Monday, March 30, 2009

And you tell me to fuck off, when I need somebody to.

I had a very pleasant Monday. I like pleasant Mondays. Weather was sunny (but cold), classes were well-behaved, I set some intentional well-controlled fires for educational purposes (daresay I'm become a pyro?), and a project I'm working on is going well. So yay!

Here's some Monday randomness:

1) I love pre-ordering stuff on iTunes, getting bonus tracks, and being able to download it the night before its official release date so it can accompany me on the subway to work the next day. Tonight's early delivery was the new Great Lake Swimmers' album "Lost Channels". If you like melodic mellow folk, look no further.

2) Oh! My favourite banjo player, Old Man Luedecke won a Juno for Best Roots Album. It wasn't televised on the show, but the fact he got something made me smile.

3) Sometimes Rilo will be sitting on the back of my rocking chair, and I'll sit on it, and she'll get all disturbed and displaced. I feel bad, but I often don't notice her or forget that the chair moves.

4) I want long hair with bangs like Feist has. Unfortch, my hair doesn't do long very well (it's too fine), but maybe I can do the bangs. I'll have to talk to my boyfriend (that's what I call my cute hairdresser) about this matter.

5) One of my fave parts of spa day (the Friday of March Break), that I forgot to blog about, was hanging out with my fabulous pal Eric after the spa, and going to his place and trying on some of his crazy shoes that he's picked up from fashion shoots and Halloween costumes over the years. Below are my faves. I can walk like 5 steps in them. They also make me prolly around 6 feet. Oh, and the cool socks are my own.

[Aside: The song "She Comes to Me in Dreams" on this new album is totally awesome. I'm on my first listen and it just grabbed me. End aside.]

6) I am really excited about the Weakerthans concert tomorrow night. Last time I saw them was in Austin, TX last year for SXSW. Today I was watching some of their stuff on YouTube, and I came across some performances from that show. This is a particularly good video, and I've gotta be in that crowd somewhere since I was really close to the front. I can't see me, or AlieMalie for that matter. Oh well. But I do remember them playing this song.

7) I mentioned to my period 2 class that Arial is my favourite font, and now all the papers I'm getting are in Arial.

8) Hah, there is a song on this album that is just castle bells and it played at exactly midnight. How fitting.

9) As little kid, I was *terrified* to be awake at midnight, since I'd heard it called "the witching hour". I would sometimes be laying awake at night (I've never been good at falling asleep right away), and I'd be praying to fall asleep before having to witness whatever horrors midnight had in store.

10) Oh, I picked a line from the Weakerthans' song "The Reasons" as my post title, 'cuz that song makes me think of my dear pal Becca T. She doesn't exactly tell me to fuck off (she rarely swears), but she will tell me its polite equivalent when needed. I think she's saving the f-word for when I really truly need to be told to fuck off. Trust me, hearing that girl swear would get anyone's attention.

All right. Sufficiently random post over.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hey undercover lover when you coming home?

Every year I complain about the Juno (Cdn music award) nominations, the fact that they are based on sales, and how the show is so overhyped, yet every year I end up watching them. Why? Well, I think masochistic tendencies are partly to blame, and that despite all their flaws, well at least the Junos do celebrate Canadian music, something which I've been really into for all of my life. And where else would I get to see Hawksley Workman present an award?

So far, the Junos are their usual selves. I think the funniest part is that The Stills, a band who has been around for seven years, won "New Band of the Year" award. Seriously, what the fuck? Also, I have already suffered through the definite low point of the show. Nickelback opened with their song "Something in Your Mouth". Yup, I'm pretty sure they've got the "Most Misogynistic Song" category nailed down this year. Good for them.

However, thankfully, there is a lot of good Canadiana out there. I saw the movie "One Week" that stars Joshua Jackson this weekend. It's totally great. It's got a great soundtrack (Great Lake Swimmers, Stars, Patrick Watson and more), fun cameos (Gord Downie, Joel Plaskett), Tim Horton's references, and lots of beautiful Canadian scenery. Highly recommended.

I am still in love with the new Joel Plaskett record. It gets better with every listen. I can't wait to see him play in May.

Anyway, it's a typical Sunday night where I'm moping at home wondering why weekends go so fast. This coming week is going to be really busy, but I do have a great concert on Tuesday. It's Constantines/Weakerthans!!! I do believe it was my 22nd birthday when I saw these bands last play together. It was a great show. I know Tuesday will be another great show. Ahhh, how I love the rock.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Every note can't be solid gold, every boy can't be Romeo.

It's one of the occasions where I want to post something witty, or insightful, or creative or something.

But I got nothing.

And, I have time to write, since I forgot my book ("The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga) at work and don't want to start another.

But, I am enjoying spending some time listening to the new Joel Plaskett *triple* album and it's very good. And it's the kind of album that is so intricate and melodic, that one really should spend some time listening to it.

Also, The Office and 30 Rock were both very funny tonight.

It's almost the freakin' weekend too.

And, I smelled spring in the air.

So really, at least all is well even though I have bloggers' block.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring forward, fall back down.

Yesterday, I said to myself "hey, my blogoversary is coming up soon, I think." So I did a bit of research and was surprised that it was indeed the following day, i.e. today. I was glad that I didn't miss it.

So, my blog is 4 years old now. If it was a child, it'd be able to go to junior kindergarten next school year. Scary that I've been doing this so long. That inspired me to pick my fave song line about time from the Weakerthans' awesome song "Left & Leaving" to title this post.

If this blog believed in horoscopes, it would also be an Aries. It doesn't, but it agrees with its writer and thinks they're fun to read. Here's what the Toronto Star's horoscope says is in store for this blog next year:

"If today is your birthday: There will be plenty of surprises in the coming year. Most of these will be welcome and all will turn out to be positive in the end. But the greatest surprise will be how easily you bring a successful conclusion to a certain long and arduous ordeal. Happy birthday to Keri Russell, 33, and Perez Hilton, 31."

So yeah, looks like a good year for this blog. Maybe I'll finally decide on a proper name for it. Maybe I'll give it another makeover. Maybe the content will get very exciting with some fun exploits in store for the blog's writer. One can only hope.

How funny that this blog shares a birthday with one of my guilty pleasure bloggers (Perez Hilton). Hmmm, that reminds me, I haven't gotten my daily dose of celebrity smut yet.

I also noticed that the "thought for the day" part of today's horoscope says that a sharp angle between the Sun and Pluto is going to bring some sharp criticism of leaders. But, hey - Pluto's a dwarf planet now you astrologers... so should we care about its angle with the Sun? If we do, we'd better start taking into account the movements of the asteroid Ceres, and that other celestial body, whose name is escaping me, that would be a planet if Pluto was a planet. Yah, what about that? So, don't worry leaders, no one's going to criticize you... as long as you keep up on your astronomical semantics.

But yeah, four years of this blog. To celebrate my blog, and for a bit of they-made-me-return-to-work retail therapy, I bought a new outfit for work and really cute (but pricey) shoes. Just doing by bit for the economy, I say. And for my mental health. And to celebrate four fabulous frivolous fantastic years of blogging.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I do my best but I'm made of mistakes.

Right now I'm listening to...

1) Through & Through & Through - Joel Plaskett: I <3 JP, but I was a little meh when I first heard this song. Maybe I was in a bad mood that day or something 'cuz I love it now. Best moment: bleeping "outta my fucking mind" with horns. Love.

2) Heads Will Roll - Yeah Yeah Yeahs: I'm still trying to find out if this album's any good (no reviews are anywhere, I tells ya). However, this song is so great, and so fun, and so good to have when you are stuck on a treadmill.

3) Kids (MGMT) - Ben Lee: This is a very well done cover of the ubiquitous MGMT song by my buddy Ben. It's very melancholy and stark sounding, but being a child of the 90s, I like melancholy.

4) I'm an Animal - Neko Case: Okay, first of all, I have neglected blogging about how much I adore Neko Case's new album "Middle Cyclone". I *know* it'll be in my top ten for the year, and it could very well be my fave album of the year. Anyway, this song is my current personal anthem.

5) The Walls are Coming Down - Fanfarlo: This was a find from my Saturday morning online Toronto Star reading from a couple weeks ago. It's pretty.

6) Train Song - Feist & Ben Gibbard: My first fave track from the "Dark Was the Night" compilation. Even more fun to listen to when you are actually on a train.

7) Hey, Snow White - The New Pornographers: Second fave track from the above complitation. Random Christielli trivia: Snow White was my favourite fairytale princess as a kid. Even if this song had a lesser princess in the title, it'd still be great.

8) My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson: C'mon, none of us are perfect. Even me. I like this song.

9) From Here - Jenny Owen Youngs: This song, which I've apparently neglected, came up on shuffle today, and it caught my attention.

10) Going Out Tonight - Andrew Vincent: This started off a CBC Radio 3 podcast that just came up on iTunes, and it's pretty fun.

So that's a brief rundown (in no particular order) of songs that are rocking my iPod these days. What are your favourite songs these days?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hey, Snow White. It's gonna be all right, it's gonna be all right.

Here I am at the midway point of my March Break. Why do these weeks off go so much faster than work weeks? Grr!

Anyway, today's my last day chilling in St. Ratford. I've had some good downtime here. I've gone for a couple walks around the river, which is really more like a giant mud puddle these days 'cuz they drained it. However, the ducks and Canada geese seem to be digging it, so who I am to be critical?

I had many good visits these past few days. Saturday night was drinks with some girls from the legendary Group of 9 (pals from high school). There were only 4 of us who were able to make it, but we represented. And, even if it was an early night, it felt like old days as my friend Teresa gave me a ride home and we spent time chatting in her car in my driveway. I love driveway chats.

Monday night was food at a downtown pub with my friend Wendy. Then on Tuesday afternoon, I met up for sushi with my friend Jolene, and we wandered around downtown browsing in the stores and enjoying the sunny warm-ish weather. I love downtown shopping in Stratford. I was very good about not buying silly stuff until we hit a really fun bookstore where I got a book, a sudoku book for my dad (I'm a good daughter), and a origami kit. So now I can make quality origami cats and crippled looking pigs. I'm sure I'll expand my repertoire. I also came across a plaque with a quote by Katherine Hepburn that I rather like: "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." I bought it, 'cuz I'd seen it before in a closed gift shop in Saint John NB, and have been looking for it ever since.

I visited my aunt last night and watched "Dancing with the Stars" with her. I'm a good niece too.

Today I braved country roads to visit another high school pal who lives on a farm, has 2 kids, and is pregnant with her third. (My news for her: I got a cat.) Anyway, her four year old son seemed to enjoy me, and I taught him about crabs and octupusses (octupi?), so I guess I'm not as hopeless with non-teenage children as I thought.

I'm blogging from a coffee pub in Stratford that has free wifi. There was a time (late high school, early university), where several of my friends and I practically lived here, and this place was Stratford's social hub for my peers. I'd run into long-lost friends from elementary school, high school, various parties, and old crappy part-time jobs here. Now I notice that this place is filled with two types of people:
a) Older people reading the free newspapers.
b) Younger people using the free wifi.

Most people are sitting alone though. I dunno where people socialize anymore. Maybe Facebook has rendered it unnecessary to come across pals in small-town coffee shops? Or, I've heard that the Shopper's Drugmart that's open 'til midnight is the new hotspot in town.

There's also a new stop sign in town. (It might have been here for awhile actually.) I almost ran it, and exclaimed "who the fuck put that there?" as I slammed the brakes. In high school, when there was no stop sign there, my friend Teresa ran off the road and up a hill at that same spot in the road because she was driving far too fast. I wasn't actually there, but the story's become part of the Group of 9 mythology, so it's like I was.

Anyway, I guess nothing ever stays static, even my sleepy little hometown. And with that rambling, I'm out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

From all the drinks, I get drunk off music.

I'm officially on Day 1 of March Break! Woot! I'm in Stratford until late Wednesday night, and I'm enjoying just chilling and catching up with friends. Today's agenda includes me blogging at a coffee shop with wifi (who knew Stratford had one?), running a couple of errands, going to the gym, and meeting up for coffee with a friend in the evening.

Anyway, I've been meaning to do Scott's music meme forever. However, let's face facts: this thing is more of a exam, and the only way it was ever going to get done is for me to have a week away from work. Luckily, it's March Break, so here we go...

1) What's a piece of music, any genre, any year, and form, (i.e 45, album, MP3, etc), that you often return to. Something that continually resonates throughout your life, and seems to gain greater impact as you grow older. How often do you find yourself seeking this piece?
There are really several go-to albums that I have. Of the many, I’ll list three:
a) Left & Leaving – The Weakerthans
b) The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner – Ben Folds Five
c) The Beekeeper – Tori Amos (or anything by Tori Amos)

2) Is there a specific story that relates to this?
a) This is the first album I got by my now-and-probably-for-always favourite band. I discovered them in a magazine article and liked their name. I downloaded a few of their songs on Napster (ahhh remember the days?) and enjoyed them. I had a nasty case of strep throat for my 21st bday, and dragged myself out of my sickbed to buy this album to cheer myself up. Anyway, I always come back to this album if I’ve feeling down, or a bit alienated.
b) I listened to this album a lot when my Nana was dying of cancer. The song “Magic” helped me cope, and even though it got me through really tough times, I am fond of this album because it reminds of how lucky I was to have such a special relationship with my Nana, even though I was only 19 when she died.
c) Anything by Tori helps me deal with crap and makes me feel powerful. This is my fave album by her.

3) Was there a piece of music, despite the fact that you may have "outgrown" it now that at one time changed your life? How about something you feel you'll never outgrow?
I’ve outgrown Our Lady Peace a long time ago, but they were one of the bands that started me on the path of being really passionate about Canadian music, so kudos to them.

I’m pretty sure I’ll never outgrow artists whom I’ve consistently loved for 10+ years. That list includes Ben Folds, Sloan, almost the Weakerthans, Tori Amos, and Hawksley Workman (almost 10 years). There’s a lot of stuff from the 90s I still like, but I LOVE the artists I’ve listed above and I’m pretty sure that won’t change.

4) Could a piece of music that you found in common with a stranger bond you for life? Is there a story behind that?
Everyone’s a stranger at first, right? I have lots of friends with whom our friendships are based on a common love of music. They’ve progressed past that, but music is a great way to break the ice, and something we can always come back to.

5) Is there a favorite artist that you had that you gave up on only to have him or her redeem themselves?

Not completely. However, I became pretty meh about REM after some of the albums they released in the late 90s, early 00s, but they brought it last year with Accelerate.

6) Has music ever got you through some really tough times? How?
Definitely. As I said before, the song “Magic” by Ben Folds Five really helped me get through my Nana’s fight with cancer. It perfectly articulated my feelings.

7) Can music change the world or is that naive wishful thinking?

I think music can perhaps encourage or inspire change, but not actually make the change itself.

8) Is Rock and Roll dead?
Hell no. I saw Sloan rock out on Wednesday, and as long as those guys, and many others, are still around, rock ‘n roll is alive and well.

9) What's the song you wish played at you wedding? How about your funeral?

Wedding – maybe “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds, or “Anyone Else But You” by the Moldy Peaches, or “Nowhere with You” by the Joel Plaskett Emergency or “Safe and Sound” by Hawksley Workman. Oh yeah, and I guess someone else would have to agree with me too, but…
Funeral – Happy Phantom by Tori Amos. Read the lyrics and you’ll understand why.

10) What's the greatest live show you ever saw? In what year? Why? How old were you then? Did you attend with friends? Were you a skeptic going in?
Did you enter a huge fan? How about the most disappointing show? Why?

This is too hard to answer for me ‘cuz I’ve been to A LOT of concerts (def over 100) in my life. However, one of the most influential was Hawksley Workman at the Rivoli in 2001. A friend of mine had introduced Becca T and I to Hawksley, but we only knew a few of his songs. However, we’d read his was doing a show at the Rivoli and we decided to go. I even skipped my evening stats class to go. Anyhow, it was an AMAZING show and it turned us into huge Hawksley fans and the concert fanatics that we are today.

Most disappointing… hmmm… not sure. I probably erased it from my memory ‘cuz a disappointing concert would be really traumatic for me.

11) Have your feelings about recorded or live music changed over the years?
I’m definitely more passionate about live music than I used be in the past. Also, I’m kind of getting over having to own the CD. I like being able to download albums instead of buying the physical CD and not having to invest in a new CD tower. Although I'll still buy the CD for my absolute faves.

12) Do you listen to radio? How do you listen to music?
I never listen to the radio with the exception of when I’m in Stratford and borrow my ‘rents car (the radio is the only part of the stereo that works). Other than that it’s my iPod constantly. Oh, but I do like streaming new things on the internet and I like CBC Radio 3’s podcast.

13) Has the amount of time you listen to music changed over the years? To what extent?
I think I kept listening to more and more once I branched out into indie music in university, but I’ve leveled off over the years, since my time is finite.

14) In these tough economic stressful times do you gravitate towards a different kind of music, i.e happy, nostalgic, the blues, then you did say, 4 years ago?
Not really, no. I’m lucky enough to be personally safe in these times.

15) You're stuck on a desert isle, you've got a mix Cd with 10 songs you're stuck with until your dying day, (or at least until you're rescued) what are those 10 songs and why?

Am I to assume this is *not* my dream desert island scenario (ie a barrel of rum and Johnny Depp a la Pirates of the Caribbean)? ‘cuz that would need a different list entirely, but I’m going to assume a run of the mill desert island with no rum, no Johnny Depp, and no monkey butlers either.

1) Deeper than Beauty – Sloan

2) Reconstruction Site – The Weakerthans

3) Your Ex-Lover is Dead – Stars

4) Magic – Ben Folds Five

5) Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off – Hawksley Workman

6) A Sorta Fairytale – Tori Amos

7) MFEO – Jack’s Mannequin (shut up Scott… you knew this post wouldn’t be made without a JM reference… I have to be happy on my desert island!)

8) Change of Season – Matthew Good Band

9) Nightswimming – REM

10) Volcano Girls – Veruca Salt

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You are surely special. I like you. I like you. A-la-la.

10 things that are awesome:

1) Last night's Sloan show. Best version of "Money City Maniacs" that I've heard live.

2) Pizza.

3) My classes being very well-behaved and quiet when I was tired 'cuz I went to a concert then stayed up far too late the night before.

4) People who use Simpsons references like Smarch, "I'll trade you this delicious doorstop for...", the old classic "Boo-urns", and the like.

5) New episodes of the Office and 30 Rock on Thursday nights. Fave line of the night: "Professor Bananas is dead!"

6) I have a friend who texts me lines from the above shows while watching it. Fun. Also, if someone ever steals my phone and reads my messages, they'll think I'm weird.

7) People who lend me books.

8) The fact that someone who lives across the way from me still seems to have their Christmas tree up. I dunno why I think this is awesome, I just do.

9) The fact that I'm taking some very much needed downtime for a few days in St. Ratford during my March Break. It'll be a great opportunity to slow down, catch up with family and friends, and relax. It's no SXSW like last year's March Break, but it's not working.

10) The fact that I only have 1 day of work until March Break.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Work on your algebra and stand out in the rain and give yourself to simple pleasures.

I was totally going to write a good blog post tonight, but my pal Mathew phoned me to give me some really good news about more people joining us for an upcoming Sloan concert (Wednesday!) and somehow our Sloan-related conversation morphed into a heated debate about religion, relationships, evolution, and pretty much every controversial/highly debatable subject under the sun. It was hilariously freaking random and long. Anyway, there goes me going to bed early tonight. And writing a good blog post. But I have a good idea for something, we'll just have to see how long it takes for it to materialize.

I wimped out of Boot Camp today because I had a stress headache that made it feel like there was a lightning bolt behind my left eye. But, I did go to the gym after I slept off said headache and had a really good workout accompanied by Los Campensinos!

I have to get up early to set up for a lab tomorrow. Thank God for caffeine. I love it.

Oh yah, and I'll leave you with some older Sloan 'cuz I fucking love Sloan.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Shut eyes your eyes closed, shut your eyes and read between the lines.

Haven't felt like blogging in a bit, but I should post for posterity's sake.


- My work spouse gave birth to a baby girl. She called me during labour *after* she'd gotten an epidural. She was laughing during her contractions and was thankful for modern medicine. I can't wait to meet her baby!

- Another really good teacher at my school was promoted to a position elsewhere, which made Friday very melancholy. All the good people are leaving and I hate change.

- Rilo is looking at me right now like "why do you have to play your music so loud while I'm trying to sleep?"

- I'm a little off track on my book a week resolution, but I did read "The Flying Troutmans" by Mirian Toews this week and enjoyed it.

- I'm kicking ass at giving up three things for Lent this year. Okay, so it's been 5 days, but 5 out of 40 is more than 10% so that's something.

- It's been pretty sunny and cold these days. I'll talk the cold if it means sunshine.

- A friend of mine introduced me to a really great singer/songwriter named Craig Cardiff.

- I need someone at school to start a marking boot camp. I've been lugging the same sets of assignments from school to home and then back for three weeks now.

- I had a cool moment on a school bus this week. I helped a colleague supervise some students on a trip to a Black History Month celebration. On the way home, he played the bongos, while a kid rapped, and the bus driver kind of danced in his seat while driving. The rest of the bus chanted "Go Driver! Go Driver!" It was pretty hilarious.

- 10 more school days 'til March Break.