Thursday, December 31, 2009

Still, pretty good year.

Well, after a nice week in Stratford, I'm back in Toronto. I'm glad to be back in my little apartment with Rilo Kitty, and I'm even gladder that I was lucky enough to get a ride home from my pal Jolene. It's nice not having to drag suitcases on trains and subways. And, even better the ride was following by some fun shopping, where I scored a new sweater on sale at anthropologie, and also stocked up on some new stuff for my place at Ikea.

Anyway, so it is now the end of another year. How did that happen?

Overall, I'd say that 2009 was a pretty good year, to rip off the Tori Amos song of the same year. (Great song, ch-check it out.)

I had a great birthday in NYC, a surprise party here, an awesome summer trip to Paris, Scotland and London, got to share in the wedding and babies of a few really good friends, went to a plethora of great concerts, and had a really nice Christmas break. My job is challenging, and not without its frustrations, but overall I love it, and feel blessed with the experiences that it brings.

As always, it was the little things made the year good: countless frappucinos in the park and sushi dinners with Becca T, Group of 9 social functions, thoughtful notes in the mail, nights out with work pals, spa days, endless conversations with my pal Mathew, birthday parties, new friends, reuniting with long-lost friends, silliness on facebook, teenage humour, and laughing at Rilo.

However, I often felt that during 2009, I was in transition from where I am to where I'm supposed to be. I don't think that I moved forward a whole lot, but that's okay. I've always liked where I am, and have always liked myself as a person, but there are ways in which I'd like to move forward. I'm not there yet, but I will be, and I hope 2010 will bring some changes to my life, but if it doesn't, that's okay, because I still like things the way they are.

As for resolutions and goals, well, my goal for 2009 was to read a book a year, and as you can see from the sidebar, I didn't make it, but I did read quite a bit. As long as I don't somehow finish a book tomorrow (and I do have two half-finished books that aren't on the list), I've read 35 books this year, and that averages out to about one book per week and a half, which is good for a busy working person.

I'm not going to make any reading resolutions this year, but I am going to keep up with the list of books on my sidebar because I liked keeping track of my reading, and I'm curious how much I'll read without any sort of goal. (I bet about the same.)

I think I'll also add a concert list too, 'cuz as you all know, concerts are my favourite.

As for resolutions for 2010, I have three:

1) Eat healthy.
2) Exercise more and find new things to do so that I don't get bored.
3) Keep my apartment neat and organized.

I know that I feel really good, not just pretty good, when I do these three things, and 2009 wasn't great for any of them, so they are my focus for 2010. And I'll have a good start 'cuz my apartment is in very nice shape right now, I have a gym membership, and I ate all of my Christmas junk food so it's gone, ha-ha.

Anyway, I'll check in at the end of each month to keep you updated with my resolutions.

Well, happy new year to each and every one of you! I hope that 2010 is a great start to the new decade. :D

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Things to be excited about...

1) I just saw the Olympic Torch go through town. I missed it when it went through TO, so yay for second chances. And, it's pretty fun seeing it go through here since it's the most news-worthy thing that's happened here since 1988, when the Calgary torch went through. I was 8 and it was fun times. Anyway, I missed where Peter Mansbridge (my homeboy) got to carry it, but I saw it on its way out of town. Fun.


2) Tonight is Group of 9 Christmas! It def the most raucous Christmas celebration that I go to. I have my tacky gift, and I'm off to get some wine and flowers for the hostess (this year it's Teresa). And, I'm going to sheepishly ask my dad for a ride to the event so that I can perhaps partake in some of the wine.

3) Tomorrow I'm driving to London to meet up with my friend Alison who I haven't seriously seen in over three years. I'm so excited. I'm going to teach her to knit, apparently. She's put in a request. So I'm off to Zellers to get some supplies. Yay Zellers!

4) Then I'm meeting up some more friends in London tomorrow evening for more celebrating. Haven't seen a couple of them in a couple years either. Goodness.

5) Tuesday will be a day of rest, and then on Wednesday, my dear pal Jolene is going to drive me back to TO to be reunited with Rilo Kitty and to do some shopping. Fun!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hey there Delilah.

That's what's playing right now in the coffee shop as I am doing a routine email check. I left my iPod at home. Anyway, this pop stuff they are playing sure beats the country music station that they have on normally. Phew.

The way I can tell the difference between the gym in St. Ratford and my gym in TO is that CMT (Country Music Television) is always always always on the TVs. It's never on in TO. It's good to be home, I guess?

My Christmas was pretty wonderful. I hope that all of you had a good Christmas. I hung out with my 'rents and ate lots of chocolate and turkey and all the trimmings. In the evening, we watched the completely inappropriate DVD I bought my mom for Christmas. It was Will Ferrell as GWB in You're Welcome America - completely parent unfriendly but I knew my mom would really like it. Then we watched a bunch of 30 Rock.

I'm getting a lot of knitting done. The pair of mittens I've been knitting for over a year is now finished, and I've started another pair. Right now I'm using knitting to work through some crazy-ass thoughts that are going through my head. Basically, there are some unspoken feelings lingering around that I'd like to say, but they're a little out there, and if I said them, I'd rock the boat, and the boat is comfy. So I knit.

Ack, my laptop battery is going to die and I left the power cable at home. It lasts for like 30 mins now. New year is gonna mean new laptop, I know it.

Hope you are all avoiding the malls. Or rocking them. Whichever you prefer. :) (I'm an avoider.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My year in concerts.

Well, I'm still working on the great clean/pack of 2009. There's nothing too big about the packing, I'm just going to the Rat for a week, but it's the cleaning. Four months of general domestic neglect (to a point) will do that. One of my new year's resolutions is to entertain more, since the only way I clean effectively is to have people over, not counting Becca T and Mathew, since they are on a list of people who are so special to me, that heck, I'll actually mess the place up for them. Of course, it'll still be a while 'til Becca T is back.

Anyway, as I've been tidying, I just put my last tickets stub of '09 into my beloved ticket stub album. Now, 2008 was the year of the concert, since I went to 19 shows + SXSW, but as I flip through my album, I can see that 2009 represented. Let's reminisce, shall we?

Ben Folds @ the Kool Haus (yuck to the venue, yay to Ben!)

Sloan @ The Mod Club (Slooooooooo-ooooooooooooooan!)

The Weakerthans and The Constantines @ The Phoenix (could it get any better?)

Neko Case @ Trinity St. Paul's (First time I saw her, and she's awesome.)

Joel Plaskett @ Massey Hall (Front row! 2 sets! One of the best concerts I've ever been to!)

The Constantines @ The Harbourfront (Cons + fireworks = awesome)

Neko Case @ Massey Hall (So nice, I had to see her twice, ha-ha)

K'naan @ The Phoenix (Wow! Someone invited me to a show for once, and I had to "study" for it - aka familiarize myself with the artist. K'naan is great, and his album Troubadour almost made it to my fave of 2009 list.)

Metric/The Weakerthans/Hey Rosetta! @ The Mod Club (I won tickets courtesy of my beloved Weakerthans. First time ever seeing Metric and they blew me away. Seriously, could I choose a better three-band line up?)

Ben Folds w The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (Ever since I saw Ben's DVD Live with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, I dreamed of seeing him play with an orchestra. It was as awesome as I thought it would be.)

Two Hours Traffic @ Lee's Palace (Such a fun live band!)

Feist @ Holt Renfrew (I am counting it 'cuz you can't not count Feist. Excellent random treat.)

Phoenix @ The Sound Academy (I <3 Phoenix. Seriously. Huge crush on the lead singer. I don't even know his name. )

Not too shabby. I missed out on a few that I wanted to see, but whatevs, they'll be back.

Oh wait! I also saw Claire's friends' band, Be Like Pablo, when I was in Scotland. They were pretty fun.

So far, as I've babbled in previous posts, I have Tegan & Sara, Jack's Mannequin, and Hawksley Workman tickets lined up for 2010.

I really really want to see Los Campensinos! this year. And Stars needs to play soon. I miss them. And I'd like to see Elliott Brood, 'cuz I'm super into them. They're playing on NYE at Lee's, but I don't think I'll be able to go. Ooh, and since I missed Tori this year, she needs to tour again in 2010. And I really need to see Kathleen Edwards again. The wish list could go on forever, so I'll stop.

Anyway, done with the procrastination post, off to pack and clean.

Merry Christmas, I'm off to the Rat! I'll check in from a coffee shop every now and again. :D

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Decade of Awesomeness!!!!

So wigsf thinks this decade sucked musically, but I completely disagree. I didn't think I could make a list of my 10 favourite albums of the decade, but it was easier than I thought. It was made easier by the fact that I am procrastinating from cleaning and packing. Anyway, these are ten albums that are very special to me, and they all came out in the past ten years. Note: these are just *my* favourite albums, because I don't think I could make a best-of list, because I'm not a music expert, just an expert in what I like.

It was also weird thinking that back in the early part of the decade, I was still in university! Using dial-up! And Napster! It's crazy to think about how much life has changed in the past ten years. This article is brilliant, if you'd like to take a walk down memory lane.

Anyway, here are my fave albums of the aughts, as they seem to be calling them in the media. My dad, if he were here, would say that he was the first to use that term. Seriously though, these ten albums were the soundtrack of my decade, but there was lots of other awesome stuff too.

10) Three – Joel Plaskett (2009): I think this album is great enough to be on this list. Do you notice that on decade lists the stuff that comes out in the last year gets shafted? Triple album of awesomeness is what this is.

9) Fox Confessor Brings the Flood – Neko Case (2006): Neko is a brilliant vocalist and songwriter. I bought this album thinking “oh, I’m not going to like this; she’s just too country for me.” But nope, I was won over on the first listen and that was that.

8) Hospital Music – Matthew Good (2007): Maybe, just maybe, I love this album because I listened to it in heavy rotation as I took a train through the Rockies, but it’s a great album, and highly personal. You all know that I love Matthew Good a lot, and he’d have to pop up on this list. Also, I got into blogging because of Matthew Good, just so you know.

7) Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie (2003): Becca T sent me this CD for Christmas when I taught up north. Something about its lyrics and haunting melodies fit my life perfectly when I taught up there.

6) The Reminder – Feist (2007): This is an album that keeps growing on me and growing on me. But it’s just so good, and every time I listen to it, I fall in love with something else.

5) (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves (2001) – Hawksley Workman: This album played a pivotal role in my life. It marked the first time I ever shirked my real-life responsibilities to go to a concert. And what a show it was! It was the CD-release party for this album, and Hawksley performed it with a string quartet. I was supposed to be in stats class, Becca T was supposed to be writing an essay instead, but going to this show was a much better decision. We both fell in love with the song “No Beginning, No End” and for weeks on end, this album was all we listened to.

4) The Beekeeper – Tori Amos (2005): This is my personal favourite Tori Amos album, probably because it’s her most accessible. It’s chock full of beautiful melodies, and “Sleeps With Butterflies” is my most-listened to song ever. This album taps into my spirituality and femininity like no other ever has. (My goodness, I should date it!)

3) Set Yourself on Fire – Stars (2005): The first time I ever heard Stars was when the song “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” came up randomly on my iPod. I have never been so taken by one track. I ran out and bought the album, and it’s high-energy, political, and beautiful. Love.

2) You Were Here – Sarah Harmer (2000): I wasn’t sure if this came out in the ‘00s, but iTunes said it came out in 2000. This is a desert island album for me. It’s that awesome.

1) Reconstruction Site – The Weakerthans (2003): This is such a special album for me. I remember first discovering the Weakerthans (my very favourite band) in late 2000 when I was downloading stuff very slowly on freakin’ dial-up using Napster. I saw this album evolve on stage. They played songs from it the first time I ever saw them on a hot and sweaty evening at the Reverb with my dear friend Eric in the summer of 2001. This album’s got my favourite song EVER (Reconstruction Site), a song written from the point of view of a cat, and they best Winnipeg-related song ever. What else can I say about this album? It might roll its eyes at this, but I’m so glad that it exists.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowfall, this is what I've been waiting for, to cover up the summer's restless ghosts.

HOLIDAYS!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!

And can I say that I deserve my two weeks off?? The last week of school was insane with the annual talent show that I got roped into organizing. I had a lot of help from some places, and very little help from others, but all in all it was an *insert my last name here* production. And it was off the hook, if I do say so myself. Since I saw the acts evolve from the audition stage, to the dress rehearsal stage, to the big show, I was a little more invested in this show than the usual ones where I just watch. (That way is much easier.)

However, they all brought it. I was so happy and I bruised my hand clapping for all of my talented raggamuffins. Oh, and the nice thing about the talent show is that all the mean kids skip that day, and all the sweet ones stay, so the crowd is awesome and so enthusiastic. At the end of the show, I should have technically been angry, 'cuz the final group got the sound guy to play another song without permission and brought all the contestants on stage to dance, but I really liked it and it was so cute I didn't care. The big boss might have been a little cheesed since it was his time to go give the dismissal speech, but whatevs. So much spirit!

So yah, last week was a week of dress rehearsals, shopping with students for prizes and gifts, setting up the caf for the show, taking down the caf, organizing all the little details, and did I mention I still had to teach my classes? Anyway, I survived, and also got some Christmas shopping done and went to two birthday parties.

I have had a lazy, lazy weekend. That's okay since I have a bit of time before I set off for St. Ratford. I gotta finish off some shopping, clean the apartment, and pack, but I have 2.5 whole days for that.

I'm also putting my indie rock snob Christmas tunes into heavy rotation. Everyone should right now go to iTunes and download Slow Club's Christmas EP called "Christmas Thanks For Nothing".

Then go here and download the Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada playlist. I'm still working through it since it's pretty big, but so far my faves are the songs by Wilderness of Manitoba, Ohbijou, The Acorn, and Dan Mangan. Oh wait, now I love the song by David Carswell and Megan Barnes.

The title of this post comes from the brilliant 30 second song by The Acorn. As I was walking from the subway to school on Friday, my Converse sneakers against bare, dry pavement looked wrong. "How can this be the last day of school before Christmas?" I asked myself as I stared at my feet. We need a snowfall to cover up the summer's restless ghosts for sure. Thank you for verbalizing that so well The Acorn.

Oh now I love the song "Cinammon Winter" by Cinderpop.

I'm not a fan of these dark evenings though. It feels like it's so late, but it's not even 6 pm.

Anyway, I should be off. I might head off to Indigo (yay for late night bookstores) to do some Christmas shopping and perhaps get a decaf treat at Starbucks.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I have waited with a glacier's patience.

Yet another post of randomness.

1) Overall my weekend was very relaxing, and I didn't check off nearly enough from my to-do list, but oh well, I work better under pressure.

2) Next week is going to be Busy (note the capital B), so I doubt I'll be posting. Unless I'm so stressed that I just need to let it all out, which in that case, expect a post.

3) On Saturday, I took the Go Train to Burlington for a surprise bday party for my friend Wendy. The surprise part of it was a bit fail, because she was a little bit early and could see people running around the house, but she had a good time. Part of the surprise was that we took her to a studio for belly-dancing lessons, which isn't my thing, but it was actually very fun.

4) I had been telling another friend about the belly-dancing, and she's planning to take lessons in the new year. It's pretty good exercise, and rather fun, and would be a good way to put some variety in the ol' fitness routine.

5) As I was on the train home from Burlington, I made a playlist of all of my fave songs from my fave album list in my previous post. If any of you would like me to burn you a copy, email your address to christielli123@gmail.com. I won't have time to make copies and mail them 'til the end of the holidays, but I'll get them out in the new year if you are interested.

6) I should go to bed but I really don't feel like it because I am not really looking forward to this week, even though it's the last one before Christmas holidays. I'll survive it somehow, I'm sure. I always do.

Bonus #7 - After writing this post, I picked up "The Glass Castle" which I am currently re-reading. I read it a few years ago, enjoyed it, and saw that the author (Jeannette Walls) has a new book out. Anyway, I totally forget this book, hence the desire to re-read it. I just came across a passage that I have to share with you all. It's about one the of teachers that the author has while going to elementary school in Battle Mountain Nevada in the late 60s/early 70s.

"Miss Page had gotten the ax when the principal caught her toting a loaded rifle down the school hall. Miss Page said all she wanted to do was motivate her students to do their homework. "

And with that, have a great week!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lisztomania

I love writing my list of top ten favourite albums of the year. Now, this really isn’t a best-of list, these are just the albums that I listened to the most, spoke to me the most, and were my soundtrack to 2009. And they’re all really great too.

I’ve actually been waiting to write this list since early in the year, because even back then I could tell that 2009 seemed to be a better-than-average year for music. There are a lot of strong albums this year that didn’t even make my list. It just seemed like there was more music out there this year that I really connected with.

Also, so many of my favourite albums this year are total high-energy albums that make me want to dance and party. All ten of these albums can be described as being all killer, no filler. Seriously, it was a great year for music.

Most of you will be completely unsurprised about my list because I know I’ve written about the awesomeness of each of these albums earlier in the year.

I’ve posted this earlier than usual, because next week, work is going to kick my ass, and then I’ll be in holiday mode, so yeah, here’s the list.

10) Lost Channels – Great Lake Swimmers: Like all Great Lake Swimmers albums, the words beautiful and gorgeous come to mind while I listen to Lost Channels. I love the way that instruments are arranged in GLS songs, and there is nothing more relaxing than Tony Dekker’s vocals. This GLS album is different than their previous work, in that it’s a little more upbeat than their other albums. I love Lost Channels for its gorgeous melodies, dreamy lyrics, beautiful arrangements and vocals. If you need something laid back, but with a bit of a kick, pick this album up.

Fave song: She Comes To Me In Dreams

9) It’s Blitz! – Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz! is actually the first YYYs album that I’ve heard and I love it. “Heads Will Roll” is the single that got me in interested in this album, and the rest of the songs follow through. There are a lot of danceable rock tunes on this album. However, a slightly softer side of the band is shown in the lovely “Hysteric” and on the very sweet “Little Shadow”. If you need something to throw on your iPod during a party, or if you need fun music while cleaning, marking, or at the gym, get It’s Blitz! Also, I find dancing around your living room to “Heads Will Roll” a great cure for a bad day.

Fave song: Hysteric

8) Territory – Two Hours Traffic: Two Hours Traffic are one of my favourite new musical finds of last year, and I was really looking forward to their new album. This band from PEI delivers some of the best power pop around, and their albums are produced by Joel Plaskett. Territory offers many songs that are loaded with hooks and are great to sing along with. “Just Listen” and the last track “Sing A Little Hymn” are softer slower offerings, but both work wonderfully. And THT get bonus points for mentions of Darwin and triceratops in “Sing A Little Hymn”.

Fave song: Drop Alcohol

7) Grand – Matt & Kim: Matt & Kim are a new find for me this year. This album is forever linked to NYC for me, since that’s where the band is from, and I discovered it around the time I travelled to NYC for my birthday this year. Grand is yet another great party album on this year’s list. I’ve included it on iPod playlists that I put on at a couple of parties this year, and at each occasion I had a couple of people ask me about it. All of the songs are short, piano-driven, and high energy. Grand is a grand little album, and you can’t help but picture yourself walking around in some funky NYC neighbourhood while you are listening to this album.

Fave song: Daylight

6) Vancouver – Matthew Good: I’ll admit that pretty much whenever Matt Good puts out a new album, it ends up on my year-end list. But, the man always delivers, so what can I do? I’m always interested in any album that is based upon an artist’s hometown, since one of my favourite themes to explore in literature in music is the meaning of home. Vancouver leads off with the rock number “Last Parade” and is a great mix of rock songs, and longer songs with lush arrangements. There’s something about Matt Good’s singing that always appeals to me, and whenever I’m listening to MG, there are little lines that strike me and just make sense. Vancouver is a collection of ten great songs, and it’s a great listen on those days where you are feeling pensive and reflective.

Fave song: A Silent Army in the Trees

5) Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Phoenix: Even if I hadn’t been wowed by Phoenix’s show last weekend, this album would have made this list. I picked up this album in May, and it’s gotten a lot of play since then because it is so fun. Phoenix is another new musical find for me in 2009, and I’m glad I discovered them at this point in their career. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix consists of ten very strong songs that mix electronic beats with guitars and keyboards and fun vocals.

Fave songs: It’s a toss up between Lisztomania and 1901.

4) Sainthood – Tegan and Sara: Tegan and Sara have only really been one of my favourites for a few years now, but they really impressed me with their 2009 release. I’d read remarks somewhere that some long-time fans might be disappointed with how poppy sounding this album is, but I completely disagree. It seems like that with this release the focus is completely on really catchy, short, pop-ish songs, and they work so well. I’d always found on previous Tegan and Sara stuff that there were some songs that I didn’t connect with so much, but I love each and every song on this album. And, this is another fun album that stands up for great music when you need to be energized, or to play during a party.

Fave song: Alligator (I love how 80s this song sounds.)

3) Fantasies – Metric: I’ve always been all right with Metric, but with this album, as well with finally seeing their awesome live show this fall, have made me love them. The first time I heard “Help I’m Alive” I remember saying to my friend Mathew “This must be Metric! It’s so great! I need this song!” I bought the album as soon as it came out, and declared it awesome upon each listen. Each song completely rocks, and I love Emily Haines’ voice and synth skills. If you can listen to this album without pumping your fist, you must have no arms. (Whoa, that’s really corny writing, but I’m keeping it.)
Fave song: Stadium Love

2) Middle Cyclone – Neko Case: It took a lot of internal debate during the year to decide whether this album, or the next one, would take first place because both are really special to me. Neko’s last album, “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood” was my favourite album of 2007, and I think I might even like “Middle Cyclone” better. It’s hard to say because both are just so awesome. Neko’s got one of the best voices anywhere, and her songs wonderful and unique. Each time I listen to this album, a new song stands out to me, and I appreciate it more. I love the cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Forget Me”. The imagery in “Prison Girls” is vivid. I can identify with the heartsick tornado in “This Tornado Loves” you. And since I love animals, I love the menagerie of creatures that pop up in various songs. I don’t know what more to say than just go get this album now.

Fave song: I’m an Animal

1) Three – Joel Plaskett: In the final song on this masterpiece (and I don’t throw that word around), Joel sing “triple record, now that’s just rattlin’ off”. And honestly, that’s what you’d think would happen with a triple record. But it doesn’t. Each disc of this album has a different theme, and various melodies and aspects wind their way through the record. Every time I listen to the album, I discover something new and exciting that I didn’t hear before. And I’ve listened to this album a lot. According to last.fm, it’s my most listened to album. The reason being is that there are so many great songs on this album, from the lead-off single “Through & Through & Through”, to the tempo-shifting in “Run, Run, Run”, the beautiful “In The Blue Moonlight”, and the epic “On & On & On”. I’m so glad that I was able to see so many of the songs from my favourite album played at Massey Hall, and that show was also my fave of 2009.

Fave song: Deny, Deny, Deny

And that's it! I'm excited for 2010 albums already. I know that both Hawksley Workman and Los Campensinos! are coming out with new stuff, and I'm psyched. How about you? What's your favourite music from 2009?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

But the wind goes right through you.

Today was the first snowstorm of the year. I had a pretty hellish commute. There were delays on both lines of the subway. It took me twice as long as usual to get to work. Good thing I left early. Of course, I left early to get some work done, which obviously didn't happen. Oh well.

One of my friends at work was given free passes to some rugby movie with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman tonight and she invited me. When we got there, all of the seats were taken, so they gave us free passes to see another movie. We chose "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" which was quite enjoyable. We also ate lots of popcorn.

I feel that I'm not listening to enough Christmas music this year. Time's a ticking! The window of opportunity for listening to Christmas is short, and I have to take advantage of it. Right now I'm listening to all three of my versions of "Fairytale of New York": The Pogues, Pilate, and Stars. I'm making progress.

The other night I had a Rilo Kitty photoshoot. I feel that I'm quite reasonable with amount of cat content on this blog, so I'm going to hit you with some of the pictures. You will notice that Rilo's much chubbier than she used to be. Being a housecat suits her.

This is actually an older Rilo Kitty shot. I think it's hilarious when cats are cleaning themselves and they turn one of their ears inside out. It got a shot of it.

Here she is all focussed on catching the string on my camera. The look in her eyes is pure determination.


Here she is looking pensive. Pensive and chubby. Although her paw looks freakishly large.


I don't know how I got this one, but it's hilarious. I'm sure she's so happy with me for posting it on my blog.


Oh my photoshoot was inpired by the fact that I'm giving my dad a framed picture of Rilo for Christmas, since he misses his napping buddy from the summer. I have pictures of her in her skinny days, but I don't think he'd recognize those, ha-ha. I dunno if any of the above will work, what do you think?

Right now she's happily sleeping on two of my coats that I tossed on my loveseat. She enjoys my messiness: it provides her with a variety of new sleeping places every day. Oh she must have known I was blogging about her. Now she's sitting on my knee and purring.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, December 07, 2009

And I'll be anything you ask and more.

This evening I just booked a flight to here for March Break!


The trip to Nice is officially on! I'm probably going to meet up with Becca T in Paris, and we'll spend a little bit of time there, and then make our way to Nice. I'm so excited! I love France. And I can't wait to party with Becca T for a week. I miss her. Anyway, I got a good price on my flight, and now all I have to do is fill in a few blanks, and voila!

Also, *who* seriously flies to Paris twice within a year? Me! Who'd have thunk? I'd planned this summer's trip before I knew Becca T was going to France, and figured if the fates were going to take me there twice, so be it. The other day I was using Google Street View to navigate the streets of Paris, and was just salivating at the sight of them. I love that city.

Incidentally, I noticed my passport expires in February. Renewing it will be high on my to-do list in the new year.

I stole some cool pictures that Mathew took at the Phoenix show that I'm going to intersperse between my banter. I'm still on a Phoenix-binge as a result of that show.

I went on a field trip today. Better than the average Monday for sure. A lot of it was outside (cold!) and I'm exhausted from all of that fresh air. Does that happen to you?



The picture below shows the end of the show when the band allowed people to come up onto the stage. It was a fun moment.


I've been thinking about my top 10 favouritest albums of 2009. I've got the list worked out (I think), and I'll be posting it soon, I hope. Hmmm, you should all take bets on what will be in my list. 2009 was a great year for albums. There was some great stuff that didn't even make my list.



Oh, and can you believe it'll be a new decade soon? Gah, I'm not going to do any best of the whatever this decade's called 'cuz it's too much brainwork.


Tomorrow I have a half day workshop in the morning. Will have to make a trip to Starbucks on the way there to make it through.

Also, I gotta share this brilliant Phoenix video that my buddy rawbean shared with me. It's totally summarizes what's making me happy these days: dreaming of Paris + listening to Phoenix.

Phoenix - 1901 - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

You can check out more of their Take Away series here. I think it's brilliant how great they sound in random Paris locations. I love the one on the bus. And, I developed a total crush on the lead singer as a result of Saturday's show. Now, he's a little bit more awkward close up than he was from my standing view at the concert, but I do like the geeky awkward boy with messy hair. And he's Parisian and he sings. He can be my Paris boyfriend. I'm going to need one since I go there so often, ha-ha.

Happy Tuesday folks!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

It's 20 seconds 'til last call, going hey hey hey hey hey hey.

I spent most of today sleeping last night off. Last night was full of hilarity and shenanigans, like any Christmas party should be. I'm glad that there is a committed group of colleagues who decided to continue the party elsewhere, because it was off the hook. I love continuing lame sayings from the previous night into the next day.

Today was Phoenix! Woot! I have to say, concerts are less tiring after a day of recuperative sleep.

The concert was at The Sound Academy, which is a venue I've somehow never been to before. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I like smaller places like Lee's and The Mod Club way better, but it was better than oh, the Kool Haus.

The opening band was Holy Fuck. They're a fun band to watch for sure, but I don't think I'd ever listen to their music on my iPod. But, I definitely enjoyed seeing them.

Phoenix are so fun live. I only knew the songs from their current album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but each and every song was high energy and enjoyable. They opened with "Listzomania" and closed with "1901" which are my two favourite songs. I also loved both parts of "Love Like a Sunset".

Since I had a lot of energy when I got home from the show (due to the day of sleep), I'm staying up and doing laundry. My Sunday can't be as lazy as my Saturday 'cuz I have a bunch of things to get done before another week of insanity.

But, it's much easier going into a week of insanity after a super fun weekend!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Oh, what a night.

In life, don't you find that it's not so much the party as it is the after-party?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Insanity, but the good kind.

I'm crazy busy these days. Surprisingly though, I actually got two whole lunches to myself this week. No meetings, no events, just me eating my lunch. I didn't know what to do with a calm 40 minute interval.

Anyway, work is super busy with planning talent shows (don't ask), working on a bunch of environmental projects, planning field trips, being sent off for PD, and I have to teach too. A friend and I have planned a special treat for ourselves that we are calling "code awesome" that I'm really looking forward to.

Tomorrow is my work Christmas party of all things. How did that happen? I'm looking forward to it. It's really low-key, which is nice, because I don't have time to search for a new outfit, etc. One year it was some place sort of fancy, and I got my hair did (quoting tonight's 30 Rock there), and a new dress and everything. Thankfully it's not like that this year because I would not have the time nor the energy.

On Saturday I'm going to see Phoenix! Get this: on Saturday there's a Hey Rosetta! show, the Phoenix show, and a show with Weezer with Jack's Mannequin. How fair is it that there are three good shows in one night?? WTF?? Anyway, Phoenix won because it was announced first and my friend Mathew got tickets eons ago. Really though, it was the best choice because I've never seen them before, whereas I've seen all of the others.

This evening my plan was to watch The Office/30 Rock and then to do some laundry. However, I passed out on my couch after dinner only to wake up to see I'd missed the Office. I watched 30 Rock, and abandoned the laundry plan to work on Christmas cards and presents to mail out tomorrow. I feel productive as I now have a big bag of stuff to cart to the Post Office tomorrow.

I feel insanely busy these days, but I am happy that all of the things I'm busy with have turned out to be fun, and work stuff seems to be coming together nicely. (Knock on wood.)

Anyway, it somehow has become 12:16 am and I have to get to work early tomorrow which I have been stuggling with all year. Hmmm, I will motivate myself by stopping at Starbucks for a eggnog latte if I can get out the door by 7:15 am.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What I'd really like for Christmas...

'cuz my mom's been asking...

1) A flight to Paris for the March Break, and then a connecting flight/train to Nice. Well, I've actually found the Paris flight, and at a reasonable price, but it would be nice if Santa slipped me the cash for it.

2) Los Campensinos! to play in Toronto next year on a date that is convenient for me. Oh, and if Santa could slip me the cash for that show, that'd be nice. Oooh, and if I could fly in a good pal from Winnipeg to see the show with me, even better!

3) A better metabolism. Or failing that, a healthy personal gourmet chef and a personal trainer. But really, the better metabolism is the preferred gift.

4) A new phone. I'm tired of all of the kids having a better phone than I do. I think that I want an iPhone. I might actually buy that as a birthday gift for myself, but again, some cash towards that would be nice.

5) One of those awesome cat houses/play centres for Rilo. I'd buy her one myself, but it's hard to transport on the bus. So maybe I'd like a ride to the pet store. And some cash, of course.

6) I'd like the salt stains from last winter to disappear from my Uggs. (Yes, I have Uggs, but they're not the ugly Uggs, they're more stylized and have a zipper and a buckle and I love them.)

7) I'd like all of my friends to get whatever will make them happy. I have some friends who could use new jobs, so that would be cool if they could get those.

8) A large box of bath products from Lush.

9) Some new lululemon pants.

10) Some new perfume. I'm kind of liking Lola by Marc Jacobs, but I dunno. I actually could get this for myself for free 'cuz I have a plethora of Shopper's Optimum points.

So, in summary, my mom might be able to hook me up with #s 8 and 9.

What do you kids what for Christmas this year?