Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wild West movie

Felix watching me make my laundry rounds.

Met up with Hugh to see a special sneak preview of a film called "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show" with special guest Ahmed Ahmed (not the terrorist but the comedian - to fully understand this inside gag you would have had to have been there). The film is more of a documentary than a movie. It follows the bus load of actors and comedians (Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, Sebastian Maniscalco and Vince Vaughn) around the American heartland. I would recommend this movie to anyone that needs a good laugh or wants to be entertained.

After the credits, Ahmed Ahmed stood before the audience, took questions, then video interviewed some of the fans.

Ahmed digitally captures fans.

Hugh at Xelua

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

From VIDEO assist to FASHION assist

Setting monitors using color bars.

My day started off attending a course held by TellaVision, an introduction to Video Assist. While it's not my intention to want to do video assist... ever, I did want to play around with the hardware involved as it helps when doing 24 frame playback and having an overall tech skill set. It was a nice introduction/rehash of stuff I already knew but never really did anything with on a regular basis. (Including how to set a monitor using color bars - see photo).

The class lasted the morning and finished around 3:30pm. Not bad for a $50 course fee and that includes lunch. After that I hopped onto the TTC to go to Josie's place where Robert was helping Andrew by cutting fabric from designed patterns. He needed a bit of help so I volunteered.

I was to help cut the fabric. It seems like an easy job cutting around stencils attached to fabric by pins. I am not a tailor and if I ever become one I'll need a lot of work getting there. My scissor technique was quite bad. I ended up tracing outlines around the stencils with chalk so that Robert could cut the fabric later.

Robert cuts fabric for Andrew's clothing line.

Working away into the wee hours of the night.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Passport Pickup

I met up with Emmanuel for food today at the Stem. After that it was off to get my passport. Yep, two weeks have gone by already since I applied for a new one. Today was the day it was supposed to be ready.

This time I took preliminary measures before entering the government office and picked up some Lupin III comic novels to help pass the time waiting in line. As with anything unexpected, the waiting in line was less than a minute. Most likely my personal best in terms of waiting in a government line. I almost wondered if something was wrong.

Literally there was only one person in front of me being served and he was leaving. I walked up to the counter gave them my pick up slip and they gave me my passport. Really, in under one minute! "Crazy!", I say.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Zee and Juley's second edition

Madison, baby number two

Dim sum club

Sunday. The newly expanded gang of dim sum goers met today at a new place for soup dumplings. Yes I didn't think it was really dim sum as we've had in the traditional sense but it was still really good food.

The big item today was Madison. Zee and Juley's newly born baby girl. I think that was really why we had such a great turn out as we don't really get to see each other as often as we'd like. Madison was a good excuse to meet up and stuff our faces.

Juley and Michaela

Team Zanette.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tailgate Party

The stage with "This side up"

Later on in the evening I met up with James. He had won tickets to a tailgate party sponsored by Budweiser. While I'm not a beer drinker on a regular basis or even semi-regular basis, I do appreciate the beer women that make drinking beer appealing. James suggested I bring my camera as there would most likely be eye candy to shoot. Like anyone would have to tell me to bring a camera.

The theme of the party was actually quite well thought out. At least I thought so. I could imagine some poor slob slaving away trying to work out said theme in some brain room somewhere at the Budweiser head office.

At the entrance we each got a ticket in the form of a plane ticket with a seat number. There were no seats at this event. The ticket number (seat number) was used as a raffle ticket number. Out of whatever number of people showed up, 10 people were picked to go up on stage to compete against each other. The person to come out ahead in first place won tickets and travel to the superbowl. The second place winner won a samsung 42 inch LCD TV.

To add to the whole airplane theme all the gals working the event were dressed as air flight stewardesses, the guys as pilots. There was even a girl at a metal detector archway with one of those wands that beep. I think it was a prop as she tended to pass her wand over the cuter guys going through. I was not checked. I'm thinking it was my innocent looking, non terrorist demeaner (yeah sure).

While mingling around in the crowd comprised of other party types, a live band played on stage. The band, as read on the drum kit, was named "This side up". They were from Montreal, not to be confused with the country band of the same name. Nope this band was a rock and roll cover band. They were great, playing everything from AC/DC to Simple Plan to Guns and Roses to the Ramones.

If that wasn't worth the price of admission the other interesting thing that happened that night was I heard my name being called. I thought someone was calling out for someone else with the same name. When I eventually squinted over into the darkness to look over I was surprised that it was some of the girls I had met in Whitby. They had recognized me. Most likely because of the camera.

It was nice seeing familiar faces in a sea of strangers, especially good looking young women. At this point I'd have to agree with Colin, I do have a charmed life.

The Whiby Girls. Ruth, Vanessa, and Katie.

S├ębastien Brault, lead vocals and guitar

"This Side Up" the band

Flight crew gives out free hats.

"Enjoy your flight"

Vanessa bites my cheek.

Flaming Sausage

I met Josie and Darryl today to go look at Andrew's new studio space. It's located in the newly developed Liberty Village area (near King and Dufferin). The studio, or room rather, is located in a group of office spaces that share a large common room. A lounge area essentially that can be converted into a meeting room, conference room or waiting area. After checking out the place we went for Portuguese food at some small corner restaurant. Portuguese, to me, are known for their amazing ability to cook chicken and seafood. What I wasn't aware of, was the "Burning Sausage" dish. I liked the presentation of the flaming sauage in the pig pan (see photo).

The flaming pig.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'd buy that for a dollar

At Innis College, a building part of the University of Toronto, it was double feature movie night. A free night of movies put on by a cinema group at UofT. The two movies were Robocop and Starship Troopers.

As noted by the movie geek before the films were shown, both movies were directed by the same director (Paul Verhoven), had the same visual effects company (Phil Tippet) and had the same movie composer (the same guy that did Conan the barbarian).

It was interesting to be around film geeks that were so passionate about a few movies. It then occurred to me that Darryl, Robin and me were a small minority of the entire group watching the films that were old enough to see the films in the theatre the first time. Yikes!

Somewhere I actually have a polaroid photo of me at the premiere movie showing of RoboCop at the now defunct Plaza theatre. In the picture was me standing next to a guy shorter than me in a RoboCop outfit.

"Bin there done that"

Chris and Robin at Xulah

After the two movies we met up with Chris and ended up at the new Xelua, a vietnamese restaurant.

Korean BBQ

The inital spread of the "All you can eat" Korean barbecue

For a late lunch early dinner I went to Korean barbecue house located on Yonge just south of Bloor. Dave, not pictured due to just having a hair cut, had gotten the idea to do the all you can eat thing.

A bunch of dishes are placed on the table containing raw meat. Beef, Chicken Pork, liver, squid, and salmon, plus a bowl of rice. You cook the food yourself by placing the food on the cooker. At any time you can order more food. I'm not sure if there's a charge on the food you order that you don't end up eating. If you go to sushi buffets there's usually a fee so you don't waste food. Not that we let anything go to waste.

Cook it yourself.

We stuffed ourselves to the point of requiring to waddle out the door. At least I did. Come to think of it Dave didn't seem to be affected.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie, the landlord (Kyoko's) cat.

I spent a few hours this afternoon taking pictures of the downstairs cat who had somehow managed to sneak upstairs. Probably occurred when I went downstairs to do laundry. Sneaky cat. While the allergy bag shed all over my pillow and bed I shot some macro photos of him.

Close up of the eye. Shot with a extension tube on my 70-300mm lens.

The cat's nose also shot with an extension tube and my 70-300mm lens

Using a shorter extension tube to see more of the face.

Just after Pumpkin's yawn.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Darryl the guinea pig

Kyoko, Eric, and Darryl chat in the kitchen

In my attempt to cook my super secret recipe of chicken with maple frosted flakes without the maple frosted flakes I realized that using "substitute" ingredients might be a bit dodgy. I needed a guinea pig. Darryl would be that guinea pig.

While the main goal is not to poison the subject but to test to see if the food is good. It's good to pick a victim... er test sampler that has modest taste expecations and zero or very low negative results. For example. You don't cook an experimental dish for someone you just started dating unless they've never eaten before or you don't want to see them again.

With Darryl he either eats the food or doesn't. There's no emotional attachment and you can always suggest going out to eat in a worse case scenario. Well I suppose the worse case scenario is that you suggest eating out after getting him to the hospital to get his stomach pumped at which point you may want to suggest take out so he can eat the next day. See what are friends for?

The chicken tasted okay. After seeing Darryl bite into the food and not keel over I figured it was okay to try some myself. It wasn't bad but the corn flakes were a little on the soggy side for my liking. Next time I'll have to take the lid off the casserole dish for the last few minutes of cooking. Did I say corn flakes? Yes, I used regular corn flakes instead of the maple frosted ones.

In other news, Today I booked my plane ticket to London. More on this in an upcoming blog entry.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

Tangled wire

I spent the day wrapping out the set of ReGenesis. What does that mean? Basically pulling out cables and unravelling the rat's nest that they've become over a season of use. Pictured above is a small four wire mess that I pulled out of a 20 wire clump.

Later on I helped James take some non-working TVs from his garage to the dumpster. I ended up getting a big fat splinter in my right hand ring finger.

James moving a TV to the dump

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow a plenty

Looking outside the front porch

I only had to go out for one thing today and that was to drop off photos to Simon. Looking outside it seemed rather bleak. Snow on the ground. Cold. Bleeah.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Morning Install

Hilary at brunch

A bit bleary eyed from going to sleep late last night I woke up and dragged my butt out of bed to take a TTC subway over to Hilary's place to help reinstall her computer. I walked down the wrong street and couldn't find the place. I phoned her to get my bearings. It turned out she was just getting up and asked if I could pick her up a cup of coffee. Not a lot of coffee shops stick out in my head at Bloor and Christie. I found myself at the local Walnut cake place. Good choice. They had coffee and those tiny walnut shaped donuts (for lack of better description). I bought five of them and headed back to Hilary's place with a cup of the black liquid.

Installing windows, while a bit time consuming, went pretty much without a hitch. It was a good thing I brought my Windows98 CD so I could use FDISK to wipe the existing hard drive. It amazes me that I don't have an XP equivalent. I actually don't own an XP CD. The operating system was installed on my computer and all I have is a system restore CD made specific for my laptop.

While the computer chugged away, Hilary came up with the idea of getting some food. Ya gotta like the way these dames think. So off to Mars we went. I ordered a BLT with a breakfast egg, meat combo of some sort. I inhaled it pretty much. I don't remember what it looked like (aside from the above photo) but I do remember feeling pleasantly full but not to the extent where I felt like I had to waddle back out of the diner.

The tiny tomato juice can

Saturday, January 19, 2008


It was freezing cold this evening (-40 C with the wind chill). I went down to the beaches to meet up with Kasia at Paul's apartment. She wanted to get a photo of both of us for an ad space that informed people of our skill sets.

At one point she got the idea to squat on a radiator near a window. As she's a dancer she's pretty nimble. As for me, I felt like I was going to fall off the narrow thing. In the end Paul took the photo and that was that.

Did I mention that it was freezing?

It's 11am Let's Eat!!!

Breakfast of Champions!

Considering we didn't get to bed until 7:30 in the morning, getting up at 11am was a bit nutty. But then the magic words of food were spoken and like magic I was out of bed before you could say "scrambled eggs and bacon".

The Plucker in Hamilton

We went to the Plucker, a bar also known in roller derby circles as Trevor's living room and a Hamilton establishment that I've become quite familiar with. It was here that we bumped into Renee and Lisa from the Hamilton Harlots who got the same idea and were eating breakfast.

I ordered a burger and to make it breakfasty poured some pancake syrup on it. It's a ritual that I've had since I went to the IHOP in Fort Wayne. Despite what some readers may think it actually tastes good and for the readers that stick their noses up at the idea, it doesn't matter I'll be eating hamburgers like this with or without your approval.

Melanie and Rebecca look at last night's photos

Renee and Lisa at the Plucker

Around 3:30pm Suzi, Steve, and Eric, the rest of last night's contingent who slept over at Mel's place showed up. We ordered more food. I ordered the new coconut shrimp. Since the last time I had the coconut shrimp they changed the recipe. I wasn't impressed. They had gotten rid of the coconut chunks and used coconut milk instead.

At 5pm I left to catch the GO bus back to Toronto.

Suzi lit by window light.

"Are you awake?"

Friday, January 18, 2008

The German Party

Me as Max Ernst (surrealist painter)

Melanie's boyfriend is going on tour to Germany to kick some butt... literally. He's a kick boxer. In order to help raise money and have fun along the way Mel conceived a party themed around all that's German. The colors of red, black, and gold were all over from the streamers on the wall to the Jello shooters.

I originally wanted to go as Albert Einstein mainly so I could reuse that old lab coat I have in my wardrobe. Unfortunately finding the Einstein wig proved to be too much work at auch short notice. Someone, I think it was Leanna, told me to put talcum powder in my hair and just make it look like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. As my hair has been getting longer, I've been letting it grow, that seemed pretty easy as I'd just have to go to the party with bed head.

Talcum powder gets all over stuff though and what if it rained? As I didn't want to leave a trail of white dough where ever I went the talcum powder idea was nixed. I thought about dying my hair white but that idea was tossed when I thought of trying to explain my hair at the passport office or at customs.

Finally I thought I'd just go to the local party store and try to find something there. It's my Party, located on the Danforth came to mind. I went there and found a Andy Warhol type wig. It was perfect until I got home and found out Andy wasn't German. Turns out he was an American with a Hungarian background. It was then that I scoured the web and found Max Ernst. Then with some artist liberties (adding some artsy glasses), viola!

Suzi poses in the mirror.

Melanie as the GI Joe Baroness

Jackie as Beethoven

Jello shooters

Clothes off and dance.

At one point while engrossed in a conversation with someone, I went to look up and there were half naked girls dancing around. When did the party take this direction? We ended up staying until about 6:50, thinking we'd have breakfast as local restaurants started opening at 6:00, but by that point most of us were really tired so we ended up going home, or in my case, crashing on Melanie's newly bought fold out mattress in her living room. Which I would liek to say was quite comfortable.

The drink table