Monthly Archives: April 2017

Finding My Stride and Those Who Helped Get Me There

When I first moved to Vancouver, Google Maps was my best friend.

I mean this in multiple senses of the word because: A) The city confused the hell out of me and B) I didn’t really know anyone.

Having the ability to hop in my car and drive away from my eight-by-ten, concrete walled jail cell of a residence room, was a bit of solace in a very lonely first six months. I filled my tiny mini-fridge with fresh fruit and pre-prepared food to avoid the lonely slog to the dining hall and tried to cover the cold concrete with happy photos but never actually felt at home. When I left campus, I racked up a data bill like no other, using Google Maps as a vice to counter the panic I used to feel turning down the wrong road in this city. It was a time filled with a lot of introspection, hesitant perseverance and more than a few bathroom cries.

Now I find myself almost two years later, reflecting on how much things have changed since then and I want to reach back in time, give nineteen-year-old Noelle a little squeeze on the shoulder and tell her:

“Just you wait and see how good it’s gonna get.”

~

Community.

When I was a fresh newcomer to this city and this life, I was so determined that I would find my people almost immediately. I scrambled to find the type of interactions usually tied to the tales of those moving to new places but things felt forced, uncomfortable and just genuinely didn’t fit.

I will always be so thankful to the little voice in the back of my mind that told me to line up for puppy therapy ~by myself~ two months into my semester, because otherwise my life would be missing the massive, sparkly puzzle pieces that are my university girlfriends, the first friends I made that semester and the ones who have made my life infinitely brighter. I owe everything to the girls who saw something in me that day and continue to help me grow into the person I want to be.

~

In January of this year, I had made a deal with myself that I wasn’t going to make resolutions, because to me it seems to have become a practice stuffed with empty promises and inevitable letdowns. I did however, allow myself to jot down a few attainable goals and aspirations I could slowly chip away at during the new year, ideas that I felt would help fill some of the gaps I was still seeing in my Vancouver life, a year and a half in.

“Find a community, find your tribe”

Focusing on healing from my injury kept me away from my rugby team and although I would always be able to rely on my close girlfriends, I missed the feeling that came with having a big group where I just fit. Allowing myself to try different activities and branch out into several different communities put me on the right path towards discovering that new tribe, but a lot of the time I still didn’t feel like much was sticking. I was seeking a tribe based around a multitude of single interests and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I found what I was really bound to latch onto, was a group of individuals interwoven, but way too extraordinary to simply place into a single category.

And I want to take a moment to express a little gratitude for those who burst into my life all at once.

The ones I met on St. Patrick’s day at a party where I felt instantly comfortable, although stone-cold sober. The following weeks of considerable banter, group bedroom chats at house parties, sunset beers and 2am gastown stumblings have allowed me to believe that sometimes the best things don’t necessarily require time, just memories and a dry sense of humour.

The ones who helped me rediscover my love of skiing, who didn’t care that I was a little rusty and watched me fall on my face off jumps and rails. Thank you for pushing me to be a little bolder, reinforcing friendships, and sharing chairlifts and beers with me.

The ones I met when we were all dressed in gold and bedsheets, the ones who made my birthday an incredibly blurry series of belly laughs I wish I could remember more of. Skipping past the small talk and straight into the drunk swapping of sexual war stories is the shit I live for.

To the one who hit the road with me, who dealt with three days of damp clothes and snoring bunkmates and hurricane-force winds. Sharing beach burritos and bottles of wine all the while figuring out just how many parts of ourselves overlapped, was an absolutely perfect start to summer and I wouldn’t have changed a single moment of it.

Finally, the one who made my last week in town one I had been waiting on for a long time, who made me feel comfortable and happy and a lot less pleased to go. You made a difficult day exciting and put an easy smile on my face much quicker than I had expected. You’ve made me feel like my leaving isn’t abandoning, but maybe instead just incentive to come back sooner.

~

It wasn’t until this week that it hit me just how much everything around me had shifted in such a short period of time. Things finally felt as if they were coming together, like I had spent months building off good habits and following my gut – therefore discovering a path that felt right. School had wrapped itself up nicely and allowing myself to feel proud of the work I put in felt like a good reward in the end. I spent the week prior beaming about nabbing the job I’ve been waiting for for years, running off the high of what is to come in the following months.

The overwhelming rush of gratitude hadn’t truly hit me until yesterday when I looked at the people around me and realized just how amazing things have become, thanks to those who ran full force into my life all at once.

A day buzzed off of caffeine and sangria, soaking up the sun on long walks and ugly-laughing over popsicles.

A day waking up and going to bed with the same smile on my face from the day before.

A day that told me the difference between those who say “congrats” and those who say “I’m so incredibly proud of you” when I talk about my new job – reminding me that these are the ones who believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.

A day that showed me how Calgary is my hometown but Vancouver is now my home.

~

I have my favourite places in the city, I have my handful of good coffee shops where the baristas know my name and I no longer have to use Google Maps when I drive.

But honestly, none of it would matter if I wasn’t able to spend my time with the people in this city who have built me. I’m grateful for days so filled with happiness and confidence in where I’m headed.

Although driving back to my hometown leaves my heart a little heavy knowing the next couple months will look a lot different than the last, I count myself lucky to have enough light in my life to feel blue about putting those parts on hold for a bit.

Forever thankful for people who jump into our lives head first and are more than happy to stick around for a while.

Essay #1 The Shock Waves of False News

The Shock Waves of False News

A few years ago I was sitting in a café with an old friend casually chatting and catching up on each other’s lives. This friend of mine brought up a recent article she had read online about an actor. She exclaimed that Macaulay Culkin had passed away. My brows furrowed as I shook my head in disbelief. I pulled out my phone and searched the whereabouts of the actor. He was alive and well. That was the first time I had witnessed an individual being tricked by false news right before my eyes. False news can have several negative impacts however it can also have positive ones by proving to be a savvy method to garner attention.

False news has become a growing issue that has escalated with the introduction of the World Wide Web. Information can be spread at lighting speed with a simple click. Once false news has spread across the globe one must undo the tangled web of misinformation and spread the correct news which unfortunately may not reach everyone. People may remain in the dark about many issues. One can investigate such a case found in China where model claims that the internet ruined her career.

Heidi Yeh was told that she would be modeling for a company whose advertisement would only appear in a newspaper. The advertisement featured a family of five posing for a family portrait. The advertisement was for a plastic surgery clinic and it was captioned “the only thing you’ll have to worry about is how to explain it to the kids”. The model states that the children’s faces have been photoshopped. People began to spread the fake story that the man playing the husband in the advertisement found out that his wife had gotten plastic surgery which explains why the kids do not look like them. Heidi Yeh did not foresee herself becoming an internet meme when taking on the job. The advertisement extended to every corner of the internet as people from all over the world began discussing the model claiming she had modified her features. Heidi’s modeling career took a dive as many began to doubt her. She was then only offered small modelling jobs. Heidi Yeh’s case is an unfortunate event; a freighting realization of the consequences of false news. False news has the power to tarnish an image and cause someone’s career to be negatively affected.

Social media platforms as sources of news can have severe negative effects. Fox news tweet about framing the Toronto mosque massacre on an innocent Moroccan Muslim man caused an outburst of racism and self-righteous attitudes from trump supporters claiming “I told you so”. These unfortunate situations lead to witch hunting innocent people. Thousands of North Americans use social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter, and Instagram as a source of news, this can prove to be a negative thing because it allows easy access for the spread of false news.

An infamous involving the spread of false news over social media is the controversy surrounding Hugh Mungus. Rudy Pantoja was being interviewed by a news station until he ran into Zarna Joshi, who happened to be protesting against the police during the time. Joshi approached Pantoja and asked his name. Pantoja responded in a playful manner claiming his name was Hugh Mungus. What was meant to be a simple joke quickly spiraled out of control as Joshi began accusing Pantoja of sexually harassing her. The taped altercation was uploaded by Joshi and a witch hunt began. Pantoja was attacked online, thousands began labelling Pantoja as a misogynist. As the misunderstanding continued to brew Pantoja put a stop to it through an interview. In the interview he explained that calling himself Hugh Mungus was a joke he had made about his weight. Pantoja further explained that he was thanking the police for getting his heroin addicting daughter off the streets. While clearing his name during the interview he asked the audience to donate to a charity called Hope Soldiers that supports women with substance use/and or mental health disorders. Fortunately, in this case justice quickly prevailed. The accusations against Rudy Pantoja were quelled and he gained many supporters.

The team who is known to use false news to their advantage are The Yes Men; a clever duo that work together to dupe greedy corporations exposing their criminal acts against humanity. In the documentary ‘The Yes Men Fix the World’, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno impersonate top officials from DOW Chemicals and they land themselves a live interview with BBC news. Bichlbaum states on live television that DOW chemicals will clean up India’s toxic Bhopal plant and compensate the victims of the disaster. DOW’s stock quickly declined and they issued a statement explaining that it was false news that they had been impersonated. This tactic shed light on shameful and inhumane acts of big corporations.

The world should question news however this is a problem because the public should not have to be in a constant state of distrust. False news is malicious and it can cause the real news to be ridiculed. In order to expose fake news one should always make sure to check the source. It is also good to check which news site has posted the news because it may be from an unknown news source with zero credibility. If fake news is being spread about a case one should wait until investigations have been made into an allegation. One should also wait for the full story to be officially released to the public before formulating a complete opinion to share on the web. With these steps you can help minimize the circulation of false news.

References

Brennan, S. (2015, November 11). Model who was ridiculed online after starring in a plastic surgery advert that was turned into a ‘cruel’ meme is SUING after claiming it ruined her life. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3312405/Model-s-life-ruined-image-turned-internet-meme.html

HBO. (2009). The Yes Men Fix the World. Retrieved from http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/the-yes-men-fix-the-world/synopsis.html

Smith, D. (2016, November 12). Hugh Mungus Social Justice Warrior Fail Nets Man $140,000. Retrieved from https://jonathanturley.org/2016/11/12/hugh-mungus-social-justice-warrior-fail-nets-man-140000/

Zimonjin, P. (207, January 31). Incorrect Fox News tweet on Quebec City mosque attack earns scorn of PMO. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/kate-purchase-bill-shine-1.3960772

Process Post #4

Based on the peer review you received, make some changes to at least one design element on your site. Write about how you made that change.

I have taken the peer review into account and decided to change the theme of my blog and the header image. I also tried to change my website name since it is seen as plain. I changed it into Vanews and I ended up losing my blog for a solid 15 minutes. The domain name Vanews is unfortunately occupied. Every link on my blog would direct me to the Vanews site. So I had to message tech support to get my blog back. That was an extremely stress inducing 15 minutes. Another design element I changed was the font. Font isn’t something that is of great importance to me. The default font looked fine but others seemed to think otherwise so I have changed it using a plug-in. I changed the category names by dropping the “of the week” part. I did think because I realized that I could not keep up with weekly blog posts. Lastly, I have added a contact link which is my twitter account.

Process Post #2

 

Implement some of the design decisions you make during tutorial; prepare for next week’s peer review. Revisit your About copy, Profile copy, Descriptions, etc. Document and reflect on this work.

The design decisions for my blog came from wanting to keep it simple yet original. I made sure to carefully categorize certain parts of my blog in order to keep it organized. I also did this for my audience who may want to visit my blog because they are interested in a specific category. I want parts of my blog to remain original in the sense that I want to make sure my content is the core of the blog. That is particularly why I have the category photography. This is a unique part of the blog because it is individual experiences of special places. Another original aspect is the cover photo which is a photograph of Vancouver. I chose this picture because it gives a homey kind of feeling yet it is modern at the same time. It is known and unknown. The aspect of a city if known, the architecture of a city if familiar to many yet it may be unique because not all the visitors may be from Vancouver. As part of the design I chose the colour blue for titles and names on the blog to match the vibe of the blog. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are all websites that chose the colour blue for their logos. Blue is a colour with several messages attached to it. It gives a calming serene feeling, peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly. It is seen as a sign of stability, reliability, inspiration, and sincerity. Blue is the colour of sky, ocean, and sleep. Blue brings both inspiration and sadness. Many people adore blue because it is the colour of the ocean and the sky.

Update On My Mood Tracking

Tracking my mood was something I was all for since I thought it would be nice to look back and recall the times in my life that I was happy, sad, tired, etc.
I found that I was no good at tracking my mood at all... My patience only lasted for 3 months and even then, it wasn't a consistent habit of mine to log my mood in. Not even downloading the app for me to have an easy access to Mood Panda worked.
Although tracking my mood didn't last very long, I noticed a consistent theme that was playing during my mood logs. During those times that I actually logged something for me to track, I was either really happy or really sad. There were a few times that I had logged myself in a neutral state but majority of the time, I just remembered to put something down the tracker during the times I have emotional highs and lows.
I was glad to see that even though I usually only logged extreme highs and lows, I was still a happy person in general... Or at least for the 3 months that I had inconsistently tracked my mood. I wonder about the times I felt ok. I think that because nothing extreme is going on, I saw no importance on logging how I feel because I was only ok. Looking at the graph, it almost feels like I seem to be quite bipolar when in fact, there are just too many gaps from inconsistent mood tracking and my apparent tendency to ignore the times I was feeling neutral because I was only fine.
Maybe one day I'll actually consider tracking my mood again once I've made an absolute resolution to be as consistent as possible. At least for a set period of time, assuming I've made a goal I want to reach using this mood tracker. For now, let's all call this mood tracking project a not-s0-successful attempt.

Lazy cat

Process Post

Create a story out of media only: a sequence of images, an audio production, a video production. Avoid using text if you can.

 

Everywhere is Anywhere is Anything is Everything

Douglas Coupland = Genius

Since it’s Thursday, #throwback to Douglas Coupland‘s art exhibition at VAG back in 2014. This exhibition is in my top 5. Let’s reminisce, shall we? Let’s ponder over this Vancourite’s phenomenal work.

PS. If you have not read his first book Generation X, I highly recommend that you do.

Thoughts? questions? What are your favourite pieces from the exhibition? Or favourite book written by him? I want to know, please post below in the comments section!

Coffee House like Central Perk

         

The semester is almost done, but most of us are still dealing with our final exams. Even though I like studying at home usually, I was looking for some other cozy place to study at. I was checking the best cafes in downtown Vancouver, and I ran into a cafe called The Buzz Cafe and Espresso Bar. The cafe is located inside Vancouver’s oldest retail art gallery called Harrison Galleries. This specific attribute immediately caught my attention and I went there.

The cafe has two floors, full of nice paintings. It has some big tables and big couches which reminded me of Central Perk! If I haven’t mentioned before, I am a huge Friends fan. So, anything that reminds me of Friends makes me happy 🙂

 

  

It is a great place for group studying as well, it you can get one of the big tables. Other than that, it is a perfect place to chill out, study, or hang out with your friends, just like Central Perk! In the meantime, you can take a look at the gallery as well.

When it comes to food, they have breakfast options. Also, they have sandwiches, wraps, paninis, soups, muffins and croissants. They have gluten free options as well. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried any of them because I was not hungry. But I am thinking of getting Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese Panini next time!

While I was trying to focus on my readings, I drank a Maple Pumpkin latte which was very tasty. The Buzz Cafe has a quite range of different lattes, mochas and hot chocolates.

If you do not feel like study at home or at the library, you can definitely check this place out. I think a good coffee and the cozy homey atmosphere might help you focus on your readings.

 

You can take a look at the The Buzz Cafe here: http://thebuzzcafe.net

 

 

Barcelona, Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Whenever I ask someone about the places that they would like to visit in Europe, Barcelona is usually the first of the second answer. Luckily, I had the chance to explore this beautiful and unique city.

Me and my friends, we have found the place to stay from AirBnb. We stayed at a beautiful old-fashioned Spanish style apartment which was near La Rambla, which is the largest main street in  Barcelona.

There are tons of things to see and to do in Barcelona, so I would suggest you to have at least 5 days in Barcelona in order to fully explore it. One of my favourite spots in Barcelona was Parc Guell. It is a public park located on Carmel Hill. This park has been designed by the famous architect Gaudi, who is considered to be the architect of the whole city due to his unique style. Although Park Guell is far away from the city center, it is very easy to go to the park by public transportation means. So, I would recommend you to buy a pass to use in Barcelona as it is a big city and the attractions are in different locations.

And of course, one of the main attraction is Sagrada Familia! It is a large Roman Catholic Church designed by Gaudi. The church is very unique and impressive due to Gaudi’s talent and the materials and light techniques that he has used. You have to get in line in order to get a ticket to get inside. In order to avoid the wait list, you can buy your ticket online one day advance, and you can wait much less to get inside. I would definitely suggest you to get inside as Sagrada Familia is a magnificent architectural masterpiece.

Barcelona is a city with a lot to offer, and it has many beautiful places besides the main attractions. That’s why you should explore the city by walking, especially the gothic quartier. When you wonder around the city, you’ll have the chance to explore many beautiful narrow streets and european style architectural pieces.

When it comes to food, there are tons of options in Barcelona. Since we were staying right next to La Rambla, we were having our dinners on one of the restaurants at La Rambla. Personally, I adore spanish food, especially paella!! Paella is a traditional spanish dish made by rice and classic sea food. You should definitely try that! Also, we have explored a public market called Mercado de la Bouqueria.

 

 

 

 

That is a huge market full of delicious food options. And prices are much cheaper compared to the restaurants. They have fresh juices, fruits, many kinds of street food and classic spanish dishes.

You should not leave Barcelona without enjoying the beautiful beaches! In Barcelona, beaches are the areas where people come together, have some drinks and food and hang around by the nice view. The main beach is called Barceloneta. You can always go there either to sunbathe, have some picnic or just hang out with your friends. I did not have the chance to swim at the beach because the ocean was still very cold. But you can give it a try if you like!

The Publication of Myself Thus Far

This course is called the Publication of Self in Everyday Life. I took this course during a rather unusual time in my life, and it made it a lot more complicated for me to find my online voice. I’ve seen myself in a certain way for a long time, and the events of these past few months have kind of managed to flip these ideas on their head. I’ve gained a new perspective on who I am, who I want to be, and, of course, most importantly how I present myself, particularly in an online setting.

Finding My Online Voice

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my blog when I first started. I figured personal blogs were not the kinds of things that strangers would want to read. Everyone these days seems to have a niche blog market that they appeal to and serve. For myself, I don’t think there is one particular niche that I feel comfortable in (yet) so, I figured, why not just put myself out there and hope that it is received favourably.

Something unexpected happened, though, and I began to find my voice again. I was always blogging as a teen. There are tumblr and Blogger pages out there with my teenaged soul splashed across them. I couldn’t go a day without spilling my hormonal guts out to a mostly anonymous online audience. But I see why this was so cathartic for me then, because it is just as much so now. Writing for a personal audience of one in a journal is healthy but doesn’t inspire me to do my best work. The chance to hear feedback from family, friends, and those I look up to is powerful and important, and has allowed me to build a community of people that see the world the same way that I do, forging connections that I certainly would not have made without it.

Throughout the semester, I have done a lot of thinking about my identity, and who I wanted to present through my online persona. I found myself fascinated by the concept of the Online Disinhibition Effect, and how I’ve seen it demonstrated in various online interactions. Within myself, I have noticed I show my disinhibition online through my invisibility, in that I am much less fearful of backlash brought about by my online sharing, because I cannot see those who read my work, and likewise they cannot see me. This gives me a bit of a dissociation from the fear I normally have in expressing myself in real life, which has proven to be a very liberating and exciting experience.

Audience and Analytics

Thus far, my audience has been made of primarily (almost exclusively) from referrals from my Facebook page. It took me a while to become confident enough to share my work online, and also to create content that I felt was worthy of an audience, but once I did, I began to post my blogs on Facebook on a regular basis. This resulted in a massive increase in traffic on my site, and a fairly even split between returning and new visitors which has since moved to approx. 66% new and 33% returning. As you’ll see below, a huge number of my website traffic comes from Facebook, either from my own linking, or other people sharing my posts (Thanks, Suzanne!). This is unsurprising, because according to Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, Facebook is still the most used social media platform for those aged 18-34, which is my primary demographic (Meeker, 2016).

Additionally, I feel like I could really generate a lot of activity on the site were I to start sharing my content on Instagram, especially since my Instagram profile is public, while my Facebook posts can only be seen my by friends.  I have a link to the website in my profile, however, I could do more to increase referral from Instagram if I were to include snippets of blog posts in my Instagram posts.

One of the more exciting things that developed recently was a comment I received from a well-known Canadian money blogger who read one of my posts that linked to her website! Hopefully this will be the start of a growing network of bloggers and individuals that I will one day be a part of. It seems like a wonderful place to find a supportive community to grow within.

With regard to branching out into the world of monetizing, I don’t think I’m quite ready to do that yet. Perhaps as I grow and improve my website, I will feel more like I have a product worth monetizing and enough traffic to actually make a difference. Until then, I am very much okay with keeping this a non-monitary endeavour.

Goals

As I continue with my blog, I have a number of goals that I am interested in pursuing and tackling, in order to grow in my personal brand, as well as developing skills that I may be able to apply to the work that I may want to pursue in the future. These include:

  • Find a new theme that has a professional and clean appearance, so that I appear less like a beginner blogger and more like someone who has been around for a while and has a good sense of branding.
  • Continuing to develop my personal brand and discover the appropriate audience for these endeavours.
  • Branch out on how I share my content, and possibly begin to collaborate with other companies/bloggers to build a positive reputation and good connections.
  • Honing in on more specific content and a better-developed purpose of the website.
  • Apply the skills learned in this class in a professional setting.

I’m feeling particularly inspired by Jesse Thorn’s piece, Make Your Thing, and his tips and tricks to finding success. The great news is a lot of this I have already embarked upon (see #1 Start Now) and I am comfortable and confident there is no way to go but up from here.

So… now what?

My perspective on my personal voice, and what I have to offer the world has changed so drastically. It’s helped me to change my mind about what kind of career path I want to be on, and it’s reminded me that people genuinely are interested in hearing what I have to say. So now what? I’m going to keep doing this. I’ll post whatever strikes my fancy and hope that occasionally I’ll strike gold. But I’m doing it with a renewed sense of optimism and confidence in myself.

Sources

Mary Meeker. 2016. “2016 Internet Trends Report.” http://www.slideshare.net/kleinerperkins/2016-internet-trends-report

Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

Jesse Thorn. 2012. “Make Your Thing.” http://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/

Best Sushi at Sushi Boss

Before coming to Vancouver, I was not really a big fan of sushi. Because in my hometown, there is not an easy access to fresh and delicious sushi ingredients. When I told my friends that I’ll be going to Vancouver everyone told me that they have the best sushi. I was not really sure about that until I actually experienced it. I have visited many different sushi places, I kind of liked some of them and hated most of them… So I can say that I am very picky when it comes to sushi. But I have found the best sushi in Vancouver! Actually, it would be more correct to say in Greater Vancouver area as the place that I have found is in Coquitlam. It is a very small, cute and cozy place that is called Sushi Boss and I can say that they really are the boss when it comes to sushi!

Every ingredient is super fresh and incredibly delicious. Their mis-o-soup is the best! They have a very refined and well selected menu. And I have absolutely loved everything that I ate! I ate most of the sushis that can be seen as classic ones.
I had California Roll, Dynamite Roll and Salmon Avocado Roll. They were all super tasty. I tried some of the special rolls as well and my favourite was the Ninja Roll.
I have also had Crispy Roll and Butterfly Roll.
By the way, they always bring you a salad with their own sauce and gyoza along with it at no extra charge. That is very delicious too and I think that is one of the elements that makes the place special.

I would highly suggest you to visit this place to have a great sushi. Especially, if you are a picky person like me, I can definitely say that you will not regret it. I was rarely eating sushi until I discovered this place. Now, I go eat sushi twice every week!

If you would like to get more information about Sushi Boss you can visit their blog here: https://sushiboss.blogspot.ca

 

 

Mangia in Brioche Urban Eatery

Last week, I had an exam early in the morning on Monday. Since I had to wake up very early that day, I did not have the chance to have a breakfast. By the way, I should say that I love having breakfast. To me, it is the best part of the day. So, I was checking Google Maps to see where to have a nice breakfast and I ran into Brioche Urban Eatery which seemed to be 3 minutes away! They define their style as “Home-style Italian dishes with a West Coast twist” which sounds very appealing to me. They have a very rich breakfast menu! So it was kind of hard to choose what to eat. I was feeling like having an omelette so I’ve got the Parma omelette which has Prosciutto ham, fresh spinach and feta cheese. It was very delicious! By the way, you can always choose your own ingredients for your omelette.

Urban Eatery is a very nice and cozy place which is smaller than I was expecting. As you can guess, it had a European style and design. I miss my days in Italy so that was very nice for me.

After having my delicious omelette I had a latte, and I was energized and ready to continue my day! Also, I noticed that they have an enticing lunch menu, so I am thinking of visiting that place again for lunch next time.

If you would like to take a look at the place and their menus you can check that out here: http://www.brioche.ca/menu.html

 

Moment Tracking App

I have tracked my phone usage throughout the Spring term. While I was tracking it I used the tracking app called Moment. Moment is an app that constantly tracks your phone usage and saves the detailed information for every day. So, you can go back and check your phone usage for specific dates. Also, it is an app that is designed to reduce the time that we spend on our phone. So you can set some limits for yourself in terms of spending less time on your phone. You do not have to do anything for the app to track your phone usage. It works in the background constantly, therefore you do not have to initiate or finish the tracking process. It will be just sending you alerts or notifications if you are exceeding the limits that you have set. Personally, I haven’t done it, I have only used the app to track my phone usage. But realizing how much time we spend on our phone often comes as a surprise, as it is a lot.

Usually, I notice that I spend about 4 hours and 20 minutes on my phone. I can say that it can be seen as the average amount of time. But it depends on my daily activities, for instance, when I work I cannot check my phone for almost 8 hours. That’s why I end up spending 1hours and 30 minutes on my phone

 

Also, if I spend all my day at home, I realize that I spend almost 8 hours on my phone which can be seen as excessive. By the way, when the amount of time that you spend on your phone is designated with red colour, it means that you use it excessively. The green colour signifies the reasonable amount of time and it is seen healthy. On the other hand, yellow means that it is not excessive nor ideal.
Even though I was not really planning on reducing my phone usage, seeing this results made me think about the time that I dedicate to my phone. I think that I spend significant amount of time on my phone which can be used for better purposes. In that sense, I am trying to use my phone less by spending less time on Instagram or Facebook. Instagram and Facebook are the social media applications that I use very frequently. On the other hand, I spend a reasonable amount of time on Whatsapp while I communicate my friends which means that most of the time that I spare to my phone are not essential.

I think I will continue on tracking my phone usage and I will try to decrease it as much as I can. I have not really notice that I spend so much time on my phone until I tracked it. Time is very valuable and it should be used for the best purposes.

If you are interested in tracking your phone usage as well, you can read about Moment app here:  https://techcrunch.com/2014/06/27/a-new-app-called-moment-shows-you-how-addicted-you-are-to-your-iphone/

If I’m going to monetize the site

I actually don’t want monetize the site, it will be a lot of pressure to operate a profitable website.

First of all, I’ll explain what I will do if I’m going to monetize the site. If I want to monetize the site, the first thing I’ll do is probably use Google AdSense to implement some advertisement, since this is the most easy way for the website to cooperate with advertisement. Then I think I’ll post more contents that can attract readers, especially contents that most of the online readers looking forward. This behavior will be done to increase the readers and also increase the clicking rate, thus to increase the profit from advertisement. I might not only post my ideas, but also post popular ideas that came from other people. Create more public topics to rise people’s interests, do something more to entertain the viewers. And also do better design of the page.

However I don’t very want to monetize this blog. The original goal for me to create this blog is not for money, it is for me. It’s my own platform to express my personal opinions. And I don’t have enough time to make it a profitable blog, since it will need effort to attract much more readers. What’s more, it’s not easy to make many profit on the website. Sometimes, the effort you pay cannot get the same amount profit you gain. This maybe just a chance for me to get to know more about online publication, and I need more experiences to operate an attractive blog.

Community guidelines

I want to add the community guidelines for this blog. Not only to protect myself from personal attack online, but also to protect people who leave comments and willing to share information and opinions. This blog is an online space provided to people who love movies, at the same time comments are welcomed. However, in order to create a healthy and positive internet environment, community guidelines are needed. Here’s the community guidelines for this blog.

Every member should respect each other, get along well with other members, and please respect other people’s achievements, ask the author’s permission before share the idea.

Any of the following behaviors will not be tolerated, and comments will be deleted.

  1. Any form of insult, defamation of character and encroach upon other person’s rights and benefits.
  2. Rumours that inconsistent with the facts, instigate a crime, disturb the social order, comments that want to divide a country, and comments that violate the national law.
  3. Malicious lie, fling abuses, slander other people, call someone’s name.
  4. Any form of racial discrimination, racial hatred, make trouble out of nothing, harm other members, wrongdoing behaviors.