Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why did you become you?

It's grad night, so I have the day off, and I had plans of cleaning and running (I haven't run in two weeks), but napping, and reading, and the internet diverted me from the best of my intentions. 

I blame the fact that my summer cold still lingers.

Anyway, this was my best internet find of the day.  Daniel Radcliffe being emo in a Slow Club video?  Yes please!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I could liken you for a werewolf the way you left me for dead.

I love how great new music randomly works its way into my life.

I decided to check out if there would be any good shows in Chicago when I'm there (IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!), and I saw that Fiona Apple was playing the legendary Chicago Theatre.

Everyone remembers Fiona Apple from the 90s, right?

I own her 2005 album "Extraordinary Machine", which I like quite a bit.

Anyway, I asked my pal AlieMalie if she'd be up for the show, and she was, so then it was time for me to do my homework - listen to Fiona Apple's new album "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do".

And it's brilliant.  I've been listening to it on repeat for the past day.  I wouldn't be surprised if it makes my top 10 of 2012.  Needless to say, I'm now SUPER excited for this show.

Also, 2012 has been a pretty strong year for albums so far.  Patrick Watson.  Beast Coast.  Rufus Wainwright.  John K Samson.  Sleigh Bells.  Joel Plaskett Emergency. Kathleen Edwards.  Metric.  Rose Cousins.  All of these are awesome.  And the year's only halfway through!

Another highlight of my easy day was getting a sample of free birthday cake tea from David's Tea.  I got one of their iced tea tumblers, so I can sample iced tea for $1 all summer long.  I went today for iced tea, and they gave me a sample of loose tea for signing up for their newsletter.  I am drinking it now and loving it.  I have a feeling that I'm going to be sampling way more of their teas in the future.  I'm drinking this birthday cake tea right now and it's excellent.

The free samples didn't end there.  My friend and I were at Spadina & Bloor, and there were people giving away free bottles of beer!  (Carlsberg.)  We laughed so hard.  I'd never seen such a thing, and it seemed slightly illegal, giving away free beer on the street.  They did ID every person however, and would not give away samples to people driving by in cars (and there were drivers asking).  However, they had no problem giving one to my 8.5 month pregnant friend, who was picking it up for her husband.  It made me chuckle knowing that for the rest of the afternoon I was walking around with a bottle of beer in my purse.

(Which reminds me... there's a bottle of wine that I was given as a thank you in my filing cabinet at school right now.  Must bring home on Friday!)

Also, in exactly one week today I'm flying to Winnipeg to see Feist!!!  And my pal Matt too.

Two more working days left.  Tomorrow is graduation, and then Friday is end of year meeting and lunch.  The pace these days is slow.  It's weird.  I think my body and brain wonder what happened to all of the stress.

Happy Thursday blogarinos!

ps I've sent in my deposit and application for Kenya 2013.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just 'cuz you're crazy doesn't mean that you're free.

Big concert news today.

Metric is touring Canada with Stars.  TWO FAVOURITE BANDS AT ONCE!!!  What could be better?

It's November 24th at the Air Canada Centre.  I'll be on the floor with my best Metric pals. We got our tickets already in the presale - we're keeners.  I can't believe it was two years ago that I saw them last.  Time staggers on.

Stars - I saw 'em twice last June.  Once in a little art gallery.  Now I'm going to see them in a hockey arena.

Stadium love, my friends.  Stadium love.

I have a huge crush on Emily Haines these days.

Also, you should check out the new Stars single from their album The North which is coming out on September 4th.  That will be my back to school present, I suppose.  I guess I can't completely dread back to school because it will bring new Stars.

You can (and should) download this song here.

In other music news, my beloved Sloan is planning a September tour where they will play their classic 1994 album "Twice Removed" in its entirety.  (Remember how I saw them play their classic 1996 album in December?)  So far, they're just doing the Twice Removed tour on the West Coast.  I am crossing my fingers that they decide to spread the TR love here.  TR features this song, which started Becca T's and my Sloan obsession.

Anyway, nothing kills negative thinking in me like thinking about music and concerts.  Oh and thoughts about travel.  I was chatting this evening with my friend Alison in Courtenay BC, and I'm thinking that we'll take an overnight trip to Tofino and go biking and hiking and stuff.  I can't wait.

And, it's only nine more sleeps until Feist in Winnipeg!

So many happy thoughts!

UPDATE: More concerts

Since I wrote this post three hours ago, I have had friends confirm more shows to go to.  I'm gonna see John K Samson in September, Beach House in October, AND Fiona Apple at the Chicago Theater in July with AlieMalie.  Concert at a famous venue FTW!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I'll shut up and carry on.

I went to my first high tea this weekend.  It was part of a surprise baby shower that I co-organized.  The mommy was very surprised and had a great time so I felt like it was a job well done.

I went to a birthday party and got to reconnect with friends.

I started a new knitting project after being on a knitting hiatus for a couple of years.

Despite this all, I thought far too many negative thoughts.  I need to stop this.  I can be so hard on myself.  I often think I'm my worst enemy.  Sigh.

However, I have an awesome summer coming up.... It's booked solid.  I'm excited.  Last week I booked myself into a super fancy hotel and spa in Winnipeg for two nights.  (My other nights will be spent on a sofa.)  I'm looking forward to some relaxation in the spa.

Maybe that will get rid of some of the negativity.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hot hot heat.

I was going to post something brilliant today but it's just too damned hot.  We're under an extreme heat alert today in Toronto.  Apparently it was 35 degrees Celsius today or some such nonsense.  I'd rather not even know.

I had my last set of exams written today.  I teach on the third floor of the building, and as you may recall from your own science education, hot air rises.  My classroom was a sauna.  Most of the students had wet paper towels at their desks to wipe the sweat from their brows as they wrote.  Ridiculous.  And to think, summer school starts in a couple weeks.  I'm glad that I manage my money well enough, nor am greedy enough, to participate in that mess.  Yes, three weeks of teaching summer school could pay off a nice vacation, but is it worth the blood, sweat, and tears?  (Mostly sweat, I'm sure.)  I think not.  I'll just purchase one less ivory backscratcher during the school year, thank you very much.  (Mr. Burns reference there for you.)

Anyway, apparently the heat will break tomorrow.  Good news: I'm done marking all of my exams and am onto report card land.  After that, it's a week of clean-up and bye bye 2011/2012 school year.

One thing that I miss already is my classes.  It's weird that those three groups that I spent the last five months with will never again be together.  Makes me a little bit wistful at the end of each semester.  I had good classes all year, but right now I especially miss my period two grade ten class from this semester.   We even had a few good laughs during the exam.  There's nothing better in this world than a really nice group of teenagers.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Faster than you think, time staggers on.

It's been a busy few days around here, and to top it off, I've caught an awful summer cold.  Yuck.

On Thursday, I finally got to meet Jabba!  She and her husband had taken the train(!) halfway across the country for the experience and to visit Toronto.  They had just arrived that afternoon, as their train was a few hours late, so it was super fun taking them around Toronto for the first time.  I introduced them to the TTC, took them on their first street car ride, took them to College Street for dinner, showed them around Kensington Market, and then gave them a tour of the Harbourfront.

It's so fun seeing one's city through visitors' eyes.  They were amazed at how you have to walk out into traffic to board a streetcar... I have sort of forgotten that you have to do that.  They seemed to really like Toronto on their first impression, which makes me glad, because, well, the rest of Canada loves to hate Toronto, so it's nice to hear good things.  I can't wait to hear about what else they got up to in Toronto.

Also, I LOVED meeting up with Jabba!  We met through rawbean and we have a lot in common: we both like reading a lot, music, travel, knitting, blogging etc.  I loved getting a chance to meet her in person, and I'm really looking forward to having more time together when I head out west this summer.

On Friday, my last day of teaching (!), I was treated to dinner by a colleague who won an award for which I wrote him a letter of reference.  He got a $200 gift certificate, so he, his other reference, and I blew it all at a restaurant.  Then, we went to see a couple of other colleagues who were performing in a musical.  My friends from work are all sorts of talented, I tell you.

This cold really hit me on Friday.  I was having a hard time teaching my classes because I was losing my voice.  It's hard to play exam review Jeopardy (my traditional last day activity) and give my sappy goodbye speech when I can barely talk.  After the musical, I was so ready to go home and sleep.

On Saturday, I was still feeling crappy, but I wanted to see Dan Mangan & Kathleen Edwards play a free show for Luminato because they are awesome, and no summer cold is going to keep me from music.  I had invited some friends anyhow, and I'm not one to cancel.  Anyway, both artists were great and I'm glad I went.

I was supposed to hang out with my friend Teresa that evening, but when she saw how sick I was, she bailed on me because she didn't want to catch it.  It was probably for the best, because I needed more sleep.

Today's been really chill.  I have been reading and headed downtown for one last Luminato free show: Ohbijou.  They were great, and I'm glad that the rain held off for their performance.  The forecast called for thunderstorms, and they haven't arrived yet but it looks like they could happen any second.

Hope you all have great weeks!  It's exam week which means no planning (yay!) but lots and lots of marking.  But there's an end in sight!

p.s. The new Metric album is great.  I've been listening to it non-stop.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Definitely maybe.

As I'm counting down until the summer of 2012, I might have some plans for summer 2013 in the works.

A colleague of mine told me about an info session that he was going to about a leadership trip to Kenya that my school board offers every year.  It's offered to students for course credit, and they also need teachers to go for supervision.

During this trip, our group will work with people in the community, and build a school while we are there.  In addition, there will be time for fun things like safaris too, so it won't all be physical labour, but there will be a lot of it.

I'll have to live in a tent in Kenya for a few weeks, but it sounds like an amazing, possibly life-changing, experience.  I think going to be immersed in a different culture will be incredible, and not only that, I'll get to concretely make a difference in the world by actually building a school.

It'll be cool to work with teachers and other students from around my board too.  My colleague, and a couple of students from our school, are considering going too, but regardless, I'm 90% sure I'm going to do it no matter what.  You know when an opportunity presents itself and you can feel all of your cells telling you to take it?  That's how I'm feeling.  My only reservations are around what ifs.  What if my parents get sick and I can't go?  The nice thing about this trip is that since it's organized by one of best people in my board, that if something like that happened, I could get my deposit back.  Other than that, what could really stand between me and Kenya 2013?  Nothing, I don't think.

I've always wanted to go to Africa, and doing something that is about service, and will be a complete challenge for me seems like what I need.

I'm going to think about this for a bit more, but I think I'm going to send in my application and deposit before I leave for the summer.  I like committing to challenges.  I'll let you guys know when it's official, but seriously, what do you guys think?  Should I do it?  (Yes, I'll have to pay for the experience, but I can afford it and I think it will be an invaluable investment.)

Also, I'll have to live those three weeks without internet, but I'll be keeping a good journal.

AND THE ANIMALS!  I CAN'T WAIT FOR THEM! (Yes, shouting is required when it comes to this.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why'd you have to break all my heart?

It's been a fun few days.  Thursday was a busy day at school because it was student council elections (which I organized), then a staff meeting, and then I stayed until 7 pm marking marking marking.  Then I went to hang out with some friends, so that was fun, and needed.

Friday was less busy at school.  After the regular school day, I had the last community gardening session with my environmental club, and then I went to hang out with more friends.

I pretty much read all day Saturday.  I did run a few errands, and do a few chores, but I mainly read... with a few napping breaks too.

Today was a busy and fun day.  I went for a run at the gym (too hot and smoggy to run outdoors) and then met up with my pal Fea to do some work.  I marked, and she did some work for an online course.  However, it felt like the old days when we'd meet up almost every Sunday afternoon to mark.  She's on mat leave now, so good thing she's got a course to keep my misery company.

After that, I met up with my friend Jane for dinner, and then we headed to David Pecaut Square to catch Rufus Wainwright as party of Luminato (an arts festival here in TO).  The show opened with the "Rufus Wainwright Songbook" where a few musicians did versions of his songs.  The highlight for me was hearing Sarah Slean sing "Rebel Prince" from "Poses".

Rufus himself put on a great show.  He played many songs from his current album "Out of the Game".  I love that album, so I was very pleased.  He also played some old stuff, including my personal favourite, 14th Street from 'Want One".  I was so happy to see this one live.

Anyway, it was a great summer night to sit on the grass and enjoy an amazing musician.  I'm excited to hit more Luminato shows next weekend.

This upcoming week will start off slowly, but there's a lot of stuff that I'm looking forward to.  The new Metric album is out on Tuesday (woot), and then on Thursday, I've got dinner plans with Jabba.  I'm so excited to meet her while she's in town! Yay!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

As read on a biology test...

As I was marking a test today, I read that "coronary heart disease is diagnosed using an anagram."  This sentence was followed by an accurate description of how an angiogram works.  I circled "anagram" and wrote, "An anagram is when you take the letters of a word and rearrange them to make another word.  For example, STOP is an anagram of POTS. :)"

Yes, I use smileys when I correct students... I pride myself on always being encouraging.  I also like stickers.

However, I really wanted to explain what an anagram was by saying that "Jeremy's Iron" is an anagram for "Jeremy Irons."

p.s. It's that time of year where I'm staying at school until 7:30 pm trying to get caught up on my marking while swearing "next year, I'm NOT going to let this happen!"  Tomorrow will be another late night.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

If you have...

I just spewed out a messy blog post about how I get frustrated over small meaningless things, but then there's this.  I need to remember this.

Or the line from Matthew Good's "Omissions of the Omen" which I used to listen to on repeat in my first year of university when I studied for nasty chem/physics/bio/calculus midterms:

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

I am LUCKY in my problems, I am.  This early-30s crisis of mine will pass.  Life isn't a novel where I can flip to the back to find out the ending and then leisurely read the rest to find out how we got there.  I gotta live it chronologically and cross my fingers that usually time is the ultimate healer.

And, in vino vertias.  ;)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Line of the Day

Me: "What is photosynthesis?"

Student response: "Isn't it that thing where people take pictures with their minds?"

Sunday, June 03, 2012


Yesterday I went shopping in the US with some friends.  It was silly fun.  In addition, it provided me with a long stretch of time where I was completely unconnected from the Internet world.  Except for a small time-frame where we got Wifi at Barnes & Noble, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no email, no nothing.  I enjoyed being away from it all, and even when we got back into Canada, I didn't touch my phone to check in on the ride home.

When I returned home late at night, that's when I heard that there'd been a shooting in the evening in the Food Court of the Eaton Centre, Toronto's prominent downtown mall.  One person is dead, seven are injured.  Police suspect that the victim was a target, and that the rest, included a 13 year old boy, were innocent bystanders.

All I could think that the situation was completely surreal.  When I say, "I'm going to the mall" I am most likely referring to the Eaton Centre.  When I first moved to Toronto, I thought it was pretty awesome that "the mall" for me had become the Eaton Centre, which had previously been one of the most exciting places to visit in Toronto when I was a kid or teenager.  In this case, it's completely surreal that such a crime had occurred in what is now a mundane place for me.  If my weekend plans had been different, it's very well that I could have been there last evening.  Just last Saturday, I was there buying headphones and looking at running clothes after all.

I haven't talked to my parents yet.  They knew I was out of the city yesterday, so I know that they are relieved that the didn't have to worry.  If it had been a regular weekend where I'd stuck around Toronto, I know my mom would have been on the phone so fast calling me after she'd heard the news.

What's really unsettling for me is that this shooting took place where a lot of my students work and hang out.  In fact, when I first read about the shooting, one specific student's name popped into my head, because she works near where it took place.  I'm sure all is fine, but I have to admit that I'm looking forward to a regular school day tomorrow just to see that everyone is OK.

There is an excellent column in the Toronto Star this morning that perfectly articulates why a crime like this is upsetting: it could have been any one of us.  At the end of the day, it's so important to let our family and friends know that we love them, because who knows what can happen at any time, in the most common places in our own cities.