Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How whole years refuse to stay where we told them to, bad dog.

And there goes Christmas for another year. I had a good time in St. Ratford with lots of relaxing, and good times with friends. And now I'm back in Toronto, or at least until I head off to a change of scenery (Ottawa) for New Year's.

So I suppose it's that time of year to do the whole year's end run-down thing. I have some mixed feelings about this year; there was a heck of a lot of good stuff that happened, but some stuff that left me feeling down. I'm very ready to say good-bye to 2008, and here's to hoping that 2009 has the good stuff from 2008 (lots of concerts and travelling), but not so much of the bad (too much self-doubt and all-round blerginess).

Since I like math, I decided to do a 2008 by-the-numbers year end review.

1 = 1st annual Semester One Smash Down with work pals. Which is also the number of casualties that resulted from this event. That casualty was me.

1 = boring science education course that I took to get a raise.

1 = cute cat that I adopted.

1 = point that the Raptors lost by at my first game.

2 = number of times I saw Hawksley. And the Weakerthans. And REM.

2 = close work pals knocked up. Next school year’s gonna be lonely for me, but I’ll have lots of babies to visit.

3 = US States that I visited (New York, Texas, California)

3 = musicals: Spring Awakening on Broadway (!), and A Chorus Line, and Sound of Music here)

3 = dinner/brunch parties thrown by me. Yes, by me.

4 = Canadian Provinces that I spent time in (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and well, Ontario of course)

4 = number of kickass trips taken by me (NYC for 28th birthday, SXSW for March Break, San Francisco, and Maritime Mayhem)

5 = number of Starbucks City Mugs added to my collection (New York City, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, San Francisco)

11 = 11th annual Christmas gathering with the group of 9 since we left high school. 8/9 of us made it. There's a fraction for you.

17 = estimation of the number of concerts I attended this year. (Not including SXSW, that would be too hard to count.)

28 = age that I turned

30 = age that Becca T turned. She survived. Mostly, I think, because I got her the best birthday present ever (REM concert).

Countless = number of students who made my day. My job rocks.

Countless = dinners, lunches, brunches, second lunches, drinks, coffees, and such with various friends that have stuck around through the years.

I suppose the vast majority of that adds up to one pretty good year. Well, still, pretty good year. Cue Tori song now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All the bells are ringing out, and it's Christmas all over again.

So the Queen of Indecisiveness (me) has now flip-flopped three times on when to leave for the holidays. I was going to go last night, and then switched to tomorrow night, and have now settled on tonight. I feel bad for my poor cat-sitter who keeps getting messages about changes in plans. Actually, I've been this flip-floppy about trips in the past, but only my parents have had to deal with it. Now that I've got a cat, there's a whole other person in the equation. Lucky that my pal Mathew is patient.

Anyway, over the past few days I've hosted a successful egg nog waffle brunch, gone to a super-fun Christmas party, and had a really relaxing spa day.

Now I'm taking a break from packing up dirty laundry (and presents!) to bring to the 'rents. I think I'm going to relax, knit, exercise, read, chill, and social butterfly as much as possible over the next few days.

Blogging may or may not be hiatus-ed for awhile depending on my mood and internet connection.

I'm back in Toronto for a couple days in on the 29th, then I'm going to spend New Year's in Ottawa, so that will be a fun change.

Merry Christmas to all of you who read this. And all of you who don't too.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa Claus is coming; hear the banjo strumming.

I figured out what my favourite part of Christmas is: the traditions that I have with my friends.

I have a really small family, and really for most of my adult life, I have Christmas Day dinner with my parents and that's it for the family stuff. No huge dinners with extended family or any of that jazz. We used to do that when I was a kid, but somehow everyone grew up and drifted apart and now we just get cards and stuff. All of my first cousins are way older than me, and grew up far away from me, so I was never close to them.

I think being an only child and not having close extended family has forced me to accumulate many close friends. And one cool thing about growing older, is that many of my friendships have aged really well, and feel like a comfy pair of Chucks. And, the Christmas traditions that I have with these friends are my favourite part of the Christmas season.

Tonight was one of my fave Christmas traditions: my university pals Becca T and Flora and I celebrated our 11th Christmas together. Every year, we exchange gifts and then have dinner at Swiss Chalet. And as always, tonight was a great way to celebrate another year of friendship.

Another favourite Christmas tradition of mine is the Annual Christmas Gathering of the Group of Nine. This is my crazy group of friends from high school. It's amazing that nine of us have been able to keep in touch for ten years now. Every year, as many of us as possible invade someone's house, and eat, and drink, and laugh a lot. This year, it looks like all nine will be able to attend, barring any disasters (knock on wood). I don't think any of us can remember when all nine of us were together in one room, so it's gonna be historic. I can't wait.

I also like school traditions too. This is my fifth year at my school, and every year on the last Friday before break, we have shortened classes, a talent show, and then we kick the kids out and have a staff lunch. It's always a nice day and I look forward to it.

Tomorrow night, since they have predicted a nasty snowstorm, Becca T is going to come here, and sleep over and we're going to watch cheesy Christmas movies together. Another fun tradition carried over from university days.

On Saturday, I'm throwing a waffle brunch for some pals. Maybe this will become a new Christmas tradition since I had to invest in a waffle iron... Anyway, I came up with the idea when I saw that I had a container of Williams Sonoma egg nog waffle mix in my cupboard that a friend gave to me 'cuz she doesn't like egg nog. I decided the only way to use this was to have a little party, so here we are. Lucky I got a new Nightmare Before Christmas apron as a gift today to wear as I make waffles.

Anyway, yay for traditions, and yay for the last sleep before the last school day before the holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And I think I might find some wood and build a house... or maybe a boat... I don't know.

I am freaking exhausted. Tonight I finished my Christmas shopping, and spent a good four hours wrapping Christmas presents and writing Christmas cards. And that's only the cards for work people/Toronto people. I still have the St. Ratford contingent to deal with. Possible New Year's resolution: alientate some people so that I have fewer cards to write? Ha-ha.

But really, I was feeling warm and fuzzy for the many the person as I wrote their cards, wrapped their gifts, and tied on ribbons. I splurged a little today at Indigo on pretty paper, and ribbon, and sparkly snowman gift tags.

Christmas definitely brings out my inner perfectionist. Actually, it's not too hard to bring out the inner perfectionist. I am technically finished my Christmas shopping*, but after thinking about my mom's gift, I'm pretty sure it was all wrong. So, I've unwrapped the gift (carefully, so I can re-use bows and paper). Tomorrow I will go exchange it, rewrap it, and then it'll be perfect and I will be able to sleep easy.

I don't think I've ever been this on top of things though. I still have a couple of mixed CDs to make for a friend, plus finish knitting a mitten, but that is it.

I'm so on top of things that I've even gotten my required poem written for a friend's Christmas party on Saturday. There were three topics I could choose from, so I went with the one that spoke to me the most. So without further adieu, here's the only poetry I've written all year.

Santa Pooped in My Stocking: A Trifecta of Haikus by Christielli

On Christmas morning,
I checked my stocking first thing.
The stench was putrid.

You know how they say
If you are bad you get coal?
I got something worse.

Instead of keeping
This offensive, rank, foul gift
I sent it to John.**

I think I've posted haikus on my blog before (actually, that may have incited a haiku war if I remember correctly). Haiku is my poetry style of choice 'cuz it's all mathy with the 5/7/5 pattern.

3 more days of school left in 2008.

*I still have to buy my dad a gourmet jar of jelly beans from Shopper's, but they are heavy and I can buy them in St. Ratford so that's the last thing I will buy once I've arrived in the Rat.
**Host of party, who has a unique sense of humour and came up with the poetry topics. Usually Santa, or anyone, pooping is not mentioned on this blog.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The revolution wasn't bad; we hit the streets with all we had.

Weekend rundown:

1) Stars was fan-fucking-tastic! What a great concert to end this year which has been a year of concerts for sure. In 2008, I've been to at least 17 shows + SXSW, so yah, it's been the year of the concert for me. And Stars was a great show to end this year with.

The opening band, Gentlemen Reg, was great. I'd heard *of* them, and maybe have a song or two of theirs, but not overly familiar with them. They were really fun to see live. They have a new album coming out in February, so I'm interested in that.

Stars were phenomenal. They played pretty much every song that I wanted to hear, and it was just an incredibly high energy show in a great venue. I had fourth row seats, which were wicked, and ah, what can I say. It's hard to describe such a show. I have a huge crush on Amy Milan, by the way. Oh, and the lights were way cool. And, Torq shouted out the mall across the street from my school. Neat-o.

2) I slept on Saturday. Pretty much all day Saturday. I believe that I dragged myself to Shopper's at some point to get OJ. I technically think I should have stayed at home Friday, but I wasn't prepared to take a second day off, *and* I would have felt guilty going out on the eve of a second sick day. Damned in-grained guilt complex that I possess. Anyway, so, as a result, Saturday was a complete day of rest.

3) Today I managed to get out and get my Christmas shopping almost finished. I also got distracted by cute clothing on sale and a total splurge on boots I've been coveting. No one's going to be buying those for me, and they're never going on sale, and they match my splurge coat perfectly. I could still take them back, but I'm growing too attached to them.

4) Tonight I avoided responsibility (i.e. marking) by cooking dinner for myself, then inviting my pal Mathew over to help me eat said dinner, and going for coffee with him and dropping by Walmart for heavy stuff (i.e. cat litter). Walmart is so unpleasant, but when someone's going to drive you there to get heavy things, and they are the only place you know that stocks a particular brand of delicious baked dill pickle chip, what do you do?

5) I think my voice is okay because it just survived a long phone conversation with Becca T.

6) And oh, guess who's got her first concert tickets of 2009? And guess who they are for? Fave band = Weakerthans! Woot!

So five more days of this whole working thing, and then it's vacay. Can I survive? I think so.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

There's one thing I want to say, so I'll be brave.

This is tomorrow night:

Feeling better after staying home. Slept most of the day. Got the new Oprah magazine. Had an "A-Ha" moment. (Ha-ha.) Bought a new book (Vinyl Cafe Diaries by Stuart McLean). Found myself feeling energized so I made a trip to the Eaton Centre. Got some Christmas shopping done. Used some store credit I had from mis-purchases to get a fabulous new bag, and a present for someone else. Came home with OJ (purpose of trip) and watched The Office and 30 Rock.

I also bought my favourite bath product at Lush so I plan to have a nice bubble bath and read and listen to Stars to prep me for tomorrow. Yah, you know that I am the type of nerd who prepares for concerts.

I was distracted from writing this post when a friend sent me this. Watch it. Hilarity! It's especially awesome when the Care Bear shows up. How can you not click now??

So this post now has no official rhyme nor reason to it like all of my posts. I swear, maybe in the new year, I will write posts that stick to an actual topic and are somewhat coherent.

Yeah right.

But anyway, back to Stars, and back to the title of this post, from the most-excellent song "Your Ex-Lover Remains Dead". I'm often not brave and don't say the things that I want to say, but I say hi-five to those who do.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I tried to rock you but you only can roll.

Good thing that blogging involves me posting through my fingers because my voice is shot these days. Yes, I think I did catch whatever throat ailment that everyone and their cat has, either that, or I'll never be able to go to another basketball game ever again because of the havoc it wreacks on my vocal chords.

Today at school my scratchy voice was quite a topic of conversation. My students told me that I should have stayed home. (In retrospect, I should have.) One of my teacher friends made fun of me all day. For example, when I was complaining about something to her, she said "That sounds as bad as your voice does." Snap. My period 4 class, who are lovely people, said "awwww" in unison when I told them I was sick.

Anyway, lesson plans for tomorrow have been been placed in my mailbox, and a supply has been called and I plan to sleep in and spend a day of not talking and drinking tea and hopefully that will help everything. I plan to spend sometime on my sick day catching up on my marking since the pile is growing and I think might be my eventual downfall since it's getting so heavy to carry home and back.

Monday, December 08, 2008

These are the best days of your life; dinner parties and friends and no one's wife.

Hola! It's been a busy few days, and I think that this trend will continue until Christmas. But I like being busy, so woo-hoo.

My work party on Friday was fun. I actually played a game of pool (badly) but it was fun doing something that I hadn't done since I was 18.

On Saturday I was in my first car accident ever. That sounds way scarier than it was. It was a very very minor accident. On one of the first snowfalls of the year, my friend Mathew picked me up to go shopping. While driving on a back street, Mathew came to a stop and slid a bit. A couple seconds later, a car hit him. Mathew was like "was I just hit?" and I replied "What? Maybe? I don't know!" Turned out there's a scratch on the back of his car. Probably the most minor accident that anyone could be in, but I hadn't even been in something that insignificant before. Which is insane, considering the people who I grew up with. Some of my high school friends are notoriously bad drivers.

Sunday was another first for me: my first Raptors' game. It was super fun. It was such a close game, but oh-so exciting. My throat still hurts from yelling. Or so I hope. I may be coming down with the cold that everyone and their cat has these days.

Speaking of cats, last night mine was on top of the fridge. Being the disciplinarian that I am, I walked by and said "silly cat". Then, I was chatting online for a bit and I realized that I hadn't seen my cat in awhile. So I looked in all of her favourite hiding spots. No Rilo. I got distracted again, and forgot about her. When I was on my way to bed, I heard her meowing, and saw her waaaaaaaaay up on my kitchen cabinets above the fridge. I grabbed my camera 'cuz she looked terrified! (I think she fell asleep up there and then woke up spooked.) She was able to get down on her own, but was then very chatty about her adventure.

Last night I also discovered the new Leona Naess album "Thirteens". She had a very minor hit in the early part of this decade called "Charm Attack". Becca T and I used to rock out to that song a lot in our residence days. Anyhow, I found out she released something new, folksy, and indie and I love it. The title for this post comes from the song "Not the Same Girl" and is appropriate because...

...tonight I threw my second dinner party! I made the same food, but it was super fun. Entertaining makes Mondays more tolerable. Anyway, yay for food, and friends, and wine, and ice cream, and hot chocolate, and not doing work. Boo to the chores of going to the gym and marking which is how I'll be spending my Tuesday...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything.

Wow, another week is drawing to a close. Only 10 more instructional days until Christmas. Those are the days that count to me. The rest are candy.

Tomorrow's my work Christmas party. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be fun to get dressed up, at the very least. Oh, and I love my work pals so of course it'll be great.

It's been a pretty quiet week. I've been a little bit of a homebody, which is odd for me. Usually I have a bunch of things on the go and I'm running around doing this and that. I've been reading a little bit, knitting a little bit, procrastinating on cleaning and laundry, and following the Parliamentary crisis. Of course, maybe now that Parliament has been prorogued for seven weeks, it means I'll have to go out and do stuff. Hmmm, maybe this week has been my own little prorogue of being busy. Maybe I just needed a little time out. (Note: I think prorogue is every Canadian's word of the day.)

It's been nice spending more time with Rilo though. She's really come out of her shell lately. I've had her now for about a month and a half. At first she was pretty calm, yet inquisitive and friendly. I wondered if she was older than they told me because she wasn't playful at all. That has changed. She's taken to going crazy every evening where she runs around my apartment. One of her favourite routes is to run from the living room, all the way into the bathroom, then hop into the bathtub, turn around and run back into the living room. She will repeat this a few times. I suppose that's how she gets her cardio. Strangely, she has not done this yet this evening. She's chosen to lounge beside me on the couch as I blog.

She also carries around her toy duck once per day. Usually she brings it into my room while I'm sleeping, and occasionally I've woken up with the duck in my bed in the morning.

Earlier this evening, I was chatting with my pal Mathew (Rilo's godfather) on MSN, and he drew this lovely picture of Rilo and her duck.

I think that is the first incidence of guest art on my blog. :)

Here's Rilo looking cute when she hopped up on my desk the other day.

Here she is looking like she's plotting something. Maybe she's going to take down my Christmas tree again or chew through another set of headphones.

Well, I think that's all I have to say after my dull week. I'm sure I'll have Christmas party shenanigans to entertain you with soon.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Work when you need to, maybe. Don't let 'em bleed you baby.

Random Monday musings:

1) Parliamentary showdowns! Pacts! Coalition governments! Drama! Who would think that Canadian politics could get so interesting?

2) Is it a sign that a person is indecisive if she buys 4 new tops for a party? (Note: tops 1 and 2 have been returned. Top 3 is being kept since it was cheap. Top 4 is going to the party.)

3) I just finished a pretty decent novel ("Remembering the Bones" by Francis Itani). Basically it's the story of an 80-year-old woman's life in small-town Ontario. I really enjoy Canadian fiction like this. I also enjoy fiction that more or less points out that even the most ordinary of lives is pretty interesting, and could make an interesting novel.

Also, reading novels set in small towns makes me want to flee the city (even though I love the city and in reality could never leave it) and go back to my small town roots. Maybe someplace even smaller than St. Ratford.

Also, reading novels with setting in the 1920s-1950s make me wonder what my life would be like if I lived back then. I guess I would have gotten married eons ago? Either that or I'd be a spinster schoolteacher, ha-ha.

4) The setting of the novel I just finished made me listen to the Kim Barlow songs that I downloaded awhile ago. She's a folky singer-songwriter from the Yukon who I saw in October as part of the Pan-Canadian Folk Ensemble. Her song "Dancehall" is so 1940s and appeals to my 1940s retro-side, which I really didn't know that I possessed until I just thought about it right now.

5) That concert was actually recently posted on CBC Radio 2's Concerts-On-Demand site. It's a great listen. My favourite songs are Kim Barlow's "Dancehall" and "Great White Nothing"; Christine Fellows' new song "Dragonfly"; and Old Man Luedecke's song "I Quit My Job". That last one is great, trust me. Anyway, if you are ever in the mood to indulge your inner folk-self (and we *all* have an inner folk-self, right?), listen to this show. Oh, and if you listen closely, maybe you can hear me clapping and singing during the sing-a-longs.

6) I had a super fun Saturday night. I went to the tree-lighting at Nathan Phillips' Square with some pals. Then we wandered around to other places with lights, and ended up going for coffee and then late-night sushi. Here are some Christmas lights pics.

This is the awesome light up Tiger in Koreatown. I really had to talk my pal Mathew into taking us there. He said "this had better be the coolest tiger ever." His verdict: "you got lucky."

Tree at Yonge-Dundas Square

This tree was what all the pomp and circumstance was about.

More lights at Nathan Phillips' Square.

Swarovski tree at the Eaton Centre.

7) Tonight my work spouse called me 'cuz she got Raptors tickets from her real-life husband 'cuz he's going to a football game, and she invited me. I've never been to a basketball game before! Now I just have to go to a football game, a hockey game, and a soccer game and I'll have been to all of the major sports. Ha-ha. Like that's going to happen.

8)I forget if there was anything else I had to say. So I'll leave it for now.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Let's make some soup 'cuz the weather is turning cold.

Home from fall concert 7/8! I can't believe that I'm down to one pair of concert tickets (Stars). I used to have a huge stack of them in my desk drawer. Well, hopefully there will be just as many great shows for me to go to in the new year.

Anyway, tonight was my Hawksley Workman/Hey Rosetta! show at Massey Hall. Hey Rosetta! were a fabulous opening band. Why does it seem that the sets of opening bands that you actually like are super short, but those of bands you don't care for go on and on and on? I definitely need to see Hey Rosetta! on their own sometime so I can enjoy a nice long set.

Hawksley made me beyond happy by opening up with a Christmas song (Almost a Full Moon). Yay! His second song, Ilfracombe, is one of my favourites and I've never heard it live before, so it was super speical. The rest of the set was great. The sound equipment actually had technical difficulties during a really rawk version of the sound Striptease which was unfortch. (One fan yelled "you busted it with awesomeness!") However, Hawksley made the best of the situation by doing an amazing acoustic version of Anger as Beauty. When the sound system was fixed, the rest of the band came in, and finished off the song.

For the encore, Hawksley invited up all of Hey Rosetta! to play with his band for "Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off". It was awesome. He had done the same thing in March when I saw him at the Danforth Music Hall, and that's actually how I discovered Hey Rosetta! It was definitely a performance worth seeing a second time.

Hawksley always has a special place in my heart as a performer. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen him. The first time I saw him was in March of 2001 at the Rivoli with my pal Becca T (who of course accompanied me tonight). It was the first really small indie show we'd ever attended, and turned us into the concert-going nuts that we are today. Seeing Hawksley is like seeing an old friend, and it's best done with an old friend. :)

ps Rilo chewed through my headphones the other night but I still love her.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Maybe it's time to wave goodbye now.

There's an episode of the Simpsons where Mr. Burns goes to the Mayo Clinic to get a checkup. It turns out that he has every known disease. When he asks why he is still alive, the doctor uses a little toy door, and a bunch of toy germs to explain. Basically, all of the germs in Burns' body are trying to get through the door at the same time, but they get stuck as a result, hence Burns is alive.

Sometimes my thoughts are like those germs. They are all trying to get through the door at once and get stuck.

Anyway, I guess it just boils down to there is someone that I needed to say goodbye to quite a long time ago, but I kept putting it off because even though it's something I *need* to do, I don't really *want* to do it. But I think it's time because I can't think of anything else to say. Well, actually I *can* think of a lot, but all of those thoughts are stuck in that doorway right now.

Or maybe I should just quit trying to say so much and just leave it as one word. Goodbye.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I lace my Chucks, I walk the aisle.

Can I just say I hate how early it gets dark??? And it's still only November! I honestly feel like it's getting darker earlier this year than I've ever noticed before. I probably feel like this every year, and then forget about it during the long days of summer, only to be shocked by the fact by the time winter (well, it's actually still fall) rolls around.

I had a fairly low key weekend. On Friday, I got a little Christmas tree for myself and plus far too many ornaments (some of which I returned). When I first got the tree, Rilo seemed hell bent on knocking it over, but I think she's habituated to its presence, and it's no longer at risk (knock on wood).

I splurged on a bunch of ornaments from Pier 1 (man, how I love Pier 1). My second favourite (my favourite being a red bird; a Christmas tree isn't proper without a bird, I believe), is the dill pickle ornament. I've seen these before in Christmas stores, and always thought they were hilariously random. Anyway, I bought one just to make myself laugh, and researched the significance of the pickle ornament. Turns out there is some sort of tradition where you hide the pickle ornament on the tree, and the first kid to find it gets an extra present.

Here's a picture of Rilo looking saintly in front of my tree. Can you find the pickle ornament?

On Saturday, as I was on my way to return some superfluous ornaments, my beloved iPod died. It was three years old, and got a lot of use, and I think I had been anticipating its death. It's been replaced with a super-cute purple nano that has *almost* enough space for my music library. This has caused me to do a little bit of house-cleaning so that the songs I don't love are not on my iPod. As a result, I'm finding shuffling much more fun.

Speaking of music, I think I'm in the dreaded musical rut. I've just been listening to old stuff, and haven't come across anything new in like, oh I dunno, a month. I want to stumble across a new amazing band or album or something dammit! A little help?

Friday, November 21, 2008

I see the stars coming down there, coming down there to the yard.

Here's something new. An early morning post.

Report card season and all of its super-fun associated events (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice) are done with.

Which means bring on Christmas! 4 more weeks until holidays!!!

Quiet weekend ahead. Christmas decorating and chilling with Becca T. Oh, and I really want to spend some time knitting.

I saw the stage version of The Sound of Music this week. It was great.

A week today and I'll be off to fall concert number 7 of 8. It's my dear Hawksley at Massey Hall. I hope he plays Christmas songs. Like "A House or Maybe a Boat". That's really all I want for Christmas this year.

I'm wearing my snowflake Tshirt today because there is snow on the ground.

Rilo needs food, and I need to be off to a boring PD day, but at least I don't have to be at school until 9 am and they are feeding me, and I hope I can knit a bit during the proceedings. And they feed us. Portuguese food I hope.

After the day, I think I'm going to do some shopping. Yay.

Alright, seriously its time to head off. Later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

In love with love and lousy poetry.

Quick two-to-three-sentence updates on what's been going on. I'm trying to temporarily reduce my verbosity.

1) Jack's Mannequin was oh-so-fabulous. They put on a high energy show, and the highlight song for me was "Caves" which has two movements. The transition between the two movements was incredible.

2) Had an enjoyable visit with one of my pals from high school on Saturday and Sunday. The weather was so gross on Saturday night that we just ended up staying in and drinking wine and being silly.

3) I had a baby shower for a co-worker on Sunday. Santa Claus almost ruined the shower because the guest of honour was 1.5 hours late because of Santa Claus Parade traffic.

4) Tonight I'm cooking dinner for my dear pals Becca T and Eric. Yes, you read that correctly. Luckily, they are good enough friends that they will still love me even if I poison them.

5) Remember that online course I took in the summer? Well, finally the paperwork is in, and I am going to get my raise for taking it (after I send it to HR). Woo-hoo! (I've spent that raise already.)

6) It was cold today. I wore my new coat which made the cold weather slightly more tolerable in that I like wearing new stuff. And the coat itself is super warm.

7) Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha Twist. OMFG.

8) I'm in the Christmas spirit. I broke out the Christmas songs this weekend. I'm going to decorate next weekend.

9) Rilo is running around like a cat possessed.

10) Time to get this dinner party started. Later!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

There's a lot that I don't know; there's a lot that I'm still learning.

This is tomorrow night.

I am so excited to see Jack's Mannequin tomorrow night! It's going to be, well, emolicious. :) I *think* that perhaps that maybe JM has unseated my beloved Dashboard Confessional as my favourite emo band, but perhaps I need to wait for a third album to be released to make that decision for sure.

The above song, The Resolution, will most definitely go down as the song that exemplifies 2008 for me. Not only have I listened to it a lot, and introduced it to a lot of people, the lyrics give me a sense of strength and hope. Don't get me wrong, this year has been pretty great overall, but for quite awhile, I've been feeling that I lost a part of myself somewhere along the way, and I've been trying to figure out exactly what that part is, where it went, and how I can get it back. The songwriter explains that this song is about accessing the positive, and that's exactly what I've needed to be reminded of this year.

I just need light in the dark as I search for the resolution.

Emo-post out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I guess on days like this you know who your friends are.

The above lyric is from the song "Taxi Ride" by Tori Amos. I love that song and it always makes me feel happy about all of the awesome friends that I have when I hear it. It's a good song for my iPod to choose for me on a blerg-y Monday.

I don't belive in astrology. I know all about the Earth's wobble making everyone's sign technically wrong (I'm really a Capricorn not an Aquarius). Besides this, I can't really believe that the stars that were present in the sky on the day of my birth predict my future and my personality.

However, reading my horoscope is fun, dammit, and it makes me feel better in the morning. And my Sunday morning horoscope, "something good is coming over the horizon for you", makes me want to close out my inner skeptic and become an astrology devotee.

I also like this quote from Kate Winslet: "Everyone can commit to 20 minutes (of exercise), especially if there’s a glass of Chardonnay afterwards." So, if I go to a 90 minute yoga class tonight, do I get 4.5 glasses of wine afterwards?

One of my favourite Simpsons words is "Boo-runs". After a conversation with a friend last night, I realized that all of us who say Boo-urns are using it incorrectly. I always use it instead of boo. However, Moleman uses it as a cheer, so I really should use it when I'm happy. So Boo-runs that Monday is over. Meh, I honestly prefer using it incorrectly, I think.

Rilo discovered one of the toys that I bought her before I got her this weekend. It's a stuffed duck and she carries it around in her mouth like so:

This is her favourite spot in my apartment. I suspect it is because she likes the cat painting on the wall.

Monday randomness out.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I get back up and I do it again.

Because it's a lazy, rainy Saturday afternoon, and I'm killing time before going for dinner with a pal, and I should be cleaning my messy apartment and I don't feel like it, I decided to find a blog meme to do. Because that is so much more important than living in a clean and orderly space.

Anyway, no surpises that an Itunes survey meme would appeal to me.

How many songs total: 4181 songs, 16.39 GB
How many hours or days of music: 11 days, 1 hour, 48 minutes, 30 seconds
Most recently played: Girl by Beck
Most played: Sleeps with Butterflies by Tori Amos (401 times)
Most recently added: Apparitions (Live) - Matthew Good

Sort By Song Title
First song: A-Hole by Bowling for Soup
Last Song: 99% of Us Is Failure (Live) - Matthew Good

Sort By Time
Shortest Song: One Last "Woo-hoo!" for Pullmen by Sufjan Stevens (0:07)
Longest Song: Sleep Don't Weep by Damien Rice (21:55)

Sort By Album
First Song: Living Well is the Best Revenge by REM
Last Song: Sleep Don't Weep by Damien Rice

Top 10 Most Played Songs
1) Sleeps with Butterflies by Tori Amos
2) Souvenirs by Christine Fellows
3) Light Years by Sloan
4) So Long, So Long by Dashboard Confessional
5) The Con by Tegan & Sara
6) Your Braids by Colin Munroe
7) In the Cinema Alone by Memphis
8) Reunion Tour by The Weakerthans
9) Reconstruction Site by The Weakerthans
10) Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars

Five Songs that come up on Shuffle (please don't embarrass me dear iTunes!)
1) Christmas is Coming - Vince Guaraldi Trio
2) If You Can't Leave it Be - Dashboard Confessional
3) At My Most Beautiful - REM
4) Comin' Home - City and Colour
5) Why Do You Love Me - Garbage

“Sex”, How many songs come up? 9
“Love”, How many songs come up? 177
“You”, How many songs come up? 602
“Death”, How many songs come up? 82
“Hate”, How many songs come up? 25
“Wish”, How many songs come up? 10

Okay, so that was an incredible waste of time. LOL Time to go clean, I suppose.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A map is more unreal than where you've been or how you feel.

I played hooky today.

I needed it. Yesterday, I was in a very negative mood. I think this was just a super long week for me. Monday was super fun since it involved a concert. Tuesday I worked an 11 hour day, so less fun there. Wednesday I was sent to a really boring workshop that was a waste of time. You know something is pretty bad when my mind wanders and fantasizes about marking, which seemed like a far more productive and exciting activity. By Thursday, I was tired, and grumpy, and realized that I needed a day for myself. Also, I could feel something coming on since my throat was scratchy and my nose stuffy.

Today I slept in, watched The View and walked down to meet Becca T for a frappucino. We've been having some unseasonably warm weather, and we've been taking advantage of it by sipping frappucinos in the park. (Even though this results in us feeling chilly.)

Then I picked up some stylish new yoga duds on sale at Roots.

Then I meandered back home where I am now. Throat is still scratchy, nose is a little stuffy, and I'm really tired, but a day to me was good stuff.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

But he don't, but he don't, he just don't.


1) Feist was a great show! I had such a good time. It was great to see Hayden too, who's been on of my favourites since I was 18 years old. I hope he does his own tour sometime soon. His stage setup was just a mish-mash of instruments on the stage with a carpet underneath that had a garage-ish feel. Cool.

Feist was fabulous. I think the highlight song for me was the closer of "Sea Lion Woman". That woman can rock it out. She also managed to incorporate my favourite four things (stars, hearts, flowers, and birds) into her show. Anyway, it was a super fun time.

2) My new favourite word is blerg. Thanks 30 Rock!

3) So there was like some election or something last night... Joking. I didn't get to watch as much of it as I would have like because I had to help out with our school's open house. (Who was the silly person who set that date?) Blerg! However, I had a pretty fun time at the open house where my work spouse and I did some flashy science demos. My hair smelled like burnt gummy bears on my way home.

The US election was pretty inspirational. I wish we could have a charismatic leader in Canada. That would be something, eh?

4) Today I was volun-forced to go to a really boring workshop. I could have been at work getting work done instead. Blerg!

5) This kid made the comment last night that "Ms. W doesn't need chemicals to be on fire!" That was nice. :)

6) I downloaded some songs by Kim Barlow, who is a singer-songwriter from the Yukon that I saw as part of the Pan-Canadian Folk Ensemble a few weeks ago. She's fun. My fave tracks are "But He Don't", "Great White Nothing" and "Dancehall". Great stuff. I think I'm becoming a complete folkster (new term, just invented it). The last three concerts that I went to (Folk Ensemble, Great Lake Swimmers, Feist) are sometimes classified as folk music by iTunes, so maybe I need to become more crunchy-granola?

7) One day I'm going to write an actual post about one thing and not just a list of randomness. I swear. I find at this time of year my brain is complete mush. Blerg.

8) The weather has been crazy warm the past couple of days.

9) Are you aware of the phenomenon of pregnancy brain? Basically, when you are pregnant, like my dear work spouse, your brain gets a little bit mushy. This caused her to bring us to see the Sound of Music when we were supposed to see A Chorus Line. Well, she ended up breaking all three photocopiers at work because she put in the wrong kind of overheads. When she told me the story, my first reaction was "What? Did you break the good one?" and her reply was "Yup, and the other two as well." Last night we witnessed some people panicking over the situation and had to try so hard not to laugh. I'm sure there was mass chaos today at school. So maybe that boring-ass workshop was a blessing in disguise.

10) I hate when I have to decide whether or not to take a risk. I tend to play it safe when it comes to most things in life, but there might be something happening where I'll have to put something out there, and I'm not sure if it'll go my way. However, I have this nagging feeling that if I leave things as they are in the interest of playing it safe, I could possibly regret in the future. Trust me, what I'm babbling about right now isn't overly deep or anything, but I just need to vent. Blerg.

Oh yeah, and new 30 Rock tomorrow. I hope Liz Lemon says blerg!

ps How many times did I say blerg in this post?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Kick drum on the basement floor.

This is tonight!!!

I would have posted 1234, which is like my fave music video of recent memory, but that seems too cliche. I really love the above song though. And the video is cool. I wish I had a field with barrels of fireworks in it. Would be good times.

Hayden will be there too with members of Cuff the Duke as his backing band.

I feel sorry for the poor dude who agreed to go this concert with me. I am so excited to see Feist and Hayden and I think I'll constantly be shouting "I love this song!" in his ear all of the time.

Going to a concert with me means that you will get poked on the shoulder quite a bit. Just ask my poor friend Becca T who has accumulated many bruises in her life from such occasions as when Hawksley played "Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off" or when the Weakerthans played "Reconstruction Site" or when REM played "What the Frequency Kenneth?" or when...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

It's Saturday night on Utopia Parkway.

Have you ever wondered what happens when you are asked to bring a scary dessert to a Halloween party and you have absolutely no culinary skills?

You end up with my patented Bloody Tarantula Cookies. (Directions: 1) Bake Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. 2) Add red icing. 3) Place gummy tarantula upon red icing. 4) Don't go into sugar shock.)

Now what if another person (my pal Mathew), who has a friend who dabbles in the pastry arts, is asked to bring a dessert to the very same party. You get these:

Anyway, I had a pretty good Halloween that involved me burning my fingers on a test tube while doing flashy demos for the kids, and going to Becca T's Halloween party in a recycled witch costume from last year. At said party I only had a couple of scary desserts, ran into some old friends, maybe had a bit too much punch, lost my shoes, and then found them. Good times.

Today I sweat out the toxins that I accumulated last night at yoga, and got my hair cut. I have bangs! I haven't had those since high school.

Hope your Halloweens were happy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Most people like you, well, they don't dislike you.

I need...

...to drink more water.

...to go to the gym more often.

...to figure out my Halloween costume.

...to turn my brain off every once in awhile.

...to do laundry and clean my apartment.

...to finish knitting mittens for myself so I can start making baby stuff for some school friends who are knocked up.

...to live in the moment; not in the past, not in the future, but in the now.

I want...

...new lululemon pants. Deal is if I go to the gym 3 times per week in November, I get them.


...to be able to do this one yoga pose, where you stand on your shoulders, much better than I can now.

...to actually finish a book. (Something I haven't sadly done in awhile.)

...to feel more energized than I have lately.

I have...

...a lot of work on my plate these days.

...a monster who lives in my apartment and makes it messy (inside joke with my pal Jolene... it's actually her monster).

...fabulous classes, and really nice students who count on me for other things too. You would be surprised that there are teenagers out there who push me to do things like take then gardening in the park near our school, and to work on making the school more ecologically friendly. Teenagers tend to be really good people.

...a quieter weekend coming up. I won't be staying out late three nights in a row. It was worth it though. My midnight Great Lake Swimmers concert on Saturday was awesome, and I stayed out even later drinking tea. (Party animal.)

...tickets to see Feist with Hayden on Monday!

...a season subscription with my work spouse to this year's Mirvish productions. (I saw A Chorus Line last night. It was good. I'm seeing The Sound of Music in November.)

...lots of close friends.

...a great napping buddy in Rilo Kitty. I think I'm going to post another picture of here so you can see how pretty her green eyes are. Oh and I swear I'm not going to become a person who posts a picture of her cat all the time. Just, umm, some of the time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I ain't freaking, I ain't faking this.

Early weekend update:

Today was a PD Day. Hence, a few of us decided that we would take advantage of the slower pace of a PD Day by going out on Thursday night. We started out by having dinner and some drinks at the Drake (hipster central), and then made our way around the city to various places. It was good times, and I got home after 2 am, which made me feel young and cool again.

I probably didn't fall asleep until 3 am, and had to wake up pretty early for the PD because we science teachers were sent all the way out to Scarborough to do some safety training. The training was actually at the school that I did my first bout of practice teaching at exactly 6 years ago. So it was weird to be back there, and I couldn't remember my way around the school.

Due to lack of sleep I kept falling asleep during the safety training much to the amusement of my coworkers. I guess my head kept bobbing up and down. I still got perfect on the test I had to write.

Since the training was far far away from our school, there was no time to make it back for the remainder of the PD boredom. Shucks. We went for sushi instead.

I just came back from the movie "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" which I've been wanting to see forever. It was cute. I'd give it three stars out of five.

Tomorrrow: yoga, perhaps a little bit of shopping, birthday party, and a midnight Great Lake Swimmers show.

Sunday: Day of rest which means I will not touch the stack of marking that I dragged home.

p.s. Rilo's is doing very well at earning the title of best. cat. ever. She went to the vet yesterday and got a clean bill of health. She's got to put on some weight though. She only weighs 5.8 lbs. Also, I bought her a really punk-ass plaid collar with a bell on it (guess the bell isn't so punk-ass) but she managed to take it off at some point today. I've been hunting around for it, but no idea of where or when it will show up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh sugar spell it out.

Here's some Wednesday randomness. I am well aware that's it's not Wednesday, but I've kept thinking that it is Wednesday all freakin' day, so why stop now?

1) There's an older teacher on staff who always forgets my name. He learned it last year, but apparently it didn't stick. Today he was introducing me to his student teacher and he called me "Ms. Science". I didn't correct it. I like it. Maybe I'll tell my students they get bonus marks for calling me that.

2) It was cold today!! On the way home from school, it actually *snowed*. Little flakes landed on my coat. They didn't stick to the ground, but still. October 21st is too early for flakes to land on my coat.

3) I spent an hour raking leaves today (don't ask) and my back hurts. I feel like a grandma.

4) Rilo has been doing very well. She's such a personable cat. She says hello to me in the morning and follows me around and then chills with me on the couch as I eat my cereal and watch TV. Then, we chill when I get home. Right now, she's mad at me because I have to give her some medicine for her cold which she *hates*. She's hiding in her cat bed now, but I think once she wakes up she'll be over the whole medicine thing. She's a little like a belligerent teenager, and if there's one thing I can handle, it's belligerent teenagers.

5) I have rediscovered Tegan and Sara's album "The Con". I'm addicted to the songs Nineteen and Like O, Like H.

6) I have come to the conclusion that I don't swear on my blog enough. I mean, I don't fucking swear on my blog enough. Swearing is fun. I'm going to do it more often. I think I hold back on my swearing in real life, because I'm afraid I'll slip and do it in front of the kids. I'm on my sixth year of teachering (typo - I'm keeping it), and I've yet to fucking slip yet. So, I think I can loosen up in real life.

7) I can feel a mental health day coming on. Perhaps Thursday if I'm not too lazy to get my shit together. Taking a day off in my profession is more work than dragging yourself in.

All right, so tomorrow really *is* Wednesday, so happy Wednesday, and randomness out!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How I'd knead into your chest while you were sleeping, shallow breathing made me purr.

Weekend update:

Well, I'll actually start with Thursday. On Thursday night, I went to see the Pan-Canadian Folk Ensemble with Christine Fellows (one of my faves), Kim Barlow, and Old Man Luedecke at the Music Gallery. It was such an amazing show. The Music Gallery is in an old church that's hidden away downtown, and is a great venue. All of the musicians involved in the show were outstanding, and I hadn't heard of the latter two, but they had some great songs that I'll have to definitely add to my library.

On Friday, I came home from work feeling like death. I had a really bad headache and passed out on my bed as soon as I walked in the door. I slept and woke up long enough to change into my pjs, have a hot chocolate, change my facebook status, brush my teeth and go back to be.

On Saturday, I started my new yoga class. It was really good, and I'm still sore from it. I like being sore from exercise, because I figure if you feel it, it must have done something. And, I spent the rest of Saturday running errands because...

Today... I brought this lovely creature home!!!

Her name is Rilo Kitty (after Rilo Kiley... kind of corny, but I like it). I got her at the Humane Society. They found her as a stray about 1 month ago somewhere out in the West End. They estimate her to be between 3-5 years old. (So I'm going to say she's 4.) On her cage it said she was a little nervous, which actually drew me to her since I figure my home is a good choice for a slightly nervous cat since it's pretty quiet. However, when they opened her cage you could see that she was very affectionate and not nervous at all. That's when I decided I loved her. And when my friends Mathew and Becca T were also taken with her, especially since she has such pretty green eyes (see above photos).

She's had a great time in her new home. She's been very brave exploring everything and not just hiding under the couch like they told me she might. She hid under the couch once when I had to tell her no when she tried to climb my bookshelf. I think that's 'cuz she's like me and doesn't like getting into trouble. Anyway, she came out once people stopped paying attention to her and was happy again.

She is a very personable cat. My friends hung around for dinner and stuff, and she was very happy with lots of people around. In fact, I think she's sad that they're not permanent residents.

She's also very very tiny. She's napping on the couch while I blog. She's had such an eventful day since she got a needle, got microchipped, had a confusing car ride home in a box, and then got to explore a new home and got lots of attention. Unfortunately for her, she's got a bit of a cold and had to take some nasty-tasting medicine, but she didn't hold it against me.

All in all, I'm so glad that I *finally* made the decision to get a cat. I loved my cats so much when I was a kid, and it's good to have a feline buddy again. Although, according to Homer Simpson, feline means elephant and I'm not sure why I just brought that up, but I did. Sweet Jebus, I think it's time for bed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I have a headache. I have a sore back. I have a letter I can’t send.

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I’m not thrilled about you retaining the above title, not that there was a snowball’s chance in hell of you losing it. Thanks so much for providing us with the $300 million dollar exercise in futility that was last night’s election. A “stronger” minority is still a minority, and I guess Parliament will only slightly less “dysfunctional” than it was before you broke your own law and called the election. My only consolation is that I know that you are really pissed that you did not pull off a majority. All of that money spent on fuzzy sweaters went to waste.

Dear Newly Elected Canadian Parliament,

It’s up to you to put the “fun” back into “dysfunctional”!

Dear George Strombolopolous,

I can say without a doubt your “Darts and Laurels” segment before CBC’s election coverage was the most entertaining part of the evening. And you’re dreamy, smart, musically knowledgeable, environmentally friendly, and you live in Toronto. Why aren’t we dating?

Dear Fall-Out Boy,

I really like your new single “What A Catch, Donnie”. I even like the self-referential bits at the end, which some might consider lame. Please stop writing such fun catchy songs. I feel guilty for liking them. And then I end up admitting about this enjoyment on my blog. Maybe George S. has read all about this and that’s why we’re not dating…

Dear Jack’s Mannequin,

I love your new album and I’m really excited to see you live. Just so you know.

Dear Ben Folds,

My life’s dream is to see you play with a symphony orchestra. Just to let you know, Toronto does have a symphony orchestra, and I’m sure I’m not the only Torontonian who would love to see you play with them.

Dear Apartment,

You are very messy. Clean up after yourself please. What? You say that I made this mess? Okay, I admit it. So can you please clean up after me?

Dear Self,

Stop being so hard on yourself about various bullshit. You can be your own worst enemy. This is unnecessary since you are an awesome chick, even if you do like Fall Out Boy songs. Give yourself a break.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh I've got you to thank for this...

Here I sit procrastinating packing for my long weekend in St. Ratford. Last night, while I was doing the same thing, I checked my train ticket, and it turns out that I had booked the late night Friday train, instead of the 5 pm Friday train, which was what I'd thought I'd done. I'd made plans to meet up with my friends for drinks this evening, and last night I made a call to confess my mistake, but of course they said that they'd pick me up from the train station at midnight so that they could see me. Yay!

Anyway, since I have a few minutes, and it's Thanksgiving weekend, here are a few things that I am thankful for:

1) Great friends - whether it be my BFF Becca T, my best guy friend Mathew, my group of 9 from back home, my work pals, or my blog buddies (whether they still blog or not), I have great friends.

2) Great music - how could I not be?

3) Great parents - I don't say it enough, but I do love them.

4) A great job - Most of my days at work make me very happy, and they always make me feel like I'm doing something important with my life. My job fulfills me.

5) A great boss - this week we got the news that they are transferring my boss to another school in, oh, a little over a week now. Crazy. I'm quite saddened by this news, but at least I can focus on the fact that I got to have a boss for over three years who I respect, and who I know thinks I rock.

6) The little things in life that brighten my days.

Today I was shopping in Indigo, which is mainly a bookstore, but they've branched out and become a "cultural superstore". This means they sell all kinds of cool knick-knacks for your home, cards, albums, and such. I picked up a cool new painting for my wall because it makes me happy. When I hang it up, I'll post a picture of it. I've been a little off-kilter for a bit now, and I really can't put my finger on the reason. Perhaps it's just a run-of-the-mill rut. Anyway, I'm going to focus on happiness and stop worrying about silly stuff. I used to be much better at this. The new painting should help me remember this.

I also signed up for a yoga class starting next Saturday.

And, I saw the following quote on a card at Indigo, and I'm going to keep this quote in mind for the next while:

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…”– Thoreau

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I lost my place but I can't stop this story.

Today I felt a little bit like Oprah, in that I was at a book club meeting with the actual author present for discussion.

My staff book club read a book that was written by an author who is actually a teacher within our board. And, to make things more exciting, it was actually just nominated yesterday for a prestigious Canadian literary prize, but the dude still was able to make it to our little meeting.

Anyway, I think every book club meeting from now on in my life will pale in comparison. It was awesome listening to an actual published author talk about the inspiration for his book, how it got published, and what other people have told him about the book. It was just so cool for a book geek like myself.

I went home with a smile on my face, an autographed first edition copy of a potentially prize-winning book, a tummy full of great food, and I felt a little inspired. This is despite the fact that it is pouring rain out, and I decided might as well just change into my pjs as soon as I get home because I am *not* going out in that again. I'm going hunker down with some hot chocolate and get caught up on my marking. However, the book club meeting makes up for that.

Edit: I didn't mention the name of the book just in case someone from my school board was googling and came across my blog. If you are interested, let me know.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I'm standing up there in a weakened state, and it's not great.

Now that I’ve given my blog this snazzy makeover, I like being able to see my years of blogging neatly categorized into years over on my sidebar.

I’ve been blogging for four calendar years now. 2005 was when I started blogging. I was such a new teacher that year; I think most of my energy was spent earning my stripes as a teacher and getting a handle on my career, especially working in the challenging environment that is my school.

When I think of 2006, what stands out is the end of the year when I was struggling with not one, but two parents being quite ill. This was one of the hardest times of my life, and looking back I’m not sure how I mustered the strength to hold myself together, to keep working, and to travel back and forth to Stratford almost every weekend. But somehow I did.

2007 was the year I got a lot of things in my life in order. I felt that this was the year that I became the better, happier me that I’d always wanted to be, and I had great focus during that year.

However, I’ve felt that I’ve lost some of the determination, strength, and focus that I possessed in those earlier years during 2008. I’ve lost sight of some things that are important to me, and filled my life with things that are supposed to make me feel better, but don’t, really.

I guess what I’d really like is for the 2005/2006/2007 versions of me to come kick the current version of me in the ass and get me back on the right track. Of course, determining the right track is always a little tricky, but I’d trust those girls to find it a lot more than I’d trust this girl here.

Okay, pity party out. Back to regularly scheduled fluff in future posts. Writing that down has just made me feel a heck of a lot better. Also, the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend with a *free* trip home and not one, but two get-togethers with my fabulous friends from high school, who are so are so great at anchoring me, and who are great at reminding me how awesome I am. A trip back home will root me far better than a Coach purse, a late night out partying, endless social butterflying, shoes I don't need, ice cream, caffeinated beverages, or an overpriced hoodie ever will.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

It started feeling like October.

Happy World Teachers' Day! Go hug yourself a teacher, or jet yourself over here, give me a hug and then proceed to mark some quizzes and lab reports for me. Thanks.

So it's Sunday evening, and I've had a great weekend. Sunday nights are always kind of yucky, because I suffer from the Sunday night blues, but they are always make worse when I have a stack of work awaiting me... Right now I'm working on procrastinating using as many methods as possible. I've had dinner, chatted with my mom on the phone, tried on my new winter coat (more on that later), and now I'm blogging.

On Friday night, I did some laundry and had coffee with a friend. As you can see, during laundry time, I gave myself a blog makeover and I quite like it.

I had a very productive Saturday. I went to the gym and did some shopping (I realized that I am very low on socks). While shopping, I tried on the brown 2008 version of Becca T's winter coat and I really really liked it. I was very tempted to buy it, but I felt like I'd have to get her permission first. She was away for a work conference for the day so I'd have to wait for Sunday for the go-ahead.

In the evening I had a little nap until some friends called to go to Nuit Blanche. Nuit Blanche is all-night art project with instillations all over the city. It was pretty busy. Apparently 1 million people came out for it. I think my fave part was the light instillation that transformed city hall. Anyway, it was a pretty fun night wandering around with friends, seeing the city streets packed with people, and being confused some of the time. One of the pieces was music being played out of a garbage bin, and I was very confused as to what was the piece at the designated site. Again, thank goodness for friends to explain such things to me.

This morning I was pretty exhausted after wandering around the city the previous night, so I slept in. After discussing the coat issue with Becca T, I headed back to the mall to get the coat. It was sold! However, they had one at a different location, so I ran there, and then ran to meet up with Becca for coffee. I felt like I was on some shopping/socializing version of the Amazing Race. On my way home from coffee, I ran into my San Fran pal who was marking at a coffee shop. We chatted and both lamented that we were spending World Teachers' Day marking (or in my case procrastinating from it).

Right now there are a billion things I'd rather be doing: knitting, having a warm bath, watching a movie. But, unfortch, I really should do my job. :( Boo-urns.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Come sit next to me, pour yourself some tea.

Weezer was really a really awesome show. Really awesome. They've really changed up their stage show since I saw them way back in 2002. Rivers used to be a shoe-gazer rooted in place on stage, but now he engages in fun stage banter, moves around, kicks soccer balls into the crowd, jumps on a trampoline, plays the drums, and lets the other guys in the band play some of the songs. It was such a fun show. They played all of my favourite songs, including El Scorcho (!!!). I didn't know many of the songs from the Red album, but they were great live. Also, hearing old Weezer made me feel so young and brought back great memories from my high school and university days. I love how music intertwines itself with life. It was very appropriate that I went to the show with 5 of my pals from uni days. I love lasting friendships, and I love great music.

Right now I'm flipping back between the American VP debate and the Canadian debate. I laughed out loud when Jack Layton asked Harper if he was hiding something underneath his sweater. Zing. If Palin says the word maverick once more, I am going to vomit.

I really love the new Jack's Mannequin album. I cannot wait to see them in November.

This morning, a coworker in the staffroom commented how tired in the morning I look. Thanks. Much appreciated.

My apartment is a mess. Anyone wanna come over and fix that for me?

This weekend is going to be about getting the messy apartment in order, catching up on work, and catching up on reading and other good-for-me things. It won't be exciting, but hopefully I'll feel a little less overwhelmed than I have lately.

Random post out.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And I'm jello baby.

2 hours until Weezer! (Or at least until I meet my friends at the show.)

I bought three new albums today (Ben Folds, Jack's Mannequin and Jenny Lewis).

That sums up the important parts of right now.

ps If they don't play El Scorcho, I'm going to lie to myself and say that they did.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's all about making good time.

I just had the best Friday night. Basically, I got to do many of my favourite things in one evening. They include:

- Stopping for a Pumpkin Spice Frappucino on the way home from school.

- Having a delicious nap.

- Having sushi with Becca T at a place on Bloor that gives you complimentary green tea *and* ice cream.

- Finding a certain type of spicy milk chocolate bars at a random convenience store while picking up gum. I've been looking for these chocolate bars since I was randomly given one last Christmas.

- Killing time having a latte and looking around a book store before the Two Hours Traffic show.

- While walking down the street to the concert, Becca T overheard some guy mutter "stupid kids" at us because he had to move slightly out of the way to pass us. We were very flattered that someone would call us stupid kids. It must mean we look young!

- The Two Hours Traffic show was excellent. First of all, it was an early show at a small venue and only $10. The band was awesome. Their album "Little Jabs" was the soundtrack to my summer. It's the type of hand-clappable, dancable, singable indie rock that makes the most fun type of show. They played all of my fave songs from this album, plus some new ones that were excellent.

- Since the show was done early, we decided to go for a beverage somewhere. Luckily, we walked in the wrong direction of the pub I wanted to go to, which resulted us having to backtrack and we ran into my friend Eric, whom I love dearly. He was actually at the same show that we were! (His partner loves the band... I had forgotten about that.) Anyway, running into Eric is 10 times better for me than it would be run into a celebrity. He's one of my favourite people ever, and we're totally going to make plans to hang out soon.

- Unfortch, Eric couldn't join us for a beverage, but we did manage to have a drink on a patio, which is a pretty great thing to still be able to do in late September.

- While chatting, Becca T used the f-word, and I can count on one times the number of times on one hand that she had sworn in our ten-year friendship. It made me happy.

- On our way home, we decided to eat our spicy chocolate bars to celebrate an awesome Friday night.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For lunch it's chocolate and coke, fruit punch, or something with glucose.

I love Thursday nights, even though I'm often a little comatose and exhausted from the preceding week. Today I felt a little bit yucky. I had a headache that I believe was combined from staying up too late and being dehydrated. My body totally rebels if I don't drink enough water, and I haven't been doing that enough lately, so yeah, I'm gonna work on that. Anyway, my morning coffee cured the headache for awhile, but it returned in the afternoon. I really think that I should be allowed to send a student to Tim Horton's to get coffee for me when necessary.

Anyway, I'm excited for the weekend and the next few days. Tomorrow night I'm going for sushi with Becca T and then we're heading off to see Two Hours Traffic. (Finally, concert #1!)

On Saturday, I have my work spouse's birthday party, and I have to finish knitting a pair of mittens before then (I'm 70% finished the second mitt). Some background on my work spouse: she has the desk beside me at work and is one of my work friends who went to Montreal and New York with me last year. She's been at my school for two fewer years than I have. Anyway, it's kind of funny because I actually met her before she came to our school. When I got my permanent contract with the board, I had to go up to the office to sign it, and there was another person signing her contract at the same time, and we chatted a little bit. Fast forward a year later, and she was transferred to my school, and since I have a crazy good memory, I recognized her. Since then we've become really good friends. When we were driving to NYC, we discussed the theory of work spouses in the car (i.e. people who pair up in the workplace) and the two of us got identified as work spouses. We laugh about this a lot and talk about it and I think people think we're weird. However, one of the things I like best in life is how you can randomly meet a person, and then a few years later they are your good friend, and it just seems so serendipitous.

Sunday will be a typical lazy Sunday. I love lazy Sundays. Then I'll have a busy Monday with some work-related stuff. Tuesday is Weezer! I saw them last in 2002. I went to that show with my friend Jon, and my friend Mathew was also at the show with his friends but we saw each other and chatted. I didn't really know my friend Mathew well back then, and it's funny to think that 6 years later, he's one of my closest friends, and we're going to see Weezer along with other close friends. Again, more friendship serendipity.

Then, on Wednesday, I'm hanging out with a new friend. I'm often not really good at meeting new people; I think it's because I'm so comfortable in all of the close friendships I have now, so I don't really bother to look for new friends. However, occasionally new people do come my way. It will be interesting whether my trend of friendship serendipity will continue.

So, in summary, yay for weekends and fabulous friendships!

ps Talking about meeting friends, meeting Becca T was so hilarious. We were randomly selected as roommates in university residence. When I met her, I think I immediately asked her about music, and she knew none of the bands I liked, and said that she listened to country music. I was dismayed. Then, I asked her if she was 19 (drinking age here), which lead her to suspect I was an alcoholic. Also, I had a picture of Gavin Rossdale on my wall (lame, I know), who she thought was some rock star who committed suicide back in the day, and she was concerned that I was going to be some weird depressive chick. I think if some spirit of the future has swept into our room at that point and told us that we'd be awesome friends 10 years down the road, we would have told it that it was crazy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This part of the day bewilders me.

Happy autumnal equinox! This really should be my favourite day of the year, since fall is my favourite season, but it's really been fall in my books since I had to put on the ol' teacher threads and be back in that mode. So really, today's not really the beginning of anything for me, but today's Google logo made me a little bit happy.

My iPod has wisdom in it that astounds me. When I put it on shuffle, it can often find just the right song to cheer me up. Lately, I've been feeling a little bit on the emo side. This could be the result of listening to too much emo, or not enough emo. It's a deliciate balance, I think. Anyhow, my iPod's been giving me a lot of Weakerthans and Christine Fellows in the mix which makes me feel less emo, and more autumnal, and more content. So good for it.

Speaking of Christine Fellows, I just found out that she's playing here in October, which means another potential concert for me. That will make #8. I've never had such a lineup in my life, but I like it.

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep with my usual case of the Sunday night blues, I was thinking about my logical/mathematical side. I don't know how many of you are familiar with Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, but it's something that I've learned about many times in my educational path. When I've taken the quizzes, it turns out that my linguistic and interpersonal intelligences are rather high, but my logical/mathematical intelligence could kick their collective asses.

I've always liked the regularity of numbers. I have a deep longing/need for certainty in my life, and I think that's why I've always been drawn to numbers. Math was always my best class in school, and I loved it because I could always get the right answer. Even if I made a mistake, I loved that I could always find it and make sense of it. For those reasons, I've always been drawn to all things logical/mathematical. In fact, when I'm bored, I make up equations for myself to solve, and when I'm trying to calm myself down, I sometime recite my favourite formulas in my head. Yes, this would make most normal people probably more upset, but it does the trick for me.

Anyway, I got to thinking how I wished there were equations that I could solve for many things that I am uncertain of in life. Or even if there was some grand equation that could explain human behaviour. Life would be so much simpler then. I've actually come across books that try to attempt such things in a semi-jokey/semi-serious way, but I see right through their assumptions in a heartbeat.

Right now I'm trying to figure something out, and I think I'm on the right track, but a formula would really be helpful is all I'm saying.

Also, you may be wondering why I'm not a math teacher. Well, it's so hard to explain numbers to someone who can't make sense of them when they are so clear to me. I sometimes teach math, but I've been lucky enough to teach science most of the time, and the rest of the time I have my class for remedial type kids who are working on every subject under the Sun, including math. Anyway, I steer clear of math, because it often makes me want to weep when someone just can't get it. Not that I blame them; I understand some people's brains just aren't wired that way. No big deal. I can't even throw a softball or draw a straight line or sing on key so I can't judge. And I know there are a lot of people who would get frustrated trying to show me how to do those things.

Anyway, I think what I'm trying to say is that if there were nice equations for everything in life I would be far less emo, but since there are not, my iPod can often do the trick for me. I just may have taken a couple points away from my linguistic intelligence with this post.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I read you, and God I'm good at it. I'm so spot on.

Last night I had started writing a post and then I got distracted and totally abandoned the post, only to remember it when I was falling asleep in bed. Anyway, that post has been relegated to the dimension of deleted posts, since I couldn't really figure out what I was trying to say with it anyway.

I've almost made it through the third week of the school year, which seems like quite a feat. I'm still adjusting to the new schedule, which involves me teaching grade nines during period 4 when they are high energy, and I'm low energy. However, they were really good little scientists today, so I was quite pleased.

On my way home from work, my work spouse and I came up with the idea of having an old-fashioned girlie girl sleepover like those of our youths with some of our fave female coworkers. We could crash on someone's living room floor in sleeping bags, wear fun pjs, do up our hair in pigtails, prank call boys we like, watch cheesy movies, and maybe sneak into the liquor cabinet.

Ironically, on the same eve of this sleepover talk, I'm having one of my friends from high school crash at my place for a couple nights while she's in town for a conference. And, well, it kind of feels like a sleepover, which is fun, except that I have to get up for work way too early in the morning and teach teenagers instead of being one. It'd be nice to be able to trade places with them every once in awhile.

Anyway, there is a lot of concert news in my life. I have *seven* concerts now lined up between now and December. I've never had such a schedule before, but all of these shows are absolute necessities. They are:

- Two Hours Traffic (never seen but fell in love with their album Little Jabs)
- Weezer (last saw them in 2002 and vowed that I'd see them again. Bonus fun: I'm going to the concert with my best guy friend, his best friend, and my bestest bud Becca T. Such good company.)
- Great Lake Swimmers (my fave new band find of 2007)
- Feist w Hayden (this is a new addition to the roster... I really wanted to see Feist on her current tour and see Hayden since I haven't seen him in awhile. I'm really excited for this new addition for a multiple of reasons, actually.)
- Jack's Mannequin (I will probably be the oldest person there, but they are so emolicious!)
- Hawksley with Hey Rosetta! (I was so psyched when I heard this week that one of my new fave bands is opening for my always-beloved Hawksley.)
- Stars (Just added this week. I'm in row D!)

I think 2008 has truly been the year of the concert for me. I've seen most of my favourite artists (the only one missing is Mr. Ben Folds), gone to freakin' SXSW and seen a lot of bands I'd never seen before. Also, I've had really really good company for all of the shows that I attended, and that makes the shows extra-awesome.

And tomorrow's Friday! :D Talk about extra-awesome.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Second dates and lipstick tissues, New York gets pretty heavy, girl I hope it doesn't crush you.

Since my last post I have:

- twisted my ankle as a result of *two stairs* at work that presented a challenge to me. It was all swollen and sore for a couple days, so I took it easy and it's all better.

- sheepishly called my superintendent one morning because I was pretty sure that I left my straightening iron on. Thank goodness she's really nice.

- saw a great outdoor concert on a beautiful sunny evening at Yonge-Dundas square. Emm Gryner, who is an enjoyable singer, and one of my fave bands, Great Lake Swimmers, played. Both acts were really good. However, I question if anyone would sound bad on a cool, sunny, autumn evening.

- went shopping after the concert since I was right by the mall and got a new pair of jeans and a fun new colourful stripy purse. Total retail therapy to make my ankle feel better, I think.

- spent a lovely Friday evening getting manicures and pedicures with pals from work, then going for Mexican food afterwards. I ate so much, including churos and had 2 mango margaritas which rendered me momentarily tipsy, but it was oh-so-fun.

- added another concert to my fall concert-going schedule. (There are now five). My pal Mathew agreed to see Jack's Mannequin, my second favourite emo band ever, with me even though we'll probably be the oldest people there.

- went make-up shopping at the mall with Becca T and then ran into a former student when we went out for sushi afterwards. It was slightly awkward, but thankfully, the kid was leaving (although technically he's an adult now).

- skipped out on another TIFF-sponsored concert on Saturday night because it was just too rainy.

- had a very very lazy Sunday.

Next week: busyness at work, friend from high school crashing at my place, and assorted other craziness. I really *could* use another weekend day.

And tomorrow is Teacher Appreciation Day at Starbucks! I'll let you know how many I hit up for free coffees. *sigh* The lack of a Starbucks near my school is so disheartening to me.

Monday, September 08, 2008

So I'll curate some situations, make my job a big vacation...

Two blog posts in two days? What is this? My blogging heyday circa 2005/2006? Well, no, don't expect a post tomorrow, but I had a really good Monday (of all days) and it just required a post.

Anyway, when I arrived at work this morning, I saw a very full mailbox in the staffroom and realized that it was mine. In between the usual crap, were two books. One was wrapped secretly in an opaque plastic bag with a note explaining that a friend of mine was passing along an inside joke that was given to her from a friend of hers and to not open it with people around.

The second book was a book about Haunted Ontario. This puzzled me, because there was no note attached. I thought perhaps maybe it was for the library, and accidentally placed in my mailbox, but then I remembered that I do really like ghost stories, and perhaps that someone *was* giving it to me. I thought about who at school would know about my inner gothiness, and suspected it was a gift from my pal with whom I went to San Fran. Either that, or maybe it was a gift from some ghost in the school. Hmmm, even better! Anyway, I did track down my San Fran buddy and it was indeed her who gave it to me. However, this does not mean that there are not ghosts in my school. I know that there are the ghosts of some past students that haunt me still. Ha-ha.

While I was enjoying the books in my mailbox, another coworker of mine gave me a free train ticket to go home to St. Ratford for Thanksgiving weekend. She'd be on a train that was late, and got a free ticket in turn, and couldn't use it, so thought of me. Yay! That saves me some change!

I finally made the trek up to the third floor, opened my secret inside joke book and had a good laugh with my work spouse. (Sorry, I can't divulge the contents of the book... it's a little incriminating. I know, I know. Really cruel.) Then, I remembered that there was an assembly period 1 which means I wouldn't have teach, just sit in the caf with the kids and perhaps have an eyes-open nap.

My next period was my prep, and I needed a few things from the dollar store for a lab I want to do this week, so I wandered over to the mall, got the stuff, a coffee, and picked up Season 4 of the Office on DVD.

My afternoon was really good. Both of my classes made me feel like a really good teacher.

On my way home from work I got sushi for supper.

Then, in the evening, I walked to Becca T's neighbourhood, and we went out for tea at Starbucks. I am addicted to their Zen tea. Yum. Also, Becca T spotted a notice in Starbucks that Mondays are teacher appreciation days at Starbucks, and teachers get a free coffee. Hey... there are about 3243 Starbuckses in Toronto, so ya think I could score that many free coffees in one day? Oh my, just thinking of all of that caffeine gives me the shakes.

Even though I had to walk to and from Becca T's in the rain, I found out that my new over-priced hoodie is rather water-resistant for a hoodie.

I hope all Mondays this year are this pleasant.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Keep me beside you 'cuz it's been too long now.

I like rainy Sunday mornings where there's not much to do except contemplate going for a latte and going grocery shopping.

I like the return of Pumpkin-flavoured lattes in time for fall.

I like having a steady influx of new music provided to me by friends.

I like that I realized that I needed to exchange my colourful overpriced hoodie for one in basic black with silver stitching, because I'm a basic black with silver stitching kind of girl.

I like when friends get really good news.

I like that my BFF is back in town.

I like my classes thus far this year.

I like that all of the kids, even the ones who don't have a stellar academic history, are into doing their homework and working hard at this time of year. It's adorable.

I like that I have a lot of fun things to look forward to in the fall like concerts, new albums, ghost walks, Thanksgiving, Halloween, visits from friends, and manicures and pedicures with work pals.

I like not having an online course to worry about anymore.

I like that I overheard my work spouse telling her math class that they are not there to draw or to talk about their feelings.

I like that my pal Mathew calls me Ms. Hoover when asking me about school.

I like fresh starts.

I really do like this time of year.

Monday, September 01, 2008

So we forgot to fall apart that day...

Tomorrow I have to go back to school for another year. I calculated that this is the beginning of my 24th school year. I told that to a kid last week and she felt sorry for me. I can think of worse places to spend 24 years. I'm totally not too cool for school.

This commercial used to be funny to me:

I found out via facebook from a dear old blog buddy today that Stars released a new EP today. It's called "Sad Robots EP". Am I a sad robot? Yeah, on labour day I am always a bit of a sad robot. But the EP is great.

My coworker texted me today just in case I forgot that summer I was over. I told her that my strategy was to never go to sleep and then summer would never end. Unfortch, I'm a bit sleepy right now so I guess I'll have to end summer.

But... with the end of summer comes fall and fall is my favourite season because there are crunchy leaves and cool weather and I can wear my new lulu hoodie (totally unnecessary splurge). And there are lots of fun concerts and then Halloween will come and I can think about ghosts and other gothy things. And, school's not so bad 'cuz I'll see my friends (I am such a kid), and make new friends (there's a new teacher) and my classes will be good and will make me happy.

So bring on the 24th year, I say! Hmmmm, maybe that Staples' commercial isn't so bad after all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You don't know me at all. (What?)

This week is kicking my ass. I'm helping with an orientation program at school for newcomers to the country. It's been fun, and I like being around the kids again (they are funny), but it is exhausting me. I come home and I'm comatose, then I pass out for a little nap and then I wander around aimlessly for awhile. Good news: tomorrow is the last day of said program and then I have a four-day weekend. However, my long weekend is followed by the beginning of a new school year, which is always a slightly daunting prospect.

However, the new Ben Folds song, featuring Regina Spektor, is totally rocking my world these days, and the video is delightful.

The weather is cool and you can feel summmer giving its last hurrah and autumn rolling in. I'm fine with this. For most people, the new year starts in January, but I feel more renewal in September than I ever do in January. This school year, I'm going to focus on being more tranquil. I find that I'm having a hard time sitting still these days, and my mind is always racing, and that I spend too much trying to cram every free moment in my life with stuff. This year, I want to spend more quiet time knitting, and reading, and not running around. I'm going to be a better, happier me, dammit. ;) I'll try to embrace the East Coast pace a little more in my day-to-day existence.

p.s. I just ordered my red soaring birds Chucks. Woot!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The tricky part (oo-oo-oo) is to come back home.

Hiya blog neglecterinos! It's been awhile. I've been back since Wednesday, and I've been in a flurry of unpacking, getting pictures uploaded onto my computer and sent off to travel buddies, as well as sleeping a lot and chilling with Becca T. I also made the mistake of agreeing to help with an orientation program at my school which started on Friday and runs 'til Thursday. Going back to work sucks, but sucks worse when you do it during the last week of your vacay.

I tend to be verbose, so I plan to make this my least verbose post ever, and just post some of my *own* pics from my *own* camera now that I'm back home. Enjoy!