Friday, 20 April 2012


You're done!

Today wasn't the best, but I have a wonderful internship around the corner at an amazing advertising agency, and I'm staying positive. CreComm has been full of ups and downs, and this is where I want and need to be.

Congrats fellow CreComm's on completing our first year.

CCMA's–  Tuesday. See you then.

Then.... a long farewell.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Dionysys in Stony Mountain

Last week I headed to the Crocus building on Bannatyne, and was kindly directed by door staff to the Rachael Browne Theatre on the second floor.  I wasn't really sure what to expect from Dionysus in Stony Mountain, a play directed by Bill Kerr. The cast of the play consisted of two actors, three characters, two acts, and two sets.

The first act of the play was rather dialogue heavy, and was heavily based on quotes by Nietzsche. I loved the concept of raising issue to our prison systems, while touching on philosophical matters, morality, and mental illness. I think that many people who weren't really aware of certain religious issues, or weren't familiar with Nietzsche, the first act of the play could have been borderline boring, as they would likely be lost. I found the dialogue heavy, and at times tough to get through– but understood what was going on. They brought up some great issues, and certainly captivated my brain to think a little further about the systems that we have in place. Which to me, brings up the whole other issue of living life with an open mind. Things aren't always black and white.

James  (played by Ross McMillan), did such an amazing job of playing the role of an inmate struggling with mental illness. I think his reluctance to take his medication was very realistic. His willingness, or lack of willingness to comply and take his meds, was ultimately the main thing standing in his way of potential freedom after murdering his first wife while under a manic episode. James has a meeting with his Psychiatrist Heidi (played by Sarah Constible) throughout the first act. Heidi tries to help James as he approaches his parole hearing, but he needs to be taking his medication. The interaction between the two is unique and interesting to watch, especially when it becomes obvious that a boundary has been crossed.

Heidi promises James that if he takes his medication, she will quit psychiatry. Which leads us into the second act where Heidi breaks the news that she has quit job. The second act becomes much easier to follow, and ties in the Nietzsche heavy quotes very nicely. For those lost in the first act, it all starts to come together.

Major kudos to actor Ross McMillan. He is quite talented. He no longer plays the character of James in the second half of the play. Ross becomes Eric, Heidi's uncle. The two characters are nothing alike, the dialogue, mood, everything changes now. But one thing remains the same, the duos both had hurdles to overcome. Heidi and James needed to break down walls, so that both can be reached by one another. While with Eric, Heidi spends most of her time defending her decisions, until they both come to some form of mutual understanding. Heidi has her own inner struggle as she continues to discover that she is missing pieces in her own personal journey with defining justice and mental illness.

Overall, I think this play brings up some pretty incredible topics that people wouldn't normally stop to think about. The mentally ill is simply locked up far too often, the aboriginal population in prison is very high and I understand the herd mentality that goes along with it. Our system needs some work, and this play opens the eyes of its viewers to many of these issues.

This play was a little long, I appreciated the acting, and the many messages. I found the air to be a little thick, but that may just be because it was a full house. It's definitely not a venue for the claustrophobic. I was very happy to be served refreshments at intermission. I left the play feeling a little deflated. It was a bit heavy for me, for a Tuesday–maybe for any day. I thought it was worthwhile to see, but I'm not even really sure if I'd recommend this play to someone, and if I did, I'm not sure who the audience should be. I really did appreciate it though, it certainly got me thinking.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Today you will be my diary...

Wow... Last night I became the girl I never thought I'd be. I actually allowed myself to shed a tear or ten over the silliest thing.

I realize that my life and behaviour has changed in a number of ways since school began in September. Some of these things were beyond my control, some could have been handled differently, and some things I am flat out not so proud of. There are some days I feel like I feel like I am barely hanging on by a thread.

For example, some of my friends haven't always been the most understanding to the demands of this program. I can only hope that once things slow down, they can forgive me for being a little MIA at times. I've felt spread a little thin, but seven classes, plus work, and homework will do that... please get ready to enjoy the summer months with me as I will be able to breathe again. Huge kudos to those who have stood by me through thick and thin it means the world to me. When I have ignored messages and calls while working on late night assignments I didn't do this because I don't love u.... but rather, I saved you from a horrible conversation filled with stress and possible tears, while I tried to remain focused on my task at hand. This is quite possibly considered selfish, and I fully owe many an apology.

One thing I have come to realize is that although I consider myself an incredibly patient and mostly laid-back person, I think that school stress has brought some less than desirable qualities in me at times.  There are days when I come become intolerant, and even at times uptight. You can ask Nick Cringan, my wonderful boyfriend who has put up with my crazy antics on and off since school began. In looking back at last night, and all the other nights this year, I've kinda taken on the persona of a crazy person with my loved ones. Never at school or with my peers, but with the ones who mean the most. I've been short, impatient, and can hardly ever take a joke. Like I said- intolerant. It's an ugly and embarrassing thing to realize, but I have. I've been on edge, and have learned that I haven't been dealing with stress very well. There have been moments when I haven't quite been able to even recognize the girl that appears before me in the mirror. It's been a little scary.

I have always been proud of how loving, compassionate and kind I am. I've never taken myself too seriously, and have considered myself to be rather silly. I began my post secondary journey with the intent to become a teacher because I wanted to share my big, patient heart with little people that were just beginning to pave their way through this big world. So, to reflect on my behaviour lately....... I think I've slipped off this path a bit. I've been a bit of a monster to those around me. I think I owe a few people a million hugs and kisses, maybe some candy, and definitely my word that normal Tamara will be back for good.

This leads me to my tears last night... I can't solely blame my crazy antics on school. Since the age of five, I have been highly active. If my time wasn't consumed playing sports, I'd be running and hitting the gym in its offseason. Throughout university I still played soccer year round,  still had time on spares, or after school to workout because I would only be in 3-4 classes at a time and found the workload manageable. Since school began, I've found it next to impossible to manage balancing the gym regularly into my schedule. I know that I am a petite girl, but my body feels like it hasn't been taken care of. Last night I started crying after realizing how awful and unhealthy I felt.

I am not that girl.

I went for a long walk to clear my head. I feel embarrassed for behaving that way. In moving forward, I know I need to do something about this. I need to make a point of maintaining time for some sort of regular physical activity into my schedule. I am so much happier and relaxed when I am active, and I know that since it's been lacking– it's been contributing to my foul mood. I will treat activity like work, something I just have to make time for. I will also continue to make more time for my buddies.

I'm sure fellow CreComm's can relate to at least part of this post. They say that once you write things down, you're more likely to see change occur.  There will no longer be an awful stressed out Tamara, I am promising today to deal with my stress more efficiently. Mountains out of mole hills– be gone! I won't travel to Snap Town at the drop of a hat, and I will learn to laugh at myself again. No need to take life so seriously. Life is great, life is fun.... things will always fall into place. I have wonderful people in my life and I have plenty to smile and laugh about.

Nothing like a Tuesday morning self reflection. Sorry for the rant. Feels good to get it out. Sorry to those who have witnessed my craziness even if you didn't get the brunt of it.

Thank you to my dearest of friends, my amazing boyfriend, and my patient family for always putting up with me. I don't mean for you to be on eggshells, and I know that I haven't been myself. Love you.

Gym time.

Much Love.

Friday, 30 March 2012

So shleepy.

I'm so pooped right now... Laying with my puppy Winston. Magazine Fair took so much out of me today.  It was a lot of fun, and it felt rewarding to see everyone celebrate their finished magazines that we've worked so hard on for the past three months. It was a good day, and now a tiring day.

Happy Birthday Suzy B!! Hope you loved your flash mob wishes today. Love your smile and big heart.

Happy Friday all!

Journey For Justice

Part of the requirement for Journalism class this term included reading Journey for Justice, by crime reporter and CreComm graduate Mike McIntyre. This crime story examines the abduction of Candace Derksen and the process of finding her killer.

I recall hearing about this case growing up, so I was looking forward to reading this book. Plus, I haven't had much time for pleasure reading since the summer, so my bedtime routine welcomed this change.

I must note that one of the things that really stood out to me in this book was the strength of Wilma Derksen. She really kept herself together, when most would fall apart. I think a major contributing factor behind Wilma's strength, was her faith. It popped up a lot in seminar and the book, so you get the sense that her faith is what kept her going throughout this entire process.

I thought that many parts of Mike McIntyre's book worked, and other parts kind of seemed off to me. I loved the beginning part of his book. I felt like I had a good grasp on who the characters were, and I thought that he did a nice job telling the story of how Candace went missing. As a former Psychology student I appreciated the reports on Mark Grant. However, I felt that they began to drag on a bit, becoming repetitive. I think a few would have been beneficial, but I don't think it was necessary to provide so much.

McIntyre provides amazing details in his book, these details worked for me. From discussing the neighbour as a suspect, to sharing the courtroom details, these were great. I liked how organized the first half of the book was, but the second half fell short. I think there was some inconsistencies in his writing styles, and maybe he was just trying to set different tones by playing around with this, but I'm not so sure that I liked this.

Journalists can and should take something away from Mike McIntyre's work. I think he's proven to be full of class, while still getting a great story. He was able to leave his work in his pocket at appropriate times. He used compassion and wasn't solely after a story. He was respectful, and gained the trust of the Derksen's but still did his job in doing this story justice.

I can imagine that in times of tragedy, the idea of spending time with a reporter would be pretty dreadful. It would be easier to turn the journalist away, because they may be expecting an aggressive experience. Any journalist working on a traumatic case should consider sitting down with Mike. He seems to have done a pretty great job at showing families that he genuinely cares about them, but still does his job efficiently.

I don't typically read true crime novels, but I have read some of Mike's work in the Winnipeg Free Press. I think that the bond and relationship that he's built with the Derksen's provided a much closer look at the feelings and thoughts of the characters in Journey for Justice, something that wouldn't be very typical of his shorter Free Press articles.

I wasn't totally sure what to expect when Wilma and Mike came to speak to us, but I found it interesting to see the way the two interacted. You could tell that the two have become great friends through their journey together. They shared a story about a time that Wilma was having a  BBQ, and Mike had asked if he could join her and her friends,  Wilma said okay– but only if he left his notebook at home this time. It was a simple story, but I think that it was one of a few moments that the two shared, that established their friendship, outside of working on the book. She mentioned another instance in the courtroom where she needed him to be her friend for minute, and to put down his pen to be present in the moment with her. I think it's great that they formed a friendship like this during such an incredible ordeal. I respect that Mike wasn't just a journalist getting a story, he was there for Wilma during this experience at various points in time.

During the presentation, I thought it was pretty amazing that Wilma spoke about her ability to forgive Mark Grant, Candace's killer. It takes a pretty incredible person to look past the injustice they endured as a family, and to be able to keep an open and forgiving mind in moving forward. She wanted to know everything she could about the man who took her daughters life, and she found that Mark was quite the victim himself. He came from an awful upbringing, and had really been through some trauma in his own life. She said that although it could never excuse what's happened, she looks at this information as somewhat of an explanation which helps her understand and accept what's happened.

She spoke numerous times about her faith, which I think is very key in this book and was certainly understood in seminar. Seeing Wilma speak about her faith first hand, makes everything seem much more believable. I don't think many people would be so understanding and forgiving after going through what she has been through. You can tell that she is a woman of God, or something higher anyways for her her to choose the attitude that she has chosen. It's evident that her faith has helped mold the person she is today– she's a strong, forgiving, and compassionate woman.

Friday, 16 March 2012

August: Osage County... wahh

If I wasn't stuck in bed feeling like hot garbage, I would most certainly be making my way down to MTC to check out August: Osage County.

Serious bummer.

I'm really disappointed that I won't be going this evening. I was so looking forward to getting lost in this intense play filled with family drama, secrets, scandal and substance abuse after this crazy week. If anyone has time before March 24 to go see this epic piece of live theatre – I strongly advise doing so.

August: Osage County is a darkly comedic play by Tracy Letts, and was a the recipient of a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  The Winnipeg Free Press gave the play a 4.5 star review as well.

Check out this link for showtimes:

ALSO.... wash your hands people, there's a flu bug going around.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Just realized that something wonky happened with my post last week– it's fixed now. Check out my Q&A post from last week, with Zach Bogosian. It was nice to hear his take on Winnipeg, and hear him recognize and appreciate the support that fans and our wonderful city provides for him and the Winnipeg Jets.