My disappearance from means one of two things: there are a lot of things happening; there are no things happening. This time it was a case of the former. There has been so much happening since last I wrote. I’ve been doing a lot of work, and also spending a lot of time shooting at the Toronto improv festival. I was shooting on Friday night and Sunday night. I worked on Saturday morning, then spent the rest of the day and night at Alisha’s wedding. It’s hard to believe that she’s married now. The wedding was really well done. The ceremony was beautiful, set up on the beach. The rainy clouds parted for an hour, in perfect cooperation with the ceremony. The reception was fun and relaxed.

Sunday morning I met Dad and Sherry in Markham for lunch with Uncle Shing Kwong and Auntie Po Yee from Ottawa. We had an excellent meal of dim sum. Auntie Po Yee, who has always had a quirky sense of humour, gave me some enormous phallic-looking mushrooms and said that the Chinese believe that certain foods are beneficial to the body parts they resemble. Err. Yeah.

After lunch I went with them to check out the biggest Chinese grocery store I’ve ever seen. It’s as big as any other grocery store I’ve been in, but all Chinese stuff. They had multiple brands of every product you can possibly imagine, plus some neat extra stuff, like fresh food all cut up with bags of spices, all ready to be cooked into a soup or stir-fried. It’s a great alternative to prepared food. Everything was very cheap too. It’s no wonder that this store put several others out of business. It was just swarming with people.

I checked out the Pacific Mall too, while I was in Markham. It’s full of stores that sell pirated DVDs now. I’m not sure how they’re getting away with it. I was used to seeing this kind of thing in Thailand, and in the occassional store in Toronto, but these places looked like modern record stores, filled with glossy-packaged DVDs of movies that are still in theatres. Is mass-produced piracy legal in Canada now? I can’t see this escaping the notice of the police. Weird.

After all of this I went to the Alumnae Theatre to shoot the evening’s improv shows. The headlining show and traditional closer for the festival was Bassprov. Mark Sutton and Joe Bill put on a phenomenal show again, with the suggestions “Gaza Strip” and “lottery.” They managed to talk about the subjects in real and in metaphorical ways, never once letting us believe they were anything but down-home yokels with expansive vocabularies. They practice what they preach in their master classes: taking a journey to a destination, but not being afraid to take side trips every now and again. They also engage in the occasional rant, with both characters ranting at once. You can never hear everything both of them are saying, but you can pick up phrases here and there from each of them. It’s quite an interesting effect. It never ceases to amaze me how fascinating this show is, even though it’s just two guys in a couple of chairs, fishing.

Mark Sutton and Joe Bill in Bassprov

I spent Monday catching up on a lot of work appointments and dealing with the photos from the festival, which had piled up. I posted them to my portfolio.

Tuesday I had two shoots. One was with a woman who is applying for some kind of Millionaire Bachelor show. Sounds a little odd to me, but hey, I just take pictures. I had a second shoot just taking product photos of makeup stuff.

Today was interesting too. A photographer named Susan Dobson came in to photograph my loft. Her art involves finding a view of someone’s home that shows who they are. She shot my place as a home that serves domestic and work purposes simultaneously, carefully setting up the shot so it showed my camera, computer and living area as well. She was shooting with a 4×5 film view camera, so her process was painstaking and thorough, metering and fill flashing where necessary. She took a number of Polaroid test shots to make sure everything was perfect before making about 6 final exposures on film. The exposures were 2 minutes each at f45. She and her assistant Joe were great to work with, professional and respectful of my personal space. It was a good experience.

Anyway, I’m ready to collapse now. I have another long shoot tomorrow with 6 couture gowns, then family dinner in the evening. Goodnight!