Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We are lost together.

I had a good last working-day at work. I finished off some planning and departmental tasks, and finished getting my desk in order for another school year (i.e. massive purging). I also found out my teaching schedule for next year and I'm quite happy with it. I have what will hopefully be some good classes, and preps in the afternoon both semesters. I am optimistic.

After school, I ran some errands and then went to the gym. I had a really great work-out: I ran for a longer distance and time than I had ever before. While I leaving the change room, I had my water bottle in one hand, towels draped over my arm, and my phone and keys in another. I have my Metropass attached to my keys, and I like to have it out as soon as I leave the gym because the subway entrance is right by the entrance to the gym. I'm all about efficiency.

Anyway, my phone rang while I was leaving the change room. It was my friend Eric, with whom I had dinner plans this evening. I stopped, and turned around to take the call. After the call I realized my keys were no longer in my hand. I had no memory of putting them down and searched around the change room. I dug through my purse and gym bag in case I had placed them in there. No luck. I even dug through the laundry basket of used towels to see if I'd accidentally dropped them in there. Nope. I looked everywhere, and then checked at the front desk to see if anyone had returned them. No luck.

After searching everywhere again, I gave up and left my number at the front desk. They seem confident that they'll turn up, since people are good about returning keys. I don't think anyone would steal them... The only thing of value on them was a June Metropass and there are only two days left in June.

I was lucky that I got a ride home from Eric and that my super was in to let me in and lend me an extra key to the main door (I only ever had one). I'm also out a mail key for now, which sucks that I can't check my mail now that it's being delivered again after the Canada Post strike.

I'll be sad if my key chains are lost. There were three with my keys. There was the one that Claire gave me when she visited Toronto, one that I got at the chateau Chenonceau that I visited during my first time in France, and a lovely purple owl keychain from Coach. Keep your fingers crossed that me and my key chains (and my keys) will be reunited.

Anyway, after the key debacle, Eric and I had a lovely dinner at my favourite neighbourhood Mexican restaurant. I take everyone there, but it was Eric's first time and he loved it. It makes you feel like you've been transported to Mexico, the food is great, the drinks are awesome, and my favourite waitress, the one who once told me she'd had too much tequila one night, was working. Eric and I had a great time catching up after not seeing each other since February.

Tomorrow night is grad, so we don't have to check in at school. I'd already made plans with my work spouse to do a weight-lifting class in the afternoon at the gym, so maybe my keys will be waiting for me. I am also really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Bliss.

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's all the same if the fizzy drinks are nice.

Thanks everyone for being very nice and supportive in comments on my last post. :D And Claire, that iPhone auto-correct was pretty funny. I say we have to make "see the fluoride" happen.

Anyway, other than an awkward party, my weekend was pretty great. I spent a lot of it cleaning (my apt was a certifiable disaster.... it's not perfect now, but I could have company), running, and reading. On Sunday night, a night with no marking or no thought to lesson planning, Jason and I went for sushi and to see the very good movie "Midnight in Paris". I love the history embedded in the movie, and all of the delicious footage of my favourite city in the world.** Also, Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali was absolutely hilarious. I highly recommend this movie.

Right now I'm reading book that my friend Sandee (Go9) told me about. It's called "The One That I Want" by Alison Winn Scotch. I think she may have recommended to me because the main character is a guidance counsellor in a high school. It looked like a quick mindless read so I downloaded it on my Kindle. I was right about it being quick and mindless, but I was not expecting the worst simile I've ever read to pop up in its prose. Prepare yourself for it.

"But that's just it," he answers, and two real tears roll down from each eye, like sperm swimming free.

Yah. Let's move on.

Today was a pretty fun day. I still have to report for work for meetings, cleaning, and other such fun. Today was a series of meetings on assessment and evaluation, and we powered through lunch, so a group of us left work early to make up for not having lunch and had a lovely lunch on a patio in Little Italy. (I guess that's no match for bloggers who are actually in Italy right now.) Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day, and we even got free shots of amaretto on the house. I'm not even technically done work yet, and summer's shaping up to be grand.

After lunch, a few of us headed to catch the movie "Bad Teacher". It had a few laughs in it, and it was fun seeing it with other teachers because we probably laughed a little harder than the average person. It was hilarious seeing Cameron Diaz's character sleeping off a hangover in class while showing movie. Real kids wouldn't let you get away with that. They'd have a field day playing pranks on you.

I've just gotten back from drinking wine and watching The Bachelorette at my work spouse's house. Seriously, I think I may have just had one of the funnest Mondays on record.

The rest of this week will probably follow suit. Tomorrow, I have a dinner plans with my dear friend Eric. Wednesday night is graduation, which is at a fancy hotel/spa this year. It will be very nice. Thursday is the end of year staff gathering and the official end to the school year. On Friday, I'm going to the big Canada Day concert at Downsview Park, and then on Saturday I'm going on a shopping trip to Buffalo with work friends.

And yes, I know I still owe a post on eye makeup. It will come. I hope the rest of you have fun weeks too.

**Paris is my favourite city to date, but who knows, that could change. I am travelling to Utah this summer, ha-ha.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rewind, rewind, rewind.

I should be careful of what I say.

Tonight I was at my good pal Mathew's birthday party. Interesting fact: Mathew and I are awesome friends, but we don't really have that many friends in common. We have Becca T, some other assorted people from university, and I've gotten to know some of his long-time friends quite well. Anyway, but often at some of his "events" I really only know a few faces, since often only very few of our mutual friends attend.

His party was at a downtown restaurant, and I arrived just in time to be the first person to start a new table. Awkward. I was lucky 'cuz Mathew sat at this new table with me, and my pal Luke (one of the long-time friends mentioned above) moved to sit with me.

As I was chatting with Luke, I mentioned that it looked like my dear Becca T will be in France for another three years. He asked me how I felt about it, and I said "well, it's weird... I've gotten used to not having her around now."

As the party moved on, people shifted seats, and I got to the awkward point where I had no one to talk to, unless I decided to inject myself into conversations, which is not really my style, even though I'd had a couple drinks. At that point, I felt myself really missing Becca T... I think at other Mathew birthday parties, if we were left with no one to talk to, we'd just sit there and entertain each other. Shit, I was completely without my right-hand woman. I want to revoke my earlier comment about being used to not having her around!

Oh, man do I miss the old days. I've had to attend quite a few events where I acutely miss Becca T. I also miss her after a hard day at work, when I would usually text her before I would leave, and then we'd meet up for a frappucino in the park (weather-permitting). There have been quite a few times in the past two years where I could have really used some emergency chit-chat with my BFF.

The point of this post is just to vent that I'm feeling those "phantom pains" for what feels like a lost arm in my life a lot this evening. Good news: Becca T will be visiting me for a week this summer. Bad news: it's only a week! Gah!

Anyway, I guess the fates were just getting me back for that "I've gotten used to it" comment. I should never be that flippant about the old days 'cuz really, there were some good times. Of course, if things hadn't changed I couldn't visit Becca T in Europe, so even though things are different, they are still okay. And goodness gracious, how lucky am I to have had those really fun old days.

p.s. I feel that this post is emo. My next post will be about eye makeup!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coax me, cajole me.

The Sloan show was amazing last night. I have lost count of how many times I've seen Sloan (just like I have with other artists such as Hawksley and The Weakerthans), but I would guess it's about fifteen times. I don't know how to rank my multitude of Sloan shows, but this was a great one.

They opened with the first three songs from their latest album, The Double Cross. I believe that those first three songs make up one of the strongest first three songs to an album in recent memory: they flow into each other well and are all super catchy. I'm glad they played them together at the show.

They played the vast majority of the new album, through in a few more obscure songs from previous albums for the hardcore Sloan fan (The Marquee & The Moon!!!), and a good selection of hits (The Good in Everyone, Everything You've Done wrong, Money City Maniacs) for the casual Sloan fan. Who could not walk away happy??

If you're not into Sloan (and you should really look into that), one thing you have to understand is that the band is made up of four songwriters, so there are Patrick songs, Chris songs, Jay songs, and Andrew songs. I'm a huge fan of the first three and try my best to like as many Andrew songs as possible. However, if I was on a desert island and left with only one type of Sloan song, it would be Jay songs. What was especially great about last night's show is that Jay got to sing a lot of great Jay songs. The Lines You Amend? Check. Who Taught You to Live Like That? Check. Snowsuit Sound? Check. All three great Jay songs from the new album? Check.

Whenever I hear old Sloan hits, I reminisce about how I misheard some of the lyrics when I was in high school, and I still sometimes sing the wrong lyric. Some examples:

1) From "Coax Me"

Real lyric: Coax me, cajole me.
Christy sings: Coax me if you're mean.

2) From "The Good in Everyone"
Real lyric: It's not much, but it's the best I got. And I thought you saw the good in everyone.
Christy sings: It's not much, but it's best I got. So I wrote the song the good in everyone.

Mainly life these days has consisted of going to lots of concerts, and a lot of eating celebrations. Wednesday was the eco-club year-end "eating". Today was the school play BBQ that Fea invited me to 'cuz, well, I'm awesome. Tomorrow is the year-end student council lunch, and the kids have picked the Mandarin as our eating location. It's an all-you-can-eat "Chinese" buffet. Many love it (Miss Ash), many mock it, and I've never been. Apparently they have sushi now, so I'll stick to that. Seriously though, I'm tired of all this eating. I think I'm going to go into food detox next week, and live on oatgurt, chicken, fruits, and veggies.

Anyway, tomorrow is Friday, and I'm so happy that I will have no school work to do this weekend. I hope you all have great weekends too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you'd better run, better run, out run my gun..

This week's been sweet so far. I can get so much work done during the day without classes to teach! We're on exams, so the morning consists of a two hour supervision duty, and then you can mark all afternoon. I've marked everything save tomorrow's exam. Report card comments are done. I'm a machine.

We've been having lots of fun going out for lunch and then heading to the coffee shop to mark. Today a retired teacher saw us, expressed her pity, and told us that we were going to love every minute of retirement.

Last night I went over to my work spouse's house to drink wine. She invited me, and then I said "oh no! It's the Bachelorette! I must watch that. Watch it with me! It's a drinking show!" She was kind enough to oblige me, and I think I now have the Bachelorette buddy that I've been wanting. We're going to watch next week, because the villainous Bentley is set to return.

This week's show was fairly amusing. They were in Thailand, and on the group date the bachelors had to learn Muay Thai and then fight each other. It was bizarre and traumatic, for more reasons than just the obvious. One guy ended up with a mild concussion. Ironically, I was marking projects today on various disorders of organ systems, and a couple of the projects were on head injuries/concussions. I kept laughing whilst marking and reminding my work spouse of last evening's head injury in the name of love.

(Note: I don't approve of nor like this program. However, I do enjoy the opportunity to get riled up, yell at the TV, and make jokes. That's why I watch.)

Right now I'm making my patented veggie chili for tomorrow's year-end Eco-Club "eating" (instead of meeting... ha-ha, I'm hilarious). I've never cooked for students before, so I hope it goes over well. I picked an environmentally friendly dish (less energy is needed to grow plants vs. animals) and it's something that is always a hit when I make it for friends.

On Thursday night, when Jason and I were driving home from NXNE, we passed by Yonge-Dundas Square and this song came on the Edge radio station. I haven't listened to the Edge in years, but it was playing decent stuff so we didn't turn away. Anyway, it's like a number one hit or something on that station, and it's a really catchy summer jam. I've been listening to it a lot whilst wandering around my neighbourhood the past couple of days. I don't know anything at all about the band, but the song's catchy. I picture driving by a busy, illuminated YD Square, and all of the excitement of the city in the summer, as I listen to the song.

Tomorrow, we are going to see Slooooooo-ooooooooan play at the Mod Club for their 20th Anniversary Double Cross (XX) tour. I'm really excited. Talk about lots of shows lately. I've been to four in less than a week. Woot!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

riot personal midnight

Those were the three words that got me into the secret Stars show. All are words found in the title of songs from their wonderful album "In Our Bedroom After the War".

Mathew wanted to give the words to a friend of his. I told him he wasn't allowed to. "It's not fair!" I protested. "You should have to put in the work to go to this show. A lot of people were running around town like me. It wouldn't be fair if your friend got one of their places." It's hard to silence one's internal teacher. Especially since I all I could picture in my head was the sweet couple who I ran into the first night of the scavenger hunt. I had problems getting my qr-scan app to work, and they gave me the first word. I wanted them to get into the show before Mathew's friend who is unknown to me.

Anyway, on Friday I saw Stars put on a very good show at a very packed Yonge-Dundas Square. Thankfully, they had big TV monitors beside the stage. I was so far away that I wouldn't have been able to see anything if it wasn't for those screens. The show was really great though. The band played many songs from their latest "The Five Ghosts" and a bunch of oldies/goodies, included "Elevator Love Letter" and "Set Yourself on Fire". I loved the YD Square show, but I have to admit that throughout the show I kept thinking "tomorrow is going to be wicked!"

Saturday was a bright sunny day and perfect for waiting in line for a bit. We to got the secret location (an art gallery on west Queen West) early just to be safe. The organizers were kind enough to hand out water since it was pretty hot with the sunshine beating down upon us. I'd just run up the street to buy some, but the gesture was appreciated.

I had a mini-heartattack when we were being let in. I had forgotten my wallet on my kitchen counter because I'd taken it out to get a penny to uncover a code on a calling card to call Claire that morning. Anyway, I wasn't worried when I first noticed: Mathew could spot me cash for whatever I needed to buy that day. However, they were checking IDs to let people in and all I could think was "fuck, what if they don't let me in without my ID?"

Anyway, when I got to the security dude, I told my sad story and I was like "I'm 31, that's pretty old." He went on about the event being strictly IDed or something. I think I looked crestfallen until he said "you can still come in... just means you can't drink!" I laughed so hard. Drink? That was the least of my interests. I just wanted to see my band. Phew.

We walked into a big white gallery with some contemporary art on the walls. The stage had bird cut-outs overhead and there was a triptych of birdcages painted on fabric as the stage background. How appropriate that I, a bird lover, was in attendance! There were maybe about two hundred people in attendance; so it's definitely the most intimate Stars show I've ever been to.

I felt like the two-hundred super fans in attendance had just as much energy of the crowd of thousands the previous night at YD Square. The band opened with "Bitches In Tokyo" which is another favourite of mine (I'll admit, all Stars songs are kind of my favourites). After Torq thanked us for coming out, he went into a mini anti-Mayor Rob Ford tirade (one of my favourite tirades) and played another great song.

I can't describe how awesome it was to see such a great band in such an intimate venue. They put on an awesome show with tonnes of energy considering they had played the night before. For the encore, they played a fabulous version of "Take Me to the Riot" and finished with a very pretty "The Aspidistra Flies".

Here are some pictures that I took. They're not the greatest, but they definitely give you an idea of how intimate the show was.

My pal Matt from Winnipeg couldn't come to the show because he's in Winnipeg, but he unlocked the live stream of the show and got a screen capture of it with me in it. I think it's from when the show was over and Mathew was getting a shot of the drumkit on the stage.

Here's the last song they played. It's so pretty. Give it a listen.

Torq closed the show by saying "we are stars and so are you." Awww, what a nice sentiment. It was nice to feel lots of love from a band like we did during this show. It's so great when a band tells you that they appreciate you for listening to their songs.

Hope you all have a nice week, my fellow stars.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stay young, go dancing.

Today was the last full day of classes. Exams start tomorrow. Somehow, the bulk of another school year has gone by with a lot of sweat, tears, and laughs. There's still work to be done (marking exams, report cards, graduation, and clean-up), but in two weeks from tonight I'll have the prospect of two months of freedom in front of me.

These bright June mornings make me nostalgic for years past; both recent and long ago. When you're living in the moment, life often seems static, but things change a lot over the course of one school year. Multiply that by the twenty-six years I've spent in school, and each June is very unique.

This evening I met up with Jason and we went to the Music Gallery to see two bands as a part of NXNE. The Music Gallery is a cute little venue in a hidden downtown church. I know I've written about it before. The bands were Evening Hymns and Forest City Lovers. Both had beautiful instrumentation and pretty vocals. It was a nice show on a summer night.

Tonight was a perfect summer night. Toronto is gorgeous in the summer; somehow lush greenery and bright sunshine drown out the gray of the city streets. It was the perfect temperature today. Warm enough for short sleeves, sandals, and bare legs, but cool enough to stay comfortable. The church was warm inside with all of the people inside, but I didn't mind it because I could feel a bit of a breeze. The heat was a reminder that we've been lucky not to have had any major heat waves (yet... knock on wood).

I enjoyed both bands. Evening Hymns were super good. Here's a live film of them playing some songs in their apartment if you are so inclined to check them out. (Claire - they are Great Lake Swimmers-esque, so you might really enjoy them.)

Tomorrow night I'm meeting up with my friends Jon & Ali for dinner and to check out Stars at Yonge and Dundas Square (and hopefully get my third word for the free show on Saturday). They are a couple of my good friends from university, and I feel I haven't seen them very much in the past couple of years because of life's craziness, but hopefully I'll see them a lot this summer.

No matter what, I think it's going to be a very nice weekend, and I hope it's great for all of you too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Trip Announcement

Now that I've booked some flights and one hotel, I think it's time to announce my big trip for this summer.

Now, my heart was set on going to somewhere in Europe that I've never been, or even somewhere exotic that I've never thought of going, but sometimes things don't work out that way. And that's cool, 'cuz I know I'm going to have tonnes of fun on my more domestic trip. I guess I've always let "fate" determine where I travel. Many of my trips have been to visit various friends (Australia, Nice, Scotland, London, Texas, etc.) and I like it that way. Why not let friendship be your travel agent?

My friend Sandra (Go9) and her husband Jason (who is honourary Go9 because he's been around a long time), moved out to a small town in Utah last summer. You may recall that two summers ago, I was the emcee at their wedding. Anyway, there was a partial meeting of the Go9 last time they were in town (sometime this spring, I think). I was not at said meeting, but a trip out to Utah was discussed, and my name was offered as a participant. I have a reputation as a traveller, and it's assumed that I will go anywhere. And it's true.

After a few conversations, my pal Veronica (Go9) and I have decided we'll make the trip together. We travelled to Cape Cod and Boston together last summer, so at least we know we'll get along. :)

A direct flight from Toronto to Salt Lake City is a little bit pricey. However, this is where my travel-planning skills come in. I figured out that if we flew in and out of other major American cities, and put Utah in the middle of our trip, we could visit three places for only about $120 more than solely going to Utah.

So, we are flying into Chicago, staying a few nights, then proceeding to Salt Lake City, where we will rent a car and drive out to Sandra's little town. We'll hang out there for a few nights, then head back to Salt Lake City and spend two nights there. From Salt Lake City, we will fly to New York City and spend a few nights there. The cool thing is that Sandra and her Jason are also going to be heading to NYC at that time (his family lives there). So, we'll also meet up with our friends in NYC for a day.

And, Vern found a 5K run over the Brooklyn Bridge that we'll be doing. I guess my second 5K run will come sooner than I expected.

Also, I scored us a room in a four-star hotel in Chicago for a really reasonable price! We have a couple possibilities for NYC hotels, but we're going to think about it for awhile. Since we're saving $$ in Chicago (and in Utah by crashing with a friend), I am totally for splurging a bit on our NYC lodgings. There's a pretty-looking hotel by Central Park that I have my eye on.

Anyway, there is still some planning to be done, but since I've got our flights, the trip is set in stone.

You know, it's not Europe, but I was just there, and I'll probably be there again next March Break. I think this trip will be so much fun. I haven't been to Chicago since grade 6, and even though I've been to NYC two times, it was only for long weekend trips, and both times were in the winter, so I get to see it in the summer. I'm looking forward to seeing something else on Broadway too.

Now I need to go buy some travel guides...

p.s. I also think that this trip will allow for some blog buddy meetings!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Come on teacher, just admit it, you think I will never get it.

Friday - Left school ASAP. Came home for a bit of a nap, then went out for dinner with Jason and saw the Joel Plaskett Emergency play the opening night of Luminato. The venue was nice; it was a grassy knoll (how often can one use that word?) by Roy Thompson Hall. The rain held off, and Joel and his Emergency Band played a great set. He played a lot of classics. It seemed like there were many tracks from "Truthfully, Truthfully" which came out many years ago, and is a favourite album of mine. He also played a new song, "Lightning Bolt" or something like that, and it was amazing. A new album is going come soon and I'm excited.

Saturday - Went to a little French cafe with Jason for some iced coffee and tasty quiche. It was a lazy morning/afternoon which suited me fine. In the evening, I met up with another Jason for dinner. This Jason is my pal from Buffalo who is one of my oldest blog readers. He's moving away for a job, so he wanted to visit Toronto one more time before he left. Good luck on your new job Jason!

Today - No day of rest for me. I met up with Fea for a marathon marking session, went to the gym, tried to catch up on laundry (a never-ending task) did a little bit of housecleaning (not that you could tell), and worked on some exam review material. What a busy day.

I have to say that I'm feeling overwhelmed right now. I actually had to say no to social plans this evening (I hate doing that) because I have to catch up on work and life. I'm feeling so busy these days and having a really hard time keeping track of everything. I've even accidentally double-booked one night. I'm not sure how I'm going fix that.

But really, I shouldn't whine. The busy-ness comes from having so many amazing people in my life, and I'm lucky for that. I hope that when summer comes, I have some time to exhale, because these last three weeks are just really really busy. Pro: I have booked a relaxing massage for myself this week. Con: it's another thing to keep track of.

Anyway, there are only four more proper teaching days left of this year. Pro: only four more days left with my yucky class. Con: only four more days left with my awesome class.

Here's a JPE classic to close out the last teaching week of the school year. Happy Monday blogger folks!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

She's got a song for everything. Everywhere she's been, everyone she's pleased.

Post of randomness starts now!

1) Just in case you are all wondering, my summer travel plans are under construction right now, and when they are set in stone I'll announce them here. As always, it'll be all about travelling with friends, visiting with friends and FUN.

2) My pet peeve = people who don't like fun. Seriously. It's an inside joke between my work spouse and I since we both like fun a lot. Today, my period four class and I were having lots of fun playing biology jeopardy. My work spouse walked in (her class is across the hall) and said "I'm the fun police! It sounds like you are having fun. That is not allowed." One kid pretended to get scared and bolted out the door screaming. It was hilarious.

3) I had a good teacher moment today before the jeopardy game. I have this trick where I teach the kids the phases of mitosis. They use their fingers to mimic the movement of the chromosomes. Anyway, we were reviewing and I said "fingers up!" and everyone had their fingers up and the class demonstrated the steps in almost-perfect synchronicity.

4) Speaking of fun, it looks like two of my favourite people in the world are going to have some great fun together without me. I'm completely excited for them though. My dear friend Becca T is going to be in London for work (lucky) and she is going to meet up with my blog friend extrodinaire, Claire, to see my favourite band of all-time, The Weakerthans. Oh, if I wasn't still in school, I think I would totally consider another trip to the UK to join in!

5) Speaking of music, I discovered a new band today. They are called Library Voices and they are super fun. Here's a cool video of theirs. The song gets really good at the chorus (about 1:30 mins in).

6) I bought Rilo some new cat grass today. She likes it a lot. I bought it today when I was at the really cheap flower shop in my old neighbourhood. I needed some cheap flowers for my grade 9s to dissect tomorrow. They're rather pretty, so their fate is a bit sad.

7) It's the weekend! Tomorrow night Joel Plaskett is playing a free outdoors show as a part of Luminato (Toronto arts fest) so Jason and I going to see him. I am excited, since Joel is one of my favourites. I guess this will be the third time we've seen Joel together, but we didn't know each other the first time. Although maybe there were other Joel concerts we were at together and didn't know it. Hmmm, that will be some good pre-concert conversation.

The rest of my weekend will be devoted to marking catch-up with Fea. Oh, but I just found out I might have a surprise visitor on Saturday night, weather permitting. FUN!

8) There are only five more teaching days left!

9) Hope you all have good weekends!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

But you still crumble and my name. You still crumble at my name.

I'm sure everyone has been on the edge of their seats today wondering how my scavenger hunt was fairing. ;)

Today I got the second word, and figured out how to properly use the scanner on my phone (I was holding it too close to the code yesterday). Claire - a QR scan is one of those square things you see on advertisements that you can scan with your phone and get more info on whatever the product is. I never cared much about them until they could get me into a show.

However, the third word in the scavenger hunt is going to be released at an event (that I was already planning to be at) in the future on the night before the secret show. So I won't know until then if my hard work paid off.

After I got my second word, I went for a walk and did some window shopping on Queen St. W. in the heat. Today broke all of the heat records for June 8th in Toronto: it reached 33.3 degrees. School is unbearable, I'll tell you.

I'm glad that I'm home from my walk now because we just had the wicked thunderstorm happen. Just a moment ago, I was looking out my window at hail that was coming down and whacking my windows with a lot of force. It sounded more like rocks than hail.

It was pretty funny because all kinds of people in the apartment across the way were also looking out to see the storm. In fact, one dude came out onto his balcony wearing a t-shirt and Speed-o type underwear. All I could think was "C'mon! Hide your shame!" I was completely cracking up at it. Did he think he'd be the only one looking out?

The storm seems to have died down now. I still need to run to Shopper's tonight to pick up some kitty cat treats. We're out, and someone will be very impatient and very angry with me in the morning if there aren't any.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

It was the worst thing that ever happened to me, so why do I smile when I think about it?

Today I got a tweet from my pal AlieMalie about the fact that Stars is planning a secret show in Toronto, and to get in, you need to participate in a scavenger hunt.

Anyway, when I got home from work and the gym, I was a bit tired and tempted not to go on a hunt, but I knew that I'd regret it if I didn't try, so I got myself in gear.

First of all, I had to do a technology scavenger hunt of sorts. The way that you can get into this Stars show is as follows: there are three locations where there are QR Codes that you can scan with your phone. Once you scan, you get a secret word. Enter the three secret words on the website, and hopefully you'll get on the guestlist for the secret show.

Anyway, I tried to download the recommended QR Scanning app, but it turned out that I needed to update my phone to do so. I hate technology updates and tend to procrastinate with them. It took me over a half-hour to update my phone, so hopefully I'll learn my lesson about updating technology promptly (doubtful). Then I got my app and I was off to the first location.

When I got there, I found the code quickly, but could not for the life of me get it to scan into my phone. Luckily, some other hunters came up and could get it to work on their phone, and shared with me the first word and next location (which I already knew). Unfortch, location #2 closed at 8 pm, so I didn't have time to make it there after my technology snafus.

Does anyone know a good iPhone QR scanning app? I downloaded another one (NeoReader), and I hope it will work for me tomorrow, when I head to location #2 after school and find out the whereabouts of location #3. I hope I make the guest list.

In addition, Stars released an album out of the blue today. It's just demos of their fabulous album "In Our Bedroom After the War", but it's still a fun listen. I always like to hear different versions of songs I love, and this is one of my favourite Stars albums. Plus there are two tracks on the demo that didn't make the studio album (I guess), so there's some new music on that album.

Wish me luck as I continue my hunt tomorrow!

p.s. Just in case you don't know Stars, here's a sample from the original "In Our Bedroom After The War" album.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

She told me she loved me like fireworks. And that's the way I like it.

It's been a busy weekend overall. And that's the way I like it.*

Friday night was prom night. I wasn't planning on going until a couple of weeks ago when I was having lunch with Fea and R (gym teacher friend) and R was talking about prom and then looked at us and said "You're going.... right?"

Both Fea and I looked confused and replied "No. Are we supposed to be going?"

R responded "Of course! We went last year! It's an annual thing. I bought my ticket. You guys had better be there so I have good people to sit with!" R is extremely fit and scary so we realized we'd better figure how to get to prom.

So, I managed to grovel to the prom organizer, and apologize for missing the staff deadline for prom tickets by a month and got me and Fea tickets. Funny side note: many of our staff thinks *I* was in charge of prom. If I had $35 for how many people tried to buy prom tickets from me, I'd have at least $175.

Anyway, so we carpooled together and R was in charge of getting us a table with a few of our other friends. However, there weren't enough of us to fill a table so I ended up with the luck of sitting beside someone who I wouldn't necessarily choose as a dinner companion. (Claire - think opposite of Raimundo.) It provided Fea and R with a lot of laughs at my expense though.

Luckily prom is not just dinner and overall it was fun seeing all the kids dressed up and having a good time. They're always so sweet at prom and it warms my heart a lot.

I had a hard time getting motivated on Saturday. In fact I didn't do a whole lot of anything until Jason came over and we went out for beer and hamburgers at my neighbourhood brewery (my 'hood's got everything!). We had plans to maybe go see a movie after that, but decided to come back here and watch the hockey game instead. I fell asleep when it was 2-1 for Boston; however, I was pleased to wake up and find out that Vancouver pulled it through somehow.

I think I fell asleep yet again after that, until Jason woke me up and told me to go to bed. Then I gave some words of wisdom: "You only get once chance to go to sleep." However, I had no recollection of saying that until Jason told me about it today. I killed myself laughing; I don't sleep-talk much, but I will do it every once in awhile.

Today I had to wake up early-ish and buy a baby shower gift (little red baby Chucks and the book Grumpy Bird) and pick up a Zipcar to drive out to Whitby for my friend Flora's baby shower. (Yes, that's my second baby shower in as many weeks.) Her wedding shower was seriously like exactly a year ago, so it felt like huge deja vu making the trip yet again. I'm a bit sad that Becca T has been in France for all of these Flora events. I don't really know any of Flora's other friends well, so it sucks not having Becca T there to talk to. However, one person showed who I knew enough to chat to, and she sat beside me, so at least I had someone to make sarcastic comments to during the cheesy games.

After I got back to Toronto safe and sound after highway driving (I'm not a fan), I met up with Mathew for sushi and gelato and grocery shopping. Finally we got to see each other after a bunch of mishaps and cancellations. It was good catching up.

And with that, I have to get ready for another week of school. I have two more weeks of regular classes, one week of exams, and then a week of year end stuff, and then that's that. I love home stretches.

*I've been listening to Ben Lee's oldie-but-goodie album "Awake is the New Sleep" quite a bit lately because it always puts me a good mood. This is one of my face cheer-up songs from that album.

p.s. I just thought of something exciting - I don't think there are any events this week that I have to stay late after work for! WOW! I can't remember when this happened last! Of course, I'll stay late to catch up on marking and prep and stuff, but seriously having no after school extra-curriculars sounds impossible!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What if I can't see the stars Mildred?

I had a busy day. So busy that I completely forgot to eat my lunch. During last period, when the kids were dissecting perch no less, I realized that I'd forgotten to eat. Luckily, the smell of formaldehyde chases away hunger, so I didn't feel the need to eat.

After school, I went with Fea for a marking/gossip session at our usual coffee shop. It was productive: I got two sets of assignments marked which isn't bad. Heck, I feel like I could have the marking pile almost decimated by the end of this week. (Only to have it replenished by next week, of course.)

After that, I still had a lot of energy left, so I went to the gym. Based on my energy level today, I think I'm almost back to normal after that nasty cold that I had.

So now I'm at home and I ate my lunch, and now I'm having a nice chilled glass of rosé wine while I am blogging.

I'm listening to the new Matthew Good album "Lights of Endangered Species". It came out yesterday, along with the new Death Cab for Cutie album "Codes and Keys". I have not yet listened to the DCFC, because I'm waiting until I completely absorb the new MG first. I really like the new MG, and I feel like it needs lots of listens for me to figure it out.

It's absolutely insane that it's June already. I can feel everything in my entire being getting ready for a vacation. I'm tired, some of the kids are getting antsy (especially because it's been so hot the last couple of days and our school mostly is not air conditioned; and the AC is not working in the parts that have it, so it doesn't really matter).

I need some this summer to figure some stuff out. I've been feeling a bit negative lately. It's weird, because I'm usually an optimistic and positive person, but a lot of bitterness has been churning inside me. I hope that I can use this summer to get back to my old self. I think it will help having so much time to visit with friends, exercise, pamper myself, travel, and reflect on the positive in my life.

Just 29 more days, my friends.