Tuesday, January 04, 2011

RIP Blog

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, & Tumblr until I start something new.

Friday, July 30, 2010

And then there was that

About a month ago, the lovely Kate Theimer got in touch with me to see if I'd be up for writing a chapter on social media and archives for a SAA textbook. I said OK, albeit a little hesitantly as I'd never written anything like this before.

Today I passed in my draft and am feeling immensely relieved and a little bit proud of myself. All those pages took a while to pull together, but through a lot of late nights and help from the talented folks at Historypin, The New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Wisconsin Historical Society, Archives Next, and the CBC Digital Archives, it all came together. Working with such interesting organizations and institutions was really humbling... I'm still in awe that they even replied to my emails!

What has been great about this experience is the confidence I've gained in my own knowledge and abilities. If I'm able to pass on my experience to others and it helps them, then I must be doing things right. As someone who previously hid in the bathroom to have a panic attack before public speaking in university and had to have term papers wrenched from my hands, feeling sure of myself was pretty cool.

A few months ago I was a guest speaker at a MSVU social media class, along with the fabulous Kimberly Walsh. Before the class I fidgeted and felt my heart race, but once I started talking, everything gradually calmed down. This is stuff I know and practice every day. I understand it, and I can help others understand it. What an amazing feeling. I 'll probably always get the urge to run off and hide when asked to talk to a group... heck, even some meetings make me squirm, but I'm getting better. I'm learning to recognize myself as something other than a ball of nerves.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Zombie Transformation 2010

The Halifax Zombie Walk happened yesterday. In the pouring rain. During Spain vs. Netherlands. Huh.

A zombie walk is an organized public gathering of people who dress up in zombie costumes. There is no direct motive or reasoning for the walk. It's fun to dress up. Even more fun when there's a crowd of hundreds. This year's walk took us from Camp Hill Cemetery to "the wave" on the waterfront. Police escorts and "zombie security" helped the walk to go smoothly.

I didn't go all out with my make-up/costume, because, as predicted, the rain just washed everything away.

Here's what I put together this year...

Step 1: Be naturally pale, or appy a white cream foundation. Green or grey works, too. Be sure to cover up any signs of good heath, i.e. pink lips, rosy cheeks. Zombies don't tan.

2. Apply black/brown eyeshadow around your eyes and on your cheeks to give a "sunken in" appearance.

3. Apply prosthetics, if you're going to use them. I like the Woochie brand (I used the "gash" kit, this time). Ben Nye is also great. Use spirit gum to apply. Make sure it's tacky before adhering to your skin. Don't apply over areas with hair. It will kill to take off.

4. Apply make-up on your prosthetics, especially around the edges to blend them in with your own skin. I used Woochie's Injury Stack (black, red, dark-red, yellow). Use stipple sponge to apply. Yellow is a nice touch, because your wounds will look infected.

5. I applied blood gel to the wounds sparingly. The gel melts as your skin warms it up, so it create a "bleeding" effect. I also applied red lipstick under my eyes.

6. Using the stipple sponge and injury stack again, I applied black/red/dark-red on and around my mouth. I then prepared blood gelatin (needs to be submerged in boiling water for several minutes before you can apply) and applied it in the same area. Blood gelatin will harden and remain fixed in place, but looks wet. Great for a rainy day like yesterday.

7. I splashed lots of fake blood on myself before leaving, but the rain washed it off in minutes. What a drag.

Final Product:

I was going for "Victorian" zombie... I ever wore a snood (yes, Victorian ladies wore snoods). The dress was great--almost felt bad for bloodying it up.

Zombie Behaviour Tips:

1. Zombies don't emit high-pitched squeals.
2. I don't really think they yell, either. One of the more annoying aspects of the Halifax walk is that everyone screams.
3. Dressing in "sexy" ripped clothing with BARELY any make-up is lame.
4. Dressing like a Tim Burton extra is lame.
5. Pick one: fast zombie or slow zombie. Go with it for the full walk.
6. Don't bug civilians. Obey traffic laws.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Take me home.. to Meat Cove..

Canada Day is tomorrow, and I haven't really made any plans yet, other than to see Andrew's brother spin at Victor's in Halifax. Tom is amazingly talented... if you can make it to a set of his, you won't be disappointed. He'll also be playing at Evolve in a month's time.

After complaining in a prior post about "waaaah I can't do anything this summer", of course a trip to Cape Breton would present itself.

That's why "The Secret" and all that new age stuff is garbage... I am nearly ALWAYS pessimistic, and I have great stuff happen to me on a regular basis. Take that, Oprah. Debbie Downers of the world, unite!

The plan is to drive up to Ingonish and spend Friday hiking/swimming, and then head down to North Sydney to spend the night. Saturday I am going to the site of my not-yet-written horror epic... MEAT COVE! In my mind, Meat Cove is home to evil cannibals named MacDonald who eat tourists and are probably friends with the Wicker Man island folks. In real life, Meat Cove is the most isolated village in Nova Scotia, and has great camping, hiking, kayaking, and so forth nearby.

I'm looking forward to having a few days to recharge and have fun. I haven't been "on vacation" (excluding long weekends) in a while, so having four days off is wonderful. Four days off in Cape Breton? Huge bonus. Lauren: 1, Dartmouth, 0.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I have this weird, creeping suspicion that this summer is going to feel v. short and uneventful.

Reasoning: tied to Dartmouth abode until mid-August and cannot abandon homestead or cat occupants for more than a few days (unless I can get a friend/family member to look after the place--not likely, as they are ENJOYING SUMMER and do not want to be tricked into staying in D-town). I do not have a car, and neither does the boyfriend. Summer roadtrips, camping, visiting friends/relatives... it may not happen. Not sure if I even have vacation at work (a whole other tale, there).

So I'm not pumped for summer like I should be.

Things that would make me excited include: visiting Newfoundland, esp. Gros Morne, hanging out with friends and family in Fredericton (lofty goals, I know), making a fake-trailer for MEAT COVE (my dream movie), going on a ladies trip to New England to shop and cause trouble, spending time in Cape Breton (essential) and seeking out ultimate revenge on the jerk teenagers who bug me at my bus stop.

I would settle for going to the beach a few times, maybe...

We'll see how this plays out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

O hai, interwebs

Awkward, haven't updated in a while type Hello.

I think, somewhere around the beginning of the year, I started getting a little burnt out, internets style.

For the past few months I've tried to remedy that by not having a computer at home, staying off Twitter (for the most part) during the evening, and getting the heck out of the house. It has been a pretty positive experience, though hard as I used to watch a lot of TV/movies on my (now dead) laptop... so I haven't been watching huge amounts of films, lately. Sigh.

So, yeah, getting out of the house. I took a fairly rewarding "boot camp" style class at the Bloomfield Centre in March/April, and am now out on the Commons for a kettlebell class (first class was in the pouring rain--we're hardcore). A few friends and I have formed a hiking group. We tackled Victoria Park a few weeks ago and have plans to enjoy the outdoors and perhaps go camping throughout the summer.

Joker's Comedy Club has become a regular hang-out over the past few months. Must attend nights include: Chat Roulette Wednesdays, stand-up/sketches/improv on Sundays, and Burn, Hollywood, Burn--a monthly bad movie night that has thus far screened Troll 2, The Room, and Mac and Me. Most excellent.

Had a brief trip to Toronto over the Victoria Day weekend. Stayed in the worst part of town, but had fun seeing friends and attending Conan O'Brien's show at Massey Hall. Lauren + Coco in the same room... it was divine.

Until August I will remain in Dartmouth, which is getting more and more difficult as the weather gets nicer and festival season approaches. Even the Multicultural Festival will be in Halifax this year, v. unfortunate. I'm scouring the city for affordable, clean, 1-2 bedrooms in the south-end, Quinpool area, and north end. Have any tips? Please send them my way!

I am still at my job, but I can't really talk about the current situation for a few more weeks (silly, I know). Had the opportunity to work on the very cool Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers project, which I really enjoyed.

Blogging used to be a fairly regular thing for me, but honestly I don't think it's my medium of choice. I will attempt to blog once a week to see if I can keep up with it. Fair enough? O-K.

Friday, February 26, 2010

They're* coming to get you, Barbara

*The internet.

The internet is giving me the fear. Not the often-clogged series of tubes (as best illustrated by a Windows 95 screensaver), but the virtual masses who are sharing the location of their homes, letting us know the exact moment they cross the bridge, and flooding my once pristine Twitter feed with instructions on how to find them.

Four Square has been active in our fair hamlet for a few months, now. It allows folks to "check in" to a location via an application or their mobile website. Checking in shares your current location with your pals on Four Square, and can also be synced with Facebook and Twitter.

I joined it a few days after I noticed an influx of tweets from locals using the tool (just in case it ended up being awesome, I wanted to brag that I was an early adopter). I puttered around with it on my iPod Touch, sharing when I was at a local comedy club or a great coffee shop, and proclaimed my arrival at work. A few weeks later, I quit the Four Square show and went back to living my life without giving up GPS coordinates.

Social media tools already require a certain level of narcissism. Your presence on these websites has to be worth following, so a little thought should be put into the content that you share. To assume that the whole world is interested in your exact location at any given moment is perhaps going a bit too far.

There's a reason someone like Ashton Kutcher is popular on Twitter, and it's not the quality of his writing or his profound ideas (or, as of late, his successful films). He is a celebrity, albeit a lame one, and sad-ish That 70s Show fans will always want to know what Kelso is up to, what he's eating, who he's talking to, and where he is in the world. Your average Nova Scotian, even those with a good number of followers, doesn't have the same draw. Kelso could get away with indulgently using Four Square. You can't. People want to know where he had lunch. No one wants to know the address of the Tim Horton's you get coffee from in the morning. The use of Four Square as a tool for special events or meeting up with friends has its merits, but it's honestly getting a little silly.

There's also the scarier side of constantly divulging your location. The website Please Rob Me lists "all those empty homes out there" based on Four Square updates on Twitter. You're also basically making an open invitations for people to move from following you online, to stalking you down your street. Take heed: this is coming from someone who once accidentally forwarded the address of her Dartmouth stronghold to 700 strangers on Facebook. You don't want the Internet showing up on your doorstep.

Recommended Viewing:
We Live in Public
Night of the Living Dead

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