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No Date on Valentine’s Day? No Problem

14 Feb

No Date on Valentine’s Day? No Problem

Check out a blog post I wrote on Lost Graduates Magazine in honour of Valentine’s Day. I promise it is not all doom and gloom. I’m just sick of Cupid making single people feel like such losers.

-AP

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Gentlemen of the Road

28 Aug

For those that know me, know that I love going to concerts. I usually never say no to going to a concert or checking out live music. As much as I love seeing a live band, something happens to me (if they were really amazing) where I feel empty afterwards. I don’t know what this says about me, but I like to think it says more about the musical talents of the band and their affect on me. I am not sure if this is a real condition, or the reason it is referred to as concert fever, but is is like a high and I just want to keep the momentum going. Even though I have no musical talents, I want to become a roadie or start a band – anything to go on tour.
GOTR
This past weekend was no different and probably up there as one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I had the pleasure of attending the Gentlemen of the Road Tour featuring Mumford & Sons at one of the stopovers in Simcoe, Ont., at the Norfolk County Fairgrounds. Sure I liked Mumford & Sons, but now I LOVE them. In an over-saturated pop market, Mumford & Sons lyrics are poetic, the tunes are folky and just reminds me of good ol’ stomp your feet and clap your hands music.

The entire experience was well worth the drive and money. The event itself was so organized from the short lines for drinks and bathrooms, to the variety of food vendors. Even the “passport” each person receives, includes information on local places to see and eat, local cab numbers, banks, the hospital and a map of the fairgrounds. Now that I know what to expect I would probably try and go up the night before and check out more bands and take in every minute of the experience. I really didn’t want the night to end.

Gentlemen of the Road Passport

Gentlemen of the Road Passport


Along with Mumford & Sons, some of the bands at the Simcoe stopover included Old Crow Medicine Show, Hey Rosetta!, The Walkmen, The Vaccines, Dan Mangan and Edward Shrpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Since I won’t be able to quit my job, live in an RV and follow bands around, I just hope I can enjoy as much live music as I can and I suggest to anyone to try and do the same.

-AP

No more pencils, no more – oh wait, I’m a journalist (officially)

21 Jun

June 21 . . . the first day of summer and the day I decided to end my “mental break.”

Today is my official graduation ceremony, but school and my internship ended at the end of April. For the month of May and June I have not really thought about journalism, writing or looking for a job in the field that I just completed college for. I have shopped (retail therapy), drank (therapy again) and just made myself anxious thinking about the future. I thought the last day of school I would be singing Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, but in fact I was quite sad to be done and kept asking myself “now what?”

I thought being done school I would have less uncertainty, but it seems I only have more. I have figured out that journalism was the perfect choice for me and realized I like (and can) write for different types of publications. Some of the uncertainty stems from trying to figure out where I want to apply and the fear that I’m not qualified. The worst they can say is no, right?

I am very excited to move on to the next chapter of my life, but just needed some time to actually do nothing. Between school and work, family and a social life I never felt like I had a break from it all. I’m trying not to feel guilty about my “break” and am just going to try and blog as much as I can and actively seek work instead of just skimming for jobs.

Happy grad day to my fellow journalists and to everyone else graduating this year!

A little musical inspiration . . .

-AP

Hello 2013!

4 Jan

The holidays have come and gone and I haven’t made any resolutions for the new year. Goals – yes, resolutuions -no. One thing I have found myself doing (like the rest of the world) is reflecting on 2012 and what I have learned and what I still need to learn.
2012 taught me that mean girls will always exist. I’ve learned who my true friends really are and those who aren’t in my life anymore, it is truly their loss. I’ve learned that I’m smarter than I actually realize. I’ve learned that holding on to anger will only ruin my well-being. I’ve learned how to try and make the best out of a difficult situation. I’ve learned that nothing beats good company, good wine and good food. I’ve learned that I should try and be like my younger self who is not afraid to take risks and try new things.
What I still need to learn – besides flying a plane – is to not get discouraged and enjoy this journey we call life.

NYE

Fifty Shades of Lame

13 Dec

Fifty-shades-of-Grey-book-cover

Today a co-worker told me I reminded her of a character from Fifty Shades of Grey. I can’t say that I took that as a compliment because I didn’t enjoy the book nor could I relate to Anastasia. Here is a column I wrote for Niagara News (Niagara College’s college newspaper) as to why I just couldn’t get into Fifty Shades. An opinion piece if you will:

Reading books is a way to escape to another world, but Fifty Shades of Grey is one world I don’t want to get lost in. 

This “mommy-porn” book written by E.L James is about the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. The book, written from Steele’s perspective shows her relationship with the very powerful and wealthy Grey, who is into bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadomasochism in the bedroom and wants the inexperienced Steele to be his submissive.

Fifty Shades of Grey proves the point that sex sells. Not only have the books been flying off the shelves, but a possible movie is in the works and a Fifty Shades baby boom is expected to occur. Sex shops have had record sales of items mentioned in the book and an increase in rope sales has also been reported. The hardware store owner may be happy, but I’m not.

If Fifty Shades of Grey has been a catalyst for opening conversation between couples then it’s a great tool, but to go from vanilla sex to whips and chains seems a bit of a stretch. After reading one erotic novel, have women become so liberated that they are willing to try new things with their significant other? It all seems a bit alarming.

Women generally don’t like it if their significant other watches pornography because of feelings of insecurity and lack of intimacy, so why is it acceptable for all these women to fantasize about the unrealistic Christian Grey?

Studies show that women respond to mental stimulation while men need visual stimulation. In essence, if women are going to get into porn, it will be in the form of a book or story, even if the story is about control and trying to get a man to love you.

Not only were the characters in the book a cliché, so was the plot -or lack thereof. As a woman who tends to over-analyze, I don’t want to read about someone doing the same thing. Steele wants love from the emotionally unavailable Grey, and I just wanted to yell at the pages for her to run away while she is mesmerized by his stunning good looks.

It isn’t Grey’s alternative lifestyle or what he does in the bedroom that bothered me, it was the reasons he was into it – and his possessive nature. Grey is portrayed as a tortured man who has what we normally consider “issues.”

Why do we want a young, naïve girl who is just starting her life after university to become involved with such a man?

Women have been trying to prove to themselves and to society that they are independent, so why are so many women fantasizing about being dominated?

I can appreciate that many women are using this book as fantasy and a way to escape our mundane everyday lives, but I’m not sure if Grey is what I would consider a leading man.

A strong man is a man who can handle a woman who is just as strong as he is, not one who is controlling her every move. Women have liberated themselves financially, emotionally and even sexually, that the phenomenon and so-called love story in Fifty Shades of Grey is counteracting any of that progress.

There is nothing wrong in believing in chivalry and fairytales, but the ones I believe in help to empower women.

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