September 29, 2006

Art Happenings and Stuff

Tomorrow night is Toronto's first ever Nuit Blanche, an all-nighter of art events, installations, happenings and stuff throughout the entire city. And I'll be there all night long. Paris has been hosting these nights for years now and so has Montreal during it's Festival of Lights in February. (Unfortunately, the 2 times I've been to the festival, I was there at the wrong time and missed the all-nighters.)

There's so many cool things to see! I'm especially excited for Fujiko Nakaya's Fog in Toronto #71624 taking place at U of T's Philospher's Walk and David Warne and Kevin Krivel's Electronic Sky at Trinity Bellwood's Park. I've also booked a time slot to go up the CN Tower Sky Pod for their photo-based art installation in conjunction with Contact.

*start shameless plug*
And last, but not least, my work will also be part of tomorrow night's event. I'm in a group show called Insomnia that takes place at 401 Richmond's Red Head Gallery. But if you miss is tomorrow, you still have until October 7 to catch it :P
*end shameless plug*

Time to hit the sack early. Long day ahead tomorrow.

Posted by mich at 9:20 PM | dreams [0]

September 28, 2006

Stars & Intrigue

A lot has happeend within these 3 weeks. Aside from the unfortunate events, it was really quite busy.

The Toronto International Film Festival came and went. It kicked off the Inuit film The Journals of Knud Rasmussen. I was volunteering that night but it was a pretty quiet affair. Nothing too remarkable about the evening, except a throat singer that came on the stage before the film and did a hauntingly beautiful performance. The coolest part of the evening was meeting one of the volunteers who was also at the One Inch Punch button exhibit. She was sporting the buttons she had collected the night of the show and told me how hard she tried to acquire my Legomania design. Luckily I had a couple of extras lying around in my bag so I gave one to her. She insisted on trading me one of hers that I really liked so she gave up the button "Untitled" by Shannon Pirie that I had initially had, but sacrificed in order to get "Pretty in Pink"... sweet!

The film fest was crazy on the Saturday for the gala screenings of A Good Year and Babel, starring Brad Pitt. Apparently the rush lines had started at 7am for the evening tickets (but those people didn't even end up getting to see either film because of the disorganization of the outside captains- what a shame). That evening I was working in the sponsor boxes on the main floor, in which Farley Flex from Canadian Idol was sitting. I offered him a program but he refused :( The boxes were really close to the stage so I got to see Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt up close when they went up to the stage for their respective films. Holy, Brad Pitt looked so good in person! After actors get off the stage they walk through the backstage area and up the stairs to get to their seats. While trying to get into the volunteer lounge backstage, me and a handful of other volunteers had to wait until the cast went by, so I got to see Russell Crowe walk right by me. He looked at us, but meh... I'm not a big fan of the guy. As for Brad though, he walked right past me and I ddn't even notice; I just saw the rest of the cast that came behind him. Nooo!

My next two shifts were on the balcony floor during the screenings of For Your Consideration and All the King's Men on Sunday, and Dixie Chicks - Shut Up and Sing and Mon Meilleur Ami on Tuesday. Sunday was pretty busy too. For the first film, they brought up most of the cast, which was HUGE. I caught an up-close glimpse of Jamie Lee Curtis in the balcony right below me and she was simply stunning. I had no idea she was married to Christopher Guest, the director of For Your Consideration. I got to sit in for that film, which was a mockumentary of Hollywood during Oscar buzz season. It was a complete riot- the whole audience was sent into peals of laughter the entire time. Later that evening for All the King's Men I got to see James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Sean Penn, Jude Law, and Samuel L. Jackson. Tuesday night was super slow. The only famous people I saw were the Dixie Chicks, but they refused to come up on stage for their own movie. The french film was not sold out so I got to sit in to watch that, but left halfway through because I thought it was a bit too silly and unbelievable.

Throughout the festival I earned a bunch of free movie vouchers so on the last Friday of the festival I stood in the rush line to see Manufactured Landscapes, which is about the photographer Edward Burtynsky documenting the economic devastation in China. It was one that I was set on seeing, so you could imagine my disappointment when Christian and I finally got to the front, there was just one ticket left :( So we waited a litle longer for the next film and somehow were given 2 free tickets from someone for The Magic Flute. After seeing that film and last year's U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, I don't think any opera should be translated on the big screen. It just doesn't work. I must say though that it was a fun and whimsical piece nonetheless.

The other movie I saw was The Banquet at the Elgin Theatre starring Zhang Ziyi. The visuals were beautiful, but the story, based on Hamlet, was pretty weak. It was too bad I couldn't catch more films because it seemed like this year's festival was jam-packed with some amazing and diverse films.

****

For the past 2 weeks I've been immesed in Torgame's Waking City. It's basically an "alternate reality"/urban exploration game that takes you all around the city to solve puzzles that feeds into a twisted mysterious narrative. All the while you're dealing with characters that send you emails and letters, asking for information, and phoning you to meet with them to give you more clues on the sly. When I signed up for it, I was so not prepared for all the commitment and effort you had to put in. If there is just one word to describe this game that would be INTENSE. All the hours of walking and walking only to gather clues to solve puzzle after puzzle takes a toll on you. And these puzzles were freakin' hard and time consuming. At first it was seperate teams playing individually but gradually we had to start working in bigger teams and then eventually as one big group. It finally all wrapped up tonight when everyone congregated at the Bloor Cinema where we watched City Playground, a series of films about people using public space as their playground, and were surprised with a video near the end that wrapped up the storyline for our game. All in all, the game was a pretty cool concept, but it became way too involved that a lot of people just started dropping out. I'm just relieved that it's finally over with, and now I can get back to my life.

Posted by mich at 11:15 PM | dreams [0]

September 17, 2006

Emotionally devatstating week. How can things continue going from from bad to worse in just a matter of days, and at the worst possible time? I So much has been lost, it's too painful to think about it. I don't think I've cried so hard so much. I feel like I'm all cried out and have run out of tears but somehow waves of emotion just hit unexpectedly. Then comes the numbness, helplessness, and exhaustion.

Posted by mich at 12:34 AM | dreams [1]

September 8, 2006

End of Summer

On Labour Day, instead of going to the CNE for the last day of the Ex, Christian and I headed to the Toronto Islands for a day of kiddie rides at Centreville. We rode the log ride, played 9-hole mini golf (which I won!), went on the haunted house ride, and then played a horse racing game where you have to toss the ball into holes to make your horse move. My boyfriend finally won me a toy (instead of the other way around) :P We had a picnic of homemade sushi on the other side of the island, then tossed around the frisbee and wandered around the labyrinth. On our way back to Centreville I spotted people canoeing, and we decided to rent a canoe for an hour from the boathouse nearby. We paddled all the way to the end of Ward's Island and back, which worked up quite the appetite for a funnel cake with the works: icing sugar, strawberry sauce, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Mmm... heart attack on a plate :) Afterwards we went head to head in bumper cars and then rode on the ferris wheel. I love the ferris wheel- it makes me feel like a kid on a gigantic swing. I get the funny tingles in my belly and toes.

I brought my Polaroid back to life and played around with it on the island. I've already posted a couple of piccies here and here.

Posted by mich at 12:33 AM | dreams [0]

September 3, 2006

Sushi!

I've become a big fan of California Rolls and today Christian and I rolled our own sushi for lunch filled. We stuffed our rolls with cucumber, red peppers, fake crab, avocado, and mayonnaise and topped them with sesame seeds. Surprisingly, it turned out to be really easy and fun to make.

Posted by mich at 10:21 PM | dreams [0]

September 1, 2006

Chilly in the Suds

I've been here in Sudbury since Wednesday for work and will be leaving this afternoon. Initially I was dreading the trip for fear of extreme boredom (so I packed a couple of books, my DS, and iPod), but it turned out quite alright... I haven't even touched any of my books. Most of my off time was spent either at the gym or pool in the morning or eating and exploring with my colleagues after work.

At this one good restaurant we went to for dinner called Respect Is Burning, our waiter did a magic trick where he took our bill, poked a hole through it with his pen, took out the pen and the hole disappeared. MAGIC! I was impressed.

My perception of the city was pretty dreary - polluted, dusty and rocky - but they have a really nice lake (apparently there's 300 of them in the area) and there's actually grass and trees! :P My CEO took me and my colleagues for a drive to see the Big Nickel. We went during sunset, which was the perfect time for a really nice view of the nickel and the huge gigantic smokestack off in the horizon.

Posted by mich at 9:32 AM | dreams [0]