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.

Friday, February 27, 2009

economy/ drive/ law

Feb. 24 Economy: Also from the same article in the Edmonton Journal it said this: "...Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association is expecting restaurant revenues to fall by $575 million- and those are the places that manage to stay open at all. The lean economy has already claimed such eateries as Boba, a celebrity haunt in Toronto, and Montreal's Picasso, which withstood nearly 30 years of ups and downs before closing its doors this month. At Vicker's upscale Chicago Chophouse, recently named Calgary's restaurant of of the year by Where magazine, traffic is down by 25 per cent since September."

Could the Soup place be next?

Question: I was checking my mymacewan email and there is survey for school. I did it and the first question was this: "What is the single most important factor for you when choosing a career or an employer?"

That is a good question. My answer was: "To enjoy what I do."

Reminiscence: I haven't seen Dateline: To Catch a Predator in months. I am still sad that they're not making any more episodes. I can still hope that they change their minds. Or maybe America's Most Wanted and W-Five who copied them will continue to make more episodes. In America, they got Miss Teen USA to post pics of herself as a teen and she is the decoy. Then the host John Walsh ambushes the predator and starts yelling at him and stuff.

It's quite different from Chris Hansen reading from the chat transcript. It seems like he's conducting a job interview. He says: "In the transcript you say..." It sounds like a manager saying: "On your resume you say..."

Drive: Yesterday I stopped procrastinating and called the driving school. Patton the driving instructor called me back today after he looked at the schedule. He says he will call me in March.

Feb. 25 Art: Today was my day off and I passed out my resume to the Winspear Centre and the Citadel theatre to work at the box office. I got a flashback of the last time I was at those places back in 2001 for school. I was in choir and I performed at the Winspear. I also went to the Citadel for English class to watch the play The Number 14 which is about a bus and funny and crazy things occur while riding it.

After that I went and bought my buspass. I also flipped through a new Seventeen magazine. Then I went and passed out my resume to the National Bank. In total, I passed out 18 resumes this month. Last month I passed out 24 resumes.

Contests: I picked up a Metro today and I saw that there was a contest. I went to www.metronews.ca to win a double guest pass to see Watchmen, 1 of 6 iPod Touch, and 1 of 30 Watchmen swag bags. Then I went and competed to win one of Leona Lewis's cd.

Winter: Here is a mild rant. Today was -19C. I had to shovel snow in the morning. Then I went and took the bus to downtown. On the bus I did bump into Danny Luu and we talked about school. He did say that one of the students couldn't get exempted from these computer classes though he took 2 years at Nait and know how to use all these computer programs. I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way. Though I took one year at Nait, and I took the Computer Applications class in the Arts and Cultural Management program.

I may not have been exempted, but that Computer Applications class did give me credits that I could use as my electives. After I got off the bus, some time later I realized I lost my gloves on there. Well at least it's the cheap yarn gloves. Maybe someone else will take them and it will have a good home.

I'm mainly annoyed at the weather. I could have passed out way more resumes if it wasn't so cold. I was dressed warmly, but forget it.

News: In Metro, there is 33% increase in applying for employment insurance in British Columbia. In Alberta it is a 30% increase since last year.

Feb. 26 Movie: Heath Ledger did a movie called The Imagination of Doctor Parnassus. In the middle of the production, he passed away. Then Jude Law, Collin Farrel, and Johnny Depp came and played different parts of Ledger's role.

I saw Resident Evil: Apocalypse on TV today. I saw the first one back in 2004. My friend Leslie brought her dvd over and we saw it together. I liked the first one. Lots of action. This second one was really good too. Sure there are a lot gun shooting, but there are really good choreographed fight scenes.It was scary, and I screamed a couple of times. It was fun to watch. Lots of guns, explosions. There was also LJ, who was the funny black guy. You do need some humour in this movie.

Pretty Bloody: Last night I saw a documentary called Pretty Bloody about women working as actors, directors, and writers in the horror film industry. They interviewed Jovanka Vuckovic who is the editor at Rue Morgue magazine. She has bright red and blonde hair, with tattoos.

JV: Whenever I go take a flight, people ask me: "Are you a musician?" I'm like "No." They ask: "Are you a tattoo artist?" I'm like "No. I write for a horror magazine."

They talked to writer Tanya Huff who wrote the Blood Books, which then became a TV series called Blood Ties which is really good. I've only seen the show. They also talked to Pet Semetary director Mary Lambert: "People who don't like working for a woman authority, yeah well I can fire them." She laughs. They talked to the actress Brinke Stevens: "I was being filmed. The director then got the camera guy to pan up to my face, because the camera guy was actually filming my chest." lol.

Feb. 27 Dollhouse: I watched Dollhouse tonight, and I heard Eliza Dushku sing acapella for the first time. Her character Echo was to be the backup singer for this popstar Rayna. It was a good ep. This show kind of reminds me of the cartoon show Odd Job Jack. Jack works at a staffing agency, and every week he does a different job just like Echo does. I have seen ED dance on Buffy and Angel. She is a really good singer. I don't know about ED doing a cd.

New: I borrowed the Fiest cd from the library. It's an average cd. It's adult contemporary and I don't really find it something I can dance to. I tried out the product by Biotherm, this skin cream. I found a way to get a free sample, so I tried it out. It's good.

Writing: Conni Massing emailed me back and says that she will call me and we can discuss my script together.

Law: Another thing is that I was thinking about this situation. You know I mentioned about Miss Johnston saying that there was a girl in gr.7 or 8 and she's in a religion that doesn't allow her to talk to boys. Well I thought up this new situation. What if Miss J said: "There is a boy in gr.7 or 8, and he's been charged with aggravated assault. If he breaks the law again in any way from shoplifting, to underage drinking, he will go to juvenile hall. At 16, that could hurt him in trying to get a job because he has a criminal record. It's not until he's 18, does those records become sealed."

I'm thinking the students would be asking: "Can you tell me who he is? You shouldn't be protecting a kid who has been charged with aggravated assault. You should protect the student body by knowing who he is." However, in real life, there is the Youth Criminal Justice Act, where you can't name names. The teacher can't tell who the kid is, because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. By all means, there are kids who find out who the kid is, and then treat him differently when they know what he's done.

Monday, February 23, 2009

fun/ positive/ music

Feb. 21 Fun: After I got home from work, I watched the last half of Flash Gordon (starring Edmonton actor Eric Johnson). Then afterwards I found out the last half of the 2006 TV movie Obituary is on. It stars Craig Olejnik (star of the new show The Listener). I saw this movie back in 2007 and really liked it. Then I saw it again last summer. And now it's on again. Well I'm watching it and flipping between W- Five and surfing the net.

Obituary stars Melrose Place actress Josie Bisett. She is also on the crappy show called Secret Life of the American Teenager, playing Grace's mom. Anyway, JB plays Denise Wilcox. She was in mental hospital because she attempted to commit suicide when she was a teenager.

Now she is a journalist, and she writes obituaries. She starts getting these messages on her computer that predicts the future for her like the death of someone. She starts investigating. Eventually the police become suspicious of her when it looks like she's behind the murders. She also thinks she may be going crazy too. Later it turns out Luke (Craig Olejnik) was the one who orchestrated the entire.

Luke met Denise when they were in the mental hospital together. He was younger than she was. It's been several years since they met. D doesn't remember him, until towards the climatic ending. D figures it out by finding this locked room in the basement, and the computer he uses to send her the messages supposedly predicting the future.

This movie totally reminds me of the script I wrote for my Outlier pilot back in 2001. Well Obituary did it way better. Outlier had a character Lance chat online to the character Corey. Corey investigated the messages. It was more supernatural. Obituary is totally based on reality. It had a little bit of a supernatural element. I recommend you all rent out dvd. It's a TV movie, but I did see it being sold on the internet.

Feb. 22 Writing: Conni Massing emailed me back and she said that she will read the first 25 pages and that's it. Well it's better than nothing.

Rant: Here are my mild rants. I read that Geri Halliwell aka Ginger Spice is engaged after she knows this guy for a few months. She says she will be in for a long engagement. I am annoyed at people who get engaged without any intention of getting married. TV influences me the most and I remember Red on That 70s Show saying: "Oh what huh? You think getting engaged is something you just do? Well c'mon start planning the wedding."

I am also reminded when I was channel surfing a few years ago and saw Pam from The Office saying: "I've been engaged for three years." That annoyed me, but at least it's a fictional character. I remember back in 2005, I was talking to Kerri from my Arts and Cultural Management program. She said she was engaged, and I told her about how I don't like people who get engaged without any intention of getting married.

Kerri: Well I think guys propose, so they could kind of take the girl off the block.
I think she meant so the girl isn't available, and is taken.

Well sometimes it's good to have a long engagement. Then after awhile, they can back out of it before going through a divorce. Remember when Jessica Alba was 18 and engaged to Dark Angel co-star Michael Weatherly who was 32? They had chemistry on and off- screen. Well I thought she was too young to get married. It's not until she was like 26, and got pregnant, and then got married to Cash Warren.

Same goes for Paris Hilton. She was engaged at 23 to a guy named Paras. Then the engagement ended and I was happy. Getting married before 25, isn't really good.

Post Secret: On www.postsecret.blogspot.com, there is a postcard that said: "If I could talk to my eight- year- old self I would tell him that 'Things will get easier. I promise.' (It took 16 years, but I am finally at peace with myself."

Then someone emailed saying: "If I could talk to my eight-year-old self, I'd say, "'Give up watching TV right now. Your life will be fuller for it.'"

That must be a sign. Well I went to Rogers Video to return The Dark Knight. Then I went home to see what was on TV. There was nothing new because the Academy Awards is grabbing all the ratings. I then went and buckled down and worked on The Hunter. I had jotted all these ideas down on scrap paper, then I went and typed it all up. I then printed 15 pages of writing out so I can read it clearer instead of having a bunch of scrap paper.

At work today, I didn't really write. I spent nearly two hours grating cheese to be used for the cheese toast and tuna melts. I grated enough that it will last for a week and a half.

Confessions: Last week I tuned into the Tyra Banks show. It wasn't an ep about teen pregnancy or prostitution which is the only reason I watch it. I tuned in because the cast of Secret Life of the American Teenager was on. Yeah well, CityTV doesn't air it anymore. Though I was on twop.com reading what's going on in the eps. I might as well spoil myself and then watch the show when it comes on dvd.

Positive: I found this quote in Job Classified: "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." -Albert Schweitzer

I must remember this quote when I'm looking for a job. I must keep a positive attitude. Right now I'm thinking that the economy is bad, and I probably won't be hired anywhere. My resume is fine and all, but will that get me a job? I must try. Pass out your resumes. Keep on moving.

Feb. 23 Music: I borrowed the Jordin Sparks cd from the library. I was indifferent from her three singles like "No air" feat. Chris Brown. She has a couple of dance tracks on her cd. It's mainly ballads. She has a good voice, but I'm not really interested in her cd.

In other news, Rihanna's cd sales have increased, while Chris Brown's cd sales have decreased about Brown allegedly beat up Rihanna.

Movie: I was reading the movie review about Fired Up! Two jocks go to cheerleading camp. I read it in Globe and Mail, about how Nicholas D'Augusto is 29 years old playing a high school kid. He was actually on Heroes last season as Claire's love interest. He could fly on the show. I didn't know that until I looked him up on imdb.com. Then in the review, Eric Christian Olsen is 31 years old. Days go by.

I remember when he first came out in 1999 on the TV show Get Real which starred Anne Hathaway. I remember seeing him in a Smallville season 1 ep.

Here's another rant. I know there's a new movie called Dance Flick which is a spoof movie about dance movies. There needs to be less spoof movies because that's all that keeps coming like four Scary Movies, Date Movie, Disaster Movie, Superhero Movie, and Epic Movie. Stop making spoof movies, and start being more creative. You can get all these parodies from watching sketch comedy shows like MADtv and Saturday Night Live.

News: I was reading the Edmonton Journal and "JWT'S Mack refers to this effect as the 'paradox of thrift,' remarking that 'the more people reel in their spending, the worse the economy will get, which will inevitably hurt individuals even more.'" However, some have to stop spending especially when they lose their job.

I remember what Ed the Sock on MuchMusic said back in 2001, after Sept. 11: "You should be like Betty and Wilma from The Flinstones and 'Charge it!'" Something about how we should all keep spending to help the economy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

writing/ crazy/ the dark knight

Feb. 17 Writing: I got two emails from Super Channel. One said that she forwarded it to someone else who's in charge of Creative Development. I then got the email from the woman at CD, and she said that I need more than 66 pages, and I should go ask Connie Massing for help. That's exactly what Glynis said. I then emailed G for CM's email address.

News: I read in the Metro today that Dateline will no longer be doing "To Catch a Predator" episodes. Possibly because of "the $105 million lawsuit from the family of Bill Conradt, who shot himself in the head as a SWAT team and host Chris Hansen waited outside his house?" Yeah, I watched a interview with the sister to Conradt and she blamed the camera crew for it. If Dateline wasn't there, he wouldn't have shot himself, that's what she said. However, I feel that Conradt would still have done that anyway even if Dateline wasn't there.

They will now catch war criminals instead. Though the conclusion of the article said: "The Department of Homeland Security told the New York Times 'that a program of this kind could negatively impact law enforcement's ability to investigate and bring cases against the perpetrators of these horrible crimes."

Funny: Thought I do remember this time either last year or two years ago. I was on the internet.

Me: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
Seriously, that's how I was laughing. I was laughing so loud, and long, that Patrick ran downstairs from the opposite side of the house.
P: Hey Tracy what are you watching?
Me: Dateline: To Catch a Predator.
P gives me a weird look.

I was laughing at the beginning of the episode.

Cut to a guy coming into the backyard.
Chris Hansen pops out.
CH: Hi there, please have a seat.
Cut to shots of three different guys with fear and panic in their eyes.
Cut to all three guys running out of the yard really fast.
I started laughing because I didn't expect them to run out.

Today I was watching Jay Leno and he said: "Today the guy who created the taser died at 88 years old. His family was stunned." The audience says: "Ohhhh." I laughed. Yeah, it was kind of dark.

Music: I went to www.myspace.com/nataliemusic to see what one of my fave singers Natalie is up to. She put up her new song called "Hey." I love it. It's cool. I can totally dance to it.

Feb. 18 Crazy: I was watching Yahoo News. This laid off bank manager was in his basement when he heard some noise. He peeked under the door and see these unfamiliar jeans. There are two robbers who kicked the door in and was stealing his flat screen TV, wife's jewelery, and his two- year- old's son tricycle.

The man sneaks outside. He sees the robber's white van. He then goes and robs the robbers's car. He calls 911 as he's driving and tells them what happened. The woman operator tells him to stop the car because he could be charged with grand theft auto. The robbers didn't have a car, so they left his stuff at his doorstep and ran on foot.

They haven't caught them yet. The car is at a police impound lot. lol.

Ethics: So the other day, Cameron's friend needed me to buy a game rated M for Mature at EB Games. That's what I do. What I won't do is buy drugs, cigarrettes, and alcohol for underaged teens.

Progress: Looks like since Dateline isn't doing any more "Predator" episodes, I won't be watching it anymore. I did cut down on TV. Another good thing is that I don't really watch Primetime. Last time I tuned in was last year about prostitution. They're airing "What would you do?" episodes, which I like but I don't tune in because I'm watching Law and Order: SVU.

Feb. 19: I was on Yahoo News and there is this 4th grade class that is asked the question for Social Studies (By Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press): "A teacher at the Ecole Mont-Carmel in the village of Ste-Marie-de-Kent recently gave the Grade 4 students a sheet that asked them to imagine an Acadian francophone was on another planet with an anglophone, a black African, a Chinese person, and an aboriginal person.

The students were told the planet was going to explode in 10 minutes, and were asked which three of the five people should take a seat in a rocket that would escape the explosion."

"Education Minister Kelly Lamrock, who is a former teacher, said the exercise isn't suitable and recommended it be taken out of the classroom.
"I've seen the exercise," he said in an interview. "I'm quite appalled at it. It's obviously unacceptable."
Lamrock said the exercise forces students to decide which ethnic or language group he or she prefers.
"It's one thing to examine attitudes for stereotypical thinking. It's another to require students to think in stereotypes and this crosses the line."

The some guy named Andy made this comment on the article:
I would take the chinese guy because they are hard working, the indian, for survival skills, and the french guy so the french language and culture could be preserved. I would get an A+ in this class.

I laughed out loud at that one.

Work: Yesterday I finally emailed Glynis so I could get Conni Massing's email address, so I could get some writing help for The Fighter. I hit writer's block, but the other day I was able to write some and then yesterday and today I typed it up. I have now written 5 more pages. I am now at 71 pages. I need at least 90 pages to submit to Super Channel.

I hope CM will read it and give me some notes. If not, I'll keep looking for inspiration and type up 19 more pages.

Feb. 20 The Dark Knight: I finally rented and saw The Dark Knight today. I jotted down some notes. It was good to see Mahone from Prison Break in the first scene. I have never seen him other than Mahone. What's cool is that Scarecrow, the villian from the first movie makes an appearance. Interesting to see Eric Roberts in it. Good ethnic diversity with Asians and African- Americans.

It's very good, I was impressed. It was unpredictable, scary, creative, and funny at times. There was suspense, action, drama. Lots of explosions. I like the plot twists. There was even part of it which was kind of like Saw. I recommend you all watch it, if you haven't already.

Dollhouse: I saw Dollhouse tonight and it was like that short story I read back in gr.9 called "The Most Dangerous Game." It's about a guy hunting humans. Criminal Minds did an ep a couple of seasons ago. Echo (Eliza Dushku) is running from this guy. It had so much suspense and drama. I was shocked many times in this ep. I recommend all of you to watch it.

Job: Hotel McDonald mailed me a letter saying that they got my resume, and will keep it on file for the next 3 months. I'm going to admit it: I didn't look for a job at all today on my day off. I have for the weeks. I wanted to watch Dark Knight for a long time, so I might as well watch it already.

Now that I have, and indulged myself. I feel guilty, and am totally given energy to do my job search next week.

20/20: I was watching an update on the poor people who lives in Appalachia. After that episode aired, one kid who had to drop out of college because he couldn't afford it and his grades weren't that good. Well he was offered a scholarship at Union College and will be living there, and getting homework help.

A 11- year- old girl will get a tutor. A woman will be getting teeth for free from a dentist. The people at Pepsi will be giving the dentist this huge truck so he could be a mobile dentist. A couple of girls got free clothes. Good charity.

Monday, February 16, 2009

government/ writing/ poetic

Feb. 14 Government: The government sent my house a letter asking "Who would you choose to be our leader?" Then check one of the boxes and send it to Stephen Harper. SH was one of the choices. Let's just say I didn't check his name. Ha, ha.

Music: I borrowed the Snow Patrol cd from the library. It sounds like adult contemporary. It's average. It has insightful lyrics.

Funny: I got this flashback of 2005. I was in the Arts and Cultural Management program and I met this girl Kristy.

Me: How old are you?
K: 27.
Me (laughing): What? I thought you were my age (19).
K: Yeah, I know I look young. Over the summer at K- Days, this 17- year- old guy kept hitting on me. I said: "I think I'm too old for you." He's like: "Oh c'mon, aren't you like my age? 17?" I'm like: "No, older." He's like: "19?" I'm like: "Older."lol.

K was the one who helped me with my portfolio that got me into the Writing program. She was an English graduate.

I was thinking about some other stuff that my sister laughed at. It was back in 2003. Patrick and I were watching Made in Canada. It stars Rick Mercer playing one of the producers that creates TV shows. S was on the computer and heard the TV. RM was talking to this actor.

Actor: The guys are wrestling, wrestling is gay.
RM: No it isn't.S, P, and I burst out laughing.
Actor: Yeah well all the guys live together in a cave. Guys living together is gay.
RM: No it isn't.We burst out laughing.
Actor: Yeah well there's leopard print in the cave, leopard print is gay.
RM: No it isn't.We burst out laughing.

Feb. 15 Off day: Today was a really off day. I left at 10:20am, and was to catch the bus at 10:30am, but it didn't come until 10:45am. I should have left at 10:05am, like I did usually to catch the 10:15am. The bus schedule said it comes every 30min on Sunday. Anyway, I got there by 11am though I'm supposed to be there at 10:30am.

It took me 20 minutes to lock the door when I was closing. Fortunately, I started to close early. It turns out the problem was that I put the wrong middle pole in the centre and the key wasn't in correctly.

It's weird. Today I was watching Desperate Housewives, and on the show, the Scavos decide to sell their pizzeria after 7 years due to the bad economy. Could this be a sign that the Soup place will close down soon? I know that TV and life can not always correlate with each other. It reminds me of that time back in Feb. 2006 when Ipsos closed down. They called the employees all for a meeting.

We then all gathered together. I then immediately thought of that script I wrote back in 2001 where one of the characters was working at a magazine, and the magazine folded. Then we were told that Ipsos was laying all of us off. Wow, it looks like I was able to predict that happening. I was still shocked though.

Kind of with Leger. After 5 months of working there, I really wanted that company to close down and lay us all off. It was in August 2006. Then in the beginning of 2008, it closed down.

Similarities: The other day I was reading the Globe and Mail review of Confessions of a Shopaholic. The writer was like me. He said this: "I'm a guy and I like romantic comedies. I loved Sex and the City movie, and then I relapsed by watching He's Just Not that into You. It was deliciously bad, but totally worth it."

I was like: "Oh my god, he writes just like me." In a blog post last summer I wrote about how I saw some Cheaters when Joey Greco was on Maury. It said something like this:
"I saw some Cheaters. It was a relapse, but totally worth it. I was laughing so hard."

Feb. 16 Writing: Today I submitted my script to Carole Henson at Super Channel, again. Well Glynis Whiting said she was leaving, and there's going to be a replacement for her. I emailed CH, so she could give it to the replacement.
Anyway, I hit writer's block on Fighter, and Hunter. I decided to go and look at something I wrote back in 2006. I put it in my portfolio for my Creative Writing class assignment. For awhile I didn't want to change anything on that one document because I was afraid that I might delete something really good. Yeah well, here's a genius idea: Keep the original document. Then copy and paste that document and then you can go and rewrite and delete whatever you want to it.

I only started doing that to Fighter, where I kept saving all my new drafts whenever I sent one to Glynis. Over the years, I write stuff. I had completed a few scripts, but then after rewriting, I eventually delete the whole thing.

Yesterday I decided to work on another fighting movie. It will have the lead character get into fighting for another reason other than liking the fact to make lots of money like Shawn did in Fighter.

Prediction: I was on twop.com reading about Law and Order: SVU as usual. I was on the thread "Ripped from the headlines." The people are predicting that the show will write about the Octuplets Mom and the 13 year- old- boy who is a father. I'll see this story in a couple of months.

Poetic: I found this on the MMA fighter Kit Cope's myspace page. I read this really poetic passage. It is deep and inspiring. www.myspace.com/kithurtspeople Under "Heroes" it says this:

The world is a beautiful place through a fighter's eyes. It is the world that is hidden from most men. It is the truth of a world that has no end to it's benefit. It is a place that is between Life, and death, rapture and Nirvana; it is Zen. Through a fighter's eyes pain gives to profit and struggle to glory.

Through a fighter's eyes conflict gives way to opportunity. It is a world that sees opponents turn to friends and friends into opponents. It is a place where a man can stand alone and be overcrowded in his own mind. Through a fighter's eyes he sees comfort where most see terror. A fighter cannot even hear the roar of the crowd, yet the silence in the dark of night can be deafening. It is an endless sea of duality in which there is only one place that he can find peace: the ring, the cage, the arena. The proving ground where a fighter casts himself into a world of pain, blood and battle.

A world of discipline and sacrifice where the proving is not for the benefit of any other but himself. Most Men shy from the thought of these ideals, but a fighter must tear down his aversions and immerse himself in the struggle, like an ascetic. A fighter lives in the moment after perception and before conception-the brief moment in which reality lies. In this moment egos and intentions are stripped, and only the simplest questions still linger. With the simplest questions only the most simple of answers will do.

The life you've led is no more and the life to come is not yet. Action replaces thought and purity takes form as motion. Beautiful, poetic motion that inspires and causes an attack of chills to a fighter's ribs. Frantic and fast paced from the outside, but through a fighter's eyes it is calm, pure, and most of all, right. Through a fighter's eyes he can see confidence without scholarship. He can find the right path through what, to others, seems the wrong livelihood. He can find strength for weakness and inspiration in failure. Yes, the world is a beautiful place through a fighter's eyes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

resilient/ funny/ music

Feb. 11 Resilient: To describe myself, I would use the word resilient. After that year at Nait didn't work out, I still applied to college. Sure, I could say: "Nait didn't work out, don't bother going to college again." I looked at the experience positively. Same goes with working at a bank. The first time I worked at a bank, it didn't work out. I'm still going to apply because it could be better the next time around.

The first time I tried out this online dating, it didn't work out. I tried it again the second time, and I met John. I worked at the restaurants Espresso Cafe and Wok Box in summer 2007. Those jobs didn't work out, but I still went and worked at Treats.

I also took the Grammar for Writers class in the summer. I didn't get the required mark, and I had to take it again. I could look at it and say: "Maybe I'm not cut out to be a writer." But I took the class again in the fall and passed.

Feb. 12 Saying: It's like that saying: "You can't win, if you don't play."

To add to other examples that I'm tough is that I continued to go to summer school taking Pure Math 10 back in 2001. Big mistake. If math is hard for me, taking a whole year of math in one month is going to be even harder. I didn't pass, but I kept going because it's good to learn something. What else was I going to do? Stay at home and watch TV?

The next summer I took Social 20. I took Social 23 in the school year so taking the 20 course was like a refresher. At least I didn't have to do the UN Debate which is a lot of work. So ha, ha to the ones who took Social 20 in the school year.

I also stuck it out and worked at the $1 store for the whole summer of 2004. I hated that job. At least I made a lot of money, and made friends there like Sonia, and Mackenzie. There were a lot of shoplifters there, and I hated that. Then I talked to John, and this girl in my Writing program, and they both worked at $1 stores too. They both had a lot of shoplifters. The lesson is to never work at $1 store, unless you are really desperate.

Writing: Today I put up my English 101 essays on my blog. If anybody tries to hand any of my essays on their own, well teachers have this program that can detect if someone stole something off the internet. I'm not worried. I want to showcase my work.

I pitched my script to Avatar Media today. The guy emails me right back saying he's going to read it. I emailed back in August 2008 with my first draft. Now I sent him with my new draft and maybe this time, he'll say yes.

Shopping: Looks like the fast food restaurant Beijing Beijing closed down in City Centre. Well then again, there are still 5 other Asian restaurants in the mall to eat at.

Making the Band 4: I've said it before, TV influences me the most. Today was the third season of Making the Band 4. Sure, I like Donnie Klang, Danity Kane, and Day 26, but I didn't buy any of their cds. I only listen to their music on youtube. Unlike Making the Band with Otown, I bought the cd, the YM magazine with them on the cover, and spent $80 on two concert tickets when I heard they were coming to Etown. lol. Overall I spent $105 on them.

The same goes for S Club 7. I bought their first two cds. Though later I ended up donating those to the library some years later. Well their show was on. I did like S Club 7 in Miami and in LA. Those were the first two seasons. That show was funny then. I was 14/ 15 years old back then. Then when they were in Hollywood and Mexico, I thought the writing was poor. I will say the last three seasons, the production value was good. They used good cameras, and more money was put into it.

Funny: Yesterday this popped into my head. I was thinking about American Idol season 6 runner up Blake Lewis. Over the summer I was catching up on Madtv reruns and I saw this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YPtbSh2uDo

The actress Arden Myrin was interviewing Blake. After less than a minute of talking, Blake pulls her to him, and french kisses her. She says "Woah!" My jaw dropped, and I started laughing. The audience says: "Woooohhh!" He is so hot. Way too forward though.

Feb. 13 Music: I've been at www.blakelewisofficial.com listening to his full- length album. It's pretty good. He does some beat- boxing on it. In his American Idol audition, and sometimes in his performances he does that too.

I borrowed the Demi Lavato cd from the library. She was in Camp Rock with the Jonas Brothers. Most of the songs on her cd are co-written by them. This is an average- to- good cd. It's got good pop- rock songs. I like the song "In the Middle."

Today I pitched to Liquid Crystal Films. I was going through my MacEwan email account and my professional yahoo account looking for old emails. It's to see if there are any job opportunities or companies I can work for. Liquid was looking for complete scripts from 2007. I didn't complete any scripts back then, so I never emailed them. Well now that I got a complete script, I emailed them.

Dollhouse: So I finally got to see the pilot of Dollhouse. I've known about this show since last summer. If you don't believe me, go to my blog and you can see that I was writing about that show. It's great, the writing, story, and actiing was good. It has the Buffy creator Joss Whedon, Buffy actress Eliza Dushku as a star, and a producer, David Solomon (Buffy producer), and Tim Minear (Angel producer), and Amy Acker (Angel actress.) I recommend you all watch it.

Valentine's Day is tomorrow so I'll say what Marge Simpson said: "Happy Love Day!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"The Tempest" Essay

"The Tempest" Essay by Tracy Au (2007)

Feminism means that women are equal to men. William Shakespeare uses the characters of Miranda, Prospero, Ariel and Sycorax to reveal that in the play The Tempest, feminism does not exist. All the male characters in the play have positive attributes: strength, intelligence and power. All the female characters in the play have negative attributes: they are physically and mentally weak. The story gives the message to mistreat women and to respect men.

The character Miranda is the innocent daughter of Prospero. Prospero’s oppression of Miranda leads to her not having control of her life. Prospero doesn’t teach her anything. She virtually has no education and doesn’t want to learn. Miranda says, “More to know/ Did never meddle with my thoughts.” (1. 2. 22, 23). She is uneducated because she is not exposed to the outside world. She has not even read Prospero’s books. She demonstrates naiveté because she doesn’t say anything significant or intelligent in the entire play. Her dialogue consists of complimenting her father: “Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.” (1. 2.107). She also defends him to other people: “My father’s of a better nature, sir.” (2.1. 495). The only thing she brings to the story is complimenting her father and getting married to a man that Prospero approves of.

By playing matchmaker, Prospero has control over Miranda and Ferdinand’s marriage. At the very young age of fifteen, she is merely thrown into a marriage with a man she hardly knows. She was with one man all her life, and that is her father. When she is free from him, she is then traded to another man, Ferdinand. She needs approval from her father and other men and is obedient to them. If her father hadn’t approved of her marrying Ferdinand, she wouldn’t have married him. Miranda displays submissive behaviour by not having a lot of power due to her lack of education and experience.

The Tempest gives a message to the audience that women should be admired only for their beauty and men should be admired for their affirmative personality traits.
Dictionary.com says the name “Miranda” means: “a female given name: from a Latin word meaning ‘to be admired’” (n. page). Her character is based on how she looks. She is objectified and judged on the outside. That is proven as Ferdinand likes her only for her beauty. Dictionary.com says that “Ferdinand” is: “a male given name: from Germanic words meaning ‘bold’ and ‘peace’,” while “Alonso”: “Comes from the name Alphonso “a male given name: from Germanic words meaning ‘noble’ and ‘ready’” (n. page). All these male names bring positive connotations.

Ferdinand works for Prospero in order to be able to marry Miranda. He talks about labour and how he doesn’t mind working so hard because he will be rewarded for it: “The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead/ And makes my labours pleasures.” (3.1. 6, 7). He has a lot of energy when he says “quickens what’s dead” as a way of saying he is brought back to life. He sees that Miranda is nothing like her father: “Ten times more gentle than her father’s crabbed.” (3. 1. 8). Miranda would have easily married him without making him work for it. Prospero makes Ferdinand work as if he is earning the prize that is Miranda. They objectify her as a trophy wife.

Ariel is a spirit. He is suppressed like Miranda because he also serves Prospero. Ariel is a unisex name and he is very indefinite in gender. He is like a woman because he is weak and under the control of a man. He is more masculine because he does the majority of the active bidding for Prospero. Ariel is a slave to Prospero, but Ariel is released from slavery at the end of the play to be on his own.

Prior to Prospero and Miranda’s arrival on the island, a female witch named Sycorax was there with her son Caliban. Sycorax has access to magic but there are negative consequences that come with it. A female using power is terrible. In contrast to Prospero’s magic brought a marriage for his daughter, and he got his daughter and himself off the island. Miranda doesn’t have power, and in return nothing bad happens to her. Sycorax gave birth to a Caliban who is a monster. Since Caliban originates from a bad woman, the only way to validate himself is by being a slave to a good man like Prospero.

Prospero and the majority of the men have a lot of education and power. The exceptions are Trinculo the jester and Stephano the drunken butler because they are supporting characters. Prospero is the sole parent to Miranda, and he is overprotective of her. He is firm about sex after marriage, and he mentions it often. Prospero is a powerful magician and is in control of something as big as nature like the weather. He’s smart because he learns his magic from his books. Prospero is harsh and forces Ferdinand to work like a slave like Ariel and Caliban do. This proves that he has power over a prince who should outrank him.
The men mistreat women. For example, Prospero calls Miranda a wench, which is an insult. He talks down to her and disrespects her. She doesn’t retaliate in response. (1.2.412.) He doesn’t listen to her opinion and instead he tells her to be quiet: “Silence! One word more/ Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee.” (2. 1. 475, 476) Prospero calls her inferior: “What, I say, / My foot my tutor?” (2.1. 468, 469) Apparently it’s okay to disregard women even if they are your daughters.

Judging from The Tempest, William Shakespeare doesn’t believe that feminism exists. He shows the lead female character Miranda as fragile and the lead male character Prospero as tough and authoritative. Women with access to power like Sycorax are evil. Shakespeare gives the moral of the story that women should never have control of their lives and that men should instead be the ones in control.











Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Ed. Jon C Stott, Raymond E. Jones, and Rick Bowers. The Harbrace Anthology of Literature. 4th ed. Toronto: Thomson, Nelson, 2006. 406-463.

“Miranda.” Dictionary.com. 2006. .
“Ferdinand” Dictionary.com. 2006. .
“Alonso.” Dictionary.com. 2006. .

"Oryx and Crake" Essay

"Oryx and Crake" Essay by Tracy Au (2007)

In Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood discusses eugenics, which is about encouraging and increasing the reproduction of healthy humans and decreasing the reproduction of people with genetic defects. Because the human race is flawed with humans hurting and killing each other and using up all the planet’s resources, Crake gets rid of them, by creating his own race of people that aren't flawed. This race of people is self-reliant, and won't hurt or kill others. However, eugenics is hardly a new idea. In history, humans have been using eugenics such as Hitler’s Aryan race. In present time, abortions are used for population control and to abort humans with less desirable characteristics. In the future, “designer babies” are a possibility.

Crake creates the BlyssPluss pill that: “a) Would protect the user from all known sexually transmitted diseases, fatal, inconvenient, or merely unsightly; b) Would provide an unlimited supply of libido and sexual prowess, coupled with a general sense of energy and well-being, thus reducing the frustration and blocked testosterone that led to jealousy and violence, and eliminating feelings of low self-worth; c) would prolong youth.” (Atwood, 355). What the consumers are unaware of is that it also sterilizes them. Crake distributes this pill to the world to sterilize the human population in order to save the planet’s resources. In history, eugenics has appeared in Germany where Hitler murdered six million Jewish people in concentration camps. He wanted to create an Aryan race of blonde hair and blue eyed people because they appeared to be the perfect kind of humans.

According to American history: “In 1907, in an attempt to effect God's will while resolving major social problems, the State of Indiana passed the first sterilization law in the United States.” (Lerner, par. 4). “California eventually became the nation's leader in the campaign to sterilize the unfit, by mid-century some sixty thousand Americans had been deemed unfit or too dangerous to be a part of the nation's gene pool and had been sterilized (pp. 47-8). This was accomplished with the specific approval of the Supreme Court of the United States which ruled, in a decision written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.--Buck v. Bell (1927)--that states had a legal right to sterilize their citizens (pp. 151-2).” (Lerner, par. 4). In the past and presently we are sterilizing people who are mentally ill. The phrase “too dangerous” means criminals. Criminals may commit crimes because it’s in their DNA to do so or it could be how they were raised. It’s the age-old question of nature vs. nurture. Or we are who we are partly due to DNA and how we were raised in what environment. If a family raises their children to be interested in academics, then the results would be the children will be focused on academics and not in the arts. The majority of people would say they wouldn’t want to risk not sterilizing a criminal because crimes maybe committed against them by the offspring.

China’s government has created a one child policy to control overpopulation because there are currently over 1 billion people living there. They also have created a way to create eugenics: “In 1995, China passed the Maternal and Infant Health Law, which required medical doctors to conduct prenatal testing and to advise couples with genetic diseases either to not marry or to consider sterilization. In cases where the couple has already conceived and genetic abnormalities in the fetus are suspected, the doctor is to advise abortion”. (Swedin, par.16). “The intent of the 1995 Maternal and Infant Health Law is to remove birth defects from the population, since handicapped people are often condemned to a life of poverty because of the limited social safety net within China.” (Swedin, par.17) In a way nature takes its course because disease kills the ones who are weak, but then humans take part in eugenics by creating laws to discourage unhealthy babies being born.

In the present, there are some basic ways to create eugenics, such as pregnant women are not to drink and smoke so they won’t harm the baby. In the present society, there is euthanasia on people with incurable diseases. Abortion is a form of birth control: “Qiu (Renzong) argues, the Chinese have no moral qualms against abortions, which are a major form of birth control.” (Swedin, par.14). Parents, who find out that their baby is going to have Down syndrome, many of them get an abortion to avoid the emotional and financial strain in raising a child with a genetic defect. The popular news show 20/20 had aired an episode where two people with Down Syndrome got married and decided not to have kids because there will be a high chance that the kid will have Down Syndrome. Some people choose a certain gender because a disease runs in a family and only effects one gender and not the other. Currently, parents already do choose the genders of their babies. In China and India, they value boys so they abort the girls. They choose boys because men make more money than women.

Oryx and Crake discusses the use of genetic engineering in the future. We currently have stem cell research which makes the events in the book plausible. Human cloning is illegal, but giving certain traits to a child through medical science isn’t. This novel discusses the ethics and morals of “designer babies.” “Liberal eugenics is eugenic to the extent that it advocates parental freedom to choose some characteristics of offspring based on the parents' values but limited by the possibility of harm to the resulting children.” (Fenton, 6). Initially that’s what Crake said to Jimmy; that he was going to start a service where parents get to choose what genetic traits that their child will have. It discusses the individual and long term effect of the designer baby when he grows up. This applies to Crake creating his own perfect race of humans called the Crakers because once we create one designer baby; we will create a whole race of them. “Of particular concern would be authoritarian or totalitarian governments that try to genetically program their populations toward docile obedience.” (Swedin, par.23) Crake mentions the exact same thing in the book about how certain government leaders would be interested in creating people that would obey them.

“Most parents seek to give their children every possible advantage, such as sending them to the right school or arranging for specialized care and training. But in the near future, genetic engineering will allow parents to give their children an even greater edge.”
(Swedin, par.22) Charles Darwin had said: “The survival of the fittest.” Now it’s of the socio-economic standards like the smartest and the richest. It is in our human nature to improve one self. Many middle class and rich parents have kids so eventually when we have “designer babies” only the rich can afford it and eventually only the “designers” will exist. Parents want the best education and health for their kids. The rich have advantages like being able to pay for tutors, the best colleges and healthcare for their children. By giving them good DNA to be intelligent and healthy, the parents have achieved an even bigger advantage. “Designers” are smarter, they will then have the smarts to find a cure for cancer and solve problems like global warming. It’s plausible because according to one source: “In the future, genetic engineering will eventually allow us to design children in a test tube, but that goal will be reached through a series of efforts aimed at more modest improvements. At first, the designs will just use probabilities, banking on knowledge of which genetic combinations are usually found in more intelligent people, or which genetic combinations might make the blood more efficient in transporting oxygen and thus increasing physical endurance.” (Swedin, par.8)

“Ever since humans began to domesticate animals and plants, we have been engaged in large-scale bioengineering. New species exist because of our intervention, and many species no longer exist because of our actions. Most landscapes are not exclusively natural, but are a result of human activity.” (Swedin, par.26) Since humans have already done this and it occurs in Oryx and Crake, one part of the book became true. Humans breed animals so the chickens we eat would taste better and our pets would be more attractive and smarter. Atwood takes it to the next level by creating pigoons that have the intelligence of humans.

“Defective genes are now presumably accumulating from generation to generation because natural pruning is no longer taking place. It's a hard thought to digest, but perhaps genetic engineering will be the twin to modern medicine, completely changing how humans reproduce and improving our chances to live productive lives.” (Swedin, par.25). Since genetic defects are increasing, Crake creating the Crakers that have no genetic defects at all is like starting fresh for the new human race. “…such as liberal eugenics and cloning, will destroy what it is to be human as we know it. As Fukuyama puts it, we might bring about "the end of the human species as such." (8) (Fenton, 9). The end of the human race occurs in the book.

Oryx and Crake is Atwood’s prediction of the future of eugenics. By looking at the past and the present, we can see that the plausibility of the Crakers will potentially occur. A perfect race of people will appear due to scientists and doctors, but they may not have the exact characteristics as the Crakers do. Most likely they will be intelligent and beautiful and won’t harm others.















Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. USA: Random House 2003.


Fenton, Elizabeth. "Liberal eugenics & human nature against Habermas." The Hastings

Center Report 36.6 (Nov-Dec 2006): 35(8). Academic OneFile. Thomson Gale. Grant MacEwan College. 18 Jan. 2007 .


Fintel, William A. "In search of the perfect baby.(Correspondence)(Letter to the

editor)." First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life 169 (Jan 2007): 9(2). Academic OneFile. Thomson Gale. Grant MacEwan College. 18 Jan. 2007 Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=AONE&docId=A157267740&source=gale&srcprod=AONE&userGroupName=edmo87290&version=1.0>.


Lerner, Saul. "Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics
Movement.(Book review)." Shofar 25.1 (Fall 2006): 182(4). Academic OneFile. Thomson Gale. Grant MacEwan College. 18 Jan. 2007 .


Swedin, Eric G. "Designing babies: a eugenics race with China? The rapid pace of

genetic research, the author argues, guarantees that we will see genetically manufactured babies before the end of the century." The Futurist 40.3 (May-June 2006): 18(4). Academic OneFile. Thomson Gale. Grant MacEwan College. 18 Jan. 2007 .

"Frankenstein Essay"

"Frankenstein Essay" by Tracy Au (2007)

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” are similar in which Frankenstein’s Creation and the “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator commit murder. The difference is that “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator murders a woman, and Frankenstein’s Creation is a serial killer who commits atrocities towards the men and women who were close to his creator. Due to their personalities, they each react differently to the felonies that they committed. “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator justified his crime, while the Creation showed remorse for all the pain he caused after Victor passed away.

The “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator is a misogynistic psychopath. He shows no remorse after he murders his lover. The narrator justifies his crime as a way to keep his lover all to himself. He gave himself even more reason that what he did wasn’t wrong because God didn’t punish him. She is married, and he wants to get her away from her husband. He wants to have her to himself forever; to guarantee that, he strangles her: “In one long yellow string I wound/ Three times her little throat around, / And strangled her.” (Lines 39-41). He doesn’t really love her, because he kills her. He could have murdered her husband to eliminate the competition. In reality, she won’t be with him forever; her body will be with him forever. He sees that she didn’t struggle, so he doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did. He pried open her eyes and she didn’t cry. In “Porphyria’s Lover,” the narrator view that he has a good relationship with God. He had gotten away with murder and God didn’t react to it. The narrator confirmed by stating in the last line: “And yet God has not said a word!”

“Porphyria’s Lover” narrator sees women as a way to have power over them because they are weak and objects to him. The woman is married and has a lover (the narrator). The lover wants the woman to choose between him and her husband. The lover than decides to simplify the choice for her by killing her. He views that women are not real living people and he easily justified his actions of murder. In fact, he doesn’t really consider it murder at all because she isn’t a real person to him. The Creation and “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator has similar perspectives on women. The Creation sees women as a way to service him. The only thing he ever asked from Frankenstein was to create a woman for him. The Creation didn’t get love from Frankenstein, the blind man’s family or anyone else. He thought he could get love from a woman who is created like him, for him. He sees this woman as an object, and not a person.

The Creation has many reasons to murder Frankenstein’s family, his friend and his lover.
The Creation’s motivation was that he wants to exact revenge on his creator for giving him a life of lonely existence. He is unable to make any social contact without scaring people because of his horrifying appearance. When he does make social contact, villagers assault him because they are afraid of him and consider him a freak. The Creation gains another reason to murder Frankenstein’s lover Elizabeth. Frankenstein promised his Creation that he will make a mate for him, but then he went back on his word and he destroyed it. The Creation got angry at Frankenstein because he will be lonely forever. If the Creation can’t get a partner, than Frankenstein can’t have one either. The Creation inadvertently kills Frankenstein’s father because he dies after he is overwhelmed when he learned the horrible news that Elizabeth was murdered.

The Creation was assaulted by the blind man’s children. He decided to put the blame of his rejection on where it belongs by looking for his creator. He thinks that if he didn’t have a horrifying appearance, he wouldn’t be treated as an outcast and gotten assaulted when he didn’t do anything wrong. The Creation didn’t find who he was looking for, but it lead to him finding Frankenstein’s brother. When he realizes that he is his creator’s brother, he murders Frankenstein’s brother by strangling him. The Creation wanted to get back at Frankenstein by hurting his family. He frames Frankenstein’s family friend Justine for a crime he committed. The Creation was responsible for her death because she was hanged afterwards.

The Creation is a misunderstood creature. People are scared by him and react in fear.
The Creation doesn’t have any friends and he murders Henry so Frankenstein wouldn’t have any friends either. Afterwards, he tries to make it worse for Frankenstein by framing him for it. He is mainly exacting revenge on Frankenstein and to isolate him by killing his close family and friends so he could be alone just like the Creation is.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s Creation and Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator commit murder because they felt it was necessary for them to be happy if they killed off people with whom they had a conflict with. After “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator commits murder, he is calm and doesn’t feel remorse. At the end of Frankenstein, after the Creation commits murder, he feels guilt. Overall the reader would sympathize over the Creation than the “Porphyria’s Lover” narrator because the Creation has well- grounded reasons for what he did and took responsibility for it.

Works Cited
Hamberg, Cynthia. “My Hideous Progeny: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (Oct 27, 2004.)
16 Nov.2006 http://home-1.worldonline.nl/~hamberg/

"Against Love" Essay

"Against Love" Essay by Tracy Au (2006)

Katherine Philips’ poem “Against Love” (pg.68) is written to Cupid discussing how love is not beautiful at all. There are many conflicts that come with love. Love causes arguments, jealousy, and drama which makes people weak and it leads to them getting hurt. Getting caught up in the idea of love will mislead you to the wrong person and to a destructive relationship.

The theme is that love is not perfect like the majority of people think it is. This poem is written to Cupid even though he is not a real person. That is personification. It starts off with: “Hence, Cupid! with your cheating toys.” That line tells Cupid to leave and take his ideas of love away. “Makes his own idol, and then worships it.” (Line 10). He makes an idol over the idea of love than the person that he loves. “Him whose heart is all his own,/ Peace and liberty does crown;/ He apprehends no killing frown.” (Line 11, 12, 13). By not giving your heart away, you will never get hurt. You will have “peace and liberty” without necessarily falling in love.

The figurative language has metaphors: “Hence, Cupid! with your cheating toys,” (Line 1). The poet seems to be pointing at Cupid’s bow and arrow as if they are toys. How Cupid cheats with them because no one else has the power to match people up by shooting an arrow. Love is like a game and he has all the game pieces. He has the control to create who falls in love with whom. Another metaphor: “Men’s weakness makes love so severe, /They give him power by their fear,” (Lines 6, 7). Men are weak and love is strong and can take over them. Men are overpowered by love and become scared by it.

There is the paradox: “Your real griefs, and painted joys,” (line 2). Love can only bring you grief and since it’s real, the pain is going to last longer than the love. Joy and happiness from love is a facade. It is like painting a picture. It looks nice and colorful, but it can wash right off and doesn’t last very long. It is just like love, because it is fickle. Another paradox is: “Your pleasure which itself destroys.” (Line 3). Happiness does not last. Pleasure will destroy itself; after it destroys you and your life first. There are similes: “Lovers like men in fevers burn and rave/ And only what will injure them do crave” (Lines 4, 5) communicates that love hurts. Men like what they can’t have and what’s bad for them. Pain is pleasure for them. They know better, but since they are sick, they can’t control themselves. A metaphor: “And make the shackles which they wear.” (Line 8). Love keeps men in chains and holds them down. They are prisoners of love. They will never be free from it unless they control love than letting love control them.

The structure is like a sonnet. Sonnets consist of fourteen lines and this poem is fifteen lines. They are mainly about love and how good it is. This poem is against love, like the title says. The rhyme scheme is that three lines rhyme together and then two lines rhyme together.

The diction uses cacophony with the sounds of how the poem starts off with an exclamation mark. It has harsh sounds such as the t’s in “cheating toys, submit, worships it.” There are also the tough noise of the v’s in “rave, crave, severe.” Words like: “crown, frown, diseased, pleased” sounds unpleasant to the ear. “Crown” and “frown” are assonants. The consonants of “severe” and “fear” rhymes, but there is a disharmony to it.

“He feels no raptures, which are joys diseased,” (Line 14.) He doesn’t feel the pain because he’s not caught up by love. If he was carried off by love, he would experience the artificial joys from it. It would be substandard. “And is not much transported, but still pleased.” (Line 15). He doesn’t get love, but he’s fine with it. In fact, it is even better than getting swept up in fabricated sentimentality.

The message in the poem is to not get caught up in love, because it is fickle. Love isn’t that great because it brings pain and heartbreak. Love is only good, if you don’t get swept up in the idea and fantasy of it, but the realities of it. Good things will come to people who keep their heart.

"Blank Sonnet" Essay

"Blank Sonnet" Essay by Tracy Au (2006)

George Elliot Clarke expresses despair in his poem “Blank Sonnet” (pg.390). He provides imagery such as snow compared to script, drowning in a sea, the poor communication with his lover, and the use of alcohol to numb his depression over a dissatisfactory relationship. He refers to a sad story from Greek mythology to convey his feelings and to evoke a deep sense of melancholy.

The structural elements of this poem are that it’s free verse and doesn’t have a rhyme scheme except for “Lovely Shelley.” Those two words are assonants because it ends with an “e.” It isolates that to get the reader’s attention. Clarke expresses a first person point of view because he mentions “I” in the poem to make it more personal.

“Blank Sonnet” is different from an English sonnet (also known as Shakespearean sonnet) because an English sonnet has to rhyme. It is not a Miltonic sonnet either because there isn’t a volta after the octave. A Petrarchan sonnet is when the first eight lines are about a problem and the remaining six lines comments on the problem. Clarke’s sonnet does not fit the description because all fourteen lines are about the problem. Most sonnets express love, but this doesn’t. It is more of a sad and frustrated love poem where the speaker is trying to connect with his lover, but is unable to because he is too drunk to communicate. The speaker’s relationship with alcohol is not favorable and neither is the relationship with Shelley.

There are many examples of figurative language in this poem. “Blank Sonnet” uses mainly similes. His choice of words: “Undulant hurt, so body snaps and curls/ Like flower.” Clarke compares pain to something as beautiful as a flower. I interpret it as a shockwave of emotional pain flowing through his body and mind. The simile: “I step through snow as thin as script” (Line 4) has snow as the tenor and script as the vehicle. Thin is the grounds which means the relationship weak and its breaking.

“Icarus-like, I’ll fall,” (Line 10) is referring to the Greek myth about Daedalus’s son Icarus who escaped from Crete. Icarus escapes, but because he did, it led to his death. This allusion is a bittersweet story that contributes to the poem because it is depressing. Even when some good fortune comes upon someone, it will ultimately be the end for him. The speaker identifies with the myth when he gets along with his lover, they will inevitably break up.

Clarke writes about language. “I have no use for measured, cadenced verse/ If you won’t read.” (Lines 9-10) The speaker says that: “If you won’t read” is like writing poems to his lover and she won’t read it. “I want the slow, sure, collapse of language” means he doesn’t want to speak to or be around anyone. He wants to stay isolated. He is saying, “If you would listen to me, would you care what I had to say?” Alcohol is the tenor. Another reason for the “collapse of language” is that it’s a vehicle for saying that after getting drunk, people tend to slur their words and are unable to speak properly. A common motif is how he drowns his sorrows by drinking alcohol. “Watch white stars spin dizzy as drunks, and yearn/ To sleep beneath a patchwork quilt of rum,” (Lines 5-6), and “Washed out by alcohol” (Line 8).

A metaphor in this poem: “To sleep beneath a patchwork quilt of rum” mean to fall asleep through drinking liquor. He wants to drink so much that he will pass out and have a deep sleep. “A patchwork quilt of rum” provides comfort and Clarke writes in the poem. Clarke often uses metaphorical terms such as: “Across vision to drown in the white sea.” It is a metaphor because there is no such thing as a white sea. The function of using “the white sea” is to contrast the dark theme of the depression in this poem.

George Elliot Clarke’s “Blank Sonnet” is a love poem that expresses pain and sorrow that a dysfunctional relationship can bring. The consequences of a destructive relationship can acquire alcoholism and depression. The alcohol then provide negative side effects where the speaker is then unable to communicate with his lover and made it worse between the both of them. The relationship is then beyond repair because the speaker can’t tell his lover how he feels about her, and the lover would not care to listen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

coincidence/ dollhouse

Feb. 7 Coincidence: There were quite a few coincidences today. I was on the bus and it went over the bridge. Then I got a flashback of 2004, where Patrick's friend attempted to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. He landed in the hospital. A couple months later he hung out with P at my house. P visited him in the hospital once a week on the weekends. Then today someone told me about jumping off a bridge.

Later I was waiting for the bus, and then I thought about that Stacie Orrico song called "Instead." It's about a homeless guy in the first verse. Then this homeless guy asks for money because he needs $30 to sleep in the Salvation Army. I gave him $2 and when he asked for more, I said no.

Then I got home and was emailing my friend Sherry back. She said that there was some commercial for a dating service for people who aren't single. I mentioned Ashley Madison dating service and how I know about it. Ironically, the commercials aired during the TV show Cheaters, which is about catching people cheating on each other. Weird. Then I was listening to the radio, and the DJ was joking about Ashley Madison. Three coincidences in one day is wild.

Feb. 8 Job: I read in the Globe and Mail a couple of weeks ago called "Daylighting." Moonlighting means working at a day job, and on the nights and weekends, they work at another job. Daylighting means at your day job, you're doing another job that you aren't really supposed to be doing. Well on Sundays I do that. It's so slow at the Soup place, I am writing my script when there are no customers.

Ever since I started working on Sundays, I'm now working 45 hours a week, instead of 48 hours a week because Sundays are shorter work days.

News: I was watching a story on Yahoo news about this 32- year- old New York woman who lost her hands and feet. It was because she went to the hospital because of her kidney. They sent her home with a prescription med. Then the infection spread to her whole body and she lost her hands and feet. She is engaged and has two kids. She can still hold her baby.

Her family, and friends, and fellower New Yorkers supported her. She says she gets bad days and if you have a bad day too, then close your eyes and be thankful that you're alive.

Dollhouse: Today I read in the Journal and they wrote two articles about the new TV show Dollhouse which is also from the Buffy creator Joss Whedon. It comes out this Friday on Fox.
Here is the description from imdb.com:

"The show follows an organization that employs mind-wiped DNA-altered humans known as Dolls who are implanted with false memories and skills for various missions and tasks. When they are not 'at work' they are living in a real life Dollhouse which gives the show the name. One of those mind-wiped humans, a young woman named Echo, is slowly starting to become aware of herself and what's going on - all the while somebody on the outside is trying to bring the Dollhouse down while getting closer to Echo - possibly not aware that she is one of the Dolls he is after."

Journaling: In Short Fiction Forms class in 2007, this writer came in and talked to the class. Every day is the same. Journaling makes you notice details and you will notice that there is color in your life. That's the point of the blog/ weekly emails.

You know what's interesting? Is that I didn't really start that blog until after I finished college. It really began after I graduated out of college. Now I can look over the months and see what I have possibly done since I graduated. To cram it in a nutshell I have worked four jobs.

I want to prove that I do stuff and am going towards something. Sure everyday it's the same. I go to work, I go home, and watch TV, go on the internet, write. By this blog I can read it and see that there may be something missing. I remember a post that said: "I realized I haven't been writing much. I've been busy. Doing what? Reminiscing about boy bands from the late 90s and early 2000s, that's what. lol. I've been working, looking for another job, and studying for my learner's permit."

Rant: Here's a mild rant. My sister gets angry when I say things. Then she goes on my blog, reads it, and then gets angry. If what I say annoys her, then it's pretty obvious what I write will annoy her too.

I might as well throw this one in too. I was reading Metro a couple of weeks ago and this writer wrote: "Dr Phil is an overweight author who writes diet books." lol. Well then again I remember back in 2006, my friend Angela said something about how he counsels people to lose weight when he's overweight. Or was that Angela's mom?

Anyway, here's what some people could do: Go to a bookstore, write a note and leave it in all of Dr Phil's diet books. The note should say: "Why are you buying a diet book written by an overweight author?" That might decrease sales.

Writing: I've been working on Hunter the whole day today. I think I overdosed on writing about supernatural things. I've been writing about that from 1999-2002. It was strongly influenced by watching Buffy and Angel. Then I got into Dark Angel and Alias, and I wrote action.

Feb. 9 Review: I borrowed the Snow Patrol cd last week from the library. It has well- written lyrics. It's adult contemporary and it's kind of boring. It's slow and calm music. It's not bad, but I'm not interested in it.

Let's move on to magazine reviews: I read through my sister's old Flare magazines that she somehow got a free subscription to. It's a Canadian fashion magazine. I like that there are some celebs, and mainly fashion. There is very little insightful articles. It's average. Self is actually a good magazine. Good articles and pics. Shape is a women's fitness magazine and it's average. I'm not really interested in it.

Fun: Today I had a Law and Order: SVU rerun on the TV as background noise as I was on the computer. Then I squealed with excitement when I saw Will Arnet on it as a bad guy. He played Gob on Arrested Development.

Search: I emailed my resume to Avenue Magazine today.

Feb. 10 Headphones: I was going through my financial records and I keep track of everything I spend. I notice how I had to buy a new pair of headphones because Patrick accidently wrecked mine when vacumming. This happened back in June 2008. I then told P about it.

P: Yeah well remember that time you knocked down my Pepsi can, and you didn't pay me back for it. You just put it in the sink. Fine, I'll pay for your headphones.
It cost $15- something, but he gave me $14.25 for it. He took the dollar out of it since I didn't pay for the Pepsi can. lol. I was going to give him $1 for it when he gave me the money for the headphones. It looks like we think alike.

Movie: I saw Thi13teen Ghosts again on Space Channel on Friday. I think I saw it twice before, but I did miss the first half hour. Well at least I got to see the whole movie in it's entirety. Well I watched it for JR Bourne who played the lawyer. I'm getting a flashback of 2002. On my 17th bday, Leslie and I went to Rogers Video to rent out a movie. First we tried to rent Cherry Falls, a horror movie. It was rated R, so we couldn't get it.

Then we tried to rent Thir13teen Ghosts, and we couldn't get that either because it was also rated R. Then we settled on Groove, which is a movie set in one night at a rave. It was an average movie. If you like listening to techno music, check it out.

If my memory serves me correct, I remember S was on the computer and she was registering for a class. After we saw Groove, we put on my The Matrix dvd. Everytime S got on the phone, I lowered the volume.

L: You're nice to lower the volume when she's on the phone. Unlike my brother, when I'm on the phone and I tell him to lower the TV, he says: "Screw you."
lol.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Love" poem

"Love" (Creative Writing 2006)
By Tracy Au

You're always on my mind
Even though you aren't mine
I know you feel the same way too
By the way you look in my eyes
You're shy
And so am I
And that's why I'm writing this poem dedicated to you
Hoping that you will make a commitment to me
To us
I can't explain the love I feel
For you
All I know is that it's real
It's true

We've known each other for awhile
I love it when I make you smile
There is no denying
You can see that I'm trying
To determine
I'm the man for you
You may think I'm crazy at times
Because you make me crazy sometimes

In the past
You lost your trust
You acquired pain
I will gain
The trust you lost
By any means
At any cost
I'll prove myself
That I'll love you better than anyone else
Because you're like no other girl I have ever met

Kiss you softly on the lips
I will please you
Keep my arms around you
Protect you
I'll be the shoulder you fall asleep on
Take care of you
Above all
I will love you

Friday, February 6, 2009

job/ funny/ the truth about liars

Feb. 4 Job: It was good today. Right before I was going to go to work, ATB Financial called. She asked what position I was looking for, what my experience is, and if I'm looking for full- time or part- time. I said I was looking for full- time, but be willing to take part- time. She said due to the economic downturn, she is at the moment looking at resumes, and seeing if there are any positions available, she will hire.

Joke: I see that Calender Club has now closed down. Well it is February. I am then reminded of The Simpsons where the Chief Wiggum, Lou, and that white cop were eating at a Krusty Burger.

Lou: I was in Shelbyville and they had a McDonald's which is like a Krusty Burger. It turns out there are thousands of locations.
White cop: It must have sprung up overnight.

Calender Club is a store that sprung up overnight in November, and closes down by February. lol.

Saying: Today I was reading my horoscope in 24 and it said this: "Sometimes we walk down a road not realizing how much that experience really has shaped us to get closer to our destination." -Tribune Media Services

Good: I read in 24's poll: "Now that you know that a Alberta woman is on The Bachelor, does that make you want to watch the show?" I can't remember the exact numbers, but 90% said no, while 5% said yes, and 5% said they don't watch TV. Yeah, take that you stupid show. I hope you get cancelled already.

I only watched Smallville because Edmonton actor Eric Johnson was in it. I'll watch something if it actually showcases some talent.

News: I read that Michael Phelps was caught smoking pot. I don't approve of it, but I'm sure he feels really guilty about it, and won't do it again. He has already apologized. If later down the road he ends up smoking pot, then I will know that his apology was not sincere.

Feb. 5: Today I told my dad that ATB Financial called. That shows some progress in my job search.

Writing: I'm working on The Hunter. There is a scene in the beginning where the character Julie is in this unknown place with hospital- like atmosphere, and she tries to escape. That reminds me of Wolverine doing that in X- Men. I also remember in Gingersnaps 2, Bridgette wakes up in this rehab facility and tries to escape. Maybe I am unoriginal with that scene.

Feb. 6: I was looking over Hunter, and then I found a couple of lines that I wanted transfer to Fighter. That has happened before. I had one scene in Garret and Julie transferred to Fighter too.

Funny: So yesterday my sister said she read my blog and thought it was stupid like how I say "I relapsed by watching Cheaters." I treat bad TV like an addiction. I had quit that show, and then I saw it which is a relapse.

Me: Yeah well you laugh at my stupid jokes.
S: No I don't.
Me: What about that time I told you "So the other day I bought a box of condoms because my last one was expired"?

It was back in 2003 when I told her that joke, and she tried to hold back her laughter but she did snort at that which counts as laughing.

Or that other time at dinner. S was talking to Patrick.

S: If it wasn't for me, you'd still be wearing sweatpants.
Me: "I used to wear sweatpants up until I was in grade 9. I also wore suspeneders too so people won't pull them down."
S starts laughing, but uses her chopsticks and bowl to cover her mouth. Well you can still see that her eyes are laughing.
S: Where's that from?
Me: Street Cents. Andrew Bush was ranting about Levi's jeans that have these yellow lines on the back pockets that don't do anything. Cargo pants have these big pockets so you can put a bunch of stuff in them.

I remember this one time in 2004.
Me: This girl Vivian at youthone.com says I should write an article for the website because I think up so many polls for them.
S (excited): Wow, that's so cool. So what are you going to write about?
Then I got this flashback of earlier that week we were watching the old TV show Ghostwriter, where Jamal asks Rob that. I then quoted what Rob said.
Me: Uh, I don't know. Something along the lines of why "Some people run track."
I also did the hand movements that Rob did.

S burst out laughing and hits her hand on the table.
S: Shut up!

Ghostwriter: Damn it, now I'm on youtube and watching old school eps right now when I should be doing something more productive. Yeah well at least now I don't have to try to get the videos or dvds. I then watched the whole "Am I Blue?" mystery about Gaby who is a fan of Galaxy Girl which is a TV show. When it looks like she stole this prop from the show, she and the Ghostwriter team have to clear her name.

I know my sister had a crush on the character Alex played by David Lopez. I liked Rob (Todd Alexander) because he was the shy, quiet guy who likes to read and write. The male version of me.

The Truth about Liars: This was on Doc Zone last night. 50% of us lie to our loved ones. 77% of us lie to strangers. It is mainly to make ourselves look better, and to spare people's feelings. I will admit this one guy on the bus tried to talk to me back in 2005. I then said: "No English" to him so he wouldn't talk to me.

I don't usually lie to strangers. I remember this time in 2004, I met one of my dad's friends.

Guy: What are you doing?
S: I'm in 4th year university studying business.
Guy: That's good.
Me: I'm going to Nait.
Guy: That's okay.
Guy leaves.

S: Ha, ha he dissed you.
Me: Yeah well don't people say when they learn you work at Holt Renfrew, they say "That's bad."
S: No.

Well I know I could have easily lied and said that I was going to university. I told the truth because I don't care what he thinks. I'm probably never going to see him again, and he has no effect on my life. If I lied, he could go tell my dad: "So your two daughters are in university?" My dad would correct him and I would be caught in a lie.

There was that other time in 2006, I was on the bus and these two high school girls walked by and stepped on my shoe. She apologized and sat by me. We had a good conversation.

Girl: So what grade are you in?
Me: Actually I already graduated.
There was this sort of embarrassed and awkward pausev that she made a mistake.
Me: Oh that's okay, I get that a lot.
I could have lied and said I was in gr. 12 at McNally. But then she could say: "Do you know so-and-so?" Or she could actually go to that school. I could lie to avoid the awkward pause, but whatever.

They also talked to this woman that makes false phone records, hotel records, meeting agendas, so it looks like someone is on a business trip. They talked to a guy without showing his face that he uses that company so he could get away to see his lover and cheat on his wife. Man, that is so unethical. I can't work at a place like that. That's worse than staffing agencies.

Search: Today I dropped off my resume to 11 places. One to be a journalist at The Journal. The other at CityTv to be a TV writer. The others were at banks.

I did a lot of walking in downtown today. I went home and took the bus. I sat by this girl Stephanie who I used to work at Xcetera with before I got fired. She came by the Soup place awhile ago. I told her that I was on my 9th month working there. She said she quit Xcetera at the end of the summer because she didn't like the management.

Me: Is Jing still working there?
S: No, she got cancer. They fired her for that.
Me: Seriously? Well she probably had to go to chemotherapy.
S: Yeah, she was a sweetheart.

Damn, life is precious. Then I thought about my friend Angela's brother who had cancer. Then the times I've donated to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. My co-worker Cameron said that at his school, they are selling carnations for Valentine's Day. Each one is $3 and will go towards the a cancer charity.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

news/ music/ picking up

Jan. 31 News: I was watching this W- Five special presentation called Dangerous Obsession: The Stalking Epidemic. It profiled 2 women and a man. One woman was stalked by a guy when she was in high school in the 1970s. Then in the 80s she got married and at the wedding she got family members posted at all the exits to make sure the stalker wouldn't show up. She even planned how if she was ever confronted by her stalker, she would go to her baby's room and lock the door. Put the dresser in front of the door. Get her phone and go into the closet to dial 911. Then if he managed to break through, she would take her baby and climb out the window where there is an emergency ladder with her baby.

She had made a conscious decision to not have more than one kid. If she did have more than one, she wouldn't be able to carry two kids down the ladder. She also made a decision to not go to college because she wanted to be close to her family and needed that safety net. Later technology came and she got caller ID and never picked up the phone when it was him. He made a threat to kill her. She then called the cops and pressed charges on him. He went to jail for a year. She and her family moved away and changed their names, and removed their identities from the public records. He was released from jail, and then he was murdered at his halfway house.

They covered a story of a man who was a swim coach at this university. This one female student interacted with him five times over the summer. Then she starts leaving gifts for him. She then starts stalking him. The guy Liam goes and straight- up tell her he's not interested in dating her and to not leave him gifts. She cries and runs out.Then she starts calling him, and whenever he knows it's her, he hangs up. He talks to the school's harassment centre, and they tell him to ignore her. It's also good to record everything. She was sending these sexually explicit emails to him, and he never responded. He kept all of them. Then he calls the police, and a female cop tells him that he's being stalked and he needs to press charges on her. He does.

Then the stalker makes it seem like he's the bad guy. She accuses him of date- rape and being in a abusive relationship. He hires a lawyer and Liam wasn't there in court. The people in court believed the stalker, and Liam lost his job. Then Liam hired another lawyer. Liam got the media involved. The woman then went into hiding from the media. The university apologized and gave him his job back.

They profiled a woman named Karen, and her face wasn't shown. She was at work and was introduced to a co-worker. He asks her out. She says no. Next week he asks again, and she says no. Then he asks again and she says no and provides a reason that she wants to focus on her career. Then he starts leaving gifts for her. She tells him that she's not interested and gives this card back. He lashes out at her.She tells her manager. She tells the police. Then later he gets fired after he was intimidating her after the cops got involved. Then later she had to quit her job. She moved to Canada and she did press charges on him. He was in jail for three years which is a long time for stalking. He got counts of mischief, and harassment.

Feb. 1 Music: I borrowed the Sarah Bereillis cd from the library last week. She had that single called "Love song." I actually found myself like tracks like: "Vegas", "Morning Side", the ballad "Gravity" and my fave track "Come Round Soon."

Motivation: I feel like I'm lacking motivation, inspiration, and fire into getting a real job. Well last summer I got a lot of fire in me by passing out over 100 resumes. Then I got a job at bank, worked there for a month, and went back to making soup and sandwiches for another four months. I thought there was no point in trying to look for a real job because I was going to go back to school.

Now it turns out that I don't have to go back to school. What did I do for the four days I had off last month? I went to West Ed, and only passed out 24 resumes in that month. I need to get myself out there.

Writing: Less talk, more action. I spent 80 minutes reading, editing, and did a little more writing on The Fighter. I wrote one more page. In total I have 64 pages. I'm getting there.

Feb. 3: Good news guys. Pauline from Media Masters emailed me saying that they aren't producing movies this year. Though she rejected me, she did tell me to go to Panacea Entertainment. Then I went through my papers, and saw that Terri from Dynacor Media told me about it too when I did that job interview with her last summer. Except I think she said Panacea Productions and that lead me to this London production company.

Anyway, today I went to www.panaceaentertainment.com and it's a great website. I then emailed them my script pitch. It was interesting to read the submission policy. They said they wanted to know a few lines about the writer, and a few lines about the script. They want a draft already. Man, I am getting excited. I then emailed them.

I was on twop.com reading about Law and Order: SVU and I found this really interesting and thought- provoking comment: "This is something that I have discussed with various other people, in terms of wondering why rape is not covered as a hate crime (it IS picking a victim based on membership of a specific subset of the population to commit an action that subsequently terrorizes a larger part of the population). This is dealt with in the Derrick Jensen book The Culture of Make Believe.

Dave Franco: I was watching Privleged with my sister and there is this guy Zach played by Dave Franco. I thought he was cute so I looked him up. It turns out he is the little brother to James Franco. Here's a pic of him:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2002649/

When I see D smile, I see J's eyes and teeth.

Feb. 4 The Listener: I got another email from the Facebook group The Listener TV show. They interviewed the cast members, and show clips giving a back story of it. I am so inspired watching it. Here's a trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jheIu56yU4A

Picking Up: I saw a little bit of Primetime: What would you do? on Yahoo today. It's about what would bystanders do if they saw a guy aggressively hit on a woman. The bystanders invited the woman to sit with them, and told the guy to back off. Here's how to turn down a guy with these lines:

"I have a boyfriend."
"I'm gay."
"I only date black guys." (Or any race other than his.)

On the show, that guy was asking for her phone number and the actress was acting uncomfortable saying that she doesn't know him. She should have given him a fake phone number or give an email address like ihatemen@yahoo.com. I saw that in a cartoon with a woman saying that to a guy once. lol.

I also read these lines in The Action Hero's Handbook by David Borgenicht and Joe Borgenicht. It's a fun book published by Quirk Books. There is stuff on how to fight skills, escape skill, and love skills like how to get someone to stop hitting on you.

"Where have you been all my life?"
"Hiding from you."

"Haven't I've seen you someplace before?"
"Yes, that's why I don't go there anymore."

"What do you do for a living?"
"I'm a male/ female impersonator."

"What's your sign?"
"Do not enter."