Nerdtacular

September 4, 2012

Today was the first day of my second year of school. This may or may not be my last year (it should be, but I haven’t decided just yet if I’m going to take two years to finish and do it part-time because I have disability status – which would be easier on me, and should be the easily chosen best choice, but we shall see – or just try givin’ ‘er and doing it all this year).

I’m feeling pretty nerdtacular right now, to be honest. I feel like all I talk and think about is journalism, having just finished a three week stint interning at CBC Radio 3, signing up to write for a local entertainment website, and amassing a small writers’ fortune of books on all things writing.

Perhaps nerdiest of them all, though, is that I will be getting my (I’ve-always-wished-I-had) glasses in the next day or so. Lois Lane results are not typical or expected, but I’m still pretty excited about it all.

I love new notebooks, pens, paper, and binders, and this time of year really IS the most wonderful in those respects, as much of the school supplies I love so dearly are on sale ’round now.

I’m not sure yet if the vertical labret piercing I took the leap and FINALLY had done last night counters or adds to the nerdiness I’m oozing, but at least it’s something to keep me busy with getting used to.

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Today I bought a camera – AND I used free money to do it!

I won a gift card to Pacific Centre from entering a draw at the Parkinson Society British Columbia’s info booth in the mall when I was there with a friend looking for shoes to buy with another gift card I have on March 31st.

When I got the call about winning, I was told it was a $100 gift card, but it actually ended up being $150 when I checked the balance. I can only assume that it was donated by the mall and the Parkinson Society thought it was $100. Regardless, I like free money, and now my being camera-less has been solved.

I feel like a real journalist already, what with my digital voice recorder (which I’m infinitely in love with) and now a camera.

Now I’m looking forward to all of my summer plans even more so, as I can capture them in 2D for eternity!

Here’s a pic I found online of the model I bought (it was also $200 off because it was the display model and they just wanted to clear it out):

Finally, I can officially say that I’ve made it to the end of my first year of journalism school.

I got my last two projects in, and now I can relax. Well, until May 7th when summer classes start up. I think I’m going to try to give myself assignments over the summer to practice my journalism skills, because those last two projects were major time drains and I want to get a lot more proficient at getting things done – especially layout. I’m worried by the number of mistakes I make on laying out pages, since in September that will be one of my main roles for the school newspaper.

Anywho…something that happened recently was my Mom won passes from The Peak to watch Gotye‘s soundcheck before his show at The Vogue Theatre last Sunday, where we got to meet him before the show.

The deal was supposed to be that we got to hear the soundcheck because the show was a sell-out and we wouldn’t be able to go, but Gotye was generous enough to give everyone who won passes (there were eight of us, plus the woman from the radio station gave three unclaimed passes to a group of friends who had been waiting outside the 8pm show since 2pm at the urging of the other winners) tickets to the show that night.

It was a great show, and I was really impressed with the fact that Gotye’s set was well synchronized with videos and animations on a large screen behind him, which isn’t something I’ve typically seen from an artist in such a small venue.

(*At her request, I’ve cropped my Mom out of the picture)

Face of the Festival

March 10, 2012

Hey! So last night I entered a video to win the Face of the Festival competition to report on all the happenings at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival for Dose.ca next month.

The festival runs from April 13-22 in Whistler, and includes some awesome (FREE!) outdoor concerts, including The Dudes, Michael Franti (who I saw at the festival a few years ago, also on April 20), The Cat Empire, The Sheepdogs, and more.

If I win the Face of the Festival, I’ll get hooked up with a hotel stay for the duration of the festival, full access to everything that’s happening, and $1000.

The girl who won in 2009 was offered a job with Dose.ca after her stint, so clearly this opportunity would help with my burgeoning journalism career.

Round one of the competition started at 12am today, and goes until 9am March 15, when the five videos with the most views will be posted on the TWSSF’s Facebook Page to be voted on.

So if you would be so kind, please watch the video below (and feel free to share it far and wide, or watch it multiple times) to help me win! Many thanks!

Take Heart

February 17, 2012

What follows below is an opinion piece I wrote for my specialty writing class that I then cut down to half and submitted to the Georgia Straight as a letter, and they published it! (Yay!)

Though they won’t likely tell you this, you can “Make death wait” – like the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s latest commercials encourage – with a vegan diet.

In her January 18 article, “Risk of cardiovascular disease in women is higher than you think,” Gail Johnson explores the myth that men are the primary sufferers of heart attacks.

Johnson goes on to note that the new UBC Heart and Stroke Foundation professorship in women’s cardiovascular health recently established at St. Paul’s Hospital is intent on researching how psychological and social factors contribute to women developing heart disease.

Arguably, the funds being wasted on such research could best be directed towards campaigning for prevention, which is most effective through diet and exercise.

While it is true that a history of heart disease in a family can put a person (man or woman) at greater risk for developing the disease themselves or suffering a heart attack, there is an often overlooked factor in this scenario.

Generally speaking, family members will all share the same basic eating patterns and exercise habits.

That shouldn’t be surprising, nor should the idea that eating foods such as bacon, burgers, dairy or cholesterol-filled, high blood pressure-inducing eggs – none of which contain any fibre – on a regular basis are major contributing factors to heart disease, since such foods cause a build-up of atherosclerosis (a build-up of fat, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website) in your arteries.

All too often diet is overlooked in favour of pharmaceuticals and surgery, with a dietary shift viewed as a “drastic” and unpopular measure for heart disease patients.

The truth of the matter is that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet can not only reduce one’s risk of heart disease, but could play a part in reversing heart attack-inducing atherosclerosis, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s website.

The health benefits don’t stop there– PCRM asserts that such a diet can also prevent or reverse diabetes, lower blood pressure, lessen the effects of asthma, reduce the risk of developing kidney stones, gall stones, and osteoporosis, and even help prevent cancer.

PCRM also notes that, “Scientific research shows that health benefits increase as the amount of food from animal sources in the diet decreases, so vegan diets are the healthiest overall.”

Those looking to learn more can read such tomes as Diet for a New America by John Robbins (heir to Baskin-Robbins who turned down the opportunity to join the family business in favour of following his own dairy-free life path), The China Study by T. Colin Campbell (a 20-year study on the effects of diet on health), Plant Roots: 101 Reasons Why the Human Diet is Rooted Exclusively in Plants by Rex Bowlby or check out the films Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, and the gripping Earthlings, which can be streamed free online at Earthlings.com.

It’s time every man, woman, and yes, even child wakes up to the reality that making death wait is best accomplished by what they put on their plates.

(Written January 23rd for Specialty Writing)

Spring Break

February 13, 2012

Alright, so since I haven’t been writing anything on here lately (which really is a shame) because of all these school deadlines I’ve been fighting against, I’m going to just post a bunch of my assignments.

I guess it’s sort of some February Filler, since it’s been two weeks since I even posted any lyrics (of which I have a plenty).

These assignments could probably use some work, but I’m going to take the easy/lazy route and not edit them before I post them.

I imagine one day I’ll enjoy looking back on them as how ‘cute’ or something similar (awful? trite? disastrous?) it is that they once passed for something of pride. Of course, this is based on my assumption that my writing will in fact get better instead of worse, which I think is always the thing to hope for. Self-improvement for the win.

Let the posts BEGIN!

Oh, and p.s. – I have time for this and hopefully some original writing now because it’s Spring Break, in case the title didn’t give that away.