About Me

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Welcome to 22 Revisions - a blog documenting what I do at work and in life... I’m Sacha and I’ve been in the advertising business for 22 years. In the summer of 2008, I moved my family from Cambridge to a little city north of Toronto called Peterborough to work at an advertising agency called BrandHealth. It has been challenging and unpredictable but the most important revision I have ever made. I am definitely not the most dedicated blogger, nor the most interesting person that has blogged but I hope my sporadic blogs provide some insights into this amazing city, company, industry and people I work with...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Looking for running motivation

It's been two weeks since I completed my first 5K run and as I sit on the couch munching potato chips I find myself looking for motivation to keep running. (Apparently, the health benefits aren't enough for me.) So, when Mark sent me a link to a running app called Zombies, Run! I couldn't resist. After all, fear has been a major motivator for me all my life, why would it be any different for running?!

The app combines the fun of a zombie game with a boring running app. The goal of the game is to rebuild civilization after a zombie apocalypse… it could happen. To do this you have to go out and run around in the real world. As you do, you collect items, find clues, take orders, out run zombie mobs and listen to a story unfold as you run. The running app functionality records your distance, time, pace and even let's you play your music in between instructions.

I've only completed one mission and the production value and interactive aspects of this app are impressive. The sound effects are so realistic I found myself screaming out loud (SOL… just a little bit) and flailing my arms as I leaped into a fear-induced run when I heard… "They're coming. There are 30… no 40… oh crap! Just run… RUN!!!"

For maximum effect, I picked the late evening to do my run, alone, on a desolate country road. I was surprised that the zombie moans and groans would actually sound closer when I slowed down and disappear when I out ran them. Brilliant. I definitely shaved a good 5 minutes off my 5K time. 

At a hefty price of $8 to download I suspect the missions will reveal more. And, I haven't quite revealed the whole gaming aspect of this app. But, I have a feeling this might become a little obsession. It has definitely got me running. I guess the only negative side effect is the slight paranoia that is developing. 

Now, it's time to save the human race. Headphones in. Are you ready? Start mission… I think my geek status just went up another notch. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I joined a bone marrow registry

Everyone that know me knows I have a bucket list and I'm constantly adding to it. It's mostly travel destinations or childhood dreams or crazy experiences. Typical stuff. But, a few months ago I added 'join a bone marrow registry' to my bucket list. I know it doesn't sound exciting and sexy as "running with the bulls" or as dramatic as "save a life"... Although ultimately, I could save a life by joining if I'm a perfect match with somebody!

I'm adding 'join a bone marrow registry' to my bucket list because this past September my 17 year old cousin Katie was diagnosed with 'Myelodysplastic Syndrome' (MDS). It's a life threatening disease that is only curable with a bone marrow transplant. 

Because I know very little about this process I thought it was as simple as matching our blood types. But, as I’m learning, finding a match means much more than locating someone with Katie’s blood type. If I can take the liberty to simplify it, bone marrow matches are based on DNA-testing called HLA typing. HLA’s are markers found in cells and your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in the body. The closer the match between the HLA markers in a donor and Katie means less chance that her immune system will reject the donor’s bone marrow. And, hopefully a chance for Katie to be able to lead a long, healthy life.

The marrow registry we're going through is called onematch.ca. I noticed that the process varies a little from country to country, but in most places if you're between 17 and 60, a registry will send you a free buccal swab kit in the mail. You'll then swab your cheeks, send it to a lab, and you won't be contacted unless there's a match. It's very easy to do. Liam and I signed up online and within a week we received our buccal swap kits. Tonight we swabbed for Katie and now we are officially on a bone marrow registry.

Registering was easy but, finding a marrow match is hard, even within our own family. Katie's two brothers and younger sister were tested. They are all matches with each other but not with Katie. FACT: Katie's best chance of finding a matching donor is within her own ethnic group. While two out of three Caucasians find a match, the chances of a patient from another ethnic background is even lower. For a multiracial person, like Katie (Chinese, Jamaican, Spanish, Irish) the chances are usually even worse. I am also multiracial (Chinese, Jamaican, Spanish). Liam, my son, is even more mixed (Chinese, Jamaican, Spanish, Scottish, Slovak). So, we might have a good chance of matching Katie. I don't know the exact numbers but I've been told that finding a match for a person of multi-ethnicity is compared to winning the lottery which is very disheartening.

I guess part of the problem is that there aren't enough ethnic marrow donors. I think I'm like most people. I had a lot of negative misconceptions about donating marrow. I assumed it to be a painful experience… until I googled it. About 70-80% of the time, the donation is done through something like a five to six-hour blood donation. Sometimes, surgery is performed to extract liquid marrow from the back of the donor's pelvic bone. This day surgery, performed under local anesthetic, can leave your lower back a bit sore for a few days. But, as I see it, If saving a life meant a bit of discomfort… why wouldn't I do it?

Okay, here's the marketer in me… Knowing that there aren't enough mixed race donors, I would like to do my part to raise awareness and to get people — especially of mixed ethnicity — to sign up for a marrow registry. And, I need your help to accomplish this, using Facebook, Twitter or good ol fashion word of mouth, please help me spread the word around the world. Ambitious? Maybe but isn't that what social media is about? And by doing so perhaps together we can find a perfect match for Katie somewhere out there.

If you yourself are interested in joining a registry and you are a Canadian resident please go to onematch.ca. For other countries, contact your local Bone Marrow Registry for testing, then contact onematch.ca with your results.

I know it's a big decision. But, hey do what I did add it to you bucket list maybe one day the motivation will strike you to register. As they say, it's never to late to give. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

My first 5k run!

And, I predict it might also be my last… God help me. I have never jogged a day in my life. I don't work out. I don't play any sports. Hell, I don't even eat properly. Some can attest that my favourite food for breakfast is a bag of potato chips. (Potato chips is a food group right?) And, up until about 3 hours ago I didn't even own a pair of running shoes. 

But, I do have one thing going for me… my genes. Despite my unhealthy habits, my body is in fairly good working condition. I'm trim and I'm determined! AND, it's for a good cause http://www.peterboroughymca.org/marathon

So, it's six weeks away and I need to prep. In true digital fashion I have downloaded the 'Couch to 5K' app. Looks like I'm working out 3 days a week, alternating between walking and jogging, each session is 25-30 minutes. I can track my achievements, select my own music, the audio coach will tell me when to walk and when to jog. Then I can share my progress on Facebook and Twitter… well, if that isn't incentive right there.

My brother who is my human coach says, that it's all mental. I have to start to visualize and I have to set a goal… If I'm going to do this, I might as well DO THIS. So, my goal is to jog the full 5K (unless of course I go into cardiac arrest). Yes, I'm an overachiever, but that's my goal. Let's see if I can get there.

Next is diet… okay, I will worry about that later. Let me put a pair of running shoes on first.

A big thank you to everyone that has sponsored me and an even bigger thank you to the ones that don't laugh when I tell them that I'm doing this. Hey, if anyone has any spare cash around… aaaand you're by chance looking to sponsor someone in a 5K run… I'm just sayin!!! 

You know what? I'm kind of excited :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Get ready Peterborough: Winterlicious 2012 hits downtown!!

Winter is upon us… well, sort of. For most, it's the time of year when the post-holiday blues set in. But for me it's time to start planning my ReFrame Film Festival movie schedule! Haha - Can you imagine my excitement when I heard the shops and restaurants downtown were going to start an annual Winterlicious event too? (Yes, you heard it here first!) Great films, great food and great prices… what more could this girl want? 

So, unless you have a fabulous tropical escape planned, find your way downtown and check it out! Look out for the Winterlicious flyer – another beautiful design brought to you by Joe. 

Winterlicious in Downtown Peterborough runs from January 27th to February 9th. 

For more information on the ReFrame Film Festival, check out my previous blog

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Traditions

While everyone celebrates New Year's Eve in their own way, there seems to be a common theme. It's a time for setting things straight. Some people show this by doing a thorough housecleaning, returning borrowed objects, deleting Facebook friends, setting resolutions or patching up quarrels. In many cultures, people jump into the sea or a local body of water – literally washing away the past and starting a clean slate. 
I've been told, in some towns in Italy, you have to watch out for falling objects, as people shove their old sofas, chairs and even refrigerators out of their windows on New Year's Eve (Note: add that to my bucket list) In Ecuador, people make dummies, stuffed with straw, to represent the events of the past year. These effigies are burned at midnight and symbolizes getting rid of the past. Although this tradition isn't reserved just for New Year's, I know women who have done this for ex-boyfriends throughout the year. (I highly recommend it!)
But, everything you do on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is performed with some thought for the future. The popular custom of spending the night with the one you love and kissing them at midnight, is done to insure that the relationship will flourish the next year. (I bet you didn't know that.)
I like to make up a different tradition every year. Tonight, I'm preparing a midnight supper of steak, red wine and a dozen cupcakes! And, one tradition I do like to keep is starting the year off by doing something creative and fun. Tomorrow the consensus is we're each going to paint a picture. Last year the theme was "self-portrait" and that was a disaster, so I'm really looking forward to painting over it this year. 
I was also googling some rituals for good fortune and learned that the color of underwear Brazilians wear on the first day of the new year has meaning. Pink brings love, yellow, prosperity; and white, peace and happiness... hmm, I wonder what polka dots bring?
How ever you choose to bring in the New Year, I hope it brings you much joy! Happy New Year!! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hey, this is my 100th blog post!! (insert confetti here)

So, here it is. Post 100. A long time coming, and finally here. Thank you to all who’ve stopped by and read Twenty-Two Revisions these last… ummm, two and half years. Thanks even more to those who have taken the time to post some comments along the way. It is greatly appreciated. Post 101 won’t be too far off!