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 www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Technology's global spread"/ "Art in the garden"


Jul. 20, 2017 "Technology's global spread": Today I found this article by Matthew Hague in the Globe and Mail:





Computer-aided design, or CAD, programs are as new to the world as bell-bottom pants and disco. Architects and designers started trading in their mechanical pencils and drafting tables in the 1970s – around the same time computerized dating started to vie for the place traditionally held by boozy nightclubs and well-meaning matchmakers (hi, grandma).

These days, though, the technology has been updated so drastically that it would be hard to compare the current incarnations to its predecessors (it would be a bit like putting a Tesla next to a Pinto). More than merely assisting creative professionals draw out their ideas, software programs are now helping generate the very ideas and products themselves. Computers are coming up with building layouts, package designs and furniture that are as creative or better than what humans can envision on their own.

“It’s a radical departure from what we’ve been using for the last 40 years,” says Francesco Iorio, director of computational science research at Autodesk, which develops CAD software. Later this year, a program that Iorio has been working on called Generative Design will hit the market, and, according to him, will act more like “an actual partner” in the design process rather than a passive tool. In effect, designers will be able to ask the software questions and get optimal answers back.

The program has already produced a muscular, Gaudi-esque chair called the Elbo.
Rather than coming up with the shape of the seat themselves, a design team used the software to determine the best structure given certain parameters – height, material, loads.

The legs and arms mimic forms found in nature, such as bones, which have been optimized through evolution to withstand the forces of the world. In essence, the program came up with a design “that was most fit to survive,” says Iorio, by learning from the world around it.
“The results can be surprising,” says Iorio, “because the program isn’t constrained by biases.”

Such algorithm-based software is also a way of developing mass-customized goods – broadly available items that are uniquely different for each shopper.

For example, Nutella, in partnership with HP, recently used an algorithm to generate more than seven million unique package designs to be sold across Italy.

Each one is singular, though they share a similarly jubilant aesthetic – a bit like someone has taken close-up photos of confetti as it has fallen through the sky.

It would have taken a massive team of designers an impossible amount of time and mental energy to achieve the feat.

But “the program has no limit,” according to Lavinia Francia, client creative director at Nutella’s ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather, Italy, which oversaw the project.

“It starts choosing one out of four different textures and it zooms in on it or out and/or rotates. Then it crops the selection and creates a unique sleeve. So the number of unique labels is technically infinite.”

That said, there’s still a place for people in the process.

To ensure that no meme-worthy, phallic shapes unintentionally made it onto a child’s sandwich spread, “a Nutella employee checked on every jar,” Francia says.

And a “check was made on every pattern that was mixed by the algorithm to make sure the final result would be appropriate.” (The program was so popular that all seven million jars sold out within a month).

Architect Alexis Rivas also believes there is an important, enduring role for people to play in algorithm-generated designs. He’s the co-founder of Cover, a Los Angeles-based company that builds custom backyard studios, cottages and pool houses using algorithms and robots.

“Many people’s first instinct is the fear of computers taking over all of our jobs,” he says. “But the software we use helps our team put all our time and effort into well-considered details, and the touch and feel of our spaces.”

Rivas, along with his lead designer Thomas Heyer, have devised a way, using a proprietary software, to take the desires of their clients (captured in a questionnaire) and generate a fully articulated plan in as little as three days. “We have worked closely with the guys optimizing the software,” Heyer says, “to design a set of building blocks – fixed details, how corners come together and integrated storage. Those details are taken by the software as Lego blocks and assembled into a custom design."
One of the benefits of this kind of technology-enabled standardization is that it brings the price of the design down. Cover’s initial consultations cost less than the price of an iPhone and the structures start in the low six figures, despite the sharp, California aesthetic more commonly associated with million-dollar homes in the Hollywood Hills.


“That’s the beauty of the tech available to us today,” Heyer says. “It makes high-quality design accessible to a lot more people.”

Dutch designer Merel Bekking isn’t just interested in using technology to make high-quality design, but design that is “technically perfect.” And instead of algorithms, she uses machines that help her get directly into the minds of those she is designing for – literally.

She uses MRI scanners to access the desires that are trapped deep within our brains.
“The reason I use MRIs is because I wanted to know what people really think,” Bekking says. “I know that if you ask people questions they are always prone to give socially desirable answers or maybe they don’t really know what they like, and so on. But if you put people in MRI scanners, you look at how their brain reacts,” without a filter.










For a recent project, she used MRIs of one of the world’s top design editors – Marcus Fairs, who founded the popular website Dezeen – to create a chair that was perfect for him.
“Marcus was shown pictures of different materials, shapes, objects and colours,” Bekking says, “while his brain activation was measured using a 3 Tesla MRI-scanner.”

From the experiment, Bekking learned that Fairs’ brain “had a preference for orange, for closed, round shapes, for plastic and for chairs,” Bekking says. “But these ingredients were all loose ingredients. They still had to be put together.” So Bekking put together what looks like a giant, orange pill pierced on a stick, cracked open so Fairs could perch in the middle.

Curiously, though, Fairs did not like the chair, asking Bekking to take it away from his house shortly after she delivered it to his London home. “The research results were completely solid,” she said, but “as soon as he realized he had to defend to others that this is what his subconscious likes, he really started to hate it. I think this is really fascinating.”

For Bekking, using technology to create a scientifically perfect design process has also left her with a curious reaction: “Forget all the target groups, forget numbers, scientific research and big data,” she says. “I think you should trust your designer’s instinct and make beautiful things because you really feel your ideas, not because you think it will please most people.”


"Art in the garden: placing the right work in the right spot": Today I found this article by Katherine Kono in the Globe and Mail:

For many landscape designers and homeowners, a garden isn't complete without the right art. But how do you find the right spot for a piece of outdoor art and choose the plants to complement it?

The first step is finding a work that really speaks to you, and then "allow the art to help define the landscape," says landscape architect Edmund Hollander. He recommends working with an artist or gallery, when possible, to create a relationship between artwork and garden.

"It's really not so different from the relationship between a house and its surrounding landscape," he says.

Susan Lowry, coauthor with Nancy Berner of "Private Gardens of the Bay Area" (The Monacelli Press, October 2017), says art in a garden should enhance its surroundings.

"Scale, texture and light all play off the object, and there is also an emotional content that influences how we see the garden itself," she says.

Less is more, she cautions: "We have seen many a garden ruined by too many extraneous voices jumbled into the frame."

The most common mistake when placing art in gardens, Hollander warns, is "sticking a work where there's too much other stuff. It's as if a museum hung a painting on a wallpapered wall instead of on a white one."

So experts recommend that works be placed against quiet backdrops like evergreens, hedges or lawns.

Karen Daubmann, associate vice president for exhibitions and public engagement at the New York Botanical Garden, has helped design plantings around works by glass artist Dale Chihuly and others. The principles for selecting and showing art in a home garden are similar, she says.

"It's nice to go for something as a larger focal point — something you can see from your window and enjoy all year round, and then some smaller works that you only discover up close," she says.

"And when you're decided where to place something, don't forget to look up. It's a nice surprise to look up and see a pergola, chandelier or lantern."

Most important, Daubmann says, is to choose art you really love. "Chances are, if you're placing it in a garden you have designed and planted yourself, it will work, because it's the same aesthetic," she says.

Keep in mind when and from where the work will be viewed. From the kitchen window? The living room? If you'll be viewing it at night, consider lighter colors, she says.

"White glass or white flowers make for a great moonlight garden, while dark blues will tend to get lost in the evening," Daubmann says. "A mossy, shaded garden can be spiced up quite a lot with light colored art."

And the artwork doesn't have to be expensive. "I sometimes find wonderful pieces in antique shops or at barn sales that really spark my imagination," Daubmann says.

Hilary Lewis, chief curator and creative director at The Glass House, Philip Johnson's iconic house and surrounding landscape and structures in New Canaan, Connecticut, helps plan the installations there.She says works should be visible from various parts of the property, should feel like an extension of the landscape, and should draw people in.

For inspiration, experts suggest visiting sculpture gardens, museums or botanical gardens.
"There are lots of sculpture gardens of all kinds around these days, and the combination of landscape and art, when done right, can be very inspiring," Hollander says.


"Second nature"/ "Furniture designs that embrace the f-word"

Jan. 12, 2017 "Second nature": Today I found this article by Tatum Dooley in the Globe and Mail:

Stress less, be happier and more mindful, live a better life. It’s the time for new year’s resolutions, but often we focus inwardly and forget that the objects we fill our homes with have the ability to lift our moods, bring us joy and improve our well-being.

Ingrid Fetell Lee knows joy. Apart from her role as a design director at international design firm IDEO, she is the creator of Aesthetics of Joy, a website committed to revealing the secrets of happiness via aesthetics. Her book on the subject comes out in spring next year through Little, Brown and Co.

“We have been trained to view that emotional well-being comes from looking within ourselves, and that the stuff around us shouldn’t matter very much,” Fetell Lee says. “The work that I’ve been doing for the last seven years is to synthesize the research that is emerging about the way our environment affects our emotions, and it’s pretty profound.”

One of Fetell Lee’s projects at IDEO, in partnership with the New York-based public-radio program Studio 360, was to unlock hidden moments of joy on Mondays. The project, dubbed “Monyay!,” created conceptual pieces that draw attention to otherwise overlooked opportunities for joy. One of the products created is Notifly, a sphere that sits on your desk and alerts you to appointments by replacing an alarm with a bubble that pops out of the top.

Fetell Lee explains, “The idea of having something as incongruous as a bubble going up to let you know when you have to move to your next meeting feels like such a delightful thing that it would break the frame of the space, a drudgerous Monday mindset, and give you little sparks of delight.” (She adds that there are no plans to market the product.)

Halfway through the interview with Fetell Lee, I asked her, “Do the products have any other benefits, other then just bringing joy?” We live in a world so focused on productivity and quantitative results that just joy seems to be lacklustre. Fetell Lee answered: “The way I look at joy is: It’s an unlocking, it unlocks other things. It has a huge bearing on the way you interact with the people around you: When we’re in a positive mindset, we tend to open our field of view and can take in more of what’s in our peripheral vision, we’re more exploratory.”

Products that bring users joy vary, but more often than not, they’re inspired by nature. The movement of incorporating natural elements in design is referred to as biophilic design.

Biophilic design features everything from natural light, plants and greenery to patterns that replicate nature. The positive results seen from using biophilic design stems from the innate connection humans have with nature; the same connection that attracts us to the sound of waves crashing or the feeling of comfort that comes from sitting by a fireplace.

As reported in a paper by the U.S. sustainability consulting firm Terrapin Bright Green, weaving aspects from nature into design has been shown to improve cognitive functions and creativity, at the same time as it reduces stress.

Design objects can promote a more active pursuit of wellness. Ariel Lynne’s Gingko chair, for instance, encourages users to sink into a posture that is advantageous to meditating, as well as providing a designated area to practise meditation. Mindfulness and meditation are proven to be chock full of benefits: A study published this month in the Journal of Health Psychology found that 35 minutes of guided relaxation was shown to have immediate positive benefits and, over time, decreased feelings of anger, anxiety, depression and guilt.

“We are lost in thought 47 per cent of the time and that has quite often proven to lead to unhappiness. And that makes me think, well, what if our objects could better things like creativity, reduce stress and ultimately make us lead happier, healthier lives?” Lynne says. “My passion lies in designing objects that enhance our experiences and add goodness to our lives, no matter how big or small.”

Whether the design actively encourages you to take a seat and meditate for a few moments, or brightens your day by simply being there, curating your surroundings with objects that will bring you joy, such as the ones below, might just make your resolution to live happier a little easier.

Gingko Chair

Inspired by the imprint of designer Ariel Lynne’s body sitting in sand, the Gingko chair encourages the user to sit in a relaxed cross-legged pose. Lynne explains, “The curved back isn’t just there to serve as a handle, but also as a way to encourage good posture. When you lean back into it, it is comfortable at first, but after leaning for a prolonged period you will feel yourself wanting to return to a position of good posture since it is not a wide back.” Price upon request; ariel-lynne.com.

Balance Light

The Balance light, designed by Spanish designer Victor Castanera, is making its debut at the end of January at Maison & Objet in Paris. The light, which never stays still, mimics the constant movement of life. “What makes Balance special is that it gets the attention of those who are around but also generates calm and serenity in the spaces where it is placed,” Castanera explains. From $1,650; available April, 2017, through oblure.com.

Immersion Wall

The Immersion Wall coats a room consistently in a soft and colourful light, providing an immersive environment perfect for practising yoga or relaxing. Each colour correlates to a different benefit; for example, orange energizes the room, while lilac connotes calm (it works best with white walls). From $120 monthly, through mycoocoon.com.

Quiet Chair

Designed by Studio Tilt in collaboration with Whittington Hospital in London, the pentagonal chair mimics the shape of a cocoon and provides the user a personal space to feel safe and comfortable. From $2,800; e-mail products@studiotilt.com.

Nomadic Life

Made for the traveller, this Nomadic Life kit contains objects that promote a sense of place and home. Designer Gerardo Osio was inspired by Japanese culture to create Nomadic Life, as well as by the religious philosophies of Buddhism and Shinto. Each kit contains a mat; a Hako wooden carrier influenced by the Hakozen box carried by monks; a set of copper tableware; a Zafu (a cushion similar to those used in Zen Buddhism); and a Kami candle/incense holder and vase, to provide warmth and add nature to your space. For more information see gerardoosio.com.

Making Weather

Making Weather is the newest product from Richard Clarkson Studio in partnership with Crealev. A cloud-shaped speaker, which is still in the prototype stage, levitates through the use of magnets and brings the outdoors in by mirroring an impending storm. The cloud emits rain sounds and changes colour. Coming soon; contact hello@richardclarkson.com for more information.

Nomadic Life

The Garden Wallpaper

No matter what the view is out your window, The Garden wallpaper by Lorenzo De Grandis brings nature directly to you. The repetitious, bright flowers on a dark background ensure that the space has a contemporary feel, while providing the benefits of being in the presence of nature. Available through RADform, 317 Adelaide St. East, Suite 102, Toronto (radform.com).


"Furniture designs that embrace the f-word": Today I found this article by Matthew Hague in the Globe and Mail:


Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc, a guest of honour at this month’s Interior Design Show, has only recently embraced the F-word. “I was afraid to use the term until about two months ago,” she says. Then she let it slip out at a lecture in Russia, and “it felt really good.” No, she didn’t embrace her inner Eminem and start cursing out of control. She simply described her work as being feminist.

Over the past decade, Zupanc has drawn inspiration from many places – including sports (she’s a keen windsurfer and gym addict) and nature (she takes walks in the woods to find solace in the world) – but has consistently referenced traditionally feminine motifs. Her 2013 Miss Dior Chair, designed for the French fashion house, has a back shaped like a bow. Her 2007 Maid Chair has a lace-like edge.

But rather than being twee, Zupanc has subverted these elements from simple and sweet to solid and strong. Her materials – shiny plastic, hard steel, laser-cut aluminum – are durable and tough. Part of the reason is pragmatic: She wants to build things that last. However, she also wants to shift perceptions. “Some of these very feminine forms are considered 
extremely naive,” she notes. “Bows. Lace. I deliberately use these elements, but try to do so in a way that pulls them out of a narrow, confining place.”

However, Zupanc was hesitant to categorize her work as feminist out of uncertainty. Design, like all too many professions, can feel like a boys’ clubs. And there is still simply, sadly a “fear of being a woman in a world that is run by men.” Yet the ability to imbue her work with important messages is one of the reasons she became a designer in the first place. “Design has the ability to open doors to new ideas,” she says. “It’s a very powerful tool to spread messages, ask questions and make people wonder.”

That’s why Zupanc doesn’t just concern herself with the physical ergonomics of her pieces, but the “emotional ergonomics” as well. She tries to create objects that evoke intense, visceral reactions – items that people form deep connections to, and that make them think about things from different perspectives. “I’ve always liked books that are best read between the lines,” she says. Likewise, she likes “objects that create open questions, that don’t have just one meaning, and that can be understood from four or five different points of view.”

Crucially, though, Zupanc aims for subtext that empowers and uplifts. To do so, she’s careful to only design when she’s in the right frame of mind. “If I’m sad or in a bad mood,” she says, “I don’t do any objects … It’s important to have good, strong feelings. I believe that the feeling is communicated in the finished work. The energy translates.”

Accordingly, Zupanc believes that designers should not only be good students of their craft, ever-refining their technical skills and use of materials, but also work hard to maintain an optimal, emotional state. Her commitment to sport has been instrumental for Zupanc. “I’m quite a big fitness goer,” she says. “It really affects your state of mind, on a biological level. A hard workout shifts your mind.”

Beyond being a mood booster, sports have also helped Zupanc endure life’s challenges and become a heartier, more independent spirit. With her windsurfing, for example, you “need to go out of your comfort zone to achieve anything,” she says. “You are just out there in nature. You have to count on yourself. You have the sea and the wind, and you can’t change these conditions, just work with them. And enjoy it all, if possible.”


fall 2016 TV season- comedy

May 27, 2017: Most of the shows I will say: "I saw the pilot and then I never watched it again."

The Simpsons: I was also thinking about The Simpsons episode where they make fun of Ultimate Fighting Championship and mix martial arts.

Marge learns about the Ultimate Punching Kicking Choking Association and dislikes it.  She protests to get it banned.

Marge: If something is not to my taste, it means that no one else can enjoy it either.

I'm sure some of you guys are laughing at this part.

1. The Good Place: I didn't see any promos about this show when it came out and so I sat down and watched the pilot and the 2nd episode that aired right after it.  On imdb.com:

A woman struggles to define what it means to be "good".

Pros:

1. It stars Kristen Bell, the star of Veronica Mars.

2. I like the concept of this "heaven".  How to get to heaven is like hug a friend or donate blood.

3. It's a beautiful place.  It's a funny, weird and quirky place.

4. Good ethnic diversity of Asian, black, East- Indian.

5. A good part is where the Buddhist monk Jianyu touches Michael's heart.

Michael: The strength is inside me.  It's been there all along.  Of course, I can overcome any obstacle.

Eleanor feels bad and remorseful so she cleans up the neighborhood.

Chidi: You seem capable of change and I will help you try.

6. Light and fun humor.  Nothing offensive.

7. I like the redemption storyline, kind of like Angel which is a dark drama about a vampire doing good deeds.

8. Good mystery and conflict when Eleanor gets a note "You don't belong here."

Cons: None.

My opinion: I like it and all, but it's a sitcom and I don't really like sitcoms.  You can watch the pilot if you want.

The show got a 2nd season.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4955642/?ref_=nv_sr_1

2. Kevin Can Wait:

A newly retired police officer looks forward to spending more quality time with his wife and three kids only to discover he faces much tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets.

Pros:

1. The joke where the daughter Kendra tells her plan:

Kendra: I'm dropping out of school to work at a diner until Chale hits it big with his app.
Donna (mom): That's not a plan.  That's literally every stripper's back story.

2. Funny ending with go-cart racing, paintballing and the Go- Pro.

Cons:

1. My biggest problem is the fat guy with a hot wife.

Erinn Hayes who plays the wife is beautiful.  Unless you want to wank it in your mind that Kevin's character used to be skinny, and then gained a lot of weight.  Here, look at her:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0141613/?ref_=tt_cl_t2

Homer Simpson from The Simpsons was skinny as a teenager when he met Marge.

This guy F who is in his 40s (from Filmmakers Meetup) said: "A woman who stays with a fat guy would only do that if he's rich."

That's his opinion.

My opinion: I watched the pilot and then I never watched it again.  I'm sure some of you guys are like: "Why did you watch it in the first place?  You don't even like Kevin James."  I was desperate for TV and will watch pilots of TV shows that I know I will dislike. 

I don't like sitcoms.  It got a 2nd season.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5462720/?ref_=nv_sr_4

Jul. 14, 2017:

3. Man with a Plan:

A dad finds out that parenting is harder than he thought after his wife goes back to work and he's left at home to take care of the kids.

Pros:

1. Matt Leblanc, Joey from Friends is here.

2. The family is likeable with the parents and the kids like 13 yr old daughter, 10 yr old son, and 5 yr old daughter.

3. This is kind of shallow but I like how there isn't a fat guy with a hot wife.  Leblanc is average and Liza Snyder who plays the wife is average too. 

4. Matt Cook who plays Mo from the TV sitcom Clipped was in it.  I was watching Clipped last summer because there weren't a lot of TV shows to watch.

5. Good parenting tip:

Lowell (Matt Cook): I got my daughters addicted to lottery tickets and take them away when they don't do what I want them to do.

The kids are low on the tablets batteries and are addicted to it.

Adam (Matt Leblanc): I change the password everyday until you do your chores.  Now I have some candy to crush.

Oh yeah, the Candy Crush game.

Cons: None.

My opinion: It was alright and all, but I don't like sitcoms so I'm not going to watch it. It got a 2nd season.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5536400/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Jul. 15, 2017:

4. Son of Zorn:

"Animation and live action collide when a cartoon Barbarian dad leaves his war-torn village to re-connect with his moody, non-animated teenage son in suburbia."


Pros:

1. It was kind of quirky of live action- and animated together.  Also a cartoon- Barbarian dad does stand out as an idea and a TV show.

2. It was light, fun, and funny.  It wasn't offensive.  We have Zorn working as a telemarketer.

3. There was good ethnic diversity of the new husband is Tim Meadows.  An Asian girl Nancy (Ellen Wong) is in the pilot.

Cons: None.

My opinion: The show is average, but I didn't like it enough to watch it again.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4798814/

This show got cancelled after 1 season.

http://deadline.com/2017/05/making-history-son-of-zorn-apb-canceled-fox-one-season-1202089949/

My week:

Jul. 17, 2017 DVR complaints: These are some mild complaints: Yesterday I was going to watch the movie Taken that I had recorded on DVR.  It kept skipping every couple of min.  I then stopped 15 min. in.  If it comes on TV again, I will record it.

Starting Over TV show: Before that, I had recorded this show, and 2 episodes were skipping.  However, I was fine with that because it's just a reality show.

Jul. 21, 2017: I have been watching this show because it's kind of like Oprah with all the talking and counseling.  It's aimed at women.

It's like Dr. Phil with the talking, counseling and exercises like the person who wants to make changes are supposed to meet with someone who has gone through this.  However, Dr. Phil and his guests get me angry, but this TV show doesn't.

In some cases, the Starting Over TV show helps the women more than they can on their own.  Christine used to be a stripper and escort.  She has photos still on an escort site though she isn't one. 

The TV show producers set her up with a lawyer to get a cease and desist order to remove the photos.  I don't think Christine could have even afforded or thought of getting a lawyer.  If she wasn't on the show, she would have probably let the photos stay on the site.  

Jul. 17, 2017: 

Southgate Construction scam: The important things are:

1. I didn't get scammed out of $4000.

2. I also didn't miss out on other job opportunities.  I could have gotten hired somewhere else and I would have turned it down because I thought I was hired here.

3. I was still productive with reading the business section of the newspaper (and the news) on the 2 days I wasn't looking for a job.  Also as I was standing in line at the bank, and waiting while I was put on hold to report to the Anti-fraud Centre, I was reading the news.

4. I booked some days off with my General Holiday Pay (GHP) at work.

Jul. 21, 2017:

5. Also I'm not really angry.  They got some of my time, but they didn't get my money.

6. Don't take it personal.  I know they did this to a lot of people and I was one of them.  It's not like they were specifically targeting me like: "I know a way to get at Tracy.  I'm going to convince her that she got hired when she didn't."

7. I know some of you guys maybe were like: "I don't get this with Tracy.  She's always asking: 'Is this a scam?  Is this a scam?'  Then when there is job ad that is obviously a scam with a company giving you a check when you haven't done any work for them, she can't see that it is?"

This reminds me of my friend Angela asking about Justin Berry: "When you're that age (13) don't you kind of know what's right and wrong by then?  And I think he knew what he was doing was kind of wrong."

I was blind.  At least the 2 workers at the bank saw my blind spot.  

http://badcb.blogspot.ca/2017/05/creep-catchers-justin-berry.html

8. Also saying things out loud can really point out how stupid you sound and look.

TV and real life comparisons:

It's like that time on Desperate Housewives.  Susan is struggling to pay for her son MJ's private school tuition.  She sees her ex-husband Mike bought his girlfriend Katherine a nice peal necklace.  Susan tries to steal it and Katherine catches her.

Susan: I was going to sell this necklace and use that money towards my son's school tuition and as I'm saying that out loud, I see how stupid I sound.

I bet the people at the bank thought I sounded stupid as I said: "The check was put into my account and I was to put that cash into this account."

In conclusion, this should be the last time I write about this scam.

Jul. 18, 2017 Office job interview: Yesterday I got an email to come in and I called them to set it up for today.  The 2nd bus was 8 min. late (I can see on the bus computer screen.)  Then I missed a stop and got off and took a bus that came soon to get back to where I'm supposed to get off at.  I asked the bus driver and he told me to walk this way to get to the address.

I then walked 10 min and was unsure because there were these residential streets.  I did Google map and plan my trip prior to it.

Pros: 

1. The hours are good.  I can work the shifts.

2. I told them my pay range.

3. The office seems nice.

4. If this office is like the other clinics I did interviews at, I think I can do the job.

Cons:

1. It was kind of far with 2 busses to get there and walking for 10 min.  I can deal with it.

The main con was the interview.  I was there for like 1 min of talking about my experience.  The guy who interviewed me seemed to be in kind of a rush, probably to get to his patients.  I hope I made a good impression on him if it was so short.

My opinion: I would work there if I got hired.

Writing about TV and movies: I'm writing more TV and movie reviews from the notes I wrote on my scrap paper.  I can only watch one Starting Over episode a day before I get sick of it.

Jul. 19, 2017 Law of attraction: It seems it's only manifesting in small ways.

Last week, I was talking to my co-worker S and she told me about this book series called The Dark Tower.  The next day I saw a trailer for that movie.  S didn't say anything about it being a movie.

On Sun. I was working and an old employee who works here came.  She has a baby named Raya.  I don't think I've heard of that name before.  Then I was reading the newspaper about The Amazing Race Canada and Riya was a name of a contestant. 

The Dark Tower:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1648190/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Kate Middleton being real: While greeting fans after the royal family arrived in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday, Kate had the perfect response when a young woman told her she was “beautiful” and “perfect.” 

“We were telling her that she is beautiful and perfect, but she said it’s not true — it’s just the make-up,” Magda Mordaka, 21, told Express.

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/entertainment/celebrity/kate-shoots-down-perfect-princess-compliment-with-4-amazing-words/ar-BBEEOuc?li=AAadgLE&ocid=spartandhp

Newlyweds Share Father-Daughter Dance with Friends Whose Dad Has Terminal Cancer:

At a wedding reception, the only daughter-father dance you usually expect to see involves a bride and her dad.

But one couple, Nora and Michaela Cook-Yotts, decided to change up this rule for a particularly touching reason.


After Michaela and Nora took the floor with their respective dads, they welcomed onto the dancefloor Michaela’s bridesmaid Jessica Otto, Jessica’s sister Megan, and their dad Peter.

Jessica and Megan’s dad Peter was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2001, central nervous system lymphoma in 2009, and a brain tumor in 2013 — he relapsed for a fourth time last spring. His condition is now considered terminal. Presumably he won’t be around to dance at his own daughters’ weddings which is why this gesture was so incredibly meaningful.

Peter was apparently clueless about the plan until the DJ called them up. “Not only have Jess and I been friends since the second grade, Pete is my dad’s best friend,” Michaela told Buzzfeed. “It only made sense that he was up there dancing with Jess and Megan.

“The first my dad heard of it was when the DJ called myself, Megan, and our dad to the dance floor,” Megan also explained. “He was shocked.”

Not only was this a gift for the dad and his daughters, it was a gift for their mom as well. “My mom is so grateful for what Nora and Michaela did for us,” Megan told Buzzfeed. Jessica added: “Our mom is the glue that holds us all together. Without her absolutely none of this would be possible for our family to get through.”

https://ca.yahoo.com/style/newlyweds-share-father-daughter-dance-friends-whose-dad-terminal-cancer-163450656.html

Jul. 20, 2017 Ryan Reynolds gives terminally ill five-year-old from Devon a FaceTime tour of 'Deadpool 2' set:

The British Board of Film Classification might have graded Deadpool as only being suitable for over 15s but this has not stopped the film from being a firm favourite of Daniel Downing.
The five-year-old, who was recently told he had just months to live after doctors discovered an inoperable brain tumour, is a loyal fan of both the American superhero film and its protagonist Ryan Reynolds.


For this reason, Daniel was overcome with joy after Reynolds decided to ring him up and show him around the Vancouver set of Deadpool 2 via video.


“How’s it going, little buddy?” the 40-year-old actor said over the phone as the young boy told him he has been “poorly”.


http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/ryan-reynolds-deadpool-2-five-year-old-facetime-tour-terminally-ill-devon-names-and-where-from-a7850561.html

My opinion: Aww.... that's so nice.  There is a 2 min 30 sec video of their face time.

A woman donates her $30,000 wedding dinner to the homeless: I was reading the National Post in the Edmonton Journal.  This woman cancelled her wedding and can't get a refund, so she invited these homeless people to eat the food.

My opinion: Aww... how nice.  I love reading and telling about charity news.

Jul. 21, 2017 Argyle Sweater: This is a comic I cut out on Jul. 14, 2017.  I can't copy and paste it here.  Click on the link and the date and you will see 2 bears fighting each other.  It's about sibling rivalry.

Bear: Hey, Benny, why ya mauling yourself?  Huh, Ben?  Why ya keep mauling yourself?

Caption: Ben hated being the youngest of the cubs.

I don't find it funny because it's about bullying and beating up your sibling.

I find it funny because it's about bears acting like humans.




http://www.theargylesweater.com/

Monday, July 17, 2017

Scream 4/ Southgate Construction scam

Jul. 12, 2017 Scream 4: In Jan. 2017 I watched this movie. 

"Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer."

Why?: I saw Scream 3 when it came out in 2000.  I watched it when I was 14 yrs old with my sister.  I like scary movies.

Pros:

1. It was scary.  There was lots of drama, conflict, tension, suspense.  Interesting.

2.  My favorite part was probably when the killer calls about being in the closet.  That was suspenseful with a good surprise.

3.  There was a really good 3rd act when they reveal the killer. 

Cons:

1. I was kind of "eh" with the reason why this character is the killer.

Would you watch it again?: There is a very low chance I would watch it again.  I just didn't like it.  It had the same kind of writing style in Scream 3, but my tastes have changed.  However, I would like to watch Scream and Scream 2.  I only saw some of Scream 2 on TV.

This is an average movie at best and mediocre movie at worst.

Comparisons:

People living in a movie: There is the self-awareness of these characters feeling like they're in a scary movie.  In the movie Messages Deleted, it's like that too:

"A screenwriting teacher is forced to live out the plot of a screenplay idea he stole from a student, who now seeks revenge."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1072754/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Messages Deleted: In Jan. 2017 I watched this movie. 

"A screenwriting teacher is forced to live out the plot of a screenplay idea he stole from a student, who now seeks revenge."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1072754/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Why?: The storyline seemed pretty interesting because I'm interested in screenwriting and have tried to get into the industry since I was 14 yrs old.  I pitched my script for 5yrs in 2008-2012.

Pros:

1. Good writing tips: "The foundation of great storytelling is found in characters.  Characters have to be believable." 

Pg. 40: Something has to happen to propel the story forward.

2. There is a crazy scene where Joel (Matthew Lillard) is talking to Claire (Chiara Zanni) the café.  I never predicted it.

3. The story is good with random strangers calling Joel before they are about to be killed.  The police think Joel is killing them.

4. I like the line where the cops are saying to Joel about him being a screenwriting teacher: "You charge people to teach them to do something that you failed at yourself."

That reminds me when I talked to screenwriting teacher Geo Takch at MacEwan in 2007.  He had his episode produced on the TV show Mentors.  The characters meet artist Emily Carr.

5. It was shot in Canada.  You can see the Canadian actors in the small parts.

6. There is a good line: how Joel is "powerless in private life and dominant in fantasy world."

7. There is a crazy plot twist as Joel tries to protect Millie.

8. After that there is even a crazier ending.  I was like: "What?"

Spoiler alert (you can skip to the next part if you don't want to be spoiled): So it seems like the whole movie, none of it really happened.  Joel wrote it as a script and he's sitting in jail.

Cons: None really.

Would you watch it again?: This is an average movie at best and mediocre movie at worst.  There is a low chance I would watch it again.

The Box: I watched this movie in Nov. 2016.

"A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don't know."

Why?: I read the short story "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson in Language Arts class in gr. 9.

Pros:

1. James Marsden and Cameron Diaz were good in it.

2. The story idea was interesting.

3. There was drama, conflict, and tension with the moral of pressing the button.  There was also added reasons like financial pressure. 

4. There is some good dialogue like:

"You got blood on your hands." -literal and figurative

"Someone pushing your buttons."

5. It was creepy and tense like the movie The Haunting in Connecticut where it's set in the 1970s.

Cons:

1. It was set in the 1970s, and I don't really like things set in the past.

2. My main problem is that there are is the difficult decision presented in front of the characters.  It was very contrived.  A decision where the parent either sacrifices him or herself or their child.

3. This is a movie based on a short story and you need to fill it up.

Would you watch it again?: This is an average movie at best and mediocre movie at worst.  There is a low chance I would watch it again.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0362478/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Jul. 14, 2017 Poseidon: I watched this movie in Jul. 2016.

"On New Year's Eve, the luxury ocean liner Poseidon capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for their lives as they attempt to escape the sinking ship."

Why?: I like action movies.  Also it was the summer time and not a lot of TV and movies to watch.

Pros:

1. There are some big names.

Mia Maestro- was Sydney's sister on Alias.

Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas playing a professional singer, so that's not too much of a stretch for her.

Andre Braugher- the captain.  He plays the chief on Brooklyn 99.

2. There is lots of drama, conflict and tension as the characters vs. nature (the rogue wave) and vs. circumstances.

There is chaos with fire, lights out.  There are dead people.  Lots of obstacles as the survivors struggle to get to the top of the ship.  There are bridges, freight elevators

Cons:

1. I thought it was kind of boring.

2. After this, I don't think I want to go on a cruise.  However, I had written about that before in 2013:

http://badcb.blogspot.ca/2013/04/award-fashion-start-up-stay-away-from.html

Would you watch it again?: This is an average movie at best and mediocre movie at worst.  There is a low chance I would watch it again.

Comparisons:

People stuck on a cruise ship and struggle to survive: Titanic.  Though I find this movie more interesting than Titanic.

A ship that is flipped upside down and people trying to get out: I told this to my brother P and he told me it was done on a Pokémon episode called "Pokémon Shipwreck."

Ash, Brock, Misty and Pikachu are on a ship and is flipped upside down.  They get Charmander to burn a hole so they can get out.  Misty then calls a water Pokémon to go and call for help.

The Simpsons: I thought of the episode where George Bush moves across the street from the Simpsons.  Apu says the slushie machine was overproducing slushies.

Cut to Jimbo Jones swimming in the slushie as he gets a 6 pack.

2 scuba divers are fixing the slushie machine.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409182/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The Day the Earth Stood Still: I saw this movie on May 2016.

A remake of the 1951 classic science fiction film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

Why?: I like sci-fi movies.

Pros:

1. It's got big names like Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly and Jayden Smith.

2. They are likeable characters like an alien, a professor, the professor's stepson.

3. It's fast-paced with an adventure with Helen and Jacob (Connelly and Smith) whisked to National Security.

4. I see some familiar faces like JC Mackenzie (the bad boss on the TV show Dark Angel).

5. There is lots of drama, conflict, and tension of an asteroid coming to Earth.

People's lives are at stake.

6. There is good emotion like an Old Chinese man is speaking to the alien Klaatu (Reeves):

"Human life is difficult, but as my life is coming to an end, I consider myself lucky to have lived it."

I will put that into my inspirational quotes.

7. Spoiler alert:

Klaatu: The planet is dying.  Human race is killing it.
Helen: Come to save the Earth from us.
Klaatu: We are not going to save humans from Earth.

8. Spoiler alert:

Jacob freaks out when Klaatu is hit with a car and brings back to life.

Cons: It was not as interesting as other sci-fi movies.  This has more drama than action.

Would you watch it again?: This is an average movie at best and mediocre movie at worst.  There is a low chance I would watch it again.

Comparisons:

An asteroid coming to earth:

The TV show Salvation:


An MIT grad student and a tech superstar bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery--that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth.

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6170874/?ref_=nv_sr_1


My week:

Jul. 11, 2017 Ripe Tomato: I was looking for a job and I found this restaurant.  I like the logo because of the tomatoes in it.


Baskin Robbins: It seems like this store closed in Alberta:

There are lots of places to get ice cream like Dairy Queen.

Café job interview: Last month I passed my resume to this café.  Today there was a job ad on the internet from them.  I got a call from them and went there for the interview.

The boss recognized me and I told him I was there before. 

Pros:

1. It was close by.

2. The pay was average.

3. I can do the job of serving customers. 

Cons:

1. I thought this was going to be a permanent job, but it turns out it was a temp job.

My opinion: I would work there.

Asian restaurant interview: I passed my resume in person to this Asian restaurant.  I got a call back later that day.  However, she said they were looking for a cook and not a server.

Street Performer's Festival: Prior to the interview, I went to this festival.  I saw jewellery, clothes, and two psychic booths.  One was for Psychic Ana and the other was Psychic World like with a guy named Sage and Kasandra.  I told Sage I have seen him before and got a reading from him way back in 2013.  

I have seen a psychic once or twice a yr from 2009-2013.  After that I haven't seen one.  They get my personality right, but not my future.

Donate toys: My mom donated this stuffed dog toy I had.  I had went to K-days with my friend Leslie way back in 2006.  I paid a guy $4 to guess my age.  If he doesn't guess right within 2 yrs, I win a stuffed animal.  He writes down his guess.

Guy: How old are you?
Tracy: 20.
Guy (shows his written guess): 17.

That dog was sitting beside this panda bear on the basement couch for 11 yrs.  I'm sure some kid would like to play with this stuffed dog.

Jul. 12, 2017 Summer 2017 TV shows: I'm watching Zoo.  They're on their 3rd season.

Salvation: This show is coming on tonight and I will check out the pilot.  It looks like there are 10 eps and is on Global.

An MIT grad student and a tech superstar bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery--that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6170874/

Somewhere Between: This comes on Mon. Jul. 24 and it comes on Global.  There are 10 eps.  I will check out the pilot:

Paula Patton plays a mother who tries to change the fate of her daughter's murder

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6467294/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Midnight, Texas: This comes on Mon. Jul. 24 and it comes on Global.  There are 10 eps.  I will check out the pilot.  It looks like a supernatural show.

Midnight is a safe haven for those who are different, but with the presence of outsiders, the residents band together and form a strong and unlikely family.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5464086/?ref_=nv_sr_1

21 Thunder: This comes out on Mon. Jul. 31 on CBC.  There are 8 episodes.   One of my favorite Edmonton actors Kyle Mac (from Between) is in it, so I'm probably going to watch the show series.

In the cutthroat world of pro soccer, a club lives and dies by the stars on its under-21 team. They are the future and lifeblood of any franchise, but most will never make it. 21

THUNDER is the story of the Montreal Thunder U21 team, following the team's star players on and off the field. A story of love, crime, race, sex and athletic glory, at its core the series is about how a group of players and coaches unite as family in the whirlwind of life, one step away from the pros.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6145878/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Right now I'm pretty excited about these TV shows.  I will have to mitigate my excitement by writing some TV show and movie reviews I had watched.

I wrote the above hours ago and am writing some movie reviews.  I feel really good writing about it.

Jul. 13, 2017 Salvation: I saw the pilot today.  John Doyle made fun of it in his Globe and Mail TV column.  I find this show to be mediocre.  think I will record all the episodes and maybe watch it at the end of August when there aren't that many shows on.
  
I will have completed my work and then watch a TV show.

Southgate Construction scam:

The people at my bank told me to report it to the police.  I showed the emails to a cop and he told me to call this number instead:

I reported this to www.antifraudcentre.ca.  I called the number 1-888-495-8501:


Jun. 29, 2017: I got hired on Fri. Jun. 23, 2017.  The first thing I did was show the email and website to my dad to ask if it's a scam.  He said it looked legit so I gave my name, number and address to the email.  When I was emailing the boss Todd Miller he said he got my resume through Kijiji.  I did a phone interview with him before.

On the weekends, I don't look for a job.

On Mon. Jun. 26-Wed. Jun. 28, I didn't look for a job.  I put my binder and paper, and a pencil case with a few pencils in it.

On Mon. Jun. 26, I put up my 3 weekly emails/ blog posts.  I read the newspaper a business book.  I went through my news articles I cut out to see what I could post onto my blog.

On Tues. I read the newspaper and business book.  I also put up a few job articles I found.

On Wed. I went to work. I deposited $4760 check from Southgate Construction into my account.

On Thurs. I was told by Todd Miller at Southgate Construction to withdraw $4000 from my account.

I was to deposit it to a Scotiabank account.  Then at Scotiabank, CSR Chris and boss Colleen said it is a scam.  Why would a company give you money for work you haven't done yet?

Tracy: I can show you the website and the emails.  The money is to go to buy office furniture.
Colleen: Deposit the money back into your account and put a hold on that check to verify if it's counterfeit or not.

Southgate Constructions
380 Wellington St, London, Ontario N6A 5N9, Canada
Phone #: 226-314-0641
todd@southgatecons.com

TV and movies:

Devil: In the movie, it mentions the job of forensic accountant.  My brother P tells me that it means an account looks into where all the money comes from.

Secrets and Lies: In the first season there is a character who finds lots of cash in the house. 

Tracy: He should put all that money into the bank account to get interest.  Also what if the house burns down?
P: Yeah, but accounts can be frozen.

Arrested Development: The 1st season.

George Michael Jr.: There is money in the Banana Stand. 

There was cash in it.

Teen Mom: Farrah got scammed by $3000 when she bought a car online.  This was like in the 1st season in 2009 or 2010.  I can't quite remember it.

Catch Me if You Can: I saw some of this movie on TV.  There is a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio's character says: "This is not a real check.  The paper is too heavy."

Lessons:

1. No legitimate company would pay you for work you haven't done yet.

2. I remember when I was rereading a Seventeen magazine last yr before I was to donate it.  It was about scholarships: Anything about money can have a scam on it.

Office job interview: I did this interview last week, but didn't write about it.

Pros:

1. It was close by.

2. The hours are Mon. -Fri. and full-time.

3. The pay is good.

4. I can do the job and the duties.

Cons: None really. 

My opinion: I would work there if I got hired.  If I don't get hired, that's fine too.

Jul. 14, 2017: I see that I still have 10 days before a new TV show debuts.  I will keep busy by writing my TV and movie reviews.  Whenever I watch a pilot or movie, I write down notes on scrap paper so I can type it up on my blog. 

I see that I have watched a lot of TV and movies since 2016 to present.

When I'm writing about it, I feel energized.