Friday, January 28, 2005

off to blue mountain (which my coworkers say is a hill compared to the mountains in YVR) for the weekend! i didn't bring my boarding gear (and i don't want to spend the extra $$ on a lift pass anyways...) so i'm going to read, draw and knit at the 'chalet'. no computer! will i make it through the weekend?

i finished 'the pilot's wife' and have passed it on to a bookclub member to read next. mr. wong was right. the book is very blah. it's written just like a stereotypical north american movie or tv drama. chapters end with one-liners or sharp peircing, 'don't fuck w/ me, b/c i'm a tough woman' comments. i could just see the scene fade to black at the end of each chapter. ah well, i joined the book club to read books that i would never read myself and this is one book i'll never pick up again. next up is mr. wong's 'the time traveller's wife'. it doesn't seem to be as cheeeeezy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

wow! i won myself a supercapacity 2005 desktop calendar! YAY! i won by correctly guessing what this is.

alison (aka lala) of supercapacity is another designer/photographer/illustrator that i admire greatly. not only does she maintain a gajillion personal and community sites, she maintains a photoblog, has an impressive roster of freelance clients and she's bringing up a toddler. according to her blog she was offered and has accepted a job at taxi - wow.

another very cool canadian chick - floria sigismondi. her photos (which include portraits of marilyn manson & bjork) are saturated and amazing. she is also a director and directed the haunting sigur ros video and christina's 'fighter' video.

so, how do people do it? how do you get to the top of your industry while maintaining your 'style' and creative integrity? i want to know!

Monday, January 24, 2005

i took another shot at the same location above which has a better composition, but both girls have long drawn faces from chewing and i thought i should get their consent before publishing ... nonetheless here are my bangers and mash!


there has been a heated discussion on contests for design work at airbag industries - a blog site for a designer in cali. he is in the hot seat for creating a contest where designers send in logos for his friend's startup accounting firm, at a chance to 'win' to have their design chosen as the company's logo. his contest has attracted so much debate that it even got a link from the aquent portal (which is where i originally found out about this).

it seems that a lot of designers find contests where businesses get free design work, devalue the design industry. hrm. some designers have also said that a decent company logo requires hours of research and legwork on the part of the designer and is worth more than prizes that are offered in contests. hmmm. other designers that have voiced their opinion think that doing free work for something that will generate revenue for the client is immoral business practice. true. either way, the debate is an interesting read and got me to read this article: when a "contest" isn't a contest. it brings up some really good points about how many designers get taken advantage of (which i have had many an experience of). but a debate within the community means that the design industry is alive and kicking, which is a good thing! w/o debates there is no growth.

i think this airbag industries contest is a pretty fair contest and if i can get around to it, i will participate. it will also exercise my brain, which never hurts. an ipod shuffle (which is part of the grand prize) doesn't hurt either.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

i attended my first book club meeting last night. due to the difficulty of the book, we pushed the original meeting date back by 2 weeks. despite this, only 3 out of the 8 members finished the book. i must say, this nobel prize winning novel by josé saramago was a tough, tough read. saramago's writing style has no quotation marks, instead dialogue between characters are inmbedded within 3-4 page long paragraphs and are differentiated between a simple comma.

on top of trying to decipher who is speaking what, saramago goes onto long run-on sentence rants about the commentatires of life between descriptions of problems that the characters are encountering. you end up thinking, 'thank you for these revelation on life that only an 80 year-old man like yourself can bestow, but can we get on with the story? what is your point?'

our discussion of the book was really interesting, yet light and fun. it was also fun to reveal the story to those who abandoned the book.

if you are up for reading a commentary on capitalistic commercialism (hmm is there any other?) then try the cave.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

windchill warning in effect

brrrrrr i don't think i'll ever get used to the cold in toronto. i hope that it stays a novelty for me - it's the only way i can survive these temps! the forecast tomorrow calls for a high of-17° but with the windchill factor it's supposed to feel like -27°. i'm sure it will get back up to 0° soon enough, but could you imagine living in -30°ish for the majority of the winter months? how do people in the prairies survive?

oh! i picked up my lomo photos from london today :) now comes the task of scanning them and posting them to flickr and (i know, i know, i've said this before) creating a flash photo album of them. unlike my goal of creating a flash photo album with my NYC pics, this time i have a definite purpose and reason to complete this goal ... i want to put this flash piece in my portfolio in preparation of a certain sumthin' sumthin'.

i hope b and psycho don't get too annoyed w/ my newbie flash questions~

Sunday, January 16, 2005

middle-hashimoto has sadly left toronto and my jam-packed trip to london is now over. after living in sub-zero temperatures, arriving in london seemed like being time-warped to springtime. despite being told that we were experiencing abnormally mild temperatures, london in janaury is beautiful with cherry blossoms blooming and potted plants with colourful flowers! i can only imagine how beautiful it is in spring with magnolia trees all pink and white and young lime-green leaves popping on all the trees.

so here is my entry on my wonderful london trip (which is starting to become harder than i thought .. b/c it's hard to summarize all the sights/lights/smells/accents into my blog).

london is such a great city - i'm really happy for b that she has made it her new home town. hannah and i deduced that due to the sheer number of people living in the city and the number of businesses that serve them, every company has to market themselves to the nines to try to fight for every pence of business; 95% of all advertising, signage, print collateral and products are all designed, photographed and packaged sooooo nicely (us north americans are so crude in this sense). even the grocery stores have great signage, photography and design for their in-house, lower priced brand products. amazing!

the one week middle-hashimoto and i spent in london seemed long yet very short at the same time. there were so many things that we saw and experienced, yet there are still many more things we wanted to do but ran out of time.

a long time ago someone once told me that there are many parallels between england and japan - both countries being imperial, island nations that had powerful monarchies ruling through repressive feudal systems. ideological similarities aside there are more practical and material similarities that hannah and i noticed:

  • bad/crooked teeth
  • people don't use dryers, clothes are hung out to dry
  • cars drive on the left-hand side of the street/driver's side of car being the same
  • many taps have a individual hot and cold faucets so you can never adjust the water temps to have warm h2o coming out of one faucet - only hot or cold
  • a limited number of TV channels
  • limited amount of landspace makes for a very small radius of personal space in public areas
  • late night drunk people on the tube (pervie business men in japan/football hooligans in the uk)
  • no central heating systems in homes
  • small econo cars (nissan micra etc)
  • cheaper mobile rates if calling other mobile users subscribing to the same company you use
  • produce is packaged up
  • some tube stations have kiosks right on the tube platforms
i think there were some others, but i've forgotten them.

my short trip really rejuvenated me and despite these dreading feelings of having to go to work again tomorrow, i have new projects and ideas that i want to tackle and experiments that need to be conducted. london is so inspiring! also, seeing the lack of recycling being done in london and all the waste that is produced makes me want to be a better environmental citizen. say no to unnecessary plastic bags at stores when shopping!

thank you b for allowing us to stay with you and showing us around the things that make up your new life.

so ... can you see b and hannah-banana in the st. paul's photo above? (the photos btw were developed as a souvenir to myself at the posh metro imaging. it is a high-end custom photo lab that b discovered in london. the colours come back so saturated and luscious. of course your negs are put into a metro-lab designed bag enclosed with the developed photos that are in a separate plastic metro-imaging bag; both items are placed into a hard plastic, semi-transparent folder with the metro logo printed all over it. of course all this luxurious packaging comes with a price. it costs £13 to develop 1 roll of film. so crazy, so london.)

i can't wait to go back ♥

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

hello from london! and what a big hello it is too-

i'm here in the apple store typing on a heavenly 17" g4 ti-book, while gazing into a 21" flatscreen monitor, on reagent street close to oxford circus. middle-hashimoto and i have done so much in the short while that we have been here; however, today was our first day w/o the local tour guide 'b'.

we are both extremely tired but still have a list of things to go see before our short trip ends in 2 more days. this whirlwind trip is a little bit surreal but very much inspiring.

my head is spinning with too much excitement (i reached my beatle's valhalla today while on a walking tour of the beatle's london sites. i can't believe i walked the same abbey road cross walk that the fab 4 did almost 40 years ago, today!) and despite writing a lengthy journal every night, i can't seem to bring words together to create a post that is a worthy reflection of my experiences in london.

i'm working on it though!

Thursday, January 6, 2005

heading off to visit b in london, england soon!! i hope we don't get held up too long at the airport because of the snow storm~ updates when we arrive in the city!

Saturday, January 1, 2005

happy new 2005 :)

i'd like to endevour to post more this year (more concrete resolutions are being thought up as we speak).

i spent new years eve and day with new transplants to toronto (ops! i originally wrote YVR). we ate mochi (japanese pounded rice cakes) and karinto (deep dried batter covered in brown sugar) while longing to eat some osechi ryori (traditional japanese new year's dishes) ~

thank you to everybody who stopped by in 2004! i hope that you can fulfill everything you set out to do this year!