Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nice little story.

On Monday, the day of a test no less, a really nice kid in my class told me that someone had broken the windows of his family's car, and stole his backpack which contained his science notes and textbook.

This evening I got an email from a lady about a found student binder.  She must have gotten my email address from the course policies page.  She had found the binder in the alley behind her store in Kensington Market, and will hold onto it until the student can pick it up.  How nice of her to care about such a found object and to email me and hold onto the binder!  I can't wait to tell the kid about it tomorrow.

I like nice people.

I remember when I was a kid, maybe in the summer in between grades 6 and 7, my parents and I went on a road-trip to Chicago.  I bought a postcard for a friend, addressed it, and then lost it somewhere along the way.

After we got back my friend called me and thanked me for the postcard, which surprised the heck out of me.  Some lovely person must have found it, put a stamp on it, and mailed it for me.  Awesome.

Kindness rocks.  It's a fact.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

No one's getting out without stadium love.

Toronto is such a great city for arts and culture.  Toronto also has a weird psyche.  It wants to be a "world class city" (whatever that means) and constantly wrings its collective hands about its world-classness.  However, maybe those were the good old days, because now I think most of the hand-wringing revolves around our joke of a mayor.  But hey - he might be removed from office on Monday by a judge for conflict of interest, so that could be interesting, hey?

However, my point is after my last four days of city fun, I'm left reflecting on how Toronto is a really great place if you are a fan of the arts, like I am.  There is so much great stuff to do all the time!

On Thursday, as you know, I saw Sloan, who are now a Toronto band (via Halifax) rock the Phoenix.  It's cool that they moved here, and their Toronto shows definitely have a bit of a hometown feel.

On Friday, I went to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema to see the film "Ping Pong" which is about octogenarian ping pong players.  It was really fun, and funded in part by TVO (TV Ontario), so it had a Toronto connection as well.  I love that the city now has a beautifully restored cinema devoted to documentaries, as well as an awesome documentary film fest.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to film in Toronto, since we've got the neat-o Bell Lightbox (the headquarters of TIFF).  If you love film, Toronto is one of the best cities to live, hands down.

On Saturday, I went to see two Toronto bands, Metric and Stars, play the Air Canada Centre, our ginormous hockey arena.  It's pretty special to see two hometown bands make it to the point where they can nearly sell out an arena (and have been doing so across the country).  Stars live in Montreal, but they grew up here, and their affection for the city is always evident.  I was surprised that Torq didn't made any remarks about the mayor, as he did when my pal AlieMalie saw him in Missouri, but why ruin a nice night?

Stars put on an amazing opening set.  My only complaint was that it was way too short (only 45 minutes) so I really hope they'll do a proper headlining tour soon.

Metric have definitely evolved into an arena band.  Emily Haines looked amazing in a short sparkly gold skirt, gold top, lots of gold necklaces, dark blue eye shadown, blonde hair and a beige leather jacket from the 70s complete with tassels.  She's an amazing performer.  Their set was killer, with my favourites being the songs "Empty", "Gold Guns Girls" with amazing guitar work by Jimmy Shaw, and a crowd singalong of "Gimme Sympathy".

Toronto is a great city that breeds/houses awesome musicians.  And if you live here, you can see show after show after show that range from little bar shows, free outdoor shows, mid-sized theatre venue shows, and arena shows.  When it comes to my, okay let's face it, addiction to live music, I couldn't live anywhere else.  Well, maybe NYC.  But there would be fewer Canadian bands there!

Today I'm going to check out the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit at the AGO.  Again, more access to great art.

Anyway, I've just had one of those weekends where I was left thinking "hey - Toronto is a great city for art!  I'm a lucky girl to live here!" and thought I'd write about it.  Seriously, I love this city.  I feel so lucky that I was able to make my life here.  I always dreamed of it as a kid, and I'm always amazed that I actually was able to escape the small town, and make it here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

That's the best thing that I ever heard.

Wow, #TR2012 was pretty amazing last night.  Sloan came on and played the album straight through with virtually no banter in between songs.  Even though I've been listening a lot to Twice Removed lately, I never truly realized how truly awesome the first four songs (Penpals, I Hate My Generation, People of the Sky, and Coax Me) are when played together.  It was a 1-2-3-4 punch of awesomeness.

Of course, the highlight for me was track #9 - Deeper Than Beauty, which is probably my favourite Sloan song, and one that I've heard live only twice.  Patrick and Jay left the stage for the song; it was just Chris on guitar, Andrew on drums, and their extra percussion player.  It was a great crowd sing-along. As my pal Eric observed "that song seems to be everyone else's favourite too!"

A great bonus was that Jennifer Pierce, of the Halifax band Jale (obscure East Coast indie rock reference FTW), was on hand to sing vocals on the final TR track, "I Can Feel It".  That song is incredibly sweet.

After the TR set, the band took a break and came back to play a second set.  I felt the second set was a great Sloan set with lots of songs from 2011's "The Double Cross", the big three singles from 1996's "One Chord to Another", "The Other Man", "Who Taught You to Live Like That", "Money City Maniacs", "I Am the Cancer", and "Underwhelmed" as the finale.

I went to this Sloan show with three people who had never seen Sloan live before, and they all had a great time.  I think everyone that I've ever brought to a Sloan show have quickly become converts to the experience.  I've lost count of how many times I've seen Sloan, but I look forward to their next tour.   Apparently they are going to make a new album in 2013, and they also want to re-release 1996's "One Chord to Another", so perhaps there will be another album tour next year!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

You are surely special, I like you, I like you, a-la-la.

Last week was dull, but the weekend was fun.  After a twelve-hour day at work on Thursday (followed by drinks thankfully), we had an uneventful PD day on Friday.  I'd been fighting off a cold all week, and even though Friday was a beautiful day, I came home and crashed for awhile but managed to get some much-needed laundry done.  Friday wasn't much of a party.

HOWEVER, I think after that restful Friday, I was rejuvenated for the weekend.  On Saturday, I slept in, met up with my friend Flora for a sushi lunch, then did a little bit of shopping with her.  After that, I killed a 4-mile run at the gym, then came home, cleaned many of the things, put up my Christmas tree, and baked muffins.  After that, I went out for dinner to a Neapolitan pizza place that I'd been wanting to try.  The pizza was delicious, and I had a sparkling *red* wine which was really different and good.  After that, I ended up drinking wine and watching The Exorcist at home, which was supposed to happen on Halloween but didn't.  Well, we were gonna have champagne with The Exorcist on Halloween, but the champagne got consumed, but The Exorcist was not watched, but November's still spooky enough for horror movies, right?  Watching movies from the 70s is pretty trippy, because movies are so much different now.  They actually would take time to develop stuff.

After my epic Saturday, I had to wake up early this morning to go to a meeting for my Kenya trip.  I'm enjoying the process so far, and getting to know the students and staff I'll be traveling with.  I know this is going to be a great experience for me.

I came home to a couple slice of left-over pizza for lunch, then I headed off to the Eaton Centre to do some shopping.  It was pretty crazy busy, what with the Santa Claus Parade going on.  I think everyone migrated to the mall.  I managed to hit a few stores that I had some good email coupons for.  I bought a bunch of books at Indigo for 25% off.  Christmas shopping well under way.

Anyway, this week promises to more exciting.  I'm supposed to join a running club lead by my insanely-fit friend tomorrow, and then I have some really exiting shows coming up.

On Thursday, I'm going to see Sloan for their TR2012 tour, which is when they are playing the entirety of their 1994 album "Twice Removed".  This is one of my favourite albums EVER, and I'm SUPER EXCITED for this show.  In fact, my next post is going to be about that album and my favourite lines from TR songs.

Then, on Saturday, I'm seeing two of my very favourite bands, Metric & Stars, giving some stadium love at the ACC.  I've seen both of these bands play in little bars, and now it's ACC time.  Now, I'd rather still see them in little bars, but I'm super stoked to see them rock the ACC.   It's going to be awesome.

But first, I gotta get through the running club and a few days of work.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

You gotta get up and try try try.

The highlight of the weekend was my 8K race in Grimsby, Ontario, about an hour outside of Toronto.  I went with my friend who is super fit (she's the phys ed teacher at my school, but currently on mat leave).  We didn't run together.  I joked that I'd eat her dust, but in reality, she's probably too fast to kick up dust.

Anyway, it was a friend's birthday party the night before, and the party was all the way in Mississauga.  I decided to go, and swore that I'd leave with the first car that was heading back to the city.  I did, but I had more wine that I should have on the eve of the race. 

However, I guess lots of wine, food, and fun on a race night isn't the worst thing because I did pretty well in the race.  I looked at my time at the 5K mark, and it was my fastest time of the fall.  I finished the race more than three minutes faster than my goal time and I was happy about that.  Yay!

Today I decided to celebrate by joining a friend at a spa for a massage.  It wasn't our usual spa (actually below our insanely high standards when it comes to pampering but whatevs... first world problems), but it really made my body feel better after yesterday's race.  Then I did some shopping at the Eaton Centre.  The Gap had a 30% off friends and family sale so I splurged and got bright red-orange cords (I wanted to join the coloured pants bandwagon), a navy blue cardigan, a cowl-necked striped waffle shirt, and a new super warm winter parka.

After the clothes-spree, I went to MAC for some new foundation.  I also have been running low on eyeshadow, and have felt like a new look would be good, so I got an eyeshadow makeover and I'm pretty excited to master my new look.  And I got new lipstick too.

I met up with my friends Fea and Paola for dinner at a cute diner in our neighbourhood.  I totally splurged on a crazy grilled cheese sandwich with mac 'n cheese and meatloaf in it.  It was insane.  I would have had to run 3 x 8K to make up for that.

Anyway, somehow it's Monday again.  I have a dull week coming up.  No concerts, nothing crazy.  Can you believe it?  Hope the rest of you have great weeks!

Monday, November 05, 2012

We'll collect the moments one by one, I guess that's how the future's done.

Winter is totally coming up on us, eh?

I left school today at 5:15 pm and it was getting dark already.  That's the price to pay for that extra hour we got on the weekend. 

I spent my evening baking and searching for new knitting patterns.  I guess that's where darkness and cold is taking my mind these days: to warmth and coziness.