TIFF ’09!

It’s that time of the year again. Last year I overdosed on galas and stargazing, watching films that would have eventually hit the mainstream theatre circuit anyway. The only one I was really glad I went to was The Wrestler (Evan Rachel Wood is yummy, even though she was there with Marilyn Manson). This year I’m trying to look for films that I wouldn’t have access to otherwise. So far I’ve gotten tickets to Soul Kitchen and Symbol. If anyone is interested in seeing/suggesting any other films, do let me know!

I have to say, ordering single tickets this year has been a breeze so far. Last year I had to line up for up to an hour to pick up tickets I had already bought online. This year, I got to skip the line (which was about half a block long), and was in and out of there in less than 5 minutes.

Finally, another update!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted — I’ve had quite a busy last week. As part of the Toronto Jazz Festival, I went to see Dave Brubeck as the first ever Jazz act at the new Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Nice venue, great act.
On Friday, went to see Sammi Cheng at the ACC. Listening to so many familiar Chinese songs from over 10 years ago brings back memories from what seems like a lifetime ago.

On Sunday evening, we went to Peter’s Cottage up in Bancroft, then drove another 1.5 hours out to the Ottawa River to go white water rafting for the day. It was a great time — only one of us fell out of the raft in of the rapids, but we made up for it by jumping out and bodysurfing anyway 🙂 We got to do some cliff-diving where we had to swim against the current to get back to shore too. All-in-all we had an awesome little trip, and I’d definitely go again.

One word of advice though: do NOT rely on Google Maps to help you navigate your way back. It took us on a 40 minute detour out of the 5 hour trip back to Toronto that was straight out of the beginning of a horror movie — dirt backroads where you could hardly see ahead of you and no lights anywhere near us. I was half waiting for the car to break down so we’d have to trek to a nearby house for help and get sawed in half.

Luckily, the Google Map wasn’t so bad as to give us the wrong directions, only really bad ones. We finally made it out to the highway and got home in one piece.

Planet Earth Rocks

Got my preorder of the Planet Earth HD DVD from Amazon last week, and I haven’t been able to stop watching. Here’s a mesmerizing clip of a great white shark devouring a seal from the first episode, slowed time 40 times:

Although Attenborough doesn’t provide any social commentary, the show does allude to the effects of global warming. One episode shows a polar bear unable to walk far enough out to shore to hunt for seals due to the ice melting too early — the bear is forced to swim out into to the ocean to look for food. You’ll see what it desperately tries to do out of starvation in the trailer.

More interesting…

Someone from my high school just posted a photo montage on Google Video for their 30th anniversary, which occurred last year. You can take a look at it here. It’s got a lot more pictures from the girls’ side since it was a female alumni who put it together, but I make a cameo at 7:01 (lower left corner), and you get to see my whopping graduating class of 7 people at 7:11 🙂

Some people may find it hard to believe an asshole like me could come from a place like that. Believe it or not, a teacher asked me during graduation day whether I considered becoming a monk, because I seemed like a perfect fit. Ha!


…my old high school now has a Wikipedia entry. Many people are interested when I tell them I went to a Buddhist boarding school in California, and I struggle to explain what it’s like to grow up and go through puberty there. These entries fill in all the blanks for me. Check it out here and here.

Yes, there were peacocks there and they were quite annoying in the mornings.

Bad Idea

I was starting to get sick. I was still recovering from a strained neck, bruised talibone and a chronically sore lower back. Yet I couldn’t resist when the call came. My cousin knows the mascot, and he needed someone to do a skit during a timeout at the Raptors game. In return, I’d get free seats and would meet someone who I might work with on future house-related projects.

When we got there, we got to prepare in the tunnel where the Dance Pak was getting ready. The mascot purposely sent for us a bit earlier than necessary so we could ogle at them. Meh. I was feeling a bit too sick and nervous to try anything with them. We put the sumo-wrestling suits on, got a few practice hits in and rushed out. It all went by so quickly, but the feeling of being on the court in front of 15000+ people is hard to match. Everything went well — I got knocked down a few times by the Raptor but was still feeling ok. Just as we were about to leave the court though, he came and knocked me down again — and then he jumped on top of me. That one hurt. I felt a sharp pain in my lower back, the same back that has been bothering me since last August.

Now my body feels like crap, I walk funny and my sore throat has gotten worse to the point where it’s painful to swallow and my ears hurt.

If I could turn back time, I’d do it again though!

I can’t wait for the Raptors season to start! I got to see the preseason Nets game, with Vince Carter back in town again. There was a funny moment when Jorge Garbajosa, who is the first person to wear #15 since VC left town, checked into the game. Vince stared at his jersey for a bit, then gave a smile to the broadcasters, as if to say “where’s all the love for me gone around here?” Also, the lights went out for a while so it was different watching them play in near darkness. It’s gonna be a much more positive season this year with all the changes made.

After the game, I went to the home of one of organizers of VITT, a yahoo group for vegetarians in their twenties. Her mom showed a bunch of us how to make various Indian breads including roti, stuffed roti, puri and kachori. Afterwards we got to eat them all…it was rare opportunity to have a homecooked Indian meal, and I loved it!

Oh yeah, I also got to check out Utopia Cafe this weekend. Although there’s a wait (the place is so small), the food is really good. It’s very veggie-friendly, and my meat-eating friend enjoyed his meal very much too.


Had a nice long Thanksgiving weekend…started off with the Chris Botti concert on Friday, went apple-picking at Watson Farms Saturday afternoon, locked myself out of my running car and then had Thanksgiving dinner with neighbour/friends AmyChris, JackieDerrick and Natalie. On Sunday we went out to Century Room — it’s always nice to see familiar faces.

On Monday I saw The Departed. It’s actually a re-make of the Chinese movie Infernal Affairs. Both were very good, but I preferred the original slightly more. It’s less vulgar and you could empathize with the characters a bit more.

After the movie I went to the Reservoir Lounge to see Sophia Perlman and the Vipers again. I had planned to see her last week already, but on Saturday I got a nice surprise — Sophia posted a comment on my blog! You can see it here. I’m convinced I have psychic powers as something like this happened to me a couple weeks earlier too — I thought about a person I haven’t talked to in a while and she messaged me shortly after. I wonder what sort of things I could do once I harness this power…

Anyway, we got to introduce ourselves to her and had a great time as usual. October 23 is their one year anniversary so I’ll definitely be back for more!