Laibach: The Next Generation

After ten years, I saw Laibach live again on my last day in Zagreb. Part of the performance included a set they were taking to North Korea.


Here is the review from T-Portal.

So how is Laibach doing in 2015? At first I was sceptical since half of the performers were younger than me, but then again, Laibach was always more of a collective. Though the last founding member left about ten years ago, the machine itself is still marching on across absurdity with aplomb.

Grieg’s unfinished opera

Hello Zagreb!

Whenever we go to Zagreb, there are a set of places we always visit. The lions at the Zoo are a perennial favourite.


Then there are numerous places that we have not been to before (or if we have been there, it has changed since). This year we had a good choice of new things.


Museum of Illusions was fun. We got caught on camera and were on the evening news.


We also checked out the Car Museum. I have actually been to that building, back when it was a bottle cap factory! I remember taking a few photos of kids squished together in BMW Isetta, but I can’t find them on my phone now.

My dad tried to capture a good picture of all three boys at the model railway exhibit. As if they could pose for a split second!


We checked out Da Vinci exhibit at the Velesajam (Fairgrounds). I have been to Velesajam many times over the years but it is the kind of place where you can’t see the forest for the trees. During the fair the place is teeming with people and goods and balloon stands and kitsch and pretty much anything that is flashy and loud.

This time the Velesajam was almost abandoned. There is only one obvious entrance and the Chinese Pavilion with the Da Vinci exhibition is almost on the other side of the complex. We wondered through the empty streets littered with fine attempts at large scale architecture from the second part of the 20th Century. And no, despite whimsical, or even stylish designs, concrete does not age well.


After seeing the exhibit, we decided to look for another entrance and effectively got lost in this proto big box mall. Here is a photo of my grandmother and my dad at the beginning of Velesajam some sixty years ago. Obviously, my kids did not invent utter indifference to looking at the camera while being photographed.

1952 scan0010

Eventually we ran into what looked like a Goth paintball field but turned out to be a movie set about war-torn Sarajevo (as we concluded when we saw a battered road sign pointing to Sljeme but calling it Jahorina). At this point I had to explain to Trevor why they are building a movie set instead of using computer graphics. Sigh.

Finally, another place we got to check out this year is the administrative side of the Zoo when we would drop off Trevor for his summer camp.


The Zoo has been well taken care of and the new additions are quite effective.

Film: Moonlight Kingdom

Trev and I spent the day downtown on Thursday. He had a doctor’s appointment in one of the skyscrapers and then we met up with Maria to eat street food. Trevor went for a burger and Maria and I got sticky buns. We run into Nona and Nada and later Trevor got to chase some ducks that stubbornly decided to live in the Confederation Park fountain. After a nice walk down Elgin street we said bye to Maria and headed off to the Nature Museum to see “Animal Inside Out”.

I feel ambivalent about nature museums in general. Despite the creepiness, I can’t object to taxidermy, I think displaying the animals as close to the real thing makes sense and the museums themselves would lose much of its richness had they resorted to papier-mâché versions of the real thing. I still find it eerie that the objects are kept in some sort of pre-decomposition stasis for such a long time. Plastination resolves the decay issues but is like taxidermy on speed; interest and creepiness both amplified to 11. OMG, a Cerebus!!! No, it is just a camel with its head split open into three…

After we finished the exhibit, Trevor wanted to stay and see all the other parts of the museum which took us to supper time. There were two restaurants on Bank street I have been wanting to visit for a while, so I arraigned with Chris to meet us at the Korean place with the rest of the crew. We rarely go to restaurants any more (other than quick lunches on workdays) so going as a family was an event in itself. The boys ended up eating Chris’ meal, Chris ate Trevor’s dish, I ate the boys’ soup, Owen cried until we ordered him tofu salad and then ate tree forkfuls of it because that’s all he ever wanted, the waitress was spoon-feeding Markus and so on. Surprisingly enough the outing was not a complete disaster.

Now I am sorry I did not take pictures of the day, but it is something that I very rarely do anyway. When I am doing something with the kids I tend to not want to distract myself with the camera, besides, Chris is the designated photographer. It was nice to spend the day with Trev. There have been a number of challenges in school and Chris and I have been racking our brains trying to make the best decisions. It is hard to understand why there is so much of head butting at school when at home he is as easy going as eight year olds come.

Film: Only lovers left alive

I am going to declare the 30×30 challenge a success. Sure, you can nitpick my definition of nature, but I counted any outdoors time that did not involve a parking lot or March Road. I counted March Road if it rained.


Some days getting the 30 minutes was a struggle. Chris and I dealt with it by making it a habit to go into the yard to sit for a few minutes before going to bed. I hope to keep this habit now that the challenge is over.

Even though our garden is a weedy neglected mess, it always surprises me how beautiful plants can be.


Irises and Heucheras are some of my favourites. I look forward to their beautiful flowers every year,.


Film: Snowpiercer

My previous spring challenges include “May – Bike to Work Month” and “April – 30 Days of Biking”. Since I started biking daily in mid March this year, neither of these appealed. But here comes David Suzuki with the 30×30 Challenge.

Can I be in nature for thirty minutes every day for thirty consecutive days? Let’s find out!


Film: Paddington

We had a great time on the CHEO ride this year. For the first time since the fall I put on my lycra pants and clippy shoes and got on the “fast” bike. We left the house just before 8 and breezed to the War Museum to meet up with the slowpoke part of Team Awesome (slowpoke because we were only doing the 35km).

P5037707 - Chris

Now that the weight of parenthood has evened us out, we were even able to keep up with Dan. He almost made a successful getaway at the start but after that we knew to stay close in the group. Like this:

P5037730 - trailer

It was the perfect cycling day and with few short stops we covered the 35k in an hour and a half. We have been doing this event for a while but I still get giddy riding through Ottawa with traffic blocked off to not bother us. It is the best!

We pulled into our driveway 6 hours after we’ve left with exactly 80km on the odometer. What a good start of the season!

A big thank you to all my sponsors! Cakes will be coming soon – or late if you are on the other side of the Pond.