ICFF Closing Night Gala

Date #320 - Friday, June 20, 2014

A: B and I were invited to Casa Loma in celebration of the ICFF closing night gala. It was beautiful; an outdoor event on the back terrace of the castle. Neither B and I have ever been so we were really stoked to check out the inside but I guess we still can’t say we’ve gone to Casa Loma!

The ICFF are gracious hosts - tables of cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes, breads, olive oils, yum… and an open bar! I wish I asked what red they were serving because it was yum!

One of my favourite things about this festival is how supportive they are of the Italian culture. There were so many people attending from Italy and the accents were so charming! Jus tlike listening to B’s dad, I was so fond and nostalgic for my visits to Italy. Firenze was one of my favourite places in the world.

B: Yes that’s a giant roll of cheese. And yes that’s a Ferrari. And YES we are at a castle! What a glorious night. 

Maybe there was no Steve Baldwin and it was a bit chilly outside, but sitting by a fountain and just talking about anything with A was pretty sweet. Most of the people at the closing were speaking Italian and I totally felt like an outsider and I kind of liked that.

Making “Good Karma”

Date #318 - Thursday, June 19, 2014

A: We were SO busy helping my friend shoot a short film all day that we didn’t get many pictures. I have a patio blog so that’s where the one on the left came from and the other was taken because I couldn’t see the screen in the bright sunlight so I took a photo and moves to the shade to look at it (can’t move the camera because of continuity!).

I like working on projects like this with B because I get to see B work with sound and I find that interesting. I always learn something new.

B: This was a lot of fun. Making movies is great and I think A and have different styles that compliment each other. I didn’t know too much about A’s friend’s film, but I knew they needed help with sound and that a film with poor sound is simply a poor film.

I got to help on lighting too and talk about camera settings and generally be geeky with A. We then went to a patio and I bugged the servers about switching the TV the moment the World Cup game was over to the Blue Jays game. A’s friend and I talked a lot too, probably more than we ever have before. It was a cool progression in our friendship.

Netflix & Running

Date #317 - Wednesdday, June 18, 2014

A: I went for a run before B and I spent the entire night watching Netflix and this crooked picture is the only one we could find for June 18th!

B doing crossfit motivates me to stay fit and healthy so much that, since he’s been doing physio and taking a break from workouts, I had to muster the inspiration all on my own. I believe my instagram caption was “UGH #RUNNING” but I’m glad I went. It was one of those weeks… You know…

B: A is amazing. It sucks not being able to workout and when I found out she woke up early and went for a run it made me hopeful for when we can work out together again…as long as its not in the morning - I hate early workouts.

Family Matters

Date #316 - Monday, June 16, 2014

B: We woke up the next day in Whitby and worked on some random projects. I’m probably updating this blog in that photo (meta!).

We took the train back to Toronto and when we arrived A got some bad news about her family. It was the extreme shift from happy-times to crisis-times. A was so calm I didn’t know how bad things were. I simply asked “what do you need me to do?” I was ready to do anything.

Looking back I feel really lucky to have found that - someone who I don’t question dropping everything for. While crisis moments can really suck, they help you understand what is really important and what you really value.

A: B’s referring to my Grandmother’s health. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a couple years ago and, since moving to Toronto in 2011, I try my best to spend as much time with her as possible. When my grandfather passed, I was travelling and living around the world and never took the time to come home because I had so much hate for the city. I avoided it all together. I’m so close to home now that I’m making my grandmother a priority. I went to stay with her at her apartment for a couple days and I can’t even believe B’s response was, “Want me to go with you?” It warmed my heart. And my grandmother’s.

Father’s Day in Whitby

Date #315 - Sunday, June 15, 2014

B: I love my Dad. We used to have a pretty rocky relationship, but now we’re really close. You could say we have always been close, but I fought it hard when I was young. He is very adamant on family time and I admire how much love he has to share.

I’m happy he so willingly and joyfully shares that with A too. I know he was super happy that she came to Whitby to spend the day with us. We all went out on my parents sail boat and then played Ticket to Ride together. 

It was a really fun day and at the end my Dad kept going on about how we should do it again. I know A has a different relationship with her Father and I’m happy she can experience this new kind of relationship with my Dad. I read this amazing article she wrote and I learned so much more about her.

I am super grateful to have such a balanced male role-model in my life and I try to tell him that as much as possible.

A: I love B’s dad too. He’s fun and funny and is super creative so it’s neat to see him and B interact. He also has a wicked Irish accent and it makes me nostalgic for those travelling days and inspires me to get out there more. B’s family is very international, actually, and they’re incredibly active and busy people - fitness, music, food… They’re all very cultured and sweet about it.

B’s dad let me sail the boat then crawled to the other side and said he was having a nap. It was just B and I was all, “Aaaaaah!” but it was fine. I didn’t tip the boat!

(B linked to an article that I’ve temporarily put on hold due to some personal roadblocks - but it’ll be back soon!)

A day full of waterfalls!

Date #314 - Saturday, June 14, 2014

B: I’m so happy A and I got to go on this autoshare trip and bring some friends. I heard a lot about the over 100 waterfalls in the Hamilton area (yes, over 100!) and really wanted to go. 

When one of our friends brought a waterfall book she has had since childhood, I just knew this trip would be perfect. At our first waterfall, Webster’s Falls, we snuck under the fence and scaled down the very sketchy stairs to the base of the fall (the camera was getting soaked in that pic). I was super happy with everyone’s adventurous spirit. I then read the very romantic poem Na-Go-She-Onong as a way to set the rest of our trip off on the right tone.

We went on to see the second-largest waterfall in Ontario (Niagara is the first…obv) - Tews Falls and a few others. After seeing Punch Bowl Falls we went to the market and found a tone of goodies, including the best butter tart and strawberry-rhubarb pie I’ve ever had. We also found the Detour Café, a café run by one of my favourite coffee roasters.

Before heading home we found my favourite waterfall - Albion Falls. The falls are super accessible and we were able to climb on their multiple layers and take a bunch of photos. Our friends wanted some photos of them kissing under the falls and I’m so happy A and I were able to deliver this to them. I had such a blast hanging with other people and travelling around.

A: This was the perfect day trip and the one that really sealed the deal for me. Autoshare is awesome. The fact that you can take a car for $100 and drive around without a worry - all day - I mean, this was a 12 hour trip and it felt like 2. The other shocking fact was that all these beautiful trails and sights were AN HOUR away from where we live in downtown Toronto. That is nuts! I have a new love for Southern Ontario and all it has to offer. I actually keep resisting liking it so much but I can’t help it! It’s beautiful! And it’s basically our backyard!

Italian Film Festival Opening Gala

Date #313 - Thursday, June 12, 2014

B: The date before A watched (and I somewhat watched) a few films for the ICFF. As a result we were both granted tickets to the Opening Gala. The event was at The Ritz-Carlton and super swanky.

A told me there was a lot of food and even espresso, so even though I was volunteering at the Provincial elections all day, I went. I ran into a Director friend of mine and met some other amazing people, including Stephen Baldwin. A said it was a dream to meet him and so I made sure we got a pic together. He was hilarious and super nice.

A: I’ve been binge watching 30 Rock and I know Alec is not Stephen but I have a precarious way of “bumping” (nay, breathing the same air) as Stephen Baldwin/any Baldwins. The first time I went to Cannes Film Fest I sat beside Will and Stephen and their families and eavesdropped their convo (I know - rotten of me!) but I really loved it. They were so family-oriented and seemingly close that I thought it was neat. Anyway, meeting Stephen was nice. Having him laugh at my joke was awesome, too. I made some comparison of New York and Toronto - it wouldn’t be funny if I told you here - but.. Oh yeah.. The most important part of this night was the lemon meringue tarts. I think I ate 15 of them. To. Die. For.

Movies & Tough Walk

Date #312 - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

B: Sometimes I don’t want to admit my limits. Today was one of those days. I just finished an intense physical-therapy session (I was hit by a car) and really wanted to just lie beside A. I know she wanted to see me too. I also had her DVD screeners for the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) and so I knew if I made it to her place we would get to watch foreign cinema together.

I was so lethargic that, when I set out to walk to her place, I was moving at 1/4 my standard pace. I called A and I could tell she had no idea how to handle my complaining. I also was barely making sound, so I’m not even sure she knew what I was going through. I was in-pain and maybe should have stayed home. Or not. I’m not sure. I just know that I need to make a decision and stick with it and not complain.

A: After talking to B I got on my bike and biked in the direction he’d be walking. When I found him hobbling (okay, he doesn’t like that word, sorry) along slowly with his purple keep cup I could tell it was one of those days for him. I think the best thing you can do when someone’s experiencing these sorts of feelings is to listen to them and be there for them. So that’s what I tried.

Being Ginger

Date #311- Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A: Scott Harris who directed and starred in Being Ginger (pictured above) made this totally heartwarming film about trying to find love in Scotland/in general while being a red head. I should preface with a fact and a memory. The fact: 2% of the world’s population is red-headed, and of that 2%, 98% live in Ireland or Scotland. The memory: when I was in Scotland, I got heckled to the nines by random passerbys in Scottish accents, most of the words I didn’t understand (I’m bad at accents) unless it included “ginga!” That’s how I knew it was directed at me. So when Harris goes to school in Edinburgh (the same city I went to), I could totally sympathize with people telling him they’d never date gingers.

Despite him openly being picky and superficial, he comes around (in the doc) and the film was actually cute. A good first feature. The Bloor also let all gingers in for free which was awesome…. Though B and I used to work there so we’re usually granted access to un-busy shows (The Bloor is awesome…!).

B: It was really great watching this film. I knew the screening was important to A, so I made sure to show up. I didn’t know things were so bad in Scotland and I still don’t understand why people saying comments like that is funny.

I was really impressed with Scott’s honesty and vulnerability on camera, especially considering that he directed the film. The movie was really about being comfortable with yourself and has a very universal message.

OITNB Season 2 cont’d

Date #310 - Monday, June 9, 2014

A: I wrote two paragrpahs about this show and the internet deleted it do I am boycotting this date! I didn’t like OITNB orrrrr the ending. What a poorly mapped out season!

B: I completely agree with A. I actually kept saying “this scene is just people standing around talking.” The show lacked a forward drive, often just treading water, and then glossed over great plot-points or character moments (i.e. the return of Mendez was hugely dramatic and was over before it began). Also, I love this show for showcasing the complexity of female strength, vulnerability, and relationships. I think from its subject matter to diverse casting the show is a model for the direction TV and film needs to move in. That said, I was deeply upset and let down when, all of a sudden in episode 9, the word “Pussy” started showing up in the mouths of characters who never used it as a way to depict weakness. Beyond the misogyny of this word, it again is an example of truly inconsistent writing.

So often I watch great TV resort to stale, and demeaning writing in the face of what I can only think is a declining writing budget. I was hoping OITNB would avoid this. I was wrong.

Painting in Rouge Park

Date #309 - Monday, June 9, 2014

A: This day was amazing. I can’t believe Rouge Park is a mere 30 minutes from where I live - which is downtown Toronto. This park is incredible and B and I had such a good time planting ourselves along a creek and painting to ourselves. I could have stayed there all day. Unfortunately we only had a couple hours given the time constraints on our AutoShare trips, but I’m so glad we did this. 

The first time we tried to do this we got in a fight and I just cancelled the car reservation. I couldn’t stop thinking about that when we were on our way. Sometimes I think about what could go wrong so much that I actually make it go wrong. I’m not sure if that’s an accident or subconsciously purposeful although I’d really like to think that I want our trips and activities to go well. I sometimes question my own thoughts or decisions; like they don’t always align with my end goal. Am I nuts?

In any case, B is wholly receptive of this, sometimes too often. It’s a strange dynamic that I’ve found myself in but I love it and him for loving me. I don’t question that.

B: Ohhhhh, now I get why I felt all of this tension. I mean, there is usually tension for me when travelling (I think some other people may feel a similar way). I love when I read A’s comments and I learn something new about our time together. It’s interesting how in any given moment you may be feeling something intensely, but are unable to articulate that.

The paining was incredible and I also wish we could have stayed longer. A is much more organized than I am, so I was having a bit of a difficult time painting. I do abstract work to music, so there are a lot of variables. I was even happy to just sit by the creek and take pictures of A. She was so still while painting. I was all a fluster.

We were so excited by the idea of making art in nature we filmed this short video for CBC’s #OwnSummer contest. 

Field Trip Day 2

Date #308 - Sunday, June 8, 2014

A: Field Trip day 2!! This festival is amazing - the music, the venue, the people. This year had a great deal more activities too, from photo booths, wine tasting,a hoola-hoop park, giant ping pong, a day camp for kids, an art exhibit… Unfortunately it was a tad rainy but nothing like TURF last year where it poured on the Sunday and only the strong-willed and very wet stayed. 

And I must say that BADBADNOTGOOD were incredible. They really impressed me and their audience reception was awesome. I mean, instrumental jazz-infused hip-hop covers. COME ON. AMAZING.

B: It’s funny how a bit of rain can put a damper on things. I try not to let the weather affect me because, well, I can’t affect the weather. I do have to say that I was pretty sad when the coffee cart ran out of coffee.

The day on a whole was incredible. I haven’t seen Bad Bad Not Good in awhile and they were totally incredible. They’ve grown so much as a band an it is a real treat to see and hear them. Do Make Say Think were also incredible. I love that band and they completely move me in so many ways. 

We hung with friends and ran in to more people. The night ended perfectly with Broken Social Scene (a band I’ve loved since 2003). Listening to them with A I reflected on how I and everyone are such different people (even the band). Where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Jose Reyes Bobblehead day!

Date #307 - Sunday, June 8, 2014

A: Okay, this was a bit ridiculous. I can not believe we actually did this after our insane Saturday. We went to bed around 4am and got up at 8 to go get free bobbleheads at the Blue Jays game. Honestly… I napped during the game. I’m not proud, but I’m accepting that this is a thing that I do. And it was even on B’s shoulder so judge all you want but at least I have a shoulder to nap on in public if I ever require one. (Shaking my head so hard at myself right now lol)

B: Do you see that awesome photo-bomb? Hilarious!

OK, back to the post, yes, I can’t believe we got up and did this either. A is super adorable when being woken up. She doesn’t really like to be woken up, so I do this delicately. We were both super tired but managed to be pretty civil to one another. 

When we got to the lineup we were maybe 50th in line, the farthest back we’ve ever been. We had to wait almost 2 hours for the doors to open and it was cold. We also wanted to save $1.50 on the veggie dogs you see, so we kept going to this one cranky vendor around the corner who kept telling us the veggie dogs were frozen. The Jose Reyes Bobbleheads are great though.

Figment FUNdraiser Art Party

Date #306 - Saturday, June 7, 2014

A: We got to be a part of this epic fundraiser for Figment Toronto happening in July. Our project Disposable was well-received thanks to the awesome attendees and despite our totally lethargic and sleepy vibe. Spending the day in the sun and then the night running an installation was exhilarating and…. blurry.

B: I can’t believe that we did both Field Trip and this installation in one day - especially with me still healing from a car accident! We actually set up before going to Field Trip and we did it so quick. A and I were so efficient. I love when we work together and we operate like a well oiled machine. One big challenge is documenting all of the cups we collect, but A and I just devised a system without really discussing much and went to it.

The people at Figment are amazing and the whole event was incredible. I’m really sad that we may not be able to attend the actual festival on July 26-27.

Field Trip Day 1

Date #305 - Saturday, June 7, 2014

A: Field Trip is an annual outdoor festival down at Fort York. It was our second year in attendence and the festival is so much bigger and busier than last year! Not only is the music fantastic - a lot of great local bands and always bands that I’d heard of and never heard of who put on incredible shows.

This year Kevin Drew played. A few months ago on Date #161, B and I were in his music video (part 2 here) which was an odd and inviting experience and it was cool to see him perform live. 

Most impressively I think was the activities and gallery Field Trip had set up. It was wholly local and participatory - you could even get your hair done - and the food was expansive and yummy. I love going to these events with B, especially since he runs into so many people that I’ve heard about and can usually put faces to names in the span of two days. Everyone was really nice. I feel lucky to know someone so active and who people respond positively to.

B: Field Trip started last year as a 10th anniversary celebration of my favourite label, Arts & Crafts. Unfortunately I was touring the country with CBC and I had to miss the experience. 

This year I got to go and it was amazing. The whole thing felt like a family picnic for all of Toronto. From the local vendors, to jumping castles, and an entire hoola-hooping section, everything was great and relaxing. It felt so good to let go for a few moments and relax. I couldn’t stand long because of my leg and the accident, but I could sit and listen to some amazing music. 

Seeing Kevin play, especially with A, was so much fun and I’m happy we got to share that.