Monthly Archives: May 2012

A trip down under

Okay let’s be real here. As much as I’d love to claim this blog has viewers world-wide (well it does, but like, two) about 99% of you lovely readers are Canadian. Which is excellent, because I know you’ll agree whole-heartedly with me when I say that Australian accents are amazing.

If I had to guess I’d say about 95% of the world outside of Australia can’t help but melt when they hear that distinct twang. I’m certainly included.  That’s why I was thrilled when I got the chance to talk with a friend of mine last night who happens to be Australian!

Mel and I met while I was backpacking Europe last summer—and we had some pretty hilarious times. I haven’t seen/heard her since then, and I was kind of forgetting what the accent even sounded like. That in mind, it was no trouble at all for me to engage in a 3-hour Skype session.

Me and Melly

Me and Melly


From “hello”—adorably pronounced something like “hello-ruh”—I swooned. You should have heard it. I should have recorded some to play for you, but I was captivated. Next time. Promise. Maybe.

As nerdy as it might sound, it was pretty cool talking to someone in Australia. It was like talking into the future.

And they say some things pretty funnily.

The first thing I learned that I should tell you—don’t you dare pronounce Australia how you’ve been doing it. Don’t you dare. It’s not pronounced aw-stralia, no; it’s pronounced us-TRAYlia. Key difference there. Oh, and Melbourne? Not mel-born. Mel-bin. Yes. So Melbourne, Australia, should sound like Melbin, UsTRAYlia.

There ya go. You’re getting it.

Next, they have some words they say that are pretty funny. One of the ones I can remember is “I reckon”. Now, if you’re like I used to be, you probably immediately pictured some redneck from the deep south. Well, when Australians say it—at least, this Australian, anyways—it’s amazing. They use it kind of to mean “to think”. Like, I say something, she responds “oooh, you reckon?” Hahahaha. Awesome. Another thing—they call toques beanies. Isn’t that strange?

Hmm. What else?

Oh. You’ve probably heard the phrase “let’s throw some shrimp on the babby (babby being the Australian pronunciation of “barby”, short for “barbeque”, short for “BBQ”)”—but that’s wrong, as I was informed immediately after saying it in my best accent. Which was about 30 seconds after meeting Mel.

It’s actually “let’s throw some PRAWN on the babby”. Yeah. Now you know.

Another thing. Australians love this stuff called Vegemite. And apparently it is a thing, because Microsoft Word recognizes it as a thing. From what I can gather, this Vegemite stuff is a really salty, meaty paste-like stuff that only native Australians like. Mel tells me that foreigners try it and SOMETIMES THEY PUKE. Then she followed that up by insisting that I try some sometime. Sigh. Did I mention it’s made from yeast extracts? Sigh x 2.

Seriously, I love Australians—this one especially. But it also sucks, because their delightful accent gives them such an advantage. Canadian girls, y u no have accents?

Just kidding. You guys are pretty okay too. As far as women go, anyways.

Follow me on Twitter!

@CamMParkes
@CamAtGazette

Cheers,

CP

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Mother’s Day Mashup

Ooh, lots of content in this post. Buckle up, nerds!

First of all, happy Mother’s Day to my mom. She’s pretty cool and everything. Today I picked her up a nice little potted plant arrangement—Gerber daisies, begonias, stuff like that. It also had a cool little bag that said “special mom” or something like that on it.

Of course I returned to my old stomping grounds Terra so I could pick this thing up, as well as hopefully see some of my old co-workers. Well, since it was Mother’s Day it was pretty damn busy—and since it was so busy, most of the staff was on. There were lots of new faces, but plenty of old ones too. It was nice catching up with them—I ended up staying at Terra a lot longer than I planned on, but it was all good. Got home with plenty of time before dinner and gave Mom the gift.

Yes—don’t worry; I’ve already given it to her, well before posting this. See, I’ve learned from the whole birthday gift fiasco.

Not sure if we’re doing anything tonight—I don’t think so. Game of Thrones is apparently on, and my parents are fans of that so they’ll probably watch that. Or Survivor. Or some other show like that.

We ended up having a pretty good dinner consisting of chicken, corn on the cob, and sweet potato fries. Not bad.

Anyways, in other news, I watched a series called Wilfred last night. Well, last night/this morning. After watching Ovir8ed lose in game 7 (thanks for that, Evans) my towel friend BG, Evans and I watched the first few episodes of this show. You’ve probably seen commercials for it on television—it features Elijah Wood (Frodo!) playing a guy whose only friend appears to be an Australian guy in a dog suit. I guess everyone else sees him as a real dog? I dunno. It has some pretty hilarious moments—although Evans had to leave, BG and I watched the entire series, which took over four hours—and was a total mind-blower.

I don’t want to spoil it, but basically this dog that only Ryan (Wood’s character) can see and him become close buds and do things that could possibly get them in trouble. The whole time, you don’t really know what’s happening, and then in the season finale you’re hit with a stunning revelation and you’re like “whaaaaaat?” Nothing is cleared up, no loose ends are tied, and let me tell you—it was four in the morning and I was PISSED. Season two better make some sense.

Last thing I want to mention in this post is Friday night in London. This could easily be a separate post, but I don’t want to two in one day so I’ll just make this a super long one.

Friday was a pretty damn significant night in London. First off, our Knights won the OHL Championship, beating the Niagara Icedogs 2-1 to take the series 4-1. Congrats to them.

And just down the street, only minutes apart, the verdicts were announced in the Michael Rafferty trial. The trial has been going on for the last ten weeks here in London, and our radio station has been involved with it since the start. When a guilty verdict was announced for all three counts—first degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault causing bodily harm—the celebration probably rivalled the one going on at the JLC. I’m not going to get into all the details of the case—that’s a novel in itself. I’ll just say that I watched the results come in live on CP24 as well as Twitter, and I was ecstatic. It’s hard to explain how important this was, or how involved you feel if you haven’t been with it since the get-go.

The jurors, despite not having all the evidence due to some being inadmissible, still managed to find the truth and do their job. The system worked. Justice was served. Well—will be. The sentencing is on Tuesday, May 15th. But Rafferty is looking at a minimum of 25 years. And that, in my opinion, is nowhere near close to enough.

Rest in peace Tori, and hopefully your friends and family can get closure from this.

TL;DR:

  1. Happy Mother’s Day
  2. Wilfred…wtf?
  3. Knights win!
  4. Rafferty guilty

Follow me on Twitter:

@CamAtGazette
@CamMParkes

Cheers,

CP

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Mr. Clean

It’s halfway through my first week at the Gazette, and I feel pretty damn accomplished.  I’ve become a real person, sort of. Cleaning, getting in shape, even making my own food. More on that in a second.

Gloria, Nicole and I spent the first two days of our new lives cleaning the crap out of, off of, and out from under probably like a million desks and shelves and stuff.

While I have cleaned before obviously, I was a bit out of my element. I mean, I cleaned keyboards and stuff. And windows. I did the dishes for crying out loud. There were two women there, and I was stuck with that. What is this world coming to?

Just kidding. I guess since I’m on the bachelor path for the foreseeable future, I should be able to hold a dish under some water. I think I did a pretty good job. The ladies did re-clean a bunch of desks I wiped, but I think they’re just super-meticulous or something.

Anyways, we cleaned like fiends. There isn’t a speck of dust anywhere in that damn office anymore. You know what there is though?

BOUNDS!

BOUNDS!


For those of you who don’t work for the Gazette, you have no idea what these are. They are Bounds. Giant, sexy books that contain a copy of every issue of the previous year, which editors can order and keep for themselves. And if you’ve never been part of the Gazette’s Front Office, you have no idea how long it takes to put these damn things together. Yeah maybe you can guess. But you’re wrong.

We spent the better part of five hours working on these yesterday. And we’re not even done. Those five hours were devoted solely to creating the stacks. Twenty-nine stacks, each containing ninety-nine issues. That’s 2871 newspapers. The stacking alone gave my arm a cramp and stained my fingers black.

Then there were the hiccups. Some issues didn’t have enough copies to fill all the Bounds. Thank goodness for Mr. Ian Greaves. He had like a billion copies of the exact ones we needed, for some reason. Another issue was inserts. Every once in a while, randomly it seemed, there was an ad in the issue. We couldn’t have that, and had to remove them. This slowed the pace to a crawl and totally threw off our rhythm. But, eventually we got them stacked.

Now today we have to double check them, tie them in twine, and ship ‘em off. Sigh. Lots of work to do today.

I just checked my bank and I see I got paid today. I love this job.

On another note, I’ve been working out every day, which feels really good. Nothing hardcore, just some pushups, situps, and free weights. I’ve also started running again. My first one was Tuesday and it felt good. I didn’t go for very long, didn’t go all that fast, and didn’t travel very far, but still, it’s a start. I plan on going again this morning before I leave for work. A little faster, a little better– that’s the goal. Yay for me.

And the last thing. As a self-professed bachelor for life, I feel like I should be able to make something better than bread with a slice of cheese on it. Not that that’s not delicious, but I like variety sometimes. Today I had breakfast for dinner. Eggs and toast. Hells yeah. I’m slowly eating my way through the food in my freezer. It feels good to eat again.

Nothing else super-interesting has happened. Oh, I saw The Avengers on Friday. It was amazing. Go see it. And bring me. And pay for my ticket.

I also keep meaning to start Zelda again, but I always get sidetracked. Whether it’s the Knights game (they won last night—up 3-1 in their series) or the NHL playoffs or the Jays, or some nerdy blog that no one really reads, I just can’t seem to get started. Maybe tonight will be the night?

It probably will be, especially because I just finished “A Dance With Dragons”, the fifth book in George R. R. Martin’s Songs of Ice and Fire series. I’m not going to review it in this post, or probably ever. But it was pretty damn good. The point is, I have a lot of free time now. Hmm.

Hopefully another audio post soon dude(tte)s. Tweet at me with ideas, if you want:

@CamAtGazette (work)
@CamParkesXFM (personal)

Cheers,

CP

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Balance

I’m sitting here watching American Dad, and seriously, it is just awful. It’s Animation Domination tonight, and I laughed through the Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, and even the fricken Cleveland Show. I have let out exactly one laugh at American Dad.

As I’ve been sitting here, staring incredulously at the screen, trying to understand the humour, a thought dawned on me. Tonight is the last night I can call myself a student.

Sure, yeah, school ended for me three weeks ago. But I still feel like a student. If you read my Medieval Times post, you’ll see that I got the student discount. I still use the excuse “I’m a starving student” when thinking of reasons to not pay for something.

And tomorrow that all changes.

Tomorrow’s my first official day as Managing Editor of the Western Gazette. I officially make the transition from student to person.

With that transition will come many changes. I’ve already talked about some changes I’ve made, like the haircut and ring tune, but these ones are bigger.

I sat down with my mom and worked out a budget. A real person budget. I got a cheque-book. I guess you could say I’m a big boy now.

It’s going to be weird. A whole different lifestyle. This past year I worked two jobs while going to school and attempting to have some sort of social life. And school is like a full-time job in itself—probably tougher. It would be hard for anyone outside the program to be able to understand, so if you’re from the program, I’m winking knowingly at you, and if you’re not, just move on.

It was tough to balance all of that. I didn’t do it all that well at times—various aspects would suffer because I was focusing too much on another.  That’s a problem I seem to have. A sort of tunnel-vision that arises, that I’m blind to until after the fact. Whether it’s focusing too much on school, relationships, work, personal life or my social life, I’ve come to understand that too much of one is detrimental to the others.

So that’s the focus this year. Balance. The job aspect may seem demanding—typical hours in the office are from 9am to 10pm—but compared to the effort put in at the X (Fanshawe’s radio station) this past year, that is nothing. I think my longest day gathering news for the X amounted to about 18 hours, and it was a very rare day where it was less than 12. It was tough but I am extremely thankful for it—I definitely feel as if it’s prepared me well for not only this job, but future jobs as well.

And of course, less stress in one aspect will mean an easier time giving the other aspects their due focus. I’ve graduated, so there’s no school to worry about now. If you’ve read my earlier posts, you’ll know I’m now a bachelor for life (b4l) so that aspect doesn’t need to be worried about either. That leaves me work, and my personal and social life to focus on. I think this’ll be good. The job is Monday to Thursday, and the hours pretty much guarantee that it’ll be my focus for those four days—as it should be. However, with a three day weekend each week, I’ll be able to have some “me” time, as well as that whole social thing. Time to get fit, healthy, and beat Twilight Princess again. (It’s a Nintendo game, nothing to do with the vampire, god.) Time to have some fun.

Looks like you’ll have me for one more year, London. And balance is the name of the game.

PS. American Dad never got any better. Sigh.

Follow me on Twitter:

@CamAtGazette
@CamMParkes 

Cheers,

CP

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Very good, m’lord

Hey cats and kittens. Today’s post is going to us all back in time—to the 11th century, according to some wench.

Yesterday was my friend Brigette’s birthday—happy birthday again to you Brigette—and to celebrate, she took me, her roommate Eoin and our friend Rebecca to the legendary Medieval Times in Toronto. As the ladies were aghast to learn, this was my first time going, so I didn’t know what to expect.

It wasn’t a good start. When I first learned that a ticket would cost around 70 bucks, with the added cost of a Go-train ticket to and from, I messaged Brigette and said something along the lines of “Brigette! Are you insane??” However, after some deep thinking and getting alternative views from other individuals, I slumped my shoulders, muttered “YOLO” to myself, and said I’d go.

To get in the mood for adventure, the four of us rocked out to “A Whole New World” and that Backstreet Boys song that everyone knows on the way down to Toronto. Feelin’ good, not worrying about the money any longer.

We arrive at Medieval Times and it immediately becomes apparent to me that this is one of those things that you have to get into, or it’s just going to seem lame. As soon as the wench at the door told us where to get our tickets in her olden-times-accent I could feel myself beginning to slip into my accent—some sort of mix between what I imagine is British and Australian—but I didn’t feel right letting it all out just then. When I got to the ticket booth and found out that students got in for only 30 bones I was all like, “bloody brilliant” and from there on out I was an 11th-century peasant.

As we entered the castle chambers the first thing we did was make a beeline for the bar. Or tavern I guess. With the knowledge that I had about 40 dollars in my pocket that I had expected to spend, I felt no qualms however about spending 24 of them on this beautiful creation:

Keep in mind, my hand is gigantic

I would have felt bad NOT buying this.


Wandering around with our assorted drinks, we looked at a bunch of what Brigette referred to as “paraphernalia”—I think she meant “souvenirs” but whatever. We watched an adorable couple get knighted by the King, and that’s when I noticed it. A small child, dressed fully in armour, staring at me. I suddenly felt defenceless, as I was clad only in my peasants’ clothes. I hastened over to the nearest market stall and quickly purchased my own set. With a few quick alterations, I was ready:

Good thing I have abs of steel

I don’t always take mirror pics, but when I do, they’re of me in armour


Shut up. It was awesome. The King’s chancellor or whatever (the guy MCing the whole thing) spoke to me personally from way up high, in front of everyone because of my sweet armour. He asked me if it had shrunk in the dryer. I feigned ignorance of what a dryer was.

If you haven’t been to Medieval Times, take note of this next part. You get to become an ANIMAL. You watch a spirited show which includes knights and horses and competition and a really sexy princess. While all this is happening, you get a feast. They do not provide you with utensils. They served chick—I mean, roast baby dragon—and I just tore that badboy apart with my hands and shovelled it in my mouth. I was wearing a white shirt as you saw, and not a drop of grease got on it. Clearly I was made for the 11th century.

While you’re stuffing your face with the castle’s delicacies you’re also screaming cheers for the knight of your colour. We were red and yellow. Our guy did well in the preliminary rounds but then got knocked out by some unknown knight. The fighting was pretty cool and well-choreographed—at times, a slight misstep would have resulted in some guy getting maced—and by that I mean taking a metal mace to the forehead.

As the show ended to a cacophony of cheers, grunts and bellows, we tipped our man-wench Desmond and made our way back to the main chamber of the castle. Now brace yourself, because here’s the best part of the night.

As we were about to leave, we heard the trumpets go off. We ran over to see what the kerfuffle was about and saw the royalty, as well as the knights approaching. Being in character and all I immediately went to one knee for the king. He graciously allowed me to rise and asked if I had a good time. While I responded “brilliant” to his Grace, my eye was caught by the Princess coming up behind him. Her prince was looking the other way, and this gorgeous royal wench quickly undressed me with her eyes as I have her a bow. It was awesome.

I thought about duelling her prince for her honour, but then realized my sword was plastic and his was steel. She was hot, but not THAT hot.

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