January 30, 2012

Art + Fish

We had a relatively quiet weekend but we did venture out on Saturday with our friends Patrick & Raymond to take in a gallery showing of my colleague Megan, who is in a collective called Woman King. They were exhibiting as part of a multi-gallery show called "Capacity", a show built around the premise of raising the profile of female Canadian designers.

After viewing the show we headed to Ossington Street-- "epicentre of Toronto hipsterdom" says The Grid --in search of dinner. We happily stumbled across Fish Bar, after our original choice required a 75-minute wait. What a wonderful find! From the incredibly sweet and attentive server to the simple but well-executed tapas plates, we indulged in various sea fare, from oysters-on-the-shell, to grilled calamari, to octopus ceviche as well as a perfect bouillabaisse. Mark finished with a Lemon curd parfait, creamed cheese, vanilla crumble. He was very happy!

January 25, 2012

When the dead come back

We are so excited, as I have scored free tickets to attend a special screening of "The Walking Dead"--the brilliant AMC TV show based on the awesome graphic novel of the same name-- at the TIFF Bell Lightbox!

We were hooked after the first episode, and so it will be so much fun to take part in the screening and after-show Q&A with the executive producer.

I have actually never enjoyed the zombie genre, but The Walking Dead managed to capture my full attention, thanks to the incredible work of its lead, Andrew Lincoln and one of the best of its supporting players, Laurie Holden. The show is really more about the living, rather than the walking dead, so I have been enthralled with their struggles and challenges as they face the terrifying prospect of a world nearly wiped out and mostly populated by zombies.

January 17, 2012

And miles to go before I sleep

Last night I checked into to a sleep clinic to get my sleeping tested, just to make sure my snoring is not something more serious.

Of course, it's rather ironic to be tested for sleep with things stuck all over your body (see lovely accompanying photo). I counted at least 17 electrodes stuck to my face and head!

Before the lights went out they had me do a series of body and facial movements to test the sensors and then it was lights-out.

It was hard to fall asleep as there was some noise in the adjacent room (the technician talks to each patient via a speaker in the room), not to mention the lovely apparatus, wires, glowing thingy attached to my left index finger, and rather strange bed. All-in-all I suspect it was a normal sleep night, though, and I am quite curious to have my follow-up appointment to see what they figured out about yours truly.

Oh dear...

January 8, 2012

Sunday Shorts

We decided to head north on Sunday morning to stroll around Yorkdale Mall. In a nice surprise, we were treated to a subway ride in one of the new TTC subway trains. We were very impressed with the 6-car open concept, the colours, and the overall design.
We had received a gift card for Harry Rosen for Christmas, so I picked up a smart Harry Rosen white dress shirt, while Mark got himself two bold patterned briefs by Ted Baker.

We then headed back into the downtown to meet our friends Toni + Dave at the TIFF Bell Lightbox to watch selections from the Canada's Top Ten Shorts. As the TIFF site states, this event was "established in 2001...to honor excellence in contemporary Canadian cinema, reinforcing TIFF’s commitment to Canadian filmmakers".

The standout screening of the five films was Ora, the first ever to be filmed using 3-D thermal imaging. The accompanying photo is a screen capture of this astonishing visual experience, which involved an amazing dance piece lit only by the heat of the performers' bodies. It was a jaw-dropping sight to behold.

After the screenings there was a panel of directors and actors from four of the films, with a Q+A session for about 15 minutes. 

January 7, 2012

A beautiful day in this neighbourhood

We spent the last few days catching up with our Toronto friends, beginning Thursday evening with a tour of the AGO with Patrick & Raymond, who kindly invited us to a members-only viewing of the "Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde" exhibit.

I know little about Chagall or Russian painters in general so it was an illuminating exhibit. We also took in a good portion of the permanent Canadian Collection as well as an exhibit of Canadian artist Jack Chambers.

I spent Friday night with my former Queen's housemate Dana. We had a long overdue one-on-one catch-up--one of those conversations that last for hours--over dinner at Everest Cafe.

On Saturday morning we met up with our friend Toni for brunch at Cafe Bernate and then hit the galleries on Ossington Avenue, ending up in Little Portugal. None of us had been to this neighborhood before and we found some gems, including meat market Salsicharia Pavao,  and rare bookstore and curiousity shop The Monkey's Paw.

We ended our walkabout with hot drinks and a yummy scone sharing plate at so-hip-it-hurts Drake Hotel. This it was off home to relax and make dinner.

January 1, 2012

Back to Middle Earth!!

Finally, the first trailer has been released for "The Hobbit".

It's so wonderful to see Galdalf the Grey again, for he is my fabourite Tolkien character. I also adore Ian McKellen's protrayal of the wise and kindly wizard. Nice to see him back in the big blue hat. Can't wait for December 2012.

A Night in Morrocco

We had our annual New Year's Eve cooking party, and this time around we cooked four Morroccan dishes. Our cooking teams included Mark and I, Toronto friends Patrick & Raymond, and Kingston friends Mara, Hugh, and David.  Here are a few pics of our culinary adventures: