Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times

On Friday, September 25, my class went to see the movie "Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times", a movie following one of the biggest newspapers in the world through the events of WikiLeaks releasing secret  US military combat recordings and other hidden information to the public.

The movie itself was gripping and informative. They showed how a normal day at the Times is like, and gave an insight in the life of a journalist. The main role, to many people, was taken by David Carr, one of the most well-known journalists at the Times. He talks about his life and the things we has gone through, like his battle with cocaine addiction, and how he found new life when he started working in New York. Carr also talks about the relationship of a journalist to the public and his colleagues, which is catchy and touching.

The story of the New York Times itself was filled with significant events in the history of the paper, that included the Vietnam file publishings with the Pentagon and former U.S. President Richard Nixon, that lead to Nixon resigning. It's amazing, how a major newspaper evolved over the years and how much of an impact the New York Times still have today.

Overall, the movie was worth watching and was filled with humor, interesting facts and a great viewpoint of a major news corporation.

If you ask me about a rating, I would give it a solid 7.5 out of 10.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Thin Air with flair

This week was different compared to the other weeks that I was at the college. The Winnipeg International Writer's Festival happened this week all around the city, including at our campus.

I have to admit to you guys: Before this festival, I wasn't much into literature at all. I have only read a few very familiar books, like the Harry Potter series, Dan Brown's books (Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code), and even The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Beyond that, I wasn't much of a reader. I either would bury my head into the sports news or watch the flickering, colourful motion pictures on the television set. But thanks to "Thin Air", I am motivated to read more. 

My experience started off with attending a session with Lynn Coady, a award-winning novelist and journalist  from Edmonton. In her session, she introduced herself to us, talked about her writing and even read from her newest book, "The Antagonist", which I found was worth listening to. The section that she read of us reminded me a lot of the things that go on in the rural town, where I used to go to high school, from how she displayed the characters and the setting. Her writing was really enjoyable and I could easily picture the events in the book in my head, as I have witnessed such things in my life before. Her session was enjoyable overall. 

Two days later, the class went to another session in the same room, and this time, it was with Glen Downie, a poet living in Toronto, who is actually from Winnipeg. He also wrote from his book "Local news" which features new poems of his. Quite a few of his poems are based of real-life events, which I found brave of him to do. Not many people want to read work based on their lives without breaking into tears. Another thing that really made this panel entertaining was his lengthy reading of his poem about the cliches of door-to-door salesmen, whose title I can't remember right now. All I know is that it was hilarious and it kept the crowd laughing. Glen Downie gave me a different view of poetry, and I like it. Sure, poetry is hard to do, but it's a form of art. 

Last, but not least, on Friday we saw Dr. Myrl Coulter, a non-fiction author who is also from Winnipeg, but now lives in Edmonton. Her session had a feel of nostalgia to it, as she read from her book "The House With the Broken Two: A Birthmother Remembers", which evolves around her experiences of being a mother in the 1960's. The reading I listened to gave me a little bit of an understanding of what it was like living in the 60's, aside from the hippies, Jimi Hendrix and the first man on the moon. Her reading involved a lot of retro visions in it, which I could picture with ease. 
What really fascinated me about her was her dedication to get her work published. It took her over 40 years to get her book "Willpower" published, and she won the National Screen Institute Drama Prize in 1995 for it. It was really something that I would take as an inspiration. Good things are worth waiting for, right? 

Overall, the panels I attended were interesting and worth remembering, because they were filled with different personalities and writing styles that kept the audience's attention and enabled them to ask good questions in the end. I look forward to next year already. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Local pride

I actually wrote this a few months ago for personal reasons, but I thought I should share it with you guys. It's about how I feel about living in Winnipeg. 

When you go out of your city and travel to a place that's relatively unknown to you, there comes a thought of how strangers would perceive you when you tell them where you from. How they would judge you, how they think of fellow citizens as you represent them in a way, and put an image in their head about what your place is like. There are many people out there that can view your home in different ways, good or bad, depending on how you are as a person.

I won't be talking about Germany. You already know that I'm proud to be of German heritage. No, today, I'll be talking about the city I live in: Winnipeg.

Winnipeg has a population of about 750,000, which is nearly 65% of Manitoba's total population (rough estimations of mine). It has it's tough spots, like spring floods, high car theft rate, cheap bastards, and *cough* the North End. Not many think that it's a beautiful place, when you look at the muddy Red River water, and the non-fancy skyscrapers. Even I thought that I wouldn't like it once I moved to Canada with my family in 2004. I have never heard of Winnipeg until dad booked the plane tickets.

In high school, I kept thinking about where I want to move when I'm older. Places like Ottawa, and Vancouver kept popping into my mind, as I thought they were more beautiful than Winnipeg could ever be. I visited Ottawa in 2008 and I was amazed by the beauty of the city, and how rich it was with history. I went to the Parliament and saw more of Canada's capital. I really wanted to go there again. Well, the main reason was because the Senators play there. What can I say, I'm hockey crazy.

But at the same time, I have grown to Winnipeg, and the province that I live in. Sure, it has its flaws, but what makes the city good makes me forget the bad things. We still have great shopping malls, big and clean parks, sports teams (Return of the Jets!), and downtown is growing! It has a great economy, tons of entertainment, and good people all in all. Not the most beautiful city in the world, but a beauty on its own.

So whenever I'm asked where I'm from or where I live, I have no shame to say I'm from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Because it's my home. Where family is. Where the heart is.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Retro soda

For nostalgic reasons, I believe that soda still tastes the best in a glass bottle.

There must be this certain retro feeling that you get from certain things. Whether it's an old hockey jersey, or an old school video game, it always seems to awaken the child in you, and it makes you feel super. It's what I get from sodas. I'd love to get a hold of a coke in a glass bottle. Soda in this kind of fashion just feels right to me. Cranking it open like a European beer bottle, and taking a sip of it as if you needed to cool down badly on a hot summer day.

Old school rocks!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I love jerseys

I love sports jerseys. It's the first thing on my mind when it comes to finding out about a team you have never heard of before. A jersey is all about representing who you play or cheer for, who you identify with, and where you come from. There is months of work behind every one of them, and fans should appreciate the hard work that the designers put into these amazing looks.

Today's unveiling of the new Winnipeg Jets jerseys was no exception of what I'm talking about. Their design is great and feels like a cold Slurpee on a hot summer day to the eyes of the passionate Jets fan. Two shades of blue, called "polar night blue" and "aviator blue", are featured on both jerseys, along with white and silver trimming. It is a unique blend of colors and make them stand out from all other NHL teams, especially the Canadian teams (Red used by the Habs, Sens and Flames, while the Oilers, Canucks and Leafs use very similar shades of blue). The logos were no surprise as they were revealed a little over a month ago, but I still find the logos "badass". There is so much meaning behind this look, and it makes every little detail about the jerseys and logos work.

Photo source: jets.nhl.com

As a Jets fan, I am very happy with the jerseys, as should the rest of Canada be, because it's a break from all the reds and blues that the 6 other teams have. I can't be thankful enough for "True North" for bringing us a team back where it belongs, putting much thought and hard work into this new look that the Jets will be rocking this fall and winter. I can't wait for the new hockey season to start!


PS: Oh, by the way, I'm now on twitter! Follow me: @bryanwrede! 

Friday, 2 September 2011

How small is this world?

Our planet. How big is it to us? Small? Humongous? I really don't know. All I know is that it's beautiful and that you can find anything, even love, as long as you don't give up looking.

Why did I mention love? Let me tell you why. Because I found it.

In Oregon.

Yes, Oregon, as in the 33rd state to join the United States of America, located in the Pacific northwest. That's where the love of my life lives. You probably wonder how I found her. I found her on an art website called deviantArt, and for a year or so, we just chatted and hung out in a chat room, just talking about our different lives and whatever comes to mind. But a year later, right on my graduation day, she confessed her crush on me. I was startled and surprised at the same time, because just 3 weeks earlier, I broke up with my ex from high school. I didn't have a good run with relationships in the past, but I guess that is expected when you're a rather quiet teenager in some rural high school.

I put some thought into it, and thought we should hit it off. And so we did. Over two years later, I'm still dating her, and proudly. All this time, we went through good and bad times, celebrations and arguments, and everything that normal couples go through. And finally, after two years of being separated from each other, we finally met in person. I flew out to Oregon in August, and had an absolutely wonderful time with her. We walked on the beach, visited a cheese factory, and she showed me the area where she lived, which was the Oregon coast. It is so beautiful there, and I definitely recommend to visit it. Here's a photo to proof that I'm not kidding:

You might think that our relationship is unusual. Well, it is. She's not only American, but also Maori, which are a native Polynesian tribe living in New Zealand. I've always wanted to date someone of a different heritage, because I do not like to limit myself to people that come from where I do, plus that makes the search for someone much more exciting. A German-Canadian dating a Maori-American. You don't see that every day.

It is one heck of an adventure with her, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you, Hine. More than anything in the universe.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Mandatory introduction

Hello, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Bryan. Yes, it is an odd name for a German guy like me, but there's nothing wrong with standing out from the crowd, right?

Anyway, I grew up in Germany for 13 years of my life, before I moved to Manitoba, Canada with my direct family in 2004. It was a big transition, because we needed to learn the language by either going to school, which was in my case, and taking classes outside of work, which is what my parents did. Of course, we also went through culture shock, and other experiences that many immigrating families and individuals went through once we settled here. My family now lives an hour from Winnipeg, which is also my summer residence at the moment, but most of the time, I spend my days in the big city.

I also am a first-year student at Red River College, taking the Creative Communications program, and hoping to go into either media production or public relations, depending on what I will choose. This blog is actually part of the program, so this should be fun!

"That German kid" will not only be a blog about sports, but also life and things that happen around me, whether it'd be a random event at a bus stop or some adventures with my friends, you'll know about it here! I chose this theme, because I want to expand on my skills in writing and thinking, and not only write about my favourite things but also things that either satisfy or bother people around me, and I want them to be heard.

After all, life is one big adventure, and it's taking all of us somewhere.