April 30, 2006

I Climbed the CN Tower!

Yesterday was the CN Tower Climb for the WWF. I went downtown with Christina, Hershey, and Cathy at 7am. It was such a zoo down there with so many different lineups that we didn't get to start climbing until 9:15. My final time was 22:28... better than what I expected :) Although, I felt my lungs were going to burst afterwards. I ended up raising $150, so a big thanks to everyone who sponsored me!

After the climb I had lunch with Christian in Chinatown, then went to see the Frank Gehry: Art + Architecture exhibit at the AGO. It was a fabulous showcase of Gehry's latest projects: Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, DZ Bank in Berlin, MIT's Stata Center (who wouldn't mind coding 24/7 in this playground of a site?!) in Cambridge, Millennium Park, in Chicago, and our own Art Gallery of Ontario. The large models of the exterior and interior designs are truly spectacular in their detailing and expression of Gehry's ideas (and reminded why I hated model construction so much because of the tediousness). There were also walls of Gehry's sketches that were just simple scribbles and lines but were so expressive and informative all at once. I even saw a huge photograph of Frank Gehry with my first-year architecture prof (also the dean of U of T's school of architecture), which was pretty neat. During our visit at the gallery though, I was really starting to feel the effects of the climb taking a toll: I was struggling to keep my eyes open during the videos and I developed quite a nasty headache. After the gallery Chris and I walked back along Queen Street W. and stopped at a vacant residential apartment just west of Ossington to check out an exhibition called Generated Habitats created by A Collection of Foreign Objects, a Canadian collective of artists that was founded in Japan. The idea of displaying their art responding to a residential environment is pretty interesting, but while I was doing a walkthrough of the space, I couldn't ignore the dinginess and dirtieness of the place (Christian apparently saw piles of rat poop all over the place).

When we finally returned to Christian's place I had to crash for 1.5 hours before heading out again for dinner. We chose a trendy Malaysian restaurant/lounge that was at the corner of Queen and Shaw. Since I wasn't that hungry we decided to split an appetizer platter of veggie puffs, tuna rolls, taro frites, and pork belly, plus a beef and shrimp rendang entrée. For an appetizer that costs $20, you'd have expected something substantial, but there were only 2 or 3 things of each item. The rendang was delicious, but again the portion was so miniscule. I don't think I've ever paid so much for Asian food, omg. Especially after having tried Malaysian food at Restoran Malaysia, where the food is amazing and so cheap, I think I'll just stick with uptown restaurants for my Asian fix.


I'll just do a small recap of other recent events of my past week... last Saturday I went to the David Duncan House for Cass and Vanessa's birthday dinner. The restaurant is in a gorgoues Victorian-styled mansion and they serve up some amazing steak. Normally I don't like steak unless it's cooked by my dad, but this place has me converted. If anyone goes, they need to try out the peppercorn steak (yummmmy). The tiramisu I ordered for dessert was a bit disappointing however since it was mostly cream and barely had any taste of expresso. I should have gotten Sam's "award winning" chocolate raspberry mousse cake- that was some amazing cake!

Yes, after all that eating, a girl's gotta work out. I joined a dodge ball league with Christian that plays every week. Last Monday was our very first game, and we kicked butt (12-2, baby)! It turns out that there's a guy from my OAC chem class who's on my team, but he thought my name was Michelle Kwan, haaaar. I also bumped into one of my old high school friends outside the gym, who turned out to be on another dodge ball team playing in the gym next door. Small world!

Posted by mich at 11:37 AM | dreams [0]

April 23, 2006

I've Gone Red

I actually did it. I got my hair coloured along with a spanking new haircut. I pretty much left the stylist to figure out what would look best for my face shape and skin tone and this is the end result. Quite a drastic change for me- it'll take a while to get used to it. It ended up costing double what I was prepared to pay, but since my hair was so dark to begin with, they had to lighten up my whole head before even applying the highlights. Aiya... but oh well. I can't believe I did it, gah!

Posted by mich at 6:56 PM | dreams [1]

Experiencing Quarter-Life Crisis?

I never used to have the urge to ever colour my hair; I've always been content with its darkness (as someone sitting behind me once commented, "it's like staring into space"). But ever since the big 2-5 hit me I feel like my small window of youthfulness I have left is slamming shut. It's going to be getting harder to be able to pull off a fun style that youth can get away with. I don't ever want to look ridiculous like those aging woman at my gym who do anything they can to still look "hip": long fake nails with excessive decorations, skin tight, low-cut, midriff-baring tops, belly rings on their saggy, bulging tummies, over-the-top makeup, and unflatteringly high heels (just to name a few). Maybe I'm being too critical but to be honest, it looks pretty sad and pathetic when people try so hard to not look their age.

So, I've decided that now is the time for me to just go all out. I want to go bold. Like red. Or maybe I'll just chicken out.

Posted by mich at 10:47 AM | dreams [0]

April 22, 2006

New Music

Right now I'm totally digging Sia, especially her creative Breathe Me video composed using a series of flashing polaroid stills.

Then there's the Tokyo Police Club who are performing tomorrow evening. Unfortunately I won't be able to go, but hopefully I can catch them next month at the Drake.

Posted by mich at 1:38 AM | dreams [0]

April 21, 2006

Eye Candy

I stumbled upon a fabulous blog called design*sponge that's all about home and product designs galore. Among some of the features that caught my eye were the lovely wall graphics of blue and brown and s.wert design's marriage of modernist architecture with soft fluffy pillows.

Perhaps I should first get my own Chocolate or Candy loft before I go crazy over the interior design of my future pad!

Posted by mich at 8:49 PM | dreams [0]

CN Tower Climb

On April 29 I'll be walking up 1776 steps for World Wildlife Fund Canada's CN Tower climb. I'd appreciate it if anybody can sponsor me for the great cause! :)

Posted by mich at 12:24 AM | dreams [0]

April 18, 2006

Easter Weekend In Montréal

It was a chilly and windy weekend in Montreal and now I'm getting sick *cough cough*. I had a fun time, although my sore legs are still trying to recuperate from all the walking we did. And after my legs get better I need to hit the gym to undo all the eating we did >.<

On Thursday Christian and I took the 5pm express train where it turned out that we had business class seats. So there were plugs and tables for us to watch videos on the laptop and for me to do some Flash work. We got into the city at 9:30 and cabbed it to my sister's place on St. Laurent. The three of us then went to Santropol, a really cute restaurant that has a really unique selection of sandwiches (minted ham sandwich anyone?). I wanted to try the Sweet Root sandwich, which consisted of nuts, raisins, apples and carrots, but they were completely out :( So I opted for a yummy Millet Pie that was very wheat-y and came with some sort of sweet and spicy ketchup. After our filling dinner we walked back to Vanessa's place and watched a couple of episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

Friday morning I woke up early to squeeze in some Flash work before everyone else woke up. At noon the three of us walked over to St. Denis for brunch at Café Fruits Folies, where we all ordered different variations of french toast dishes. After eating, Vanessa went to the McGill to do work, while Chris and I walked up St. Denis towards Mont-Royal. We stopped into a cute boutique called Nahika and I found a cute tennis-style Groggy tank (I think this is the third time in a row where I went to Montreal and bought a Groggy item, haha... why don't Toronto stores carry them?!). Afterwards we turned onto Mont-Royal to check out used CD stores, walked about 20 minutes down the avenue, doubled back to St. Denis, then walked back down towards downtown. Once we made it down to Square St-Louis, we veered off the main road and found ourselves on Prince Arthur, a quaint pedestrian road dotted with restaurants and cafés. We made it across to St. Laurent, down to Sherbrooke then back across to St. Denis to continue down to St. Catherine. We walked on St. Catherine towards Place-des-Arts to meet with Sunnie, but on the trek there Chris had to have his mandatory fill of poutine at La Belle Province ("the working man's fries" says he!). After meeting with Sunnie we walked to Les Ailes de la Mode to pick up Chris' friend Thuy from work, then went back to Place-des-Arts to meet with my sister at 7. Vanessa suggested a Spanish tapas place that all her friends recommended, so we decided to eat there for dinner. The only problem was that she wasn't exactly sure where it was on St. Laurent, only that it was "north of her place". Ok fine... a bit of a hike, but no one was really that hungry yet. By 8:15 we were still walking up St. Laurent looking for the place, legs sore, bones chilled, and tummies growling. We gave up shortly after that (it turns out we turned back less than a block away!), and walked another 20 mintues to St. Denis to a Caribbean restaurant called Kalalu. It probably took another hour or so before we could eat because the service was pretty slow. We had Creole cigars (spicy seasoned beef, pork, crabmeat, scallions, and pollock in a spring roll wrap)and Accra (cod fish cakes fried and served with a lime pepper mayo and a mango dipping sauce) as appetizers, which turned out to be pretty good. However, the pork of my Griot dish was too dry, so it was kinda hard to eat.

On Saturday Christian, Vanessa and I headed to St-Viateur Bagel for a bagel sandwich brunch. It was pretty cool to see how they make bagels in the wood burning ovens; and of course I had to get a dozen Montreal style bagels to take home (but apparently you can order them online too!). Afterwards, as my sister headed home to study some more, Chris and I took the metro downtown to shop at Simons. He actually thought I was joking when I said I needed 2 hours in the store. But we really stayed there from 2-4:00 while I scoured the whole store and came out with 4 finds :) Next stop was the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out the Anselm Kiefer exhibit. For dinner that evening, we decided to give the Spanish restaurant another chance. This time, my sister had looked up the exact address and intersection of La Sala Rosa. It was only a 20 minute walk but we ended up having to wait an hour for a table >.< In the end, the wait was definitely worth it; ordered fried squid, garlic shrimp, fried goat cheese, potato and onion omelette with spanish sausage tortilla, sautéed zuccuni, peppers and tomatoes on a nest of potatoes, and finally a chicken paella with vegetables. The food was absolutely scrumptious, but the fried cheese was definitely... interesting, to say the least. Later in the evening Christian and I headed to his friend's birthday party at a club called System. I didn't realize how smoky the club would be (they still allow smoking in bars/clubs) so I had to leave after half an hour because I was seriously suffocating. Yes I'm a big party pooper. So we headed back to my sister's area and met up with my sister and her friend at Frites Alors! for greasy snack at 1:30.

The next morning Chris and I walked over to Rockaberry's for drinks/lunch/dessert. My sister wasn't exaggerating when she said the pies there were amazing. I couldn't believe the selection they had, and it took us a while to finally decide on the apple crumble pie (warmed up, of course!) with a big hunk of ice cream. Christian's friends from the previous night dropped by to hang out for a bit. Afterwards, we went over to Schwartz's deli to endure the 20 minute lineup to get a piece of their famous smoked meat. Our final destination was a walk around Vieux Montreal before going to the train station to head back home.

Posted by mich at 5:44 PM | dreams [0]

April 11, 2006

The Return Of The Boy Bands

After a successful showing at last year's Fringe Festival, Boygoove is coming for a long-term run in Toronto. For anyone who didn't catch it the first time, you HAVE to see it. It's a musical spoof of the whole boy band fad and is just LOL hilarious!

Some random food for thought: Ketchup was created in China and was originally a mixture of anchovies, mushrooms, walnuts, and kidney beans. Yeeeuck.

Posted by mich at 10:23 PM | dreams [0]

April 4, 2006

Need A Companion? Get A Dog!

While walking down the street last week I made an interesting observation: dogs are really great tools/accessories for hooking up with someone of the non-canine variety. Let's face it- dogs like to sniff each other out. So when they encounter another of their own kind, it's the perfect opportunity for their owners to check each other out too. So this guy was walking his dog in front of me when his dog passed by another dog being walked by his male owner. They stopped and sniffed each other but both owners immedieately pulled them apart and continued on their own seperate paths. Further down the road the dog met another dog- this time with a female owner. Both owners ended up stopping while the dogs stared at each other and eventually pulled in closer, bringing in their owners too (and it looked like they had no inclination of leaving any time soon). Awwww. It was quite the 101 Dalmations moment.

Posted by mich at 7:06 PM | dreams [1]

April 3, 2006

My New Razr. It's Pink!

Yup, I got a new phone... so jaaaang! I've succumbed to the throw away consumer culture that corporations force down our throats. My two-year old Motorola V300 is still perfectly fine (with a few scratches here and there), but how can a girl resist the sexy Razr? Especially when her old contract ended and can take advantage of savings on a new phone??! She can't. Even Joy's rants isn't enough to deter me from getting a big banana phone like the ones I was enviously admiring while travelling in Japan.

Sunday afternoon Chris and I ended up walking 2.5 hours along Queen street from Ossington to Yonge, up and down the Eaton Centre, then back to Ossington (that's 14 TTC stops man!). We stopped by the crêpes place for a savoury snack to satisfy my ice cream craving. YUM. But now my ankles are killing me and my knee keeps locking with every step I take >_<

Posted by mich at 10:59 PM | dreams [1]