Sunday, October 31, 2010

Robots need love too.

Hey ya kids! Right now I'm blogging from my favourite coffee shop with wifi in Stratford. My favourite coffee shop in town has no wifi, so that's why I'm not there, and I'm drinking a slightly less yummy chai latte, but the internet is my ultimate mistress, so that's why I'm here and not there.

Anyway, happy Halloween! I'm actually gonna be handing out candy with my dad tonight, which is something I haven't done in years and years so that should be mildly amusing... I guess.

Friday at school was amusing. I dressed up as a surgeon and didn't really teach much. It's hard to do so in a costume, eh? You lose your gravitas. I gave my last period class a quiz, but then double candy, so I made up for the one period in which I was a Halloween grinch.

Thursday was Dan Mangan at Trinity-St. Paul's. I've been to a couple of concerts at this church before; it's a great venue because you can see well no matter where you sit and everything sounds great. Anyway, I expected to like seeing Dan live, but I didn't expect that he would exceed my expectations quite so much. His band was great, and at some points there were many musicians on stage: I'm talking horns, strings, keyboards, everything. He opened with "Sold", played my favourite "Road Regrets" and "Tina's Glorious Comeback" (the lyrics of which describe my life right now... and no, that's not because I'm planning to re-enter pop music a la Tina Turner). However, my favourite moment was the sing-a-long during "Robots" at the end of the set. Dan was standing on pews getting everyone in the church to sing, and it was amazing. There's something about an entire crowd singalong that makes you feel just so connected to the artist and everyone in the building. I love those moments.

Here's the video of the song Robots. The video is a bit on the cheesy side, but the song is so fun. Fast forward to 2:45 for the optimal sing-along part. It will make you feel better about whatever is troubling you.


A big thanks to my friend @mattinwpg to giving me Dan's discography (along with a creepy Santa card) for Christmas last year!

I finally saw "Evita" at the Stratford Festival last night thanks to their kind social media co-ordinator. It was a great performance. I'm so glad that I didn't miss out on it after my timing mistake. I love the story of Evita: I actually used to read books about her when I was younger, and had forgotten the story. It's an interesting look at an icon. The production itself was amazing. Shows in my hometown never let me down.

Anyway, I'd better pack my computer up. I have to be home for supper soon. Isn't it so fun how when you stay with your parents you end up regressing to being a kid. I went out for the afternoon to visit my friend Teresa, then nerd out at a coffee shop, and now it's supper so I must go.

Don't eat too much candy tonight!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Try to make sense of the things that you think.

I think I figured out how our new mayor must have won. His win is a mystery because very few people admit to voting for him; but he got almost 50% of the votes.

I'm convinced that he forged the electoral list to have dead pets vote for him. Just like when Sideshow Bob beat Mayor Quimby in the Springfield mayoral election. That's the only explanation I can think of. I'm just thankful he didn't do this in Stratford where my dear Butterscotch (my first cat) is buried, 'cuz then it would be personal.

***

Thanks to everyone for all of your nice comments on my last post. Yah, a down-Christielli is a strange thing, and I'll be okay. I just need a little bit of time and some (but not too much) emo music to heal some wounds and I'll be fine. Your regular happy blog-programming will resume soon!

Last night's show was AMAZING. Check out the CBC Song Quest 2 album on iTunes if you are interested! It's a collection of thirteen road songs written by one artist from each province or territory. Ontario's song is done by Jully Black and it's about Roncevalles Ave here in Toronto. I also love the songs by Hopeful Monster (Nova Scotia), Hannah Georgas (British Columbia), Kerry Latimer (Manitoba), and Two Hours Traffic (PEI). I downloaded it immediately after the show and I've been enjoying it all day.

I'm completing a concert hat-trick this week, folks. Saturday was Stars, yesterday was the CBC show, and tomorrow is Dan Mangan. Well done, me.

After that, I'll be heading to Stratford this weekend for Evita attempt #2. My dad made a point of telling me that today he was at the doctor's office and there was a Stratford Festival programme sitting in the waiting room. He double-checked the time of the performance and it is indeed 8 pm. Thanks Dad! You always have my back, especially when it means you can make a little bit of fun of me.

I hope that the rest of you are having great weeks! The greatest thing I think is that since tomorrow is Thursday, they are almost over!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thousands of ghosts in the daylight.

There's so much going on in my life right now. Some of it's personal, some of it's political, some of it's educational, and thankfully, a lot of it is musical. I'll run down a lot of it randomly.

First of all, Stars was a great show. Young Galaxy opened, and I enjoyed watching them. Stars opened with "He Dreams He's Awake" which set off the show perfectly. The show had flowers, a wicked bubble machine, and so many great songs to sing along and dance too. The best were the songs from "Set Yourself On Fire" which is hands down my favourite Stars album, but I loved the new stuff too. In fact, seeing the new stuff live has given "The Five Ghosts" a new lease on life on my iPod.

Probably my favourite song of the night was "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" which was the song that got me into that band in the first place; and it was extremely cathartic hearing and singing along (as off-key as I wanna be) to it this particular Saturday evening. And then, during the encore, the bass player threw a bunch of roses into the crowd... and one fell perfectly into my hands. A rose was exactly what I needed after a flowerless spell in my life.

Sunday was a pretty good day too. I went to a birthday party for my friend Ali, and a lot of friends were there who I hadn't seen in a long time. I had a great time catching up, ate a lot of food, and had some wine and champagne.

Today was back to the grindstone. I was rather unprepared for the day, and I made it through, despite all of the computers being down and me nearly having to cancel a test. I feel lucky that my job mostly makes me happy. As soon as I got to school, one of my fave kids was there to get extra help before a test, and I dunno, it was just a good start to the day seeing a friendly face.

After a busy day at school I went to the mall to figure out my Halloween costume. My work spouse and I were trying to have matching costumes, but we never pulled it together. I found a rather cheap doctor costume and bought it (final sale... just like camping toilet paper) but then a friend phoned me with the possibility of a mad scientist costume. So, I guess if I'm not a doctor this year, at least next year's costume will be figured out.

And exciting news this evening: a friend texted me with an invite to see the CBC 2010 Song Quest show tomorrow night. I love impromptu concerts! I'm excited to see Two Hours Traffic, Hannah Georgas, and Jully Black. She blew me away when I heard her sing in "Da Kink in My Hair" years ago.

After the mall, I had to hurry home to vote. Which I thought was an important thing to do since there was a particular candidate I didn't want to win. It didn't work out for me. Eeep, I can't believe Toronto just did what it did. Hello? Progressive city folk, where did you go?

Anyway, it just goes to prove my theory that Toronto (at least as long as I've lived in it) alternates between crazy mayor and good mayor, so now it's crazy mayor time again. Oh good.

At least my choice for my ward's councillor won. I'm still trying to find out about the school trustee. I was actually quite interested in those races...

So yah, despite some gloomy things going on, there are many rays of sunshine these days.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today will be better, I swear.

Sometimes a truly crappy Friday night will show you a thing or two: 1) that you have really really awesome friends who are willing to talk to you for three hours at the drop of a hat and/or until their cell phone dies; and 2) no matter what, there will always be a good concert (or three) to cheer you up.

How appropriate it is that I get to see Stars tonight at Massey Hall with one of my best buddies ever. I really hope that they play "Today will be better, I swear" because it is a great feel-better anthem. Of course, whatever they play will make me super happy. I am so incredibly excited to see them play Massey Hall too. It's one of my favourite venues in the city, and it's sit-down, which I appreciate now that I've hit my thirties. ;)

I'll leave you with this awesome video. I've been listening to a lot of Stars today. (Sorry that it doesn't fit properly... that's as small as it goes.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So I stayed ho-oh-ome.

I'm very happy right now. I've been very productive lately.

I am officially caught up on all marking. (However, I'll be flooded with lab reports, tests, and projects by the end of the week.)

I got some laundry done and even put it away.

I downloaded the new Jim Bryson + The Weakerthans album: "The Falcon Lake Incident". It's very nice. Mellow, autumny, folksy, good instrumentation. One of the songs is the iTunes free song of the week (in Canada) so check it out if you are so inclined. I didn't even realize that the album was released today until I saw the free single at the iTunes store. Fave song right now = "Up All Night".

Incidentally, they are playing for free at the Horseshoe Tavern tonight. In my younger years, Becca T and I would have shirked our responsibilities, and getting to bed at a decent time, and would have gone to that show. However, I have to admit I've aged. I can't do a 10 pm show on a weekday, even if it's free. And my partner-in-crime is in France. I miss my younger years, I do. I would have stayed up all night, like the song says.

Instead, I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is another day with a million things to get done. However, Steve and I are going for sushi, so it's good to have a mid-week reprieve from housework, marking, and responsibility.

p.s. As I write this, Rilo is on my shoulders pricking her claws into me. Ouch! Sometimes I wish my kitty was a little less social.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Going, going, gone.

It's completely unbelievable how quickly weekends go by. I feel like it was just two seconds ago that I was happy that it was Friday evening, and now it's Sunday evening. And, it's a five-day work week coming up which is always more daunting following a four-day week.

However, this weekend was completely enjoyable. On Friday, I got the whole Evita ticket situation sorted out. I'm going to attempt to see the play on October 30th. It's really at 8 pm this time. I'm looking forward to it. And, I'm looking forward to an extra trip to Stratford as well. I'm so appreciative that someone read my blog and got me new tickets. I always knew my hometown rocked!

I went to the gym after school with my work spouse, and then came home and vegged for a little bit. Then, I went what I thought was Mathew's housewarming party, but it was really only a low-key get together which Mathew reminded me was clearly specified in the email. Yet again, I got mixed up. Anyway, low-key it definitely was, and I got home early but I was fine with that.

On Saturday, I slept in a bit, finished reading "The Postmistress" by Sarah Blake on my Kindle (it was only meh). Then I started reading a library copy of "The Bishop's Man" by Linden MacIntyre. It won the Giller Prize this year and it pretty good so far.

After a slothful morning/early afternoon of realizing and reading, I ran some errands, did a bit of cleaning, and then met up with Steve for dinner at a great Middle Eastern restaurant in my neighbourhood. Afterwards we went for gelato and rented a movie. So that was a really fun evening filled with a bunch of my favourite things.

This morning, I chatted with my mom on the phone for a bit, and then rode my bike to the gym. This afternoon consisted of more reading and grocery shopping.

I also managed to finish knitting this pair of mittens this weekend while watching movies and Modern Family. I had never kept any of my knitting for myself, but I decided this pair would be mine. I'm glad that I finished them since mitten weather will be rolling around soon!! The wool I used was really neat and I like how my mittens turned out non-matching.


Anyway, I think I'm going to spend my evening doing some more reading. This next week at work will be crazy, and I purposely didn't bring home any work because I figured I deserved a good weekend of relaxation before next week. I'm going to have to wake up super early to get to work on time tomorrow since I'm unprepared for the day, so a quiet evening with a book should get me prepped for that.

Hope you all have great weeks!

ps Any new music suggestions out there? I'm in a bit of a rut right now!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Smell the burning leaves in autumn driveways.

Oh man, how I love short weeks. Can you believe it's almost Friday?? I love it. Here's a post of randomness...

1) It looks like something pretty cool is going to happen as a result of my last post. Remember how I wrote about how I missed out on a performance of Evita at the Stratford Festival because I'm too silly to keep times straight? Well, someone who works in the Festival's media department found my post and commented on it, and is going to try to get me makeup tickets for a different performance! Isn't that so awesome? Anyway, I'll keep you updated... hopefully I can find a weekend performance that works with my schedule. It'll mean an impromptu Stratford visit, but I am down with that.

2) My work spouse and I have taken our relationship to the next level: we are gym buddies. We went today after school and I had a great workout. I have to face it, the "I'll come home and have dinner and *then* go to the gym" strategy does not work. Especially now that it's getting cold out. I'm not a fan of having to pack up my stuff the night before and lugging it to school. But I need to suck it up because exercise makes me feel so better and more energized.

3) After the gym, I had a few errands to run so I went to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte. They're not as good as they used to be; a couple of my twitter friends both said they taste quite chemically now. I think I'm going to branch out into chai lattes, and try a green tea latte because I realize I've never had one of those.

4) Last night I had a dresser drawer open for a while, and then I shut it and came out to the living room to pay some bills and stuff. I started to hear weird noises, so I went to investigate. I called for Rilo, figuring she was the source of the noise. I was puzzled that she didn't come out, until I remembered the open drawer, and my cat's penchant for getting into drawers. I opened it, and she hopped out. I felt bad and apologized, and she was cool, but pretty talkative afterwards. It ironic that I had the rescue of the Chilean miners on in the background while my cat was trapped in a drawer. Silly thing. I hope she's cured of the bad habit of hopping into drawers. And that I'm cured of leaving them open.

Oh, and look I even have a picture of Ms. Rilo in a drawer from a previous incident. At least that time I noticed her before I shut it.


4) Weekend plans - my pal Mathew is having a housewarming party on Friday, and I'll chill with Steve on Saturday. I'm thinking of making another lasagna even though it's tonnes of work, but I do have the cheese kicking around for it.

5) I don't know what to be for Halloween. My work spouse and I want to have matching/complementary costumes. Any ideas for nifty, cheap, easy-to-assemble costumes for a couple of science nerds?

6) This week has been exhausting even though it's short. I can't wait to curl up in bed with the latest book I'm reading on my Kindle. So far I've finished two books on my Kindle, and they were both good. This one (The Postmistress by Sarah Blake) is just all right, but still decent nought to be worth finishing. I love how I can download the first chapter of books for free on my Kindle; I did that with the other two books, and it proved that they were worth reading. I didn't do it with The Postmistress and look where we are now.

So that's it for today's randomness. Happy Friday blogarinos!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't cry for me Argentina.

My long weekend has been pretty good, but unfortunately not perfect.

The lack of perfection started on Sunday afternoon when I started the second mitten in a pair, and then realized after I'd knitted 11 rounds of the cuff, that I was using the wrong-sized needles and had to pull out my work.

Then, I got all dressed up on Sunday night to go with my aunt to see Evita at the Stratford Festival. We got to the theatre and were amazed by the ample parking... then we noticed the theatre was dark. I pulled my ticket confirmation out of my purse and noticed that the show was at 2 pm, not 8 pm as I'd thought. D'oh! Bye-bye tickets. Glad that you were discounted at 20%. I think I'd gotten confused because we had originally debated between the Saturday and Sunday shows, and at no point in time did I ever notice that the Sunday show was in fact a matinee. Sigh. Guess I'll have to wait 'til next season to catch a show at the Festival.

The ticket snafu at least allowed me some extra time to remedy that earlier knitting mistake though...

This morning, I got to the train station with my coffee and thought I'd have about ten minutes to wait for my train. Nope, try 75. Apparently there wasn't enough friction on the track between the previous stop and Stratford, and this resulted in the train being extra late. I managed to get a lot of reading done with that extra time.

Other than that stuff, my weekend was good. The time in Stratford was super chill. I spent a lot of time with my 'rents watching baseball and Modern Family DVDs, eating as per the expectations of this long weekend, and I skunked my dad in a game of cribbage (so he refused to play again). I went for a walk downtown, and had an amazing chai latte at Balzac's. Seriously, that place makes the best chai lattes.

Oh, and Friday night was a tonne of fun and I managed to not mess up the time of that entertainment event. As you know, Friday night was the much anticipated Los Campesinos! volcano redemption show. Seriously, though, we could have missed that one too. We were totally dawdling over dinner 'cuz it was a bar show, and typically at bar shows the band's not on 'til late, so you don't want to get there too early 'cuz you'll be bored and tired. Luckily, I decided to check Twitter to see if the band had anything witty to say about Toronto, and they'd posted that they'd be on at 9 pm! So we had to quit the dawdling ASAP and fly out of the restaurant.

My little buddy from Winnipeg (to quote rawbean) and I had been waiting for this show for ten months. It was worth the wait. The new venue was much smaller and hence more awesome than where April's show was supposed to be. The band put on a super high energy sweaty show, as I expected. It was so fun to hear so many of my fave songs live. For me, the highlight of the night was "You! Me! Dancing!" but they were all great. It was such a fun show. Yay! They had some neat merch too: I picked up a maroon "Romance is Boring" coffee mug. Anyway, I look forward to them returning to Toronto soon!

So despite the flaws, it was still a pretty good weekend. Right now I should be going to the gym to work off some of the food I ate, or marking, however I want to finish the book I spent most of my waiting time + train ride reading. I have my priorities.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

So I always write your letters in multi-colours.

Pretty much the biggest and most exciting news in my life is this: 2 more sleeps until Los Campesinos! Finally, my redemption concert after the one that was cancelled after that volcano in the spring. According to the twitter, the band has arrived in North America, so all systems are go. My friend from Winnipeg is returning for the show, so I'm anticipating a super fun Friday evening.

And super bonus - it will be the Friday night before the long weekend. After a great night of rock and roll, I'll be on the morning train to St. Ratford. I'm hoping to catch up with some friends on Saturday night. On Sunday, my dad's in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and then I'm going to catch "Evita" at the Stratford (not just) Shakespearean Festival. Then on Monday, back on the morning train to Toronto where I'll hang out with Rilo and Steve.

So clearly I have a super fun weekend coming up, and I know that it will fly by, but I'll have to enjoy every second of it.

Anyway, I need to be up early so I'm going to hit the hay. I'll leave you with a fun LC! video. I can't wait for that show bloggarinos!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I Wish.

I wish that instead of working this week, I could take off and stay at some little cottage up north where the leaves are changing. I could wear warm sweaters, scarves and mittens, and drink red wine by campfires and stare at the stars. I could spend my days reading, writing, apple picking, walking through fallen leaves, knitting and going into town to wander around antique stores.