Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Hearthstone Hat

I realize it has been a while. Nearly seven months you say? Ouch. Bringing back the blog is one of my goals for the new year, and I'm starting with one of my first knitting designs. (Actually, in the interst of being honest, let's make that "first and only".)

If you're a World of Warcrafter, the image of the Hearthstone will be very familiar to you; if you're not a Warcrafter, let's just say that it's important because it takes you back to your home base.

The hat part of the pattern isn't perfect but I do like the actual Hearthstone. I worked it in Patons Classic Merino Wool (100% merino, worsted weight) in Too Teal and Natural Mix.

Please feel free to use and adapt this pattern if you like it; I only ask that you let me know that you've done so (and send a picture, if you can!) Feel free to contact me with questions if you've got 'em.

Monday, June 04, 2007

crise de conscience

It has been an interesting few weeks round these skylarkian parts. I have entered and am now in the full throes of my quarter life crisis (though, as my dad likes to point out, it's more likely to be a third life crisis, as I am unlikely to live to be 100 years old).

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Just like you said it would be...

It really bothers me that Blogger cannot be bothered to remember my login information no matter how many times I check that little box. Ah well. It's small potatoes, really.

The last few weeks have been busy. My taping at the CBC went well, if a little on the long side. I can't talk too much about it but I gather that Test the Nation got pretty good ratings, so we will hope that our proposed air date of September goes ahead. I got to go down early with the Sneeze, and meet up with a few friends down there, so it was a pretty good time all around. Plus I got lots of lovely LUSH stuff. Seriously, if you ever have a chance to attend one of their in-store events, they really treat their people right. Also, I purchased some new cleanser and moisturizer and I can't believe what nice things they are doing for my face (including making me smell a bit like vanilla ice cream).

School continues on, same as it ever was. I got approval from Western to take a summer ABQ course in Drama, so that when that mat leave gets posted, I will be prepared for it (assuming I can stump up that extra $1000 it will cost to take it). OSSTF, my union, also acts as our certifying body, which means that they examine our qualifications and determine where we get placed in the payscale. OSSTF has been reluctant to acknowledge graduate degrees that aren't in education because they don't provide any specialized curricular knowledge, which means that I've been placed in Category 3, along with everybody else that has an Honours degree (and yes, this did kind of piss me off). Over the March Break, OSSTF reversed this decision, which means that I can apply for recertification, and hopefully be granted the change from Category 3 to Category 4, which is a difference of about $2000 a year starting out and moves up to about $7000 once I've been teaching for 10 years. Needless to say, I am pleased by this turn of events.

I've been crafting and curling a lot lately, with varying degrees of skill. I finally made my Scotland scrapbook (awesome when you consider we went FOUR YEARS AGO) and made a really nice sterling silver necklace. I also finally curled decently well, and my team played in the finals today and lost. I'm glad I did it though, and I'm happy with how my game improved over the course of the year. I also have a lump the size of an egg on my knee.

I am hungry like the wolf.

Friday, March 16, 2007

My TV Debut

This March Break has flown by impossibly fast. Which means that I have been having far too much fun, and doing far too little work. Oh well. I will, indeed, repent at leisure.

Things I have done so far: Gone out with friends, gone shopping with my mother, drank far too much (x2), gone to Toronto (x2), crafted up a storm, slept a whole bunch, taught pre-teens from Columbia how to curl, made dinner for my parents, eaten sushi (x3) and eaten pizza. Finally. It's still as good as I remember it.

Things I have left to do: marking, packing, laundry, general tidying, another trip to Toronto, more going out with friends, and making my TV debut.

Mat and I are headed down to Toronto today, to hit up our usual Queen West business, and to meet up with other friends for good food, some drinking, and if we are really lucky, some Playdium. It should be a good time.

Hard to believe I go back to school on Monday. My job seems a million miles away right now.

Friday, March 09, 2007

March Break, yo

I will blog later about the last few weeks, but first I would like to note that for the last two or so years, I've led a very active fantasy life in which Miss Stevie Nicks comes to play at Casino Rama, and Dad and I get to go, and she performs "Rhiannon" and it is AWESOME and basically my life is complete.

Guess who's coming to Rama in June?

Oh yeah. It will be awesome, even if tickets start at $85.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

friends are what make the world go round

I am finally settling into my new world. Part of the problem of being me is that I'm always kind of waiting for the other shoe to's a sad way to be but there's little that I can do about it. But, so far so good, as Bryan Adams would say, although I hope he'll forgive me for knocking on wood as I say that. I'm only teaching 2 courses, instead of the full load of three, and it's actually working out much better than I would have thought. That third course makes a HUGE difference to the workload. Having two 'prep' periods means I actually get a lot done at work.

The girls came up on Friday and we went out for martinis and sushi and it was just fabulous. I actually tried the tuna sashimi (which, honestly, was probably my first time trying tuna, not just trying raw tuna) and also the eel nigiri. The eel was quite tasty, as were the martinis. I had a Raspberry Cheesecake one, and it really might as well have been a milkshake...mmm. Upon our return home, we chatted the night away, fully intending to head up to the mountain to partake in the boutique shopping, but no one was really feeling all that well, strangely enough.

Then Mr. Evans dropped in on Sunday, and we whiled away an evening with some poor food and service at a local restaurant. Thankfully, that experience was not repeated tonight, when Mr. Evans brought the Mrs. and also the Baby and we went to Montana's for All You Can Eat Ribs. Holy crap am I full.

I went to a wedding shower for a co-worker yesterday, and it was really nice to meet more people outside of my department, and also to eat a ridiculous amount of cheese. I have to provide lunch for the department next Thursday and I'm thinking a cheese platter is definitely in order. I'm even acquiring a taste for blue cheese now.

Then the boy will come spirit me away this weekend, although possibly with some sushi first, since I have been raving about it all week. We've got a birthday bash to attend, and possibly college curling provincials...and I may be touching base with another old friend on Tuesday of next week too.

The gist of all this is simply that I am luxuriating in how good it feels to have people want to spend time with me. Thank you - I want to spend time with you too.

Friday, February 16, 2007

in love with love and lousy poetry

I have travelled home for the weekend (although I'm not really sure why) and am now quite content to be sitting here, computering it up and listening to the Weakerthans rock my twentysomething world on Marigold. And now it's KT Tunstall, which is a pretty good time as well: My heart knows me better than I know myself so I'm gonna let it do all the talking.

I've been in the new place for two weeks now and I am finally starting to feel like everything might be okay. I didn't write very much about it at the time, but my experiences at my first job very nearly soured me on teaching as a career. They were three of the worst weeks of my life, to the point where I made myself physically ill as my body tried to cope with the stress. No job is worth that. In the end, losing was okay, because I would have burnt myself out before too long.

The new job is different. Maybe it's simply that I spent time at this school last year and that makes me comfortable. Maybe it's that I have friends on the staff. Maybe it's that I am starting to be more confident in my abilities as an educator (we can thank my second job for that!). And certainly the fact that I have a very nice, very well behaved group of students this year doesn't hurt. But I don't feel hopeless anymore, and I don't feel like what I'm doing is useless. I like that, and I hope it stays this way. *knocks wood*

It's been an interesting few weeks. I am saddened by grocery shopping for myself, because produce sucks in the winter (and especially much this year), and Facebook is not only sucking up lots of time but also reconnecting me to a variety of friends I haven't talked to in years, both from high school and even back before we moved up here. I have not had a chance to go skiing yet, but that is day will come.

I did have a lovely Valentine's Day, though...I assumed we weren't doing anything until I came home for the weekend, and then a stranger pulled over to offer me a ride home after school. He drove the hour to come find me, bringing me flowers, chocolate, a bottle of my favourite wine, and his companionship. Pretty special, that one--the irony, of course, is that I had just been telling my coworkers that he wasn't likely to do anything too romantic. I am a jerkwad, apparently.

It's hard to believe that I have had this blog for so many years now, and have never managed anything more than a few sporadic posts a month. Let's change that, shall we?

...and I'm losing all those stupid games that I swore I'd never play...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

it's about time for my arrival...

My father introduced me to the music of Mr. Damien Rice about six months ago, and I told him at the time that if I ever met Mr. Rice's debut album on the wrong side of a bottle of wine it would not go well for either of us.

tonight, I am on the exact right side of a bottle of wine (red and Australian at that) and some exceptionally good food, courtesy of the book club, and I must say it is a lovely thing. I didn't drink much through high shcool because I didn't trust people - the few occasions where I did drink to excess my friends disappointed me terribly, and consequently I have found it very hard to drink a lot unless I feel really comfortable. Thankfully, the ladies in the bookclub are just so lovely that I know I am in good hands, and will remain so even if they insisit on feeding me champagne and chocolate when I should be heading home.

Observations on drunkeness and der bookclub tonight:
+Mz. T and I need to write a book called "7 Conversations Every Woman Should Have", as much of the conversation tonight involved us looking at each other and exclaiming "we had this discussion together last night"
+If I were a man, and if I were the kind of man who felt inclined to dress in drag (which is, I think, a pretty safe bet) I would totally use Wham!'s "I'm Your Man" as my theme song for being in drag
+Driving home from bookclub, you can totally see the lights from Collingwood, aka my future home (and no, I wasn't the driver, just the silly passenger)
+dancing really is a lot of fun
+I love the 80s
+my mp3 player is my best friend
+time really is the best healer

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

iPod game

My MP3 player's name is actually Marigold. She's a SanDisk Sansa 4 Gb player and rocks my socks off.

Ok, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool..

Waking Up: Lay All Your Love On Me - ABBA
First Day at School: Now and Forever - Carole King
Falling In Love: El Condor Pasa (If I Could) - Simon and Garfunkel
Fight Song: Whispers and Moans - Crowded House
Breaking Up: America - Simon and Garfunkel
Prom: We've Gotta Get Out of Here - the Animals
Life: Volcano - Damien Rice
Mental Breakdown: The Old Apartment - Barenaked Ladies
Driving: Wandering Star - Portishead
Flashback: Oh What a Night - the Four Seasons
Wedding: Song for a Winter's Night - Gordon Lightfoot
Birth of Child: I Have A Dream - ABBA
Final Battle: Sleepy Maggie - Ashley MacIsaac
Death Scene: Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran
Funeral Song: On Peak Hill - Stars **the lyrics to this are fucking eery for a funeral song**
End Credit: Left and Leaving - the Weakerthans

I really, really love Marigold. She is about 3/4 full right now, and she's made me realize how much I missed having music as part of my life. I threw out my broken stereo when I left Guelph and it's really never been the same. I think I need to go to more concerts this year - I'm starting to feel the itch.

Children of Men is awesome!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I think I thought I saw you cry...

As part of "carpooling with mom" day, I got to spend a couple of hours at the mall in Midland. This proved fruitful for two reasons: the first being that I scored a copy of J.M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello in hardback for only $6.67, and the second being that I saw Blood Diamond. Blood Diamond is a much, much better film than I gave it credit for in the previews: I did not want to gouge my ears out from listening to Leo talk with that "accent," and I didn't even want to gouge my eyes out from watching Jennifer Connelly "try" to "act." (And I would like to commend whomever was hired to take care of her eyebrows; they are normally fugtacular and try to compete with her "acting" for dominance, but here they are subdued. She actually seems to be having more fun in this role than she usually does, which is strange given the film's weight, but it works for her, surprisingly.) The film does have a very weird Orientalist slant to it, that I may give more thought to someday when I am of a more academic mind.

I get to see Children of Men tomorrow, weather and god willing. I think it looks fabulous--and, well, Clive Owen...Clive Owen is just someone I don't have any words for.

Friday, January 12, 2007

and sugar, we're going down swinging...

A few friends and I have been playing Ultracorps for the last few weeks and I regret to say that it is going quite poorly. Unfortunately I made some key tactical errors early in the game that, over time, allowed some truly cruel and despotic types to essentially ravage their way through my lands. (No, that's not entirely true...I take responsibility for my mismanagement of the game's strategy, although I will maintain that I think I got on the wrong side of the element of chance in a few of those battles.) So now the decision becomes: Should I fortify my existing worlds as best I can, or should I go down swinging, in a blaze of glory? The blaze of glory is tempting, but even benevolent despots have to think about their obligations to their people.

There have been quite a number of developments around here as of late. I've taken my first driving lesson in about 6 or 7 years (and driven for the first time in a year and a half) and it actually went very well. I felt much more calm while driving than I've ever felt before, and I must say that a good teacher makes a world of difference. I even drove on Bayfield St. in Barrie, which is one of the busier, scarier street that a new driver could ever hope to avoid. Hopefully I can keep the sense of security up and keep going with this, 'cause it is time.

I also got a new job for the second semester. I'll be returning to one of the schools where I did placement last year for two periods a day. A friend from the Section back at Nip is there too, so I think that this will (hopefully) work out well. Plus, moving out of my parents' house will probably be a good thing.

Well, it is time to go greet the day! I hope yours is a good one.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

winter blunderland

Having returned to work yesterday, I am reminded of why, precisely, it is that I should very much like to a) marry rich, or b) win the lottery, as this "working for a living" business is plainly garbage. It saddens me that after everything I've invested in a teaching career that I'm not really enjoying it all that much. I need to find something else, and soon, or I will not be a very happy camper.

Nonetheless, my job search trudges on and I remain hopeful.

I have a list of resolutions to post, and a night of music-related antics to discuss, but this will have to come later, as I must go.

Friday, January 05, 2007

spinnin' wheel spin

Ah, the New Year. I always like to celebrate the New Year by watching movies about the end of the world. Actually, that's a lie, but I did purchase Don McKellar's divine Last Night from amazon over Christmas and I finally got to sit down and watch it today. I actually saw this one in theatres, back in 1999, and I don't think that I've seen it since then. It's hard to imagine what I saw it as when I was 17--my reading of the movie is completely different now that I have been exposed to such things as critical theory and absurdism. The idea of a world that knows its own ending fascinates me (I think it is also quite smart to simply ignore the cause of this end altogether) though, as the boy said to me in conversation, this movie would play out quite differently today. After September 11th, a world that knows its own end would play out chaos and anarchy on a much, much larger scale.

It also tends to make one think of what one's life is actually worth, and what manner of difference one has made to the planet. I'm not dissatisfied with my life perse but I do wish that I could achieve more. I'll mark that on the resolution list for this year. I think that before the end of this year, I should like to publish...just one thing. A poem, a story...anything.

We also watched The Descent today, and I was quite happy with it, as well. Scary in the right way, ending in the right way, reasonably tight writing and pacing throughout, and lots of room for interpreting the facts. Speaking of interpreting, The Good Shepherd is also a good time, provided that you like long, slow movies, and that you have three hours to set aside, and that you aren't afraid of Angelina Jolie's manhands. Normally I enjoy Angelina, but I felt that she was miscast in this role. Aside from seeming awkward in her role, she must have done something wretched to the makeup and wardrobe people, because girl did not look good--and she should have.

Two more days of freedom until I go back to work. Better enjoy them as best I can. I hope you are too.