Friday, May 30, 2008

Say hey, say hey, say how you doing?

Back with fuzzy ears from Matt Good at Massey Hall (that's what two days of rock and roll will do to a girl). It was a great show. This was my first time hearing material from "Hospital Music" live, and I really enjoyed those songs. That album will forever remind me of travelling out west last summer, especially listening to it while taking the train through the Rockies, and walking along the beach in White Rock, BC. I love how memories and music are linked.

I loved hearing the older material too, especially kickass versions of Giant and Everything is Automatic. I really became a Matt Good fan during my first year of university, which was almost 10 years ago, so that's a pretty long time. It's funny to think about how much I've changed since I first listened to some songs so long ago. For me, music can be a map that can show me where I've been, where I am now, and sometimes even point me in the right direction. I think I fell into a bit of a rut post-March Break, but I'm out of it. I think rock shows and upcoming trips help that.

Speaking of upcoming trips, I had dinner tonight with my friend who I'm going on the TBA July trip with. I think we're leaning towards San Francisco. This has totally been my year of exploring North America, so I think going to California will be appropriate. Next summer, I will have to get off the continent for sure. I'm excited. And, we had dinner on a patio of a Mexican restaurant and I had a mango margarita. Then we went to the Matt Good show. Oh, it's painful to think that it's not the weekend yet, because tonight really felt like a Friday. Hence I'm up waaaaaaay past my bedtime.

Oh, and Rilo Kiley last night was great. It was my first time seeing them live and I was really impressed. Jenny Lewis has an incredible voice and they are a great live band. *Sigh* I love concerts.

Anyway, I have a few fun things planned this weekend to space out in between the mounds of work to do. I have to catch up with the stupid online course, mark, and write exams. :(

ps Keep your fingers crossed for me Friday at 8 pm EST. Top secret, but finger-crossing would be muchly appreciated.

pps I can't believe I've not made plans to see the Sex and the City movie... yet... will go soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Because living well is the best revenge.

As the weather gets warmer, the hours of sunlight increase, and the number of days I have left to teach decreases, my thoughts inevitably drift to summer vacation. I am blessed to have a job that I completely loved. I am even more blessed that this job affords me two straight months of living stress-free with none of the entanglements of the daily grind. Again, I love my job, but the two months of summer feel like a different kind of life. Now, if my life was always summer vacation, then I wouldn't appreciate it, so I guess I'm trying to say is that the school year is extra good for allowing me to appreciate my time off.

So anyhow, I've decided to coin this summer the summer of fabulousity. I like making up words. So far, I think it's stacking up. I do have my online course to finish in July, however, I'm hoping that I'll buckle down and do the remainder of my assignments ahead of time the very first week of July, so that all I'll have to do is maintain an online presence after that. Anyway, the online course will be the only aspect of my summer that will be un-fabulous.

Yesterday I hung out with one of my good friends from university. We've decided that we're going to fly out to PEI, then rent a car and drive around the Maritimes. We also invited one of my friends from high school to join us. These are actually the same girls with whom I went to Australia in the summer of 2005, so it will be a fun reunion. I plan on eating lobster, sunning on some beaches, and having tonnes of fun.

Today was another beautiful sunny warm-ish day, and I spent some of it brunching on a patio with a couple of friends from work. Sitting on a patio, while wearing the new sunglasses that I totally splurged on yesterday (thank you income tax return), and sipping a mimosa, was pretty fabulous, and I hope to do more of it once the summer rolls around. Anyway, one of my coworkers and I are going to travel somewhere the first full week of July. We're not sure where yet. Both of us are open to going anywhere and we're going to sort out the details. Maybe we'll just wait until the last minute and see if we can get a good deal or something. I'm still leaning towards Paris, so we'll see.

Anyway, I can't wait for summer!!! At least I've got lots of fun stuff to keep me occupied until then. I will update you on my week with two concerts in a row. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I should have known with a boy like you your middle name is always...

Random musings from a Wednesday that was far too cold and rainy for my likings:

1) I feel like I've been attached at the hip to this computer for far too long with the assignments for my stupid online course. I just finished my *last* assignment that is due this week. That makes me approximately 25% finished the course, which pleases me. It went fast. I'll be finished before I know it. Oh, and I got an A on my discussion contribution for the first part. Woo-hoo! I'm so like Lisa Simpson; I love being graded. And quelle surprise I got a good mark for talking online...

2) In sadder news, I learned today that one of my favourite teachers at my school has accepted a position at another school. This man is a saint, and it will be a huge loss to our school community because he does so much for the school. I'm really sad for this. I'm happy for him that he has a new opportunity, but I'll miss him.

3) In happier news, I have exactly one week until I see Rilo Kiley, then the next day it's Matt Good. At Massey Hall. With a full band. Sweet. Yay for concert-going goodness. I haven't been to a show since March Break.

4) I'm ashamed to admit that I've been sort-of-kind-of watching American Idol this season (just in the background as I do coursework and marking and the like). Anyway, it was so boring tonight that it facilitated me getting that last assignment completed. But, I was pleasantly surprised that the cliche-grunge-rocker dude that I was rooting for won.

5) I love short weeks. I can't believe that tomorrow is already Thursday. I've got a full complement of social activities planned for the weekend, during which I'll also be bouncing off summer travel ideas off of travel buddies. Fabulous.

6) If you are in Canada, go download the iTunes free song of the week: "Surprise Me" by Will Currie and the Country French. Love it.

7) I also picked up the REM tickets that I bought for Becca T for her bday. She knew the date of her bday surprise, so in a moment of weakness, she looked up what it was. However, she has not specifically said what she suspects I'm brining her to, nor have I said anything. For all she knows, I could be bringing her to the Death Angel concert which is also on that date. (I have no idea who that band is, but they sound scary, and they're playing with another band called God Forbid. Sounds like scary metal stuff to me. Which would really make a kickass gift, eh?)

8) Becca T is currently on vacay in France. Lucky. I think one of my next travel goals will be to go to France, specifically to see Versailles. I have to since I went through a big Marie Antoinette/Josephine Bonaparte phase last year.

All right, random Wednesday musings out! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

And I been burned and I been learned in the same city.

Aren't Mondays absolutely fabulous when you don't have to go to work? I love it. And to think, in a few short weeks I'll have two months worth of Mondays with no work. Yes, I know. I'll shut up about that.

Unfortunately I've had a huge cloud hanging over my head this long weekend: all of the first batch of assignments for my stupid online course are due at various times this week and I still haven't started any of them. So needless to say, that's what I'm procrastinating right now. Thankfully it's a a cold cloudy day today. That makes staying in and working all afternoon much easier.

The rest of my long weekend was pretty good. Friday was my mom's bday so I headed down to St. Ratford and got in some quality time watching a few episodes of Flight of the Conchords with the 'rents and hanging out with some of my friends, who constantly remind me what fabulous people they are and how lucky I am to have them in my life.

On my way back to Toronto last night, I read the book "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, which a friend at work lent to me. It's a quick read, and I really enjoyed it. It's based on a lecture about really living your childhood dreams given by a computer science professor who has terminal cancer. I was able to finish it on the train and it gave me a lot to think about. There's a lot of great advice for living in the book; and it also made me reflect on my childhood dreams.

So what were my childhood dreams and how am I doing with living them?

Dream #1 - Living in Toronto

As a child, I was pretty certain that staying in St. Ratford was not for me. Visiting Toronto was always so exciting to me; driving in and seeing the skyline would take my breath away. I wanted more. As I got older, I started to fall into the Toronto-is-scary mentality that many small town people have, and I came to believe that city life might not be for me. Luckily, fate intervened, and it was U of T that had the programs that I wanted, and they offered me the largest scholarship of any of the schools to which I applied. I was really nervous to come here, but after a few weeks, I knew I was where I was meant to be. Ever since then, I've known Toronto is where I belong. All of the most positive events of the last 10 years of my life have happened in this city. And, I still get that same feeling of excitement when I enter the city; however it is now happily paired with feelings of familiarity and home.

Dream #2 - Becoming a Rock Star

Unsurprisingly, I was into music from a very young age. I listened to cheesy pop in the 80s/early 90s and in 1994, I bought Pearl Jam's Vs. album, and I began my journey through 90s grunge rock to the music snob you all know and love today. Anyhow, when I was young, I always dreamed of myself becoming a music star, despite the fact that I had no discernible musical talent. I played piano for years, but I was spectacularily mediocre.

However, I am living this dream the best way that I can by having music as my primary interest, and going to as many shows as possible. I can't be a rock star, but boy, I'm a pretty good fan. :)

Dream #3 - Writing

I wrote a lot of stories as a child and even though I went through a huge span of career dreams, writing was always there. I've always loved stories and books, and I dreamed of becoming a writer. I've always had ideas for books in my head, but unfortunately, I don't have a time to actually write them. Maybe one summer I'll buckle down and just write? I don't know if this will ever happen, but at least I do have my blog, which is my little corner of the universe in which I can write whatever I want, and that's something.

Dream #4 - Having a BFF

I'm not sure if this is a result of being an only child from a small family, but I spent a lot of time as a child imagining being an adult with an awesome best friend or best friends. People with siblings, or are close to cousins etc, have built-in friends to rely on, but I guess I always realized that I'd have to find these people on my own. And, I'm glad to say I have. As any reader knows, I have my BFF, my dear Becca T. And, on top of that, I have a lot of other close circles of friends: my high school friends, my university friends, and my friends from work. Whenever I'm going through a tough time, or a good time, I am always reminded how awesome these people are. They will be there to hold me up, or just to be happy for me.

Dream #5 - Having a job I love

As I said before, I dreamed of a variety of career possiblities when I was a child: paleontologist, novelist, journalist, pharmacist, doctor, rock star, teacher, business-type person, and I could go on. However, the commonality was that I always really truly loved whatever it was that I was doing. So even though I may not have ended up with the most glamourous of my many dreams, I do love what I do.

Anyway, those were the big five that came to my mind as I was reading the book. I had lots more dreams too: travelling (I'm doing well on that front) and getting married (it'll happen if it's meant to, I'm sure) come to mind as well.

What were your childhood dreams?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

All in all was a pretty nice day.

I have had quite the productive Sunday, considering I faced a day-filled with a list of doing stuff that I don't so much care for. I cleaned my whole apartment, went to the gym, ran a bunch of errands, and did so work for my online course. The only thing I have not knocked off of my to-do list is some marking, but I figured that blogging while drinking hot chocolate was more important than that.

I had a great Saturday. I met up with my friends Flora and Becca T, and we did some hardcore shopping (I didn't spend too much money either!), then went out for a yummy dinner followed by gelato. There is a gelato place near my apartment that I've passed by millions of times (ironically I pass it usually on my way to the gym), but I've never actually gone to the place. Oh, my goodness. Yum. It was excellent. I think my goal for the summer will be to try every flavour in the place. I guess that means I'll have to go to the gym more often too...

Next weekend is the May long weekend (it's early this year), and after that it means that everyone in my workplace will be thinking of one thing: summer vacay. Quite honestly, I've already been thinking about it, and determining my plans. Trips to Newfoundland and Las Vegas may be on my plate, but I'll give more info when and if they're done deals. I also have one wedding to go to, which will be a mini-roadtrip in itself.

In addition, I'll have my silly online course to finish off in July (think of the money Christielli), and I might have gotten myself into cooking lessons from a friend from work. I don't know about that. If I learn to cook, maybe I'll then have to cook, and I'll have to take down my inspirational saying "Any pot is a no-stick pot if you no-cook in it" from my fridge. I'm not sure about that.

Anyhow, it's almost the start of a new week, but on the bright side, I'm one week closer to summer than I was at this time last week. :D

Friday, May 02, 2008

Compromise, just let it go, it's okay.

Stolen from Claire:

My roommate and I once: I don't have a roommate now, but I have had many in the day, but the first person who usually comes to mind when I read the word roommate is my dear friend Becca T, since we did live together for 5 years. So, anyway, my roommate and I once took the bus to Hamilton to see the Weakerthans play in a sketch bar there on the coldest day in January. Now, the last bus returning to TO would have brought us back too early to actually catch the band, and the first bus back in the morning was at 5 am. So, our plan was to loiter at a Tim Horton's between the concert and the morning bus. Well, it turned out that the Timmy's that was closest to concert actually closed at 1 am, as did everything else in the area. We were totally afraid we were going to freeze to death on the street, but we made a right turn after the concert and found a 24-hour Timmy's and survived the night.

Never in my life have I: been able to finish a Jane Austen book.

High school was: apparently so much fun that I decided to go back. Ha-ha. Not really. I like it better now.

When I am nervous I
: talk more or less, depending on the situation.

My hair is: frizzy because of today's weather. Yet stylishly cut, thanks to my new hair-stylist, whom I love.

When I was 5
: I was obsessed with dinosaurs.

By this time next year: I'll be closer to thirty. Boo.

I have a hard time understanding
: why some people seem to like to be difficult and unreasonable.

You know I like you if: I don't make my patented "I-don't-like-you-face" that I'm known for. I'm not so good at covering up emotions. Apparently, when someone I don't like is talking, I look really bored. My friends can always tell. I feel rude. I hope the people who I don't like don't notice, because I even though I don't like them, I don't want to make them feel bad. And usually it's not that I don't like the person, it's that I only like them in very small doses.

My ideal breakfast is:
Cereal. I'm in love with cereal these days.

If you visit my hometown: you'd would say it's pretty and charming.

If you spend the night at my house:
you'd be having cereal for breakfast. :)

My favorite blonde is
: Becca T's kind of blonde. So I'll say her.

My favorite brunette is
: me. Why not?

The animal I would like to see flying is: a pig. Because then maybe a lot of people would have to cough up some stuff. Oh, and it reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons when Mr. Burns says "Smithers, I think I'll donate one million dollars to the orphanage... when pigs fly" and then a pig goes flying by, and Smithers says "should I make the donation?" and Mr. Burns says "no, I'd still rather not." That kills me.

I shouldn’t:
procrastinate because it leads to stress.

Last night I:
watched a new episode of The Office and 30 Rock. :D

If I could have any car it would be:
a hybrid.

I’ve been told I look like: a cousin/friend/etc. of many people. I get it all the time. Apparently I'm a popular style or something.