Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Last year's wishes are this year's apologies.

Things that made me happy today (as opposed to very annoyed which was yesterday's mood du jour):

1) A latte purchased with a gift card.

2) Books. Not one specifically, but I really do enjoy books as objects. They give me warm fuzzy feelings.

3) Going for an evening walk and finding out that it's not cold outside.

4) No snow on the sidewalks. I figured out today that I am not opposed to snow. As long as it is contained to areas that I do not have to walk on.

5) The song "I'm like a lawyer with the way I'm always trying to get you off" by Fall Out Boy. Bad titles and teeny bopper status aside, the damned thing is catchy. (Please don't mock me for liking it. It's a guilty pleasure, okay? Hee-hee. That's what I say about all the bad music that I listen too. I'm actually finding it rather unnerving that my list of guilty pleasures is growing quite quickly.)

6) A friend calling me just to let me know that John K Samson of the Weakerthans was on CBC Radio for Canada reads. Which lead me to talk on the phone instead of actually listening to the show...

7) The fact that there are 8 more school days until March Break.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Go, or go ahead, and surprise me.

Despite having to wake up at 6:30 am to buy my dad bday breakfast (it's his bday today - he shares it with George Harrison), and catch an early train, I've had quite the relaxing weekend. It was nice taking the train in the daylight; light does make scenery much more interesting that's for sure.

Now, to the important matters at hand: it's Oscar night! That's right, this is my superbowl! I love it. It's total escapism, and we all need to escape from time to time. And it's a perfect night to watch an awards show from sunny LA; the weather here is super raunch and perfect for hunkering down with the TV.

I'm hoping to score another win in my Oscar pool this year, or place at the very least. Last year I tanked. I'm not sure how I'll fare being that I haven't seen most of the movies yet, but I used the Golden Globes, and my gut, as my predictors. Below is a list of some of my predictions, with who I'd actually like to win in brackets, or parentheses, if you prefer.

Best Picture - Babel (I'd like Little Miss Sunshine to win since, well, it's the only best pic nom that I've seen.)

Best Actor - Forest Whitaker (I'd like Ryan Gosling to win since he's Canadian. And not only Canadian, from London ON which is very close to where I grew up.)

Best Actress- Helen Mirren (Although, I thought Meryl Streep was great. Howevs, it's time for Kate Winslet to win something...)

Best Supporting Actor - Eddie Murphy (I think I may have gone wrong in my prediction, I think there's now buzz over Alan Arkin, who would incidentally get my vote.)

Best Supporting Actress - Jennifer Hudson (I'd like her to win too. Firstly becasue she was really good, and secondly because I think that it's kind of a nyah nyah to American Idol that a cast-off who was put off by Simon has triumphed over any of their manufactured acts.)

Best Director- Martin Scorsese (He'd get my vote too because it's bloody well time to give the man a statuette.)

Best Documentary- An Inconvenient Truth (I'm totally cheering for Gore! Forget the presidency! An Oscar is 1 000 times better than that! Take that Republicans!)

Best Original Song- Listen from Dreamgirls (I just put in this category because I think it's TRAGIC that Ben Folds was not nominated for his songs from Over the Hedge! Boo! Boo! Boo! Talk about unappreciated genius is all I say. But... of the songs nominated, I'd like Melissa Etheridge to win.)

I'll include a post-show update to let you know how I did.

Post-Show Update - I got 12/24 correct for the entire show, including 5/7 of the awards I posted here. I wonder how I'll stack up according to the rest of my Oscar pool. Overall, I thought the show was OK. I liked the Dreamgirls number, the bit with Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly, the interpretive dancers, and I thought Ellen did a pretty good job. And, there were a few surprises so I was happy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sometimes I think this cycle never ends.

Do you ever feel that the pace of life is sometimes way too fast? Today as I was walking to the subway after going out for drinks with some colleagues, I was overcome by how fast everything moves and how, well, sometimes I wish the world would stop turning for a bit so I could catch my breath.

The weeks just keep on clicking by at a breakneck pace. How is it already the end of another week? How is it almost the end of another month? How did I get to be 27 already? Was I actually present when all this time rushed by?

I'm coming upon another weekend where I rush home after work, pack my bags, and run to Union station so that I have a little bit of time to grab some dinner before I board my train. I spend my weekend running around completing errands, catching up with friends and trying to maybe sleep in a little bit. Then before I know it, I've got another train to catch, and I'm rushing to get back home so I can get to sleep at a half decent time so that I can wake up early to run to school to get ready for another week.

I remember when I was a kid, and weekends seemed endless, and time went by much more slowly. Could I sign up for that plan again?

In other news, I am actually catching an earlier train back to Toronto this weekend so that I'll be home in time to watch the Oscars. The Oscars are my Superbowl, World Series, and Stanley Cup all in one. I suck this year since I haven't really had time to do my annual try-to-see-as-many-nomiated-pics-a-thon, but it's fun no less. I've gotta fill out my ballot for my work's Oscar pool and hope that I can pull I win just like I did in 2005 (Thank you Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby).

In movies-that-I-have-seen news, I went to see Music & Lyrics last night. I liked it. I laughed. I have the Hugh Grant Pop song in my head now. It's the cinematic equivalent of orange pop, so if you want something sweet and bubbly, go for it.

Anyhow, I should be off to bed, so that I can finish another week.

Monday, February 19, 2007

All I know is I gotta be where my heart says I oughta be.

I am always quite relieved when Monday is over. Once I survive Monday, the rest of the week is a breeze.

Anyhow, I had quite an enjoyable weekend in St. Ratford. I had enough time to hang out with my parents, catch up on a bit of sleep and have an enjoyable evening of drinks with my friends from home. There was a lot of laughter; I laughed harder than I have in a long time when my pal Sandee described how she was kidnapped, tied up, and had small pumpkins fall on her head for her seventeenth birthday.

My dad hasn't started driving yet since his surgery. He figures he'll get used to driving with his "new" foot once the roads are better. This means that I've been taking cabs to and from the train station in St. Ratford, which means I've had far too many converstations like the following:

Cab Driver: "So, where are you coming from/going to?"
Me: "Toronto."
Cab Driver: "Oh... so were/are you visiting the big city or do you live there?"
Me: "I grew up here but now I live and work in Toronto."
Cab Driver: "Whoa... That city is crazy. Once I visited someone there and I looked out their window and their were cop cars everywhere and then was bad traffic on the way home and the parking was so expensive and people on the street are rude/smell funny/look funny/talk funny and everything is so expensive there. Why I know someone who has a condo there that is the size of my living room and cost half a million dollars and they don't even have a parking spot. But you need a car there since the subway is dangerous since all of the teenagers are gang members and you must see crime every day. What the heck are you doing living there?"
Me (after trying not to fall asleep during previous rant): "I enjoy the vibrance and excitement of city life."
Cab Driver: "Well, to each his own, I suppose... So what do you do for a living there?"
Me (anticipating reaction): "I teach high school."
Cab Driver: "What??? High School? In Toronto? That's crazy. Those kids must be so tough."
Me (thankful that the town is small, and I've arrived at my destination): "They're great... Oh gee, here we are. Gotta run. "

Confession: I used to be a small town girl afraid to death of the big city. I had a lot of the misconceptions about Toronto that the average non-Torontonian has. Deep down, I was fascinated by the fast-pace, rather glamourous appeal of big city living. I had many dreams that centred around me living in Toronto, but I never figured that I could actually do it. When looking at universities, U of T seemed to be the best fit for me academically, but I never dreamed that I'd make the leap to go there. I figured that I'd go to school in a nice little city like London or Waterloo. Well, thank heavens the scholarship gods at U of T made me an offer that I couldn't refuse and I chose U of T despite my small-town fears of the city.

My mom likes to tell the story about how when my 'rents were driving me to residence and we got there a bit early, so we drove around downtown for a bit and I started to more or less freak out in the back seat. Then I remember my first time walking downtown all by myself, surrounded by huge buildings and thinking that it was unbelievably cool that this was now home. Now I think it's so cool that I look out my bedroom window and see this:

Anyhow, I'm so thankful that I fell in love with this city and that it is now my home. Sure, I pay a lot in rent, and maybe I'll eventually tire of the pace of the so-called rat-race, but I love the fact that I live in the place that I would choose to above any other place in the world. Well, okay, London England would be cool too, but I don't know anyone there, so Toronto wins.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I remember you in Polaroid.

Okay, does my blog look totally plain now? Does my template not work anymore? All I see is blah whiteness and no more pink and black. Well, if it's broken, I'll have to fix it next week. I'll be on dial-up for the weekend since I'm at my parents' house. Boo. Dial-up. Don't laugh.

Firstly, I sparked nerd warz on Jono's Vision because I suggested that AlieMalie write haiku poetry next time she was looking for post material. I love it.

Anyhow, I'll point out that I was all over haiku poetry before any of this happened.

So, I had a fabulous birthday. It made me think about how blessed and lucky I am to have so many people, such as friends, family, colleauges, students, and blog buddies, sending me their wishes. Thanks to everyone.

Okay, I'm off to catch the train to St. Ratford to participate in some more celebration over the weekend. Hope you all have fabulous weekends too!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Woo-hoo when I feel heavy metal, woo-hoo and I'm pins and I'm needles...

I went through the archives to review what I was doing at this time last year. I read my post from last V-Day and I commented how my first period class was quite amused by using chemistry to blow up balloons.

Guess what I did today? (Except it was my period 2 class...)


Anyhow, I've already gotten some really cool early bday presents. Including the postponement of a staff meeting we were supposed to have. Yee-ha!

Typically, I like to go out with a bunch of my TO friends on my bday evening. This year, however, I decided I just wanted to stay in with my roommate and my pal Becca T, order take out, drink wine, and enjoy the wonders of Thursday night TV. Simple is good.

On Friday, I'm making the trip to St. Ratford. I'll be hanging out with that set of friends on Saturday night, and I intend to indulge with a few beverages.

For VDay night, Becca T and I went out for a pint of Strongbow and discussed important issues such as music, iPods, how she should start blogging, and what the title of her blog should be.

As we parted, she said to me "Hope you have a nice walk home. Enjoy what's left of your youth."

Have happy weekends! I might not get to post... unless it's a drunk post-Office post. Hmmm, that could be interesting reading, eh?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Does anybody know how the story really goes? Or should we all just hum along?

I have a few topics of discussion for today.

1) Valentine's Day: is tomorrow. Meh. Like I did last year, I'll just listen to the song Waltz (Better than Fine) by Fiona Apple and reflect on the line "If you don't have a date, celebrate."

It's also my last day of being in my late-mid twenties.

2) The latest in ringtones: Apparently they've developed a ringtone that people over thirty aren't supposed to be able to hear. Today in one of my classes, I hear a high pitched buzz. I look around, probably with an annoyed look on my face since high pitched buzzes are never a good sign.

Kid: "Miss, can you hear that?"
Me: "Yes. What is that? It's annoying!"
Kid: "Are you over thirty?"
Hmmm... the classic do I admit to my youth quandry. I decide that I will, since they really should be aware that I am young and I am cool.
Kid: "It's a ringtone that people over thirty aren't supposed to be able to hear."
Me: "Huh. Well, I can hear it so make it stop."

Inside, I was actually pleased that my hearing is not damaged as much as much as I fear. I'm paranoid that frequent headphone use, loud concerts and loud teenagers has done a number on my auditory capabilities. I was telling older colleagues about it, and they have been appraised of the people-over-thirty-can't-hear-it ringtone by their students, and they actually cannot hear it.

Also, it kills me that the kids at my school can't keep quiet about a potential teacher-fooling device. They just have to test it on us.

3) Cover Songs - My music moods change so quickly. Yesterday it was all about those tens songs I blogged about. Today, I've been into Emm Gryner. She's fantabulous by the way. Anyhow, a couple of years ago she put out an album called "Girl Versions" where she does a bunch of covers. I downloaded a few today: STP's Big Bang Baby, Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me, DCFC's For What Reason (cough cough Wes), and Blur's Song 2. They're all super fun.

I have to say I enjoy a good cover song. My definition of a good cover is a song that I'm familiar with (I don't necessarily have to be a fan of it) done by an artist I enjoy. I especially love it when it's the double whammy: a song I already loved done by a different artist I enjoy. The combo of song that I'm unfamiliar with by artist I love works too. I find covers enjoyable because sometimes I feel that I learn something new about a song when some else sings it. Or, someone else puts an interesting spin on it. Anyhow, here are some of my other fave covers:

- Smells like Teen Spirit - Tori Amos
- Fast Car - David Usher
- Rattlesnakes - Tori Amos (she actually does lots of awesome covers, so I'll quit with the Tori)
- Landslide - The Dixie Chicks
- In Between Days - Ben Folds
- Hallelujah - Rufus Wainwright
- Will He Be Waiting for Me? - Sarah Harmer
- Handle with Care - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

I'm sure there are more that I can't think of at the moment. I'm also all over it when an artist sings a really cheesy song live. R Kelly's Ignition has a place in my heart because I once saw Joel Plaskett sing it.

What are your favourite covers?

Okay, I'm off to have supper. And a glass of red wine 'cuz it's good for my heart. ;)

ps Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Lost in the music, in the music...

Music that is making me happy right now:

1) The Music - David Usher: Oh the superior Usher had done it again. A great song.

2) We R in Need of A Musical Revolution - Esthero: "I'm so sick and tired of the shit on the radio. On MTV they only play the same video. No matter where I go I see Ashanti in the video. I want something more." I love this song. It's lain dormant for awhile on my iPod but it's been speaking to me a lot lately.

3) Grace Kelly - Mika: I really like this song. I can't sing the falsetto parts though.

4) You Wouln't Like Me - Tegan & Sara: Actually, the whole album, So Jealous, is pretty catchy.

5) A Million Dollars - The Joel Plaskett Emergency: I <3 Joel.

6) Blacking Out The Friction/Brand New Love - Death Cab for Cutie: This is a live version from "The John Byrd EP". Love it. Such a great wintery song.

7) Dog and Thunder - Weeping Tile: I was unaware of Weeping Tile when they were a band. I just know that they are Sarah Harmer's old band. This song is great. It's one of those songs that makes you feel rather wistful and melancholy. But in a good way, if you know what I mean.

8) Decatur, Or A Round Of Applause For Your Stepmother! - Sufjan Stevens: I got the Illinois CD for Christmas and this is my favourite song from said CD>

9) Sleeps with Butterflies - Tori Amos: This is a beautiful song. I can't wait for her new CD to come out this year.

10) The Needle Has Landed - Neko Case: My favourite song from my favourite CD of last year.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

When I wake up in my makeup...

If you looked in my clothes closet, you would notice that there are very few skirts or dresses. If you looked in the hall closet at my shoe rack, you'd notice that there are mostly funky running type shoes, wedges and platform-y type shoes. There isn't much in the way of high heels. If you dug around my jewelry, you'd notice that most pieces are chunky and funky, not delicate and pretty.

If you looked around my room, you could not find an issue of Glamour, In Style, Elle, Cosmo, or any of that sort of women's magazine. You'd see some music magazines (I subscribe to Chart) and the odd celebrity-smut magazine (evidence of a cheap remedy for a bad day). If you were to look at my bookshelf you'd see a few chick lit books (The Devil Wears Prada, The Undomestic Goddess, Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons) but they're far outnumbered by contemporary fiction and an assortment of non-fiction from literary travel to memoirs to comedy to science.

If you poked around the living room, you'd notice that there's a Playstation (okay, it hasn't been used for video games since I started working... damned job). My DVD collection primarly consists of seasons of the Simpsons, comedies, and Tim Burton movies. Sure, there are a few romantic comedies - but they all star a former SNLer and Drew Barrymore.

Anyhow, from the evidence presented to you, you'd probably safely come to the conclusion that I am not much of a girlie girl, right?

Well, you haven't checked out the clutter counter and shelves in my bathroom.

Look around there and you'll find enough beauty products to last a normal person a decade.

I have shocked many a friend, including ones who have known me for years, with my affinity for all things cosmetic. As I said, I do not act like a girlie girl in any aspect of my life except for the purchasing of beauty products. Lip glosses, eyeshadows, lotions, perfumes, and shower gels are my favourite poisons. Why I need another body butter when I know I have probably 4 others at home is beyond me. Yes, I am well aware that I have 5 other sparkly pink eyeshadows, but this one has a gold tone to it and it's on sale. I don't really need new makeup, but if I spend $28 at Clinique, I get a bonus bag of goodies. How could I pass that up?

I started a tradition once I moved from the realm of student to working person with a bit of disposable income. Every year around my birthday, I go to the Eaton Centre and go on a beauty spree. I had to do that this weekend, before my birthday, since I'm going to St. Ratford next weekend and they don't have my favourite stores. Although, the Shopper's Drugmart there has been renovated and has a great cosmetics section. Did I mention that I have the freakin' Shopper's Visa so I can get extra Optimum points wherever I shop? I've gotten a lot of free shite outta that sucker.

So today's activities included a fun stop at Lush (my bath store), the Body Shop (I have the card where I get $10 of free stuff for my birthday there), Sephora (somehow I managed not to buy anything there), and the makeup counters at the Bay.

Okay, I'm off to have a yummy bath and then try out my new body butter, exfoliating scrub and mosturizer. And I'll finish off the crappy chick lit book that I am reading just to end my girlie girl day off on a particularly girlie girl note.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Got more faults than the state of California and the heart is a badly built bridge.

Today is cleaning/errands/laundry day so naturally I slept in and now I'm in the process fo procratinating. I stole this quiz from the blog of Wes.


1. You hung out with? My roommate.
2. You texted?I honestly can't remember. I don't text much.
3. You were in a car with? A colleague who gave me a ride home from school.
4. Went to the movies with?My roommate and Becca T
5. Went to the mall with?Maybe my friend Mel? I really can't remember becauseI normally go to the mall by myself. Tomorrow I am going to the mal with my friends Becca T and Flora.
6. You talked on the phone to?My roommate's mom.
7. Made you laugh? My dad.

1. Pierce your nose or tongue? Nose
2. Be serious or be funny? Funny. I avoid seriousness as much as possible.
3. Drink whole or skimmed milk? Skim for sure. Whole is yucky.
4. Die in a fire or get shot? Shooting is much faster, right?
5. Have sex with one person very well or four people at the same time poorly? I'd take quality over quantity for sure.

1. Sun or moon? Moon since I'm a night owl.
2. Winter or Fall? Fall is my fave out of all the seasons.
3. Left or right? If we're talking politcally, I'm such a lefty. I like to say that only turkeys have right wings. ;)
4. Sunny or rainy? Rain has a certain je ne sais quoi to it. I like it in small doses if it's a warm rain.
6. Where do you live? Toronto, Ontario.
7. How many kids do you want? I do not know the definitive answer to that questions. Somedays I lean on zero, but then other days I'll see a cute well-behaved child and I think "I wouldn't mind one of those." Probably if I did have kids, I'd have two, because I wouldn't want to make someone an only child since I'm not a fan of being one.
8. Do you want to get married?If I can find the right person, for sure. But... I am not settling for a jerk just for the sake of it.
9. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl it. I've never cut it in my life.
10. Have you ever eaten S.P.A.M? Never
12. How many kinds of cereal are in your cabinet? Currently two that are mine.
13. Do you cook? I try to avoid that activity as much as possible. I have a card posted on my fridge that says "All pots are no-stick if you no-cook in them."
14. Current mood? As one of my students likes to say a lot "I'm having a lazy day today."

1. Kissed someone? No :(
2. Sang? Yeah, but not so that any poor soul would hear.
3. Been hugged? No :(
4. Missed someone? Yes
5. Danced Crazy? Yes. But not too crazy.
6. Cried? No.
7. Lied? I don't think so.
8. Loved someone you can't have? No.

All right that's done. Now I'm going to find other things to do to put off chores. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

No matter which way you go, no mater which way you stay, you're out of my mind.

Global Warming Gripe #1 - Newspapers that have headlines such as "More like Global Cooling!" to accompany stories on cold snaps. That joke is so 1994. Global warming refers to the trend in global average surface temperature, not the temperature in Southern Ontario on a given day. Hence the word global, you eejits. Yeesh.

Global Warming Gripe #2 - Companies that use an environmental crisis to sell skank-ass clothes. On my way home from Union Station Sunday night, the subway station was all decked out in a Diesel advertising campaign. Picture many models dressed in barely anything with the slogan "Global Warming Ready". Boo. Boo. Boo. I miss my grade 11 science and society class from last semester, because they would have gotten all worked up over the ads for the grossness of the content and the unhealthy body image being portrayed.

I could continue with more global warming gripes aimed at George W Bush and Stephen W Harper, but I'll save that for another time. Actually, John Stewart did a good job taking on GWB last night on the Daily Show, as did Colbert. Bless them. Funny as hell and poignant.

I have another gripe. On Feb 18th, Jack's Mannequin, who I listen to a lot, are playing here in Toronto. As soon as I read this last month, I thought that would be an ab fab bday present from me to me. Anyhow, I went looking for tickets and it said that there weren't any available, but I scanned the side bar and it said that tickets went on sale on 02/12 which I took to mean Feb. 12th. Kind of close to the date but, whatever, thought I. Well, upon second look, it turns out that tickets went on sale December 12th, and are apparently sold out. Boo. Boo. Boo. I don't understand how that could be, because they are playing at a fairly large venue, and I don't think that Jack's Mannequin is very popular at all in Canada. Anyhow, that throws a nasty wrench in my plans to kickstart my concert-going in 2007. Boo.

Okay, maybe I'll go listen to some Jack's Mannequin now to ease the pain. Also, I have some early birthday money that I'll go blow with online shopping now. I plan to buy a season of 3rd Rock from the Sun (I loved that show back in the day) and the new Decemberists' CD. Ahhh... shopping... definitely eases the pain.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I wish we could open our eyes to see in all directions at the same time.

My weekend was cold, super windy, dreary, and uneventful. Blah. I didn't really do much except watch the Office with my Dad, play cribbage with my Dad and read a pretty crappy book (Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger). My dad's pretty funny - he makes fun of the Office when I watch it with him (comments like "This is what passes for comedy these days?" and "This what you find funny?") but then when I don't have the DVDs at home with me he asks me why I didn't bring it home. Yup, when my dad likes something he tends to insult it.

Today was the start of a new semester. I'm not a fan of change. Right now I miss my old classes, but I'm sure in a couple of weeks, I'll have grown to enjoy the current crop. At then beginning, I have to be a little bit strict and un-jokey, and well, I miss the jokiness. Oh well, once I teach the grade 9s some chemistry, I can start torturing them with bad chemistry jokes.

Well, I really don't have much else to say. Gosh, I'm never this quiet. See what happens when I have to deal with a slight bit of change? How am I going to handle having to move this summer?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

All I know is I gotta be where my heart says I oughta be...

Okay, first of all, let me say that I was very excited to hear that there is finally a release date for the seventh Harry Potter book. Don't expect much posting in these parts on July 21st. Yes, I am a huge nerd who will pre-order her book so that I can pick it up at midnight. Yes, I will probably read the whole thing straight through, forsaking some sleep. Yes, I am thankful that it is coming out during summer vacay, so I don't have to worry about being in any condition to show up for work.

(Note: if you have not read the Harry Potter books, honestly, you should. They're great! I never expected that I would like them as much as I do when I picked up the first one.)

Okay, in other news, The Office was super funny tonight. Thank goodness it was new this week. Last week totally sucked due to the lack on new episode. (Note: My bday falls on a Thursday. If there is a new episode on that day, my plans are going to revolve around watching it and having drinks here. If there is no new episode, I think it will a good evening to go out for cheap Martinis... Or perhaps I could do both. Hmmmm....)

Speaking of bdays, I have two blog buddies who have birthdays tomorrow (Groundhog Day). So happy bday to Scott, and to Joanna, who is not only a blog buddy, but a long time pal from the GSA (Greater St. Ratford Area).

Well, it's almost the weekend. I'm going to visit the 'rents this weekend, and I don't have tonnes of plans, so I'm hoping to get some rest. Monday is the start of the new semester, which means that I have to get used to a new routine and new classes.

Happy weekend!