Sunday, September 30, 2012

All I wanna get is a little bit closer.

I had a super fun weekend even though I skipped out on this year's edition of Nuit Blanche.  I'm okay with it, there's always next year.

Anyway, since it's late and I wanna read a bit more of JK Rowling's A Casual Vacancy before I go to bed, I'll turn my weekend into point form.

- On Friday night, I went out for dinner at one of my fave restaurants in the city: The Ace.  (Hey wigsf - you should go there and try the fried chicken, it's delicious.  I'm curious to find out what a fried chicken connoisseur like you would think.)  It was a fun time.  I had some really yummy Belgian Bourbon ice cream, which was way more chocolatey than bourbony.  Also, I think we had plans to go light on the wine, but then it turned out we should have bought a bottle.  Wine by the glass gets pricey, yo!

- On Saturday, I procrastinated, read, ran, then FINALLY started my spring cleaning.  (Don't point out it's fall, please don't.) I managed to get rid of two huge bags of clothing, yet I still am short on closet/drawer space.  Still, I feel like I got a lot accomplished.  During my next spring cleaning bout, I shall attack the bookshelf.

- Today I continued with the spring cleaning, then got a mani-pedi which was great.  I got it a colour called Bad Romance - it's black with purple sparkles.  Then I went to another fave restaurant, Tabule, for my dear work spouse's birthday.  It was a good time, but a short time, as three of my pals have young kids and had to take off.  Still, it's great to have a delicious meal with a bunch of great friends.

- I've also listened the crap out of this song this weekend.  LOVE IT.

- I'm also really into the new Dragonette album Bodyparts.  The above song and this album make for a fun fall soundtrack.

Anyway, that was my weekend.  From Wednesday to Friday, I'm going to be out of town.  I was invited to chaperone the school's leadership camp at an outdoor education centre so I figured why not?  The kids are good and most of the activities are planned by the staff so I'm hoping I can sit beneath lovely fall foliage and read.  (I'm sure it won't be the relaxing time I have pictured in my head.)  On the bright side, it gives me an excuse to wear my $100 lululemon camping pants that I bought for my one and only ever camping trip in the summer of 2010.  I knew they'd pay off.

Oh, and lastly, I contributed to my good friend Claire's I Love Your Blog series where she interviewed me about blogging!  Check it out!

Happy Monday folks!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maybe come September I will feel brand new.

I love when you randomly find an awesome thing on the internet.

I just found this.  Kathleen Edwards.  Take Away Show.  In a Paris soccer field.  Love.

I have to say that I'm really feeling her song Sidecar these days.

Also, I'm now craving Paris like anything.  As I do most days.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Speak plain he said.

I liked this Monday, even though it was a Monday.

School was fine.  Classes were good.  Had a long student council meeting, but that's always OK 'cuz I like spending time with those kids. 

After that I dragged myself to the gym and put in a pretty decent run.  I have a 5K race coming up at the end of October and then an 8K at the beginning of November.  I do not feel ready for either, but feel like I'll get there if I keep on running.

After I got home, I turned my computer to the MuchMusic stream of the 2012 Polaris Prize.  The Polaris Prize is the Canadian version of the UK's Mercury Prize, and I enjoy it because it is an awesome celebration of great Canadian albums. 

As I started watching the stream, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich (best dinner ever always) and planned some espionage on the phone with a friend/former colleague as I made my dinner.  That's talent.

I watched the duration of the award show and I really enjoyed the performances.  My faves were Cold Specks, Kathleen Edwards, and Feist (of course).  I also enjoyed checking out Grimes, because a few friends have been talking about her, and Cadence Weapon was pretty good too.  

I was super happy that Feist won the prize!  As you all know, her album Metals is one of my favourites, and I found that it has wound itself through my life in the past year, so I'm really happy that it won.  

It's funny, when I started listening to Metals, I think my life was more like the first track "The Bad in Each Other" and now things have moved on to the final track "Get It Wrong, Get It Right".

Yay Feist.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When they love you, and they will, tell them all they'll love in my shadow.

Right now I'm addicted to the Japandroids' album Celebration Rock.  It's on the Polaris Prize short list, and I feel that I'm probably late to the party, but I'm glad I'm there.  This album is eight gritty rock songs, and I love it.  It reminds me of stuff I listened to eons ago.... perhaps Attack in Black or The Get-Up Kids or something.  I'm trying to put my finger on it.

I like this video of their because it was filmed at one of my favourite Toronto rock venues: Lee's Palace.  In fact, I'm going there tomorrow night to check out Rich Aucoin, who blew me away this summer at the Wolfe Island Musical Festival.  It's a late show (he comes on at 11 pm), but oh well. QUIZZES FOR ALL on Friday, I say!  :)

I think I posted the above music video before but I think a repeat is OK because it is so freaking good.

I went to the spa today after school.  I am so relaxed right now.

I have so many excellent concerts coming up this fall too.  Fall is the best season for sweater-wearing and concert-going.

And it's the weekend in two more days.  Mine will be fun I know it.  Hope yours is too.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Oh Monday, Monday I'm done with you.

One of this things that I did this weekend that I didn't mention last post was to change up my hair colour a bit.  I felt that my hair got washed out this summer by the sun, and was looking a bit mousey brown.  So, I bought a dark brown hair dye (one that I've used before), and used it on Saturday morning and was quite happy with the results.

Over the summer, I forgot how any sort of change in my appearance becomes a talking point for students.  And not just those in my class... I got random comments from kids in the hall, former graduates back to visit, student council members, and staff members too.  I rather felt exhausted about hearing about my hair by the end of the day. 

Here are some of the comments that made me laugh a bit.

"Miss!  You dyed your hair!  Is that a physical change, or a chemical change?  Or maybe a bit of both?"

"Holy shhhh... You dyed your hair this weekend!"  (I appreciated the self-censoring here.)

"Miss, what colour was your hair before?  I liked it then.  It was nice." (Said by the sweetest kid ever.  I kind of wanted to un-dye it.)

Interestingly, I think the boys noticed way before the girls. 

Also, this makes me want to get my nose pierced or maybe a tattoo just for fun.  I wonder what the reaction would be like for those.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hold That Thought.

I had a really great weekend.  It included things like:

- a marathon Friday night BBQ with the work clique
- two lovely runs through the cemetery on cool sunny fall mornings
- lots of social plans: afternoon parties, dinners, brunches, drinks, etc.
- lots of enjoyable conversation
- making sure I was awake by 10 am on Saturday to buy tickets to Toronto date for the Sloan Twice Removed 2012 tour

Suffice it to say, I'm pretty wiped from the weekend, as per usual.  I could have totally used another weekend day to read, watch a bit of TV, knit, and figure out a new running playlist for the fall.  I think "Summer Running 2012" might have to be retired.

Hope you all have great weeks!  I'll leave you with a song from the new Ben Folds Five album that I particularly love.  I'm so glad that the first album in 13 years from BF5 has not disappointed me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Calling on the backlines.

Lots of nice little things happening in the past few days.

- Lots of nice emails from various sources.  Most special = an email from last year's student council president wishing me a good first meeting of the school year.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: the kids are all right.  Thoughtfulness rocks.

- Skype dates with Becca T and Claire.

- Time to read.  I finished the Great Gatsby!  I no longer have that huge literary hole (but I do have many others).  I liked it as I do any well-written tragic tale.  Now I'm reading a dark thriller by Gillian Flynn called Dark Places.  She wrote the current bestseller Gone Girl which I wish everyone would read so I'd have people to talk to about it.

- An advanced download of Ben Folds Five's first album in thirteen years: The Sound of the Life of the Mind.  I'm on my third listen and I really like it.  There are songs that break my heart with beauty and bittersweet lyrics.  It's out on September 18th for those of the rest of you.  (I'm special because I pledged this album on Pledge Music and will get an autographed vinyl copy of it soon.)

- Starbucks has brought back my fall favourite: the salted caramel mocha frappucino.  Delicious!

- Today I was treated to a small Stars concert at the historic Masonic Temple Concert Hall (which is now an MTV Canada studio) thanks to my friend Karen.  She got us on the guest list.  I knew about the concert.  My pal Mathew, who was there too, told me about it, but for some reason I didn't register that I should go.  Anyway, I'm glad that Karen got us in because I got to see Stars play three songs from The North (Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Get Love, Backlines, and The North).  It was really great and we were so close.  Man, I love this band!

Anyway, I've got lots of good stuff coming up too.  Remember how I thought this was going to be a quiet weekend?  Nope.  I've got plans every day (two on Saturday).  Maybe a bit of quite next weekend?

Sunday, September 09, 2012

I am so much better than I used to be.

Right now I'm catching up on emails, etc. after passing out on my couch for two hours.  I have had an insanely fun few days, and I think the fun kicked my ass a bit.  Actually, my first week back at work pre-kicked my ass, and all of the fun just added to me being completely shattered.

On Thursday night, I went for dinner and a JKS show with my friend Paul.  He was running a bit late, and as I was waiting for him on the SE corner of Bathurst and Bloor, my friend R (super fit phys ed teacher) ran into me (she was mid-run), and then I chatted with a group of three former students.  I guess that's the intersection to be if you want to see people!

The concert was awesome.  I saw JKS (lead singer of my favourite band ever, the Weakerthans) back in March when he played with a full band.  This time, it was just him and a back-up guitarist.  It was a great show!  He played lots of new stuff from his solo album, and many Weakerthans old favourites. I can't believe that some of these songs have been with me for so many years.  I remember discovering them back in university.  How times flies.  But lots of things stay the same: like hearing the songs "Pamphleteer" or "Aside" live is always great.

For his finale, he stood on a stool and sang "Virtute the Cat Explains her Departure" out into the crowd.  That song breaks my heart because it's about a lost cat, and well, if Rilo ever got lost I would be devastated.

On Friday, Mathew and I did go for Thai at a hole-in-the-wall place he loves and it was excellent.  We then watched the Hunger Games, which was good, but not as good as the book, as is the case with movies.

On Saturday, Heather and Jolene came down for the Night Race, and we had a great morning/afternoon of wandering around the city.  I splurged on a couple of new books, and got a great birthday present for my work spouse (a pin based on elements!).

The race was fun.  The most hilarious part was this year's race shirts were NEON YELLOW and we decided to wear the ugly things.  The race itself went well.  I was slow, but at least I didn't score a personal worst.  The lights we had to wear on our head had a battery life of 17 hours, so our joke was as long as we beat that time, we were good.

On the bus ride home from the race, we heard girls in their twenties planning on going out after the race.  We were tired, but I insisted that we go to a pub in our race gear and have beers and nachos so that we could feel young too.

Heather spent the night, so today we did some shopping and lunch, and then caught a movie.  I'd wanted to see the documentary "The Queen of Versailles" during HotDocs in May, but it sold out.  It's now playing at the Varsity.  It was quite good.   It's about a really rich couple who started building the largest single-family dwelling in the US, but then got hit by the economic crisis.  It's a great conversation movie, that's for sure.

After that, Heather caught her train, and I went home and baked some treats for tomorrow's student council meeting.  After that I passed out on my couch.

And soon it's Monday.

Hope it treats you all well.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Good luck, bad luck, survival. Sleep is my friend and my rival.

I thought that I'd be slowing down in September.  It's a loaded statement for a teacher to use the words "slow down" and "September" in the same sentence, but you all remember the summer I had, right?  There was no slowing down there!

Tomorrow night, I'm going to see my dear John K Samson (lead singer of the Weakerthans) play somewhere on Bathurst.

Friday I have plans with my dear friend Mathew.  We're playing it by ear, but I'm hoping our ears will bring us to Thai food.

On Saturday, my friends Heather and Jolene (both from high school) are invading my place and we're doing the Energizer Night Race (5K).  That's the night-time race I did last year where I had to wear a light on my head.  It was super fun so we're doing it again.  I'm so out of good running shape (too much eating and drinking this summer and not enough exercise despite the Grouse Grind) but I figure this will set a good time to obliterate when I do another 5K at the end of October.

On Sunday, I might get a chance to relax before another week.  Next week/weekend seem quiet, and maybe it'll stay that way.  I gotta get back to my knitting, reading, and watching of Breaking Bad.

Hope you're all enjoying September too!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Well the only way I see this happening is in an extended ride north.

Made it through the first day.  The first day is always a breeze.  Well, not really this year, in that the AC in the school was COMPLETELY down (as opposed to a regular day when it's half down), and we were all melting.  I wore pants.  Big mistake.  My mom told me a cold front is coming soon.  I asked if it would be entering my school, because that's what that building needs.  It retains heat like a mofo.

Anyway, it's too soon to tell if my classes are good.  I am optimistic they will be.  I've got all grade tens this semester.  I like grade tens.  They know what's the what, but are still humble and do their homework. 

Now for some randomness.

I enjoy musicians who maintain really great mailing lists.  Today I got an email from Hawksley Workman announcing his fall tour and it was beautifully written.  Tonight, I got an email from Stars about their new album, The North, which came out today, and same thing. 

I went on a mission to find a bag that will hold ALL of my stuff.  I am tired of carrying a gym bag, a lunch bag and a purse and sometimes more to work.  And I'm too old for a backpack.  I found a tote that will carry it all, I hope.  Tomorrow is its test.

I baked muffins for the science/math department at school as a treat for tomorrow since we have a morning meeting.  I haven't baked in years.  I don't know what came over me.

ANYWAY,  the point of this blog post was to let you know I survived day #1.