Thursday, 31 March 2011

JUNO FanFare

School has been superbly hectic.
With my first year of university drawing to a close, I have been rushing to finish assignments so I haven't been able to update very often. 

But, don't fret! I am back with oodles of good stuff. For one thing, last week was the 40th Annual Juno Awards.  This year it took place in my hometown of Toronto with's own Drake!!

For those of you who don't know what the JUNOs are, think the Grammy's but, the Canadian version.  

Unfortunately I couldn't attend the event because of homework and student budgets. However, I did get a chance to attend some of the free events.  If you look at the post below, you may have already browsed some of the pictures I took at the JUNO Cup.  

I did attend the JUNO FanFare the next day...unfortunately by myself like a loser.  I only wanted to meet Down With Webster, which I did. I even managed to get some pictures with them! Actually now that I think about it, I feel like a big dork!!

So as for autograph signings, I think this may be the last one in a while before someone is willing to go with me.  I've decided that I'm not a big fan of meet and greets because celebs probably won't even remember me anyways. I mean lining up for two hours to speak with a star for two minutes? They better be well worth the wait!

This is why I hope to use my future career as a journalist as a chance to speak with interesting individuals. Not just celebrities, but people who are inspiring, who have brilliant ideas and amazing lives! 

Then maybe... they will have a better chance at knowing who I am. Just maybe.

Anyways, enjoy the pictures!! I would make a video blog out of this, but I didn't get a lot of footage and the two girls in front of me were giving me super strange looks.  Oh well, they didn't know I was trying to get a story out of the

 Marty and Kyle!
 Bucky Buck!!
Faber Drive
 Danny Fernandes!
  These Kids Wear Crowns
 Jacob Hoggard of Hedley
 Me and Cam!
 Taking a picture with Bucky Buck!
 With Pat and Dave!
And with one of my favourite former VJs from Much, who also currently holds my dream job as a CP24 correspondent...Devon Soltendieck!!

Saturday, 26 March 2011


Hello all.

What an eventful week it has been! Toronto is hosting the annual Juno Awards this year, and Drake is hosting!  Unfortunately, I don't have the money to afford tickets but I attended two of the Juno Events which were both free for me.  Yesterday I attended the JUNO Cup with Stephanie, Jan and Iriss because Steph was lucky to have won tickets!  It was such a mission to get there because we weren't paying attention the first time and went on the wrong streetcar. Turns out we ended up at ChinaTown. The second time, we got onto the right streetcar, but it was going to the garage!! So, we had to be dropped off and we ended up walking to the Ricoh Coliseum...

Nevertheless, we finally arrived and thus the game started!! What a great way to bring hockey and music together! So Canadian! 

Some of the artists who attended include Tyler Armes from Down With Webster, Sarah Harmer, Kathleen Edwards and Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo.  These "Rockers" faced the "Alumni" team, which consisted of former and current NHL players such as Gary Roberts, Brad Dalgarno, and Gary Leeman. 

 I don't usually watch hockey...which is a bit of a shame...because I don't know which team to follow!! I only watch the World Championships. Everything amateur sports is what I will watch :)
I was cheering for the Rockers the whole time. Unfortunately, they lost 10-13.  But from what I've heard, they haven't won in a while!

Too bad we weren't able to meet some of the artists or players. But, it was a good thing I ended up going to the JUNO FanFare!!

But, that will be left for another post because I have a ton of pictures from there as well.

But on another note, remember the interview I had with Paralympian Paul Rosen?? Well it's published for The Ryersonian now and you can read it here.

I've also written an opinion piece about how 1/4 women don't enjoy their wedding proposals.  According to a comment from a girl, it is "condescending" and "poor journalism." I wouldn't call it journalism per say, but if the editors thought it was okay to publish, then it would be appropriate right?  First of all, I would never lie about my statistics. If you were really curious about it, there are plenty of articles published on the matter that can be found on Google.

Either way, I never meant it to be condescending, because I do not feel highly about myself. I did however, mean to sound a bit harsh as to give these women a reality check. It is true that 75% of women are content with their proposals but to know that the other 25% aren't happy with their proposals...? That's unfortunate. Being proposed to is a tough task on its own. What I'm saying is, women should just stop playing these fantasies in their heads to save themselves from a future letdown...But hey, if 13 people liked the article, then at least some would agree with me!

But since I do not want to end on a sour note, tonight is Earth Hour so turn off your lights!  Stay tuned for more on the JUNO FanFare!!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A few words with Paralympian Paul Rosen

While everyone was out celebrating St. Patty's day, I took my chance to interview three time Paralympic sledge-hockey player Paul Rosen. 

It was an awesome experience, and it was a bit of a shame that not a lot of people came to the event. Listening to his experiences,  seeing his Olympic souvenirs, and being able to touch his gold medal from Torino was something I would have never imagined I would be able to do.  Had I not looked at the Ryerson Today Events, I would have probably spent my time at home wallowing in piles of homework and unproductiveness.   

As for the people who DID attend Rosen's talk, he kept them interested and was very inspiring with his words.  I had an the pleasure to have a few words with the Paralympian and I even got to wear his medal! 

Hopefully by this week, an article will be published for the Ryersonian...hopefully.

Samantha:  So why are you here today?

Paul Rosen:  For me it’s really important to get my message out to as many people as possible and especially as many kids as possible.  The university setting is one of the best settings to show people that anything is possible and that you can achieve greatness at any level and at any age.  We’re a year out of the Olympics, probably the greatest Olympics and Paralympics of all time in our country, and I just want to thank people for coming out and supporting us for what was a great games. 

Samantha:  So how long have you been competing for Canada?

Paul Rosen:  I competed since 2000.  Three Olympics.  In 2002 in Salt Lake, 2006, in Torino and 2010 in Vancouver. 

Samantha:  So how was it competing at home?  

Paul Rosen:  It was the ultimate.  Unfortunately we didn’t win. That would have made it incredible.  But to have family and friends, and to have (all of that) support.  You know you play in Torino, you play in different parts of Europe, at the rink everybody loves you.  On the street you get a hello.  But in Vancouver, we were rock stars everywhere we went.  It didn’t matter where it was.  Everybody knew us, everybody screamed for us.  

Samantha: So how did you get introduced to sledge-hockey?

Paul Rosen:  I lost my (right) leg in 1999 due to infection.  I met a 12-year-old boy who showed me the game.  He was missing three of the four limbs, and he introduced me to the incredible athletes we have in this country who are disabled.  And that, I started playing and made the team at the age of 40.  

Samantha :  So what are the differences between sledge-hockey and regular hockey?

Paul Rosen:   Sledge-hockey is an incredible game.  The only difference from able-body hockey is we’re playing on sleds, not skates.  We skate with our arms.  Other than that, it’s pretty much the same game. It’s an incredible game and a high-paced, dangerous game.  It’s what I loved about it.  It gives somebody whose disabled an opportunity to play something they love at the highest level.  

Samantha:  So what was the best moment in your career?

Paul Rosen:  2006 in Torino.  We won the gold medal. It was the greatest thrill because we went into the games with no chance to win.  Everybody gave us the silver pretty well before the gold medal game.  We pulled together as a team and as a family to win the gold medal (against Norway, who was slated to win).   (There were) 75,000 people at Closing Ceremonies (and) knowing that everybody there wanted to grab you or shake your hand…it was something I’ll never forget. 

Samantha:  The Olympics seem to get more attention than the Paralympics do. How do you feel about that?

Paul Rosen:  It doesn’t bother me because the Olympics have been going on since the 30s and the Paralympics since the 60s.  Sledgehockey started in ’94.  If you look at where sledge-hockey is now in 2011 compared to where it was in 94, its massive.  You come back in 2018, it will be a game played all over the world, will have tons of teams in Canada, might even have a professional league.  So you gotta crawl, then you walk and then you run.  That’s how it works.  SO the Paralympics are incredible right now compared to when they started.  How many people knew about the Paralympics now? When I lost my leg in '99 I had no clue! Thirty-nine years I was able-bodied. Twelve years I’ve been disabled. 

Samantha:  So what message do you want to get across through your speeches?

Paul Rosen:  The biggest thing I want anybody who is disabled is to realize and to see the ability in disability.  I don’t want them to see the fact that they’re disabled. I want them to see that they’re able-bodied.  Just because you’re disabled, doesn’t mean you’re dead.  Doesn’t mean your life ends.  My life began when I became disabled.  I want the able-bodied community to look at somebody who’s disabled and look at them for what they can do, not what they can’t do. 

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Age of the Pre-teen Popstars??

So all anyone has been able to talk about this week was Rebecca Black and her single "Friday".

I recently wrote a post about her new-found popularity for the Prince Arthur Herald.  You can check it out here

Horrified by the lyrics and corny music video that went along with Black's single, I was surprised to find out that there are more pre-teen popstars "on the rise".

Jenna Rose ft. Baby Triggy:  My Jeans

"HAHAHAHA Jack my swag."

Catered to the Disney demographic comes a supremely materialistic and shallow song about jeans. First of all, I'm quite sure she's not wearing jeans in the song at all...and why should pre-teens be caring so much about wearing " Hannah Montana's jeans" ? And really, how is it possible for 12-year-olds to drive?

Alana Lee: Butterflies

So another single from the Ark Music Factory is Alana Lee's "Butterflies". Although the song is equally auto-tuned with an equally corny music video, somehow...this song catchier than Friday?? I mean if these girls can really sing, why should there be auto-tune added in?

So having seen these...all I could think about was how I could have gotten a single out at the age of 12. I mean if Rebecca Black got viral with corny lyrics and auto-tune...why couldn't I?

And then I found out something. Most of these singers are with the Ark Music Factory, a record label based in LA that caters to "independant artists." With further research, I found out that Rebecca's mom actually paid the label to have her daughter sing their music...


Yes, I know this is a Wiki page, but the sources seem notable!!!

So, how do you feel about all these new singers who hope to be the "next Justin Bieber?"

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Who knew being Critical had its Merits?

Being critical has its merits, because that can lead to columns and columns can lead to getting published and read by many...

The awkwardness of that sentence was not very professional on my part...


A small update, I have recently joined the Prince Arthur Herald, a news source based out of McGill University in hopes of getting some published work. The site is mainly just student opinions on the news ranging from culture, sports, politics, and world news. You don't have to be in journalism to join, in fact you can email the editors and write about anything as long as it's appropriate.

My first post is about the Olympic mascots for Sochi 2014, which you can read here.

What do you think of the new mascots? Love em' or hate em'?

And for the Paralympics...

Devastation in another nation.

The news updates about the state of Japan is heartbreaking and leaves me feeling a sense of hopelessness. I'm not saying I'm feeling hopeless for Japan, because I really do wish for the state of the country to be stable again.

What I'm saying is, I feel hopeless for myself.

Hopeless that I can't even do anything to help make their problems a little less smaller. Sure I can donate, but it sure doesn't feel like enough. And also, where? I don't just want to text Redcross, I want to hand deliver my it is easier for me as a student on a budget. And also, tossing in some money can only do so much.

What I want to do is to do something different, and to actually get people to join me along the way. A joint-fundraiser? Donating supplies?...

What are the chances that an 8.9 earthquake, a tsunami and nuclear plant explosions would happen in one country? Why is there so much injustice?  I just don't understand...

And then amid all this tragedy comes hearing news of Justin Bieber's shoes or the Royal wedding. Why yes, these may be important updates for some, but I'd just like to say that there are better things in the world.

It's frightening how a city was just swept up by a wave of water.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


After weeks of trying to find some opportunities to get published, I was finally published in Futureale, an online magazine dedicated to arts and culture. 

You can read the magazine here.

I have print-screened my article, though I erased the last paragraph because it didn't flow and I believe it to be a common mistake from an editor.  The paragraph which I think belongs to the editor, said the only issue with my piece was the formatting in which I didn't add more description...(..I believe was supposed to be left out from the magazine??)

Of course I don't mind the criticism, but I would have preferred to be told through an email to add that detail! But as I believe this to be a mistake, there are no hard feelings what so ever.

It's a surprise I even managed to get this through, because I literally rushed to meet this deadline. Remember young ones, don't procrastinate!!


Monday, 7 March 2011

Conquering Writer's Block

I haven't been posting lately due to the fact that I have been trying hard to fight writer's block. I wanted to come up with something witty and funny, but clearly that didn't work out so well. So therefore, I came up with some tips on how to help all of you fight your writing battles!!

Of note: I have no idea why my camera is always so dark!  I tried different lighting techniques and also tried brightening it up on Adobe Premiere...didn't work out so great.

And forgive my aunt's accent...she is from a different...part of...China..

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Terrible Things I did as a Terrible Child.

I'd like to think that I was a relatively nice and pleasant child.  I tried to be nice to everyone and I almost always shared my snacks and pencil crayons.

So what's the big deal, right?

See, that's where I was wrong.

These nice gestures weren't enough.

There were some times when I was actually a terrible, dreadful brat.  Now I was never an outright bully, but in efforts to stick with the crowd, I was always a bully in the background.

I moved schools in Grade 3 and  I was the "new kid".  Sure, everyone was nice to me, but there were some times when I was called names such as "stupid", "idiot" and "nerd". Which of course, doesn't make any sense because in order for me to be a "nerd", I wouldn't actually be "stupid" or an "idiot".

But this didn't register inside my Grade Three brain, so therefore, I tried to fit in with the "popular" crowd.

My elementary school was fairly small, but I call these group of girls "popular" because they were the prettiest in our grade and every boy had a crush on them. Wanting to be liked, I befriended them. To this day, I am still friends with these girls, because they're actually not so bad at all, but I am not proud of some of the things we did.

There was this girl, who shall be unnamed, who everyone in our grade decided to hate. I don't understand why, but like every elementary school, we made her the token loser. We called her names, laughed at everything she said, and when we finally did include her into our games, we made her play the undesired roles of "Evil Witch" or "Monster". 

In Grade 4, two other girls and I decided to bury her hat in the snow as a joke.  At the time, we thought it was funny. But when I think about it now, all I can feel is pure guilt.

In Grade Six, the whole class thought it would be funny to call her an orangutan. Now at this point, I started to come to my senses.  I never did call her that, but I remember joining in on the laughter...which isn't any better either way.

But seriously, it was really funny when she told my friends and I that she could control the wind...

From Grades Seven to Eight, nothing really happened, but I kept my distance...the dislike already engraved in me.

 But as I grew older, I realized she wasn't so bad after all.  Sure, I understood why nobody liked her due to some of her eccentricities...but she isn't half bad!  She has good intentions and she was always nice to me.  So why was I so cruel to her?

Why of course, to fit in. 

The times in elementary school can make you do some terrible things. And being able to remember all of this just makes me feel so guilty.  So if you're reading this, all I want to say is:  I'm sorry.  I was a coward for not saying this to you earlier and you probably would like to forget all of these terrible memories that might have scarred you for life.

So again, I'm sorry.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

An update on life.

Sorry that I haven't been able to update very frequently. School has been hard...and stressful. To think first semester would teach me something, it clearly hasn't taught me enough. I'm still working hard to boost up the GPA to something I'm more accustomed to. Who knows...maybe I'm just freaking out. But now I know I have to study and review my notes every week.......sounds really basic, but trust me, it's hard to stay concentrated.

Anyways, I'm currently working hard to getting published as well as freelancing. Clearly, Ryerson's papers aren't very keen on giving stories to me, so I have joined Global Voices, a citizen journalism section associated with Free the Children and the Toronto Star.  Of course I can't write to the fullest ability as the stories are only 350 words each. But I'll still be published right?

I have also created a blog called The Random Life Blog but the name is kind of lame...(I know). So if anyone has suggestions on a new name, please send them out? The blog will basically allow anyone who wants to write contribute whether if they're reviews, opinions, or articles...about anything. Think of it as an online paper.

But enough writing, I will update you with a couple of pictures!!

 These were at H&M and I took a picture because I know how much my cousin Rachel hates moccasins!
 Cute heart-shaped hot chocolate at Snakes and Lattes!
 Cupcake sale at Ryerson!!

 Bethany and I found a vintage pram at Honest Ed's!

 Questionable quote on an apron found at Kitchen Stuff Plus!
Boo yah!! Dancing shadow!!