Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm an owl on the sill in the evening.

It is my weekly tradition to sit in front of my computer on a Sunday night and wonder where the weekend went, and why, oh why, do weekends have to fly by so quickly.

Friday was nice because since exams were finished, we had a day to finish up marking, etc., and get ready for the new semester. I cleaned off my disastrous desk and I can actually see the desktop again. I forgot what an ugly colour of fake wood it was, ha-ha. That's my excuse for keeping it in a state of disaster.

I had a sushi/movie date on Friday night. It's always nice bringing someone new to my favourite neighbourhood sushi place. It's so reliable and serviceable. And it has awesome green tea.

It's always nice to go to a movie in a theatre near a bookstore if you have extra time to kill. I checked out the print version of the Patti Smith book I had read. The e-book version was super cheap ($6) but did not include pictures. After seeing the book in print, I was sad that I missed out on the pictures. I expected a chunk of pictures in the middle, as is common with many non-fiction books, but the pictures were interspersed throughout the text, which would have made an even more enjoyable reading experience, since a lot of the paintings, photos, etc. that she mentioned in the book were included.

We saw the movie "The Fighter" and it was really great. I highly recommend it. Christian Bale does an awesome job of playing a junkie, and the entire cast is really good. The seven sisters are really funny. Also, Marky-Mark's abs deserve a shout-out. If there was an Oscar for that, he would have gotten a nomination, and it would have been a lock.

So yah, Friday night involved good sushi, awesome company, and a great movie. Yay!

I had a very enjoyable lazy Saturday morning eating toast, having tea, and watching 30 Rock on DVD. Then I ventured out to Scarborough to meet up with my friend Flora. We met up at a mall, and since Flora was running late, I got a new outfit for work at Smart Set. New semester, right? That's my justification for buying yet another long cardigan sweater... in dark gray, which I don't have. It would have been ridiculous not to buy it.

Once Flora showed up we trekked to a different mall, where I bought new winter boots (they are the black fabric ones) at Brown's! I've been eyeing so many people wearing these boots on the subway and they look so warm and waterproof. One of the intersections near my house becomes a lake when it gets slushy, so they are a good investment, I figured. Plus I like the plaid!

After the shopping we went out for sushi. I know, two days in a row, but it was at a different place and I got different stuff so it's not that redundant, right? Also, this place served corn tea, which isn't as good as green tea, I think. We headed on a Starbucks run after sushi, where I oddly ran into my good friend Fea at a coffee shop far from our neighbourhood. She said "I seriously thought I heard your voice, which was so strange." Poor girl, she probably was thinking, "Oh dear, I spend too much time with that Christy, now I'm hearing her voice in Scarborough!"

Today was a bit of a write-off. I got to the gym, did some grocery shopping, and that's about it. I still have a bit of semester 1 term marking to finish off, but I can't bring myself to it. Blech.

Musically, I'm feeling the need for a new album in my life. Hey Rosetta! are coming out with an album soon, as is Memphis (side-project of Torq from Stars). I've been listening to a lot of Neko Case today, and would like her to come out with a new album soon. Perhaps writing that statement on my blog will help.

Hope that you all have excellent weeks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mi colore favorito es violeta.

My brain hurts. Two and a half hours of dense Spanish instruction will do that to you.

This week we learned all about gender in the Spanish language, the definite and indefinite articles, a bunch of adjectives, how to make those adjectives agree properly, and the numbers once through treinta y nueve. Don't ask me ?Cual es viente mas viente? (What is twenty plus twenty?) because I don't know the number forty yet in Spanish. I also don't know how to make the upside down question marks in a blog entry either.

We started this week by having to present our homework. We had to present a picture of a person that we admire to the class using our limited Spanish vocabulary. I was foolish enough to quickly whip out my picture of David Suzuki, so I got to present first. I was told it was muy bien, phew.

We had to ask and answer a lot of questions in today's class. At one point, it felt like our teacher was a Spanish machine gun hurling out really fast questions at us. It was terrifying. I'm sure that I often looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

I'm so glad that I have a friend in that class. We are absolutely clownish when we work on partnered exercises together, however, we get the job done. Fea corrects my pronunciation, and I catch her when her adjectives don't agree with her nouns.

It was fun learning some adjectives. I like the Spanish word for fat: gordo/gorda. It makes me giggle. Our new adjectives came in handy when some tonto (dumb) driver wouldn't let Fea in on our way home. Unfortunately, Fea's name is the feminine word for ugly, but she's good-humoured about it. When she pointed it out to our teacher, he said "Remember, you cannot translate names!"

So that's my summary of Spanish class #2. I might just blog every Spanish class because reflecting upon your learning is a great tool in the learning process. If there's one thing I know, it's effective learning strategies. Occupational hazard.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Aluminum, tastes like fear. Adrenaline, it pulls us near.

I woke up in the middle of the night. I was sleeping on one pillow, and to my right was Princess Rilo sleeping on a stack of three pillows. I always think whoever pays the bills should get more pillows, but clearly, it doesn't work that way. However, I was comfy enough, so I didn't disturb her highness.

The Toronto Star recently published an article about how sleeping with your pets could make you sick. When I first got Rilo, I naively decided there would be no cat in my bedroom, let alone my bed. I didn't want cat hair on my clothes, nor in my sheets thank you very much. However, within a week I forgot to shut my door properly while I slept, and I woke up to you-know-who in my bed. I lost the war.

I don't really worry about getting sick though, despite the article. My childhood cats always slept in my bed, and I turned out fine, so I'm not concerned.

In the morning, Rilo will get up with me to have breakfast, then she goes back to bed and watches me get ready. She always looks so comfortable relaxing as I'm getting ready. At that time of day, I envy her life. If I get reincarnated as another being, I hope I have enough good karma to be a well-tended housecat in my next life.

Anyway, enough about the cat. I'm not a cat lady, I swear. I just find it hilarious that my roommate gets three pillows and gets to go back to bed when I have to go to work.

I've been tweeting a lot about how much I love the book I'm currently reading: Just Kids by Patti Smith.


It is written by *the* Patti Smith who was highly influential in the 1970s NYC punk scene. I first heard of her when I was in high school, and she worked on an REM record (she sings on the song "Ebow the Letter") and I remember reading magazine articles where Michael Stipe* was so excited to have worked with her. The second time I heard of her was in my "World of Popular Music" course that I took at U of T. (Yes, 1/40th of my degree comes from that course. It makes me happy. I loved that course). We were studying punk rock and I remember thinking "oh yeah, so that's why Michael Stipe was excited."

I saw this book when I was in a record store this weekend, and then decided to download it on my Kindle. I really do wish I'd bought the hard copy so I could lend it to people, but it was a bargain ($6) on the Kindle. It's so good. It won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2010.

The book centres around Patti's relationship with another artist, Robert Mapplethorpe, who was her soulmate of sorts. What I love so much about this book is how sweet of a person she is. I didn't expect that from a punk-rock pioneer I must admit. This book makes me really like and admire her a lot. When she was about 20, she moved to NYC without having any money, and lived on the street for awhile, but was determined to devote her life to art, and I give her so much credit for being brave enough to do that, and I'm happy to know it worked out very well for her.

I've also started listening to some stuff from her album "Horses" and I think I'll probably end up getting it sooner or later. (I bet wigsf just spit out coffee reading that I'm interested in some music from pre-1990s.)

Other than reading and being amused by my cat, my life is centred around marking exams and prepping for the new semester this week. Spanish class numero dos is tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that. We have to talk about someone we admire in class using vocab we learned in class last week. I'm going to talk about David Suzuki. We were told if we spoke about someone famous, we didn't have to bring in a picture, so ding-ding-ding, less work.

*AlieMalie - remember when we saw Michael Stipe at that restaurant in Austin as soon as I'd arrived in Austin? What was the name of that place?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Favourite Things

It's so nice and sunny out. However, as most of us who are lucky enough to live in Canada know, a sunny day in January can only mean one thing: bitter cold. I should be going out to meet up with Fea for a typical Sunday afternoon marking session, but I'd rather procrastinate.

I've had a pretty good weekend thus far. I crashed out on my couch on Friday night, and ended up just making the move from there to bed. I've been better at going to bed at decent times on weeknights than I used to be, but I found this week to be exhausting, so I blame it for the Friday night crash.

On Saturday, I stayed in and cleaned my house in the afternoon. The evening involved hitting up a record store to get tickets for Hey Rosetta! in February, and going out for dinner. It was nice, but since it was cold out, it was good to go home early and watch a movie. That movie was "Dinner for Schmucks". Rawbean had pre-warned me that it was pretty bad, and she was right. However, it was lying around my place, and that's why it was watched.

This morning I watched a couple of episodes of 30 Rock. I forgot how much I like that show. I think I should start watching it again. Anyway, one of the episodes I saw was the one where Liz Lemon thinks she encounters Oprah on a plane. This made me remember I've been meaning to a "favourite things" post for awhile, so here goes.

1) My bird necklace from Etsy.


I bought this necklace before Christmas. I'm pretty sure that I came across this seller's shop from Jabba's favourites page as I was procrastinating some night. I had wanted to buy a different bird necklace, but the seller had run out, so she offered me $10 off a different item. I had been originally debated getting this necklace, and was happy to get it instead. I even got to pick the colour of the stone! Fun!

2) My Kindle

I've been writing a lot about my Kindle, but haven't posted a picture yet! Here's a picture of my pretty green case, and what the actual device looks like for those of you who have been wondering.




3) My Coach Bangle

I bought a couple of these as Christmas gifts, at a healthy discount thanks to a coupon, and threw one in for myself. I like pretty shiny things.




4) School Supplies

Here's my Spanish textbook, my notebook, my bad-ass kitty cat pencil case, my favourite pen, and my water bottle.

The pencil case I got at Borders when I was in Boston. That's where I keep my "good" pens and pencils that I do not lend to students. So many people comment on it, and my standard joke is: "The pink kitty cat pencil case shows the students that I'm a badass teacher that you don't mess with."

The pen is one of my favourites because it's a pen/highlighter and has post-it note flags in the cap. It's nerd heaven in one writing instrument.

5) My flower hat.

I bought this hat at a craft sale five years ago and I still love it. It makes winter a little bit more bearable. It has a side effect though: more crazy people talk to me on the subway when I'm wearing this hat than when I'm not. (Sorry that the picture is so dark... the flower is turquoise.)


That's it! Hope you all are staying warm and have a great week ahead of you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Buenas noches.

La clase de espaƱol es muy bien.

I learned how to conjugate my first verb (ser - to be). I learned the Spanish alphabet, the numbers (which I remembered very well from Sesame Street, muchas gracias), colours, and some pretty basic vocabulary and expressions. I learned a lot about pronunciation, and have to remember to pronounce everything, unlike the how you do in French. For example I always have to focus on pronouncing "es" with an "s" sound at the end. I lapse into French pronunciation so easily.

I will also have to work hard on pronouncing certain letters properly. For example, I learned that "v" and "b" are pronounced the same way in Spanish - like a very soft "b" where you don't put your lips together. As a result beber (to drink) and vivir (to live) sound very similar in Spanish. That's a sign of a good language, eh?

In addition, I need to remember that "ll" is pronounced like a "y", "ge" is like "hey", and gi "is hee" and the "h" is always silent. Also "h" is "hache" which is really fun to say.

Anyway, I learned a lot in my first class. I was also very happy to have my pal Fea with me. She has traveled a lot in various Spanish-speaking countries, so she has a better handle on pronunciation and can correct me. In addition, it's fun having someone to joke around with.

Well, that's my week #1 Spanish class update. Buenas noches. Hasta luego.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fire eye'd boy give 'em all the slip.

My friend S posted this on twitter. It sums up my life in a two-item to-do list.


But I can't get off the fucking internet! I'm watching a live Broken Social Scene show from NYC streaming on Youtube. Hmmm, maybe I'll be able to check getting off the fucking internet off the list tomorrow?

After all, tomorrow night, instead of coming home from the gym (at least I did that, right?), changing straight into my PJs and watching episodes of Intervention and rock shows on the internet, I have my first Spanish class! Yes, after tomorrow, this blog will be peppered with some Spanish words here and there. You will learn with me, amigos!

Last night, Fea and I hit up the U of T bookstore to get our outrageously-priced Spanish textbooks. I hadn't been in that store in probably eight years. It brought back a lot of memories, however I didn't really remember its labyrinth of a layout, and I accidentally lead us straight into the medical textbook section. Luckily, after some walking around, we found the languages section. We also bought notebooks. Oh, can buying school supplies ever get old?

Okay, so I've got my school supply related shit together, what about the rest of it? My apartment is in a bit of disarray, and laundry needs to be done. I might have a houseguest on Thursday, so you think that'd be motivating me to do something about the situation, but I don't know for sure, so I guess I like living on the edge. If I get the "so I am crashing at your place" text in the next 24 hours, I'll be doing some heavy duty late night cleaning tomorrow. Spanish class is until 9 pm....

How about work shit? Well, I'm down to one set of marking left for two of my classes; my focus for tomorrow is to get caught up on the third. We have three days of class left, so I'm done lesson-planning... it's exam review for the rest of the time. However, I still have two sets of major assignments coming in Friday, plus exams next week. So, the marking will never end and you know where I'll be this Sunday afternoon.

So yah, one day I'll get off the fucking internet and get my shit together, but apparently not today. ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

But it was you I was thinking of.

This weekend was pretty lame. I've been fighting off some sort of cold/flu/whatever, and it took its toll on me. All I could think about all Friday afternoon was going home and sleeping.

On my way home, I had the bright idea of renting some movies. The store had a 3 for $15 sale, so I rented three movies. After coming home and passing out on the couch for a few hours, I managed to get through "The Social Network" which was pretty good. It probably deserves a re-watch for when I'm less out of it.

Saturday was another complete write-off. I slept a lot but managed to get out of the house to pick up some sushi for dinner, wander around Indigo for a bit, and treat myself to a Second Cup white hot chocolate. After that, I considered watching one of my other movies, but felt more like reading. I got a bunch of books for Christmas, and I'm halfway through a couple of them, but I was missing reading on my Kindle. I spent some time looking for something new to read and settled on Jeffrey Eugenides' "The Virgin Suicides". I really enjoyed his book "Middlesex". Anyway, this book is rather macabre, but really well written so I'm hooked on it.

Today I lazed in bed, read, and then packed up my marking to meet up with Fea at our usual marking spot for the third Sunday in a row. The pile never shrinks, I tell you. As we were marking, and older gentleman came up to me and said "that was the part of the job I hated the most." It turned out that he was a retired science teacher from the high school down the street from my place. Man, I can't wait for the day where I can spend my wintery Sunday afternoons in a coffee shop doing Sudoku puzzles instead of marking optics tests. That will be the life.

Anyway, now I'm half-heartedly watching the Golden Globes while doing dishes and laundry. I should being doing some more schoolwork too, but I can't bring myself to.

This is going to be a very busy week. It's the last week of the semester, and my Spanish course starts on Wednesday. Also, my pal Jolene might be crashing at my place one night since she's in town for work. I'm glad that I'm feeling better for it, but I wish I could have gotten more accomplished this weekend other than out-sleeping Rilo. But I guess it's better to get better as opposed to getting more run-down, right? Oh, and I still have two movies to watch!

Well, this is a pretty dull post. I've been thinking that this blog needs more photographs. Maybe that's a little project I can work on in the near future. Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Booked.

I think it was last week that I was playing around and looking at flights to Barcelona and home from London... Anyway, I was looking at prices again today, and the prices have already gone up. This is one of the problems of being a teacher: you have loads of vacay time, but it's always during peak travel periods. No last minute steals for us.

I played around with Expedia, and found a similar price as to what I saw before, except no direct flight home. It's just a short stop-over in Montreal. I think I can handle it. Better than forking out another $200.

After calling my friend Fea, my travel expert, for advice, I booked it!

I still have to figure out my flight from Spain to London, but that's easy. And where to stay in Spain. And what's fun to do in Barcelona. And how much sangria I should drink. Maybe I need to start training here, ha-ha.

That's my exciting news. This weekend seems like it will be pretty low-key since fun people are sick, and I might be getting sick (but my immune system is fighting it off), and I have tonnes of cleaning, marking, and exam reviews to write. However, I'm hoping I'll have some time to browse through that Barcelona travel guide.

Happy weekend! Is it March Break yet? Ha-ha.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year's Resolution Motivation

If there is one thing I'm good at, especially at work, it's making friends.

One of my newer friends is the music teacher who is "new" to our school (relative to myself who is becoming a fixture like the cinderblocks, or the always-broken heating system). She's super cool and into the environment, and she is now my friend for life because I gave her my secret library key at Christmastime. Her room is across from the library, and she needs access to the library to use the phone. I used to teach in the library, and never gave back my key because keys are power. Anyway, she mentioned how she'd sometimes come into work on weekends and hated that she had to walk across the school to access a phone. Upon hearing this, I felt guilty and full of Christmas spirit, so I gave her my key.

That's how you make a friend for life.

Anyway, you might be wondering what this preamble has to do with my new year's resolutions, which all revolve around being more healthy and perhaps being able to fit into an old pair of jeans that I really like.

Today, my friend for life passed me in the stairway and said "Hey - I was cleaning out my closet and came across my Periodic Table of the Elements skirt and thought of you. Would you like it? I rarely wear it and I knew you'd love it." I once saw her wear this skirt and I, of course, freaked the hell out.

"Yes!" I exclaimed right away. "Oh, but it probably won't fit me..." I added sheepishly. She's thinner than me, but taller, so maybe it's just an illusion. Yah, that's it.

"Let's see! I'll bring it in for you to try on one day!"

All I could think of as I continued on my way is that I want to wear that skirt. It's got the freaking Periodic Table of the Elements on it. That's my favourite table right there!

Anyway, I think with a lot of exercise, and perhaps a talented seamstress, I could wear that skirt. It's a good motivation, no?

I made it to the gym tonight and burned many calories as I envisioned myself in that skirt. Great motivation, eh? It's sort of like when my old roommate lost weight to fit into the wedding dress of her dreams.... but the more eccentric and nerdy version.

p.s. Fact for Vancouverites who read this blog - she got the skirt in Vancouver! Cool!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I can't help but feel like this is good.

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but this Sunday is going to be a day of work. Right now I'm relaxing a little bit after sleeping in (one can't work without enough sleep, right?) and eating a couple of clementines and drinking some green tea as per new year's resolutions. Then it's off to the gym, also as per new year's resolutions.

After that, I am meeting up with Fea yet again to mark, mark, mark. As per new year's resolutions, I am not going indulge in a pastry at the coffee shop (this is one of the dangers of marking at a coffee shop) but I will stick some fruit and healthy crackers and cheese in my bag for a snack. And drink more green tea and water. When I get home, I get to write exams until I crash and need sleep.

Oh man, my life sounds really dull if you read those first two paragraphs. However, the rest of my weekend has been a lot of fun. I went out for dinner on Friday night which was really fun and saw the movie The King's Speech on Saturday with a long lost friend. The movie was excellent. It had so many excellent actors playing some rather important people in it. Colin Firth was George VI, Helena Bonham Carter was the Queen Mum, Geoffrey Rush was George VI's speech therapist, and Timothy Spall, who is great at playing villains in movies like Harry Potter and Sweeny Todd, was a really good Winston Churchill. It was one of those movies that was so good that everyone just claps at the end of it. I've only ever experienced the clapping at the end of a regular everyday screening of a movie in Toronto, but it felt so necessary at the end of this movie. See it if you haven't.

My movie companion was a friend who I hadn't seen since the summer. I've been re-connecting with many "long lost" friends over the holidays. Life just got so busy from September on that there are so many people I hadn't seen in forever. Making an effort to see everyone has been so rewarding and I realize how insanely lucky I am to have so many good friends. I really should add another new year's resolution which should be to be more conscientious about not letting long periods of time go by without seeing friends. I guess real life makes that hard, but Facebook and a little bit of planning help, so I know I can be better.

After dinner on Friday, we stopped by Indigo and I bought a Barcelona travel guide. This makes the trip official in that I can't change my mind now and waste $20 on a travel guide. Not to mention the Spanish course too (which starts in 1.5 weeks). I've also started browsing flights. I just have to figure out a few things before booking: a) how long Becca T can vacation for; b) whether or not my friend Jane will be coming; and c) whether to go to London first, or Barcelona first. I'm really leaning toward Barcelona first, because then I will have a direct London to Toronto flight home, as opposed to having to stop over in Germany if I did it the other way. After last year's five-airport-marathon on the way home from Nice, I want a direct flight.

So yah, even though I have to buckle down and be a good worker today (what I'd really like to do is curl up with a book), I have had a fun weekend, and I have so much to look forward to. Really, the trip is only scratching the surface. I have to say that life is pretty good these days, and I'm starting 2011 pretty happy. Yay!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Random.

1) My brain is a little bit mushy. Yesterday, I realized I'd left a credit card at a restaurant and had to cancel it post-haste. Then, I misplaced my phone, inside a shoe (yes you read that correctlyt) and spent 30 minutes searching for it. Dear brain, please sharpen up. Thanks.

2) I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today as Roberto Alomar was inducted into the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame. My nostalgia stems from two reasons: I was a HUGE Blue Jays fan in the late 80s/early 90s especially in 92/93 when they won back-to-back World Series. I remember actually hiding in my room during some of the games because I couldn't watch them; they were too stressful for me. Anyway, Alomar was one of my favourite players during his career as Blue Jay, so it's nice to see him inducted. (Yes, yes, he spit in an ump's face, but that was when he wasn't a Blue Jay, so I can let that incident not taint my happy childhood memories.)

The second reason why this is nostalgic for me is that I've actually been to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was my dad's dream vacation, and we went when I was in grade six or so. I was bored, but it was nice seeing my dad so happy to go some place, as he tends to be an extreme homebody.

Today when my dad and I were talking about Alomar's induction, he said "Visiting the Hall of Fame was the highlight of my life.... well, after you being born...."

I replied "Yah, I know, I know... you had to drive mom to the hospital for that." There's a moment from the Simpsons where Lisa asks Homer to do something and he says "First, I had to drive your mother to the hospital to give birth to you, and NOW this..." My dad says that all the time. I think it's his favourite Simpsons reference.

3) Continuing on the sports randomness, I was discussing sports with my lovely grade 9s during the last five minutes of class. We talked basketball, hockey, and soccer mainly. Did you know that if Mick Jagger cheers for a team in World Cup soccer they are bound to lose? That's a random fact I didn't expect to hear from a grade nine. Also, one of my favourite kids, who is smart, quiet, and cute, called LeBron James a "coward" with such vehemence in his voice it warmed my heart.

Anyway, I told them that I'd probably watch the gold medal juniors' game tonight, but then I realized I don't get TSN. But I'm streaming it. It's Canada 3, Russia 0. I like it.

4) I am tired. I should be doing a number of things of the schoolwork and housework varieties, but blogging is oddly more compelling at the moment. I'm going to have to work my ass off working this weekend. Which is basically just Sunday since I have social plans for Friday and Saturday.

5) Anyway, that's that for my tired/random post. Seriously. I'm brain dead. Getting out of vacation mode is hard work, yo.

Edit: Wow, the Russians scored 5 goals in the last period. What the what?

Also, yes Rawbean, I will keep the typo. It further proves how mushy my brain is.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

So get up. Get out. What are you down about?

Welcome to my first post of 2011!

I have to say that I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed at the prospect of real life right now. I've got laundry to do, Christmas presents to put away, a tree to take down (well, not until Jan. 6th; I believe in leaving it up until Epiphany), and loads of schoolwork to do. I believe that I need to teach some kids some stuff tomorrow, and I'm not entirely sure what that's going to be.

I'm sure I'll adjust to the pace of real life again soon enough. I have to say that it's been an absolutely wonderful holiday break for me. I've been able to spend time with so many of my wonderful friends, spend some time with the 'rents, and even go to three concerts. I have to say that I feel much better coming out of these holidays than I felt going in. I was getting pretty burned out by the end of the working part of December. I'm feeling much more refreshed now as a result of a fun holiday break.

Elliott Brood at Lee's Palace for New Year's Eve was totally fun. The openers were a band called CATL. They were very entertaining to watch; in fact, the crowd on the dance floor was maybe even more entertaining. Elliott Brood were very fun to watch; apparently this was their fourth year playing new year's eve and they've got it all figured out, right down to their flip chart countdown 'til midnight. It was a really fun way to spend NYE, and I totally think I should attempt to do a concert for NYE more often.

New Year's Day was a complete write-off for me. I don't think I made it out of my PJs until after 2:30 pm, and at that point I fell asleep again. In the evening, I went for a walk in my fall jacket since the weather was so nice. At least I got out before it got cold again today.

I met up with my friend Flora for lunch today, and then picked up my marking and met up with my pal Fea at our usual marking spot. I got through three sets of quizzes and one set of lab reports. That's just scratching the surface of the marking pile. I am going to have to buckle down in the coming week with regards to school: I must get this marking done, plan lessons for the rest of the semester, and write exams. Ugh. I meant to do more over the break, but having fun is more important for my mental health, right?

I'll also have to buckle down on my resolutions for 2011. I have been able to keep resolutions in the past (2007 was a banner year for resolution keeping), and I can do it again, I swear. As Fea pointed out while we were marking today, the new year for us doesn't really start until tomorrow. This weekend is a little bit traumatic since we have to face the inevitable, so who could expect us to start good habits?

Anyway, starting tomorrow I'm going to focus on the following as my resolutions for the upcoming year.

1) Go to the gym at least 3 times a week. Oh, that reminds me, I need to renew my gym membership before the end of the month. Oh good, I get to spend more money!

2) Eat healthy at home, and at work. Splurging is only for when I go out with friends (once per week). I will keep a food journal to keep myself accountable.

3) Drink more water.

4) Drink more green tea.

5) Take a daily multi-vitamin.

Seriously, I used to do all of this stuff in the past, except for the green tea thing. So I can easily do it again. And I always feel so much better when I'm not eating crap and when I'm exercising. Doesn't it supposedly take 21 days to form a habit? I'll be there in no time, right?

If you are making resolutions for 2011, I wish you luck with them. And, if you have tomorrow off of work, I envy you. Enjoy it.