Friday, December 15, 2006

Netscape... The NEW Netscape!

I have to thank Wil Wheaton, once again, for introducing me to something great. Awesome. Hawesome even!

Netscape. Always used to be the bane of my existence. Stupid Netscape!!! Grumble Grumble Shake fist wildly!!!

And now, Netscape is my saviour! Well, not quite, but maybe.
You see, I knew about these websites where you could link to news stories and start discussions and things like that, but for some reason, it never really clicked that I could be doing that.
Even when I joined Netscape so I could "friend" Wil - I am not a stalker, I swear - I didn't realize that I could do what he was doing...
And then, this morning, a friend (that's you, Kris!) told me about Left Behind: Eternal Forces. The video game that's trying to replace sex and violence with prayer... by encouraging you to convert - or kill - infidels in post-rapture New York City.

Of course, I wanted to know more and the game's name! and so I googled "Kill Christians game". And lo and behold, the first link that looked promising, and that I clicked on of course, was Netscape.

That's when I realized this could actually be something good. Of course, I know all about cookies and search engines... But still... It was a wake up call.

Bye bye endless facebook shares that my friends don't really want to read anyways... Hello Netscape and eternal sharing off cool news - to me - and hopefully to you too...

See you on the Intertubes!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Toronto @ Montreal

Sheldon Souray r0x0rs my b0x0rs.
That is all.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


So I finished my photoessay.
It's not exactly as I had intended. Originally, I was going to use about a gazillion pictures, including sequence pictures like James beating his drums. But my teacher limited us to a MAX of 10 pictures.

So, here it is!

I haven't figured out how to embed it directly, so follow the link!!!

Black Waters

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Watching the game...

I really don't like the jerseys the Canadiens are wearing tonight.
The third jersey. It's really not attractive. You can see examples of it on eBay.

Graphically, it is foolish. It features a thick large dark blue horizontal line halfway down, which means that the player - no matter how tall he is - looks small and boxy. His torso is effectively cut in half, to the eye at least.

The logo is ruined by the thick large dark blue horizontal line running right through it. You can't make out the logo lines in the center, because, as we all know, the logo is bordered in blue. The same dark blue as the thick large horizontal line.

The idea of the alternate jersey is a worthy one. Every team should have one. Many teams have more than one, and that should be applauded. They can recognize a historical event (Serge Savard retirement night) or just plain history (old-school logo), and so much more...

But it has to be pretty! If you spend most of the game examining the jersey... you won't be watching the game.

And that's the whole point, right?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Medical Tricorder anyone?

Dude... this is essentially the first step towards a medical tricorder. How cool is that!?
Another way Star Trek technology promoted the advancement of REAL LIFE TECH!

TELUS launches all-in-one wireless medical database for healthcare professionals across Canada

TELUS Wireless Physician to save time and reduce medical errors

VANCOUVER, Oct. 31 /CNW/ - TELUS today announced the launch of TELUS
Wireless Physician, a program that places powerful and up-to-date medical drug
and diagnostic tools into the hands of health professionals on a wireless
handheld device, enabling them to make informed medical decisions and to
reduce the chance of errors.
TELUS Wireless Physician improves access to critical clinical information
for Canadian physicians by bringing together key elements of diagnosis and
prescription information in a convenient mobile medical technology package.
Using powerful mobile devices such as the Palm Treo 650 or 700wx and the
Motorola Q, all available from TELUS, doctors can access concise clinical
information during patient encounters wherever they are. The all-in-one
devices also provide phone, e-mail and Internet access capabilities.
"For doctors who are constantly on the move, the convenience of being
able to instantly access information on more than 3,300 drugs and 1,200
medical conditions allows professionals to make clinical decisions quickly and
confidently," said Barry Rivelis, vice-president, TELUS Business Solutions.
"TELUS is focused on helping healthcare providers gain quick, reliable and
secure access to health information across the continuum of care - anytime,
TELUS Wireless Physician leverages Epocrates Inc.'s premium application,
the Epocrates(R) Essentials guide to drugs, diseases and diagnostics.
Currently, more than 500,000 healthcare professionals worldwide, including
more than 20,000 in Canada actively use Epocrates' products. Clinicians can
use the application to answer many medical questions, providing direction on
the best drug to prescribe and offering diagnostic advice specific to the
symptoms a patient is presenting.
"Technological advances can improve patient care by helping healthcare
professionals make more accurate diagnoses more efficiently," said Dr. Alan
Brookstone, a practicing physician in Richmond, B.C. and a frequent speaker on
the use of clinical information systems in healthcare. "Not only does TELUS
Wireless Physician provide rapid access to concise reference and clinical
decision support information at the point of care, the most recent version of
Epocrates Essentials also includes Canadian-specific drug information. One of
the greatest benefits of TELUS Wireless Physician is its ability to wirelessly
synchronize and update Epocrates Essentials without having to connect to a
TELUS is responding to the needs of doctors for a solution that
consolidates their information and communications requirements into a single
device. With Wireless Physician residing on a single handheld device, doctors
can always have access to the most up-to-date medical information. Health
professionals can also use TELUS' national wireless network to schedule
automatic updates to their databases daily, weekly, or monthly.


I totally sent Star an email about it!

Ecological Footprint

My ecological footprint...

FOOD 2.4





Find (and post!) your ecological footprint at
You can also find out more about ecological footprints on that website, or on Wikipedia!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Breast Cancer Photoessay

Here's another post about someone else's work, while I wait for work I'm actually proud of!

This photoessay on breast cancer was created by my photojournalism teacher, Phil Carpenter. Phil is a photographer for the Montreal Gazette. He is incredibly talented, and definitely knows his stuff. Not just the theory either. He know what works. And he knows how to make it work.

The photoessay was published in the montreal Gazette today, on the front page. Here's a link to the online, video version.

I hope you all enjoy it. If you want, I can pass your comments over to Phil.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Minigear Labs

Last night, when I was falling asleep, I thought out my whole blog entry. Seems like that always happens. Unfortunately, I can't remember it when I wake up, and I usually script these at around 3 AM (Can't sleep! Clowns will eat me!), so there's no way I'm getting out of bed!!
Plus, Ryan would kick me.

I think the beginning of this entry was something related to school having started, yet me not having posted yet. Skip the bla bla bla... Basically, lots of work, not a lot of desire to post. Or maybe just laziness. So far, I've written a few stories (including a boring stock market story - I'll spare you the details!), and produced a mini doc for Radio and a TV interview sequence for, you guessed it, TV.

Wow. My sentences are long. I need to practice writing for radio again.

*** Interruption!***
Watching RDS's pre-game show. Chantal Machabee (plus accent) does her whole lil intro bit, and Pierre and Yvon, Philadelphia played last night so maybe they're a little bit tired tonight. Something to take advantage of. And she stays fixed. Staring at the screen. The producer forgot to cue the other camera. Not so bad though, that's just a few extra seconds. You can see a strand of (flat) hair flying around. Keep in mind, they're in studio. Anyway, FINALLY, the Philly camera is cued. Pierre and Yvon stand there, staring at the camera, waiting for their cue (audio probably), and... waiting... waiting... lower the mics a bit, but not completely, AAAAAANNNDDDD Cue back to Chantal saying to excuse them, they're having *loose translation* a teeny little audio problem. And they'll go back to Pierre and Yvon in a few seconds. Cue fake smile. Audio cue: so, Pierre and Yvon in Philly. And then, something I'd only recently picked up (thanks school!), Pierre and Yvon are like, we probably lost the feed in all the bad weather, but I think you were talking about Philadelphia. AND start bla bla bla.


Anyway, speaking of long sentences...

Rogers Sportsnet Conference on November 4th. I'm helping organize it this year, and I'm really excited! :) Pat Hickey is going to be there, and Bob Babinski!!! I miss Bob. Speaking of Bob, he recommended me for a post at CBC... and I GOT THE JOB!

Starting Saturday (Habs home opener), when CBC broadcasts a hockey game from Montreal, if all goes well, I shall be "running" from the studio to the truck, in effect, I shall be a gopher!! The cool thing is, it pays really well (not sure if I can broadcast it to the world), I get a day press pass (OMG OMG OMG - Mark that off the checklist!), and I GET TO BE INSIDE A MICROWAVE TRUCK! Sooooooooooooo cool!! :)
I'm really excited. Wil Wheaton would be too. Odd segue, to you maybe, but Wil likes hockey. And my mind is like one of those tiny green frogs I saw at the Biodome this weekend.

I believe my post was supposed to end with a comment about Wil. Ah yes! I miss Wil. Sounds weird, and stalkerish, but I swear, I'm not!!!! - a stalker that is. Weird, I am. I was going to randomly comment on one of his Page Two posts that I missed him, but I thought it might be a little too creepy. Wil makes me feel... good. Just so good about myself, and about him (no, not in that way, you dirty mind you!). When I'm feeling a little bit down, all I have to do is read a passage from Just a Geek or Dancing Barefoot, and I instantly feel better. Maybe it's because it makes me feel like I'm not the only one who's had some "I'm really okay, but inside I'm not" troubles. Even if I've had that - kinda not really - before. Maybe it's just because he is just so relateable, and real. He's just so real. Like that friend you always got along with well (once you were both adults), but you both got busy, and even though you live in the same neighborhood and stuff, you just never have the time to get together. Sometimes you IM. Mostly you just read each others' blogs.

Okay. Enough of the imagination there.

I think the whole point of the Wil Wheaton comment can be summarized in 2 points:

1) I miss you (and random imaginary potential friend)
2) Thanks (for being approachable, and real, and sharing your expriences)


On that topic, that is.

Next topic, because I know you really want to read some of my stuff...
I abused James (for information that is!), not once but twice in recent weeks. The first time was for the following piece, on his small business called "Minigear Labs". The website is currently down, but should be back up soon. Next, I abused James for my photoessay, for my photojournalism course. I shall be examining the life of "underground/underdog" bands, and how they struggle. As opposed to famous bands who just hang around in the tour bus all day, of course. Pictures are to come. I've got 1.5G so far, from 1 show! To be fair, they played for 5 hours. Straight (nearly).

Looks Good, Sounds Good

Minigear Labs' basement business has promising future

By Naila Jinnah

Ever wish you were a fly on the wall? If you can’t get your hands on the latest government technology, Minigear Labs might have just what you need.

With microphones in pens, pen caps, and in alligator clips that can be attached to just about anything, Minigear Labs creates, manufactures and sells Minidisk and DAT mics that are cool and high quality, even when they are covert. They also offer sound transfer services to and from different media and live audio recording services.

Like with most small businesses, the idea for Minigear Labs came from a combination of the owners’ needs and abilities. William Paul, now 22 years old, wanted to record lectures, while James Clemens-Seely, 21, was more interested in recording music. However, the prices of items available on the market seemed excessive to the then Marianopolis College students, who were used to doing their own technical work at home.

“Will had looked into getting himself one of the (mics) that Sony sells, and they were 50 bucks or 80 bucks,” Clemens-Seely said. “We looked some up on eBay and saw some homemade ones and it was like, ‘hey, we can do better than that!’”

Some cable from the dollar store and $50 worth of Panasonic microphone capsules – the “brain” of the mics – was all it took for Paul and Clemens-Seely to pick up their soldering irons and start experimenting.

“We would go over and hang out in Will’s basement and mess around with what we could put a mic inside of that would be cool,” Clemens-Seely recalls. “We figured if we sell a couple at $25 a piece, we’ll make (our money) back, and then we’ll see!”

And that’s exactly what happened. Through the power of eBay, Paul and Clemens-Seely had effectively started a company without a business plan or even any hopes for the future.

Since it was founded in the summer of 2003, Minigear Labs has sold over 350 microphones on eBay, and many more through friends and local contacts. Buyer comments left on the website rave about Minigear Labs’ great communication with clients, their willingness to share their knowledge, and most importantly, the amazing quality of the products. Buyer dmtwill3 left one of the 364 positive feedbacks, commenting that the mics were “clearly more defined than the sony (sic) ECM-DS70P!”

A quick eBay search for “minidisk mics” turns up products that cost more than twice as much as Minigear Labs products, and don’t look nearly as cool. Minigear Labs’ competitive edge also lies in their products’ flexibility for positioning, their top of the line parts, and a custom modification that allows them to handle louder noises.

In a given month, Minigear Labs will sell about 15 to 20 mics, for an average revenue of $2000 a year. But while it only costs $10 to make one microphone, Paul and Clemens-Seely are not exactly raking in a fortune.

“As a general rule, we siphon the money back into the company to buy really classy recording gear for the live concerts we record,” explained Clemens-Seely. “So now, we have really nice recording equipment, really nice professional level microphones and computer interfaces.”

This new equipment is not only fuelling opportunities for Minigear Labs, it has also jump-started the owners’ creativity. They have plans for new products, like the ultimate bootlegger’s microphone T-shirt Paul wore during the 2006 International Jazz Festival in Montreal, and plans to develop a proper business plan.

“We have this one mic that sells fairly consistently, but we’re also looking to develop little headphone amplifiers and mic pre-amplifiers,” explained Clemens-Seely.

“That’s the sort of thing we’re thinking about now, minimizing expenses and maximizing profit.”

They’re also thinking about their futures. Paul is in his second year of a Physics Bachelor degree and Music Technology minor at McGill University, while Clemens-Seely has two years left before completing McGill’s Honours Music Technology Bachelor program.

While Minigear Labs’ profits have tripled since its launch, William Paul and James Clemens-Seely do have career goals other than running the company.

“I can see us moving on and it not happening anymore, but I can also see us turning it into the next Sony, or Shure or Sennheiser, where we make real mics,” said Clemens-Seely, explaining how they like to tweak the high end gizmos they’ve bought for the company in order to improve them.

“Having the technical knowledge to build mics or circuits does come in handy when you’re dealing with mics and circuits,” said Clemens-Seely.

“The sky is the limit!”

Minigear Labs can be found online at


Friday, June 23, 2006

Wil in Montreal

Last night, when I was in bed, I had the beginnings of a great post dancing around in my mind. Of course, I was half asleep and had absolutely no energy - not even enough to just write down (or apparently remember) that first, perfect line, from which the whole entry would have flowed.

However, I know the entry was about Wil Wheaton's super duper uber geeky - but not too overly geeky - presentation at the Magical Blend in Montreal. The shindig started a little after 1 PM, with Wil bursting in the room at the sound of applause. Of course, he made us laugh. He didn't make us cry, although that would seem to be the proper next sentence. Instead, he made us listen. Listen to him telling his stories. He performed two readings from Just A Geek. One was about his second day and wrapping up on the set of Nemesis, and the other, as he described it, was about a toy he had when he was a kid. Yes, the famous Death Star incident.

Wil - Thank you so much for performing for us. For taking just a bit of time to explore your geekiness with fellow, often disregarded Montreal-based geeks.

It was super amazing to go to the reading, and, as Ryan and Katie so well put it, network. It is true, what they said. Everywhere I go, people know me, they love me, they can't wait to meet me. But why?? I'm just me. Common courtesy. Treat others as you'd like to be treated. Don't be an ass. Actually LISTEN when people are talking. They might be sharing something crucial, something special, or of great worth to them, and you were the selected person to receive this precious information. You can just drop it on the cutting floor. Once those words reach your ears, they become yours as well. You are responsible of your actions, of the way you treat that information, that memory, that itty bitty part of that person, and their life.

In that same way, we were all witnesses to Wil's performance, and now, it's like we share that experience with him. We've all got a part of Wil in us, in our memories, and that's extra special. It's special not only because of who Wil is, and what he represents for us. It's special because another soul shared something with us and we accepted it.

During the question period where the audience monkeys had to think much so the head monkey could actually take a sip of water, someone asked about working on Star Trek, and what it brought to him as an actor. Wil, of course, told the story about the turbolift and other doors, and how they didn't speak while the doors made those "woosh" sounds. It was mostly because, well, the doors didn't "woosh". They squeaked and screached and yelped as they were being pullied open by the FX/props guy. And of course, voiceovers are expensive. Now imagine if you had to voiceover after every door opened on Star Trek... Millions and millions of dollars, right? So the actors just learned to shut up, and wait for the doors to close before saying their lines. Wil's little addition to the common story? He still does it. Not just when he's acting, but in real, everyday life, Wil cannot speak until the door is closed behind him. At this point, he commented that it was one of the bad habbits he'd picked up on the set. Of course, I couldn't resist, and had to ask what the others were. Gotta love those spur of the momment questions! The whole room laughed of course, and that was good :) The vibe was different, more relaxed, not that it wasn't relaxed before ;) And btw, the answers were poker... and other stuff ;)

Wil's a funny guy, but we already knew that. What we didn't realize is that Wil will (haha) actually take the time to welcome and talk to every single fan. During the book signing portion of the programme, every person had their 15 seconds to a minute of fame with Wil. I found this to be extremely thoughtful, and, well... un-celeb like, unless we compare it to the old Mike Ribeiro, or conversations with Doug Gilmore. For that short time when Wil was signing your books, movies, posters, etc., you were his whole world. It was just you and him. An exclusive 1-on-1, no matter how many other people were in the room, or peering over.

Turns out Chaz, a guy from Wil's forums that took a 10.5h bus ride to Montreal from Fredericton JUST to meet Wil (after a 12h shift, no less, and before his daughter's 3rd grade graduation), was standing in the line right before me/Katie/Ryan/Brian/Michael (Urbangeo from livejournal/Bandersnatch/Abbott -T'was nice to put a face to the name, and vice versa).

Chaz was really excited when I introduced myself. He said he'd really wanted to meet me, but the typepad link sent him to a non-existent page. Of course, the basics in my profile were filled in, but typepad links to your blog (non-existent), and not to your profile, so he couldn't contact me. I'd given him lotsa tips about where to hang out in Montreal and the like. During the wait, we all discussed Wil's work, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman, and so much more! It was really interesting to see how much has changed and how little they have changed as well. Plus ca change, plus c'est pareil...

When Wil opened his pen to sign Chaz' books + DVD of Stand By Me (Special Edition that Wil hadn't seen yet), he desperately tried to get the cap stuck on the top of the pen. Of course, it was being stubborn. I offered up my Sharpie, and Wil was really excited, because Sharpies are the best, and all he had were silly little "fake Sharpies" permanent Bic pens. Anyone who's anyone knows that you can only use Sharpies for autographs. Duh. Wil also really likes the mini-Sharpies, which are super cool... I love the fact that there's some in many colors. In fact, I think I want the lime green one, even though I'd never use it. For autographs that is.

When it was my turn, I introduced myself at Starshine_Diva and said that I so super duper excited to meet him. His face light up, and he got really excited and giddy. We shook hands eagerly, each of us more giddy than the other. Turns out, he was really glad to see me because, well, apart from the fact that I started the demand, he was really thankful for all my support. Which, I was speechless at, at that momment. But truly, I am extremely honored, and thankful that Wil would actually know/remember who I am, and be excited to meet me. Extremely honored, especially when he said that he looks forward to my comments, because when he's sad, or gets many emails telling him he's a fraud, my comments cheer him up, and he feels that, at least, he's touching one person. Which I take to heart, I truly do. That is my goal in life. Touch at least one person with ever story, every comment. Just 1 person. That person will touch other people... kinda like paying it forward - A great movie, btw.

I let Wil keep my Sharpie, even though it was my blue one. To be fair, I still have that dark purple one, and while I prefer the blue one, I've been meening to get a new one, for better signing on cue cards. Maybe I'll get a mini-sharpie.

I had noticed that Wil's wife, Anne, had a Lush bag, and found it kinda amusing. She was sitting on a chair on the way out, in the hallway. There was a free seat next to her, so I sat down and told her how great Wil is, which I'm sure she already knows :P

We talked about cancer, and the marathons, and she updated me on the situation with her friend's sister, who was getting chemo. However, the chemo and other "new" treatments are less invasive than older treatments. I told her about Ryan's mom, and when we mentionned our names, later on, she put on a sad face when she heard Ryan's name. She said, "I have a Ryan too. I miss my Ryan." It was so cute, and so sweet... Poor Anne is gonna be without Wil for a very long time. After the 2 week cruise, they go home for a wedding. Then, Wil leaves for Poker Stars in Vegas for nearly a month, missing everyone's birthdays except for one. Last but not least, I told Anne I used to work at Lush, and turns out, she recieved it as a gift! It, of course, was the Come Fly with Me gift bag, which is actually being discontinued. I explained the different products to her, and how to use them. And she was truly impressed... and excited at the prospect of using all the cool products. The bag includes a Flying Fox 250ml shower gel bottle. I made her smell my Flying Fox temple balm, and she swooned. Honey blossom and Jasmin, reminded her of the jasmin plants in her front garden.

Anne is a truly beautiful person, inside and out. And while she's lucky to have Wil to share her life with, the inverse is also true. Wil is lucky to have Anne to tolerate his geekiness and shower him with love :)

To both of you, it was truly an honor to meet you, and to spend that little moment in your lives with you. Thank you for honoring me with your kind words, Wil, and for entertaining us for a couple of hours. Have a great cruise, both of you. I hope that the rest of your time in Montreal is a blast.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wil Wheaton in Montreal!!

Time for a Girly/Geeky post:



Based on the demand that I started + Cruise Trek leaving from the Old Port... Wil Wheaton will be reading from his books + stuff @ The Magical Blend (1928 St. Catherine's Street)

Thursday June 22, from 1 pm to 6 pm :D :D :D

I wonder if any media reps will attend? :O

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Re: Ryan's Mom's surgery

Just to let all of you know, the surgery went well. No complications.
She's in a lot of pain, though, apparently. I haven't seen her yet (just got home from work), but from what Ryan said, I'm guessing she's awake.

Also, feeling a lot better on the job front. But that's another story :)

Ryan's mom's surgery

Some of you might remember, a while back, a post (in my other journal, I believe) about Ryan's mom's breast cancer returning. Well, she was on a new treatment (new as in super expensive and revolutionnary type thing) that allowed her not to need chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Which means she got to keep her hair, unlike 5 years ago.

Well, the medication is supposed to stop the cancer from growing, and then slowly force it to starve itself to death. The meds don't kill any of the vitamins and elements that are good for you... only whatever the cancer needs to survive.

All was going well, until she went in for a checkup I guess about 2 months ago now.
Test results from a CT/CAT scan showed that there was a mass/shadow on her liver.
Turns out, a cancerous tumor grew in her liver, which is one of the main places where people who have other cancers develop a secondary cancer. The liver is responsible for cleaning up the body (everything except urine, which is done by the kidneys), and so all the blood (that might have "pieces" of cancer stuck to it) gets filtered in the liver. Which is why it's so easy to get a second tumor there.

So after confirming with an MRI and a bunch of blood tests and stuff, Ryan's mom became eligible for a special surgery that only about 5 people in Canada can get. You need to have cancer nowhere else in your body, or more like, no related tumor in your body. Because her original cancer is in her breast, she can have this surgery. After a first date on May 25, the surgery was pushed back to today, June 1rst, 2006.
It is called a resection, where from 3% to 85% of the liver is removed from the body. The surgery takes from 2 to 5 hours to do, and the patient will have to stay in the hospital for at least 6 days, depending on the rapidity of recovery. She will only be able to drink fluids for a bit more than 1 day, and after that, she will slowly be re-introduced to solids. She will be staying in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for at least a couple of days, since about half her liver is going to be removed. The wound needs to be cleaned 3 times a day for 2 weeks, she can't drive for 2 weeks or do any heavy lifting for 3 months. Ryan's mom, the life of the party, always happy and helpful, will be pretty much stuck in bed.

There are many possible side effects and complications, including internal bleeding, pneumonia, infection, breathing and bowel problems... and of course, the one we fear the most, the ultimate complication. Recovery rates in North America for primary resection - remember, this is a secondary resection, but because of the mass of liver to be removed, it could pretty much be considered a primary resection - for 5 year recovery, a study shows that the survival rate is of 27% to 49%. However, that might be because of complications or other related/unrelated causes. The statistic isn't specific. Patients with smaller tumors are more likely to survive. She might have 1 large tumor, or a few smaller tumors, we're not sure. The doctor will see when he/she gets in there. Recurrence rates (the cancer coming back) are of 45% to 70%, most within 2 years of resection. Keep in mind, she can't lose much more of her tumor, or she won't have a liver left. She might need blood transfusions during and after surgery, and if there is a recurrence, she will probably need a liver transfusion. Keep your fingers crossed and knock on wood that everything will be fine.

Of course, this means that the breast cancer treatment might have to change. That's right, we still need to get rid of that one. The next few weeks... even months, will be tough. Ryan and I will be a little bit stressed, edgy, etc. and I apologize in advance for snapping at anyone (unless you really deserve it).

The surgery started this morning at 8:45 EST. Ryan has a few days off to spend with his mom, and his 8 year old brother, who knows what's happening, but doesn't quite get it. He does, however, get the seriousness of the matter, from the reactions of people around him. My mission will be for his (Spencer's) well-being, between work hours, which, by coincidence and thankfully, I only have 8 of next week. Ryan will be focusing on his mom, but will be going back to work on Monday night, unless there are serious complications.

Thanks to all of you for reading all of this. Thanks in advance for your support and well wishes.

I will update you as soon as we know what is happening.

*hugs* and *kisses*

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I wanted to share this...

... with my esteemed friends and collegues. This article is well-written. It's not amazingly jaw dropping orgasmicly well-written. But because of its topic, it's a great article. And I don't mean because it's about hockey, which already adds like +20xp to it. The fact that it's a slow news day for the NHL (or couple of days) means you can write boring, old, dull articles about the team's chances. Or free agency. Or the Edmonton vs. San Jose wrap up, or how the underdogs beat the top seeds. But that's so typical and cliche! *ugh... no accents*

This article, goes for an underdog.... topic! I love the initative of the journalist. It makes the article worth reading, and super fun to write. Too bad it's written by "CP". I wish I knew who actually wrote it. So if anyone does know... drop me a line ;)


Hurricanes GM Rutherford: Montreal was the toughest test of all

(CP) - Eleven teams have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs and Jim Rutherford believes his Carolina Hurricanes beat the best of them.

But the general manager isn't talking about the New Jersey Devils.

"No disrespect to Philadelphia, Ottawa and New Jersey, they're all good teams, but some teams are a little better than others and I think Montreal is one of those teams," Rutherford said from Raleigh, N.C.

It's a surprising statement given the fact Montreal was seeded seventh, but Rutherford is adamant the Canadiens could have gone a long way.

"I don't think people gave Montreal enough credit for one, how their coaching staff prepared them; and two, how well they played," said Rutherford. "That team was good. And that was one heck of a series. We can talk about teams on paper and what teams did during the regular season and things like that, but when I look at all the games in the playoffs and I watch most of them, I think Montreal is as tough a team to beat in this year's playoffs as any."

Carolina fell behind 2-0 in the first round against the Canadiens before reeling off four consecutive one-goal victories, including a pair in overtime, to beat the Habs.

"Watch those games - you don't get any second to lull through a game with Montreal," said Rutherford. "They're one of those teams."

Star centre Eric Staal agreed with his boss.

"Oh yeah, they were playing really well, it was a battle every night," Staal said on the phone this week. "There were some really close games. Every game was one goal except for the first when we got pounded by them. They're pretty good, they're fast and their goaltender was playing really well."

The rest of the hockey world was more impressed with Carolina's tidy five-gamer over the Devils, who carried a 15-game win streak into the second round and were seen by many as potential Stanley Cup champions. It was no contest.

"I think our team had more balance and was deeper," said Rutherford. "And the longer it went the more advantage we had. I think it showed in games where New Jersey had real strong first periods but then second and third periods our team dominated the game. Game 1 we were more prepared for that game and won it. And Game 2 and Game 3 could have gone either way. We ended up on the top end of it."

Staal admits the quick victory over the previously hot Devils was a little surprising.

"I don't think we had envisioned going up 3-0 on them," said the 21-year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ont. "Beating them in five is probably not what we thought would happen but once we started playing and saw what kind of style we could play against them we realized we'd be all right."

The Hurricanes may be in for an even bigger test starting Saturday with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final against the Buffalo Sabres.

"Buffalo and Carolina are almost a mirror of each other, both teams are a lot alike," said Rutherford. "One team had 112 points and the other had 110 and I believe both teams beat very good opponents to get to where they are."

The Sabres and Hurricanes are the two biggest surprises this season in the Eastern Conference, both teams built for the new NHL with speed and skill on every forward line.

"No question, we're very similar in nature I think," said Staal. "We're both young, we both have balanced scoring, we both have rookie goalies, it's going to be a skating game and an entertaining series and a good time. I'm looking forward to it."

A Carolina-Buffalo series likely won't drive up the TV ratings in Canada but Rutherford hopes people will realize what kind of hockey will be on display.

"I've seen a lot of great hockey through these first few rounds and I think we'll continue to see it," he said. "And hopefully the interest remains."

Staal, meanwhile, is enjoying the ride. The sophomore centre has been dynamite, leading the Hurricanes with five goals and 10 assists in 11 games.

"It's been a lot of fun," Staal said. "You look forward to this time of year - the level of intensity is awesome. It's been so enjoyable, starting with my first-ever playoff experience in Montreal. It was crazy up there.

"We've got veterans who have been around and that makes it easier for a guy like myself, it calms your nerves a little bit. It's been good."


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Game 5 in many words

The anticipation for Game 5 leaves me bouncing with excitement. Especially since I predicted Habs in 6.
*I was going to use "trepiding" instead of "bouncing" but turns out that's not a word. Odd. I was sure it was. Maybe it's French!*

Anyways... I wanted to post one of the last assignments I had for my 201 (Writing and Reporting class). The assignment was to write a feature story on a teacher. Here it goes:


Living Large

Brian Powers Smith teaches piano, voice, organ… and life

By Naila Jinnah

It’s a crowded room, full of books and plants and sheet music. It’s a hearty room, though, with a splendid black Grand Piano taking up most of the space, except for one slim corridor of walking room. Or wheeling room, if you’re Brian Powers Smith.

He’s a big man, always has been and always will be. But it’s humbling to see a bubbling man with such a big heart, and a huge voice, bogged down in a wheelchair, with big boot-like braces on both his feet.

He hasn’t always been like this. It’s cliché, but it’s true. In August 2002, Smith was diagnosed with Charcot’s foot, a complication of diabetes that causes nerve damage and leads to weakened foot bones. He had always been active, with never a moment to spare. From singing for L’Opera de Montreal and rehearsing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, to Sunday mornings directing the church choir, and weekdays, teaching piano and voice in his NDG duplex, Smith was always busy, and that’s the way he likes it.

Now, Brian Powers Smith focuses on teaching music. He is older and only has about 10 students. But in 1960, when he was 20, Smith had close to 100 students, which is far from what his first piano teacher expected. In fact, after taking lessons for five years, Smith was told that he would never amount to anything, music wise. Fortunately, his grandmother, whose piano and love for music first inspired him to take lessons, encouraged him to stick with what he loved.

“When I was fifteen she said, ‘would you like to do music, seriously’”, recalled Smith. The answer was yes. So she bought Smith a new and better piano, a stereo system, and paid for his lessons with a teacher who believed Smith had tremendous potential as a music teacher. He went on to study piano, voice and organ, and how to teach them, earning degrees at both McGill University and the University of Toronto. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Smith’s teaching philosophy is routed in his own experiences. For instance, he would never tell a student that they had no talent.

“I, as a teacher, have no right to do that,” he explained. “They may not have a good ear, they may not have a good rhythm, but you don’t say they don’t have talent, because every student can turn around and all of a sudden pull up their socks and start working, and wow!”

“I feel that every student, whether they are five years old, or they are seventy-five –and I have students who are seventy-five and older – they all have a possibility of [producing] something,” said Smith. “You have to give everyone, young or old, a chance.”

“I’m not God. People think that I think I’m God,” he joked, “but I don’t know.”

This easy-going nature of his created a unique learning environment for Smith’s students.

“He’s the best freaking teacher I’ve ever had,” exclaimed Kristin Radtke, who has been taking piano and organ lessons with Smith for the past ten years.

“You build a personal relationship with him,” she said, explaining how even when she was on a student exchange program in Norway, she and Smith exchanged emails.

Smith has come to depend on some of his older and closer students, especially since “the falling out of the foot.”

Radtke and her family are especially close to Smith, having helped him out when the progressive deterioration of his ankles kept him bedridden for two years, forcing him to quit the Opera because he could no longer stand during performances, and confining him to a wheelchair.

“I was walking on my ankle [bones]. It was extremely painful,” Smith explained.

“My life turned around completely,” he said. “I had to give up my post as organist and go on sick leave for two years.”

“It was very difficult. People used to say to me, ‘how can you stand [not being active]’”, he recalled.

“And I would say, ‘Well, what do you want me to do? If I jump out of my bedroom window, I’ll only go down two storeys and break both legs.’”

“I love life too much to go and get terribly depressed.”

Smith’s love for music is what kept him going, and his passion is what inspires him to teach. “I love directing my choir, I get a great deal of pleasure out of that. That’s why I keep going, because I could retire if I wanted to.”

“I would rather keep going as long as a can so that I can be directing my choir. Because I can always teach, at home, until the day that I die. But I can’t always have a church choir to work with because there are all sorts of politics in churches.”

Smith knows churches very well. He is Anglican, but has played, taught and directed at the Sainte-Anne de Bellevue Union Church since he was a teenager. For him, religion and music are intertwined.

“My religion comes from the music. I can get very emotional over music. Music allows you to have sadness and joy, happiness, anger, all at the same time.”

If it hadn’t been for his personable nature, Church politics might have caused Smith to lose his post as choir director and organist several times. There was his first marriage and divorce in the 1960s, in a time when, according to the minister, “divorces happen to some people.” Smith avoided the problem with his second marriage, which was non-denominational, making the divorce process that much simpler. His next experience, a jump over the fence and out of the closet, went over without a hitch due to the affirming congregation of the United Church of Canada.

“From ’75 to ’87 [when I met my current partner], I didn’t say that much to people, but people knew.”

As far as he knows, Smith has never had any problems with parents, or students, because of his sexuality.

“You make a bond with your students,” he explains. “Most students have a very close bond with their teacher, as well as the teacher with the student.”

“I have to be very careful as a teacher. There are students who are very clingy.”

“A lot of students, they want to be hugged. But we, as teachers, pull back,” he disclosed. It’s not because I’m afraid of what I would do to a student, but [I’m afraid of] what would happen if they said something happened.”

“Most of my students are [very caring]. It’s a relationship you build up over the years.”

Apart from being like a big teddy bear, Radtke believes that Smith’s trust in his students is what sets him apart from other teachers.

“He doesn't have a 'higher-than-thou' attitude,” she explains. “He makes sure his students don't feel like they're simply [a student number], but he knows how to make you feel like he really values you as a student and as a person. And to have all of that coming at you… it's hard not to like him.”

“He takes his students’ strengths and limitations into consideration, and quite obviously cares a lot about them,” declared Radtke.

“I’m with a student a lot longer [than University professors are with theirs],” Smith commented. “People tell you their problems, and that’s part of what has to happen. And if you have to go overtime because of it, you have to go overtime.”

“As I get older, I really want to work with the people that are interesting to work with, not [because] they have great talent,” said Smith, even if he believes that some of the greatest compliments a teacher can get is his students excelling in their exams.

What really warms his heart, though, is when students that he taught a long time ago tell him that they were “very fond” of their lessons with him.

“It’s very tiring to teach,” said Smith, stressing the strain of listening to a constant flow of music that more often than not includes false notes and flat tones. “Because if I teach for four or five hours in a row, by the time [I] finish, I can just go and stretch out in the bed and vegetate, because I need to,” he laughed.

“Teaching, for me, has taught me how much more there is to learn. Because every day you teach – and I’ve been doing it for a long time – something different happens.”

Like today, for example. Mid-way through her lesson, Radtke stops being a student and becomes a friend, helping Smith with his sick cat, Orfé, named after the main character in the opera “Orfé et Euridice”. Orfé treads through the large piles of books, around the Grand Piano, and finally settles in his travelling cage, which Radtke promptly closes. She will be driving Orfé and Smith to the veterinarian. Her lesson is temporarily suspended, but it doesn’t matter.

As it always is with Brian Powers Smith, life goes on.



I got an A. :D
Speaking of grades, here's the final breakdown:

201 (Writing and Reporting) - 6 credits: A
203 (Radio News) - 3 credits: A-
309 (Principles of Editing) - 3 credits: B+
316 (Print Law and Ethics) - 3 credits: A
318 (Advanced Desktop Publication) - 3 credits: A-

GPA: 3.49

Now that's pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. I'm a little bit dissapointed with my B+ in editing. I thought I was doing better in that class, but if I think back, most of my assignments were a B+ or an A-. So it's just a matter of means. Also, kinda sucks to have a B, because I can't say I got straight As!!! :P

I've written the first part of "Diary of a Habs Fan". I call it "The Prelude". I think I like the idea of going with musical themes, and lyrical words.

The problem is that now I need to decide where I'm going with this. I know I need dialogue, and soon. As in, the first paragraph of Chapter 1. Which I just thought of calling "Pre-season". But that wouldn't match up with Prelude, now would it. Unless I use a colon to seperate the musical:sports title.

I have 2 directions I'm thinking of going.
1) Following the chronology of a hockey season. First, training camp is announced. I would start with an extract from the sports bulletin on TV. "The Canadiens have announced their training camp schedule. Once again, they will be opening their doors to the public for a few days at the Pierrefonds Sportsplexe..." And then break into my main character pumping her fists in victory and yelling "Yes!" And looking around to see if anyone noticed.
After that, I know I need major dialogue. Should the main character be like me, living alone/with a roomate/bf as a student? She's obviously a "She". That's for sure. But maybe she's still living at home, with her parents, who don't understand her obsession. Which is a great almost "villain" role. The voice of reason. (The more I think about it, the more I like it)

2) Start with the "Go go go" guy blowing his whistle and waving his arm wildly at the cars. But then there's no chronology. Unless I start from the playoff game, and work through the summer. Which is boring. Because of all the breaks. And there's mostly just trades and drafts, and I can fit that in to the first couple of days/chapters.
But then I break right into the heart of the story.

I think I need to decide whether this is a book about hockey or about someone who loves hockey. And I'm think I'm leaning for the latter, with the sequence of events of point 1).
Thank you blog, thank you very much ;)

Soon, I shall post the Prelude. Then, the story shall write itself, right?
psst... this is about the 3rd novel I try to write. The other one had to do with drugs and junkies. It's working title was "Cocaine". It's somewhere on a protected diskette. And yes, I still remember the password. Just didn't want my parents to find it ;)
I also started a Habs novel, but that was going to be more like, girl falls in love with hockey player, they meet, and start a wonderful relationship... except for the life of a hockey player.
Which is really cheesy and boring, unless it's an autobiography or memoire or something along those lines.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated...

Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tom Cruise and Placentas

Someone on my Counter-Strike forums, |BOSS|, posted this link, which led to a discussion about Tom Cruise having "lost it"

Here was my reply:

1) Baby was born on the 18th. Read about it here

It's a girl, named Suri

2) The placenta is the most nutritious thing ever. I'm considering eating mine. So many nutrients, helps the mother (and anyone else) recuperate after giving it all away (haha, pun intended wink.gif)
Find out about placenta eating here

And find recipes here

3) Tom Cruise was joking:

Read about it here

Best article for all of this (if you gotta read just one), click here



I love that kind of post. Informing people, short and point form, almost. I wish I could have a column. Like that. With links like this one on Star Trek and synthehol.

I'm thinking, in light of recent events, of query-ing the Gazette for a column during the regular hockey season. Of course, space is one of the issues, so I wouldn't mind it being only online. It would be in the form of "Diary of a Habs Fan", with an analysis for every game, but also, little, exterior things. The concept is great for a book, which was my original idea. I need to adapt it though, before presenting it or anything.

Either way, I totally need to start writing about sports again. We'll see if I kick it off during the playoffs.

Time for some translations...

Stay tuned...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Celebrity Ambassador? Me?!

I wrote a piece on celebrity ambassadors for the Link, for their cultural diversity issue.

When I pitched the story, I was told to steer away from "celebrity X is amazing because he/she supports cause Y" and intead say that "Celebrity X supports the latest cause, Y, but why? what's the effect?"

Well, of course, I felt compelled to give some background. Here's my finish product:

Famous Faces Shed Light on Humanitarian Issues

Celebrity ambassadors play important role in spreading the word

By Naila Jinnah

Angelina Jolie does it. So do Alyssa Milano, Lucy Liu, and Clay Aiken. Even Giorgio Armani does it.

No, it’s not sex. Although we’re sure they do that too!

They are all celebrity ambassadors for the United Nations. As faces known by millions around the world, their role is to bring public attention to the issues of third world countries or countries devastated by war or natural disasters.

For Alyssa Milano (Charmed, Who’s the Boss?), the journey began in 2003 when she was invited by the United States Fund for UNICEF to become a national ambassador. She became the official spokesperson of the 2004 “Trick or Treat” campaign that encourages kids to carry orange UNICEF boxes and collect funds for the less fortunate during their rounds on Halloween night.

Milano has always been interested in humanitarian aid, even before teaming up with UNICEF. "I think that the celebrity is a really important thing,” she says in her profile on the UNICEF website, “because we have the voice that's recognizable, that can educate people to make a difference and empower them to make a difference, and to also get things in motion with the people in charge that can effect change."

On the other hand, Angelina Jolie (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Girl Interrupted), approached UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to learn more about humanitarian action for refugees. Her duties as a goodwill ambassador include travelling the world to meet with and advocate for the protection of refugees on all continents.

“You go to these places and you realize what life's really about and what people are really going through,” she said after her first mission in 2001. “These people are my heroes."

Jolie, who insists on covering all the costs associated with her visits, believes everyone can make a difference.

So why, then, are celebrity ambassadors important? Do they really make a difference, or is it all about the media coverage?

“Negative stereotyping, hatred and violence can be fought by spreading awareness,” said Jolie in Have Your Say interview on the BBC last April.

“Fortunately I have seen concrete success. For example I was very vocal about a particular camp that was going to be closed, forcing many people back into danger,” she explained. “I fought with others and it was not closed. In other cases I have seen schools, homes and wells built that I funded.”

“But the most rewarding aspect are the letters I receive from young people from around the world who want to tell me they are joining the fight to help others, and that they will educate themselves and do what they can.”

“They give me more hope for our future.”


UNICEF Celebrity Ambassadors -

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors -


476 words


So what do you think?

The feedback I got was as follows:

Hey Naila,
thanks for your submission. Unfortunately, it's not
what we were hoping you would write about. The advice
we gave you was to steer away from
a "look at celebrity X and the great things
they're doing for the world" and instead go for
something like "celebrity X is the proud spokesperson
for Cause du Jour Y. Does it make a difference and is
X taking on Cause Y for the right reasons?".
We were looking for a critical text about celebrity
endorsements of social causes, but you didn't provide
any criticism or analysis in your article. It is
really one-sided, and for this reason we won't be able
to publish it in this week's issue.
We regret not informing you about this earlier, we are
three coordinating this issue, and we were sure that
one of us had e-mailed you about this already. We
would have liked to ask you to change your article and
add some meat to it, but now time is too short for us
to ask you for changes. We are still willing to post
your article onto our website, at
Let us know if you would like for this to be done.
Sorry once again for not informing you earlier, have a
good evening.

Here's my question. How the hell was I supposed to do that in less then 7 open business days, so with the limited information that's available online. It's not as if anyone did studies on celebrity ambassadors. Sure, I could have had an external/professional voice. If only there was one.

But there wasn't. So I thought it would be cool to see what the ambassadors thought the effect of their work was. And in that way, with that angle, my story was complete. In the 400-500 word limit too. It's my honest opinion.

But I want yours. So drop me a line, let me know what you think...

And for the record, I told them to post it. Stay tuned for a link... not that you need it ;)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Published? yey!

lol. Interesting title, in my opinion. For this entry, I mean.

Follow the link to see my Cecilia Anderson interview story. I co-wrote the head/subhead with the editor. We re-organized it together as well. And that last part, with the breakers, was actually a sidebar on a shaded box. My idea, again ;) And all the breakers were mine :P

It was so fun, that I am going to attempt to run for Sports editor. Because right now, I've promised 1 more article, on celebrity ambassadors etc. That's for cultural week, or something like that. And I need 1 more contribution after that to qualify as a staff writer, and to be able to run for editor. Sports editor, I mean.

I will also be applying to be a TA next year. Which would be most excellent. :D Because it's not too many hours. It's like, 10-12 hours. And as far as I know, it pays pretty well. By pretty well, I mean about 10$/h.

Also, tomorrow, I'm going to interview Enn Raudsepp, the program director. My story will focus on him as a journalism ethics professor, in regards to the CMAJ firings, and the CMA interfering in editorial decisions.

So I will be waking up relatively early for the fourth day in a row. Remember, I'm used to sleeping in on Wednesday and Thursday. Not gonna happen. Maybe I'll get to sleep in on Friday, especially since it'll be the first day since Ryan started school, that we actually get to interact for more than 10 minutes in the day. Actually, today, we've actually interacted for about 2 hours now. Well, not much interacted, but we're in the same room together, and not sleeping! :D


Friday, lunch with Ryan's mom and lil bro (Spring Break). Then, BORG NIGHT!!!! :D
With Maya, David, Katie, and Ryan, of course.

Speaking of Maya, she's so cool! We get all each other's random references. Such as "SPOON!" or "I AM A BANANA!!!" or "LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEROY JENNNNNKINGS".

And she likes the Trek ;) We're actually quite similar on some levels :) Which makes me happy. Because it means I'm not the only crazy one.

Ryan and I are going over to Maya's appartment for a curry supper on Thursday night. :D Yey! No cooking! :P

And now, I will leave you to do more important stuff. I mean, YOU will go do more important stuff. I'm going to be watching American Idol, because I don't have City TV. Which means I don't get to see the 2 hour America's Next Top Model show. At least Fashion Television will be getting it soon. Hopefully.

Thanks to all for reading, and stay tuned for more developpments ;)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Silver Swede

Well, it's done! Part 1, that is :P

You know, it didn't really sink in that I was interviewing a silver medalist. I mean, wow! That's huge! It's kinda like me interviewing Mike Ribeiro after his amazing training camp, when he was extremely in demand.

I got to touch Cecilia Anderson's medal. It was heavy, and it was real. It's one of those gratifying moments of being a sportswriter. Of being a journalist, actually. There is nothing more gratifying than sharing someone's joy, sadness, efforts... and telling the whole world about it. That's what I love about journalism.

I am totally a feature writer. LOL

I still have to write a news article (600 words) on Cecilia Anderson and Team Sweden's victory. It's half done because of my work for the feature. But then again, the feel and format has to be completely different.

Here's my finished feature, all 2000+ words of it. Ignore the last part. I needs to be filled in by the editor ;) There's also no headline as of yet. I'll post the final/published version as soon as it's out :P

Cecilia Anderson was back in town this week after a successful Olympic experience with Sweden’s women’s hockey team. The silver medallist took time out of her schedule packed with interviews and presentations to share her thoughts with The Link.

“To beat one of the top two teams,” exclaimed Anderson, “it’s awesome!”

Sweden surprised fans and critics alike with a shootout victory against Team USA, but Anderson knew all along that they would make it to the gold medal game.

“The funny thing was that I had a feeling a couple weeks before,” she said. “I was closing my eyes, and I just saw everyone skating out on the ice, so excited that we won the semi-finals. I had no idea who we were going to play against, but I knew we were going to win.”


Walking into the stadium for the opening ceremonies is when it truly hit her that she was at the Olympics. “It was like a rush going through my whole body,” said Anderson. “There were so many big things happening around us. First off, walking in was just amazing. Pavarotti singing was pretty big; it’s not everyday you get to see him singing live.”

Anderson almost missed one of the most celebrated traditions of the opening ceremonies, but she caught herself in time. “The Olympic flame was cool except that I was looking in the other direction, because of the way we were sitting. So I missed it when she lit the big flame, but I turned around and I saw it after,” she laughed.

Living in the Olympic village was also quite a thrill. Usually, she has a roommate, but as a goalie in such a crucial competition, she was privileged with her own room. The best part for Anderson was dining in the same restaurant as other athletes, sitting side by side with the front-page grazers. “The coolest part is that you see Mats Sundin, you see Martin Brodeur, but they’re here to play in the same tournament that you are”, marvelled Anderson. “It’s cool to see them, but at the same time they’re there with the same goal. They want to get an Olympic medal.”


To Anderson, the hockey games were just that – games. “The thing is, I wasn’t nervous at all. It was just fun. It just felt like another tournament,” said Anderson. “It’s just a hockey game. We know we’ve played against [these teams] before, we know we can play hockey, so lets just go out there and do it.”

Team Sweden had an average age of 22 years old, with two players being sixteen years old. In fact, only eight players had previous Olympic experience. “We were 20 rookies, in a sense. We were trying not to make it a big deal, so we wouldn’t get nervous. We wanted to play well, and if you’re nervous you might not play well,” she said.

During the shootout at the end of the semi-final game, 23-year-old Anderson became a silent leader on the bench as teammate Kim Martin faced the American shooters. “The people around me were so nervous,” she explained. “I had one girl whose legs were shaking and another was sitting on the floor. I think that since they were so nervous, I needed to be calm to calm them down.”

“I love penalty shots. I prefer to be in the net than on the bench, because then I can do something about it, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt so calm in my body, in my life, at all.”


“When you start, you focus more on yourself than on your teammates,” Anderson explained. “When you’re the backup, you have to focus on yourself, but at the same time, you have to focus on the other players because you’re going to push them, you’re going to help them, you’re going to see if there’s anything they need.”

As the starter against Italy, the host team, Anderson had to face a unique kind of pressure. “No one cheers for you, everyone is cheering for Italy!” described Anderson.

“It’s really cool to have played against the home nation,” she said.

“It was really exciting to finally get to play, and not just being a backup.”


Starting against Team Canada, one of the most talented women’s hockey teams in the world, came as a surprise to Anderson. “I was lying in bed with my Sudoku, as usual,” she giggled, “and the coach came in and knocked on the door and said, ‘You’re starting against Canada tomorrow in the Olympics.’”

“I wasn’t nervous, I was pretty excited,” she recalls. “I wanted to play as much as possible.”

“It was a game I really didn’t expect to start.”

When asked how she dealt with the pressure, Anderson replied, “One thing I have learned, something my goalie coach always tells me, ‘Don’t think, just play.’ So I just stand there and save the puck!”


“No matter what we do, people expect us to loose,” said Anderson.

CBC’s Geraldine Heany and Ron Maclean ripped Sweden apart for not starting their best goaltender in the game against Canada, claiming that they were not even attempting to bridge the gap between the two tiers. True, Sweden lost 8-1 with Anderson in nets. But thanks to a lot of training and a night of visualization, they rebounded against the Americans to reach the gold medal game.

Starting a few nights before the semi-finals, the coach started motivating the team. “[He told us] that you go home and close your eyes, and start seeing pictures in your head that you’re winning, we’re actually winning this game,” described Anderson. “We knew we could beat them.”

“When you set your mind to something, you can really do it. If there’s one percent of doubt in your head, it’s going to be hard to do it.”


The biggest game for Team Sweden was the first preliminary game against Russia. “We knew that if we beat them, we would pretty much have a spot in the semi-finals,” said Anderson. “That’s what we really wanted.”

Of course, the second biggest game, and the most surprising one of the tournament, was the semi-finals, because a victory would give them a chance to compete in the finals.

“It’s the semi-finals, but it’s just one game,” she stated. “Anything can happen, anyone can win. It’s only sixty minutes, and you have to perform those sixty minutes or you don’t win.”

“We can win a silver medal, but they can loose the gold medal,” replied Anderson when asked about her thoughts going into the finals. “So we have no pressure.”


Anderson believes that Sweden’s victory over the USA in the semi-finals changed the face of women’s hockey on the international scene. “It has always been Canada and the States. They’ve won everything, and been in all the finals.”

She hopes that Sweden’s silver medal will giver her sport a little more respect on the international scene.

“People have been saying that there’s only two teams in the world that can play hockey, and it’s Canada and the States,” described Anderson. “It’s good for women’s hockey to prove to other people that there’s more than two teams.”

Anderson believes there are many other good teams, like Russia and Finland.

“Finland was up 3-1 half way through their final game in the round robin,” she explained. “They’re a good team too, and they could have taken them, but they ran out of fuel in the last period.”

The difference between Sweden and those other teams was conditioning strengthening, and training. “We’ve been working really hard, so we were in good shape,” assured Anderson. “So we knew we could skate with Canada for sixty minutes. We could even play another game after!”

But training and conditioning isn’t everything. Anderson believes that teamwork is a key element to the success of any hockey team. “We had to believe it in our hearts,” she stated. “We play for each other and we don’t play for ourselves, that’s a big part too.”

“We’re willing to do anything for the team.”


To Anderson, being an Olympian means much more than being one of the best in the world in her sport. “Just to go [to the Olympics], you make a big sacrifice,” she explained. “But maybe to get the medal, you made more sacrifices than the team that ended up in seventh place.”

“In order to get the medal, you did something extra,” she assured. “There was something special that your team did that made you take that extra step.”

When asked to describe if there was anything that could surpass the feeling of being an Olympian with a medal, Anderson was at a loss for words. “I don’t know yet,” she said. “Not right now.”


“I’ve been through something pretty big, I just have to realize it myself,” said Anderson. “Everyone keeps telling me, but it still [hasn’t sunk in].”

Anderson attributes much of her success to her Stingers teammates and their support, especially during the last year. “They have a part of this medal too,” she assured. “I have it, but they helped me get it.”

“They have been practicing with me every day, they were shooting on me every day, they’ve been pushing me to get better,” she explains. “They’re my best friends here. It’s like my big family at Concordia.”

Stingers coach Les Lawton also played a big role, and although she did not get to confer with him during the Olympics, Anderson feels that she owes him a lot. “He’s really excited for me and proud [of me],” she said. “He’s been helping me a lot too. He’s an awesome coach, and if he wasn’t coaching me, I wouldn’t be here either.”

“There are so many people that have been a huge part of this.”


“It doesn’t matter than no one believes in us,” said Anderson. “It’s enough that the 20 people that are getting dressed and going out on the ice believe in each other and believe in [themselves].”

“When we play against Canada and the States, we always think to ourselves that we have everything to win and nothing to loose,” explained Anderson. “The only pressure we have is from ourselves.”

In the game against Canada, the Swedes were down 7-1 after the second period, and Anderson knew that they were not going to win. But that doesn’t mean that the team gave up. “We’re not going to make it easy for them,” she said. “We’re going to keep competing.”


Anderson’s parents were at the Olympic games, and were extremely proud of their daughter’s accomplishments. “When I lived in Sweden, we lived out near the water, far away from everything,” recalls the Väddö native. “So they had to drive me late at night, it cost lots of money and the gas wasn’t cheap.”

“They said, ‘I can’t believe all those hours we spent on those small roads… It’s so worth it! I can’t believe we’re sitting here at the Olympics, and when you were seven, we used to drive you to rinks everywhere.”


Once she finishes showing it off, Cecilia Anderson plans to keep her medal in a safety deposit box, away from thieves and prying hands. She will also be putting hockey aside for a while. She plans to visit her sister in Singapore and work there during the summer as a travel researcher. “I’m very interested in tourism,” said the Leisure Sciences major.

“For the last couple of years, everything in my head has been about the Olympics,” explained Anderson. “That’s all I’ve had. Now I need to make all these big decisions about what I’m going to do. I pushed it aside, and now I have to deal with it.”


Even if she treats Olympic games like any other tournament, Anderson knows that she had a rare opportunity to participate in a celebrated international competition. “It’s the Olympics, it happens every fourth year,” she justified. “This might have been my only chance, and I will take any chance I get.”

Take it from Anderson, all her sacrifices were very well worth it.

“I have the medal now. It’s going to be with me for the rest of my life. No one can take that away from me.”

Catch Cecilia Anderson and the rest of the Concordia Stingers in an exhibition game against the men’s football team at ***Call C. Grace for more info *** on Tuesday ***night/afternoon/morning. ***


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Quick Recap/Follow-up

Well, for those keep track of these things, I got a C+ on my mini doc. But don't worry (why would you, it's my grade?), C+ was the most common grade for this assignment. The highest mark was a B, the lowest were fails...

Apparently, in our department, a C is not a bad grade. It means that the work was/is acceptable, satisfactory, but not extraordinary in any way. In other words, if it had to air, it could. But probably wouldn't.

I'm still looking for a job, and for any summer opportunities. If anyone hears anything, and I mean anything (as long as it pays $10/h +++) then I'm in!

Today, I handed in my 316 (Print Law and Ethics) assignments. That's the midterm (law final) and the first assignment for Enn's part. I'm proud of myself for finishing them early. The deadline is on Thursday, at 4:30, and there is no class that day. Which means that I have no more school for the week!! :)

However, I do have a busy schedule, even if there's no "work" shifts. Tomorrow at 4, I'm meeting with Francesca (haven't seen her since the first week of school!!!) for drinks/coffee. Thursday morning, I'm interviewing Cecilia Anderson again, for a follow up on the Olympics. That might end up being my radio assignment AND my 201 meeting 2 assignment, on top of being an article for the Link. Excellent. I like bylines :)

I did a few tentative schedules, and I will take 5 classes each of the next 2 semesters (not including Summer). This means that I will have 1 class left, a full-year course, advanced television, to graduate with a Specialization in Journalism. I will also have 1 general ed class left, but I want to get rid of that in the summer semester.

This is assuming that my RELI 310 credit can be transfered to RELIZ 310 (the general ed course). Otherwise, I have 2 more general ed classes to go. Still. It would completely suck, and I say suck, to have 1 class left. Sure, I could take it part-time. That means lots of time for work. Except that people don't hire you without a bachelors, and there are not many places to work in the media in Montreal. At least not in what I want to do.

If I don't get a major internship next year, say, for the Gazette, or another major publication, I don't know if I will make it. I will also be applying to radio and TV internships, but I don't know if I'm good enough for them ;) Sure, the camera loves me, but hey... that's not all there is ;)

I could also take additional classes, in journalism, and maybe in communications or something else, but then I have to think of tuition fees. The best option, I think, would be to get a REAL job with 1 class left. I will be meeting with Enn sometime next week to get details on my options.

Also, I have been struggling with finding newsy topics for my classes. I feel a little lethargic and lazy, and I've got to say, I'm more than slightly stressed about, well, everything these days.

Ryan (my bf) will be starting at CDI next week In addition to working full-time, he will be studying full time. That means less income, which means I really need a good job. It also means a lot less time spent together, well, a lot less time in general. Which means that cleaning etc is going to be tough. This also means a lot more stress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ha! You know what always amuses me? funny commercials. No matter what they are. And when I see them, it puts me in a good mood, no matter what. And I have to sing the songs.
Some commercials remind me of Spencer, Ryan's lil bro, because we both sing songs ;)
For example, I still remember, when I first met him... One of the first car rides, his dad put the song "Hot Blooded" on. And Spencer was shy, but then started air-guitaring it, and singing it.
And since then, "Hot Blooded" makes me think of him. And I sing it in a childish way too. And it's in that Pepsi commercial.


I'm flipping between the hockey game and American Idol, and it's absolutely amazing, stunning, incredible...

Technology, that is. I can't wait for TiVo to really come to Canada. There are so many times when I want to watch more than 1 thing at a time, but I can't record and watch two different things. For example, yesterday, I wanted to watch the Apprentice, 24, CSI:Miami and Project Runway.
Here's where it gets complicated. 24 and the Apprentice are on at 9. 24 is also on at 10, with CSI:Miami and Project Runway. Which means I have to choose 2 out of 4. So we watched 24, then CSI:Miami.

Today, I want to watch the hockey game, but I also want to see who messes up on American Idol. Call me a junkie, but hey... My interests are so broad, I have to watch about a billion shows to satisfy all my cravings.

The other technological advance that I find exceptional, well, I just found out about it. If you look closely at the boards in the Nassau Memorial Coliseum in the Habs vs. NYI game, at both ends of the ice.... that's right! Those are animated billboards. Like a mini jumbotron (a tron?), on the boards... What happens if someone gets checked into it? Do the pixels die?

And isn't it truly amazing what technology has accomplished in this day and age? (cliche, I know... MUST avoid CATS)

But seriously. Im a gadget freak. And that's a great gadget.

/me signs off

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cecilia Anderson

Here's my article about Cecilia Anderson, now silver medalist at the 2006 Olympic Games, as I wrote it before the games started. Then, click the link to see the published version (pun intended) ;) Although I bet no one got it :P

Lemme me know what you think about the changes. I mean, I over-wrote so it needed to be edited for length, which is fine. And there were a lot of dull quotes. But I feel like some substance and rhythm were lost. So I seek your opinion.


Stingers Goalie Goes for Gold
Women’s hockey star attributes success to Concordia

Cecilia Anderson. Does the name ring a bell?

You might have seen this Concordia student on CTV or Global practicing with the rest of the Stingers women’s hockey team. Why, you might ask, was Anderson getting national media coverage?

Here’s a hint. She plays on more than just one team.

Anderson joined Team Sweden in January for training in view of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. “Well I had to take this winter semester off, so that's a big change from what I'm used to,” said Anderson in an e-mail interview.

In fact, Team Sweden travelled to Italy two weeks ago, leaving plenty of time to get over jet lag, and just enough time for some extra training, sightseeing and an interview.

Anderson, who is in her third year in Leisure Sciences, is more than thrilled about this Olympic experience, since she is interested in studying Tourism.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “We are finally here, and I can’t wait for everything to start!”

With hockey on her mind since the age of seven, and three previous international experiences under her suspenders, including a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships, it’s no wonder Anderson is not nervous.

“I’m confident about me and my team. It’s a huge honour to represent my country in such a big event as this.”

A Sting-ing Passion

Anderson, whose childhood idol was fellow Swede and successful NHL goalie Tommy Salo, now tries to take the best out of everyone, including Stingers’ coach Les Lawton. She attributes much of her success and development as a player to Lawton and her time with Concordia.

“Making the Olympics without Les and Concordia would have been really hard for me,” she explains. “I have been practicing everyday with the women's team but this year I have also been practicing with the men's team at Concordia.”

The passion for the game is what keeps Anderson going, helping her juggle hockey and school.

“Other than [Concordia training], I have a work-out program with the national team, so I have been practicing two to three times daily,” stated Anderson.

“You have to manage your time very well,” she commented. “The biggest difference is that with the national team we always practice in the morning of a game, but at the same time all of our games are at night. With Concordia they are usually in the afternoon so we don't have time to practice.”

Despite her rigorous training program, Anderson has thoughts about life after the Olympics. “I’m going to visit my sister in Singapore.”

A winning team

But lets not get ahead of ourselves here! How was life before the Olympics?

“Well, it has not been easy this last year. [It’s] a big change from what I’m used to,” she added.

Anderson is up to the task and draws inspiration from those around her. “My dad has always said to me: You can’t expect people to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself!”

Her friends were really happy for her when she made the team. “Everyone has been very supportive,” she said. “My current teammates and past teammates are really excited for me, they are a big part of this.”

“If they weren't shooting at me in practice and challenging me to be better, I wouldn't be here today.”

And practice she did, since Anderson believes players need ice time to develop. “I get more ice time at Concordia, so it has been really good for my development to play at Concordia with a lot of ice time and a lot of shots,” she explained. “With the National Team, I get to play with and against the best players in the world which is a big challenge.”

Another challenge, for athletes and for the rest of the population, is staying on top of things. “My family has been amazing. This past year, I have been very busy and they have made sure that I could focus only on practicing and staying healthy, and I didn't have to worry about anything else.”

What’s to come?

“I always say to myself: Don’t make things complicated that aren’t complicated!”

This motto has led Anderson throughout her career. Several Concordia moments make the Väddö native’s highlights reel, which is far from finished.
Her most memorable moment with Concordia was last year’s playoffs. “It was great to win, we worked really hard to get that Championship.”

“With Sweden,” said the rising star, “so far it is the Bronze medal last year at the Worlds, but after the Olympics, I think that might change.”

Cecilia Anderson has come a long way from filling the gap between the pipes when the two goalies on the boys’ team she was playing on were out sick. With a strong support system, a great home team, and excellent techniques, Anderson will fuel her passion with determination and ambition. Take her hopes for Team Sweden, for example.

“We are going for a medal,” she said. “But we have to take one game at a time. We start with Russia Feb 11th and after that we'll go from there.”