October 19, 2009

Good Morning

There is something about this song that completely changes the tenor of my day.
That is all.

October 15, 2009

Feels Like the First Time

So last night I grew the balls to get on stage and do stand up comedy for the first time.
I don't really remember very much of it because it all happened so fast, but I was told afterwards that I did a great job. On a sidenote, this was also something on 'my list' of things to do before I die... so I am pleased to check that one off now.

If any of you are thinking about this, I highly recommend you try it.
My dear co-worker at MTV, Derek Forgie hosts the event about once a month in support of the HSSE. It's a very warm and welcoming environment for people who just want to get up on stage and try stand-up for the first time.

Join their Facebook Group and come out and participate in their next event. It's only $5 and each act is about 5 minutes a piece.

Here are some friendly tips I learned from last night:

-be prepared for the spotlight (it was so damn bright I couldn't see a single person in the audience and it was weird hearing them laugh but not being able to see them at all.
- don't be afriad to adjust the mic stand/take the mic in your own hands
-use the stage. Act shit out, especially when giving anecdotes.
-Chill out. Drink a beer before you go up and loosen up a bit.
-out of courtesy to the other acts, keep it as close to 5 minutes as possible.

in health and humour,

October 08, 2009

MLG Time Lapse

Pretty cool to see the transformation.
Also kind of creepy that I was being watched for 5 days...

October 07, 2009

Google Street

Big news. Google Maps has just launched street level views for Toronto. What does this mean? I can finally explain to friends where the hell I live now!

Check it:

To the left is Burrito Boy. To the Right is Tequila Sunrise.
Where does that leave me? 

October 06, 2009

Back on blades again

When I quit figure skating six years ago to work in TV, I never thought those two worlds would ever come together again for me. I was a competitive figure skater for over 10 years and stopped at the end of high school so I could attend Ryerson for television and concentrate on working in TV. 

After years of freelancing with Insight Productions I received an e-mail from my producer saying that they were teaming up with CBC to create a new entertainment show called Battle of the Blades. Not only were they looking for a floor director, but they were looking for someone to do this from ice level. I couldn't believe what I was reading. This job had my name written all over it. The question was, could I fit back into my skates again? (The answer is no, but luckily my sisters always had bigger feet than me). 

Walking into the Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time in over ten years immediately brought back all the memories. The smell of the arena, the runny noses, and the sweet sweet sound of my blades crunching edges into the ice. I felt right at home again.

We had our first meeting on ice with the participants when suddenly I was surrounded by hockey legends and figure skaters I looked up to growing up. 
I think the general feeling at that moment was shared by all of us; we were excited to get going and bracing ourselves for the long days ahead.

Even though we've never done a show like this before, I felt completely comfortable knowing I had such an great team around me in every dept who I've worked with in the past. From the producers to the TVA's, I knew we had such a solid group on board.

I mean, look at this Leafs Dressing Room: Peter and Sandra brought life to a room that's been boarded up and vacant for years!

Before I knew it, it was our first show day. The audience started piling into the Gardens and really brought life to the arena again (some even sporting their leafs jerseys). As I skated around before the show, I thought to myself, 'Wow, I get to do the two things I love to do tonight: Skate and help run a live TV show.' And of all places, the Gardens!

So if you haven't booked your tickets yet, get on it. Tickets are $5 through Ticketmaster and are selling fast. Then let me know what day you're coming and make sure we get some embrace time. I'm only here for one more month before I head off the Aussie to conquer more TV. 
and stay tuned for more pics from the rink!

September 18, 2009

After Hours

One of my favourite people to drink with is my good man Clint. As an Instructor at the Toronto Institute of Bartending  you can imagine why. Not only does he teach me how to make fun drinks, but his knowledge on the history of certain cocktails is impeccable. 

After hours, we like to make our own drinks and play around with different mixes. The possibilities are simply endless. Last night, we decided to pay omage to our good man Tom Collins and somehow created what we like to call:

'The BumbleBee Twist: A member of the Collins Family" 

So without further adieu, here is how you can enjoy one...

What You'll Need: 
-simple syrup (equal parts sugar/water)
-ginger beer
-Absolut Raspberry Vodka
-After 8 chocolate straws
-ice ice baby

How to Make it:
-mix 2oz vodka, 1 oz squeezed lemon, 1/2 oz simple syrup 
-add ice, and shake
-strain into a glass filled with ice
-top with ginger beer
-garnish with a lemon twist
-use wedge from your twisted lemon and place on glass
-break After 8 chocolate straw and place in the grooves of wedge
-Serve and enjoy!

Stay tuned for more of our late night creations

September 17, 2009


Ok. So I'm at this weird crossroad in my life.

After working slightly over a year for MTV Canada which is a place thriving with incredibly creative and brilliant minds; I started thinking about my future in this industry. I absolutely love the company and love what I do so much that I could see myself working there for a long long time. This led me to realize how lucky I am at the age of 24 to have such a sweet gig. I must be doing something right if they like me enough to keep me around this long.

But then, it happens... every time I log onto a social network, (Facebook whore) I see yet another album of a friend who has posted their experience from Europe (or the like). 

And then there is me... the one who has never been outside of North America. Seriously.

I've done my share of US states including the incredibly gorgeous Hawaii. And like any other college kid, had my share of spring breaks in Cuba etc.

But I've never lived outside of the city for more than a couple of weeks. Toronto is the only life I know. And I feel like now is that time go out and experience this sort of stuff before I settle down to a 'real job' if you will, (although working in TV is definitely not your 9-5). 

So I took the leap of faith. I sat down with my producer and talked it out. She was completely on my page, in fact even had stories to tell of when she did the same thing.  

Now it's happening... I'm taking this next year off to travel to Australia. I'm not just going for the beaches, boys, and sexy accents (although it is rather appealing) but to also try my hand at working in TV land out there. 

So what's the point in traveling if you're just going there to work you ask? 
TV works a little different...it's a lot of freelance which when planned out right can allow you to travel in between gigs. This could mean Fiji, New Zealand, Thailand. Hell, I'm going to try and hit everything I possibly can while I'm on that side of the world. The more money I make out there, the more I can do with it. 

And then it became real. I found a super great deal through a company called VAustralia and literally jumped at the chance to book a flight. I had butterflies in my stomach watching the payment go through and the itinerary show up in my inbox. 

I'm stoked. I'm reuniting with my Whistler homies and old friends. Everyone is telling me it will be an experience I'll never forget. "You'll love it Alicia. You'll never come back"

But then, my heart drops. My company posted a job two days after booking my flight for a position that has my name written all over it. As I read the qualifications I'm mentally checking off the list in my head:

-Online social butterfly? Check
-Understanding and evolving with these social networks? double check
-portfolio of writing skills? triple check
-Photography skills/photo editing- check check could this job get any better? check
-HTML/ web understanding - check check I can feel the tears forming check

I have to stop here... It hurts to replay this in my mind.

The perfect job at the worst possible time.
Why do I feel like I'm making a mistake by leaving?
I'm not. I just have to keep telling myself that.

I can't wait to look back on this day and laugh about it :)

August 17, 2009

a little inspiration from Steve Jobs

As I stand here at a crossroad in my life. I stumbled upon this...

"Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick...don't lose faith. I'm convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that's as true for work as it is for lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking...and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."
-Steve Jobs

Thanks Steve. I needed this.

August 03, 2009

EGG-cellent Choice

So I'm the type of girl that enjoys making food but hates following recipes. You won't find teaspoons and measuring cups in my kitchen. I like to eye everything out and experiment with what works and doesn't when it comes to food. So if you're anything like me, perhaps you will enjoy my food posts. So with that being said, feel free to change/experiment with this one. 
Weather you're cottaging, camping, or just feel like firing up some breakfast on the BBQ, this next recipe I'm about to share will change your life. My sister's boyfriend Adam has been making this in his family for years and it's not only delicious but super easy to make.

What you'll neeed:
-cupcake tin
-carton of eggs
-chopped veggies (onions, mushrooms etc)
-shredded cheese
-friends to enjoy it with

-start by scooping a small spoonful of margarine/butter into each tin
-add chopped veggies 
-cook over grill until veggies are cooked 
-crack an egg into each tin
-cover the egg tins (to ensure complete cooking coverage)
-add cheese to top of each egg
-once cheese is melted, remove from heat, and let it cool briefly
-scoop each egg onto a plate
-serve and enjoy!

July 07, 2009

resting. in. peace.

I awoke to yet another harsh reality on the world of Twitter. Martin Streek has passed away. 

I didn't want to believe it, but when I saw Alan Cross confirm it and Josie Dye comment on it, I knew it was real. Tuning into the Edge this morning Josie could barely keep it together as she alluded to his death and played one of his favourite NIN songs.

If you've ever listened to Toronto radio, then you know who Martin Streek is.
I used to work on the Hour with Strombo who had nothing but great things to say about this man. Earlier this year, I arranged for my roommate (who was studying radio broadcasting) to sit down and interview Strombo and his thoughts on media, politics and music as a whole. I leave you with these words that he had on Streek:

"Martin Streak and David Bookman are so important to this city, what they do for music…Streek when he’s on the radio.. quality wins. They believe in music. They are the snipers waiting by the window keeping everyone on their game. Because their music knowledge is impeccable, their passion is unrivled and they’re not afraid to tell you. They understand how important a record can be to your life." 
-George Stroumboulopoulos

RIP Martin Streek.
You were, and always will be a Radio Legend.

June 30, 2009

the conversation

Nonna: Aleech, whenna you gonna geta boyfriend and get married and have kids?
Me: (laughs)
Nonna: (serious face) 

awkward silence...

Me: umm, soon?
Nonna: Soon? I'ma gonna die and never get to see!
Me: Well you'll have to live forever then :)

June 26, 2009

The Way You Make Me Feel

The rumours started when I was working at MTV around 5pm. All the TV's were tuned into CNN, CTV, and every other news station possible. It was starting to turn into a mad house as people anxiously hit the refresh buttons on their webpages. Ironically the only answers we were getting were from gossip blogs. TMZ, Perez, Twitter and Facebook were reporting that Michael Jackson had been taken to hospital.

I jumped onto Twitter myself and didn't even have to scroll through the trending topics because nearly everyone I was following was already posting links and for the most part posting "Michael Jackson dead?".

With less than an hour away until our live shows, producers immediately decided to throw their rundowns out the window and address the issue everyone was talking about. In fact, The Aftershow dedicated their entire show to MJ discussing their reactions, how they found out, and some of their favourite memories.

I brought the twenty somewhat audience members up to studio and immediately let them know that this was going to be a very different After Show. No applause. No joking around. MJ was gone and even I couldn't believe it.

What suprised me though was that the audience full of 16-20 yrs old really didn't care. They didn't get what the big deal was. In their eyes, MJ was a pedophile.

To me, MJ was my entire childhood. My dad who was a part-time DJ, had every MJ album on both CD and vinyl and blasted his songs at least once a week. Singing 'The Way You Make Me Feel' at the top of my lungs while daddy blasted the tunes, changed the tenor of my day and it still does to this very day.

During commercial breaks of the live show, I started snapping and humming some of MJ's classic hits hoping to get some sort of reaction from these kids...but they didn't know the words. They had no idea about how this one man changed the face of music. They just knew him as the guy that changed his face.

So for those who don't understand why so many people are paying tribute to the King of Pop (or why he has this title) please read below and take some time to do some research on your own.

"First, people forget that the Thriller album essentially saved the recording industry when it was released in 1982. Suffering from the double whammy of the post-disco sales depression and a brutal recession, Thriller almost single-handedly resurrected the music industry"- Alan Cross, (read his Metro article here)

When Michael Jackson released Thriller, he made a music video for "Billie Jean." It was a good one and his producer, CBS Records, knew it. But when they presented it to MTV it was turned down. MTV had never aired a black musician's video before. So, Walter Yetnikoff, the Chairman of CBS told MTV that if they didn't play Michael Jackson's videos, they wouldn't have access to any of CBS's videos. So, MTV gave in and aired "Billie Jean," which broke the colour barrier.

But he did so much more than just that. He gave music videos life again; creating short films and working with some of the best directors that experimented with new technologies including the face morphing feature in his video 'Black or White'.

And then there was dance. In my opinion, one of his most important contributions was his imperative to dance. Artists such as Justin Timberlake, Usher, Chris Brown and Ne-Yo may have ascended the pop charts because of their excellent songs...but they became superstars because your jaw dropped when you watched them dance. But no one has yet to recapture Jackson as a dancer- the Moonwalk completely rewrote the book on male sexuality in music.

Still to this day, dance groups everywhere are learning the choreography to MJ's songs. From subway dancers to television shows like SYTYCD, there is nothing that excites me more than when someone pays omage to the King of Pop.

So to all the tweeney boppers. I leave you with wise words from the great Alan Cross, "Forget the lurid allegations, the buying of the Elephant Man’s bones, the hyperbaric sleeping chambers, the plastic surgery and the dangling babies...Let’s not focus on the tabloid stuff. The man did enough that we should remember him for the great groundbreaking talent that he was."


June 07, 2009

An Ode to the Caesar

Those of you that know me, know that I love the tomato.
I eat them like apples and drink Caesars like water (not to mention my family makes homemade tomato sauce every other year). You'll never find a shortage of 5 things in my kitchen: Vodka, Celery, Clamato Juice, Hot Sauce and Avocados (but we'll get into that another day).

This year marks the 40th anniversary of a truly Canadian cocktail, the Mott’s Clamato Caesar. Every bartender in Canada knows how to brilliantly make this spicy concoction, but as my friend Clint put it, "ask for a Caesar outside Canada, and you’ll get a bowl full of lettuce, croutons, and anchovy salad dressing."

My advice, don't even bother ordering one in the States. Once you get your server to understand that it's a drink and not a salad, they immediately respond with "Ohh, you want a Bloody Mary". EPIC FAIL. Don't let their fancy garnishes fool you with the crap that lies inside this liquid red 'cocktail'. I have been dissapointed all too many times when ordering this drink... It's made with tomato juice, not Clamato and it tastes like shit.

To mark the 40th Anniversary, the TIB has created all sorts of variations of the Caesar including one made with Canadian Whisky and muddled sage..Mmmm. You can’t get more Canadian than that!

For those of you who haven't tried a Caesar yet (gasp!) or just don't know to properly make one. Here is the Classic Caesar as to which all other Caesar’s are variations of…

For more recipes go Motts website (they've got all sorts of downloads and recipes)

Classic Caesar
1 oz. Vodka
2 Dashes of Franks Red Hot Caesar Spicer
3 Dashes of Fresh Cracked Salt and Pepper
4 Dashes of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
4 oz. Mott’s Clamato

Combine all ingredients in a highball class with lots of ice. Mix by pouring back and forth and just before the last pour into the glass, add a celery salt rim. Garnish with a celery stick and lime wedge.

My good man Clint's Caesar Tip: Never Shake… it changes the texture and consistency of the cocktail.

Cheers and Happy Birthday Caesar!

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