May 29, 2006

What a Sunday

May 29, 2006 - Categories: Uncategorized

Posting long notes because this will help me remember. =) You can skip this if you want.

I woke up to a nice long Skype chat with my mom and dad. =) It was
great catching up again and telling them about the stuff I’ve been up
to.

I helped Brian Wilson buy groceries for the Graduate House Council
barbecue this Monday. We bought 60+ liters of softdrinks and juice,
200 hamburger buns, 100 hotdog buns, and lots of condiments. I took
pictures of the heaps and heaps of stuff at the cashier, and I’ll post
them soon.

Then it was off to Dufferin Grove for the
Wireless Toronto launch. They’ve
blanketed the park with wireless internet. I might need to replace the
extended battery on the Fujitsu so that I can get good battery life
again. It would be so nice to be able to work under the trees!

I had a fun chat with Craig of Kijiji about
social software. He moved to Toronto from Montreal in order to work
for Kijiji, a community classified ads system that emphasizes being
able to meet people in person. It was great talking to him about the
company and how people hear about the cool stuff.

I met Jutta because she was picking leaves off stinging nettles for
use in a nettle pesto for an upcoming party – feeding 700 people! Wow.
She was chatting with Andrew Kegney(?), who’s into Wireless Toronto.
We had a fun conversation about nettles. Andrew’s story about running
into a huge patch of stinging nettles was funny! =) Jutta introduced
us to David of Clay+Paper Theatre and Georgie Donais of http://www.cobinthepark.ca, two
interesting projects I should definitely look into.

Another mental note: Check out Patrick Dinnen’s blog post on
electronic communication’s suckiness.

After the Wireless Toronto thing, Jed Smith and I walked to Kensington
Market to take part in the first Pedestrian Sunday for the year. I was
supposed to attend samba practice with Jed, but I felt the pull of
tango too strongly. ;) On the way to the park where we were to meet
for samba practice, I saw that a tango club had arranged a circle of
chairs on the concrete road. I also ran into Leigh Honeywell, who was
waiting for the cooking demo at one of the booths.

A short distance down the road, I met Nana, the girl from the Queen’s
Park drum party who did totally awesome fire poi. Unfortunately, she
absentmindedly left the poi in the park one day. I gave her my
condolences on her loss and lent her the glowy poi (I still haven’t
found batteries!), giving her my telephone number so that she could
get in touch with me just in case she needed to leave early.

Anyway, tango. Couldn’t resist. Instead of going to samba practice, I
walked back to the tango circle ad danced with Trevor Barrie, Peer
Flach, and a few people I hadn’t known: Renett(sp?, Peer’s friend?),
Richard, Ian, and… err… someone whose name I’ve forgotten.
<sheepish grin>

Renett had taken a few tango lessons from Victor Hugo. Richard was an
experienced dancer. Ian was completely new to it, but I managed to
teach him a few basic steps. =) He reminded me that we’d met at a
Python meeting or something like that, and that we were both in Toastmasters. When I heard that he’s working on the Persuasion manual, I told him about my interest in sales and marketing. Now I have a study buddy! =)

When tango wound down, I wandered back to the samba group. We walked
back to Kensington Market, not too far from the tango place. I should
probably have stayed there, then! It was good that I rejoined the
group, though. They had free food and beer at a restaurant near there.

I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry and I really wanted to get my
poi, so I trekked back to Graduate House and picked up my poi and my
diabolo. =)

When I got back, the samba group was warming up, so I slipped into a
Samba Elegua T-shirt (ack! it’s
large!) and played the tambo by mimicking the others. It was _tons_ of
fun, just watching so much energy pour out of the crowd.

It was a little bit weird because this was hippie central and so a
number of people were smoking marijuana. I’m not used to that and I
probably will never be. I tried not to feel weirded out by it, but I
have to confess being a teensy bit afraid of people who were drunk or
high.

The drumming was good, though. =)

After our last set, silence returned to Kensington Market. I brought
out my diabolo and started playing with it while waiting for the samba
group to figure out what to do next. Jed picked it up and tried it
out, too. I still can’t quite believe that this was his first time
with it, as he got the hang of it so quickly. (But hey, this is why I
hang out with brilliant people, right?)

I switched to the cloth poi and played around with it, drawing a bit
of an audience. I met a number of people interested in diabolo and
poi: Alia (happy birthday!), Corin, David, Norman, Denis(?), and Ariel.

I also met Himy again, and he introduced me to Ismael. I should talk
to them more about catalysts, activists, neigborhoods in Toronto…
Himy’s a walking atlas/history maven. Wow. =)

Himy, Jed and I called it a night at around 12, 1. We headed back in
the direction of GH, and had an interesting conversation about
homelessness and politics along the way. I hope Himy becomes a
councilor! He’d do a great job. =)

It will be so hard to wake up tomorrow, but today was definitely worth it!

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Random Japanese sentence: 彼は猫を二匹飼っている。一匹は黒でもう一匹は白だ。 He keeps two cats: one is black, and the other white.

Transit, barbecue

May 29, 2006 - Categories: life

The Toronto Transit Commission went on strike today, which meant that
I was stuck in downtown Toronto and couldn’t get to IBM. I caught up
on sleep and tidied my room instead. In the evening, I helped with the
Graduate House barbecue. One of the downsides of hosting such a large
event is that I had hardly any time to talk to people during the event
itself, but I’m looking forward to chatting with people throughout the
next few months. =)

Random Japanese sentence: このようにして、おじいさんは、あたりをみまわすたびに、きれいなねこがみつかっておいていくことができなくなりました。そして知らない間に、そこにいるねこをみんな拾い上げてつれていくことになってしまいました。 So it happened that every time the very old man looked up, he saw another cat which was so pretty he could not bear to leave it, and before he knew it, he had chosen them all. Kono you ni shite, ojiisan wa, atari o mimawasetabini, kirei na neko ga mitsukatte oite iku koto ga dekinakunarimashita. Soshite shiranai aida ni, soko ni iru neko o minna hiroiagete tsurete iku koto ni natte shimaimashita.