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

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Frugal-icious

9 Jan

I like to spend money. Not that I have much but what I do have is usually gone fast. As a student and upcoming unpaid intern and eventually unemployed journalist I am taking some lessons from Extreme Cheapskates.  I’ve decided to not buy any cosmetic products until I have used what I have; a mini-spending freeze. I have so many samples, half-used containers and too many eyeshadows and lipsticks to count that I just can’t buy anymore. This is going to be extremely difficult for me because I love trips to the makeup counter, hair care aisle and love to try new lotions, balms and serums. So if you’re wondering why I’m washing my face six times a day and am basically wearing clown makeup, just know that I am trying to use everything up quickly. Let’s see how long this “freeze” lasts for.

Just wait for it . . .

Just wait for it . . .

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.

Just a Small Town Girl . . .

28 Apr

There are so many cliché songs I could use about growing up and living in a small town but I will save you the sarcasm because what is happening where I live is a song in itself. I live in Fort Erie, Ontario and for those of you who don’t know, although there is not much to do here, it is quite beautiful.

I took a walk along the Niagara Parkway and was thinking how it is really unfortunate that a town surrounded by water and a major border crossing is losing so many businesses and people. No hospital, no businesses and no booming economy forces people to move elsewhere. I can’t say that I am not guilty of wanting to leave this town too and move on to bigger and better things – naturally. I always thought that after living elsewhere, I would retire here (or the Amalfi Coast) and be close to the water but now I just think that Fort Erie is going to be a place that people sing about . . . not like Viva Las Vegas more like Allentown.

Thoughts? Anyone else live in a small town facing similar circumstances? Just curious

-AP

End of an Era

11 Apr

I was really sad to hear the news that after 27 years, Fashion Television has been cancelled. If you are like me, you grew up watching Jeanne Beker cover everything from high-fashion runway shows, photography, art and even socialites. I took a fashion journalism course (my first time around in college) and on the very first day our teacher told us, “no, you will not be taking over for Jeanne Beker when you are done.”  Fair enough. But, what fashionista hasn’t dreamed about going to Paris for fashion week and interviewing Karl Lagerfeld?

I just want to thank Jeanne Beker and Fashion Television for allowing a small town girl like myself to see runway shows from the likes of Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Valentino, and Alexander McQueen and exposing me to the wonderful world of fashion. I will miss the show and the wonderful job Beker did, but just like the world of fashion, things change.

Love her or hate her, Jeanne Beker changed the fashion industry. One of the best things to come out of Canada.

-AP

Fab or Fad?

6 Mar

I’m not really one to buy into hype surrounding new things but recently I believed the hype and tried a beauty balm. I have been hearing so much about them but I am still undecided on how I feel about them? Is this not a glorified tinted moisturizer? I don’t really like tinted moisturizers but thought I would give a BB a try since they claim to have added skin benefits. I didn’t feel that it gave my skin the hydration it craves this time of year or give my skin a glowing healthy look. I felt it actually dried out my skin. Plus, I do like to wear makeup and I didn’t feel this gave me a good base to add powder and blush on top of. Maybe it is the brand I tried but I’m not sold on them. Is it because it is new to North America everyone is going crazy over them? Thoughts, please! It is something I may consider come summertime but for now I have given up on this growing trend.

 

I got no love for the BB

 

-AP

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