Monthly Archives: November 2020

Mini Assignment #6 – Gif

Friends! We’re almost at the end of the semester!!

Online school has been a roller coaster. There have definitely been fun moments, but I think we’ll all be feeling a bit of relief once we can finally close our computers and get ready for Christmas.

One day at a time.

5 Footwear Essentials Under $250 For A Minimal Closet

White Sneaker

Screenshot retrieved from the Princess Polly website

If you couldn’t tell by all of my previous posts, I’m a big fan of white sneakers. It dresses things down and makes things casual, but also keeps the outfit pretty clean and sleek. I don’t think you can go wrong with a Nike Air Force 1, but if you do want to keep yourself apart from others, Windsor Smith shoes are a great alternative that gives off the same look! The Carte White Leather Sneaker have a nice platform and sporty look to them.

Statement Sneaker

Screenshot retrieved from the Nike website

As opposed to a white sneaker that keeps everything sleek, I think a statement sneaker can really change up a basic outfit for the better. Before going hunting for the perfect statement sneaker, make sure to think about the colours in your closet + the vibes that you are going for. I have been eyeing the Nike Air Max 270 React SE sneaker, but can’t seem to bring myself to buy them. Although this is the case, I can’t deny that it’s a pretty shoe with a colour-way that I’ve never seen until now. I’m not that big of a sneakerhead since I only wear white shoes on the daily, but it would be fun to expand my sneaker collection when I gain the budget for it. Nike Air Jordans would be a cool collection item in the future.

Chelsea Boot

Screenshot retrieved from the Urban Outfitters website

I’ve owned Chelsea Boots since high school, and I’ve always felt like it elevated an outfit that I would normally wear with sneakers. It’s another one of those footwear essentials that you can wear dressed up or dressed down. It’ll also keep your ankles warm from windy weather. Chelsea Lug Boots, in particular, are in style right now – so cop yourself a pair! For Black Friday this year, I actually bought a pair online at Urban Outfitters for a good deal. The UO Mira Chunky Chelsea Boot offers the same classic vibe with just a little bit of streetwear and grunge.

A Nice Sandal or Slide

Screenshot retrieved from the Garage website

In the summer, your feet can get a little too toasty in a sneaker or boot. With that being said, opting for a nice slide is essential to keep the outfit cohesive but airy! I would opt for these – clad with any nail polish colour is a must! The Steve Madden Lorna Mules are sleek black with a little bit of a heel to make you just a tad bit taller. Exposing the ankle elongates your legs, which also gives off the illusion of having longer legs and being taller. I personally think these mules look sleeker than a heel… but maybe that’s because I wouldn’t opt for a heel at any point.


Screenshot retrieved from the UGG website

Most people don’t mention slippers when they think about the necessary footwear. Honestly, I didn’t think about it until a few months ago when I invested in a pair of slippers and realized that I stopped suffering from extremely cold feet. It was life-changing. UGG perfects the art of the slipper. If you enjoy the classic slipper from previous years, you can’t go wrong with their closed-toe Scuffette II slipper which offers a plush wool lining. If you want something a little more extreme and stylish, UGG has recently garnered attention with their Fluff Yeah Slides, which come in many vibrant colours and platforms. You either hate them or you love them. I can vouch for investing in house slippers for forever, especially since working from home is the vibe now!

Concluding remarks and reflections from PUB 101

Essay #2

This was my seventh and final semester at Simon Fraser University, marking the end of a grueling five-year undergraduate degree. It certainly isn’t how I envisioned it ending when I first arrived at university in Ottawa more than five years ago. Aside from the fact that I had never intended on attending SFU or studying Communication, I definitely never expected a worldwide pandemic to define my final two and a half semesters of university. Still, things have somehow managed to come full circle to a certain extent, thanks in large part to this class.

I first made the trip across the country in 2015 to work toward a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University, with the end goal being to land a job as a sports journalist. My dream had actually been to attend Ryerson University in Toronto, but my application was sorely lacking when it came to a portfolio, so I ended up settling for Carleton. Now, with my undergraduate degree within reach, I finally have the portfolio I wished I had back then. Better late than never, I suppose.

When the time came to decide on a blog category for this website in September, I didn’t need a second thought before deciding on a sports blog. It was what I had always wanted to do, but had no idea how to, or was too intimidated to try. With an idea to narrow down my topic by focusing on Canadian sports news specifically, Great White Sport was born. The tagline says it all: “All Things Sport in the Great White North.” I am only one person, however, and a busy university student at that. It would be difficult to cover all things sport in Canada. So, instead I have tried to focus on the most newsworthy stories each week, and so far I think I’ve managed to achieve that.

With that in mind, Great White Sport isn’t necessarily only for the diehard sports junkies out there. Ideally, anyone with any sort of interest in Canadian sports will find some enjoyable content on the website in a format and style that they can understand. I try not to get too technical or overload my posts with complicated information because my imagined audience so far has really been based on my own preferences as a reader. At the risk of sounding unintelligent or lazy, I tend to prefer sports stories that are comprehensive but easy to follow. By that, I mean no fancy statistics or analytical jargon that I have to spend ten minutes Googling to try and understand. However, that type of sports journalism seems to be fading away in favour of the heavily analytical. Therefore, I believe my website’s value lies not only in its wide range of coverage but also in its readability and accessibility to all types of sports fans.

I have also conceived of my website as more of a ‘personal cyberinfrastructure’ throughout this semester (Campbell, 2009). While Campbell’s argument on this topic is based around the traditionally rigid nature of academic institutions and their limiting of students’ creativity, the idea can be applied to journalism as well. As Campbell writes, “the freedom to explore and create is the last thing on [students’] minds, so deeply has it been discouraged” (2009, p. 58). In other words, there’s a formula that students learn, memorize, and regurgitate. Whatever work is celebrated by professors is what will be replicated (Campbell, 2009). The same can be said for journalism. What works is whatever sells, and what sells is what becomes the standard formula to follow. According to Campbell (2009), however, a personal cyberinfrastructure provides the opportunity to discover and craft one’s own desires, and to go beyond the expected standard.

Although it would be exciting and rewarding to have an audience to write to, what I value most right now is having a space on the Web where I can write about my own passions while continuing to learn and grow as a writer and publisher. Google Analytics has shown that since September 21st, I have had 69 users visit my site for a total of 116 sessions. Consequently, my greatest concern has been playing around with and developing a website that will be suitable to a larger audience in the future, should it get to that point. In that sense, I have treated my website as a ‘digital garden,’ inspired by Tanya Basu’s article on the subject. As Basu explains, “digital gardens … are frequently adjusted and changed to show growth and learning” (2020, para. 4). What makes a digital garden different from a typical blog is that it is not necessarily addressing a large audience (Basu, 2020). Instead, the focus is on cultivating your own content of interest over time, with the ability to add to it later on as you learn more (Basu, 2020). Although I might write with an imagined audience in mind, I frequently return to my website or specific articles to make changes based on what I have learned and what I believe will yield a better product, as inconsequential as that might seem.

This is probably where I have experienced the most growth as a publisher this semester. In September and the first part of October, I was sometimes spending hours on individual blog posts because I wanted them to be perfect. I treated them as if once I hit that ‘publish’ button, they were set in stone. According to HubSpot author Lindsay Kolowich Cox (2020), that is exactly the kind of mistake bloggers should avoid. She asserts that one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is that they try to make every post perfect when the truth is it never will be (Cox, 2020). I have come to accept this while writing my more recent posts and it has been incredibly liberating. God forbid I make a glaring mistake that needs fixing, I know that I can come back to the article later on and make the necessary changes. Truthfully, this is a lesson I should apply to my life in general, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Looking beyond this semester, I’m unsure of the extent to which I will continue to blog and develop my online presence in the form of Great White Sport. I can say with certainty that this experience has helped me rediscover my passion for sports writing, and for that reason, continuing the blog is something I will consider. If I do keep it going, however, I think I will try to market it through social media in an effort to establish a real-life audience. Writing for myself has been a great way to get started these past two months, but as I mentioned earlier, my initial career goal was to be a sports journalist writing for other people. It seems a little daunting to put my work out there and open it up to all types of reception and criticism, but similar to Cox’s (2020) argument that good writers know when to stop obsessing and hit ‘publish,’ there comes a time when you have to take the leap and open yourself up to the greater public.

I’ve never been the kind of person who welcomes criticism with open arms. Not to paint myself as an egomaniac, but I have always wanted to get things right the first time and be recognized accordingly. As I prepare to wrap up my university degree and (hopefully) enter the workforce in a pandemic-stricken world, this class helped me realize just in time that there might be a better way to go about things. I have learned that perfect is not the only option. Sure, this was just a website I made for a class. But like everything else in life, there’s always room for learning and improvement.


Basu, T. (2020, September 3). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from

Campbell, G. (2009). A personal cyberinfrastructure. Educause Review, 44(5), 58-59. Retrieved from

Cox, L.K. (2020). 17 blogging mistakes to avoid in 2020, according to HubSpot bloggers. HubSpot. Retrieved from

Pondering the pandemic

Process Post #13

Last week, we were treated to a guest lecture from Andrew McLuhan, the grandson of Canadian communications icon Marshall McLuhan, and the creator of The McLuhan Institute. Towards the end of his lecture, he challenged us to write a blog post about how messed up the world is right now. Challenge accepted.

As crazy as the world we’re living in right now is, however, I think what’s even more bizarre is just how quickly we’ve adjusted to this new reality and accepted it for what it is. Of course, we haven’t really had much choice. And I’m not one of those people that thinks we’ve had our freedom taken away or anything like that. I’m all for masks, social distancing, vaccines, and whatever restrictions keep us safe and healthy.

That being said, nine months ago, we were living completely different lives. I’d wake up in the morning and take three packed buses up to SFU Burnaby, and then take three more back home. I’d go for walks outside and speed right past people with no thought of their breathing and mine. I’d go to grocery stores without putting on hand sanitizer or wiping my cart and carry basket first. I even worked at Rogers Arena during Canucks games with 18,000 people in one building where I’d handle cash and pay terminals.

Now, if I’m somewhere in public and I see a person without a mask or ignoring social distancing protocol, I’ll automatically distance myself as far as I can from them. Even the other day, I was riding the elevator in my building with my mask on when two other people with masks decided to come on, and I swear I didn’t inhale or exhale for 30 seconds.

I’m supposed to fly to Edmonton in ten days to visit my dad for Christmas, and for the first time ever, I paid for my seat ahead of time. I made sure to get a ‘preferred’ aisle seat right at the front of the plane to give myself a little more room and make sure I wouldn’t be squeezed in between two strangers. Better yet, I’ll be able to bolt right off the plane as soon as we land. If you know me personally, you know I don’t like spending money on something I don’t have to. But when it came to buying my seat in advance, it was a no brainer. I’m still a little anxious about the whole process, but I’m willing to do whatever I have to in order to stay safe.

I could go on and on but isn’t it crazy to just sit back and think about how much our lives have changed? There are regulations and restrictions in place, but when it comes down to it, it’s up to us to actually follow them. And by and large, it seems that we are. Obviously, it would be great if more people were, but it is what it is.

Another thing I’ve noticed is when I’m watching TV or a movie that predates COVID and see a bunch of people in close proximity, I can’t help but think about how they’re not being safe. But like I said, nine months ago, I would never have had those thoughts.

I don’t know if I’m putting this into words very well, but my point is as crazy as 2020 has been, what’s most remarkable to me is how quickly we’ve adapted and altered our lives completely around this virus.

Week 11 – Time for a COVID style rant.

It’s time for a COVID style rant.

I have been trying to maintain positivity throughout the semester and see the benefits that have only happened because of this pandemic, but really, everything has sucked just a little bit more than usual.

Last week I was starting to feel particularly drained from school, life, and being stuck at home. On Wednesday I was called into work in person, which was surprisingly so wonderful! I had not realized how much I was missing casual interaction with people until I saw my coworkers and was instantly in a better mood.

I am extraverted, which means I replenish my energy by being around people, but I did not realize how true this was until we had our second lockdown and I noticed myself getting more and more tired and sad. I couldn’t identify what was going on until I had some work interactions and I felt energy again!

How strange is it that now talking to strangers is almost frowned upon, and having people over is banned. This is such a contrast to the start of our semester where we discussed the mental health benefits of talking to strangers and filling your day with small positive moments.

I have really appreciated this class, but I miss classmates.

I have loved the creative outlet of blogging, but I miss personal feedback.

I have learned through zoom calls, but I miss the easy interactions of being in a classroom.

Needless to say it’s been a challenging semester, but a growing one nonetheless. I am so looking forward to the time when we can talk about having to stay six feet apart from each other as just a distant memory.

Not a Dish!

Within the next week, we are trying to wrap up renovations so that we can hopefully re-open by the first week of December! I’m so excited to get back to work and spend by days by the Steveston Water and watch the sunset.

Anyway, I thought this wall we had was super cute and eye catching!

Everything was made with just coloured construction paper and some coloured foil for parts such as the eggs so that we can highlight the half boiled yolk. I though it was so creative of the chefs to create a visual menu to make it more appealing to all ages!

Process Post 11; Transmedia

Although this blog focuses mainly on food and restaurant business, I think there can still be a lot of opportunities for transmedia to be incorporated!

When going through this week’s lecture and readings, I realized how much more content I could create with this blog. This blog post talks about how Pokemon has grew from simple trading cards and a TV show to much more, such as stuffed animals and even a whole store dedicated to Pokemon in Tokyo! Pokemon is still very much alive and now more than ever, individuals of all ages are taking interest in it!

With that, some other media that I thought I could include on this blog could be videos of food reviews done by food bloggers (of course I would get their permission before incorporating their content)! Another idea I had was to find a way to incorporate surveys and such on the food. That way, customers can come directly to the website to fill our a questionnaire based on their experience instead of going on Google, Yelp, etc.

How Clean are the Products in Retail Stores?

Yesterday, I was asked a question by a customer that prompted this post. The customer showed me a product from the sales floor and asked if I could bring her the same item but from the back room. I told her that unfortunately this was the very last one of these items that we have. Her complaint was that since it was on the sales floor, she figured that many people would have touched it already. This was really funny to me, considering she had been touching all sorts of products and was planning on purchasing several other items. At this point, I had to bite my tongue and just apologize for the inconvenience.

What I really wanted to say was that customers touch everything. I can almost guarantee that all the items on the sales floor have been recently touched by a customer. Sure, we don’t have our fitting rooms open, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t still feel the material of a shirt or hold up a pair of pants against their body. Hopefully, these people are following protocols and keep their hands clean, but that is impossible for us as a company to guarantee.

If you go into a store and find yourself touching products that you don’t end up buying, you should assume that others have done the same.

It’s just so ironic to me that the people who complain about this are also contributing to the problem. If you are worried about other people touching your products, why on earth would you go to a mall? Online shopping exists- try utilizing it. Finally, if you are buying something from a store, you should absolutely assume that someone else has touched it and you should wash it when you get home and/or quarantine it for a bit.

(Featured Image by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash)

Reading Online vs Physical Copies

Many people read online, these days, whether this includes ebooks, blogs, company websites, or news. Due to the difficulty and effect of screens on our eyes, we often read at a slightly slower pace on screens. Reading online can have many benefits. Some of these benefits include: being easier to read, with photos being featured on the internet, being more accessible, and being easy to carry around. When we scroll through a story or website, it is not necessary to look at every detail on the website, but instead we are able to quickly scan the page for anything we may find interesting or stop at certain information that catches our attention. Many people are able to scroll quickly through a website, and stop suddenly to read a section because they saw a phrase or image that interests them. I used to do this all the time when I was looking through the TV guides. I would flip through the pages very fast, and stop when I saw the title of a show I liked. This is one of the key benefits of reading on the internet. Another way people are able to do this is by searching for specific words on a page. For example, if someone is on the page of a long news story, and they are looking for a certain section, with the knowledge of one word or phrase in that section, they can search for it by clicking *command F. The page would quickly show them everywhere that word or phrase is used in that news article.

While there are so many benefits to reading online, there are also many benefits to reading a physical copy of things. These benefits include: it puts less strain on your eyes, it allows you to physically write on the document, newspaper, or book, and you can also organize your papers easily in a folder. Reading formats always depend on the type of person you are, and your preferences, but there are always pros and cons to consider for each format. Personally, I love to read physical copies, but if a book or document is not available to me in a physical copy it is very helpful to have it on a tablet instead. When we read physical copies, we also most often read everything on a page, so that we don’t miss anything important, while people who scan through online pages may miss key information that they did not see.

Overall, I think it is helpful to have both options, but I prefer physical copies of papers and books. While scrolling through online information, it is very helpful to have fun colours, links, and photos in a website because they catch viewers’ attention very quickly. These are most often the things that cause people to stop scrolling to check what it says.

The Diamond Girls Book Review & Nov. 26 Reading Update

I wanted to update you all on my reading progress, and also post a book review for a book I just finished last week, so I thought I would combine them both into one post again. I’ll talk about the book review first, and if you continue reading, the update will be underneath it!

Book: The Diamond Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction, Contemporary

Thoughts/Review: I loved reading Jacqueline Wilson’s books when I was young. She was one of my favourite authors, and I had a TBR (to be read) list with all of her books on it. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to read them all, but I loved all of the books I read by her! I was extremely excited when I found a book club that featured her books, so I joined right away, and The Diamond Girls was this month’s read.

This book is from the perspective of a little girl, named Dixie. She has 3 sisters, and they all live with their mom, who is once again pregnant with a baby boy. Their mom is very excited to welcome a boy into the family, and they move into a new house, which isn’t exactly what they had expected it to be. The Diamond girls have to find ways to adjust to their new living arrangements, and very quickly their mom is off to the hospital to have her baby. While their mom goes through having her new baby, one of Dixie’s sisters gets into fights, another is hiding a secret, and the last is beginning to date. Dixie also meets a new friend. When her mom returns, Dixie is the only one who notices that something is wrong, and must navigate how to deal with all of the difficult problems she encounters.

I really liked this book! It was a fun, easy read, and I really missed Jacqueline Wilson’s writing. I’m so glad I was able to read this book by her this month! There were so many things going on in this story, and I found myself being frustrated by so many of the characters, specifically Dixie’s sisters and mom. It was difficult at times to read about how each of them was trying hard to hide what they were going through, and not talking to each other about it. I loved the subplot of Dixie’s friend, and the ending was really nice and sweet. Bruce is also a very fun character, that is introduced originally just to help the Diamond girls move into their new house, but ends up becoming family very quickly. He becomes Dixie’s Uncle Bruce, which was super sweet to read.

This book discusses some important topics, but from the perspective of a 10 year old girl. I won’t go into details because this is a no-spoiler blog, but within this story readers see discussion of pregnancy, mental health/illness, abuse, and dating at a young age. These are all important topics that I was surprised to see within this book, but it reminded me that this is one of the things I love about Jacqueline Wilson’s books. That she writes children’s/middle grade fiction that addresses important topics, and speaks about the perspectives of young people who are struggling or facing new challenges. I would definitely recommend this book, if you’re looking for an easy and sweet read! Reading this was a really was a nice way to end long, busy days because it was a light read before sleeping.

Rating: 9/10 Stars

Reading Update:

I just started reading Gulliver’s Travels, for a class, and also The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, for another book club. Gulliver’s Travels is an interesting read so far, and I’m curious to see what happens next. I’m absolutely loving The Invisible Life of Addie Larue! It is so well written! It’s the first book by VE Schwab that I’m reading, and I definitely understand now why her books are as popular as they are. It caught my attention as soon as I read the first page. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue reading that this week, but it’s starting to get busy with classes again, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it before December. Even so, it’s amazing, and I can’t wait to continue it!

That’s all from me today, but thank you for reading this, and I hope you’re having a lovely day!

Process Post #10- Reviewing My Final Peer Review

As things are slowly ending for this class, I received my final peer review from Marylou Villegas. Marylou wrote me a really awesome peer review here and I can’t thank her enough for the kind words.

Her peer review revolved around the topic of audience and monetization for the Power of Painting and she had some very interesting insights and thoughts about our future.

To begin, her first paragraph made me so happy to read! She completely understood the vibe I was trying to go for in terms of theme and colours. She also really nailed my intended demographic and I appreciate her taking the time to analyze my site.

First paragraph of Marylou’s Peer Review

In terms of monetization, she touched on some points on monetization that I found really interesting. She mentioned that I have an opportunity to monetize through my paintings and gain revenue. While I love this idea and hope that there is people out there who would buy my art, I don’t think that this is something that I would like to pursue.

As mentioned previously, this website is just a personal gallery and blog for my friends, family and I. Personally, I like to share my experiences and post about the paintings that I have and hope that other people get inspired by my work.

Overall, I am glad that Marylou loved my site! She noticed the progress that I have made since the beginning of quarantine and that makes me so happy! I loved her site as well and I wrote her a peer review here, check it out!

Until next time 🙂

<3 Carissa

The post Process Post #10- Reviewing My Final Peer Review appeared first on the Power of Painting.

Process Post #11: The Future of Let’s Talk What I Watch

We’re on the home stretch now for publishing 101 and I’ve been thinking lots about where this site is going to go afterwards. 

Before taking this class I had wanted to start writing more in my free time anyway, particularly about things I love like movies, so this class ultimately just kick-started that goal. In saying that, the last thing I want to do is fully abandon this site when the semester ends, but I might take a few weeks off after a continuous stream of 12 weeks of posting. 

Although I won’t be needing to run a PUB101 portion of this site anymore, I think re-jigging the site so I can have a space to post writing that doesn’t necessarily fall under the “Let’s Talk What I Watch” category will be good. For instance, there’s been many occasions where I got to write an academic research paper and I have more to say about it than I can fit into the paper or that should be in a university paper. So I want a place for those tangents. 

In terms of the Let’s Talk What I Watch portion, I also have recently started watching some new TV shows and documentaries and will probably finish them over my holiday break, afterwhich I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to say abou the stuff I watch and I definitely don’t want to lose this domain name! 

Also as I work my way through the second half of my degree, I definitely want to find a place online to display some writing and design samples as a sort of portfolio. Three months ago I would’ve sworn against the complexity of wordpress and tell anyone that I’d never abandon squarespace. Although I never thought I’d say this, but, I might actually use wordpress as my personal site host too… After all, I don’t want to lose my domain! It’s far too perfect. 

That being said, I want to link my two sites together quite significantly, which is definitely why I have serious plans to revamp the home page and contact pages of this site while I’m also rebuilding my personal site from scratch. Just writing those words out makes me dread it but in the end I think the more practice I get with wordpress the easier it’ll get right? I sure hope it does. 

Although I never really thought of myself as a blogger, I think as someone with even the smallest interest in fields like journalism, starting an online presence as a writer is not something I should shy away from. Even if I don’t have a big audience for my blog, I’d like to continue to see it as a creative outlet where I can continue to work on my writing skills while talking about something I actually enjoy and am not being forced to write about.

All this being said, I’m very glad I took PUB101. Although I could have started a blog on my own time, actually taking the time each week to focus on it creatively and get other peers eyes on it was really enjoyable and motivational.

Let’s Talk What I Watch: The Morning Show and Euphoria

I’ve been talking about a lot of movies here so I thought it was time to switch it up a little. Today I wanted to touch on two really good, but really different TV shows; The Morning Show and Euphoria.

Both of these shows I’ve seen all the way through twice and I’m eagerly awaiting second seasons. They have lots in common in terms of quality of writing and acting, but they differ vastly in terms of tone and plots. Let’s talk about them in turn.

The Morning Show 

At first I wasn’t super interested in seeing The Morning Show. I wasn’t totally aware of the plot but I honestly did question “how dramatic could a show about a morning talk show be?” Well, I was wrong to ask. 

Not only does The Morning Show contain some high caliber acting from big names like Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, Billy Crudup and Reese Witherspoon, but several key performances for me were from Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Bel Powley. On top of amazing performances, the show deals with the very current social issue of #MeToo. And, from my point of view, they portray it in the right way.

While the show works to unpack the public and private downfall of an accused sexual predator, they also tackle the power structures that often lead to the allowance of such actions. The show also doesn’t gloss over the complications on the private side, showing how long-time public friendships become inherently complicated and involve all aspects of their familial and professional lives. 

As I’ve mentioned, the show doesn’t restrict itself to the complications of one person’s downfall as it takes into account the over-arching power structures and addresses the toll, mental health and otherwise, that actions and events like these can have on an individual, no matter the situation. 

Overall, while the show only had ten episodes in the debut season they didn’t hold back and took thorough advantage of every minute. I think the success of the performances, writing, and other technical details ultimately end up being the bow on top of an already great show. 


This show definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s sure captivating and one of my personal favourites. 

While I would say The Morning Show deals with some pretty dark and complex social issues, Euphoria takes it another step forward exposing some very real and horrific issues that young adults can face. Each character is essentially battling their own demons to the fullest extent, stemming from hard drug abuse to intimate relationship abuse to pursuing sexual relationships online. 

On top of the darkness of the plot, the cinematographic choices, make-up, costuming, directing and scoring ultimately make Euphoria a really amazing art piece. In addition to all of that, the performances are on another level. Although nearly the entire cast are in their 20s (the main actors all being under 25) this ‘lack of experience’ that some may criticize prior to seeing the show sure doesn’t show up. Namely, having personally first seen Zendaya on the Disney channel show ‘Shake It Up’, seeing her brilliantly portray the complexities of hard drug abuse was quite the surprising and impressive switch up. Although she did manage to snatch an Emmy for the first season,I firmly believe she’ll win some more big awards for her performance following season 2, and it hasn’t even come out yet. 

While The Morning Show and Euphoria (both available on Apple TV, Euphoria also on HBO) are two very different shows at their core, they’re both great short choices to binge over this winter break if you’re looking for some social critique portrayed by some really, really amazing actors.

Zoom, Intimacy, and Cat Cams

So, as I said, I’d be talking a lot about how screwed up things are right now. And like, yeah, that’s easy enough to do. But what about the good things that come out of that? If Zoom’s done one good thing, it’s letting people let their guards down.

There was a hot minute back in the spring where everyone had this idea of Business As Usual. You were expected to come into calls dressed up as you would’ve been in real life, and keep all the manners and social norms of that bygone era.

As summer and fall passed, I noticed something: there were fewer and fewer cameras on in Zoom calls. And when they did come on, people were often dressed comfortably, some in pyjamas outright. Our rooms are on display, clean or otherwise. We’re vulnerable, but at some point, our camraderie in this hellish year overcame old world formalities.

I mean, really. I’ve spent the past eight months getting sneak peeks at my profs’ homes and housemates. It’s surreal.

And while I have a whole lot of feelings about whether or not people should be obligated to show themselves like that, one pleasant consequence has been that everyone’s showing off their pets. Sometimes by accident. Many a cat has walked across some unfortunate soul’s keyboard.

As someone with two cats, I’ve been that unfortunate soul many times. But also, it gets a laugh out of people and it’s a nice reminder that there’re still good things in this world.

In fact, sometimes, when I don’t feel up to appearing on camera, I put my laptop on the floor in front of one of my cats. With the seasons changing, they tend to relax in front of space heaters and on top of vents, so they’re great for still footage.

Heck, it’s just nice seeing what people will put on camera in general. Folks get creative! The other day, I was on a call, and when one of my friends went to do something, she put a Kirby plush in her place. It was adorable.

One of these suckers.

Overall, don’t get me wrong, I hate just about everything going on right now, but at least we find things to smile about.

Reflections on Gender, a photo essay

Gendered rules of genderqueerness 

When I came out as non-binary, I had no gender diverse friends, family or acquaintances. With no role models or anyone in solidarity with me, I took to the Internet. These online sources shaped what I thought I ought to feel and look like as a non-binary person. Also via the Internet, I began to make non-binary friends. These people were extremely influential in my understanding of being non-binary. These sources of information, however, were nowhere near helpful. In fact, they were pretty detrimental to my understanding and acceptance of my identity. In no time, I went from loving femininity, girlhood and myself, to chopping my hair, concealing my body, trying to lower my voice and developing hatred and disgust towards my body and myself. I thought I was way too feminine. I learnt I wasn’t a valid non-binary person unless I was strictly embracing masculinity. This meant short hair, no makeup, a thin androgynous body and dysphoria. I tried going with this narrow conception of non-binary gender, but I was miserable. I went through so much unlearning to get to where I am with my gender(s) today, but now I love my femininity, masculinity and androgyny all together and understand that there is no one way to be non-binary.  

Feminine Menstrual products 

I’m non-binary. I get periods. I’m tired of period products being referred to as “feminine”. I’m all for pushing to call these things “menstrual products”. “Menstrual” is way more accurate than “feminine” anyway. These products are for menstruation, and menstruation shouldn’t be gendered. Anyone can menstruate, regardless of any gendered designations. There’s nothing feminine about my non-binary uterus lining shedding; there’s nothing feminine about a trans-masculine or trans-male person’s uterus lining shedding; there’s nothing feminine about a masculine woman’s uterus lining shedding. A uterus is not inherently feminine; reproductive organs have no gender; they’re socially constructed as such. 

I didn’t think anything of my period pre-identifying-as-non-binary, but due to gender essentialist social constructions of reproductive organs, when I came out, I began experiencing immense, sometimes even debilitating dysphoria about my set of organs. It was especially distressing during menstruation. I put in a lot of work towards unlearning this essentialist, binary gendering and unearning my internalized transphobia, and while this took a lot of time, I finally am comfortable again with my body and its functions, and I can confidently assert that there’s nothing feminine about my non-binary menstruation cycle or the menstruation products I use.  

Bras, binders, bumless panties and boxers 

I don’t know why, I mean no one’s going to see my underwear, but wearing gender affirming undergarments makes all the difference in my self-validation and overall confidence. With my vast collection of underwear, from bras I haven’t worn since adopting the term ‘non-binary’, to binders, to sports bras, to bralets, to boxers, briefs, bikinis, and backless panties, it’s almost like I can achieve any gender identity through matching up my underwear to my internal sense of identity. Choosing my coveted combinations allows me to engage with self-determination and validation of my subconscious perception of gender. So, every morning before getting ready for the day, I sit down with myself and contemplate, “what’s my gender today?”. With limitless possibilities, this reflection could go in any direction. Sometimes it’s an easy answer. Popular conclusions include: Dickies Dyke, femme boy, trans masc, femme, soft butch slutty, anything, all of it, and/or nothing at all. Sometimes I just won’t be able to find any clothes that feel good and right. On unfortunate occasions, it’s a distressing introspection into dysphoria and internalized erasure. Regardless, the most important step of getting ready is always selecting precisely the right gendered combination of undergarments.  

Hairy, man-hating, bra-burning, lesbian feminist 

I stopped shaving my legs in grade 10. It wasn’t political; I just couldn’t be bothered to upkeep the hairless legs I thought I was supposed to have. Then I started seeing posts about it being radical to stop shaving. These were mainly made by white and/or liberal feminists, and while I roll my eyes at them now, these strains of feminism were my gateways into the intersectional feminism that I now embrace. At the time, I hadn’t yet had my non-binary awakening. I remember thinking to myself, “huh, this is a way to keep women subordinate… Fuck that. I’m gonna flaunt my hairy legs with pride now”. And although there are way more radical acts of resistance, and despite being exhausted by liberal feminists constantly talking about their long blue armpit hair and nothing else, not shaving my legs really is quite liberating; first, as a fuck you to patriarchal Western beauty standards, second in my own identity as a dyke and a trans non-binary genderqueer femme boy. Although they’re generalizations aimed to depreciate feminism and pigeon-hole feminists, I find the stereotypes of a feminist personally amusing… Hairy, man-hating, bra-burning, lesbians? I pretty much check all of those boxes.  

Consequences of presenting femme 

I pass a man on the street. He looks at me, I smile faintly, he smiles back. His eyes burn into me. They crawl up my legs. He doesn’t even speak to me, but I feel violated. I’m late. I have no time to dwell. I think to myself, “I look femme today, so I guess this is how it’s gonna go… I do make a hot femme…” I shrug. Without a second thought, earphones in, I keep speed walking. He chases me. He must have walked a couple blocks in the other direction then turned around and ran – sprinted – down the street after me. Out of breath, he runs up behind me. I take an earphone out. He tells me he doesn’t mean to scare me but I’m cute and he had to tell me. He asks me out. I say I have a girlfriend. I keep speed walking. He follows. He asks, “you’re gay?”. I say yes. He asks me if I “want to try straight”. 

This is what I was wearing. (Note: he was East Asian, I look extra EA wearing an oriental shirt, I wonder if this had anything to do with his interest in me).  

If you like me, you’re gay. If you’re not down with the gays, get lost. 

Inserting image...

I’m vocal on my social media about my disdain towards men. I have been since high school, which is when I realized I was gay, and also, probably more importantly, when I confidently established that men are trash. Then I realized I was non-binary. I’m vocal about that too. Social media (well, some platforms) is a place where I can assert myself confidently and safely. I post about social justice, emphasis on LGBTQ+ justice and intersectionality. I post sometimes about the harassment I face; I talk about how I face an increase in harassment when I present as femme. I reblog spells on Tumblr to repel and curse homophobes and transphobes who may visit my blog. I lose a lot of (straight, white, cisgender, male, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic) followers for this reason. I think this is a nice cleanse. 

I posted this meme one time on Instagram, I think in 1st year, and captioned it “@ cishet men: if you like me, you’re gay, so either admit you’re gay or leave me the f*ck alone”. I lost so many male followers, hahaha. Mainly the guys from high school who hadn’t unfollowed me yet for my other posts calling men out. 

Dragon-Phoenix, Yin-Yang 

My cheongsams and other Chinese clothing represent the intersection of my gender and ethnicity. I own both women’s and men’s Chinese clothing, partially because I don’t care for the gendering of clothing, but mainly because I find it all beautiful, and a way to connect to my culture through diaspora. I used to feel ashamed of my Chinese ethnicity and hated being mixed-race because of Eurocentrism and internalized racism, but after years of repressing my Chineseness, I now feel so content and connected in my Chinese attire. Aside from wearing clothing regardless of gender, I also embody the symbolism of the dragon and the phoenix. Both associated with prosperity, the former is associated with masculinity and the latter with femininity. Together they are harmonious, like the symbolism of yin and yang. I feel empowered by my embodiment of both the dragon and the phoenix, as well as by my ability to wear both phoenix and dragon symbols and to wear both “women’s” and “men’s” clothing. 

Flower-like beautiful boy  

Until researching for this project, I only knew of binary terms for Chinese lesbians: and Po. These are comparable to butch and femme respectively. Being genderqueer, I didn’t know which I’d be categorized as, and I had no other language for the conjunction of my sexuality and gender outside of these terms. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I read Hu (2017) and learnt some new terms. While and po are connoted with lesbian gender expression, I learnt that in Chinese and other East Asian cultures, zhongxing and huameinan are used to describe gender expression more broadly (Hu 2017). Hu focuses on the term zhongxing, which literally means “gender neutrality,” but also mentions that huameinan means “flower-like beautiful boys” (183). I love being a beautiful boy and adore the idea of being a flower-like beautiful boy. Despite being genderless by literal translation, zhongxing is increasingly used to describe women whose gender expression leans towards masculine (Hu 2017). This term resonates with me too, and I especially like the way Hu describes zhongxing style: 

Typical outfits include stylish short hair commonly seen in popular men’s fashion magazines, well-tailored shirts or polo shirts in a masculine style, loose jeans or khakis, name brand sneakers, and sometimes sports bras or breast binders. Swaggering steps and dauntless attitudes often characterize the ways they carry themselves. (183) 

This pretty accurately describes how I generally like to dress and carry myself. I love having these new terms to describe myself, relating to both my gender and ethnicity.  

Image source:  

Dickies Dyke 

I started calling myself a Dickies Dyke. Firstly, because I like the consonance. Secondly, I very stereotypically love my Dickies. Lastly, I love the word dyke. Roberts (1979) traces the trajectory of the word, outlining its connotation with masculine lesbians, addressing the traditional derogatory meaning, and discussing the politicized reclamation. My foreparents’ reclaimed meaning of “dyke” is associated with activism, resistance, strength, pride, independence and self-determination. Although generally reclaimed regarding sexual orientation, and while I am a dyke in this sense, I feel like “dyke” accurately describes my gender. I know it typically refers to a masculine gay woman, but despite not being a woman, the term really resonates. In a sense I have reappropriated “dyke” again for my own self-determination. To me, as an AFAB person attracted to femininity whose gender fluctuates through femme, femme boy, trans-masc, agender, and several other gender designations, I feel that my sexual orientation in conjunction with my gender accurately places me in the realm of dykeyness. I’m a dyke. I love women and femmes. I’m not as masc as a butch, nor as strictly fem as a femme. I’m strong and independent. I’m an activist. I’m super queer and proud.  

Everything is drag (reflections on makeup and genderfluidity, genderfluxivity) 

I was trying to choose a new profile picture, so I was going through my best selfies. I narrowed it down to two options and couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Not to reduce gender to mutually exclusive binary categories, but I really selected the most masc photo of myself and the most femme. I’m in straight up drag makeup in these two photos; the first being masc drag, the second being femme, both done by my talented girlfriend. 

I know that when I posted the femme photo earlier on Instagram, most people just saw a g*rl in glam makeup, but my girlfriend and I know that I was a boy that day and that she asked to doll me up in femme glam drag. The masc drag photo is pretty clearly drag. I wish that people saw the femme photo as drag too. And I mean honestly, being genderfluid and genderflux, any makeup I ever have on borders drag. It’s all a way to manipulate my appearance anywhere from genderless to an all-encompassing gender, from masculine to feminine, anywhere in ambiguity and androgyny.  


Hu, Yu-Ying. “Mainstreaming female masculinity, signifying lesbian visibility: The rise of the zhongxing phenomenon in transnational Taiwan”. Sexualities, vol. 22, no. 1-2, 2019, pp. 182-202. Sage Journals, doi:10.1177/1363460717701690. Accessed 10 Oct 2019. 

Roberts, JR. “In America They Call Us Dykes: Notes on the Etymology and Usage of ‘Dyke’”. Edited by Harriet Desmoines and Catherine Nicholson. Sinister Wisdom, vol. 9, 1979, pp. 2-11. Accessed 19 Oct 2019. 

PUB101 — Process Post (Week 11)

Process Post Prompt: Make a plan for incorporating more transmedia integration into your online publication. What channels will you focus on? Why?

When it comes to transmedia, I would say that my website integrates quite a bit of that through the incorporation of my youtube videos. In some ways, I like to think of my website serves as the main space for people to discover other aspects of my music on platforms such as iTunes or Spotify. On my website, I have included various links prompting those to visit other platforms.

Ultimately, transmedia can be defined as “a narrative that extends beyond multiple media forms that also plays to the strength of those forms” (Heick, 2019). I hope to continue focusing on channels like youtube and instagram but would like to find more ways to integrate these platforms seamlessly into my website. In the future, I plan to keep this blog as a place to create extra content. Whether it be through sharing stories or advice, the narrative continues.

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My Musical Inspirations

Right off the bat I can say that my dad has always been/will always be one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to music. The moment he handed baby Marylou that karaoke mic, he knew music would be a big part of my life. Since the beginning my dad was someone who always pushed me to learn new instruments, join singing competitions and claims to forever and always be my “#1 fan”. I feel very lucky to have been raised by a man like him. He taught me the importance of never giving up and what the power of hard-work can do in your life.

Here’s a video my dad and I made to celebrate Father’s Day! (2018 throwback)

I knew that when my parents first immigrated to Canada and had my sister and I, we didn’t have very much to our name. My parents have worked so hard to build a life for us and made sure that we experienced life with the gift of music. Because of my parents, I grew up listening to various different artists like Micheal Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Celine Dion, Micheal Bolton, Air Supply, Journey, Stevie Wonder, Etc. I think this allowed me to appreciate the beauty in different genres but also helped determine my love for R&B. In terms of my sound, I would probably say that I fit into the category of Acoustic R&B. I’m not a very big fan of the EDM/Electronic genre nowadays and tend to feature more guitar/piano in my original songs.

I would say that the amount of artist that influence my music are too many to list down. However if I had to choose, the two main artist I look towards for inspiration would be Tori Kelly and Mac Ayres. Tori Kelly was someone I watched on YouTube growing up and was what helped inspire me to want to learn how to play the guitar. I admire her authenticity as an artist as well as the pureness in her voice. Mac Ayres on the other hand, is an artist I find myself listening to 24/7. I’m always trying to learn the chord progressions to his catchy tunes and have more recently been shifting my sound towards his similar groove.

As a musician I think it’s so important to be listening to music and artists that inspire you! By doing so, you can find a mix and develop your sound.

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