Tuesday, January 31, 2006

If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks then I'll follow you into the dark.

There's been a lot of bitching about the TTC in the Toronto Star lately. Things like what are the worst routes, inconsiderate passengers and other general malcontentedness.

Well, here's my TTC rant. Why the hell does my station sell out of Metropasses?? I understand that my station is one of the few that accepts debit and credit cards, so you'd think it make sense to have more passes there. Apparently not. I got there quite early this afternoon to get my pass, and no luck. Gah. This probably means that I'll have to head up to Eglinton, get some cash, and buy my pass there. Grrrr. And they want more people to take transit.... Yeesh.

I tell you, my job is a heck of a lot easier when the kids are studying at home. We're on day 2 of exam week, and I've been able to organize my desk, my binders, my classroom - including all of the beakers and flasks I've been meaning to wash, and hang up a bunch of projects that I had the kids do. This morning one of my classes wrote an exam, so now I've gotta mark those.

I bought Corpse Bride after school. I love that movie. I think I'm gonna watch it tonight and then watch it tomorrow with Becca T. She refused to see it in theatres with me because it had too many corpses in it, but I made her promise to see it when it came out on DVD.

Oscar nominations came out today. It's my annual tradition to go see as many nominated movies as I can. The only best picture nominee that I've seen is Crash, which was good but I didn't get overly excited by it.

I just got finished watching last night's Daily Show on tape. I love that Jon Stewart pointed out that Oprah was far harsher on James Frey than most "serious" journalists are on the current adminstration. Don't you love it when it's the comedian on the fake news that asks the best questions?

Well I think I may have a mini-nap and then go hunt down a Metropass.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rise Up with Fists!!

The title above is the name of the Jenny Lewis song that was my free download of the week from iTunes. Make sure that all of you iTunes users download it, as it is awesome (and free too).

So the weekend's been great so far. Last night my book club met where we discussed "Pope Joan" by Donna Woolfolk Cross, which I had finally finished Thursday night. Overall, 4 of the 5 of us liked it (it didn't grip my roommate). We spent a lot of time criticizing all of the convienient coincidences that helped moved the plot along but overall it was a well-written piece of historical fiction. After consuming quite a bit of wine and tasty food, our conversation drifted from the book to other deep philospical issues to which we posed the question "What would Pope Joan do?" This has now become a bit of an inside joke.

Today I slept in and then spent the afternoon watching my tape of Daily Shows and Colbert Reports from the past week. I met up a friend from home who was in Toronto doing some shopping with friends. We went out for dinner. When they'd headed home I met up with my dear friend TB for coffee. Oh! Big news. Last night, TB gave me permission to use her real name in my blog. So from now on, I can call her Becca T here! Woo!

I walked home from coffee with Becca T. The weather has been very warm for January in Toronto. As I walked home, it was drizzling and the stretch of Yonge St. I was on reminded me of Adelaide Australia. I got rather nostalgic for my trip last summer...

Hmm, on that note, I might watch my Ben Folds DVD for a bit before going to bed. So make sure you all download that song and have a good night!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Questions of science, science and progress, did not speak as loud as my heart.

I come home from worked all psyched to read my blogs and blog about my day. I log onto MSN and notice that my dear friend Sandee has finally posted her first blog entry ever. I’m even more psyched to read that and then… BLOGGER IS DOWN! I can’t get to anyone’s blog!!! Grrrr!!! So mad.

Anyway, I complain to Sandee online about my quandary and she points out that I can blog in Word and then paste it when Blogger’s up. Brilliant girl. Anyway, so that’s what I’m doing right now, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Sigh.

Anyhow, you should all go read Sandee’s blog. She’s one of my friends from high school and was very pivotal in corrupting me and is freaking hilarious. Plus, she’s my only real life friend who has expressed any interest in blogging, so bonus marks for her. I find it so funny how the “strangers” (who don’t feel like strangers anymore) who read my blog know more about my day-to-day existence than a lot of my old friends. Isn’t blogging a great thing? Yay blogs!

Back to day-to-day existence. Tomorrow is my last day of classes with my first semester classes. I’m going to miss them. They were all really great classes – even my period 4 class. To think, I probably gave some of them their last detention today. Hmmm, I’d better not speak too soon since I do still have them tomorrow… Maybe I'll keep the whole class past the bell just for old time's sake.

I just got off the phone with my mom. Did anyone see James Frey (the author of “A Million Little Pieces” who is embroiled in a controversy over fictionalizing parts of his memoir) on Oprah? I did not but my mother told me about it. I guess Oprah really questioned his authenticity. When the scandal first broke out, I decided to give Frey the benefit of the doubt since I really liked the book but after talking to my mom about the Oprah show, I’ve changed my mind. I wonder now about how much of his story is actually true – if he exaggerated about his time in prison, I wonder what else his exaggerated about? The root canal? The age at which he began using? Obviously his struggles with addiction were real; I don’t think you could fake his stream of conscientious style. But it seems he took too much license for the book to be published at a memoir. Have you read it? What do you think? I had the sequel “My Friend Leonard” on hold at the library and it’s just come in. I will definitely be going into this book with a different attitude.

Speaking of books, I still have about 100 pages of Pope Joan to read for tomorrow’s book club. Later!

ps Oh good. Blogger's up now!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hey! Give me space so I can breathe, give me space so I can sleep...

Okay, it's been about 20 hours since the Conservatives "won" the election with a very slim minority and I seem to be surviving okay. I cling to those words "slim minority" very tightly. Interestingly enough, they weren't able to capture a single seat in any of Canada's three biggest cities. Wonder what that says?

Okay, here's my favourite line that I heard last night while watching election coverage. My pal TB dropped by for awhile. She was just about to leave when a commentator on one channel (no idea which one, I flipped around a lot) said "The Liberals are running wild east of Yonge Street!" Now I live slightly east of Yonge street so I said "TB, you'd better crash here tonight. It's too dangerous for you to go out with all of those Liberals running wild!"

Oh and speaking of Liberals, the persistant Liberal in my riding won with slightly over 50% of the vote. I can honestly say that I've never personally seen a candidate so many times.

All right, 'nuf about the election. I'm sure we'll have another in about a year's time.

My book club is meeting again on Friday night. I need to do a lot of reading, I've only read about a third of the book. We're reading a novel called "Pope Joan" which is based on the legend (or truth?) that a woman was Pope for 2 years in the ninth century. I'm really enjoying it so far.

Exam time is creeping up on me. Next week, my classes will be writing their final exams and I'll be saying goodbye to them. I came across this cartoon as I was looking to find one to put on their exam reviews. Makes me laugh.


On that note, I'd bet going get cracking on that book!

Monday, January 23, 2006

In this time of introspection, on the eve of my election, I say to my reflection "God spare me more rejection!"

I almost forgot to exercise my civic duty today. I was packing up to leave work and thinking about what I would have for supper, and what I needed to do for homework, and what I'd watch on TV when I got home, and maybe there may be some fun mail for me today, and oh boy I'm tired. Then it occured to me that I needed to go vote.

Anyhow, I did vote. I did what any good Canadian has to do come election time and held my nose and picked the least of the 4 evils on my ballot.

I was going to totally boycot watching any election coverage and try to live in ignorance for awhile. Then I read on Matt Good's blog that he was gonna do election coverage with George Strombolopolous on CBC Newsworld's The Hour, so I figured that perhaps that was where the party's at. We'll see how that is. I invited TB to drop by and watch and perhaps celebrate/drown my sorrows with some Peach Schnapps 'n Coke.

Oh and by the way, the kids at my school voted for the Liberals on Friday in the student vote. Hmmm, so I guess I was wrong to figure them for a bunch of NDPers.

However, I was right about there being something fun in the mail today. I got 2 Something Corporate CDs from April. Yay new music!

On another note, I'd asked my dad (no link - my dad can barely operate a mouse, let alone have a blog) to compile his ideal 7 Jeopardy Categories (since he loves Jeopardy).

1) Canadian provincial capitals (like father, like daughter... that was one of mine)
2) Bug or Snake? (eg they give you a name of something like a cricket or a cobra and you identifty it as either a bug or a snake)
3) Whale or rodent? (very similar to above but with whales and rodents)
4) Baseball before expansion (that was before 1968 in case ya didn't know)
5) Hockey or baseball player? (see numbers 2 and 3)
6) British Monarchs
7) Ancient Greeks

Yeah, that's my dad. Totally not normal. Neither is my mother on that note. There was really no hope for me.

Well, I think I'm gonna relax for a bit and listen to some music before the polls close and I dare look at my TV screen. I'm gonna get that Peach Schnapps ready.

Edit: So I hear a knock on my door a couple minutes ago. I figure "oh, the coast must be clear it won't be any of the political parties now". Wrong. It was a guy for my Liberal candidate asking if I'd voted yet. I might have been kind of grumpy about this, but he was rather cute, plus, as teacher I have to appreciate the persistance/almost nagging of my Liberal candidate. She was at my door the evening the election was called, then she's been at the subway a few time including this morning. Now this. Kind of reminds me of me when I nag the kids constantly to get their work in so that they don't fail.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My office glows all night long, it's a nuclear show and the stars are gone.

I had a super lazy Saturday. I slept in, and I just couldn't get myself motivated to do much except listen to some music, watch some Simpsons on DVD and just generally be lazy.

Anyhow, last night I watched the "Ben Folds and the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra Live in Perth" DVD that I'd gotten for Christmas. Oh. My. God. It was amazing. I tell you, Ben Fold and WASO will be the musical entertainment in my heaven. If you like Ben Folds, you must see this. I'm such a dork, I was trying hard not to sing along and clap after each song and not wake up my poor roommate (nor make her afraid she was living with a crazy) but it was hard. So good.

This evening, TB dropped by and we watched "Wedding Crashers" which I hadn't seen before but enjoyed muchly. My roomie and her fiancee and their friend watched with us which was fun.

My favourite part of the movie was when the closing credits came on and a Weakerthans song was playing (Aside). Cool! I hope the band got some good money from that.

Oh, also I've been reading some fun playlists on some people's blogs (Scott, Lea, Guggenflurgen and jc). Warms my heart. I love reading about music almost as much as I like listening to it.

Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My 7 Ideal Jeopardy Categories

All right, I've been tagged by Scott to list my 7 ideal Jeopardy categories. Really, I can run pretty much any jeopardy category they throw at me, so this is a bit of an exercise in futility. *lol* Just kidding.

Okay so here are the 7 categories that would turn me into the next Ken Jennings:

1) I'll take "The Simpsonian Institute" for $1000 Alex. (My clever title for a Simpsons category that I'd run in a heartbeat.)

2) Maybe I'll find the Daily Double in "90s One Hit Wonders"...

3) Hmmm, it's not there. Let's move to "The Periodic Table of the Elements" for $1000.

4) That was too easy. Okay, let's get down and dirty with "Celebrity Gossip".

5) Hmmm... am I allowed to put in a second Simpsons category? Okay fine. How about "Canadian Provincial Capitals"? I did well on that test in grade 4.

6) Okay, let's get literary with "Contemporary Novels" for $1000.

And final jeopardy would be....

7) Biology. That pricy degree had better be good for something. ;)

Okay, I'll tag jc, m@, Guggenflurgen and Lea to keep the ball rolling. I was going to say "this is an easy tag" but I got a little stuck after the periodic table.

Now if there was a category about "Elections that are annoying the hell out of Christielli" one of the correct responses would be "What is the 2006 Canadian federal election?" However, I did get a bit of amusement out of the thing today when my crazy period 4 class asked me who I was going to vote for. Naturally, I gave them the "I'm not going to tell you that" schpiel and then made the following bad joke - "I'll tell you who I'm not voting for - The Bloc Quebecois!" Anyhow, they decided that since I was a science teacher, I'd probably vote Green... or maybe NDP. They all seemed to be pro-NDP. Really, if the NDP ever wants to win, perhaps they need to get the voting age lowered to 15.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Non-celebrity Playlist

I love browsing through The iTunes Music Store for fun. One feature I especially enjoy are the celebrity playlists. Why do I care about what kind of music various famous people enjoy? I don't know but today I found it very validating to learn that members of Death Cab for Cutie enjoy Sloan's False Alarm and Stars' One More Night (Your Ex-Lover is Still Dead) just I like do. I also enjoy reading their mini-explanation of why they enjoy each song.

I was thinking that it's a travesty that I have not been contacted by iTunes to make my celebrity playlist. I suppose this may be because I'm not a celebrity.

Then I realized that, heck, what do I have a blog for if not to post my very own non-celebrity playlist?

So I give you, Christielli's Non-Celebrity Playlist.

1) Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off by Hawksley Workman - This song is lyrically bizarre song but extremely enjoyable. C'mon all you girls out there, wouldn't you love it if a guy said "Your beauty must be rubbing off on me"?

2) Wonderwall by Ryan Adams - I'm not sure how long this song's been around but a friend of mine just sent it to me. It's such a sparse bleak take on the song. And using the piano for the hook at the end creates a haunting effect. Feeling melancholy? Listen to this.

3) Reconstruction Site by The Weakerthans - Years ago I decided this is my all-time favourite song. The first time I ever heard this song was live, and it's just got such vivid imagery in it. My favourite line: "where a little boy under a table with cake in his hair stared at the grown-up feet as they danced and swayed".

4) I'm a Loner Dottie, A Rebel by The Get Up Kids - Heck, I just love the title becasue I am a loner Dottie, a rebel. Or so I'd like to think.

5) Annie Waits by Ben Folds - Somehow Ben Folds knows exactly what it's like to be a girl waiting for a stupid boy to call her. And there is a twist at the end of the song that makes my heart break.

6) So Unsexy by Alanis Morissette - Feel like crap? This song might make you feel better, or at least it expresses the way you feel. I have several friends, as well as myself, who use it as therapy.

7) Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson - Even I like this song. C'mon is there anyone who doesn't like to dance around in the privacy of their own house to this song?

8) Wait by Death Cab for Cutie - I'm hoping that I can redeem myself slightly by adding an obscure Death Cab for Cutie song. The only thing I know about the OC is that Seth likes DCFC, so at least I've redeemed myself in the eyes of a fictional TV character, I'm sure.

9) Elevator Love Letter by Stars - I love the part where this song goes "I get too tired after midday[wait time] lately".

10) I'm A Mountain by Sarah Harmer - A blue-grassy, toe-tappin' song that makes fun of Wal-mart by my favourite female singer-songwriter. Good times.

11) MFEO by Jack's Mannequin - A two songs for the price of one ditty on from a CD I've been listening to a lot for the past few weeks (thanks again for the introduction, April).

Okay, so there you have it. I've created my very own non-celebrity playlist. That makes me happy. Now I'm going to listen to it while I clean the living room so that my fabulous roommate won't hate me for being a horrible procrastinator when it comes to matters of domesticity. Cleaning makes me unhappy.

Howeveer, it would make me super happy if other bloggers made their own non-celebrity playlists. One rule - you must include one potentially embarrassing song. ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wow look at you now, flowers in the window, it's such a lovely day and I'm glad you feel the same.

All right, so here's the latest tag that's been making the rounds. Now, I haven't been directly tagged, since everyone who's done this assumes they're the last person in the world to do it and don't tag anyone (i.e. me). So I'll take it upon myself to tag myself, since I don't really have anything specific that I want to blog about today anyway.

Four jobs you've had in your life:

1) Cashier at an un-named fast food restaurant in Stratford;
2) Art gallery assistant (that was my title - I took people's admissions and dusted the gift shop)
3) Information Access Officer for a provincial government office (I answered the phone and sold people maps/aerial photos/hunting and fishing licences)
4) Teacher

Four movies you can watch over and over:
1) The Wedding Singer
2) 50 First Dates
3) Edward Scissorhands
4) The Nightmare Before Christmas

Four places you have lived:
1) Farm outside of Mitchell, Ontario
2) Stratford Ontario
3) North Spirit Lake, Ontario (find that on a map... I taught up there for a year)
4) Toronto!!

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch
1) The Simpons (over and over and over again)
2) The Daily Show
3) The Colbert Report
4) Desperate Housewives, I guess... really that's the only other show I currently watch besides #s 1-3

Four Places You Have Been On Vacation

1) New Brunswick
2) Cooperstown, NY (It was my dad's dream to visit the baseball Hall of Fame)
3) Australia!!! (Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Sydney)
4) Cuba

Four Websites You Visit Daily

1) Blogs, blogs, blogs
2) Hotmail (to read my blog comments and other emails)
3) The Toronto Star
4) Chartattack.com (for my music news)

Four of Your Favourite Foods

1) Pad Thai
2) Peanut Chicken from the Green Mango
3) Mint Smoothies from Rheo Thompsons in Stratford (delicious chocolates)
4) Caesar Salad

Four Places You Would Rather Be Right Now

1) At a Weakerthans' concert (at a Sloan concert, at a Stars' concert... I could go on of course.)
2) Cairns, Australia
3) Back on the beach in Cuba
4) Toronto Ontario - Oh wait! That's where I am! Ha! Cool.

So feel free to tag yourself if you haven't done this yet. ;)

Tonight I'm off to have a beer with TB and my friend Mat. Perhaps other people will show up, who knows. Have a lovely Saturday night!

Friday, January 13, 2006

This night's a perfect shade of dark blue dark blue...

Happy Friday the 13th!

Happy Birthday to Raina!

Well, I've officially survived the first week back after two blissful weeks of vacation. Woo!

So, apparently I'm making a difference in my chosen profession. Today I overheard one of my little grade 9s muttering "I used to hate science but now it's not so bad." Hah. High praise coming from a 14 year old, I tell you.

This morning the local Conservative candidate was standing in front of my subway station and one of his "helpers" side-swiped me with their gigantic, ugly sign. Oh well, I should have assured the poor misguided girl that she had not assaulted a potential voter. I will never ever vote Conservative because I am not a conservative girl. (Big C or little c.)

Anyway, this is blog entry interrupted because my friend Ali just called and asked if I wanted to go to Ikea with her and her husband and little son. Of course! And we're gonna do the "Ikea Experience" where we have dinner too.

What a good start to the weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Baby can you hear it? Don't it make you want to wake up and open eyes?

So it's unseasonably warm in Toronto. My weather pixie's wearing her light jacket. I tell you I'm convinced that climate change is rearing its ugly head. Our weather's been unnaturally weird for years. My poor students get my climate change/global warming/it's up to you to be good environmental citizens lectures all the time.

Anyway, today was a pretty good day. The semester is winding down. Today I got the news of a change in my timetable for next semester. Instead of having all science, they've given me a grade 9 math. It's going to be a class with a lot students who are just arriving to Canada, plus some others who have failed the course multiple times. The principal assured me that they'd be careful to keep my class size low, since it sounds like it'll be challenging. I hope it'll work out okay, although it will probably be a bit easier than the class they took away from me. I'd had some of the kids in that class last year, and they tended to be high maintenance.

2 more days 'til the weekend. I'm wiped today.

Sigh. I'm getting very discouraged with the whole election right now. I dislike them all. Humbug.

Okay, I really don't have too much to say but I felt like blogging so this is all you get.

Can't Get You Out of My Head: In A World Called Catastrophe by Matthew Good

Monday, January 09, 2006

Speak slow tell me love where do we go ah-ah.

Well I survived today! I feel like a climbed Mount Everest! I always get a little anxious on those "first days" (First day in Septemeber, first day back after Christmas, first day of new semester, etc.)... On the way out of the school today I was chattin' with another teacher and she was saying how she felt all overwhelmed today and I said "me too!" and she said "we should have run into each other in the morning!" Anyway, I feel like now I can deal with the bajillion and one work related I tasks I have to get done this week.

Gah! I'm itchy! Freakin' Cuban bugs ate my legs and I've been scratching like an I-dunno-what! Jeepers!

So aren't all of you Canucks soooooooooooo excited about the last English language debate tonight? Hahahaha. I should keep that on while I'm making up exams tonight. It'll keep me focussed on my task.

The last time I saw a movie in the theatre there was a commercial for CPAC, ya know the rivetting Parliamentary channel (Canada's equivalent to CSPAN I believe), that starred Tom Green. I was so confused. Tom Green? CPAC? Did someone put some sort of hallucinogen in my popcorn?

Oh, if any of you enjoy wasting time playing pointless computer games, try this.

Okay, really, I need to go do some work now. Maybe have a mini-nap first. TGMO (thank God Monday's over)!!

Can't Get You Out of My Head: Speak Slow by Tegan & Sara

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Why must vacations come to an end?

*sob* I can't believe that I gotta go back to work tomorrow. I'm so not ready. My mother, who's a teacher too, assures me they'll be quieter now that they've got the holidays out of their systems, but I'm less optimistic.

I like my job but I like being on holiday better.

Anyway, I'll stop whining since I really have no right since my 2 weeks off were much longer than what most people get. I apologize.

This afternoon I went for a walk and bought a new CD to console myself. I got Martha Wainwright's self-titled disc and it's good so far (I'm on my first listen). She's Rufus' sister. Last night I downloaded her song "Bloody Mother f****** A*****" and I love it. I'm in the mood for music with a lot of cursing lately.

I've been plowing through "Planet Simpson" which is a great book. If you're a Simpsons devotee and have not read it, you must. I think I didn't pick it up earlier because I figure I know everything about the Simpsons anyway, so why shoul I bother reading some hack's analysis of it? As Lisa would say, I stand corrected. It's a perfectly cromulent book.

Okay, I figure if I go do laundry right now, I can justify sitting around reading as opposed to working on the mounds of schoolwork I have. Yeah, that's it.

I'll leave you with some more Cuba pics, just 'cuz.

Here's a view from our hotel. I'm not sure what the structure to the left is. We were totally gonna take a walk to it one day and check it out but never did. I think it's an old military post or something.


If you leave tips for your housekeeper, she'll fold your towels into fun things like swans and hearts.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

If you left it up to me, every day would be a holiday from real.

Happy New Year! I've made it back safe 'n sound from Cuba. After chatting with my family and my roommate (who got engaged while she was away in BC over the holidays), reading my fave blogs and transferred my 200 odd Cuba pics to my computer, I battled blogger to upload some for your viewing pleasure. By the way, the weather was heavenly. I miss the sun already. Anyway, without any more delay, here are pictures from sunny Cuba.

Here are a couple views of the resort outside of Varadero that we stayed at:


Here's the beach:


Some Cocotaxis on the streets of Valadero. We were warned not to take these since they're quite dangerous. Passengers are sitting over fuel tanks. Not the place I'd want to be in a crash.


Al Capone used to have a house in Varadero. Here it is. Hmmm, the life of a 1920s mobster could be the life for me.


Now here are some pictures from our day trip to Havana (which was yesterday believe it or not!).

Here's a view of Havana's crumbling architecture. These bulidings are across from the Capitol.


I'm not sure what this building was, but it was beautiful.


The Cathedral:


A view of the market in Havana:

A painting that I bought there:


Havana's cemetery. It was huge and one of the most incredible sights that I saw.

Sunset over Havana.


Last night's show at the Tropicana Nightclub. It was amazing. They also give each table of 4 a huge bottle of rum and one can of coke apiece. Had some mighty stong drinks while watching the show.


This morning's sunrise as seen from the balcony of our room:

Anyway, it was a great trip. I really needed that sunshine. I think I'm kind of sort of energized to get back to the old grind. Yeah right. Thank goodness I have three days until I have to do that again.

Later!

Edit: There should be text in between pictures. Sometimes the text disappears on my computer, but will appear if I highlight it. I don't understand why. Grr at Blogger. Anyway, highlight if you can't see it.