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, January 30, 2012

Who's standing next to you? (The Global Fund)

I got this from the Global Fund:


Dear Tracy,

Bill Gates. Bono. You.

That's what the lineup of faces appearing onstage at our tenth anniversary celebration could look like. All we need is your photo.

This Thursday, the Global Fund will mark ten years of impact in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Thanks to the tireless work of the hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers we support in 150 countries and to the drugs, anti-malaria bed nets and medical equipment we finance, the world has made amazing, lifesaving advances. We're looking forward to the next ten years, and to meeting the challenges ahead.

Upload your photo now!


It's been an incredible decade. In just ten years, the programs the Global Fund supports around the world have provided financing for AIDS treatment to 3.3 million people, treatment for 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis, 230 million insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria, helped 1.3 million HIV-positive women prevent the transmission of the virus to their babies, and much more.

Here's where you come in: For our tenth anniversary we're putting together a giant collage of photos of people involved in the struggle against epidemic disease, including some of the world's leaders, and we want you alongside them. The more people we can see, the better we can show that we have a global movement for change.

Take a photo modeled on what we've provided here and on our website, then send it to us!

http://onemillion.theglobalfund.org/page/s/submit-your-photo?utm_medium=email&utm_source=globalfund&utm_campaign=20120124photosubmit&source=20120124photosubmit

With your ongoing support, we are confident that we can achieve goals like seeing the birth of an HIV-free generation starting in 2015.

Send us your photo so we can feature you alongside Bill Gates and Bono.

http://onemillion.theglobalfund.org/submit-your-photo

Here's to another decade of change!

Best,

Jon Lidén
The Global Fund

job talk/ social job search/ Looking past limits

Jan. 22 Job talk: I was working with one of my servers, and she's 50 yrs old. She said she thought of being a receptionist and getting paid $16/hr. However, she's getting paid that much right now. She gets paid $11/hr, with say $5 an hr on tips.

We talked about how I did get an offer on an office job position, but it was in an industrial part of town. (It happened in Oct. 2011). It was for a dry walling company. He said: "I will hire you right now, if you are able to start tomorrow." He gave me his card so I will think about it. I talked to my dad about it, and he said it wasn't really an office position because it's in the industrial part of town.

It's not really that good of a position. The buses aren't that frequent. I did a job interview at a car dealership, and the boss said: "If I were to hire you on the spot right now, you would be thinking 'Is this a good company to work for?' And I would be thinking 'Did I hire the right person'?"

The server told me I had to start somewhere, and it may not be in downtown. You need to start somewhere and build experience. I know. I should talk to the manager and ask for more hours by putting me in other departments. I have worked in 2 other departments before. I should ask for more duties and responsibilities. It's a big company, I can grow in it.

Jan. 26 Social Job Search: I got this through my blog. Jen Rhee emailed this to me last week. It's about how using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn helps increase your chances of looking for a job significantly.

I emailed her this:

"This is a really good infographic. It's a fast and easy read. I got inspired by it and decided to put my professional info on Facebook. I only used Facebook to tell my friends I'm looking for a job, and contacted all my old school classmates about it. But now I will put my resume there."

I put a bit of my resume up on Facebook. There are tips from the infographic like:

1. Post "Notes": Notes stay on friends feeds longer than status updates. Use them to describe your situation and job interests.
Jan. 27 Job interview: Today I went to a job interview. The ad said it was for a telephone company, and it was contracted out to this marketing company. At the interview I learned that it is selling a package of TV, phones, and internet package. We go door-to-door selling it. I rather sell that, then go door-to-door selling energy. People are going to use TV and phones.

It's like 3 weeks training, paid $1000. You go to the office, and they will drive you and your team to a location and sell this package.

It's Mon.-Fri. and weekends are optional, so I can work at the restaurant on the weekends. There are 45 applicants for 15 positions.

They talked about how it's mainly college students applying and working for them. He mentioned how one 18yr old girl hit her sales target after 3 days. The ad really seemed to be aimed at young people age 18-24. The incentives were if you hit daily, weekly, monthly goals, you can win 1 of 8 trips to Vegas. Cool and fun technology like an XBox, and IPads.

Review: Let's be straight-up. That "left and right brain" article has an effect on me.

My left brain says: I don't think I'm going to be good at this job. I don't really like selling door-to-door. I've never done it.

My right-brain says: I don't have a good feeling about this job.

Highlight: The highlight of that interview was that the interviewer told me that I asked good questions. It was as simple as my question: "What are the duties?"

Looking past limits: I got this through my blog from Emma Taylor. It's called "20 Essential TED Talks for New Grads."

I was listening to the third one: "Caroline Casey: Looking Past Limits." CC talks about how when she was 17, she took her little sister to the eye specialist. CC also gets her eyes checked, and then she learned that all her life she was legally blind, and she didn't know it.

Her parents didn't want to label her, and put her in special schools and put limits on her. She was very successful, going to college and having careers like running a restaurant and working for a global company. It was very inspiring and uplifting.

Jan. 30 Motivation: I needed to hear the above TED talk. It motivates me, and is a pick-me-up.

Reject: I did a job interview on Fri. about being a door-to-door salesperson. I didn't get a callback. They said they will call or text me by the end of Fri. It's Mon., so I can assume that they didn't hire me. That's fine.

Commercial: This is relevant to my job search. I just posted this on twop.com "TV Moments that Angry up the Blood":

This doesn't totally angry up my blood, but it does annoy me. It's that new Pepsi Max commercial. Guy #1 goes into a job interview and he starts throwing stuff in the interview room, and beating himself up. The applicants in the waiting room start to get up and leave. Guy #1 throws himself out, pretending the Boss is beating him up.

Boss sees that Guy #2 is the only one in the waiting room, so he interviews him.

Cut to outside of the office building, and Guy #2 tells his friend Guy #1, that he got hired.

At first when I saw it, I thought it was creative. Then the second time I saw it, I was annoyed by how unrealistic and unbelievable it was. If I was an applicant in the waiting room, I would be knocking on the Boss's door, asking: "Are you okay in there? I'll call security."

I thought about it some more, and the Boss was unrealistic too. How come the Boss isn't saying: "Stop breaking my stuff! Why are you beating yourself up?"

Then I thought it was kind of like the movie Liar, Liar where Jim Carrey beats himself up the washroom. However, that was a little bit more believable because a man in the washroom asked why he was beating himself up.

It's been a few hours since I wrote the above. I then checked twop.com, and someone commented on it:

Actionmage: "Sounds like someone has now proven that Fight Club is over. Guy 2 was probably hired because he was 1) sane and 2) around. Guy 1 waas a bud who "acted" nuts to scare the others off, but it's also similar to a scene in Fight Club (1999) where Ed Norton's character beat himself up to frame/blackmail his boss.

Either way, yeah, why security wasn't called by someone else outside that office, I don't know aaaand they advertiser lost me. Especially since you don't have to hire the last remaining person. What would Guy 2 have done if the hiring guy took the rest of the day off? All that scheming for nothing.

Stupid ad folks."

Zombie restaurants: A few months ago, I was reading in the National Post business section about "zombie restaurants." It's about restaurants like Sbarro that aren't doing very well, but they stick around like a zombie. The restaurants barely make a profit and are able to pay for the worker's wages and supplies. By having these zombie restaurants around, they are hurting business from other restaurants from making more money.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Naser al Raas: Canadian citizen facing 5 year sentence for peaceful protest

Please sign this petition:

http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=808


Free Naser al Raas, Canadian citizen facing a 5-year sentence for peaceful protest
Naser al Raas

You have a chance to bring a happy ending to a true horror story.

Canadian national Naser al Raas arrived in Bahrain on March 6, 2011 to spend time with his family. Now there is a very real chance he will die in prison without your help.

Take action now – send an urgent message to Bahrainian authorities!

You can imagine Amnesty’s concern when his fiancé, Zainab, contacted us, pleading for help - Naser had been missing for a month. That was in April last year.

Now, after being held without charge and tortured, Naser has faced accusations, trials and sentencing for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly. But his horror story continues: he has a heart condition that his Canadian doctor has said is aggravated by imprisonment - bringing a real threat that he could die behind bars.

The 12 other prisoners accused along with him for the same crimes were acquitted of all charges on January 24th. But in spite of this and his health, Naser’s five year sentence was upheld by the same court.

Amnesty International believes Naser will be a Prisoner of Conscience, held by a regime that refuses to recognize his right to freedom of expression and assembly.

You need to let Bahrainian authorities know that this is unacceptable.

Take action for Naser now.

Sincerely,

Alex Neve signature

Alex Neve, Secretary General
Amnesty International, Canadian Section

Touch

Jan. 25 Touch: Today I finally saw the pilot to Touch. It's by Tim Kring, the guy who created Heroes. He's really creative and a great writer. On Heroes, it was about a group of people all around the world who had superpowers. They were all connected to one another. If you watch Touch, it's about a group of people who are all connected with one another.

I was very inspired by it. Tim Kring had said in this article I read in 24: "This is really a chance to continue what you would call social-benefit storytelling, the idea of using archetypal narrative to create and promote a positive energy in the world."

This show is about a man who discovers that his mute and autistic son can predict world events. It has a strong opening about patterns and numbers, spoken from an autistic 11 yr old boy named Jake (David Mazouz). Cut to Jake's dad Martin (Keifer Sutherland) who picks up a phone he got from an airport. (I went on imdb.com to get the actors and characters names, but there weren't any. So I'm going to use descriptive names instead.)

The British Guy calls Martin: "You have my phone. I want it back." It has pictures of his daughter that has passed away. Martin's own phone starts ringing, and he puts the Brit Guy's phone on suitcase, and it goes through the terminal.

Jake is on the tower. Martin shows him a cell phone to get him to come down, and he does. I like that Martin says to everybody to not touch Jake, because it's real. A lot of autistic people don't like to be touched and freak out. It was mentioned when autism was shown on The Listener and Criminal Minds.

Jake goes to the tower at 3:18pm, three times in the past three weeks. They go to the gas station, and there's a school bus. Jake goes to it, and the school bus has 318 on it.

Cut to Nerdy Guy videotaping Kayla singing at karaoke bar with Brit Guy's phone. He tells her that she will be famous when this gets on TV.

Cut back to gas station, and Lottery Guy buys a lottery ticket. Jake takes the ticket, and is chased down. Lottery Guy argues with Martin about his son. Cut to Lottery Guy putting his lottery ticket on the wall, with the hundreds of lottery tickets. It looks like wall paper.

At 3:18am, Martin wakes up because his laptop woke him up. He puts Jake to bed. Then all these cell phones ring at the same time. It's all the same number, the lottery ticket number.

Cut to Baghdad. Teen boy is watching Chris Rock and pretending to be him, Mom tells him that their oven broke down. If there's no oven, they can't bake bread, and make money.

Cut to Social Worker talking to Martin. Martin used to have a good job, but works 50hrs a week now in regular jobs like construction work.

Martin: Jake maybe trying to communicate with me. He's been putting the alarm at 3:18, he goes to the tower at 3:18.
SW: Does he even know who you are?
Martin: My wife died on 9-11. She was a stockbroker at the World Trade Centre. All her money went into Jake's trust fund.

Lottery Guy won the lottery.

Brit Guy calls wife to ask if there are more of daughter's photos other than the ones on his phone.

Cut to Prostitute in Tokyo who steals money from john. The scene is shown on the Brit Guy's cell phone.

Martin puts Jake in institution for a couple of weeks. Martin visits wife's grave and talks to her saying he feels like he failed them. He sees a medal by the grave with the number 318. He looks up autism and being mute on the internet. It leads to this House with the address 318. It's called the Teller Institute. A Black Man is there and explains math sequences and how we're all connected.

Cut to institution and Jake is putting popcorn kernels and lined them up. SW counts the kernals with him: "That's my mom's phone number. I haven't thought about that in years." Her cell phone rings and it's that number. No one's on the line.

Lottery winner makes plans to go on a trip.

SW goes to Martin that 318 is today, March 18. Martin figured it out, and the phone number is Grand Central Station. It's 2:56pm. They go to the station, and Martin finds that the phone number leads to the pay phone. It's being used by the Lottery Guy. They recognize each other and get into a fight. Security guards break it up. Martin sees it 3:19pm, and he missed the call.

Lottery guy: You made me miss my train!

Baghdad. Teen boy and his friend break into a restaurant to steal oven. Terrorists come in and the boys hide. Terrorists leave, but then they attack boys as they run.

Martin gets answering machine message: "I was a firefighter on 9-11. I found your wife. I carried her, and then stopped. She's died. I was playing the numbers of 9 11 20 01 82 (floor number). I won the lottery. In the background, you can hear Martin saying: "I need to use the phone."

Martin then sees TV news, and Lottery Guy is there. It turns out he saved a school bus full of children. Then Lottery Guy realizes he was at the right place, at the right time because he missed his train.

Martin goes to see his son at the institution, but he's gone. Martin and SW goes to the cell tower. Martin climbs up though he's scared of heights. He tells Jake he knows he's communicating with him. Jake hugs him. But then Jake takes his cell phone and dials a number. Martin calls it and says to the man on the other line that they're supposed to meet.

Brit guy calls tech support Kayla: "I want my cell phone back."

Baghdad. Teen boy has a bomb strapped to him. The karaoke singer Kayla calls him: "You have a cell phone that's not yours." Teen tells her his situation.

Teen: I need an oven.
Kayla: I can get one for you. I'll disconnect the phone and you take out the battery to stop the bomb.
Teen takes out battery with 1 sec to spare.
Cut to Brit Guy sees his photos of his daughter on the street building's screens. I think it's Times Square or at least it looks like it. He cries. He's handsome.

Kayla sees herself singing karaoke on Youtube.

Teen gets oven.

Jan. 27 Busy plots: There is quite a few story lines going on Touch, with a lot of characters all around the world. However, it doesn't seem to be very busy. I think it's because it's well-written and all the characters are interconnected, so it's kind of like one story. The main story has to be a father and his autistic son.

It's like with Desperate Housewives, there are four women and their families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. To the core, it's the the four women with four story lines.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Post Secret/ Left and Right Brain/ The Secret

Jan. 22 Post Secret:

Postcard: "Alex- I know you stood up for me all those years ago. Thank you."

Email:

There's only a tiny chance this secret was intended for me, but nonetheless - I'd like to thank the sender. I've been in a bit of a down patch, and this secret made me realise that I know there are people out there I've done well by, and maybe some who would want to thank me, too.

In return, I'd like to remind everyone of the same fact. There's always someone, who you wouldn't necessarily expect, who is grateful you exist.

Alex.

Email:

Frank,

My brother Alex died a couple months ago very suddenly at the age of 20 while studying abroad in London. This reminds me that he is not forgotten nor are his beautiful accomplishments of caring for others. Alexander means "defender, protector of mankind", and that is exactly who he was to so many people. Thank you for posting this secret and reminding me of who my brother was and how he impacted lives, even if it was for a tragically short time.

Postcard: "I feel like everyone's judging me."

I think everybody feels that. We all judge each other. When I go to job interviews, I know I'm being judged. Or at least they're getting to know me. Though I'm getting to know the job and the people there.

Jan. 25 Kindness article: I read an article in the Edmonton Journal called "Perceived kindness enhances flavor, reduces pain. It's written by Misty Harris. Kurt Gray who is a Calgarian who is social psychologist at the University of Maryland. There's an experiment about you give a box of candy to one group and there's a special note that says: "I picked this just for you. Hope it makes you happy." The other group got the candy and a note that it was picked randomly. The first group who got the special note, thought the candy tasted sweeter.

Gift tip: So a good gift tip is to write a little note with the gift you gave. It doesn't have to have to cost a lot of money, it's the thought put into it.

Prostitution: Also in the article, Kurt Gray says: "It's part of why buying a prostitute wouldn't be as fulfilling. You know they're not doing it for you, they're doing it for the money."

Maybe not as fulfilling, but fulfilling enough. Prostitution is still around, and there is such thing as the GFE or "Girlfriend Experience." The escort pretends to be your girlfriend.

Dateline: Now I'm going to bring up Dateline: To Catch a Predator again. The 35 yr old guy who dates a 12 yr old girl. I read a Youtube comment about: "Why doesn't he just buy an escort?" Because the guy knows he's paying someone to pretend to be in love with him. He thought a 12 yr old girl who is really in love with him, would be more fulfilling.

Yeah, well he's not going to really be in love with the 12 yr old. He should have hired an escort.

Funeral party: Also in the Edmonton Journal, there's an article "It's your funeral: Why not throw a party?" by William Hageman. Erika Dillman had wrote a book called The Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by Planning It Yourself.

The part that stood out was: "What a great message. If you have a great funeral that's fun, you're telling guests, I accept my death. By doing that, I believe you're helping your guests accept it. You're setting the tone. I'm okay with this, so they're okay with it."

Left and Right Brain: Helene Schmidt emailed this article through my blog. It's more like an infographic (pictures and words put into a diagram.) It looks like it would be in a magazine. You should take a look at it, it's fun.

When I was a kid and teenager, I would see myself as creative and artistic like the right-brain. In the article it says right-brains like cats, and are in psychic things. I would say I'm like that.

However, I looked at the left-brain section. I realized that when I got into adulthood like Professional Writing college, and into the working world, I have become more left-brain. I still don't like math and science. I'm very much a planner, linear, and sequence like in the article.

I am very left-brain with my job search, work, and reading the business section of the newspaper, magazines, and internet. So I'm going to use my right-brain a bit like in the below topic.

The Secret: A few weeks ago before I went to the Christmas party at work, I read The Secret at Chapters to bide my time. I read The Secret: Teen Power also between shifts at work.

Money: I read "The Secret: To Money" chapter in the first book. It talked about focused positive thinking. If you think about getting out of debt, but you are thinking of the word debt. You have to think of having enough money to support yourself.

There was a story about a guy who was making $8000 a yr. He applied the Secret, and he thought of selling his book that he wrote. He thought of the number $100,000 of how much money he would make from his book. He was able to make $90,000 something off it.

Another story was how every time this person gets a credit card bill, he thinks of it like he is getting checks in the mail. He thanks and acts happy when the credit card bill comes. If it says he owes $100 on it, he thinks of it like he got a $100 check. Then he started getting checks in the mail.

It's about the law of attraction. What you think, you attract.

Job: I was thinking about how I wanted to get more hours at work. The left-brain side of me thought of: "Ask your managers for more hours. Ask to get more hours in the two other departments you worked at before. Ask to be trained on the computer system. I did just that.

When I asked one manager for more hours, I received it. It just so happens that the restaurant will start opening later. We will have lunch again. In Restaurant #1, we used to have lunch. Then it closed down, and we were transferred to Restaurant #2 and we didn't have lunch. It was like that for a yr. Now Restaurant #2 opens for lunch. Is it the law of attraction working?

Call centres: But it was so weird today. So Call Centre #4 didn't call me back on Friday, so that means they didn't hire me. I then thought of Call Centre #5. Maybe I should apply there again. It's where you call people to get them to donate to charity. I worked there for 2 days and hated it, and they dismissed me.

I was on the internet yesterday and looked up people's comments talking about working at Call Centre #5. They said it was crappy, but if it wasn't for this call centre, the charity wouldn't be getting any money at all.

Today Call Centre #6 called me. I'm pretty sure I applied there back in 2010. Maybe in 2011. They called me today. We talked a bit, but I have to do more research and think about it. Since I get off work by 2:30pm, I would get home by 3:30pm.

Then when I'm home, I would have to take 40min to go to Call Centre #6. I could go to the library which is between my job and this place.

The law of attraction seems to be working here when I started thinking about call centres and suddenly one of them I haven't applied to in a long time calls me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guantánamo: 10 years and still open. Still violating human rights.

I got this from Amnesty International. Please sign this petition.

January 11, 2012



10 years on. Still open. Still violating human rights.

End detentions at Guantánamo Bay!

Your voice is urgently needed to end human rights abuses at the notorious detention centre at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Like you, we can't believe it's still open, still making a mockery of human rights.

You’ve probably seen the headlines: shocking human rights concerns including torture, arbitrary detention, secret detention, ill-treatment, renditions and unfair trials.

Sign the petition now!

It's so important that you sign the petition . Ten years on from those first detainees arriving in the aftermath of 9/11, more than 150 people still remain in captivity. Most are in indefinite detention without charge or trial.

President Obama has already broken his promise to close Guantánamo, and he recently signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows horrific detention provisions. The US government needs to meet its human rights obligations.

Ten years is simply too long – your voice is needed to end a decade of damage to human rights.

Will you sign our petition today? We will deliver it to President Obama before his 2012 State of the Union address.

Thank you for your commitment to human rights. I hope this is the first of many human rights successes together in 2012!

http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=807&utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Informz
Yours Sincerely,

Alex Neve, Secretary General
p.s. Your outrage over Guantánamo Bay is justified. This detention facility represents the US government's open abuse of human rights. Take action today! Sign the petition now. And please forward and share this email with your friends!

job search/ fiduciary/ job interview tip

Jan. 17 Job search:

Bank: I called the bank to see if they made a decision. They called back and said I didn't get hired. I asked if they will forward my resume to other locations. They said no, because they didn't hire me at this location, and they won't forward it to the others. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get hired. I'm more disappointed that they wouldn't pass my resume to other places.

Sales associate: Today was my day off and I did an interview at this computer store. I took 2 buses to get there. The interview was average, and I stumbled on the question about what I like to do for fun. I said reading and writing, but I was thinking I should add something about computers. I added reading on the internet.

The place seems like an alright place to work at. It's kind of far, but it's a safe place to take the bus. There are lots of stores and restaurants around. It's $11/hr and full-time. I have to work 1 weekend day a week. I can still work at the restaurant on the weekends. You can get commission. These are the pros.

He did ask me if this interests me. I'm not putting obstacles in front of myself, but I said I did have a couple more interviews. It's true, I did.

The cons were that I'm looking more for an office job. I do know if I take this job and work at the restaurant one or two days a week, I can make more money. It just did not totally interest me. Yeah, well that dental assistant job didn't totally interest me in the duties, but I knew it was a step up in my career. Retail is moving sideways.

Imagine getting hired. How do you feel? Indifferent. No disrespect to the company.

Crazy trip: There's a little bit of a crazy trip getting home. When I got off the bus to go into the interview, I was told to take one of three buses to get back to the transit centre. It was by a restaurant. After the interview, I went and looked for the bus stop and didn't see any. I went into a Chinese restaurant and a waitress directed me that there's a bus stop at this other restaurant a block away. Fortunately I didn't have to wait long for a bus. It was like -20 today.

Banking: After the interview, I went and deposited a check. I noticed the bank wasn't really busy. I was thinking about opening a savings account for about a month. I didn't open one because I was busy with my office job search and interviews. I waited a few min. and then I went in and talked to this guy who worked there. He spent an hr giving me a lesson about mutual funds, saving accounts, interests, inflation, and investing.

I learned a lot and will have to study the sheets he printed out for me. I do read the business section of the newspaper everyday, but I learned quite a lot from him.

Fiduciary: I was watching Desperate Housewives last night, and Gabby needs to wine and dine these two investors. Gabby gets Lynette to teach her about finance in a few hours.

Gabby: Not everybody knows what the word fiduciary means.
Lynette gets her 12 yr old daughter Penny to come over.
Lynette: What does fiduciary mean?
Penny: I think it means to give money to someone else and you trust them to manage your money.

I went on dictionary.com:

Law . a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another.

The guy at the bank said the word fiduciary. lol. Anyway, back to the show. Gabby acted like she wasn't worried about the meeting. She thought she could throw in a few buzzwords around and get the investors. Lynette was telling her that it's important to know the meaning of the words. I have to agree with Lynette. I would be stressed and studying really hard to learn.

Jan. Call Centre #4: I did the job interview today. Back in 2010, I mainly got a call to come in. He had read my resume and hired me, and I was to go into training. There wasn't an interview in 2010.

This time, there was an interview. He didn't say anything like: "Wait a second, have you been here before?" I don't think he recognized me. If he later thought I did work here before, he would and look up my name on his computer and there may have been a file that I worked there for a day.

The questions were like: "Where did you hear about us? Why did you apply here? How do you feel about not meeting performance expectations? What examples have you done to meet performance expectations in school and work?"

It pays $11/hr, and has company benefits. I can work there full-time, and work at the restaurant one day a week. I'll try part-time first, for awhile to see how working at both jobs work out. I can work at the call centre at night.

This is kind of like that computer store interview. If I take the call centre job, then I'm moving sideways in my career. However, the call centre is closer and easier to get to than the computer store. I'm more interested in working at the call centre.

EI: It's been a couple of hours since I wrote the above. I should start working as much as I can at the call centre. There isn't really good job security there, so I should work as much hours as I can to qualify to get EI if the place closes down.

Jan. 19 Callbacks: Yesterday the dentist called, and I didn't get the dental assistant position. That's okay. He said he will keep my resume in case the people don't work out. I thought he seemed to be a nice and friendly guy to work for.

The sales associate/ receptionist position didn't call back. I'm not really that interested in working there, so that's fine.

Jan. 20 Job interview: I did an interview at an office. It's temporary for a few months, but it's still good to put that on my resume. I can work there on the weekdays and work at the restaurant on the weekends. I go to the place early, because I've never been there before. I went shopping at a furniture store. I sat on some chairs like Goldilocks in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. lol. Now I'm thinking about that TV show Once Upon a Time about fairytale characters in the real world. They haven't done that fairytale yet.

I get to the office 25min early. I sat in the waiting room and read this financial advertisement. I did the interview, and it was 10min long. One of them asked a bit about my restaurant. They also asked if it sounded like something I'm interested in. I said yes. They did ask if it's hard to get to the office. I said no.

Job interview tip: I learned this from the job interview book Interview Skills that Win the Job by Michael Spiropoulos: Don't mention if it's easy or hard to get to work, because it has nothing to do with how you actually do your job.

Good tip, but I have a counter argument about that. I remember reading an article from Job Boom or some other newspaper, that nearly 50% of people have once not come to work because they didn't want to do the commute. I have done lots of interviews and people have asked if I have a car, and if it's easy to get to this location.

Commute tips: I do remember reading an article about how to enjoy your commute to work. Listen to music, or a book when driving. Or when you're on the bus, do those activities or read a book or newspaper.

Bookstore: I also went into a discount bookstore. It was closing down. It wasn't the Wee Book Inn, but it smelt like it. I'm sure you guys are laughing. Old books all smell the same when you put all of them in one room.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Year of Rebellion: Where do we go from here? (Amnesty International)

A monumental year


Dear Tracy,

Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, 2011 was the year a tightly wound coil was suddenly unsprung. Ordinary people flooded the streets to demand change, releasing energy and power that continues to transform the region.

Millions of people, many of them women protesting for the first time, risked their lives to publicly express a deep, burning need for change. Government forces responded with relentless brute force.

It's not over yet. Brave individuals continue to put their safety on the line, standing against governments that respond with guns, tear gas and tanks.

Our special in-depth report "Year of Rebellion: The State of Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa," documents this historic, tumultuous year and issues a bold human rights agenda for change in the region. Foremost among these recommendations: stop sending weapons to governments that use them to kill and repress their own people.

I'm going to be talking a lot about weapons sales in the next few months -- it's an issue I care about, and one that has major implications for human rights.

Take Egypt. Last January, Egyptian protestors stormed Tahrir square and braved violent government crackdowns as they drove President Hosni Mubarak from power.

One year later, Egypt's new military government continues using excessive force against protestors. Many have died. The government has even fired tear gas canisters that say "Made in the USA."

This is unacceptable. Urge the U.S. State Department to stop authorizing the shipment of U.S.-manufactured tear gas, bullets, and other military equipment that could be used by Egypt's military to violate human rights.

The people of Egypt have achieved momentous change, but their gains are fragile.

Your solidarity is needed still.

Demand that the State Department stop any future transfers of weapons and equipment that the Egyptian military could use to attack Egyptian protestors.

Thank you for all you do to support human rights.

In solidarity,

Sanjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA

tired TV dialogue/ funny video/ A Friend of the Family

Jan. 19 Tired TV dialogue: I got this from twop.com. It's on the thread "Tired TV dialogue" about repetitive dialogue you see on TV shows all the time.

Person: When haggling over just about anything:
"I'm gonna write a number down on this piece of paper"

Say the number! Just say it!!

Person 2: I didn't know people did that in real life until once when I was getting a raise, my manager wrote it down. (There was no haggling involved. That was what it was going to be.)

Person 3: I'd like to see the other person say, "And I'm going to draw a kitty cat on this piece of paper!"

Me: I think I saw this on some bank commercial. One couple writes down a number to sell their house. They pass it to the couple across from them on the table. The second couple writes down a number and passes it back. Each time they do it, the couples age a bit, and look older.

So there was a little bit of a parody of this take of "writing down a number."

Funny video: On Jan. 13, I was watching Jay Leno. Show real news report:

News reporter: A heart was supposed to be used for a heart transplant. It fell out of the box, but they still used the heart and the surgery was successful.

Cut to JL.
JL: I think they sugar coated it. Here's what really happened.

Cut the One Tree Hill video clip. I mentioned it before. I found it on the twop.com thread "Unintentionally Funny TV Moments."

Cut to a paramedic running in the halls of the hospital. He trips, the heart falls out of the box. A dog runs over and eats the heart.

Cut to JL's TV show. The audience burst out laughing.

Jan. 21 Comment: This is about the female news reporter saying something sexual in the news. I sent it to my friend Sherry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8Bc7eRTdWY

Sherry: hmm, after she says 'you would know about that' her face looks.....wooden like emotionless? then when she says the 'we'll be back with' part, it does it again. dunno bout friends/enemies but right then it looks like he'd said something that hit a nerve with her, and that she'd gone for a return blow

Comedy comparisons:

Two people thinking the other one's dead: It was first done on The Simpsons. Homer fakes his death, and then lands in his own grave.

Old Woman: You awful, awful man! Get out of my son's grave!
Homer: Excuse me lady, but this is my grave. Wait a second. Mom?
Old Woman: Homer?
Homer: I thought you were dead.
Old Woman (holds up newspaper): I thought you were dead.

It was then done on Dark Angel. Max rescues a guy on her motorcycle, and Bruno is riding with her.

Bruno: Max?
Max: Bruno? I thought you were dead.
Bruno: I thought you were dead.

It was in the pilot where Max is running, and Bruno shoots at her. Max falls into the pool and sinks in it. Bruno assumed she was dead and ran. Max comes out of the pool.

Guy finds out he has a kid: It was done in movies like The Game Plan. It's about an NFL quarterback learns he has an 8 yr old daughter.

It was done on What a Girl Wants, but it's about a teenage girl going to Britain to look for her father.

It was done on The Simpsons where the Krusty the Klown meets his 8 yr old daughter.

The situation's been done, but it was all done differently with different characters and outcomes.

Reversal of situations: Comedy does this a lot.

The Sausage Factory: I remember on The Sausage Factory, Gilby plays a prank on the wrong person, and it's this big, built girl who's no one is to mess with. So Gilby says he likes her to avoid getting beaten up by her. He has to pretend he likes her and dates her.

Gilby thinks of: "I'll be the worse boyfriend ever, and she will dump me." I remember this date scene.

Gilby: I didn't bring any money, I hope that's not a problem for you.
Girl: That's okay, you can pay me back in other ways.

lol. Then Gilby actually does fall in love with her, and he becomes a good boyfriend. Then the girl doesn't like that. She likes it when Gilby is being stupid and immature instead of sweet and nice.

There was a time where on the show, JC got some gum without reading what kind of gum he was chewing. It was Nicorette, the gum that helps you stop smoking. He got addicted to Nicorette, and then he started going on the patch. Then he was smoking. Gilby then says: "You need to replace your addiction with another addiction." It was the ep where Gilby and Zack worked at the video store, so Gilby gave porn tapes to JC. Every time JC needs a cigarette, watch porn instead.

Parks and Recreation: On this TV show, April woos Andy back by singing his song. It's usually a guy who plays a song to win a girl back.

A Friend of the Family: I was channel surfing and saw that the TV movie A Friend of the Family was on. It stars my favorite Edmonton actor Eric Johnson. I saw this back in 2006. On imdb.com, it said it came out in 2007, but I remember it was in the summer before I started my first year in Professional Writing.

So anyway, I do remember it was a good TV movie. It's based on a true story about a woman who suspects this man is a serial killer in this small town, but she is finding it hard to prove it.

It's about a woman named Alison Shaw (played by Laura Harris) who escapes being raped by attackers in Toronto. She runs into a man Darris Shaw (played by Eric Johnson) who saves her. They then move to a small town and got married and had a baby.

Their neighbor and upstanding citizen David Snow (played by Kim Coates) is the suspected serial killer. I remember there was a missing poster of a blond woman. Alison looks like her, so she cuts off her hair which is actually a smart move. The entire time I was watching it, I felt tense and lots of suspense.

Alison was able to catch him. There was so much suspense at the end. Check out more info here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439578/

I also found that this TV movie has a blog on Blogger like I do with my The Vertex Fighter script. I thought that was cool. There's more info on the real case here. Check out A Friend of the Family blog here:

http://afriendofthefamilymovie.blogspot.com/

Marriage: Then I thought: "I saw this TV movie about 5 yrs ago, but I'm pretty sure, if I remember correctly, Alison's marriage to her husband ended after that ordeal." I then went and found Amazon.ca and found review of her book. It did said yes, the marriage ended.

http://www.amazon.ca/Friend-Family-True-Story-David/dp/1551990245

I had a flashback because in 2006, after I saw the TV movie, I wrote about it in my weekly email. I said something like: "Maybe it's because I've watched too much Dr. Phil, and have stopped, he still has an effect on me. If Alison and Darris didn't live next door to a serial killer, would they still have stayed married? The killer David Snow has seriously put a wedge between them and gotten between them because Darris (and everybody else) didn't believe in Alison. They didn't believe that David Snow was a killer."

What if Alison and her husband moved somewhere else and never met David Snow? Would they still be together? Look, the point is, is that Alison managed to stop a serial killer. If it meant losing her marriage along the way, she managed to save lives.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Locking up kids for life? (Amnesty International)

Please sign this petition.


Children spending a lifetime in prison — only in the USA.


Dear Tracy,

Locked up for life at 16. No possibility of parole. Christi Cheramie is living a nightmare.

When Christi was 16 years old, back in 1994, she couldn't vote, drink alcohol, serve on a jury, or buy lottery tickets. She was considered a minor -- a child. But that didn't stop the state of Louisiana from giving this 16-year-old a sentence of life without parole.

Ask Louisiana's governor and the state Board of Pardons to grant clemency to Christi Cheramie.

Only in the U.S. -- where children as young as 11 have faced life in prison -- are such harsh sentences against juveniles allowed. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child prohibits life without parole for offenses committed under the age of 18. This is not about excusing or minimizing the consequences of crimes committed by children, but about recognizing that children are not yet fully responsible for their actions and have special potential for rehabilitation and change.

Christi, now 33 years old, has spent more than half of her young life in prison. She's earned her high school equivalency diploma and an associate's degree in Agriculture Studies, and teaches classes to her fellow inmates. A prison warden who oversaw Christi considers her a "model inmate" who has grown into a "remarkable young woman" deserving of "a second chance in society."

But if we don't act, a mandatory sentence of life without parole means that Christi will die in prison. A victim of sexual abuse and depression, and caught in the web of an aggressive and controlling older fiancé, Christi found herself at the grisly murder scene of her fiancé's great aunt. She was charged with murder just for being there -- even though it was her fiancé who wielded the knife.

The victim's closest family members are sympathetic to Christi's case. But Christi's fate is now in the hands of Louisiana's governor and Board of Pardons.

Our 2011 Write for Rights campaign highlighted Christi's case, and thousands of letters have already poured into Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's office. Next week, the Board of Pardons will meet to decide whether or not to move forward with Christi's clemency application -- a decision that the governor can influence. We must keep the momentum going from Write for Rights -- and the time to act is now!

Christi has already changed people's lives through her work at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, but she will never be able to realize her full potential — and society won't benefit from her potential contributions — if she spends the rest of her life behind bars.

It's time for the U.S. to join the rest of the world and end the cruel and unusual punishment of juvenile life without parole. People convicted of crimes while still children -- like Christi Cheramie -- should be given a chance at rehabilitation. They shouldn't be left to grow old in a jail cell.

You can make a difference in Christi's case. Sign our petition now calling for clemency for Christi Cheramie.

Thank You,

Michael O'Reilly
Senior Director, Individuals at Risk Campaign
Amnesty International USA

The Vertex Fighter/ Facebook Follies/ Castle

Jan. 17 The Vertex Fighter:

Joe Thornton: He's a producer. I emailed him on LinkedIn, but he didn't get back to me. I just posted a comment on his blog to get him to contact me. Here's his blog:

http://www.joethornton.net/

Actors: Here are some more actors I can see in The Vertex Fighter.

Niall Matter is from Edmonton. You may have seen him on the show The Best Years. I've seen him on Fear, Itself, Warehouse 13, and Melrose Place. I just checked him on imdb.com and he's now on 90210. Good for him. I can see him as a fighter.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2473076/

Allan Hawco is the star on the TV show Republic of Doyle. It's on CBC and they're in their 3rd season. It's a good show. I'm Facebook friends with him. lol. I can see him as fighter.

Script pitch: Today I emailed the new Writer in Residence at the public library, if she wants to read my Rain script and give me feedback.

I emailed another producer again about my Rain script.

Facebook Follies: I saw this on Doc Zone on Oct. 27,2011. It's a documentary about how Facebook affects all these people's lives in very different ways from positive to negative. Here they are:

Party: In Hamburg, Germany, a 16 yr old girl threw a party and thousands of people showed up because she didn't put up private settings. She had sent to her grandparents. Police went to end the party.

Politics: Ray Lam was a political candidate. On Facebook he had photos of him in high school where he has hand on a female friend's breast, and him in his underwear.

Clive Thompson: They talked to Clive Thompson is a blogger. Here's some more info about him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Thompson_%28journalist%29

Job: Riley Cameron dissed Kate Middleton on Facebook, and then he can't work on the Royal Wedding.

Money: Paul Chambers said on Twitter that he will blow the Robin Hood airport up. He said it as a joke, but it closed down. Chambers had to go on trial and paid $1500.

Twitter: It mentioned Anthony Weiner, the politician who took photos of his privates and sent it out. He then stepped down. A cop got his car washed in a fundraiser with young women in bikinis. The cop got fired because it made the police look unprofessional.

Graham Cluley: They talked to Graham Cluley who is a computer security specialist. Here's a link:

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/author/gcluley/

Crime: A story about Brad Rutberg's Facebook email was hacked into and it said: "I'm held at gunpoint, I need money." A friend who saw it then gave $1200 to Western Union, and the Hacker got the money.

Stupid criminals: Graham Cluley talked about stupid criminals. There were pictures of robbers at the house, and holding up stuff from the house, and putting the pictures up on Facebook. So there was evidence and were able to arrest them quickly. The son Aaron and his dad Marc Fisher's house was broken into. The Robber stole Aaron's laptop. Robber took a picture of himself in the house. Aaron's friend calls Aaron: "What's the picture on your Facebook wall?"

Police were able to arrest Rodney King through Facebook.

Love story: They profiled Kelly Hildebridt (woman) who found a guy on Facebook with the same name as hers. They became friends and fell in love. Conan O'Brien made a joke about it on his show.

Conan: Now 1 million people have changed their names to Megan Fox.

Infidelity: They talked to Ken Savage. His ex-wife got on Facebook and hooked up with ex-boyfriends. Savage created a "Facebook cheating" website. 1 in 5 divorces are from Facebook. Ironically, Savage did meet his next girlfriend through Facebook. He also makes money off his "Facebook cheating" website.

Family: Jim Toth found his half-nephew, then his half-brother. He then met his other family members.

Death: Wilma Jones is a black woman who passed away. Friends and family keep posting on her Facebook wall. It's like they're communicating.

Graham Cluley says: "Anything you don't want out in public, don't put it on the internet."

Jan. 19 Castle: I saw this episode of Castle a few months ago. It's called "Kick the Ballistics." I would have to say this is my favorite episode. This show is good, but I was particularly impressed and really liked this episode. It was written by Dark Angel writer and producer Moira Kirkland. Even if a Dark Angel writer didn't write this, I still really liked it.

The episode starts off with finding a dead body in the cement as it was turned. (Kind of done on CSI: NY, but the cement was already formed. The body was found when the cement was drilled.) Back to Castle. The Woman Jane who died, she was shot by Det. Ryan's old gun. It was the gun from last season's ep, the 3XK killer was Tyson. Tyson ran away, and he killed a woman with Ryan's gun.

Castle and Det. Beckett work and finds a lead to a drug dealer, who is really an undercover cop. The UC has Ryan's gun. UC says the woman Jane was his intel. Jane tutors this Chinese Mob boss's son Ben Lee.

During interrogation, Ryan pushes UC in the interrogation room. There's tension and drama. They did that before with Beckett pushing a bad guy in the interrogation room. I'm pretty sure Det. Stabler did that on Law and Order: SVU.

Cut to Chinatown, and the Chinese restaurant was well shot in red. They also had a well shot scene in the bar, and the chase scene. Mob Boss Clifford Lee says he and his 4 sons were watching TV when Jane died. The household staff confirmed it. No surprise, because the staff are getting paid.

The detectives then found a locker with gun, tickets, and money. (Kind of seen that in the TV show Ringer.) It wasn't Ryan's gun, but a similar one.

Castle does his investigating, and Mob Boss Clifford's son Phillip did go to jail, but used his Chinese name. The theory is that Jane and Clifford's other son Ben are in love, and will run out of town to escape from family.

Jane's ex-boyfriend moved money for Clifford. Ex-boyfriend got mad that Jane fell in love with Ben. Phillip then got Jane killed with Ex-boyfriend told Phillip. A Woman Lawyer defends Phillip. (It kind of reminds me of The Simpsons ep "Behind the Laughter." There was a Woman Lawyer at the family dinner table.)

Cut to Ben studying in the library, but Ben's black Bodyguard is there. Det. Espisito then starts annoying Ben, and the Bodyguard has to remove Espisito. Kind of funny. Ryan then approaches Ben.

Ryan: Jane died fighting your battle. We're not talking about family, but your life. You went to college, and learned there's more to life than being a drug dealer.

After the pep talk, Ben goes to police station. Cut to later Ben is at the restaurant studying, and Phillip enters. Ben's wearing a wire.

Ben: If they never found the body, I would never know where she is. I will think she's alive somewhere. Were you ever going to tell me the truth?
Phillip points gun at Ben.
Phillip: Are you wearing a wire?

Cut to cops listening and the SWAT team bursts in. Phillip drops his gun. Ben pulls out gun and points it at Phillip. Cops shoot Ben. Ryan runs over and tries to save him by starting CPR on him. There was good music, and lots of tension.

Phillip is arrested and will go to jail for life. It turns out Ben is alive, and they faked his death in front of Phillip. Ben will go to Witness Protection.

I really liked it because it kind of reminded me of my own script. The question of being loyal to your family or yourself.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What would Dr. King do? (Amnesty International)

"Justice is never advanced in the taking of human life." - Coretta Scott King


Dear Tracy,

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Dr. King is widely regarded as one of the world's great human rights leaders.

Today and every day, Amnesty members stand together to defend the full body of human rights that Dr. King so bravely and eloquently espoused.

As we gear up for our Death Penalty Action Weeks (Feb. 27-March 11), we are inspired by Dr. King's vision of a day without the death penalty. A day when revenge is not offered as justice and society turns to humane and constructive ways of dealing with violent crime.

Dr. King deeply opposed the death penalty, calling it "society's final assertion that it will not forgive." His widow, human rights activist Coretta Scott King, agreed. "Morality is never upheld by legalized murder," she said.

Work with Amnesty to abolish the death penalty and defend basic human rights by becoming a Partner of Conscience monthly donor today.

We are moving closer to abolition in the United States. 2011 saw amazing victories: Illinois passed a law ending the death penalty, Oregon's governor put a moratorium on executions and death sentences, and executions across the country were at an all-time low. However, it was also the year that the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, who came to symbolize all that is wrong with the death penalty.

As you read this message, eight more men are scheduled for execution in the next 60 days. More killing is not the answer.

Dr. King described violence as, "a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."

Stand with Amnesty. Defend human dignity with your monthly gift to Amnesty today.

Dr. King lived his life in service to others, speaking out against suffering, inequality and injustice. In his memory, with his words, we march together toward the end of the death penalty in the United States.

In peace,

Laura Moye
Director, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International USA

job interview/ job articles/ work wardrobe

Jan. 12 Job interview:

Bank: Today I had a really important interview. I did a phone interview first. Then I was to go there in person. That's good that I did manage to get through the first round over the phone. Yesterday, on my day off, I went to look for the office. Today I went to it and got there an hr early, but there were stores around so I shopped a bit. I got off at the right bus stop this time.

The interview was 30min long. The shifts are Mon.- Fri. so that's good. So is the pay. There's no cap on commission. It kind of reminds me of The Office where they sell paper. There was an ep where Jim can't sell anymore paper because there was a cap on the commission. The duties are selling. There is going to be a couple weeks of training. It seems like a really good job.

A few pitfalls was that the interviewer was going through her list of questions, and some of it didn't relate to my prior work experience. I have some experience that's related to this position.

A good thing is that she will pass my resume to other locations that are closer to downtown. Those locations are hiring and they can call me for an interview. Even if I don't get hired at this location, she might still refer that I go to another location.

Jan. 13 Crazy trip: This trip was not as crazy as the one I had the other day. After work I took a bus that took me straight to Whyte Ave so I could take another bus to a job interview. If I had gone home, I would have left at 2pm to catch 2 buses. I decided to save myself a trip and time by going to Whyte Ave. I got to Whyte Ave by 1pm. So I had an hr to bide before I need to take another bus.

I went to Warp 1 Comics and Games. I've been there once. They sell the sci-fi stuff like graphic novels for TV shows like Warehouse 13 and Manga comics. I saw some Buffy and Angel figurines. They even sell Hello Kitty stuff like backpacks. There's Sesame Street and The Simpsons toys. Then I went to 4 Stroke Custom Culture. They sell cool clothes I would see at Le Chateau.

I checked out the convenience store Mac's and they sell sushi. I thought they only sold sandwiches. I also went to Esso, and they don't sell sandwiches.

Then I took the bus. I get off at the right street, because the bus driver said so too. I go to check the address of a place, and asked a woman where it was. She directs me to cross the street. I go to McDonald's and the workers said it's this way.

I enter a car dealership and she said I had to walk 5 more blocks that way. I was like: "Whatever. I'm not going to walk another 30min to get to this interview at a law office. I guess I could take the bus to there, because there was still ample time to get to the interview. I realized I didn't really want to go there. So then I called them at the bus stop and said I'm cancelling.

Question: I have to analyze: "Are you putting obstacles in front of yourself?" No, I just didn't want to go to it. I already went and made a big trip for a bank interview, and then another one to a sales associate interview.

Maybe if I left at 2pm from home, I would have gotten another bus driver and he would have gotten me to the right bus stop. I will say I don't regret not going to the interview. Yeah, well at least I didn't totally burn down that bridge with the law office. I could have simply not showed up, and they would think I'm flaky. Then they won't interview me again if I applied to them again.

Jan. 16 Call Centre #4: I got a callback from Call Centre #4. Remember how I got hired there back in 2010? I then was dismissed after a day because 9 completed surveys wasn't good enough. Also I was rushed and skipped a paragraph that I was supposed to read to the caller. They called me today to do an interview, and I feel nervous. I think it's the same guy who hired me 2 yrs ago because it's the same name and voice. I don't know if he's going to remember me.

I did meet him for a day and was dismissed. This happened 2 yrs ago. If he remembers me, he will ask: "Have you been here before?" I will straight up and say: "Yes, you dismissed me after I only got 9 surveys done. However, this time I will get way more completed surveys." I am nervous about it, but after writing about it, I feel a bit more calm.

Call Centre #3: I didn't feel this way with Call Centre #3. I did a day of training back in 2007. Then I was dismissed because they said they decided to hire someone else who didn't need as much training as I did. At least I got paid. I got hired there in 2009 and worked for 6 months until I got laid off. I wasn't nervous when I was hired back because there were new managers there.

Job articles: I got this from Job Boom. It's an article about building your online brand. Google yourself, and what do you get? I got my Facebook page and my Tracy's blog. This is a good article because it provides tips on creating your online presence like write a blog and create a profile on LinkedIn.

http://career.jobboom.com/career-planning/2011/01/11/16848346.html

Getting a raise: I got this from Alberta Job Centre: "How to Negotiate a Raise." Good tips about building a portfolio, and to know your employer and industry. Can they give you a raise if the industry is struggling? You may not get a raise, but you can get benefits. There are tips like: "Don't act entitled to a raise."

http://www.albertajobcentre.ca/content/index.cfm?objectid=AF31D989-2219-80B4-53FDCC3449F1ECD1&utm_source=Albertajobcentre.ca&utm_campaign=fdb0828d65-AB_Career_Jan_05_20121_5_2012&utm_medium=email

Another article: "Negotiating awesome benefits." It mentions signing bonus and vacation time.

http://www.albertajobcentre.ca/re/career-advice/career-advice/salary-advice/salary-advice--negotiating-awesome-benefits

"8 Things that can boost your pay" are education, years of experience, performance reviews. It did mention hazardous working conditions like working with dangerous chemicals:

http://www.albertajobcentre.ca/re/career-advice/career-advice-articles/salary-advice/eight-things-that-can-boost-your-pay

Here's an article about career portfolios like it should have a resume, references, and certificates:

http://www.albertajobcentre.ca/re/career-centre/career-tools/career-planning/career-portfolios

Work wardrobe: Here's one "Your Interview Wardrobe on a Budget." It's about clothes so it interested in me like something I would read in a fashion magazine. The article said: "Dress for the job you want, and not the one you have." It gives good tips about shopping in your closet and the store. Go to the tailor to get your clothes to fit you.

http://www.albertajobcentre.ca/content/index.cfm?objectid=CEADA768-2219-80B4-5311AE9B04BB35A5&utm_source=Albertajobcentre.ca&utm_campaign=b3ad3eaf2a-AB_Career_Jan_11_20121_11_2012&utm_medium=email

It reminds me of a Seventeen magazine article about going around passing your resumes. Wear dress pants, and not jeans. Wear a nice shirt, and that's not too revealing. Also reminds me of my brother's friend a couple months ago. He was looking for a job in the warehouse and he went around to pass his resume in the industrial neighborhoods. He was wearing the clothes like the coveralls and the steel toe boots that are needed to be worn to work there. He was able to get hired when he did an on-the-spot interview.

Blog article: I really like this article from Job Boom. It's about building a blog to make yourself more professional:

"Determine what you have to share that is of value. Identify what you’re passionate about and what topic will keep you motivated to keep learning more."

The Vertex Fighter blog is to get investors, writers, producers, actors to help me produce my script called The Vertex Fighter. Tracy's Blog is my personal blog. It's more like a portfolio that I'm a prolific writer because I have all these blog posts. It's also to get someone to hire me to be a writer for TV and movies.

http://career.jobboom.com/headlines-calgarysun/2009/08/17/10490026-calsun.html

Saturday, January 14, 2012

After Holiday Sale: Calendar, Planner and more! (Amnesty International)

If you still want to go shopping after the holidays, you can shop at Amnesty International. Here's an email from them:


Shown in Photo: 2012 Calendar & Planner


Dear Tracy,

SHOP FOR HUMANITY. SHOP WITH A PURPOSE. Keep human rights at the top of your agenda with an Amnesty planner or calendar. Save on shirts and fair-trade jewelry--all for a great cause. At Shop Amnesty, every purchase supports Amnesty International life-saving human rights work. Visit our store.


50TH ANNIVERSARY TIN CANDLES - $15.00


50TH ANNIVERSARY SILVER LAPEL - $9.95


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL LOGO POSTER - $15.00


HANDMADE SAC BAG - $25.00


TON FAI COTTON SCARF - $18.00 $15.00


ECO-FRIENDLY HARDCOVER HORSE JOURNAL - $14.00


PURPLE SHORT CHERRIES NECKLACE - $28.00 $20.00


VEGAN WALLET - $36.00 $30.00


SILVER/GUNMETAL BEADED BRACELET - $20.00 $16.00


WRITE-A-THON T-SHIRT - $17.95 $14.00


INSTANT KARMA FUN PACK - $40.00 $30.00


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job joke/ comedy and genders/ funny video

Jan.11 Job joke: I got this from Daily Silly:

A man went to apply for a job. After filling out all of his applications, he waited anxiously for the outcome. The employer read all his applications and said, "We have an opening for people like you." "Oh, great," he said, "What is it?" "It's called the door!"

Little jokes: Here are a couple from Daily Silly. It's basically a set up, and a punchline.

"A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does."

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day."

This isn't from Daily Silly, it just showed up in my spam:

What is worse than a giraffe with a sore neck?
A centipede with athlete's foot.

Where did the kittens go on their class trip?
To a mewseum.

Comedy and genders: I think women can be funny and joke around, but they usually tell the plain truth. It's mean, but it's not funny. I was thinking about that online dating chat where I was IMing this guy, and then later he totally rejected me. I emailed all my friends about it.

When I was talking to my 20 yr old friend Maygen.

Me: Did you read my email about online dating?
Maygen: You mean the guy who was looking for a hookup?

Maygen dissed him, but it wasn't funny. At least not to me, but some of you may laugh.

When I was talking to my 24 yr old friend Leslie.

Me: Then he asked me "Do you like sex?"
Leslie laughs.
Me: Why are you laughing?
Leslie: Because it (the question) came out of nowhere.

Leslie laughed at him. She wasn't trying to be mean, but she laughed.

When I was talking to my 16 yr old friend Ray.

Me: He said "Yikes."
Ray: What is this guy? Like 16?

Ray dissed him for being immature. She wasn't laughing as she was saying it.

When I talked to my 24 yr old friend Dan N.

Dan N. (laughing): What is this guy? Like 13? Asking "Have you ever had sex before? Have you ever done it?" Not knowing what it is.

Dan N. was laughing and made a snarky comment.

Genders being mean: I was comparing this to that "genders being mean" subject about that Jamie Kennedy Experiment show. They did that episode about a talent show, and the 2 male judges were totally mean and making snarky comments.

If there is a woman judge, she would diss him, but she would tell the plain truth like: "He can't ride a unicycle or juggle at the same time. He's not talented." It's mean, but it's the plain truth, and not funny. I went to the Youtube video again. I read some more people dissing the 2 male judges. Also one comment where someone said: "F--- the audience." The audience was mean too by laughing and booing at Jamie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBQ1s35d5rw

Funny video: I found this on my friend Heather's Facebook status. Here's some news with two TV hosts. "Belinda Heggen deals Mark Aiston a low blow."

Mark: ...Something so small can be so impressive.
Belinda: Well Mark, you would know about that. (Turns to camera). Thank you very much. Weathers next with Jane Riley-

I commented on the link: What? I'm putting this up on my blog and my Facebook page. This proves that women can be funny.

It was also so fast that the camera cut back to Belinda, they didn't show Mark's reaction. Also Belinda still managed to seem professional. I don't know, I'm over analyzing again. Maybe I have to see more videos of them together. They're either friends, or maybe they really hate each other.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8Bc7eRTdWY

Jan. 13: On Facebook, my friends Jayda and Judith "liked it."

Jayda said: I don't think the argument of whether or not women are funny even merits proof.

Me: A lot of people think women aren't funny, so I feel like there needs to be proof.

Jayda: Yeah it's a ridiculous argument... it's like arguing monkeys should be allowed to drive... doesn't even deserve validation.

Mr. D: Comedian Gerry Dee has a new sitcom called Mr. D. He plays a teacher and he was a teacher prior to being a comedian.

johncorraza: Thumbs up. Mr. D is to teachers what Michael is to office managers (in the TV show The Office.) Finally the CBC has programming that isn't contrived Canadian.

I have to agree that Mr. D has this vibe of a bad teacher like Michael is a bad office manager in The Office. I only saw this 2min clip, and not a whole episode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fn_vAhu_Lw&feature=pyv

Thursday, January 12, 2012

job search/ job interviews/ 2011 review

Jan. 9 Job search: I applied to Call Centre #4 again. Yeah, that's right. I have worked there for a day back in 2010, and then they dismissed me because 9 completed surveys isn't enough. When I get hired, I will strive to get way more than that.

Companies: Have you ever heard of SFZ telemarketing? I got a call from them months ago. It pays $11/hr and commission. It's night shifts as usual like call centres are. They said it closes down every couple of months because it's not busy.

It's in downtown, but since it's night shifts and it was going to take longer to get home. I need to be able to wake up early for my restaurant job. I also wanted something permanent, and they said it closes down every couple of months so I felt it was inconsistent. I guess I could work there, and keep getting laid off so I can get my EI money. That's only if I work some hundreds of hours so that's going to be awhile to qualify and collect EI.

Job interviews:

Phone interview: Today I did a 20 min. job interview over the phone. It's for a bank. I did a job interview for them last year and didn't get hired. This time, this is for another position which I think seems easier to get. However, at the end of the interview, he gave me the location. I looked it up and I have take 2 buses and an LRT to get there. It's for a bank, so it's worth it.

I thought the interview was average. I think I flopped on a question, but overall my work experience was relevant.

Dental assistant: I did a job interview to be a dental assistant. The Dentist was this white guy in his 40s. Kind of balding. He gave me a tour of his small office. He asked questions that I have never been asked before in an interview. I did an interview for a medical office assistant and at a chiropractic clinic, but this was different. He asked me if I took high school science. I took Biology.

He asked if I get queasy from the sight of blood and seeing needles put into people. I said no. He mentioned about having a family member who was a nurse and quit because it was hard to deal with the blood. I remember reading somewhere that medical school students who drop out not because it's hard, but because it's gross with the blood and guts.

The interview was okay. I will be trained with the computer program, and it's not very hard. It's the chair side work that will be a new challenge for me. The hours are full, and I can work there on the weekdays, and work at the restaurant on the weekends. I'm kind of interested in that I can work here and at the restaurant at the same time. The Dentist seems nice.

Bus: I'll have to take 2 buses to get there, but that's fine. Today I actually took the bus and then it turned into a different number. So then the bus driver stopped at this other bus stop, and I caught another bus to get there. I got there on time and that's good. It was also really windy and cold today.

Flashback: I did get a flashback of how I met this girl at Centre High. She was applying to get into NAIT's dental assistant program. It's a 1 yr course. She said to be a dentist, you would have to go to school for way longer.

Jan. 11 Crazy trip: It was crazy this morning. I have a job interview tomorrow. I have to take 2 buses and an LRT to get there. I have never been there before, it's an important interview, so since it's my day off, I'm going to utilize my time. I have done lots of interviews to places I have never been before, but I go to Google maps, I look it up and find it and am able to plan my trips and get there on time.

I'm nervous about this interview, so I thought I could calm myself down a bit if I go there once before, the day before. I took the bus, and I actually missed the stop. Fortunately, the driver stopped at another stop and directed me to the right direction. I only had to walk about 5 min to find the place. I found the place, so that's good.

But then I had to get home. I found one bus stop that said "Future service" so it's not really a bus stop yet. I found another stop for a bus # I didn't take. I saw another bus stop, I go there and it's for the same #. I did see a taxi go by at #2 bus stop. I was waiting #3 bus stop and I waved a taxi down. I asked to be taken to the LRT station.

I then paid $8 for a taxi ride. I went home. It took 2 and a half hours to go there and come back. The good thing is that I found the place, I'll keep more of an eye out for the bus stop I'm supposed to get off at. I was paying attention and looking for the building and the stores around it. I should be really paying attention to the street numbers. Then I noticed the street numbers were a bit ahead. I went home and planned my trip a little earlier so I could be on time. There are also some stores around the office so I could shop there before the interview.

If I had gotten off at the right bus stop, I wouldn't have taken that taxi. I would have been able to know which bus stop I'm supposed to go to get back to the LRT station.

Sales associate: I was wary of going to this interview this afternoon. I called to confirm is it just selling or is there a receptionist position? It's sales associate/ receptionist. If it was just sales associate, then I'm not interested.

The trip was kind of unpredictable. The bus came 5min. late, but then I was able to catch the 2nd bus to get there. I get there 30 min. early so I went and checked out a thrift store that's close by. It's also around the same neighborhood that I had been there on my "crazy trip" this morning.

The interview was okay. I have read 2 job interview books, and I felt this boss wasn't interviewing me with the right questions. I was the one who asked the questions like what are the shifts like, and what the duties are. I was the 5th person to be interviewed. He did say I was the first person to ask questions.

The pay is good, and there is commission. I can work here on the weekdays, and work at the restaurant on the weekends.

Question: Are you really interested in working as a dental assistant and sales associate/ receptionist? I would say I like them both for the pay, and that I also get to work at the restaurant on the weekends. The duties seem fine.

Productive: Today I spent hours on the bus, but I was productive as I was waiting for it, and riding on it. I was reading the newspaper and educating myself.

Saying: This happened last week, but I asked my sister this question when we were watching TV.

Me: Have you ever heard of the saying: "What gets measured, gets done"?
S: I think it's different.
She Googled it.
S: "What gets measured, gets managed."

I looked it up, and it seems we're both right. It's both from Peter Drucker. On this site, it says "done":

http://stephenjgill.typepad.com/performance_improvement_b/2010/02/what-gets-measured-gets-doneor-not.html

On this site, it says "managed":

http://www.sebastianmarshall.com/what-gets-measured-gets-managed

2011 review: I've been kind of procrastinating writing about this 2011 review. This morning, my sister did ask me how much money I made last year. I told her.

Me: This is pretty much the same amount I made back in 2009 when I was working at the Soup place full-time. This year, I've been working at the restaurant part-time, but I got a lot of tips so that's how I can make as much money as I did at the Soup place.
S: Have you thought of getting a 2nd job that's the same like what you do right now?

Me: Yeah, I applied to a call centre where I can work at night.
S: There must be something wrong with your resume if you don't get interviews.
Me: I pass out at least 100 resumes a month. I do get interviews. I've done like at least 50 interviews this year.
(Seriously. Some are short, preliminary interviews over the phone where they ask a few questions. So some of you may say that doesn't count and that a job interview is when you are in the office, talking face-to-face.)

S: Yeah, well then you're doing something wrong in the interviews.
Me: That's why I read 2 interview books.
S: You should go to a counselor and do a mock interview to see what you're doing wrong.
Me: I know there's one at the U of A.
S: You never went there. (As in attending the school.)

What I took from this is that I should go to one of my 2 colleges I attended, and talk to a counselor. I was thinking about that. I haven't done it because I was actively looking for a office job on the internet, and attending interviews.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Special jewelry gift sale at Amnesty's store

I got this from Amnesty International:


Shown in Photo: Ziya Wrap & Beads of Strength


Dear Tracy,

Avoid the chaos of Black Friday -- shop Amnesty for gifts of peace and hope. Save big on books, calendars, shirts and jewelry, knowing that 100% of all proceeds benefit Amnesty International's human rights work. Hurry - sale ends Monday 11/28/11! Visit our store.


INSTANT KARMA PACK - $37.00 $23.00


CALENDAR & PLANNER SET - $26.94 $18.00


LOGO SOCCER BALL - $30.00 $21.00


NEW ORLEANS AGM MASK SHIRT - 17.95 $10.00


PINK & WHITE ONESIE - 14.95 $8.00


ACTIVIST LOGO SHIRT - 17.95 $12.00


HOLIDAY CARDS - 12.95 $10.00


ENDURING SPIRIT + FREE POSTER - $30.00 $15.00


ALL POSTERS 30% OFF - $5.00-$24.00 $3.50-$16.80


DARFUR PHOTO ESSAY - $20.00 $9.00


BEADED LOGO BRACELET - $7.00 $4.50


REGGIE CLEMONS SHIRT - $15.00 $10.00


P.S. We refreshed our store to make it easier to find the gifts you need - check out the new shop.amnestyusa.org today.

Step Up/ Michelle Murray/ Christmas party

Jan. 6 Step Up: I was channel surfing and I saw that the dancing movie Step Up was on Cosmo channel. I had to watch it. I saw it the first time when it came out back in 2006. I really liked it because of the dancing and love story. I also really like the lead actor Channing Tatum. This is the movie where he really broke out on his own. He was in a few movies prior to it, but he wasn't the lead.

I mainly had this movie on in the background as I look for a job. I already saw it once, so the 2nd time I'll watch it for the dance sequences. It's a light and fun dance movie to watch. I recommend it if you like light movies, dancing, and romance.

I was watching Pop Up Video, and it turns out the lead actress Jenna Dewan was a back up dancer in Janet Jackson's music video "All For You." I went on the internet and she was on the "All For You" tour. In the show, they mentioned that Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum got married.

Jan. 7 Date: So I have been emailing this guy Jay for a couple of weeks. We met up today and hung out for about an hr and a half. We went to the Edmonton Winter Festival in Churchill Square. We checked out the art displays there. There were a lot of artists who were at the summer festivals at Churchill Square last year. It was interesting and fun to look at the paintings.

Michelle Murray: Jay talked to the artist Michelle Murray. During it, I then got a flashback and asked her: "Were you in the Edmonton Journal?" MM says: "Yeah, Mom of 8. You have a good memory." I remember reading an article about it a few months ago. Check out her art:

http://michellemurrayart.com/about

So back to the date. It was okay. I had fun, we talked a lot about movies as we were shopping.

Jan. 8 Christmas party: I invited my friends to my Christmas party at work, but no one could make it. So I went by myself. I didn't go last year because after work, I was tired. I had a good dinner with my family instead. This year, I decided to go to see what it was like. I should go out more often and try new things.

I did kind of have a friend with me, my friend who started working here. She brought another friend. They ate dinner, and stayed for 30min. They then gave me their raffle/ party tickets when they left. My friend's friend didn't rip off the bit of the ticket to enter in the draw. I had 2 chances to win one of these great prizes.

It's mostly gift cards for restaurants and stores. The really good ones are the ones to stay at really nice hotels. Some are electronics like a dvd player. I was there for about 2hrs. I did socialize a little bit, by talking to this young woman from another department. We know each other a bit. I mainly talked to my friend, and her friend.

I did do a little bit of my crossword puzzle after I finished eating. The food was good. I also read the newspaper I brought with me. You're probably like: "You need to socialize more." Yeah, well at least I stayed longer than 30min. I mainly stayed because I wanted to win something in the raffle. I didn't win, but I had fun.

Jan. 9 The visitors: On New Year's Day, at night, we got some visitors. I was in my room and my parents were talking to them. I thought friends came over. Then they came downstairs and was speaking English to my brother. My sister closed her bedroom door. I went out of my room to see what the hub bub was about.

It's two cops. A white woman and an East Indian man. They were investigating a domestic disturbance. My mom called my sister out, and she had shut the door so she wouldn't have to listen. Now she has to deal with it. I didn't hear anything. However, my sister actually heard something outside. That was interesting.

Music: I found this artist from watching Pop Up Video. Maxwell is a black R&B artist and here's his video "Fistful of Tears." He's got the smooth voice and music like Robin Thicke. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KabCkV_oW48&ob=av3e

Also from the show, I saw the video by American Idol winner Fantasia. Here's her video "Free Yourself." This is a good and emotional ballad. The chorus says: "If you don't want me, then don't talk to me/ Go ahead and free yourself."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWs3fs9nnzc&ob=av2e

Also on the show, they played this R&B group called Soul for Real. They are 4 African-American brothers. The video is called "Every Little Thing I Do." They're from the early 90s and I don't remember them. It's got a good beat and the dancing's good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ihhJCPYHuk&ob=av2e

I was watching a little MuchMusic and they showed this R&B group called Mindless Behavior. They look like they're 13-15 yrs old. Here's their song "Mrs. Right" ft. Diggy Simmons. I like the song, it's got a good beat to dance to. They kind of remind me of the old R&B group B2K because they're both with 4 African-American guys who sing and dance. B2K were in their late teens though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cuoL8lwaPs

I was watching the tail end of Jimmy Fallon, and they showed this country singer Hunter Hayes. I listened to some of his music and it's okay. I'm not really into country. If you are, then check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5MPxz-8e6A

Comparisons: Here's something I haven't done in awhile. List my comparisons.

Lead character meets person of the opposite sex, and is their double: In The Listener season 2 finale, Toby meets a woman who is telepath like he is. That reminded me of Kyle XY where Kyle meets Jessi. She has the same powers he has. On Tru Calling, Tru can relive days. She meets Jack and he can do the same thing.

An intro to TV series: The third ep into Ringer, they showed the intro to what the TV series is about. Ringer is about two sisters with the same face. They're twins and Siobhan fakes her death, and Bridget takes over and pretends to be Siobhan. Bridget is hiding away from the FBI and the mob.

As soon as I saw the intro, I was reminded of Alias. The intro was Sydney is a double agent working for SD-6 who she thought was the CIA. It turns out SD-6 wasn't, so she works for the CIA to take down SD-6. Her dad is also a double- agent.

Closing the morgue drawer door where they keep the body, and cut to black: I was watching The Mentalist and at the end, Patrick Jane needs someone to confirm if the dead body is Red John. The door closes and cut to black. Cut to closing credits.

It was done on Tru Calling where Jack works at the morgue. He closes the drawer door, cut to black, cut to credits. It was done well on both shows.

Teen pregnancy: Here's something I haven't wrote in a long time. I was watching the Teen Mom season finale special. The 4 teen moms mainly have positive feedback. The TV show makes parents talk about sex and have an open discussion with their kids. Amber did get negative feedback because of her domestic violence actions on the show.

Catelynn Facebooks people about adoption because she gave her baby up for adoption. Did you know that 1 in 10 of every children born in the US are from teen moms? 400,000 babies are born to teen moms a year. In the first part, they interviewed Farrah and how she's sad. There was a PSA about Halfofus.com about depression.

http://www.halfofus.com/default_splash.aspx

Dr. Drew interviewed Amber about how her little sister died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Amber's mom came, and started talking about her experience with SIDS. Amber got so upset, she got up and left the stage. Dr. Drew followed her to make sure she's okay.

Think murder: I was watching BBC news on Nov. 3, 2011. I turned on the TV, and it was on. BBC news was profiling this:

Cut to a black woman who is a Parking Officer.
She is arguing with a Man in coveralls over a parking meter.
Man #2 in coveralls comes with a chainsaw and cuts the parking meter in half.
PO starts backing away in fear.

It looks real, but it's a hoax. It was supposedly to help advertise the movie In Time. It turns out the black woman really is in law enforcement. The BBC news piece was about advertising and how to make things look real, when it isn't.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pres. Obama signed the NDAA - now we fight back

I got this from Amnesty International:

Dear Tracy,

January 11, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of "war on terror" detainees at Guantanamo. We're not going to let this day pass quietly.

Sign Amnesty's global petition urging President Obama to finally follow through on his promise to close Guantanamo. Help us meet our goal of 100,000 signatures worldwide -- signatures we plan to deliver straight to the White House door.

We haven't forgotten President Obama's pledge to close Guantanamo, one of his first acts as president. Nearly three years later, the President has failed to keep his end of the bargain.

Even worse, President Obama has yet again relented to extremists in Congress. On New Year's Eve, he signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law, along with its appalling detention provisions.

We lost that fight, but there's reason for hope. The battle over the NDAA united activists across the ideological divide, who put differences aside and came together to oppose the NDAA.

January 11th isn't just any anniversary. This year, it's a critical moment to rise up against a shameful decade of human rights abuses perpetrated in our name. We can't let the recent outrage against the NDAA simply ebb away -- help us channel this passion into a movement rededicated to closing Guantanamo!

Guantanamo is a costly human rights catastrophe. Military and intelligence experts have repeatedly asserted that Guantanamo and the violations it stands for are immoral, illegal and counterproductive to US national security.

There is a simple solution to closing Guantanamo -- either charge detainees and give them a fair trial in US federal court, or release them.

Sign our petition to tell President Obama that we are tired of his excuses. Guantanamo must be closed.

For many, the New Year holiday embodies humanity's hopes for the future. Here's to 2012 -- and with your help, this could be Guantanamo's final year.

Sincerely,

Zeke Johnson
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA

P.S. It's not too late to join us in Washington, DC on January 11th for a National Day of Action Against Guantanamo. Lend a hand to our human chain!

funny video/ New Year's jokes/ rant

Jan. 4 Funny video: I found this on Yahoo. It's where a cat is pawing the baby's head gently. The baby was crying, but the cat's paws soothed him. The cat must have been de-claw. As I was watching it, I thought the parent should have gotten a stuffed animal and rubbed it on the baby's head. It would have made him stop crying.

http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/cat-soothes-crying-baby-to-sleep.html

Jan. 5 Christmas joke: I got this from Daily Silly on Jan. 3. So it's a little late, but here it is:

A few days before Christmas, two young brothers were spending the night at their grandparent's house. When it was time to go to bed, and anxious to do the right thing, they both knelt down to say their prayers.

Suddenly, the younger one began to do so in a very loud voice.
"Dear Lord, please ask Santa Claus to bring me a xbox, BMX bike and a ipad."
His older brother leaned over and nudged his brother and said, "Why are you shouting your prayers? God isn't deaf."
"I know" he replied, "But Grandma is!"

New Year's jokes: I got these from Daily Silly. I think this joke is a good start in ending a bad habit:

Dave, at a New Year's party, turns to his friend, Kevin, and asks for a cigarette.
"I thought you made a New Year's resolution to quit smoking," Kevin responds.
"I'm in the process of quitting," replies Dave with a grin.

"Right now, I am in the middle of phase one."
"Phase one?" wonders Kevin.
"Yeah," laughs Dave, "I've quit buying."

Here's another one:

Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year and yet you never keep them? Here are some resolutions that you can actually accomplish! Enjoy! :-)

10. Read less.
9. I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.
8. Stop exercising. Waste of time.
7. Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
6. Procrastinate more.
5. Drink. Drink some more.
4. Start being superstitious.
3. Spend more time at work.
2. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.

and last but not least...

1. Take up a new habit: maybe smoking!

Me: I do have to say about #7. I don't want to miss out on something good on TV. I know Criminal Minds is a good TV show. The important thing is to not watch Dr. Phil.

This joke, at first seems to be about New Year's. Now I read it again, and it doesn't seem to be:

A VERY BRAVE MAN

It was New Years Day and Billy asked his mother, "Mom, why are wedding dresses white?"

The mother looks at her son and replies. "Billy, this shows your friends and relatives that your bride is pure."

Billy thanks his Mom and goes off to double-check this with his father. "Dad why are wedding dresses white?"

The father looks at his son in surprise and says, "Billy, all household appliances come in white."

Rant: I got this also from Daily Silly, but I have a lot of comments which I will add in brackets.

NINE THINGS I REALLY HATE

1. People who point at their wrist while asking for the time. Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the toilet is?
(That's interesting, I never noticed that. Well a lot of people ask me what time it is, but they don't always point at their wrist.)

2. People who are willing to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to get up and change the channel manually.
(I don't. My TV needs the remote to change the channel. If my remote doesn't work, I run upstairs to get the one from the other TV and run back down to change the channel.)

3. People who say "Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too". Damn right! What good is cake if you can't eat it?
(Good point. I think the phrase is about not getting everything you want all the time. Or about sacrificing something for the greater good. For example, you may not be able to watch one hour of TV because you need to study for a test tomorrow. I want to do both, but I can only do one. I think the rant was also about an annoying cliche.)

4. People who say "it's always the last place you look". Yeah, I tend to stop looking once I've found it.
(I thought it was about something like finding a remote in the fridge. It's about finding something in an unexpected place. That is kind of an annoying cliche.)

5. When people watching a film say "did you see that?" Do they think I paid $12 to look at the floor?
(It could mean something specific like "Did you notice that the actor kind of laughed before they cut away? Or that little movie mistake.")

6. People who ask "Can I ask you a question?". Did they give you a choice?
(I read about it on twop.com. You can say: "You already did." You should say: "I have a question" or "I have a personal question that I hope you don't mind my asking.")

7. When something is 'new and improved!'. Which is it?
(I remember reading this on Seventeen magazine called "Dear Whatever" about a rant. Someone said: "If it's new, then it can't be improved.")

8. When people say "life is short". Life is the longest damn thing anyone ever does!! What can you do that's longer?
(Another cliche, but it doesn't annoy me. There's the saying "Life is precious.")

9. When you are waiting for the bus and someone asks "Has the bus come yet?". If the bus came would I be standing here?
(In real life, people specify like: "Has the #2 gone by yet?")

Productive: I'm going to add to the rant. I mentioned this before in the "Unintentionally Funny TV moments" on twop.com. It's about the TV show Life, a group of 8 cops watching this woman play a video game so she can get access to the files that they need to solve the case. You can watch here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFfJ4ZC1AtA

People on twop.com and Youtube said it was stupid. The cops have to get to level 10 of a video game so they can access the files. I'm getting angry at something that's fictional and has no effect on my life. I remember reading in the business section of the newspaper, and it said something about: "When you have a 1hr meeting with 5 people, it's not 1 hr. It's really 5 hrs, 1hr per person is giving their time to this meeting. They are not doing something productive and working."

So when I saw the group of 8 cops watching someone play a video game, that annoyed me. Say it took an hr. That is 8hrs of not being productive. The other people should work on the case, or can go on the internet to find tips on how to beat the game. Or some could be sent home.

Unrealistic: I'll also add in when there is this young woman in the clip, 1:17 sec in, she was watching the video game, and she was pretending she had the game console in her hands. Does anyone do that? Like when watching a video game, they pretend they have a game console in their hands?

Jan. 6 Crazy week: It's been a crazy week in general. On Mon. I stayed an hr late, because I had to work in another department. All week it was busy. We were running around trying to get things done. I came in on Wed. (which is supposed to be my day off) because they needed me. Today I was able to leave an hr early so I could get to a job interview.

Job interview: The interview I went to was close by to where I live. It's a law firm. I think the interview was okay. There were 12 applicants.

A couple of hrs later, they called me back and said I didn't get hired. In the interview they did mention that they either hire today or by next week. I guess they were looking for someone who had legal experience. They talked about if you wanted to work your way up, you can be a legal assistant, and I told them I know there's a 2 yr legal assistant program at MacEwan University. They said a lot of people who work at their firm is from that program.