October 30, 2006

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hey!

Does anybody remember that French Halloween song? I used to sing that each year from grades 4 to 6... oh, the nostalgia.

This evening I baked some Halloween sugar cookies, and my are they sweet (the frosting and sprinkles didn't help either). They were quick and easy to make. Well, I don't know if you can even call it real baking. I took a Betty Crocker package of cookie mix and mixed it in with some margarine and egg and popped it in the oven. Oh well, they're delicious nonetheless.

Did everyone have a fun Halloween weekend? I went to a party Saturday night, but didn't even have a costume until the very last minute. During the day on Saturday I had a floor hockey tournament and I was pretty beat and headache-y when I got home so I had to take a nap. Well, by the time I woke up it was time to head to the party... so I just went in my PJs. Cheesy? Yes. Was I comfortable and warm on that cold, blustery evening? You betcha!

Posted by mich at 11:53 PM | dreams [0]

Miss Chef

My parents abandoned the kids yet again for a Hawaiian cruise. Oh, the cruelness. So that leaves me to be the domestic diva for the week. And yes, that means cooking (scared yet?). I was pretty successful yesterday with my cinamon french toast for brunch and turkey casserole for dinner (continue reading for the recipe). I had a ball shopping at Loblaws- they have a $1.44 sale going on. Oh the savings to be had! One day down, 8 to go :/

Wild Rice and Turkey Casserole

2 cups cut-up cooked turkey or chicken
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1/3 cup milk
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
6 rice

1. Heat oven to 350║F. Mix all ingredients in ungreased 2-quart casserole dish.
2. Cover and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until liquid is absorbed.

Posted by mich at 9:55 AM | dreams [0]

October 15, 2006

I'm an Exhibitionist

During work on Friday I received the best call. It was from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority informing me that my photographic piece I submitted to them was accepted for its first juried art exhibition called In Flight. Out of 150 submissions it received only 19 were chosen. I was so ecstatic, I wanted to jump for joy! Basically, In Flight is the inaugural exhibition in the Destination West Gallery of the new international pier of Toronto Pearson International Airport's Terminal 1 that runs from November to June. They were accepting work in any media so I submitted 2 pieces from my photo series entitled "Intersection of Memory". I get a $100 fee to cover part of my printing and framing expenses, which is pretty sweet, considering all the expenses for showing at Insomnia had to come out of my own pocket. One cool thing was that Susan Schelle, U of T prof and artist of "Jetstream", was one of the judgdes (and no, she didn't know I was U of T)! :P

Speaking of photography, last night I finally watched Manufactured Landscapes, which had stunning visuals. I only wished it was on a larger screen than the one we saw at the Alliance Atlantis Bayview Village. It follows the Canadian photographer Edward Burtrynsky as he documents the bleak industrial landscape of China and transforms them into beautiful images. Some people weren't as enthusiastic as I was about the film though- one guy started snoring in the middle of it.

Posted by mich at 9:07 PM | dreams [2]

October 13, 2006

My New Obsession

I play Animal Crossing every day on my Nintendo DS. This is my first handheld game system since the original Gameboy and I love it to bits. It uses a stylus pen and a dual screen which offers a really unique and fun gaming experience. Anyway, who'd have thought that I'd turn into a total RPG nerd (yes this one here, who scorns World of Warcraft)? But instead of killing people and whatever the heck happens in WoW, I run errands, grow fruit farms, catch bugs and fish to earn money in order to pay down my mortgages. And, at the same time collecting/buying stuff to furnish my ever growing house. I socialize with the animals in my village; some move in and some move out, and they can spew out the most hilarious lines. Now that Christian is in on some Animal Crossing action, we can visit each other's villages wirelessly. One of my animals actually moved from my village over to Christian's! LOL

Posted by mich at 5:47 PM | dreams [1]

October 6, 2006

Nuit Blanche 2006

Last Saturday's Nuit Blanche, "a free all-night contemporary art thing" turned out to be quite a spectacular event. I walked through a misty path, witnessed the divorce of two gay penguins and played in a room of rubber balls to 10-year old DJs. Although it was a bit rainy, I was determined to stick it out all night. Surprisingly there was still a huge turnout regardless of the weather. The night had a Hallowe'en vibe seeing everyone wandering the streets in the deark going from place to place. Here's how it unfolded:

7:01pm

Nuit Blanche officially starts and Christian and I are swept up the CN Tower to the Skypod for a one hour participatory photo installation. Basically, visitors had to make a reservation in advance in order to go up for free and the pictures taken that evening will be part of the Contact festival in May 2007. I shot as decent photos as I could without a tripod. Christian accidentally left his flash on and got a few nasty complaints from people doing long exposures. LOL. Oh well, accidents happen.

8:40pm

We met up with Christina at Queen & Spadina and headed over to the 401 Richmond for the various gallery exhibits in the converted factory. At the Prefix Institute of Art was Sphere, a ceiling project of light refracted through water that created interesting patterns from a deep hum coming from speakers. Then we checked out my group show Insomnia at the Red Head Gallery. After the 401 we walked up McCaul Street and on our way we encountered How to Respond in an Emergency, a series of performances by people dressed in police uniforms doing the tango on the street. At the Harrison Baths and Swimming Pool was Roy & Silo's Gay Divorce, which was a series of video and sound installations scattered thoughout the site - lockers, swimming pool and showers - documenting the the gay penguins' love story. A fun surprise was entering the pool area and seeing a bunch of balloon penguins floating on plates over the water. In the background was a video projection of a waterfall falling upwards. We continued up along McCaul to the OCAD area, where we first stopped into Ballroom Dancing in the University Settlement House. The gym area was turned into a dancefloor filled with colourful rubber balls with music supplied by 10-year old DJs. I got struck by a ball that hit my camera, which whammed into my stomach. Ouch! That was my cue to leave. Across the park was Model for a Public Space (speaker) that looked like circular bleachers. I had no idea what the point of this thing was... people were just walking on the tracks and just circling. Apparently, it was supposed to facilitate conversations, and there were supposed to be some speakers and musicians to engage the public, but there was absolutely nothing going on when we were there. Next up was Butterfield Park at OCAD filled with games: a chess game with massive chess pieces, Twister, and marble tournament. Coincidentally, we bumped into Ben and Alice, whose pieces I also saw at the 401 Richmond. They were the only other people I had met in my art classes that had turned out to be in comp sci as well. Anyhow, it turned out that CS just wasn't for them since they're now attending OCAD :P But it was pretty cool seeing them and catching up with them for a bit. Over on the University Avenue median at Dundas, renowned performance artist (and U of T faculty!) Tanya Mars set up a honkin' long table filled with plates, cutlery, and elegant tiered cakes. Tanya Mars and a fellow performer were dressed in fancy costumes as they each sat at one end of the table and ate cake... all... night... long. It was such an interesing concept (commenting on excess and consumption) and it drew a large crowd of amused onlookers.

11:15pm

We parted ways with Kris as she headed home and we continued trekking up Univeristy to the U of T campus. At the brand new pharmacy building, the cool classroom pods were bathed in colourful lights that were on full display to the street level. How cool would it be to learn in a pod... it puts the CS Bahen building to shame. Futher into the campus we went into University college and Hart House, bu there was nothing really remarkable that we saw. It turned out that we had missed a lot of cool things at Hart House including the pool, which was transformed by candlelight. Next up was the most stunning piece of the evening: Fog in Toronto #71624 on Philosopher's Walk that was a fog structure created by Japanese Fujiko Nakaya, who creates artificial fog atmospher all around the world. It felt so mystical walking along the path; the fog wove through all the trees and the lights shining from various spots created some beautiful silhouettes. Further up the Philosopher's Walk was One Garden One Night One Wish that had trees transformed by silver string and wishes written on paper. The public was invited to take a wish and tie it to the branches of the tree. Over at the music building engineering prof (and human cyborg), Steve Mann, was showing off his hydraulophone, which was a water sculpture/instrument that sounds like an organ when you play it. Continuing eastward on the campus were a few more installations, including Garden of Light at Victoria College, then past a field of sheep projected on the ROM's planetarium dome, and a neon sign on the fašade of Church of Redeemer imploring us to "Hold that Thought". Around the Yorkville area the only things that really struck me were Pharma©opia, three giant floating pills, and Maize Barbacoa, a corn roasting performance (free corn)! I waited in line for about 5 minutes before we were told that the artist was taking a 30 minute break. Ah boo urns... I was starving at that point and far away from Chinatown. Apparently, the lime corn was delicious and well worth the wait. We wanted to take The Toronto Performance Transit System down to the West Queen West district so we waited at the bus stop at 2:00 am. Supposedly it comes around every 20 minutes and the people already at the stop had been waiting for 10 minutes. So we waited. And waited. And waited. By 2:40 am the bus finally came around, but it had no performances (unlike a previous one we saw with silver paper plastered all over the windows) AND it didn't go all the way to Zone C. Instead, we were dropped off at Queen and John, where we had to take the streetcar. What a waste of time.

3:30am

We got off the TTC in front of the Gladstone Hotel that had a bunch of exhibits on all its floors. I really wanted to check it out but there was a long lineup, it was rainy, and Christian looked so exhuasted and miserable. So I dragged him quickly eastwards along the Queen Street strip, and stopping briefly to see Istvan Kantor's Revolutionary Song / Chanson Ó mourir in an empty parking lot, car washes-turned-cinemas, The Cinderella Project at the West Side Lofts Sales Office, and Rebecca Belmore's melting ice sculpture at Royal Car Wash. In the MOCCA courtyard, a video projection entitled 24 hour 3 Stoogers that played Three Stooges episodes in slow motion. Further into the courtyard was a performance artist sleeping peacefully in a glass box, which was really creepy because it looked like she was dead. We finally reached Trinity Bellwoods Park - the end of Zone C. I had been looking forwaed to Electronic Sky, which had sounded so cool but had turned out to be really cheesy. In the Trinity Community Centre next to the park, the pool was transformed into a Roman Bath with DJs filling up the space with music. I had also wanted to check this out, but the line up was an hour long :( So we called it a night at 4:30 am.

Overall, despite some rainy periods, the night turned out to be fabulous. There was so much energy on the streets and I was so ready to stay around until sunrise. But too bad my other half couldn't make it... maybe next year.

Posted by mich at 7:25 PM | dreams [0]

October 4, 2006

Waking City

The Waking City game I played last month was featured in an article of the Toronto Star on Sunday. It's a pretty detailed summary of the game in general and the events that happened over the course of the 2-week game. Some of the puzzles are still eating away at my brain... oh the madness.

Posted by mich at 9:42 PM | dreams [0]