Thursday, April 30, 2009

Philosophy that you can dance to.

Good stuff from the past couple of days:

1) One of my best pals at work leaves notes on my desk like "I hope you have an uneventful day" and "I like to burn things."

2) The above pal and I went on a roadtrip to North Scarborough for a workshop yesterday afternoon. On the way there, we heard the lame new Black Eyed Peas song on the radio. We both love the line "I'm so 3008, you're so two thousand and late" because we could totally use it at work. We both really really want to break out into that line when kids walk into our classes late. It's hilarious to picture how the kids would totally think we were the lamest people alive for doing that. I am so going to do it though... when the moment/mood are right.

3) Yesterday I stumbled across the new Ben Lee album online. I love Ben Lee 'cuz his music is nerdy pop music with handclaps and fingersnaps and la-la-las. It's just like candy. It makes a good soundtrack for sunny spring days.

4) Speaking of candy, I totally want to run across the street and buy some, but it's raining pretty hard... Hmmm...

5) Speaking of bad nutrition, I had leftover pizza and a bag of Kernels cheesy dill popcorn for dinner. Bad but tasty.

6) My eco-posse and I had a good day today. Our goal for this year was for our school to receive certification from an environmental education organization. In order to do so, we had to put together a huge application that summarizes all of our projects and activities for the year. This morning, a team from the organization came to visit the posse and I. My posse totally rocked, gave great answers, showed the team around the school, and totally impressed them. It warmed my heart, and I told them as much. Anyway, at the end of the visit, the organization told us that we definitely achieved certification. I'm so proud of my eco-posse. :D

7) TV tonight (Parks & Recreation/The Office/30 Rock) was totally hilarious. My fave line from the Office: "Oh, it's on like a prawn who yawns at dawn."

8) My current fave running joke on the Daily Show is about the RNC chairman Michael Steele. When he introduces Michael Steele, Jon Stewart always shows a picture of Fat Blue, the muppet who always dines at Grover's restaurant, and says "Here's Michael Steele, shown, as always, dining at his favourite restaurant." Cracks me up. Here's a youtube clip of Fat Blue and Grover, in case you forget these classic sketches. (My favourite use of youtube is to watch any sort of classic muppet stuff.)


9) This hilarious picture of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (from a Toronto Star review of his book), came to my attention from a couple of Fbook pals. Next time I'm feeling sad, it will make me happy.

10) It's almost the freakin' weekend! I don't have many exciting plans, but I'm looking forward to some down time and getting caught up on a bunch of stuff. Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When I jerk away from holding hands with you...

I can’t sleep, and my iPod’s dead and yah, I really should be sleeping.

My dear friend Becca T always loves hearing my bad date stories. I thought I’d share her favourites on here because, well, I think they’re funny. Maybe you have to know me to find them funny, I dunno. Writing them down will give me something to do while I can't sleep.

1) I had a date that I was looking forward to mainly because the dude claimed to be really into music, and had a list of respectable bands that he liked. Good taste in music is oh-so-important for me, or I’ll run out of things to talk about fast. And I don’t think anyone can truly get me if they don’t like music.

This guy would title his emails to me with lines from songs and such, so I had high hopes.

At the beginning of the date, we talked about jobs, growing up, schooling, etc. Obviously the conversation flowed to our common interest. He started talking about all of the bands he likes. I asked what the best album is by a certain band.

“Oh, I don’t listen to albums. I just download maybe five to six of the most popular songs on iTunes.”

Sarcastic eyebrow raise and incredulous look from me. “You don’t listen to albums.”

I did my best to compose myself and not flip on the guy. I’m sorry. I’m a music snob. You cannot pose as a fellow music connoisseur and not listen to albums. Do you just read a few chapters of a book? Is that what you do? (Actually he didn’t read either.) How can you claim to love a band if you don’t own all of their albums?

To change the subject, I brought up the fact he was from the East Coast and listed a bunch of my fave East Coast bands. He hadn’t heard of any of them. None! Not even Sloan! What’s the point of living in a place if you don’t explore local bands, oh Mr. “I’m Really Into Music?”

Anyway, needless to say there never was a second date. Dude had many other annoying qualities as well. And he also kind of looked like Ricky Gervaise. Now, I know that for most people someone not liking albums does not a bad date make, but think of someone being a total poseur about what you love best, and you’ll know how I felt.

The only benefit of this date is that it makes a really funny story to tell other music snobs. A couple months later I had a date with a real music snob, and this story made good fodder for the date. This guy understood; one of his first questions for me was “what are three albums you like to listen to all the way through?” I went on a few guys with this guy, but despite our common music snobbery, there was no spark, so things just drifted, and it wasn’t meant to be.

2) This story of a bad date starts off with a good date. I had a really good date with a dude who was really funny, and seemed to be really into me. We had dinner at cute little Mexican restaurant in my neighbourhood, and I think I might have had a margarita too many, so maybe that’s why I found him funny.

(Aside, actually the best part of the date was when the funny little waitress who works there whispered in my ear “I’ve had too much tequila tonight!” I love little family-owned restaurants where the staff gets drunk!)

So second date: sushi at my fave sushi place. Dude meets up with me after work, and we walk over to the restaurant. He’s dressed nicely. However, it’s a windy day and I smell something strange. The smell lingers. I realize it’s him. I don’t know what to do. That smell was a complete deal-breaker for me. I wanted to run.

Dinner was okay, I guess. I couldn’t smell him in the restaurant, but the memory lingered. I managed to make it through sushi, and then I was like “I am so tired from work. I must go home.” It was true; I was tired. He was kind enough to walk me back home, and then hugged me. I pulled away and he was like “oh, are you not a huggy person?” and I was like “No, yes, I don’t know. Sometimes.” Such an awkward ending.

Anyway, those are Becca T’s fave Christielli-bad-date stories. Feel free to share any of your own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Never turn your back on Mother Earth.

Happy Earth Day!

I'm an accidental environmentalist. I teach science, and somehow I got the reputation for being really into eco-issues (I think it's because I let Al Gore teach my class when I can). Last year some students wanted to start an eco-club, and this year I have a pretty committed bunch. A coworker of mine calls them my posse, and jokes that I am their leader, and if anyone messes me, they would have to answer to my posse.

As a result of my little club, I've now got the reputation as the staff environmentalist. People confess to me their environmental sins. I absolve them. They also come to me with absurd ideas, to which I smile and nod.

I try to be a good example. I had to make sure that I got a good reusable mug for my morning coffee. I used to drop by my principal's office for my morning environmental complaint/idea/initiative, with my paper coffee cup in my hand and then point out that I was well aware of my hypocrisy.

This I've been very busy planning Earth Week activities, finishing off our application for an award as an environmentally-conscious school, and teaching my classes that I forgot all about the Earth Day T-shirts that I got in San Fran for my favourite colleauges to wear. Luckily one of the lucky recipients reminded me of the shirt, 'cuz I totally forgot about it. Unfortch, one of the bunch is on mat leave, but four of us were wearing the shirt below:



By the end of the day the fact that four of us were wearing the same shirt was a hot topic. "Where did you guys get those shirts?" "Are you like friends or something?" "Oh, look it's another teacher in one of those shirts." "Why does Earth only have one tooth?"

Anyway, my Earth Day shirt and I are going out to a birthday party after I take some time to clean up my own environment. My apartment is a mess!!

ps My super also handed out new recycling buckets to everyone today. I don't know if it was a coincidence that it was Earth Day, but it made me super happy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I wish I was the moon tonight.

Weekend Rundown:

Friday
Met up with Becca T for frappucinos and to lend her Neko Case CDs so she could "study" for the concert. Going for frappucinos with Becca T is one of my favourite things to do. We are both addicted to said beverages, and we grade them. These ones were A+s, which is always great.

Since it was a lovely evening, we ended up walking and drinking, and decided to go rent the movie "Twilight". It was all right. I just finished the book not too long ago. I read it so I could understand my students better since they are all in love with the series. Most of the kids hate the movie with a passion, but I liked the movie better because it was shorter (the book dragged on for me), and Robert Pattinson is pretty cute in an intense way.

Then, I stayed up far too late having a hilarious phone conversation with a new friend. I think this will officially the most bizarre circumstances under which I've gained a new friend, but I love it when truth is stranger than fiction.

Saturday
Woke up early to go visit my work spouse (who's on mat leave) with another work pal. Her baby's grown a lot since I saw her in March and is all smiley and cute.

I wandered over the Eaton Centre, but wasn't in a shopping mood so I went home. At home, I read a review about a new HBO movie with Drew Barrymore in it called "Grey Gardens". It's based on a documentary in the 1970s about some eccentric relatives of Jackie O who became destitute and lived in a crumbling mansion in the Hamptons. Anyway, I watched a bit of the 1970s documentary on Youtube and read up on the story, and it's just the kind of weird thing I like. I look forward to seeing the HBO movie once it's out on DVD. Oh, and it turns out that a song I like (Grey Gardens by Rufus Wainwright) was based on the documentary. I guess I just like coming across a good story about eccentrics every now and then.

Saturday evening was the Neko Case concert that I'd been looking forward to forever. Becca T and I went for sushi before the show, and later we found out that the dude sitting next to us was Neko's guitarist. The concert was in a church, hence we had great seats and the acoustics were amazing. The opening band, Crooked Fingers, were pretty good. Neko was amazing, of course. Her voice is so amazing live and she sang so many great songs. Her band was excellent. My favourite songs were "Your Favourite" (ironic) and "I Wish I Was the Moon".

Sunday
I had intentions to go looking at bikes today, and maybe go buy some new spring clothes, but I wasn't feeling it. So, instead I kind of lazed around home, avoided doing anything too productive, and went for a walk.

Oh wait, I did one productive thing. I contacted the artist of that print in my previous post. Turns out her studio's near my school, so I'll be getting it this week! Yay!

This coming week at work is unfortunately super and includes Parent-Teacher Interviews. However, when that's done, it means that I'm in my last quarter of the school year, and well on my way to summer!

Have a happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not stop 'til I get to normal...

Argh. These past few nights I've had homework. Homework. Eeeew. I should be doing some now, but I've decided that tonight's order of tasks will be blogging, TV (yay Thursdays!), and then homework. Or maybe just go to be early and make sure I'm early for work. But that strategy doesn't work, I know for a fact.

Yah, so I thought I have a bunch of stuff to say, but I guess I don't.

I came across this painting by a local artist named Melinda Josie in an article. I really like it.



I think I like it 'cuz:
a) We've all felt the way that poor cat looks;
b) But the toy reminds me that there's always comfort when you need it;
c) I like red coats;
d) I like leggings too;
e) I like her Mary Jane shoes; and
f) The cat reminds me a bit the ever fantastic Rilo, who was posing for my pal Mathew again the other night. I can never get good pictures of her.



Actually, now I'm seeing that I could buy a silkscreen print of it. I'm going to email the artist post-haste I think. There was this other painting a saw in Starbucks (of all places) the other day that I really liked. It looked totally abstract, but when you looked at it closely, you could see that beneath the paint, there was a collage of a crowd at a concert. Really perfect for me, but sadly out of my price range.

Anyway, happy weekend everyone! I plan to catch up on sleep, visit with friends, see Neko Case (for the first time ever, I'm so excited), and maybe finally go buy myself a bike. Oh, and then maybe bike rides!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Deny, deny, you can't deny you let the curtain fall.

1) I hate when I can't sleep and I have school tomorrow.

2) I need to use gmail more 'cuz it's got quotes and stuff that seem to know how your day is going. Today's quote was:

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” Charles de Gaulle

Ironic. Although I'm sure he meant dogs AND cats but the cats were lost in translation. Because Rilo is completely lovable.

3) Actually maybe I need to use gmail less, 'cuz their ads at the side that scan your email are super creepy. Please don't use my problems to generate ad revenue.

4) Also why do I need a metaphorical brick to hit me in the head to make me wake up?

5) Four days of school 'til I get to see Neko Case next weekend!! And tomorrow I get to do paperwork for a project instead of teach. The good thing about this is that I get to call a supply in, and I called my friend CT (cute teacher). Anyway, if he doesn't love me already, my well-behaved classes and the fact that I show CBC documentaries in class will definitely seal the deal.

6) Also, I am in love with the song "Cross My Heart" by Mariana's Trench. I heard it on the radio this weekend and it turned out it was already on my iPod 'cuz it was an iTunes single of the week. After listening to it an embarrassing number of times in a row today, I've decided I know what I want for my 30th birthday: a big party where all of my friends do a choreographed dance to this song. You have 10 months and 1 day to get this together, people.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Who would you rather be: the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

Today I saw this with some kids. It was a nice day to be outside. Sunny, no snow, less cold.



Go renewable energy!

I love the new Metric album.

It's a four-day weekend soon. I'll spend some time in Ratford. I'm looking forward to it.

Today I had dinner at my old fave Thai place that I haven't eaten at in FOREVER. Not as good as it used to be, but they still load their salad with cilantro. I love cilantro.

I came across this old (note Christmas tree in background) of Rilo that was taken by her godfather. But it was so cute I must post it.



I'm excited for new TV tomorrow night: 2 new episodes of the Office, new show with Amy Poehler, and new 30 Rock.

So, all I have to get through before evening of TV hilarity and long weekend is one more school day. Bring it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Oh make me over; I'm all I want to be.

I probably should be in bed, but I had a whim to makeover my blog. I wasn't digging the old layout anymore. Anyway, this'll do for now. It's a little springy.

Which today's weather is not. Everyone is horrified when it snows in April, but I'm pretty sure it always happens, and you can't have spring 'til you've had the inevitable April snowfall. At least in these parts.

My own father prank called me tonight. Apparently he was watching the Jays' home-opener and fans were throwing stuff on the field. So, he picked up the phone (which he never does; I'm surprised he even knows how to use it), and called me. "Stop throwing things on the field." Click. The sad thing is, I totally got my dad's sense of humour in the genetic lottery, so I prank-called him back.

I just finished a book that takes place in a small Iowa town. Sometimes I wish that I could just pack up Rilo and all of my stuff and leave the city and move to a small town. I like the city, but sometimes it's a drag. I'm paradoxical in a lot of ways, and one of the ways is that I love the city, but I often yearn for small places.

iTunes just picked the song "Celebration Guns" by Stars for me to listen to. Good choice computer program. Good night. Sleep light. Stranger.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Stumbling through the city with the ordinary birds.

Life in point form:

- had a pretty lazy weekend overall, with the exception of a very busy Saturday road-tripping to the Buffalo area with my pal Mathew

- Becca T was supposed to come but ended up not being able to as she had left her passport and birth certificate at her parents' place in Ottawa

- was very well-behaved well shopping. I did get a new pair of Chucks at the Converse outlet store (beige with red and blue stripes on the bottom), a new watch, a green canvas purse for spring/summer, and a cool pair of colourful ballet flats. Oh, and a pile of junk food that's not available in Canada.

- met up with Jason at the mall for a bit, had dinner, and he got to go to Target with us as we flipped out over various products that we don't have here and the general lower cost of food. I hope he doesn't think Canadians are too weird.

- I'm still obsessively listening to Kensington Heights/Too Slow for Love by the Constantines. I downloaded the new Metric album, but I haven't touched it yet.

- I finished reading the book "Twilight" today. I'm sure I would have liked it more if I was still a teenager. Now I'm reading a book about a small town library cat. It's pretty fluffy, but I'm kind of enjoying it. I think that Rilo would make a good small town library cat. She's pretty friendly. And cute too.

- Anyway, it's a four day week. Thank goodness. I forgot to mark this weekend.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

You do what you can do with what you got.

Wow, another busy week has flown by and it's a new month. Sometime the simple flow of time just blows my mind. It didn't used to go this fast, and I'd really like someone to slow it down.

I think if I could have any superpower, it would be to stop time at will. I would use my power entirely for good though. Actually, I think I would mostly use it as a snooze button. Oh, and I think time would be stopped for an eternity on Sundays, to give me long weekends. I'd probably fuck up the entire space-time continuum of the universe if I was had this power, so it's best that I don't.

Superpower rambling aside, I had a good week.

The Constantines/Weakerthans show was amazing, of course. First off, the Constantines did a great job of rocking my socks off. The Constantines are one of those bands where I like some songs here and there, but not really their albums in full. However, their set was amazing, despite not playing "Young Lions", which is a fave of mine since I often sing the opening line to Rilo when I come home. ("Oh, young lion, this is your kingdom.") Their version of "Nighttime/Anytime" was fucking awesome though.

Their awesome lead me to buy the new super-sized version of their latest albums on iTunes. For the low price of $5.99 you get the Kensington Heights album + Too Slow For Love, which contains all kinds of really great alternate versions. I've been listening to it constantly the last couple of days. Great stuff.

The Weakerthans were fantastic, as usual. I've lost count of how many times I've seen them. It's hard to describe. Well actually, it's easy to describe. When I see them, I'm pretty much at my happiest, and I can just feel this special smile on my face. It's corny as hell, but that's the way it is. Anyway, it was great as always to see my favourite band with my favourite friend, that being Becca T. She is my absolute favourite person to go to a concert with.

One thing that I may have to do is to start accepting applications for a new concert-going pal. Becca T is most likely going to be working in Nice, France next year (pending a visa), and I don't know who's going to be my new concert pal. My friend Mathew is pretty good for concerts, but he does not like the Weakerthans (surprising I'm still friends with him, huh), and sometimes makes poor concert-going decisions (i.e. not going to Stars with me). Anyway, Becca T and I have two more concerts lined up for the spring, and I'm sure we'll go to lots more before she leaves.

Work has tired me out for the rest of the week. I survived a trip to the Science Centre today. I didn't plan it, I was volun-forced to go. I was apprehensive about it since a) they made us take public transit; and b) I didn't know a lot of the kids. However, the kids from my school are always excellent on field trips and it was a very smooth day.

This weekend I'm going on a shopping trip to the States with Becca T and Mathew. It's gonna be fun. I kind of want new Chucks.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Happy weekend!