Exposure. Or Five Random Things: hair, cake, door, dance, arts funding - Mostly, it is...
Jan. 24th, 2009
05:57 am - Exposure. Or Five Random Things: hair, cake, door, dance, arts funding
I'm trying for really quick (For me. Which means first order (factual regurgitation, little commentary, no analysis or synthesis) stuff. Which turns out to be just a bit under two hours. Sigh. Must get better.) as a sort of exposure. If this doesn't appeal to you skip this post. I have no idea when or if I'll get a properly done set of accompanying text on the subjects though, so you may miss them entirely if you do.
A few days ago I got my hair cut. I went with a shorter style than I've had for a while even though it's winter since I've gotten tired with fussing with it. When I arrived at the salon, I was reminded that Chinese New Year's Day is pretty soon (Monday, year of the Ox). There's a Cantonese custom, kind of old fashioned and practiced mostly by the money conscious that one doesn't cut one's hair in the first month (or for some, the first 15 days) of the New Year. Like the not sweeping the floor on New Year's Day thing, it's about holding on to prosperity. I'm not sure where they come from, though if I were to guess, something related to poetry or phonetics would be high up there (While I can't remember many other than the 'eight' and 'four' things, I recall coming across more than a few practices revolving around associations between things that sound the same. e.g.: The word for eight sounds like a word for prosperity, therefore it has lucky associations and shows up in prices a lot. Four sounds like death, therefore it is unlucky and rarely will one find menu items sold in groups of four at a Cantonese restaurant.). Thus for salons and barbers with a large proportion of Cantonese (this includes many overseas Hong Kongese) customers who observe that custom, business volume is higher leading up to New Year's and lower after, even more than the regular amount one might expect for normal family holidays.
The aforementioned carrot cake turned out pretty much as tanac described the second time when I used applesauce instead of oil. The first time, when I used the original recipe, I got a cake somewhere between 165%-200% of the size (going from memory, and the fact that there was no way that the first one was going to fit under the cake dome that the second one did comfortably) so I'll keep that in mind for future baking. The flavour, which was good, wasn't all that different, but the second was certainly springier and easier to cut without the icing tearing the cake. Let me say here that I admire tanac's food photography, which played no small role in the decision to bake.
A little condensation on particularly cold days around the edges of windows or doors, particularly ones behind curtains or otherwise ventilation restricted, isn't terrible, particularly if they're older ones. Actually it can be fairly normal. For new set of fiberglass double doors to the patio, on a day with a high of -7 ˚C (19.4 ˚F) and a low of -12 ˚C (10.4 ˚F), with no snow up against the door, and an indoor RH of 34% it might still be acceptable. For there to be condensation three quarters of the way up the middle piece that anchors the double doors, becoming frost about a third of the way up, becoming a sheet of ice several mm thick about a sixth of the way up, becoming icicles to the floor from the bottom of the frame, and finally a pool of water bigger than a dinner plate on the floor in front of the door is most certainly not acceptable and words will be had with the manufacturer.
This weekend is DanceOntario's (...whose splash page image is currently a photo of The Chimera Project, my favourite Toronto dance company.) Dance Weekend '09. It's kind of review style, with six companies in three hours on Friday, and 12 in six hours both Saturday and Sunday. Most do an excerpt or three from longer works, others do short standalone pieces. The years I've been going there's quite a lot of variety in the program in the dance styles, as well as the artistic and technical development levels of the performers, choreographers, composers, lighting designers, and the pieces themselves, some of which are still in the workshop stage. In some ways you get a snapshot of Ontario dance's landscape; from professional companies, to university dance program students, to independent dance schools for youth, to self taught. From yesterday's performances, I've decided to look for more works from choreographers Susan Cash and Darcy Callison (relative?), both faculty at York University, and possibly Forcier Stage Works. 'What's On? Tap!' is having an event with the director's sister, Terri Clark later this year fusing country music and tap. Though I like Clark's music, I'll have to think about it. While The Chimera Project isn't on until today, I did get to see some current and former company members. Brendan Wyatt was in Forcier Stage Works' set. Da Collision's (Re)Tracing Fred had two. Johanna Bergfeldt looks a lot shorter than I remember her for some reason. I was relieved to see Louis Laberge-Côté dancing again after his injury, but he wasn't doing any lifts or other weight bearing hand work (though neither was anyone else really - it wasn't that kind of piece), so I'll have to wait to find out how he's doing there. He has gotten bigger than when I last saw him, but whether he had lost weight as a result of not dancing, or has bulked up for a different piece I wouldn't know. Also it's not really a fair comparison since in the audience for Dave St. Pierre's show he was fully dressed as opposed to in briefs and a tuxedo jacket tail-coat.
Theatre Passe Muraille's newsletter mentions two specials for 'them & us' (about which I have heard good things) $15 dollar tickets for the rest of the run, and a free performance on the 27th, to thank the city for its support. While I was happy to see the arts as one of the seven or so major federal election issues, I was pretty irritated by what in particular about the arts was at issue from the incumbents' side. From my perspective, of course Canada should have a robust public funding program for arts, heritage and culture. It's kind of an obvious key area. So I'm glad that at least the city is coming through.