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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

scam/ big companies/ entrepreneur

Jun. 15 Scam: I was looking for a job on Kijiji and found this one about processing emails and getting paid for it.  I then Google: "Is email processing a scam?"  It sure sounds like one.

Here's the ad:

Here is why it's a scam:
Jun. 17 Big companies: I'm expanding my job search by going through an old Career Options magazine I got back in 2007.  There are all these job ads for these big companies that I never looked into before until now.  I'm always on Job Bank and Kijiji looking for a job, but I need to look into other places.

I spent a couple of hours researching these companies, and most are gas and oil companies, hiring for jobs that I'm not interested in.  I've heard of some of them.  However, if you or someone you know may be interested in these companies.

Tesco: This is a drilling company and the locations are Leduc and Calgary.
Amec: I saw this ad and it's an engineering company.

United Rentals: This is a really big company in Canada and the US.  It's an equipment rental company.  Some positions are like sales.  There are a few locations in Edmonton.

Suncor Energy: They're looking for more trades, engineers, environment, health and safety.

Nexen: It's an oil and gas company.  The locations are in Calgary, Fort McMurray, and in BC.  The positions are engineers and managers.

Soft Choice: This is a big company in the Canada and US.  There's one in Calgary.  It's a technology supplier.  It sells Adobe and Cisco phones.  Some positions are selling these technology.

Alcan: I Google Alcan Canada.  It's an engineering, mining, and trades.  The website is really good with these cool graphics when I was going through the jobs.

This is the bigger uranium supplier..  They're hiring electricians, technicians, etc.

Gold Corp: This company mines for gold.  The Canadian officers are Vancouver and Toronto.  There is Mexico and South America offices.

Great West Life: They sell insurance, retirement and investment planning. This stands for Forum for International Trade Training.

Enterprise: This is a car rental company.  There is more to it like: "named one of the 50 best places to launch your career, ranked number one in customer service, and are consistently touted for our industry-leading environmental initiatives."  There is a management training program.

Agrium: This is a major retailer of agriculture products.  There are offices in North and South America.  They're hiring engineers, finance, IT, marketing, etc.

Talisman Energy:
This energy company is located on the 1st of Edmonton.  They say:

"We typically hire Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Accounting, Finance, Law, Information Technology and Petroleum Land Management students from schools across Canada and the U.S."
MIHR: It stands for Mining Industry Human Resources Council.  It's all about mining which I'm not interested in.  There weren't any job postings.

Hydro One: This is an energy company in Ontario.  They're only 2 locations, Barrie and Toronto.

Air Canada Centre:
This is in Toronto and it's mainly where sport teams play.  There are also really good restaurants there judging from their website.

This is a big energy company in Canada and the US.  They produce gas and oil.  There are locations in Alberta, but none in Edmonton.
Halliburton: This is an oil and gas company.  There's a company in Edmonton and there jobs worldwide.  They're hiring sales, HR, science. This is part of ESSO.  It looks like they're hiring for operations, trades and technicians.

Teck Cominco: This is a mining company with locations in BC and South America. This is a huge company and not just gas stations.  lol.  It's all over the world.  They're hiring managers and engineers.

Midwest Surveys: This is a "surveying firm specialized in providing geomatics services to the oil and gas industry."  The offices are in Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan.  They're hiring technicians.

Naylor-McLeod: This is a school that teaches immigrants English.  It closed back in Jan. 2011.  That's what happens when you research through a 2007 magazine.  lol.

Perpetual Energy Trust: I Google this "Paramount Energy Trust" and it has turned into Perpetual Energy Trust.  In the magazine ad, Paramount had a logo of a mountain/ triangle with gray, purple and black.  I go to Perpetual, it has the same colors and it's triangle.  In the centre is a circle like a perpetual motion.  Creative.

It's an energy company with the head office in Calgary.  There are field offices in Athabasca, Drayton Valley, and Viking.  They're hiring for a financial accountant.

State Street:
This is an investment firm.  It's located in Toronto and Montreal.
Jun. 18 Entrepreneur: Yesterday I spent 5 hrs and 35 min looking for a job on the internet, and researching companies.  I think the only fun part of it was reading the ebook from Red Lotus on how to start your own feng shui consulting business.  It was like any other small business.  Have your own office and create business cards and advertising.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What Obama needs to say on his trip to Africa

I got this from Amnesty International: 

Dear Tracy,

Did you know that homosexuality is illegal - actually criminal - in 38 African countries? In four African countries, a "homosexuality" conviction is punishable by death.

How about the extreme prevalence of rape of lesbians? Police told one woman in Cameroon that her rapist had the right to "cure" her of being a lesbian by raping her.

It's just sick.

Right now, during this week of historic rulings on LGBT rights in the U.S., President Obama is on a week-long trip to Africa. He's visiting 3 countries - all of which outlaw or deeply stigmatize homosexuality. This is our moment to push for change.

President Obama, challenge leaders in Africa to stop violence against the LGBTI community and protect the human rights of ALL their citizens.

This week Amnesty International released a blistering report, "Making Love a Crime," about the rampant state of homophobia and discrimination in Sub-Saharan Africa. It clearly shows an intense rise in hatred, harassment and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals.

From the report:
Frank Mugisha in Uganda had his tires slashed and once was slapped across the face by a man who told everyone nearby: "He is a homosexual." He recalls a neighbor coming up to him and saying: "Why are you still alive?"

Jean-Claude Roger Mbede in Cameroon was convicted of "attempted homosexuality" on the basis of sending a text message to another man. He served three years in prison.

Same-sex couple Steven and Tiwonge in Malawi were arrested soon after their symbolic wedding ceremony. They were both convicted and sentenced to 14 years of hard labor. The public prosecutor asked for a heavy sentence because he said that they had left "a scar on morality."*
Urge President Obama to use his visit to Africa to denounce violence and homophobia.

I do have reason to be optimistic.

Thanks to an ever growing number of courageous activists, the LGBTI movement in this region is flourishing. Together they are starting to chip away at discriminatory laws in Mozambique, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Botswana and the Seychelles.

President Obama can give their cause a tremendous boost if he takes a strong public stand during this trip.

I need you with us. Add your name to our petition and stand up for human rights.

In solidarity,

Cristina Finch
Managing Director
Women's Human Rights Program

Superman/ West Edmonton Mall/ teen pregnancy

Jun. 4 Superman:

Infographic: Alex Hillsburg sent me this infographic of Superman in the movies and comic books.  It shows the budget and how much the movies actually made in the box offices.  I only saw Superman Returns in 2006.  It was a good action and sci-fi movie.

Lois and Clark: Superman: I remember back in elementary school, my friends Heather and Leslie were talking about the show Lois and Clark: Superman.  It starred Dean Cain as Superman and Terri Hatcher as Lois.  I watched in gr. 3 and 4.  It was a light and fun show show.  I went to and it looks like this show had 4 seasons.

Smallville: Of course there was Smallville.  It came out back in 2001, and as soon as I heard that it was about Clark Kent as a teenager, I wasn't interested.  Then I read my favorite Edmonton actor Eric Johnson was in it so I had to watch it.  It wasn't very good because it was repetitive with the "freak of the weeks" like somebody is infected with kryptonite and turns bad and Clark has to stop them.

It was kind of like Buffy, with a superhero in a small town where weird things happen.

This show was on for 10 yrs.

Jun. 9 West Edmonton Mall: Yesterday I actually had a little fun.  I did a 1hr and 15min of shopping.  I went to the following stores:

1. Eddie Bauer: It was quiet and expensive.
2. Simon's: It was busy and some things were well-priced.
3. Scotch and Soda sold expensive clothes.  There was some nice jazz music playing, and I tried one of their perfumes that they had.
4. Crocs: The store was kind of crowded.  I don't like the shoes, but I know they're comfortable.  It had lots of Hello Kitty and shoes aimed for kids.
5. Roots: There weren't any kid clothes.  Degrassi actors were on the posters on the store windows.

6. H&M: give a bag of clothes to recycle, and you can get a $5 off voucher off your $30 purchase.  That's a good green plan.  Big sale of clothes that are $7.
7. American Apparel:  It's expensive with bright colors.
8. Old Navy: Good affordable prices with neon clothes.
9. Tiffany's: I see that it's under construction.  I've read about it in the Edmonton Journal that it's coming to Edmonton.  The store is located by all the other clothing stores that sells expensive.
10. Armani Exhchange: Tiffany's was by this store.  The security guard was in a suit.  There was a dog tag necklace for male jewelry and it was $55.  Too overpriced.

11. Danier: It sold neon handbags on sale from $99 to $199.
12. Lacoste: Sold some backpacks.
13. Michael Kors: Also sold neon handbags on sale.  It even sold tennis racket bags.
14. Banana Republic: It sold some nice bags.  I saw this pencil case that was $55.  Seriously.  Way too expensive.
15. Little Burgundy: It sells shoes and neon handbags.  That's the trend.

16: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: It used to be downstairs, but it's being renovated.  I tried a sample of dark chocolate upstairs.  It's okay.
17. Chinatown: I went to the Chinatown location.  The Vo's Nails is really busy.  I looked at Hoang Long Noodle House.  They sell gelato.  One scoop is $3, and 2 scoops for $5.  I see the green tea flavor is really popular because there's hardly any left.  The esthetic of the restaurant looks really good.
18. David's Tea: They have ice tea packets for one pitcher.  The packet would be $3.50 or 5 for $15.  That's too expensive.  You can go to Shoppers Drug Mart and buy a Nestle can of ice tea powder and make unlimited amounts of ice tea to drink.

I'm sure all of you guys are thinking: "Tracy thinks a lot of things are expensive."  lol.  It's funny because it's true.  Well then again, I did go into all these high end stores where items are in the hundreds of dollars.

Jun. 10 Boston Pizza: I tried the Baked Taco Beef Penne.  It tasted good.  You would like it too if you like taco beef or ground beef.

Jun. 12 The Secret: It's raining and it's a weekday morning.  Daytime TV isn't really good.  I wanted to watch something I haven't seen before, so I watched the first 24min of The Secret.  I have written like 7 posts about it on my blog.  Well a few of them explains about how the Secret is about the law of attraction.  What you think becomes real like "thoughts become things."

Here is first 24 min of the movie.

Here is Oprah's episode about it where she has some people in the movie discuss it.  This episode is from 2007.

I would have to say that The Secret movie was kind of boring (at least the first 24 min. of it).  I watched the whole Oprah episode on Youtube last yr and it was good.  Watch Oprah's ep than the movie. 

Movie: The movie looked promising at the beginning where the author Rhonda Byrnes talks about her lowest point in her life.  Then she discovers the Secret and it's like The Davinci Code where it talks about the history of it in ancient times.  It's fast paced.  Then it's just people who applied it and are talking about it in front of a background of old yellowed paper (green screen).

There are some reenactments, and kind of generic stock footage of things.  Ex. a guy is stuck in a traffic jam and thinking "I don't want to be late" and since he thinks of the word "late" he will be late.  If he thinks "I will be on time" and then he will arrive on time.

Teen pregnancy:
I was looking for a job and listening to music on Youtube.  It then lead me to a 2008 Tyra Banks ep called "Teenagers who are eager to get married."  I watched Part 1 to see if it's any good, and it was, so I watched the whole thing.  It was about 15 yr old girl Kaitlin who is dating an 18 yr old black guy named Ryan.  They got engaged and are both saying they're mature and are ready to have a baby.

Tyra was asking questions that I'm sure the audience wanted to know, or at least me the viewer did.

Tyra: So what's your job?
Ryan: I deliver pizzas.
The audience laughs. 
Tyra: Pizza delivery is an honorable job.  How much money do you make a yr?
Ryan: $1000.

Me: You work very part-time during the summer?

Kaitlin: He makes $8.10/hr.

Tyra talks to Kaitlin's mom who lets Ryan live with them and sleep in Kaitlin's bed every night.  It's been like that over a yr.  Kaitlin also bought fertility drugs off the internet and her mom found them and took them away from her.  It turns out K's mom got pregnant at 15 yrs old and gave birth to K's older brother.  Then when she was 17, she had K.  There are 2 other younger kids that K takes care of.

Tyra really helped them, by getting right to Kaitlin's issue.  Kaitlin mentions how she doesn't have a dad, and he told her he's glad he's not in her life.  It turns out he's been to jail.  She mentions how she has no friends.  She did before, but they got into drugs so she stays away from them.  Then the girls at school, all they do is talk about people behind their back.  Tyra advises that you can't say all the girls are bad.  You have to go out and actively look for good friends.

K did a pregnancy test before the show, and then Tyra tells her the result: "You are not pregnant."  The audience applauds.  K and T hug.

My opinion: After watching this show I felt good.  I kind of felt like Tyra was like a therapist talking to them and helping them.  I didn't get angry or yell at the computer.  Though I could have because the 3 guests seem stupid with these choices.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We couldn't have done it without you!

Making Connections Across Canada

The Food Banks Canada team is excited to share our 2013 Annual Report entitled "Making Connections" with you.  We are so pleased with the successes we have had this year.

Thank you for supporting us over the past year.  You are integral to helping us build connections with Canadians in need.  Your continued support enables us to provide essential food assistance and fulfill our mandate to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow.

We couldn't have done it without you.

Thank you!

Katharine Schmidt
Executive Director


Food Banks Canada | Banques alimentaires CanadaDonate Now

Thank You!Food Sharing
We are thrilled to report that last year we were able to acquire and share almost
6 MILLION KG of food
worth over
with our network across Canada.

Dollars and Cents
We are an extremely efficient organization. Our administration and fund development expenses account for only 15.3% of our revenue. When the full value of our entire operations, including food raising and sharing, is accounted for, our administrative costs are 1%.

Audited Financial Statements

Why I’m speaking out for Turkey

I got this from Amnesty International:

Dear Tracy,

Freedom of expression is a right I deeply value and must defend.

Today, this right is under serious attack in Turkey.

Join me in supporting Amnesty International in demanding justice for the thousands of peaceful protesters who have been injured in police violence in Turkey.

Since the clashes in Taksim Square began on May 28, Turkish police have used shocking levels of force to disperse peaceful protesters. Despite harsh international criticism, Turkish authorities have failed to step in to curb police abuse and help their own citizens.

Thousands of activists have been injured and unjustly imprisoned.

Over the weekend, police were seen firing tear gas directly at makeshift hospitals and detaining doctors and other medical personnel who were treating injured protestors. Recently, just as scores of lawyers were preparing to make a statement about the protests, they were arrested. People have also been detained simply for posting protest information on social media.

This must stop now.

Join me in petitioning the Turkish government to respect the fundamental human rights of its people.

Peaceful dissent should never be stifled with violence.

I support the nonviolent demonstrators in Turkey who, despite the risks, continue to take to the streets to call for basic human rights, including freedom of speech and for their right to be heard.

I urge you to give them your support, too.


Susan Sarandon
Actress, Activist

Susan Sarandon is an Academy Award-winning actress known for her work in films such as Dead Man Walking, Thelma and Louise  and The Client.

charity/ child-free living/ Roots of Empathy

May 28 Charity: I read in the Edmonton Journal that Singer Carrie Underwood donated $1 million to Oklahoma after the tornado.

I read in the Globe and Mail that Michael Kors (and Halle Berry) designed a $355 watch for the 100 series.  $25 will go to the World Food Program.  It is enough to buy 100 school meals for kids.

I read in 24 that Rapper 50 Cent paid for a 14 yr old girl's funeral.  Her name was D'aja Robinson and she was shot on a city bus in his hometown New York.  50 Cent posted pictures of the funeral on Facebook and said he paid for the horse and carriage that carried the casket.

Miracle birth: I found this on Yahoo.  Erica Nigrelli fainted and people around her performed CPR and used a defibrillator.  She was 36 weeks pregnant.  She died for a bit, then she gave birth to a baby girl, and then she was revived.  Erica had a heart defect that she didn't know.  There are a lot of happy and positive comments on the article.

May 31: I had talked about gas money.

"Dec. 31 Gas money: We should all express gratitude once in awhile.  I've read in books and newspapers that it makes your happier.  I learned this a couple months ago.  My dad drove to Calgary and it takes 4 hrs to get there.  He drove back and it takes another 4hrs.

In total 8hrs =$115 for gas money.  It's a good thing I take the bus to work.  It takes 1hr to get to work, 1 hr to get back.  If I drove to work, it would be 4 days and I would have spent $115 on gas.  The bus pass of $84.65 is a good price."

I then asked my friends Sherry and Leslie if I can quote them because they had something to say about it.  They said yes.

Sherry: if you take a bus 2 ways 14 days a month bus pass is cheaper than bus tix

Me: Bus fare is now $3.20. 

Sherry: so there you go. divide $89 by $6.40 and you know how many roundtrip days make a buspass a good investment :)

Leslie: Gas burns by kilometer not time.  Mileage is better on highway.  It's nearly 300 km to Calgary so 600 there and back.  For 115 dollars that's 19.1 cents a kilometer. Meaning its much cheaper than your estimate to drive to work for 4 days.  For the true cost ask your dad about his insurance cost per month and average that out per day then add 19 cents for every kilometer traveled.

Sure, but gas mileage also varies by vehicle! Also if you want to add to that- if you are paying a car loan you'd have to average in the cost of that per day as well.

Jun. 1 Eye exam: I was reading the Edmonton Journal about how May is Vision Health month.  It talked about Tamara Gauddet who's 40 yrs old and had these terrible headaches and blurred vision.  She then saw an eye doctor and there was increased pressure from fluid or inflammation from the brain.  She hadn't had an eye exam since she was a teen.

She now is a public speaker where she goes to schools raising awareness about eye health.

After I read that article, I scheduled to get an eye exam for next week.  I went to it and they had moved to a new office that was close to their old location.  The new office is way bigger with big windows.  The last time I had an eye exam was back in 2011.  I wasn't quite sure, but I remember sometime in the past 2 yrs.

Jun. 3 Child-free living: I was reading the Globe and Mail article "The Argument for Child-free living" by Elizabeth Renzetti on May 25, 2013.  A lot of readers emailed why they don't want to have kids:

"One had a genetic illness and didn't want to pass it on, another had terrible parents and was worried she wouldn't be fit for the task herself; one woman was traumatized by an offhand remark, overheard in childhood, about the pain of childbirth."

Richard231: "Population is the main driver of anthropogenic global warming.  Therefore, not having kids is combating climate change."

My opinion: I don't want to have kids because they're expensive.  To raise one child from baby to 18 yrs old, excluding college tuition, is $250,000.  It's also a lot of work and stress that isn't necessary.  You don't have to have kids.  I have to graduate out of high school and I have to get a job and make money.

When I was in my early 20s, I did think about all the conflicts of having kids.  You can't control them.  What if my daughter becomes an out-of-control teenage girl you would see on the Maury show?  When the kids are 18 yrs old, you can't control them because they are legally adults.  If they're teenagers, they can sneak out at night and you would be asleep. 

Pet care: So with caring for a pet.  When I was a kid, I wanted to have a cat, but my parents wouldn't let me.  They are so fun to play with when I was at my friend's house, and there are sometimes cats in my neighborhood that walk around my backyard.  My parents won't get a cat because it will shed everywhere, then it will scratch the couch.  They also don't like some animal walking around in the house.

Yeah, but it's not like a dog where you have to walk it and pick up his poop.  Now that I'm 27 yrs old, I see that a cat does cost money.  How much is it going to cost to feed a cat?  You have to buy a litter box and clean it, a scratching post, and some toys.  You don't need a cat.  So it looks we saved money by not owning any pets.

Roots of Empathy: I read the Globe and Mail article "Baby steps" by Elizabeth Renzetti on May 6, 2013.  She interviewed Mary Gordon who created the Roots of Empathy program where she teaches empathy to kids in schools.  More than half a million kids have gone through this program.  It's been taught in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and the US.

The program is where a local mother brings her baby who is 2-4 months old and places the baby on the blanket.  The students from kindergarten-gr.8 observe the baby and learn by studying the baby's emotions.  What if he wants to be picked up?  How he would communicate that?

The results are one boy in Toronto admitted he stole Unicef money at Halloween.  They praised him for his honesty and offered to help him pay back the cash.  Several parents notice their kids are better at sharing the TV remote. 

One that really touched me was Darren, a 14 yr old boy who was holding the baby for a few min.  He asked: "If nobody has ever loved you, do you think you could still be a good father?"

Gordon is also in the documentary by Alex Gabbay called Love, Hate, and Everything in Between.

David Ranta: In Mar. 25, 2013, I read a 24 article: "Freed after wrongful conviction, NY man suffers heart attack."  David Ranta, 58 spent 23 yrs in prison for crime he didn't commit.  He was accused of killing a Hasidic rabbi, but then was freed after "the conviction integrity unit of the Brooklyn District attorney's office concluded that the case against him was fatally flawed." 

"Investigators found that a key witness, a teenager who picked Ranta out of a lineup, had since said he did not recognize Ranta but selected him after a detective told him to 'pick the guy with the big nose.'"

Jun. 24 Calgary: There's all this flooding in Calgary.  I read in the Edmonton Journal that we should donate money and not things.  If it's things it takes more time and effort to sort things and transport them.  If it's money, it's faster.  I read the same thing about the Oklahoma tornadoes.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

[VIDEO] Update on police violence in Turkey

I got this from Amnesty International:

Dear Tracy,

Thank you for showing your support for human rights in Turkey.

Right now the country remains in crisis. We're amassing a growing body of evidence of police brutality and calling on authorities to respect the rights of peaceful protestors.

Amnesty staff is on the ground in Turkey, very near the violence, sending credible, verified accounts of abuses to journalists and decision-makers around the world.

Watch this video to find out more about how Amnesty is fighting for dignity and human rights in the unfolding crisis in Turkey.

In solidarity,

Howard Eissenstat
Turkey Specialist
Amnesty International USA

millennials/ living in a van/ Career Options magazine

Jun. 11 Millennials: I was reading a Job Boom newsletter emailed to me and the article was "Millennials+ managers= meltdown."  It's about the baby boomers and millennials are different and they work differently.   It said: "75% (of millennials) apply for other jobs within their first year on the job - ASTD".
Me: Stay at your job.  Don't job hop.  You only quit if you really hate it or there is a really good opportunity.  If you like your current job and it pays well, stay.

Internet: The other article "The Internet needs freedom not regulation."  It was about the internet industry and businesses and not how regular people surf the net.
Living in a van: I found this on Yahoo: "Duke Grad Student Secretly lived in a Van to Escape Loan Debt" by Mandi Woodruff.  It's about Ken Ilgunas who had $32,000 debt in college.  After he graduated studying History and English, he went to Alaska to work for $9 like cooking.  He had room and board provided, no stores close by, no cell phone, so all of his money went to his debt.  He was able to pay off like $18,000 in one yr.  Yeah, that sounds about right when you make $9/ hr full-time.
Afterwards, he went to Duke University to go to grad school.  He lived in his van with all his stuff there.  He had to hide it because Duke doesn't let people live in vans on their lots.  This had lots of pictures of how he ate, cooked, slept, got water from water fountain, studied in the library and recharged his cell phone there.
Me: Good for him.  I think we should all live cheaply like he does.  Not to the extent of in a van, but get rid of stuff you don't really need.  Spend on what you need. 
Here are some Yahoo comments:
Mr. A: I'd recommend this guy for Congress. He truly knows what responsibility and pride are all about.
Susan: Not too many young people like him. His parents should be proud. Outstanding!

Jun. 12 Save money: I found this 24 article on Nov. 6, 2012 called "Challenge yourself to live on thrifty side" by Mr. Money.  Seriously.  It mentioned a UN study that about half of the 6 billion people on Earth in 2006 lived on less than $2 a day. 

Here are some tips on how to save money:

Cash free day:  Try to not spend more than $2 in a day, pack a sandwich for lunch, use daylight and not turn on any lights.

Waste less: like adjust the pressure on your car to improve gas mileage.  Turn off all the lights when not using it, especially when going to bed.

Be aware: and asks "How much do you cost yourself daily?"  How much money do you spend in a single day on meals, work, etc.

Split your paycheck into checking accounts, savings, RRSP instead of putting everything into one big bucket.

ROI of Social Media:
Ginny Grimsley sent me this article.  ROI stands for Return on Investment.  It's about how you to use social media to publicize your business.  It mentions how one tweet can then be retweeted.  Then it's read by someone's 130,000 followers, so you got lots of publicity.

I guess this could be used to publicize my blog.

Jun. 13 Rant: I was thinking about that MADtv sketch of that Alias parody again.  You know where the professor says: "I will give you 9 more chances!"

I was thinking about that Soup place worker who always miss Mon. and Tues.  If she worked at my current restaurant job or anywhere else, she would have either not been scheduled for those days or been dismissed.  I've been dismissed after one shift like at Call Centre #4 for not getting enough completed surveys and Juice Place #2 for not being up to par.

It's not just me, I know someone who got dismissed from this sandwich shop she was working at because she couldn't find the eggs because no one told her where it was.  She worked there for a few days.  Then she got this bar job where she works Fri. and Sat. nights and then was dismissed shortly afterwards.  Something about how she didn't sign a letter that says she was really hired or something.  I don't know.

Most jobs don't always have a job offer letter to sign; it's mainly office jobs that give you a letter to sign about the official start date and pay.  At the Soup place, there was no job offer letter to sign. 

The thing is, there aren't many places that will give you a lot of chances.  After one shift, you could be done.  I will give points to Telemarketer #1 and #2 that they gave me 4 days to sell tickets then they dismissed me. 

Career Options magazine:
I have a Fall 2007 issue of this magazine that I got back in college.  It's a free 62 page magazine.  Articles about moving west, hiring people with disabilities, behavioral interviews, information sessions, and resumes.  There were tips that were common knowledge like spell check your resume, use a simple format.

There were a lot of job ads.  Some were for retail like HMV and the Source.  Then there are the big companies and careers I could look into.

Jun. 14 In the magazine I found this ad for Shell.  I see there are 3 Shell gas stations in Edmonton.  I looked for careers, and there wasn't any.

Yellow pages:
There was job ad in the magazine for it.  I went to the website, and the only AB location was in Calgary.

Total E&P:
I found this ad for this company that I haven't heard of before.  It's in Calgary.  It's an oil and gas company.

Telvent: I found this ad, looked it up on the internet.  It turned to Schneider Electric.  They're energy production and usage.  I don't see any jobs in Edmonton.

Urban systems:
They hire engineers and architects.  They were also voted as Canada's Top 100 Employers 2007.

Leasing agent: I was looking at jobs and see this one for a leasing agent.  I Google the duties and got a Yahoo answer.  It was basically showing apartments, processing credit checks, etc.

Flashback: I remember back in 2010 "The Year of Unemployment", I was writing about my job search in my blog.  A couple of friends said I seemed kind of frustrated with my job search and that I should take a break.  Yeah, I know and I do take breaks.

Jun. 15: I was walking in Capilano mall and they're closing down for renovations.  Some moved to Bonnie Doon mall, and others aren't coming back.  I think of all the people who got laid off. 

I remember back in 1999 when the department store Eaton's closed down.  I didn't think about layoffs back then.  I was 14 yrs old.  I was thinking about the competition like Sears and the Bay which is still here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

jokes/ crazy job interview questions

May 20 Jokes: I was thinking about that time I unintentionally offended my friend with a light joke.  I thought she would laugh, but she didn't.  So now, I am more self-aware.  I always say this before I put in a joke: "This may be offensive, so I'm forewarning."  So here is one:

Marriage: I got this from Daily Silly:

A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Their domestic tranquillity had long been the talk of the town. A local newspaper reporter was inquiring as to the secret of their long and happy marriage. "Well, it dates back to our honeymoon," explained the lady. "We visited the Grand Canyon and took a trip down to the bottom of the canyon by pack mule. We hadn't gone too far when my husband's mule stumbled. "My husband quietly said "That's once." We proceeded a little farther when the mule stumbled again. Once more my husband quietly said, "That's twice." We hadn't gone a half-mile when the mule stumbled a third time. My husband promptly removed a revolver from his pocket and shot him. I started to protest over his treatment of the mule when he looked at me and quietly said 'That's once!"

Me: I didn't find that joke funny at all.  A man threatening to kill his wife is not funny.

Working joke: Also from Daily Silly.

A 17 year-old Antartican boy was hired to paint a white line down the middle of the highway. On the first day, he got off to a good start and he painted a white line 7 miles long. The next day, however, he painted a line only 4 miles long. On the third day, he was down to less than a mile. Finally, his friend Max asked him why he was doing less each day. The boy replied, "I guess it takes me longer and longer to get back to the bucket each day."

Me: That's not funny.  It's just stupid.  Bring the bucket with you.

Dance Flick: A month or so ago I was checking what's on TV that night.  I can go through all the channels as I had MuchMusic on in the background.  They were playing the movie Dance Flick which is parody movie that makes fun of all these other dance movies out there.
As I was checking the TV, I did watch a bit of the beginning of the movie.  I was offended by this part in it. 

Cut to a car hits a woman.
Cut to the car's license plate "LINDSAY."  The joke is Lindsay Lohan's driving causes lots of accidents.
Cut to another car hits the same woman.
Cut to the car's license plate "BRANDY."  The joke is the singer/ actress Brandy Norwood caused a car accident.

I was so offended by the Brandy part, because the car accident she got into, someone actually died from it.  Read this:

I even remember seeing a clip of it on TV where Brandy is crying in an interview: "I didn't wake up one day to kill someone."  38 yr old Awatef Aboudihaj died from her injuries.

I'm not offended by Lohan's joke because though she caused accidents, nobody died from it.

May 22 Test joke: I had earlier sent this Daily Silly joke about a test where the teacher asks 4 students: "100 points for which tire that broke down when you were getting to school."

Me: Oh, that's a good one.  However, what if they're all friends and thought exactly the same?  They all immediately thought the front right tire.  What are the chances all four said that?

I asked my friend Sherry if I could quote her, and she said yes.  She says this:

"Guess she was willing to reward if they had the brains to remember to decide before they saw her which one it was...."

May 23 Childless joke: I was reading this article "What to expect when you're not expecting: a lot of stigma, disapproval, and blame" by Elizabeth Renzetti in the Globe and Mail on May 18, 2013.  She talked to American comedian Jen Kirkman who also write for the Chelsea Lately show.

In Kirkman's stand-up, she makes fun of herself for lack of interest in motherhood.  She thought it was funny, but a lot of people didn't.

Kirkman: "After the shows, people were coming up to me and saying, 'You're being selfish, you should really think about what you're contributing to the planet.  It was happening more and more, and they were really getting in my face about it.  On the flip side, I had all sorts of women saying, 'Thanks for the jokes, I feel the same way and people think I'm a weirdo.'"

She has released a book called I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids.  "It's just my funny way of saying to people, 'Hey, you're offending me.'"
Me: I read the article and it didn't give one of Kirkman's jokes as an example.  I would like to hear it.

The Simpsons: What about the time when Homer was driving Bart?

Homer: Yeah, well that's the thing with being a dad.  Long hours and no pay.

Did anyone write to The Simpsons writers and say that was offensive?  When I saw that joke, I was like: "That's a good way to put it."

I don't want to have kids.  There is so much work and responsibility.  I have read in the newspaper that there is a myth that parents are so happy when they have kids.  There is actually a lot of stress because you have to take care of another human being.

May 25 Farrah Abraham: I read this in the newspaper that Teen Mom Farrah Abraham did a porn movie.  Now I read that she is getting another reality TV show.  She has done 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and now this untitled show.

My take is this: I don't approve her going into the porn industry.  However, she is an adult and she can make her own decisions.

This was a few months back, but I was flipping through Seventeen magazine and there was an article called "Cute or Creepy?"

"A guy gives you a box of chocolates: Cute.

A guy gives you whip cream: Creepy."

Crazy job interview questions: I was going through my old emails like a Hire Ground newsletter.  This was supposed to be for my job email, but these questions are kind of funny so it belongs in my joke email.

5. “What songs best describes your work ethic?” – Asked at Dell. More Dell interview questions.

Me: I immediately thought "Push It" by Amerie.  It's about working hard, staying focused and "pushing it to the limit."  I haven't thought about that song in a long time.  I'm always listening to music, so I guess I was able to think of an answer to this question faster than the other ones.  Here's the song:

20.  “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.” – Asked at Urban Outfitters. More Urban Outfitters interview questions.

Me: I remember reading a book of questions and it asked: "Who would you choose to be your parents?"  I thought: "A celebrity", but no one in particular.  I remember way back in 2001 this TV show Vampire High had a character rant about her: "My little brother would love to be adopted by Madonna."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thank you for urging Canada not to betray rape survivors

I got this from Amnesty International:

Canada's compromise at the UN leaves work to be done
  A teenage mother and baby in their shelter in the DRC.  She gave birth after she was raped by armed men
Thank you for signing our appeal to keep Canada from back-sliding on its leadership role in protecting woman who are victims of rape.

We can report back on some moderate success from last Friday's resolution at the United Nations.

First of all, you spoke out. Canadians by the thousands told our government that we want stronger, not weaker, protection for women.
And second, the final text adopted on Friday does strike a certain balance. Among other things it includes very good language condemning marital rape and early and enforced marriage.

But it needed to go further.

While countries like the USA and South Africa took a principled stand, Canada, as the chair for the resolution, chose the path of compromise, at the expense of women who are victims of rape.

With pressure coming from countries like Iran, Egypt, Cuba and the Holy See, the compromise failed to include provisions for sexuality education for adolescents, which play a role in promoting gender equality, female empowerment, and reduction of gender-based violence.

The resolution does mention the need to provide sexual and reproductive health services to violence survivors, but it fails to list what services must be available, including emergency contraception, safe abortion, post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. The provision of these critical services for survivors of sexual violence is contentious and nonexistent in many countries. That is why referencing these examples explicitly would have added tremendously to the resolution. 

Please read more about the results of the resolution.

As our we continue our efforts to protect the rights of women, I invite you to consider these additional actions:

- SIGN our online petition to Protect Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Petition

- WRITE to your Member of Parliament, asking her/him to help ensure that Canada works to strengthen provisions on sexual and reproductive rights at the upcoming Conference on Population and Development, to be held in April 2014.

- LEARN MORE about our global campaign to protect sexual and reproductive rights on our website

- SPREAD THE WORD on twitter using the hashtag #MyBodyMyRights

Thank you for keeping the pressure on Canada and helping secure the advances for women that were reached last Friday.
Alex Neve
Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

MyBodyMyRights_square.jpgP.S. If you'd like to get more involved, please contact our Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner Jacqueline Hansen ( for more information and action ideas!

Imprisoned journalists in Syria need your help

I got this from Amnesty International:

Dear Tracy,

At least 36 journalists reporting on human rights abuses in Syria have been detained, disappeared, tortured and killed.

That's the finding of an Amnesty International investigative report -- Shooting the Messenger -- which is calling worldwide attention to the cases of journalists attacked or imprisoned by government and opposition forces since the uprising in Syria began.

Please make an urgent monthly donation to Amnesty so we can continue to document human rights abuses like these in Syria and around the world.

As part of Syrian government repression of critical voices, award-winning journalist Mazen Darwish and two of his colleagues are currently facing trial on terrorism charges, apparently intended to punish their peaceful, legitimate freedom of expression-related activities.

The Syrian government detained the three men over a year ago and held them incommunicado for several months. In prison, they are reported to have been subjected to torture and other ill treatment.

Deliberate attacks on civilians, including journalists, are violations of the laws of war. Amnesty is pressuring Syrian authorities to drop the charges against Darwish and his colleagues and release immediately and unconditionally anyone held solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

We are also using our on-the-ground intelligence to pressure the Syrian government, the armed opposition groups and the international community to hold accountable those responsible for targeting civilians and otherwise violating the laws of war.

Can we count on your support? Donate now and help provide hope for Syrian journalists and people everywhere who face government oppression.


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

Where are all the students from Gaza?

I got this from Amnesty International: 

Dear Tracy,

As I write this message to you, an Israeli checkpoint is fading into the distance behind me. In the past three days, I've been traveling between Israel and the occupied West Bank, learning about human rights conditions on the ground.

When I fly back to the United States, it will be with deeper insight into the experience of human rights defenders and activists in Israel and the occupied West Bank. Yet before I leave, there are three people who I know I won't get a chance to meet: Azza, Suhair and Loujain.

They are three Palestinian women blocked from attending the university of their choice. Why? Because it is located in the occupied West Bank. They live in Gaza - where an ongoing Israeli blockade imposes severe restrictions on freedom of movement and other human rights. Students are not allowed to pursue nearby programs in the West Bank, home to over 2.5 million fellow Palestinians.

Please help me shine a light on this injustice while I'm here in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Tell Israeli officials to stop preventing Palestinian students in Gaza from studying where they choose.

Since 2000, Israel's blockade on education has prevented thousands of Palestinian students in Gaza from pursuing higher education in the nearby West Bank - no more than 60 miles away. This, despite the fact that both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are all recognized as the Occupied Palestinian Territories -- one single territorial unit.

The Israeli military has cut the two apart.

Imagine all of the bright minds who were denied a better tomorrow because Israeli officials decided to collectively punish the entire population of Gaza - 1.6 million people. It's not just wrong, this is illegal under international law. Help Palestinian students fully access education now!

The blockade has also crippled the Gaza economy, preventing many people from accessing jobs or the professional education or opportunities for development they need in order to thrive. As a result, massive numbers of Palestinians now live in a state of permanent unemployment. Around 80% depend on humanitarian aid.

The futures of students like Azza, Suhair and Loujain are severely limited, with dreams often put on pause indefinitely. Gaza desperately needs their talents. These students want the freedom to decide their own fate. We must fight for them to do exactly that.

While I'm here, I'll be meeting with a number of officials. You can help me amplify the stories of Azza, Suhair and Loujain - take action now to urge Israel to stop denying rights to students.

I may not be able to meet with Azza, Suhair and Loujain before I leave Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but you can help these women and others pursue a better tomorrow by supporting their access to education and human rights today.

Thank you for all you do to support human rights around the world.

Jasmine Heiss
Campaigner, Individuals and Communities at Risk
Amnesty International USA