Category Archives: The List

The List 2014

Keeping in the theme of looking back at stuff I posted years ago, let’s check out what my goals were and how I tried to accomplish them.

From September 2007:

Looking forward to next summer, I’m going to do the following:
– Take singing, alto sax, guitar, or dancing lessons, and possibly get my Grade 8 piano.
– Work out and gain an upper body (which I may be able to do at Katimavik).
– Improve on fashion more (which I have since I’ve worked at BR. I’ve became quite knowledgeable on stuff for men and women).
– Learn sign language and improve french (I’ll be able to improve my french at Katimavik).
– Post more in this blog (if I get off my lazy ass and do it).
– Find out what I want to do with my future career-wise. Music or Social Work? Or maybe something completely different all together?
– Visit friends in other towns more (I’m talking to you, Windsor/London/Sudbury/Ottawa/Cambridge people!).

Mission accomplished? Enh, somewhat. Jumping ahead almost a year to July 2008:

I can say that I have or am starting to accomplish most of those things in that list, except for the sign language (I’m going to be learning Italian, Spanish, or Japanese instead), and taking sax, guitar, or dancing lessons (I opted for vocals). Everything else I’ve done during Katimavik and I am continuing to do now… Might as well continue the list:
– Get a demo recorded with original songs
– Save money by only using so much cash a week
– Buy clothing that expresses individual style and has a fantastic price (I’m going to start buying sweaters and knits. I don’t do much layering.)
– Get at least a 3.3 GPA in all of my classes
– Receive my Grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate
– Continue to exercise
– Learn another language (Spanish, Italian or Japanese)
– Network in Toronto to help music career

So what have I accomplished since then? Let me tell you. Not exactly what I set out to do…

I tried recording a demo later that summer and had 2 songs done. One them was alright, but the lyrics were so contrived. So I’d like to take another stab at it someday and actually have proper stuff prepared. Maybe this year, but it isn’t high on my list (probably should be because of Japan).

Because of studying in Red Deer, I certainly did learn Italian and Spanish. I also learned German and Latin. Thanks Voice program! I now know what I am singing in classical music! I also picked up Portuguese when I was in Portugal in 2012. I can read it at least and maybe figure out what is going on.

The save money by only using cash thing was definitely inspired by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I loved watching her shows. I’m pretty good with money (my taxes were already set for submission on January 1st), but I do spend a lot go money on food. My mission should be to bring food in every work day. I will save a lot of money I think.

As for fashion, I still like reading The Cut and GoFugYourself and Fashion Week, but I have become frugal with my fashions. Like I mentioned recently in a previous post, I wear dress pants almost all the time and almost always a button up shirt and a cardigan or blazer. Right now I am wearing jeans (shock!) and a button up with a sweater. Red in honour of Valentine’s Day! I’m kind of sappy now, I know.

My grades were pretty good in College in comparison to how awful they were in University. I was definitely in my element, that’s for sure. Plus I graduated so… Mission accomplished!

I was about to do my Grade 8 exam when I left for Red Deer, but I left before I could do it. However, I’ve played much harder material in college and sang Grade 10 pieces, so I feel like I don’t have to do it anymore. However, I do have the Grade 10 piano books. They’re fun and kind of challenging to read. Ballet takes up most of my time and my reading has become stronger and faster now thanks to the sheer volume of books I have to play.

Continue to exercise… We all know how this turned out. When I get back from Montreal, I’m going to start that running app I mentioned before. Some cardio is better than none, though what I really should be doing is weight lifting. Get some muscles!

As for other things I want to do…

2014 List:
– Bring food and tea from home for work
– Write a song every day and record a demo (before Japan)
– Start running AND lifting weights again
– Keep mastering French and Japanese
– Learn a new piece on piano every day and get it up to a good performing level
– Talk to someone I haven’t talked to in a long time every day (or at least try to reach out to them. I don’t maintain friendships as well as I could.)

I think that is plenty. A lot of daily stuff, but considering that I work almost every day, the music stuff shouldn’t be that difficult. Just gotta do it!

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Future List

I was reading over the first post of my blog a few days ago and I noticed that I had made of list of things I wanted to do next summer after Katimavik:

Looking forward to next summer, I’m going to do the following:

– Take singing, alto sax, guitar, or dancing lessons, and possibly get my Grade 8 piano.

– Work out and gain an upper body.

– Improve on fashion more.

– Learn sign language and improve French.

– Post more in this blog.

– Find out what I want to do with my future career-wise: Music or Social Work?

– Visit friends in other towns more.

I can say that I have or am starting to accomplish most of those things in that list, except for the sign language (I’m going to be learning Italian, Spanish, or Japanese instead), and taking sax, guitar, or dancing lessons (I opted for vocals).  Everything else I’ve done during Katimavik and I am continuing to do now.  I’m doing exercises and becoming stronger and more filled out on the upper half of my body.  I’m even more aware of what’s in for next season in the Fall since coming back to Banana (structured jackets, all black, and panda eyes) and reading WhoWhatWear (love that site).  I made a commitment to post more back in September… but I’m definitely holding up my end of the bargain now at least.  I found out during Katimavik that Gerontology is what I want to do as a safety net for my music career.  I had a visit in London last night and I’ve been to Cambridge a few times over the summer so far.

The sub-conscious mind is a powerful thing.  I never thought about that list when I was setting out to complete these goals, I just wanted to learn or improve some skills.  May as well continue this idea and make a list of things to accomplish for next summer:

– Get a demo recorded with original songs

– Save money by only using so much cash a week

– Buy clothing that expresses individual style and has a fantastic price (I’m going to start buying sweaters and knits.  I don’t do much layering.)

– Get at least a 3.3 GPA in all of my classes

– Receive my Grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate

– Continue to exercise

– Learn another language (Spanish, Italian or Japanese)

– Network in Toronto to help music career

What about everyone else? How do you realize your future goals?

The beginning of the end

This is my new blog, but it’ll be updated pretty sporadically due to Katimavik.

For those that don’t know (because I didn’t post it in my LJ) I’m departing for Katimavik on Sept. 5th. I don’t know what kind of volunteer work I’ll be doing just yet, but I will post about it when I get the chance to. I’ll stay in each destination for 3 months:

1. Ingersol, ON. A rural area east of London. Think John Deere hats, farming, plaid shirts and cow tipping.

2. Montreal, QC. Potentially downtown, but probably in a suburb. I’m super excited for this part. Get to brush up on my french franglish.

3. Stonewall, MB. A little north of Winterpeg Winnipeg. This will probably be nature related in some way.

I’ll come back on June 5th and life will be full of sunshine and puppies. I will have spoardic internet access as there are 10 other people living with me, so you’ll have to bear with me (no problems with that since I hardly updated this summer anyway). Katimavik will give me the chance I need to see if Social Work is really the career I want right now. If not, then I’ll take up music.

Enough about the impending doom that is being a volunteer for the Canadian Government, onto other things. I finished work at Home Health Care on Wednesday and I’m happy to say that even though it was a great summer job and learning experience, I will not go back and work with the elderly. Not my cup of tea. I’m still working at Banana Republic until Tuesday. When I come back from Katimavik I plan on heading back there because it is so much fun. Making people look good and feel good about themselves as well as not having the pressure of commission makes that job so enjoyable and fun. So much that it doesn’t even feel like work.

On Monday Jeff’s coming down to visit me one last time before I leave for Katimavik. From the 15th to the 26th of August him and I went on vacation in St. John’s, Halifax, Capstick (a hamlet in the most northern tip of Nova Scotia), PEI, Montreal and Ottawa. It was a great vacation. Jeff has all of the photos, but they should be uploaded tommorow when he gets here.

In St. John’s we stayed in a University dorm (after we had trouble finding it). We ate at a Pizza Delight (NEVER AGAIN!) and we got our food an hour after we ordered it. There was some new guy in the kitchen who didn’t know what he was doing along with a party of thirty who had ordered food before us. All we ordered was a medium pizza and bread sticks with donair sauce (Never get donair sauce. It smells faintly like ranch sauce, but it tastes like sugar. And it looks like… well… (Partially NWS) this, pretty much.) We got extra cans of pop for our trouble. I wanted my stuff for free but I decided against fighting for it.

After that incident, we drove to Halifax and stayed for 2 days in the University dorm there and another day (or two, I can’t remember) in a hotel. We walked around, tried some of the local restaurants which were pretty decent, went to a few cafés, checked out the waterfront (it was the busking festival that week), went to casino (I put in $10 at the slot machine and won $25, Jeff put in $20 and got nothing. MUHAHAHA! But then I felt bad so I gave Jeff the $20 I won), and we checked out some apartments and houses in case we ever wanted to move down there.

I don’t know what it is about Halifax, but everyone smiles at you as you walk by them. Defintely not the same here where everyone scowls and/or checks you out. At least they do it with a smile. Also they don’t have liscence plates on the front of their cars, which makes them look so much better. The bus system seems to be way more effective than Windsor’s. Everytime Jeff and I walked outside a bus would pass by. A downside about Halifax would have to be the parking. You need a permit for EVERYTHING parking related. There is no such thing as Pizza Pizza down there. Everything is either a Pizza Delight or a Subway. Not as many Tim Horton’s either. Dartmouth is across the river from Halifax (you can take a ferry or a bridge, both are relatively fast and cheap). Dartmouth is to Mississauga as Halifax is to Toronto (only both are smaller than their counterparts). Overall, Halifax would be a sweet place to move to once I get my future straightened out.

After spending 4 days in Halifax we ventured up north to Capstick. Capstick is a hamlet with approx. 30 people in it (or so we felt… turns out it inhabits 575 people according to wikipedia). It’s in the middle of nowhere and there’s no cell phone reception unless you drive 20 minutes south. Jeff’s friend built a shed to stay in for sleeping. There’s pictures of that to come later. There was a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and a very steep cliff. We got to know a man who is apart of the founding family. He fished for a living ever since he was 14. That is all he has ever known. His wife died a year ago, but he has his offspring to keep him company. He’s retired from fishing now and he spends his days walking with his wife’s dog, watching satelite tv and reading books like Farley Mowat and Linda Green (I asked him if he’s read the Owl Family and Never Cry Wolf, and he has. My guess is that he can only read up to a grade 6 level. But he seems to be leading a rich and adventurous life, so that’s good. Anyway, Jeff and I stayed for 2 days and then we drove (and took 2 ferries) to PEI. Jeff had never been to PEI so it was nice. We stayed at a hotel (OMGWTFBBQ HOT WATER!) and chilled out the night before heading to Montreal.

At Montreal we stayed at a Best Western by the Airport and it was THE BEST BEST WESTERN EVAR!!1!!11!1!. We went down to the bar ’cause we wanted an excuse to wear our dressy clothing (which we had brought with us and never worn), so we put it on for an hour, went down to the bar, had 2 expensive and crappily made Cosmos, and then drove to a McDonald’s, which was an adventure in itself because the roads all intersected and went underneath the highway and when we were driving we thought we were on the right side and then we’d see McDonald’s on the opposite side of the highway (fuck) so we’d have to go through it all again. Finally we got it right and all was well. 2 gay well dressed men eating at a McDonald’s. Almost reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Marge gets the family into the country club (or something like that) and at the end of the episode Marge decides against joining and they end up eating at the Krusty Burger all dressed up and the server/cleaner guy says (in his squeaky acne infested way), “Did you guys just come from the Prom?”. It was like that. Without the guy talking, of course.

The final night we stayed in Ottawa with Jeff’s friend Melanie and her boyfriend Graham. During our time there, we were going to pick Melanie up from work, so to kill time we walked up and down Wellington street and walked into random shops. One of these shops was a Steinway store! Wee! So I played a used upright (but very nice sounding) Pearl River piano (Yamaha makes them). I played Emm Gryner’s Blackwinged Bird (everyone I play it for loves it. Thanks for writing an awesome song Mrs. Gryner.) and also tried out a stripped down grand (we’re talking nothing on it, just wood, steel, and hammers. So raw.) and I liked the Pearl River one better. More centered sound (of course, since it’s put together), tinier (good for an apartment) but the higher keys were a little weak for me. Almost like someone had smashed their hands on it repeatedly when they were a child and they thought they were making music. Whatever, it was still a nice piano.

We hung out with Melanie and her boyfriend for the night, watched hilarious comedians on youtube then went home the next day. Since then I’ve helped Dan move into his condo. It’s a good thing too because now the parental units won’t be breathing down his neck all the time. He can finally have his own space and do whatever he wants. Hooray.

Other than that, life’s been pretty good. Overall this summer has not been terrible. Had a great job at BR and a well paying job at HHC, parties with BR people, parties with people at Cali’s, a great vacation with Jeffrey, got to bond with my parental units, and made a bunch of new friends.

Looking forward to next summer, I’m going to do the following:

– Take singing, alto sax, guitar, or dancing lessons, and possibly get my Grade 8 piano.

– Work out and gain an upper body (which I may be able to do at Katimavik).

– Improve on fashion more (which I have since I’ve worked at BR. I’ve became quite knowledgeable on stuff for men and women).

– Learn sign language and improve french (I’ll be able to improve my french at Katimavik).

– Post more in this blog (if I get off my lazy ass and do it).

– Find out what I want to do with my future career-wise. Music or Social Work? Or maybe something completely different all together?

– Visit friends in other towns more (I’m talking to you, Windsor/London/Sudbury/Ottawa/Cambridge people!).

A huge photo post is to come before Wednesday with photos from the vacation and other random things. Still trying to transfer my posts from my LJ, but I’m having a hard time saving my XML onto my computer. Anyone know how to work that out?

P.S. Good luck with school everyone! I miss posting my schedule and finding out who I share classes with and all that fun stuff. Ah well. Next year perhaps.

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