January 11, 2008

Holiday in Göteborg

For the holidays I had 11 days off so I spent most of the time hanging out with Paul over on the other side of Sweden. Even though Göteborg (pronounced yur-teh-boor-ay) is the Sweden's second largest city, it's really quite small and compact. I was really starting to miss Stockholm's metro system after the entire week of waiting for trams and buses in the miserable rain.

I did the typical tourist run of the city exploring the Old Town, city centre, and various museums. I was quite disappointed with the two art museums: the fine art museum only had one exhibit of mish-mashed works by a local art collective and its Hasselblad Centre featured a photographer whose works weren't enthralling to me, and the Röhsska Museum was a design and decorative arts museum but the temporary exhibit featuring a video and sound installation was the only thing that stood out for me. The Museum of World Culture was a surprisingly fantastic however, and the building itself was a gorgeous work of architecture. I spent over an hour in one of the feature exhibits called Trafficking, about the human trafficking of women and children mainly for prostitution. It was so appalling reading and watching videos of horrible stories that have taken place in all parts of the world.

Göteborg is the birthplace of Volvo so of course I had to visit the Volvo museum. Unfortunately Paul and I didn't realize how far it was from the city centre so our trip took about an hour. Since we also slept in super late that day we arrived to the museum at 3:30... and the museum was closing at 4. Amazingly there was another pair of visitors that arrived at the same time as us and the museum employees told us to take our time to explore. We didn't realize how big the museum actually was and ended up taking 2 hours to watch an intro film and to walk through all the exhibits. Although I'm not a big car person, I love looking at old-fashioned cars and I'm such a big sucker for the whimsical designs and colours from the 50's. They also had a section for experimental prototypes that was really neat. It featured environmentally friendly concept models including one that actually cleaned the air when being driven!

On my second last day in Gothenburg, the rain finally stopped and we saw sunlight for the very first time! We took advantage of the weather and took a nice ferry ride out to the archipelago to visit one of the islands. We took a quick walk around and admired the quaint traditional Swedish houses, which are mostly wooden and colourfully painted. I love them... I couldn't stop snapping away!

Since Paul's a dancer at the Opera Company I had the pleasure of watching him perform in Askungen, a fun and colourful adaptation of Cinderella. The performance was great... I think that was my first time watching a modern dance performance rather than a ballet so it was quite different and interesting for me.


Posted by mich at 11:57 AM | return | dreams [0]

December 14, 2007

Frankfurt Weekend

Last weekend I headed down to Frankfurt on my own, mainly to check out one of Germany's oldest and largest Christmas markets. It was my first time in Germany and I really enjoyed it, but the language barrier was a bit difficult sometimes. Here in Sweden everyone's extremely proficient in English, so when I arrived in Germany I was a bit surprised at first that not many people spoke or even understood English. I've completely taken for granted the fact that everyone in Sweden knows English!

Since Frankfurt is mostly a financial hub, there's not that much historical or cultural attractions to see, but I did visit three excellent museums: Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art), Deutsches Architekturmuseum, and Schirn Kunstalle Frankfurt. The MMK had an amazing photography exhibit featuring the works of an American who persuaded her way into some of the most private spaces kept away from the public and documented what goes on inside, including an HIV research lab, death row facility, cryo-preservation unit, Microsoft prototype house, nuclear waste storage area, and headquarters of the KKK. The images were powerful enough on their own but reading the descriptions and background behind each shot really put me in awe. The architecture museum was small but it still had some interesting exhibits like Shrinking Cities that examined social, political, economic and architectural factors for population loss, Contemporary Architecture in Korea, and Gaudí Unseen that put some of Gaudí's unfinished works and ideas on display. The Schirn Kunsthalle's Art Machines Machine Art was the most fun and engaging of the three. It looked at artist-created machines that produce unique and random art and examined the role of artist as engineer and the machine as the art but also the "artist." Viewers were also invited to interact with the machines, thereby becoming part of the art-making process. I felt like a kid again going to all the different stations — two hours later I left the gallery with 4 pieces of original artwork :D

I spent my two evenings walking through the Christmas market. It really required those two nights to see everything in the market since it's SO massive... it goes along various streets and alleyways and spills into not one, but two public squares. I really didn't buy much in the markets, just a cute Santa Christmas ornament and a wooden figure that "smokes" when you open him up and put an incense cone inside. I mostly spent my money on food! That weekend I didn't sit down once to eat because I did all my eating at the street markets. It was the most unhealthy thing, but it was so fun to try all sorts of food from the various stalls (tasty too!) Some of the things I had included: a foot-long sausage, greasy deep-fried potato pancakes with apple sauce, dark chocolate covered fruits on a stick, humongous pretzel, broccoli and cheese pizza, corn on the cob drenched in garlic butter, apple-cinnamon glazed almonds, and a hot mug of apfelwein. I also saw my first Starbucks since arriving in Europe (there's surprisingly no Starbucks in Sweden considering they're the world's heaviest coffee drinkers after Finland), so I caved and treated myself to a 4€ small cup of gingerbread latte (but I was so disappointed they didn't have my peppermint hot chocolate *cries*).

Posted by mich at 5:13 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 12, 2007

Gamla Stan

I explored central Stockholm for the first time over the weekend and now I'm enchanted. I was a bit nervous to finally go into the city because I had such high expectations of it and I was afraid of being let down. Fortunately, I like what I see so far!

Everyone who visits Stockholm heads to Gamla Stan island first, which is the old town and the original part of the city. It's full of wonderful medieval architecture, has a labyrinth of winding cobbled streets lined with shops and cafes, and is home to the royal palace and the Nobel Museum. I spent about 4 hours walking around and probably didn't even cover half the stuff to see. It was -1 degrees, which didn't feel to bad in the beginning but walking by the waterfront you get blasts of biting wind so it was pretty brutal. I stumbled upon Tyska Kyrkan, which is the German church and the oldest German Protestant church in the world, so I'm told. The church grounds were milling with people and kids checking out the bazaar going on that weekend and there were stands for buying cider and fresh waffles. I ate a nice hot waffle to warm me up, and then found another building that was part of the church that was selling Christmas handicrafts and pastries. I decided to rest for a bit in the dining hall and warm up with my yummy apple cake and tea while reading more on the area and writing postcards. All rejuvinated, I found the Nobel museum but I had missed the last English tour of the day and instead checked out the huge royal palace.

By 3:30pm it was already dark and I considered hopping on the metro from the island but I saw everyone walking towards the central city on a pedestrian road. It turned out that this road was Drottninggatan (Queen's Street), which is the famous pedestrian street lined with shops and department stores. It was a great walk, especially at night with all the colourful lights, but I had to stop in a store every other minute because I was so freezing cold!

I can't wait to walk around in the springtime when the weather is warmer and the sun is out until 11pm. For now, I'll need to bust out my boots and arctic jacket.

Posted by mich at 7:24 AM | return | dreams [0]

November 7, 2007

First Week in Stockholm

After six days of arriving in Stockholm, I've already moved. So basically my first week here was spent unpacking, then packing, and then unpacking again! I'm now in Näckrosen so I'm now only 10 min away from downtown by metro. The flat is much better furnished and my room is really nice. I've got a bunk bed with a sofa underneath it, tv, dresser, desk and wireless internet - all these things I didn't have at my previous place. I can't describe how nice it is to sleep on a real bed and on a pillow that's not a pillowcase stuffed with sweaters.

I finished a week of work already at Tilgin. My office is in the area considered as the Silicon Valley of Europe. My company is actually located right next to Microsoft and Adobe. I'm not sure whether it's my company in particular or just the general work environment here but it seems really laid back. I haven't even been shown how our applications work. Instead my manager's written up a bunch of docs describing job functions, software life cycle processes, etc. and instead of having me just take an hour reading them over myself (they're extremely straightforward), he spent a total of 4 hours reading each line with me and describing things in even more detail. It was pretty boring to say the least! At my last few jobs I was just basically thrown into the project and and just left to figure things on my own. Here, it's quite the opposite.

Can't really describe more about work, so on to the office space. It's really nice and it's got the IKEA look with all hardwood flooring and blond birch furniture. Some office rooms have frosted glass that are used for writing on like a whiteboard, and it's pretty cute to see all backward writing on the windows. There's a nice homey feel as well since all of us share an office with 3 other colleagues so it's open concept but private as well. Instead of stairwells separated from the space, we have stairs in the middle of the office going through 4 floors. All the desks have a button underneath to raise or lower it. The odd thing is I find a lot of people raise it high in order to stand while working. The kitchen sitting area has a cafe look to it and the kitchen has a whole wall tiled by microwave, fridge and freezer doors. It looks pretty neat! Since the water here is super clean, everyone drinks water from the tap. The kitchen sinks have two separate faucets for drinking water: one for plain water, and the other for bubbly water (I know Christian would be so jealous!) We get fruit baskets twice a week, which I absolutely love. Now I just get all my fruit intake at work :) I guess a healthy lifestyle is pretty important here because my company also subsidizes for gym memberships and any other sports activities we want to take up. I heard badminton's really popular here so I'm trying to find a good badminton club to join.

My co-workers are very friendly, but it's hard to remember 100+ peoples' names (and even harder to pronounce many of them.) One guy has a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey on his wall next to a Swedish team jersey. And another co-worker's wife is actually from Richmond Hill! Small world :P Every Wednesday a handful of people play innebandy (floor ball) during lunch time at a nearby gym. It's the same idea as floor hockey, but the ball is super light and bouncy so it's much faster paced. The goals are also about 1/4 the size of a regular hockey net. Another indication of the laid back nature of the people here is that they'll take 1.5 hours to play and shower, but then come back to the office to take their lunch break! Even before I arrived, the company already sent invites for the Christmas party and just a few days ago they sent out information for a ski trip they planned in April! They really love to have fun :P

Posted by mich at 7:01 PM | return | dreams [0]

October 3, 2007

Nuit Blanche 2007

The general consensus for this year's "art-thing" was a huge disappointment from last year, and I completely agree. Even though there were more venues and the event drew tons more people, I was quite underwhelmed by the big exhibits that I had been so excited for. Still, I ended up staying out until 7am (and without any caffeine!) to check out as much stuff as I could. In general, many of the descriptions were embellished and made a lot of the pieces sound much more interesting than they actually were; instead, a lot of the work felt uninspired and weren't as engaging. I really missed the creative approach many artists embraced last year in opening up private spaces to the public by converting them for different use.

MOCCA muralI started off the night at Parkdale and made my way towards the downtown core along Queen West. The first thing I noticed was the crowding — there was probably at least double the amount of people, and this year I noticed so many young kids running around (not cool for the artists who had to continually tell the kids to stop playing with their art installations.) The most interesting thing for me in that zone was Play By Hear at CAMH that was a series of horns connected together that mixes and distorts tunes from people's MP3 players. The "hub"Trinity-Bellwoods park was pretty much empty and non-eventful besides the horde of Scotiabank tents... total letdown.

Green ScreenOn the walk up towards OCAD, I went through Kensington Market in hopes to see the ASSBOOK project, where photocopier is available on site for people to photocopy their own fannies, but it was cancelled. Further down the market street I happened upon a booth set up by the Infinite Exchange Gallery, which was probably one of my favourite things of the evening. It was really low-tech, small and intimate. Each artist had an engaging project that called on collaboration from participants and in exchange for a piece of work, "buyers" would have to trade something, whether it be a story, a drawing, etc. One artist had set up a typewriter to write a letter or card to a recipient chosen by the requesting person, and in return the person sender would do a good deed. The artist would then draw up a letter of agreement stating the terms of the good deed and the details of when/what/to whom the letter/card would be delivered that was then signed by both parties. Another section of the booth was for creating BFF pins, where the artist would take pictures of the 2 BFFs and create pins so that each person would have a pin of their BFF. In exchange, each participant had to relay a story or memory of the person they brought. A third artist in San Francisco laid out a stack of homemade postcards and paint chip samples in different shades of greys and black and asked people to cut out the paint chip that matched the current colour of the sky and glue it on the postcard. The person then had to phone the artist in SF to give his/her name and address to receive a postcard with the current sky colour in her location. Really neat idea, except that the person who had called the artist before me got a message saying her voice mail was full. Bah.

White Line LightI continued through OCAD, Yorkville, U of T, the village and Eaton Centre, but everything just seemed mediocre. The hugest disappointment was Nightless City, which people had been touting as the fog event of this year. WRONG! It was was pure cheese as it was just the stores lit up in red light — a literal interpretation of a red light district. Some of the exhibits I quite liked included Ghost Station at lower Bay Station (which apparently had a 1-hour lineup early evening, but by the time I got there at 5am I just walked right in), a fun light-sensitive screen that people posed in front of to capture their shadows at the Italian Embassy, and white line light at the Old Police Station that was an eerie yet captivating light and sound installation consisting of 2 long floating electrical beams resonating with low frequency vibrations.

It was still a fun event to go frolicking about at night, but with such high expectations from last year I totally underwhelmed. If anything, this has inspired me to come up with something of my own for a future Nuit Blanche. For now, I won't be too sad to be missing the one next year, I'll just be looking forward to the one in Paris instead :D

Funnily enough, I'd say the highlight of my evening was the dinner before heading out for the night. Christian took me to The Parkdale Drink, where his friend is the head chef. So in addition to the entrées and appetizers we ordered, his friend sent out some fancy extra plates that weren't on the menu like smoked salmon with cream cheese and dill on Melba toast and a cute little risotto ball (to die for), PLUS deep fried banana dumplings and ice cream.

Posted by mich at 5:11 PM | return | dreams [1]

September 17, 2007

Abandoned Part II

My family's gone on a huge vacation without me... again... *cries* The first time was a cruise to the Caribbean, this time it's a trip to Japan, HK, and China. Woe is me — I need vacation!! Being the sweet daughter that I am though I bought them a new digicam, the Canon SD750 and gave it a test run on a biking excursion from Eglinton to downtown along the Don Valley trail.

The nicest thing about the camera is the gigantic 3" LCD screen. At first I wasn't a big fan of the Canon buttons and interface (whereas Sony's interface is much more more elegant and intuitive), but after getting used to it, it's not too bad. The face detection failed me many times, so the most difficult part was getting it to focus where I wanted it to and there's no image stabilizer, so steady hands at high zoom is a must. Another thing I didn't like was that it only had a night portrait mode but no simple night scene mode so night pictures are killed by the flash. If I simply try to suppress the flash, it doesn't try to compensate for light by using a longer shutter so the picture ends up completely underexposed... big thumbs down.

But overall it was a great camera to use on the bike ride and Christian and I had loads of fun shooting ourselves scaling rocky bridge underpasses, running through open fields, and hiding in ferns that double our height. Actually it was just me doing all that crazy stuff and Chris doing the picture taking since he was wearing his super-duper clip-on shoes for his bike :P I had considered just getting a consumer point-and-shoot digi like the Canon one, but after playing around with it, I was pretty irked by the focusing and exposure problems. So today I finally ordered myself the Leica D-Lux 3 after eying it for months. The fact that it's a Leica that's actually somewhat affordable, has manual controls, shoots in 16:9 format, and it's not as clunky as my SLRs completely hooked me in. I went into a spending spree today because on top of the Leica, I also ordered a new Nikon 18-200mm lens o_O They're currently on their way to my cousin's place in the states and he'll be bringing them up for me when he comes visits in October... hey, gotta take advantage of the crazy exchange rate right? :D

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During this year's TIFF I only got to watch one movie, but it turned out to be a little gem. None of the Toronto media had reviewed Son of Rambow so I had no idea whether it was actually good, but the premise sounded so precious. It's a coming of age comedy about two kids, one a bully and the other who had never been allowed to watch TV, who become inspired by the first Rambo film and set out to create their own film Son of Rambow. The movie's filled with colourful characters, hilarious muckups, imaginative fantasy sequences, and whimsical doodle-like animations. I absolutely loved the film and even cried a bit over the touching ending.

Posted by mich at 4:06 PM | return | dreams [1]

August 25, 2007

Cramming Summer into 3 Weeks

I can't believe summer's already almost drawing to a close. I feel like I still haven't done many summery activities still — it was only over the last few weeks that I've been trying to pack it all in.

There was one week where Christian, my youngest sister, and my cousin visiting from HK all had their birthdays that same week, so it became a whole week of family dinners and pigging out at b-day dinners: all-you-can-eat Japanese, 3-course "Bunaglicious" meal at Bungalow Café, and a huge family BBQ dinner complete with Baskin ice cream cake. To work it all off Christian and I set off on a 20km rollerblading ride from Queen/Ossington all the way to the beaches and back. It took about 3 hours in total with a 1/2 hour break in the middle. I already developed blisters on each foot only halfway to the beach, but I still managed to truck along, but by the end I was in so much pain that Christian had to help push/pull me along. I fared much better though the weekend after when we rollerbladed around all the islands from Hanlan's Point to Ward's Island and back to Centre Island, where we played on the kiddie rides at Centreville. I can never tire of bumper cars or the ferris wheel! :)

Last week there was the Toronto Fashion & Design Festival, so on Thursday evening I headed down to Yonge-Dundas Square to check out the Highlight Toronto fashion show featuring Toronto designers and set to a live performance by King Sunshine, who were absolutely fabulous. It so was my first time seeing a real fashion show with a catwalk and everything I thought it was pretty cool. I was able to slide my way through the crowd to the very end of the catwalk, where I had an unobstructed view to snap away on my camera. It was too bad I missed the I Heart Kyoto: Ethical Fashion Show earlier that evening because from the photos I saw later on, it was wild: mohawks with punk/rock glam.

fashion_festival.jpg

The next evening I went to High Park to catch the Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night's Dream. The set was like a steel jungle gym, which didn't really make sense to me in the context of the play, but the fairy costumes were colourful, bright and whimsical. The costume styles were set in the 80's and during the play some characters broke out into hilarious rap while still reciting Shakespeare's prose. Despite the rain that resulted in a 30 minute pause of the play, it was a highly enjoying evening.

I went to Buskerfest on Sunday with Christian and Lilly but we couldn't see any of the performers over the mass of heads crowding around. Instead we scoured the area for food stalls and picked up some scrumptious fried dumplings and 3 huge bags of kettle corn, which I'm now obsessed about. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I only first discovered it this year at the Waterloo dragon boat festival, and I craved it when I saw it again at the London regatta but that time they closed up shop before I had the chance to pick up a bag.

On the subject of dragon boat, our team won gold in Division B at London! I actually thought we we were going to lose our gold medal because although we came in first in the final race, we received a 1 sec. penalty before the race even started, which would have put us 0.4 seconds behind the 2nd place team. At the start our boat came so close to the one in the next lane so we were trying to adjust our position, but since we were at the furthest lane the officials didn't know what was going on so he penalized us for wasting time. When we contested the call after the race, they changed their story and said we were trying to get a huge running start ahead of the other boats and were set on the decision. To officially contest the decision would have costed $50 so we didn't bother. However, during the medal ceremony, to everyone's surprise they announced Banana Boat as the first place team. We got our gold medal after all!

Posted by mich at 6:40 PM | return | dreams [0]

February 2, 2007

WinterCity

It's been a long while since I last wrote a post- I've barely been home this entire week >_< Now for a little recap.

AppetizerLast Friday was the start of the WinterCity festival so I had a Winterlicious lunch with Sandra and Christina at Vertical. My 3-course meal consisted of seared & cured scallops with fregola & sweet peppers for the appetizer (which turned out to be one gigantic scallop), then butternut squash gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts and brown butter, and finished off with a chocolate & expresso mousse cake. Overall the food was quite good. My gnocchi tasted great, but it just became too cheesy and oily for me near the end. I also wish I had gotten the passion fruit gelato that San and Kris ordered because it was fantastic... my cake was just a bit too heavy for me, especially after all that pasta.

That evening was the opening celebration at Nathan Phillips where the Italian group Kitonb performed Carillon, a theatrical piece involving dance and acrobatics. The performance was so-so; I now tend to compare all the public performances to Malaya, which was so spectacular- I haven't seen anything like that since. Later in the evening, the Philosopher Kings came on for a great show. Even though it was freezing out they managed to draw in a huge crowd and got everyone in a dancing mood. Unfortunately for me, after having stood outside for 2 hours in snow and slush, my toes completely froze over and I was left limping to a warm retreat.

WallpaperThe next day I had my second Winterlicious lunch at Drake Hotel with Christina, Jon and Faye. I've been to the Drake a few times for some lounging and art happenings, but this was my first time eating there. I must say, the food was amazing: I had mixed green salad with toasted pumpkin seeds, pecorino & pears for the appetizer, then red wine braised beef with soft polenta & fennel roasted carrots, and for dessert, milk chocolate & lemon pot de crme with whipped cream and pumpkin seed gingersnaps. I was pleasantly surprised the food was actually that good- I'll definitely be eating there again.

Posted by mich at 5:15 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 21, 2006

Cockroach Spotting = Free Ice Cream

Last Friday Lilly, Christian and I had dinner at Hosu on Queen. Lilly had spotted a cockroach skittering by our table, which was really gross. None of the servers noticed us paying attention to the floor so I told Lilly, who was the closest to the bug, to point to it. That seemed to work since one of the waitresses freaked out when she saw it and smashed her foot on it. YUCK! She apologized to us and we thought that was that, but after our dinner she came back with green tea ice cream for us and a discount on our bill. She was so sweet about the whole thing, apologizing for the embarrassing display. Awww... apology accepted! :P That evening we had planned to the Harbourfront Centre for their DJ skating night. We left the restaurant at 10pm, but unfortunately the skating was only until 11. So we thought we'd be able to squeeze in more skate time if we headed to Nathan Phillips Square, which was much closer, however, the lights shut off at that rink at 10 :(

Since Friday night skating was a bust, I dragged Christian out with me on Saturday night for the skating party at Nathan Phillips. Before hitting the ice though we stopped at Butler's Pantry for dinner (they have the best salad dressing!) and we ended up missing the Stabilo performance. We were able to catch the fireworks performance, which was pretty neat. There was also a interesting 15-minute projection piece using the old city hall faade as the canvas.

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This week I finally got my Christmas butt in gear. The tree is all decorated at last and even though I no longer have school exams as an excuse for starting my shopping this late, I think my Christmas procrastination is just innate. I don't think I've ever finished my Christmas shopping before Christmas Eve. 3 days left! Let the frenzy begin.

Posted by mich at 11:37 PM | return | 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 faade 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 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 | return | 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 | return | dreams [0]

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 | return | 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 | return | dreams [0]

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 | return | dreams [0]

June 2, 2006

Doors Open 2006: Day 2

Last Saturday evening my cousins, aunt and uncle from Bostom came to visit, so on Sunday I did a little tour around Toronto with my cousins. We first hit up the BMW building for an architectural tour. The tour was conducted by the actual architectural designers so it was really interesting to learn about all their design decisions and architectural features. It probably only lasted about 30 minutes, but we ended up staying there for like 1.5 hours 'cuz the guys were poring over every single car and motorcycle >_<

Our next destination was the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. We made a little detour to pick up Christian, after which everyone wanted to eat lunch. We ate at Bar Italia in Little Italy which took another 1.5 hours since Alfred is the slowest eater on the planet (yes, even slower than me!) By the time we left the restaurant, it was already almost 3pm and I had the sinking feeling that we weren't going to make it again into the chocolate factory. We arrived at 3:15 to see a swarm of people trying to get in line but getting rejected. Oh well, that's 2 for 2. After that we drove up to Bloor to walk around Yorkville, where we enjoyed some homemade Summer's ice cream. I had to opt for a sorbet instead because I was scared to aggravate my stomach further with dairy... *cries*

My family and relatives had a big dinner planned for 7:30 so my cousins and I went uptown a bit earlier to shop around Pacific Mall. I bumped into Gin who I haven't seen in like a year and caught up a bit with him. During dinner at the restaurant, my family bumped into our family friends that used to live on our street back in Kanata. Although they live in Oakville now, we ALWAYS bump into them at either this restaurant or at Pacific. This time they were with their kids so I got to do some catching up with them too.

Posted by mich at 9:35 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 1, 2006

Doors Open 2006: Day 1

This weekend was a super busy one for me. It started Friday evening when Cass begged/forced me to go to the Blue Jays games that night. I had never been to a baseball game and didn't really care to, and even though I was feeling exhausted after work and was so ready to go home, Cass somehow managed to get me to go to the game. Our seats were actually really really good, but we were mostly chatting throughout the game. Christian made me believe there were such things as "sin bins", where the players go if they were bad during the game-- when, in actuality, they were really the pitchers' practicing area (why must he torment me so?!?!), so he and Cass had a great laugh at my expense, HMPH. I left early with Cass because my stomach was still feeling icky, and missed being part of an awesome wave that went around the stadium twice :(

Saturday and Sunday was the annual Doors Open Toronto event. I arrived downtown Saturday morning at 9:30 and biked with Chris to the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre for the 10am tour. It's the last operating double decker theatre in the world- I didn't really know what that meant, until I realized that they're 2 completely seperate theatres stacked upon one another. It was my first time in the Winter Garden Theatre, which is the top-most theatre. It was absolutely gorgeous with real oak leaves hanging from the ceilings and soft-coloured detailing in the balconies and ceiling - it really gave the impression of being in a moonlit garden.

The tour lasted an hour after which we headed into the Eaton Centre for a quick breakfast at McD's, then walked to the Toronto-Dominion Centre. We did a tour of the 54th floor walking through the Canoe restaurant, various offices, and the boardroom. Mies van der Rohe's building is considered the pinnacle of Modernist architecture in Canada, and being able to do a walk-through made me feel like I had stepped right into the 60s. They even have his iconic Barcelona and Brno chairs too dotted all throughout the space. I couldn't get enough of them, they were so cool! Oh yeah, the panoramic views of the city weren't too shabby either :P

Next we biked down to the waterfront to visit the Redpath Sugar Refinery, where we learned about the whole sugar refining process, visited the museum, and walked into the raw sugar "shed". The shed's actually a warehouse the length of 2 football fields filled with mountains of raw sugar. We got to see a huge tractor pushing all the sugar, it was some wild stuff.

Afterwards, we went to Queen Street to have a late lunch at Hosu. We should have just grabbed a quick bite to eat though, since we ended up biking like mad to get to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory before last admittance at 3:30. We got there are 3:20, but they already cut the line, which was a total disappointment :( So we biked down Gladstone and along Queen to head back to Chris' place, during which we stumbled in front of the new Westside Lofts sales building located just across from the Drake Hotel. It's a funky little building with colourful amoeba-shaped windows and designed by, not surprisingly, Will Alsop (the OCAD guy). We spent a while inside checking out the model loft and floorplans. Forget about the Chocolate Lofts, I'm moving here!

Later in the evening I met up with Christina, Justine and Brad for the TSO Sonic Bloom 4 concert with Jacksoul and Collective Soul at Roy Thompson Hall. Simply put, they were amazing performances. There was an after-party after the show that had fancy catered desserts (yum!!), and a band playing fun oldies music. We also got to take home the pretty colourful flowers that were used to decorate the lobby, but a mean old crab took away our test tubes of water for them!

Posted by mich at 11:04 PM | return | dreams [0]

May 17, 2006

Hardcore Dodgeballer

On Monday our dodgeball team had a 9:30pm game all the way over by Yorkdale Mall. We usually play at Bloor/Dufferin in a nice big gymnasium. This time however, our gym was about half the length of our normal one. Balls were crashing against the walls at a million miles per hour. Needless to say, I was quite scared when watching the other teams play before us. Since only 2 girls on our team showed up that night, both of us had to play every single game (at least 2 girls have to play a game). Couldn't even break for more than 5 minutes... boy, was I exhausted. >_< Now I have some scrapes and bruises on my knees to tend to, waaah.

Last night I went to the ROM for a lecture titled "In the Skin of a Building" that discusses the importance of a building's envelope to the overall design and how it supports the architecture's programme. They had representatives from 3 architectural firms taking about their designs for the ROM Crystal, U of T's Pharmacy Building, and U of T's Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. It was a pretty enlightening presentation from the U of T building designers, but the lifeless ROM guys almost put me to sleep talking about construction building materials and showing pictures of freakin' steel rods and bolts being installed.

Hm, how was my weekend? Saturday night I went to Sam's birthday party at his condo, then headed downtown at 10:30 pm for Christian's friends' Jack & Jill party. I tried my hand at blackjack and won a bunch of hands, wooo! Much better luck here than in Las Vegas, haha. On Sunday I built my IKEA Malm Drawer all by myself!!! I also wielded a hammer without any supervision, yup yup! I'm so proud of myself! *beams* But I just realized last night as I was trying to fit in my top drawer that they gave me wrong screws for that one drawer and now it won't fit into the drawer opening. Now I have to go back to IKEA to get the proper ones from them. Oh well, now I can also pick up a Benno CD Tower and some more Lant chips (yum). That night for Mother's Day I took out my whole family for dinner at Restoran Malaysia, where we had an appetizer platter, golden chicken curry, roti, beef rendang, and pad thai. And O.M.G. my dad actually said the food was "okay la!"... no complaints, it's a miracle!

Posted by mich at 10:55 PM | return | dreams [0]

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 entre. 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 | return | dreams [0]

April 21, 2006

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 | return | dreams [0]

March 31, 2006

Day of Art & Architecture

Yesterday OCAD's first year interactive students Activated the Park on campus with interactive graffiti walls, human statues, Toronto memory map, paintballing a person, and garbage music making. I headed over there during my lunch break to check out the public showcase.

   

In the evening I went to the AGO to attend a lecture/discussion panel called Architecture as Spectacle. It was really interesting to listen to the various speakers talk about the re-invention of urban space, particularly in Toronto, and how architecture has become a spectacle for the purpose of entertaining and wowing.

As I'm typing this I'm watching the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother (if you're not watching the show, WATCH IT, it's hilarious) and seeing all those cupcakes being eaten by Ted is making me crave for some dessert. *drooooooooool* I'm not a pig... really.

Posted by mich at 7:17 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 15, 2005

Film Festival Frenzy

It's already past the halfway mark of the Toronto International Film Festival. It's been fun and exciting, and now I'm feeling utterly exhausted... my mom's been saying I look so "chan" the past few days, and now I'm finally sick :(

I started volunteering on Thursday evening at Roy Thompson for the festival opening gala of Deepa Mehta's film Water. I saw people bringing in the movie reel and it was massive- like the size of a round 2-person table. I was working in the lobby with a group of people without a rep telling what to do... we just basically stood and chatted, haha. That evening wasn't as busy as I had expected since it was a Canadian film, but I did get to see the 2 Canadian Idol finalists, Rex and Melissa (she's so gorgeous!). Unfortunately, none of the volunteers could watch the film that night since the opening and closing nights are invitation only.

Friday evening I worked on the balcony level during the galas for Mrs. Henderson Presents and L'Enfer. I saw Bob Hoskins on stage during the introduction of the first movie, which apparently turned out to be really hilarious. The volunteers don't get to watch the first movie since we have to be ready to direct everyone after it finishes, but we get to watch the second movie. I sat in to watch L'Enfer, which turned out to be really good. It was really different from typical American movies and had a unique narrative style.

Saturday afternoon I worked the mezzanine level for the gala of Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story. The shift turned out to be unbelievable short and we had the chance to stay and watch the movie. I'm really not a big fan of cheesy horse flicks or Dakota Fanning so I skipped it and went shopping instead :P

I didn't have to volunteer Sunday so I went to the Press & Industry screening of Three Times, a Taiwanese film following three stories of a couple in three different eras. The premise of the film sounded really great and it received amazing reviews, but I found it to be way too slow for my liking. After 30 min. into the movie, a whole bunch of people had already left, and near the end of the movie, the guy sitting next to me fell asleep and was snoring.

Monday evening was a star-studded night. It was the gala screening of North Country and Proof. I was working on the main floor so I had the opportunity to watch the speeches before the films. During the introduction of North Country I got to see Charlize Theron (who looked absolutely STUNNING and did a cute little curtsy!), Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Woody Harrelson and Sissy Spacek, and for the introduction of Proof, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal and Hope Davis came on stage. I got to sit in to watch Proof, which was a pretty good movie. It sort of followed the same lines as A Beautiful Mind (dealing with a crazy genius), but not as good. At the end of the movie, the theatre cast a spotlight on the pod where the cast was sitting and they bowed to everyone... I thought that was pretty nice closing to the movie.

Tuesday I got sick :( I think I completely exhausted myself over the past few days, and working in an AC'd theatre for so long wasn't too good for me. Wednesday I didn't have to volunteer either, so I caught a Press & Industry screening of Romance and Cigarettes, a quirky comedy with unexpected musical numbers popping up throughout the story. Later in the evening Chris and I watched a Spanish film called The Grnholm Method.

Tonight I'm back to volunteering but this time at the Jackman Hall Theatre at the AGO- a tiny venue, so it should be a lot different from working at Roy Thompson Hall. It should be fun, and now I'm off!

Posted by mich at 3:15 PM | return | dreams [1]

May 31, 2005

Doors Open Toronto

It was the Doors Open Toronto event this past weekend, so I decided to go exploring yesterday. Christian and I set out on our bikes at 11:15 and headed out west to the Gladstone Hotel, where they were also hosting a Contact 2005 exhibit entitled "Wallpaper". The space is in the process of being renovated and the rooms are each designed by a different artist, which will be unveiled in an open house "Sneak Peak" Preview event June 17-19. We got to see one that had flower patterns carved into the drywall.

Next we stopped by a small gallery beside the Museum of Comtemporary Canadian Art along Queen St., then headed to Chinatown for a lunch of congee with the consistency of glue. Luckily the downpour of rain happened while we were chowing down inside.

Afterwards we rode through U of T campus up to Yonge and Bloor to visit the Moriyama & Teshima architectural design firm. The style was very Japanese- the place used to be a service station and now the grease pit has turned into a serene pond. We then biked down to the financial district to see the Toronto-Dominion center (we just missed the last 54th floor tour), the Canada Permanent Building, and Old City Hall, where we had just missed the last courtroom tour :'( The Doors Open event ended at 4pm so by that time we hung out at Nathan Phillips Square enjoying the sunny warm weather that had arrived. And just by coincidence we ran into Gin, Faiz, Mike, Cass and Monz, who were were planning to meet up with later anyway for golfing. So while those guys drove to The Docks, Chris and I biked all the way there. I went on the driving range for the first time, and I sucked! My furthest shot went less than 100 ft >_< Then it was time for some real fun: mini-golf!! I won... *takes a bow* :P At 8pm I biked with Chris back to Chinatown and met up with the other guys at a Chinese restaurant for dinner. And so ended my day of adventure, exertion, and exhaustion!

Posted by mich at 1:12 AM | return | dreams [0]

February 5, 2005

My New Camera of Choice

Would anyone like to donate to the "Help Michelle buy a Hasselblad 500-Series Camera"? The goal is $6000 US... much appreciated!

I learned how to use one of these babies today in photography class and I instantly fell in love with them. The viewfinder shows the image with layered depth, the shutter sound is so rich, the camera body looks so classy AND the lens are Carl Zeiss. *heart flutters* I guess I'll just have to settle for playing around with Vanessa's Holga medium format for now!

This evening I watched Wintercity's closing ceremony show, Malaya at Nathan Phillips Square. It was simply amazing. There were a few instances where I nearly got ran over by a wheeling cart or stilted characters but it was such a unique experience that integrated the audience into the performance. The show lasted an entire hour but unfortunately I ran out of film halfway through. I was trying to save my last frame for an amazing shot, but there were just too many gorgeous visuals to capture! :(

It's playing again Sat and Sun night @ 7pm so go see it peoples!!

Posted by mich at 1:06 AM | return | dreams [0]

October 17, 2004

No, I Haven't Fallen Off The Face Of The Planet

Oops, it's been a month... I guess I just got a bit lazy (and busy :P). But about a week ago I tried upgrading my Movable Type version and now I can't connect to my database, which is another reason I haven't blogged a bit earlier. Let's see... what's been up with me lately? During the gobble gobble weekend went to the Metric concert, went wall climbing and checked out the Danish Festival at the Harbourfront Center. But it was too much playing and I paid for it during the week. With a CSC 343 assignment, collage project and landscape project I got barely any sleep, pulling in 2 hours on Thurs. night :/ It's a wonder how I made it through the next day at school, took in the Hamlet play at night and stayed out downtown until 3am. I guess being in CS can turn you into a real trooper :P

Here's a pic I took from my installation I did on Wednesday at Nathan Phillips Square. I call it I call it "Beautiful Garbage"... basically I wrapped up garbage in colourful tissue paper and littered them on the ground among the garbage already on the site to raise environmental awareness. It got a few dirty looks, some puzzled expressions and a lot of hilarious interactions.

Posted by mich at 10:08 PM | return | dreams [0]