Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seven Things.

I stole this meme from wigsf. Seemed like a good thing to do when I don't have much else to write about. It's quite simply seven things that you probably don't know about me.

1) My first time ever on a plane was when I was twenty-three years old. Destination: remote Northwestern Ontario via Winnipeg. I packed up everything I thought I'd need for a school year and took off to a strange land. It made me stronger and I'm glad that I did it. Could I do it again? Not in a heartbeat.

2) I never ever wear eyeliner. I think it makes me look weird. Eyeshadow's my game. Especially when it sparkles.

3) I've read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" countless times, but never any of the other Chronicles of Narnia books. Ditto with "Anne of Green Gables" and the rest of that series. I'm glad I wasn't that way with Harry Potter.

4) My absolute favourite pair of socks are checkered black and white with skulls and cross bones. They were a gift from my pal AlieMalie who used to blog, but no longer does. It makes me sad that she doesn't blog anymore because she's going to Europe for Christmas and she's an awesome travel blogger. I'll miss reading about her travels.

5) One of my favourite Christmas memories ever is from 2001. Hawksley Workman was playing a free surprise Christmas show at the Rivoli, and it was announced the day before. One of my closest friends from high school (with whom I'm not in much contact anymore, sadly) took the bus from London in some nasty weather. The bus got in late, and we ran from the bus station to the Rivoli, in freezing rain, to stand in line.

We waited in line for what seemed like a very long time. There were Hawksley's elves handing out clementines and paper Christmas tree ornaments signed by Hawksley. Finally, we were at the front of the line, and then we were told the show was full and they weren't going to let any more people in.

Disappointment doesn't even describe how we felt. We were cold and wet, and all we had were paper ornaments and orange peels to show for it. The Rivoli has a front area, and the concert area is a special room in the back. I suggested that we hang out in the front area, and maybe we could at least hear the show.

We huddled near the back door and tried to peek in the window to see the show. The manager saw us in all of our pathetic glory, and said "Wow. You guys are die hard. It's Christmas! Get in there!" So after all that, we got our Hawksley Workman Christmas show, and only missed seeing part of one song.

(I thought of this story because Hawksley's Christmas song "A House or Maybe a Boat" was playing as I was writing this.)

6) In grade 4 or 5, I made a Canada goose out of paper mache. My teacher picked it to be displayed at the International Plowing Match which was being held somewhere in Perth County. I was honoured, but my parents never took me to see my goose in all its glory.

7) My artistic skills have not only netted me honour, but cash. I had an extremely lazy and inept grade 8 teacher whose idea of an art curriculum was making us draw posters for contests. I took great offence to the fact that we were forced to create posters about farm safety for one such contest. I did not live on a farm, nor had I visited many. Farm safety was not an issue that I knew much about so how could I illustrate it?

For once in my scholastic career, I put very little effort into an assignment. My slogan was "a safe farm is a happy farm." The poster drew itself: happy sun, happy horse, happy farm family, happy cow, happy cat, happy chickens, happy dog, happy plants, happy bird flying through the sky, and I'm pretty sure I made the tractor happy as well.

A month later my inept lump of a teacher comes into class beaming. "Guess what class? Someone here has won the farm safety poster contest!"

Some jackass in my class said something along the lines of "Remember Christy's poster? It sucked! Imagine if she won? Hyuck-yuck-yuck."

Then my name was announced. My hypothesis: I got the pity prize for the child whose poster clearly wasn't at grade level, but dammit, they tried. (Which I didn't.)

To add to the good memories that I'm reliving through this meme, my dad and I had to go to the farm safety convention to pick up my $25. We had to sit through a hour long speech by some dude who got maimed by some piece of farm equipment. Both my dad and I squirmed throughout the entire thing. It was one of the worst hours of my life.

After this, everyone wanted to be my partner for any other poster contest we were forced to enter. In addition, every time I was at the mall debating on buying say, a new pair of purple jeans (it was the 90s), my dear friend Mel would say "you won $25 for your farm safety poster! You can afford it!" I've spent that $25 many, many times in my life. She'll still bring it up if we're on a shopping trip these days.

I also picked up $10 in the electrical safety contest. I don't remember that poster at all.

Anyway, those are my seven things you probably didn't know about me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Used to be one of the rotten ones and I liked you for that.

Randomness from this weekend:

1) I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with my friend Teresa. Teresa and I used to really geek out over Harry Potter almost ten years ago, so it's appropriate that we went to see it together. I have one word for this movie: epic. I can't wait for part 2, but it will be crazy that the octiligy (I just made that up) of Harry Potter movies will be over.

2) I had a short time, but a nice time, chilling in Stratford this weekend. My dad provided with me with much amusement. Here are some snippets:

a) He already had a Christmas present purchased for his favourite buddy: Rilo. He got her a big bag of her favourite cat treats, and a purple catnip-filled mouse. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he'd already bought her that same mouse before. I was instructed that I must bring the presents home so she'd have them before Christmas.

b) I got my dad a massive biography about Napoleon for Fathers' Day this year. I think he's now on his third reading of this book. I tease him that it's becoming his bible. First thing he does in the morning is read a bit about Napoleon. Anyway, it's going to be hard to find a book to give him for Christmas that could hold a candle to it.

c) I asked my dad if he'd gone to McDonald's to get a free coffee. His response: "I'm not enough of a geezer yet to drive across town to get a free coffee!"

3) I am not feeling the Christmas spirit this year... at least not yet. I've done a lot of my shopping, listened to a bit of Christmas music, and even found at least one super fun new song. However, I'm not even feeling like putting up my little tree. I don't like this at all. Maybe I need to up my intake of Starbucks' Christmas drinks (which I haven't even felt like having) to cure this. Or maybe chug a litre of egg nog or something. Ugh, I don't like feeling Grinchy.

4) I've been listening to a lot of Broken Social Scene lately. I think it fits after the Feist binge I just finished, and makes sense since it's just a little over a week until I get to see them. I'm so into the song "It's All Gonna Break". The singing into my hairbrush kind of into. My favourite hairbrush line is "treat me like a sign, sounds like oh well. I know times like these are the hell."

5) I enrolled in the Spanish course I mentioned in my last post! I'm excited! It starts January 19th. I told my friend Fea about it, and she might take it as well, which would would be fun.

6) There are three more weeks of school until the holidays. It will be a crazy three weeks with the amount I have on my plate. I'll get through it: I always do, somehow.

Hope you all have great weeks!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's a heart parade, just be courageous.

My apartment is a mess. I'm supposed to be dealing with this, but I'm not. Oh well, looks like yet again I'll be bringing a bag full of laundry to my parents' house just like when I was in university. And, since it's past ten, it looks like I'll be returning to a mess on Sunday when I'm back from St. Ratford.

Instead of cleaning, I've been thinking about how I need to do something new. My brain misses learning, and could use a challenge. Well, it's always challenged at work, and there is a new science curriculum that's been keeping me on my toes the last two years, but my brain needs to do something other than figure out how to make teenagers learn. It needs to learn itself.

I've toyed around with the idea of taking some Master's courses. I'd love to have a Master's degree, but sadly, the only type of Master's program that I could get into is a *choke* Master of Education. I have loathed each and every education course I've ever taken; I learned very little from these courses, everything I've learned about teaching has been from actually teaching. I feel like I've earned a Master of Education already in my seven and one third years in the classroom. I don't need to take frustrating courses to get that piece of paper to prove it. (This sounds conceited, but if there's one thing I believe about myself, it's that I am a good teacher.)

However, I would really like to learn something new, and tonight, my brain (with help of the internet) worked out some stuff. I'm planning on meeting up with Becca T in Barcelona for March Break. Then I remembered that Jabba mentioned taking Spanish courses in preparation for her trip to Cuba. Hmmmm, wouldn't it be nice to show up in Barcelona knowing a bit of Spanish?

I did some research on introductory courses in Spanish, and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to register for one at U of T's continuing education program that starts in January. It'd be 2.5 hours one night a week, and the last class would be right before I take off for March Break. Also, I love the idea of returning to U of T to take a course. I loved my university days, and it would be nice to back on campus one night a week. I'm going to think about it over the weekend and hopefully complete my registration next week. I'm excited!

Finally, the idea of taking Spanish made me yet again research one other course that I've been thinking about taking for years: creative writing. I have found the course that I want to take (again at U of T), but my excuse is always that taking it during the summer would prevent me from traveling, and I don't think I could handle it during the school year. It's not so much the actual class that would be a burden, but when would I find time/brain power to write? But you know, maybe if I just bit the bullet and registered, then I would *have* to find the time/brain power to write, and it would do me a world of good.

I think that I'll start with the Spanish, see how that goes, and then consider a spring course in creative writing. Or maybe I'll do the next level of Spanish? I think 2011 will be a year of learning (the formal kind) for me.

With that, I'd better do a little bit of tidying. Hope you all have nice weekends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So far, keeping it together's been enough.

I have a post idea for when I'm out of post ideas, and I thought I'd have to use it this week because it feels like I have the dullest week on record happening, however, I realized that I do in fact have a lot to write about, so that post idea will go back into the proverbial vault.

First of all, I have to answer some questions from my last post.

Jabba and Rawbean asked me what I meant by going out for sushi with my "reasonable" colleagues. Last week in the staff room one of my friends told me in a super hushed voice that there were pre-interview sushi plans being made, and that my attendance was required. Then, he added "invite others too, but you know, just as long as they are reasonable." It made me laugh, and I started referring it to "sushi with the reasonable" and I included it as such in my blog. I just left it in as an inside joke to myself because it makes me laugh.

Now onto the pho, and wow, there are a lot of pho fans out there. Except for Rawbean, who's never had it and asked if it was salty. I don't think it's overly salty, but it is a soup so it is somewhat salty, I suppose. However, I'm not a huge fan of salty, and I like pho, so hopefully that answers her question.

However, tragically, the pho did not happen. My friend and I had plans to have pre-documentary pho, but on my way there he texted me that it was closed, so we'd have to have dinner at the pub downstairs instead! Gah! It was hard for me to come to grips with the pho-less menu at the pub, but I did have a conciliatory beer, so that was a win. However, I was also on cold medication, and experienced some momentary loopiness as a result of the mixture of the medication and the alcohol. The loopiness was fixed by tea, but the tea couldn't fix the lack of pho.

The Feist documentary was really great though! It was projected in the atrium of the ROM's crystal, so it was a neat venue. I liked the documentary a lot; especially since it contained footage of Feist's tour from "The Reminder" and that brought back fond memories from when I saw her play the ACC. My favourite part of the doc was a clip where some idiot interviewer asked Feist "if you were to describe your album in just one word, what would it be?" Her reply was "audible". Well-played.

So that brings us up to speed on questions from the last post. This week's been a bit yucky so far. I guess it's a case of the November blahs. However, my "reasonable" colleague from above has started a new fun (and geeky) diversion: mailbox Scrabble. He's got a travel version of Scrabble that we are passing around four mailboxes in the staff room. Yes, I know you could accomplish the same thing via an online game of Scrabble, but I think this is more fun since it's more eccentric.

It's also fun that the week is almost half over. It's looking like I'll make a St. Ratford jaunt this weekend. It's nice to recharge my batteries in a small town.

p.s. I've been listening to Stars' song "Look Up" in heavy rotation.

p.p.s I also finished reading "American Wife" last night. I'd recommend it if you need a fairly easy and interesting read. I liked it overall.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet heart, bitter heart, now I can tell you apart.

Here's some randomness from the last few days.

1) Thursday was an absolutely exhausting day/night. It consisted of a full day of teaching, going out for all-you-can-eat sushi with my "reasonable" colleagues, three hours of talking to parents (I had 32 interviews in total), and then drinks at the Drake Hotel. During all of this I felt myself coming down with something... My throat was starting to itch and I was tired. However, I always have such fun when I go out for drinks with my work friends, that it would take more than an itchy throat and fatigue to keep me away from our traditions.

2) Friday was a nice relaxing day because it was PD away from school. We were actually in a building at U of T, right across the street from where I used to live. I love being back in that area. I have such good university memories.

The speaker was amazing, just like his book. I got him to sign my copy, and wasn't sure what to say, but decided to go with a "thank you for telling your story." Another thing that really impresses me about this man is his passion for the education of women/girls. I am very thankful for getting to hear him speak and for being exposed to his book.

3) After Friday's PD day, I could feel myself crashing and succumbing to whatever pesky illness worked its way into my system. I got home, made dinner, watched a little TV and slept a bit. Mathew called me, and I think my response was "too sick... must sleep... you enjoy Friday."

4) I had a lazy Saturday. I did manage to go for a long walk to get myself out of the house and o enjoy the nice weather. Yesterday it felt like winter is coming, but fall is still holding its grip quite strongly. Anyway, I passed by the library as I walked, and popped in a grabbed a couple of random books. I figured I needed some fiction since I just read three non-fiction books in a row.

One of the books I picked up is "American Wife" by Curtis Sittenfeld. I had seen it bookstores before, and I skimmed the overleaf and decided it was worth reading. As I was checking it out, the librarian commented that she'd really enjoyed it, and that it had made her like the Bushes a bit more. I had not realized that it was a fictionalized version of Laura Bush's life, and upon learning that, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. However, upon starting it, and reading about 250 pages of it last night, I have to say I don't dislike Laura Bush, however, how she could have married such a jackass is beyond me. The George Bush character is so crude you wonder how an intelligent woman could stay married to him. Anyway, I haven't gotten to the presidency yet. He just bought a baseball team. However, it's a pretty good novel. I'd recommend it.

5) I'm excited for my plans tonight. I'm going out for pho, followed by a screening of the Feist documentary "Look At What The Light Did Now" at the Royal Ontario Museum. It's all about the collaborative process of making of her album "The Reminder" which is one of my favourite albums ever, so I'm pretty excited. She's also going to be there doing a Q&A hosted by my boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos.

Thank goodness I'm feeling a bit better right in time for my fun Sunday night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I just finished this book.* (Potentially wonky link: here's another.) It's seriously one of the most inspirational things I've ever read in my life.

I read it because the author is actually coming to talk to our staff during a PD day on Friday, and we were encouraged, but not required, to pick up the book to read it before Friday's PD. I just got it yesterday, and I finished it tonight. I'm still reeling from the emotional impact that it had on me.

I can honestly say that I never understood the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Becca T took an entire course in university on the subject; and her conclusion was that she still doesn't get it. This book hasn't really explained the whys of the conflict to me; other than it is rooted in extremism on both sides. However, the author, who lost the lives of three daughters and one niece as a result of the conflict, feels that the solution lies in forgiveness, understanding, dialogue, and peaceful coexistence.

I couldn't imagine living under the conditions described in this book. The fact that the author was able to used education as a means of ascending from abject poverty is an inspiration in itself. The scene of the death of the author's family is one of the most horrific things I've ever read. And the fact that the author has not become hateful as a result of this tragedy and has moved on to seek peace is mind-blowing.

There are so many lessons to be learned from this book. I love how the author's love of humanity transcends religion, race and culture. One theme that that author keeps repeating throughout the book is that "out of something bad comes good." That message is something for me to remember at the worst of times; I pray I'll never face bad times like those in this book, but it's definitely another touchstone to keep me grounded during my own bad times.

I encourage everyone to read this book. I'm really looking forward to hearing the author speak on Friday. I can't believe I'm actually looking forward to a PD day. I'm so thankful that I was able to be exposed to this book as a result of my job. Not only to I get to deal with the hilarious antics of teenagers on a daily basis, I get to experience personal growth. Win.

Anyway, with that said, I can't really make the transition into the usual fluff of this blog, so I'll say it again: read this book.

*I'm not mentioning the title/author of the book directly just in case someone from my staff does a blog search for it. But click the link and you'll find out your reading assignment kids. Or go look at my sidebar for book #26 that I read during 2010.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

They say that good things come.

Thanks for everyone's comments on my previous emo post. You guys are the best.

I decided to have a "me" weekend. I actually turned down some social plans just to hang out at home with Ms. Rilo. (I guess I'm never really alone.) I rented some movies, read a lot, went for some long walks (didn't make it to the cemetery though, jason... good call... I gotta do that soon), worked on some knitting, and got some good quality sleep in there. As a result, I'm feeling good about my weekend with myself. I'm a good date.

Apart from that weekend update, I'd like to make this a post of good things as of late.

1) Joel Plaskett

As you all know, I was able to see Joel in Guelph last weekend and it was awesome. As a result, I've been listening to a lot of Joel. "Through & Through & Through" is my anthem right now, and I love the video, so I thought I'd share it with you.

I also like the video because it makes me think of the East Coast road trip that I took a couple of summers ago, where I got to see cute little villages. I want to go back!

I just discovered this artist through Jocelyn's blog earlier this evening, and I love his stuff. I was browsing through his etsy shop constantly saying "oh no!" because I loved every piece of work. I think I'll buy myself a print, maybe as a birthday gift, but not now. I do like all of the prints with cats and birds, however, I have to make sure my apartment doesn't get too cat-ladyish in its decor. I might get the print of San Francisco below, because I really like that city.

Also, this one makes me laugh because it's called "we found a fish for you, could we please have our umbrella back".

I like the giant snail in the museum too.

3) Memoirs

When I need something easy to read, I often get some random memoir, usually of a person with some sort of addiction problem. Maybe it's because I've run out of episodes of A&E's Intervention to watch, who knows? I read Caroline Knapp's "Drinking: A Love Story" and now I'm reading Portia de Rossi's "Unbearable Lightness" about her struggle with anorexia while she was on Ally McBeal. I wouldn't especially say "go read these!" but they keep me interested without me having to think too much, so that's why I think I gravitate to them as distractions.

4) The Grunt's Performance Week

Kudos to a long-time blog buddy for sharing his music!

5) Starbucks' Chocolate Vivanno Smoothies with a shot of espresso

Lately, I've been skipping breakfast to have one of these. Yum. I might do it tomorrow if I leave early enough.

6) No homework over the weekend

I did not do a single piece of marking or planning or anything work-related this weekend. I loved it after a pretty intense week last week. It's the calm before the next storm.

7) Matt & Kim's Sidewalks

My fave NYC duo came out with a new album earlier this month, and I just downloaded it and I'm on my first listen, but it sounds promising. It'll be good to add some non-cheesy music to my gym playlists.

8) Things to look forward to...

Post parent-teacher interview drinks with friends, the new Harry Potter movie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert (if I get tickets), my first proper Broken Social Scene show, Christmas parties, and Jason Collett at the Dakota Tavern.

Hope you all have nice Mondays!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Throw away my misery, it never meant that much to me, it never sent a get-well card.

Argh, I was just in the middle of a long post, one that was admittedly a bit rambling, and somehow blogger never auto-saved it and it's gone. I think this one is going to be shorter because I'm exhausted.

Report cards are due tomorrow, so I stayed at school pretty late finishing off a pile of marking and getting my comments in. Yuck. And I have to be up early enough so I can go double check them in the morning. I can't actually complain about doing report cards: we have comment codes that we use. All I have to do is pick three comments per kid and enter in the corresponding codes. However, one must be careful that they don't mess up the number. My friend Fea loves to tell the story about how she once mistakenly entered a music code that was something along the lines of "student is developing good fingering techniques".

I have to admit I've been feeling quite emo these days. It's not without reason; but I'm getting rather sick and tired of feeling down. I think sometimes my frustration at feeling down makes me feel worse.

To top it off, I just don't feel like myself these days. There are times where I feel the essence of myself coming back; like when I'm out with friends, or I'm at a concert, or even sometimes when I'm teaching. However, these moments are fleeting.

I've also not been sleeping well, which is crazy - I'm the best at sleep. My subconscious likes to torture me with weird dreams, and I've been waking up at 4 am and not really falling back asleep. I was sharing this with my friend Fea when we went out for dinner on Tuesday night, and she suggested that I make a list of things that I like to do when I can't sleep.

On my subway ride home from work tonight I realized that I hadn't listened to the Weakerthans in forever, so I put all their stuff on random and my favourite song of all time, "Reconstruction Site" came on, and it made me feel really good. The line from this post's title comes from that song and it's true: I should throw away my misery; it never meant that much to me, it never sent a get-well card.

I'm a lucky person because I am usually really good at finding joy in small things. I don't need some big event to feel happy; usually there are things going on in the here and now that do the job. Of course, I have been thinking about how much I'd like to be by the ocean, because the sea is a good place to think of the future, but for now, I'm here, and I can easily find a lot of stuff here to make me happy.

Like re-listening to old favourites. And looking through pictures of past trips and realizing how much fun I had/have with my friends, and reading, and working on knitting some Christmas gifts, and keeping an eye out for shows, and going for sushi with friends, and getting in some bike rides while it's still above zero, and fun dinners with lots of wine, and maybe even figuring out some new ways to re-discover myself. Any suggestions?

So anyway, that's just a beginning to the list, but I'm going to work on it, and the next time I feel emo, I'll just consult the list, and I'm sure I'll find something on the list to cure the emo.

Oh! And before I go, I must post a picture of the bag since many of you requested. It was hard to get a really good picture that shows the colour of the bag because of the flash. I suppose I could have waited until daylight, but here it is!

Yes, it is the same style (Maggie) as the cream-coloured leather bag that I bought for my birthday. However, I really like it... it's the perfect size, so I decided to get the same size. As the guy in the store said "you'll have your spring/summer Maggie and your fall/winter Maggie!"

Anyway, tomorrow is Friday, and I hope you all have great weekends!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Wasn't it easier in your lunch-box days?

Today was one of those days that could generate about eighteen posts worth of material.

For instance, I left work early this morning and saw someone on the subway who was a blip in my life about ten months ago, but still has a tiny place in my current storyline.

It was weird getting on the subway, and realizing that the person sitting right in front of where I was standing was this minor character, but luckily, this character was immersed in a book and didn't look up. I thought "eeep, I hope he doesn't notice/recognize me" and I subtly moved to another place on the train, but I could still see his reflection in the mirror and thought "that's an unfortunate facial hair choice."

Again, I guess it just made me realize there are a lot of twists and turns in the plot of life. This person played a very small part in my life, but I know that this part lead me to do something that precipitated other events in my life, and to what I'm feeling today. Anyway, it's just weird having to avoid these bit players in your life, just because you leave for a work a bit earlier than usual. Oh, and if I'd ran down the stairs to the train a little faster, I would have caught the previous train, and this person would have remained far from my memory.

On a similar note to that story, how often I run into people in Toronto surprises me. I'm a small-town girl, and the fact that I constantly run into people I know in Canada's largest city never ceases to amaze me. Today after work I went to do some shopping on Bloor St., and I saw a friend from work across the street from me but too far away from me to yell hello, and then I look right in front of me to see one of my favourite students. I say "Hiya *insert kid's name here*, look across the street, it's Mr. O too! That's so strange!" Then kid and I had a little conversation about where we were going shopping and off we went.

We'll have to compare notes tomorrow because I did have a good shopping trip. I got a bunch of my Christmas shopping done in one store, plus something a little shiny for myself. :)

(Sidenote: Do you think you can carry a navy blue bag with a brown coat? This was the debate I had in the store, and after consulting with different clerks, the consensus was buy the bag and try it on at home with your coat. I'm unsure about the combo though, but I think I'll just buy a back winter coat to go with the bag. I really like the bag, and I got a discount, so perhaps I'll hunt down a black winter coat to go with the bag.)

Another one of my potential blog posts today is about body image, and how something that happened today made me realize how much teenagers really do suffer as a result of body image issues. Seriously, it made my heart break. Sigh.

I also managed to pull off a semi-major environmental event at my school today. I think that since now I've pulled off much bigger stuff, something like this was easy-peasey for me, but still, more than most are able to pull off.

But now, I gotta get ready to go out for dinner at a super nice Italian restaurant with a couple of my besties from work. I'm looking forward to having a really good meal, getting a second and third opinion on my new bag, and drinking a glass (or three) of red wine. This chilly fall weather is perfect for red wine, and I always do what the weather tells me.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fashionable people doing questionable things.

There was really only one thing I was looking forward to this weekend: seeing Joel Plaskett at the River Run Centre in Guelph!

It was fun braving rush hour traffic on the 401 to make it in plenty of time to wander around a bookstore, have dinner, and then hit the venue with a little bit (but not too much) time to spare.

David Myles opened up for Joel, and he was quite enjoyable. I picked up one of his CDs (which was produced by Joel) at the merch table. I haven't listened to it yet, but I know it will be good.

Joel played on his own for most of the show, but his dad joined him on stage for a bunch of songs. It was such a great show because Joel is completely capable of owning the stage just with only an acoustic guitar. His songs are brilliant and catchy. He played two new songs, which makes me so incredibly excited for his new album, whenever he gets around to recording it.

My pal the2scoops, who was awesome enough to come to the show with me and do the driving, took a video of Joel singing "Fashionable People". You can kind of hear me singing badly at the beginning of the video; then I noticed he was filming and tried not to sing very loudly, which is a hard thing to do at a Joel Plaskett show.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend has been all right. I have done quite a bit of marking with my pal Fea at a coffee shop, and a good deal of reading too. I finished reading Room by Emma Donoghue. All I can say is wow. It's a great book, but the subject material is hard to deal with. Now I'm reading "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave on my Kindle. I got it last weekend; but put it down when Room came from the library. It's really good too; but again has some subject material that's difficult to read. I guess it's good to read books about people with real problems (such as people imprisoned in 11 by 11 rooms, and Nigerian refugees) because seriously, it makes you feel silly about whatever is getting you down.

Actually, that idea just made me remember a line from a Matthew Good Band song, "Omissions of the Omen" that used to help me gain perspective about stuff in my life.

"And somewhere around the world
Someone would love to have my first world problems."

Also, chatting with my friend Fea a lot this weekend as we were distracting ourselves from marking was helpful too. I really suck at living in the present; I often focus too much on the past; and on the future. I really need to just live in the here and now and appreciate what I have, because I do have a lot.

And I do have a busy week coming up at school. Blerg. Oh well, I'll get through it!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

You're the gold soul of rock 'n roll....

Baby, babe, I get so low. But never 'round you, never 'round you, no, never 'round you.

The title of this post, and the line above, both come from my song of the moment "Gold Soul of Rock 'n Roll" by Emm Gryner and Joel Plaskett. My indie rock pal Paul told me about this song, which comes from an album of duets by Emm Gryner, when we had pre-Dan Mangan sushi last week. I downloaded it right away, and I love it. Check it out if you need a pick-me-up. Another great track from that album is "Top Speed" featuring Sara Quin (of Tegan & Sara).

It's entirely appropriate that I'm currently enjoying the above song because I am heading off to Guelph tomorrow night to see Joel Plaskett himself! I haven't see him since last spring at Massey Hall. And, I'm heading off to Guelph with a friend who I met as a result of that show, so that's pretty cool. I am so looking forward to hitting the road after work tomorrow to see one of my favourite artists play in a smaller city. (He's only doing a mini-tour of a few smaller places in Ontario right now. No Toronto show, but that's okay.)

I'm also enjoying the book that I just got from the library after having it on hold for two months: "Room" by Emma Donoghue. It's been nominated for some literary awards (such as the Mann Booker prize) and there seems to be some buzz around it. As I was checking it out, the librarian commented that she just finished it, and it's definitely a unique book. I'll let you know what I think.

And with that, I'm going to neglect the quizzes that I have half-written (I'll pay for that in the morning), and go curl up in bed with my book. This morning wasn't the smoothest, after my late night in last night, so I'd better catch up on sleep so that I'm ready to rock and roll tomorrow!

p.s. Miss Ash - beer lasts in my fridge for two years because me and most of my friends are complete winos, so beer gets neglected. ;)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Forwards are so 1997.

Jolene (Group of 9) is in town for "business". I like to add the quotation marks because it makes look questionable... which it isn't... she's actually in town for legitimate meetings.

Anyway, last night she met up with me at school where I was sacrificing some gummy bears to potassium chlorate as I always do for our grade 8 open house. We were both tired so not much catching up was had.

However, tonight we went for sushi, gelato, and then I drank red wine, while she braved the two year old beer that was in my fridge. We played a board game called "Sequence". Does any one know it?

I like this board game because it reminds me of the year when I was working up in an aboriginal community in Northwestern Ontario. There was a lady who invited me over to her house to play Sequence and drink tea, and well, I dunno it's a good memory.

Anyway, yah, Sequence is tricky to play whilst red wine and old beer are in the picture and I think we each won a couple of games. We sometimes didn't notice that we had sequences happening on the board which kills the competitiveness of the game, but ups the fun.

And, we said some funny stuff. Like about forwards being from 1997 'cuz one of our mutual friends still sends bajillions of them. Seriously. But it makes me feel seventeen or whatever so yah. And Jolene said something that rivalled her classic "he played you like a broken guitar" comment from circa 1996. Ironically that quote was in reference to our forward-sending friend. The new quote will not amuse our friend Teresa, which makes it even funnier.

Well, yah, that's my post. Thought I'd keep something out there for my blogarinos. Regular coherent posting to return soon.

p.s. Who uses the word whilst? Me, that's who.