An old post, revisited. Dear me.

This is a post I wrote a year back on bullying and its effects. Someone mentioned it to me today, and I thought its message was timeless, and I personally needed a refresher on the material.

If I could give my 15-year-old self some advice?

I’ve thought about this question more than a few times. The most obvious answers are ones like “easy on the eyeliner,” or “trust me, you won’t even care about this guy by graduation.”

Today, I figured out my answer. If I could tell my 15-year-old self one thing, I’d tell her to grow a set.

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Photography: a lot to learn, a lot to love

Last year I tried and tried, to no avail, to be enrolled in the “Introduction to Photojournalism” course that is offered at Ryerson University.

I’ve always felt a connection to photography, and though I consider myself the very definition of an amateur, that does not matter once you’re looking through the viewfinder and trying to freeze those one-second glimpses into the spontaneity and beauty of life.

A year later, I’m finally in, and our first assignment was to capture the recent weather here in Toronto. Winter finally decided to make an appearance mid-way through January with a quick blanket of snow.

That was all- no special instructions, so it could be interpreted in any way that your heart desired. What did I end up with? Frozen fingers, a demolished Starbucks latte and about four pictures out of 300 that I could hand in.

But believe me, even with all my moaning and caffeine shakes, its all worth it to get those few shots that made you feel like you captured a moment in history. Anyone with that creative urge will agree. It does not have to be photography… just the creation of anything that inspires a certain thought, feeling or emotion in simply one person.

And then you have done your job.

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Words from the man

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Stunning Sedona sunset

Stunning Sedona sunset

Caught this image at 6,000 feet in elevation. Natural beauty at its best.

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January 1, 2012 · 8:02 pm

2012: a fresh start?

I have a love-hate relationship with today. As I peruse through everyone’s uplifting, inspirational comments on the new year, sometimes all I can think is, “well, it’s just one day further than yesterday”.

The thing that really gets me is a New Years resolution. Why, must we wait until this hallowed day, this ethereal existence in time and space, to decide to “be nicer,” to “be healthier,” or to “pay our visa bills on time”?

Stephen Shapiro’s website published an interesting article in 2008 that says only eight per cent of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions. This is where I struggle to make a conscious decision whether to join the inspired masses this time of year at all.

But, the more open-minded side of me is already battling the first half of this commentary. If eight per cent of people can ALWAYS achieve their New Years resolutions, how many are SOMETIMES achieving their goals? I am willing to bet a lot more than eight. And it has been proven, in health articles and journals, that setting goals will determine a much higher success rate in life.

There are a lot of things I would change about myself. And perhaps I should embrace the unlimited moral support that only comes around at the beginning of a new year.

So, I suppose this has been a categorically neutral post. Maybe my resolution should be to simply make one.

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Christmas love: almost as good as Christmas cookies.

My six weeks relatively alone in Vancouver really highlighted my passion for photography.

Hence, a sleepless night yesterday editing some of these pictures. Tea and Photoshop make a lethal combination. Here are some pictures a couple days before Christmas of Mel Kozun and Colton Warren. And how fitting: their anniversary is Christmas day (cue “aw”).

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Spotlight on

Spotlight's on

Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make you smile.

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December 28, 2011 · 8:35 am

Christmas unwrapped

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Experimenting with the iPad and monitoring the tree with my loyal friend. Multitasking at its finest.

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DIY Newsprint Manicure

I’ll admit whole-heartedly to being a Christmas fanatic. While some would rather cut off their ear, Van Gogh style, than hear another rendition of Jingle Bells, I eagerly await the first appropriate day I can blast the holiday tunes.

I also love shopping for people’s Christmas presents. I write cards for hours, attempt to personalize each gift and essentially bankrupt myself just in time for the new semester.

This Christmas is different than most, though. This is the first Christmas that I can barely afford to venture to the mall, let alone indulge in the guilty Christmas pleasures that I normally do. In hindsight, paying for a manicure (no matter how lovely it is), is something I can easily strike off my to-do list.

So, in the spirit of saving some money over the holidays, I decided to try a fitting manicure for an aspiring journalist (and anyone, really) that a friend and I came across while ogling crafts online.

What you need: Light nail polish, Newspaper, Rubbing Alcohol, Top Coat

STEP 1: Prepare your nails for the polish. File them to the length you desire, and clean them of any remaining polish.

STEP 2: Apply a light or neutral colour to your nails. I applied three coats.

STEP 3: Cut out 10 pieces from a newspaper. Dip each nail in a bowl of rubbing alcohol, and press each square of paper to the nail.

STEP 4: Slowly remove the newspaper after about 5-10 seconds. The lettering will now be on your nails.

STEP 5: Apply a top coat to finish off your new newsy manicure!

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A good laugh makes any interview, or any conversation, so much better.

– Barbara Walters

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