Day sixty-three

The best friend date

Some of you might think that this is a cop out, to put my best friend as my first date.  But I don’t think so.  My best relationships have been with people I was already friends with.  Yes, you do run the risk of ruining the friendship.  But you also have the potential for it to be the best relationship you ever had.  You already know you love them.  You know you get along.  You know all about them and you feel comfortable with who they are.  There are no secrets.  You don’t have to spend your first date asking boring questions like “where did you grow up?” and “what do you like to do?”, because you already know the answers.  You can talk about interesting topics, have fun, enjoy each others company.  But I guess the big question is: is a really great friendship worth the risk?

It was a lovely evening out with the best friend that went into the wee hours of the morning.  He chose the place.  He even insisted on paying, even though we usually split everything.  He treated me like a lady (although did tease me constantly).  My headache this morning attests to the amount of wine we drank.  I had a lot of fun.  (I know, I bet you wanted more juicy details than that.  There will be juicy details on other dates, don’t you worry!)

Tonight

Having an odd schedule makes dating especially hard.  No one wants to go on a date on a Monday night.  Nine-to-fivers don’t think it’s a good night for a date.  Shift-workers want to relax after a long weekend or are working.  I did have a date planned that bailed on me, then another potential date that couldn’t do it, so I sent the task to a friend of mine with lots of contacts and five minutes later, a date for tonight!  And a pretty interesting one at that.  He’s going to blog about me blogging about him.  And pick me from a party with all my workmates there.  And joked about showing up with a parrot on his shoulder and speaking with a Mexican accent.  Should be fun!

The Flash Mob

For those of you who followed me through art month, below is my video of a few short clips of the dance.  I can’t seem to find the official video yet (will post that as soon as I can find it), but they did say we could post on Monday, so here’s my take on the experience:

International Dance Day Flash Mob
Metro Hall Square, Toronto
April 29th, 2011
Organized by the national Ballet School
Choreographed by  Matjash Mrozewski
Filming by Nico Szidiropulosz
Editing by Lindsay Schwietz

UPDATE!

Official video posted:

Day sixty

International Dance Day

After many rehearsals, it was finally the day of the flash mob!  At Metro Hall Square (just east of King and John) today at 12:10pm, we surprised everyone by bursting in to dance!  Organized by the National Ballet School as a tribute to International Dance Day, about 130 dancers took over Metro Hall Square.  I wanted see the looks on everyones face when we started to dance, but I was paying so much attention to getting to where I needed to be (accidentally bumping into two different dancers in the process – oops) and getting the steps right, I didn’t have time to look around me!  Luckily the weather cooperated for us and although a little chilly, the sun was out – we were worried it would be raining and no one would see us.  The official video of the event is being edited and will be put up on You Tube on Sunday.  They have asked that we don’t publish any video until the official one is released, so in respect to the choreographer Matjash Mrozewski and NBS, I will wait to post the footage of my experience until Monday.  But here’s a little sneak peek of me before the dance, filmed by the very kind Nico Szidiropulosz:

Day fifty-nine

Wrought iron

The flower hook Casey made, with a little help from me!

I’m more than excited to say that I helped make that beautiful hook yesterday!  Casey Deane invited me to spend the day seeing how he works with wrought iron at  the Toronto Blacksmith Shop Ltd.  It was so much fun!  And Casey is a fountain of knowledge, so I spent the afternoon listening to all his tidbits of information on the blacksmith trade and watching him create art out of iron poles.

The process of making the rose and hook began with the iron poles in the forge (a giant oven used to heat the metal so it is malleable).  Rotating between texturing (with the ball end of a ball-peen hammer) and cutting the petals for the rose and bending the hook (by hitting the pole on an anvil with a hammer and cooling certain areas in a drum full of cold water called a  quenching bucket), the process takes patience and skill.  The time between when the iron is taken out of the forge, until it stops being hot enough to be able to work with is called a “heat” (hence the saying “in the heat of the moment” and “strike while the iron’s hot”).  Traditional blacksmiths pride themselves on how much they can get accomplished during one heat.  It was interesting to see how the metal sheds its coating during each heat, like layers of skin flaking off.

Then the flower was created by bending the iron into a spiral and welding on the petals.  A blowtorch and vice were used to mold the petals into shape and to twist the hook section into the curve (this is the part I helped with!!!!).  The bracket was made by drilling the holes, countersinking them, and welding it into place.  Finally the whole thing was sanded, polished and coated with a clear coat to keep it from rusting.  It all took about two and a half hours to make and I love it!

Casey started learning the trade after discovering that he couldn’t find certain custom parts for his motorcycle.  After an apprenticeship with some very accomplished (and old school) blacksmiths and a few years experience, Casey opened the Toronto Blacksmith Shop to create custom furniture and home decor.  Check out some photos of Casey’s amazing pieces on the facebook page here or on torontoblacksmithshop.com.  Everything is beautiful and he does custom work, so if you need a unique, hand-made piece for your home, then look him up!

Here are some photos of my experience and some of Casey’s work:

The forge

Casey making the rose petals with a safety message on the wall in the background

Using the blow torch

Wine rack by Casey Deane

Iron bird by Casey Deane

Lamp by Casey Deane

Tonight I had the dress rehearsal for the International Dance Day flash mob!  The flash mob will take place tomorrow at 12:10pm in Toronto.  If anyone’s interested in coming out to see, send me a message and I’ll let you know where it is (as long as you pretend you don’t know it’s going to happen!).

Dress rehearsal for the flash mob. 12:10 tomorrow. If you know where this is, come see the dance on your lunch!

Day forty-eight

Dance

I haven’t talked enough about dance, considering I am actually dancing quite regularly.  I am rehearsing, along with a large group of other people (I’ve heard about 130 dancers), to be part of a flash mob for International Dance Day on April 29th.  Organized by the National Ballet School, every day of the week there are rehearsals (I usually only go to one a week) to prepare a dance routine for the occasion.  I’m pretty excited to be part of this, as I’m a huge fan of all the flash mobs videos circulating on the internet (I’ve included a couple of my favourites below).  I will talk more about International Dance Day and what exactly is happening at the secret location in two weeks.  However, just being there dancing once a week, exercising, using all of my body and emotions, is a fantastic feeling.  I find dancing just makes me happy, no matter what the style.

Spontaneous Art

I’m really interested at the moment in spontaneous art.  My friend Regan told me about an artist and author named Keri Smith (click here to check out her website where you can draw something “right in front of you” and submit it to the gallery). She’s written several bestselling books about creativity, but the one that interests me the most (which I’m now really interested to read), is The Guerilla Art Kit.  Here is an excerpt from a blog post she wrote about Guerilla Art:

“HOW TO BE A GUERILLA ARTIST
(originally published in 2006)
Guerilla art is a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun. My current fascination with it stems from a belief in the importance of making art without attachment to the outcome. To do something that has nothing to do with making money, or listening to the ego.”

Flash mobs fit into this category a little.  Particularly the one I’m a part of celebrating International Dance Day – the goal to celebrate dance (although I’m pretty sure National Ballet School gets some free advertising out of this, which isn’t quite anonymous).  I’m intrigued by the idea of random art for people to enjoy without knowing beforehand that they were about to witness something artistic.  I’m going to start doing that.  Although if I write about it on the blog, does that disqualify it from being guerilla art?  I don’t think so, considering most people in Toronto who would witness the art don’t read my blog (as much as I wish they did!).

Here are a few flash mobs videos:

T-mobile advertisement, but I love it:

Sound of Music in Belgium:

Click here to watch

Last year’s National Ballet School flash mob at the Eaton Centre in Toronto:

Click here to watch 

I also love everything Improv Everywhere do.  Check out their website here for lots of fun time-killing videos!