Monday, 31 May 2010
Beyond the fun filter through which she delivers the day-to-day events on the Hill, I get to see how it works on the Hill, kind of. I am a student, and though I’m from Ottawa and took class trips to see that Parliament buildings as well as the classic tests on basic Canadian parliamentary processes (a la “How Does A Bill Become A Law?”), I don’t really know how it works. O’Malley, through her observations, as well as her extensive knowledge of the basic and less-than-basic parliamentary processes, shows to any Canadian who wants, how things work, in a nuts and bolts way.
As an aspiring journalist, I also enjoy reading when her coverage interacts with journalists on the Hill, such as at press conferences, scrums, etc. Not only do I get to see which journalists I read ask what, but I also learn from following the kinds of questions asked, how interactions with MPs and ministers work, etc. It certainly doesn’t substitute hands-on (or on-Hill) experience, but I find it valuable nonetheless.
Today is Quit Facebook Day, a day to encourage people to join the two Torontonians who started it to sever all Facebook ties. I wonder if anyone I know will drop off the face of the ‘book. Facebook has been getting a lot of flak about privacy controls, especially here in Canada, so the movement is topical. Milan recently removed any info from Facebook that he thought could be easily collected by bots (interesting idea, read it here).
I have three thoughts about this. One, I like Facebook. I like how easy it is to share and connect and organise. These are things that enrich my life, and Facebook is my chosen tool. Could I do this other ways? Probably. But this is the way I use.
Two, I know very little about what my privacy settings are right now, which probably means they’re low. And I should look into that. I know Facebook and its creator are not my buddy*, and I can’t trust them to have my best interests at heart, because they don’t. Only I do, and I need to be in charge of that.
Three, Facebook isn’t going anywhere, at least not yet. The next thing will inevitably come along, but for now, it’s a tool that anyone who works in anything communications-related needs to learn and use, along with Twitter and oh yeah, email.
Besides, isn’t quitting Facebook the new, cool, hipster thing to do, with new sites like Diaspora** popping up?
*Yikes, the Facebook story movie Social Media doesn’t exactly look complimentary to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, does it? Aaron Sorkin-written, which means I will have to see it.
** "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network."
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Last night was Michael’s memorial service, and it was beautiful. His favourite music was played, memories were shared, and everyone hummed and sang one of his favourite songs. Some of Michael’s friends got to say a few words, which made everyone cry, and laugh. The laughing was good.
His family really wanted a focus on Michael’s friends, as his dad said in his eulogy, because for a 19 year old, often you’re closer to your friends than your family. And did we ever turn out in force; all sorts of people reconnecting for the first time in a while. It would have been better if the reunion had a happier reason, but no one else could have brought us back together like that.
Throughout the service, I was very focused on Michael's dad. He tried very hard to stay upbeat, to celebrate Michael’s life, nodding his head along to the music and positively grinning as he encouraged Michael’s close friends, shooting them thumbs up after they spoke. He showed how much he appreciated it. It really got to me when I saw him jamming along to the end of a song, pulling on his blazer to stand for the eulogy. To say goodbye. I couldn’t even imagine the incredible pain he was in, but he smiled as he prepared himself. It was incredible. It was what Michael would have wanted. After he finished, he gave over to the sobs, but we all had our moments, and I think Michael would have understood that too.
The best part was the reception after the service. Almost all the friends and family gathered at their house, sharing food and drink and celebrating his life. There were lovely moments, of quiet music being played, and an army of candles planted in the back garden.
I got home at midnight, hours later than expected, but feeling full. Full of joy and sadness, love and companionship. I still can’t believe this really happened, that he’s really gone. I think that part will take a bit more time.
Monday, 17 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
This week has been my first at my summer job. Mostly I’ve been filling out security forms and reading piles of things to try to understand where I work, exactly. One of the branches of the agency I work at has the same name as the agency itself. This causes confusion, for obvious reasons.
Things will slow down slightly around here after our “team-building day” on Thursday (all preparations for said day are TOP SECRET. I cannot confirm or deny if I spent half an hour today attaching foam stars to lanyards. Some people take this verrrry seriously). Hopefully at that point my boss and coworker will have time to go over my work plan and, you know, give me projects to do. The snippets of conversation I’ve had with them so far sound promising. I think I will get a fair bit of autonomy (as much as you can get working for a government agency), and I’ll be doing some fun story writing for the website.
A sort of side-project I have going on is working with my mom to teach her to blog and use Twitter. I’m not kidding. She works in communications at a doctors’ organisation, and runs a website and public forums, etc, and so she got her website a Twitter account. Which she doesn’t ever use. One day I suggested to her a couple ideas I had for her Twitter, and the next thing I know, I’m writing blog and Twitter strategies and sitting at a public forum, livetweeting about menopause. I don’t know if I’m going to get paid for this, but even if I don’t, it’s good experience, I guess. One of these nights I’m going to teach my mom to actually use Twitter. She has an iPhone, I feel like she should have just figured it out on her own by now…
At least so far this week I don’t hate my new job, Davis is home from Halifax and I’m seeing her tonight (we’re going to a bar! For drinks! And to watch improv! God, I love being 19) I have two other nights this week with firm plans to catch up with friends, and I remembered my work pass 2/2 days. Am I talented or what.
Also, send some positive thoughts Stella’s way as she tries to recover her voice for her show tonight. Good luck, Stella!