I’ve never been a big birthday person. My birthday quite unfortunately has become a victim of circumstance. Falling dangerously to Christmas and forever present a major world holiday–News Years Eve. This has resulted in many birthday-Christmas presents (something I will never give to my own children…), and many plans that never come to fruition. There was even that one birthday when everybody cancelled–everybody. Continue reading →
I sometimes see commercials and think. For the most parts commercials fall into one of two categories. For the most-part they fall into the status quo (e.g. car driving through the mountain, women folding laundry, Celebrity X reciting lines that relate to an unexpected product, etc.), sometime they are creative and unexpected (e.g. Old Spice, Skittles, and the new Dominoes pizza ad to name a few), and on occasion I ask ’how could anybody think producing this was a good idea…’.
During the summer a friend of mine told me that this would be an interesting year full of change. To be fair, that’s a pretty general statement and every year is full of change but in a lot of ways it feels like i’m only just getting started with my career.
Two weeks ago I accepted an offer to become an Account Executive in Edelman’s Toronto office, and I officially started a week ago. Admittedly, I had never imagined myself working for a large agency, but luckily a friend of mine suggested that I would really like it. And, I would have to say so far so good. Granted, right now things are ramping down as we approach the Christmas season, so I haven’t even had a taste of the hectic nature of a large agency, but overall the people and atmosphere are really starting to grow on me.
In my previous post I noted that I would avoid pursuing employment with a PR firm to avoid any conflicts of interest that may arise, and that condition almost made me pass up this opportunity. However, I figured that in the end if I want to continue communicating for small not-for-profits, festivals, and startups, it wont pose any conflict for a firm as large as Edelman. And, I’ve made efforts to wrap-up a lot of the projects that were consuming my time when I was freelancing full-time. While i’d love to continue working on those projects at the same pace that I have been over the past 4 months, I think being realistic with my own time constraints would be best…
I know i’m going to like it at Edelman, and I know that it’s going to provide an excellent opportunity for personal growth. I might even pursue new projects outside of public relations….we’ll see what direction 2013 takes.
At this beginning of this summer I endeavoured to start my own public relations firm, Trotman Public Relations (I clearly thought long and hard about the name–epic). I jumped headlong into the life of a small business owner without knowing what to expect. What met me was and inconsistent income stream, more clients that I had expected, and an experience that would last a lifetime. I this up, because 4 months later i’ve reached an impasse. My contract with Manifesto is at an end and at this point Manifesto is like my Luck Strikes Cigarette; without them i’m in a pretty rough spot. I still intend on working with Manifesto, but i’m left with an interesting problem, that being the need to pay bills…the bartering system is not as effective as you might expect.
As such, I must rejoin my comrades in the 9 – 5 grind. Trotman PR will live on and thrive, but I’ll need something to fuel the firms never satiated belly–and by the firm, I mean the creditors that will hound me if I fail to pay my bills.
I’ve been told that there are “no jobs” and to those people i’ve responded “horse sh*t, you simply lack conviction. improve.” Time to put my money where my mouth is.
On Sunday, October 14 I began my job hunt. The terms:
1) Obtain a full-time position that can be put up with on a long-term basis
2) Do not to work for any PR firms to avoid any potential conflicts of interest
3) Search for positions related to the areas of finance, business development and in-house corporate communications
I’m relying on personal networks and good old online advertisements. I’ll resort to dropping in on businesses personally and Google Ads when the situation becomes more dire.
For the time being i’m in high spirits and very confident about my prospects. And listening to Japanese anime music. Fantastic.
A documentary dressed as fiction—these are the words that best describe Microphone. It’s a film that leaves you wanting more and unfortunately the desire for closure may leave some unsatisfied.
Set on the cusp of the Arab Spring revolution—the historical youth-led movement that ousted President Mubarak—Microphone does an excellent job at capturing the growing hip hop art and culture scene in Egypt. From music, to graffiti, to skateboarding culture, the movie demonstrates that hip hop is truly global movement that gives a voice to people around the world. In that sense the movie was inspiring, uplifting, and educations. That being said, because of its unfamiliar structure it may be difficult for Microphone to be loved by all.
The overall decentralized nature of the story line combined with the lack of closure has the potential of leave the movie goers frustrated. The movie is centered around a man named Khaled, who coming back from the United States to Egypt is trying to find a place for himself in a home that is no longer his. While the movie primarily focuses on Khaled’s story, it also incorporates the stories of two students developing a documentary, a hip hop group trying to make their way in an oppressive system, a pair of graffiti artists on the verge of losing their home, and a young skateboarder that connects them all (and apparently never goes to school…). In short, the movie has a lot going on.
However, in my view the variety of things being portrayed was the movies strength. It demonstrates varied aspects of hip hop culture and how those aspects interact with Middle Eastern culture and customs to create something that is unique.
I can appreciate why many people would be left frustrated after having watched this movie, but I would encourage everyone to give it a chance and take it as a whole, not a sum of its individual parts.
The Toronto Palestine Film Festival will be continuing until Sunday, and there are still a lot of great movies to be seen. Check out TPFF for a full listing of what’s available.
The pun may have been terrible…but my culinary adventures at the Annual Chilean Wine Tasting hosted by Andross Communications was an afternoon treat. The atmosphere was filled with smells of fruit, spices, and empanadas (oh the empanadas…).
These are not empanadas….some cheese with your wine?
What I enjoy most about wine–and what this event helped to make quite apparent–is the accessibility that is present both in terms of price and flavour.
There are $15 bottles of wine that bring about more enjoyment than wines costing triple or even quadruple that price. It’s not necessarily the age, or the make of the wine that curates a good flavour. This helps to promote a sense of adventure in wine tasting, that’s not necessarily available in any other spirit.
And, the range in terms of price is fully reflected by the wide variety of flavours available. Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sauvingnon Blanc, dry wines, fruity wines, spiced wines, and maybe even a Sangria!
Regardless of your taste preference, there is a way to enjoy wine and exploring the options is half the fun.
I usually don’t fancy whites, but this was a pleasant surprise and my favourite of the day!
A selection of reds from the first table I visited
There is a very good reason why Gail Vazoxlade has been successful both in the selling of her book and her ongoing television series. Simply put–self-discpline when it comes to money is hard. Very hard. Gail’s methods are all a matter of making a person realize just how much they are spending in the hopes that the knowledge will exhibit a positive influence on their spending habits. Combined with strategies for managing the flow of money, the methods are very effective!
In my own case i’ve decided to see how I fair without my debit card for one month. I’m going to determine how much money I will need for every week and withdraw that amount of money at the teller. The rules of engagement dictate, that the amount of money I start the week with, is the amount of money i’m allowed to have until the end of the week. I’ll also attempt to use the ‘jar’ method–but in the past I haven’t been so successful with the jars. Any bills that need to be settled will have to be paid by check or at the teller. In other words, a plastic free diet.
On a weekly basis, i’ll document my progress. This of course will have to be balanced with my ‘less than consistent’ income. I’ll be curious to see how it all works out.
I used to (and still do) take pride in the fact that we have a certain level trust in society–unspoken rules of conduct that ensure we don’t have to walk around holding our hands to our wallets, in fear that anybody could be a threat. I’ve often thought about the level of trust involved in something as simple as eating out in a nice restaurant. We as the consumer trust that the cook is not trying to poison us, and the restaurant purveyor trusts that we as the consumer will not run out on the bill. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but those are generally anamolies and not the norm (hence the ‘exception’).
I bring this up, because I heard today of a private members bill that proposed making it law, that all gas stations must charge consumers before the consumer can pump gas. Personally, I doubt the actual act of paying before pumping the gas would effect anybody negatively. However, what it represents is a breaking down of that essential trust in society. The act of legislating something like this labels everybody as more than just a potential liability, but rather as an imminent liability.
To be perfectly frank I wasn’t able to hear how far this all reached, but the conversation itself is an interesting one to have…