Monthly Archives: June 2012

Graduations

Before I begin, I want to offer a shoutout and a huge congratulations to my colleague and classmate Eryl, for managing to procure a job in the television industry with CHCH News. She’s gonna rock it–expect big things!

And with that, here we go.

One week ago today (Wednesday) I completed my second of two convocations. Well whoopdee-doo for me.

The program I took in post-secondary—Media, Theory and Production—takes place both at Western University and Fanshawe College. Thus, I earned a diploma in broadcast journalism from Fanshawe, and a degree in Media and Integrated Technoculture at Western. Thus, two convocations. Kapeesh?

There was quite a bit of build-up to these ceremonies. Fanshawe was on June 19, and Western on June 20—this meant there was about two months between the time school ended, and the convocation. After seeing your classmates consistently for anywhere between eight months and four years, two months away is more than enough time to set the stage for an exciting reunion.

Fanshawe was up first, and thankfully it wasn’t until 2pm. I slept in and made the drive to London Tuesday morning.  I first ran into some familiar faces—a stud and a towel, to be specific—in the lovely Outback Shack.  It’d been a while since I’d seen the handsome fellas so of course some bro-grabs were in order. After that business was taken care of, we saluted the first-years who were also at the table—if I recall correctly, they were gazing at us with something between admiration and awe—and strutted out of the Shack.

We arrived at the rendezvous point just outside the gym a few minutes before the doors opened. Many small reunions took place, and hugs, hand-shakes and bro-grabs were being given out like candy at some sort of free-candy convention, or something.

The whole prep process was pretty straightforward—after running quickly through the alphabet in my head to determine which line to stand in, I got my sweet gown and then stood around for a bit. There was a screen displaying the process for the entire convocation in steps, but I only saw step one which was something like “enter gym”. I decided to wing it.

Fanshawe Gown

Red’s not usually my colour, but man.


The ceremony actually went pretty quickly. It was cool where we were sitting, so that was nice too. Dana Lewis was our guest speaker, and although he talked a lot about potato recipes, his speech was a pretty good one. Afterwards, the grads got to walk across the stage and get their little scarf thing. The folks running the ceremony demanded no one make a sound—but we Fanshawe students, being the undisputed rebels we are, let out a smattering of applause at certain points, and even a whoop or two. Thankfully, none of our diplomas were withheld—at least, not once we returned our gowns. Yup, no pictures with gowns AND diplomas—we could only get our very expensive paper by handing the gowns back in.

After we all got our scarves (which we had to return also, by the way), we left the auditorium to tumultuous applause from the probably-very-bored people there. Then there was a nice little reception where we had some photo ops—here’s a good one of the folks and I:

Group shot

Group shot.


And of course us MTPs had to get our group shot—we were honoured when Dr. Howard Rundle, President of Fanshawe, asked to be in the photo:

MTPs and Dr. Rundle

MTPs and Dr. Rundle

After returning the gown and getting my lovely diploma, I went back to my apartment and changed into shorts—thank god, it was pretty hot out. Then I drove over to Carey’s, where I got to enjoy a few beers and a sub-par burger with some of my attractive radio classmates. This of course led to a trip to one of their houses, where we engaged in a spirited bout of sitting on the couch sighing when the swivelling fan hit us, sipping on luke-warm beer.

After that lost its appeal, we set up a table and started into the beer pong. My towel friend Gibby and I were a dynamic duo, and pretty much destroyed anyone who dared challenge us. Our best feat, however, was winning a game in two turns—and the other team didn’t even sink one. For the record, because I’m sure they’ll gripe, I’m counting balls-back as the same turn. I hit a bounce shot while Gibby hit a free-throw, eliminating three cups and allowing us to get the balls back. Quick as a fox, I bounced it in again, eliminating two of the remaining three. So now, on the losing team’s first throw, they were down to one cup. They both missed their throws—not even close, if I recall—and on our second turn I drained my shot. Although they had six cups to aim at, neither opposing player managed to hit a redemption shot, and history was writ.

And yes, they should have had to go streaking. We could have made them. But in the end we let them off the hook.

A bit later we went back to my place for a few beers, and then went down to Molly’s to meet up with some other swell people. There were many interesting parts to our night, including a waitress who could recite the million beers on tap in a single breath; a woman who tried to pick up Gibby by telling him his tie wasn’t done up right; a forgotten ID (there’s always one); and a lost adventure in a park (I heard about this later). All in all a fabulous night—except for the fact that it was 3 before I got to bed, and I had to be up early for the Western side of things.

I won’t bore you with the details of this one, since it was pretty similar—I’ll just mention the differences. Western had three grads go up at once (thank god or it would have taken forever) and at one point they stopped the proceedings to yell at some lady who shouted “FINALLY” when some bitty got her hood. Oh, yeah, we had to kneel in front of some guy and get a hood placed around our head. No, we didn’t get to keep the hood.

After that ceremony, we all grabbed our degrees:

Degree

Degree


and us MTPs headed over to UC Hill to once again take our attractive group photos. Here’s one of many:

Hey, let's look right into the sun

Hey, let’s look right into the sun


And of course I got one with Mom and Dad:

Buncha' beauts

Buncha’ beauts


There were more but I only have so much room to post things, sheesh. The after-Western process involved getting some lemonade, a sweet bookmark, then returning the regalia (which is a fancy word for gown, apparently?) and heading home to take a nap.

That night a bunch of the MTPs and a few others went out for our own celly. This involved some beers (or wine) on Barney’s patio, followed by a night of getting our dance on at JBRs. To top it off? Street meat at the end of the night.

Unfortunately that street meat cost me my cab fare, so I made the 45-minute walk home. All tuckered out from my big days, I collapsed into sleep, the proud owner of a degree and diploma and a free tassel thing that came with my regalia.

At this point, I’ll say thanks to the people who made my post-secondary time a blast: all the ladies and gentlemen in the 2-year Fanshawe program, I only met you this year, but you guys were awesome. I formed some good friendships with you guys over the eight months we were together (sometimes 24/7 it seemed!) and I wish you all the best.

Of course, a special thanks to my MTP ladies: Mel, Caroline, Jenn, Becca, Jacquelyn, Tor, Eryl and Shauna. I’ve known you ladies since second year (even longer for Jac-attack) and you made my post-secondary stint quite a memorable one. I know I’ll run into at least some of you in the working world, and I can’t wait for it. Best of luck, and congrats to everyone!

And last but certainly not least, the biggest of all thank-yous to my mom and dad. It goes without saying that without their support–physically, mentally, emotionally, financially– I would never have made it this far.

On another note—I went to Canada’s Wonderland on Tuesday. The next post will be about that, and I’ll tell you this: it includes a list of children that deserved a good punching. Stay tuned, and follow me on Twitter:

@CamMParkes
@CamAtGazette

Cheers,

CP

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The hidden month

As promised, here is the next post catching you up on what I’ve been doing for the last month or so. Because I’m sure you’ve all been waiting, anxiously holding your breath, to hear about my hilarious and sexy exploits.

Well. If you read yesterday’s post you’ll remember that I was a hero. After a hero’s dinner of pizza, I had a hero’s sleep—which is to say, about six hours. Then it was up and off to work, wearing the same clothes as the day before. But hey, as a wise man once sang: when did society decide we had to change and wash a t-shirt after every individual use? If it’s not dirty, I’m gonna wear it.

The two ladies that I work with, Gloria and Nicole, immediately knew that they were the same clothes of course. And, despite me quoting the lyrics from above to them, they still expressed disgust. Women.

The Gazette is off to a great start, in my opinion. Since my blog break, we published another issue (our last one until August) and it came together very nicely. Aside from the actual editing part, we’ve also managed to spruce up the office quite a bit.

We got rid of an old fridge that had been there for possibly centuries, and which held only one thing—super-spoiled chocolate milk. We changed our back area into a sweet little luncheonesque-type area, and reorganized the main back room to include a Nintendo Corner (totally my idea guys). We dusted the shit out of everything—also from under, on top of, and behind—and in my wanderings I found some cool old photos of the paper, which we framed and put on display. We reorganized the Bounds, which, as mentioned in a previous post, are books containing copies of every issue of the paper for a given year. We arranged them chronologically, and the earliest one goes back to the 1960s! Lots of history there.

The most exciting part, though, was the photo-shoot we did for the issue. One of the articles was about a new iPhone app that makes it safer to “sext” your significant other. Or a random person you just met at the bar—whatever, I don’t judge.

Anyways, for the photo for the article we decided we’d do a model holding a phone which had a sexting conversation going on. Seeing as it was summer and we had no models around, the task fell to me.

I wanted to do it completely naked but after some discussion we decided that probably wouldn’t fly. So I stripped down to my boxers (relax, ladies) and made a fake sexting conversation on my phone. The person I was getting all hot and heavy with was named Ivanna Sextalot—you probably don’t know her. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey, what are you wearing? (;
Ivanna: Nothing (;
Me: Oooh that’s hot
Me: Pics?!
Ivanna: Idk…too risky???

The app this article focuses on apparently allows you to set a self-destruction timer on any photos or messages you send through it, so the idea of this convo was that, with this new app, the risk of sending a photo would be mitigated. Pretty clever, right?! Also, my first semi-nude modeling shot. If I recall correctly, the rest of that day was spent mopping up drool from the various women that happened to walk by while I was posing.

Another thing that happened—I turned 22. This occurred on our second-last day of work (it might have been the day I modeled, I can’t be sure). I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at work that morning, as my lovely coworkers had shown up early for once (I’m always first there) and presented me with a cake and some nice gifts. This is despite the fact that I take pains to keep my birthday a secret—people always find out! That night some good buddies took me out to the Ale House in London, where we indulged in many, many $12.50 pitchers of beer—for which, I might add, I paid zilch. Zero. No dollars. I got them for free, is what I’m saying. These guys know how to treat a guy on his birthday, I guess.

It was also a karaoke bar. Needless to say, I brought the house down. All seven people there applauded at least politely. It was quite a moment.

I would have loved to sleep in the next day, but of course I had to go into work. I was a bit late, but the girls didn’t seem to mind—or at least, pretended they didn’t. Pshht, I’m early EVERY OTHER DAY. Anywho, we busted ass and got the issue together in relatively good time, caught a last minute mistake that would have been pretty embarrassing, and successfully published our second issue as a team.

As of June 8th, my two-month vacay started. I was determined to make the most of it. I started running every morning, and so far I’ve consistently reduced my time to run a specific distance.

I’ve been reading like a fiend. My goal is to finish 20 books by January 2013—it looks like it’s going to be more like 22—but I’ve already ripped through seven of them. These seven books comprise the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. If you’re up for a lengthy challenge, I’d certainly recommend them. Unbelievable.

I bought Xbox Live again, but so far haven’t used it. The weather has just been too nice, and I’d much rather be outside reading or swimming. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll rain eventually.

I’ve also used this vacay to start on some of those goals I listed way back in one of my first posts.

  • I signed up for a site that is helping me learn Spanish again—it’s pretty cool and I think it’s working pretty well.
  • As far as music goes, I haven’t done any coffee houses or anything like that, but I have been playing a lot more/learning more songs. I’ve also picked up the piano. That kind of hurt my back though, so I settled for learning how to play it.
  • I think traveling was one of the goals—and I have something in mind. That will come in a later post, though.
  • The one goal I haven’t made any leeway on is to stop writing these posts while on the toilet. If you can kill two birds with one stone, why not do it?

Aside from all this relaxing, I’ve seen friends, hung out with people, hit the beach a few times…all this leading up to my grads. Those’ll be the topic of the next post, so make sure you check it out—they were pretty wicked and that post will probably have PICTURES YAAAAAY.

Anywho, follow me on Twitter:

@CamMParkes
@CamAtGazette

Thanks, nerds. Cheers for now!

CP

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The long-awaited post

Yeah yeah, I guess you can say I’ve been slacking, neglecting this blog—what can I say, it’s been gorgeous outside and I have better things to do than sit inside all day and type type type away on my computer. So back off!

That being said, the requests/demands/complaints have been mounting, so now here I am, grudgingly sitting down to hack out a post, all the while staring out the window at my sunny backyard.

Alright. First off, I believe in my last post I promised to tell the story of how I defied all odds and saved the day this one time.

Picture this, if you will: I’m prepping to make the trek from Burlington to London one day, and my besty-with-breasties Amanda was all like, take me with you, besty-with-testes. So I was like, okay—not knowing that this simple response would lead to the accomplishment of a lifetime.

So we drive down, make good time, Amanda asks me to hang with her and her roommates—they’re pretty cool so I was all like, okay. We go in, say hello, Amanda heads downstairs to the basement (where her room is) to do something girly, I imagine. I’m chatting amicably with her roomies Siobhan and Steph when I hear an agonized scream: “SHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIII-“

Turns out her room was locked. And she left the key in Burlington.

As she told us this, obviously struggling to hold back tears probably, my male instincts kicked in. I calmly told her it was no problem—I’d merely roundhouse-kick the door in. For some reason she seemed rather reluctant to allow this, and so we turned to the next-best option: looking up YouTube videos of how to pick locks (there are a surprising amount of these—how is that even legal?).

After watching a few good ones, we tried our best to emulate them—I’m not going to tell you the process, if you want to be a badass like us you’re gonna have to go look it up on your own. Don’t blame that shit on me. I take no responsibility for you stealing stuff or getting your stuff stolen or anything like that.

Ultimately it’s pretty simple—we failed miserably. Nowhere close to getting that damn lock opened. Amanda’s getting all upset cause she really wanted to sleep on her sick mattress or something. We started inspecting the ceiling to see if there was a way to get in like that—jokingly of course. OR WAS IT?

I think they were. But at this point my male pride had taken over and there was no way in HELL I was not getting into that room.

Being a relatively tall person, I was able to lift that ceiling tile with no trouble—it’s one of those ceilings that has like, foam/plaster/Styrofoam-type tiles—and peek in. It’s hard to explain, but here goes: basically what I saw was about two feet of space between the metal supports and the ceiling. The supports were very rickety and there was no way I could put any weight on them. The only other thing to hold onto was a wooden cross beam. After some scrutiny, I mentally decided “what the hell” and went for it. We had pushed a chair up against the wall under the gap; I climbed the back of it and kind of stepped up and over the wall, hooking one knee on the top of it. Then, holding onto the wooden beam for dear life, I quickly brought my other leg up.

So now I’m balanced on the edge of this wall. The girls ran over and were supporting my back. There was almost no room to manoeuvre. I slid slowly forward, and kicked the tile that was above Amanda’s room down to the ground. Now, I could have just gone through headfirst but for the fact that it was about a ten-foot drop—and the one spot I was able to go through didn’t have any furniture to stand on or anything.

Up in the ceiling, I was attempting to roll over so I’d be on my stomach—that way I could just slowly inch my way backwards and fall through. There just wasn’t enough room to do this. Instead I kept sliding forward—and all of a sudden part of the wall started to give out under me. Without thinking, I said “I’m going in” and let go of the beam. I landed on my feet in the dark room, hearing the cries of amazement from the other side of the thin wall. When I unlocked the door and emerged, pandemonium broke loose. We quickly completed a repair job—this involved nailing the border back in place and replacing the tiles—then went out to get pizza to celebrate.

It truly was an Ocean’s…Four? moment. Who’d expect a 6’4”, 200lb guy to be able to fit through a tile in the ceiling that couldn’t have been more than 2ft by 2ft? NOT VERY MANY PEOPLE I BET.

Anyways, that’s how I saved the day. Since it has been quite a while since my last post, much has happened. I’ll tell you all about it over the next few days, so stay tuned! Tomorrow I’ll touch on my job, my birthday, and some stuff leading up to my grads.

Follow me on Twitter so you don’t miss these amazing updates:

@CamMParkes
@CamAtGazette

Cheers,

CP

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