Saturday, April 21, 2012

Done dun dun

Sorry I didn't post during the week guys, I had studying and things to do because.... school is done for the year!

I got home yesterday and slept for two hours until it was time to go to work.

I do have something that might be interesting for people though. There's a documentary coming out on April 27 called Bully.

It's about peer-to-peer bullying in America, but bullying is a problem everywhere. There is a need for attention to be brought to bullying in schools, and in the "adult world".

Bullying is not only something that happens in schools, though it is a more noticeable problem there. There is bullying after school, only in more subtle ways usually.

I think people should see this movie because it's bringing attention to real problems, with real people. The kids in the movie are telling their real life stories.

Hopefully, someday, kids will feel safe in their schools. Because nobody should have to be afraid to get on the bus in the morning, or walk into class.

Here's a link to the movies IMDb:

Talk to you all next week.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dionysus in Stony Mountain

As promised, I'm doing a blog post about the play Dionysus in Stony Mountain this week.

Dionysus in Stony Mountain was written by Steven Ratzlaff, and directed by Bill Kerr. The play only had two actors, Sarah Constible as Heidi Prober and Ross McMillan as James Hiebert and Uncle Eric.

It was held at the Rachel Browne Theatre, which isn't very easy to find even as a Winnipegger. It is located in downtown Winnipeg on the second floor of 211 Bannatyne. We were warned before we went that there would be a lot of steps to get up to the auditorium, but it was also a fairly steep staircase, which is worse than if it were just a lot of steps.

There were baked goods and drinks in the lobby for attendees, free of charge, but they did have a donation box with recommended donation amounts if you did get food or drink.

When we actually got into the theatre and were seated it became quickly apparent that bringing school bags along with us was a poor decision, since there wasn't too much room in between seats.

When the play started I wasn't too sure what to expect, I'd heard opinions of it that it wasn't too engaging. At first I didn't find it to be engaging either. Then, as the story was progressing it slowly, slowly, sucked me into it.

About 10 minutes into the play I took out a pad of paper and a pen to write down observations and thoughts because this play made me think. It made me think a lot.With its discussion of philosophy, religion, neurology (I think the word is neurology) and discussion of societal problems in Winnipeg and the world challenged the way I'm sure a lot of people think of things.

I found that there was a lot of dry wit and sarcasm in the play, which I found fairly amusing. As my mother describes it, I'm one of those sarcastic catty people who enjoys sarcasm. My significant other says I just have a deadpan humour. This play also did not pull any punches. It touched on subjects like:

- repeat offenders in prisons
- the assimilation of children into residential schools
- national identity
- fetal alcohol syndrome
- the idea of free will
- the inherent nature of human beings

I managed to jot down some quotes that grabbed my attention during the play.

"The capacity to blunder slightly is the beauty of DNA."

And when we find out why the character James is in Stony Mountain (which is a prison).

"My greatest joy has been destroyed by my own hand."

That line had a lot of emotion in it, and invited speculation. How would I react if I ended up destroying what was most important to me? Would I turn to philosophy? Would I lose my mind? How would other people react?

Then, touching on the subject of schooling, the character James remarks that compulsory institutional schooling is the "stupidest thing ever."

On the more sensitive subject of developmental delays, more specifically fetal alcohol syndrome and how it relates to crime and punishment:

"Would you let a car with no breaks back on the road? No! ... Would you punish someone for something they can't control?"

These quotes grabbed me and pulled me further into the play. The fact that the actors seemed to actually be feeling the emotions they were portraying also made watching the play more intense.

I can easily understand why someone would dislike this play, the characters act insane, but in an incomprehensible way. James was ranting about Nietzsche in the first act, while the ranting bug seemingly took over Heidi in the second act.

I found the play relied a lot on body language and physical actions to explain character feelings and relationships, which was not a bad thing. It was used very effectively.

In a sadder part of the play, I could hear someone in the crowd behind me sniffling -- it might have been a cold, but I interpreted it at the time as a reaction to the emotion and gravity of the moment. I wasn't even aware of the rest of the audience for the rest of the play, it sucked me in so much.

If it were still playing, I'd suggest people who are interested in debating philosophy go see it. Who knows, maybe they will perform it again. If they do, I know I'll be going to see it.


I'll see you all later this week, I've got a blog post about The Hunger Games movie and the Five Finger Death Punch concert brewing, though the concert probably will come first... just as soon as my voice and hearing come back.

Friday, April 06, 2012


Hello again on this fine Good Friday!

Spring is in the air in Winnipeg. It's weirdly warm here for April. But that means it's easier to go have new experiences earlier in the year.

Take today for example, I played hula hoop Frisbee. It's not as easy as it sounds, since a hula hoop is just a ring. It's also substantially bigger than a regular Frisbee. It's fun nonetheless though, and I'm pretty sure if you did it long enough you'd work up some considerable upper body strength. It also might help with reflexes. Get whacked in the head with a hula hoop enough times and you'll learn to dodge.

I'm other news, this week I have managed to make another trip around the sun since the day of my birth, and turned 19. Woohoo!

It's beautiful out though, so I'm going to go enjoy it! See you next week with a blog post on the play Dionysus in Stony Mountain.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Journey for Justice

So, this week I've got a blog post for a school assignment.

Our class read a book called Journey for Justice: How 'Project Angel' Cracked the Candace Derksen Case by Mike McIntyre.

Since people who aren't from Winnipeg, or Canada in the 1980's probably don't really know about the Candace Derksen case, I'll give a little background.

Candace Derksen disappeared when she was walking home from school on November 30, 1984. She was 13 years old. She was found dead on January 17, 1985. Then, until 2007, no one was arrested. In 2007 Mark Grant was arrested as a suspect in her murder, in 2011 he was put on trial and found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.

*Note, I'm getting my information from the book Journey for Justice: How 'Project Angel' Cracked the Candace Derksen Case, and followed up to confirm the sentencing here:

All the information I have on the time when Candace disappeared is second hand, since I wasn't born until 1993. According to my mother it was very tense for parents, and their children. She was 17 when Candace disappeared, and got to see and feel the shocks sent through Winnipeg at the time. Things like children disappearing and being killed didn't happen often, at least not as often as it does today.

But Mark McIntyre's book is what this is about. It was released in 2011 after the trial was finished.

I'm the kind of person who has a very strong empathetic response to stories. Let's just get that out of the way.

The first part of the book I find very well written. It's engaging, and reading about Candace's disappearance from her mothers point of view made me cry. That might not seem like a good thing, but I feel it means that the writing in the book actually connected to me as a reader. Later in the book I found it a little off putting when there were a lot of blocks of text that were from newspaper articles and psychiatric reports on Mark Grant. I think I found this off-putting because they deviated so drastically from McIntyre's style of writing, and the way they were dropped into the story line was mentally jarring. I wasn't able to get as immersed in the story in the later sections. I found including follow up with Candace's friends helped flesh out the effects of Candace's death on the community and her friends and family.

On March 22 Wilma Derksen and Mike McIntyre came and presented to our classes. I wasn't sure what I was expecting before the presentation, other than that I would probably end up crying. I didn't though. I feel that was because they were telling us about the book and writing process.

But this book was very informative to me from a journalistic point of view. While reading the first half, it was more like a novel, but the quotes pulled from Wilma Derksen's book Have You Seen Candace? gave it a news article like quality. To me, the second half of the book seemed more like a research paper, with citation of medical fact. That to me seems like a big difference in how easy an article or book is to read. If it's conversational, a piece seems easier to read. When it's clinical, a piece is more difficult to read unless your audience has an understanding of the topic.

Having read a number of newspaper articles by McIntyre, I've noticed a difference between his writing styles. After making the obvious concessions to the fact writing styles would have to be different between a newspaper article and a novel, there are still some distinct differences and similarities. His newspaper articles seem to me fact driven (as is appropriate for crime reporting), but they are still accessible and easy to understand. This is different from the conversational tone I got in the first part of his book. While it was still facts, it was in storytelling format and easy to understand. The latter half of his book was again, like a research paper and more difficult to understand. His newspaper articles are not hard to understand, but they are fact. He has managed to strike the balance between conversational and fact driven.

I did like the book, I found it very interesting. It also gave me one source to get the information about what happened to Candace Derksen. I'd heard about it, but I don't trust just word of mouth, and when Mark Grant was arrested I was in the eighth grade, I think. The presentation was pretty interesting too, though I feel that there was a mix of the trials of writing this book specifically and then writing for news in general. Sometimes this mix was hard to define.

But I hope you all have a good night, and I would definitely recommend people read this book.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Hunger Games!

Happy Hunger Games everybody!

As the fans of the Hunger Games series know, today is the day the Hunger Games movie is released today (March 23).

For those who don't know the series, it's kind of like Battle Royal. Although, I may be wrong, as I've never read Battle Royal, so I'm basing this on vague knowledge.

I would suggest the series to people who are fans of dystopian future novels.

It's also Friday today! Which means the weekend! Which means... working. But it's fun.

I've realized this week that I have a great job. It's not the highest paying, and I wouldn't make a career out of it, but I still feel I have a great job.

I work with great people, and our managers treat us well.

I'm going to go now, it's a relatively nice day, and I'd like to join the outside world, but I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Anime Music

So I'm pretty dead on my feet today, I've been awake over 24 hours.

That's why today I decided to find some of the Anime theme songs I like and post them for you, because music is one of the few things I'm truly, madly passionate about.

I will not promise all these songs are appropriate for younger or sensitive audiences, so view with caution.

So here we go!

Heros Come Back - Nobodyknows

This was a Naruto theme song and yes, I know that Naruto is a punchline a lot of the time now, but it's still a good song. I would have put the opening theme song animations, but sometimes I find the bands actual music video is much better.

What's Up People - Maximum the Hormone

This was used as a theme song for the anime Death Note. I won't lie, I love Maximum the Hormone. They have such a unique mix in their music, it's kind of rap-rock-pop-metal. And their drummer Nao is my drumming idol. But look how hard they rock in their videos, it's almost ridiculous. I'm only including videos that had their music used as theme songs in anime, but I'd definitely suggest checking out some of their other video's if you like this one.

And then we have this...

Zetsubou Billy - Maximum the Hormone

This was actually the first Maximum the Hormone music video I saw. I initially thought that Maximum the Hormone was a Visual Kei band (for more information: ), and then I could see their full awesome. This song was also used as a theme in Death Note, though if you look up the lyrics, it looks like it might have been written for Death Note. Also, the video clearly references Death Note.

This is the Lucky Star opening. I'm not sure who made the song, but I'm also not sure there's any actual... point... to the song. But that can kind of describe the entire Lucky Star series. Still, it's a cute song.

But that's all for the day, I'm going to work on staying awake!

Friday, March 09, 2012


For the past three days I (with my fellow CreCommer's) have been sitting through the IPPP's

That's the Independent Personal Project Presentations (and that's a mouthfull).

The IPP's (Independent Personal Projects) are something that students in the Creative Communications program have to do in their second year at the college. We have to pitch an idea to a panel of teachers, and if they approve it, we get to work on them in our second year.

The first year CreCommer's get the pleasure of presenting at the IPPP's next year, but for now I figured I'd push off thinking about it, and leave you all some breadcrumbs to projects that were presented this year.

Just as a head's up, all the presentations were awesome, but with at least 65 presentations, I'm not going to list all of them. So without further ado, A portion of the IPPP's in 2012.

The (un)holy War by David Driedger

I haven't read the comic yet, but based on the presentation, it looks good.



Heart Container - Albertine Watson

Heart Container is a video game zine, which makes it pretty awesome, and when ordering a copy they will mail it to you even if you're out of country (if I understood the presentation correctly). I haven't bought a copy yet (being a broke student) but it's on the list.

A jar of Heart Containers... hehehe


Conversation Kitchen - Laura Kunzelman

It's a cooking blog, but it's got interesting original recipes that are easy to make.


Thor's Mighty Blog - Thor

Just to clarify, not Norse God Thor. But it -is- a blog about comics and related paraphernalia.

Moon Drop: The dark side of the light side. - Breanna Perrelli

Part of the reason I was drawn to this graphic novel is the story, the other in the way it was presented. It was a great presentation, funny, a little adorable, and it got the information across.

It's another thing on the ever growing list of things I'm going to buy... eventually.


Now, there were a lot more presentations that were just so amazing (all of them), but I don't want to make this blog post much longer than it is.

So I'll leave you with the link to the IPPP's webpage, so you can see everything there was to offer.

Hope you all have a good day!