11 April 2009

Lord, Bless this Easter Basket

So besides falling off the writing bandwagon for what I suppose is a week and a half now, I've up and moved to St. Catharines finally. Piotr and I spent our first night in the apartment last night (which is only partially furnished until my parents come on the 17th to move my crap out of the Huron St. apt in London).

So much has happened even in the couple days that I have lived down here now.
1. I got a full time job as a reservations agent in Niagara Falls. I should be excited about it because I love the hospitality industry, but it's in a cubicle in a basement with no windows.

2. I fell down the stairs, or rather slid down them yesterday at Piotr's parent's house. They were only 7 or 8 steps, but I hit my spine and tailbone on every step with the back of my head following after. I wasn't allowed to sleep for two hours because of the possibility of a concussion. No concussion, but one hell of a headache followed. I did wake up today, obviously.
3. Piotr and I took an Easter basket filled with kielbas
a, babka, and other goodies to be blessed by the priest today. It's Polish tradition. Tomorrow we eat it and lots of other yummy goodness. I should really be a cook.4. I've mixed up the breakfast casserole my parents make every Easter ready to be cooked for breakfast tomorrow. Think 9 eggs, 3 cups of milk, 3 cups of cheese, 1lb of breakfast sausage sliced small all mixed together and poured over six slices of bread in a 9x13 casserole dish. Sits overnight. Cook in the morning for 45 min at 350F covered with tin foil, then another 10 with the foil off. Serve and Smacznego!
5. I feel like even though Piotr and I live together we're not really spending 'quality time' together so far. He took an extra shift at work during the Easter holiday weekend when he doesn't even have another day off. His buddy is in town for the weekend from Ottawa and is leaving tomorrow, and went to go hang out with him today even though we were supposed to dye some Easter
eggs already and whatnot. I don't really care about him taking the time to hang out with his buddy at all, but this could have been planned out better so that he didn't have to break plans with me to do it. Because let me tell you, there's nothing I like better than dying eggs at 11:30pm when I have to get up early the next day. *sigh* So is life. I guess the reality of it is I'm just lonely. I'm here in a new city and don't know anyone. Hell, I'm not even in my own country yet again. I don't understand why every time he goes to hang out with his friends he can't invite me along once. "It's like a boys only kinda thing" doesn't really cut it with me. Every time I went out with my girlfriends in London or Burlington, he was always invited. I find this annoying. So that's it about my personal rants and what's been happening. Even though my bloggin class is done and I don't have to write in this anymore, I will continue to do so because it is really great to get stuff off of my chest.

BTW...my new neighbors smoke weed and try to cover it up with some nasty-smelling perfume, which makes it smell even worse. Disgusting.

01 April 2009

April Fool's Jokes: the good and the bad

It's April Fools Day, and it's great to play tricks and practical jokes on people, but what is appropriate and what isn't?

The good: involve cute little gags such as tying someone's shoes together or placing saran wrap over the toilet. All the small gags create an "I got you" feeling and all is forgiven, but some things go too far. Things like putting fake bugs in a salad or switching names on some cans is all good clean fun.

Even companies play tricks on their employees on occasion, like my boss did once by convincing us that the store would close early.

The bad: serious gags are not appropriate when stress is involved. Some people can't handle stress very well, have a medical condidtion, or may even hurt you. These types of incitements should be avoided.

Examples of this would be: telling someone you have cancer or another serious disease, telling your boyfriend you're pregnant, spraying things on people's cars, throwing eggs at people, etc.

Company's who have gone a little too far but creating a panic include: a Cincinnati radio station called Q102, broadcast a modern version of Orson Well's War of the Worlds radio play when they reported that aliens had landed at the local Lunken Airport.

31 March 2009

Confessions of an Ikea Virgin

Yes, it's true, I have never been to Ikea! That is almost a blasphemous thing to say around my friends, but when I was growing up in Northern Kentucky, there was no Ikea. It's only been since I've left home that they finally built one in the north part of Cincinnati. Now my parents are Ikea-aholics and I'm still in the dark.
My boyfriend's parent's house is a self-proclaimed Ikea museum and I'm shocked at how gorgeous Ikea can be. The euro-chic style that I love in a home is present all over their house and it always looks stunning! It's now his mom's mission to take me on a day trip to Ikea. Apparently all Polish homes should look like this or at least this is the impression I get. And apparently you need a whole day to go to Ikea. Sadly, my dad confirmed this statement on his very first trip to the store.

So now that Piotr and I are moving in together, his mom wants to decorate and I can't say I object. If it's Ikea and will look anything like their home, I'm all for it! Hopefully she'll finally take me to the store in Burlington and my Ikea-virginity will be gone!

26 March 2009

Our Group Project

Hibaq, Bianca, and I are doing our final class project on advice in our channel on YouTube. In order for this to work, we need some questions to answer! If you have any pressing issues that need to be discussed, shoot us a line on YouTube and we'll provide a response via video.

Our YouTube screen name is MIT2412. I know, original, but easily recognized!
We'd all appreciate the help, so let's get this started!

Puttin' on the Ritz

I don't know what it is about this song, but it always reminds me of New York, which subsequently reminds me of New Jersey, which subsequently reminds me of my home state, which reminds me even further of my family that I miss. But it's a great song, puts me in a good mood, and makes me proud to be a New Jersey Polish girl! =)

And I'm sorry but Taco doesnt' do it as good as Fred Astaire!

25 March 2009

What Would You Do?

The other night I watched the TV show on ABC called What Would You Do with John Quinones as host. Basically it is a hidden camera show with actors acting out controversial situations and seeing how the public reacts. I have to say that there are several thought-provoking scenarios that have been played out, such as seeing what someone would do when seeing a homeless man lying in the middle of the sidewalk. It's also very heart breaking to see people who turn their backs on people in need. Such is the way of human nature: good and bad.

This show got me thinking if I had ever turned my back on someone in need in my life and unfortunately there has been. When I was 18 I was working at Kohl's department store as a cashier in Florence, Kentucky. At one particular checkout, I was ringing up a mother, father, and their little girl who had to be able 7 or 8. She was also overweight. The little girl asked her father, "Why can't I get the other outfit." He repeatedly told her that she weighed too much and to just forget about it. The little girl hung her head like she was ashamed of being who she was. Yet, this wasn't the half of it. The girl said finally, "But I liked the other one."
At this her father looked at her in disgust and said, "Well maybe we'll tie some rope to you can the car so you can run all the way back home. Maybe then you'll lose some weight." That little girl looked crushed and I could tell she was embarrassed. I wanted to tell that father that he was the biggest jerk (or insert other word here) I have ever met, but I didn't want to lose my job. That father had no right to make his daughter feel that way about herself or say that in front of other people. It was emotional abuse. As a person who has been in a few emotional and mentally abusive relationships, I know how these kind of hurtful words can destroy your self esteem. I was that little girl at one point, but it was children who were the abusers, not my parents. My parents were the ones who were my rocks. If they had said the same kinds of hurtful things the kids at school had said to me, I would not be as outgoing as I am today. I regret not saying anything, even if it would have cost me my job. I wonder about that little girl this day, becasue I can never get her sad little face out of my mind.

The Mass Media Graveyard? I Don't Think So.

Can you imagine a life without print, radio, or TV? I honestly don't think I could. I recently watched a doc by the CBC called The End. There was a section on each of the three major forms of mass media: print, radio, and TV. You've got to be thinking, This is absurd! Actually that is what I thought, but I was semi-wrong. Web 2.0 and all that comes with it (blogs, vlogs, social networking, youtube, streaming video, podcasts, downloads, itunes, ipods, etc.), are slowly taking over the space that was once claimed by the these three media medium titans (the big three). So let's go through each of the 'big three' to discuss the serious problems brought up by each of these mini-docs.

The End: Radio
As someone who is personally involved in the radio scene, I care deeply about is going to happen to it in the future. I've recently started doing a radio show on UWO's station, CHRW 94.9, and I can't tell you how fulfilling it is to put a certain brand of music out there for public consumption. But sadly, the radio as well know it is disappearing. Radio is switching to podcasts, streaming broadcasts, myspace, and digitial radio. The trick here is for radio to adapt. I think this is the goal with all three mediums. CHRW already let's users listen to streaming live radio on their website and they have podcasts for shows available for download. So it doesn't matter to me that 10 million people are now listening to satellite radio, because it is still radio. It may be digital, but that is where everything is headed anyways. Radio has to adapt or it will be left behind with the telegraph and other extinct forms of mass media. Just to give you an example of how much is based on online representation now: I asked a DJ friend of mine in Toronto to send me a CD of one of his mixes so I could play it on my radio show. He said that he would just rather have people check out his website with downloadable mixes online because it offered more exposure. I was blown away, but this really makes you realize that podcasts and downloadable music content is the future.

The End: Print
I grew up reading the paper. I know I'm a few years older than most kids in my university classes, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers sitting down at the kitchen table on Sunday mornings eating breakfast while my grandfather read the paper and told some jokes out of the comic section. When the news reports the death of big newspapers that have been going for over 150 years in the States and around, I get scared. There is something to be said for seeing a story in print. Recently the Ann Arbor News near Detroit announced it would stop printing daily papers. Instead, they would only print Thursday and Sunday editions; the rest would be online. Their reason for this was that everything was available online for free. And yes, this is true. I'm not the only one who has given up the paper for the most part for the instant fix of online news sites. It is easier to find the stories that you want and links that are similar to what you what to find out about. It is all about instant gratification. Newspapers just can't keep up. Newspapers are the only medium of the 'big three' that I have real concern over losing. Heck, even magazine readership is down. As more content is put online for our never-ending consumption, newspapers and print media suffer. Blogs offer commentary that can't fully be offered by traditional print media, and that is part of the appeal to the online community; anyone can become a famous author, even if it's writing about cupcakes, travel, or your dog.
Traditional print media makes this goal very hard to accomplish for the average Joe, because it requires more work than the majority of us are willing to put in. A blog simply requires you to babble at the least.
Actually, I'm not that concerned about print media disappearing, because I don't think it ever truly will. Along with radio, there is a need and want for it to succeed. It is instilled within the psyche of Americans and Canadians alike. Marconi sent the first radio wave here in Canada and the United States has had so much significant history made by the radio. It is a part of our history and the nostalgia it creates is not something the public wants to get rid of any time soon. Heck, who wants to read a novel online anyways, as The End puts it. It's much more convenient to flip through it at your own convenience.

The End: TV
I have no doubt TV will stand strong against its online competitors. Just because you can download a movie or watch a TV show online on streaming video now does not mean we will quit watching television. TV still has a bright future. If you don't think so, then tell me why Grey's Anatomy or 24 or Desperate Houswives has such a strong following, or why the Dancing with the Stars premier had the highest viewership in its history this month. Its true that internet sites such as Youtube offer new channels for media that can't be seen on the TV medium, but that will not dictate its disappearance. Vlogs are a compliment to TV in my opinion. Vlogs are online journals and tellings to various people via a webcam or video camera. This will not take away the need for the local news though. Although it may be in decline, I still make time to watch the local news every night so I can know what's going on in my community. The internet doesn't always foster the same connection that the TV can make to us. Even file-sharing doesn't fully cut it for everybody. Yes, it is great to just download movies, series, or individual shows, but it will never take away the experience of actually going to a movie or watching a sitcom at home with your boyfriend on the couch. I think television will definitely change along with radio and print, but they will never disappear.

Find the CBC videos here!