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, July 25, 2016

Filmmakers meetup/ The Sherlock Holmes Exhibit/ Containment TV show

Jul. 8, 2016 Filmmakers meetup: I went to this earlier this week.  We did a table read, as in we read part of a script (that one of us wrote) together.

Jul. 9, 2016 The Sherlock Holmes Exhibit: I wanted to go to it when I first heard about it being at the Telus World of Science.  I entered a sweepstakes in the Edmonton Journal the first time it came out.  I bought a pack of 10 stamps at London Drugs so I can send my entry for the contest.  I didn't win.  Then a second contest came along, and I entered it again.  This time I won 2 tickets to see the exhibit.

I first asked S at work because she had a birthday in Jul. and I asked what she wanted to do for it, and told her about this.  She was busy.  I asked if a couple of other friends and my brother and either busy or not interested.  I went with my friend Cham.

I went to work in the morning and got home in the afternoon.  I read the business section of the newspaper for an hr before I took 2 buses to get to my friend's job so she can drive us there.

There was a gift shop at the Sherlock Holmes part.  There was stuffed dogs, Sherlock TV show stuff, and t-shirt.

There were lots of 18th century pictures and news articles on display.  There were some videos playing.  Some maps, Scotland Yard.  Lots of darkness, and only good lighting on the displays.  There were good sets and displays.   It feels like we were on a set of a TV show.  There were living rooms and book shelves.

There were costumers from the TV show Elementary.  The quote from the show stood out to me was: "Work is the best antidote to sorrow."

"Every good story evolves from character."- Robert Doherty, creator of the TV show Elementary.

I'm going to put the above in my inspirational quotes.

There were lots of props from the TV show and movies (with Robert Downey Jr.)

There was Detective Comics: Sherlock and Batman were on the cover.  Woodstock from Peanuts was wearing a Sherlock outfit.

There were videos like ballistics. 

Then we went to different parts of the centre like the human body section:  Robothespian is talking and moving arms robot.

The Science Garage: There were big magnets to make a design.  A little rock climbing part.  It's kind of loud in there because there were mainly kids and families.

Syncrude Environment Gallery: There was a picture of the Earth in this sphere.  It was projected on it.  The worker Joel explained it to me and showed clouds moving. 

Tracy: Can you show tornadoes?
Joel: Tornadoes are too small to see.  I can show you hurricanes.

That was kind of interesting.

There was a big aquarium with a big flat blue fish.  There was even the clown fish like the one in Finding Nemo.

Population explosion: "History shows that the rate of innovation keeps pace with the population growth.  More people, more minds, ideas and inventions, more opportunity to create change.  Will population be our undoing or our inspiration?"

Flashback: This reminds me of when I was in gr. 10 and went a band and choir field trip to Vancouver.  We went to Vancouver Science Centre.  They had that population explosion thing too. 

This also reminds me of gr. 11 when I was in Social Studies class and watched The People Explosion.  I want to say that we should not be having kids.

Discovery Gallery: It was more of a little kids section for kids as young as 3 yrs old.

Space Place: There are lots about planets and astronauts.  This East Indian guy who worked there asked: "Which planet weighs more?  Saturn or Earth?"

Tracy: Saturn.  No wait, Earth, because Saturn is a gas giant.
Guy: Yeah.  Saturn could float on Earth's water.

He then showed me this computer game that's really challenging.  You have $6 billion to hire a crew, a space ship, and gather things from this planet.  He told me a 10 yr old almost won it.  Most people never finished the game.

There were lots of mind games and puzzles to solve.  It's to be educating and entertaining.

After all the exhibits, we went to the gift shop.  There were lots of stuffed animals of dinosaurs and science toys.

My opinion: Overall, I thought it was average.  The last time I was at Telus was when I was in gr. 7 and it was a school field trip.  We went and saw an animal documentary there.

An adult ticket costs $27.95.  The human body/ biology, and all the other exhibits weren't really interesting to me.  Probably because I'm not good at or like science.  The human body has all these trivia.  When I was talking about the planets with that guy, he was telling more trivia.  I felt like it wasn't really important and/ or I can use it.

I'm sure some of you guys are like: "But c'mon it's fun.  It is kind of educational."  I feel like I was too old for it.  I'm all about important information that I can apply like those job articles on how to be more productive and job interviews.  It's good to do something different like go to the Science Centre.  I do like being able to touch everything there and interact.

I was here for about 1 hr and 15 min.  I'm sure there are some of you who would stay longer.  Yeah, well I won free tickets.  If I paid that much, I would probably stay longer.  I did write everything I saw and did there and type it up here. 

If I was at K-days, I would be there for hours.  Last time I was there was in 2014 and I was there from 12pm-8pm.  I paid $16 to get in.  I need to see everything.

Jul. 11, 2016: I saw the Elementary pilot when it first came out.  I wrote about it on my blog.  I saw the pilot and never watched it again.  After the exhibit, I don't want to watch it.  I didn't really connect with the characters.  I may watch the new movies with Robert Downey Jr. 

Complaints: I'm going to add another complaint about Bravo TV.  I had complained I got a free preview for Bravo on Telus on my preview channel 4.  Then it changed to OWN.  I had recorded a few shows that I was going to watch and then was unable to.

Then I was going through my TV channels, and found out that I did get Bravo.  I had missed the season 7 premiere of Pretty Little Liars and then I recorded the 2nd episode to watch (and watched it.)

I see that Animal Kingdom was on, but it was onto their 4th episode.  I am very specific about wanting to watch the pilot first.  It's very rare that I watch the middle of a TV series unless it's a crime drama like CSI: NY.  You can go and watch any episode and it doesn't follow a whole season long arc.  I decided to not record it or watch it.

There was the 2nd episode of Guilty that was airing after PLL.  I saw the first few min. of it.  I have to watch the pilot first so I didn't record the 2nd episode of that.

Amanda Knox: Also it kind of reminded me of Amanda Knox, even though the writers may have thought of the idea before the case happened.  I was watching 20/20 about Knox and they talked to her parents and sister when Knox was accused of murdering her room mate.  I would have to say after 20/20, Knox seemed to be not guilty.  I saw the episode in 2007.

According to Wikipedia, Knox is exonerated.

Jodi Arias: While I'm at it, I saw this on 20/20.  In this case, I think Arias did kill her boyfriend.  She seemed arrogant when she was talking to 20/20 by saying: "No jury would convict me."  She's in prison.  I had to look up when the episode aired, and it was in 2013.

Then a week after I watched PLL, I don't have access to Bravo anymore.  That was mildly annoying.  I thought I can watch these shows, and then I can't.  Then I can, and now I can't.

I'm always saying I'm trying to cut down on TV and only watch TV shows I love, or really like and am interested in.  I would usually watch like 7 shows regularly.  I usually watch 3 TV shows every week as it comes, and then record the others and so I can watch all one show with like 8 episodes.  I then watch one show's 8 episodes in a span of a week.

Containment TV show: I'm going to add this.  I was so excited about this show and woke up early to watch the new episodes I recorded the night before.  I did for the first 3 episodes.  Then I watched it after work.  Then I recorded it all and watched it here and there.  I may like this show more if I watched all the episodes in a week.

I had to go through my email drafts to find this, but this show got cancelled.  It was announced on May 12, 2016 due to low ratings.  They were going to air all the episodes and not renew it.  I don't know, maybe Netflix or another channel will pick it up.

Jul. 19, 2016: I was right that I would like this show if I watched all the episodes in a week.  I loved it.

The first and foremost reason was for the actor Chris Wood, who I first saw on The Vampire Diaries.   He plays a cop on this show and he's a very likable character.

The question is: What if Wood wasn't in it?  Would you still watch the show?

I would, but I wouldn't like it as much.

I wrote this on my May 13, 2016 draft:

Containment: I was on the internet last night and I found out about this.  I was a little sad, but then again they did say the show was a "limited series event."  There was a possibility that there would be a second season if the ratings were good.  Now it seems after 3 eps it proves the ratings weren't good.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

It should be noted that Containment was touted as a limited event series ahead of its launch. (Prior to that, though, executive producer Chris Ord told TVLine, “We’re looking at the first season as its own thing, but it’ll leave us room to go forward and do more.”)

Jul. 20, 2016 My favorite parts:

Funny: In the pilot Jake (Chris Wood) is talking to Lex on the phone:

Jake: Some guy just sneezed 4 feet from my face!

Sexy and romantic: In the episode "There's a crack in everything."  Jake is taking a shower and his love interest Katie is outside.  She is touching his back through the curtain.  He turns around and they touch hands.  He kisses her through the curtain.

Good acting: Katie may have been infected and she is showering.  Jake is sitting outside and crying.

There is another scene where Jake goes to the rooftop and needs to take a breath and cries a bit when Katie may be sick.

The parts where he's crying should be in his demo reel.  I looked it up on YouTube, but there's no demo reel.

I wrote the above this morning.  Now it's at night and I found this through Facebook.  Now I may have to watch Supergirl for him.  But I don't know if I will like it.  We'll see his character and role he has in the show.

I wrote about this show before, and how I wasn't really interested in it:

"Wood, meanwhile, recently landed a recurring role in the second season of PBS’ Civil War drama Mercy Street. He’ll play Lance Van Der Berg, a handsome Union captain lodging at the Green home, where he strikes up a budding romance with AnnaSophia Robb’s Alice."

I probably won't watch Mercy Street because I don't like historical drama.

May 13, 2016 TV show cancellations:

Second Chance: This show got cancelled by Fox.  I kind of knew it had a pretty low chance it would get a second season.  It came out on a Wed. and then it was moved to Fri. nights.  When Fox moves shows to Fri., then it's usually mean not good ratings.

Well I liked it and I got to watch a whole season.

Robert Kazinsky

Those of you who tuned in to watch we were privileged to perform for you.

Jul. 21, 2016: It's the third week of Jul. and I have been seeing promos of returning shows and new shows coming this fall.  I have been writing about old shows I haven't written about yet to mitigate my excitement.

Jul. 23, 2016 Day off: Today is my 2nd day off this month.  I usually get 1 day off a month.  I woke up early around 6:30 am as usual.  This time I read my newspaper outside on my lawn chair in the backyard.  It's kind of cloudy today.  I like reading in the afternoon when it's warm with sunshine.

I also switched activities by writing about TV shows for one of my other emails.  I love watching TV and writing about these shows.  Only if the show is good.

This is kind of my new project.  I have put up job articles and book reviews into my blog/ emails and gave those articles to my friend S.  Now I'm writing about TV shows and recycling my old scrap paper that I wrote on it.

I watched a Zoo ep today.

"Sex and the single cartoonist"/ "No going gently for, thank you very much"

May 23, 2016 "Sex and the single cartoonist": I cut out this article by Brad Mackay in the Globe and Mail on Apr. 30, 2011:

In the early 1990s, my girlfriend and I considered it our duty as self-righteous university undergrads to write to cartoonist Chester Brown concerning a story in his comic book Yummy Fur. If I remember correctly, the offensive storyline in question detailed in a non-judgmental - and almost clinical - way Brown's lifelong obsession with pornography.

I'll spare you the details of my politically correct proto-feminist bluster. Let's just say that as a devoted fan of his brilliant, groundbreaking alt-comic, I recall being genuinely distressed that he would threaten to throw it all away in favour of an examination of an issue as objectionable as (gasp) pornography.

To Brown's credit, he reprinted my letter without comment in a subsequent issue of Yummy Fur. As for me, I eventually graduated from university, grew out of my ideological training pants and quickly learned to appreciate Brown's fearless approach to his art.

Little did I know, he was just getting warmed up.

Given how I reacted two decades ago, I can only imagine how fans of Brown's recent work, 2003's bestseller Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, will react to his new graphic memoir, Paying for It. His first all-original graphic work, the book's subtitle - A Comic-strip Memoir About Being a John - does a nice job of summing up the plot. And on the surface, Paying for It is as advertised: an exposé of the prostitution industry from the first-person perspective of a repeat customer.

But it also somehow manages to be about more than just its author's journey into john-dom, wrangling with issues such as the nature of love and sexual attraction, all thanks to Brown's almost-fiendish command of the medium.

The book begins in 1996 as his relationship with CBC Radio personality and musician Sook Yin-Lee comes to an unexpected end. While most people would wallow in self-loathing, Brown takes the news as an opportunity to explore his feelings about romance in general. Witnessing his ex's new relationship bloom, then wither, girds him in his opinion that romantic relationships are inherently destructive.

Fast-forward a couple of years and Brown is resolved to try out prostitution as a means of satisfying his sexual desires. From there, he slowly and methodically lays out his progression through the foreign (to most of us) world of prostitution, chronicling his intimate experiences with more than two dozen prostitutes over a five-year period. Along the way, he presents his case for the decriminalization of the profession to his friends and family, which will seem self-serving to some readers.

But Brown is well aware of society's attitudes toward prostitution and has built this book with such care and precision that I'd be shocked if even my devout Catholic mother weren't sympathetic to his world view - at least a little.

This care is evident in the various levels that the book operates on. First and foremost, it's an exploration and justification of prostitution as a logical option between consenting adults. But it also plays out as a tricky tale of unromantic love: a heartfelt argument against the ingrained cultural trappings of romance, and a fierce defence of the often overlooked joys of other forms of love (such as platonic, filial, interpersonal).

And it's funny. As is the case in most of his other autobiographical comics, Brown sets himself up as the target of the jokes. Joe Matt, a good friend and recurring character in Brown's work, gets the lion's share of the yucks here. I especially liked Matt's reaction after he learns Brown has visited a prostitute: "This is disturbing, but it's also good gossip."

Of course, the art is as idiosyncratic as ever. Brown forgoes the six-panel grid and turns down the cross-hatching that he used in Louis Riel for a small, rectangular eight-panel layout inspired in part by the comics of Carl Barks. These oblong panels house some of the year's most effective cartooning, capable of lending dignity to even the most awkward sex scenes.

The book is not without its faults, though. Brown's decision to obscure the faces of the women he has sex with to protect their identities is bound to lead to criticism that he's objectifying them. And it's difficult not to feel that a female perspective is missing here, especially since all we see of them is their frequently naked bodies.

Then there are the copious appendices and notes, which Brown has reserved for his real axe-grinding. Though often amusing (especially the notes by his friend and fellow cartoonist Seth) and thought-provoking, they are at times reductive and didactic. Some read like something you might find tucked under your car's windshield wiper, like his comment that "any government scheme to license sex would be evil." Possibly, but in what world is this an actual concern? In the end, though, I expect most people will judge this book on the comics, not the commentary, and these are some of the best comics of Brown's career.

Simply told in a deceptively straightforward manner, Paying for It is a defiant work of truth-telling and a welcome return to autobiographical comics from one of the medium's incontrovertible masters.

Brad Mackay is an Ottawa-based writer who co-edited The Collected Doug Wright: Canada's Master Cartoonist, to which he also contributed a biographical essay.

"No going gently for, thank you very much": I cut out this article by Stephan Amidon in the Globe and Mail on Apr. 30, 2011:

Emily, Alone is one of those rare books in which nothing particular happens and yet just about everything seems to be going on. Stewart O'Nan's 12th novel is a sequel of sorts to his well-regarded Wish You Were Here (2002), which dealt with the white, middle-class Maxwell clan as it tried to come to terms with the recent death of their patriarch, Henry. A decade later, Henry's widow Emily soldiers on, surviving in quiet suburban solitude in the too-big Pittsburgh home she refuses to vacate. Her life is a progression of difficult negotiations with both the past and an outside world which is leaving her further and further behind. Should she sell Henry's monstrous old Oldsmobile for a more practical car? What is to be done about her sister-in-law Arlene's smoking, which is clearly killing the woman? Should she put down the family dog as he grows increasingly decrepit?

The book opens with Arlene's terrifying collapse as the two women shuffle through the breakfast buffet at the Eat 'n' Park. It turns out to be nothing more than a transient "episode," though it nevertheless provides Emily with an intimation of her own mortality. Although she dreads becoming "one of those old ladies obsessed with death, hearing it in every tick of the clock and creak of the floorboards, as if it were prowling around the house like a burglar," the prospect of her demise proves impossible to ignore. It pervades everything, from a bout of strep throat, which casts her into a tenebrous netherworld, to Henry's old tools in the basement, "lined up by size on pegboard, having fulfilled their lifetime guarantees."

This is not to say that the novel is gloomy or morbid. It percolates with life, most immediately in the form of Emily's family, who descend on her for holidays like panic attacks. The first to visit is her daughter Margaret, a recovering alcoholic with a personality more befitting a troubled teenager than a 50-year-old mother of two. O'Nan's depiction of the mother-daughter minefield, in which the smallest of remarks can rapidly escalate into a full-scale donnybrook, is one of the novel's finest achievements. Rather less resonant is the Easter-time visit of her feckless son Kenneth and his lesbian daughter Ella, which proves to be one of the few moments in the book that feels perfunctory.

For the most part, however, O'Nan's storytelling is as patient and meticulous as his heroine. He illuminates the everyday with splendid precision. Readers who appreciate psychological nuance and fictional filigree will delight in Emily, Alone. O'Nan has the rare ability to take small moments - the writing of thank-you notes, for instance, or a visit to a flower show - and invest them with a mysterious power the source of which you can never quite identify. This precision is never more effective than in the rendering of Emily herself, with her affinities for Masterpiece Theatre, the plain-spoken decency of Bob Dole and the lesser works of Van Gogh, those that are too obscure to be reproduced on a postcard.

In perhaps the book's most poignant scene, Emily happens upon her grandson Justin, an astrophysics major in college, as he gazes at a website streaming images from the Hubble space telescope. "He leaned aside so she could see the screen. It was supposed to be a galaxy, but all she could make out was a white smudge in the night sky." It is typical of this fine book that, out of one fleeting moment, O'Nan can so wholly conjure his heroine's upcoming date with the heavens.

Stephen Amidon is the co-author, with his brother Dr. Thomas Amidon, of The Sublime Engine, a biography of the human heart.

"John Brown's bawdy": I cut out this article by James Adams in the Globe and Mail on Apr. 30, 2011.  I found it on Pressreader so I can't copy and paste it here.