Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I've been tagged!

Yay! Just as I was going to go to bed because I couldn't think of anything to blog about, I got tagged by April. (Although I did go see "The 40-year-old Virgin" tonight and it was freaking funny.)

Okay, so 5 fun facts people just might not know about me...

1) The first concert I ever went to was a Melissa Etheridge concert when I was 15. I wasn't really a fan but for some reason my friend had bought tickets for the concert and invited me. I really wanted to go because I'd never been to a concert before. It was fun, even though it was totally random and I don't feel the need to ever see her live again.

2) My favourite movie of all-time is "The Wedding Singer" with Adam Sandler.

3) I have a crush on Jon Stewart.

4) Every Monday morning as I'm taking the subway to work, I listen to the song "Manic Monday" by the Bangles.

5) I re-read Harry Potter books when I'm stressed out or working toward a deadline. When I was in university, you could tell it was exam time because I'd be reading Harry Potter. My strategy was to reward myself with a couple chapters for every hour I studied.

Okay, not these aren't very deep things but I suppose they're marginally interesting.

To be proper, I'll tag someone else - Matt.

So Brown Eyes I'll hold you near 'cause you're the only song I want to hear

So, I'm seriously loving the new Death Cab for Cutie CD, Plans, that I picked up yesterday for the low low price of $9.99. I'm addicted to the first three songs and I'm listening to them over and over. Souls Meets Body makes me want to have a couple drinks and dance (most likely it would be bad dancing).

Last night I helped my friends, the Ws, move. It was the most chaotic move I'd ever participated in, but I had fun anyway. It's pathetic; I moved back to Toronto so I'd see my pals from university more often but it seems like we only get together for birthdays or other occasions and when someone needs to move.

I survived the move despite the late hours (I didn't get home until past 2 am) and the rain. On our last trip to their old apt, WJ had left me in the car with the door open and the keys in so that the alarm was going off.

He came back and said "Are you annoyed yet?"

"No, I'm a teacher, I'm very good at blocking out annoying sounds."

"Well, I'm a father, I bet you I'm better. Let's have a contest." (The Ws have a 3-month old baby who is so cute and didn't cry at all during the move. What a help!)

So we sat in the car while the keys-in-the-ignition-door-open alarm went off for quite a long time laughing our heads off. I guess that's what late chaotic moves do to people. In the end, we had to call it a draw. Neither of us were prepared to lose that battle.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Batten down the hatches.

I wrote off Sunday and Monday and just relaxed, read, and watched TV. I really can't remember what else I did.

Today, I went to school to pick up some books and binders and things. It was nice to see some people. The plan is, tomorrow I'm going to spread out on the dining room table and start doing some planning while what's left of Hurricane Katrina comes to town. According to the Toronto Star, we're in for a soaking all day tomorrow.

Tonight I'm helping some friends move. Yuck. I hate helping people move, although I have to admit I once had fun moving. I'm sure this will be okay.

Well, I think I am going to have a nap and then wander up to Grand and Toy and buy some binders so I can spend tomorrow getting organized.

p.s. Does anyone watch Rockstar: INXS? Go Suzie! And she's from Toronto!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I must be psychic.

Here is evidence to support my hypothesis that I may possess psychic powers. Okay, so there is only one piece of it right now, but perhaps it will grow.

Tonight was the Tori Amos concert. I planned to meet my pal OE there. He was going to be a little late because he was showing a house. (He's in real estate.)

When I got there, I decided to check out the merch counter. I saw the cute little bag that's pictured below. I decided to splurge on it, even though it was ridiculously priced.


Anyway, I sat through one of the opening bands, The Ditty Bops, and no OE. (They were delightfully eccentric.) Then, the break between said band and Tori. Still no OE.

Then, Tori graces the stage wearing a gorgeous peachy-pink dress. Still OE. I'm so sad, this would be his favourite part of the concert - just seeing her entrance.

About an hour into Tori's set, still no OE. Finally I get a call saying he got swamped at work and cannot make the concert. I'm so sad! First of all, it must have been a really bad situation, since Tori is to OE as Ben Folds or the Weakerthans are to me. Plus, seeing Tori without OE is like apple pie without the ice cream. We always go together when she's in Toronto. It's tradition. I hate when tradition is messed with, especially by the whims of the housing market. Finally, I'm rather sad that I'm at said concert alone, feeling a little losery. But still, better to be the loser-y one in the stands, as opposed to the one missing their favourite musician because of stupid work.

So how does of all this prove I'm psychic, you ask? Well, the fact that I indulged in retail therapy before my sad situation occured may strongly point to clairvoyant powers on my part.

If Hogwarts existed, you'd better believe I'd be applying for the post of Professor of Divination.

p.s. There is also some evidence that Tori herself possesses some mindreading powers (or Legilimancy as it is called in the Harry Potter world). After OE phoned me, and I was sad, she started playing all of my favourite songs. Hah! We could be co-workers at Hogwarts!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Odds and Ends

Well, the new bed arrived last night and I had a great night's sleep on it. The ol' futon is now in the living room.

Saw this picture yesterday on the CBC website and it made me laugh hard. It's a snow leopard cub at the Berlin zoo and this was his reaction to his first public appearance. I often feel the way he looks.





Check out this post from mblog. I had to call my mother and tell her about it.

Tonight is Tori Amos. I was feeling a little stressed because my buddy OE and I are were supposed to go and I was leaving messages on his phone all week to remind him of the concert and I hadn't heard from him which worried me that he may have forgotten about the concert. I finally got in touch with him today and it's all good. Phew.

This afternoon I have to put together a new CD shelf that I bought.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Pics of Aussie Fauna

Since Alexandra mentioned that she liked pictures of Australian animals, I thought I'd post some more from my trip.

(From top to bottom: a clown fish [perhaps Nemo?], a dingo, a hairy-nosed wombat, a crocodile that we saw in the wild, a kangroo lazing about, a tasmanian devil, a cassowary, kookaburras, a koala with her baby)




















Happy 100th Post to Me!

I had orginally had a different title for this post, but then I noticed that this was my 100th Post. I'm quite surprised that I've made it this far. When I started my blog, I was so sure it'd be something I'd do for a week and then abandon.

This week I've been engaged in an end-of-summer-mad-scramble. Even though I still have one week left of holidays, I've been spending this past week trying to get a few errand-y type things done. Next week I'll have to start doing some work, so I won't have time to do things then. I know that once September starts, I'll be super busy I won't be able to do very much. So, if it doesn't get done this week, it may have to wait until next summer.

My projects for the week have consisted of some back-to-school shopping, putting together my Aussie photo album, and buying a bed. Today I got the bed; it will be delievered this evening. I still have my futon from university and it's time that I grow up and get a real bed. There really isn't anything wrong with the futon - it's super comfy but it drives me insane because it's really low to the ground. Some mornings it just takes too much effort to get up from that thing. Anyway, dear ol' futon will now have a new role in life - being a couch and a place for guests to sleep.

So I get hang out tonight and wait for bed - they say it'll be here sometime between 4 and 10. Worse than the cable people!

Tomorrow night I'll be making my return to the venue of last night's show. This time I'll be seeing Tori Amos. I'm excited!

I have a headache, I have a sore back, I have a letter than I can't send.

Well, I'm back from the *free* Clay Aiken concert with a headache from the screaming of all of the middle-aged women.

His current tour is called "The Jukebox Tour" because dear ol' Clay goes through pop music hits from the 50s to present. It actually reminded me of the format of the class in popular music that I took in university. It was all right and, as expected, quite high on the cheese factor. After my initial shock of actually being at such a concert (it was after all, my very first pop concert; I define a pop concert as one where there are wardrobe changes), I let go of my inner snob and had a bit of fun singing along.

Clay scored some points for a) singing "O Canada" when requested; b) knowing the lyrics to "O Canada"; c) an excellent choice of back-up singers; and d) a display of some self-deprecating humour.

Clay lost points for a) some song selection - most notably his choice of 80s songs. I thought if he'd sung "Material Girl" it would have been a riot; b) his attempts at dancing like Elvis; c) NOT wearing any plaid during the songs about the 90s; and d) singing a few too many ballads (snore).

Oh, he lost and gained points for acting very teachery when interacting with the crowd at times. Point lost for, well, acting like a teacher. Points gained because I grudgingly admit that I could learn from his classroom managagement skills.

Below are some pics I took using my phone (hence the quality). The first shows the stage during the Elvis montage. The second is the video dislay of Clay; most likely taken while he was earnestly singing a ballad. You can totally tell it's him by the hair!


Thursday, August 25, 2005

A strange, but enjoyable, evening...

As promised, I will fill you in on the strange event I went to tonight. But, a strange event occurred at the prelude to the strange event...

Anyway, TB, her friend A, and I went to a restauarant in Little Italy to hang out for awhile. While we were eating, Zack Werner, the "grumpy" judge from Canadian Idol came in and sat down at the long table that was beside us, where a large group with children and adults of various ages were seated. It's always funny seeing someone from TV in person. They look the same and sound the same but I guess it's just the shock of seeing someone out of their usual environment that makes it strange. I had the same sensation when I was taking a few large courses with hundreds of students in university. When I'd see the professor walking around campus, I'd feel like I was seeing someone famous. I knew them, but they didn't know me.

TB commented that she wouldn't want to be Zack's server; she'd feel like he was judging her. Sure enough he gave the waiter some comments. However, they were all positive. It appeared he was picking up the tab for the group. He told the waiter that'd everything was really good and that he'd done an excellent job. So, maybe the grumpiness is just a front for the show.

Anyway, the "strange" event that we were on route to was a private party for a member of one of my favourite bands. It's not that it was strange in itself, it was just strange that I somehow got to go. Obviously, I'm just a fan of the band and don't know the guy. TB's friend A is friends with this musician and was invited to the party and told him to bring some friends along. He knew TB and I (we'd met a couple times before) were fans and invited us.

Anyhow, we assured him before we wouldn't embarass oursleves by quoting lyrics of our favourite songs and we'd leave our band T-shirts at home (don't worry, those thoughts wouldn't have occurred to us anyway). We'd lay low and be cool. We requested that he would not introduce as his friends who were big fans of the band. We were just some random friends that had come along for a good time.

The party was a cool little club that is reserved for private parties during the week. It was pretty nice. When we got there, A went to talk to his pal and introduced us and we shook hands. So far so good. They talked for a bit and then A brought up we were fans, which was kind of embarassing. I couldn't really hear what he was saying since it was loud, so I didn't know that he had done that until after the fact. A had told his musician friend that he had friends who were friends of the band to which the musician said "that's cool, you should introduce me sometime" or something rather nice like that. So, A decided he should specify that we were the friends. It was okay though. A apologized afterwards and explained his rationale but we were cool; I mean he had brought us there.

For most of the party we just hung out and chatted and had some beer. It was an enjoyable evening. We were wondering if other members of the bad would be there, but they weren't. There were a couple other musicians that I recognized, but mostly regular people. Still, it was cool. It's not every day that I get to go to a private party of someone from a band I love.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

(Un)intelligent Design

In my daily blog skimming, I came across this post from Philogynist, which got me to pondering and googling the "theory" of "intelligent design", championed by George W. Bush.

I majored in biology in university and I focused in the areas of evolution and the evolution of animal behaviour. I've always been interested in ongoing creationsim vs. evolution debate that still rages, mainly in the U.S.

Anyhow, I find intelligent design particularly disheartening, since it's being touted as scientific and many states are requiring that it must be taught in the science classroom alongside evolution. There is no way to scientifically test whether or not an "intelligent designer" is behind life so please don't call it a "science". I found an excellent critique of intelligent design in the New Yorker. Thankfully, I teach science in Canada, where I don't have to worry that I'll be required to teach ID. Phew.

On the lighter side of ID, here's a really funny article from The Onion and one from the Toronto Star. The article from the Star is written by Linwood Barclay who postulates that theory of "unintelligent design" could very well explain Dubya et al. I'd recommend going to the trouble of subscribing to the Star's website (it's free) just so you can read Barclay's columns. They're usually pretty freaking hilarious.



Oh, and here is a picture of Harriet the Tortoise who I saw at the Australia Zoo (home of Steve Irwin, the infamous Crocodile Hunter). She's 174 or so years old and is the oldest living animal in captivity. Charles Darwin himself brought her from the Galapagos to England and somehow she's now in Steve Irwin's hands. I bet you she does not support the theory of intelligent design either.

p.s. Tonight I'm going to what I think is a rather strange event. I'll blog about it after the fact. This post script is just a teaser.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ideal Waste of Time

Here's a fun waste of time that I came across the other day. I've played with the physical 20Q toy in a store before; it's a little ball that will guess what you are thinking of by asking you 20 questions. Anyway, now there's a website version.

I thought about a potato, and then a rose. 20Q got them in under 20 questions.

I decided to think about an 8-track tape. It took 20Q more then 20 questions to get it, but I was impressed that it was schooled in retro technology.

My thoughts drifted to a duck-billed platypus. The closest 20Q got was to guess an echidna, which I think was pretty good. Duck-billed platypusses (platypi?) and echnidas are examples of egg-laying mammals. Egg-laying mammals are evolutionary relics; there are only three species around today, two of which are found in Australia. (I learned about all of this when I took a mammalian diversity course in university.)

Being the geek I am, I was very excited to see echidnas and playtpusses when I was in Australia. Here are pictures of the spiny echidna (taken at the Taronga zoo in Sydney) and a duck-billed playtpus (taken at the Sydney Aquarium).



Monday, August 22, 2005

Do they know it's Halloween?

Chart magazine reported today that Beck, Chris Murphy from Sloan, Feist, and members of the Arcade Fire among others have recorded a UNICEF benefit song called "Do they know it's Halloween?" The song is intended to be a satire of all-star benefit songs.

It's cool. You can listen to it here.

I'm going to do a bad, bad thing.

Today my roommate called me from her work. She told me that she was offered free tickets to a concert at the Molson Ampitheatre and accepted right away; even before she knew what the concert was. Here is sort of how the conversation went.

"You sometimes watch American Idol, don't you?" she asks. The danger of having a roommate is that some of secrets you're really not proud of get out.

"Ummm, on occasion. When nothing else is on... Oh no, it's not the American Idol tour where it's all of the finalists??" I don't think I could handle that, even if is was free.

"No, no he didn't even become American Idol."

"Oh dear Lord, it's not Clay Aiken is it? "

So there you have it, I'm going to see Clay Aiken just because it's free. I actually think it will be hilarious and we'll get a good laugh out of it. A pal of hers and a pal of mine are coming along so I think we'll have a good time, and I really hope that there is some alcohol served. Oh gosh, I bet there are going to be a lot of teenage girls holding up signs. The only time I've ever been to a concert like that was when I saw Dashboard Confessional. I think the reason why I like Dashboard is that they totally bring out my inner teenage girl.

My pal TB is going to come along too. We actually watched the American Idol that Clay was in and were very angry when he didn't win. That was back when we were in university and it was okay to watch any tv show, no matter how lame, as a procrastination tool. TB suggested that we make "I Love Clay" T-shirts to wear.

(Aside - My roommate just came home with the tickets. They're worth $60 each! Ye gods! We also have VIP Lounge tickets. We're hoping they will be serving drinks, and lots of them, in said lounge area. We also discussed why she couldn't have been offered tickets to a good show, like the Foo Fighters show that just passed.)

Anyhow, the concert is on Thursday.

I recently got the sixth season of Them Simpsons on DVD. I've been watching it in bits and pieces. Such a good season. Today I watched the deleted scenes and there was one that killed me. There's a little kid eating a popsicle and Homer leans over and takes a huge bite of it. The kid says "Hey - that's my popsicle!" and Homer replies "I'm aware of that." Oh, they should have left that in.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

You took a wild orchid and turned it blue.

I'm totally into that White Stripes song right now. The first time I heard a clip of it, I thought it was awful. Goes to show you that first impressions aren't always right.

I finished the Dracula book I was reading (The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova) yesterday. I really, really, really liked the book when I first started it but it proved to be about 200 pages too long for me - I got a little bored with the story and just wanted to know what was up with Dracula and where exactly his tomb was. When the protagonists actually meet up with dear ol' Drac and discover his diabolical plan, I thought his plan was very lame. I'd give the book 3.25 stars out of five, since the first 2/3rds of it was amazing, but it lost a bit steam at the end. I'll have to lend it to my dad and see what he thinks.

As I was walking by a Toronto Sun newspaper box today, I saw a headline that I decided to investigate further. A boy fell out of the Zipper ride at the CNE yesterday and into the arms of employees. He was not hurt. It turned out that the door of his cage was not closed properly and it opened while the ride was in motion. I find that freaky, since when I was in grade 7, the Zipper was my favourite ride. The thought of being on that ride while the door opens sends shivers down my spine.

I need to go the CNE this year. I've never been. I say this every year and I've done nothing about it.

P.S. I really hate the Toronto Sun and don't even like mentioning one of their articles in my blog, but said article caught my attention and I ended up blogging about it, so what I am gonna do? Close my eyes while I walk by their newspaper boxes? Perhaps, but that might result in me walking into a hydro pole or something and injuring myself.

Oh God. I just realized that I was belting the song "Natural Disaster" (by Joel Plaskett) along with my iPod. If my neighbours were in the hall, they could totally hear me. How embarrassing that would be since I'm the worst singer in the world. If I tried out for Canadian Idol I would totally be a shoe-in get on tv - I'm that bad.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Now and then I must aspire to go out of the ordinary and set the world on fire.

Well, I went to the Joel Plaskett Emergency show and it was extraordinary! It didn't rain either. If you've never seen Joel Plaskett, either playing solo or with the Emergency, you must go.

The Harbourfront was a pretty cool place to see a show. I love seeing music outdoors. I also haven't been down there since last summer, so I guess it was nice to walk beside Lake Ontario, despite the slightly odd odour. I should have taken some pictures of the Lake but I was thinking I'd do that after the show, but my stupid camera batteries died. I have Duracell rechargable ones, but they die soooooooo quickly. When I was in Australia, I used the Energizer Lithium batteries and they would last for a week and a half of picture taking. Far, far superior, even though they're not rechargable and quite expensive. Now I'm stuck with these crappy Duracell ones.

I was quite excited to see Chris Murphy from Sloan at the concert. He was sitting a couple of rows behind me. A few people (mainly university aged boys) were going up to him and shaking his hand. He was very polite about it. I kept myself quite composed and dignified; I just text messaged TB to tell her what she was missing.

Anyhow, here are a couple of pics I took. They're not very good, but whatever.


Insert Curse Words Here

Argh! It appears that Death Cab for Cutie tickets are sold out! (They're playing here in October.) Now, they didn't sell out in 20 mins, or some ridiculously quick time like that. I checked earlier this week and there were still tickets left and I thought "Oh, I'll get them later..." Well, I forgot until today, and I just checked Ticketmaster and no luck. I am sooooooo not pleased with myself. Why didn't I get them right away??

Anyhow, I survived the crazy weather of yesterday. It's pretty humid today (but not too hot) and looks like it's gonna rain at any second. This evening, there's a free Joel Plaskett Emergency show down at the Harbourfront and I'm planning to go, but I'm not liking the looks of this weather... But, I think the fact that I don't have Death Cab tickets is going to make me go, rain or no rain.

Friday, August 19, 2005

From Environment Canada

A weather warning:

Environment Canada's Official Weather Warnings

Warnings City of Toronto 3:31 PM EDT Friday 19 August 2005

Tornado warning for City of Toronto continued Radar is detecting a line of severe rotating storms in the Torontoarea. There ha ve been several reports of tornadoes and damage within this line of storms. These storms are moving eastward at 70 km/h.

City of Toronto 3:31 PM EDT Friday 19 August 2005

Tornado warning for City of Toronto continued Radar is detecting a line of severe rotating storms in the Toronto area. There have been several reports of tornadoes and damage within this line of storms. These storms are moving eastward at 70 km/h.

Somehow this post about shopping and plants turns into a post about tattoos.

When I get tired, I end up staying up far too late. At about 9 pm tonight I was exhausted from a long day of shopping with my crazy high school friend (CHSF). I almost passed out in the Eaton Centre. I was still pretty tired when we made back here, and she left at about midnight, so you'd expect I'd be in bed by 1:43 am, but alas, I am not. I'm sad that summer's waning, but I really do think I'm almost back to get back to a routine. I'm a creature that thrives on routine.

But anyhow, had a good shopping day. Got some threads for back to school and a new plant for the apartment. Hopefully this one won't wither away and die. My old plant was a beautiful Ficus benjimina; alas, it was quite a high maintenance plant and it withered and died under my care. I don't think my new plant is as fussy. Or at least I hope. If it is, I'm just gonna have to resign to fake plants.

(Note: After reading over my sentences about my old plant, I have to admit that I totally sugar-coated our relationship. It kept dropping its leaves all over the place which infuriated me. Nothing sucks more than having to constantly pick up after a plant. After it was down to its last hundred leaves, I decided that I was not picking up any more leaves and I put it out on our balcony.)

I brought CHSF to the cheap book store and made her buy the first Harry Potter book. I was quite proud that I did not succumb to buying any books there. That place is dangerous for me.

CHSF has about 8 tattoos. Today when we were in a kitchen store, I found a set of coasters that matched the sun tattoo on the back of her neck. I said "Look, you can get coasters that match your tattoo!" She replied "I don't need coasters that match my tattoo." An employee overhead and laughed and said "Yesterday a lady bought some placemats that matched her purse." So, which is more logical - coasters that match your tattoos or placemats that match your purse? I argue the former, since I'm sure your tattoo will be around the coasters much more often than a purse will be around placemats.

CHSF has a band of pink elephants tattooed around her arm. They have been mistaken for pigs.

Speaking of tattoos, an old internet friend was chatting to me tonight and showed me a picture of his new tattoo. It's on his leg and says "Do you like robots?" It's in black writing and I had to ask him a billion times if it was real.

A friend of mine told me that my old grade eight teacher, his wife, and his kids all got matching tattoos.

I was watching "Tommy Lee Goes to College" the other night, and although Tommy Lee is totally scuzzy, he is attractive, in a dirty, dirty sort of way. I think that I enjoy the whole guy with lots of tattoos on his arms oddly attractive.

P.S. I'm a blank canvas.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It's all Dracula's fault.

I think I am the procrastination queen. Especially in the summer. At least when school's on, I have deadlines and other things to keep me going.

I have had to a) clean my apartment and b) do laundry for a dog's age now. I swear, I've been putting these two tasks off for over a week now, because when it's summer vacation I can always say "Does is make any difference whether I do it today or tomorrow?" to myself and honestly answer no.

Luckily, my craziest friend from high school is coming to visit me tomorrow. She's cleaned up her act since then, so I decided I should clean my apartment in her honour.

But the procrastination hasn't ended there, I still haven't done the laundry. I've argued that it really makes the most sense to do that at 10:30 tonight, since I'll be guaranteed to get four washers at once.

I blame Dracula for all of this. I'm so addicted to the book "The Historian" that I mentioned before. I highly recommend it, even though I find I'm reading it at a slower pace that I usually manage. Which is okay, since if I read a book slowly, I feel I've gotten my money's worth out of it. The past couple of nights I've been staying up until about 4 am reading which means I'm not the quickest person in the am/early pm. Hmmm, perhaps my late nights indicate a natural inclination toward vampirism in myself?

Well, I've got three hours until I have to do my laundry, so it's back to the book for me!

Monday, August 15, 2005

1 girl movie (return to me) + red wine + chocolate chip cookies + nail polish + roommate = 1 enjoyable girls' evening!

Now it's time for the Daily Show. Steve Carrell is on!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The hours get shorter as the days go by.

Yawn. What a sleepy Sunday.

Today I wanted to go to a little get together that a friend of mine was having in Mississauga but I couldn't score a ride out there. Oh well, c'est la vie. I'd also used said get together as a reason not to go to another friend's housewarming party in Stratford, but really, the main reason I didn't go to the housewarming party in Stratford is that it is out in Stratford and I was there last week.

Soooo, instead I lounged around the house, my lounging interrupted by a couple of phonecalls. Then I wandered up to Yonge and Eglinton, where I looked around in Indigo and read a few chapters of Motley Crue's The Dirt. It's a pretty interesting, and often disturbing, read. I might just buy it, I dunno. It's pretty thick and it would take me forever to read it at the bookstore. I don't think I could actually shell out the money for that book though. I'd feel guilty owning it. I guess that's what so many years of Catholic school does to a person.

Hmmm, I should really get that book at the library, then I can finish it for free. I still haven't gotten around to renewing my Toronto library card since I moved back to the city. I think it's because I haven'te needed to go the library because I have a huge pile of books at home that I still need to read and I keep adding to the pile by adding more book. Today I added to that pile yet again. I picked up The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova which looked too interesting to pass up, plus it was 40% off. It has something to do with finding out the story behind Vlad the Impaler, the man behind the Dracula legend. I am going to start reading it tonight and I hope it's really good. I'm going through post-partum Harry Potter syndrome. It occurs after the latest Harry Potter book comes out and I read it twice and then I have to find another book to read when all I want is the next Harry Potter book. Sigh. Only two more years if I'm lucky.

Last night I took a picture of the night-time view out of my bedroom window. Not too shabby. When we moved into this apartment, my roommate and I flipped a coin for the bedrooms. This one has the view, the other has an ensuite bathroom. I lost and got the view. I can live with it.

Trouble and strife trying to get to sleep...

For some reason sleep just isn't happening for me tonight, so I decided to take some time to stare at my computer screen, hoping that will make me sleepy.

The Sloan concert was good! I got there just in time to see David Usher, who always puts on a good show in my opinion. Then I had enough time to grab an overpriced bottle of water and make it down to the floor to see Sloan. We got wristbands to get down to the floor with our free tickets - Sloan sure does take care of their fans. Luckily my concert-going pal made it a few songs into Sloan; he was a bit late since he was working in Cambridge.

It's too bad my pal TB was out of town for the free Sloan show. We normally take a trip up to her cottage every summer to see Sloan play at the Kee-to-Bala, but this year we missed it since I was in Australia. I'm glad that the summer didn't go by without at least me getting a chance to see Sloan. I'll have to give her the update that Chris Murphy's cut his hair a bit but was still up to his old tricks of scissor-kicking and licking the mike.

Anyhow, I found a new toy to add to my blog:

Music Video Codes By VideoCodeZone

They seem to have quite the range of videos to choose from as well. I can see I'll have to make sure I don't overdo it.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

My favourite concert moments

When Ben Folds reminded me of the time that Ben Folds Five brought Snow on stage when I saw BFF at the Warehouse in 1999, I was inspired to compile a list of my all-time favourite concert moments. Here they are in no particular order:

  • The first time I ever saw Hawksley Workman play and he came out and sang the song No Beginning, No End. His amazing voice hooked TB and I immediately. We had just randomly gone to the concert because a pal of mine loved Hawksley and put some of his older songs on a mixed tape (remember those?) for me. (Rivoli, March 2001)
  • The second time I saw the Weakerthans live, they sprinkled confetti on the crowd at the end of the show. When got home we still had confetti on us and it made for a good apres-concert picture. (Lee's Palace February 2002)
  • The "Other Man Dancers" - Sloan had some people dressed up in animal costumes doing an interpretive dance during The Other Man when we saw them at Sneak Peak. Bonus - we'd gotten free tickets to the event. (ACC, May 2003)
  • The Joel Plaskett Emergency doing a medley of pop songs including and Avril Lavigne song and R. Kelly's Ignition. (Horseshoe, Spring 2003)
  • Hayden having the Elk Lake Serenaders (aka Cuff the Duke) back him up. (Lee's Palace, Novemeber 2004)
  • A random guy asking Hayden to marry him, followed by another drunk guy being kicked out of the show, then Hayden playing "Woody", a great song about his cat. Catch it on the double CD set Live from Convocation Hall. Glad that I was there. (Convocation Hall, Fall 2002)
  • The moment the giant light-up W stage appeared during the song Only in Dreams when I saw Weezer. (Molson Ampitheatre, Summer 2002)
  • The Constantines and Weakerthans covering the Travelling Wiburys' End of the Line together. I love happy moments where two bands come together. Cheesy? Perhaps. But definitely enjoyable. (Lee's Palace, April 2005)
  • Ashley MacIsaac playing "Stayin' Alive" on his fiddle when he opened for the Tragically Hip at their now-defunct Another Roadside Attraction festival. (Molson Park in Barrie, Summer 1997)
  • The Smashing Pumpkins' "Farewell to Canada" performace at Summersault 2000 and they played my all-time fave Pumpkins song "Mayonnaise". (Molson Park in Barrie, Summer 2000)
  • And of course the aforementioned BFF/Snow collabo...

Well, I don't think that's definitive but it's a good list of concert moments that have made me happy. I tried to only include specific moments as opposed to a whole show. I've seen many whole shows that are beyond enjoyable.

Anyway, perhaps I will have to update the list tomorrow after my free Sloan show!

If I'd worn socks, they would have been rocked off.

First of all, the Ben Lee/Ben Folds/Rufus Wainwright concert was great! Ben Lee was all cute and charming and proceeding to rock the socks off of the crowd. Some guy actually threw his smelly socks on stage.

Ben Folds followed with an awesome performance. This is the fourth time I've seen him and I think perhaps it was the best show that he'd put on. He played some old BFF songs, including Brick, Philosophy, and Army, where he led the crowd in singing the trumpet parts (if you've heard Ben Folds Live, you'll know what I mean). He also did a really hilarious cover of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" and a very good version of "Rockin' the Suburbs". I think my favourite was when he played the song Gracie from Songs for Silverman, which is a very sweet song for his daughter, but played it very up-tempo.

Ben brought up the last time he played at the Kool Haus (which was in 1999 and I think the venue still had the more respectable name of the Warhouse) and he'd brought Snow onstage. Oh yes, I mean Snow of "Informer" fame... This was before his comeback too, so it was quite entertaining to see Snow play informer with Ben Folds Five. I'm so glad that Ben reminded me of that!

Anyhow, after Ben's performance, a good 1/3 of the audience actually left. I rolled my eyes. Ben and Rufus are very different, but I honestly don't understand how people who obviously appreciate good music if they like Ben would leave and not see Rufus. Rufus was really good and played a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" which was great. I think my favourite song was "Beautiful Child". Seeing that song live has given me a new appreciation for it, and I think it's now my favourite Rufus song (at least for the moment).

Anyway, TB and I met up with a friend of hers at the concert who had brought her camera and got some awesome shots which I will post as soon as I get them. Which might not be really soon because she has to get a new cable to connect her camera to her computer...

So next on my concert-going agenda is a Sloan/Finger 11/David Usher show that I won tickets to. Yeah, I seem to be having quite the winning streak this week considering I never win anything. Perhaps I'll go find some more contests to enter online...

I've also found myself a new musical boyfriend. A couple of months ago I'd downloaded the song "Unplayed Piano" by Damien Rice. This song was written for Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for 10 years. For more info, you can go here. Anyway, I bought his album O on Tuesday and it's excellent!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket - I'm luckier than I thought!

Well, it's been awhile since I've update the ol' blog. It's not that I've been extremely busy, but since I was at the 'rents for a bit, I was confined to using very dial-up which was slow and I had to pay for it by the hour.

I took the the train back to Toronto this evening and was greeted by a good phone message. A couple weeks ago, my roommate convinced me to enter a contest in Eye Weekly and I won! My prize? A Death Cab for Cutie DVD and poster! Not too shabby! Anyway, I'll probably end up spending $4 tomorrow on the subway to go collect my prize. As Homer Simpson has been known to say: "Ya gotta spend money to make money!"

So the rest of my trip home was pretty relaxing. On Saturday, a couple of my high school pals and I went to our friend's family cottage. We had a few pretty good parties there back in the day. We had a bit of a tamer evening though; we played a couple of games of Cranium. If you like party board games, be sure to get it! A warning: if you have a drama queen friend, she may end up showing a bit too much skin while acting out things like strip poker and the Barenaked Ladies...

On Sunday, I ended up running over to Zellers to get some stuff for my mom and boy, was that trip a fiasco. Here are the things that annoyed me:

1) One my way there, I was driving behind a tourist who slammed on his brakes and almost caused me to hit him. (In Stratford, if it's summer, and you encounter a really bad driver, conventional wisdom dictates that this person must be a tourist.)

2) When I was checking out, I almost got what I'm pretty sure was bleach in my eye. I was putting a bottle of it on the counter and I touched my face somehow and noticed that my hand smelled like bleach which lead me to the conclusion that the bottle was leaking. It wasn't, but I'm pretty sure that there was dried bleach or something on the bottle that I very well could have gotten in my eye! Damn Zellers!

3) While leaving the store, the first set of automatic doors wasn't working and instead of holding the door for me who needed a shopping cart to carry my purchases, the woman walking in front of me slammed it in my face! Aren't small town people supposed to be polite?

4) At least the second set of automatic doors was working, but there was this big gang of seventh graders sloooooooowly walking in front of me, blocking my exit from the store which caused the automatic doors to close on me. Argh! I should have run them over with my cart!

5) While I was trying to leave the parking lot, some crazy woman in a mini-van came flying around the corner at about 60 km/h not realizing that it is much safer to drive slowly in a parking lot.

6) When I got home, it turned out that I'd gotten one wrong item on my mom's shopping list so I had to go back to the store and exchange it for the right thing. But, being such a nice daughter, I did not complain and just did it. (I did get to eat my parents food for free for a week after all.)

Anyway, tomorrow is my Ben Folds/Rufus Wainwright concert. I'm soooooooo excited about that!!!

Here's a hilarious probing analysis of "Hollaback Girl" that I can across awhile ago via the blog in Eye Weekly. Great stuff.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Only in dreams

My dreams are always very vivid. I remember a lot of them, but sometimes they get lost five minutes after I wake up. Often something I come across during the day will make me remember my dream.

I'm watching the Daily Show in the background and they've got a bit about John Bolton's appointment as UN ambassador and it's made me remember one of my dreams from last night.

I decided since I still have month of vacation left, I should travel somewhere else, so I hopped on a bus to Washington DC. When I got there, I started to tour the government buildings and I wandered into one where John Bolton was giving a press conference and it was open to the public. That piqued my interest and I wandered in and sat down beside three twenty-something girls.

As we waited for the press conference to start, we discussed that we were all opposed to John Bolton's appointment. They thought it was great that I agreed with them because I could help them with their protest. Instead of shouting "boo!" at him, they each had a piece of paper that they would hold up to spell out the word "boo". They had wanted a fourth person to hold up the exclamation mark, so they asked if I would do it. I said sure.

Anyway, when John Bolton walked in we held up our signs. He looked at them and became really really upset. He asked us to come speak with him in the hall. He wanted to know why we disliked him so much and we explained we didn't think his attitudes would make him a very good ambassador for the UN. He said that he was very sorry for his comments in the past, and thought the UN was such a great organization and vowed to listen to other countries. He then asked us for our emails so he could keep us updated on his progress and gave us his, so that we could email with any comments or suggestions.

Yeah, so that was my dream. Maybe Bolton's not so bad. Yeah... right. Only in dreams, as the old Weezer song goes.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Metablogging...

Since I really did the grand total of nothing today (okay, that's a bit of a lie - I did meet up with a pal for coffee and show her my Australia pictures and then hang out with some pals at MJ's pool..), I will blog about blogging.

In teachers' college I learned that thinking about thinking is called metacognition, so I shall dub blogging about blogging "metablogging".

I'm surprised that I've kept up my blog for so long. When I started it, I figured that it would be like any other journal that I started, I'd go strong for a week or two or possibly even three, and then it would slowly stop. A few years later I'd pick it up, and then try to continue it in a sort of "Well, now it's three years later and my life is totally different and I can't believe I was concerned about all that crap since now my life is so much more complex but oh, if I could only re-live the innocence of three years ago" type statement. But surprisingly, I'm starting my 6th month of this blog, admittedly with a dry spell sometime in April and May.

So why have I kept up my blog for so long? I don't really know. Why do bloggers blog? I guess we all enjoy having our thoughts, beliefs, opinions and feelings up there on the web ready for someone to stumble across and say "Oh yeah, that's right" or perhaps "Whoa? What's this person thinking?" I think that might be why I blog.

One way I found that blogging has helped me is that I'm much better at writing down my thoughts. While I was travelling in Australia, I kept a pretty rigourous travel journal, and I found that writing in it was much easier than usual. I attributed to this to my blogging. Not only was writing easier, I found that I felt freer to jot down any thought, no matter how inconsequential or meaningless it may seem at the time. When reading back over my journal, I found that these "meaningless" thoughts were my favourites. Such as the time when I was flying over the Mississippi River, eating a pretzel, and I decided to pull out my journal and write about it. I liked that moment and I probably would have forgotten it. So, thank you blogging, for allowing me to save my Mississippi-pretzel moment forever.

Metablogging... over.

Monday, August 01, 2005

99 red balloons floating in the summer sky...

Well, I had a good day yesterday in London hanging out with my TO pals. We went shopping for awhile where I bought some frivolous stuff - but at least it was all on sale. It makes me grumpy about how all of the stores have their fall stuff out already. I don't want to think about that yet.

After shopping we had dinner then headed over to the London Balloon Festival. It was pretty neat. I wish I had brought my camera to take pictures, but I'd forgotten it in TO. We watched the balloons go up, which was neat. The first two balloons that went up were huge and very patriotic. One was a big Maple Leaf and the other was a flag. We were standing very close to them as they were filling them up with air and at one point it felt like they were going to fall over on us. After those two, a bunch of regular shaped balloons went up and then there was la piece de resistance - a huge green T-rex. It was so cool - I wish I had a picture of it! Unfortunately, his tail didn't really get inflated and his hindquarters deflated while he was in the air, but it was a really good balloon.

After we'd had our fill of balloons we played a round of mini-golf. I love mini-golf even though I lost. Yeesh, and I thought mini-golf was my sport.