Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You gotta try a little harder, you're the comeback kid.

It's illogical when it's your first day back at work after a long weekend (thanks again McGuinty... we'll always have Family Day, right?), and you are more tired than when you left. I was seriously pushing myself to get through the day.

Why? Well, I think the first is that I ran a very enjoyable 10K yesterday, but I find when I do that distance, I'm pretty tired the next day. That run followed an early-ish train trip back to Toronto from Stratford. I find that travel always tires me out a bit. Finally, I think today's exhaustion was compounded by the fact I was unprepared for work and therefore made it in an hour earlier than I used do. However, I love the calmness and productivity of an early morning. I resolve to do it more often.

Anyway, even though I didn't feel rested following my long weekend, it was still a great weekend. I organized birthday drinks on Friday night with my favourite pals who live in the city, and that was a good time. On Saturday I headed out to Stratford for some good family time. I mainly chilled with the parents for most of the weekend - we had a birthday dinner for me and my dad (his birthday is the 25th), and watched some fun TV together: National Geographic, SNL, and the 500th Simpsons episode.

In addition my dad loved the massive books I got him (they should keep him out of trouble for awhile) and the Wile E. Coyote Super Genius T-shirt that I got him.

Do any of you remember a Bug Bunny cartoon where Bugs knocks on the Coyote's door and says "Are you in, genius?" or something like that? That cartoon sprung a very nerdy game that has been played in my family for years. It basically goes like this.

Me (to my dad): "Hey corrigible, are you in?"

My dad: "No, I'm not incorrigible. Oh sensitive, are you in?

Me: "I'm most certainly not insensitive. Hey scrutable, are you in?"

And on it goes, most likely until my mom gets annoyed and says "you have already used every "in" word in the dictionary in your game, stop for heaven's sake!"

Anyway, that's why I had to buy my dad that Tshirt. And it catalyzed a round of the "in" game. Also, I'm not sure if either of us has played "scrutable" yet... I'm going to file that away for next visit.

Last night Jason and I went to see "The Descendants". I really enjoyed the movie, and I totally say give the Oscar to Clooney - he did a good job of rocking an awkward haircut, not being a Hollywood super hunk, AND he made me cry. Damn you Clooney!

How crazy it is that the Simpsons has done 500 episodes? Jason and I were discussing favourite Simpsons lines this weekend, and I'll leave you with one of my favourites - attributed to Ralph Wiggum.

"Me fail English? That's unpossible!"

But oh! There was a new good line on the 500th episode. Lisa says to Homer "I pick up books like you pick up beers" and Homer replies "Then you have a serious reading problem."

Even though the Simpsons aren't what they used to be during their Golden Years (seasons 3 through 8), they're still funnier than a lot of stuff out there.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I got my philosphy. (#1000)

The thought that I would make it to one thousand posts on this blog never crossed my mind when I started it almost seven years ago on a music-related whim. I was an avid reader of musician Matthew Good's blog at the time, and he would link to his fans' blogs, so I thought, hmmm, maybe I should start one of these blog things. And now here we are.

My first post was a whole lot of nothing. However, it's funny reading my second post and knowing the future of many of the random things that I mentioned, like:

a) I'm still listening to Kathleen Edwards... and saw her last weekend.

b) The colleague who had the Lululemon bag that I liked is now a really close friend of mine. I barely knew her back then. I still have the bubblegum pink version of that bag, and want to replace it because it's rather godawful, but it's the perfect size for a weekend bag and I use it all the time when I visit my parents. (It'll get used this weekend again.)

c) Apparently I was watching the new American version of The Office at that time. Ironically, I watched a bit of it tonight.

d) I mentioned a ficus plant (Benny) that I owned and eventually killed because it dropped leaves everywhere and I couldn't take it anymore. I haven't owned a plant since.

However, it's really fun to reflect on how even though I'm the same music-loving, sitcom-enjoying person that I was back then, I've definitely grown and changed and done a lot of exciting things over the years.

1000 posts ago, I was a new teacher at my school, who actually just had a temporary contract for that school year. The stars aligned in my favour, and I've been at the same place ever since and have grown a lot in my career. Moreover, I truly do love the students at my school, and have made so many good friends among my colleagues among the way.

1000 posts ago, I hadn't really traveled anywhere. Since then I've been to Australia, Cuba, England, Wales, Ireland, Montreal, New York, Texas, San Francisco, the Maritimes, New York (again), Paris, Scotland, London, Paris (again), Nice, Monaco (for an hour), Italy (for four hours), Cape Cod, Boston, Barcelona, London (again), Chicago, Utah, New York (again), and I'm heading off to Paris (again) in about three weeks. Well done me.

1000 posts ago, I went to shows every now and then. Now I go to tonnes of shows.

1000 posts ago, I lived with a human roommate. Now, I live with a feline roommate in a different apartment one subway stop north of where I used to live.

1000 posts ago, I had a lot of awesome friends. Now, I still have the vast majority of those friends (maybe a couple have drifted off), but I have so many more wonderful friends, many of whom I've met directly from this blog. Yesterday was my birthday, and I got so many nice wishes from my blogger friends. I've met up with many of you guys for coffee, drinks, or dinner, gone to shows with some of you, did SXSW in Austin with one of you, some of you have crashed on my couch and/or floor, I terrified one of you with my driving skills in Vancouver, I've crashed on couches and now guest bedrooms in someone's London flats, and have had awesome MSN/phone/Skype conversations with many of you too. Heck, I sort of kind of met my boyfriend through this blog. (Actually, I would say it was a set of Joel Plaskett concert photos that brought us together initially, but we're both bloggers.) I am so thankful for all of these people that have been brought into my life through this fluffly little blog.

Today I was thinking, oh crap, what am I going to do for my 1000th post, and this song came up on shuffle on my iPod. I think it's a great way to send out a 1000th post.

p.s. My dear blog buddy Claire is going to hit her 1000th post this week too! Isn't that crazy that we've done it around the same time??

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Quickest Blog Post Ever (#999)

My intent was to have my 1000th blog post correspond with my birthday (today), but as you can see, I'm one post off.

However, that's OK because I am a numbers girl, and the number 999 is quite attractive to me.

Anyway, my birthday follows a very nice Valentine's Day. Tonight, I'm going to take myself for a run at the nice new gym near the Eaton Centre, then meet up with Jason at one of my favourite restaurants - The Ace. The night should be ace. Ugh, bad joke. But I get a free pass for that today?

Ugh, can you believe I sang a bit of the song "Jump" by Kris Kross (90s crap pop for the win) to one of my classes yesterday? Possible high/low point to my career. Oh, it had a point. I was reminding them to use the criss-cross method when writing formulae for ionic compounds.

Let's see if I can top that today. (Doubtful.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So when the night falls, my lonely heart calls. (#998)

February is a busy month. Even though this weekend seems like it was calmer than the last, it was still busy.

On Friday evening, I had a meeting of the "spa club". Because of personal commitments, my colleagues and I who had booked appointments were all coming and going at different times, however, since I was in no rush, I took some times to hang out in whirlpool and steam room after my massage was done. Talk about relaxation.

When I got home, I finally finished reading "Alone in the Classroom". It was an all right book; beautifully written but slow in pace.

On Saturday I ran errands in the morning, then read/napped on my couch in the afternoon. I met up with Jason in the evening for dinner, then we went to see Kathleen Edwards at the Phoenix. Hannah Georgas, a Vancouver singer-songwriter, was the opening act. I saw Hannah last summer at Hillside, and also really like her previous work. She mostly played new stuff, and I have to say that I'm looking forward to her new album.

Kathleen was amazing. She is a consummate musician, and truly rocks out during her shows. She is a stellar songwriter, and I love how she expressively performs her songs. The highlight song for me was her performance of "Goodnight, California" from her previous album "Asking for Flowers". It started off with her playing violin (or fiddle? what's the difference?) and she and her band did a great job playing this sprawling rocker of a song. It was a great show. Ooh, and I picked up a *purple* Kathleen Tshirt.

Of course, it was Saturday evening as well when the news of Whitney Houston's death came out. She was the first musician that I ever loved. When I was six, my parents bought me my first album ever, "Whitney", on tape. I listened to it non-stop, and Whitney was my favourite for a long time. I think I eventually moved on to my boy band phase after that, but I always paid attention to her career, even though I no longer listened to her.

I was saddened about her downward spiral into addiction, and I rushed home from work a couple years ago when she had that Oprah interview. I was really rooting for her to have a huge comeback, and get her voice back, even though you could tell her gift had been damaged from years of drug use.

It's tragic that she passed away far too early. I hope that she is at peace now, and that her tale reminds us all that addiction is a real disease, and not a choice.

I had a lazy Sunday today. I relaxed at home until I headed down to Kensington for a hair appointment. I wandered around there for a bit, and picked up some yummy cupcakes at a bakery for tomorrow's student council meeting. (It's my turn to bring in snack.)

Now I'm watching the Grammys. I somehow always put myself through this award show every year. Not sure why. Oh yes, it's because I enjoy yelling at my TV.

Happy Monday folks! It's going to be a busy week for me - Valentine's and birthday week. Yay!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Mandatory Blog Update (#997)

My new couch is together! It's a vortex that pulls me directly into the land of nap. This thing has been dangerous for my productivity this week. Hopefully the novelty of comfy naps will wear off soon.

Semester two is so far so good. My classes seem quite nice thus far. Fingers crossed that it's their true nature, and not just a honeymoon.

Tomorrow I've got a massage booked after school. I feel that I've earned my relaxation for sure since I made it through exams, marking, report cards, and starting a new semester.

This weekend I'm also going to see Kathleen Edward and get a haircut. I'm excited for both, one more than another.

Hope that you all have nice weekends!

p.s. My running playlist is getting played out. Any suggestions for good exercise songs?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Happy Superb Owl Sunday! (#996)

I totally stole this post's title from the Facebook status of the TV show Portlandia. It's a wonderfully bizarre show, and the term "Superb Owl Sunday" makes me happy because I don't like football but I love owls, so Superb Owl Sunday is so much more appealing to me. I should go change into my Burrowing Owl t-shirt right now, but I'm already wearing my Dan Magnan t-shirt which is pretty awesome itself, so I'll just think about owls instead.

Also, some of you have noticed I have taken to numbering my posts. I am getting ever closer to post #1000, and I didn't want to miss it, so I realized that if I numbered my posts 'til then, I will not miss it. I'm not sure what I can do to make my millennial post special, but I still have a few to go until then.

Wow, I've had a really busy three days since my last post. I will summarize...

Friday - Non-teaching day at work. Did my photocopying for day one of second semester. Went to lunch at Swiss Chalet, followed by a quick stop at the Gap Factory Outlet where I bought a very Parisian off-white spring trench coat with navy blue buttons. I have the perfect matching navy blue Coach bag too. I really hope it will be warm enough for me to wear this to Paris. If not, I'll have a Paris springtime in my coat here in Toronto. I also got a stripey shirt to go with it. Having this Gap outlet so close to my work will be dangerous for me.

After lunch/shopping, I went back to finish off semester one stuff. I went for a run at the new gym near the Eaton Centre (it's beautiful and has heated floors) then did some running around in preparation for Saturday's Bachelorette party.

Saturday - Spent the morning cleaning all the things. My pals from the Go9 arrived to welcome shots of some fruity alcohol I picked up. We Skyped in my friend Sandra from Utah, had the Bachelorette open up her gifts, then headed off to dinner at my fave local Mexican dinner. We knocked back quite a few pitchers of margaritas and sangria. It was a great time. There was lots more silliness after that, but in order to protect the good reputations of those in the Go9, I will leave it at saying that a good time was had by all, and that the hostess was the first one who succumbed to exhaustion and crawled into her bed after the late night pizza arrived.

Sunday - Most of my overnight guests left in the 8 am carpool, but Jo^2 (Jolene & Joanna) stuck around to go for breakfast down the street, and we headed off for some shopping at Ikea.

I was feeling rather tired, but I decided that it would be good to accompany a couple of friends with a large pickup truck to Ikea becaue I needed to work on completing THE LIST. I haven't yet posted about THE LIST but it's become a running joke amongst many of my friends, so I'll introduce it now.

Bascially, once Jason was cooking at my place and asked for a pair of tongs. I replied that I didn't have any, and he said "you need to start a list of basic household items that you need." I'll admit it - I kind of live like a university student in many ways. Let's face it - I'd much rather spend money on handbags and travel then, oh, tongs.

When I tell people I don't have tongs the common reaction is "How do you NOT have tongs? How do you flip things?" This begins the conversation into how I don't need to flip things because I don't like cooking meat, and live happily without tongs. And no, I'm not a vegetarian, I just like to eat meat cooked by someone else.

Anyway, tongs was the first item on the "grown-up list" and Jason and I added to it once while he was cooking and I was drinking wine. Here it is. I was forced to take a picture of it to send it to an interested friend. Seriously, the list is FAMOUS.

Now you understand why I couldn't turn down an offer of a trip to Ikea by a woman with a pickup truck. Jason and I have been planning to go together in his car, but so far other fun things have taken precedence.

Today I knocked off quite a few things off THE LIST: TONGS, a colander, a new bookshelf, and A NEW COUCH! I've been using my futon from university days for far too long. If I watch too much TV, my butt starts to get sore. I'm so excited to watch TV in comfort... This could lead to me getting the flat screen TV from THE LIST.

I also got a couple things not on THE LIST, like a second cutting board, and a new bedside table. Both were needed though.

All of my other stuff, plus the many purchase by Jo^2 fit in the pickup truck, but my couch had to be delivered. It was supposed to arrive between 5pm and 9pm, but it arrived fifteen minutes early. I was excited. I got it all unwrapped, but I'm going to need some help putting it together (for lifting), so Jason's gonna help me early this week. Here's how it looks now. Rilo's been exploring it like a fort.

All in all I had a fun weekend with lots of money spent. I'm going to have to lay low for the rest of February so that I have money for Paris in March. I guess you'll have to wait, electric kettle.

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Things I've done this week:

1) I've said goodbye to my semester one classes. They were great. I'll miss them. I'm a bit skeptical about what semester two will bring.

2) I've finished marking all the things for semester one. My eyes got blurry at times. However, I got some sweet notes written to me by some students at the end of their exams, which made me feel good.

3) I saw Jack's Mannequin on Tuesday night. I had fun catching up with my friend Mathew and it was an awesome show. They are a great band to sing along with.

4) Exam week brings with it a lot of time to go for extended lunches with pals from work (followed by extended marking sessions in coffee shops). Yesterday we went for Dim Sum at the Pacific Mall in Markham. It was really yummy.

5) Last night Jason and I watched the movie Beginners starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. It was really good. It had a cute dog, a good story, and Ewan wearing many cute sweaters. What more does one need?

6) Today we walked to a cute brunch place 10 minutes from school for today's lunch. We met up with my friend Fea who just had her second daughter two weeks ago. Cute child, good catch-up. Win.

7) Tonight's episode of Parks and Rec was the awesome.

8) For Christmas, my parents gave me a perfume sampler from Shopper's Drugmart. You get ten samples of perfumes, plus a gift certificate for a full-sized bottle of your choice of perfume. After sampling them all for this time, I settled on Marc Jacobs' Oh Lola. It smells good and the bottle is so pretty! I picked it up tonight.

That's about it for this week. It was fun. Tomorrow I plan on sleeping in a little, going for an early run, then heading off to work prep for second semester. It's nice not to have a set time to be there... I'm aiming for 10.

This weekend, I am hostessing a Group of 9 Bachelorette party for my pal Christa. It should be a fun time. We should have 8 out of 9 of us there... Everyone but Sandra who lives in Utah. I am looking forward to it.

Hope you all have great weekends!