Thursday, 27 January 2011

Josh Groban...please come back to Toronto...

I got to meet Josh Groban two weeks ago at the First Canadian Place. This is so late, but I finally had the time to comment on my fun experience! Absolutely worth it!! And if you are patient enough to watch the video, you will get to see a beautiful Josh Groban speak to me toward the camera!!!


And here are a couple of pictures my cousin helped take for me. 

 What a sweet guy!

 Speaking to me!!!

 Come back to Toronto Josh!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Large Outpouring of Support for Fallen Officer

To family, colleagues, friends and people who didn’t even know him, Toronto Sgt. Ryan Russell will always be remembered for the sacrifice he made as a police officer.

From as far as the United States to the province of Ontario, officers, members of the RCMP, emergency service employees and civilians filled the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to attend Russell’s funeral in a hall that seated 10,000 people.

Russell, 35, was killed last Wednesday trying to stop a stolen snowplow while he was on duty in the Avenue Road and Dupont Street area.

In tributes delivered by Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, Supt. Hugh Ferguson and Russell’s wife Christine, the 11-year veteran was praised for being a great role model and friend to his colleagues and family members.

“Ryan always put himself before anyone else,” Russell said. “On January 12, this cost him his life.”

Fighting back tears, she thanked her husband’s father Glenn, a former officer in the Toronto police office, for being Russell’s hero and inspiration.

Blair said that while the day was a sad one for the police service, it was also a day of celebration to remember a fallen hero.

“Ryan Russell was truly a hero not because of the tragic circumstances that took him from us, but because of the decision that he made to answer the call of duty. He was determined to make a difference in his community. He chose to dedicate himself to the service of others,” Blair said.

Supt. Hugh Ferguson, recognized Russell for not only his loyalty to his job, but described him as a dedicated family man.

“Ryan showed he was a great leader. He was a proud father, loving husband and a very proud police officer,” Ferguson said. “Rest in peace, my friend. You are truly a hero in life, not death.”

Seeing the outpour of support for Russell’s family, Sgt. Darcy Moore is grateful for the number of officers from the police community and the number of regular citizens who have showed up to pay their respects.

“I’d like to thank not only the community but all the officers across the province and throughout Canada [for their support]. These times are very difficult times for our service and especially for the family.”

Reta Salin, who immigrated to Toronto from Iraq in 1983, said she attended the service because she greatly depends on the Toronto Police Service to keep her safe.

“His death is painful because he helped those in need. It is a blessing to have police people to take the initiative knowing that [people’s] lives are on their shoulders.”

Ted Wieclawek, an assistant deputy fire marshal with Toronto’s Fire Protection Services, was there to show his support for the Russell family and the Toronto Police Service.

Wieclawek, who has worked with the Fire Protection Services for 20 years, said he was amazed at the number of people who gathered to remember the fallen officer.

“As a member of the broader emergency services, I think it’s a phenomenal and genuine outpouring of support for Ryan Russell and as well, for the family and members of the Toronto Police Service,” he said.

Iris Macdonald was in attendance because she recognizes that police officers take many risks in order to shield citizens from harm.

“Being a policeman can be a very dangerous job,” said Macdonald, 75. “You never know when you’re going out in the morning that you will come back at night.”

Knowing that police officers risk their lives every day to protect the community, Wieclawek is appreciative.

“We rely on them to keep our community safe and it’s a tremendously important function faced with a lot of dangers and I’m just grateful that we have a phenomenal police force in the province of Ontario,” he said.

Officers march and fill the streets of Downtown Toronto commemorating Sgt. Ryan Russell, who was murdered on the line of duty. (Photo from the Ottawa Citizen)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Funeral: A celebration of life.

Today I attended my first funeral since Grade One. Perhaps I was too young at the time, but I remember being absolutely terrified when the casket came in.

It was my friend's father's funeral. God bless her and her family, but I'm sorry if I was disrespectful in any way.  Maybe it was a lack of knowledge and understanding, but knowing that there was a body laying inside gave my six-year-old self the skeevies.

But today, I attended the funeral of fallen Toronto officer Sgt. Ryan Russell, who was killed in the line of duty from a stolen snowplow.

Covering a solemn and serious event such as this gave me new found respect and understanding of the purpose of funerals.  Coming from as far as the United States, officers, RCMP members, public service members and citizens gathered in the Metro Convention Centre, which seated 10,000 people.

Although I didn't know the man, my heart went out to all of Russell's family, friends and colleagues. Hearing the tributes given by Vaughn MP Julian Fantino, Police Chief Bill Blair and Russell's wife Christine opened a little bit of who Sgt. Ryan Russell was as not only a police officer, but as a human being.

Seeing the amount of support from people all over North America, I realized that they had all come together not just to mourn the loss of an officer, but to celebrate his life. 

Now that I'm 18 (soon to be 19) I finally understand that. I hope we all cherish our loved ones, because one will never know what will happen.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Unpopular Opinion: Overrated athletes..or not?

Is there something wrong about thinking that Sidney Crosby is overrated?

There is no denying that he is very talented and works very hard to perfect his hockey techniques and skills.  He boasts success such as being a two-time Lou Marsh recipient, he is the 2010 Canadian Press Athlete of the year, and he won the Stanley Cup and the Olympic gold medal in the same year. That is amazing for someone as young as him but I sometimes wish that people would stop boosting his success due to the fact that there are many other athletes who have many achievements as well.

Now I don't want to sound like I'm being ignorant to professional hockey but I just feel that there are so many amateur athletes out there who are just as deserving as Crosby.

Amateur athletes train just as hard as professional athletes, yet they don't get the amount of media exposure. And by exposure, I don't mean the endorsement and commercial side of things. By lack of media attention, I mean that amateur sports competitions aren't being shown as often as professional sports on TV.

It is obvious that the case here is money. Professional sports have become a business where millions of dollars is invested towards professional sports and pro athletes with sponsorship deals, jerseys, and other sorts of memorabilia.  People are also more willing to invest their money and time in buying tickets for pro sports games.

But this doesn't mean that amateur athletes should go unnoticed.  Of course there isn't the same budget, as amateur athletes are often funded by the government. However, I think just a little more exposure or footage of these sports should be shown, whether it is on TV, or even being written up in the newspaper.

Of course, they are not completely under the radar, but I do think that professional athletes often overshadow amateur athletes, who are just as talented in their own sports.  I mean really, the only time I heard about the  gold medalists from the Olympic games were only a few MONTHS before the Olympic games when CTV started doing a lot of promotion. 

Never have I heard of Alex Bilodeau prior to the McDonalds' ads or after seeing his picture on cereal boxes. Never have I heard of Jon Montgomery, Ashleigh McIvor, or Maƫlle Ricker. I have known of many of the other medalists, but that was only because they are seasoned veterans or had an article written about them in the newspaper.

And let's not forget other athletes that performed well even though it wasn't the summer Olympics. Priscilla Lopes- Schliep, had posted the world leading time of 2010. Not only that, she won the Diamond League, which is the equivalence to the Grand Prix of Figure Skating...(oh yeah, I bet you didn't even know about that!)

Even then, I was always itching to know more about these athletes. The only time I ever read sports articles was when there was one written about amateur sports. Rarely, do I ever read anything about professional sports because the results are never a surprise to me. Every year in the NBA, it's always down to same couple of teams such as the Lakers, the Celtics, Miami Heat, and so on. For hockey, the Leafs haven't made it far in recent why should I continue watching? Call me bitter, but is there a reason why I should have hope? I don't want to jinx them.

So instead, I turn to amateur sports, where it's far more interesting for me. Besides, I was never a fan of team sports to begin with, so maybe this is why I don't enjoy watching most professional sports.

I'm sure you all have a different please, share them. I love a healthy debate.

For the record, I don't hate Sidney Crosby. I think he is indeed very talented, quite grounded...and very attractive. I just don't enjoy people and reporters boosting his talents. No athlete enjoys being overshadowed. I know how it feels, though  I know I was not the best athlete in high school.

Monday, 10 January 2011

New Semester, Life Downtown.

I haven't yet started school because I have Mondays off. Yet, I am already excited to start off the semester because I got the latest from Josh Groban!

Aside from my love of figure skater Patrick Chan (Toronto representttt), those of you following me on Twitter may have also noticed that I have a growing fascination (obsession would only sound creepy) with Josh Groban, the man with the wonderful voice and lovely sense of humour.

See here, if you haven't. 

I've liked Josh Groban since Grade Eight, aside from my embarrassing "poseurr rock, punk girl" faze. (Did you know that my idol used to be Benji Madden of Good Charlotte??)

AND, I had the hots for Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day? (Even though he's 20 years older than me?)

But as we all do, we have moved on.

But this is getting unrelated.

The point is, the week is starting off quite smoothly, as I not only got Josh's new CD, I also got a pass to meet Josh and get his autograph!! Awesome or what? I'm so excited because he has a beautiful voice, and he is just so damn cute! *FANGIRL CRUSHHH.*

I will update more on Josh Groban's Toronto appearance (he will be at the First Canadian Place this Wednesday!).  And other than that, I will speak more about his album Illuminations, which is amazing.

I feel a video blog coming soon!

Alas, I will leave you with this photo of me looking extremely excited.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Happy (belated) New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!! I'm so sorry about not posting very often because my schedule has either been really hectic, or there was nothing to blog about. I'm sorry fellow readers!! (If I have any...)

But to be honest, I have nothing much to enlighten you all with. I'm sure all of you guys had a much more eventful break than I did.

Though, some cool things I got this Christmas was this lovely scarf that makes me look like a babuska. Thanks Mommy!

 And then, I also got a sewing machine, which is totally awesome! Thanks Auntie Eva and cousin Rachel and Bernie!!

But enough with the chitchat. To say that I'm sorry for not posting very often, I will finish off this post with a new video blog featuring one of my new years resolutions.

For the record, I don't think I will be following it very often, seeing my progress.

But one thing is for sure!  I will try to post more videos on YouTube this year! Please remind me to if you like them!!

What are some of your new years resolutions, if you have any?