need to prioritize getting the fuck out of this slump.  I have some fun plans for next weekend: a concert and brunch with friends out of town.  This is good because I won't worm my way out of those things.

I will keep you updated on Operation Unslump.  It's on after report cards. I'm not waiting until 2016 to start pulling myself out of this mire.

Okay, vent over. 


Also, now that baseball is completely over, I am sadly realizing that it was my ultimate escape from reality.  I could slump away, but it didn't really feel like a slump because I always had games to look forward to.  It forced me to get out and socialize.

I guess my resolution for next baseball season is to go hard, but not to use it so much as an escape from real life.  Like 50% less escapism.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Halloween Plague

Something's been going around my school.  It's been hitting other colleagues hard, but I think I was lucky enough to only get a mild version of it.

I felt awful on Friday, and if nothing had been going on, I would have called in sick but because of some school events and a test I had planned, I wanted to be there.  I didn't have the energy to dress up on Friday.  I put on a tshirt with skulls on it and called it a day.

I think I've slept off the plague this weekend.  I managed to go out to see a movie last night but that was the extent of my celebrations.

And now that I'm feeling better it's time for more work. :/

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What a season.

Sadly, the Jays' division-winning 2015 season came to an end in Kansas City on Friday.

I ended up watching the game at the house of friends that I hadn't seen in awhile.  Even though the outcome wasn't what we wanted, it was still fun to cheer for Jose Bautista's two home runs, and somehow hope that we'd be able to push a game seven.

During the game, I spent time texting baseball friends from near and far.  I think the best part of a winning baseball season is that it brings people together.  I really loved how the city of Toronto came together during the playoff run.  From the "Go Jays Go" signs at the front of TTC buses, to random conversations from fellow fans in grocery stores and elevators, it's been very fun.

I really loved this Blue Jays team.  I love that Joey Bats is a leader who is outspoken, who will flip his bat and speak out in support of his teammates and against injustice.  I love Josh Donaldson's (MVP! MVP!) intensity.  Who could have imagined that Marcus Stroman would be back to pitch for the playoffs after his supposedly season-ending injury.  And who could not love 20-year old Osuna's rise from poverty to being the youngest closer in baseball (and one with nerves of steel)?

I had to have a good cry when I got home on Friday, and I know that I wasn't the only one.  After a season so big, and so exciting, I just had to release it all.  I went to 18 home games, 1 away game, 5 playoff games, and probably watched the majority of the rest on TV.  I invested a lot of time, but I'm glad I did.  I saw a lot of great baseball.

I'm looking forward to 2016.  The core team will stay in place, and I'm sure we can fill in those gaps and hopefully hold onto Estrada and Price.  It'll be fun hearing about any roster moves, and choosing this year's 15 games on our flex pack.  And I can't wait to find out who will be the 2016 bobbleheads!  (My money is on Donaldson, Tulo, and Price if he sticks around.  Although I'd really love a Kevin Pillar bobblehead.)

Until then, I've got the World Series and all I have to say about that is Go Mets Go!  It's s tie game right now.  Those damned Royals are relentless.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hooked on a feeling.

ALCS update: Jays two games in KC.  Jays play on Monday, I'm there, they win.

I was quite sure that going to three playoff games during the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) while meeting the demands of work could possibly drive me to to exhaustion.  My friend Vern really wanted to go to an ALCS game, so I decided that I would sell her my Tuesday ticket, and just watch the game from the comfort of my couch.

I actually was really happy to avoid the crowds, and watch a game on TV.  I mean, it's super fun going in person and I love the energy and being there, but I guess going to ALL of the playoff games is a little much for me.  My best baseball buddy Mathew mocked me for being weak and not going to ALL of the games like he has, but I was pretty happy with my choice.

The game I missed was a complete disaster.  14 - 2 for KC.  It's kind of bittersweet that I sold the ticket for that game; I felt kind of awful sending my friend Vern to such a fiasco, but really happy that I missed it. 

After watching that game on TV, I really hoped that the Blue Jays could take just one more game at home.  After experiencing home game losses during the ALDS, I didn't want to walk out of the final game of the 2015 post season all sad with 50 000 other despondent fans.  I felt that KC was outplaying the Jays, and I just wanted one last win at home and that would be the season.

I got my wish on Wednesday!  The Jays won 7-1!  However, their performance was so strong, and so convincing that I forgot all about my "just one more home win" wish and now I'm craving the World Series here in Toronto.  The fun thing about going to so many playoff games is that more or less the same people sit around us, and we're getting to recognize each other.  We said goodnight by saying "see you at the World Series!" and now I really want that bad.

If Wednesday's team shows up in KC for games 6 and 7, I think it will happen.  They were great.  To quote Drake (who is used constantly as Jays walk-on music), the 2015 Blue Jays have got a "World Series" attitude.  I think they can get there.