Searching for my Tribe


Here is my conundrum:

When I started this blog in August, I set out to connect with readers and find other people doing the same thing as me. I read ALOT of blogs, (what’s featured on the blogroll is only a small fraction of my overly bloated Google Reader) but for the most part they are all Fashion or Design blogs. My daily reads are perfect for finding daily visual inspiration, however they are not necessarily the best forum to connect with people who are doing the same thing as I am (blogging a “life blog”). 

So, to get started I decided to join an online social networking site dedicated to bloggers in their 20’s. Although I did end up discovering a few blogs I really like and enjoy reading through this site, a lot of the blogs I stumbled upon I couldn’t really relate to (ie. mommy blogs and blogs about young married life–I figure they probably wouldn’t be able to relate to me either) or  were just too junior for me (about college life, early 20’s). Way too many blogs I found were along the lines of,

“OMG I LOVE CUPCAKES, SATC, MANOLOS, KITTENS AND THE COLOR PINK!”

All those things are great on their own– I like shoes (however I’m not really a Manolo girl. My shoe lust tends to veer more towards Marni and Pierre Hardy. I love their use of color and shape), I admit cupcakes taste good (although I tend to crave savory things more than sweet) and YES, I am the proprietor of a very pink blog however as a whole these things don’t describe ME. At least not the person I am today. 

I guess basically I am looking to connect with people who I can relate to. People with a bit of life experience they are willing to share, who can laugh at themselves and are a little bit cynical but still hopeful, kind of like me. 

I said to my friend Melissa a few months ago, “I want to read blogs by other girls who get it

(she recommended I’m Boy Crazy and Dating Myself by Kristen Gale which are two new faves. Although they are both very different, they both passed the “they get it” test right away. And if you do check out I’m Boy Crazy you must watch her collection of short films. Some of them seem scarily familiar–however I won’t say which ones)

On a side note, I also joined BlogHer. I’m sure there are tons of great blogs on there however, the network seems SO huge that it is a bit overwhelming.

So with that said, obviously if you’re reading this right now you either know me in real life and/or  connect to a certain degree with what I am writing about. So, my question of the day is:

What blogs do YOU read and love?

If you’re a blogger, how did you initially connect with other bloggers?

And at the risk of sounding totally desperate, if you are a fellow blogger reading this and you feel we are like-minded individuals please identify yourself. I want to meet your blog!

[PS. Today’s photo is by Elena Marshall. You can find more of her photography here. As well as featured in Parasol magazine.]

Thieves Like Us

On Friday night I found myself at Lee’s Palace, celebrating Halloween with a few friends. 

The last time I set foot in Lee’s Palace was six years ago. It was the night after THE incident involving Mr. I.S.I.T.I.B.. I was there with my friend Nick. 

Nick and I met at U of T. We were in an English class together and hit it off right away. He stood out from the rest of our horn-rimmed be-speckled, Lacoste wearing class mates. He was frank, outgoing and swore like a sailor. He was also scruffily handsome in an Italian Sam Roberts kind of way. I always felt comfortable around him. With Nick I could drink beer, also cuss like a sailor and just be myself. 

{photo: Hug by Erin Nelson}

I knew he found me attractive, however neither of us ever made a move. There was chemistry there, but for some reason I always held back. I can’t quite explain why. It was like there was an important puzzle piece missing that I couldn’t put my finger on. Can you ever explain these things?

That day, after I parted ways with Mr. I.S.I.T.I.B, I walked back into my apartment and answered a call from Nick. I told him everything that had just happened. His response:

“He fucking said that?! While he was still inside of you?! FUCKING BLACK RAGE!”

Nick had nicknamed him “Black Rage” after he had heard stories about Mr. ISITIB’s racial politics. When I told him about the “track suit comment” he replied:

“You’re a pretty White girl. You don’t need some motherfucking asshole with his post-colonial bullshit making you feel bad about that. You know what? You probably need a drink. You shouldn’t be alone tonight. Lets go grab a beer”

He was right. So I threw on a white wife beater, some tight jeans & my going-out shoes du jour: a pair of red pointy toed stilettos and met him at Lee’s Palace

We leaned against the wall of the Dance Cave, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and listening to The Smiths play in the background. Although I was grateful for the company, inside I felt broken, shellshocked. When the conversation swung back to the events of the day and he could tell I was still really upset, Nick said:

“No one should ever treat a woman that way. It’s just fucked up. Please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not trying to mack on you but, I just think that you really need to be held tonight. You need someone to treat you good and with respect”

And that’s exactly what he did. He dried my tears, took me back to his apartment, gave me a pair of baggy flannel pajamas and tucked me into his bed. When he climbed into the bed, he kissed me goodnight on the cheek and wrapped his arms around me. We woke up the next day, in the same position, fully clothed. 

In the morning, he got up and made me bacon and eggs (The “we just had sex breakfast” minus the sex). Over breakfast he told me, 

“I know I’m not really your type. I don’t have a nice apartment or fancy clothes. I probably will never own a Rolex or a nice car. But, I would never treat you the way those other guys would”

“I know”

“And if you’re not going to be with me, then you should at least go for someone good. Like that other guy you were telling me about, the one with the good job and the house. It sounds like he might actually deserve a chance and like he might actually treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Just whatever you do, promise me you won’t go back to Black Rage”

“I won’t. I promise” (It was the truth)

He hugged me, kissed me on the head and sent me on my way. 

Hindsight is always 20/20. I think Nick actually cared a lot about me. But, my head was just too far up my own ass to see it or appreciate it. At the time, the idea of someone who actually truly cared for me terrified me to death. It was easier to just keep chasing the next best thing. I thought I was looking for love, but really I wasn’t. As I discovered a few years later, love means really opening yourself up, making yourself vulnerable and letting someone else call you on your own personal bullshit. I wasn’t ready for any of that. 

Nick and I lost touch after university. The last thing I heard he was teaching English in Asia. 

So, Nick–if you’re out there in internet land, thank you. You looked out for me even when I wasn’t looking out for me. I hope wherever you are that you find what you are looking for out of life. You’re good people and you deserve to be happy. Oh sorry, I mean…

You fucking deserve to be fucking happy!

Hindsight is always 20/20. Is there someone from your past that you now see in a different light? What would you say to them if you had the chance?

Simone and the City


It’s raining outside and I’m still sick with a cold/flu (hence the lack of posts this past week) so in order to get back on track I thought I share with you a story from a sunny afternoon this past summer.

Like I mentioned before, while I was unemployed this summer I met some “interesting” people while hanging out in the city. One of my favorite things to do was to go to a cafe patio, order a beverage and read in the sun. As I quickly discovered,  if you’re sitting alone on a patio, on a beautiful Toronto summer’s day you might as well be wearing  a T-shirt that says “Bizarre denizens of Toronto please come talk to me”

[ FYI. If you’re looking to be left alone, DO NOT frequent the Starbucks in the Annex. It’s pick-up central. Who knew?! The first time I went there this summer I had a pimply, Beavis-like College student come up to me and nervously say “HAHAHAH You’re pretty HAHAHAHA”. He lurked in front of my table (making nervous laughter) until I politely asked him to leave me alone. However, if you’re into being hit on by socially awkward U of T students or like being approached by neighborhood creeps, then by all means this is the place for you.]

That day I was sitting outside enjoying my ice tea, reading my book (I was still working my way through “Moose: Memoirs of Fat Camp”) when a guy in his early 30’s approached and asked if he could share my table, adding “I promise I won’t bother you”. The patio was really packed and he seemed harmless, so I obliged. We ignored each other for the first 20 minutes before we began to make polite conversation. 

He asked me what I did for a living. I explained that I was unemployed and in between job hunting I was working on a blog. He asked me what the blog was about. I replied, 

“It’s mostly about dating, sex, relationships, life stuff, with a bit of fashion thrown in”
“Ok, so sort of like Sex and the City type stuff?”
“Kind of. I mean not really. I hate to draw comparisons to the show. It’s kind of cliche” 
“I have lots of interesting dating stories. Maybe I could pitch a few to you”
“Um, Ok. Lets hear one”
“Ok, so my ex-girlfriend works in TV and she’d often house-sit for various Canadian media personalities. And sometimes I’d come over just to fool around with her in these people’s houses. One time we almost got caught when the guy came home early”
“Who was he?!”
“I wasn’t sure. Just some TV guy”
“Hmm. You’re going to have to give me names to make this story interesting. Like if you got caught mid-act by a Eugene Levy, this might actually be a pretty good story”
“Ok, how about this one: I was dating this girl who was renting a house that had a hot-tub in the backyard. I went over there one night for a party. Things got a bit wild and a bunch of us decided to get into the hot tub naked. Unfortunately the landlord came home and caught us all naked in the hot tub. He started yelling at her about bacteria & how he was going to evict her. The next morning she found an eviction notice on her door”
“She got evicted for naked hot-tubbing?!”
“No, in the end the landlord forgave her and she stayed until the end of her lease”
“I don’t know…I don’t think I could use this story either. It’s just not that good”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“There needs to be an ironic twist, or anything to make the ending interesting”
“I guess I’m not very good at this”
“That’s why I’m the blogger and you’re not”

***

That was close to three months ago. Although I cringe at SATC references, I might actually get my Carrie Bradshaw moment after all: I just got offered my very own monthly relationship/dating column on 20-something.ca. Very excited! I’ll give you guys all the details once I have them, but basically I’ll be writing more about my thoughts on relationships, dating, sex and the like. And just for the record, I will not be writing about “near evictions due to nude hot-tubbing”, however if you have been caught in the act by a Canadian celebrity please share. I’m big on Canadian kitsch, so if Brian Orser has seen you naked or you’ve had a 3-way with any of the original cast members of SCTV, then I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. 

(Kidding. No one needs to know about that. Please keep it to yourself)

who am I kidding. email me. we’ll talk.

Death by Cotton Candy


We live on the second floor of an old Victorian brick house that is divided into suites. Our house is located on a tree lined street, in a mostly Italian/Portuguese neighborhood close to downtown. We moved here last December and I can honestly say this is my favorite place I’ve lived in Toronto. Another thing I love about where we live is our awesome neighbors Kevin & Kim. They’re everything you could hope for in good neighbors. They’re super friendly, are always offering us gourmet food and are just generally cool people to talk to. A couple times this summer we found ourselves just hanging out with them in the backyard drinking wine & eating tasty snacks late into the night.

They also have a daughter my age named Sam. I met her this summer during one of these impromptu backyard hang-out sessions. She’s super sweet and  since the summer we have been staying in touch via our respective blogs

Which brings me to this morning. I was lying in bed with my laptop,  feeling sick as a dog with a cold, when I checked my site and I saw a really sweet comment from Sam

Sam mentioned me in her blog today and dedicated this photo to me.

It’s called “Death By Cotton Candy” by Daniela Edburg.  I LOVE IT. 

(Sam and I don’t know each other that well, but I feel like she gets me!)

 I was feeling so crappy this morning & seeing what she wrote made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I have a general idea of how many people read this blog, however often when I write stuff I still wonder “is anyone actually going to read this?” or “will people actually relate to this?” or worse, “Are people going to think I’m a nut job?”. I think its that “BUELLER? BUELLER?” syndrome that’s inherent to blogging–I know people are reading however often it feels like I am just talking to myself. Anyways, hearing that people actually are connecting with what I’m writing about gives me the motivation to keep sharing my thoughts. 

Thanks Sam, you totally made my day!


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