Saturday, October 08, 2005

~*...emma jane...and i see old people...*~

i had brunch today at the richtree market, the former marché at bce place. my friends tiia and dan had just returned home from belgium and my friend sarah was visiting from pennsylvania with her husband gary and their 15 week old baby daughter emma jane. this year has been a year of babies for me, well, for some of my very close friends. the last time i saw sarah was in may when she was home for her baby shower. its so cute seeing small girlz pregnant...little girl, big belly, and boobs too ;)

there's no doubt that emma jane looks just like her daddy. she also seems to enjoy dreadlocks, as i soon found out...

it was really great to hang with my university krew again, which is where i first met sarah. we lived together second year with brennan, rick, jaqui, meredith, and michelle. that year i burned my room down (left a candle burning and it torched my room). aah, but that's another story. wow that year was epic. i've kept in contact with everyone from that house except for rick, who had a baby boy six years ago, and meredith. i have no idea where she has disappeared to, and neither do most of my friends. hey meredith, if you're reading this...well, it'd be because i ran into you and gave you one of my cards or you magically were brought here from some other fascinating means. if that's the case, email me. stranger things have happened.

my friend ron, also from university, was in town with an electronic psychedelic dance duo that he books for called infected mushroom. they were playing at the guvernment that night. ron showed up at the richtree for a late brunch. it was good to see him too.

later that night i helped turtle enter the dirty thirties down at the raq n waq pool hall and lounge. there was an excellent turnout of people there to show love for the one like red turtle. i'm surprised he was still standing at the end of the night. happy birthday turtle. big up youself turtle. burning man krew.

i ended up at someone's house after the raq n waq. i didn't know who he was, but was invited there by a girl. it turns out most of the people there were from newfoundland. some were living here, others were visiting. i had a great time interacting with some fascinating people who gave me an excellent window into the east coast way of seeing the world. the last guy i spoke with truly challenged me. after watching me interact with all of his friends, he believed that he had me "figured out". no, seriously...those words came out of his mouth. he was quite confident that he knew me, knew what i was about, and that whatever game i was playing on his friends that made them feel so comfortable about themselves when they were around me would not work on him. i enjoy challenges like that. they remind me that every part of my personality is given new shape with the people i interact with. it was interesting when he let me know that he thinks that i believe i am better than everyone else, just by watching me interact with his friends. i asked him if i was doing anything to make him feel uncomfortable, and he said "no, you're not bothering me." i told him i was glad i could bring out the parts of his personality that don't bother him. then i asked him if he ever heard me say that i was better than anyone else to any of his friends. when he told me no, i asked him what other signals, cues, movements, or actions did i display that made him think that i thought i was better than anyone else. cause i know, and he knows, that those words never came out of my mouth. so it must have been some other form of communication that he picked up on that triggered the part of his personality that makes him feel better than everyone else which he then projected on me. he didn't really have an answer. maybe its how i walk, how i interact with others, maybe its the confidence that i have in myself that i wear on my sleeve that triggers the "i'm better than you" part of their personality. hey, if people got a problem with me before they even get my name, i'm good with filtering them out of my life. in the end, we had a great conversation and he reminded me about the power in the word "and" connects.

east coast reprazent!

- the dreadlock phenormenon \m/^_^\m/

Friday, October 07, 2005

~*...mariko mori...*~

i was planning on staying in tonight, work on my site and play some video games. that was until my friend kiki sent me an email about a special guest lecturer at ryerson polytechnic university. held at the new centre for computing and engineering (right across the street from isa and darryl's place), the kodak lecture series was proud to present japanese artist mariko mori. what kind of artist is she? well, its hard to describe. from video, to photographs, to sculpture, she goes beyond categories. you've probably seen her work before, but if you haven't here are a few examples.
mirror of water, 1997-1998

entropy of love, 1997-1998

pure land, 1997-1998

burning desire. 1996-1998

here is the description of mariko mori from the kodak lecture series:

005 Venice Biennale sensation Mariko Mori speaks in Toronto as part of the Kodak Lecture Series

Toronto – The Kodak Lecture Series is pleased to announce that New York-based, Japanese artist Mariko Mori will present a talk about her work on Friday, October 7, at 7:30 pm at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Born in Tokyo in 1967, Mariko Mori is an artist, a former fashion model and student of fashion design whose category-defying work –she has been described as a cross between a geisha girl and Gidget– has catapulted her to the top of the global art scene. Her highly stylized installations, videos, and photographs synthesize a myriad of connected influences from popular culture, science fiction, and Eastern spiritual practice. Mori's personal sense of spectacle and spirituality are often clad in a consumer culture slickness which creates an artistic vision capable of eliciting both ambivalence and enchantment.

Wave-UFO, the sensation of this year's Venice Biennale, is a stunning and novel three-person immersive environment that combines real-time computer graphics and brainwave sensory technology. Shaped like an extruded teardrop, Wave UFO is a 34 x 17-foot pod in which participants recline to watch a mesmerizing, electric display of colour, sound and motion projected on the domed ceiling above. Electrodes attached to each viewer gather brainwave data, which is transformed into visual imagery in real-time and projected onto the screen. This instant biofeedback thus incorporates the experience of watching the projection as well as the interaction between the viewers themselves.

Mariko Mori was educated at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo and the Chelsea College of Art in London and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. She has had solo exhibitions and installations at Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Prada Foundation in Milan, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Deitch Projects.
she spent most of her lecture discussing wave ufo. wow, what an incredible piece of interactive art generated by the brainwaves of the three participants. i couldn't help but think to myself that a wave ufo would probably be something i would come across on the playa at burning man...if this piece of art could survive the desert. i wonder if she's ever been to burning man. the fusion of media and technologies with art, creativity, and the imagination make wave ufo almost impossible to fully describe. the software that runs the wave ufo is just as fascinating. it analyzes and visualizes brain activity and then projects it inside the ufo in real time. pure neo-tokyo art from a jedi who rekognizes that everything in the universe is one.

the free lecture was packed. i was so glad kiki sent me the email about the lecture last minute. mariko mori is a whacked out little japanese anime artist radically expressing herself. czech out these projection captures of three people's brainwaves interacting within the wave ufo.

here are a few reviews of mariko mori's work at the tokyo museum of art and in japan's metropolis magazine.

thanks kiki for the heads up. you made my friday night way more enjoyable than i had planned.

- normurai

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

~*...being a queen...serenity...*~

today darlene and i were treated like the queens that we are. we went to the shiatsu academy of tokyo on danforth and got a shiatsu massage. the word shiatsu means thumb and finger pressure and involves the practitioner applying pressure with their fingers or palms on a pattern of points all over the body.

because we were being treated by second year shiatsu students, the rate for an hour of shiatsu massage was only $30 (taxes included). it felt great to get a massage. i haven't had a one hour massage since, well, i've never had a one hour massage before. it was rejuvinating. and its great to be girly with darlene. she's such a great balance between tom boy and girly girl. she skateboards, snowboards, and surfs, and can spend hours in a makeup store.

last tuesday, darlene and i went and got our ears candled at pop design hairs studio and spa. neither darlene or i had ever had our earz candled, so it was a new experience for us. they didn't use regular candles, rather a hollow beeswax candle. its supposed to clean out the toxins inside of you, remove bacteria, and contribute to overall wellness. combined with some essential oils and a little face and neck massage, the experience wasn't really that rejuvinating. you could hear the candle causing a sort of vaccuum in your ear as it burned, but there was no real change in my well being after. unlike a massage where you feel relaxed after, the after effects of an ear candling was a bit harder to define...and it cost $5 more than our shiatsu massage. i'd more reccommend the massage over an ear candling. but it was dar dar and normie norm day to be queens at the spa. i wonder what we're going to do next tuesday.

i met up with some friends at the paramount theater later to see joss whedon's first feature film, serenity. based off of the short lived television series "firefly", serenity is the name of a firefly class starship. joss whedon is known for writing and producing the television series buffy and angel. his humour and whit is brilliant. my friend bev lent me first (and only) season of firefly on dvd so i could prepare for the movie. this telelvision show is brilliant. the characters are like space cowboys, hell they even talk like cowboys. the humour is pure buffy/angel style whit. the stories are well done, and interesting. what i really enjoy about whedon's view of the future is that its not all about laser blasters and futuristic vehicles. of course they are there, but that doesn't mean a good pistol or a shotgun is ever going to be thrown aside for new technology. kinda like how star wars balanced out the ways and weapons of old with the future by having blaster rifles and lightsabers.

i could go on and on about how brilliant this telelvision series is, just rent it and find out for yourself. as for serenity, it is the new star wars. fast paced, action packed, likeable and believeable characters, clever, and humour that is not catered to children. and it looks like the peeps over at rotten tomatos agree...serenity is fresh. not to mention the very attractive cast of the serenity is more than easy on the eyes *drool*

czech out the official serenity website here.

after the movie, our krew headed over to the bishop and belcher pub on queen street. this place has been a staple on the queen street strip for decades, and its home on queen west is about to come to an end. their 20yr lease is up, and management is more than tripling their rent. so in a few weeks they'll be relocating to the top of the gaybourhood at church and bloor. i have many fond memories of the bishop and belcher. it will be missed. at least i was able to order one last big belch before the pub closes :)

- normie norm (=D)----