Wednesday, February 27, 2013

High Fructose Corn Syrup For My Brain

I'll admit it.  When it comes to music and books, I can be an insufferable snob.

However, deep down inside I have many guilty pleasures.  Especially when it comes to music.  In fact, I would say that I'm much more comfortable with my musical guilty pleasures than literary guilty pleasures.  I've got some Katy Perry, Ke$ha, P!nk, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, and Carly Rae Jepson all loaded onto my iPod, but for exercise purposes only, or so I tell myself.  If I'm listening to cheesy pop music, I'm going to run faster to get the workout over with sooner right?  (This is what I tell myself.)  Pop music's got its place. You can't work out to Feist (except for electronic remixes).

But when it comes to books, that's where I usually draw the line.  I totally pass judgement on what people are reading on the subway, or what's in bookstores. 

Last week I saw someone reading the Nicholas Sparks book Safe Haven on the subway.  Sparks writes cheesy fare that gets turned into Hollywood schlock: The Notebook being the most famous example.  I, of course, judged.  I read The Notebook when I was eighteen, and thought it was amazing.  Which means that at my age, I would find it insufferable.  (I also found the movie insufferable when I saw it in my early twenties; I think Sparks' shelf life with my was very short.)

As I was judging the woman, suddenly a voice in my head said "wouldn't it be great to read something cheesy, mindless, and uncool for once?  It wouldn't take much effort at all!"  For some reason this question stuck in my head, and guess what paperback I picked up at Shopper's the other day?

Today on my subway ride home I was listening to the Fun. album Some Nights and reading my Sparks novel, and I actually realized that it brought me a degree of relaxation that I haven't felt in awhile.  Man, it felt good to let my snobbery go and indulge in high fructose corn syrup of the musical and literary variety (and at the same time).

Maybe this all comes from the fact that I don't eat sugar any more (except once a week) and my sweet tooth has been telling my brain that we need some sort of sweets.  Or maybe since I've been pushing my muscles with weightlifting, there's not as much energy left for my brain.  Who knows?  But seriously - I can't believe I'm reading Nicholas Sparks and enjoying it the way you would a pack of Skittles.  I'll feel bad later, I know.

I'll read something more nutritious next, I promise.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Winter

Winter's a weird thing.  I find myself wishing it would stay and wishing it would go away at the same time.

I love wrapping myself up in my parka, or my long wool coat, and choosing a pair of warm mittens, a scarf, and a silly toque.  I love tucking my leggings into knee socks and slipping my feet into my warm waterproof boots.  If it's a nice dry day like today, it's great keeping warm and walking the streets.  I love coming home, curling up in a hoodie, drinking tea and reading a book.

However, at the same time, I am so tired of snowstorms, then warm spells which make the snow melt and cover the streets in puddles of slush.  I'm tired of chapped lips and dry skin.  I'm tired of having to watch the weather, just in case there's need for me to leave for work early.

I want winter to stay and I want it to go.

Either way it will leave... and then come back again.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Super Busy

Between my long birthday weekend, and visitors from far and wide in Toronto this week, there has been no time to update this blog, nor read others.

This weekend promises to be busy too: Hayden concert on Friday night, spa day on Saturday, and 4-year-old's birthday party on Sunday.  Also Sunday is Oscar night!  I love awards shows.

Anyway, I'm alive, super busy and well.  Hope that it's the same for all of you.  :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Like Santa Fe, margaritas, and sleeping pills.

Happy list:

- Knee Socks.  AlieMalie got me awesome colourful knee socks for Christmas.  Two pairs have birds, one pair has owls, and one pair is hot pink with skulls.  I hadn't really busted them out until I realized that they look awesome with black leggings.  I'm all into the sweater dresses these days, so I've been wearing them a lot.  Love them.  Almost makes me want winter to never end.  Almost.

- My friend Mathew just phoned me.  "This is going to ruin your birthday present but do you have any Feist on vinyl?"  Looks like I'm getting Let It Die.  Yay!

- My autographed copy of Ben Folds Five's album The Sound of the Life of the Mind arrived in the mail yesterday.  It's totally gotten me back into that album. 

- I just wrote a hilarious valentine for my friend Fea.  It's an inside joke, but I was snickering as I wrote it.  Knowing that you're going to make someone smile is always such a nice little thing.

- I'm having a margarita and taquito party at my fave neighbourhood Mexican restaurant for my birthday on Friday.  I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

We're sitting on a ruin.

Toronto was hit with a pretty bad snowstorm on Friday.  It was definitely the worst one I can remember for a long time.  However, after the Toronto school boards closed schools a couple years ago for a snowstorm that never really came, I think they've gotten a bit gun shy when it comes to snow days.  Most of the staff made it, albeit we started the day more than 30 minutes later, and I had less than 50% of my classes there.  What else could I do but show some episodes of the Simpsons?

My plans for after school were to hit up one of Toronto's best record stores (Sonic Boom - open 364 days a year) to get three new records for my turntable.  (Limit set by me.)  I suggested to some colleagues that we go out for some drinks at a pub near the record store (not too far from my school either), and we decided to do that.

First though, we had to dig out the cars.  I have said it before and I'll say it again: my school has the sweetest kids ANYWHERE.  Can you believe there was a small group of grade 12 students who'd borrowed shovels from the caretakers to help dig teachers' cars out??  Well, there were.  Adorable.

After getting dug out, we found a lot that wasn't covered with snow at Bloor and Bathurst.  There is a car-sharing program that only rents out Smart Cars and there was some poor dude trying to return his Smart Car to the lot.  My friends, along with some random people on the street, had to push the guy into the lot.


I decided to use the occasion for my cheat meal of the week.  I had two beers, mozzarella sticks, a burger with fries, and red velvet cake a la mode.  Oh my gosh.  It was just simple pub fare but it was so good.  Back to no-sugar and no-grains until next Friday.

After the pub, we headed to Sonic Boom (open 364 days a year) and it was CLOSED.  THEY GOT A SNOW DAY!  I shake my fist at the school boards!!!

So, I had to postpone my vinyl spree to Saturday.  I elected to have a lazy Saturday.  I didn't even go to the gym, but I'll make up for that tomorrow.  Pretty much all I did yesterday was get to Sonic Boom (open 363 days in 2013) and buy:

a) Metals by Feist.  If there was one album I need to own on vinyl, it's probably this one.
b) The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss by Whitehorse.  I wouldn't have gotten this album if it wasn't for the snow day, because on Friday night a friend of mine was raving about it, so I thought why not?  I like it, but so far Side A is better than Side B.
c) Sun by Cat Power.  This was a total gamble, and I love this album so much.  Highly recommended!

Here's a picture of Rilo listening to Cat Power.






I love my retro turntable so much.

Today I had a Kenya meeting, a nap, a good run, and then did some housework.  It's now that time where I'm going to curl up in bed with a book.  That's something else I got done this weekend: a fair bit of reading.  That was nice.

Happy Monday friends!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

What I've Got.

1) A good night's sleep last night, thankfully.

2) An awesome friend who sends me "at-home" postcards.  Got one today showing the Yonge & Bloor intersection in 1918.  The city's changed.  Postcards might not be hip or all over the fashion blogs, but I'll always take substance over style.

3) Freshly-shellacked nails. (I may be addicted.)

4) A new turntable.  My birthday's coming up, and after such a shitty night, I decided I should get my gift from myself early.  It's a retro portable turntable in a green and cream-coloured case.  So not only is it for the listening of music, it's decorative too!  I'll take a picture later.  The first album I listened to was Stars' The North and now I'm onto John K. Samson's Provincial.  Indie rock forever.

5) New classes that look okay so far.  My friend overhead some grade 9s in her class saying that I was "tough".  Good.  That's the rumour I want going around.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Insomnia post.

See wigsf, you're not the only one who can't sleep sometimes.



The past few months of my life have been filled with ups and downs, as is usual in anyone's life I guess.  However, the frequency/altitudes have been a little bit more than I'm used to.

I can't sleep because one of those downs just came around again.  However, I'm quite confident this will be the absolute last time I'm going to be riding this particular roller coaster, so that's something, right?

I'm not going to be down for long, I know it.  My current exercise/healthy eating plan has been doing wonders for me.  I've been hitting the gym five times a week: twice for personal training sessions, three times for cardio, and once for yoga (I double up one trip with yoga + cardio so that's how it adds together).  I don't eat white sugar or any grain products, except for the one cheat meal that I get per week.  I never thought that I'd be able to cut those foods out, but it's been surprisingly easy.

As a result I've been feeling really good: I've lost some weight, have more energy, don't get hungry as often, and I've noticed a great improvement in my running times.

It's good to have this in your back-pocket when life hands you some lemons.  I'm not allowed sugar, so I can't make lemonade, however, I did see a delicious chicken recipe the other day that called for lemon zest, so there you go.