Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't Bully Me, It Won't Work...

I suppose the blog has become a place for rants and raves, so I am going to take advantage of the medium.

I am tired of people (i.e PR people) trying to bully me into writing stories how they want them. If I say I am not including a project in the magazine, do not call/email me to harass me as to will not like the answer.
You should just take it as what it is a a simple rejection, not everything can run, so pitch it somewhere else. If you ask me why I won't run it, I can't sugar coat it for you, and you won't like what I have to say.

The first response you will get is "It is a matter of taste, and it is not a good fit."
The second response you will get, if you keep pestering me, is brutal honesty, and then we might not be able to work on other projects because you will hold a grudge.

So don't try and bully me. I may work for a fashion magazine, but I am a trained journalist and I will not write you a puff piece that is a complete lie. If I write the story I will write it as I see fit, and you might not like it or me after.

So don't bully me, it won't work, and you won't like the results.
Other than that, have a nice day!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Turn on the sun please and thanks....

What happened?? Why is today so drab??

It was a beautiful weekend here in Toronto, lots of sunshine, wandering the streets and a bit of shopping... I really shouldn't have, but they were just soooo beautiful I couldn't stop myself. I only went in to say hi to Bosco at Chasse Gardee and I came out with these beauties:
I am not going to lie, and I know it sounds vapid and horrible, but looking at them makes me smile. They are just sooo pretty. And they are kinda ecologically friendly, the heel is made from reclaimed birch wood and the black leather is actually fish skin leather! Pretty cool huh! And besides we all need a bit of pretty on a dreary day like today.

This weather is killing me. I need some vitamin D, so please, please, please turn on the sun. I would like that perma-smile feeling I get when the sun is out and I can feel it beating on my skin! I long for the days of walking down the street and seeing people in less clothing and excess amounts of exposed skin!

So please turn on the sun please and thanks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Update me P.L.E.A.S.E!

So I am sitting at work, toggling between the tasks of writing a review, checking email, looking at new photographers sites,having meetings etc....But I find myself constantly checking my personal email, ichat and worst of all facebook, which has been rightly termed "crackbook."

As I do that today, which I hate to admit is no different from most days, I am dumbfounded by the question of why do I need to be CONSTANTLY updated on who is doing what, and is there a new event or message on my facebook that I need to respond to? Has someone put up pictures of something or someone that I might be interested in? Is there a new band or song that I NEED to know about??

Since when did life and mine especially have such an A.D.D quality that I can't stick to one simple task, like writing the easiest book review ever and filing it off?

Why do these things that don't actually matter to me at all, take up so much of my time?? Even now as I am writing this, I quickly responded to message on evil Facebook. What is going on here??

And the things is I am not alone. The message I just responded to was about dinner plans from a friend who works in just as intense a job as mine! What are we doing? Why do we need to be constantly updated? And who can I blame this on? I didn't even have a cell phone when I graduated university in 2001...Now I am constantly plugged in, I have my laptop on probably 18 hours a day, my iphone is NEVER turned off, it's my alarm clock, phone, scheduler, email access device for those odd times when my computer isn't attached to my side, my weather checker, it's everything!

So are these guys propelling me forward or holding me back?? A bit of both maybe??

Do I need all of this?? Probably not, but do I feel totally lost without them?? YES. Is that natural or good??? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Am I going to change my ways tomorrow? Honestly, no. But I am conscious of this ridiculous obsession with the need for constant up dates and it scares me a bit.

It's not just me, I see how my friends are too and everyone around me. We all need immediate gratification. We know that when we send a text message the receiver has got it within seconds, so why don't they respond right away?? We all have our phones on us at all times. For the love of God, where has our patience gone?

The text message and twitter is proof positive that it has gone. Have I become a tweeter? No. Am I planning on it? Absolutely not, I need to draw a line somewhere, and I do not need that kind of immediate updating. BUT I do see it's validity, Look at what happened in Mumbai in November, because of twitter people knew about the attacks within minutes.

But do I need to know a friend had a grilled cheese sandwich with a side of bacon for breakfast? Once again the answer is no. How self-indulgent have we become???

I have another beef with the instant text as well, and I am just as guilty as the next person, what the hell happened to the phone call?? The need or want to hear another person's voice? To actually connect beyond a technical interaction. We have begun to use the text message as a cop out. It's less intrusive than a phone call, but it's also far less intimate, an honestly sometimes it bugs the hell out of me. It's ok for the quick update, but text conversations make me insane! Call me! Talk to me!

But I digress...Once again I am not sticking to the task at hand, the need for the constant update. I know most of you out there start your day when you get to work by checking your email, then your facebook, answering messages and commenting on statuses, photographs, replying to event invites, peeping exes profiles AND THEN maybe starting some work, after an ichat or two...

So what is next for us?? Are we going to have microchips in our clothes or skin that we can access anything anywhere and have anyone access us as well?? Do we want that? It would be convenient right? But what is the cost?? The art of conversation and language is disappearing before our eyes. I mean for Christ sakes, I have gotten articles from writers with LOL in them!

Are you kidding me??? An article is not a text message. Don't be so damn lazy! In the world of emoticons, IMing, text messaging, facebook friends and twitter, do we have hope to make it as real formed people?? I don't know, but I sure as hell hope so!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm back and I'm gonna blog dammit!

So I keep saying I am going to blog more and I think I actually mean it this time. Get ready to hear my thoughts, opinions and ramblings...

Time to commit to something right?!

I took this photo on a recent trip to Mexico, this tree is in a small Mayan village called Coba, the roots were exposed and strangely beautiful and intricate. A symbol of commitment, I think so...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Would You Do?

This evening I watched a program titled "What Would You Do?" on ABC. It's an interesting concept where they hire actors and put them in precarious situations to see what the general public will do.

One of the situations involved a racist white female real estate agent (who I remind you was an actor) who was showing a 1.4 million dollar house to a black couple and then to a Muslim Egyptian couple. The things she said to them were so appalling that is was very difficult for me to watch, even knowing that the situation was a 'set-up.' It floored me for so many reasons. One that not EVERYONE jumped in when she spouted the first racist slur, two that this happens all the time.

Although this particular situation was a set up, the situation isn't that unusual. And I have seen it and experienced it first hand. I am still really bothered by what I saw. BUT the good thing is there were a few people who got involved and really gave the woman a verbal lashing. I don't know if I am extra sensitive about this kind of situation because I am an Egyptian Canadian woman, or if it is because issues of human right and equality are something I have been passionate about for all of my adult and teen years.

It's two hours after I saw the show and I am still thinking about it, which I guess is what they are trying to do, cause a discussion. I mean don't get me wrong, the sensationalism of the show is not hard to find, but that particular subject matter of racism is something I get very emotional about.

I have spent more time than I care to talking in circles to people who don't seem to understand not all Muslims are terrorists, not all African Canadian/Americans are thugs, not all Koreans own variety store etc. These stereotypes and generalizations make me angrier than anything I can think of, because they are the most ignorant and close minded preconceptions AND are actually damaging to the world we live and the world we are trying to create. Which is why I feel like I need to vent my feelings here.

There are so many excuses people give for throwing racist, sexist or homophobic slurs around, and I can tell you now, they are all complete and utter bullshit. I know tons of white people who grew up in small town Ontario who are some of the most amazing and well rounded people I know and the issue of tolerance would just be offensive to them, as it is not something to even think about, you just treat everyone as they deserve to be treated.

It's a lie to say we don't see race. Of course we see it, but it is not something that is taboo, different races, ethnicities, religions, creeds, sexuality, you name it, it should all be celebrated. Because let me tell you, without variety in our world, this would be a pretty dull place.

It's a sad fact that we need show's like ABC's "What Would You Do?" to show us what appropriate behaviour is. It's time to angry and show others that racism in this day and age is absolutely not to be tolerated in any form. I am hoping that Barak Obama's presidency will help change things. It won't happen in a day, but I hope the change the US population voted for happens sooner rather than later.

This show also addressed other precarious situations, such as suspicious predators in the park approaching young children and how nearby adults reacted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

After Eight Years of Wrong, Today Something is Right

Today newly sworn in President Barack Obama delievered a speech that was passionate, moving and incredibly well spoken. He has a voice that touches people and speaks with great resolve and confidence, it's hard not to get the chills when he addresses the people.

Luckily for me my good friend Henri, is great tech head and always on top of things. He quickly updated his own blog, The Newest Era, with a link so everyone can download President Obama's Inauguration Speech. I grabbed the link for you too (and also downloaded the speech) so thank you My Man Henri!

President Obama is quite humble and noted that today was not about him, but about the American people. But what he didn't address, which of course he couldn't, is that today is not just about him and the American people, his presidency will have an affect on the entire world, and in a positive way. I can honestly say, while it would have been great to see a woman as president, I would not have such strong emotions if Hilary Clinton was elected.

Because it is not just that Barack Obama is African American that this was a great day in history, it is that he is a man who wants to make a difference and shows his passion in his humility. He has that Je ne sais quoi and charisma of a leader that makes you believe good things are to come.

Watching President Obama give this speech was yet again another emotional moment. I feel strong sense of hope that things will change, I know I sound just like his campaign, using the words "Hope" and "Change" but that's what he evokes. I think Barack Obama is the first politician in my lifetime that I actually want to meet and know.

I have no doubt this man will live up to the hype. He is straightforward and can speak without being fed lines. He is quick to answer questions intelligently. This man is what a leader and president should be. He has a tough road ahead of him, with a GIANT mess left to him and the USA by his moronic predecessor, but I think if anyone can do it, Barack Obama can. He has left his nation and those of us who are not American, fully charged. I have hope that foreign relations and this time of war will be rectified, maybe not immediately, but in good time.

It's time for a change people, and Obama is here to give it to us. Now if only we can get a man or woman like that to lead Canada!

Ok can can we please note how AMAZING Michelle Obama looked! Look out ladies Michelle O. is in the House!

Actually his whole family is pretty damn good looking!

**All images are from the New York Times

An New Era in Time...

Today marks a huge moment in history, and that moment at least deserves a bit of my time to update this blog that I have ignored for much too long.

Barack Obama is now, as of 10 minutes ago the official PRESIDENT of the United States of America. I might be Canadian, but I can't help smiling from ear to ear, my heart is swelling and I feel strangely emotional, almost to the point of tears.

It is not the first time, I cried the day after he was elected while looking through a photo gallery of people's emotions from around the world. He is speaking now so I will pay attention to his words and then continue this post....