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

Monday, November 30, 2015

shopping/ The Next Act Pub/ consumerism

Aug. 27 Shopping:

Whyte Ave: I went to the Chapters on Whyte Ave last month.  There is no CD section.  The last time I was there was in 2010.

Last night I checked out a few stores there.

1. When Pigs Fly- gifts, coloring books, gnomes, lanterns, décor, stationary, jewelry, cards, dishware.
2. Chicken scratch- cards, gifts, stationary
3. The Wish List Gifts- décor, paintings, gnomes, cards, Christmas ornaments.
4. Chapters

The first 3 stores were all beside each other, that all sold similar things.  It was still fun to look at.

Sept. 12 Elegant Touches: I went to this place that's by MacEwan.  It turns out it's a rental store where you can rent items to hold weddings like tables and chairs, and other decorative items.

Sept. 17 Deja Vu: The clothing store Deja Vu at WEM closed down.  Unless it moved somewhere else and I don't know about it.

Sept. 18 7-11: I went to the location by Structube on Jasper Ave.  It sold good fried food and donuts at reasonable prices.  The donuts were 99 cents to $1.39.

There were some chips that were 2 for $6 which is reasonable, because that's what Shoppers Drug Mart does too.

Oct. 24 Tile Town: I was biding my time before I was to go to a job interview.  I went into this store.  They sold tiles.   There were lots of varieties.  If you want to decorate your home with tiles, go there.  Good selection.

Nov. 6 The Next Act Pub: I went to this place this week.  It was for a Meetup.  It was fun.  The fries were good.  I had a bit of a donair.  There is a wine menu.

The burgers were like $15.  The place was dark and small.  It was too noisy.  They don't take reservations.

It's a good thing that I got there 15 min. early and told the waiter that there would be about 5 of us. 

Nov. 17: On Aug. 28, I went to 124 st. to pass a resume.  I stopped by at a couple of places.

Macbeth Comics: I went into this store and it's in a basement.  It's small with lots of comics.

Relish Burgers: It's new and it sells $10 burgers and $15 meals.

West Edmonton Mall: It's the holiday season.  I want to go shopping, but I don't want all these crowds.  I'm going to relive my shopping trip on Jan. 11, 2015.  I was biding my time before going to a work party.

1. Bolero Italy- I looked at bags and wallets.
2. Bootlegger
3. Oksana's- prom dresses, kids formal outfits.  Nice, expensive jewellery under the glass.  There was nice floors and chandeliers.  (It has moved to the department stores areas like Sears and the Bay instead of by the sea lions.)
4. FS Skateboards and snowboards- looked at wallets. 

5. Deja Vu- men and women's wear.  I looked at bags and handbags, backpacks. 
6. 1850- women and men's clothes
7. Ugg- new store.  Very expensive.  Good lighting, wooden décor, cozy.

8. H&M- tried perfume.  Bags, jewelry, clothes for men and women, home décor, dishware.  Bright lighting and music.
9. Little Burgundy- bags and jewelry, expensive shoes and scarves. 
10. Swimco- besides swimsuits, there are bags, hats, shoes, clothes for men, women, and kids.

Nov. 18:

11. J Crew- tried perfume.  Display of jewelry on crystals and rocks.  They sell umbrellas and nice jewelry.
12. Banana Republic- tried perfume.  They display jewelry on top of books.
13. American Apparel- you can try on nail polish.  $7.50 each or 3 for $18.  Bright and colorful clothes.  Expensive.  Men and women clothes.  Jewelry is kind of plain gold.  Winter jackets.
14. Old Navy- sells classy and bright jewelry.  Men, women, kids, maternity clothes.

15. London Drugs- look at chips and cookies.
16. Surf co- it was where Alexis Clothing was.  All swimsuits and mainly women.  Now it has moved to downstairs by the sea lions.
17. Helly Hansen- coats, wallets, and lip balm.
18. Biagio Luggage
19. No Excuses: Fragrances for Less- I tried some.  I like Bathy and Body Works perfume where it smells like sugar and fruit.
20. Shoe Comfort- brown, black and leather shoes.

21. Club Monaco- jewelry displayed on white rocks.
22. GNC Live Well- moisturizing cream.
23. Les Saisons Lingerie- $100 robes, very soft.
24. David's Tea- busy.  Ceramic mugs, travel mugs.
25. L 'Occitan En Provence- love smelling perfumes.  Expensive.  I still prefer Bath and Body Works perfume.

26. Sport check- There is a big touch screen to navigate the store.  I looked at backpacks.  They sell PowerAde in fridge.  Interesting cash registers.  Women's clothes, service shop, lots of sports equipment.

27. Bed Bath and Beyond- there is artwork of Superman and Spiderman.  It sells calendars, cards, bridal and gift registry.  It sells some food like candy.  They have automatic door exit to parking lot.  They rearranged that.  It wasn't like that when I was here about 6 months ago. I love the artwork.  They also sell hand soap.

28. Roots- They have a coffee table book that celebrates 40 yrs of Roots.  They have something with the National Film Board of Canada with 75th Anniversary.  I can't really read my notes.  It says David Suzuki sketch of his face on a t-shirt.  There is a stuffed animal of a dog.

29. Motherhood Maternity- I looked at the jewelry.

Nov. 24: I did a little shopping before I was to go to a job interview.

The Italian Place restaurant: The place was nice with wooden tables and cutlery rolled in napkins.

Corrective Skin Care: I went there and asked if they had perfume, but they only had things for hair, purses, wallets, and jewelry.

Nov. 30 Cosumerism: It's the holiday season and I want all of you to have fun shopping, but keep yourself in check.

"Loss leader of the pack": I cut out this article by Rebecca Tucker in the Edmonton Journal on Nov. 27, 2015.  I couldn't find the article to paste into her.  You have to look it up on the internet and read the e-edition.

Here's an excerpt:

"...survivalist instinct, mentally processing bargain shopping as though we're gathering necessary goods ahead of a period of potential scarcity.

We also tend to internalize getting a good deal as a sort of personal accomplishment or expression of ability.  As if we've somehow beaten the system."

"Worth digging through": I cut out this article by Terri Schlichenmeyer in the Edmonton Examiner on Aug. 31, 2011.  It's also about consumerism:

“The Consuming Instinct” by Gad Saad
c.2011, Prometheus Books
$25.00 / $29.00 Canada
374 pages, includes index
You weren’t looking for it.

No, you were searching your calendar for something else but as you flipped the pages, there it was: Christmas. It’s coming, and though the weather still says “summer,” you’ll have to start your dreaded gift list soon.

And that list keeps growing, much to your chagrin. So why do you do it? If you read “The Consuming Instinct” by Gad Saad, you’ll see that the right gift – and helping your customers find it - is really a matter of DNA.

Ugh, you just remembered: before Christmas comes, you’ve got three birthdays, a wedding and a baby shower to deal with. Gad Saad says that the decision to give gifts comes from evolution. We’re wired for it; in fact, almost every decision we make winds back to consumerism.

There are, he says, four Darwinian reasons for consuming: survival, reproduction, kin selection (or relationship management) and reciprocity. And no matter what, an “infinite advertising budget” won’t change what our biology says we have to have.

Evolution, for instance, makes us crave foods that are bad for us; furthermore, we’re prone to what scientists call a “variety effect.” The bigger the food variety, the more we eat – and if it’s fatty, our brains think that’s even better. This, says Saad, explains why buffets are so popular, and why there are literally hundreds of choices of breakfast cereals.

Because choosing a mate is “the ultimate consumption decision,” the things we do to attract that SigO are evolutionarily instilled by gender. Men, biologically speaking, use flash to attract females (think: peacocks). Women, on the other hand, shop for “good genes.” In both cases, says Saad, we are hierarchical and are deferential to someone who has “kept up with the Joneses.”

And that gift-giving you struggle with? If it’s courtship-based, it’s loaded with more meaning than, say, the toy you’d buy for your nephew – but gift-giving, whether event-driven or as a you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours reciprocity is the glue that holds our Darwinian-influenced society together
So is this a business book or not? The answer is yes … and no.

The copyright page says it’s about “economics.” Author Gad Saad is a professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. But “The Consuming Instinct” is too steeped in evolutionary science to be of much interest to a businessperson who needs information now.

That doesn’t mean you should pass it up, though.

Take the time to look between the lines of this book and you’ll be rewarded with delightfully droll nuggets of marketing information based in biology. Saad explains why we crave a Ferraris when old beaters will get us to the same destinations. He describes the “Darwinian roots of advertising effectiveness.” And he reveals how color, frequency and voice-over can make or break your ads.

If you have time and want to add science to your business; if you need an excuse to go shopping; or if you wonder why you bother gifting the unappreciative, “The Consuming Instinct” is worth digging through. For you, it’ll be very ho-ho-helpful.


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