Ladies Club Meet-up

Last night I joined a Ladies Club!

I guess this is kind of a big deal for me because I’ve never been much of a “joiner” of anything really. While growing up I always did lots of activities (ballet, swimming, choir, cello lessons, public speaking, pottery & art classes) and in high school I belonged to our school’s drama group but other than that I’ve never really belonged to any official “clubs”. When I sat back and thought about it I came to the conclusion that things like book clubs, running groups and social activity clubs have always kind of freaked me out. So, I had to ask myself “why is this?”. I came up with a few reasons: #1: Although I have great group of close friends, lots of acquaintances and a decent social life, deep down I’m kind of a loner at heart. I love spending time alone and the thought of doing lots of group activities is kind of intimidating (what if the people don’t like me? What if I get there and realize I’d rather be alone?)
#2. Joining something means that I actually have to make a commitment to something and follow through with it. For someone who’s had her share of commitment issues this is also daunting.
#3. I don’t often find stuff that I want to join & that I really feel is “me”. But, maybe that’s an adjustment I have to make on my part. As I was saying before: I’m in a transitional period of my life and in order to get what I want out of it, I really need to get out of my comfort zone and expand my social network. And what better way to do this than in the company of other creative, motivated women?!

So, last night I took the first step and attended the event above….and it was a lot of fun! Although I arrived at the event late (I had to make a mad dash straight from work) and missed most of the introductions, I can tell that its a going to be a good group of people: lots of different backgrounds & things to share, lots of energy & positivity! Together we’re planning on doing a mix of events that focus on community service & personal growth. I’m really looking forward to getting to know some new people, learning & getting inspired by them.

I guess before I go any further I should mention that the event was co-hosted by Kristen Gale–a fellow Toronto blogger and author of one of my favorite blogs! –at the Queen West location of her beauty bar The Ten Spot. I’ve actually been meaning to send her an email for a while to let her know I enjoy her blog, however I’ve been chickening out because well, I didn’t want to seem like a “creepy stalker”. Meeting in person: way better and not creepy at all!!! And, Kirsten is just as lovely & sun-shiny in real life! I’m really excited to sit down with her at some point & talk about life and blogging. I also know there are a few other bloggers in the group so I’m looking forward to connecting with them as well. Once we get rolling with the activities I might even post a bit about some of the stuff we’re doing.

PS. No offense to the Guys, but I really think getting the hang of networking is going to be much easier amongst the company of like-minded women who already share some common interests. All women definitely eliminates the creepy pervert factor. In my limited experience when trying to “network” with guys there is always the question of whether they are honestly interested in helping you or whether they really are more interested in sleeping with you, or finding out if they could sleep with you, or imagining sleeping with you while they’re still talking to you .Yes, Creepy Photographer & the Weird Dude from Fashion Week who gave me the Pervert Googly Eyes when I handed you my business card, I’M TALKING TO YOU.

Are you a natural “joiner” or do you (like me) tend to shy away from organized group activities? What’s something that’s normally out of your comfort zone that you have recently tried or would like to try?


Questions and Answers

Its a rainy night here in Toronto and I’m experiencing a bit of writers block. Its not that I don’t have things that I want to write about but, rather I feel like I have too much to say and I’m not really sure where to start. Luckily, my friend Megan tagged me in this “Questions and Answers” exercise that she posted in her blog.
It’s basically like a mini “interview”–she asks me a set of questions and I post the answers here. A good way to kick start the writing process! If you’re interested in participating, here is how it works:

• You comment on my questions and I’ll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity
• Update your blog with the answers to the questions.
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions
.

Megan asked some really good questions & here are the answers:

1.Who was your favorite professor in university and why?
This is kind of a bit of a cop-out because I think almost everyone in my program loved the guy but, I’d have to say Professor Ivan Kalmar. He taught the Linguistic & Semiotic section of the first intro Anthropology course I took. He did a whole lecture about the cultural context of Hip Hop where he analyzed 2Pac lyrics and played Eminem songs for us. A few weeks later I switched my major to Anthropology and never looked back. Later in my degree I took his class on the Anthropology of Popular culture–one of my favorite classes from undergrad. We discussed everything from Wrestling, to Foucoult to Sasha Baron Cohen to Pornography to Strip Bars. The course also had a “field work” component where we had to go out into the community and conduct research on contemporary aspects of pop culture. My research group was sent to spend a week hanging out at The Brass Rail (a local strip club) & write about our observations. That was the first and only time I’ve ever had the chance to use the expressions “spread eagle” and “erection section” in an academic paper. That paper was also the first A+ I received at U of T. My prof published it on his website. I don’t know if it is still up but it used to be one of the first things that popped up when you googled my name. Try it if you’re bored and you want to read about me and strippers.

2. If you could go back and un-date one of the people you had dated in the past, who would it be and why?
This a toss-up between two people…

I) Dating THIS DUDE. I was around 18-19 when I got involved with him. My family and friends hated him– for good reasons. He was bad news: older, a player, manipulative, drug dealer…the list goes on. I was very naive when I met him. I thought he was “charming” (In retrospect he was just creepy and manipulative) and got lured in by his bad-boy appeal. He wooed me, I fell for him. Once he had me wrapped around his finger things got ugly. Without getting into the gory details, the fall-out of our relationship left me with both emotional and physical scars. I was really traumatized for awhile after we stopped seeing each other and I’d sporadically have nightmares & anxiety attacks related to the situation. This was years ago and now I rarely think of him. However, whenever I DO, I kind of feel like throwing up.

I know that you can learn a lot from painful experiences. But this is why I wish I had never dated him: there isn’t some big lesson to be learned here other than he was a shitty person and I shouldn’t have trusted him. I think learning NOT to trust people is a lesson that has hindered me more than helped me in some ways. After this experience I had difficulty trusting people–even the good people in my life. And it took a few years to really get past this–I still am working on this to a certain extent. Learning that you can’t trust everyone IS an important part of growing up however I’m pretty sure I could have learned the same lesson some other way without ever dating this guy.

II) The runner up: dating my co-worker a few years ago. I’d love to also erase that one. It was a rebound relationship that never should have happened. He was a nice person but we weren’t right for each other. Plus I wasn’t in the right place to be dating anyone at that time. In normal circumstances we would have just broken up and gone our separate ways. However, when things ended we still had to work together. All day. Everyday. So awkward. Plus there was the office rumor mill to deal with. We dated in secret, but a few people found out, then a few more….then people started asking me if the rumors were true…ugh. It just never went away. It was embarrassing. People were still asking me about it almost 3 years later. ERASE! DELETE!

(I did however learn an important lesson here: don’t shit where you eat)

3. If you were Tyra Banks (stay with me here) and it was a new season of Top Model, only better than the crap it currently is, what would be the first modeling challenge you’d assign?
Oh god, this is a tough one! Maybe this is better suited to a show like Project Runway or the Rachel Zoe show but, I would love to send the contestants to a store that is ridiculously unfashionable in the traditonal sense (ie. a store that sells works clothes, military surplus or a particularly decrepid thrift store) and then have everyone compete to come up looks like reflect current runway trends. My sister and I came up with this idea a few summers ago while wandering around Mark’s Work Warehouse while my cousin purchased a new hard hat and goggles for her husband. Maybe this could be an all new reality show of its own!

4. do you find yourself a procrastinator or do you plan ahead and get things done early?
I’m a bit of both. When it comes to doing stuff that I don’t enjoy (ie. calling call centers, dealing with money issues, confronting people) I tend to procrastinate until the very last minute. However when it comes to stuff I actually consider as “fun” (deciding what to pack for trips, planning my birthday party or doing my Christmas shopping) I plan ridiculously far in advance (that’s the Virgo in me I think). As a student I started off as a proscrastinator and pulled a lot of all-nighters during First Year University. However that got old fast. I started working on all my projects as far in advance as possible because it created less stress.

5. What is the biggest/best difference between Vancouver and Toronto?
Definitely PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT. As far as setting and natural beauty goes, Vancouver wins hands down: the mountains, the ocean, Stanley Park, the laid back atmosphere–all of this makes Vancouver really spectacular. And on a warm sunny day, there is nowhere else I’d rather be. However what Toronto lacks in beauty it makes up for in diversity: people, food, culture, things to do in the city. Also the night life is way better (in my opinion). You just have so many more options: hundreds of pubs, bars, clubs & countless events to choose from on any given night. What Toronto lacks in a laid back vibe, it makes up for in energy & spirit. Even on a night where the temperatures are far below zero, you’ll still find the clubs packed, often with line-ups out the door. I think we party more here to make up for how crappy the winter is. If I could live in Vancouver but also have access to all the things I love about Toronto (the people I love, the cultural events, the nightlife, the shopping) all in one city, THAT would be the perfect city for me.

Who wants to be interviewed next?

{Today’s photo was found via we heart it
and it totally reminds me of winter on the West Coast!}



Men in Tights: Toronto Fashion Week Continued

Since I only wrote about one of the shows I went to for Toronto Fashion Week, I really wanted to write a full run-down of everything I saw. So, I sat down at my laptop this morning, wrote a full entry, (complete with photos that I took at the shows) only to realize later that it was long, tedious and the multiple photos caused a lot of spacing problems. I deleted the entry. Instead of boring you guys- here is the “Skinny” version of my adventures at Toronto Fashion Week.


(For anyone who is interested I will post my complete set of photos on facebook instead)

This year I saw 4 shows:

1. Greta Constantine: Great show! You can read the review I wrote for Slice.ca here.
2. Aime Luxury: Lots of pretty, wearable clothes with an airy, beachy vibe.
3. Cheri Melaney: This show lost me. To say it was “Golden Girl-esque” would be kind.
4. Evan Biddell: An edgy show from the winner of Canada’s Project Runway, Season One.


Fashion by nature has the tendency to go over-the-top and border on the ridiculous. Being able to laugh at Fashion is what makes shows like Ugly Betty so entertaining to watch. The fashion industry has definitely produced its share of “WTF-Moments”. The Thierry Mugler Motorcyle dress anyone?! (Ok, this dress is actually kind of hot but in a weird way– but you get my point). I finally did get my “WTF-moment” at the Evan Biddell show. Obviously Biddell is talented however he’s a little too fond of spandex for my liking. I mean, men in unitards?! Really?! When the guy in the photo above strutted down the runway I kind of hiccuped while trying to disguise my laughter. And the strange digital clock bib necklace?! Evan, what were you thinking? This outfit looks like Carl Lewis and Flava Flav sat down one afternoon over a couple of beers & decided, “Lets make a Style love child together. He’ll pay homage to both hip hop and track and field. And he’ll be silver, because he’s from the future”. Honestly, I can’t imagine any man in real life wearing this, even on Church St. I think BlogTO said it best: this look should be reserved for Olympic track athletes.

Other highlights:


+The open bar @ Greta Constantine: All you can drink Martinis made with $50/ bottle premium vodka imported from
Poland. The nicest (&most dangerous) open bar I’ve seen yet. I restrained myself…barely.
+Having the chance to speak with one 1/2 of the Greta Constantine design duo!
+ Sitting in the second row, right behind Ben Mulroney. In case you were wondering, his hair doesn’t move in person
either. Like, AT ALL.
+Sitting right across from Jeanne Beker at the Evan Biddell show. Kind of cool- I grew up watching her show on TV.
+Spotting “Beach Guy” at two different shows. (Who is he?!! And why was he there?!). I didn’t have the nerve to go
up and say “Hey, remember me? You used me as Gay Deterrent” but I totally should have.

Awkward Moments:

+ Getting cornered by a fashion photographer (who looked like a bloated Gianni Versace) who spent 20 minutes
talking to me about how much he “loves young, hot girls”. To which I replied,

“That’s nice. I‘m not really into Daddy types. I’m more into corrupting the young ones”

(which caused my friend to burst out laughing).

+Having a moment of panic later in the night when I noticed the photographer was taking photos of my gorgeous,
slightly tipsy friend. Where was he hiding that camera?! CREEPY. I quickly grabbed my friend and left.

+Seeing the same guy at the three other shows I went to. I ducked behind my friend, and avoided eye contact.


Things I have learned from Fashion Week (or attending any kind of networking event):

+ Look your best but be comfortable. Don’t wear the Miu Miu purse with the wooden handle.
Yes, its a hot bag but carrying it around all night hurts. Literally. You’ll wake up the next day with bruised shoulders
like I did.
+ Bring enough business cards (I didn’t) and keep them somewhere really accessible.
+Bring hand sanitizer. You’ll shake a lot of hands. I ended up catching the flu. A true story.
+When networking follow these rules
( yes, I learned this from an episode of Ugly Betty–my new favorite show– but, its good advice):
When introducing yourself always say: your name, where you work/what you do and one memorable fact.
For example,

“My name is Simone and I’m writing a freelance article for Slice.
In my spare time I like to blog about my personal life over
at skinnydip.ca. Here is my card”

Find out the same info from the other person. Then you can assess how they may be able to help you. For his
personal “fact” Creepy Photographer revealed to me that he also enjoys hanging out with prostitutes, sleeping with
models and leather. Disturbing but memorable.

This year I went to 4 shows. Next year I want to attend the whole week.
After that: New York Fashion Week!

They say dream big right?!

A Day for Me

I am taking a day to recuperate. It’s my first day off after working 6 shifts in a row. My feet are super sore, my knees are bruised (I walked into two display tables on Saturday. Did I mention I’m kind of a klutz?) and my email inbox is full of un-replied messages. So, I’m taking a day to catch up. 

I think BF and I are going to head down to Chinatown this afternoon and get foot massages (heavenly!) and maybe some dim sum (Also heavenly!–well, for me anyways). I might even take some of my hard earned paycheck and do a little shopping. I cleaned my closet out a few weeks ago (round two of my “Closet Makeunder”) and realized that although I have tons of fancy purses, shoes & decent “bottoms” (skirts & pants), I have hardly anything to wear on top. I concluded that I really only have about 4 shirts that I wear on a regular basis and two of them are plain white t-shirts. It’s pretty bad. I do way too much laundry.  Does anyone else suffer from a similar problem? I need to rebalance my wardrobe! 

I’m hoping I’ll also have some time to catch up on my TV obsessions (HIMYM, Dexter, 30-rock, Californication, Ugly Betty, the Wire) and work on some new coding for this site. I’m planning a total makeover for my sidebar.

{Image found via Fashion Fever}

What do you have planned for today?


Out of Breath


I think its part of human nature to want what we can’t have. 

There have definitely been times in the past where I have fallen for guys who were clearly unavailable. One or two instances in particular really stand out for me. 

The relationships would always start with us being friends. We’d hook up, he’d run, I’d chase. I’d try and be his friend and try to get closer before he’d push me away again. Push, Pull, one step forwards, ten steps backwards. Although I always dated other people in between, I kept on allowing myself to get pulled back into these kinds of situations because I was addicted to the drama. With one of these guys, this pattern went on for about 6 years (from the time I was 18-24). I always wrote the relationship off as “It’s just complicated”. But in truth, the only thing that was “complicated” about it was that he didn’t really want to be with me (at least not the way I wanted him to be) and I just didn’t see it. I kept running towards him as he kept running away. 

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my relationships so I’m not sure I’m qualified to give other people advice (or maybe that makes me more qualified. I haven’t quite figured that out yet). But I’ll share with you the best advice other people have given me:


1) “Don’t make someone a Priority so you can be their Option”

I’m not even sure where I heard this quote but, I have since passed it on to many friends because its very relevant. At the risk of sounding like a page out of He’s Just Not that Into you:

If someone is interested in you they will make it known. Trust me. They will call, they will email, text, whatever. It will be obvious. 

If the person isn’t calling you, texting you, emailing you, facebooking you, IM’ing you, or it seems like they are literally missing in action, then most likely they are not interested. At least not enough to make an effort. They are probably off talking to, dating or sleeping with other people. You should do the same. 

CHILL OUT.

MOVE ON. 

If I haven’t made this clear enough, READ THIS

With that said, as much as I am in favor of getting out there, and “keeping things moving”, don’t make dating and relationships the focus of your whole life. 

 “Build a happy, full life for yourself on your own terms. Eventually you will attract a person who has done the same. Then you can share your happy lives together” -My Mom

Work on you. Learn about yourself. Sort out your issues. Fill your life with people who are a positive influence . Surround yourself with things that make you happy. Contrary to what chick flicks & chick lit would like us to believe, falling in love doesn’t magically fix all your problemsA relationship isn’t going to fill the void if other things are missing in your life or you don’t feel good about yourself. 

So, get out there, live your life, do exciting things, take classes, volunteer. You’ll have more to bring to the table when you actually do meet someone. 

“Don’t Settle for Second Best” -Madonna

If the relationship isn’t providing with what you need, if you want more, if this person makes you feel sad more than happy: cut your losses and walk away. It’s always better to be alone than to settle for something that is half-assed or potentially damaging to your self-worth. You’ll feel better about yourself for making this choice. 

You can’t make people love you. Or even like you. And if you feel like you’re always chasing someone, then this probably isn’t the right person for you. 

The right person won’t waste time running. They will open their arms and welcome you. It happened to me.

What’s the best advice someone has given you?

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