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, October 30, 2012

new direction/ desktop publishing specialist/ working efficiently

Oct. 9 New direction: In 2011, I gave a 100% effort all year long to find an office/ administrative assistant position.  I traveled all over Edmonton to do all these job interviews.

Last week, I went into a new direction.  I get all these career ideas from the work book Multiple Choices: Planning Your Career for the 21st Century.  I have been researching all these careers in industries I'm interested in like business, education, entertainment, publishing, and hospitality. 

I have tried to get into the TV industry this yr by applying to all these TV production companies in Edmonton.  I've also been pitching my script for years already.  It's a hard industry to get into, so I'm expanding my horizons and and going into another industry.

Desktop Publishing Specialist:
It's like working in the publishing industry.  There seems to be use of computers and graphic design.  The duties are getting information and being creative, both I like. 

From Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that will be printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics, and other materials they will need and then format them into a finished product."

However, it says the job is in decline because the printing industry is declining.

At My Majors, it says:

"Create special effects such as vignettes, mosaics, and image combining, and add elements such as sound and animation to electronic publications."

Business counselor:
I Google in "how to be a business counselor."  The results were business consulting and I already did research and write about it on my blog:

Career coach: It did lead me to being a career coach.  It's easier to be a career coach, than a career counselor.  A counselor needs a master's degree.

Conservator: I looked in the fine arts and crafts industry.  My Career Counselor said maybe I should work in a museum.  A museum conservator takes care and keeps track of the artifacts in a museum.

I got this email that Workopolis will be replacing

Oct. 10 Crazy day: I got to work today, and I was told that I was supposed to work yesterday and today was my day off.  The schedule had changed last minute, and I thought yesterday was my day off so I didn't come to work.  I told the boss about it and he was understanding.  I then had to stay the whole day.  The morning was quiet, but lunch was somewhat busy.

Government: One of my friends work for the govt., a server told me to apply there, and then today another server told me to apply there because she did an interview.  I haven't been to the website in a long time.  She said there are a lot of communications and information jobs in the provincial govt.  I finally took a look, but I didn't find any.  I'll try again.

Oct. 13 Govt. pay: I got this article through Job Boom.  It's "High Govt. Pay is Unsustainable."  An administrative assistant for the govt. could get paid $90,000 a yr.  Higher wages means higher taxes and more debt on the govt, and let's mention the Greece govt. in 2011.

The solution was the public sector should be paid fairly like private sector employees.

Survey: Last week I did a survey on the phone with this computer voice.  Then they called me back with a real person because I said it was okay if they contacted me again.  They told me I would get paid if I attended a session one day a week for 6 weeks.  I needed to think about it and tell my boss that I needed the following days off.  They said they will call me back in a couple of days.

I got my days off and then they didn't call me back.  I left 3 messages on 3 different days to say I wanted to do it, but they didn't get back to me.  Fine, whatever.  I'll still use these days off to be productive.

I had to think about it, and talk it over with my dad.  He says it would be good and to expand my world.  I did expand my world by going to counseling, and working on those temp jobs like in April, and those telemarketer jobs.

Job articles: Job Boom emailed their newsletter.  Nobody sends me job articles through my blog anymore.  I get nanny articles sent to me from my blog.

Difficult jobs to get: It listed, astronaut, referee, model, private chef, professional athlete, and forest fire inspector.

Working efficiently: Here's a good article with tips:

1. "Clarify your role and responsibilities."
2. Prioritize.  Create a list like urgent, must do, and someday.  A good question is: "Who needs your work to be completed so they could complete their own work?"
3. What do you need to learn?  "Skills are tougher than knowledge -- you have to actually do something."
4. Give yourself a break.
5. Ask for feedback.

Disabilities: Here's an interesting stat: "But of the 44% of businesses that have hired a person with a disability, 77% said those workers either met or exceeded their expectations."

This stands for Bring Your Own Devices at work.  Sometimes work gives you a cell phone or laptop, but they can see how much work you're doing and how much time you're surfing the internet.

Aging: As people get older, they retire, and less people are working.  Also the age is raised from 65 to 67 to get Old Age Security.

Pink hair: Job Boom also sent this article about a man who dyed his hair pink for National Cancer Survivor's Day.  They suspended him when he refused to cover his hair and dye it a more natural color.  He has quit and works for a moving company now.

I have to side with Sleep Country company.  Pink hair is unprofessional, though the charity reason is good.  The man should have done something else to support cancer like join a run or something.

Hospital: A Tim Horton's in a St. John's hospital was going "to offset the cost of delivering health care is going fully private after years of losing taxpayer money."  The TH's workers were hospital employees getting benefits and $20/hr.  I applied as a casual food worker at a hospital, and it pays $15/hr.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

microfinancing/ Pattie Mallete/ life tips

Oct. 1 Micro-financing: Jay Smith sent me this article called "A
Newbie's Guide toMicro- financing."  I thought it was going to be about
finance,but it's about charity. In developing countries, there often aren't any
banks so there are micro-financing organizations.

They give a little money to poor people so they can finance their own
business and work out of poverty.  I'm getting a vague flashback of reading
a charity like this in the  newspaper. It was a different name.  They
mentioned the charity Kiva.  On the site:

How it works:

1. Choose a borrower.
2. Make a loan.
3. Get repaid.
4. Repeat!

Oct. 3 Johnny K. Lewis: I read this in 24 on Sept. 28.  He is an actor
and was on the TV show The Sausage Factory.  He allegedly
murderedhis 81 yr old land lady Catherine Davis.  It looks like a
blunt force trauma to the head.  LAPD Andrew Smith says: "...then
this individual (Lewis) ranoutside, had an altercation with a couple of
neighbors, ran back into the houseand by the time we got here, he had
 fallen or had somehow died on the driveway."  It mentioned he was
arrested last month.

I went on Wikipedia, and it says he has mental health issues,
chemical dependency issues, and was arrested 3 times from 2011
 to present.

Pattie Mallete: She is Justin Bieber's mom and she wrote a memoir
called Nowhere But Up.  She was 18 when she gave birth to JB.  Her
story is really about the tragedies she went through like deaths in the
family, sexual abuse, and a suicide attempt.

Her sister Sally died when she was 5, because she was hit by a car.
Her dad left her family when she was 2.  He was trying to reconnect
with his family, and then he died suddenly.

Oct. 4: She was sexually abused my men and women.  One was a
friend's grandfather and another was a male baby- sitter.  As a
teenager, Mallette became so depressed, she stepped in front of a
oncoming truck. The truck swerved, and Malette was in the psych
ward of the Stratford General Hospital.

This is why she wrote the book: "I had to just keep remembering the
only reason I wrote this book was to help other people.  So I knew
that it was going to be painful putting itdown on paper.  Some things
are even still painful to talk about."

"But you know, I'm so much more healed today than I was and I
really want to help other people get to that place as well."

"...It's good for me to have time to focus on this book and my
message and being able to help other people and do my own

Dirty Radio: I always hear this song on the radio, but I don't
know what it's called or who's it by.  I was listening to 91.7
The Bounce and they tell you all the music they play on their
website.  I looked it up and the song is
"My Heart" by Dirty Radio feat.Sherry St. Germain.

This is a good song to dance to.  The band is 3 guys from Vancouver.

Oct. 7 Vector Marketing: I was rereading my blog post careers for
"shy people/human resources/ retirement."  One comment was:

Kev: The secretary had the nerve to tell me, you have to wear proper
attire for the interview. NO *** even mcdonalds require a button shirt
and tie for interview. Thats how stupid she was.

I then went back to the link and pulled another comment from him:

Kev: The first time they called me the secretary said their openings
werevery limited.The secretary was a liar, and she told me she I
had to go there that day for the interview. I told her I had school
and then 3 weeks later as stupid as she is, she called me back and
said we forgot to schedule you for an interview.  If the openings
were so limited why they post the ad up on job searches everyday?

Me: It seems Kev sounds angry that the secretary thought he was
stupid if he didn't dress up for the interview.  Also he was dissing
the secretary, but by all means, theboss told her to say those things
and she was just following orders.

Electric companies: Allen Miller sent me this article "10 Reasons
Non- RegulatedElectricity Companies Raise Prices."  It's actually
informative.  Here's #1:

"If the cost of the fuel source for the electricity goes up, the cost of
the electricity itself will follow suit. For instance, electricity
 generated from coal will be priced according to the price and
 availability of coal supplies."

"#6 Transitioning from non-renewable to renewable energy sources"
 raises prices.

I thought that's more interesting than: "Have you noticed every time
before a long weekend comes, the gas prices are raised?  That's to
make moremoney off all the people going away on the weekend."

Oct. 8 Dress code: I want to add some more about that Vector
Marketing rant about telling you how to dress for a job interview. 
In 2010, I did a group interview at Abercrombie and Fitch with 4 teens. 
I was the only one dressed in a button down shirt and dress pants. 
The others were wearing jeans and t-shirts.  Then again, it's a clothing
store and not a really professional place to
work at so you don't have to dress up for it. 

Oct. 13 Infographic: I found this on my Freelance Writer emails.
"Everything that Happens in One Day on the Internet." 
2 million blog posts are written. 
22 million hours of old TV shows and movies are watched on Netflix.

Lonely: I got a flashback of this ex-friend of mine who lived next
door. The one I taught alesson when I went to Calgary without
telling her. She was needy.  She needs to learn the lesson as a kid,
because when she gets older, life is going to get busier. 

What if she got to jr. high, there will be times your friends will
have lessons they need to go to.  They get to high school and
they can get jobs, here's more school work to do.  Of course,
what if your friend gets a boyfriend?

I've been reading teen magazines since I was like 10 yrs old
because my sister bought them and read them.  They always
mention about friends cutting their time with you, so they can
spend it with their boyfriends.  I was prepared for that when
I got to high schooland one of my friends got a boyfriend.

Life tips: I went shopping in City Centre as my break.  I see
the new  Cosmopolitan magazine and it gave some life tips.

1. Start a blog.  You can then record your life and see if you're
making any progress and shows the passage of time.

2. When someone asks what you want for lunch or anything,
don't say "I don't care."  Say what you think, what you feel.

3. A lot of experts have said to collect pictures and post them
up on a big piece of paper so you can see it and get excited
about it.  Kind of like a "vision board" in the book The Secret

I remember reading Shay Mitchell (from Pretty Little Liars)
aying she has an "inspiration board" with clippings and sayings.

F--- a Therapist:
Tonya Fleetwood sent me this "F--- a Therapist." 
I saw the first episode of a stick figure going to see a therapist. 
I rate it PG-13, 14+. The humor is a little rude. It's average.  The
lead character is kind of snarky and a psychopath.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

agents/ Truckstop Bloodsuckers/ script editor

Sept. 29 Agents: I found this website to get dramatic agents.  I found Association of Aurthor's Representatives through the Linked In Group Two Bits.  I went through it, and this is more for agents and not writers looking for agents.

I then went on the page where there are links of them:

Abrams Artists:
This is in LA and NY.

Curtis Brown: This is in NY and they have made so many books into film and TV like Ella Enchanted.

Susan Gurman Agency: This is theatre.

I went through all 9 of them, and most of them I can't send anything to them because they're not looking for what I wrote.

Blogs: There is a page where it has links to all these publisher's blogs.  However, the summaries often talk about publishing for literary and not TV agents.  Still check it out:

All Freelance Writing: Also from Two Bits, I found this website called All Freelance Writing.  There's a tool called Freelance Writing Rate Calculator.  It's practical.  You put in your salary, days you work a week, days off you need for holidays and vacation.  Then press "calculate" and it will say how much you should charge.

This is a really good and informative website because it has all these articles, writing tips, how to build a portfolio, forums, etc.  I'm going to bookmark this site.

Scriptathon: I got this from the Great American Pitchfest.  This is 30 day screenwriting marathon and competition.  The script you write in the contest, you could win $1000, the Final Draft software program, agent consultation.

Write Brain Workshop:
I like the quirky name.  This is also from GAPF.  Anne Norda is a writer/ director/ teacher who gives screenwriting workshops.  There's a blog on it and it gives writing tips.  Her classes are more about being more creative and getting over writer's block.

Here's a description of her class on here site:

"Tap into the flow of your own creativity. Experience different ways to

deepen your relationship to your story, your characters and your imagination.
Learn techniques to explore new perspectives in your own storytelling.

Chris Craddock: I also emailed the Writer in Residence 2010 Chris Craddock on Facebook.  He emails back saying he remembers me.

Oct. 1 Linked In: One of my Professional Writing college friends confirmed my invitation on Linked In.  She's using her writing skills as a career.

I was on Two Bits writing group.  I found this inspirational:

Nicole Galloway Miller I agree I love learning and trying new things. I think it is important for creative people to experience a wide variety of things. I celebrate my curiosity, since it encourages me to expand those horizons. Then when I sit down and write, I feel like I have so much more to say.

Saying: "Opportunities will always surround you if you know where to look."  I look at Two Bits, and there is a lot of self-publishing websites, novelists, and short stories.  There isn't really any TV agents.

Self-publishing: If you want to self-publish your own book, check out these sites.  Or if you want something new to read, then go here.  There's lots of genres.

Book Baby: Book Baby seems more interesting.  You can publish books on an Apple iPad or Amazon Kindle.

Smash Words: This is more for ebooks.

Hyper Ink: The logo is kind of quirky.  It has a blue octupus with a paintbrush.  It has a "Blog to Book" section.

Truckstop Bloodsuckers: The new Avenue magazine came out today.  There was an article about Truckstop Bloodsuckers.  It's about two waitresses who are vampires as they run Little Hope Diner.  It turns out a EPL writer in residence Chris Craddock mentioned it on Facebook when I was at

I read the article and tuned into the first ep which is 6min long.  I had called this one person about volunteering and she said they're filming in the Lunch Box Diner back in May 2012.  I had a Mother's Day Dinner so I couldn't go and volunteer.

It's kind of funny and quirky.  This will be aired on until it's released as a feature-length film on Bite TV on Oct. 31.

Script editor: I picked up this work book called Multiple Choices: Planning Your Career for the 21st Century written by  It was from my career counseling office at MacEwan.  I read it months ago.  There's a section where it goes by industries like entertainment.  It seems like something I would be totally interested in, writing for TV.

On Wikipedia, it says:

A script editor is a member of the production team of scripted television programmes, usually dramas and comedies. The script editor has many responsibilities including finding new script writers, developing storyline and series ideas with writers, ensuring that scripts are suitable for production. The script editor will work closely with the writer at each draft of their script, giving the writer feedback on the quality of their work, suggesting improvements that can be made whilst also ensuring that practical issues like show continuity and correct running time are adhered to. Unlike the writers, script editors will usually be full-time members of the production team, working closely with the producer.[1]

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Inspirational Quotes (Part 8)

 “Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time.” - Norman Cousins

“The poet lives a daydream that is awake, but above all, his daydream remains in the world, facing worldly things.  It gathers the universe around and in an object.” –Gaston Bachelard, French philosopher.

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” –Pema Chodron

"There will never be a 'good' or 'right' time to do anything worth doing.  Do it anyway.  As soon as you can."  -Post Secret

"Every time one of my secrets isn't posted...I take it as a sign from God to (crossed out) let go of it.   Get over it." -Post Secret

Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is. ” — Ernest Hemingway

"The artist finds greater pleasure in painting than in having completed the picture.” Seneca

“What I’m doing now has everything to do with where I want to be in 5 years.” –Marie quiz question.

“What have you achieved last year?” –job interview question

“Life is more fun when it involves making money, taking risks, traveling, eating out and getting pleasantly tipsy on Greek islands.” –Eric Reguly

“Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” –Gordon B. Hinkley

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

No one but a blockhead writes except for money." - Samuel Johnson

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint on broken glass.” –Anton Chekhov

“Writing is a struggle against silence.” –Carlos Fuentes

“All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I try to leave out parts that people want to skip.” –Elmore Leonard

“Yeah, it’s fun to be somebody you’re not, to bring a character to life.” Michael Berryman

“Smile.  It enhances your face value.” –Steel Magnolias.  Screenplay by Robert Harling

“When you know how to make love, you’ll know how to pitch.” –Bull Durham (written by Ron Shelton)

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”-Ray Bradbury

“You fail only if you stop writing.” - Ray Bradbury

“Tilting at windmills is not a bad thing because, even as Cervantes said, you can either get thrown into the mud or up into the stars.  It’s the risk we really all should be taking.” –Lance Henricksen  

“Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

“Screenwriting is like solving a puzzle over and over.  You get faster with practice.  –Blake Snyder

“A writer is someone for whom writing is harder than it is for most people.”  -Thomas Mann 

“Why not go on a limb?  Isn’t that where the fruit is?”  -Frank Scully

“What is more mortifying than to feel you’ve missed the Plum for want of courage to shake the tree?”  Logan Pearsall Smith

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make, the better.  What if they’re a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fall, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice.  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Right after my father died, I would come up here a lot ... I would imagine that the whole world was one big machine. Machines never have extra parts, you know.  They always have the exact number they need. So I figured if the entire world was a big machine I couldn’t be an extra part, I had to be here for some reason ... And that means you have to be here for some reason, too. –movie Hugo

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~ Scott Adams

“Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence.  Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.”- Joseph Conrad

"Like every great chef, cull the ingredients from your life and use them to create your own great story. You probably have more resources than you think."- Signe Olynyk

“There are a lot more successful relentless people in Hollywood than there are successful talented people. You need to water and fertilize the grinder side of you as much as your creative side. Grow it. Turn yourself into a grinder because relentless will win over talented every time.” –Doug Richardson

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. - Robin McLaurim Williams

"It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others." -- Sydney J. Harris

"The guest is a better judge of the meal than the cook." –Aristotle

“First, do not accept just anyone with a microphone or a blog as an expert.  Please, please talk to qualified experts.  My second request would be: Do no be motivated or manipulated by fear.  As a matter of general philosophy, fear is not a great basis for decision- making.” –Denise Carpenter (President of the Canadian Nuclear Association.)

“You will yourself to absorb all this because it’s important to witness each person’s struggle, it’s what connects humanity.” –Judith Timson

“Skills are tougher than knowledge -- you have to actually do something.”- Dr. Rebecca Schalm

“Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become.” –Paramahansa Yogananda

“Each of us has the capacity to contribute a small amount, or not, to the world while we are living in it.  In Africa, in Asia or in Canada, good that is put into the world is good that is put into the world.  Period.

And is doing nothing because one can only do a little valid excuse to actually do nothing?  It is not.  We have little understanding of the impacts of our actions, even those felt to be inconsequential.” –Annemarie Pegg (a part of Doctors without Borders)

“I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”- Edward Everett Hale

"That you cannot start at the top and you should forget any idea of what you think you 'should' have achieved by a certain age. It is important to recognize that all your previous career experiences will help to strengthen and diversify your skills, and you will eventually end up where you will be your best." - Sien- Estelle Petty

“Be industrious, and frugal, and you will be rich.” –Benjamin Franklin

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” –Ingrid Bergman

“Why does a man take it for granted that a girl who flirts with him wants him to kiss her- when, 9 times out of 10, she only wants him to want to kiss her?” –Helen Rowland

“Charm is a woman’s strength, just as strength is a man’s charm.” –Havelock Ellis

“When you see a woman who can go nowhere without a staff of admirers, it is not so much because they think she is beautiful, it is because she told them they are handsome.”-Jean Giradoux

“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be… it really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.” –Erica Jong

“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”  -George Land

“When you love someone, all your saved- up wishes start coming out.”- Elizabeth Bowen

“Passion is the quickest to develop and the quickest to fade.  Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradual still.” –Dr. Robert J. Sternberg

“You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.  She was made to be wooed and won by youth.” –Winston Churchill

“When I work I relax; doing nothing or entertaining visitors makes me tired.” –Pablo Picasso

“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves; those who work hard and play hard.” Colin Powell

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” –Sam Ewing

“In the ocean of truth, we’re forever treading water, swimming for our lives.”- Chris Knight

“The time which we have at our disposal everyday is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains.” –Michael Proust

“There are no failures, only outcomes.”

“Success is not the final outcome, it’s about what you have learned and achieved along the way.” –Rachel Smith, Miss USA

“Every struggle I faced was necessary because it made me a better person.”-Ciara (singer)

“Young men speak of the future because they have no past, but old men speak of the past because they have no future.”-“Pickles” comic strip

“…to live deeply and suck out all the marrow of life.” –Thoreau

“The world can take you off course.  And rather than being reactive under other people’s priorities, it’s important to be leading proactive lives, advancing our own priorities.”- Robin Sharma, author of The Secret Letters of the Monk who Sold his Ferrari

“To staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.” –Lucille Ball

“Success starts with knowing yourself.”- Personalysis website

VIA Me! Website quiz:

“I believe life is more of a playground than a battlefield.”

“I am a true life-long learner.”

“I never want things that are bad for me in the long run, even if they make me feel good in the short run.”

“I welcome the opportunity to brighten someone else’s day with laughter.”

“Everyday, I look forward to the opportunity to learn and grow.”

“I value my ability to think critically.”

“I love to make other people happy.”

“I have a clear picture in my mind about what I want to happen in the future.”

“My life has a strong purpose.”

“We need to know that we are not alone.” –C.S. Lewis

“Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible."-  Francis Bacon

“Given  the world that be created, it would be an impiety against God to believe in him.” –Jim Banville

One thing both candidates got wrong

 I got this from Amnesty International:

Dear Tracy,

Last night's presidential debate touched on core values: human rights, freedom, and democracy. Unfortunately that rhetoric rang hollow -- drowned out by the dull roar of drones.

We know that drone strikes, which involve the deliberate killing of terrorism suspects far from any recognized battlefield and without charge or trial, are shielded from scrutiny, circumvent the justice system and kill civilian bystanders. But President Obama avoided a question about the United States' remote controlled killing machines and Governor Romney embraced President Obama's use and expansion of drone killing.

Both candidates ignored the U.S. government's human rights obligations to end unlawful drone killings.

Amnesty International calls on all governments to end extrajudicial killing. You can help -- support Amnesty International's work to end unlawful drone strikes and defend human rights worldwide.

Drones are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians -- men, women and children in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But key facts and legal details about the U.S. government's use of drones are shrouded in secrecy.

It's time to change this deadly equation. Don't let lawmakers look away -- demand that the United States have a serious conversation about drones.

Unmanned drones have killed more than 200 children -- kids who were simply walking to school, playing outside or sleeping in their own homes. Join Amnesty International's call to end unlawful killings.

Donate today to fuel Amnesty's work against unlawful drone strikes and all violations of human rights.


Suzanne Nossel
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Stop the U.S. government's secret drone war

I got this from Amnesty International:

Dear Tracy,

In the recent presidential debates, we've heard from the candidates on domestic issues like jobs, the economy and immigration. But there are a lot of human rights topics left to cover in tonight's foreign policy debate. What will President Obama and Governor Romney say about drones?

There are many things we don't know about U.S. drone policy, for example, the government's rules of engagement for drone attacks. Drone missions and strategy operate under a shroud of secrecy. But what we do know is scary -- the deliberate killing of individuals deemed by the U.S. government to be terrorism suspects, far from any recognized battlefield and without charge or trial, raises grave concerns that the U.S. is committing extrajudicial executions in violation of international human rights law.

Tell the Obama administration to come clean about its drone policy and put an end to unlawful killings with drones.

Both presidential candidates have spoken in favor of drones, which have been depicted as a technologically advanced, precision tool for targeting suspects in remote areas.

But as the mounting civilian casualties demonstrate, under U.S. policy, anyone can be targeted as a possible enemy or simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The people of Pakistan know this all too well. A recent joint report from Stanford and NYU, Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan, details story after story of civilians -- often children -- killed or seriously injured in U.S. drone attacks. The accounts are chilling.

Shockingly, the CIA reportedly operates under the "guilty until proven innocent" assumption that any male of military age in Pakistan is a potential drone target, unless intelligence has shown otherwise.1

Drone strikes reflect a "global war" mentality that has been passed on from the Bush administration to the Obama White House. But the whole world is not a battlefield, where lethal force can be used without regard for international human rights and humanitarian law. This reckless approach to national security policy must end now.

Not in our name. Demand that the U.S. government stop the unlawful drone killings in Pakistan and around the globe. Human rights must come first.


Suzanne Nossel
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

P.S. "Drones" is just one of the key human rights words on our Debate Bingo cards. Don't forget to play along during tonight's presidential debate, and join the conversation with fellow Amnesty activists online!

data analyst/ consulting/ market research analyst

Oct. 5 Data analyst: After a lot of career researching, I like the duties of collecting data and reporting on it.  On Wise Geek, it says data analysts are: "collecting, organizing, and analyzing data from various resources."  They write summaries to graphs and charts.

They need a degree in statistics, computer science, or business administration.

On Yahoo, it says they use "mathematical calculations to determine business decisions."  It also said the majors are economics and accounting.

Promoter: Maybe I should work in the advertising industry.  A promoter is someone who advertises events.  They can work on a project by project basis, and not a lot of job security.

Event coordinator:
It then made me think of this.  You are promoting and planning an event.  On Ehow, it seems a little bit more like a wedding planner.  You have to get the clients by advertising and networking say at a bridal fair.  You have to meet with vendors

Here's some more about being an event planner.  I'm kind of doing these duties at my restaurant.  There are reservations for 20 people, and we plan and set up the tables to accommodate them.  I'm not really feeling this career.

Oct. 7 Consulting: I found this article through Twitter.  This young woman named Diana who did a little business of teaching kids how to swim in the comfort of their own home.  She had a full-time job and did this on the side.  Her are her tips:

  • Focus. Choose one idea and go for it. Don’t get distracted along the way.
  • Start young. Build your network.
  • Start now. Start something part-time and surround yourself with like-minded people.

Oct. 8 Labor market analyst: I Google "how to be a labor market analyst."  On Wikipedia, it says internal labor market.

"...are an administrative unit within a firm in which pricing and allocation of labor is governed by a set of administrative rules and procedures. The remainder of jobs within the ILM is filled by the promotion or transfer of workers who have already gained entry. Internal labor markets are shielded from the competition of external labor markets (ELM).[1] However, competition of ILM exists within the firm in the form of job promotions and pay."

It goes on about how HR works like getting and retaining employees.

I Google "how to be an external market analyst."  I found a site that is for UC Davis HR, but it's a little bit more informative of the duties:

"...  recruitment and retention indicators, availability of funds, and internal equity/alignment issues are all considered in establishing or adjusting salary ranges."

Career development specialist: This is kind of like human resources where you hire people.  Then you hire instructors to teach those workers to do their jobs.  I saw the 1:33 sec video and it said you should have a degree in HR.

Student development specialist: I read it, and it was like a school counselor.  You teach and help kids, to see if they have learning disabilities, what to go into in college.

Executive search consultant:
On Wikipedia, it says: " a specialized recruitment service used to source candidates for senior, executive or other highly specialized positions in organizations. The method usually involves commissioning a third-party organization."  So like working as a recruiter at a staffing agency.

If you read more of the page, it goes to talk about staffing agencies.

Market research analyst: I found this on ALIS Alberta.  OCCinfo says:

"...use data gathered about marketplace participants (customers, employers and competitors) and their responses to products and services. This information is used to improve market success."  It's about tracking marketing trends, analyzing and presenting your research.

You need a diploma in marketing.  I do work at call centres and we research by calling people to do surveys.

Of all the above careers I researched, this one kind of stood out for me.  I read the business section of the newspaper everyday and I am tracking trends when I read it. says to take college classes in business, marketing, statistics, mathematics and survey design.  There was a quiz that helps determine if this job is for you.  It asked: "Are you good in communications from writing, speaking, phones?"

Ehow says get a Bachelor's degree in marketing.

Oct. 9 Information specialist: Ehow lists the job duties that sound interesting to me like "direct, develop and distribute information within a business organization" and "retrieving and accessing information."

However, you need: "..degrees in engineering, information technology, management information systems, library and information science, business management or other technology-related discipline."

Vantage Assessements: I found this in my MacEwan newsletter.  It's where you get career counseling.  You do a test/ assessment and it costs from $45-$155.  I think you can get this for free if you go to your old college.  I got free career counseling from MacEwan because I attended there.

Though, it's like I did pay 2 yrs college tuition to attend there, so it's not like it's free.

CAPS: There's the University of Alberta CAPS career centre, and it's $20 for an 1hr of career counseling for students and recent graduates (within 8 months) and $40 for everybody else.

Books: If you go to the library, you can check out career books.  There are also a lot of free career work books at colleges and Service Canada in downtown.  The work books I got from MacEwan are:

Multiple Choices: Planning Your Career for the 21st Century (from
Career Planner: Choosing an Occupation   (from
Job Seekers: Handbook: An Introductory Guide to Finding Work (AB Human Resources and Employment)
Advanced Techniques for Work Search (AB Govt.)
Self-employment: Is it for me? (AB Human Resources and Employment)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Love Begins/ bullying/ sexual harassment

Oct. 14 Love Begins: I saw this TV movie last month on Youtube.  I thought it was a boring and mediocre.  I only watched it because the actor Wes Brown was in it.  I'm not really into romantic dramas, or stories set in the 18th century where there's no TV or internet.  It's really the story that matters, and there wasn't a really good story.  It's based on a book by Janette Oke and she has written a lot of these of kind of stories.

It started off well with horses riding on the wild west, kind of reminded me of the TV show Heartland.  They introduce the characters of a young woman Ellen, and her little teen sister Cassie.  Their farm is falling apart, and their parents have passed away.  Clark (Wes Brown) and his friend Daniel are in town and starts hitting on women.

They then get into a fight with 2 guys and the Sheriff breaks up the fight.  That was an interesting scene at the cafe and breaks a window.  Clark and Daniel are arrested and thrown in jail.  They both plead guilty or wait a month before a judge comes into town.  Daniel uses a fork from a meal and breaks himself out of jail, while Clark stays in prison.  This shows Clark has morals.

Daniel goes to California to get to the gold rush.

Clark: Can I work off the bills and damages I caused?
The Sheriff says yes, and gets him to work for Ellen and Cassie's farm.  
Sheriff: If you run, I will shoot you.  Your word to stay is good enough.
That's realistic.

Ellen doesn't trust Clark because he's a criminal because he started a fight.  There's a little conflict.  Cassie tells Clark that Ellen's boyfriend went to the gold rush 2 yrs ago, and he never got back to her.  She didn't go with him.

Ellen and Cassie talk about how Clark has the same mannerisms as their dad, so I guess to set up how Ellen falls in love with him.

There's some continuity when Sheriff tells Clarke that his friend Daniel was arrested.

Ellen and Clark talk, and he tells her he will leave town after his work is done.  She doesn't want to get attached.  They go to the town dance.  The 2 guys who were part of the fight then shake hands with Clark and apologize.  There could have been some conflict started her again.  Ellen and Clark bond and dance.  They have Sunday dinner together.

Clark pays off the cafe owner Millie who he and the guys got into a fight at.  He apologizes and pays her back so he redeems himself. 

There is a storm, and Clark gets up on the roof as it's pouring rain to fix the leak on the roof.  He falls off it.  Some conflict.

Ellen's ex-boyfriend Jake comes back into town and he's rich from the gold rush.  I didn't predict that he was coming.  He wants her to marry him.  The climatic ending as Ellen will either choose Jake or Clark.  Clark is getting ready to leave because he sees Jake.

Ellen then tells Clark that she's in love with him and they get married.

Pros: One scene I liked was when Ellen and Clark were going to kiss, and the cow then moos loudly.  lol.  The dialogue was accurate because that's how people talked back then.,

Writing: The entire time you were reading it, did you think it was interesting?  This TV movie, reminded me of my script called Garret, I wrote back in 2009.  I had finished writing The Vertex Fighter, and Garret was like Fighter, with the character's names changed.

It had the same storyline as Love Begins, where the Girl's Boyfriend leaves.  She then meets the New Guy.  Boyfriend comes back, and Girl has to choose between them, and she picks the New Guy.  Come to think of it, it's kind of like Twilight.  Bella and Edward are together.  Then in the 2nd movie, Bella is with Jacob. 

Oct. 15 Writing tip: The Writer in Residence Conni Massing gave me a tip about characters falling in love.  They have to transform each other, or at least one of them changes.

Oct. 19 Bullying: Sophie Leake sent this to me through my blog called "10 Tips for Parents of Kids who are Being Bullied."  The Amanda Todd suicide has an effect on me.

The parents should be there for their kids, and listen to them and be available to them.  #7 says to block cyber bullies and #5 says to "save harassing communications" like emails because you can use it as evidence that this person harassed you.

If you see someone being bullied, you can report to a teacher.  It kind of reminds me of workplace bullying.  That co-worker at the Soup place yelled and swore at me, and I reported it to the manager the very next day.  She yells at me some more, and then I tell the manager again.

#8 says get him into an activity or hobby outside of school to build his self-esteem.  He can make friends in those activities.  #9 says to nurture his self-esteem and says he's really important to the family.  #10 says counseling helps too.

I would say you can do homeschooling.  In Edmonton there's Fresh Start where you can do the classes in a self- study way.  This 15 yr old girl who worked at the Soup place with me said she took it.  She did the Science 14 module in 3 days.  Another young woman who worked there for a short time, said she did Fresh Start too.

Once again, I'm going to bring up that girl who's in a religion that doesn't allow her to talk to boys.  If people found out who she was, she was going to be harassed because she is so unusual.  It's kind of like finding out a guy's dad is in jail, or his mom is a teen mom.

Well at my jr. high school, which is like a middle class backgrounds, having a dad in jail is so bad.  If the school was inner city, ghetto, poor neighborhood, than it's not a big deal.  If a lot of kids dads are in jail, or not around than it's normal. 

Politeness backfires: I found this article I clipped out from the Edmonton Journal in Aug. 2012.  It was written by Misty Harris.  It's called "Being polite can backfire: study."  According to hundreds of participants in this study: "..psychologists find etiquette overrides disagreement in casual conversation, with people consistently withholding negative feedback due to social norms."

The example in the article was how a jerk is telling rude jokes at a party, and he's deluded himself into thinking he's funny because the listeners are just listening to be polite.  The listeners aren't being truthful about how they feel.  They talk about delusions like being overconfident in your dancing abilities.  But it's deadly if you're overconfident in cleaning your gun.

Sexual harassment: I'm going to bring this up again.  It was back in gr. 10 and this guy was sexually harassing my friend thinking he was so funny.  He knows it, and she knows it, everybody there knows he was joking around by pretending to be attracted to her and hitting on her.  He was saying all these sexual things to her and I felt uncomfortable.

He was aggressive and I knew that if he kept it up, she was going to cry right from the get go.  He was so ignorant, lacked emotional intelligence that he couldn't see that he was offending her.  I tried to get him to stop at the beginning, but he wouldn't listen.  He did this for 20 min.  Two other girls who weren't even friends with my friend could tell that she was uncomfortable.  They told him to stop, but he wouldn't.

I knew that the only way he would stop is when she cried and she yelled at him to stop it, and that it wasn't funny.  I knew he wasn't going to listen to anyone else telling him to stop, unless it came from my friend.  The entire time she was moving from one side to the other side, but he kept following her.  It escalated that she threw some of her chips at him, and he thought it was a joke.

After he saw her cry, he was shocked.  He was trying to make her laugh, and he made her cry which is the opposite.  I'm sure he felt really bad, guilty, and stupid that he didn't know that his behavior had this negative effect on her the whole time.  I hope he learned his lesson.  I think he did learn his lesson because his face and eyes totally became serious. 

He was stunned and then quiet after that.  After my friend cried, she walked away and totally left the place.  She was upset, scared, and disgusted.

I'm not going to say my friend was overly sensitive.  Imagine a unattractive guy you're not interested in who's hitting on you.  You know he's just joking around, but it's not funny.

Side note:
On a side note, and it's totally besides the important point of sexual harassment, but here's a comedy tip: Don't do one joke/ theme for an entire 20min.  He kept saying various disgusting things the whole time.  That's the thing with my mind, I always have something irrelevant to put in.