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.  :)

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Remember to breathe.

I had a wonderful couple days with my pal AlieMalie.  We went to Swiss Chalet for Festive Specials, shopped around Yorkdale, and I took her to one of my fave Toronto restaurants: The Ace.  It was really special getting a ride to work from a far-away friend on Friday (bonus alliteration points right there), and I'm glad that she could squeeze in a visit in between work insanity.

Friday was a rather average day at school, other than the fact I got pranked.  During second period, when my student teacher was teaching, four kids & my pal Nigel came to the door, although I didn't notice Nigel at first.  Two of the kids are on student council, and they said "Miss, we have come here to thank you for all of the extra work you do for the school.  You put in a lot of time doing things extra things like student council and we really appreciate it."

"Oh, wow.  That's really nice," I said while beaming.  "You guys have really made my day."

"As a thank you, we'd like to give you an honourary high five," they continued and proceeded to give me enthusiastic high fives.  When I got a high five from Nigel, I noticed that my hand became covered in a white foamy substance.  Oh no!  I had become the victim of a shaving cream high five!

My class started to laugh at me uncontrollably, and pointed out that I had shaving cream in my hair.  It was pretty funny, and I appreciated the prank. It made my Friday morning a little more interesting.  It was also funny because I was wearing my favourite blue button down shirt with swans on it (Target fashion for the win), and about ten minutes after I thought I'd cleaned up all of the shaving cream, I noticed a big glob on my shirt.  The swans had camouflaged it.

After school was pretty fun because a few of us went out for drinks in celebration of a friend's birthday.  Then, I came home and had a nap before Friday night outing #2: Twin Forks at Lee's Palace with my friend Elaine.  The band's set started at 11:30 pm.  I tell you, going to something that starts at 11:30 pm makes me feel young!  Elaine and I met up for coffee at about 10, and then got to Lee's just in time to find a good standing spot.  This is my third time seeing Twin Forks this year.  They are the new project of Chris Carrabba, the founder of my favourite emo band Dashboard Confessional.  They put on a fun show.  My favourite moment was the encore when Chris did a solo of Dashboard's "Remember to Breathe".

The rest of the weekend has been chill.  I made a lot of progress on my favourite project these days: I'm now well into season 3 of Gilmore Girls.

I was supposed to do a trail run somewhere outside of Peterborough with my friend Rasa today, but she was hurt and she had to bail on me.  I tried to find another friend to take her place, but no one was able, and it wasn't really worth it to rent a car.

I did however sign up for a couple of Christmas-themed runs to do with another friend.  We're going to do the Jolly run that precedes the Santa Claus parade next Sunday, and the Santa Shuffle at the beginning of December.

I also booked my trip to Montreal in December to attend the wedding of one of my friends from university.  I'm looking forward to getting out of the city, enjoying a long train ride, and staying in a hotel.  It will be fun.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Do you ever rewind to the summer you knew me?

Things I like these days:

1) Walking down the residential street that leads to my work and smelling that nice autumnal smell (which is decaying leaves, I think).

2) Scented candles.  Seriously, what have I become?  Two weekends ago I bought one of those giant three-wick candles from Bath & Body Works, in Pumpkin Apple scent, and it's almost gone.

3) Being at work a little bit less.  In October, I felt that I was pulling anyway from 9-hr to 13-hr days at school almost every day (and that doesn't count weekend hours spent marking).  This week I don't have the need to stay as late, and somehow I am almost caught up on my marking.   Nice.

4) New albums.  There's a lot of stuff coming out these days, and I'm easing through it.  These days I'm listening to Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness, which is perfectly pleasant.  Then I'm going to get the new Hey Rosetta! album.  I'll follow that up with the new Damien Rice album.  (Notice how I'm doing these one-by-one... I'm not good at multitasking when it comes to new music.)

5) My purple puffy vest.  It's not that purple though.  Super dark so I can get away with it.  Vest weather is short, and must be taken advantage of.

6) Vistors. My pal AlieMalie is in Detroit for work stuff, and is going to trek to Toronto for a couple of days starting tomorrow.  And then in a couple of weeks, my pals Matt from Wpg and Wes from Vancouver are going to both be around for a mutual friend's wedding.  Yay!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Halloween and Hibernation

Halloween is always a crazy day at school.  Kids and staff in costumes, candy everywhere, and not much work getting done.  It's surprisingly draining.

This year a bunch of us dressed up a my school's computer science teacher.  This guy is a dear friend, and quite a character.  He wins the teacher costume competition every year without even trying because he is hilarious.  Anyway, we all decided to go as him.  All that was needed was a short black wig, glasses, a polo shirt, jeans, clunky shoes, and a lanyard of keys around the neck. 

It was a success.  When the kids walked into my room they would say things like "oh no! another one?  How many of you are there??" It was pretty funny.

On Halloween Eve, I was going to borrow my friend Mathew's house to hand out candy.  He's a grumpy old man (who is younger than me) who turns off his lights and does not give out candy.  I like handing out candy, but don't get to since I live in a building.  Anyway, operation candy will have to happen next year, as Mathew ended up having a party to go to that night, so I stayed in with another friend, ordered Chinese food, had some drinks, and watched Halloween episodes of the Simpsons.

The rest of the weekend was so chill.  I essentially hibernated.  I did manage to go out to get groceries but that was it.  I got a good amount of housework done, and an even larger number of episodes of the Gilmore Girls watched.

In fact, I really wish I could have another hibernation day tomorrow, but it's Monday, and it's back to the old grind.  And no more pagan holiday to justify slacking off.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Wow, I can't believe that October is coming to a close. 

I don't have anything else of substance to say, so I'll encourage you to click here and look at these awesome Simpsons Halloween costumes.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/declancashin/cant-sleep-clown-will-eat-me