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, July 29, 2014

face time in job search/ bad resumes

Jun. 10 Face time in job search: I cut out this Edmonton Journal article “Face time always matters in job search” by Derek Sankey on Nov. 5 2011:

Joanne Dial receives hundreds of unsolicited resumes by email each month as director of human resources for Calgary-based Alter NRG Corp. Few grab her attention.

"They have no value because I need the person," Dial says. "The purpose of the resume is to open the door to screening calls, which is to open the door to have a face-to-face meeting with the hiring manager."

She's impressed by people who take the initiative to follow up, research the company and its key people, who make a phone call or drop by in person to try to get a foot in the door - provided it's done in a professional manner.

"It's very important that people take the time for the human connection," she says. "The hiring decision will be based on the human connection."

Some recruiters say the concept of face time gets lost in the virtual world, with its "email-only" resume collection and online job board and applicant submissions.

Robert Gosine, managing partner in Calgary for Summit Search Group, says candidates who muster the courage to make those sometimes awkward phone calls or request a meeting directly with the person behind the hiring decision will stand out from the crowd.

"They're getting quite a few resumes that come their way, and if you make the effort of going in person to a company that's hiring - it gives you a competitive advantage," Gosine says.

This past summer, his two university-aged children demonstrated the power of face-to-face meetings. His daughter, who had graduated with a business degree, went door-to-door looking for a summer job. Within a few days, she had five offers. Friends and colleagues who didn't follow up their online applications with a visit or phone call ended up receiving few calls or job offers.

"It just shows right there how effective it really is," he says.
The key is to be respectful of the company's time, offer thanks and then zero in on what they're really looking for.

If you're not the right candidate, ask what you need to work on to become the right candidate. "You get some market information out of it - all the kinds of things you're looking for to be more successful in your job search," Gosine says.

You could even offer to take some courses after work to fill a skills gap - perhaps even creating a role while you upgrade some key skills if you're a good fit for the organization.
Studies have shown the No. 1 reason people leave a job is because of their direct manager, so it makes sense that it's a high priority for both job applicant and hiring manager during the hiring process, Dial says.
David Litherland, managing partner in Vancouver for Summit Search Group, says the younger generation is so used to doing everything online that sometimes they forget - or haven't been exposed to - the importance of meeting a person.

"While a company may say to only send a resume to this inbox, it's those candidates who can find a way to get in personally - find out who the actual hiring person may be - that gives an added check on their application," Litherland says. "That initiative will be respected."

Call the hiring manager or a key human resources professional and ask for an information meeting to find out what positions may be coming available or to get more information about a specific posting and the requirements, he adds.

You can usually glean a lot of information from a company's website, including many sites that list biographies of key people.

Perhaps you "stumble into them" at an industry event or simply pick up the phone and make a call.
The worst that can happen is that they decline an in-person meeting, but at least you have tried and your name may stand out when it comes time to go through the pile of resumes. "It's anything you can do to get yourself a step ahead of the other applicants," Litherland says.

My opinion: This is a good article and I hope it inspires you to meet people in a professional way.

Bad resumes: I wrote about this Globe and Mail article called “Resumes that stand out for the wrong reasons” by Wallace Immen on Sept. 3, 2011.  Here’s my blog post with my comments:

Here are a few candidates who got rejected:

·  A candidate who said the more he was paid, the harder he would work.
·  An applicant who was fired from several jobs but included each one as a reference.
·  A job seeker who listed her dog as a reference.

Here are some good tips from the article: 

Stay relevant: Remember that you’re only applying for one position at a time. Describing every job you’ve ever had will not help hiring managers understand why you’re the best person for the position they’re filling. List only your experience that is relevant to the job description, or reword your past experience so that it’s clear it will transfer to the new role.

Go easy on the eyes: If you hold your completed résumé up to a light and can’t see much white space, you have a problem. Use formatting – bullets, line breaks, headings, readable fonts, wide margins – that guides the reader’s eye to the bottom of the page. Keep your descriptions to the point and trim out any unnecessary words.

Include a professional summary: Rather than writing an objective at the top of your résumé that states what job you want, craft a professional summary recapping your relevant experience in one or two sentences. Done well, this may persuade hiring managers to spend longer than a minute with your application.

Proofread repeatedly: A lot of hiring managers will toss any résumé that contains spelling, grammatical or formatting errors – regardless of your past experience. Even if you can’t find any typographical errors, e-mail your CV to friends and family to be sure. Odds are they’ll find something you missed. Fix it, and then send it.

Jun. 11 Police officer: I was watching Rookie Blue today on  It’s a good show and it’s in the 5th season.  It’s about police officers in Toronto.  I want to help people and by being a police officer, you can do that.  However, I don’t want to be in real and present danger.  I would have a bullet proof vest, gun, mace, lots of training, but it’s still dangerous.

It’s also about dealing with the public.  There are lots of positions like maybe a forensic investigator.  After a murder happens, you can take pictures and evidence and analyze it.  You’re in a lab and it’s not dangerous.  However, I don’t like and am not good in science.

I also would feel angry and depressed.  What about death notifications?  Telling somebody their loved one has passed away is so sad.  What if someone dies in front of you?  I watched the episode called “Wanting” and it was intense.

Fortunately, I can turn off the TV after the show is over and not deal with it.  It really got to me and have me thinking about it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

La Belle Mixtape music list

 This is the La Belle Mixtape music I listened to:

1. La Belle Mixtape | Sunny Days | Henri Pfr

A picture of a silhouette of a woman behind a curtain.

2. La Belle Mixtape | Summer Memories | Henri Pfr

A picture of a woman in a white robe and she’s walking in the woods.

3. La Belle Mixtape | Spring Awakening | Gamper & Dadoni

A picture of a woman in a black top, without any pants.  She’s leaning on a balcony.

Digital Media and IT/ hospitality management

Jun. 23 NAIT: I’m looking into NAIT now.  I will look into the Media and Design section first.

Digital Media and IT: I had a friend of a friend go into this program.  After a yr, he graduated and he didn’t make a career out of it.  That was like 10 yrs ago.

“Graduates may find employment in applications development, game design and programming, visual communication, web design and development, video production, business analysis, systems administration and other related fields.”

I may go into a Student for a Day to check it out.

Graphic Communications: This is the program I did a year at.

Photographic technology:

“In preparation for professional photographic careers, students learn to handle both the technical and aesthetic requirements of quality photographic image production including camera, lighting and pro­cessing. They develop skills in portrait and wedding photography, commercial and industrial, photojournalism, fine art photography and digital image capture and processing.”

Photographic technology courses: This is the evening classes.  I’ve never really been interested in photography.

Hospitality management:

“The focus of this program is the accommodation and food and beverage segments of the hospitality industry. Students gain business and customer service skills in food and beverage service techniques, front desk check-in procedures, financial accounting, economics and written communications.”

I’m interested in this because I work at a restaurant.  I may check this one out in the Student for a Day.  There may be math involved since there’s “financial accounting.”

Host 1160 Front desk applications:

“Through the use of the Opera Property Management System, students will receive front desk agent's hands on experience by focusing on guest relations and customer service skills such as: telephone skills, sales techniques, security and guest safety.”

Jun. 24 Hospitality Management with English Language Training:

“(Formerly HOSM101) is a one year program that is designed for individuals who wish to study Hospitality Management Year 1 along with extensive English language training.”

Hotel and Restaurant Supervision Certification: 

"Whether you are looking to update your skills and knowledge or just beginning to explore a career in the Hospitality industry, these courses may work for you.

Continuing Education and the School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts is introducing the new online Hotel and Restaurant Supervision Certificate program. The program consists of five core business courses from the JR Shaw School of Business and up to nine hotel or restaurant specific courses.

• Complete individual courses for transfer credit or personal interest.
• Complete ten courses consisting of five online or face to face JRSB Business courses plus five online American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) Educational Institute specialization courses (independent study) and qualify for a NAIT Hotel and Restaurant Supervision Certificate with a specialization in Food and Beverage or Rooms Division.
• Complete all fourteen courses and qualify for a NAIT Hotel and Restaurant Supervision Certificate with the option to transfer to Year 2 of the NAIT Hospitality Management Diploma program."

My opinion: There is Introductory Accounting 1.  I’m not good at math.  Also, I don’t really have an interest in managing a restaurant.  I like working in one.

“This course introduces students to the basic principles of the accounting cycle including journal entries, adjusting entries, closing entries, trial balance and financial statements. Accounting for service and merchandising activities, cash controls, current and capital assets is introduced. Generally accepted accounting principles are discussed throughout the course, as they relate to the specific subject areas.”

Producer Emergence Program: This used to be a course at NAIT.  It turns out I wrote about it on my blog in 2012:

Here’s the link and it doesn’t work.  I guess this program isn’t here anymore: 

Recreation and Outdoors: There is a section here, and there is only one program for it and it is this:

Landscape Architectural Technology:  I don’t have an interest in architecture.

Jun. 25 Animal Studies:

Animal Health Technology:

"This popular program, accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, focuses on practical skills used in both small and large animal practice. Students train in laboratory work, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, medical and surgical nursing, surgical assisting and veterinary office management."

Veterinary Medical Assistant:

"The Veterinary Medical Assistant program will give you the skills required to provide support in both the reception area and the treatment room of a veterinary facility."

My opinion: I never really had an interest in being a vet.  The Medical Assistant seems to be more office assistant.  There is some medicine and science with this.  I don’t want to work with animals because you can’t really talk to them and ask: “What’s wrong?” 

If it was human, a human can list his or her symptoms to you and then you can diagnose.  The pet owner can list the symptoms. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A beautiful moment of reconciliation

As a frequent participant in our online actions
 Dear Tracy,

As a frequent participant in our online actions, we hope you'll appreciate this update on a few of our biggest stories -- from South Sudan to Egypt to Canada.
You can stay in touch this summer by following daily news releases and more ways to take action on our website, and by following us on twitter and facebook.
We're here for you and all supporters at or 1-800-AMNESTY (1-800-266-3789), and welcome your financial support by phone or through our secure website, in keeping with your ability to give as a monhly donor, fundraiser, or making an occasional gift when your heart moves you.


A touching moment in South Sudan

197136_south_sudan_armed_conflict_-_ethnic_tensions_300.jpgA beautiful moment of reconciliation was captured when Mary & Ayor -- from two ethnic groups at the centre of the conflict in South Sudan -- insisted on holding hands in a photograph for Amnesty International researchers.

As the women said about the road ahead for this young country, only 3 years old: "It starts right here."

Read accounts from the field by Amnesty International Canada's Secretary General, Alex Neve, who just returned to Canada from Sudan this week.

Read Alex's South Sudan human rights mission blog

Help give journalist Mohamed Fahmy his freedom back! 

Mohamed Fahmy_300x.jpgCanadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy remains in detention in Egypt.

Why is he detained? For doing his job: reporting the news, and challenging the "official version" presented by authorities.

Half a year has passed.

Join human rights supporters worldwide who believe journalists like Fahmy and his colleagues, Australian Peter Greste, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, should never have been detained, and should be released immediately, unconditionally.

Check out Amnesty International's action and send an email message to Egypt's Minister of Justice

Meriam's detention while pregnant for "apostasy" has captivated attention like few other human rights stories

Mariam_family_baby_300.jpgMeriam Yehya Ibrahim was jailed in Sudan and sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her religion.

Over 1 million Amnesty supporters spoke up in outrage against the death sentence.
Meriam's baby was born in prison. Then, she was released by Sudanese authorities following massive, unprecedented pressure from around the world. 
When Meriam and her family  tried to leave Sudan, they were detained by officials at the airport. Meriam has now been charged with attempting to travel with false documents. The family is living in the US Embassy in Khartoum while these new charges are addressed. Meriam may be out of prison but she is not yet truly free.

Learn more about this remarkable story

Great News! Historic Supreme Court decision a crucial step for Indigenous peoples in Canada

Northern_Gateway_FB_300.jpgOn June 26, a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Canada found that the Tsilhqot’in people continue to hold legal title to some 2000 square kilometres in the heart of their traditional territory in central British Columbia.

Critically, the Court found that development on land owned by Indigenous peoples requires the consent of those nations.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this historic ruling, both for the Tsilhqot’in people, who first went to court to protect their land rights more than 20 years ago, and for other Indigenous nations across Canada.

Much of the route of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline crosses territory where there are no treaties with Indigenous peoples and the underlying issue of Indigenous land title has never been resolved. These issues were excluded from the mandate of the public review on which the government says it based its decision to approve Northern Gateway.

Learn more about this historic decision

Canadian torture survivors: In their own words

Listen to the voices of Canadian torture survivors telling their personal stories

Together we will stop torture, everywhere and forever!

Thank you for taking action to stop torture and joining the growing global movement, from Australia to Zimbabwe, determined to stop torture everywhere and forever.
By standing up for the victims and survivors of torture, you are shining a light on  horrific human rights violations that happen most often behind closed doors. You are giving a voice to those who are silenced.
Please watch and share our video of Canadian torture survivors telling their stories in their own words.
Thank you for being part of the global movement to stop torture.
Your actions can save lives.

Meriam Released Thanks to Your Help

Get Involved

Meriam arrives in Rome on July 24, 2014 (AFP/Getty Images).
Action by people like you helped pressure the government of Sudan to release Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death.

Share the news:  
Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter.
Dear Tracy,

Great news! After constant campaigning and unwavering support on the part of more than a million Amnesty activists like you, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death because of her religious beliefs, is free and arrived in Italy with her family yesterday.

I would like to thank all of you who took action and contributed to this massive showing of support. The letters you sent showed the Sudanese authorities that people around the world were outraged by Meriam's ordeal.

Our work isn't over. Amnesty will continue to urge the Sudanese authorities to repeal provisions that criminalize apostasy and adultery so that no one in Sudan has to endure what Meriam experienced. We will also campaign for Sudan's government to establish a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolishing the death penalty in Sudan.

This is great news to share and to celebrate. Thank you for being part of this movement.


Margaret Huang
Deputy Executive Director, Campaigns and Programs
Amnesty International USA

Donate Now!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Simon Davidson/ Women in the TV industry

Jul. 9 Simon Davidson: I cut out this National Post article “I wondered if this was all about money” by Katherine Monk on Mar. 2, 2012.  I copy and pasted the whole article and bolded the parts I really liked: 

Simon Davidson isn’t really a betting man, but he made his biggest wager ever on The Odds — a dramatic Canadian feature set against the backdrop of teenage gambling. The Odds is Davidson’s first feature, and while the Vancouver-based director had turned out several successful shorts, he wasn’t sure if he was ready for the full-length gambit.

“It took me over a year to write the script, and when I finished, I wasn’t sure if it was all that good,” he says.
To hone his voice, Davidson says he made another short film. “For the feature, I knew I wanted to make something crime-y,” he says. “Then I read this story of a guy who bet on NBA games with his friends. He became a sort of bookie, and, at first, it was all for fun. But when his friends started to lose, he still wanted to get paid.”
Eventually, the bookie takes it to the bloody end: He kills his friends when they default on their debts.

“I was fascinated by this story, because it was true,” says Davidson, a University of Calgary English literature grad who went on to study at the Vancouver Film School (VFS). “I actually wrote the treatment for The Odds right after VFS, but left it. It wasn’t until three or four years later, when I was in Costa Rica, that I thought I should go back to it again and write a new draft.”

Davidson says he’s finally become comfortable with the creative process, no matter how frustrating or repetitive it can get, because some projects ripen at different times. And you can’t force it if you want good results. “Each story has to come out of you. And the ‘why’ of it is important to me,” he says. “That’s why I love making movies in Canada, because it’s such a different approach. We have a small and very passionate community of filmmakers in this country, and because it’s so hard to make movies here, the people who do it are committed.”

Davidson, who used to cut Flash Gordon episodes, says he has friends editing big movies in the U.S., but they’re not reaping the same life rewards as he is in Canada. “They may be working on an $80-million movie, but they have no real role in how it turns out. They’re just a very small part of a very big machine,” he says. “In Canada, the machine is that much smaller, and the financing is that much harder, but you can make the movie that’s in your heart — as long as it doesn’t require dolly tracks or a crane shot.”

Davidson says teen gambling yanked him by the aorta, because it touches on the ambiguous thread of teen morality and next-generation entitlement.
“I think this is a new trend in North America, not just Canada, so it resonates beyond our borders,” he says. “I met teens who were involved in this world. They were honest. And I realized a lot of this reminded me of my own story and my own teen hero. I fictionalized some of it to make it about gambling, but I think the central themes stand.”

Davidson says the coming-of-age theme is dominant, but really, the monolithic topic boils down to making decisions, moment by moment.
“I wondered if this was all about money, when I started writing the script,” he says. “And obviously, money has something to do with gambling. But the addiction and the compulsion come from someplace else. It’s about a feeling of control.”

He says it all makes for a good metaphor on the art of growing up and assuming responsibility for your actions, but he hopes his movie reflects some of the particulars of our current reality.
“If you’re really engaged in the game, you may not be engaging in your own life. … So even if you’re winning at the table, chances are, you’re losing somewhere else far more important.”

Women in the TV industry: I cut out this Globe and Mail article “You’ve come a long way- maybe” by Kate Taylor on Oct. 8, 2011.  Here are some excerpts:

The most recent employment numbers from the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) found that women made up only 28 per cent of TV writers between 2005 and 2009. And the numbers appear to be getting worse: A survey by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University estimates that the number of women writers dropped to 15 per cent in 2010-11 from 29 per cent the previous year.

Currently only 32 per cent of the active members of the Writers Guild of Canada are women.

“You have an industry that is incredibly intense in terms of pressure to produce,” says Darnell Hunt, the UCLA sociology professor who crunches the WGAW numbers. “You make a TV show, you don’t have many opportunities to get it right. Show runners [head writers, who oversee the rooms] hire teams they feel extremely comfortable with, people who look like them. Nine times out of 10 that means white men are hiring white men. You may have a token woman or a token minority, but women and people of colour are having a hard time being welcomed into the club.”

Alexandra Zarowny, like Hunt, argues that it’s all about comfort: “There is a big cone of silence that drops over a story room. People can say anything to each other. Guys have said to me they feel constricted if there is a woman in the room: How honest can they be about their thought process?”

The trick women learn – especially in the notoriously competitive field of comedy, where women are stereotyped as being less funny than men – is to go straight for the dirty jokes and erotic content. “There is a tendency to go blue right away,” says Rebecca Addelman, a Canadian comedy writer working in Los Angeles, “to prove right away that you are not some wallflower who can’t handle a joke about a hand job, to prove you are there to be funny, to do what they are all doing.”

But aside from telling dirty jokes, do women behind the scenes deliver less-stereotypical female characters on the screen?

“There seems to be a demand for female characters, and strongly written female characters are doing well on television,” notes Adrienne Mitchell, the executive producer and director of Bomb Girls.
Tassie Cameron, who has created the Global hit cop series Rookie Blue with two other women, Ellen Vanstone and Morwyn Brebner. The show about neophyte police officers in Toronto follows as many female as male characters.

“The cop shows, the lawyer shows, they want to make sure they have a woman in the room for character development, for story development,” Cameron says, adding about her own show, “Whether we are addressing big issues of discrimination or not, a traditional male world like policing is interesting to explore from a female perspective, the rookie female cop. There is even more tension.”

On programs with no female writers, women made up 39 per cent of the characters; that number rose to 43 per cent when there was at least one woman in the room.

Still, female TV writers know there is no rule of good writing that says you have to have the same gender as your characters. “It’s up to the individual. I know women who create women who are only appendages and victims,” says Hollywood writer Nancy Miller, the creator of the title character on Saving Grace.

Conversely, women can create very powerful fictional men. It was three women, Mitchell, Janis Lundman and writer Laurie Finstad Knizhnik, who created the violent Canadian series Durham County, starring Hugh Dillon as deeply flawed cop Mike Sweeney. The fact that women had created such a dark show caused much comment when Durham County first appeared in 2007.

“For centuries male writers have been able to show women themselves. Now when you have women create strong male characters, it is a bit of a shock,” observes Lundman, producer on that series and on Bomb Girls.

The reality is that most TV shows, written by groups of writers rather than single authors, are formulaic: TV writers are often working with characters they did not create themselves, and have to be ready to write whatever they are handed.

Still, those who want to see more balance in the writer’s room believe it will affect how women and minorities are depicted on TV, adding not only a diversity of characters but different storylines and new points of view. “This is not just entertainment. This is about how a nation presents itself,” Hunt says.

“Broadcast regulators need to step in and demand progress.”

Hunt also says the networks tend to say the diversity problem can be solved only by the autonomous show runners, who pick their own writers. The show runners, meanwhile, say the networks, whose money is on the line, breathe down their necks, vetting what writers they choose.

NBC’s prime-time entertainment president Angela Bromstad – who has since been shown the door at NBC – to make his writing room half female. “I think we have to stop thinking of it as a quota thing and think of it as a common-sense thing,” he told the website A.V. Club, explaining that, while he had to hunt harder to find women writers, they brought a new energy to his writing staff that he really appreciated.

My opinion: It was a good and informative article.  It discusses how there have been lots of progress with women TV writers, but still a lot of struggle.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rob Ford/ blood donor/ Neighbor Centre

Jul. 4 Rob Ford: I was reading in the Metro on Jun. 30, 2014 that Toronto mayor Rob Ford is out of rehab.  On Jul. 2, 2014, I read in the Metro that Ford was in the Canada Day parade.  There were some cheers and some boos for him.

Blood donor: I was reading in the Metro on Jun. 30, 2014 “Canada Day affecting blood-donor turnout.”  The most common blood types are A and O.  They profiled Shaun Doyle, 59 who gives his blood every 7 weeks.  I read a Globe and Mail article about blood donations recently.

Metro: “The Edmonton blood donor clinic is located at 8429 114 St. and is open Mon- Fri.”

School closures: I’m sure all of you heard about schools are closing down in Edmonton.  I read in the Metro on Jun. 30, 2014 “Bricklayer remembers building St. Brendan School.”  Richard Hartley is 79 yrs old and he built the St. Brendan School.  As he was talking about, he got teary-eyed.

Cannibal cop: I read in the Metro on Jul. 2, 2014 called “‘Cannibal cop’ released from jail.”  I remember writing about it on my blog:

Judge Paul Gardephe ruled that Gilberto Valle, 40 who was planning to kill, kidnap and eat women was insufficient evidence.  Valle’s lawyers said it was all fantasy and that he didn’t plan on actually committing murder.

Djamshid Popal: I read in the Metro on Jun. 30, 2014 “Afghan man sorry he left Canada after heart surgery.”  Djamshid Popal was 9 yrs in 2004 when he made headlines in Canada because he got heart surgery here.  Popal is now 19 yrs old and gets constant nosebleeds as he struggles to get an education in his village outside of Kabul.

His family is also gets death threats from the Taliban because Popal got surgery in Canada.  Major Americo Rodrgiues, the army doctor who treated him.

After surgery, Popal got homesick for his family.  There were a lot of supporters like Saddique Khan of Hamilton who financed the journey.  Popal’s father Shafiullah respected Popal’s wish to go back home and they went back to Afghanistan.

Popal gets nosebleeds because he takes warfarin, the blood-thinning medication that he needs to stay alive.  Popal’s father gets threats from the Taliban, so he has to find work by breaking rocks to sell from the mountains around his village.

Popal: “If I knew this would be my situation, I would never come back to Afghanistan again and would stay (in Canada) to continue my studies.  I can’t go to school regularly because it’s almost two hours’ walk up and down the hills.  And my nose bleeds and I feel so scared because the bleeding doesn’t stop very easily.”

My opinion: I hope his supporters out there could help pay so he and his family could come back to Canada.  He should start trying to get back to Canada by filing for refugee status or something.  At least this is in the national news.

It does make you appreciate living in Canada and your health. 

Min. wage: I thought this could be in my job email, but I feel like it’s happening all over the world, so it should be in my news email.

Ikea: In the Metro on Jun. 27, 2014, “Ikea hikes hourly pay by 17% in the US.”

“The pay increase will take effect Jan. 1.  It will translate to an average wage of $10.76 US an hour, a $1.59 increase from the previous $9.17.  About half of Ikea’s 11,000 hourly store workers will get a raise.” 

Montreal: I read in the Metro on Jun. 30, 2014 “Montreal forum on minimum income aims to raise interest.”  “Rob Rainer, a campaign direct for the Basic Income Canada Network envisions a country where everyone is assured a minimum of $20,000 annually to make ends meet.” 

Germany: I read in the Edmonton Journal and the Globe and Mail about Germany is going to raise the min. wage.

CBC: This could fit in my media or job email, but CBC is very Canadian and is national news.  They’re planning to lay off 20% of their staff and will be going from radio and TV to more digital and mobile services.  1000- 1,5000 positions will be ended.  There is 7,500 employees right now.  A lot of these positions will end by retirement.

Jul. 11 India gang rape: I read the Metro article “Women alleges village council ordered gang rape” on Jan. 24, 2014.  She said the rape was ordered because she fell in love with a man from a different ethnic group.  She had lost count of how many men raped her and is now in the hospital in serious condition.  12 suspects have been arrested.     


The village council ordered the man to pay 25,000 rupees and the man’s family did.  The woman’s family was too poor so the council ordered the gang rape.  This is called the West Bengal case.

“In Oct, a teen was gang raped on two consecutive days in a Kolkata suburb.  She was later set on fire when she refused to withdraw a police complaint against the men who had raped her.  She died in a hospital last month leading to widespread protests in the city.”

“Earlier this month, a Danish tourist was gang raped in New Delhi by a group of men when she stopped to ask them for directions to her hotel.”

Annie Raja, general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women (discuss local councils): “They are dead set against giving basic human rights to women.  These are non-constitutional bodies and the West Bengal government should take stringent action against them.”

India’s supreme court has discussed this before and several legal organizations are trying to get Parliament to pass laws that make edicts by local councils illegal.

India budget: In the Metro on Jul. 11, 2014 “Plans to build colossal, costly statue causes uproar.”  India is planning to build a 182-metre tall Indian independent leader Vallabhbhai Patel.  It costs more than the $25 million for women’s safety nationwide and $16.5 million for girls’ education.

Thailand rape: In the Metro on Jul. 11, 2014 “Junta fires railway chief after furor over rape, killing of girl.”  The head of Thailand’s state railway was fired by the country’s military govt. over the rape and murder of a 13 yr old girl in her berth on an overnight train.

State Railway of Thailand governor Prapas Chongas-nguan to leave his post because he didn’t make his railway more orderly.  Police arrested a railway worker for the rape and murder.  He had confessed to it and that he tossed the body from the car.  There was a public outcry for capital punishment for rape. 

Neighbor Centre: I cut out this Edmonton Journal article “Campaign aims to shine lights on poverty” on Dec. 14, 2013.  It’s about charity and inspirational.  Here are some excerpts:

All proceeds from the $10 kits will be donated to the Neighbour Centre, a small resource centre for homeless and at risk adults in Old Strathcona.

"For Christians, this whole season before Christmas is all about waiting, the light of hope for the world is shining," said Pastor Rebecca Craver. "It makes a lot of sense that we would put out lights to remind everyone that there is hope for a world that's full of better things for all of us ... that we can make it a reality right now."

"It's really an awareness of the fact that we do have people in Edmonton who are living homeless, who are at risk of being homeless, who live at the tipping point ... and they're living and struggling with issues of poverty," Knutson said.

"I really feel it's much bigger than us. It's bringing awareness to an issue that continually needs to be brought to the forefront."

"We've always been, one way or another, community-minded. The idea is that God is not known simply through the high and holy act of worship, but really through the everyday ordinary life of living and working beside the people we live with," she said.

"The more we do, the more energy we have for it. I think there's a passion building because of the connection we have with our neighbours and with the work that's going on here," Craver said.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Saxo Deep House/ Chill out music play list

1. Best Of Saxo Deep House ♫ A Gold Artists Edition ♪ 2014

A picture of a woman in a white bikini top.  42:27:

2. Sax/Deep House Mix - Sound of Heaven Vol.1

A picture of a brown haired woman looking at you.  1:05:54:

3. Maxi Lein - Beautiful Vocal Deep House (Amazing Selection)

A picture of a silhouette of a woman blowing smoke in front of a sunset. 1:00:34

4. The Best Of Vocal Deep House & Nu Disco 2013 (2 Hour Mixed By Zeni N)

It doesn’t work anymore, but I did listen to.

5. Deep House - Funky and Chillout Deep House

A black and white photo of the city streets. 1:24:20

6. 67 Chillout Classics The World's Best Music

A woman’s feet in a puddle and water is splashed around it. 3:39:32:

7. Guitar del Mar - (Balearic Cafe Chillout Island Lounge)

A picture of a brown haired woman playing guitar. 2:46: 13:


8. Wonderfull Chill Out Music Love Session On Amazing HD Video The Original

A picture of a woman with a leopard.  1:22:00


9. Wonderfull Chill Out Music Love Session Extended Version

A picture of a woman with a leopard.  2:00:03:

10. Enigmatic Chill-Out Lounge Session HD

A woman in a red dress and her hand is touching a leopard.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MacEwan University programs review (P to W)/ NAIT

Jun. 20 MacEwan University:

Post Basic Nursing Practice Hospice Palliative Care and Gerontological Nursing: This sounds kind of depressing to me where nurses work at a hospice where they have to take care of terminally ill people.

Preparation for University and College: These are high school classes.

Professional Golf Management: I have no interest in golf.

Jun. 21 Psychiatric Nursing: You have to take human anatomy and physiology.  I thought it was just going to be psychology class, but psychiatry does have medicine with the mental health.

Special needs educational assistants: I don’t have patience to teach kids, and not with special needs.

Physical/Occupational Therapist Assistant: Human anatomy and physiology classes.

Therapist Assistant-Speech Language Pathologist Assistant: Classes like Normal Development of Speech, Language, and Literacy.

Travel: I don’t know about the job security of this position.  You can become a travel agent, but there are a lot of people who book their own trips on the internet.

Graduates work at travel agencies, but also hotels and tour guides.  You can be a branch and sales manager.

University Studies International:  “helps international students attain admission to a MacEwan University program.”

Wound management Post-basic Certificate: You have to be a registered nurse or other health care professional to get in.

Review: I looked up all the MacEwan University programs from Jun. 18-21.  I have looked up some of their programs like Public Relations before this.  Now that I went through each program, I see that MacEwan has a lot of medical majors.

Analysis paralysis: This is what people do when they over- analyze everything, and not make a decision.  Here it is on Wikipedia:

“Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.

A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or "perfect" solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.”

My opinion: I want to say I’m not in analysis paralysis.  I’m stuck and I don’t know which direction I want to go to.  So I looked up all these MacEwan programs to see what interests me.

Do you remember last year I went to NAIT’s buddy system by going into the Baking program for a day?  After I was there for the morning, I learned that it’s not really the program for me.

Jun. 22 NAIT: After I took the Graphic Communications program at NAIT, I started applying to other programs there.

Radio and TV-TV program: I tried to get in for Fall 2004 intake.  I got rejected.  I then tried again with Fall 2005 intake with my sister’s help on my Career Investigation report.  I got rejected.  I told the registrar to put it in for Winter 2006 intake, and also got rejected. 

Yeah, well at least I tried.  There isn’t really a guarantee I will pass the program.   Also there isn’t a guarantee I will get to become a TV producer after this program.

Radio and TV-Radio program: I applied this in Fall 2005 intake with my sister’s help.  I got rejected.  I put my application for Winter 2006 intake, and also got rejected.

That’s fine.  I feel like it still wasn’t totally my passion.  I applied because if I can’t get into TV, I will get to somewhere close to it like Radio.

Radio and TV courses- non- credit: I don’t remember seeing this before.

RATTV100: Radio audio production and fundamentals.

RAT- TV200:

Launch yourself into a television workshop setting. Students will learn the basics of television production and be introduced to the operations of simple and advanced broadcast equipment. Basic lighting and shooting techniques are covered, along with direction and production techniques. Students will be introduced to television cameras, video-tape, broadcast systems and the use of audio and video control rooms. There will be several hands-on exercises using professional broadcast equipment. In addition, students will learn the basic principles of on-camera presentation.

This course will be given consideration as a media course when applying for admission to the full-time Radio & Television Program.

My opinion: This looks kind of interesting.

Final Cut Pro –X: How to use this editing program.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Scenic Charms/ Theatre Production/ Story Hive

Jun. 12 Scenic Charms: I cut out this Edmonton Journal article “Making the journey from props to property" by Irene Seiberling on Jul. 9, 2011.  It profiled Charmaine Husum who worked in the film industry as a scenic artist and prop painter.  Here’s an excerpt of the article:

She worked alongside directors and cinematographers on such films as Brokeback Mountain, War Bride, The Claim, Night at the Museum, Twilight, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Passchendaele, Snow Dogs and Snow Days. She's worked with Johnny Depp, the late Heath Ledger, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.

Husum said she's thoroughly enjoyed working in the fast-paced, demanding film industry -dashing onto a set, colour-matching on the spot, then quickly touching up and repairing scenic art and props. But she noted it's extremely stressful work because "there's really no room to mess up."

Here’s her personal website Scenic Charms:

My opinion: This is related to the film industry, though not exactly in the writing way.  You guys may not know this, but after NAIT didn’t work out, I did look into MacEwan’s Theatre Production program.  It was creative and practical like Graphic Design. 

I didn’t apply to Theatre Production, and went and took a few classes at the Arts and Cultural Management program instead.  Well, theatre production isn’t totally for me.

Theatre Production: Here’s what it says at the MacEwan website: 

A booming arts and entertainment industry in Canada is creating enormous opportunities for skilled technicians. If you are creative and passionate about sets, costumes, props, and the latest sound and lighting equipment, then MacEwan University is the perfect place to start your challenging and rewarding backstage career. You are someone who is invisible to audiences, but without you the magic of theatre, television and film would not exist. A career in theatre production requires creativity, accuracy and determination. Following two intense years of study in MacEwan University’s Theatre Production program, you’ll have the skill set and experience you need to market yourself in a thriving industry.

In the first year of the two-year Theatre Production program you will learn about all aspects of theatre production. In the second year you can specialize in the area of your choice. Learn about:
  • Props and set construction
  • Lighting and sound effects
  • Costumes
  • Stage management
  • Collaboration with actors and directors
Jun. 13 Story Hive: I got this email “Edmonton Filmmaker granted $10,000 for passion project.”  I had to read it: 

Hi Tracy,

Hope you’re well! I thought you might be interested in the story of a local Edmonton filmmaker that has just received a $10,000 community grant to bring his dream series to life.

Ryan Northcott will be creating Against the Ropes, a series that profiles ex-pro Boxer Benny ‘The Jet’ Swanson and other pro-boxing hopefuls including an 11 year old boy that frequent Panther Gym in downtown Edmonton. His series will show how the sport and boxing community can provide a sense of family and belonging, often for those that need it the most – take a look at his pitch video here.

Ryan is one of 10 Albertans that received this grant. More info about the grant is below my signature, but let me know if you have any questions, or if you’d like to speak with Ryan!


Over the past few weeks, Edmonton filmmakers have been campaigning for votes from the community in hopes of winning a $10,000 grant from STORYHIVE, a community-powered grant program from TELUS that is set up for local filmmakers and content creators. These are dollars the winners can put towards the production of their next big project, short film or documentary.

The community voted and 10 Alberta winners (5 from Edmonton) were revealed last week. With their STORYHIVE grants these young filmmakers are now able to create their short films in the next ten weeks and see their visions come to life. Once complete, their projects will be featured on TELUS Optik TV On Demand in the fall, ensuring they get the exposure they deserve.

Jun. 17 Liberty Entertainment Group: I was reading in the Globe and Mail on Jun. 14, 2014.  It profiled Nick Di Donato’s wine cellar as a home décor article.  It says he owns the Liberty Entertainment Group.  It’s more hotels and night clubs than TV production.  However, the website is really good.  Look at the hotels and night clubs.  They look so good.

Jun. 23 Much Music: I was reading the Globe and Mail article: “Much Music’s growing pains” by Simon Houpt on Jun. 14, 2014.

In 2007, the channel had more than 140 people working there.  Last year, there are now 75 people working there.  CRTC said the channel lost $1.5 million last year.  It’s because of the internet.  You can go on Youtube and watch whatever music videos you want, anytime you want.

Lacey Chabert: I was on Yahoo news and I found this.  Here it is:

In "Watch What Happens: Live" Thursday, actress Lacey Chabert talked about why she quit as the original voice of Meg Griffin on "Family Guy" after just one season. Turns out her parents thought that between her school work and her gig on "Party of Five," it was just too much for the 15-year-old to handle. Little did they know that "Family Guy" would be running 15 seasons strong with Mila Kunis now voicing the part.

Here are some comments:

Chris: They always say Money isn't everything when they lose out on over 15 million in wages for doing a bit of work over the years she's missed.

Ira:You also have to remember that FG was CANCELLED real early. Not sure if it was after the first, second or third season--but it was viewer anger that forced FOX to bring it back.   chances are she and her family thought the show was a red herring anyway, with no future.  Kind of surprised that this fact wasn't mentioned in this article.

Matthewp: That's not at the whole story.  Her parents are Christian Conservative and objected to the show.  Being the sixth lead on a half hour weekly animation series, does not take that much time st all.

My opinion: I do have to say that being on a 1hr drama show and school is a lot of work.  An animated TV show seems like an extra that is not totally necessary.  That’s the thing with TV, it’s unpredictable with the successes. 

For example, when Dark Angel came out in 2000, I thought it was going to last a long time like years.  Then it got cancelled after the second season.  FOX told the show to be more like their other hits like The X-Files and X-Men, and it was put on a Friday night instead of staying with Tues. nights.  So I was angry about it.

There are also poor shows like Secret Life of the American Teenager and that lasted 5 seasons.

Tyra Banks: She’s coming back with her new talk show.  I remember back in 2010 she was ending her talk show after 5 yrs.  I was kind of sad and thought: “Now where am I going to get my teen pregnancy and prostitution episodes from?”

I’m sure some of you guys are laughing at me, but I seriously thought that.  I can go watch Dr. Phil and Teen Mom for the teen pregnancy.