Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thought it was a good solution hanging with the raisin girls...

Wow, it's been a busy week since my last blog post. First of all, I met up with three fellow bloggers (Claire, AlieMalie, and Scott) on Friday night for a tri-nation blogger summit (or so I decided to christen it). It was super fun. AlieMalie and Claire were both visiting Toronto at the same time, so they met up with me at the Portuguese bakery near my work, where I so smoothly ordered a lovely pastry that tasted like ice cream by saying "can I have the round chocolate thing?"

Following pastries, AlieMalie bravely drove us across the city to my place which something I won't even do, as you probably know that I'm an infamously nervous city driver as other bloggers will confirm. Then after a quick stop at my place to drop off stuff, we proceeded to tour Toronto via TTC and foot during which we stopped for drinks and food and some of my fave haunts.

Anyhow, it was totally fun meeting some bloggers in real-life. I'm pretty new to the whole meeting bloggers in real-life thing, but from the four I've now met, I've found that they end up being very close to what you'd expect from their blogs. And, I think, I end up being the way I seem here. So, I guess blogs are pretty good representations of people, or at least the people whose blogs I read.

On Sunday, I met up with my some of my university friends with whom I have a book club which has been on hiatus for about a year. We picked our next selection (Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen) and purchased it since we met at Indigo. So now I have that to read, in addition to Love in the Time of Cholera for my staff book club. Hopefully, I'll get back into reading mode, because I have not been able to finish a book since I finished Middlesex in September. I've started many, but I seem to have the attention span of a goldfish these days.

I'm quite excited for Halloween tomorrow. Typically, I never get myself organized enough to dress up for the occasion, but last night I picked up the necessities for a good witch costume, including black nail polish (which I'm wearing now - I feel so goth!), and sparkly fake eyelashes. I'm sure the kids will take me seriously in that getup while I'm trying to teach. If I have to get anyone in trouble, I'll probably feel a bit like Michael from the Office firing someone on Halloween.

Anyhow, things to look forward to in the coming week or so include going out for drinks with my coworkers while we're still decked out in our costumes, going to St. Ratford for part of this weekend since I can score a free ride one way, starting a crochet class with one of my coworkers (I'm branching out from knitting!), and, most importantly, the Weakerthans' concert next Thursday. :D

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Like a good book I can't put this day back.

An awesome night on a school night is a great way to put work and life into perspective, and to highlight the importance of a good meal, a good friend, and a good concert to one's mental health and spirit.

Last night I went to see Tori Amos with my friend Eric, with whom I always go to Tori Amos concerts. We both left our jobs earlier than usual so that we could have a nice leisurely dinner before the concert and catch up and chat. My friend Eric is someone who always knows the best restaurants, so we went to a French Bistro that was new to me; where I had a great meal and where we shared a bottle of wine.

The concert itself was amazing. I really like the Hummingbird Centre as a venue. It's been re-christened as the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, but I always like calling places by their pre-corporate sponsorship names. Anyhow, the opening artist was quite good, but I didn't catch his name, and he mentioned that he doesn't have material available in North America anyhow. I'm sure that will change and I'll do some detective work to find out who he was so I can get some of his work.

Tori was amazing, as always. She had a full band with her for most of the concert which I love. She's great with a just a piano, but I tend to like any artist better with a band because I just love the extra energy and sound. For the first part of the concert she was dressed up as Pip, one of her American Doll Posse alter-egos. For the rest of the concert she returned as Tori, and played just with her piano for a few songs. Highlights for me were the songs Bliss, Waitress, Space Dog, Spark, Winter, A Sorta Fairytale, and Precious Things. Okay, so really practically every song was a highlight. Oh, and I also really enjoyed her improvised song which was about her realizing that her 7-year daughter might be smarter than she is while they were in Indigo looking at books. Another highlight was seeing my quite-refined friend Eric hollering like a beer-hoister during the concert and then teasing him afterwards.

I managed to not spend a lot of money on merchandise, as per my new spending diet. I did pick up a set of buttons, but I figure that's negligible. I did avoid buying the fun "I believe in peace bitch" canvas bag, since I do already own a Tori bag, and I couldn't carry that one to school, could I?

Perhaps what I love the most about Tori's current tour is that she is selling bootlegs of her concerts online mere hours after the shows. I just downloaded last night's show tonight, and I'm listening to it and enjoying it so much. What an awesome idea. The album also comes with pictures and CD artwork. How incredibly cool. This is one of the times that I love love love technology.

Anyhow, now that that exciting event is over, I'm next looking forward to blog-related visitors this weekend. Woo-hoo!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Maybe heart and fist and human voice might be the better way...

Musings from this weekend:

1) I am going on a spending diet. I've hereby decided that I am buying no non-essentials (ie random CDs/albums, books, clothes, DVDs, jewelery, shoes, etc.) for the next month. The only purchases I'm allowed, besides food and essential toiletries (which do not include sparkley eyeshadows, lipglosses, etc. since I have a bajillion of them), are some tights so I can wear skirts in colder weather and a Weakerthans Tshirt at the upcoming concert. That's it.

This spending diet was spurred by the fact that I ended up buying several random items in the past few days. On Thursday, I was at a different school for a day of workshops and I decided to walk home from that school which meant I had to walk down Yonge from Lawrence to Eglinton. This is a dangerous stretch of Yonge for me because there are a lot of nifty stores and one had a cute hoodie on sale that had birds on it. I love birds and had to have it.

On Friday, a coworker invited me to drop by the Eaton Centre with her after work and I ended up with new jeans, a new Tshirt, and new earrings.

Today, I had to go back to the above mall so I could exchange the Tshirt 'cuz I bought the wrong size. (You would think that someone who shops as much as I do would be capable of buying something in the right size.) This ended up with me wandering around the mall and coming out with a brand new sweater that I rationalized was necessary for work.

Anyhow, no more of this nonsense. No shopping 'til my November trip to Montreal!

(Note: I do notice that as my pile of dirty laundry increases as does my notion that I have nothing to wear. Right now I really badly need to do laundry and I'm shopping a lot. Coincidence, I think not!)

2) I have decided to not resubscribe to Chart magazine when my current subscription is up (not 'til next Sept so there's still awhile). This is the Canadian music magazine that I have been reading forever, but they have thrice offended me in the past few months. The offences were:

a) a bitter review of the new Matt Good album.

b) an even more bitter review of the new Weakerthans album. It offended me so much to my inner soul that I've blocked most of it out of my memory but I do believe the words "lazy" and "cobbled-together" were used in said review. In reference to MY favourite band. Oh no, they didn't. But they did.

c) A cheap shot at Hawksley Workman in the review of Bend Sinister's latest. The reviewer said, and I paraphrase, that Bend Sinister sounds like how Hawksley used to sound before he got wussy after his first album. This makes me angry for a reason besides the fact that the reviewer insulted my dear Hawksley. I think the reviewer thinks that Lover/Fighter was Hawksley's first album (it was his third), and he got "wussy" with Treeful of Starling. But, in fact, (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves is Hawksley's second album, and I don't how anyone in their right mind can accuse that album of being wussy.

So, from these three offenses, I've learned that this magazine is becoming more irrelevant to me and that the writers must not have a good handle on the musical catalogues of certain artists that I consider important. I think I'm going to rely on Now Magazine and Eye Weekly (which are free, and weekly) for my music needs. They gave the new Weakerthans stellar reviews, which shows good taste.

3) I love Toronto in the fall.

4) Becca T and I finished season 1 of Heroes and are now catchy up on the episodes of season 2 that I've taped. I do enjoy that Peter Petrelli.

5) I'm so excited for visitors next weekend!

6) I love when I solve a problem that's been bugging me. More than a month ago, my friend with an SUV took me to Ikea to get some furniture (most of which is still unassembled... shh...). There was a loveseat I wanted, but they were out of stock of the cushions, so I decided to pick up the frame and get the cushions at a later time, since I could just bring them home in a car. Well, they've been out of the cushions forever. Today, I got the bright idea of maybe I could order them over the phone, and I did, so I should have my cushions via Canada Post in 6-10 days, and then maybe that will spur me to assemble the rest of the furniture. Anyhow, I felt very happy when I got this issue solved.

7) I was so well-behaved tonight and finished all of the work that I brought home over the weekend. That hasn't happened since, well, never?

8) I really suck at Scrabble. There's a new Facebook application called Scrabulous, and I'm currently playing 4 scrabble games on there and losing all of them. I have a good vocabulary, I'm good at word puzzles, and I'm pretty logically-minded, but I just don't have the patience with Scrabble. I think of a couple options and just plunk the best one on the board. Maybe it's just that my tiles (in all four games) are really really really sucking. Yah, that's it. It's the tiles.

So, this upcoming week promises to be fun. I've got my Tori Amos concert on Tuesday, a PD day on Friday, and fun visitors arriving. Woo-hoo! Enjoy your weeks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Roll down the windows let the cold air come in, yeah.

I have a group of friends from high school, who have managed to stay in contact since high school days, which will be officially 10 years ago as of June. There are 9 of us; and we've started up our own Facebook group, which has been a totally fun thing, because it almost seems like a virtual version of our table in the cafeteria back in the old days.

Anyhow, one of the latest discussions that has come up is creating a time capsule; i.e. all of writing where we want to be 10 years from now. Right now I think I'm at a strange point in my life; professionally, I'm where I'd like to be. It's strange not having that next degree to obtain, or job to get. I'm really happy with where I am, and I doubt that job-related change is in my near future. Personally, it's a different story. I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut, and maybe need to focus on getting out more, meeting more people, etc. This past year, I've been focussing on getting into better shape; and it feels like that's been eating up a lot of time and energy, and perhaps I don't feel as socially connected as I used to. Or, perhaps this is a side effect of living on my own now. I miss impromptu social occasions with my old roommate.

I guess this is what went through my mind as I composed my time capsule post, and it seemed naturally just like the type of thing I'd also like to include on my blog. So here it is...

In ten years:

I will be married to the right person, if such a person exists. If not, I will not be fretting about why I’m not married but just happy about where I am.
If I am married to the right person, I will have a child/children if it’s something that we are ready for. (I seriously question if parenthood is for me, so I’m unsure about it, but maybe I’d like a kid/kids… I think it all depends on what the other person is like.)
I will have a cat.
I will live in Toronto; not the suburbs.
I will no longer be renting.
I will teach at a school where I am just as happy, or more, as I am now. (Perhaps maybe still my school, but things change so I may have to change.)
I will have seen more of the world than I have now; hopefully France, Italy, Greece, and more of Europe.
I will be able to run 5Ks.
I will be well-read.
I will be environmentally friendly.
I will have re-visited some places I love: mainly Ireland and London.
I will still go to lots of concerts.
I will surround myself with positive people.
I will still have all of my close friends.
I will be happy.

It's weird thinking about 10 years down the line. It seems so far away; yet close in a way considering how fast the past 10 years flew.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Baby I'm a Lost Cause.

Right now I'm sitting here blurry-eyed from spending only three hours with the pile of marking I wanted to have finished by the end of the weekend; but that didn't happen because I went on a crazy-cross border shopping trip on Saturday, and I had to spend most of today recovering from said trip.

This weekend much money was spent. First, on Friday night I hauled myself out to Ikea because they were having a no-tax sale. I bought a loveseat from them in September, but they were out of the cushions for the loveseat, so I haven't put the darned thing together yet. Well, there were still no cushions there on Friday, so I spent $123 on other stuff. *sigh* Anyhow, I'm going to become more proactive concerning these cushions; I'm going to keep calling them, and as soon as they're in, I'm there.

Yesterday, my friend Flora drove myself and Becca T to Niagara Falls New York where we went to the Outlet Mall, Target, and then drove to Amherst to another mall. I'm all ready for winter y'all; I bought a new winter coat and boots. Plus, I spent a bunch of money on junk at Target (why is it so tempting to buy silly stuff when you're in a different country?) and some other odds and ends you can't get here. Also, with our healthy dollar right now, some price differences are crazy. For example, a pair of pants that I own is $20 less at the US Gap, so I just had to buy myself a pair there in a different colour.

We also had dinner at Chili's. I was in "remember the episode of the Office when?" heaven. I so wanted to order an Awesome Blossom extra awesome, but I don't care for onions.

The US Starbucks has a tasty toasted marshmallow mocha latte that I have not seen here. It's too bad. However, the US stores have free bookmarks to commemorate this fall drink, so I'll always have that memory.

With crazy border wait-times and customs to go through, I didn't get home 'til 2 am. I woke up when it was still morning at least, but I spent my afternoon falling asleep to episodes of the Office. I at least went for a delightful fall walk in the cemetery and then spent a couple of hours procrastinating.

All in all it was a good weekend but far too short. My apartment is a mess; I'm behind in work, so I swear I'm going to make myself a strict schedule for next week. Sigh. I'm already looking forward to Christmas break.

Have a good week.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Maybe if I was in demand, you would be mine...

I realize it's been a week since my last post. I'm totally not over blogging, I still love it to death, but I feel that the business of life is consuming me right now. I have a bajillion things to do, and I don't feel like I have time to accomplish everything, plus get my requisite levels of relaxing/downtime in.

Anyhow, I feel like compiling a random list of things I've thought in the past while.

1) Tonight I was in a gloomy mood, and I had a craving for the Matthew Good Band song "Suburbia" which lead me to listening to the Beautiful Midnight album on shuffle while going for a walk through crunchy autumn leaves on a cool autumn night. I felt better, and also appreciated how much I like that album.

2) I *may* have finagled a way to see Matt Good in Guelph, since I am missing out on the show here. I'll keep you posted.

3) I ate way too much Portuguese food tonight.

4) I might be doing double Weakerthans in November. I bought tickets to the first show right away, and then it turned out that Becca T has a work commitment that night, so I'll be taking my back-up Weakerthans pal from work, and poor Becca T was a bit melancholy about the situation. Anyhow, I just found out that a second show was added, and if Becca T wants to go to that one, I'll do two Weakerthans shows. Will it be so much enjoyability that my head will explode or implode?? I'll let you know when/if it happens.

5) I had a great long weekend. On Saturday night, I kind of sort of drank too much wine and did not eat enough food which was not a good idea. I still had fun though, but when I came home to my parents house, I ended up passing out on the couch downstairs and making it up to bed at 6:30 am. Of course my dad, being the early riser, was awake then, and when I woke up properly at 11 am, this all caused him to ask me how my kidneys were doing and he told me that I should take care of them because he may need one one day. However, next time I'm in St. Ratford, I'm writing on my hand to be sure to eating while beveraging.

6) I think I'm going on a road trip to Montreal in November. Yay!

7) I have some work-related training to do tomorrow, so it's almost like a day off since I'll be away for the day. This week is going to seem super, super short.

8) It was crazy warm here this weekend. Cooking a turkey during 30-degree weather is a little ridiculous.

9) All right, I should go and facebook now. I'm way behind on super-poking people.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I lost the chiming ring of keys to everything.

I can't believe that I am three short school days away from the first long weekend of the year. It's October now! What happened to September? Where does the time go?

I'm quite excited for the long weekend. I'll be taking the late train to St. Ratford on Friday night (it's $10 cheaper, plus eliminates the need of me rushing home from work), and then spending a good three days there. I'm super excited for Saturday night, because my group of friends from high school is having a social gathering, and each and every one of us has RSVPed via Facebook with a yes. Drinks will be consumed. Plus, one of St. Ratford's infamous crappy bars has re-opened with a new name, and maybe, just maybe, a few of us will have enough alcohol in our bloodstreams to venture there. It'll be sketchy, but I'm in the mood for some St. Ratford-style sketch.

This weekend I lay pretty low. I went to the annual Word on the Street book festival, and frequented the same tents that I always do. I went to the magazine that sells subway station buttons, and bought a new button, since I live at a new station. I also informed the dudes at this tent that they really need to listen to the song "I Will Never See The Sun" by Great Lake Swimmers since it mentions four subway stops. I chatted a little bit with an author of a book I really like at another tent. I bought a few dirt-cheap books, including one for my dad who is back to reading lots after he had a cataract surgery.

I've got lots of fun stuff coming up in October though. I have a Tori Amos concert, probably a shopping trip to the States (yay Loonie!), and two very special blog-related visitors who are venturing to the big TO.

Did anyone see the Colbert Report where he complained about the Canadian dollar being higher than the US dollar? He called the loon on the loonie a duck, which made me laugh really hard and still is making me smile.

I bought the new Dashboard Confessional CD today and I'm so in love with the first three songs that I haven't been able to get to track 4 yet. Can we all say emo-licious?

Now I have to go finish a book for my work book club. It's Simon Winchester's "The Professor and the Madman". Anyone read it? I'm having a tough time getting through it. I started it in the summer, but kept getting distracted by other books and shiny objects.