Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How much blood before the world helps Syria?

I got this from Amnesty International:

How much blood do the people have to shed before the world helps?

Dear Tracy,

You have heard the stories on the news -- Syrian cities are being besieged, and civilians are dying in droves at the hands of their own government. Just today, a U.S. journalist and a French photographer were killed while covering the violence in Homs. I want you to know that Amnesty International is on the Syrian border, collecting stories for the world to hear.

Amnesty's Syria campaigner Maha talked with a group of women from the village of Tasil, including a young mother:

"One day before we left Tasil I was looking out from the window and saw security forces chasing a man in the farms near the village. They were shooting at him and I thought no doubt they would kill him. When I looked closely I realized that that man was actually my husband. Thank God he managed to escape."

Maha heard that 8 deaths occurred in Tasil in one week -- including a woman shot and killed while putting her laundry out on the roof.

Donate to help Amnesty shine a light on the abuses being committed in Syria and around the world.

Those arrested in Syria face unspeakable torture.

Neil, an Amnesty researcher, spoke with individuals from the city of Dera'a. Dozens have been killed in the last week, their homes looted.

Neil is hearing accounts of torture unlike anything he has seen in 9 years working on Syria at Amnesty International. A refugee named Abu Suhaib tells Neil what he's truly scared of, "I've seen many beside me be shot and killed but I'm not afraid of dying. What I fear is being arrested."

Neil talked to Jihad, a 34-year-old clothes shop worker arrested last December. Like others, he was subjected to extremely cramped conditions, electrocuted several times, and sometimes violently beaten. Also, like many, he had his religious beliefs denigrated by the security guards.

After refusing to recognize Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as his god, Jihad was kicked down two flights of stairs. Jihad unwrapped the bandage around his left hand and told Neil what happened next. "He then ordered that I be restrained in the crucifix position, and have a piece of dynamite the size of a pen tied to my left palm. 'Boom', it exploded and half my hand blew off. Blood flowed everywhere."

Jihad was taken to a hospital from where he was able to escape and later find his way to Jordan. After he fled, the security forces gave his family a document stating that if captured he will be executed.

Neil and Maha continue to uncover accounts of violence and torture. How much blood do the people have to shed before the world helps?

Amnesty International is campaigning for governments to take action individually and through the United Nations to protect Syrians from their government's brutality. We need your help.

Donate today to fund Amnesty's work to expose human rights abuses -- and push the world community to act!

Sanjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA

jokes/ new friend/ job application joke

Feb. 20 Jokes: I got this from Daily Silly recently, but I think they sent this one to me before:

A young man excitedly tells his mother he's fallen in love and going to get married. He says, "Just for fun, Ma, I'm going to bring over 3 women and you try and guess which one I'm going to marry." The mother agrees. The next day, he brings three beautiful women into the house and sits them down on the couch and they chat for a while. He then says, "Okay, Ma, guess which one I'm going to marry." She immediately replies, "The one in the middle." "That's amazing, Ma. You're right. How did you know?" "I don't like her."

Me: lol.

"A boy was bagging groceries at a supermarket. One day the store installed a machine for squeezing fresh orange juice. Intrigued, the young man asked if he could be allowed to work the machine, but his request was denied. Said the store manager, "Sorry, kid, but baggers can't be juicers."

Me: At first I didn't get it. I was like: "Is this supposed to be sexual?" Then I was like: "Oh yeah, it's making fun of the saying 'Beggars can not be choosers."

Feb. 22 Quirky: I got this from Daily Silly, and I thought it was quirky.

DORMITORY: When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM

PRESBYTERIAN: When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER

ASTRONOMER: When you rearrange the letters: MOON STARER

DESPERATION: When you rearrange the letters: A ROPE ENDS IT

THE EYES: When you rearrange the letters: THEY SEE

GEORGE BUSH: When you rearrange the letters: HE BUGS GORE

THE MORSE CODE: When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS

Feb. 23: I got some more:

SLOT MACHINES: When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY: When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY

ELECTION RESULTS: When you rearrange the letters: LIES - LET'S RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS: When you rearrange the letters: ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S

A DECIMAL POINT: When you rearrange the letters: IM A DOT IN PLACE

THE EARTHQUAKES: When you rearrange the letters: THAT QUEER SHAKE

ELEVEN PLUS TWO: When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE


MOTHER-IN-LAW: When you rearrange the letters: WOMAN HITLER

New friend: It was so cool yesterday. I went to a job interview and was waiting for the bus. This guy comes and asks when the bus is supposed to come and how to get to the airport. We started chatting and his name is Neil. He's 32 and he was going to visit his family in Toronto.

We talked about movies, writing, and blogging. We discussed my script The Vertex Fighter. We got on the bus and I gave him my two blog addresses and email address. I got his blog and email address too. We got off in downtown and went to Tim Horton's so he could get a green tea. We then went to the library so he could use the internet to find a cheap hotel to stay in.

Me: This reminds me of Futurama.

Bender: Get a room!
Guy: We are in a room!
Bender: Then lose some weight!

Neil laughs. So we hung out for 2 hrs since we met at the bus stop. I went home and looked up his blog and read a post, and then I emailed him.

Feb. 25 Job application joke: I got this joke from Daily Silly. It says it's a real, so I looked up his name. I then found this link, and a few of the answers were different, but still funny.

Here's Greg Bulmash's officical site. It says this: " is owned by Greg Bulmash (yes, that Greg Bulmash). No, he never worked for McDonalds, though he did work for Jack in the Box for 2 days in the mid-80s (mostly frying tacos before he got disgusted and moved on to bigger and better things). The job application was a joke (see the April 10, 1997 humor column below) that became an urban legend."

Here's the Bulmash's job application on his site:

Here's the Daily Silly one:

This is an actual job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida... and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!

NAME: Greg Bulmash

SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.

DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.


LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

SALARY: Less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.



PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?


DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing
that now.



Monday, February 27, 2012

Inspirational quotes (Part 6)

“Two halves don’t make a whole. Two wholes make a whole.” –Jason Mraz

“Success creates opportunities for other people.” –Liz Murray

“I will prepare, and someday my chance will come.” -Lincoln

"Put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it." – Colette

“The same fire that melts the butter makes the iron hard.”- Dear Abby

“One smile relieves a heart that grieves.” - Robert Graves (poet)

"You have a fingerprint that nobody else has, to leave an imprint that nobody else can." Keith Craft, Leadershipology

“The ending should be inevitable, but not predictable.”- Stuart Matthew Davis

“You never stop loving somebody; you just start loving somebody else.” Simple Prestige on Youtube comment about Donnie Klang’s song “So Over You.”

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

"You do what you can, and that's all you can do. No shame in it." Michael Rousseau

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." -Jack Layton

“Action precedes motivation. People often are shocked by that idea, but you can't just wait for the muse to show up. \You have to invite her in by doing something that shows her you're interested.” Gretchen Hirsch, Two Bits writing group

Success videos:

"Tim Ferriss: Smash Fear, Learn Anything." He wrote the book: The 4- Hour Work Week. The gist of it is: "What you do, not how you do it is the determining factor. Being effective, and doing the right things. What's the worse that can happen?"

Alian de Botton talks about "A kinder, gentler philosophy of success." He says: "We should not give up on the idea of success. We should make sure that they are our own. That we own them, that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions. It's bad that you don't get what you want. What's worse is that you get what you want and to find out at the end of the journey, it's not what you wanted at all."

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” - Einstein

“A man is a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” -Mohamed Ghandi

“Where your talent and the needs of the world intersect, there lies your calling.”-Aristotle

“Silence does not always mark wisdom.”- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Confession is always weakness. The grave soul keeps its own secrets, and takes its own punishment in silence.” –Dorothy Dix

“When I let go of who I am, I am open of what I might be.” –Lao Tzu

"The secret to getting away with lying is believing with all your heart, that goes for lying to yourself even more so than lying to another." Elizabeth Bear

“All trials are not a reason to give up...but a challenge to improve ourselves. Our pain is not an excuse to back out... but an inspiration to move on. KEEP ON GOING! LIFE IS GOOD!!!”- Glenda Rigon

“Note to self: Actually read notes.” –T- shirt saying, and it’s on post- it notes

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."- Philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein

"When you judge somebody it's like throwing a boomerang- goes in a circle and comes back to the one throws it. Love is like that, too. Always comes back." -Elmo

“The unexpected always happens; the inevitable never." -John Maynard Keynes

"The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want." -Ben Stein

"Losing potential profits hurts only the ego; losing money really hurts." -Gerald Appel

"There are two classes of people who tell what is going to happen in the future: Those who don't know, and those who don't know they don't know." -John Kenneth Galbraith

"Committee: A group who individually can do nothing but as a group decide nothing can be done." -Fred Allen

"Experience is the teacher of all things." -Julius Caesar

"Inflation is not all bad. After all, it has allowed every American to live in a more expensive neighborhood without moving." -Senator Alan Cranston

“If buying equities seem the most hazardous and foolish thing you could possibly do, then you are near the bottom that will end the bear market." -Joseph E. Granville

"Knowledge born from actual experience is the answer to why one profits; lack of it is the reason one loses." -Gerald M. Loeb

"Your emotions are often a reverse indicator of what you ought to be doing." -John F. Hindelong

“Put all your eggs in one basket and watch the basket." -Unknown

"In investing, the return you want should depend on whether you want to eat well or sleep well." -J. Kenfield Morley

"Risk is actually lowest when people see it as the greatest, and when most people think of it as absent, it is actually the highest." -Dick A. Stoken

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
—Diane Arbus

"Sometimes the best way to get out of a rut is to make your own path." -Greg Illson

“Take care how you give advice because wise men don’t need it and fools won’t heed it.” –Two Bits Writing Group on LinkedIn

“Surround yourself with people who know your worth. You don’t need too many people to be happy, just a few real ones who appreciate you for exactly who you are.”

“Peace can not be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” -Aristotle

“To say ‘I love you’ one must first be able to say the ‘I.’" -Ayn Rand

“Who, being loved, is poor?” -Oscar Wilde

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” –Albert Einstein

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Love is ruthless; it doesn’t feel sorry for anyone, but it does have compassion. Fear is full of pity; it feels sorry for everyone." - Don Miguel Ruiz

"(Hypothetical answers mean) you're not living in the moment and you're looking negatively at what you're doing now."–Michelle Trachtenberg

“Past performance does not guarantee future results.”

“What gets measured, gets done.” –William Droms. Professor of Finance at Georgetown University

“There are a lot of people who take more time to tell a story than it took for it to happen.” –Anonymous

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” –C. Ozick

“Success comes from taking risks.” –Robert Frank, wealth expert

“Don’t do it for the money. Follow the path to do what makes your heartbeat faster. Follow your passion.” –Lynn Tilton

“Stay enthusiastic after getting rejected.”- Jean Paul Dejoria

“Planning is easy, reality is hard.” – TV show The Mentalist

"Justice is never advanced in the taking of human life." - Coretta Scott King

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot

“Speak the affirmative; emphasize your choice by utterly ignoring all that you reject.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Who begins too much accomplishes little.” –German saying

“The purpose of storytellers is to give voice to the possible in the midst of impossibilities.”-Dan Yashinsky

“Don’t mistake activity for achievement.”-John Wooden

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”-African proverb

“Believe in yourself. Now that you know what to do, there’s no reason not to.”- Michael Spiropoulos

“The point is to do something that gets you out of your head and get into real-time life.” –Sarah Rowland

“Write the Future.” –Nike commercial

“Bold choices take you where you’re supposed to be.”-Jim Beam commercial

“If you have it and you know you have it, then you have it. If you have it and don’t know you have it, you don’t have it. If you don’t have it, but you think you have it, then you have it.” –Jackie Gleason

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must overrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle- when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”- Roger Bannister

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”-Orson Welles

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius!” –Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to with them all of the time.” –Julia Child

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”-Warren Buffet

“Happiness has a bad rap. People say it shouldn’t be your goal in life. Oh, yes it should.”- Richard Dreyfus

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.” Margaret Mead

“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The close you get to the end, the faster it goes.”-Dave Salloum

“Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career.”-Earl Nightingale

“You are the master of what you learn and what you achieve.” –Deanna Burgart

“Your only limit is your soul.” –Chef Gusteau from the movie Ratatouille

“There is excellence all around you. You need only be aware to stop and savor it.” Chef Gusteau from the movie Ratatouille

“I love doing stuff that I haven’t done before. That’s the goal: To keep reinventing myself.” –Shia LaBeouf

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sale: Human rights tees for $9 - assorted styles

Dear Tracy,
SHOP FOR HUMANITY. SHOP WITH A PURPOSE. Wear your support! Choose from a selection of t-shirts, fair-trade jewelry, and CDs. Don't forget -- every item supports Amnesty International's fight for human rights. Visit our store.



50TH AGM SHIRT - $15.95 $9.00


WRITE-A-THON SHIRT - $17.95 $9.00

I AM TROY DAVIS - $15.95 $9.00





INSTANT KARMA CD - $16.99 $12.00


To purchase Digital Downloads of Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan, please visit

You can find more great deals on

Please send all questions & concerns to

call back/ resume/ wealthy barmaid

Feb. 17: I don't know if you guys noticed, but two weeks ago, I sent 2 emails and it was both about my job search. It wasn't a variety of different topics. That TV production company idea with the Microbusiness Training Centre had some overlapping with my side project of The Vertex Fighter.

Call back: Today I took the advice from those job articles to call back after an interview. I called back that medical office on Wed. They took a message. I called them today, and the interviewer said: "I remember you. You're not the successful candidate. I already told you that I will only call the person who gets hired." She sounded a little annoyed.

Skills: My dad told me this months ago. If you get the basic computer skills, everything else will fall into place. I then kind of thought about that girl my friend Sherry told me about. The girl who can't read so it was hard for her to get a job. If she could get the basic reading skills, everything would fall into place for her.

Excel: I found this old piece of paper where I wrote:

1. Check Microsoft Excel books from the library.
2. Find really good ones, and then maybe buy one to study.

This was months ago, and I only read one Excel book.

MacEwan: I went to my MacEwan website about jobs. I just found job advice here:

Work: At work there is this kind of an awards event. I nominated my team. It took me about 10min to write it all down and submit it. Then I was told that you have to make this presentation like a video or a photo montage. I would then have to get my co-workers in on this and no one's interested. So I withdrew the nomination.

The award was a paid day off. It's like a lot of work to make a presentation, so I opted out. However, I was recognized for my hard work at my job.

Free Website Design: I found this website through my email. It says that web design and domain is free. Hosting is $12 a month. It's really for business. I have two blogs on the internet, and they're free. I'm promoting my script The Vertex Fighter and my writing.

Feb. 21 Student jobs: Since Job Bank isn't working, I decided to check out other job sections like "part time, students" on Kijiji. It's mostly painting houses. Not all, but a lot. lol.

Feb. 22 Reject: I called back that company that I did an interview for last week. The one that was really close by. They called back and I got rejected. He said that he tried to email me, but he couldn't. That's weird, because I get companies rejecting me through email after I did an interview.

Wal-mart: For all you haters of Wal-mart, I read in the business section of the newspaper that the company isn't doing that well. They didn't hit the target goal for their quarter.

Productive: Today was my day off, but I was productive by looking for a job on the websites I don't usually go to on a daily basis. I looked into and applied to banks, hospitals, and schools.

Feb. 24 Sears: Sears is not going very well either. Their 4th quarter results were very low. I read an article I think in the National Post that said: "Sears has a Target on their back." The new department store Target is coming to Canada and taking over Zellers locations.

Business: I read in the business section of the newspaper that a lot of retail stores are closing because it's so hard to compete. I was at West Ed Mall earlier this month, and the Coles book store has closed down on Feb. 12.

Relieve stress: I've been really stressed out at work for the past couple of weeks. It's been really busy and we did get a few extra people from other departments to come and help. However, with the extra people we are still running around.

The important thing is, after work is over, it's done. I don't bring the stress home.

Left/ Right brain: That infographic has an effect on me. To relieve stress, my left- brain writes. It gets me to think and calms down. My right-brain listens to music and dances the stress off.

Same goes with writing topics: My left-brain writes one email about job search and business. My right-brain writes the comedy about all these jokes in one email.

Maybe it's the law of attraction, but I was listening to the radio and I heard a ATB commercial. It's about whole-brains work there.

Resume: I found this article on Yahoo called "4 Things You Didn't Know You Could Put on Your Resume." It's volunteer work, professionally relevant hobbies, non-professional experiences, and interests.

I know volunteer work is experience. Way back in 2003, my sister said this to me: "If you want to get a job, you got get experience. In order to get experience, you have to volunteer. Ask mom if you can volunteer at her work."

I did that, and then my sister helped create my resume with it. There are lots of charities that need volunteers so go there.

Wealthy barmaid: My friend Sherry made a comment about that Yahoo article about that wealthy barmaid.

Sherry: so, if you were offered a writing scripts for 30k a year starting salary and chances to get a foot in the door in your field, would you take it?

Me: Yes, of course. A receptionist position that's $30,000 is good too. I read in the newspaper from the Canadian Writer's Guild, most novel writers only make $12,000 a yr.

Sherry: so you would accept an entry level position, as would i. she would not. therein lies a gap, huge and unrelenting

In the article, it's kind of unclear. The wealthy barmaid said she was willing to start at the bottom, but she wasn't hired because she was overqualified for having an MBA. Then she also said something along the lines of: "This waitress job can pay more than an entry level job."

Feb. 25 Job interview: The other day I went to a job interview for this optometrist clinic. I have been to that location before to do an interview for a medical office assistant position a couple of months ago. They called me that day and said if I could come that night.

Me: Can I come tomorrow?
Interviewer: No.

It was fast-paced. At the interview they said they will call the person who gets hired the next night. I think I met the interviewer before 2 months ago at that medical office assistant interview. The interview was mediocre. Right from the get-go, he asked why I applied when it seemed like I don't have experience.

I said I have education that's related to a receptionist position because of my writing and computer skills. There's some retail involved so I mentioned my retail experience.

Look, what happens after the interview was interesting. At the bus stop, I met this guy named Neil. I will tell you about him in the next email.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Norma Andrade (Amnesty International)

I got this from Amnesty International.

Norma Andrade: Viciously attacked for pursuing justice for the killers of women and children

Norma Andrade has been knifed.
This is the second time she has been viciously attacked in 3 months

Norma Andrade was with her grandchildren when she responded to a knock at the door by an unknown man at 9:00 a.m. on February 3rd. He then attacked her with a knife. She was cut on her cheek, but managed to defend herself before he fled. Norma’s condition is now stable, and she was released from hospital the following day. But she fears for her life.

Norma is a founder of May Our Daughters Return Home, an organisation seeking investigation into the rape, abduction and murder of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juárez, a Mexican border town near El Paso Texas.

Only two months before this recent attack, Norma was shot at five times outside her previous home in Ciudad Juárez. She was treated in hospital for her injuries for several days. The hospital discharged her after staff received anonymous threats that they would be killed if they continued to provide treatment. Norma and her family sought refuge by going into hiding in faraway Mexico City. Authorities promised to provide protection. Yet her life is still in danger.

This new attack appears to be part of a targeted campaign against Norma and her efforts to investigate the deaths of hundreds of women and girls in Ciudad Juárez over the past two decades. Amnesty International believes she is in imminent danger and should be provided with effective protection.

PYT/ Channing Tatum look alike/ compliments

Feb. 20 PYT: So I was listening to my old PYT cd today. It's a girl group and it stands for Prove Yourself True. I loved their music when they were on the Center Stage soundtrack. That was back when I was a teenager. They were also the friends in Mandy Moore's music video "Candy."

You may have heard of their song "Same Ol' Same Ol'" feat. Sarai. It's a good R&B song to dance to:

I thought this was really cool. There were these old interviews and video clips of these girls when they came out. They were 14 and 15 yrs old. They can really sing:

Dialogue: The Writer in Residence Jocelyn Brown gave me a tip about dialogue when she read the Rain script:

"A very important thing to understand is that dialogue from real life does not necessarily become real in a story. So the IM talk you had does not fit, completely, in the world of your script. It doesn’t matter that it was 'real' in life. Writers have to make things seem real within their invented worlds."

I emailed her back: "You're right about what works in real life, may not exactly translate well in the script. The last Writer in Residence Marty Chan said that to me, but it was over another script (The Vertex Fighter.)"

Feb. 22: I then emailed Jocelyn my next 10 pages of the Rain script. She said she's too busy, and can only give one session per writer, and to come back in the summer.

Channing Tatum look alike: I've been thinking about this for awhile, and it's related to my social skills. I wrote about it in Nov. 2009, this guy and his mom came into the Soup place. As soon as I saw the Guy, I knew right away who he looked like.

Me: There are a couple of things I want to tell you. One, we only take cash.
Woman: Okay.
Me: And two..
I then looked directly at the Guy.
Me: Do you know who you look like?
Guy and Woman both look taken aback.

Woman: No, who?
Me: Channing Tatum.
Woman: Who's that?
Me: GI Joe.
Woman: Oh yeah. He's pretty good looking. That's a compliment.
Guy: No, stop, you're making me blush. Hey, wasn't he in a dancing movie a few years ago?
Me: Yeah, Step Up back in 2006.

I guess I could have said: "And two, on a totally unrelated topic, do you know who you look like?" I predicted they wouldn't recognize the name until I said GI Joe.

A couple months later in like Feb. 2010, the Guy actually showed up again without his mom. I thought it was him, but I wasn't sure.

Guy: You told me I looked like somebody.
Me: Channing Tatum?
Guy: Yeah. It's interesting that you told me I looked like him, because after that, 5 other people said the same thing.
Me: Oh yeah, probably because his new movie Dear John came out.

Then there was like this pause as we stare at each other. I think he said: "This seems kind of awkward." I know for sure he said "awkward." I was just so shy and nervous. Guys are often mean to me, so when his mom came in with him last time, I was 100% sure he wasn't going to say anything mean to me with his mom there.

Now that the mom wasn't here, the dynamics have changed. Then he bought a soup and sandwich and sat and played with his phone. I know he was trying to connect with me, but I was shy. He was really good looking in the "hot" way. My right- brain was saying "Channing Tatum." My left-brain was saying: "It's just a guy who looks like a big famous movie star. Like 90% similarity in the face."

CT has 5 movies out this year, so I imagine the look alike will get even more people telling him he looks like CT.

Look alikes: Well prior to this, I've had other encounters. In 2007, in college, I met this guy Tyson. After a few classes together I said this:

Me: Do you know who you look like?
Tyson: The guy from Prison Break?
He really did look like the lead actor Wentworth Miller. Tyson looks like the younger brother, 50% resemblance in the face.

Me: Yeah. Who told you, you look like him?
Tyson: My manager at work. She told me: "You look the guy from Prison Break."

I find Wentworth Miller attractive in the "handsome" way. I'm not really attracted to Tyson, no disrespect. I was a little nervous telling him, but it was okay.

In summer 2009, at the Soup place, this guy came in and I thought he looked 80% similar to someone famous. He came in a few times, and I was nervous telling him. But when he came in the 4th time, I was like: "Just tell him because every time I look at him I think of the actor." The guy's name I learned later was Mark.

Me: Do you know who you look like?
Mark doesn't look taken aback.
Mark: No, who?
Me: Kyle Gallagher.
Mark: Oh, that's a new one. Actually a lot of people tell me I look like the guy from those Dell commercials.

I actually messed up on the name. It's really Kyle Gallner, and he's on TV shows like Veronica Mars. The guy from those Dell commercials, his name is Ben Curtis. I did find Mark attractive in the "cute" way. I was calmer talking to him because he did mention how he told his mom that I told him he looked like someone. Also that subconscious level of my right-brain: "He's a TV actor. He's not that big and famous."

Analyze: Now that I have analyzed and thought about it, the more good looking a guy is, the more nervous I am.

Being Human: I was watching this supernatural TV show, and I thought about the actors Sam Witwer and Sam Huntington. If these two were together, I would feel more comfortable talking to Huntington because he's good looking, but I'm not attracted to him. I would be nervous talking to Witwer because I'm attracted to him.

Meeting celebrities: The same goes when I met my favorite British boy band Blue at West Ed way back in 2002. Lee Ryan was my favorite member and I got to hug him. So with meeting singer/ actor Kyle Riabko. I was nervous about meeting them, because I'm attracted to them. However, I was prepared to meet them.

Unlike the two other times. Once in 2008, I met Nathaniel Arcand from the TV show Heartland. He came into the Soup place and I recognized him. I was excited, but I wasn't nervous. I wasn't attracted to him, I was just a fan of the show.

Same goes with meeting Bobby Lee from the TV show MADtv at my Restaurant #2. I was excited, but I wasn't attracted to him. I felt more comfortable talking to him.

Me: Wow, it's just so surreal talking to you here.
Bobby: Hey, it's okay, I'm just a guy.

I got to remind myself that when talking to guys: "He is just a guy."

Feb. 23: Also I'm sure as that Channing Tatum Look Alike is around, people may say this to him: "Did you know that he used to be a stripper before he became an actor?" I saw the trailer for his new movie with Jonah Hill called 21 Jump Street. It looks like a funny comedy.

Compliments: I thought up this question: "What would you most like to be complimented on?"

A, Smarts.
B. Looks.
C. Talent.
D. Personality.

I did compliments for my dancing in the talent show in jr. high. I got to say personality though. It's more fulfilling because also with the talent show, people did say that I was very brave to be dancing in front of 700 people by myself. I usually get compliments for being nice.

For example that guy Mark (who looked like Kyle Gallner), when he didn't know who I was talking about, I did this the next time he came to the Soup place:

Me: Hey, I printed out the pictures of him for you.
Mark (burst out laughing): Oh my God, you rock!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Calling all human rights super heroes

This is from Amnesty International:

Learn super human rights skills! Meet other human rights super stars! March 30 - April 1, 2012

Dear Tracy ,

Calling all human rights super heroes: To Denver!

We are just two months shy of the Human Rights Conference of the year. Will you be joining the hundreds of other human rights super stars who've already signed up?

With the Rocky Mountains as our backdrop, we'll tackle some of the most pressing human rights issues facing our world today and learn the skills to fight the bad guys together.

But don't wait, register now to receive the best deals on flights and accommodations!

We've got an amazing lineup of speakers - from a prominent Occupy Movement organizer to a former military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay. Plus you'll get an opportunity to meet our new Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel.

Sessions and panels will delve into topics on movement building, using social media for change, the uprisings in the Middle East, the Arms Trade Treaty, closing Guantanamo, ending the death penalty, and more.

And of course you'll have a chance to connect with your fellow Amnesty supporters (and super heroes!) from across the nation.

Reserve your spot now by registering online!

Together we can make a difference! Look forward to seeing you in Denver.

Rocio Diaz
Director of Events

P.S. To get the latest session info follow Amnesty's Human Rights Conference on Facebook and Twitter @AmnestyAGM.

production company/ Microbusiness Training Centre/ social skills

Feb. 17 Production Company: I was doing research for my production company to submit my form to the Microbusiness Training Centre and I found this video on

Here's how to make a production company:

Pick a name
Go to City Hall and fill out a business license.

Sole proprietorship (means only you work there.)
Partnership (working with one or more people). Get their names, and Social Security numbers.
Corporation: Group of people, you have networth and assets.

Next step is to write a fictitious business statement. Make an official announcement of your company.

Register your company's domain name on the internet. You may not want a website right now, but it would be smart to register it in case later on in the future you will use it.

Get an attorney.

Microbusiness Training Centre: Today I got a letter in the mail, and I've been rejected from the self-employment training program. Which is totally okay. I learned a lot from that 2hr session there. I did the module and it was very interesting because the questions are personal/ behavioral. It was like taking those quizzes in those teen magazines. lol.

They asked really good questions about you and your company. If you want to start up your own business, I highly recommend you go to the Microbusiness Training Centre.

Module A: Who are you? Self-assessment, creativity, time management. What are your goals?

Module B: About business plan components.

1. Define your company.
2. Defining products and services.
3. Market research.
4. Target market.
5. Competition analysis.
6. Marketing plan.
7. Operations plan.
8. Financial plan- income, expenses, corporate tax to pay.
9. Risk analysis.

Module C: Learn to sell.

Broken leg theory: This is about what if you broke your leg, what happens to your business? Good question, good theory.

Outcome: A written business plan.

They provide you monthly group network sessions, individual coaching, outcome.

Eligibility: You are eligible to get in the training program if you are 18 yrs old. You are employed but wanting to leave your job (requires govt. authorized counseled to leave for you to collect EI.) You can be secondary EI, like you gotten EI in the past 3 yrs.

Business tip: I thought I bookmarked this Yahoo article, but it's not there. It was like a month ago, and I read this tip: "You don't have to be creative or original in thinking up a business idea." It mentioned how Facebook was not the first social network. There was Friendster and Myspace before it. Then Facebook got really big. Now Twitter has come.

I thought that was an interesting tip. Business articles I read, and I thought it was general knowledge that you have to be innovative in thinking up different ways to make more money. But sure, let's just keep doing the same thing, that can work too.

Examples: I also thought about the book series The Baby- Sitter's Club. It was about a group of 11-13yr old girls with their baby- sitting business. It's not really creative, but it works because there's a demand for baby-sitters.

Same goes with selling food, crafts, and jewelery at the Farmer's market. That's not original, but you can make money there.

Feb. 20 Franchises: Is this the law of attraction working? I was thinking about opening a business, and then in the newspaper today, I got this Franchises newsletter. It was about tips before buying, how to finance a franchise, how to spot a good location, etc. The ads in it were advertising franchises like Boston Pizza.

Post Secret: I found this on Post Secret today:

Postcard: "Dear Boss, working with you was killing me. Thanks for the lay off!"

That was an upbeat postcard. It kind of reminded me when I was working at Call Centre #5. I signed a contract to work for at least 4 days to get paid for all 4 days. But then they dismissed after the 2nd day and I still got paid. I was happy about that.

Feb. 21 TV Businesses: I got this through my blog. This is something I'm interested, TV and business mixed together. Roxanne McAnn emailed this article: "10 Most Unrealistic TV Businesses." It mentioned one reality show The Apprentice, about working for Donald Trump.

"#4: And you'd better believe that competing for a spot in one of his companies nets him (Trump) much more than the $250,000 starting salary you get if you win."

"#5: Crime Fighting: There's absolutely no functional business model for vigilante justice. How can a superhero, especially one that has an identity to protect, send you a bill? How do these people/turtles do this stuff full time, anyway? Where's all that pizza money coming from? Even Superman and Spiderman have day jobs. Get a grip, crusaders."

Me: Well what about the TV show Angel? Angel was a vampire and he started his own private detective agency. In the first 3 episodes of the series, they didn't make money. Until the 4th ep "I Fall to Pieces (I had to check the title), Cordelia pointed out that they needed to charge their clients. They helped a woman get rid of her stalker.

The article mentions the Banana Stand (Arrested Development) and Dundler- Mifflin (The Office.) In The Office, the manager Michael is busy being liked, than being effective. I have to agree with that article.

Rant: This is a mild rant. Job Bank isn't really working due to "technical difficulties." I can't look for a job there.

Social skills: I was thinking about that career counselor and how she says I was too abrupt with my answers.

Me: My sister says I need to work on my phone skills. My friend Angela told me that I needed to work on my people skills. I asked if she has seen me work at the Soup place, and she said yes. She said I needed to be more friendlier to the customers.
CC: Well it's good that they're being honest with you.

Me: I know I have a problem. I know I need to work on my social skills. Knowing you have a problem is halfway to solving it.

I'm self-aware, but it's one thing to know it. It's another thing to actually do something about it.

Friends: One time I was hanging out with my friend Leslie and I asked about her rent.

Leslie: You should have talked about housing first, and then eased into talking about rent.

True, but she's been my friend for years so what does it matter if I ask that? Well, I got a flashback a couple years back and my friend Cham and I were talking. Then:

Cham: Are you a virgin?

I answered the question, and then she said: "Sorry if I put you on the spot." I wasn't really taken aback. We've been friends for years, so what does it matter if she asks me that question?

I remember when I became friends with Sonia in 2004. She always talked about her mom and her brother, and I had a feeling her dad was dead. So I asked about her dad like: "What about your dad?" and it turns out he was alive.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Teachers belong in the classroom, not prison

I got this from Amnesty International:

Bahrain's teachers need your support.

Dear Tracy,

Boiling with civic unrest, yesterday marked a dangerous flash point in Bahrain.

Feb. 14 was the first anniversary of widespread protests against the government. The violent crackdown that followed those 2011 protests caused the country to slide into a crisis that still festers with human rights abuses. Yesterday, Bahraini protesters took to the streets to demand that the government keep its promises to make much needed political reforms.

The coming week will bring an appeal hearing for two teacher leaders -- Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb -- who were punished for organizing a peaceful teacher strike during last year's protests.

Tell Bahrain's government: Don't jail teachers for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Tortured, denied due process, and unfairly convicted of "inciting hatred" and "attempting to overthrow the ruling system by force," Jalila and Mahdi were sentenced to three and 10 years, respectively. Their next appeal hearing takes place on Feb. 19.

During a December hearing, Mahdi showed obvious signs of being beaten. Our sources say he remains in poor health, yet his lawyer's request for release on bail was denied. Mahdi may die in prison, and the Bahrain government will have more blood on its hands.

Bahrain's leaders have pledged reform, yet abuses continue. Protesters like Jalila and Mahdi brave violence day in and day out in their march for basic freedoms.

Show Bahrain's human rights defenders that we have their back.

Demand justice for Jalila and Mahdi.

In solidarity,

Michael O'Reilly
Senior Director, Individuals at Risk Campaign
Amnesty International USA

joke/ condoms at work/ cadence of a joke

Feb. 18 Joke: Here's a joke I got from Daily Silly:

John invited his mother over for dinner one evening. During the meal, she couldn't help but notice how attractive his roommate Judy was.

She had been suspicious of a relationship between her son and his roommate for quite some time, but this only made her more curious.

She watched the two of them interact over the course of the evening and began to wonder whether there was more between John and Judy than met the eye.

Realizing only too well what his mother was thinking, John said, "I can see your wheels turning Mom and I know what you're thinking. Rest assured Judy and I are strictly roommates."

A few days later, Judy went to John and said, "You know the beautiful silver gravy ladle? Well, ever since your mother came to dinner I can't seem to find it. You don't think she would have taken it, do you?"

"I doubt it, but I'll write her a letter just to be sure," replied John.

John then sat down and wrote his mother the following letter: "Dear Mom, While I'm not saying you 'did' take a gravy ladle from my house, and I'm not saying you 'didn't' take a gravy ladle, the fact remains that ever since you were here for dinner one has been missing. Love, Your son."

Several days later, John received a reply from his mother which read: "Dear John, While I am not saying you 'do' sleep with Judy, and I'm not saying you 'don't' sleep with her, the fact remains that she would have found the gravy ladle by now if she were sleeping in her own bed. Love, Mom."

Me: I thought it was a good joke, but it sounded a little familiar. I don't know if it's real or imagined in my memory, but I may have read this in an Ann Landers advice column. Maybe when I was 10 or 11 yrs old was when I started reading her advice column.

Condoms at work: This may be the law of attraction here. Or a coincidence. So last week my friend pointed out that she found a condom in a drawer at the restaurant. I was like: "What?" I saw it and I checked the expiry date. It doesn't expire for a few more years, so it stayed there. If it expired, I would have thrown it out.

Well my favorite joke of all time is: "So the other day I bought of condoms....because my last one was expired."

I then got a flashback and told my friend. I was recently reading a Cosmopolitan magazine my sister gave me. There's a section about rants. A woman wrote in: "I asked a co-worker to use a highlighter. She said it's in this left drawer. I go there, and there were condoms there. Why do you have condoms at work? Why did you tell me to go to the drawer if you knew I would see them?"

Laughing about death: I was thinking about those death jokes about a dead spouse or parent. But I have finally made a joke that's too dark to laugh at. Remember Arrested Development where Tobias says to Michael:

Tobias: I don't know why you're giving us marriage advice. Look at you, you're not married. Why? Because your wife is dead.

I then thought, it would be really dark if he said this:

Tobias: I don't know why you're giving us parenting advice. Look at you, you don't have any kids. Why? Because your kid is dead.

Death of a child is nothing to laugh about. I got a flashback of the show Lucky Louie. It stars comedian Louis CK. I saw promos on Comedy Network and tuned in for one ep in 2010. There was lots of profanity. I have a really dark joke, I have mentioned it before. Be prepared, because you will be offended.

Louis CK plays a dad on the show, and his daughter is a real brat.
Louis: Now I know why they throw babies in the garbage.

Parks and Recreation: In other news, Louis CK guest-starred on Parks and Recreation where he blurts out to his ex-girlfriend Leslie that he's still in love with her.

It's February sweeps season, where TV shows get the really good episodes. You know like in November and May sweeps before the show goes on hiatus for a month or so. Last year they had Will Forte guest-star (he's from Saturday Night Live.)

Cadence of a joke: Also from Parks and Recreation, do you remember that time where the news reporter Berd interviews Leslie on TV? He asks about how a man sent pictures of his genitals to all the women in the City Hall's office.

Berd: How big of a deal is this?
Leslie: Well it's not that big of a deal. If you know what I mean.
Berd: I don't, but it does have the cadence of a joke.

Cadence means rhythm.

The Simpsons: That reminds me of The Simpsons. Homer thought Bart may be gay, and Bart was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

Homer: Hey where did you get that shirt?
Bart: I don't know, it just came out of the closet.

I was like 10yrs old, so I didn't even know that was that a joke. I never heard of that phrase before. I didn't hear the cadence because shirts are from the closet. I thought it was setting up for the joke in the next scene.

Homer: Look Marge, there are 2 kind of guys who wear Hawaiin shirts. Gay guys and big, fat party animals. And Bart doesn't look like a big, fat party animal to me.

Blue: I'll even throw in that British boy band Blue. There was that interview I told you about.

Host: Do you guys own any pets?
Lee: My cat committed suicide.
The audience of teenage girls: What?

There was no cadence of a joke because Lee said it so plainly. Lee's face was completely straight. Antony then burst out laughing.

Dateline: I was kind of inspired by Antony from Blue laughing at something that isn't supposed to be funny. What if one of the predators on Dateline: To Catch a Predator is in court? The prosecutor shows the Dateline video to the jury as evidence.

I can imagine Antony sitting in the jury box, and he is laughing when watching it. I've been reading The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha in my free time. He talks about little things that make him happy. I will share mine.

It was a couple of months ago, but I watching Once Upon a Time, and the ep was "The Good Shepherd." There is a homecoming party for amnesia patient David Nolan (Prince Charming.) At the party, I see one of my favorite actors David Anders show up. I screamed. Every time I see him pop up on a TV show, especially when I'm not expecting it, I scream with excitement.

When I see his name on the screen before I see him, I don't exactly scream. I just look forward and wait to see him appear. I usually scream with a lot of actors I like that suddenly appear on screen.

Rickshaw: A couple of months ago I was reading the New Year's Day movie review and it mentioned about a rickshaw. I had to ask what that word is to my sister.

Me: What's a rickshaw?
S: It's a carriage where you're pulled from.
Me: Like a horse carriage?
S: Haven't you seen those old Chinese movies? You sit on a carriage, and you're pulled from it.
Me: Oh yeah.

Here's "A small two-wheeled passenger vehicle drawn by one or two men, used in parts of Asia."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Success: Canadian released from prison in Bahrain

I got this from Amnesty International:

GREAT NEWS: Naser al Raas has been released!
Thank you for speaking out for his freedom

Naser al Raas, Family photo

"I would like to thank Amnesty International members and the people of Canada for fighting for me. I’d like to thank everyone who fought for me without knowing me. I now believe in those who fight for justice. Thank you so much."
- Naser al Raas

A Canadian sentenced last October in Bahrain to five years in prison for taking part in anti-government protests has now been found not guilty on appeal.

Naser Bader al-Raas, a Canadian national of Kuwaiti origin, had been sentenced to five years in prison for "inciting hatred towards the regime", participating in illegal gatherings and giving false information to the media. Yesterday he was found not guilty of all charges in his appeal verdict!

Amnesty International welcomes this decision as a victory for freedom of expression, association and assembly, and for the defence of Naser's right to be free from torture and ill-treatment.

Naser Bader al-Raas had been sentenced on October 25, 2011, together with another 12 defendants, for charges linked to his participation in protests in March 2011. He went into hiding after the verdict was announced on October 25th.

Amnesty International believed he was detained merely for participating in a peaceful protest, and was in immediate contact with Naser.

Thousands spoke out on Naser's behalf.

Thank you for taking action and contributing to this terrific outcome.

It is our hope that the verdict in Naser's case signals a positive shift for human rights in Bahrain. During the crackdown on protests last year, some 50 people were killed and hundreds injured. Thousands were dismissed from their jobs and schools. Others like Naser faced unfair trials and torture.

In November 2011, the King of Bahrain welcomed the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. The government made commitments for human rights reform and accountability for abuses, but in the following months little has changed and protesters still face excessive force on an almost daily basis.

Take action for justice and accountability in Bahrain.

Your commitment to human rights and your actions help make Amnesty International a powerful and effective force, and ensures that people like Naser are protected from human rights violations. Thank you!


Alex Neve

Alex sig

Alex Neve,
Amnesty International Canadian Section

The Vertex Fighter/ scam/ hospitals

Feb. 8 The Vertex Fighter:

Jocelyn Brown: Today is my day off, so I emailed the writer-in-residence Jocelyn Brown on my Rain script. She was supposed to send me her notes on it.

LinkedIn: I also went on LinkedIn and worked on my profile a lot more. It's mainly for these reasons, I listed:

1. To get an office assistant position.
2. To get a writer's job for a magazine or an office.
3. On my side project to get The Vertex Fighter script produced.

Producer: I added the producer Benjamin Ross Hayden on LinkedIn, and he confirmed it. I then emailed him to thank him, and to pitch The Vertex Fighter.

Feb. 9 Swim Faster Productions: I was on and found out that they helped build a TV production company called Swim Faster Productions. The student is Joel Abrahamson, who went through the training course to be an entrepreneur.

Feb. 13 Rain script: It was so cool last week. The Writer in Residence (from the Edmonton Public Library) Jocelyn Brown actually read my Rain script that I sent her. She read the first 10 pages. The pros were that she thought the pacing was really good because the story moved fast. The Grant MacEwan Writer in Residence Lynn Coady said that too.

The cons were the dialogue. A lot of writers and producers always said to me that it doesn't sound like real people talking, and that the characters sound the same. I'm working on it.

Characters: The comment I didn't get before is Brown said that my Rain character is more of a type, than an individual. She did say Eddie is the strongest character because he has the most personality. I remember the other EPL Writer in Residence Chris Craddock saying Eddie was his favorite character.

Scam: A few weeks ago, my dad picked up the phone and he didn't know what the woman was talking about. He passed it onto my brother and it's something about getting on the computer. You have to do something on the computer. My sister comes out of her room and asks: "Who is it? Hang up."

She told dad that he was stupid. She calls everybody stupid. She tells my brother and then later me: "If you get a phone call where someone says there's something wrong with the computer, and tells you to get on it, don't. It's a scam. They could put a virus on your computer. Nobody from Microsoft would ever call you about it."

Maybe it's the law of attraction, but a few days after that happened, I read in the Edmonton Journal about that scam. There were several complaints. They interviewed this woman who said: "It sounded so real. As soon as he mentioned he needed $400, I hung up."

Personality: Prior to it, I got those phone calls too. I remember one time, the guy said he needed for me to turn on the computer. I was upstairs, and then I would have to go downstairs to turn it on. It was off for 30min, and I wanted to keep reading my newspaper. So I said that I was going to take the computer to get fixed. So my laziness helped in this case. lol.

What if I was on the computer and he called? I would still say the exact same thing because if I had to go and do all these things like go on the hard drive,etc., I would be taking time out of my job search. So my time management and prioritizing helped in that case.

Projects: I have a question. I know in office jobs, there are projects like getting a proposal prepared to woo a client. What about projects outside of work? What is a project outside of work? Like renovating a room in your house? Taking a cooking class that's not related to work?

I was thinking about this when reading newspaper articles. It asks questions like: "Do you ever start a project without finishing the first one? How many projects do you have going on right now?"

What are your projects? Mine would be getting The Vertex Fighter script. My second project is working on the Rain script. I don't make a lot of progress on both as of late. That's because I have to focus on the top priorities like working at my job, and looking for an office job.

Feb. 14 Get more energy: Jennifer Lynch sent me this article "10 Ways to Make it Through the Day Without Caffeine." I would still drink coffee, but this is a good article. There are tips to get more energy like get more sleep the night before, stretch, and drink more water. What I haven't heard before is to increase your magnesium intake like eat bran muffins and spinach.

1. Get more sleep the night before.
2. Drink more water.
3. Increase your magnesium intake.
4. Eat small, frequent emails.
5. Listen to music, while you work.
6. Stretch.
7. Take a walk outside.
8. Socialize.
9.  Exercise in the morning.
10. Take a power nap. I saw this on TV at work. It's called The commercial said: "Do you want to know who is looking for you on the internet?" It could be family, friends, old co-workers, people from the past. So I looked it up. You have to pay though. Either $15.95 for 1 month or 12 months for $83.40.

Feb. 15 Cellphones and dating: I got this through Job Boom, and it's not totally related to work. It's "What you cellphone says about your love life." If you use an iPhone, you're an office romantic. If you use an Android, you're the seducer. If you use a Blackberry, you're a drunk dialer.

Feb. 16 Hospitals: I need to write about it, to get over it. I was talking to my friend Sonia about applying to hospitals. I applied to hospitals two weeks ago, and I applied to them yesterday. In 2010, I got hired at Restaurant #1 after I was unemployed for 8 months. The jobs I did get hired at, I was mostly dismissed shortly.

I was working at Restaurant #1 for a couple of weeks when I got a call from a hospital cafeteria. They asked for an interview and it was during my working hours. I said I'll call back later. I didn't call back. I thought about it because I liked Restaurant #1. Also it's been a rough year for me. The months of unemployment has had a major effect on me. I had lost some confidence in myself because it was so hard to get and keep a regular job.

If I quit Restaurant #1 and worked at the hospital, I could end up getting dismissed from the hospital, and I would start at square one all over again of being unemployed. Fortunately, I do work at a big company so there's job security. I can pick up extra shifts.

So now, I'm going and applying to hospitals again. Now that I've written about it, I feel better now.

Confidence: Confidence can be hard to come by. I had to keep working at my current job for months to gain back my confidence that I can get and keep a regular job. In 2011, I sent at least 100 resumes a month and did like 50 interviews, and only got 1 temporary holiday job.

Confidence comes from knowledge and experience. You have to read job interview books, learn some computer skills, read the business section of the newspaper, and job articles.

Feb. 17: I didn't really feel low about myself last year. Though I experienced a lot of rejection and disappointment, it's because I was working all year long and making money. In 2010, I wasn't really working and earning money.

Stress: I read a question in the Globe and Mail Life section: "Do you feel more stressed out last year or the year before?" I think like 50% (majority) said: "About the same." I would say the same.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Update: Activists arrested. Buy a rose today to help women's rights defenders in Zimbabwe

I got this from Amnesty International:

Share your passion for human rights on Valentine's Day

You can stand beside the women of Zimbabwe this Valentine’s Day.

WOZA members arrested, released, following march

Your support is making a difference

Thanks in part to support that Amnesty Canada members have already sent through this year's Roses for WOZA appeal, WOZA held a large march on Feb. 7th to voice their concerns about ongoing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

WOZA leader Jenni Williams and 8 other WOZA members were arrested and held for more than 24 hours before being released, vowing to continue their work for women's rights in Zimbabwe.

Jenni Williams was the guest of honour at Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual General Meeting in May.

Join us to send her and all members of WOZA a special Valentines Day card in support of women's rights in Zimbabwe.

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) is a group of over 80,000 women’s human rights defenders across Zimbabwe. Every year on Valentine’s Day, they march through the streets to hand out roses and demand one simple thing from their government: respect.

Purchase a rose for WOZA and women’s human rights this February 14th.

Your support goes directly to WOZA to help them organize demonstrations, pay for legal costs, and provide care for their members. WOZA members have told us that “your efforts send the message that we are not alone and that the world is watching.”

Amnesty International stands behind the work of WOZA and knows that support from people like you contributes to the safety of these courageous women.

With your help, we can send a strong message of solidarity and support to WOZA members.

Please buy a rose today!

Thank you,Alex

Alex Neve
Secretary General,
Amnesty International Canadian Section

p.s. On Valentine's Day, of course, send roses and words of kindness to your loved ones. But please also express your support for women who believe that the power of love can conquer the love of power. Buy a rose for the Women of Zimbabwe Arise.

job interview/ job articles/ wealthy barmaid

Feb. 14 Job interview: Today I went to a job interview and it's really close by. I thought it went well. I felt relaxed and calm. I did research on the company and was able to answer his questions about the company. I told him my skills. He told me about the position and I said I was still interested in it.

Career counselor: That career counselor has had an effect on me. She said that even if I don't get hired, I should call or email them back and ask how to improve my interviewing skills. 2 weeks ago, I did an interview and didn't get hired. So I called them and left a message and asked if they made a decision yet. They didn't call back. So I don't know what I could have improved on.

Feb. 15 Job articles: I got this from Alberta Job Centre: "Why Job Interviews are like First Dates." There were good tips about calling back to see if they made a hiring decision. You have to be polite and respectful. If you get hired, but you were rude on the phone when asking, they will not give you the job. If you were rude on the phone, and you didn't get hired anyway, it confirms that they made the right decision in not hiring you.

Are you sure you answered them to show off your best attributes?

Did you think carefully about what each employer was trying to discover by asking you those questions?

Can you think of any better ways of answering those questions that demonstrates you are confident and have a realistic assessment of your skills?

"Follow-up: The Avoided Job Search Strategy": It talked about the importance of following up. As in if they hire somebody else, and they don't work out, they will think about the person who they interviewed and actually called back. If you follow up, it does show you're interested. So I called up that medical office today. They said they will get back to me on Fri.

Resume: "Is Your 'Perfect' Resume Hurting You?" The best tip was that a resume doesn't get you the job, it gets you the interview. The resume should be brief and to pique their interest. They will want to know more about you, so they will call you for an interview.

Don't put salary expectations on your resume; you're supposed to discuss this at the interview. Some job ads already mention the salary expectation. Basically go on the internet to see how much this position pays.

I got this through Job Boom:

Bosses: This is a mediocre article about "Bad Bosses Make Bad Marriages" because the bosses treat the employees bad, and the employees take out their anger at home. It doesn't really tell you anything new.

Salary increases: There will be salary increases in mining, oil, and finance industry.

Business wardrobe: Here are some tips about business casual. Don't show too much skin, and don't look like a slob.

Jobs and dating: It's interesting, because I remember reading a dating article. If you go on a date, and you sit and talk to the other person, it's more like an interview. On a date, you should be doing something fun like going to a park and walking around. Have you ever been to a job interview where you walk around the office? No, in an job interview you sit and talk. (Well I did get a tour of the office at two interviews.)

I was thinking about how I would change myself for a job position, like improving my skills and working harder. But I won't change myself to date someone. With a job, you get paid, you get money out of it. You show up, you work, you don't exactly have to like it, but you get paid.

With dating, you get the emotions. You're with this person because you like this person.

Same goes with online dating. You read a profile and it's like a resume. You have to meet the person like a date/ interview to see if you would like the person.

Social Media: I got this through CPRS. Mack Male gives a presentation about "What the Tweet? Blog your Facebook on Youtube!" I can't go because I have work. I did find his blog and he is on the social sites like Wordpress (blog) and Flicker (photo website), Youtube, LinkedIn, etc.

Car rental: I did a job interview at a car rental place. I think it was an average interview. I felt like I stumbled on an answer. I showed up on time and I did research the company. I learned more about the company when he told me about the position. I am interested in the position.

He had good questions to ask me. I have had interviewers that weren't really prepared, so I had to ask questions about the company.

Wealthy barmaid: I found this on Yahoo today. It's about a 26 yr old bartender who's RRSP is 2 income properties. She works as much as she can, and saves as much as she can. She saves her entire paycheck, and saves 75% of her tips. She lives with her parents for free and doesn't pay for rent or food.

She has a MBA in marketing, but she can't get a position in her field. She has looked for a position for 2 yrs.

"The jobs she wanted most, she never heard back from or was told to start at the bottom. When she applied for jobs at the bottom, she was told her MBA made her overqualified. A few places called back and wanted to pay her $30,000 a year."

“It sucks that the only places that will hire me right now are bars. But they’re also great money, and I hate to say it, but they’re probably better money than some entry-level jobs,” she says. “I don’t regret my MBA; it was something I always wanted to do. I thought it was important, something that would allow me to break through the glass ceiling. I still keep a positive outlook though.

“I’ll get a job.”

Office and restaurant: One of the servers I worked with said she could work as a receptionist like $15/hr, but she can do the same as a server. Say she gets paid $9.40/hr, but with tips it could be $15/hr. It's not a job that anyone can do or would like to do. It's a physically demanding job, and some customers aren't polite, and you have to deal with them.

A receptionist, you aren't moving too much. There may be rude people who come into the office, but it's not expected that will be rude. I have seen doctor's offices with signs that say they won't tolerate abuse to any of the staff.

Cons: There were comments dissing her like since she lives for free at home, she can manage to save all her money. Her parents own a restaurant, so she can pick extra shifts there to work and earn money. Not everybody has that kind of a situation that works for them.

Pros: I will say that we can all apply a couple of her habits to our situations like: Work as much as you can, save as much as you can. I will give her points that she was looking for a position in her field for 2 yrs, and that she was willing to work for free with unpaid internships. She was willing to start at the bottom, but wasn't hired because she was overqualified.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love is a right, not a wrong (Amnesty International)

One step forward for LGBT rights in California, but threats remain worldwide. Our fight for equality must continue.

Dear Tracy ,

It was a historic moment for LGBT rights. This week, a federal appeals court reaffirmed that California's ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, is unconstitutional.

But even as we celebrate the court decision in California, others worldwide continue to face discrimination, violence and prison sentences -- solely because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

One place where this remains true is the central African country of Cameroon, where homosexuality is considered a criminal offense.

Criminalizing homosexuality isn't just on the wrong side of international human rights standards -- it's on the wrong side of history. With Valentine's Day soon upon us, we take this moment to remind Cameroon's authorities that "Love is a Right, Not a Wrong."

Demand that Cameroon respect the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

People in Cameroon face arrest and imprisonment on charges of "homosexuality" under Cameroon's Penal Code. Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, a case featured in our recent Write for Rights campaign, is just one example -- he was jailed in Cameroon for 3 years in April 2011 for "homosexuality." In prison he's at increased risk of attack and ill-treatment, just because of his perceived sexual orientation.

But people like Jean-Claude Roger Mbede shouldn't be in prison in the first place.

Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people face a dangerous and unjust world. And despite this week's good news in California, the news in some places around the world is just getting worse:

St. Petersburg, Russia, is looking to ban "public actions" and "propaganda" around "sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderness" -- an assault on the freedom of expression of Russia's LGBT community.
Uganda has re-introduced an appalling Anti-Homosexuality bill that in the previous iterations has called for the death penalty for the "crime" of "aggravated homosexuality."

Our work on LGBT rights has never been so important. With unprecedented progress for LGBT equality being won, we have a renewed opportunity -- and responsibility -- to help advance human rights for LGBT people everywhere.

Help us make an impact in Cameroon. Demand freedom and an end to discrimination for Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, and for others persecuted because of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

With hope,

Michael O'Reilly
Senior Director, Individuals at Risk Campaign
Amnesty International USA

joke/ Jeannie Ortega/ Whitney Houston

Feb. 6 Joke: I got this from Daily Silly:

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper "Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.

The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."

Me: I thought it was stupid for the man. He should have said: "Let's stop this. We are both being stubborn for a long enough time already. Let's forget all about this." Then he can ask for her to wake him up at 5am. He really should have set his alarm clock. Unless he can't wake up by himself at that early of a time.

It's also about prioritizing. Making sure you get the flight on time or winning a fight with your wife?

Feb. 10 Channing Tatum: I was watching Saturday Night Live, and Channing Tatum was hosting. In his monologue, he discussed about how before he got into acting, he was a stripper.

CT: There a couple of rules. Rule #1.
Me: No touching.

CT: No touching. I can touch you, but you can't touch me. Rule #2, for my safety, I have a security guard.
Keenan Thompson is on stage.

CT: Rule #3, tips are appreciated. I'm putting myself through nursing school.
The audience laughs.

Then CT starts recognizing the people in the audience who used to see him strip. (It's really SNL actors.)

CT: Leslie?
Leslie: No.

Then CT recognizes a Man.
Man: No.
CT: Oh, you don't remember this?
CT dances a bit, stripper moves. Then CT rips open his button down shirt.
CT: What happened?

Cut to Man is dead. A Doctor is there.
Doctor: He's dead. But he died of happiness.
CT: Dr. Matthew?
Doctor: No.
Doctor leaves.

Feb. 11: There was sketch where it's held at a male strip club. The joke was mainly Jason Sudeikis being the strip club DJ.

DJ: Well we have a bachelorette party here.
Cut to 3 Asian women sitting there. They are conservatively dressed and their faces are straight.

lol. I guess it was funny because they seem so out of place; they're the last people to come to a strip club. They also didn't look happy to be there.

My sister and I predicted SNL was going to make fun of the movie Step Up. but they didn't. Instead they did have CT do some dancing for this Bar Mitzvah sketch.

Job joke: I got this from Daily Silly.

The Boss of our small company was complaining during a staff meeting that people didn't respect him enough. Trying to change the attitude in the office he came in the next day with a sign for his door it said, I am the boss. One of the employees apparently not appreciating the change posted a post-a-note on the sign it said, "your wife wants her sign back."

The Simpsons: Last week, I was watching The Vampire Diaries and there were all these coffins. My little brother saw it.

P: "Kill my boss? Do I dare live the American dream?"
Me: What?
P: It was from The Simpsons. The Halloween episode where Homer has to kill Mr. Burns because he was the head vampire.
Me: Oh yeah.

Jeannie Ortega: Today I was looking for a job and listening to the girl group Dream. They came out in early 2000s and you may have heard of their song "He Loves U Not." I was on iTunes and it said that people who bought this cd, they also bought Jeannie Ortega. So I looked her up on Youtube and found the song "Crowded":

As soon as I started hearing it, I was like: "Oh yeah! I've heard of this song before a few years ago on the radio. I really liked it because I could dance to it." So I was listening to more of her R&B songs. Then I found this where she's on TBN.

It's a religious show and she talks about being raised in NY. She talks about how she found God after she was dropped from her record label, how she was engaged, and then lost her fiance, her family broke up. After she found God, started going to church again, she is much happier. It was inspirational, even though I'm not really religious.

Feb. 12 Whitney Houston: I'm sure all of you heard about the singer/ actress Whitney Houston has passed away yesterday. I was on the computer and my little brother said that to me. I then looked it up and she was 48 yrs old.

I remember watching The Bodyguard on TV when I was a kid. I think the first half. Then I was older and I saw the second half. I think it was average. I do love the song "I Will Always Love You." Who doesn't like that song?

I do like that duet she did with the Canadian singer Deborah Cox called "Same Script, Different Cast." I also like her song "Heartbreak Hotel" feat. Kelly Price and Faith Evans. I also like her dance song "It's Not Right, but it's Okay."

Feb. 13 Love Day: Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so Happy Love Day! It was from The Simpsons.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Share your passion for human rights on Valentine's Day

Amnesty International Canada
February 8, 2012

Share your passion for human rights on Valentine's Day

You can stand beside the women of Zimbabwe this Valentine’s Day.

Send a message of solidarity

Learn about WOZA’s activism efforts, including their latest report on poverty and starvation in Zimbabwe, and send them a message of support and solidarity. Jenni Williams of WOZA (pictured) was the guest of honour at Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual General Meeting in May.

Join us to send her and all members of WOZA a special Valentines Day card in support of women's rights in Zimbabwe.

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) is a group of over 80,000 women’s human rights defenders across Zimbabwe. Every year on Valentine’s Day, they march through the streets to hand out roses and demand one simple thing from their government: respect.

Purchase a rose for WOZA and women’s human rights this February 14th.

Your support goes directly to WOZA to help them organize demonstrations, pay for legal costs, and provide care for their members. WOZA members have told us that “your efforts send the message that we are not alone and that the world is watching.”

Amnesty International stands behind the work of WOZA and knows that support from people like you contributes to the safety of these courageous women.

With your help, we can send a strong message of solidarity and support to WOZA members.

Please buy a rose today!

Thank you,

Alex Neve
Secretary General,
Amnesty International Canadian Section

p.s. On Valentine's Day, of course, send roses and words of kindness to your loved ones. But please also express your support for women who believe that the power of love can conquer the love of power. Buy a rose for the Women of Zimbabwe Arise.

Twitter/ business efficiency/ Microbusiness Training Centre

Feb. 6 Twitter: I got this article called "50 Hottest Twitter Hashtags for Job Seekers" from Florine Church. She emailed this to me through my blog. I am on Facebook and LinkedIn. On Facebook I'm usually saying on my status update on how I'm looking for a job. I emailed my college writing friends to see if they have writing jobs, and where and how they got it.

I even contacted my NAIT friends in 2010 when I was unemployed. I haven't seen them since 2005, but I got on Facebook and looked them up and asked about regular jobs. (It was before I got hired at my restaurant job that I'm currently working in.) I'm on LinkedIn, and I have a few college writing friends on my contact list. I also have two producers on it.

I guess I didn't exactly want to go on Twitter because I already use the internet so much. I'm constantly on job websites and applying to positions. I'm on two social networks already, and I have two blogs. One is personal and fun, and the other is for The Vertex Fighter.

Well might as well get on Twitter.

Feb. 8 LinkedIn: One of my Professional Writing friends has added me on Linked In. I then emailed all my friends to get on LinkedIn. A few weeks ago I put up my resume, and added my skills.

Business efficiency: I wanted to write about this earlier, but now that I met with my career counselor, it has triggered me to write it. It's kind of like a rant.

Call centres:

CC: Tell me about a time that you worked at a job that you didn't like. What did you do about it?
Me: I worked at Call Centre #5. I have worked at 3 other call centres before where I call people to do surveys. At this one, you call people to get them to donate money to a charity, which is harder. I also didn't like how they didn't run the place efficiently.

At my other call centres, you either have the computer or you dial the numbers on your own. I can make 6 phone calls in 1 min. As for Call Centre #5, you have to wait 1 or 2 min to make 1 call. If I was dialing the phone numbers, I would have made more phone calls and gotten way more completes.

CC: It sounds like your impatient. So you have to wait 1 or 2 min. to make a phone call? That doesn't seem like a big deal.

Well I guess, not to her. At the call centres I worked at, they always talk about "flow." Team leaders always say: "You have to make as many phone calls as possible. You have to get as many completes as possible. You have to always be dialing." Call Centre #5 wasn't a good environment. There were 2 TVs on in the office. That's because when you're waiting for the computer to be dialing, you are staring into space. So you stare at the TV instead.

At the 4 other call centres I worked at, there wasn't a TV. (This includes Call Centre #4 where I worked for a day.)

Fruit place: I then told CC if this was a stronger answer.

Me: I worked at temporary part-time position for the holidays. I thought the manager ran the place well, but I did have one nitpick with it. He says loudly: "Get strawberries from the fridge." Then someone will say: "Got it!" However, there were a couple of times he has said: "This is second time I said to get strawberries from the fridge!"

I then told him that he should say one of our names first, and then tell us what to get from the fridge. That way, as soon as we hear our names, we pay attention. There is a lot of noise there like the radio is on, and phones are ringing. So he should say our names. He then told me that he's not going to say our names, because he has been running the place like this all the time, and it has worked that way for years, and he's not going to change. I then dealt with it by just keeping my ears open.

CC did say that was a stronger answer.

Juice Place #2: Here's one more example. I worked at Juice Place #2 for a very short time, and I didn't like it. It was a small place, and they weren't very efficient. It was because their supplies and food were all downstairs. Say there's a long line, and usually 1 or 2 of us have to go downstairs to get the food we ran out of.

We have to wait for an elevator, go downstairs, wheel the cart to get to the fridge. That's like 2-3min. Then we get the food and wheel it back to the elevator. We wait for the elevator, and go upstairs and unload it. That takes up to 5-6min. just to get more food. They should have opened their place in a location that was big enough to have the store front, and the back front to put their food in.

In Juice Place #1, there was a store front. When someone calls to say: "Get pineapples." 1 person walks 5 steps to the back, and gets the pineapples, and puts it in the store front. That probably took 15secs. Juice Place #1 was an average place to work at. The pro was they ran it efficiently. The con was that you seem to work so hard, and you only get paid 20 cents above min. wage.

Law of attraction: Here's a random thing. I was thinking about Call Centre #5, and then a charity called me yesterday asking for money.

Microbusiness Training Centre: Do you remember how a few months ago I thought of starting my own TV production company? That's because I couldn't get my The Vertex Fighter script produced.

I went to this 1hr and a half info session at the Microbusiness Training Centre. It was informative. The presenter is nice and friendly. It's a private company and it provides a self-employment program. It's funded by the Govt. Employment and Immigration.

Microbusiness has been here for 16yrs and has helped 1,600 companies.

25 week course:

Part 1-Classroom training: 9 weeks, Mon.-Fri. It's full-time learning. (Planning.)
Part 2-Coaching program: It's coaching and mentoring for 16 weeks to get your business off the ground. (Start.)
Part 3- Mentoring for another 6 months to grow your business. (Grow.) Canadian Youth Business Foundation helps with start-up businesses. If you are 34 yrs old and under.

The Business Link: I also got this brochure called The Business Link. It provides info sessions at affordable prices. There are sessions like "Payroll Basics" for $10. It's 1hr and half long. "Preparing a Business Plan" is 3hrs long for $40.

Here's the website:

Feb. 9 Questions: You have to fill out this little booklet that asks questions about your personality and your business idea.

"If you were a top student in school, subtract 4. If not, add 4."
"If you enjoyed group activities (clubs, team sports), subtract 1. If you didn't, add 1."

Business: "Why do you think customers will choose your business over that of your competitors?"
"Give 3 reasons why you think it is a feasible business?"

There's the scoring, and if you scored low: They tell you to work for a company or for someone else. Develop a career or technical expertise that fits you.