Monday, December 12, 2011

Paint Blast from the Past


I went paintballing… last month.

I only did this once. 

Ok so it’s not the LATEST news but I’ll fill you in nonetheless. After years of thinking about paintballing and discussing paintballing and hearing about paintballing, I finally tried it out for myself. My only prior experience with this type of thing was buying an air soft gun, shooting it in the parking lot, and never again.

So we got fitted with old mechanic’s jumpsuits and masks, and they gave us our weapons and talked us through it. I was pretty excited after all that was over and we were ready to go inside, and when we got in there I took off running. But I quickly realized there weren’t many places to run. So instead, I hid behind a big wheel.

This worked great until I got shot like three times, and while I was checking myself to see if the paintballs actually broke on me (if they don’t you’re not out!), and while I was standing around checking my backside out, someone came up behind me and made it official. The lesson here is don’t check yourself out during paintball. Any other time is fine.

That close range shot directly to my bum kind of hurt, but other than that I didn’t find it very painful. Definitely not as painful as people made it out to be. I took a couple shots in the leg I could feel the next day, but they brought back fond memories while I climbed stairs. When it came to my offense, I was all about headshots. Nothing felt so great as hitting someone’s face from far away. Take that facemask! Now you have limited visibility!

We also played against some randoms that happened to be there, and they were blindfiring all over the place (that’s when you hide behind something and just stick your gun out shooting blindly like a milksop pantywaist). So for revenge, I snuck up behind a completely different person and shot him three times in the back instead of giving him the benefit of the mercy rule. He cried out like a cowering craven. That’ll show you.

So in the end, paintball is fun. I like the jumpsuits; they make me feel like I could change the oil in my car. I like the guns; they make me feel like I’m a mild action hero in a video game. I like shooting people in the face; that might not be a healthy feeling.


I'm one of these highly trained assassins coming to get you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dewey goes Spelunking


Last night I went to The Cavern.

My gosh it’s been forever since I clicked that ‘New Post’ button, and isn’t it great that I finally have something to talk about. Last night and into this morning, I was at The Cavern for Quagmire, The Pink Slips, and The Afterlife Super Punk Rock Show.
Oh, and I was there with one of these poster models.
CreComm Media Pro and half of Parkolson Productions, Matt Nicholson, put on this deal, along with War On Music as part of Matt’s IPP. In addition to giving everyone a great time, Matt also inspired rampant IPP-envy. His project, which involves putting on two other shows after this one, is definitely some of the most enjoyable schoolwork I’ve ever been a part of.

A couple of notes on The Cavern too, I had never been there before and loved it. Everyone was having fun, and it’s nice to see people repping their punk styles and clothes that make mine seem boring. Sure there was a mad scientist and a giant who I’m pretty sure was Thor’s older brother, but I’m always excited to see how nice these people are, especially those that may look scary to some. I’m definitely looking forward to more shows at this venue.

Speaking of more shows, Matt’s next one is coming up next month and will feature the talents of The Xanad00ds, The Thrashers, and one more I think. I don’t know, ask Matt! I can’t do everything for you.
"Matty at the Show" by Allison Marinelli
But anyways: more shows at the Cavern, and more War on Music shows, I’m happy. Oh and on a personal note: if the girl with the tattoos and tank top is reading this, I have a crush on you. Leave me a comment so we can get this started.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rebel Without A Team: Love and Basketball Diaries of a Skinny Kid: The Andrew Parker Story


Tonight I tried out for the Red River College Rebels Men’s Basketball Team.

In some sort of twisted fantasy to test myself against a former version of me, I decided to go to the tryouts at RRC’s Notre Dame campus. Even if they offered me an intensely flattering starting position, I knew I wouldn’t have the time to play college basketball, but I really wanted to give it a try and evaluate my skills.

I haven’t played serious basketball since Grade 12, which (let’s be honest) was quite a while ago. So I was relieved that some abilities stick with you to an extent, although I felt pretty out of place coming in all skinny jeans and no muscles. There was way more people than I expected, so in spite of how I felt I looked, I knew standing out would be hard. Also, did you know that no one wears low-cut 6.0’s as basketball shoes? What a shock! Great shoes, but not a popular basketball model apparently.
See? Not playing basketball.
Did you see the kicks on #11? He's got nothing to prove!
So after the first half hour, things kicked off with straight games. 4 on 4, lots of action and one sub. I relaxed as things got going, and there were good and bad parts to my experience.

The worst was definitely getting my junk hit so hard I felt it necessary to go to the locker room to check for permanent damage (I think I’m fine, those things are resilient). Also, during the first few games, I was feeling pretty uncomfortable. Now I like going out and running a mile as much as the next kid, but I haven’t pushed it like that in a long time. I used to play whole games and hated getting subbed off, but now it looks like those days are behind me. I felt like I was suffering from pulmonary ventilonitis, which is a serious condition I made up at the time, in which your heart explodes into your trachea and murders you. Symptoms include tasting blood and wanting to pass out.

But in spite of that, I had fun. I made some buckets, blocks, and moves I was really proud of, some against guys bigger and stronger than me, and at the end I even wanted to keep going. Oh and the stronger thing? They made teams based on height, and I was the 4th tallest guy there… so I was matched against some hefty dudes!

In the end, the Rebels and I decided to part ways in the first round of cuts. And by that I mean they said “Hey- you’re not at this level!” and I said “Yeah, good decision.” So it’s not meant to be, and I’m OK with that. I’m happy how things went and how I played. Yes I made some mistakes, but that’s part of this experience. At least I didn’t get dunked on, right? And I stayed conscious the ENTIRE time.

Good luck this season Rebels, there’ll be some nice guys on that team. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go remember better times while I take a bath and drink hot cocoa out of a water bottle.
Grade 12 Provincial Champs! I'm the precocious one on the right.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quiz: Are You Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Last week I created a Twilight quiz.

I'm working for Frontier College this summer, running literacy day camps for kids. In one of our camps we made a magazine with the kids, and somehow it ended up being mostly about Twilight, Harry Potter, and Justin Bieber. So to do my part, I contributed a quiz designed to help confused Twilight fans decide whether they belong to Team Jacob or Team Edward. 

I have to admit that the only research I've done is watching the first movie when it came out, and that was only because I thought it was about awesome vampires, not teen vampires in love. But so far the success of this quiz has been outstanding! So try it and find out for yourself... this been taken right out of our magazine. All I did was remove the brilliantly coloured paper and beautiful variety of magic markers.

Team Edward VS Team Jacob





VS.

Pick your answer and add up the number of points for it. Look out, there's negative numbers too. 

#1- What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
a) Vanilla                                                                 … 10 points
b) Double Fudge Rocky Road                                … 5 points
c) I’m not sure                                                         … 0 points
d) fat-free yogurt for me!                                         … - 5 points

#2- What’s your ideal date?
a) Staring deep into each other’s eyes                      … 8
b) Playing one-on-one basketball                             … 4
c) Guitar Lessons                                                     … 1
d) a long walk on a sunny beach                              … - 6

#3- What’s the best kind of dog?
a) Mexican Hairless                                                  … 6
b) Poodle                                                                  … 2
c) Dog? I’m more of a cat person                            … - 8
d) a shaggy mutt                                                       … 9

#4- You just finished writing your first romance novel. What will you call it?
a) Endless Torment                                                 … 13
b) Torn Between Two Worlds                                  … 0
c) Creatures From Outer Space                               … -12
d) The Windswept Stranger                                     … 5

#5- What’s your first choice of jewelry?
a) a dazzling diamond                                              … 8
b) thick gold chains                                                  … 4
c) any kind of spinning necklace like John Cena      … - 8
d) a piece of knotted string                                       … - 4

#6- What’s the best part of the night sky?
a) The dark, bleak clouds                                          … 1
b) The full moon                                                       … 5
c) The twinkling stars                                                … 14
d) I don’t like it when the sun is away!                      … - 6

#7- The time is right and the moon is full. Ooo yeah. What’s your go-to move?
a) Play with my hair nervously                                  … 2
b) Howl and get crazy                                               … 6
c) slink silently into the night                                     … 11
d) play video games                                                  … - 9

Add up your grand total to find your grand result!

TOTALS

40 points or more= Edward.
Shhh… don’t speak. You choose the brooding vampire that can never fully love you back. Sorry, no refunds.

20-40 points= Jacob.
Looks great topless but he secretly wants to eat you alive whenever there’s a full moon. Hey, every relationship has its problems.

0-19 points= Bella.
Aww… it’s so hard to choose- and you can’t! Just keep playing with your hair and both their hearts. Worst case scenario is you’re caught in the middle of a vampire-werewolf war…

Less than 0 points= Fake.
You call yourself a Twilight fan? I don’t think you’re really right for the part. Better luck next time. 

So... what'd you get?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pierce, Palardy… Parker?


Tonight I was up in the press box.
You need a press pass for that- I'm excited about mine!
A couple of weeks ago The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ preseason started, and with it my season as the writer for bluebombers.com began as well. With tonight being the first home game, it was my first chance to get up in the press box and try to fit in with all the real journalists. And I didn’t know who any of them were! (Apart from a few CreComm grads- those guys are everywhere.)

So if you aren’t keeping up with the Bombers by reading articles both previewing and recapping each game, first of all I’m surprised and disappointed in you. Second, you should start. You may have noticed that I’ve been blogging less and less these days, and reading these articles may be the perfect antidote to your throes of withdrawal. Who knows, if you read them very carefully, maybe I’ll spell out your name with the first letter of each line or something. Hmm?
You can check out my article documenting the ups and downs of tonight’s game here, and there’s links to my other articles very close by. The Bombers have given me a little “Written by Andrew Parker” list so just get in there and explore! 

Here's another example.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dabbling in Art...

Today I tried out being an artist.
First off let me say that I’m very worried about blogging now. Since I stopped when the semester ended, taking a little summer break, my blog’s hits have been better than ever. Ooo maybe it was because my blog was nominated for a Creative Communications Media Award, but doubtful. Either way it seems the best thing I could do for my blog was to stop writing. But just in case anyone is bored for something to read and a tranquil picture to look at, here you go. It’s not like I have a job or anything, it’s the least I can do.

Under the direction of my art teacher Chui Choy, I tried out painting for the first time. Art is hard! There's a lot of things and words that I've heard of before but it's really difficult to actually put them into practice unless of course you've got some kind of natural talent. Sadly, I don't think it's in me. Brushstrokes, blending, those kind of things, I was pretty scared the whole time.

But I steadied my brush hand almost long enough to turn out this little bit of landscape action. Future artist? Doubtful. Future decorator for motel rooms that cost less than $50 a night? I have a shot! Couldn’t you picture looking up at this picture while questioning the cleanliness of your bedspread?
This room is so cheap it doesn't even come with a bedspread. 
So keep in mind that this was a first try. But realistically the starting price is $40. And that’s mostly to cover supplies. 
I think it's a tiny bit better in person.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Suit up!


This week I went suit shopping all alone.

I’m one of those boys that actually likes shopping. I’ll spend hours in the mall. When I go on a trip, I ask about the shopping possibilities at the destination. But even with all this, I love that deep down, every boy has the ability to do any amount of shopping in the least time possible.


 With this in mind, I went suit shopping 4 days before end-of-the-year-school-functions kicked off. I went on Sunday, half an hour before the mall closed, and it turns out that’s the ideal time to shop. The salesperson was able to give me all kinds of attention, and together we worked out a banging outfit that makes me look fancy, which is a rare look for me. It’s like Halley’s Comet really: it only comes around everyone once in awhile, and you don’t want to get caught looking at it but you just can’t resist.

I desperately needed some new threads since my grad suit fits like pajamas for some reason (the guys at old-school Jack Fraser don’t know that baggy suits haven’t been cool since before they had dentures). Observe:
'99? That's being generous.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Taking on The Arminator

This week I saw The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz.

Awarding winning novelist Armin Wiebe tries his hand at playwriting with a project that he says wasn’t enough to make a novel out of: a strange blend of zany Russian antics, Mennonite accents, and secret lesbian vibes. To me, those elements have trouble coming together.

Wiebe obviously tried to create something unique, but the play made the characters carry most of that load in the absence of great storytelling. In the large gaps that resulted between plot points, I sat quietly waiting and watched a shell-shocked Russian play a broken piano, and a Mennonite girl yell in poor English about how she wants a baby. It seems that they were hoping the audience would find the German jokes funny enough to maintain interest, but I was tired of backwards phrasing and unknown German words shortly into the first act. Perhaps because no one has ever “learned” me no German words outside of playing Wolfenstein? Mien leben!

Many of these story gaps featured the Mennonite couple, Obrum and and Susch Kehler, agonizing over whether or not the ever-befuddled Blatz should remain a guest in their quaint prairie home, but the worst part is that the audience is forced to feel their agony as well. Will he stay, won’t he, just make a decision about it already! Instead, this entire issue goes nowhere; even at the end of the play Blatz is still hammering away on the keys, and people still can’t make up their mind about whether they want him or not. In between discussions on this topic, Susch confides in her sexually confused friend Teen, instead of addressing the problems head on. It’s like high school secrets in a one-roomed schoolhouse.

Wiebe said in a classroom question period later that the play started from a true anecdote that happened to his grandfather, and the rest is his own fiction. I’ll admit, that true story was pretty good, and definitely my favourite part of the play. After Obrum accidently uses poison ivy to do some forest paperwork, he’s left with a rash in an already sensitive area that makes wearing pants an impossible ordeal. Onstage, it resulted in some laughs with Obrum’s well-acted humiliation and some artfully done close calls on full frontal nudity. I smiled. Plus it reminded me of this:

Apart from saying this, Wiebe seemed very unimpressed with speaking to audiences, especially in a talkback session immediately after the play. Some of the questions were barely answered, like not giving any background information on his decision to have an emerging homosexual woman as barely a side note to the play’s plot, and offering no response to the question of his inspiration behind “all the sex” in the play.

Having had these types of sessions with creative writers all throughout the past school year, I wouldn’t be surprised by more hushed answers and dull feedback. But as we learned from our session, Wiebe was once an instructor at Red River College! Shouldn’t he be more comfortable expressing himself to a class of students, especially on matters concerning his own work and processes? I’m sure students would have found it hard to learn under an instructor who can’t explain why he makes decisions in his writing.

Overall, I’d give this play 2 out of 5. Although annoying, the accents seemed very accurate, and the actors, set, and lighting worked well. But as for the plot, it barely moves.

Here’s an excerpt from Wiebe’s message in the production’s program:

“The characters wrestle with doubts and fears as they act or resist their impulses: Can a man reach to heaven if he never looks to the sky? Can a woman only bake with what a man has to give? Can a woman hunger so much that she will reach where she should not reach? … “


The characters definitely ask all of these questions, but don’t watch this play if you’re expecting any answers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Windowless Playlist

Today I get all summer musical on you.

The weather is getting nicer every day, which means that more and more people are starting to cruise with their windows down. It’s finally time to get fresh air without frostbite, so us poor kids that can’t afford air conditioning are rolling down all over the place.

If you’re like me, and are against noise pollution in the form of crappy music, here’s a list of 5 songs perfect for windowless cruising. This will make the people in the cars beside you go “Say WHAT!?” or “Ah, Yeah!” instead of saying “Oh you turned your backseat into a massage chair with some subwoofers, that’s impressive. Why do I have to listen to your beat drop?” REMIX!

I admit- there’s a few songs on my iPod that I need to be in the right mood for, and when my windows are down and one of them comes on suddenly I leap for the volume knob and look around to make sure no one heard (Yes, I’m talking to you Tatu’s “All the Things She Said”). But when it comes to these songs, I’m always down to listen and I hope the people in the car next to me are lucky to hear ‘em too.

1. I’m an Obtuse Man, So I’ll Try to be Oblique- The JV Allstars

For me, nothing says summer like pop-punk. It brings back memories of old All-American Rejects, when you just got your license or a ride with that older kid who just got his license. Best part is, no one has ever heard this song before, so they’ll all be pulling you over to hear more of this delectable rhythm. Instead of wanting to fight you, which I hear is usually why people are pulling you guys over.

2. Uh- Fujiya & Miyagi

“Chill out with this smooth groove while you bop your head down the turnpike” is what I would say if I worked at a jazz radio station. I don’t, so I’ll just say that this song rules, whether you’re driving in Winnipeg or cooking crystal meth in Breaking Bad.

3. Veronica Sawyer Smokes- AFI

There’s a ton of AFI I would’ve like to put on here, but I’ll just stick to one and trust you’ll check out the rest on your own time. Summer is a time for light music- it just goes well with the sunshine. This little number is lighter and faster than most AFI tunes, which makes for an easy entrance to their world if you’ve never spent time there before.

4. Do You Love Me?- The Explorers Club

Summer time was invented by The Beach Boys, but I’m assuming you’ve already heard all their songs. So it’s time for a modern take on sunny triple harmonies, and no one is doing it these days as well as the Explorers. I’ll warn you though- you better be feeling VERY summer-y to play this one loud.

5. How Bizarre- OMC

Nothing wrong with a one hit wonder from the ‘90’s. You may think this one takes a little more confidence to blast, and maybe it does, but trust me: when you roll up to the Dairy Queen playing this classic, you won’t be seeing any frowns.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I retract my previous statement.

After much deliberation and careful thought, I’ve decided against changing my blog. In fact, I’ve determined that the whole maybe-genuine-love-theme might be the worst blog I’ve every heard of. That post earned me my first two ‘boring’ ratings, so it’s obviously time to move on. This whole experience has even caused me to end my fledgling relationship with the possibly real Florida girl, so I’m back to being alone like everyone wanted.

I'm SO sad right now. Emotions are SO painful.

This blog is all about you! If readers want me to be lonely and not in online relationships of questionable legitimacy, then so be it. I guess it makes for better reading? You’re welcome.

This is me being lonely on a beach.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blog of Love


Today I change my blog.

Lately I’ve been having difficulty in coming up with topics to blog about and new things to do each week, as you can see by the fact that I’m blogging only hours before the deadline. Several of my classmates have changed the focus of their blog, so in an effort to stay fresh and interesting I’m going to mix it up a little. Not only am I changing it, but I’m kicking things off with an announcement! Such a lucky day for you.

My friends know me as a rigorous bachelor, and it’s something I take great pride in. But I have a confession to make. I’ve been engaging in some very interesting talks with a young lady online for the past few months, and last night we decided to make it official. That’s right ladies, this store is closed! I officially have a girlfriend.

She’s so incredible. She’s from Sarasota, Florida, which yes I know is the worst part of Florida, but I still hope to visit her in the summer. It would be so special to meet her in person, but until then she says she’s between 5 and 6 feet tall, with blue eyes and kinda brownish hair. She sounds perfect!

So now on to the new blog. Instead of doing something new every week, I’ll just be posting something new that I love about my girlfriend, telling personal stories about our late night chats, and posting messages in a public forum that should really just be sent to her privately considering the fact that they only affect her and are useless to anyone else. Are you uncomfortable? I’m in heaven. See you next week!
Love,
Andrew

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can I get in here? I'm sort of like, a paid journalist!

Today I can cash my first journalism paycheque.
I’m inspired by every second banner ad on the internet that has someone showing off a big cheque, so today I decided it would be fun to show you all how much I made on my first paid journalism job. You know, really contrast the successful people online with details of my terrible income.


My first journalism job was for the U of M Bisons. I covered a men’s volleyball game at the Investors Group Athletic Centre for the university’s website, which included writing a game summary and notifying other news sources of the scores. For this little piece of freelance, you’re paid hourly. Or something. In any case you work until you’re done, then a few weeks later you get a little cheque. Aw how sweet!

Immediately after this experience I was quoted saying that journalism just seemed like being paid very little to go watch an event you couldn’t enjoy, and I stand by that. For example, midway through the game I finally noticed a friend in the audience across from me (because I had a special seat with the stats people of course). Who knows how long she was waving before I noticed, because I was so immersed in the action! It wasn’t a result of my playoff excitement, rather just me trying to be thorough with diligent note taking. And instead of thinking:

I was thinking: 

Now that’s just impolite.

I will admit it was a little bit cool calling those stations and papers, real household names like the Sun and CTV maybe. I felt like I was really breaking a big story for them, like I should be talking on a wind up phone wearing one of those old reporter hats sitting in front of my typewriter. “I’m gonna blow this story wide open, see? Manitoba Bisons won their game, see? Stop the presses, here are the scores, see?” Maybe I have a cigarette, if not I can live with it. You get the idea.

It was fun, except those guys answering the sports line at 10:30 on a Friday night aren’t really enjoying themselves, and it really shows in their phone conduct. CJOB unexpectedly just hung up on me for a minute, and then was annoyed when I asked if he was ready. It’s not like I’m on the air here fella, take a second out from your busy weekend of squinting through a dimly lit basement radio studio to give me the time of day!

So was all this worth it? 45 minutes driving to and from U of M, a 3 plus hour game, for $31.50 a month later? I honestly don’t know, and it probably says more about how desperate I am. Any comments Journalism majors?

Alright fine, I know you're dying to see it. Here's a link to over thirty dollars worth of words!

Friday, March 18, 2011

This baby’s third degree hot.


Last night I tried Smitty’s hottest wings, Third Degree.




   


 


 AND







Usually I’m more of a hot ranch, hot, sweet chili, electric honey, or lemon pepper wing kind of guy, but I decided to step it up to see how I’d do against a spicy challenge.

Now let me be clear, I can take a bit of spice. I’m not a Norwegian who finds a warm bun spicy, and a pizza bun unbearable. The Portuguese in me allows to me find the joy in dishes with the little pictures of red peppers beside them on the Chinese take out menus. Man this blog is getting cultured!

Ok so anyways I went up a few leagues to the hottest, and found that I was actually pretty comfortable with it! I mean yeah I got a basket of sweet chili as well to balance it out, but I was totally able to eat the Third Degree comfortably without freaking out. Although it was St. Patrick’s Day… so I sort stuck out, being the only one who wasn’t freaking out.

So my question is: where are the wings that make you gasp and fill your mouth with napkins because the water is only making things worse and your tonsils just lit on fire? Let me know if anyone has some advice on this, maybe my next new thing can be reconstructive oral surgery.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Have you seen THIS incredible new thing?


Today I tell you about The Upper Cruster.
TUC is a new blog that I’ve discovered, and they have a print magazine in the works that will be released on March 31. I don’t think I’m overstating this: it’s the greatest magazine ever. I stumbled upon this site while looking for information on grooming a racehorse if your stable boy has called in sick and your backup stable boy has been hit by one of those double-decker novelty tour buses and was pronounced dead on the scene and you have a race the next day. I was just looking purely for harmless interest’s sake, and was delighted to find this magazine.

Looks like TUC will offer some kind of amazing lifestyle guide for Canada’s wealthiest people, with info on pressing matters like travel, current events, fashion and accessories, recreation without perspiring, philanthropy, religions with membership fees, and what to do with unsightly homeless people. I can’t wait to read it.

And I’m totally straight and everything, but isn’t that Charles writer guy totally hot? Breathtaking.

Check out TUC’s blog here and become a fan on Facebook here. You are welcome. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Snowcastles in the Snow

Today I went to Birds Hill Provincial Park… in the winter.
I love going to the beach, and Birds Hill has always been my go to spot. It's super close, has good sand and volleyball courts. But I had never been to the park at this time of year before, and was very impressed by what it has going on in the winter.

I headed out today with classmates Krystalle and Alex for our travel assignment (covering a place outside of Winnipeg for both journalism and advertising class). Boy did we make a day of it! We explored the park, talked to some of their staff about all they offer, checked out the ranch where the horses and sleigh rides are, walked part of a trail, ate at the Pineridge Hollow restaurant, and shopped around its store as well, which may be the cutest in Manitoba. I didn’t even know I was capable of finding stores “cute”! Maybe it was all the stuffed sock monkeys.

Birds Hill is awesome, and another highlight is that so much of it is free. This space is a great resource to have, especially so close to Winnipeg, so if you’re into walking, nature and wildlife, jogging, exploring, walking your dog, getting fresh air, riding horses or sleighs, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, kick sledding, learning about nature from experienced interpreters, or building quinzees, you should definitely check this park out.

Just because it’s not summer doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the park- come on, give it a try.

Start by checking out the park’s website here. Stay warm children.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

YouTube Sensation

Today I accomplished a huge goal.

I recently pulled off something I've wanted to do since I got a YouTube account a couple months ago: get into the "Highest Rated Comments" section on a YouTube video. I think I've left about four comments in my life, and this little gem bit and scratched its way to the top. Second top. But still in there. It's on a pretty great song, so give it a listen and click the video to read the comment that's getting so much attention. And no, I didn't even vote up for myself! It took a month, but we got it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Busy Work- Facebook and Twitter

Connection VS. Content
I think the difference between Twitter and Facebook is the reason people read what they do on each. To me, people are looking for Facebook connections, and Twitter content. 

First, the way to be approved on Twitter and get friends is simple: if someone likes what you say, they’ll follow you. Unlike Facebook, there is no collaboration in the process of two people connecting on Twitter; it’s just driven by one person. With Facebook, both people need to approve the connection (friendship) and this means there’s more involved than whatever the message is. Friends and family are easy to accept, but a person needs to support or appreciate a product or business before they’ll engage in its community. On Twitter, it’s “What are you saying?” on Facebook it’s “Do I know you?”

What do you say?
After speaking with people it’s become clear that these different levels of connection create different messages. In the comfort of a closed (or at least semi-closed usually) Facebook community or group, it’s much easier to display personal pictures and dispense personal information. Quite the opposite, Twitter’s extremely public format of quickly sending messages out into the world for all to see means that people can either be more guarded about personal information, or become a different character to tweet.
                
Getting strategic
Using Facebook needs to be part of a community approach that allows people to feel a sense of belonging to your brand. It creates a place where strangers can come together and be united, discussing their similar interests or ideals, and allows you to play a large role in that community. By being active and personal in your community, you can help suggest and shape people’s view of you.

Twitter on the other hand is much more one-way. Although celebrities often tweet responses to fans and commenters, it’s much more likely to see messages being sent out without direct replies. If your brand has/is news, links, and information you want shared, Twitter is a good tool, but don’t expect as much correspondence as you would get on Facebook.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not even a writer yet and I'm already bitter.

Today I write about being a writer.

Is it me, or is there NO money to be made in creative writing anymore? Through seminars and book readings that I’ve attended over the past few months, interaction with published writers has painted a pretty dismal picture: that it’s pretty hard to make it as a writer.

Today for example, Julie Wilson visited our class (bookmadam.com, seenreading.com), and it seemed to me that although she’s involved in a variety of writing projects she enjoys, it was only recently that any of them have rendered any profit.

So in response to the question- how would I want to do be published, I’m hoping that whatever I’m hypothetically writing is great and attractive enough to warrant a traditional publisher. To me it seems like that’s the way to make enough money to get by; Wilson, for example, is making money now that she’s writing True Blood fan materials. Although Matt Duggan, another author who visited us, spent two years working on a project that was basically scrapped, maybe this is an example of a publisher doing what’s best to make money. Not every writing is good, so perhaps using a traditional editor and publisher system is the best for finding out if your work is any good before you release it to the world. 

If that doesn’t work out, it’s back to the drawing board while I post my work online for free. What’s the alternative, making $12.95 a week self-publishing or hawking it on Amazon? Come on. Isn’t writing professionally all about the money? Otherwise I’d have a job and just own a notebook for weekends.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jeans Conclusion.. Plus a SURPRISE!

Today I tell you the riveting conclusion to my jeans dilemma, and this week I start wearing something new.

I presented you with a problem last week and asked for your advice (read it here). Thanks so much for the feedback; I really appreciate the comments I received. If the only thing this blog accomplishes is opening up a dialogue about women’s pants, I’ll be happy. But there’s a reason over 6 people read this blog, it’s because they want results! So here they are– what happened after that post?

Within a day several people had read and commented on what they thought I should do, so two days later I went back to Guess, expecting to buy those silver beauties. Unfortunately, they had already been sold. This is a lesson for me and you– if you see something as special as silvery jeans that fit great, you buy them. No questions.

Now understandably I was heartbroken. I felt flushed and dizzy, staring in shocked silence at the young salesman who had just delivered the news. What to do? Should I just walk out empty-handed, with nothing to show for all my effort? I decided no.

So I picked up something else– just as sexy, just as 50% off, and by doing so I finally set foot into a world I had long dreamed of and planned to enter since Conan did: JEGGINGS.
Jeggings are a cross between leggings and jeans, and they are incredible. Softer and snuggly-er than normal skinny jeans, they’re like wearing your most comfortable lounging-around-home pants, if your most comfortable lounging-around-home pants were painted on to your body. I’ve actually had to fight the urge to wear them everyday; their soft fabric makes regular denim feel like burlap, and I love how they show off my gorgeous gams and absence of assets.

Now this process wasn’t easy, I’ve had to overcome adversity. There were several people who were against my choice to wear jeggings, and now I resent those people for holding me back in life. And to those who supported me, you were right. I didn’t let anything stand in my way and with the support of the Guess employees I modeled for, I became a guy who wears jeggings. I mean, how can you argue with this?
SO sexy.
What makes me wonder is this: I’ve already worn these a few times now, to watch UFC, a Superbowl party, to school, and no one has said anything! There is one explanation– my other jeans were so tight that the difference between them and jeggings is unnoticeable. Let’s face it, I’ve pretty much been wearing jeggings this whole time… now it’s official. My name is Andrew Parker, and I wear jeggings.

Check out Conan revealing his love for male jeggings here. It’s a story so big, The Huffington Post covered it!
Also go shopping at Guess and see what other great stuff they’ve got. Click here!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year! (featuring Ong Bak 3)

Today I’ll tell you all about Ong Bak 3.

I celebrated Chinese New Year last weekend with my friends, happy Year of the Rabbit to everyone. Amongst the Asian-styled snacks provided by our amazing host Chui Choy, we also had bubble tea and rented Ong Bak 3 from Irben Entertainment, a place on Pembina that has all kinds of Asian (subtitled) movies way before they get released for the rest of Canadians. Don’t worry nerds, yes there’s tons of anime. Calm down.

Anyways, for those that don’t know, the Ong Bak movies (plus The Protector) are straight outta Thailand, and are known largely for the participation of Muay Thai superstar Tony Jaa. Jaa is nothing short of mind-blowing onscreen; the movie highlights how there are no strings or special effects used to achieve his fighting prowess. So when the third movie came out, trust me, I was amped for some flying elbows and backflip kicks.

Unfortunately, there was barely any to be had. Part of the reason that made Ong Bak so great was that the usual reasons that scare people away from foreign movies (subtitled dialogue, a crazy plot that’s hard to follow, people speaking German) were nonexistent. In the first movie, the plot was beyond basic, the dialogue was take it or leave it, and 95% of the movie was Jaa absolutely working people. But as the trilogy has progressed, the ratio of gasp-evoking moves to insane flashbacks slipped it out of the action movie genre and into… foreign films.

The movie is a lot of scenes that don’t seem to fit, spells and tattoos that give off smoke for some reason, and the worst part is Jaa’s character is on crutches for the movie’s majority! Despite a couple short fights that bookend the movie and a few laughs from director Petchtai Wongkamlao in his reassumed role as the village’s local crazy old guy, it’s mostly a slow healing journey of Jaa learning meditation.

So if you’re expecting some fighting, watch Ong Bak and The Protector, and just leave it there. Oh and if you’re short on time, here’s some highlights from both movies- they’ll blow you away. It’s my Chinese New Year gift to you, so imagine you’re taking it out of a red envelope. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Revealing my secrets with a long-awaited fashion post... I need YOUR help!


Today I’m asking for fashion advice.

Well not so much “fashion”. I realize that a large majority of what I wear isn’t really fashionable in any larger scheme of things, but I like to think that somehow I still look presentable without fitting in. But the advice part is very accurate.

Anyways, I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise by now that yes, I wear women’s clothing. A lot. And if it is a surprise, then you never listen to me when I talk about shopping! Come on guys. Just about all my jeans are women’s, because let’s face it: boys’ just aren’t skinny enough for this little frame. Having trouble with this? Here's some of my jeans to give you a visual breakdown:
Normal boy jeans? Guess again.
Of course these are girls.
Obviously...


Yep, Wet Seal.
Not jeans, but still women's!
Long-term loan right from an actual girl!

Surprisingly, these are actually men's.

Now to the question… I was shopping at Guess the other day and tried on a pair of jeans. They were 50% off but still $70, and I’m wondering if it’s worth it. Obviously I won’t be able to wear these jeans all the time… but I can’t get them out of my head! They fit awesomely and shone like stars in the night sky- doesn’t that sound like something I should be a part of? Here they are!


So, could I pull these off? It might be tricky since this picture is of a shapely model, so here’s an artist’s rendering of what it might look like with me wearing the jeans to give you an idea:
See the difference?

Thanks for your attention, and thanks for your help! Please let me know what you think… do you want to see me in silver jeans? GO!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dewey in the morning. On the radio.


A while ago I started being on the radio. Yeah, I know I’m behind, sorry about that.

Anyways, in these past two weeks I’ve joined Mike T. and Lindsey twice for Kick Start from 7-9 AM. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this, and look forward to doing it more. I haven’t been very involved with KICK FM before, and it’s cool to get some experience on-air. Also it’s great that I fit in with the rest of the rotating crew’s rhyme scheme (say this quietly to yourself): Mike T., Lindsey, Krystalle, Marinelli, Emily, and me, Dewey. (You have to accent the second syllable to make it work.)
 The only problem is the hours. The thing about this particular morning show is that we do it live… in the morning. I’d love to do a morning show in the afternoon- it would be for people like me who like to wake up around dinnertime.

If you’re one of those people who get up early, and I mean really early, then check out the show on 92.9 KICK FM, Red River’s #1 radio station, on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Here’s KICK’s blog to see all the station’s latest news.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My train-related humour was right on track.


This week I became a tour guide.

It was Red River’s first CreComm Information Night on Monday, and I volunteered along with several of my classmates to help out by sharing our wealth of knowledge and experience with the next generation. In my opinion, it couldn’t have gone any better.
Here's me explaining some of the campus' lush history. They gave us uniforms from Missiouri Tech for some reason. 

I teamed up with former Class 1 superstar Rachelle Taylor, and we brought about 20 people, mostly perspective students plus some of their mothers, around the school to show them some highlights. I thought it was incredible how Rachelle and I were able to balance such stark professionalism with easygoing charm, and judging by the thoughtful nodding and comfortable smiles from the crowd, it was clear they agreed.

Anyways, the reason I thought it went so well is that it gave us an opportunity to get these kids in on the ground floor of the CreComm experience, including and especially the entrance process. Throughout the tour we gave all kinds of interesting tips and fascinating information about the program and joint-degree path, but it was afterwards that we stuck around to answer questions with open arms. I was very glad that several students and their mothers stayed to learn more; sure, they were shy at first, but the aforementioned easygoing charm of the aforementioned tour guides disarmed their skittishness and gave them the courage to approach anyone, no matter how attractive those guides were.
Rachelle and I with our group getting ready to leave the Princess Building.

Rachelle and I were able to give advice to the students regarding their portfolios and entrance tests (some of which were scheduled for the following day!), and tried to instill these young ones with the confidence to succeed. And yes, most of their proposed portfolios sounded much, much better than mine, so it was easy to encourage their effort.

CreComm staff told me that 150 people attended, so it was really great to see that interest and I legitimately enjoyed being a part of it. All the best to you kids!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cage fighting comes to Winnipeg.

Yesterday I went to a cage fighting event.

Cage Fighting Manitoba, Winnipeg’s newest MMA organization put on their first event, CFM 1, on Friday January 7 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Although I’ve been a fan of MMA for a few years now, it was my first time at a live event, so it was really interesting to see how it all goes down.


I attended the event with fellow MMA fan Dave Hollier, and we watched in shock as all nine fights ended by the second round! The night was nonstop submissions (2 guillotines, 2 triangles, and an arm bar) with a few TKO’s thrown in. This may have meant there were some mismatched battles, but it definitely made for exciting action!

The night began with a very strange match though, with Jessie Seberg falling down and verbally quitting after only 17 seconds and receiving four leg kicks from Alberta’s Daryle Pinter. Afterwards, everyone reacted very slowly: the fighters’ corners stayed out of the ring as the crowd softly booed in disappointment. Thankfully things picked up from there however…
1 of 4 leg kicks that ended the fight. Photo by JB Photography, taken from TopMMAnews.com
The crowd of over 500 was pretty relaxed until Winnipeg-based fighters made appearances, receiving such huge support from friends and fans that they seemed as recognizable as GSP. Lucky for these fans, four out of five Winnipeg fighters came out with the win. This included an impressive second round knockout by wild striker Gary Espinar with a hook that sent Saskatoon’s Micheal Glover’s mouthpiece flying. Also a notable hometown victory was Cory Houston’s TKO over Ontario’s Mike O’Neil, achieved after Houston took full mount position and rained down punches until the referee stepped in.
Espinar about to throw his knockout punch. Photo by JB Photography, taken from TopMMAnews.com

Click to see all the results.