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Leonicka Valcius

Leonicka Valcius: April 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Missing Erica

Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have nothing to which I can look forward. She would come by every week to fill my heart with laughs and tears. But now she's gone. I miss her already.

Okay, maybe that's a tad overdramatic. But when "Being Erica" had it's season finale almost a month ago, I was left with an entertainment void that has been hard to fill. It's amazing how attached one can get to television.

This time last year, I was in South Florida preparing to move to the arctic tundra. My first priority was to catch up on pop culture. Though I would be a repatriated Canadian (I was born in Montreal, raised in Florida, and now lived in the Greater Toronto Area) I did not for a minute think I would be exempt from culture shock. So, I changed my homepage to and tried to learn Canadian culture by osmosis. It didn't work.

Flash forward to January. Walking through Union Station I was bombarded with the building's wall to wall "Being Erica" wraps. There was something unnerving about walking over the face of a smiling woman. Still I paid no attention. Until that fateful day when I accidentally clicked the sidebar ad for the show. Don't you hate that? You're on the internet trying to procrastinate and then some ad pops up and next thing you know you can't even remember what you were trying to do in the first place! Very annoying.

The ad brought me to the "Being Erica" website, which led me to the blog. It was hilarious. So I did the logical thing and watched the episodes that were online. Fabulous. From that day on I was hooked. I watched every episode as soon as I could both on TV and online. I would then immediately run to Erica's wall (because by this time of course, Erica was my Facebook friend) and leave comment. Then I would scurry over to the Facebook group dedicated to the show. It was great fun. Before I knew it, I had a favorite show in Canada.

That was invaluable. Prior to "Being Erica" I was scouring YouTube for episodes of my favorite American programs. I remember bawling because I missed the finale of "Top Chef Season 4." But now there was a show that was Canadian through and through: it was shot in Toronto with Canadian actors and was aired on CBC. That's as canuck as you can get with out picking up a hockey stick. There was a sense of community and exclusivity; I had the joy of both recognizing my city as the backdrop to the show and of knowing that for once Americans were clamoring to find a Canadian show. (A quick aside: I find it strange that ABC Family has picked up "Sophie" which was kind of lame in my opinion, while, as far as I know, no American stations have picked up "Being Erica.")

And then, all too soon, it was over. The show concluded with an emotionally charged cliff-hanger of a finale. Then nothing. The marketing team, who up to this point had been amazing on giving Erica presence off the show, cut the cord and left viewers desperate for more. The video blog that preceded the season was not resumed. Erica's Facebook page is not updated. And every Wednesday at 8:59 EDT I realize that there's nothing to watch.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nicki BluIs

I always try to make sure my online presence portrays exactly the image I want it to and thus I google myself on a regular basis. The latest time, though, I took it one step further. I googled the penname that I use on many websites. What I found was not shocking. There was nothing of which I was particularly ashamed. In fact I am quite proud of some of the pieces of fiction that are attached to that psuedonym.

But still, in my hyper-sensitive, workforce oriented frenzy, I began to wonder: What if potential employers found these things and linked them back to me? What if they weren't impressed with my poetry? What if they thought my writing was crude and distasteful? What if... they thought this was enough to disqualify me for a position?

I broke all ties with that penname. Every link that could connect "Leonicka Valcius" to "Nicki BluIs" was deleted. With that I breathed a sigh of relief and thought myself safe.

Then the pesky voice of doubt came back. Did I do the right thing? Should I hide such a major part of who I am? Do I want to work at a company that would discount a person's qualification over a trivial nonissue? Was I engaging in self-censorship?

We are living in an age where all our lives are open books. The lines between public and private are blurred beyond recognition. The places where we can "be ourselves" are getting smaller and smaller until we spend every other moment holding our tongues and looking over our shoulders because Big Brother is watching.

And what does he see? He sees that I am nineteen years old. That I am working very hard to forge my own path. He sees that I like to express my hopes, my dreams, and my feelings via the written word. He acknowledges that not all those words are polished and professional. Some are silly. Some are strange. Some are rude and defy the rules of etiquette and political correctness. But all are real. And none are out of the ordinary.

So I proudly present Nicki BluIs! Love her or hate her, she is here to stay.

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