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, April 30, 2012

Linked In/ TV production company/ International Experience Canada

Apr. 26 Linked In: The other day I was on Linked In, and I have a couple of my college writing friends there.  Then I see that a lot of my old classmates are on there too so I added them.  I'm already friends with them on Facebook, but with Linked In, it's more professional.  Facebook is usually used for fun.

Stable careers: I found this on Yahoo.  It's about stable careers like teachers and nurses.  That's predictable.  Some new ones are social media marketers, computer systems analysts, and recruiter for temporary jobs.

http://career-advice.monster.ca/job-hunt-strategy/getting-started/eight-stable-career-choices/article.aspx?WT.mc_n=Ycanada_YToday

Twitter: Helene Schmidt sent this to me through my blog "50 Useful Twitter Feeds for Econ Students."  There are 10 each for economists, entrepreneurship, money, finance, and business news; personal finance, and politics.

I am interested in personal finance because they mention feeds about how to save money.

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/04/11/50-useful-twitter-feeds-for-econ-students/

Careers for older workers: Roxanne McAnn sent me this article "8 Great Careers for Older Workers."  It's for people 55 and over.  I decided to read it anyway to get some ideas.  They mention blogger and most bloggers make $100 a month.

The careers listed for any age really like caregiver, grant proposal writer, green jobs, bed-and-breakfast owner.  I remember the kid show The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo where Shelby and her grandpa own a bed-and-breakfast inn.

Industries: Carol Brown sent me this article "10 Industries most in need of Skilled Workers."  They listed some trades like manufacturing, mining, oil and gas extraction, and construction.  There is healthcare, biotech, and childcare.

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/04/08/10-industries-most-in-need-of-skilled-workers/

Business acronyms: Roxanne McAnn sent me this "9 Business Acronyms you need to know."  This is a really informative article that explains what the acronym stands for.  It's also a little funny with the "What you thought it meant."

"#8 is IDEA: ... IDEAL: Identify, Define, Explore, Action, Lookback. What You Thought It Meant: Intergalactic Drug Enforcement Agency. Watch out, junkie aliens. You're next."

Apr. 27 TV production company: I did a job interview today at a TV production company.  I didn't get hired, but it was very helpful.  The woman who worked there gave me a lot of tips, and contacts for me to break into the TV business.  She mentioned AMPIA, FAVA, and other TV production companies to contact.

Apr. 29 Post Secret: This is in my job search email, because I feel there is motivation in these secrets.  It keeps me going and to keep pushing myself.  It also talks about people's successes and the flip side of it.

"All the joke are true... I'm becoming a teacher because I know I wouldn't make it in the real world."

Me: I'm sure there are a lot of teachers out there who are offended by this.  I would say to this person: "Don't put limits on yourself."  You may really love being a teacher, and it's a respectful occupation.  There's good job security.

"I was 17 the first time I saw you speak (to the Post Secret creator Frank Warren).  My perfect boyfriend took me to the perfect prom, before I graduated (valedictorian!)  Now I'm 22, I dropped out of school, I'm single, I work a s---ty job, and I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.  I'VE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER."

"In the past 15 yrs, I have lived and worked all over the world.  Everyone thinks my life is glamorous.  But the truth is, every time I plan another move, I pray that someone will love me enough to ask me not to go."

A secret was ""The secret of my success is never waiting for anyone to join me."

Apr. 30 International Experience Canada: I was reading 24 today and it talked about International Experience Canada.  If you're 18-35 yrs old, you can travel to another country and work there.  They do not provide financial assistance, but there are organizations that help you plan the trip.

You can work at any kind of job, but it's mostly hospitality like at a restaurant or a hotel.  On the second link I give you, at the end it said it's a good life experience to learn about other cultures which is "marketable in a global economy." 

I don't think it's really for me because I already work at restaurant in Canada.


http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/index.aspx?view=d

http://www.international.gc.ca/experience/faqs.aspx?lang=eng&view=d#q7

Job fair: I was going through my old pamphlets from a job fair at the University of Alberta.  It was months ago.  I went to two job fairs.  Katimavik: I remember seeing a commercial from here years ago.  It's a 6 month program where Canadians from 17-21 volunteers.  They work full-time for not-for-profit organizations.

In the pamphlet it said that research shows that "students who take a productive break between high school and post-secondary education (gap year) are more likely to find work faster and at a higher pay rate than those who have not."

I guess I would have like Katimavik because I want to help people.  However, I would probably take the summer (2 months) and then I have to go to school to upgrade to go to college.  My summer before I upgraded wasn't really productive.  I couldn't get a job though I passed out a bunch of resumes.  I was 18 and I didn't have any work experience.  I didn't go to summer school either for the first time like the past 4 summers. 
 

Email: Roxanne McAnn sent me this article "9 Oft-Overlooked Email Etiquette Tips Every Young Worker Should Know" through my blog.  It's a straight-forward article about thinking before you send.  Sound professional and get straight to the point in an email.  Emails can last forever in a hard drive and can be traced.

Online retailer: Roxanne McAnn also sent me this infographic "A Peek inside Online Retailers' Warehouses."  Amazon is doing very well this year according to the business section of the newspaper.  It's interesting and informative to read.

More than 15% of the warehouse workers are temporary employees and they make $3 less an hour than permanent workers.  This seems to be a dangerous job with hand injuries, back pain, and arthritis.  


Job search effect: I always say TV influences me the most, but I find my job search has an effect on how I watch TV.  When I was a teenager watching Cops, I think how exciting the show is.

Now I'm 26, and I think: Watching Cops is like a job shadow.  A job shadow is where you follow somebody and shadow them when they're doing their job.  You watch and learn from them.  By watching this show, I learn that I wouldn't like this occupation.   

Saturday, April 28, 2012

BREAKING: Connecticut abolishes the death penalty



We did it! Amnesty's hard work fighting the death penalty pays off in Connecticut.


funny video/ My Chemical Romance/ The Dandelion Girl

Apr. 23 Funny video: I was looking up some Linked In TV producers.  John Kerr has put up this on Linked In.  It's about Muppets TV show pitch.  It's kind of funny if you like the Muppets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KorhvVQRUM

My Chemical Romance: A couple of weeks ago I was typing in "Chemical Brothers" into Youtube to listen to music for my job search.  Then I thought about that rock band My Chemical Romance.  I remember when they first came out in 2005 and I saw their music video "I'm Not Okay (I Promise.)"

I thought it was a fun video because it was like a movie trailer.  The rock band is at a prep school and they don't fit in.  At the 2min mark, there's a part where it seems like a guy and a girl are about to kiss, but really the guy picks something out of her eye.  He then wipes it on her shirt.  It's making fun of the cliche of a romantic moment.

There are some pranks pulled, fighting the school mascot, etc.  Overall a fun video to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZudX66IBat8

Comedy comparisons: I have to add to the "Beating yourself up."  I mentioned before the movie Liar, Liar where Jim Carrey beats himself up in the washroom and that Pepsi Max commercial where a guy beats himself up at a job interview.  Someone on twop.com added it was done in Fight Club, though I haven't seen the movie.  I don't think the scene was supposed to be funny.

I was watching Tosh. O earlier, and there was a video of a teenage boy punching himself in the face.

Daniel Tosh: That's a good way to get back at your step dad.

It was also kind of done in Happy Gilmore where Adam Sandler's character goes to a batting cage.  He then starts getting hit by baseballs to train himself to tough it out.

The Dandelion Girl: I was checking out this online dating sit and someone said: "Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit,yesterday a deer, and today, you."  I looked it up to see what it meant and it's from a science- fiction short story called "The Dandelion Girl" by Robert F. Young.

I read the summary of it, and it's a beautiful and romantic story.  There was a good plot twist at the end.  It was very creative and uplifting.  I think it should be made into a movie.

According to Wikipedia:

"The Dandelion Girl" influenced Yutaka Izubuchi in the production of the Japanese anime series RahXephon.[4] The repeated line "Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you." from the story was featured in the visual novel Clannad and its anime series adaptation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dandelion_Girl

Apr. 24 Quirky: I got this from Daily Silly.  I thought it was kind of quirky, a marriage joke.
A husband and wife are shopping in their local Wal-Mart.

The husband picks up a case of Budweiser and puts it in their cart.

"What do you think you're doing?" asks the wife.

"They're on sale, only $10 for 24 cans," he replies.

"Put them back, we can't afford them," demands the wife, and so they carry on shopping.

A few aisles further on along the woman picks up a $20 jar of face cream and puts it in the basket.

"What do you think you're doing?" asks the husband.

"It's my face cream. It makes me look sexy and beautiful for you when we're making love," replies the wife.

Her husband retorts: "So does 24 cans of Budweiser ... at half the price."


Apr. 26 Charity: I was looking for a job and found this story about a homeless man who became rich by creating Second Cup.  His name is Frank O'Dea.  He's giving a speech in Edmonton on May. 3:

http://myunitedway.ca/homeless-to-business-tycoon/

Tone of voice: I want to add about this.  When I do a job interview I try to sound professional by listing my achievements.  My career counselor said I sounded kind of mechanical and need to make it more conversational.

I also realize how I can say something not serious to something serious and vice versa with the same tone of voice.  I mentioned before about Dateline: To Catch a Predator about that 35 yr old guy dating a 12 yr old girl.

Me: What are you guys going to talk about Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers?  What if she gets pregnant?

My tone of voice is plain.  I went from a not- serious question to a serious question.  There was the other real life instance where I met a guy who looks like Channing Tatum and his mom.

Me: One, we only take cash.
Woman: Okay.
Me: And two, do you know who you look like?

My tone of voice is plain again, and I went from serious to not serious in conversation.

Apr. 27 Laughing about death: I saw a promo for MTV Live and the joke was: "You will have a 1 in 1 chance of dying from anything."

Why I laugh: Why do I laugh about death?  Well it's going to happen.  I guess it's a dark topic, and you want to make something scary not so scary.

Also with the "getting scared about things that aren't supposed to be scary."  It's supposed to put things in perspective.  I was scared and nervous of going to the job interview for Call Centre #4.  I thought the boss would recognize me and say: "I remember you.  I hired you 2 yrs ago and you only got 9 completes.  Get out of here."

The thing is, I ask myself: "Am I physical danger?"  Taking social risks and getting rejected are fine.  I'm not going to get physically hurt, so there is nothing to be scared about at a job interview.

"Getting scared about things that aren't supposed to be scary" is a more specific topic in the comedy comparison "Overreacting to a situation."

Apr. 28 Funny article: Roxanne McAnn sent me this article "8 Reasons to Take Your Daughter or Son to Work."  It shows these really funny video clips.  The #5 video is funny because it's a sketch comedy.  The boss takes his daughter to work, and a co-worker has to watch the daughter for a bit.  The 6 yr old daughter is played by a grown woman and she tells the employee that her dad says bad things about him behind his back.  lol.

The first video was funny too because a boss is firing an employee, with the employee's daughter right there.  It was really inappropriate for a child to hear all these things.

I watched all the videos except the last one with Michelle Obama because that was 36min long.  All the others are only 3min long.

Cute: I got this from Daily Silly and I thought it was cute: 

When the mother returned from the grocery store, her small son pulled out the box of animal crackers he had begged for. Then he spread the animal-shaped crackers all over the kitchen counter. "What are you doing?" his mom asked. "The box says you can't eat them if the seal is broken," the boy explained. "I'm looking for the seal."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mayan community in Guatemala shouldn't pay to clean up Goldcorp's mess

I got this from Amnesty International:

 http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=864&utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Informz


Sign Petition on Goldcorp's Marlin Mine: Canadian mining company could leave impoverished Indigenous community with multi-million dollar bill to pay


Dear friend,
Your SUPPORT is needed to help defend the human rights of the Indigenous Peoples living in Guatemala's western highlands, near San Marcos.
Goldcorp's Marlin Mine in Guatemala is one of the company’s most profitable gold mines, but the company is making decisions without the full participation of the Maya peoples whose drinking water and farm lands may be affected.

Act now to urge Canadian mining company Goldcorp to act responsibly and respect the rights of Mayan people living near the mine.
Goldcorp has just provided the Guatemalan government with a proposal for how they will clean up the Marlin site. But Goldcorp developed the plan without any meaningful involvement of the Indigenous peoples whose basic human rights are at stake. Affected communities do not know how the company plans to clean up the site, monitor it for problems over the next 20 or more years, or who they will be able to turn to when problems arise.

Furthermore, the company has put up a mere $1 million bond as a guarantee that it will follow through on its clean up plans. Respected, independent studies indicate that the actual costs could be much higher over many years. The Mayan peoples should not be left with the possibility of having to pay for the long-term, high costs associated with mine-site remediation and monitoring.   They must be fully involved in making decisions now which will affect the health of their communities over the next few decades.
Amnesty International is calling on investors to support a shareholder resolution that will be presented at Goldcorp's upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in South Porcupine, Ontario, on April 26. To encourage investors to support the resolution and to show Goldcorp’s investors that Canadians and human rights defenders around the world think that this issue is important, Amnesty International is collecting signatures on a petition in support of the resolution.

If you contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) you should know that the CPP’s Investment Board holds $177 million in shares in Goldcorp, and millions more in many other extractives companies. As shareholders, we need to speak up against profit over human rights!

Goldcorp has pledged its commitment to respect for human rights. But the company has not yet met recommendations to improve its consultation practices. Social tensions in the communities around the mine run high.
Individuals in San Miguel Ixtahuacán who oppose the mine have been shot, intimidated and threatened. Peaceful protestors have been assaulted.

The shareholder resolution and the petition are supported by communities in Guatemala. The number of petition sign-ons will be presented to the company and media at the time of the Goldcorp AGM .
Let's make our voices heard. Please sign this petition and share it widely.Yours Sincerely,
signature

Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada

See Allan Lissner's photo exhibit of Marlin Mine, "Someone Else's Treasure"

job interview/ year reviews/ new direction

Apr. 20 Job interview: I did a job interview earlier this week.  I got an email today and I got rejected.  I was really hoping I did get hired here.  I have done lots of interviews and afterwards I didn't want to work there.

I wanted to work here because I get to write for their website and newsletters.  He asked for my blog address and I gave him my personal blog www.badcb.blogspot.com.  Maybe I should have given him my www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.  This position also gave me hours that I can work around my restaurant job.

If he were to read my most recent post, it was about TV shows and movies.  I am disappointed.  I have to write about it, to get over it.

Work: It was quiet at the restaurant all week long.  I have been busy with my 2nd part-time job though.

Apr. 21 The Simpsons: I have The Simpsons on in the background and it's the ep where Bart and Lisa writes Itchy and Scratchy cartoons.  They put Grandpa's name on it, and they split the check 3 ways.  The pay is $800 a week to write.

Me: That's good.  $800 x 4 weeks= $3200.  $3200 x 12 months= $38,400 a year.

As a kid, I thought the show was funny.  Now I'm an adult, I have to think about money.

Apr. 23 Entrepreneurs: Roxanne McAnn sent me this article through my blog "9 Unlikely Entrepreneurs who Changed the Market."  It talked about Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerburg.  It says Walt Disney was fired from a company for not having imaginative ideas. Bill Gates never finished college.  Mark Cuban owns HDNet.  He was fired from a computer store and then decided to start his own company.

Office Morale: Roxanne McAnn also sent me this article called "8 Proven Ways to Boost Office Morale."  It talked about having a dog in the work place.  In 2008, I did a job interview at a TV production company and they had a dog there.  Allow people to go on the internet for fun.  It will relax them a bit and be more productive after their mental break.

It said "avoid sex jokes" but "swear a bit."  Don't swear at people, or use it in a negative way.  Swear to release frustrations.  Don't swear in front of clients or senior staff.  I don't agree with swearing at work.

Apr. 24 Pros and cons: I got hired at a hospital, however it's the availability that I have a conflict with.

Pros:

1. A hospital has good job security.
2. The pay is really good.
3. The bus station and LRT is well lit.
4. If I take the bus home, I will be home by 11pm.
5. I spent $30 on a criminal record check to get this position so I should take the job to make my $30 worth it.  That sounds kind of stupid.
6. I should at least give this job a try, so I would know if it's good or not.  Would I regret it if I didn't take this position?

Cons: 1. I don't like taking the bus and LRT at night.
2. I have to work at night and have to be awake by 6:15am.  Assuming I fall asleep by 12am, I would only get 6hrs of sleep.  That's not good, I need 8hrs.
3. They can not guarantee any shifts.


Apr. 25 Hospital: I talked to my dad about it after thinking about it for a few hours.  I was going to turn it down.  Then my dad and later my mom said I should give it a really good shot.  I decided I will give my 3 days training at my night shifts.  If I'm not good, that's fine.

My dad says I should still give my availability to them, and we'll see how it goes.  I gave them my schedule and then I got a call back, and I wasn't hired.  My availability isn't that good.  I told them to keep my resume.

Well maybe another opportunity like at the first hospital I did an interview for, will come up again.  I did an interview where the hospital is really close to my job and I can work there 3 days a week with guaranteed shifts.

Year reviews:

2008: The Year of the Soup place.  After I graduated out of college, I worked at the Soup place for 8 months.  I was looking for an office job and pitching my script The Fighter.  Both goals were even.

2009: The Year of The Fighter.  I was working full-time at the Soup place.  I passed 20 resumes a month to look for an office job like last year.  Mainly, I was pitching my script The Fighter and writing, and editing it.  I was giving my 100% time and effort into getting it produced.  I made a lot of progress because I had contacted all these TV production companies.

There was a time when 3 production companies were reading my script at the same time.   1. To get my script produced.
2. Get an office job.

2010: The Year of Unemployment.  I was laid off from the Soup place and was unemployed for 8 months.  I was sending 100 resumes out a month since Apr.  I was looking for a regular job and an office job at the same time.  When I had an office job for a couple of weeks, I did pitch my script.  I also had my appendix out, so I took 2 weeks off work to recover.  I then used that time to pitch my script. 

It was then called The Vertex Fighter, and it had become a lower priority.  Mainly I spent my time looking for a job.

1. Get a job.
2. Get an office job.
3. Get The Vertex Fighter script produced.

2011: The Year of the Office Job Search.  I was working part-time at my Restaurant #2.  The hours were cut to part-time.  I would say I used my free time effectively.  After I go to work, I go home and do my office job search.  I send out 100 resumes a month and constantly go on interviews. 

1. To get an office assistant job.
2. Get a writer's job.  (I did very little on that.)
3. Get The Vertex Fighter script produced.  (I didn't do too much on that either.)

2012: I'm not quite sure what to call it.

New direction: I have decided to go in a new direction.  I've been constantly looking for an office job ever since I got laid off from the Soup place in Apr. 2010.  I would say I gave 100% effort into looking for an office assistant job for 2011.  I've done like 50 job interviews last year.  It's been 2 yrs of constant job search.

I went to 2 career counseling sessions at school this year.  I got some information to open my own production company at the Microbusiness Training Centre.  I took a temp job at the Fruit Place last year and a temp job this month.  I thought I got hired at the hospital, but didn't.

My new direction is this: I'm going to give a 100% effort into getting a job at a TV production company.  I have sent out my resumes to some already. 

Flashback: I remember I did do one job interview at a TV production company back in 2008.  I tried to look for the post on my blog, but couldn't find it.

Script pitch: I mainly have contacted a lot of production companies already when I was pitching my The Vertex Fighter script to them, and was rejected.  This time, I'll be sending resumes out.

Monday, April 23, 2012

You're ready to act (Amnesty International)

You care about urgent issues – like this critical action for U.S. women.

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=517286&msource=W1204EAWMN1

Dear Tracy,

Act.

That's what 15,000 of you told me Amnesty does best. Here are some other things I learned from last month's survey responses:

You believe Amnesty International makes an impact on human rights by mobilizing supporters like you.
You're ready to act -- you want to attend rallies, get online and use social media to contact elected officials, write letters, and connect with families and friends.
You've got priorities. You want to work on behalf of individuals, defend the human rights of women, and respond to crisis situations around the world as they develop. And we see strong interest in working on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights; immigrant rights; and corporate responsibility.

A big thank you to everyone who took the survey. We are already using the information to develop cutting-edge tools that will create an even greater impact and help us respond quickly to developing situations.

Let's get started today. Congress is about to vote on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This legislation aims to protect women from violence and exploitation, but at this moment, many critical parts of the bill -- provisions that would protect Native American women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and immigrant women in particular -- are in danger of being left out.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill within a week - Tell your Senator that we need a strong Violence Against Women Act that protects ALL women.

Thanks again for all you do for Amnesty,

Suzanne Nossel
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Apocalypse 2012/ blog/ foster kids

Apr. 16 Apocalypse 2012: I was watching Doc Zone on Jan. 5, 2012. It was about the end of the world being Dec. 21, 2012 because it's the last day on the Mayan calender. They interviewed builders who make bomb shelters.

They talked to Lawrence Joseph, author of Apocalypse 2012 and Aftermath.

LJ: Someone who makes claims on baseless fears isn't helpful.

They interviewed Patrick Gewryl, a 2012 survivalist. He says: "In a Mayan book about how solar flares will come to Earth, and make the planet spin backwards."

They talked to Pam Walters who believes in the end of the world. I googled her name and got this:

http://www.december212012.com/believers_list.htm

John Hoopes is a professor of anthropology.

Dr. David Morrison is a NASA space scientist and mentions: "Y2K. People are scared. They think about killing themselves."

George Noory is a radio host: "Be prepared, not scared."

They mentioned the movie 2012 with John Cusack. Here's more about the film:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_%28film%29

Jose Arguelis wrote the book The Mayan Factor. Check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mayan-Factor-Beyond-Technology/dp/0939680386

Lorne Dawson is a religious studies professor.

They talked to Dennis McClung, a 2012 survivalist. There was Jim too, and he won't tell his last name. He was wearing sunglasses, and a handkerchief on his face. Jim said Planet X Nibru will hit Earth.

Peter Gersten is a 2012 survivalist and he believes at 11:11 am, he will jump off a cliff into a portal to save the world.

Apr. 21 Neil Dallhoff: I got on Twitter so I could look for a job. Then I opened up all my email addresses contacts list and Neil Dallhoff is on Twitter. I followed him. He's the guy I met at the bus stop last month and haven't heard from since though I email him weekly. I thought I got a break by getting on Twitter.

He had put a phone number on there, so I called it asking for him. A woman answered saying I got the wrong number.

Blog: Ricky Wu read my blog and sent me this email:

"Hey i was wondering on your blog: http://badcb.blogspot.ca/2009/02/oryx-and-crake-essay.html
you have very good ideas that i used in my essay and i was wondering how i should cite this blog in mla format?"

So I sent him a link on how to cite my blog. Just type "Cite blog in mla format" on Google.

Here's another one. Christine Chu emailed me last year. Then she emailed this to me this year:

Hey Tracy!

It's been awhile (last year) since I told you about the diet/fitness "level-up" website I've been working on with some friends... Just want to let you know our website + app are both finally out. If you want to check it out, or use it, it's at slimkicker.com.

It took longer than I expected!! Let me know what you think, and hope you can share it in your blog if you think it can be useful. :)

Have a great day!
Christine
slimkicker.com

Me: I went to the website, and it's okay. I didn't get the app because I'm not totally interested in dieting. If you are interested, then check it out.

The Vertex Fighter: I realized something. All I have been doing is writing about actors and music I could use in my script The Vertex Fighter. I then decided to email some writers and producers to see if they read my script. It turns out I haven't done that in nearly 2 months.

I was busy with working full-time at my job, and my 2nd part-time temporary job. I have also been looking for a office job and going to interviews. So that's why I spent 2 hrs tonight going on Linked In and sending emails.

Writing: It's good to write down your actions by blog or journal. It makes you stay on track with your goals. I remember reading in the Globe and Mail business section of the newspaper "Focus on tasks that bring the most results." I would say working at my job brings money. Looking for an office job will bring even more money.

Cool website: I get this email from Steal the Deal which is a coupon kind of site. They sent me this coupon for Continental Treat Fine Bistro. I like the website. The mouse is followed by wine glasses and bottles. They play classical music in the background like a real fine dining restaurant would play.

There is a lunch and dinner menu, it's kind of pricey though.

http://www.ctfinebistro.com/

Apr. 23 Foster kids: I was watching 20/20 on Dec. 2, 2011. It talked about how foster kids take lots of prescription medication. They take 8-13 medications at the same time. Kids talk about being abused and neglected like not being fed. They talk about being over medicated and wants to stop. After they stop taking the drugs, they feel good and "free."

One kid talked about how after he stopped taking the meds, he was on honor roll 3 times. He says: "Doesn't mean you're in foster care, means that you should never give up and have hope." Foster kids are medicated 13 times more than non-foster kids.

Brooke was taking meds, and then went to a therapist. Brooke and her sister Kayla had a mom who's a drug dealer and a prostitute. They're now adopted.

Diane Sawyer: Can they afford therapy?
Doctor: Can they afford not to?

They talked to this black boy Keante and he's well-spoken. He is then adopted by white parents. He gets good grades.

The meds are behaviorial psychotropic drugs like Ritalin for ADHD.

Gabriel Meyers is a 7yr old foster boy who hung himself. It's ruled an accident, but the cops said the meds contributed to it. They interviewed this East Indian doctor who spent 5min with Gabriel, and how he's kicked out of of Medicaid. The doctor was arrested for cocaine.

Social worker mom (in shadows to hide identity): It's easier to give meds then spend an hour at a therapist.

Judith was 5yrs old and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She's adopted. 1 in 10 foster kids are adopted.

Keante went to court about changing the practice of giving meds to kids. He says therapy helps.

There is a residential centre called Mary Hearst for kids. Jeremiah and DJ are 6 and 8 yrs old. Jeremiah dances like Michael Jackson and the movie Grease. Their mom is a drug addict.

The therapist at the centre used to work for a pharmacy company.

Also at the centre, they talked to Sarah who's 15 yrs old. She was abandoned at 3. She looks like Avril Lavigne (my opinion.) She loves Justin Beiber.

One family saw Primetime 6 yrs ago about foster care, and they called the next day. They adopted Jeremiah and DJ.

Rogers Video: I read in the newspaper that Rogers Video is closing down because no one rents movies anymore. So buy your dvds now from there. Their wireless cellphones will be around.

Twisted Sisters Boutique: I went to a job interview and found this clothing store. It's a small and independent store. The clothes, shoes, jewelery are nice, but kind of expensive.

Tim Horton's: Last month I tried the Tim Horton's lasagna. It was average. I didn't like that it was all in a bowl. I like the lasagna where you can cut it up in slices.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Guatemalans shouldn't pay to clean up Goldcorp's mess

I got this from Amnesty International:

http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=864&utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Informz

Sign Petition on Goldcorp's Marlin Mine:
Canadian mining company could leave impoverished Indigenous community with multi-million dollar bill to pay

Carmen Mejia
Carmen Mejia: one of the local activists who has been threatened for speaking out about the impacts of the Marlin Mine


Sign petition


Your SUPPORT is needed to help defend the human rights of the Indigenous Peoples living in Guatemala's western highlands, near San Marcos.

Goldcorp's Marlin Mine in Guatemala is one of the company’s most profitable gold mines, but the company is making decisions without the full participation of the Maya peoples whose drinking water and farm lands may be affected.

Sign the petition now!

Act now to urge Canadian mining company Goldcorp to act responsibly and respect the rights of Mayan people living near the mine.

Please sign the petition.

Amnesty International is calling on investors to support a shareholder resolution that will be presented at Goldcorp's upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in South Porcupine, Ontario, on April 26. To encourage investors to support the resolution and to show Goldcorp’s investors that Canadians and human rights defenders around the world think that this issue is important, Amnesty International is collecting signatures on a petition in support of the resolution.

If you contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) you should know that the CPP’s Investment Board holds $177 million in shares in Goldcorp, and millions more in many other extractives companies. As shareholders, we need to speak up against profit over human rights!

Goldcorp has pledged its commitment to respect for human rights. But the company has not yet met recommendations to improve its consultation practices. Social tensions in the communities around the mine run high. Individuals in San Miguel Ixtahuacán who oppose the mine have been shot, intimidated and threatened. Peaceful protestors have been assaulted.

The shareholder resolution and the petition are supported by communities in Guatemala. The number of petition sign-ons will be presented to the company and media at the time of the Goldcorp AGM .

Let's make our voices heard. Please sign this petition and share it widely.

Yours Sincerely,
signature

Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada

job jokes/ joke twists/ marriage joke

Apr. 18 Job jokes: I got these from Daily Silly.

Here's one:

I think I deserve a raise," the man said to his boss. "You know there are three other companies after me." "Is that right?" asked the manager. "What other companies are after you?" "The electric company, the phone company, and the gas company."

Me: Yeah, you thought he was being hired by other companies, but really the man needs to pay his bills.

Here's one:

An employee went to see his supervisor. "Boss," he said, "we're doing some heavy housecleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife asked me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff." "We're shorthanded," the boss replied. "I can't give you the day off." "Thank you," said the employee. "I knew I could count on you!"

Me: I like the reversal of situations here.

Here's another:

An interviewer examined the job application, then turned to the prospective employee. "I see you have put ASAP down for the date you are available to start. However, I see you've written down AMAP for required salary. I don't believe I'm aware of what that means." The applicant replied, "As Much As Possible!"

Me: I was kind of eh with this joke.

Here's one:

A husband raced into his house. "I've found a great job!" he exclaimed to his wife. "The pay is incredible, they offer free medical insurance, and give three weeks vacation!" "That does sound wonderful," said the wife. "I'm glad you think so," replied her husband. "You start tomorrow."

Me: This is my favorite. I thought it was going to be a marriage joke, but it's a job joke. That is good to have free medical insurance.

Apr. 21: Here's a long job joke:

The manager of a large corporation got a heart attack, and the doctor told him to go for several weeks to a farm to relax. The guy went to a farm, and after a couple of days he was very bored, so he asked the farmer to give him some job to do. The farmer told him to clean the crap from the cows. The farmer thought that to somebody coming from the city, working the whole life in an office, it will take over a week to finish the job, but for his surprise the manager finished the job in less than one day.

The next day the farmer gave to the manager a more difficult job: to cut the heads of 500 chickens. The farmer was sure that the manager will not be able to do the job, but at the end of the day the job was done.

The next morning, as most of the jobs in the farm were done, the farmer asked the manager to divide a bag of potatoes in two boxes: one box with small potatoes, and one box with big potatoes.

At the end of the day the farmer saw that the manager was sitting in front of the potatoes bag, but the two boxes were empty. The farmer asked the manager: "How is that you made such difficult jobs during the first days, and now you cannot do this simple job?"

The manager answered: "Listen, all my life I'm cutting heads and dealing with crap, but now you ask me to make decisions."

Short jokes: I like these because it's short. There is a set-up and a punchline.

Here's one:

A politician asked a minister, "What is something the government can do to help the church?" "Well," the minister replied, "quit making one- dollar bills."

Here's another:

Barbershops were in red-hot competition. One put up a sign advertising haircuts for seven dollars. His competitor put up one that read, WE REPAIR SEVEN-DOLLAR HAIRCUTS.

Joke twists: I like this one because they're talking about different things.

A man went to his doctor. When the doctor entered the examining room, the man cried, “My hair is falling out! Can you give me something to keep it in?” “Of course,” said the doctor reassuringly, and he handed the man a small box. “Will this be big enough?”

It kind of reminds me of Angel season 1 where Wesley comes to LA.

Wesley: I'm a rogue demon hunter.
Cordelia: What's a Rogue demon?

Wesley meant a lone demon hunter.

Story joke: Here's one:

Tom, Dick and Harry went to a party. After the party they returned to the hotel. The hotel was 300 stories high.

Unfortunately for them, the elevator was not working. They made a plan for the first 100 stories, Tom will crack jokes.

The second 100 stories Dick will tell a happy story and lastly Harry will tell a sad story. They then started up the steps.

After 2 hours it was Harry's turn. He turned to the other two and said "Ok guys, here's my sad story. I forgot the keys downstairs.

Me: I was like "Damn it."

Marriage joke: This is from Daily Silly. There's kind of a twist to it.

A woman awoke during the night to find that her husband was not in bed. She put on her robe and went downstairs. He was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in front of him. He appeared to be deep in thought, just staring at the wall. She saw him wipe a tear from his eye and take a sip of his coffee.

"What's the matter dear? Why are you down here at this time of night?" she asked.

"Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating and you were only 16?" he asked.

"Yes I do." she replied.

"Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?"

"Yes I remember."

"Do you remember your father when he shoved that shotgun in my face and said. "Either you marry my daughter or spend twenty years in jail?"

"Yes I do", she replied.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said, "You know I would have gotten out today."

Me: What? That's what you're crying about?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

66 days without food – free my father

I got this from Amnesty International:

http://www.amnestyusa.org/


My father has been on a hunger strike for 9 weeks. He may die soon. Demand his immediate release and freedom for all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.


Dear Tracy,

No one wanted it to come to this, but it has.

My father, prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is on a 9-week hunger strike protesting the life sentence he received for peaceful protest.

In prison, security forces broke his jaw in four places and subjected him to severe physical, psychological and sexual torture. Since his arrest last year, my mother was fired from her job, my sister was arrested five times, and my brothers-in-law were arrested and tortured.

Authorities decide when to let anyone from my family see him. The human rights of my family and of thousands of peaceful Bahrainis like us have been deeply violated by the government.

My father doesn't want to end his life. He wants to end injustice and violence against the Bahraini people.

Help me break through now, to save his life. Demand the immediate and unconditional release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.

Many governments have shamefully ignored the daily and widespread human rights violations in my country. As controversy swirls around Bahrain's plans to host the Grand Prix auto race this month, Bahraini authorities desperately try to assure the world that all is back to "business as usual." But the people of Bahrain continue to call for change, and my father may pay for that goal with his life. Pressure from people like you may force action.

As one activist to another, I ask for your help securing the release of my father and of all of the unjustly imprisoned activists in Bahrain. Delay could mean death.

Please take action for my father today. I am forever grateful for your support.

In solidarity,

Maryam al-Khawaja
Head of Foreign Relations, Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Daughter of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja

job interview/ junior achievement/ financial chats

Apr. 9 Job interview: Today I went to a job interview. It was average.

The pros: I arrived early, dressed well, and brought what they asked me to bring.

The cons: I felt that I was kind of stumbling on my answers a bit. The guy who wrote down the answers, typed it up and it was the gist of my answers.

Apr. 13: I checked my email and I got rejected.

Rant: This is a mild rant. I was thinking about those 3 employees who got dismissed. Let's just say one of them, I had a rift with. I told him he was too demanding with how the table has to be set perfectly, like putting it to the edge of the table. I mean with a hostess, she has told me I should set for 4 and not for 2. That's fine.

He told me I wasn't a really good worker because I wasn't constantly moving. Well certainly before 9am, it's not really busy so I'm more calm. As soon as 9am comes, I'm constantly dealing with the rush. I guess I want to say is: "Who are you to tell me that I'm not a good worker compared to what you did?"

Vacation pay: I found this article on Yahoo about how Netflix lets their employees take as much vacation days as they want, as long as they keep up with their projects. I read a lot of comments on it about work-life balance.

http://news.yahoo.com/netflixs-unlimited-employee-vacation-policy-why-works-143308255.html

Apr. 14 Junior Achievement: This is youth education organization that teaches about financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. I remember back in gr. 9, a man and a woman came in and did a few financial literacy classes for us. Here's their website:

http://www.jacan.org/

Today I was at West Ed Mall and there were these booths where teens sell their products that they learned how to make and sell from Junior Achievement. I picked up their business cards and talked to them a bit.

Chameleon Cups: This ceramic mug will change color when the cup is hot.

www.chameleoncups.webs.com

Collar Chic: This is an accessory. It's a shirt collar with these studs and other jewels on it.

Me (to the teens): I guess this will be really popular for grad.

http://www.wix.com/collarchic/chic

Chain reaction: They make key chains and some are customized. 25% of their profits will go to the Edmonton Food Bank.

http://www.wix.com/stalphonsuscr/chainreaction

SurvivaCord: This is a bracelet made of Paracord. It looks good. I think guys can wear this jewelery.

http://www.survivacordja.com/productsservices.htm

Carterra: They make Eco-friendly wallets that hold cards.

http://carterra.webs.com/aboutus.htm

Deco Art: This is actually kind of quirky. It's a picture frame where you can write and draw with a chalk. It's like made of chalk board, and it's magnetic so you can put it on the fridge and stick magnets on the frame.

http://decoart.tumblr.com/

Review: All the Junior Achievement websites are really good. I went to all of them. I thought the products are fun and creative gifts.

The Book of Awesome: This is written by Neil Parsricha. I made a note that on page 141 he wrote that "Terrible Businesses run by Children." He talked about being 14 yrs old and selling necklaces for Junior Achievement: "Or basically it was a bunch of kids in a room every Thursday night acting like middle managers with adult supervision."

"Because really, you're just watching them learn things they don't learn in the classroom and have fun doing it. They're learning how to sell, picking up social skills, and jumping right into the whirring gears of the marketplace. And honestly, they're doing all this by just getting out there and giving it a shot."

Apr. 15 Callback: I may have been hired somewhere. I don't know for sure. I may only get one or two shifts a week. I'm kind of stressed out. I will still work at my restaurant job. If this new job doesn't work out like I'm not good at it, and I get dismissed, I still have my restaurant job.

Apr. 18 Financial Chats: I got this article from Alissa Alvarez called "12 Financial Chats You Should Tune into on Twitter." Yesterday I finally set up my Twitter account. This is an informative article.

5. #Careerchat is for Generation Y.
7. #JPchat is for young women's finances.

http://www.onlinemba.com/blog/12-financial-chats-you-should-tune-into-on-twitter/

Personal finance: Jasmine Hall sent me this article "10 Colleges that are Taking on Personal Finance." Everybody should know about savings, investments, and budgeting. After the recession hit and college graduates are going into this economy, they especially need to learn about personal finance. This article lists 10 colleges that are teaching it. It's good that kids are prepared for the real world.

http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2012/04/16/10-colleges-that-are-taking-on-personal-finance/

College majors: Tim Handorf emailed this article "12 College Majors we Hope to See Soon." It's mainly technology like IT for medical technology, mobile app development, digital publishing. There is also climate change. It's a good article because the world is changing and technology and the environment are really important.

http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2012/04/05/12-college-majors-we-hope-to-see-soon/

Employee motivation: Carol Brown sent me this article "10 Biggest Myths about Employee Motivation." "#4 Surfing the web hurts productivity" is not true because employees do need a mental break from time to time. You have to motivate smart employees and managers have to sometimes set goals for employees. There needs to be a direction.

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/04/10/10-biggest-myths-about-employee-motivation/

Blogging: I found this article "Start Blogging to Change the World." Justin Marquis, Ph.D. gave tips like purpose, content, and the audience. He says: "Your reason for writing (purpose) is different than the content that you will write." Get on social media like Facebook and Twitter to advertise your blog.

http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2012/04/start-blogging-to-change-the-world/


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Be a part of the "Famnesty"

Gear Up with Amnesty Merch!

Shown in Photo: Amnes-tees


http://shop.amnestyusa.org/?utm_source=aiusa&utm_medium=email&utm_content=April12_Merch2&utm_campaign=Merch_April12_Email

Dear Tracy,

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MESSENGER BAG - $24.95


ABOLISH THE DEATH PENAL-TEE - $17.95 $14.00
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FAIR TRADE LOOSE BEADS - $15.00
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BASEBALL CAP - $18.95


AMNESTY PEN (10-IN A PACK) - $7.00


MUSETTE BAG - $15.00 $12.00
BASEBALL CAP AMNESTY PEN (10-IN A PACK) MUSETTE BAG

PROSPERITY TIN CANDLE - $15.00 $12.00


FAIR TRADE LOOP SCARF - $25.00


PERUVIAN CHANGE PURSE - $15.00
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comparisons/ The Vertex Fighter music/ Degrassi

Apr. 6 Comparisons:

To remove a bomb inside a body: It was done on Dark Angel season 2, where Alec has a bomb in his head. Alec was to kill three Manticorp mutants, and he only got one. Max manages to get a Manticorp scientist to pull it out.

It was done on Alias season 1 where Sydney has to pull out a bomb inside some politician's body.

It was kind of done in the movie Crank where a man learns that he was injected with a poison. He has to keep his heart racing so he could live. There is still something in his body that could kill him.

A character is strapped to a bomb, and they have to find the bad guy who did it, and get him to diffuse it: It was done on The Mentalist where Agent Lisbon wakes up with a bomb strapped to her.

It was done years ago on She Spies where Cassie puts on a necklace for her birthday. Then she learns this gift she got, was a bomb. Both shows did it well.

Apr. 9 Group of friends commit a crime: This has been done several times like this Desperate Housewives season 8. Gabrielle's stepfather attacks her, and her husband Carlos kills him. The other friends enter, and they all have to hide the dead body.

It was done on Tru Calling's ep called "Past Tense." It's a show about a woman named Tru who can relive days and save dead people. The ep is where a group of 5 guys died. Tru has to prevent it from happening. It turns out the 5 guys were all friends, and one of them killed a girl and they all have to keep it between them.

Also I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Group of friends commit a crime. One of the friends kills the others so he could protect the secret: It was done on Tru Calling's episode "Past Tense." One guy John (Gabriel Olds) tries to kill the other 4 guys. John was the one who killed the girl. One guy Blake (Leonard Roberts) was the one who sent John the anonymous note "I will go to the police about it." Since John doesn't know which one of his 4 friends sent the note, he decides to get them all killed.

Fun Buffy trivia. Tru is played by Eliza Dushku was Faith on Buffy. Leonard Roberts was Forrest on Buffy.

I recently saw this on Castle's ep "Once Upon a Crime." Two women got killed. Then a third one was about to get killed, but Beckett and Castle save her. They interview the surviving victim and she said she was blackmailed. They were blackmailed by a guy, but then that part of the mystery is solved.

It turns out the surviving victim was the one who was responsible for the murder of her two friends. It was to make sure, they won't go to the police because the surviving victim was responsible for the accidental murder that happened years ago.

Apr. 11 The Vertex Fighter:

Music: I thought of a couple more songs.

"Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5: I have their cd. This is a tough, rock song. You can play this song during a fight scene. Here's their music video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV8NHsmVMPE&ob=av2n

"Push it" by Amerie: This is more of a motivation song to keep pushing and trying to achieve your goals. I can see this song playing during a montage of the lead Shawn working out and training. Here's the link to the song. On the description it said that it's a good work out song. lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RgtuNMi68U

"Make it Rain" by Amerie: "Make it rain" means make money. This has a good beat, got a tough, gangster vibe to it. You can dance to it. This song could play in a montage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuKGoswiRDw&feature=related

Themes: I have written before about busy plots. As in there are too many stories going on at the same time. In The Vertex Fighter, I am able to list 3 themes.

1. Mix Martial Arts (MMA)- the action.
2. Police involved- the story.
3. The brother's drama- the characters.

Apr. 12 Flashback: I was going through my notes and it's about a comparison "Get out of a test, pull the fire alarm." I mentioned this before, but I want to add to it. When I was at NAIT back in 2004, a fire alarm was pulled. Then later, I heard a guy got kicked out of an exam for cheating. He then called the school and said there was a bomb there. That's why the fire alarm was pulled.

I may have read about it in the Edmonton Journal afterwards. It's kind of fuzzy right now.

My left-brain says: "That's terrible. You unnecessarily scared people and got the fire department, police, maybe bomb squad over something that's not a danger to anyone. If you just pulled the fire alarm, only a fire truck would come."

My right-brain says: "That's creative about a bomb. I haven't heard that one before."

But that is still terrible to scare people like that.

Degrassi: I was watching Degrassi back in Aug. 2011. It was the season finale and I liked it because it had action, cops, and guns involved. Kind of like my The Vertex Fighter script.

The story is that Bianca is selling drugs for drug dealer Vince to protect her ex-boyfriend Drew. Vince and his gang already beat up Drew once earlier in the season. All season Vince has been intimidating them.

There is also the lighter storylines like how Holly J can't physically come to the prom because she's sick and needs a kidney. So her friend Anya shows her iPad and Anya is there and they talk through it. It's like Holly J is physically there. Riley and Zane go to college, so that's the end of their storyline now that they have graduated out of Degrassi.

Vince knows where the Degrassi prom was held. Drew then defends Bianca when Vince shows up. Drew uses his MMA skills that he learned earlier in the season. Vince shoots in the crowd, and then drops his gun on the ground, and runs.

It's Drew's step-brother Adam who gets shot in the shoulder. Bianca picks up the gun to end this feud between her, Drew, and Vince once and for all.

Bianca goes to this kind of "safe house" where Vince hides out whenever crazy gang things happen. Bianca knows him. Drew goes to Bianca and talks her down because she's going to shoot him when he comes out.

Drew: You can put Vince in jail with the gun that he used since you have the gun here. And then you can arrest all of Vince's friends so they won't get at us.

Bianca then goes with Drew. Vince gets arrested.

Bianca, Drew, and Drew's girlfriend Katie go visit Adam in the hospital. Adam is transgender and is really a girl living like a guy. I remembered that Adam's mom came to the hospital and said Adam's real girl's name. It was very instinctive of a mother to say the real name though she often says Adam.

Pros: It was a good season finale with the drama and action. I liked the light things like how Bianca and Adam were dancing at the prom. When they first met each other the season before, they didn't get along. There was some bittersweet moments like Jake dumps Claire because their parents are getting married.

I did like how Sav suprises Miss. Oh by going back to Degrassi, and they dance together. Sav will graduate and he says goodbye to Miss. Oh because they aren't going to be dating. She's a teacher, and he's a student. Even when he did graduate and he's no longer a student there, it wasn't going to work out.

Cons: My major problem with this story is how they were able to arrest Vince so easily. In real life, Vince should get the gun, shoot, and run with the gun. He shouldn't just drop the gun on the floor and run. He would then throw it in the water, burn it, whatever just get rid of it.

Also Bianca was able to find Vince easily. Well that's because Bianca knows Vince personally and his MO. This is a teen TV show, and it has to be solved in 1 hr (2 30min shows.)

In a crime-drama, there would be a lot of difficulty finding the gun and finding the gunman. There would most likely be 2 cops following a lead on the gun, and 2 other cops following a lead on the gunman.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Clooney got arrested for Sudan, what will you do?

Amnesty's on a mission

https://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.6662481/k.2BA2/Donate_Now/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp?msource=W1204EDCPR1N

Dear Tracy,

George Clooney, members of Congress, and activists were arrested last month for protesting human rights abuses in Sudan. Despite the attention this act drew to their suffering, the Sudanese people still face grave abuses, and their country remains devastated by years of civil war.

This week, Amnesty International's Alex Neve arrived in South Sudan. He is participating in a vitally important human rights research mission to investigate deadly attacks on villages and aerial bombings of civilians along the border region of Sudan and the world's newest country, South Sudan. We need your support to continue this work.

Just before he left, Alex made a video about why this trip was so important. Watch the 3-minute video:

Mission to South Sudan video

We wish Alex and the team of Amnesty International researchers safe travel to remote and volatile areas, as they gather first-hand reports from those affected by the violence in the region.

Support Amnesty's work in Sudan and around the world -- donate today.

Amnesty International's human rights research and monitoring saves lives. It gives voice to people affected by conflicts and mass atrocities. It's used to pressure governments to protect human rights. And it backs up the tireless campaigning of our millions-strong human rights movement with fact-based, first-hand research.

Thank you for supporting Amnesty International's fact-finding mission in South Sudan. It's financial contributions from people like you that allow Amnesty to undertake these vital human rights missions in our efforts to protect civilians at risk. Donate now.

Sincerely,

Scott Edwards
Crisis Prevention and Response
Amnesty International USA

funny video/ tone of voice/ marriage

Apr. 6 Funny video: I was watching some Tosh.O today. It's where the comedian Daniel Tosh shows some videos and makes snarky comments on it.

Cut to the back seat of a car.
A Teen Boy isn't wearing a seat belt, and he opens the door.
Teen Boy sticks half his body out, as he reaches to smack his friend outside.
Teen Boy falls out of the car.
Teen Boy hits his face hard on the back headlight of a parked car.

Cut to the studio.
The audience says: "Ohhhh."

Then DT pretends to be like Oprah by being on a set that looks like her talk show. On the screen it says "Tosh Oprah."

DT interviews the Teen Boy.

TB is wearing bandages all over his face.
DT: Why did you stick your body out like that?
TB: I thought it would be funny to hit my friend as the car goes by.
DT: How fast was the car going?
TB: 35 miles an hr.

DT: Did your friends call 911 or did they drive you the hospital?
TB: They called 911 and the ambulance came 45min later.
DT: How old were you?
TB: 15 yrs old.
DT: Did your parents ground you?
TB: They sent me to live with my grandma.
DT: So they got rid of you.

The audience laughs.
TB takes off his bandages and he looks normal.

It was a "video redemption" segment. It's where TB relives that moment, and he sticks his body out and hits a Guy on his head while Guy is riding a bike. TB, DT, and Woman are riding this sort of jeep.

Apr. 8 Tone of voice: I remember in writing and a gr. 10 drama class exercise, about tone of voice. You can say one sentence in different ways. It was about a month ago, I thought about this.

Dateline: I'm going to bring up Dateline: To Catch a Predator where a 35 yr old guy is going to date a 12 yr old girl. Here's the clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14FZUc8_rWI

Guy: I thought that we should get to know each other a bit first. Then next time I'll bring condoms.

Me: What are you guys going to talk about? Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers? What if she gets pregnant?

I know you guys are only reading this, and you can't hear my voice. I will say my tone is plain. I'm not angry or snarky. The way I asked "Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers?" is the exact same plain tone of voice as I ask the serious question "What if she gets pregnant?"

Tosh.O: However, I can imagine Daniel Tosh on Tosh.O saying what I just said, but in a way more snarky tone.

Here's a clip of DT talking about "Tebowing." You can watch 30 seconds of him and now imagine him saying what I just said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYSRiz52exk

Cut to Tosh. O. They show the Dateline clip.

DT: What are you guys going to talk about? Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers?
The audience laughs.
DT: So are you going to watch some Twilight movies and go to the Justin Beiber concert?
The audience laughs.
DT: Geez, this guy is so fake. It's like watching a really flamboyant gay guy date a straight woman.
The audience laughs.

Imagination: Now I can imagine Daniel Tosh and his producers going on the internet and finding my blog. They would say: "Damn, Tracy Au has kind of got the flow of DT's humor and show."

Internet in movies: Yelin George sent me this article through my blog. "10 Most Ridiculous Uses of the Internet in Movies." It's a mildly funny article.

When I mentioned it to my brother the movie The Italian Job, my brother guessed right away what the scene was. It's where Seth Green's character make all the street lights turn green. #2 was FearDotCom. I remember seeing it on TV, and thought it was mediocre. It's about a website being able to kill people just by visiting it. Then it gave to the link to Justin Beiber's website about his new single "Boyfriend."

http://www.cabletvproviders.net/blog/2012/10-most-ridiculous-uses-of-the-internet-in-movies/

Apr. 9 Joke: I got this from Daily Silly. I thought it was a creative story.

There was a perfect man who met a perfect woman. After a perfect courtship, they had a perfect wedding. Their life together was, of course, perfect.

One snowy, stormy Christmas Eve this perfect couple was driving along a winding road when they noticed someone at the roadside in distress. Being the perfect couple, they stopped to help.

There stood Santa Claus with a huge bundle of toys. Not wanting to disappoint any children on the eve of Christmas, the perfect couple loaded Santa and his toys into their vehicle.

Soon they were driving along delivering the toys. Unfortunately, the driving conditions deteriorated and the perfect couple and Santa Claus had an accident.

Only one of them survived the accident. Who was the survivor?

The perfect woman.

She's the only one that really existed in the first place.

Everyone knows there is no Santa Claus and there is no such thing as a perfect man.

* A Male's Response *

So, if there is no perfect man and no Santa Claus, the perfect woman must have been driving. This explains why there was a car accident.

Me: This joke dissed both genders.

Marriage: Here's another one from Daily Silly:

A husband and wife were at a party chatting with some friends when the subject of marriage counseling came up.

"Oh, we'll never need that. My husband and I have a great relationship," the wife explained. "He was a communications major in college, and I majored in theater arts. He communicates really well, and I just act as if I'm listening."

Here's another one:

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?" "Because white is the color of happiness," her mother explained, "and today is the happiest day in her life." The child thought for a moment and then asked, "So why is the groom wearing black?"

Apr. 12 Bear joke: I got this from Daily Silly, but I think I've heard this joke before a long time ago:

Two guys were hiking in the forest when they suddenly came across a big grizzly bear. The one guy took off his hiking boots and put on some running shoes. His friend said to him, "You're crazy! Don't you know how fast grizzlies are? You'll never be able to outrun it!" "Outrun it?" said his friend. "I only have to outrun you!"

Dog joke: Here's one from Daily Silly:

A mother's bachelor son invited her over for a meal. He had just gotten two new dogs and wanted his mom to see them. When she sat down at the table, she noticed that the dishes were the dirtiest that she had ever seen in her life. "Have these dishes ever been washed?" she asked, running her fingers over the grit and grime. "They're as clean as soap and water could get them," he answered. She felt a bit apprehensive but started eating anyway. The food was really delicious, and she said so, despite the dirty dishes. When dinner was over, her son took the dishes, put them on the floor, whistled, and yelled, "Here, Soap! Here, Water!"

Me: I predicted that the dogs were licking the plates, but I didn't predict that Soap and Water were the dog's names. However, in real life I would have tried to use soap and water and wash the dishes myself. I'm a neat freak and would say: "You're not washing the dishes right. You're not giving it a really good, hard scrub."

Motorcycle: Also from Tosh.O. They showed this video at the beginning of the show. There's a camera on the motorcycle, and it's going over these 3 hills. Then it goes right over 2 girls, and it hits one of them.

The audience: Ohhhhh.

Cut to Daniel Tosh.

DT: Because you can't always hear a motorcycle.
The audience laughs.

Flashback: This brought a flashback of 2001. I was waiting for the bus with my brother and sister, and a motorcycle goes by.

Me: I hate motorcycles. They're so loud.
S: They have to be for safety reasons. If you're on a highway, you can't always see a motorcycle, but you can always hear it.