May 30, 2008

Alive and Kicking

Peek-a-boo. I know it's been a long hiatus since I've last blogged... I had some database problems that took me a while to fix, and after that most my free time was occupied by exploring Stockholm or travelling (the vacation kind) every other week :P I just came back from a weekend trip to Copenhagen and I am completely in love with that city: amazing modern architecture, stylish interior designs, vibrant energy on the streets even in the wee hours of the night, random public art/sound installations throughout the city, extremely bicycle-friendly, and super friendly people. But more on my trip later. Here's some updates from the past few months I've been M.I.A.

Grad School

The biggest update is that I'll be moving to Hong Kong in the fall for grad school starting in September. I got accepted into their one-year MDes program in Interaction Design (with a scholarship to boot!)

I basically had no life in January and February as I was applying for my schools. On top of preparing my portfolio and motivation letters, the killer was applying for the Swedish schools that asked for a ridiculous amount of work: Malmö University had a hard-core design assignment (imagine doing a full CSC 318 project by yourself!), while Konstfack in Stockholm required a thesis proposal and then some. I was asked in to an interview with Konstfack in front of a panel of 5 faculty members. It was probably the most intense interview I've ever experienced, during which they grilled me on my thesis on emotionally expressive communication devices and the current/future ethical issues within the design field. The program at Konstfack is Experience Design, which encompasses a wide variety of disciplines, so they were planning to accept only one student each from a different specialization (architecture, sound/light design, interaction design, etc.) to create a small "dream team," I guess you can say.

In the end I was actually accepted into all my schools, including Parsons School of Design in NYC (however, with prestige comes ridiculously hefty debts, even after taking into consideration my scholarship offer.) The Swedish schools seemed really attractive, especially with the free tuition, but I'm not sure if I'd be happy living here in Sweden for another 2 years (especially in the winter.) Hong Kong seemed like the best choice for me since it's specialized in Interaction Design (Parsons and Konstfack are not), it's a short, yet intense, 1-year program, the expenses won't entirely break my bank account, and it'd be another interesting change of environment (perhaps I'll even improve my Cantonese too!)

Vienna and Bratislava

The day of my last deadlines for grad school apps, I jetted off to Vienna for a well-deserved break! I didn't have too many expectations of the city but when I started exploring I was absolutely amazed by the beauty and extravagance of all their historical buildings lining the streets. I visited the Mozarthaus, which was Mozart's biggest, most expensive and prestigious apartment he owned — it was also where he wrote The Marriage of Figaro, gave students piano lessons, and gave intimate performances for Hadyn and other important contemporaries. Having grown up playing piano, it was such a surreal experience for me to walk through the apartments of one of the world's greatest composers.

Of course, what would a visit to Vienna be without a night out to the symphony? My friend and I picked up last minute tickets at the Musikverein for a performance by the London Philharmonic. Aside from the fact that the last-minute ticket holders had to stand in the back the entire night (my poor legs and feet!), the performance was really nice. The next evening we attended marionette show of The Magic Flute, which was sung in German, but visually stunning nonetheless. We learned that it takes 3 years to master the art — to just make the puppet walk takes 3 months to get it right.

Since Bratislava, Slovakia is just an hour train ride from Vienna, we had made plans to make a short stop to explore the city. Coming straight from Vienna, which I was not ready to leave, I didn't really enjoy my time there. It was cute and quaint, but there was nothing really to do except to see the buildings and architecture in the Old Town. The contrast of the atmosphere of the two cities was quite surprising, given their proximity.

Berlin

In Sweden we had Good Friday and Easter Monday as holidays so it was an extra long weekend... perfect for a vacation! I headed to Berlin that weekend and my first impression the first night was that I amazed with the slew of Asian restaurants everywhere, including Vietnamese (yes, I'm deprived in Stockholm!) So of course, I had to go out for a bowl of Pho and I also tried a really fun Indo-Malasian restaurant completely decked out with tropical plants and gigantic paper umbrellas... the food there was great too :)

Berlin is a fascinating city that's still quite rough around the edges. While it has an oppressive history and is filled with historical remains and sites, it has amazing modern architectural buildings, a thriving art scene, vibrant atmosphere on the streets, and so many great museums (we visited the famous Persamon Museum, the Daniel Libeskind -designed Jewish Museum, and a contemporary art museum.)

My friends and I joined the free walking tour that took us to the main historical sites like Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, Hitler's Bunker (which is now just a nondescript parking lot), Berlin Wall, Book Burning Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, and Humboldt University, which boasts 29 Nobel prize winners including Albert Einstein.

Hang tight... more travel summaries in later posts!

Posted by mich at 7:36 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 16, 2007

Daily Life in the Stock

It's been 2 weeks now in Stockholm and I'm getting used to the everyday routine of living here on my own. It hasn't been the easiest, but hopefully I'll feel more adjusted within the next few weeks.

Here are some of my thoughts about living here:

People

My colleagues are super nice and friendly so I really enjoy my work environment. Strangers however, sometimes seem quite cold upon first impressions but they are generally polite and friendly when you talk to them or ask for help. I'm still not used to salespeople in stores because they never greet or even acknowledge customers. They'll even completely ignore you and continue talking to their co-workers while blocking the shelf you're trying to look at. I'm told that this is quite common in Sweden since salespeople find the service industry to be beneath them so they tend to act snobby.

The thing that most surprised though is how pushy people are here. Multiple times, when walking up the escalator or walking along the people mover, people who wanted to walk faster (and everyone who's walked with me knows I'm definitely not a slow walker) would actually push me over the the right just to pass by. Like, what the hell? Who does that? Apparently lots of Swedes. The worst incident was yesterday when I was walking up the escalator and had to stop because there was a woman blocking the path. So I stopped too. But then a hand from behind extended over my should and pushed the woman and she fell over her kids! So then I turned around to the old man and told him he didn't need to push. And then he started to push me aggresively! Seriously, what's wrong with these people? Unbelievable! I wish I turned around and elbowed him in the face or something, but of course I did nothing.

Language

My company enrolled me in a Swedish class so I started learning Swedish last week. It's fun, but it's pretty hard. My teacher is really good but she speaks only Swedish to the class so most of it still sounds like gibberish to me. I did learn some basic things like counting numbers, saying "My name is," "I come from," "I speak English," and so on. The pronunciation is the trickiest because things aren't pronounced the way they're spelled. For example the letter 'K' can sound like 'sh', so "Kina" would be pronounced "sheena", which means China. The city "Göteborg" looks like "gotburg" but it's really pronounced "yur-teh-boray".

The Swedish language is still kind of difficult for me to distinguish (it sounds nothing like the Muppet Chef!), so sometimes I can't really tell if someone is speaking Swedish or not. If I were in a different country and I heard Swedish, I probably wouldn't be able to pinpoint the language. I thought it would be a bit similar to German, but it isn't at all - it's much more soft and melodic. Also, everybody here speaks English (and they don't sound like the IKEA guy) so I'm never forced to bust out my phrasebook.

Shopping

This place is freaking expensive! From the prices I've seen, many things are 2-3 times more expensive than back home. The most outrageous price I've seen was a puny head of iceberg lettuce for almost $8 yesterday!!! I almost dropped dead. I went shopping for running shoes since I couldn't find any sizes in the States or styles in Canada, and a simple pair of Adidas costed $200. Body Shop body butters were $30-$40 and books were double the price of the Canadian prices. On the streets in Stockholm, everyone sports a Canada Goose jacket, and even back home those cost a pretty penny, but here they seriously cost over $900!!! The most confusing thing is that full-time salaries are equivalent to those in Canada, but people here pay more income tax and sales tax and high living costs so I'm so confused how people can actually afford everything!

Fortunately, the prices at IKEA are cheaper than in Canada so I've already made 2 shopping trips there :) They also have a nice line of shower products and lotions so now I know where to go instead of the Body Shop!

Food

I still haven't actually eaten out at a real restaurant since it's quite expensive. Pretty depressing huh? I've eaten a tiny plate of rice and chicken at IKEA that cost me over $10, and a food court meal, which also cost $10. Lunch time is when the best deals are to be had. That's when restaurants have fixed-price menus called Dagens Rätt offering salad, bread, entrée and a drink. I went to one place for lunch that had a huge selection of pizzas and I chose one called La Banana, which had curry, pineapple, banana, and ham. Sounded really unique and it tasted really good! The rest of the time I make myself dinner and lunch but It's usually boring stuff. I really miss good Chinese food. I did find a Chinese grocery store yesterday and bought some sauces and noodles... but... I don't know how to make anything yet :S

Flatmates

It's only been a week in my new place and already I've gotten quite annoyed with the 2 other women I live with: one is the landlady and the other is a Swedish woman and they're both middle-aged. My landlady is really nice and sweet but she's imposed some rules like no friends or visitors and no alcohol. There was a third rule I found out after I bought a package of spare ribs: no pork. She's muslim so she doesn't want pork around and made me return it to the store. I was pretty angry about that because I thought it was wrong for her to impose her own dietary restrictions on me. But being the softie that I am, I returned the ribs (surprisingly you can return meat...?) She's also been moving my stuff around in the kitchen and bathroom and comes into my room when I'm not home (and my door is kept shut all the time), so I had to speak to her about that.

As for the other woman, I had only met her over the weekend... sort of. She had gone travelling when I moved in and had returned on Tuesday. Her bedroom door was open and the light was on so when I passed by the door I looked in, but there was an old half-naked woman standing around! Yuck! That was awkward so I didn't say anything. The next day after returning to my building from work, the woman held the elevator door for me to go upstairs. I tried saying hi but she ignored me, so I thought she didn't realize I was living in the same place as her. But when we both got off on the same floor and she left the apartment door open for me after going in, it was obvious she knew who I was. Then I watched her take off her dirty shoes and throw them right onto my house slippers! That peeved me off but I didn't say anything. Later on when the landlady introduced us I said hi and smiled at her, but all she did was just look at me with a blank stare. No smile, no 'hi', nothing. Hmph, rude. The next day after coming home I saw her shoes on top of my slippers AGAIN. I wanted to say something to her but I didn't really see her come out of her room that night. So this morning I purposely put my slippers away to the side, pushed my two pairs of shoes together to the side of the shoe rack and made sure she had lots of space on the rack. But when I came home after work, there was an empty space on the rack and the woman's shoes were dumped onto BOTH my pairs of shoes!!!! *huff* I don't know what's wrong with this woman, but I was so mad I threw her shoes off of mine and off the rack. I still didn't see her tonight but I'm making sure I speak to her tomorrow.

Fortunately for me the Swedish woman is moving out in 2 weeks and the landlady is moving out end of December. There's a German girl my age coming in next month. Caaaan't wait.

Posted by mich at 3:14 PM | return | dreams [1]

September 12, 2007

MFA Is the New MBA

Even though I've only committed to a 1-year contract in Stockholm, I'm actually thinking about extending my stay overseas, whether it be in Sweden or somewhere else in Europe. At first I considered continuing to working abroad for another year or so after my initial contract, but I've started looking into grad schools. The thought of getting a Masters of Fine Arts or Masters of Design has always appealed to me, but I was reluctant to commit to full-time studies after having already started working here in Toronto. But I wouldn't mind studying abroad full-time; it'd be pretty cool, especially when Europeans are such forward thinkers in art and design. The wonderful thing about the Swedish education system is that tuition is free to all (even foreigners), so I wouldn't be desperately poor.

I found one amazing MFA program that's right up my alley offered by Konstfack, University College of Arts Crafts and Design, called Experience Design. The premise of the Experience Design Group is to design time in order to create meaningful human experience using interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary art practices. However, the application process is quite arduous: not only is there the typical transcript and portfolio requirements, you also have to submit a thesis proposal complete with references detailing exactly what your research will be focused throughout the program. If you even pass the preliminary selection, then you're invited to present a 20-minute lecture to a committee on a topic related to your field of study (but different from the proposed thesis topic). Apparently there were only 8 students accepted last year, so it looks pretty darn competitive. Not so surprising though considering that the MFA is the new MBA. I've already starting some preliminary research and readings into the whole experience design area, and if I ever come up with a thesis that's compelling and innovative enough, I'll take the time to go through the application process. Time to be a keener again.

Posted by mich at 3:25 PM | return | dreams [0]

March 17, 2006

hic

Last night I attended a panel discussion entitled Site Specific Installation in Toronto: Past, Present and Future for the hic exhibit at Hart House. There were some pretty enlightening topics of discussion, which then made me seriously start thinking about doing a masters in fine art, visual studies, or design. After school I really haven't been doing any art work, but if I take up a program I'll be able to really engage myself in some interesting projects as well as develop and experiment with exciting ideas. Something to definitely ponder...

The installation exhibit all throughout the Hart House was wonderful. Seeing the various works installed in specific sites around the building really made me take notice of the architecture and space that I had always taken for granted. I had only used the Hart House for the gym and the Arbor Room, but it was amazing to discover all the rooms (e.g. library, music room) and nooks and crannies that I had never before seen. It was also my first time seeing the pool area, in which massive pouffy clouds were floating overhead the swimmers. That was an awesome sight... I would love to actually swim underneath them and feel like I'm flying.

Pictures to be posted in my photoblog soon :)

Posted by mich at 9:24 PM | return | dreams [0]

March 4, 2006

Back To School, Again

Started my Advanced Flash course at Ryerson last week. I was the only one in the class that hadn't taken any previous Flash courses, but I basically taught myself enough things to create a whole website. Well, when I told the instructor that I hadn't taken any courses prior, he asked, "Are you any good?", to which I feebly responded, "... ummm I studied computer science..." which I guess was supposed to imply, "how hard can it really be?" Turned out that the next 3 hours of class was probably the most useless class I've ever sat in, since the guy was going over Actionscript basics, like how to declare variables and explaining what loops are. After that I realized I should have said, "Yes I AM good!", LOL. Man, was I bored out of my mind... I seriously considered dropping the course, but others have convinced me to stay just to get more practice in Flash by doing assignments and projects. And it will give me incentive to finish up the site for the fashion designer, and get me moving on building my photography portfolio site.

I just got the first magazine of my Maisonneuve subscription, woo hoo! I had ordered the special box set in December, which came with 6 past issues, a POP Montreal cd, and other cute trinkets packaged in a sweet wooden box. I've only read 2 of the past issues, and slowly working my way back... too much to read! Not to mention all those books I keep buying but remain unread on my bookshelf. Even though I have time to read on the GO train, I find myself catching up on the Toronto Star, or staring out the window at the scenery- which reminds me, I should bring my camera to work with me to take some shots on my ride.

One more week of my contract at work. I'm not sure whether they have any more projects they want to put me on, but I'm way ahead of schedule on my project (so I got a nice little bonus!). I'm keeping everything open in the event that I'll be jobless after next week. I have my second interview at Much Music on Monday. The first one went really well... I met with the supervising producer and art director and got to walk through the two interconnected buildings, which are pretty cool. The next one is with the producer again along with the technical manager and a designer, sooo wish me luck everyone.

Tonight I'm meeting with an Austrian girl that came to work here for a few months as an au-pair. One of my co-workers was looking for someone her age to take her out and around the city; I figured since a few AIESEC get-togethers are coming up, it'd be the perfect place to take her to meet with other international youths. It's kind of a weird thought to just pick up a stranger whom you've never met before at their house and take them out for the evening. We'll see how things turn out, but I'm sure it'll be fun.

In continuing my long mass-blog entry, I found these two neat websites: designbungalow, and minimiam. Enjoy.

Posted by mich at 3:06 PM | return | dreams [2]

January 4, 2006

Happy 2006

It was a festive and, for a few people, a wild new year's eve party at Christian's. Let's just say that the few us that stayed overnight were up until 4am... the photos that will never see the light of day tell the story. However, I *will* put up pics of my oh so yummy Candy Cane Cake! It's actually an upside down angel cake because when I tried to flip it right side up, the whole cake cracked >_< Luckily my dad was around to help me flip it back without completely destroying it to pieces :) As per usual, continue reading for the recipe!

New Year's day was spent doing some cleaning up at Christian's before heading up to Pacific Mall to meet with my family and relatives for dinner. The rest of the evening was spent at my place playing mah jong and poker until 3am.

Reflecting back on 2005, this year turned out to be a huge emotional roller-coaster for me. A bit of it was of course school related, having been stressed with not only school work but with creating the CSSU yearbook. But those were just peanuts compared to having to come to terms with the fact that I was entering a new phase in my life and was forever leaving my student life behind me. Immediately following my convocation it all hit me- hard, and I fell into a sort of depression that I hadn't experienced since my high school days. It was a variety of different things that kept putting me in slumps. I had all these plans of things that I wanted to do after graduating, yet I didn't know exactly when I wanted to do each thing... it felt like I was being pulled in all sorts of directions and I couldn't focus on one thing. Even now I get anxious thinking about what path I should follow. I gave up the photography job on the cruise ship in the fall (and instead, landed a job from hell) and I don't know whether I should still go for it come summertime or just give up on it and move on. During my last year I never worried about going to those career fairs or applying to companies to get a job right after school. That wasn't my goal- I didn't want to feel stuck in a job so early on before I got a chance to do something adventurous and exciting. I figured doing my own thing would be satisfying and fulfilling, but in the end it was frustrating and I feel like it didn't amount to much. I hate to say it, but sometimes I regretted not getting a stable and boring computer job... at least I wouldn't feel useless and demoralized. Through it all, sweet BFF helped put things in perspective for me and lifted me up during my lowest lows, and for that I am so thankful ^_^

On a happier note, 2005 also had its memorable moments:
Bus driver losing bus keys during the CSSU ski trip and waiting a few hours for another bus to drive us home reading week trip to Montreal with Christian dogde ball games at Hart House salsa dancing for the first time experiementing with a Hasselblad seeing the CS gang all dressed up for the CSSU formal having my photographs published and exhibited completing a decent application for Capstone waiting 7 hours in line to see Coldplay at The Edge only to be completely shafted 24 marathons biking 50 km along the Gardiner and DVP camping trip at Algonquin Canada Day in Ottawa with Christian discovering the amazing gym classes at Hart House taking a fashion photography course leading to fashion shoots with models watching Kid Koala perform at the Harbourfront's Dim Sum festival seeing Nel on his summer visit back from HK spending a day at Centreville with Christian and winning stuffed toys for the both of us beach volleyball at Ashbridges Bay getting creamed with bananas sitting front row centre at the Blue Man Group show tennis nights with Dennis & co. seeing big stars while volunteering at the film festival hiking in the Cheltenham Badlands 6 days of Disneyworld "boot camp" dining at Canoe and Rosewater Supper Club having had the best Christmas holiday to date

Candy Cane Cake

Cake
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon red food color
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

White Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, if desired

Decoration
Crushed candy canes or crushed hard peppermint candies, if desired

--------------

1. Heat oven to 350F. Generously grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube (bundt cake) pan.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and egg whites with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

3. Pour about 2 cups batter into pan. Pour about 3/4 cup batter into small bowl; stir in food color and peppermint extract. Carefully pour pink batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour remaining white batter over pink batter.

4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto wire rack or heatproof serving plate; remove pan. Cool cake completely, about 1 hour.

5. In small bowl, mix all icing ingredients. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Spread icing over cake. Sprinkle top with crushed candy.

Makes 12 servings.

Posted by mich at 7:36 PM | return | dreams [0]

July 18, 2005

Buzz Buzz I Wunder Why She Duzz?

Time for another batch blog!

Wednesday I went down to Roy Thompson Hall with Cass and Kim to sign up for shifts for the Toronto Film Festival. This year, instead of working at the Isabel Bader Theatre, I'll be at Roy Thompson (for the opening gala!) and the AGO. I'm looking forward to it... I had so much fun last year :) Later in the evening Christian and I had a summerlicious dinner at Canoe that consisted of Citrus Cured Mahone Bay Scallops Sweet Shrimp, Honey Mushrooms, Tarragon & Truffle Oil for the appetizer, Roasted Tenderloin of Pork Parsnip, Granny Smith & Maple Black Pepper Jus for the entre, and Wild Blueberry Cheesecake that was to die for. Mmmmmmm.

On Friday afternoon I went to see a Fringe Festival play called Boygroove with Vanessa. It's part play, part musical that basically spoofs the whole idea of boy bands. It was soooo hilarious: the music, the characters and the storyline! While waiting in line for tickets, I bumped into Jen who was volunteering at the festival and gave her a spot in the line (shhh!).

In the evening Christian and I biked to the Distillery District for the PartiGras that kicks off the annual Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival. It was my first time in the area and I really liked the quaint atmosphere, which was nicely complemented by all the great jazz performances. I got home a lot later than I had wanted. I was so tired and I had to wake up at 7am the next morning for my second fashion shoot, but I wanted to discharge my camera batteries in order to have a fully charged battery to use. I should have just left it as it was because there was enough juice in it to last me the day- I was just really unsure how long it would last because the first 2 charges didn't give me a lot of battery life. By 1:30 am I was so ready to hit the sack and I was uploading and re-uploading pictures onto my computer to use up the batteries, but it didn't seem like it was doing much good. So for the next TWO hours I sat there shooting off my camera with the flash. Click. Click. Click. I was absolutely dying from tiredness but I had to keep going... and finally it was done!

Unfortunately, I ended up sleeping in until 8am the next morning when I had to actually be downtown at 8:30 :O Whoooops. Made a mad dash out the door and when I arrived at the studio, I found out I was switched to another team, where my partner had arrived as late as I (at 9am), and we were frantically trying to put our sets together in time for the shoot. However, it turned out that our model still hadn't arrived yet and we had no idea when she was going to be in. So we ended up shooting one of the model's sister, who was just there to watch everything. We actually had a pretty good shoot with her and I finished off a 1 GB card (and even had to delete some bad pics to shoot some more). Before lunchtime while my partner was shooting I went to Future Shop nearby to buy another memory card, but they were out since it was on sale for a really good price. I had no idea where else to get a cheap memory card, so I ended up TTC'ing all the way back up to North York Center to meet with my parents who would help me buy one at the Future Shop there. And thennnn, TTC back down to Ryerson to immediately start setting up my set for the next model (I had completely missed lunch). The next model was really pretty but she needed a lot of direction ("raise your right arm- no that's your left arm!"); it got to the point where I had to go in and move her body parts. Overall though, I had a lot more fun during this shoot than last week's. I felt a lot more comfortable, and I actually got to shoot for more than 30 min! I'm in the process of reviewing all the shots for my critique tomorrow, so I'll post them up when I get them all together :)

Posted by mich at 4:53 PM | return | dreams [1]

May 6, 2005

I Miss Japan!

Today marks one year since the beginning of our adventurous Japan trip. I can't believe how fast time flies by. The next time I go back, I want to spend at least a month exploring the entire country from one end to the other... but only after I'm rich enough to support that kind of living! :P

Looks like my student career still hasn't ended yet. I just registered for a fashion photography course at Ryerson instructed by Struan. I'm pretty excited for it. I don't normally do people photography so this is a fun opportunity to explore and learn about this specific style.

Posted by mich at 11:18 PM | return | dreams [0]

April 16, 2005

8 Months, 5000 Lines of Code, and 1 Last Sunrise

I'm officially done with school FOREVER as of today. Kinda sad actually because I really enjoyed being a student. This week really sucked since I had the freakin' CSSU yearbook to work on and 2 projects due, one of which being Capstone. I swear, I only went outside my house for the first time after 3 straight days of monkey-coding. But alas, after an entire school year, my Photocollage System is finally finished... woo hoo!

Monday evening I worked until 6:30am and saw my last sunrise. To mark the occassion I took some pictures :P I couldn't fall asleep since it was so light outside and when I opened my eyes, I saw my room bathed in this warm fuzzy glow that changed the wall colours... so for another few minutes I laid there admiring light.


I guess these pictures can represent all the memorable (not!) all-nighters throughout my university career, which are enough to last a lifetime... really!

Posted by mich at 12:46 AM | return | dreams [2]

April 8, 2005

Last Official Day of School

Today was the last day of school yet I still have 2 extra classes next week to present final projects. On top of that I need to have the CSSU yearbook pretty much done this week. I feel so overwhelmed now... school's supposed to be over!! :(

Wow, I been really bad with keeping up w/ the site... I'm like blogging on a monthly basis now. I guess once I'm no longer a student I'll have plenty of time to waste :P

Last Saturday evening was the Transverse exhibit opening at Artists' Play Studio where I showed my series of 5 combination prints entitled "Mechanization". It was pretty neat to see everyone's works invovled with the journal and to see my work actually published! Here are some pics from the night:


Posted by mich at 10:29 PM | return | dreams [2]

February 13, 2005

OMG I'm Gonna Cry

I'm tired, frustrated and sick of coding. GAAAAH....... I was looking forward to reading week for the longest time but I didn't expect to get so burned out :( What a terrible start to the break.

Posted by mich at 4:10 AM | return | dreams [2]

January 17, 2005

School And Ramblings

My last school term EVER is well underway! I finally have all my courses and schedules worked out. With Capstone Design, French, Urban Cities, Integrated Photographic Explorations and Art Internship, this is definitely the most relaxed term of my university life :) What a way to end the 5-year horror. Not to mention the fact that I also no longer have an exam in GGR... so I actually finish school early in April *GASP* I'll have had no exams at all this year, which is quite anti-climatic; I never had the chance to revel in the glory of my very last exam!!

Now that I have to immerse myself in school again, let's go over my to do list I had written for my Christmas break and see where I have failed miserably, shall we...


Christmas Break 2004 To Do List:
  • :: finish Japan scrapbook [FAIL: not even halfway done!!]
  • :: label California pictures
  • :: document fall term art projects [sorta finished- need to do one more]
  • :: build online portfolio section [FAIL: didn't even get to think about it]
  • :: update photography journal and photo albums [FAIL: how did I think I had time for all this?!]
  • :: hang up posters; construct bedside table [bedside table is finished :), posters are in their frames but not on the walls :(]
  • :: start scrapbooking Las Vegas/California trips [FAIL: thinking I would even finish the Japan scrapbook was a freaking joke- how could I start another one??]
  • :: double exposure photography experiment [PASS/FAIL: I ended up with accidental double exposures, does that count?]
  • :: cooking & baking frenzy [wasn't exactly a frenzy, but I did try!]
  • :: catch up on reading [FAIL: the only book I finished was a children's book]
  • :: capstone project [only 'cuz I had to for school]

Score: 3/11 FAIL

Looks like Sandra was so right in thinking I wouldn't get half of this stuff done! *sigh* This is the reason why it pays to be an underachiever- you never disappoint yourself when you don't have any goals to achieve.

Posted by mich at 10:04 PM | return | dreams [2]

December 9, 2004

Happy Winter Break to Me

This term ended with my CSC 343 test this evening and boy does it feel good! And since I have no exams, I get almost 4 weeks off school :) The only thing left for me to do is present my mid-term deliverable for my capstone class around the 20th. I started the break off with watching The Incredibles with Chris, and I LOVED it! Tomorrow I'll be doing a lot of housecleaning and and setting up my art work for the EYEBALL art show on Friday.

I figured that having this much time off I'd be able to squeeze in a bit of travelling, like visiting Montreal or NYC (or both). But I wrote a list of things I want to (including left over things from the summer) and it looks like I really don't have that much time!


Christmas Break 2004 To Do List:
  • :: finish Japan scrapbook
  • :: label California pictures
  • :: document fall term art projects
  • :: build online portfolio section
  • :: update photography journal and photo albums
  • :: hang up posters; construct bedside table
  • :: start scrapbooking Las Vegas/California trips
  • :: double exposure photography experiment
  • :: cooking & baking frenzy
  • :: catch up on reading
  • :: capstone project

Posted by mich at 1:50 AM | return | dreams [4]

October 31, 2004

Happy Hallowe'en!

An uneventful Hallowe'en this year. Didn't give out candy; I just stayed in all day preparing for my capstone presentation that has to be 30 min to an hour long. Boooooo (not in a Hallowe'en spirit sort of way but a sucky boo).

Friday morning was pretty terrible. Aside from not having slept at all that night from preparing my seminar presentation for my landscapes class, I only got to start my collage assignment at 7am that was due later that afternoon. I slapped together a bunch of things together in a mad rush to finish by 8:30 to catch the bus. As if my morning wasn't hectic enough, the printer wasn't working so I had to try to fix it in order to print my presentation notes. I did manage to catch an early bus with a schoolmate, but on the bus I realized I was talking to him about my collage, yet it was nowhere in sight. I jumped off the bus at the next stop, bolted back home to pick up the piece of garbage that I'm passing off as art, then run back to my bus stop, and made it just in time for the next bus. By that time I thought I was going to faint, having neither slept nor eaten very much. It was rush hour on the subyway so I had to remain standing all the way to school- I thought I was gonna die. I almost fell asleep in both my classes, even during my seminar presentation when one of my group members was speaking. That was my first all-nighter of this school year, and hopefully the last. I'm getting too old... my body can't handle it any more! Luckily by late afternoon I got a second wind. After my last class Christian came back home with me to carve a pumpkin! He's got mouldy hair and super cute bear ears. I named him Winnie. He lights up in the dark. He's so cool!

Posted by mich at 10:24 PM | 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]

September 17, 2004

The Beginning of the End

So ends my first week of my final year in school. I had my first assignment of the year due today in my collage courses where we had to create a sound collage. I stayed up until 4:30 am working on it and had to wake up at 8am so I was quite the zombie today during school. It was a pretty hectic week for me. I haven't gotten any rest since I got back from my trip. The night I got back I went to bed at 3am. The next 2 days I volunteered at the Toronto Film Festival. Sunday night was the opening of Kevin Bacon's movie, The Woodsman, at the theatre I was working at. I actually got to see Kevin Bacon, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Joseph Gordon-Levitt! :O On Monday I had class at noon, then volunteered in the afternoon until 11:30 pm. That night was the opening of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's movie, Mysterious Skin. I didn't get to see him, but I did see Michelle Trachtenberg instead. Oooh the excitement! My Monday shift was pretty cool overall- I met a girl studying architecture at Ryerson and during our hour break, I gave her an architectural tour of the U of T campus. I also got to work in the auditorium for one move and sit in during the screening of Cinvardaphoto, which sounded really interesting, but turned out to be quite boring. Plus the fact that I was standing for a big chunk of the movie didn't make it any better. Wednesday I caught the industry screening of Whisky w/ Chris. It was a good film... a bit on the slow side. Yesterday we caught an amazing film called Millions, which was very much in the style of Big Fish and Amlie- colourful and fantastical. Tomorrow is my last volunteer shift. Must sleep, zzz.

Posted by mich at 12:23 AM | return | dreams [0]

July 18, 2004

My Last Course Enrolement Ever

I enrolled in my courses on Tuesday. I only have 3 more half courses in art that I need to take in order to finish my visual studies major. I've already finished my comp sci major last year but I'm going to take a few more CS courses out of interest. The toughest part about enrolement this year was trying to select electives that will fit in nicely with my schedule. I have some courses that I really want to take, but it will make my schedule soooo ugly. For example, class at 9am-noon, then my next class from 6-9pm. How brutal is that? I know for a fact that I will develop at hatred for Tuesdays if I keep this scheduling. I considered a lot of different electives to take for this year: Biological Rhythms, Intro to Classical Mythology, Music in the 1960's, Global Cities, Chinese Migration, History of Espionnage, Architecture, Media and Technology, and Modern Standard Japanese. So many fun courses, so little time :(
So here are the courses that I'm enrolled in or trying to get into:

  • :: Introduction to Databases
  • :: Database System Technology
  • :: Capstone Design Project
  • :: Computer Science Project
  • :: Collage
  • :: Integrated Photobased Explorations
  • :: Visual Studies Internship
  • :: French Language Practice I
  • :: Global Cities


Tuesday afternoon I went to Aldo and bought these adorable kitty shoes on sale. How cute are they? And so cheap! $25 bucks man. :)

That night I went to the Harbourfront with Vanessa, Chris, Cass and her friend Elaine to watch the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's "Symphony Under the Stars". I quite enjoyed it; they played the crowd pleaser pieces. I only wish we got to sit in the seats rather than on the ground in the back. I couldn't see anything but peoples backs who were standing in front of me.
This weekend was a pretty fun weekend. Friday night I met my clubbing quota for the year by going to Distrikt for Kel's birthday. The club was alright; I just wished it wasn't just r&b and hip-hop music. I like more variety... we had like 5 minutes of house and then it reverted back to the same old. Saturday afternoon I went shopping with Cass around Yorkville and Eaton Center. That night I went out for a 12-course dinner with my family and relatives. I took the subway to Leslie station and my dad told me it was 1100 Sheppard, east of Leslie. So I started walking east, yet it was barren! I started jogging since I figured it would be a long way to go and I was going to be late. I passed by a building and the number said 1300. I was thinking, jeez, how long will I have to jog for? But I got a phone call from my family asking where I was... it turned out that it was actually *west* of Leslie. So I totally exited through the opposite end of the station and missed all the stores I was supposed to have seen. Today I just chilled out at home and went to the gym. Tomorrow, the start of another work week. *Sigh*
Posted by mich at 9:19 PM | return | dreams [2]