Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When hello just isn't good enough.

Today I gave my parents a ring, and my dad answered. He'd come up with a new telephone greeting.

"Oprah, please stop phoning me. How many times do I have to tell you I don't want to be on TV?"

This was a new one. My dad likes to answer the phone creatively.

His favourite is "Sylvester's residence" in the voice of the cartoon character.

Another: "Earth here. Homo Sapien speaking."

Then there's the old standby: "Buckingham Palace."

If he's in a political mood he'll use "24 Sussex Drive". Although I think he hasn't used this one since Stephen Harper's been PM.

He'll also use the American equivalent: "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue".

I've gotten used to this. In high school, I'd always be mortified at the thought of what would happen if my friends would call me when I was out of the house and my dad answered. Whenever I was home, I'd race to the phone to prevent as much contact between my dad and the telephone as possible.

Now, it makes me laugh. I bet he's been thinking about that Oprah one for awhile.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesdays and Saturdays I'd walk you home...

Ahhh, autumn. Not to be confused with atoms. Yesterday, I was introducing a class to atoms, and a kid says "Miss, isn't it pronounced autumn, not atom?"

"No dear, you are thinking of the season."

However, autumn, the season, and not the smallest particle of an element that still has properties of that element, is my favourite.

I've started to feel the chill of autumn in the air, and it makes me very happy. I love when summer's completely out of the air. You can wear your favourite sweaters and hoodies again. The leaves start to turn and they crunch under your feet on the ground. There's that familiar autumn-y smell in the air. You can get your fill of pumpkin spice lattes. You put away your sandals for good and wear your favourite sneakers. Things start to feel a bit spooky and it's time to read your favourite ghost stories. (Mine being Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.) Before you know it, you need to wear mittens and scarves at night, and things just seem crisp, clean, and make a whole lot of sense.

Of course, that's all how I feel about autumn. Maybe you're not a fan. I like all of the seasons, but fall is just so special to me.

I have my favourite fall songs, of course, and I think it's time to dust them off, plus add some new ones. Here's a list of list of songs that always make me feel autumn-y and remind me of autumns past.

1) Autumn's Here by Hawksley Workman - This is *the* autumn song, as you can tell by the title. It's brilliant. It'll always take me back to my autumn in Northern Ontario, where there were no leaves to turn (all conifers), but I'm pretty sure there were ghosts, and I could smell fires every evening.

2) Annie Use Your Telescope by Jack's Mannequin - The first line is "it started feeling like October" so this song is a pretty easy choice. However, the wistful feeling and sound to the song is also very autumn-y.

3) When You Were Young by The Killers - When this song was played on the radio endlessly, it was the fall when I was driving back and forth to London 'cuz my dad was in the hospital there. So it just reminds me of driving down colourful fall roads, and even though that was a stressful time in my life, it made things better.

4) Blacking Out the Friction by Death Cab for Cutie - This song mentions scarves, caps, and sweaters which I love busting out in the fall.

5) Happen Now by Joel Plaskett - This is just a simple guitar song that is perfect to listen to on a chilly evening.

6) Emaline by Ben Folds - Opening line: "I wish it was last September when we could lose ourselves in crowds every day." Reminds me of university.

7) Carried Away by Hayden - I was going to put the obvious Hayden song, "In September", but I like this crunchy singalong better.

8) Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day - September is a crazy month for me, so I take this song literally.

9) Left and Leaving by the Weakerthans - I love the line "Spring forward, fall back down." This song actually works at any time of year, but I like it best during the fall. It also reminds me of making the trip back home at Thanksgiving, and how home's not really home anymore because I left it.

10) Miss You Now by Elliot Brood - I just downloaded the album "Mountain Meadows" last night and I'm in love. It's got lots of banjos, guitars, and is a perfect soundtrack for this autumn. This is my favourite song so far.

Are there any songs that make you think of autumn?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goals for the week.

I had a lazy, chill, and uneventful weekend. Shopping, housewarming party, and I dyed my hair hazelnut this afternoon.

Anyway, I got pretty much nothing accomplished that I wanted to, so I've decided to make a list of things I want to do this week in absence of having anything else to write about.

1) Go to two yoga classes during the week and at least one on the weekend. The health kick's been slipping. Time to get on track.

2) Do one item of housework per day. If I did this, I wouldn't be sitting in this hurricane zone.

3) Knit while watching "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" as opposed to doing nothing while watching the show.

4) Finish reading Christopher Moore's "Lamb". I've been reading it since Labour Day. My dad lent it to me. If I don't have it done by Thanksgiving, I might be disowned for being a slow reader.

5) Continue reading the book of African short stories that I bought on a whim. I started it while taking a break from "Lamb". I'm so bad at saying no to a shiny new book.

6) Mail off packages to Becca T and Claire. They're not quite finished, but they are sitting on my coffee table and Rilo keeps munching on the plastic envelopes.

Okay, I think that's ambitious enough. If I blog about something, I'm more committed to doing it. ;)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Great Success!

This summer, my favourite store, anthropologie, finally came to Canada.

I discovered anthropologie when I was SXSW-ing with AlieMalie in Texas, and we took a music break to do some shopping. I bought a pretty red dress.

My second anthropologie trip was when I was in San Fransisco with my friend Fea. She bought a lot of glassware that I ended up having to carry in my suitcase, and I got a coral Tshirt, and some ice cream bowls.

Fea and I reunited with antropolgie when we were in New York this February. I got a purple sweater.

Anyway, when we heard that they were opening a antropologie at the new outdoor mall in Don Mills, we made a pact that we'd go together. This summer, I was too busy travelling and she was too busy having a baby, but we decided we'd go once I survived a couple of weeks back at school.

I got a text this morning asking me if I wanted to go this afternoon and I was like "Yes!" It's also pay day for me, so there's so good timing.

Here's the damage:

1) Long black sweater. It's very flattering. I like black. Fea tried this on and decided it was too much like a sweater she already had so I scooped it up.

2) Neat-o Tshirt. I think it will go very well with the purple sweater I got in New York.

3) Black hoodie that closes at the side. It also has pockets in the side with a blue/green flower print that you can't see in the photo. Fea actually found it for me and knew I'd like it 'cuz I love hoodies.

4) Bird tea-towel. They have so much bird stuff that it would be hard for me to leave without something bird-related.

5) Monogrammed "C" tea-cup. It has my initial and a bird on it. How could I not? I can't wait to drink tea from this.

I think I'll have to stay away from anthropologie for awhile. I learned that they opened another one in Yorkville too. Now it's going to be twice as hard to stay away! I doubt I'll have another binge like this one. But still, it was much safer for me when anthropologie was safely contained to the U.S.

Anyway, the rest of my Friday is going to involve going to yoga, cleaning, laundry and sleep. Excitement. At least it's free though.

ps Rawbean, they have lots of neat owl stuff. Like tea-towels! And plates! I checked to see if they have one in Vancouver yet, but the only non-Toronto location is Edmonton.

pps Claire, they apparently have their first European store on Regent St. in the West End of London.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You know I always thought there'd be lots to talk about.

I don't have much to say, but I felt like posting.

Work's been kicking my ass. I'm not sure why. I don't have an especially heavy semester, but I was the last person in the building today, except for the caretaker, and the outside people who were using the gym for basketball.

For the past three days, I've not had enough time to eat my lunch, so I end up eating it for dinner. I don't know how I make it through the afternoon on no food, but I do.

I've been missing all of my yoga classes 'cuz I look at my watch, and it's yoga time and oh! I'm still at school or oops! I'm marking at Starbucks.

Ah, but pity party aside, the kids made me laugh a bunch of times today. They are so funny. Sometimes I can't believe I get paid for something that entertains me so much.

Tomorrow will be restful in that I have a workshop to go to, so I won't be running around so much. And, I'm all caught up on my marking and prep so I don't have any homework over the weekend.

But housework, I have a lot of, plus catching up on making CDs for people, a housewarming party, and I am going to make it to yoga, dammit.

Since I've been on a post-concert buzz, I've been thinking about what bands I've never seen that I'd like to see. The top ones that are on my to-see list are Tegan and Sara, Los Campensinos!, and Sufjan Stevens.

Oh, and I'm going to see Phoenix in December!

Oh, and the Ben Folds with an orchestra road trip to Buffalo is a go. Car rental is booked, tickets are purchased, and all kinks are ironed out. Woot.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stadium Love

I'm just back from an amazing free show that I attended at the Mod Club courtesy of the XM Verge Awards. I won tickets a couple of weeks ago by quickly responding to an email from the Weakerthans mailing list. As soon as I read that not only the Weakerthans, but Hey Rosetta! and Metric would be playing, I could hit reply fast enough. But I did, and I won, and I was psyched.

All I have to say is that the show totally exceeded my expectations.

I was expecting, oh, maybe 4 songs from each band. However, I got a fantabulous Tuesday night show. Did I mention it was free? Did I mention it was at the Mod Club, which is pretty small, and wasn't even very packed?

I brought my friend Jane (also a teacher) with me, and we had fun laughing about being tired tomorrow at work, but we didn't really care. We rocked out. I also ran into a blog buddy at the show, which was very cool! I can't wait to see his pictures of the show!

Hey Rosetta! played first, and they played a good 6 songs or so, including one that I didn't recognize, which I suspect may be new, and it was oh so great. I've only seen Hey Rosetta! really once before, when they opened for Hawksley. This was a short set, but an excellent one, and I'm hoping they'll be in Toronto soon, so I can see a proper full Hey Rosetta! show.

Up next were my beloved Weakerthans, who, as anyone who has ever read this blog will know, are my very favourite band on earth. They played a great show as always, and it was a long set. It almost felt like a full Weakerthans show. Win!

I've seen the Weakerthans countless times and in so many different circumstances. I first saw them at a skeezy metal club on Queen St. Becca T and I once almost froze to death on the streets of Hamilton to see them. And of course, I flew to Texas to see them play at SXSW. (Well, I went for the whole SXSW experience, but the dream was to see them there. And I did.) I've seen the Weakerthans with so many of my favourite people in the world, that whenever I see them, I end up thinking about all of my good times that revolved around their shows, my friends, and how I've really grown in the past 8 years that I've been a Weakerthans fan.

Now, if the Weakerthans are my old buddies, Metric was the new friend that totally won me over. I've always liked Metric, and their last album really impressed me. However, I've never seen them before. I think it's because they play a lot at festivals, and I prefer small shows.

As soon as Emily came on stage and broke into "Twilight Galaxy" I thought "why have I not seen this band before?" Then she started head-banging over her keyboard while the background lights were flashing. She is mesmerizing to watch. I had so much fun dancing and pumping my fists along with their songs. Metric is such a great live band. And, I was so fortunate to see them in such a small place. However, they totally put on a stadium-caliber show despite the small venue.

I should now go crawl into bed so I have some sort of energy to work tomorrow. However, I'll probably be able to survive on post-concert adrenaline.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm just going to take a minute and let it breeze.

I had a really really good weekend.

Well, actually, it started on Thursday night, when I couldn't sleep, so I stayed up late making fun of a Conservative Party propaganda ad with a good friend of mine on MSN. I've been laughing about it all weekend, and even used it to prank-call my parents tonight. (Note: if you want to be creeped out, try out my real name, Christine, in the ad.)

Then, on Friday, I had a really nice day at work. My classes were pleasant, and a couple of kids in my third period made me laugh really hard. Two of my little punks were sitting at a table and were having a grand old time chatting and not doing their work. So I sat down at their table to help them get back on task. One of the kids said "Miss, you just KILLED the table!" I replied that it's my job to kill tables.

Anyway, I've taken to the saying "you killed the table" and intend to use it as often as I can. For example, I completely killed the table when I was in Ratford having drinks with friends and I shared with them that I came up with an algorithm to make it easier to calculate tips in my head. Note: they love me despite my nerdiness. Luckily, the table revived itself that time.

Also, Friday was a nice day at work 'cuz at the end of the day some of my former students who are starting their first year in U of T science dropped by. It was nice to see them, and it made me nostalgic for when I was in their shoes eleven years ago. I really enjoyed my uni days.

Speaking of uni, I went to see K'naan on Friday night with two of my friends who I met back in uni. It was a great time. I'd never really listened to K'naan before I was invited to the show earlier in the week. I downloaded his awesome album "Troubadour" and I've been listening to it ever since. K'naan's music is intensely powerful: he's a Somali refugee, and he raps a lot about his experiences, but he's able to retain some levity in some of his songs so that it's not too depressing to listen to. Anyway, the show was high energy, and his songs put your life into perspective. I'd really recommend listening to his songs "Take a Minute", "Waving Flag" and "Fatima" if you are interested. I'm glad that I tried something new that's out of my typical area. I think I should aim to try more new things in the near future.

I think I can't handle late nights as well as I used to, because I was exhausted on Saturday. I lounged for part of the day, then went to Starbucks to have a pumpkin latte and do some marking. When I came home, I still felt yucky, so I had a warm bath and went to bed early.

Thankfully, I felt better today. I had a coworker's baby's baptism to attend, so I went to that, and then had a really nice time at the after-party. It was a Korean BBQ held at her condo's party area on a balcony on the 27th floor. It was a bit windy up there, but it was sunny and the view was lovely, as was the food and the company.

Also, I got an email today from a friend of mine who's been in Japan for the last couple of years and has just returned to Canada. I've missed her a lot, and I'm very excited that she's back in the province, but unfortch, not in TO. The email was a sunny start to my day.

Anyway, now I'm watching the Emmys. I'm not liking some of their choices, and I kind of wish Kanye was there to correct them. Ha-ha.

I'm looking forward to next week. Even though work will be busy, I've got a concert to look forward to on Tuesday night. We've been having a record number of sunny days in Toronto (something like 22), and I think it's supposed to rain this week, but I don't think even a break in our sunny streak will dampen my happy mood these days.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This video made my day.

Warning: This post is mainly about cats, so skip it if you aren't a fan. ;)

Well, it was either the video, or the post-work pumpkin spice latte. That was pretty good too.

But honestly, next time I'm stressed out, I'm watching this.

Bonus: I like this one too.

I wish Rilo was this quirky. She could be a youtube superstar! Actually, maybe I should try to get a video of her carrying her toy duck around. That's pretty funny. But not superstar caliber, unfortch.

A funny side effect of my parents having taken care of Rilo when I was traveling, is that when my mom calls me the conversation goes like this:

Mom: "How's school?"
Me: "Good. Kids are nice."
Mom: "How's the cat?" Her tone perks up when she asks me this.
Me: "She's sleeping on a chair."
Mom: *chuckles* "Oh, she likes to sleep, that's for sure! When she was here, her favourite spot was under the gold chair in the living room..."

And on it goes. And that's just my mom. My dad will sometimes take the phone to hear about the adventures of Rilo and put in his two cents.

On the bright side, I'd rather hear my parents tell me about my own cat instead of complaining about how pitiful the Blue Jays were this year.

So yay for cats!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One thousand years in perfect symmetry.

I've been in a bloggy mood lately. I can't remember the last time I posted three days in a row. Anyway, this one's all about the random.

1) There's a new Los Campensinos! song that's rocking my world right now. You can download it here. It's called "The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future". True dat, double true.

2) I'm stepping outside of the indie-rock box to see K'naan with some friends on Friday. I've got his album "Troubadour" on my iPod to prep myself. I like it so far. I think the show will be good.

3) Last week I won tickets (via email) to an awards show that features performances by Hey Rosetta!, Metric, and (gasp!) The Weakerthans. I can't believe I didn't blog about it, since I'll get to see three awesome bands including my favourite band of all-time. And at a venue I like too.

4) I've got most of the logistics about my crazy road-trip figured out. It will involve me renting a car, which means I have to drive (good work stating the obvious, Christy), to Buffalo and meet up with my pal Jason there. Anyway, I will drive to fulfill my life long dream: seeing Ben Folds with an orchestra. The challenge is that it's on a school-night in Buffalo, but achieving life's dreams should always involve a bit of challenge and adventure.

5) As I walked home from the subway today, for some reason I was thinking about how often I am described as "nice". Whenever I hear kids talking about me in the halls, they always say I'm nice. A grade 9 came up to me yesterday to tell me someone he knows had me as a teacher and says I'm really nice. Growing up, I was always told how nice I was too.

Once someone told me that nice is the worst thing you can be called. I don't know who said this to me, or when, but it stuck with me, and I guess it always nags a bit at me when I'm called nice. I think the gist of this anti-nice conversation was that nice is sometimes used to describe people who are blandly pleasant,wishy-washy, and tend to let people walk all over them.

But, the thing is, I'm nice. I'm very pleasant, easy-going, and reasonable. If I have a problem with someone, I don't get angry, I work it out with them. If you ask for things nicely, you tend to get what you want. If people like you because you smile and say hello to them and take a genuine interest in them, they'll be on your side if you need them. When it comes to teenagers, very few of them disrespect me, because well, they'd look like assholes in front of their peers. If I was one of those teachers who lost her cool at the drop of a hat, they'd push me for sure. Also, I'm chatty; I'll ask them about their jobs, other classes, and other teenager-y pursuits. So again, they think I'm nice 'cuz I'm interesting in them as people.

I don't think I let people walk over me. Well, 99% of the time... I have to admit that there have been a couple of times in my life where I knowingly let a person walk all over me. But usually people don't even really try to walk over me, so I'm lucky there. And I'm definitely not bland nor wishy-washy. But I am very pleasant, caring, and considerate, so I get described as nice. And it's not a bad thing, damn it!

I realized that being nice is an asset to me, and has lead me to easily develop lots of awesome relationships with friends, colleagues, and students. I've decided to embrace my niceness and say a polite eff-you to any nice-haters out there.

6) Had an eco-posse meeting at school today. It was a full house. Lots of new members. Awesome! (Again, I think some kids join my club 'cuz they like me 'cuz I'm "nice" but it gets the job done.)

7) I'll admit it: I taped (yes, I still use a VCR) Oprah for the past two days so I could watch the Whitney Houston interview. Whitney Houston's "Whitney" tape (with "I Wanna Dance With Somebody") was my first pop tape ever, and I listened to it endlessly as a child. Of course, I abandoned her in the 90s for the realm of "alternative" music. I'm always interested in the stories of people who hit rock bottom and come back, and I was especially interested 'cuz I loved her as a kid.

The interview was interesting, and they she sang this song at the end where she was giving shout outs to people who knew she "wasn't built to break" and I got a little choked up. WTF? Great, now I've enter the club of people who've cried while watching Oprah. Argh.

8) All right, that was a bunch of random babble, but it's always nice to get the randomness off of my chest. Yay blogs!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Go on go on and disappear.

This weekend I was thinking about cover songs because my favourite cover song ever (In Between Days by Ben Folds) popped up on my iPod.

I like cover songs. It's fun to hear an old favourite song given a spin by another artist, or sometimes I discover new songs that turn out to be covers. Really, how else would I listen to Dr Dre, Dolly Parton or Harry Nilsson? Anyway, here's a list of some of my fave covers:

1) In Between Days (The Cure covered by Ben Folds)

2) I Will Follow You into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie covered by Amy Millan)

3) Inside and Out (Bee Gees covered by Feist)

4) Rattlesnakes (Lloyd Cole covered by Tori Amos… from her interesting album, “Strange Little Girls”, that consists entirely of covers)

5) Handle with Care (Traveling Wilburys covered by Jenny Lewis and Friends)

6) Fast Car (Tracey Chapman covered by David Usher)

7) Bitches Ain’t Shit (Dr. Dre covered by Ben Folds)

8) In a Big Country (Big Country covered by Dashboard Confessional)

9) Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Bruce Cockburn covered by Barenaked Ladies)

10) Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode covered by Matthew Good Band… I like Tori’s version of this song too)

11) Fairytale of New York (Pogues covered by Pilate)

12) Strange Little Girl (Stranglers covered by Tori Amos)

13) Will He Be Waiting for Me? (Dolly Parton covered by Sarah Harmer)

14) Kids (MGMT covered by Ben Lee)

15) Don’t Forget Me (Harry Nilsson covered by Neko Case)

Are there any I'm missing?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Randomness from the weekend:

a) Right now I'm sort of planning a potential road-trip to Buffalo to see Ben Folds play with the local philharmonic orchestra. Ben Folds + orchestra has always been a life-long dream of mine, and if I were to pull this off, it would be great. The only trick is the car-less me figuring out how to get there...

(Note: I'd bet any money if I pull this off, he'll play with the TSO on the next tour.)

b) So, after thinking this weekend, I have decided not to apply for the position of added responsibility at work. Rawbean's question of "will it bring you joy and fulfillment?" helped, 'cuz the honest answer was "it would bring me stress and frustration". Also, I called my pal Fea (work pal on mat leave) and she told me I'd be crazy to do it, which is true.

c) I made chicken pad thai this evening. It was tasty.

d) I went shopping today. I ended up buying two shirts and a necklace, which made me do the whole drag out my entire wardrobe and play around with new outfits and such. Do other people ever do this (only girls, probably)? As I was doing this, I left one of my drawers open, and went to the hall closet to try on some shoes. I return to this in my drawer:

One day she's going to get accidentally shut in there.

Anyway, then I tried on a bunch of stuff and got distracted by the phone then email. So right now I'm sitting on my couch in tomorrow's work clothes, and there's a huge pile of clothes on my bed. But no cat in my drawer. She's sitting beside me.

e) There's also a pile of stuff on my couch 'cuz I started putting together some fun mail packages some friends who don't live here. However, I got distracted and didn't get far. Hopefully I can finish them tomorrow.

Huh. It looks like I could sum up this post by saying that apparently I'm easily distractable and my apartment's a mess, but at least I made a decision this weekend, and some good pad thai.

ps Also, Claire made my day by writing a super-sweet blog post about me. Awwww. Loves it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What are you thinking?

I'm up rather early on a Saturday morning, considering that I actually worked this week. I'm sitting here in my pjs, streaming the new Matt Good album. Back in high school, I did not like Matt Good's music. However, in my first year of university (11 years ago! I'm so getting up there..), I started to like a lot of the songs from the album Underdogs and picked it up, and listened to it on my discman (what's that?) constantly as I studied furiously for the tricky-woo courses (physics, chem, calc) that I had in first year. So basically, I cannot hear the song "Apparitions" without feeling like it's time to whip out my calculator and work on some equilibrium calculations.

Matt Good music I've found is pretty good music for any sort of thinking (at least for me). Right now I have a lot of thinking to do. Mainly about how much responsibility I want to take on at work this year. An opportunity for me to apply for a position of added responsibility at work has arisen, and my first reaction to applying for this was NO FREAKING WAY! However, in the past week I've been wavering on this. Maybe I should try it? It would only be for a year, but could continue. I wouldn't necessarily get it for sure. Other people could apply and could be picked over me. (I'd be completely offended if I applied and didn't get it.)

But my plate is very full. I have a new curriculum to teach, my class of special students that requires me to plan individually for each student, eco-club (of course... they've already been knocking at my door and I have a brand new initiative planned), helping out new teachers in my department (that always falls to me), and well, I've been roped into helping with another extra-curricular activity. (It was children who begged me about that one.)

Anyway, so yeah, another thing on my plate? I dunno, I dunno, I dunno! I'm very shocked that the "NO!" voice in my head has quieted a bit to a "WHY NOT?" So yeah, I really don't know what I'm thinking.

I'm also afraid that if I do pour more into my job, I'll end up having no energy for other things. My health kick will go by the wayside. I'll go out less. My job will be the complete centre of my life.

Will I lose a year? Will I turn down the path of workaholism?

Then I think about people who seem to have just as much on their plates as I would, and still have lives, and I think that if they can do it, I can do it.

Maybe I need a huge challenge. Maybe I was unchallenged, and that's why I've felt I've been in a rut this year. I've always flourished in situations where I push myself, so maybe it's time to push myself a bit more.

What I am thinking? What do I want? Usually I know what I want, but right now I don't.

I'll just keep listening to music, and do a lot of exercise this weekend, and maybe things will be clearer.

ps My classes are good so far.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Home is hardly a word.

I've survived my first full day back. My voice feels tired from being used all day, and I'm pretty sure I've sweated off half my body weight because the AC isn't working, and the school is hot and stuffy. The kids are a bit cranky about it. Teenagers, learning, and sweltering heat are not a winning combination.

But, so far, so good. My brain is spinning from having to run at its old pace. Hence, I've been coming home and zoning to TV. Tonight was So You Think You Can Dance Canada's result show, and then I tuned into American's Next Top Model for the first time ever. If my brain was a little sharper, I could remember some of Tyra's deep words of wisdom that made laugh with their absurdity.

I'm still enjoying my new albums from Monday. Amy Millan's new album is relaxing, slow, and has a beautiful country twang to it. It will be a perfect soundtrack to lazy, chilly autumn nights. The new Two Hours Traffic is upbeat and catchy, and is good music for listening to as I get to and from work.

I've needed good subway music, because my first two days back have been fraught with lots of transit delays, and crazy people. Yesterday, I saw a crazy dude with a live lizard and a live turtle on the subway (I opted to take the next train). Today, some crazy lazy ran over my foot with her grocery cart. It hurt enough for me to yell "Ow!" very loudly. Usually, I'm all about loving the TTC, but this morning I actually thought maybe it's time to get a car. But then I'd experience traffic rage instead of transit rage. So either way I'll get pissed off from time-to-time; at least with transit I'll be richer, and more environmentally friendly.

Anyhow, I've gotta go wash some dishes, pack my lunch, and throw some gym stuff together so I can head there after work tomorrow. I've let myself be lazy and zone for two evenings. Gotta get tough on myself tomorrow.

My goal for tomorrow is to wake up early, and leave early, so I can get a pumpkin latte from Starbucks on my way to work. Transit delays pending, of course.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The night's too short to sit around and pout.

I had a fabulous, fabulous Labour Day weekend. Every single day was sunny and beautiful. Keep that in mind as I describe my weekend itinerary.

Friday - Packed my bags, gave Rilo a hug, and headed down to the Harbourfront to hang out with a couple of my maternity-bound colleagues (who are sleeping soundly tonight, I bet). Wandered by waterside with a couple of cute babies, ice cream, and hotdogs. Why did summer weather come so late?

Hopped on a train and made it to St. Ratford. Watched some Flight of the Conchords with the 'rents.

Saturday - I realized this would be my last day to sleep in for a while, so I took advantage. I went out for coffee in the afternoon, then had a great wine and patio night with Jolene, Sandee and Teresa. Classic moments from the evening:
  • Teresa commenting: "Out of all of us in high school, I would have never picked you, Christy, as the one to become a lush." This comment was in response to me talking about enjoying a lot of wine during my trip. I showed her by polishing off a few glasses that night. (Sandee kept pace though.)
  • We were talking about some dude from high school, and about half-an-hour later, who ambles along on the street? I love small towns.
  • Some girls, all dressed up in fancy clothes and heels, walked by us and fill our area with the scent of someone's perfume. Sandee commented that "it must be Oscar De La Renta because it smells whorish". She then went up to them, and said "I really like your perfume! What is it?" And now I totally forget what it turned out to be. Oh, it was Dior Addict.
Sunday: I (the lush) called Teresa (the non-lush) to wake her up for the yoga class that I so kindly invite her to. I spent some good time at the gym sweating out the previous evening's toxins (but hopefully not the flavonoids and antioxidants).

I ran some errands for the 'rents, then met up with my Paris travel-buddy Heather, for some picture exchanging, coffee, gossip, and then we played St. Ratford tourists and wandered around the shops downtown. I love shopping downtown, because sooooooo many of the stores have been around since I was a kid, and it's fun to remember how I'd always get my mom to drop me off early for piano lessons so that I could browse in the The Green Room, which is an uber-cool vintage/contemporary fashion store. I got myself a funky pair of tights there on Sunday.

A bonus nostalgia moment came when I ran into my best friend (circa kindergarten through grade 6) in a shoe store. She switched schools, then moved, so we drifted off, and I haven't seen her in years. She recognized me right away, and we caught up on old times and reminisced about playing She-Ra at my house. She asked me if my parents were still living in the same place, and they are, which made me think about how it's neat that I can still go to my childhood home (and probably even dig some old She-Ra dolls out of the basement if I was feeling like it).

Monday - I hopped upon the morning train back to Toronto. I had a good sleep on the ride. I made it home to spend a lazy afternoon with Rilo, and downloading new music, most excitingly the new Two Hours Traffic album (produced by Sir Joel Plaskett) "Territory". I'm loving it so far. Finally, I met up with Mathew for coffee 'cuz we couldn't think of something better to do.

Sooooooooo, that brings us to the fact that it's a school night! Egads! Tomorrow's an easy day: we have super short classes, and then meetings in the afternoon. I'm going to wear my new dress that I bought on Oxford St. in London to make myself feel better. Anyway, tomorrow will be entirely easy: it's Wednesday where I have to teach full classes. Do I even remember how to do that anymore?

All right, I gotta pack my bags and make my lunch for tomorrow. It's been awhile since I've done that. I'm going to have to remember how...

ps I just downloaded Amy Millan's new album from Itunes. Right now, her cover of Death Cab's "I Will Follow You into the Dark" is making me happy to the power of infinity.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

And we shed what was left of our summer skin.

I have returned to the world of the working. I've been at school for the past three days in a row. And I get a paycheque tomorrow, which will pay off my France/UK eating, drinking, and shopping bill.

On Tuesday, I got my beginning of the year photocopying done, so I've got my security blankets. Hopefully that will be the end of my back-to-school nightmares. The past two days have involved meetings, and a bit of personal time. I've had lots of time to catch up with old colleagues, and meet some new ones. My goal for this year is to STAY POSITIVE. I am going to chant that mantra in my head, over, and over. If you detect any work-related negativity on this blog, please throw my mantra at me.

Of course, I have to keep that mantra in all areas of my life too. I'm still feeling good because of my upkeep of a healthy eating and lots of exercise routine. I am going to focus on keeping that up once school gets into full swing. My 30th birthday is about 5.5 months, and I want to be in awesome shape by then.

I am so thankful that it's a four-day weekend for me. Tomorrow, I'm going to pack my bags, and take the train to St. Ratford for a couple days. On my way to the train station, I'm going to drop by my friend Paola's, to catch her up on all of the gossip from the past couple days.

I'm really looking fwd to meeting up with a couple members of the Group of 9 for snobby St. Ratford drinks on Saturday night. Oh, and don't worry - a night of drinking won't throw off my healthiness. I've scheduled a yoga class for myself the following morning, so I'll sweat out the toxins the next day.

And then on Monday, I come back to Toronto, and on Tuesday the kids are back! I'm glad though; the kids are all right.

Hope everyone has a really nice long weekend!