Friday, December 30, 2005
1) My trip to Australia! - 3 weeks of pure bliss. I wanna go back.
2) Securing a permanent position - At the beginning of 2005, I was filling a long term occasional position. I was pretty lucky to secure this position 2 weeks after moving back to Toronto. Anyway, the board hired me on for permanent full-time work and then the fates alligned and a position opened up at the school where I was working. I really loved that school and was sad at the prospect of having to transfer. Thankfully, I didn't have to.
3) Blogging & Blog Buddies - I love blogging. I'm totally addicted to blogging and reading blogs. Even better I love the comments that I recieve and the people who make them.
4) New Harry Potter book and Harry Potter movie - I foresee suffering Harry Potter withdrawl in '06.
5) Beachfest - kickass Labour Day concert where I saw David Usher, Kathleen Edwards, Stephen Page of BNL, Ron Sexsmith and Blue Rodeo. Oh, Tom Cochrane was there too (life is a highway).
6) Christine Fellows - saw her play in June at the Mod Club. Fell in love with her cd Paper Anniversary
7) Ben Folds/Rufus Wainwright/Ben Lee @ the Kool Haus - Ben Folds is one of my all-time favourite muscisians. Having him paired with Rufus, who I also love, was too awesome. And, I also go introduced to Ben Lee.
8) Ben Lee - awhile after seeing Ben Lee play at the aforementioned show, I bought his CD Awake is the New Sleep which, as you all know, I love. Then, I saw him play an incredible show in November where I got a picture, flowers and an autograph. Love him.
9) Finally getting a digital camera - comes in handy for travelling and blogging.
10) Kathleen Edwards' Back To Me - Love this CD.
11) Al Franken's The Truth - I love politcal humor. As long as it is cut on a left bias.
12) Desparate Housewives Season 1 on DVD - That distracted me from marking and lesson planning.
13) Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead from their stellar CD Set Yourself On Fire is my most-listened-to song on the ol' iPod. Also got to see them play an incredible live show in December.
14) Book Clubs - Joined the brand spankin' new staff book club at work (read The Kite Runner). Formed a book club with some current and old roommates (read The Lovely Bones). Great discussions followed. Both clubs to resume in 2006 (reading Freakonomics and Pope Joan respectively).
15) The Beekeeper by Tori Amos - Another CD I love.
16) Sloan! - 2 free summer shows - What's better than seeing your all-time second band for free twice in the summer?
17) My friends - These people consistently kick ass year in and year out and are responsible for me not going off the proverbial deep end. I often question how I was able to hook up with such fabulous people.
18) Parties - There were some good parties in '05. I threw two baby showers in May and attended some super fun housewarming and birthday parties, among other things, this year. Parties were excellent because of #17.
19) Apples to Apples - I bought this game to play at one of the showers I threw this year. Too much fun.
20) Corpse Bride - My favourite movie of '05? Perhaps. I'm so psyched for it to come out on DVD in January so I can watch it over and over like a 5 year old.
21) My 1st semester classes - I've really lucked out with three really nice classes - even my period 4 class who drives me crazy. All in all, they're really nice kids
22) Peach Schnapps and Coke - My friend Joanna introduced me to this new tasty mix of two things I wouldn't have thought that go together.
23) Play On - The Stratford Festival introduced a program where the under 30 set can get play tickets for $20. As I result, I saw As You Like It (music by the Barenaked Ladies) and Noel Coward's Fallen Angels. Even better news (espeically for those of you in the Toronto area), they're continuing the deal next year.
24) A Million Little Pieces - Definitely the book that made the biggest impression on me this year. I still shudder thinking about the root canals he had.
25) My new bed - So much better than sleeping on a futon. Thanks Ikea!
My iPod - Got it in '04 but it totally made '05 all the better.
Cuba - Okay, it's an '06 thing, but looking forward to it has made the end of '05 exciting.
All the best to all of you in 2006 and thanks for reading and commenting! See ya in a few days!
What's everyone else got planned for New Year's? This new year will be very low key for me. One of my travel buddies and I are just gonna kick around my apartment. We gotta leave for the airport at 3 am. I don't really want to waste my first day in Cuba being all tired and hungover.
Tomorrow I promise I will post my "Christieilli's Favourite Enjoyabilities of 2005" list. I'm a loser and I've been jotting down ideas for a couple of weeks.
Anyway, here are some pictures from my trip home:
This is my favourite Christmas decoration of all time. Last year they didn't have it up and I was sad, thinking that the family may have moved away. My dad called me this year as soon as they put it up.
This house is next door to the Grinch house. I've wanted to own it all my life. (Now that I'm older I only want to own it as long as it comes with staff.)
Have a good new year's eve eve everyone!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Anyhow, I had a lovely Christmas. It seemed to be the year where people decided that I needed lots of Simpons paraphernalia. I got:
- 3 Simpsons board games (Loser Takes All, Simpsons Monopoly and the Ultimate Simpsons Trivia Game)
- A deck of Simpsons cards that comes in a Duff can
- Season 7 of the Simpsons on DVD
- Simpsons candy
- 2 Simpsons Christmas tree ornaments
- A book called "Planet Simspon"
Anyhow, it was a huge rush to get home in time. The Christmas concert on the last day of school was very long, and then our staff luncheon was very long and then I had to rush home and pack. I had soooo much to carry with me that I decided to leave the heavy laptop at home. So, right now I'm at the good old SPL (Stratford Public Library) checkin' my email, catching up on my blogs and posting.
Note: Oh wow! I hear sirens. Makes me feel at home despite being back in the small town. Right now I'm suppressing laughter as people are looking out the window to see what is all the hubbub. Sirens are a rarity in Stratford.
Anyway, I am having a lovely time catching up with the 'rents and the friends. I've also been hanging around the house reading a lot and doing some shopping in Stratford. The mall was soooooooo empty on Boxing Day, although I did manage to get a fun new skirt and some new fun tanktops for Cuba (3 more days!). According to the headline in the Stratford paper, I must be blind because it reported that the mall experienced a very busy boxing day.
I took a picture of my all-time favourite Christmas decoration which I will post when I'm back in Toronto on the 30th. Catch ya then! Enjoy the waning moments of 2005!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Anyhow, I couldn't get a TV period 1, so that poor class did get a full lesson today. However, I game 'em a pretty easy assignment and told them that if they worked on it in class, they wouldn't have any homework over the holidays. My evil plan worked and they worked well. Muahahaha!
I was luckier in periods 3 and 4 since I did get a TV. In both classes, they watched The Grinch with Jim Carey as I marked a pile of assignments.
Tomorrow we have 15 minute classes and then a Christmas concert. The kids go home at noon, the staff have lunch, then we go home and get two glorious weeks off!
Anyhow, tomorrow I'm taking the train home to Stratford. I'll stick around there for a week, then come back to TO for New Year's and then off to Cuba.
I'm not sure when I'll get around to posting next, so Merry Christmas to all you crazy kids!!
p.s. Check this out for some holiday laughs at the expenses of some deserving celebrities.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Me: "Thirty years!!! Thirty years!?! What!?! You think it's been thirty years since I've been a student??"
I can hear other kids mumbling "No, Miss it's only been maybe, what, five years since you've been in high school... maybe ten..."
Me: "Okay, that's a bit better. I thought I was going to have rip up the easy quiz I was going to give you guys and write a new super super hard one."
Anyway, they make me laugh. Some of my students want to know my age and I usually just say I'm ancient. If they were really astute, they'd be able to figure it out since I once told them that I was 10 when the Simpsons first aired. (Doesn't everyone know that was in 1990?) Usually they can get it in the 25 ballpark but I refuse to disclose the magic number.
So I'm feeling much less stressed and overwhelmed today. I just spent a small fortune on candy for students, coworkers and some friends.
Last night my roommate and exchanged Christmas gifts. She's off to BC for Christmas. She got me "March of the Penguins" on DVD and a nifty Christmas ornament. I love that movie, plus I can work it into the grade 10 ecosystems unit and let the TV teach the kids for a bit.
Well, I can smell that my dinner's almost ready.
ps Download the version of the carol above by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. It's very merry. ;)
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I feel that I have this gigantic teetering mountain of paper that is going to crush me any day now. And it's only growing by the day. And I need to have it all dealt with before the holidays because when I get back, I have tests to write, projects to assign, exams to write and a lot more curriculum to shove down the poor kids' throats before the end of the semester. Hopefully, my days in Stratford and Cuba will divert my impending burn out.
And, if school isn't going to burn me out, the holidays are. My to-do list is shrinking, but it's all of the chores I hate that I've left to the end. Namely, I have to figure out who I need to give Christmas cards too. Then, I have to clean my apartment and clean out the fridge and pack for going home. All chores I do not like.
Okay, rant over. Feel better.
I did have an enjoyable Christmas moment today. I left school when it was dark and it was snowing. It was the fun kind of snow - big fluffy flakes coming down at a slow pace. Hawksley Workman's version of "Silent Night" was playing on the iPod and I felt very Christmas-y and happy and not stressed out.
On that note, I'm gonna go tackle those Christmas cards. Perhaps literally.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I tell ya, Canadian bands are the best. If I was only allowed to listen to Canadian music, I really would complain that much... Although I'd miss my beloved Bens (Folds & Lee).
I wish I had some pictures. I actually brought my camera, but I could get any decent shots because of the lights and then my camera battery died. So instead, I found a Stars video ("Ageless Beauty") for y'all. It's not my favourite Stars song although I still love it. I really wish they had the video for "Reunion". They were filming for the band's latest video during the show, so who knows, maybe I'll be in it.
Gotta go do dishes, wrap gifts, and watch Desperate Housewives. Pile of marking is going to be neglected. Christielli out.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
You know you're my favourite band and I love you. However, I have a teensiest bone to pick with you. Ever since I fell in love with you in 2001, I have seen you, on average, twice a year. Well, 2005 is fast coming to a close and I have only seen you once this year. More Toronto shows are needed. I think in order to rectify this situation, you need play at least 4 Toronto shows in 2006 (opening slots don't count) and put out a new CD.
Dear Stephen Harper,
I know you really don't want to be Prime Minister. Heck, leading any country is a lot of work. Look at all the troubles your Republican buddy in the US is having this year. Plus, if you do become Prime Minister, then you won't be able to criticize Prime Minister Paul Martin anymore, because he won't be Prime Minister anymore. Admit it, you like being the leader of the Opposition and that's why you screwed up all of the elections in the past. Here are some suggestions that will help you lose the election:
1) Make yourself look as closed minded as possible. You've always been good at this.
2) Emphasize how much you love George Bush and look forward to being his doormat. If he says jump, you'll say "how high?" in a heartbeat.
3) Talk about what you'd really like to do if you became PM. That's enough to scare anyone away.
If you need any help throwing the election, let me know. I don't want you to be PM either.
Dear Luke Wilson,
After seeing The Family Stone, I realized that you are so my boyfriend. I'm sure you've filmed many movies in Toronto and you must love the city. Email me, and you can come visit.
Why can't you clean yourself? You don't have to go to work like my roommate and I do. You just sit around all day. Would it be too much to ask you to dust yourself, clean the floors and do the dishes? It would be highly appreciated, and I'd go buy you some new furniture at IKEA if you did.
Can I win what I bought this month? I did a lot of Christmas shopping and I put my trip to Cuba on my Visa. Please let me know in advance if I won what I bought, so that I can by a lot more. I promised my apartment some new furniture in the letter above.
I need to buy new furniture since I'm going to win what I buy on my VISA this month, plus I did promise my apartment some new furniture. Also, I need to get this place into better shape for when my new boyfriend Luke Wilson is coming to visit. All I'm asking you is to start sending cute Swedish guys to put together the furniture for me. Luke won't mind.
I'm really looking forward to seeing you tomorrow afternoon. Please play in Winnipeg for m@ .
Friday, December 16, 2005
Anyway, here's the weekend rundown:
1) Looks like I'm going to see "Memoirs of a Geisha" with some friends. Loved the book when I read it years ago.
2) Tomorrow, my friend from home may visit me if the weather's cooperative. Either way, I gotta get some shopping in and do some laundry.
3) Have a wine and cheese party on Saturday night in honour of my friend finally finishing her undergrad courses.
4) Stars is Sunday afternoon!!!!!
5) I have a gigantic pile of marking to deal with on Sunday night.
Hope you all have fabulous weekends!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Cuba's officially a go. It looks like we're leaving on Jan. 1st at the ungodly hour of 6:10 am and we're returning on the 5th or something like that. I'm excited!
I'm looking forward to the weekend. On Saturday night, my friends J&A are throwing a party for another university friend who has finally completed her undergrad. Sunday afternoon is my highly anticipated Stars concert. And, my friend W, freshly back from teachers' college in Australia, may come crash here for the weekend.
Last night (or was it the night before?) I started to draft my list of my favourite things of 2005 to post at the end of the year. I love year end lists. So far I'm up to 23 things. I wonder if anything else super fun will happen in the waning days of '05...
Election Update: Last election, I read an article in Chart magazine about how Nardwuar (crazy Vancouver guy who writes for Chart/appears on Muchmusic) borught a 1960s game called "The Hip Flip" to each of the 3 main candidates. Anyway, Paul Martin was the only candidate who hip flipped with Nardwuar and he ending up winning the election. Jack Layton said he'd play after he had time to read the rules, and Stephen Harper refused (of course). According to this article, Nardwuar is going to see who'll Hip Flip with him this time around. This stuff cracks me up.
Monday, December 12, 2005
So here goes.
1) Do you remember the movie "Cool Runnings" about the Jamaican bobsled team? I haven't seen it years, but when I saw it when it came out, I cried not once, but twice while watching it. I cried at the climatic ending, of course, but also at the part when one guy was holding a postcard of Buckingham Palace saying he was going to live there one day and another guy said "Dude, you can't live there - that's the Queen's house." Highly emotionly charged stuff apparently.
2) I've had four friends have five babies in the past two years and they've all been boys!! Can someone have a girl? It's more fun to buy clothes for girls, dammit!
3) My middle name is Alexandra. That name was derived from my maternal grandfather's name.
4) My first name was derived from my paternal grandfather's name. His name was Christmas. Guess when his birthday was?
5) I'm half Polish, one quarter English, and one quarter Welsh.
6) This year I splurged and bought myself two Gwen Stefani LAMB handbags on Ebay partly because I really like the lamb charm that comes with them.
7) I've had five different jobs in my life. I worked in a restaurant in high school, I had a job at an art gallery one summer in university, I worked in a government office for two summers and I've taught at two different schools.
8) I suspected that I might want to be a high school teacher when I finished my first year of university. I didn't know for sure that it was the right career for me until I started practice teaching.
9) I won $25 in grade eight for a farm safety poster that I designed with the catchy slogan "A Safe Farm is a Happy Farm."
10) I took piano lessons for years and can play with amazing mediocrity, even though I'm pretty rusty now.
11) My favourite animated movie is Disney's Robin Hood. I think Robin Hood is pretty hot for a cartoon fox. I'd be all over him if he was not animated and if he was not a fox.
12) Every year from grade 8 to grade 12, I won my school's French award even though I cannot speak the language very well. However, I can conjugate a mean verb. Or at least I used to be able to.
13) I don't really like hockey.
14) I wish I was here right now:
(Cape Tribulation Beach, Queensland, Australia)
15) My birthday is February 15th.
16) I hate the book I'm reading right now, but since I'm stubborn, I insist on finishing the damned thing. The damned thing being 4 Blondes by Candance Bushnell (creator of Sex and the City).17) Favourite song of the moment is "Hockey Skates" by Kathleen Edwards. The line that's really resonating for me is "I'm tired of playing defense and I don't even have hockey skates."
18) 9 more days of school until the holidays and 5 more days until the Stars concert.
19) It's taking me forever to write this post about randomness because during this time I've being talking on the phone to my friend about my trip to Cuba (it's booked!) and explaining logarithm graphs to my friend's boyfriend.
20) I still have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve.
Voila. There you have it.
I'm gonna tag jason, since I know he's studying for exams, and posting 20 random facts would be a great way to procrastinate. Also on the tagging-block are new blog buddies Guggenflurgen, EveyQ and Lea (although Lea can be exempted since she just did a random fact post).
Have a good Tuesday!
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Anyhow, she totally enjoyed the Rock Chick themed gift that I got her. And she got me an iDog (one of those little robotic dogs that you can hook up to your iPod and it lights up and dances...) Here's a pic of mine sitting on my desk shelf beside my Sydney Starbucks mug:
He seems to be developing a Rock/Punk personality from listening to my music.
After opening presents, we went to see "Walk the Line". I liked it and thought the Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon did amazing jobs of acting/singing in it.
Today I did a bit of shopping with my pal with Whitby who came to Toronto to escape the 'burbs. I picked up a couple more Christmas gifts - I'm oh-so-close to being finished my shopping.
Not sure what I'm doing tonight... Hope you all have happy Saturday nights!
Oh and check out these Christmas lights!
Friday, December 09, 2005
Note the snow on the ground. Yuck. It's not too cold out today, but it's so slushy and messy. I hate what that does to my pants.
Anyhow, it's Friday! Yay! Thank goodness. 10 more days of school 'til Christmas break! And, it's lookin' the like the trip to Cuba's a go. A couple of nights ago my pal C called and said she's gonna book it on Monday. I'm excited. I need sun. I get soooo pale in the winter that I look freakin' sickly. All the time people say to me "You look so pale, you must be sick." And I reply "No, that's just my colouring."
Tonight TB and I are exchanging Christmas gifts. I must comment that the gift I got her kicks some ass. I like to do a theme gift and the theme is "Rock Chick". I got her a "Rock Chick" gift set from Lush that consists of a star-shaped soap and some fun bubble bath. I got a Dashboard Confessional T and some patches that were super cheap online. Top it all off with a Matthew Good tote bag, and I think she'll love it.
So we're either gonna hang out here and watch Christmas movies (i.e. The Muppets Christmas Carol) or maybe go see a movie.
Hope ya'll have a great Friday evening!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Apparently he's got a friend who's a real estate agent and gives these suckers out to his clients and Christmas and he was also a lucky recipient.
Don'tcha love the detail? I wanna live in a house with a pretzel picket fence one day.
I'm not sure what's to become of the house. I say we should throw a ginger-bread house eating party.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
My weekend was uneventful but here are some highlights:
- Watched lots of Sex and The City on DVD. My roommate got the complete series for her birthday and hence I profit.
- Braved the Eaton Centre on Saturday and got some presents. Got earrings and a watch for my mom, some airplane Christmas tree ornaments for my pals the Ws and their son, a couple of books for my roommie, and a set of Sudoku books for my dad. Only got one thing for me in the process (a really cheap tealight holder at Pier 1).
- Finished the dishes from the Book Club meeting.
- Hit the new Winners store at Bloor and restrained from buying a new purse.
- Watched the new episode of Desparate Housewives - I hate Bree's son.
- Marked and prepped some lessons. Did not do enough of either.
- Acted as my friend's boyfriend's physics phone-a-friend and helped him with some logarithm questions.
- Procrastinated and did not do any laundry or grocery shopping. Tasks for Monday I guess.
Okay, well this has turned into the most boring blog entry ever. Hmm... maybe I should ask a thought-provoking controversial question to spice things up...
Thinking, thinking, thinking....
Here's one that came up in our book club discussion of "The Lucky Bones".... In the novel, the main character is a 14 year old girl who has been murdered. Her heaven is like a high school, because she died when she was in middle school and she had been looking forward to high school. So, what do you think your heaven would look like?
Friday, December 02, 2005
Now I really should have taken a picture of all of the food, but instead here's a picture of part of the mess (which will be dealt with tomorrow).
Unfortunatley one of our members couldn't make it because she was feeling sick, but we still had a really good discussion (maybe 2 hours) on The Lovely Bones. And, we ate had no problems polishing off a lot of the food.
We're hoping to meet again and discuss Memoirs of A Geisha. We've all read the book, so we're going to go see the movie and discuss both the book and the movie.
Anyway, I'm hoping to sleep in tomorrow morning then drag my self to do some hardcore Christmas shopping. I'd love to get most of it done. I really only have my mom and my roommate left to do, and then a few small gifts for friends. My mom's always the hardest. My dad's so easy. I have about 5 books for him already, and I could easily, but not affordably (if that's a word), add 10 more.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
My friend is doing a few extra university courses so that she can bump her average to get into teachers' college. She had been emailling me for help with labs and totally made fun of me last time I saw her because this is the kind of response you get from me if you ask me to do a math/science question.
"Oh wow! Thanks so much for asking me! I haven't done a good problem like that in a long time. Here's your answer. Oh, can you tell me more about your lab because I'm kind of interested now."
Yup, I'm glad I'm comfortable with my geekiness. Isn't geek the new chic?
Today I got my flu shot more to appease my mother than anything.
So, tomorrow is Friday. Then only 3 more weeks of school until Christmas! The kids are getting antsier by the day. They were pretty antsy to begin with.
Tomorrow evening the book club that consists of me, my roommate, and a couple of old roommates of mine who have also lived with my roommate at some point. My circle of Toronto friends are all connected by having lived with each other at one point. It's very fun to play 6 degrees of living together; although we rarely pass three degrees.
Anyway, we're going to discuss The Lovely Bones which frankly, I didn't much care for. There was a certain je ne sais quoi missing from it. So, in preparation for our discussion, I have to clean a bit (yuck) and whip up some maccaroons again. Once a recipe turns out okay I use it a lot.
Oh election update - my MP, who knocked at my door on Tuesday night, was at my subway station on Wednesday morning. She's persistant, that's for sure.
Big work news - we got two new photocopiers to replace the two dead ones! My school was functioning on one photocopier. If there's one thing that teachers need, it's photocopiers and working ones at that. I think I've probably already been responsible for cutting down a small forest this year. However, it's a necessary evil - kids are much more likely to do an interesting handout than questions from the textbook.
Have a happy Friday!
ps I'm listening to All of Our Names by Sarah Harmer because it makes feel wintery and I feel like feeling wintery.