Sunday, September 30, 2007

You'd Think They'd Make It Easier

So, Calgary Municipal Election coming up. The radio, city website, and flyer in the mail are all very informative as to who can vote, and what to bring to the polls, and where the polls are, yet they tell you nothing about the different candidates.
Oh yes, there is a list of names. Everyone who is running was listed in the flyer. Yet there was nothing about where they stood on certain issues and their promises and all that. Not only is it not in the information packet, it's impossible to find online. I've tried google, facebook, the government website; nothing. The least they could do is provide me with their individual websites.
For a democracy, and one that is trying to increase voter turnout, you'd think they's make it a little easier to find such info.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Thing About History Textbooks

So, I'm doing my readings for history. Well not really. I should be doing my history readings but instead I am blogging about it, but you get the idea.
I am a history nerd. Not as bad as my brother, but I have always loved history. It's all like a story folding out in front of you. It is astonishing, however, how easy it is to make bloody battles and assassination attempts sound as boring as the stock market statistics. (If you think the stock market is interesting, please substitute in something you find extremely boring)
Whenever I am reading my history textbook, my eyes start to glaze over and I nod off, and I'm reading about murder, and scandal, and death. How is it that historians can make it sound so boring? No wonder so many people find history boring.
I think, that history should be written, like a novel. Way more people would read it, and those of us who have to do our required readings would not die of boredom.
But then, the world would work quite differently, if I were in charge. For starters:
1. People would burst into song and random passersby would do choreographed dances; like in musicals.
2.Teenie boppers would be cool.
3. March 14 would be an international holiday.
4. You would be able to eat as many mozzarella sticks and/or brownies as you like, and not gain a pound.
5. Knowledge could be acquired through osmosis.
And that's just a start........

Monday, September 24, 2007

Eventually, They Will Learn

Tonight, I got home after leaving my little brother on his own for most of the evening. Now, something you have to understand is that my brother Peter has five older sisters, and therefore has seen every good chick flick that has come out in the past few years. With such an overwhelming majority to the girls, Peter has little say in what we watch, and he also has six mothers. Each sister in turn (and especially Janine and I) has taken it upon ourselves to try and make Peter into a nice boy someday, if only for the sake of his future wife. The poor kid has had so many lectures ending or beginning with; "When you are older, girls will love it when..."
So back to today. I came home, and no surprise, the tv was on downstairs. A fourteen year old boy on his own, what else would he do? I came downstairs, expecting to see something like Lord of the Rings or Ocean's Eleven, and stopped. Peter was watching Pride and Prejudice. By himself. Of his own free will. And then the really interesting thing is when I stared at him in surprise, and Peter turned to me and said enthusiastically; "I love this movie. Care to join me?" So I sat and watched Pride and Prejudice with my little brother.
The best part of it was how into it he was. Through the entire movie, we were discussing. The old version vs. the new, the historical accuracy, he even knew which parts are totally romantic, and, when Mr. Darcy is walking through the mist toward Lizzie, he exclaimed; "Quiet! I love this part!"
Petey, you are going to make an awesome husband.

I'd Rather be Doing....

1. Making supper, with cheese.
2. Working on my storytelling assignment for Wednesday.
3. Picking up my holds at the library so I can read them.
4. Finishing cleaning the office for tomorrow.
5. Planning the food for GBJ/HEBE.
6. Wasting time watching trailers on
7.Talking to people instead of sitting by myself.
8. Figuring out how to check the voicemail on my cell phone.
9. Eating something yummy, like pie. All I've got is water.
10. Driving home listening to Michael Buble.
11. Discussing the Belgariad with my little brother.
12. Sleeping!
13.Watching how i met your mother, or Heroes.
14. Going to institute and listening to Bro. Mandin be witty.
15. Spending my days outside in the sunshine instead of a number of windowless classrooms.
16. Actually having sunshine to sit in.
17. Working on one of my novels, and having them pan out.
18. Playing with my camera.
19. Baking. I have the sudden urge to make cookies. or muffins.
20. Having something intersting to blog about.
21. Playing with my ibbi inn Edmonton.
22. Knitting, and finishing a project.
23. Yoga.
24. Watching my little brother play football. Inspite of the fact that a) I do not understand the game of football, and b) It's always freezing at football games.
25.Watching teenie boppers!
26. Discussing various intersting life moments with Janine.
27. A sudoku puzzle.
28. Being in History, instead of just sitting waiting for it to start. Stupid long breaks.
29. Having an assignment to work on instead of sitting here, blogging.
Why, oh why did they have to let us out of computer Science an hour early?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Born Sense of Direction

Anyone who has ever driven with me, or who's house I've driven to, knows that I do not have the best sense of direction in the world. The incident of Karaoke World comes to mind. And then there are the countless times I have driven through Ranchlands or Edgemont, or even, my own Tuscany, and gotten hopelessly lost. Those silly communities with their streets all sounding the same, and the identical houses so you never have any idea where you are.
In the past few months, I have gotten better at finding my way to certain people's houses. One friend in particular, who lives in Edgemont, has been especially difficult to find. Whenever I go to his house, I take some kinda wrong turn and end up hopelessly lost. Last week, I drove to Trever's house and to my astonishment, did not get lost once. I was so excited I ran into his house to announce my accomplishment. I was quite proud of myself. Then, this weekend, I drove to Trever's again, and sadly, it appears that last week was an abnormal event.
My excuse is that this week I was driving from a completely different direction. I'd picked up another friend in Ranchlands, and therefore had to take a different route. Now, when going to friends houses, I generally don't know street names. I just know that I take the road by Churchill and then turn at the 7 Eleven and then go down the hill and turn at the familiar looking road, and then Trever's street is the one with the playground and mailboxes at the entrance. Not the best directions, I know, but when coming from my own house, I can find it; piece of cake. Coming from Ranchlands, it's an entirely different matter.
Perhaps it wouldn't of been quite so bad if I had taken John Laurie; I can find my usual route from John Laurie. But it just so happens that the turn off to John Laurie comes up much sooner when you're coming from Ranchlands, and I didn't even realize I'd missed it until I was Country Hills (a good ways away). At any rate, we ended up going down Country Hills, and, in a moment of sheer idiocy, I took the closest turn off that said Edgemont.
This is when it would be really handy if I knew street names.
We drove up and down many streets, looking for something we recognized, or maybe the 7 Eleven. We were hopelessly lost, we couldn't even find the way we'd come. Stupid Edgemont.
Then, something miraculous happened. In desperation to find our way, I turned onto another random street. A street with a playground and mailboxes at the entrance. I gasped, scarcely believing my luck. I drove down the street, looking for Trever's house number. When I saw the correct number, I could scarcely believe it, I didn't believe it. This was simply too good to be true. So I called Trever and asked him to come stand on his driveway to prove myself right. It was the correct house!
What can I say? I must have a born sense of direction.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Who Wants to be Guilty?

We all have our little guilty pleasures; things we secretly love that we don't want other people to know we like. But why do they have to be "guilty" pleasures? Why can't they just be pleasures? Here's mine;
I love teenie boppers. I know they are always lame and poor quality, but I absolutely love teenie boppers. Tonight, I went to a movie with my mom. She's someone I can always watch teenie boppers with because she likes them, and I feel comfortable admitting I want to see them around her. Tonight we went to "Sydney White," a modern version of Snow White. It was cheesy, totally predictable, the love interest was good looking and unwholesomely good, and the protagonist was your typical "real girl" who can catch a football and eats a lot yet is still a toothpick. Yet, I LOVED IT! It was so cute, and the nice guys got the girls, and it was just so cheesily good. Life should be more like teenie boppers.
I would love to live in a world where the nice girls always win and the dorky guys always get the pretty girls. Where school is all about the current drama and your grades just drift along in the background, and studying is just what you do to ignore the cute boy when he's expressing his undying love for you. And wouldn't it be awesome to have those "Cliques are bad, accept peoples differences" big moments in real life. I think it would be.
So there you have it; my guilty pleasure. I love teenie boppers. In the words of Sydney White; "My name is Elena, I watch teenie boppers. I am a dork!"
NOTE: Please also acknowledge that British pop is among my favourite music, I still read books for ages 9-12, I love mozzarella sticks and have always had a crush on Brian from the Backstreet Boys.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Theories are for Weirdos

So here I am sitting at home doing my readings for my Communication Theory class, thinking whoever wrote this book should be shot. WHO CARES ABOUT THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION? ARE PEOPLE HONESTLY GOING TO, IN THE MDDLE OF A CONVERSATION SAY; "Hmmmmm, yes this is and example of objective communication, and it is semiotic something something because of this and this pointless idea." WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE STUDY OF COMMUNICATING SERVE? WHEN WILL I EVER NEED TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOCIO-CULTURAL AND SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL COMMUNICATION? ARGGGHHHHHH! I thought the end of useless classes came with the end of high school. Oh how naive I am, this is just the beginning. Stupid class.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My New Toys

I am writing this blog from school, on my brand new macBook! Or, at least, it's new to me. I bought it off Janine, or I will be, when I go to the bank and she deletes all her stuff on it, it will be completely mine. But still, hahaha! I am excited for to be lugging this very expensive piece of equipment around in my backpack.
I am not the most techno savvy person. I am not one of my father's children who gets excited whenever Apple comes out with some new software. I don't get excited my electonic equipment. Or at least I didn't until now.
In addition to my laptop, I also went out and bought another hugely expensive toy for the pourpose of my post secondary education; my camera.
Lots of people get digital cameras, in fact plenty of people find it odd that I did not possess one until now. I'll tell you what though, my camera is better than yours. (NOTE: The pror claim only applies to all my friends and relations except for Melissa, who probably has a pretty awesome camera, and anyone who has gotten a professional camera and NOT told me. Even, then, my camera might outrank yours) The camera I had to buy for my journalism program, and my future career, is the Canon Rebel TXi. For those of you who have no idea what that means, and your eyes merely just glazed over when you read my camera's name, it's one of those camera that has a huge on it like Jimmy in Lois and Clark. (Except, it's probably more advanced than his.) I've hardly used it yet, but I love just taking it out and playing with it. Holding it up and adjusting the lens, it makes me feel powerful.
I got my camera two and a half weeks ago. I would of blogged about it closer to the actual purchase but, I didn't. So, I will now rehash the entire adventure of buying a very expensive, cool looking camera.
I got home from school on Friday, at the end of my first week filled with adrenaliine. Classes were fun, I didn't have much work yet, I was happy. Then my dad; who had been watching the sales of my camera since I'd got in to my program- announced that my camera was on sale at Future Shop. I was enthralled, I wanted to run out and my camera IMMEDIATELY. But, my mom made me clean my room first. After a hasty clean up, I was ready to go and make the biggest purchase I had ever made. My mom asked to come, and though my dad really wanted to go along as well, he decided not to because he was doing smart things on his computer. Then my mom called my sister and told her to meet us there. The simple purchase was turning into a family event. But then, it was a farily important camera.
As we entered the camera section of Future Shop, we told the sales associate what we wanted and we shown from the side of the counter with the cute little silver cameras that normal people buy to the opposite end; which was covered with large, complicated looking cameras instead. I felt special already. They handed me my camera in a box, I examined every corner of the cardboard box in my excitement. Janine arrived while we were selecting the memory card and case, and she was equally impressed with the cardboard box.
After purchasing and wiping out my life savings, we headed home and I got to set my camera up! It was so exciting, i just walked around with my camera around my neck for most of the evening. Or at least until I went to the dance, I figured it wasn't fashionable enough for me to wear it there. Even so, I just keep on taking it out and looking at it. My dad keeps laughing. He's quite amused that his techno inept daughter is so in love with a camera.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Totally Pointless Venture

We all already know that I live in the middle of no where. Or, if you've read my previous blogs, I'm sure I've griped about it enough. My stuck-in-the-boonie-ness is made even worse by the fact that I go to school on the far other side of the city. On a good day, when I get caught in no traffic, I can make it there in half an hour.
With this in mind, you can imagine my despair when I realized I'd forgotten an assignment while driving to school this morning. I most certainly did not have time to drive home then, I was cutting it close as it was, so instead I decided that I would drive home in the hour and a half break I had between classes.
I headed out of my first class in a hurry, even with an extra half hour, I didn't want to take any chances; things have a habit of going horribly wrong when you're in a hurry. Fortunetely, I made home and back in plenty of time, it cost me a quarter of a tank of gas, but what can you do?
Then, I got back to school, flushed and ready for Computer Science with my assignment in hand. Upon arriving in class, my prof benevolently announced that we would discuss the assignment, (which was an opinion piece) and then he asked us to post our thoughts on the discussion he was opening on blackboard for next class. WHAT???????????????????????? HE WASN'T TAKING IT IN? I almost wanted to insist that he take it, but begrudgingly I left class with my precious assignment still in my bag. Profs don't know what they want! One hour of driving, a quarter tank, all for nothing. ARGGGHHHHHHHHH!

Friday, September 14, 2007

We're Strange Folk

As I complete my second week of classes, I am realizing some peculiar habits that pop up in journalists. Here are just a few.
1. When a hurricane, or a man with a gun appears and starts wrecking havoc, normal people think; "Good heavens, danger run away." While journalists think; "Awesome! An exclusive, this will make my career." (That is, if I survive)
3. When normal people meet a nice old lady while meandering down an unknown street, they generally forget it. Journalists, write down her name, address and phone number in case something cool or newsworthy ever happens on that unknown street. Or, if they are ever craving fresh baked apple pie.
4. It is considered perfectly ordinary for a journalist to go to work, parties, and the grocery store carrying a pen and paper, camera, and recording device. With other people that's just creepy.
5. When you are a journalist and you do not read 3 newspapers a day, the Times and The New Yorker, you are an oddity.
6. If you are a journalist who reads the Lifestyle section instead of the Business, you are the equivalent of a little girl with pigtails who plays jump rope and hopscotch all day.
7. You look on cute, furry, little animals as the best marketing ploy ever to get people to read your magazine.
8. To a journalist, blogging is the spawn of Satan. (whoops.)
9. To a journalist, natural disasters, political upheavals, and mass death and destruction are the greatest things since sliced bread.
10. When normal people fear rejection and being rude, journalists feel nothing. The title; "reporter" is basically just an excuse to be obnoxious.
The road of a journalist is a very diverse, winding road, and even then you get off it regularly to get whatever scoop you can. Fun, fun.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Good Old Fashioned E-mails

Every time I check my e-mail, (which is usually everyday), I have about 10 or 12 new e-mails. This would all be very exciting, if they were actual e-mails. But no, they are all messages from facebook saying things like, "Trever Walton sent you yet another message," "Peter Redd wants you to get another totally pointless application," etc.
Now, don't get me wrong, I like facebook. I do, after all have one, and I enjoy it most of the time, but sometimes I miss the good old days when people used to send me actual e-mails. When my inbox was full of messages from people I actually knew and liked, and not just links to facebook. How wrong is it that e-mail is the good old days?
You can imagine my surprise and delight when today I received an actual e-mail from my friend Brittni, summarizing her summer travelling around Canada. A group e-mail? That is so last year. I love it!
A few weeks ago, I was on the phone to my cousin Mikyla and we were discussing how nice it is to get letters in the mail. So unexpected and cool. You feel special to think that someone would actually take the time to write you by snail mail. The same is coming true for e-mails. Instead of sending everyone a message on facebook as usual, Brittni took the time to send out a good old fashioned e-mail. Ah the good old days.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Loving Memory of Muffin

Muffin the beta fish, died suddenly on the evening of Thursday, September 6 of natural causes. Muffin was a most beloved pet, and had a sparkling personality. He is survived by his owner, Elena Redd, who walked in to her room late on Thursday night to find her beloved Muffin floating belly up in murky water. His death, though sudden, was not unexpected, as Muffin was a rather old fish.
The service held was small and simple, taking place in Elena's bathroom. With a set face she saw her Muffin off and back to his natural habitat through the drain. Or at least, the Bow River; which is close enough.
Muffin came into the world of his loving owner just a year ago. After the tragic loss of her beloved Bjorn; with whom she shared joint custody with Kylie Attfield, and who also resided in the pairs high school locker- Elena and Kylie went their separate ways and bought new fish apart. As Elena walked up and down the Petland aisle, she recalls Muffin immediately catching her eye. Not only because of his bright red exterior, but also because of his liveliness as he swam around his tiny cup. After taking him home, he was named; Muffin because people name their cats Muffin so why not a fish?
Muffin lived a very adventurous life. It kickstarted when he was taken with his owner to Bowness High School as an English project for the film, "Big Fish." He and Elena received a perfect grade, and after an excursion to Mr. Ricard's math class (where he was naturally the life of the party) and a wild ride home in the clutches of Emily Wilmot, Muffin was returned to his regular routine of sitting on Elena's desk and eating fish food.
Muffin was a very loving, patient fish. He was very understanding of the numerous times Elena forgot to feed him, and he always co-operated when he was scooped out of his home and into a measuring cup for cleaning (at least, after a fight). He was also very good with children. Every time Elena's ibbi would come to Calgary they would watch him with delight and awe as he flitted around his bowl. Muffin brought joy to all who knew him.
Muffin, you will always be missed love Elena, Emily, Ivy, Blake, and Ben

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's a Start

Today was the orientation for my degree program. I know, I know, no sense having it after we've already been in classes for two days, but what can I say? That's what they decided, and as a student, I just went along with it.
The exciting, or at least interesting thing is, that Ralph Klein was at my orientation. Yes, our former Premier was in attendance at my college orientation. He did have a reason though. You see, Ralph Klein is the chair of my program, or some money organization he's started. I don't understand the details yet, all I know is he's got an important title, and he's a teacher at my school. How awesome is that?
So, with King Ralph in attendance, naturally the media showed up to our student orientation. That was interesting in itself, seeing as we were all gawking at them thinking, "That's going to be us one day." Then, for me, it got even more interesting when I was walking past the CTV camera at break and the called out;
"We need a female!" Suddenly I found myself planted in front of the camera and being asked what I thought of this whole Ralph business. I gave some intelligent sounding answer, I don't remember exactly what but I was proud of it, and then I skipped off; enthralled.
All right, I know lots of people appear on TV all the time, and anyone can be picked for something little like that, but I never have before, and I was really excited. See, being interviewed by the media is entirely different when you yourself want to BE the media.
My orientation for journalism school and I'm already on the news. Not a bad way to start.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What's In a Name?

My whole life, I have had identity issues. Not in the way you'd think, but simply in the fact that no one can pronounce my name properly.
NOTE: The correct pronunciation is Eh-Len-Ah
But I get everything but my actual name. Every time I've started a new class, or met someone new, or had my name read out for sporting events, It's a different variation of my name. The most common are; Ah-Lan-Ah, El-Ain-Ah, and El-Enn-Ah. Then there are the ghastly such as El-Lean-Ah, Mel-Enn-Ah, and Elijah which really make me question the literacy of my fellow human beings. It's a pain, teaching people to say my name, but it must be done. In most cases, in the instances of the teachers who say my name a different way each time they call me, I generally give up and teach them one of the common, acceptable pronunciations. Apparently they're easier to say.
Of all the difficulties with my name, I consider myself to be accustomed to the butchering of my name. To be honest, it's mostly other people who do the correcting for me. However accustomed I may consider myself though, I was not prepared for college.
You see, my identity issues do not end at my un-pronouncable name, oh no. To make things a little more exciting, I happen to go by my middle name.
My real name is Nedra. Not Ned-raw, but Knee-dra. My parents gave me such a confusing name because they wanted to name me after both my grandmas, but call my Elena; which is my Grannie Young's Ukrainian name. However, they were torn, as Elena Nedra doesn't sound very nice. Determined to have a namesake for both their mothers, my parents simply switched the names around. And as pretty as Nedra Elena may sound, it is nothing short of a headache.
Until now, I have had minor, some may say amusing, encounters with this alternate identity. Whenever I go to the Alberta registry, they call me Ned-raw. ( and it sets my teeth on edge) either that or I sit there, oblivious, as they call me name over and over again until I remember, "Oh, that is my name isn't it?" And then there's my favourite game from Jr. High. As people go around a circle, saying their middle names, I would always say;
"Elena is my middle name."
"Oh, so you don't have one?"
"Yes I do. It's Elena."
"I don't get it."
"What's not to get?"
"How can Elena be your middle name?"
"Easy. My parents were holding me as a baby and they decided that Elena was a good middle name."
"But, but....." (Flounders for a few minutes before I take mercy on them)
Amusing, to be sure. Unfortunetely, people get smarter in high school, and my fun is spoiled. Then, I went to college.
There is the whole question of legal names in college. My legal name is, after all, Nedra. So, on every letter I got from any university, was addressed to Nedra Redd. Which is my Grandma, not me. I shrugged it off, anything I get from the government is always Nedra. Then, I went to my interview at Mount Royal, and of course, they called my Nedra. Already in a stressful situation, I shrugged it off. I can be Nedra for a day.
And then of course,I got accepted! So much for Nedra for a day. Now it is very confusing, because my teachers call me Nedra, and my classmates are calling me Nedra, and I am thinking to myself; "Who is this Nedra girl? What happened to Elena" She was so awesome."
They say when you start something new, you can be whoever you want to be, even a different person. I am. Even on paper.