Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy List

Here's a list of things that have made me happy in the past 48 or so hours:

a) Bike rides! Went on a great one yesterday. Sadly, was too busy with work to get one in today.

b) My apartment is pretty neat right now. What's with that?

c) Sushi. Of course!

d) Meeting nice people.

e) Gelato.

f) The New Pornographers' song "My Shepherd". Love how Neko's voice sounds in this one.

g) Going flag shopping after school with student council. I love that you can head to Kensington Market and easily and quickly get any flag you want for $10, then have a teenager barter the flag boss into selling it to you for $8 per flag.

h) Going for celebratory grilled cheese sandwiches after flag shopping. Oh, and impressing them with my knowledge of cool little restaurants.

i) Slurpees

j) Direction

k) Friends

l) Text messages

Anyway, the big event that I'm planning at school is tomorrow, so if you could all cross your fingers for me, it would be great. Thanks a million!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

In the summer of 2010, the summer I finally bought a bike.

I'm pretty sure that it was in the summer of 2007 when I hatched a plan to buy a bike as I was starting the annual end of school pub crawl with some friends. They were considering freezing their eggs, if I remember correctly, and I was like "I think I want a bike".

Then I got busy in the summer of 2007, traveling to the West Coast, some weddings, and some trips back and forth to St. Ratford, and then well, it was back to school time, and buying a bike then would be bad because it would distract me.

Fast forward to 2008 and it was the same story, but I traveled to San Francisco and the East Coast. 2009: ditto, but it was France and the UK.

So the beginning of the summer has rolled around and I've been thinking about a bike yet again. Today I walked by a bike store, and started browsing. A shiny red bike caught my eye. Some dude asked if I needed help, and I explained that I wanted a bike that was good for riding around the city in the summer. Perhaps this red one would be suitable? Well, unfortunately the red bike was more suited towards the needs of a person with back problems, but he found me a better option and I decided that I would just get the bike and end the three year farce of me wanting a bike and never getting one.

Having chosen my bike, I then got to go accessory shopping. White helmet that matches bike, check. Lights, check. Bell hand-painted with cats, check. Lock, check. Stupid water bottle holder that I regret buying now 'cuz my water bottle doesn't fit properly in it, check.

As I rode my bike home, I loved how fast it went. It took me much longer to walk to that bike store, that's for sure. I realized the seat was way too high, but I was able to fix it myself at home. I get so proud of myself whenever I can fix any sort of mechanical problem on my own.

After fixing my seat, figuring out my lock, and accidentally managing to remove a chunk of Rilo's fur with the bike (curiosity might just kill that cat one day), I went on my first bike ride of the season. Again, I love how fast I can get places on my bike, and I'm already getting good at finding some safe routes. I even took my bike out on a busy street and discovered it wasn't as terrifying as I thought it would be.

Here's my bike:

And my awesome bell:

Anyway, now I get to spend my Saturday evening doing some cleaning, some laundry, writing exams, and marking. Tomorrow I'm planning another bike ride, some errands, some marking, and then sushi for dinner with some peeps. Yay for weekends!

p.s. 'cuz I bought my bike, the Los Campesinos! song "2007, the year that punk rock broke my heart" keeps going through my head but with the title I used for this post. I'm so weird.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And these memories lick my ear.

Last night's Weakerthans show was great, of course. Great venue, great company, great band, and a great set-list. I loved that they played both of their songs that are written from the point of view of a cat, and that they played the three connected songs (Manifest, Hospital Vespers, and Past Due) from their album"Reconstruction Site". They also played the title track of that album, which is my favourite song ever. And by ever, I mean ever.

A lot of their songs remind me of university days, so as I described before, a Weakerthans' show sends me down memory lane. They played a really old song from their first album called "Leash". Becca T and I used to always quote the first line of that song when we'd had a bad day:

"Had one of those days when you want to try heroin, drunk-driving, some sort of soft suicide."

It's a dark line, but is satisfying to say when you have one of those days. I had one of those afternoons actually.

But luckily, I did get to try a heroin of sorts today: I saw Sex and the City 2!

I am very thankful to a work pal for getting us early tickets to a show that started right after school. I was so glad to get out of that building ASAP, and seeing a silly chick flick with a close friend was a perfect antidote to the day.

My review of the movie is that it's silly and fun, and if you are a SATC fan, you'll have a good time. My friend is a huge SATC fan, and she was laughing like crazy during the movie, so I'm not sure if it was she or the movie that cracked me up more.

My favourite line of the movie is when Samantha says "where the fuck is Paula Abdul when you need him?" I didn't make a mistake; that's the line. If you want to understand it, see the movie. I'm going to start using it when I'm frustrated.

So in summary, the last 1.5 days brought me a great concert, a frustrating work afternoon (the morning was great though), but it was remedied by a silly movie. So all-in-all, not too shabby.

And it's Friday! Yay to short weeks! This weekend I have to buckle down and focus on catching up on marking, and writing my exams, and getting some planning done. Gah. But the end is in sight, and boy, am I ready for summer.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The sidewalks are watching me think about you.

Greeting from a hot busy Tuesday, that was more like a Monday. Toronto's under heat alert, and it's okay except for the fact that parts of my school aren't air-conditioned and feel like a sauna. Luckily though, the science wing is air-conditioned so it's not too bad at all. I don't publicize that to people in the hot parts though. I just agree that I'm melting.

I'm excited to go see the Weakerthans tomorrow night. I love when rock shows finally roll around. Seeing the Weakerthans is always like a cleansing ritual for me. They are my *favourite* band, and have been for almost ten years now. I've seen them so many times that I've lost count. Anyway, seeing them is always a centre-ing experience for me. It reminds me of where I've been, and sort of reminds of me of what makes me me. Does that make sense? All their songs have become snapshots of my life and remind me of experiences, people, and places, and just make me happy. The show will rejuvenate me to get through one last busy busy busy month of school and get me in a good mindframe to rock the summer.

That's tomorrow. Then on Thursday, I'm going with a friend from work to an early showing of Sex and the City 2. That will definitely give me the girlie time that I've been craving. I think we're going to have sushi before or after, so I'll get some girl talk in. Phew.

Then it will be the freakin' weekend again. I love short weeks. Just thought I'd post again before the week melts away.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Notes from a long weekend.

1) Whenever I'm at my parents' house, I become a sleep monster. If I do the littlest thing, I require a nap. I slept a lot this weekend. Sleeping in, going to be early, napping. I did it all. Maybe it was my subconscious trying to get sleep into the bank 'cuz I have a busy week coming up.

2) My bad eating habits and overall laziness need a huge kick in the ass. Any volunteers? I swear I'm buying a bike next weekend, and that will motivate me to get on a health kick. (I know, we've all heard about the bike and the health kick before.)

3) When I'm bored, I shop for clothes. I tend to get bored in Stratford, and my shopping choices there are limited. It's a quandry. I did pick up a second pair of "dress shorts" and two new cute (cheap) tops.

4) I need more girl talk in my life. Now that I've been BFF-less for what seems like an eternity, I am so even out of the habit of girl talk that I'm no longer good at it. I hung out with my friends Teresa and Sandee for hours on Saturday night, but I didn't cough up any gossip (about me) at all. I think I'm just going through a zipped-lip phase. Weird.

5) I just got back into the city about an hour ago, and I should go out and enjoy the weather, but I'm spending some time with Miss Rilo until I go abandon her 'cuz I have afternoon/evening plans. Poor dear.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Put-put-put your hands together.

Things I like these days:

1) The new New Pornographers' record "Together". I got it earlier this week 'cuz I was finally ready to move on from listening to "Forgiveness Rock Record" over and over. I love love hearing Neko on this new record. She's so awesome.

2) My new pair of "dress shorts". You know the shorts that women can wear that are like dress pants but go to the knees? I have a pair of them and I love them 'cuz they still look professional with the right top + shoes and are a great way to keep cool on a hot day at work such as today. Plus the pair I have are super comfy.

3) Today's weather. So awesome and summery. Please please please let it stick around for the long weekend.

4) The fact that it's a long weekend. And it's much needed by me.

5) The stretch of Yonge Street north of Eglinton. I had to run an errand up there this evening, and I spent some time wandering up that street window-shopping and stopping at my fave Starbucks for a tall skim Strawberries and Creme Frappucino.

6) The Starbucks App for my iPhone. It let me know I did not have to feel guilty for the above beverage because it's only 170 cals of deliciousness.

7) My friends at work. I really love those people.

8) The fact that since it is a long weekend, I can schedule a much needed trip to St. Ratford AND still have time left over on Monday to chill in Toronto.

Anyway, there's a lot to dig right now with this beautiful weather and the upcoming long weekend. Hope the rest of you have a fantastic long weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A burst of moon, a blast of air.

So yah, I kind of sucked at writing my post clearly yesterday. The Jays' game was last night, and instead of going home in between work and the game, I stayed at work, marked, then headed out to Starbucks. I realized after I wrote my post that I was sketchy on the details, but IE kept crashing on my horrible work computer, so I left it without being able to edit.

Anyway, the game was fun. The Jays lost (8-3) but it was great being at a ball game. I haven't gone in forever. Being at the *Skydome* always brings back great memories of when I was a huge baseball fan when I was a kid. I named one of my cats after Joe Carter believe it or not. I'd like to get back into it, but I think all the other stuff I have going on in life makes it tricky to commit to being a baseball fan.

Here's my belated weekend update.

I spent Friday night sleeping off my cold. It's almost gone now, thankfully.

On Saturday, I went shopping for a wedding shower gift, and then hung out with Mathew in the evening. We tried a new sushi place in my neighbourhood, then watched the movie "Whip It". I liked the movie a lot. I also had a great time catching up with my buddy 'cuz I remember laughing a lot.

On Sunday, I booked myself a Zipcar (I love car-sharing) and headed out to Whitby for the shower. The shower was for my friend Flora, who is a good friend from university. Becca T and I used to visit Flora out in Whitby a lot, and driving out there brought back good memories. I really missed Becca while I was at the shower, but she'll be back soon, and living on my couch for a couple of weeks.

On Sunday evening, I went to see the movie "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I chose it based on the fact it got very good reviews, and everyone's reading those books these days. Heck, I even gave my dad a copy of the book for his bday. Anyway, the movie was pretty interesting, but insanely dark and graphic! I was expecting something a long the lines of the Da Vinci Code, which is rather innocuous.

I had to cover my eyes many times which amused my movie company to no end. It's a little bit shocking that so many people are into such a dark disturbing story, but I can see why 'cuz it was intriguing. I dunno if I approve of my dad reading such material, but he did request the sequel to the first book for Fathers' Day and I'll prolly get it for him because then he can fill me in on the details.

Right now I'm almost halfway through another really busy work week. I'm really looking forward to the long weekend, but it will prove to be busy too: school play on Friday night, trip to St. Ratford on Saturday and Sunday, and then some Toronto-chilling time on Monday. It will fly as long weekends always do.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What to do?

Last night, I was offered a ticket to go see a Jays' game. Since I have been to one in ages, I decided to ignore the pile of work that I ignored this weekend, and say yes.

So I until 6:45 pm to decide what to do with my time.

Here are my options:

a) Sit here at school and work. Pros: Will get lots done. Cons: Will be at school.

b) Go to Starbucks and work. Pros: I'll be at Starbucks. Cons: Will have to drag my bag of work to the baseball game.

c) Abandon work at school and go to Starbucks and read David Sedaris book that I picked up yesterday. Pros: Lots of laughs. Cons: Pile of work not depleted.

Okay, as I wrote this out, I've come up with a happy compromise: work for a solid hour and a bit, then go to Starbuck with Sedaris book.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Funny.

Enjoy. Still sick. Must drag self out to purchase wedding shower gift. Motivation = Starbucks.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whine and rebuttal.

I'm sick. It started in my throat and now it's turned into a lot congestion in my nose. I'm sleeping lots. Still working 'cuz I have too much to get done to stay home. Goal for next year = make self more dispensable.

Pray for Mojo.

The responses to last post made me laugh. Girls don't carry a lot of stuff 'cuz we're crazy or homeless but because we are smart and also like to leave our homes.

Who knows when it's gonna rain? That's why I always like to have my (purse-size) umbrella with me. In fact, I believe that carrying an umbrella with you is one way to ward off rain. I don't want to carry it in my hand 'cuz that's annoying, and could result in me leaving it somewhere and thus having to buy a new umbrella. So win for convenience, win for personal finances.

A hairbrush is necessary for me. My hair tangles at the slightest movement, and if I can't brush it a couple of times a day, it becomes a disaster. I leave the house for extended periods of time, hence I need to ensure that it doesn't become a tangled mess throughout the day because I like to look nice.

3 lipglosses? I like choice.

A book? Well, I take the subway, and it's nice to have something to read. And, one of my fave after-school relaxing activities is to hit up a Starbucks, have a cup of deliciousness, and read a couple chapters.

I commend those who carry more than one pair of shoes. Brilliant.

Also carrying food is smart. Why go out to eat when you can throw a piece of fruit or some almonds in your bag, and have a healthy snack and spend the money you saved on Starbucks?

I need a big wallet 'cuz I'm a person with a lot of store discount cards and I shop randomly and sporadically. Also, I'm popular, and need a spot for all of my gift cards, ha-ha.

Furthermore, I've developed a taste for a designer handbag here and there and I strongly believe if you are going to drop some cash on a bag, you should use it! And fill it with stuff!

Anyway, carrying stuff is all about being prepared for what life will throw your way!

I should go throw some cold medication and kleenexes into my purse now to be prepared for tomorrow. Now to blow my nose, take more drugs, and curl up in bed with a book. Rock and roll.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To be caught in the line of design without a proper subject.

Still rocking out to "Forgiveness Rock Record". I am going to get the new New Pornographers' record at some point, but I do best listening to one thing at a time.

It's May. I've counted that I've worked on 7 major extra-curricular projects/events this school year. Projects #s 6 and 7 and are underway right now. I'll be glad when they are done, but again, I'm super proud of myself for pulling off so much this year.

Last night I went out for ice cream at my fave place (Greg's) with a friend but they were out of my favourite flavour: roasted marshmallow. The way that I can describe the amazingness of this flavour is to say that I can taste the fire. Anyway, I guess it just means that I'll have to go back again. What a shame.

This morning I was on the subway with a friend and he was making fun of the fact that I bring two bags to work: a lunch bag and a purse. (And I wasn't even carrying the customary third bag of marking.) There was a lady sitting by us who commented "Men just don't understand! They don't carry anything and then they are asking you for stuff like your pliers and your measuring tape!" We just laughed with her and when she got off, we were like "ummm, does she carry a purse or a tool-box?"

I shared this story with the Group of 9 on facebook that got us to the random conversation of what is in your purse. I carry my wallet, a Tim Card (kept loose for easy access), three lip glosses, a small hair brush, my iPhone, my sunglasses, an umbrella, keys (work + home), my metropass (attached to my home keys), gum, and a book.

So random discussion time: guys how do you get away without carrying a bag? Or do you? Girls - what do you carry?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Texico bitches, there you be goin' again.

I had a calm weekend. Not a weekend of nothing, but a weekend with just enough nothingness to give me a little bit of time to rejuvenate.

Anyway, the highlight of my calm weekend was catching Broken Social Scene during their 4-record store tour today. Basically, they played short sets at four different stores in the city, and I was lucky enough to have a friend in the know score me a ticket last Friday by buying me a copy of their new record at the store.

The show was a really fun experience. We had to wait in line outside the store for a bit, and then they ushered us in to sit on the floor like little elementary school children while BSS played some instrumental music. They played a nice little five-song set and I was completely pumped to get home and tear open my new CD. (I haven't bought one of those in awhile. I never thought I'd become a downloader, but I have.)

Here's a pic from today's show that I took from my iPhone. Not the best, but it'll give you sort of the idea of the set-up.

I've been spending much of my Sunday evening listening to the new album, Forgiveness Rock Record, and I like pretty much every single song. Below is a performance of one of my faves "Texico Bitches". That song screams summer anthem if anything does.

Anyway, so it's Monday tomorrow. Work's going to be crazy 'til the end of the year, but on the bright side I'm going out for veggie food + ice cream tomorrow night so I'm excited for that. And, then a couple weeks 'til the long weekend, and then I have a Weakerthans show. I like stuff.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I wanna be held captive oh-oh-oh.

Life keeps chugging along. I'm holding on 'til June, folks.

Speaking of June, today I scored Sarah Harmer tickets at the Palais Royale during an artist pre-sale. For being the avid concert-goer that I am, I suck at the art of the pre-sale. This is why I'm not seeing Stars play the Mod Club tonight. Anyway, I knew there was a pre-sale through Sarah Harmer's page, and I clicked on the link, and I had to enter a password. There was nothing mentioned on the site about a password, so I guessed and it worked! I felt brilliant.

I've never been to a show at the Palais Royale before. It's an old ballroom on the waterfront, and I'm excited to go there. Way back in the late nineties, Sloan did a four-night stint there, and made a live album based on those shows. Becca T and I weren't into Sloan quite then, so we didn't go. That's seriously one the regrets of our friendship: that our Sloan addiction happened after 4 nights at the Palais Royale.

Anyway, I'm so excited to see Sarah at that venue. Last time that I saw her was at the Old Home Show in Charlottetown, PEI. That was two summers ago.

Also, look at that number of shows for 2010 on my sidebar. One was cancelled, yes, but I can't take it down. I'm thinking that this year might rival 2008 as my year of the show. (I went to 17 + SXSW that year.)

Really, I have nothing else to say, so I'm going to leave you with three concert-related videos that you can watch, or leave 'em, I don't mind.

a) Basement Apartment - Sarah Harmer: This is from her 2000 album You Were Here. This song still makes me so happy.

b) We Will Still Need A Song - Hawksley Workman: I'm still listening to an inordinate amount of Hawksley as a result of the show a couple weekends ago. This song, and its video, makes me so happy. I challenge you to watch and not smile.

c) My pal from Winnipeg sent me this link of Los Campesinos! playing a couple songs on a red couch. His comment: "sigh". I agree. That cancellation still stings.

Los Campesinos! - "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future" from The Tripwire on Vimeo.

Two more workdays 'til weekend bliss blogarinos!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Chuck Taylor Post (with Rilo Kitty bonus).

I had a great weekend with lots of socializing and good times, but tonight's post is about more important things: shoes!

Sometimes I can be a girly-girl, and I do have an extensive enough collection of pretty shoes, usually with sensible heels or wedges (I don't do stilettos). However, I think anyone who knows me knows that I'm happiest in a pair of jeans, a hoodie, and a pair of Chucks.

And, anyone who read my last post knows that I was in the market for a pair of dark purple Chucks, and that the government has given me the funds with which to obtain my new Chucks.

In fact, since that was the want from last post that most everyone commented on, I got inspired to do a post about my collection of Converse Chuck Taylors. With pictures! Of course, when I was arranging my shoes, Miss Rilo Kitty had to see what was going on, and has ended up in many of the shots. So bonus for you guys! Cute shoes and cute cat! Win-win!

Sadly, I do not have my very first pair of Chucks around here. I'm pretty sure they are still at my parents' house and were not disposed of because I probably said something along the lines of "nooooooo.... you can't throw those out!" and they are stored in the basement with the collection of my crap that's still with my poor parents.

I got them in grade eleven. They were low-top blue and green flannel plaid Chucks. The epitome of the 1990s right there in a shoe. Sadly, on maybe the second week I had them, a kid in my chemistry class spilled some acid on them and they got a few small holes in them from that tragic accident. I still wore them into the ground.

A few years ago, I saw the pair of Chucks below at the Brown's in the Bay at Yonge and Bloor, and I fell in love because of their emo-ness (note the broken hearts) and because they reminded me of my Chucks from high school. I bought them.

I added the pink laces to them myself. You can see they quite well-worn.

I don't remember the chronological order of my other pairs. This pair below are my favourites because they are red (second fave colour) and have birds (fave thing!) on them. I saw a picture of them in a Glamour magazine and actually ordered them from the Converse website and ended up paying a pretty penny for them (stupid customs). They're also from the Project Red line, so that's nice too.

Here are my two black pairs of Chucks. The low-tops I just bought in the fall, and as you can see, they've gotten a lot of wear already. They went to France with me over March Break and Becca T noticed that they were new to the collection, but really well worn. Everyone needs a pair of basic blacks.

The hi-tops were a house-warming gift from Becca T. She got them for $10 at outlet in the US and got a pair for herself too. I'll tell you why they were so cheap: there's something effing wrong with them! They pinch my feet and pinch hers too! That didn't stop me from wearing them all over NYC (twice). (Note to Miss Ash: Chucks are usually very very comfy. Those babies are defective.)

Below is Rilo posing with three pairs that I got while on various trips. (Yes, that is one of Rawbean's little homies on Rilo's scratching board in the background. She likes to play with it and places it on there. You should fill those things with catnip, my friend!)

The creme-coloured pair I got from an outlet in Buffalo while on a shopping trip with my pal Mathew. I wore them today.

The brown pair I got on my first trip to NYC at the Foot Locker in Times Square. They were on sale and reminded me of my first pair 'cuz they have holes (on purpose) in them through which you can see plaid.

The green pair I got when I was shopping at a Converse outlet with AlieMalie in Austin Texas. I bought to wear them on Earth Day that year, but then stupid Air Canada lost my luggage so I didn't even have them 'til the day after Earth Day. Oh well.

And now onto the newest member of the family: my "Italian Plum" low-tops! (I prefer low-tops as you can see. Easier to take on and off.) I had to go to three stores today to find them in low-tops and in my size, but I did!

And, in all of the searching, I found a store with an extensive collection of baby Chucks. I was in the market for a baby gift for a friend who is due in May (who usually doesn't read the blog, and if she's reading this post: SURPRISE!). Perfect and oh-so-cute!

Anyway, so there you go: Christielli's Chuck Taylor collection. Hope you enjoyed. And seriously, if you don't have a pair: GET SOME!