My New Sweet Ride

Thursday, June 28

With summer crowds on the street cars and subway and the humidity in Toronto slowly creeping up to levels I’ve only experienced in tropical countries, it was time to find a breezy new mode of transportation. I haven’t had a bike since I got back from India where my sweet ride with its non functional brakes and crooked front tire that hinted at a past affair with a car, let me cruise through the chaotic traffic circles and police blockades. So off I went to the bike store with my budget in mind and hopes of finding a nice little road bike. Next thing I know my budget is blown out of the water and I’m test riding a bike that is worth more than anything else I own. Luckily I came to my senses and settled on a pretty sweet ride, the Lemond Etape. Since I live in the bike theft capital of North America (there are apparently more bikes stolen in Toronto than in New York…), I opted for the ridiculously expensive lock that guarantees it’s unbreakable and weighs enough to make you believe it.

I’ve been out for a few rides and I like the freedom or cruising around on my new bike. The street car tracks that criss cross downtown Toronto make riding interesting since they’re the perfect size to grab your front tire and send you flying as Jodie found out her first day on the road. She is still alive by the way just with a few scabs to look hardcore. But, in downtown at least, riding a bike is faster than transit in the summer.

This weekend will put the new bike and my ass to the test since we’re heading out to ride around the wineries and the falls at Niagara.

Happy Canada Day Weekend Everyone!
nicholas, 9:26 AM | link | 5 comments |

Movie of the Year, So Far

Tuesday, June 19

I went on a date to a movie on the weekend that I didn't really know anything about. After sushi and a beer on patio it just seemed like the right thing to do so based soley on the movie poster we walked in and sat down. The movie that I ended up seeing was "Once", an Irish film that got good reviews at Sundance this year. The interesting thing about this movie is that it is basically a musical though not in the traditional sense. I say it's a musical becasue at least 1/3 of the film is music. Upon doing a little research when I got home, it turns out that the movie's main character is played by Glen Hansard who is apparently the front man for an Irish band, The Frames. The writer and director of the movie, John Carney used to be in the band before going on to make movies.

So that explains why the movie gives you this amazing feeling of walking around town watching a love story unfold infront of you while your iPod plays the soundtrack.

The movie is pretty low budget but there are some interesting tecniques used that highlight the music making what would normally be annoying shaky, grainy camera work into an intimate experience. The two main characters are both singer, song writers so it's a good thing that most of the movie is them singing. The unpolished acting really works with the style of the film and I found it endearing.

The music is an absolute highlight and I've already got my hands on the soundtrack which features mostly original music by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, a czech singer. In the movie they are both caught up in lifes struggles and happen to find eachother at the right time to record a cd.

That's all I'll say but see this movie and then get the soundtrack.

You might be able to get "Falling Slowly" here.
nicholas, 10:11 AM | link | 1 comments |

My Retinas are Melting

Wednesday, June 13

When I was in Montreal recently we ended up walking by the Musée d'art contemporain and feeling a little tiered of walking around and intrigued by a big poster with a neon man we headed in. What was inside was a playful land of neon lights with fast food messages for life rather than consuming. It was an exhibition of Bruce Nauman's work mostly from his early years in the 1970's I believe though don't quote me. Truthfully, I'd never heard of him before and some of the installation pieces like a rotating singing head projected on the wall were a little beyond my grasp or maybe they were just bad, with art I never know. But the neon light exhibits were fantastic. I love the idea of using something so bright, fast, electric and inextricable connected with modern advertising to make thought provoking or just intrusive life suggestions.

There was also a trippy room lit only by green neon light which for some reason gave the illusion that the whole thing was crushing in on you. Have a browse through some of these an look for more if you're interested. Here's a review of the show that reminded me to write something about it.
nicholas, 4:46 PM | link | 0 comments |

TTC, How you pain me

Actually it's the Missisauga bus system that pains me more than the TTC. So this morning I get up, albeit a little late, but hey I'm not on a project right now so I think sleeping in a little is ok. I get on the subway and ride out to the sataion where I have to catch a bus to go to my home office with is in Missisauga. I don't go out there much because I really have no reason to when I'm on a project.

I went up to the platform and found it deserted. When I checked the bus schedules it seems that the last bus going out there is at 8:45. Serioiusly! I went down and asked and yes, there was no bus going to where I needed to go until 12. Obviously I was not going to wait around for that so I headed home to work from my apartment for the day.

I think a new shedule needs to be put in place that includes a, "I slept in Bus".
nicholas, 6:47 AM | link | 0 comments |

Updated; About Time!

Tuesday, June 12

I've been meaning to make my blog look a little nicer for some time now and only got halfway through the revamp last time which was the reason for the bright colours slightly similar to the Oilers jersey. But finally I sat down and spent a good hour finding some nice background images and figuring out how to do transparency in CSS. Hope it works in both IE and Mozilla. If not then download firefox because it works fine there.

And yes those are samples of retro wallpaper I useds graphics! Pretty I know.
nicholas, 3:55 PM | link | 0 comments |

Moving Again

It feels like I haven't been here that long but I guess it has been six months in my apartment now and it's time to move on again. While this cozy little spot has been nice it might be a little cramped when my brother moves to Toronto in the fall to go back to school so after some frantic clean up and showing off the place to a few people I've found someone to take over my lease. Yey! Now to find a new place to live for August so that I don't have to sleep on the streets.
nicholas, 2:32 PM | link | 0 comments |

J'aime Montréal and What I Learned

Friday, June 8

Apparently I look French because within 10 minutes of getting off the shuttle bus in Montreal I was asked by 4 people for directions in French. Luckily my impressive language skills shone through and I quickly came up with, "parlez vous anglais?". So I had a great trip and will be going back again soon I hope.

Following are a few things I learned on my trip to Montreal. Yes I know this sounds like a school project for grade 3 but hey, it's been awhile since I got to do one of those.

Montreal has more strip clubs and peep shows than anywhere I've ever been and they welcome all.

There is a place in the world for everyone, even those who want to dress up in chain mail and beat each other up with padded weapons. Seriously, this actually looks like fun but I'll need to grow my hair out to a proper ponytail before I can join a team I think.

The Tam Tams Rock and are worth moving to Montreal for. Where else do hundreds of people gather to sit in a park, smoke a variety of things, play drums and dance.

In Montreal, paperbaging in the park is as respectable as wine in a cafe. At least that's how it seemed to me?

Bruce Nauman's neon light exhibits are kinda creep and a white room lit by green neon makes you look like Shrek and a bit light headed.

It's hard to sleep when your girlfriend pulls an all nighter studying for an exam in the same hotel room and you volunteer to help quiz at anytime.

Celine still has some fans; in Quebec.
nicholas, 3:03 PM | link | 0 comments |

New Photos in My House

Friday, June 1

When I first moved into my apartment back in January I bought a 3 bigger frames from IKEA with the idea of framing some of my favorite photos from my travels. They of course sat in the corner of my living room on the floor until last weekend when I finally decided something had to be done with them. It was difficult to select just 3 photos because to tell the truth I have some really good photos but hey so does everyone who's been traveling. I ended up going with three from India and two of them are from one of the highlight trips I took when we rode the bus over the Himalayas for two days. These now hang in my living room and remind me everyday that I need to go traveling again and for god sakes, I need to go back to India!

These are prayer flags in the highest memorable pass in the world which happens to be in the Himalayas on the way to the Nubra valley, there are praying monks from the same area and a man dressing his camel in Pushkar at the camel festival. Ok, who wants to go traveling again? Me, me!
nicholas, 12:50 PM | link | 1 comments |

Montreal Here I Come

I've been feeling a little ebarassed when I tell people here that I've never been to Montreal. I mean it's bad enough to be a Canadian who doesn't speak french but to top it off by never being to Montreal is just crazy. Although to be fair I grew up in western Canada so for all those Torontonians who look with staring disbelief when I say I've never been to Montreal, I'll ask have you ever been to Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver, Victoria and everywhere in between? Let alone done a road trip through Saskatchewan.

In any case I'll be rectifying the situation this weekend as I head off to Montreal in a few hours for a fun filled time. I'll be doing rediculous touristy things, partying and maybe I'll even catch a concert or something while I'm there, that'd be fun. See ya on the other side, au revoir.
nicholas, 10:58 AM | link | 1 comments |