Future, short, sweet

So I’m at the new gentrified Gladstone Hotel watching Future Shorts Toronto, a screening of short, amateur film. This month’s theme was conflict and war.

You can watch some of the films here:

  • Mark Cutforth’s Shaolin Delivery Boy. It’s very, very funny.
  • Simon Robson and Knife Party’s What Barry Says, political commentary on the US’s industrial military complex.
  • La vie d’un chien, When a scientist invents an elixir that temporarily changes a human into a canine, the government fights to ban the drug, and the fight for freedom begins. Think of it as La Jetee, but with furries!

Intermission music was provided by this guy and gal with a sitar and didgeridoo respectively. I think I’ve seen him play at Runnymede Station. They’re pretty good regardless.


I refuse to call them resolutions…I believe the word “resolution” should only come up when talking about computer screens.

# Relearn my native tongue.
# Learn how to shuffle cards properly (Bonus: Learn how to do the double lift).
# Get my P.Eng paperwork done.

Starting 2007 on a high note

…by watching Million Dollar Baby :'(

Seriously, had another great potluck with the cousins and the Four Sisters (my mother and three aunts, as they’re known and feared). Great food was to be had, including bulgogee, BBQ’ed veal, yee mein, sushi, and some Japanese plum wine.

The Four Sisters gave us a variety of odds and ends, including various pens taken from miscellaneous conventions, fruit, sachets of gourmet coffee, several sample cartons of toothpaste, and cans of salsa, wasabi mustard and pumpkin butter. They also wrapped up some of the leftover noodles and vegetables.

On the subway home, Silverlotus remarked, “Your family is really into food.”
I replied in the only way I could: “Yes, yes they are.”

Christmas haul

I got a Soligor tripod with quick-release everything and an institution-sized bottle of Bailey’s. Then came the electric blanket (surprisingly comfy), an electric razor (meticulously researched on Amazon), and a stainless steel desk clock/thermometer/hygrometer.

Finally I was down to one gift bag, which curiously had two wrapped boxes inside.

My wife insisted I open the larger one first – “Then you’ll understand the second box,” she explained. 

Inside the package was a Xbox Live one year membership and a Xbox Live Vision webcam.  In the other box was Test Drive Unlimited to play it on! Whatta sweetie.

A novel affair

This will be my first bachelor and bachelorette auction. I assure you, however, that everything was above board and in fact for a good cause – specifically to build a school in Nepal, and grant 10-year scholarships to 6 Nepalese girls.

You see, after our work team saw John Wood speak at Power Within three months ago, our manager became empowered to help form the Toronto chapter of Wood’s charity, Room to Read. This fundraising auction, held at the ritzy Dominion Club, was a direct result from this formation.

My awesome friend Space Cadet graciously volunteered to be on the auction block, and as you can see from the photo, her twins were working the crowds that night. She was a bit nervous and I had to promise to be an “angel investor” should the auction not go well, but as you can see, she sold without any assistance for a respectable $850, the third highest hammer price of all the lovely lots. Heck, even James Wood put in a bid, threatening to “steal your Canadian women”.

Probably the only thing amiss was that Space Cadet’s “intro” song wasn’t Rage Against the Machine. Oh, and that 60lb gift basket full of chocolate at the silent auction that went for $300. That was just wrong.

Art follows money, and the money’s in China

It is said that great art can only thrive in great turmoil, and China with its growing pains and political cramps, definitely has this in spades.

I went to an interesting lecture on Chinese contemporary art at the Gibsone Jessop Gallery last night in the Distillery District. Jessop, who’s a great speaker, weaved a tale of historical and artistic intrigue as he talked about his recent travels in mainland China.

It appears that, as an artist in a land of billions of people, there is an intense urge for self-expression.  And unlike Western modern art, China’s works are irreverent, self-deprecating, and most of all, full of what Jessop called “psychological danger”.

Apparently all the buying demand is from Westerners. All throughout Beijing and Shanghai are painters and sculptors sitting in empty, deserted galleries. Sadly, the Chinese seem to be disinterested in their own art. (The government’s hands are off as well, just as long as you don’t desecrate Chairman Mao or show sexual activity.)

Afterwards, we got a hands-on examination of another kind of contemporary art: a pulled pork pizza at the Mill St. Brewery!

What can brown do for you

Ive finally recovered from a nasty bout of food poisoning. It’s pretty bad when you step in the shower, then shut the faucet off and go back to bed because you’re too weak to stand up.

There is still a mystery revolving around what exactly poisoned me, since I’ve been eating weird things for the past 24 hours. It could have been Jerusalem artichoke soup, sushi, a Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwich, and Mom’s homemade “jungle stew”.

Anyway, on an unrelated note, this quote from
Anil Dash cracked me up:

“I don’t mean to belabor the macaca point, and the story is much more nuanced than it seems, but I hope all the slobbering politicians, regardless of political persuasion, take away a simple lesson from this: If you fuck with Indians in America, you will lose control of both houses of Congress.”

You know that in 50 years, North Americans will be running call centres for __them__.

Passed while on the gas

I passed my final road test today, and so ends a sordid eight year journey to get a driver’s license. It’s not because I’m necessarily a bad driver – I’m just a good procrastinator.

In other news, because my roadtest was in the morning and I would be using my dad’s Buick (I don’t own a car; another reason for being rusty), I elected to stay overnight at my parent’s house. It’s weird sleeping in your old bed in your old room. To top it off, my mom as usual was saving on hydro by turning the thermostat waaay down. Everything is so small, and cold. And dusty.

I don’t mind eels / Except as meals

Went to Bomberman’s stag on Friday (and that’s all you really need to know), and Woofer swung into TO on Saturday.

Had beef sashimi for the first time, and it was pretty good actually. That’s right, raw beef, well marbled, in thin strips. You know how beef tastes a bit gooey and stringy in the middle when you undercook your steak? It basically tastes like that.