Places to Remember

I was thinking today how places connect us with people. They remind us of someone, something or a time in our lives when we were happy or sad. Recently I found out that one of my regulars at work died from cancer at the age of 37. 37. Way to young. Apparently it was quick, she found out she had cancer and within 6 months she passed away. Her and her husband use to come and have drinks at this small-“home-town” bar that I work in. They always seemed like they were having such a good time and were so much in love – absolutely loving their lives’. She passed away on a Monday, and on Friday he was in for a couple of beers. Everything seemed normal, but at this point I had no idea. He just sat there with his beer alone in a place where you use to come with his wife, a place where they had fun. There’s no doubt in my mind that he was thinking about her while he was there. I wish I would have know. I wish I would have said something or bought him a beer. But maybe that’s why he came into the bar that night. He came in because he knew he could be left alone if he wanted, or he could talk to someone if he wanted. Whatever he needed my co-worker and I, and the other regulars, would be there for a shoulder to lean on.

Sometimes I really want to the bar. But, then moments like these happen when someone comes in and remembers all the amazing times they had with a special person, and they can know that the people around them are there if they want them – that’s something you can’t find to many places.


A look at a town's history

For documentary class, my friend and I produced a doc about the crumbling limestone kilns in Stonewall. The kilns are more than just crumbling, the history of Stonewall is crumbling with it. It's amazing how something can be a symbol of a place's history, and once it's gone a lot of that history is gone too. The doc examines what the limestone kilns mean to this small Manitoban town, and how a small group is trying to save them.


I'm just going to keep saying it

Did anyone watch the leader’s debate tonight? I did, and it was honestly the first time I watched an ENTIRE debate. It reminded me of when a group of friends does nothing but tell inside jokes as other people look on without any clue of what’s going on. Sure I watch the news and read the paper, so I know some of what they’re talking about but ultimately I don’t think they were talking about much of anything.

Do debates like this get young voters interested in the election? I don’t think so. I tuned in because I was interested in what they had to say, because, like I’ve said before, it’s important to vote and express our opinions on how our country should be run. Honestly, I just wanted to turn on a movie, but I’m trying, I’m trying really hard to be engaged in this election.

I read this really interesting article online today, which talked about young voters and how very little of us VOTE. The article quotes a study that found if young voters didn’t vote when they first had the chance the likelihood of them voting in future elections is slim to none. So please, read the article and prove this study wrong.  We have the opportunity to have a say so use it. If you don’t you might not regret it now but you probably will in the future, and by then it might be too late for a change.


Have your say, vote in May

It’s seems as if the media here in Canada is doing more to encourage Canadians to get out and vote than the political leaders and their parties.  Every night I turn on CBC’s The National there is tons of news about the election, but if the news didn’t cover it would I hear anything the candidates have to say?  I don’t know if I would.

I’ll vote because it’s my right.  Millions of people in other countries are fighting for democracy.  Thousands of people are dying in Libya, hundreds of people died in Egypt and countless people die in countless countries because they want the right to vote but don’t have it.  But Canadians don’t vote.  In the last federal election in 2008, only 58.8% of Canadians voted.  Holy crap, does any one else think that’s that ridiculous?

But why don’t we vote?  Is it because all the parties are pretty much the same, so really who cares?  Is it because Canadians are so not interested in politics we don’t even take the time to learn about what each party, each candidate stands for?  Or is it that neither of the parties makes us care about them?

I think it’s a combination of all of these things.  So where are the leaders?  Why aren’t they reaching out to the public more through Facebook or Twitter? Sure, they travel around the country holding town halls, but how many of us actually go?

CBC is trying to get Canadians interested in the election through an online poll they’ve created called Vote Compass.  The poll asks you a series of questions regarding important issues and calculates which party most aligns with your values.  The poll is super simple.  Fill out a bit of information, and then clip through a series of questions – literally it took me 5 minutes.  As of the other night, over 800,000 Canadians had been on Vote Compass.  Hopefully this is a sign that more Canadians will turn out to the polls this year to make their choice.  Go on to Vote Compass, and find out which party most aligns with your values.  Then scroll through the Election 2011 information to find out more.

We have this great liberty to vote, so let’s use it.  You decide whom you want to make a change in our country, don’t let the rest of the country, or 58.8% of it, decide fore you.  The 800,000 people that have gone on Vote Compass are only a small portion of the 33 million people in this country.  Make your vote count this time.


Forgiveness is hard to do

Lately I’ve been trying to practice the idea of forgiveness.  Any self-help, yogi guru, motivational speaker and positive person says that holding grudges let’s the person you are angry with control your life, if only a little piece.  This gives them the power, and that’s exactly what I don’t want.

This isn’t any easy practice for me.  I find it really hard to forgive, because I trust everyone wholeheartedly.  I’ll give you the chance, but if you mess with me I will never forgive you – but now that’s changing. 

I don’t want the people who have crossed me to control my life.  I don’t want these people to hinder my ability to be open to love.  I want to forgive and forget.

So, I’m really trying; trying harder than I ever have to let go of these feelings and to let these people go from my life.

Since my 2 and ½ year relationship ended last year, I started to think more about myself. I always thought this was a pretty selfish thing to do. Thinking about myself always felt bad. But I’ve begun to realize that if I don’t think about myself and sometimes put my needs in front of others I start to lose who I am.  How can I be open to helping and loving others when I don’t 
listen to what I want and need?

In order for me to be open to others and give my friends and family all the love they deserve is for me to let go of these negative feelings I’ve been carrying on my shoulders for so long. So it’s time to forget. Time to forget how much you hurt me. Time to forget how you once made me feel good and bad. All the people I feel who have ever wronged me are physically out of my life, now it’s time for them to be emotionally out of my life.


Changing the world one person at a time

Raise your hand if you like to read depressing books.  Now I can’t see any of you, so I expect to see a few comments about some of the books you’ve read that aren’t the fluffy, feel good kinda books.

I like reading these types of books, because a lot of the time they make you think; they expose you to issues, tough issues, which many shy away from.  The book I’m reading right now is probably the most depressing book I have EVER read.  It’s called Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.  The writers of the book, Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, won the Pulitzer Prize for their tremendous work.

As the title suggests, the book talks about the violence and atrocities women are subjected to in poor countries.  This book has opened my eyes to some of the most horrible things you could ever imagine – worse than death – and some of the most amazing stories of overcoming adversity I have ever heard.  While the book tells stories of horror and      wonderment all in one package, it spreads the word of the importance of educating women.  As women become more educated the more they are able to fight back against the cruelties they face and make their own decisions.

While this book is definitely the most depressing piece of writing I have ever undertaken to read, it is also the most rewarding.  To hear the stories about how women in very poor countries rise above stereotypes and fight oppression is amazing.  To hear what goes on outside our North American bubble truly makes me feel so lucky to have been brought up here in Canada.  

But it also gets me thinking about my sisters’ abroad, and what could I possibly do to help them in some way.  According to the book, “more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century.”  This stat is outrageous! I hope this blog post doesn’t scare you from reading this book, but encourages you to read it and want to help change how women are treated at home and abroad.  Women everywhere need our help; we should do whatever we can, because we could have so easily ended up in their place.


Graduation, I can smell you you're so close

Today was the second day of the IPPPs. For those of you who aren’t a part of the CreComm Mafia, the IPPPs are the Independent Professional Project Presentations. You’ll probably remember me telling you about the rock concert I put on, the Children’s Rehab Rockout, for the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation. Well, today Christa and I presented our project to our peers, teachers, parents and supporters. This presentation marks the official end to this year-long-independent project. This means I am one step closer to graduating – yay!!

Before we presented today, we had to come up with a presentation, which had to include some sort of visual element. Christa and I produced a video to showcase the event night with footage shot by two amazing CreComms *hugs* Jeff Ward and Jérèmie Wooky. Let me tell you that putting this video together was pretty much a disaster. The editing part wasn’t hard the part, but all the technical difficulties we faced were a pain in the ass. I won’t bore you with ALL the problems we had, but let’s just say it was down to the wire, on the eleventh hour and any other cliché that demonstrates the fact it almost didn’t get done on time.

But I digress. The video got made and that is that. Since you all probably want to see it so bad I will post it on the blog sometime early next week. Most importantly, though, we presented today and it went as smoothly as I hoped. Christa and I were a little nervous. The nervousness only hit me when I was sitting a lunch with my parents. All of a sudden I felt, “oh, wow! In just a few hours I’ll be presenting my IPP to so many people that are important to me! Eeeekkk.” But it went off really well, and as far as I’m told I didn’t look nervous and I did an excellent job – except, Miss Sandra Klowak informed me, “My paper was shaking a bit.”

All you CreComms past and present know this means my IPP is done! And I am one step closer to graduating. I can’t believe it. It’s been what seems like a long road. First, three year of university. Then, 2 years of CreComm, which often times felt longer than my three years at university but a million times more fun.

I’ll miss you CreComm, but not enough to want to go back J. To all my instructors, thank you for all the valuable lessons you’ve taught me. And to all my classmates, you are all amazing people whom I’ve come to know and love. This is honestly the best thing I’ve ever done.


The Power of love

I couldn't help myself, I love these cheesy karaoke videos

I was inspired to blog today after reading Caitlin MacGregor’s blog, lookingforloveonline.com.  For the last 8 months or so she’s been putting herself out there on online dating sites to see what all the fuss is about, and if you really can find your “true love” online.  As a newly single person, I too contemplated looking for love online.  I was actually surprised to find out that quite a few of my CreComm friends have also been trying the online dating thing.  Berea found a smoking, hot hottie who sounds like an awesome guy on plentyoffish.com.

I’m newly single, but by no means waiting for the one who got away to come back.  I’m completely over him, and I feel empowered to be a twenty-something-singe lady.  I’ve started checking out my options, but with the last month of school nipping at my heels I’m in no hurry to start anything serious with any one specifically – give me a couple of months, though, and I will probably change my mind.  So needles to say, I’ve stayed away from the online dating thing.  Maybe I’m not ready to deal with some of the weirdos that like to message good-looking, non-crazy girls – at least that’s how I like to think of myself.  Or maybe I still want to try the old fashioned way by going out there and meeting people face-to-face, and then maybe letting them say something dirty to me, LOL. 

I feel like now more than ever I could totally go up to that hottie across the room and introduce myself.  It’s amazing how a break up can change a person.  Not a lot, but just enough to feel better about yourself and a lot more confident.  I’m no longer afraid to be alone, if that’s how things work out for me.  No longer will I settle for some guy that shows me a little bit of attention.  No longer will I suppress what I’m looking for in a person, because I’ve found someone.  It’s time to be a little selfish and start putting what I want in front of what someone else wants.  Ultimately, it’s my life and I have to live it and I want to make it as awesome as possible. 


A blizzard can't keep Winnipeggers in

Last Thursday the weather looked a little something like this.

crazy blizzard

And this was after a week of beautiful weather. I mean, beautiful. The sun was shining, the snow was melting – there was no windshield. Anyway, I digress, the point is that last Thursday on the worst day of the week Christa and I had our IPP event, Children’s Rehab Rockout.

But like the hearty Winnipeggers that most of us are, people braved the blizzard and reduced visibility to make it out to the Pyramid to get together and listen to five great Winnipeg bands. It was such an awesome night! All the bands did an amazing job; we even exposed quite a few people to bands they never heard before but really enjoyed.

Pizza from Presto Pizza


Mas Headspace

Crowd at the Pyramdi

Rena from Power and J. Williamez


Belle Air

Belle Air

I want to thank our hosts Rena and Holly from Power 97 and Mr. Jeremy Williams, aka J Williamez. I also want to thank all the volunteers for braving the weather to help us and.  My five bands; Mãs Headspace, Acidscar, Prophet, Belle Air and The Beasts for offering us their talents for free.  Without you guys this event would have been nothing, and thank you thank you for not cancelling on me last minute!  And to all the people who came out that blizzardy night to rock out to raise money for kids with special needs words cannot express my gratitude. You helped us raise $1,500 for the Rehabilitation Centre for Children Art and Jam Program, so kids with special needs can learn and love through art!

Photos courtesy of Denise Meilleur


Dreams keeping me up and keeping me thinking

One week to go until my IPP event, the Children’s Rehab Rockout.  Holy crap, only at week left?!?!  Where did the time go?  It seems like only yesterday that it was last March and I sat in the Park Theatre watching the second years present their IPPs with sparkles in my eyes and a lump on my heart of what was to come in second year.

But here I am only one week away from the biggest project of my life to date and the end of my post-secondary education, at least for the time being.  Next week I will for sure get into how excited I am, but this week I thought I’d talk about how my anxieties are manifesting themselves in my dreams.

I’m having stress dreams, and remembering every horrifying moment of them - I think.  I’m the type of person who hasn’t remembered a dream in a LONG time; so long I don’t even know when the last time I remembered one until last week. 

Last week was by far the worst yet.  I woke up in a cold sweat around three in the morning after I dreamed I neglected my girlfriend’s baby.  She had left the baby in my care and I forgot all about him.  By the end of the dream he was crying bloody murder wanting me to change him, feed him or just plain pay attention to him.  I was totally devastated by this dream; I thought this was some premonition to the fact that I was going to be a horrible mother.  So I checked out the website Dream Moods.  It said that forgetting about a baby means you feel over overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of somebody else, like the five bands playing at my event possibly.

Dream Moods in general says that dreams about forgetting signify life’s anxieties, an unconscious desire to leave something behind.  All of which could be true but not all necessarily involving my IPP.  This year has seen people leave from my life and will see the end of my time in school, so there really are quite a few important things that have left my life or will very shortly be leaving my life.  This new chapter in my life is SUPER exciting; I’m finally ready to move on, let go and let love in.  But obviously my subconscious isn’t quite ready to leave some things behind yet.


Learning Lessons on the Job

So I so totally screwed myself when putting together a brochure for my work placement this January. The organization wanted a brochure to highlight the film side of their organization, so after talking to them about what they wanted – an old fashioned film kinda look - I set out to find some amazing pictures to fit the look.

After some searching on google images and looking through the organizations archived photos, I found exactly what I was looking for: a great photo of the outside of the RRC campus on Princess Street, some old fashioned film reels and the best, most amazing photo of Buster Keaton with an old video cam. So I started putting it together. I spent hours cutting out this picture of Buster Keaton to make it look just right and then added a shadow to make it look somewhat real. It looked amazing! Everyone was super excited about it and thought it looked great, until someone asked the question I should have asked myself days before.

American actor an filmmaker

“Do we know the copyright laws with this picture?!”

Me, “No. Damn it.”

The Buster Keaton photo is absolutely epic, and ever since we decided not to use that photo – the organization could potentially be fined $2,000 - it’s been so hard to find a replacement. Ugh I’m so mad at myself. I KNOW better than that. After a search that lasted WAY too long, the organization and I have FINALLY agreed on a photo we both like for the cover but we don’t love it.

At least I’ll know better next time.


Adventures in Ringette

As some of you may or may not know I’m suppose to write a blog every Friday for school, but this week I’m a little late. As usual, I procrastinated because I really didn’t want to believe that I was back to school and back to doing homework. Today I woke up and said to myself, “there is 7 more weeks of school and then you’re done, so get your freaking act together.” I can really be persuasive when I want to be.

This week I’m going to do something I haven’t don before in my blog, I’m going to use pictures to talk about one of the first IPP events that went down this weekend. Ashton Friesen and Melissa Marlatt had their fundraising event for MS called Move Your Soul. It was a ringette tournament and social, and they literally knocked it out of the park. These ladies seemed so cool, calm and collected that it was impossible to know whether they were panicking a little on the inside, especially with all the youngins at the social last night.

Before you see some pictures, I want to tell you a little about the ringette tournament. I had NEVER played ringette in my life, and neither had the majority of our team. So for the first game we played Friday night we knew we were in trouble when the other team showed up with matching jerseys and we had yellow pinnies. We all felt like the Mighty Ducks in Mighty Ducks 1 and thought briefly of a moment of grandeur when we smoked our opponents, like they did at the end of the first movie. But sadly we had no Emilio Estevez and we never reached our full potential. Regardless of whether we lost both our games by like 7 points, tied or won, our team had an awesome time supporting the fight for MS and Melissa and Ashton – really that’s what it’s all about.

Go CreComm Pylons – I really want to know who chose that name, we could have thought of something way better.

The Pylons
Lauren's game face
My game face

Our team getting instructions on the rules
Me in action
Lauren celebrating something, but I don't think it was a goal