On Flirting & Finding Jesus. No, Not That Jesus.

A couple of people have asked me what it’s like travelling with Joe the Intern. Although I brought Joe with me to Vancouver Fashion Week in March, our recent trip to Las Vegas was his real “coming out voyage.” The answer I usually give: it’s interesting.

Although I never have to wrestle Joe for leg-room or access to the arm-rest, travelling with a 12″ tall naked man isn’t without it’s share of  challenges and strange looks. However, being that I’m kind of shameless to begin with, I decided  to embrace the weirdness of carrying Joe in my purse & just go with it. Because, Vegas.

A blogger & her Intern.

Things only got “weird” whenever I’d try and interact with guys other than Joe.  When I went to Vegas last year, I was  finally at the point after the big break-up where I was ready to embrace being single and maybe even flirt a little…and that I did! To quote Caryn, “You were on a roll!” Considering I’m still living in my hometown where everyone is either a hipster or a senior citizen and meeting people the old fashioned way seems next to impossible, I was really looking forward to interacting with members of the opposite sex and getting my flirt on.

When I sat down on the plane, I looked across the aisle and spotted an attractive guy in his 30’s. We made eye-contact. I smiled. He smiled. Just when I thought things were going well I felt something fall out of my tote bag. I looked down and there was Joe, lying spread eagle on the carpeted floor of the airplane looking quite pleased with himself. The guy’s reaction looked something like this:

I quickly grabbed Joe, sat down in my seat and didn’t make eye-contact for the rest of the flight.

When a called my ex a few weeks ago to tell him about my Grandfather’s passing, we stayed on the phone for a while catching up on the recent events of each other’s lives. The conversation eventually wandered over the topic of my recent trip to Vegas & Bloggers in Sin City. That’s when I confessed,

“I think Joe is kind of a cock-blocker”

To which he responded, “I think Joe is just a BLOCKER period.”

It’s true, Joe does have a way of impeding certain social interactions and generating stares from TSA agents, but he’s a damn fine intern which is why I keep him around.

While at Bloggers in Sin City, I was telling my friend Casey about the incident on the plane. I’m a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother and can never resist a good dare. So, while lounging by the pool I made the following proposition to Casey:

“This weekend, if you successfully introduce yourself to someone as Sean Patrick Harris, aka the guy from Save the Last Dance, I’ll pick someone up with Joe”

Casey & Sean Patrick Thomas. A close match? Hardly. However, I know from 10+ years of friendship that he's pulled this off in the past.

“How are you going to do that?”

“I’m not sure, but it’s going to happen”

“Ok, deal.”

If Barney Stinson can pick up women while dressed as an old man, I can surely meet guys with a 12″ GI Joe at my side.

I was totally prepared to fulfill my end of the bargain but then Vegas happened. Way too many margaritas & lots of awesomeness later, we’d forgotten about the dare.

On Monday afternoon, Casey, Jen, Michelle and I found ourselves in the All Saints Store at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I’d persuaded them to come join me while I ogled all the pretty things, including the notoriously handsome sales staff. At this point of the trip I’d completely given up on trying to flirt and had gotten into the habit of allowing Joe’s head to peak out of the top of my trusty Longchamp bag. I was fondling a rack of gorgeous leather jackets when a dark haired (and very cute) sales associate approached me to see how I was doing. He immediately asked,

“Who’s that little guy?”

(Slightly flustered) “Oh, that’s Joe. He’s just along for the ride.”

When I explained that Joe had been travelling with me all weekend, the sales guy said:

“Wow! That’s so cool! So, you take photos with him and everything?!”

We both laughed as I showed him photos of Joe lounging in the pool and posing in front of Caesar’s Palace. The whole time I was thinking.  “Seriously? Is this is really happening?!”

I told him about Skinny Dip and he said he’d love to read my blog sometime.

“I’m Jesus” he said as he handed me his card.

I didn’t have any cards on me, so I told him to look me up on the Internerd sometime.

Still slightly stunned, I walked over to Casey and the other BiSC-uits.

“I just picked someone up, with the help of Joe. I mean I think I just did.”

It’s very possible that Casey promised this guy that he’d buy an expensive belt in exchange for asking me about Joe, but I prefer to think of it as a Vegas miracle.

The problem? Ever since we came back from our trip Joe has been telling everyone:

“Simone and I went to Vegas and found Jesus.”

Oh Joe, I have so many things to teach you.

Bloggers in Sin City 2013: The Trilogy

It’s been almost a month since I got back from Bloggers in Sin City…and what a month it’s been. There have been some really happy, fun moments (My first radio interview! A fun getaway to Vancouver!) but also some very sad ones. Do you know what’s been getting me through the bad days? This video. Almie  has once again worked her magic and created another stunning video of BiSC. People always ask me what it’s like to spend a weekend in Vegas with 68 bloggers and I think this video says it all. From “Ugly Fashion Shows” to fancy footwork, it’s all there! She even included a clip of me riding the mechanical bull. Enjoy!

BiSC 2013: Bloggers In Sin City from almie rose on Vimeo.

What many people don’t realize is that this year was the 5th and final year of Bloggers in Sin City….as in, the last one. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know how much I’ve enjoyed going to #BiSC the past few years. When I told a non-blogger friend that this would be the last year for the un-conference, she responded by saying:

“What?! NOOOO. It’s ending?! WHAT ABOUT ALL THE BLOGGERS? ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO BE OK?”

Although it does make me a little misty eyed to think about Bloggers in Sin City coming to an end, I’ve had such an amazing three years and am so incredibly grateful for the experience. I think it was either Doni or Nicole who said that they’ve started to think of their 5 years at #BiSC not as separate events, but as one GIANT magical weekend. I like to think of it as a trilogy. This year’s Bloggers in Sin City was everything I’d hoped it would be & then some, making it the perfect conclusion to an epic 3-weekend long adventure. It’s time for a few final shout-outs!

Let the credits roll!

Over the past three years I’ve been truly blessed in the room-mate department and roomed with some of the smartest, funniest, nicest women I have ever met. In 2011 I roomed with Carly who is hilarious and the perfect partner in crime. Last year I roomed with the lovely Grace, who was sweet, kind and funny. This year I roomed with Kate from Suburban Sweetheart. She’s one of my favourite bloggers period and I’ve been wanting to meet her forever (ever since I started reading her blog 3+ years ago!) I was kind of nervous to meet her for the first time (what if she didn’t like me?!), but it turns out Kate is just as awesome & funny & amazing in person as I suspected she’d be (& then some!)

I’m so glad that we got to be room-mates. Finally getting to hang out with Kate in person was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

Any good trilogy includes the introduction of a few new characters. After hearing me talk about Vegas non-stop for the past few years, my good friend Casey finally decided to take the plunge and join the mayhem this year. I’ve known Casey for over a decade and he’s awesome. At the risk of sounding totally geeky, it was so cool (and kind of surreal) to see one of my favourite “real life” friends meet my favourite “internet” friends. It was also Joe the Intern‘s first year at BiSC and I still don’t think he’s come down from the high (every time I mention anything about Vegas he does a bunch of backflips and the “running-man” around my office. I’m not sure what’s up with that except, VEGAS. YAY!)

The only thing I don’t like about BiSC is that there are always so many awesome people and only so much time. I absolutely loved the group this year and everyone new that I met was AWESOME. There are so many people I wish I’d been able to spend more time with, but hopefully that’s something that can happen in the future!

As someone who works from home and wears a lot of leggings a pants, one of the things I love about BiSC is that it’s 4-5 days where I actually get to wear real clothes. My favourite night is always the Saturday theme party. In 2011 we got decked out in black & gold, last year we got retro and did it up Mad Men style and this we had a fabulous White Party on the roof-top at Pure.

I never thought I would actually become emotionally attached to a hotel in Las Vegas, but that’s exactly how I feel about the Flamingo. From your white padded headboards and pink striped wallpaper, to your weird casino smell that vaguely resembles a mix of chocolate and mouthwash, I can’t quit you.

Lastly, Vegas wouldn’t be Vegas without some of these fine people. To Sad Mickey – thank you for being so sad and for perfectly embodying how most of us feel after spending 4 days in Vegas. To Edie, the host of Zumanity – I’m not sure who I like more: You or Almie’s impression of you. Either way, thanks for the throaty come ons. I will never think of the word “lover” in the same way again. To Rigo the bartender at the Flamingo pool – After the surprise grinding incident at the pool, you told me “I have just the thing for you!” and then handed me a drink that was 80% vodka and tasted like pure pineapple juice. You are my hero and your bar-tending skills are commendable. To Gilly, the Mechanical Bull: I’m sure you’ve done some things you regret and seen some things that can’t be unseen, and yet you still have some of the best dance moves on the strip. Thanks for the wild ride. You’re an inspiration to us all.

To the sticker of Donnie Osmond that used to reside in the lobby of the Flamingo: RIP.

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Next Stop, Sin City

It’s been such a busy few weeks. So busy in fact that I have barely had a chance to mention that this week I’ll be attending my third Bloggers in Sin City un-conference (!!!!!) As you read this, I’m probably somewhere between Sleepy Town and Sin City (most likely camped out somewhere in LAX with my lap-top desperately trying to catch up on last minute work.) I’ve been working a lot of long, 10-12 hour days lately so this trip comes as a much needed vacation. I can’t wait to see my people, soak up the sun & create lots of new memories.

Luckily, while I’m gone for the week I have Joe the Intern looking after the daily operations of Skinny Dip. I trust he’ll do a good job. I only gave him one rule: no more gory battle stories while I’m out of office. I’ll be back to regular scheduled blogging as soon as I’ve recovered from my Vegas hangover which should be sometime after the 21st.

Have a good week lovelies! And, for those of you I’ll be seeing at #BiSC – see you soon!

xox

S.

Fuck Broken Hearts. I’m Going to Vegas.

Following the big break-up this fall, my romantic interactions with the opposite sex have not proven to be successful. This post is just a small fraction of the whole story. There’s lots more. Too much to share on the blog at this point. I prefer to air my dirty laundry only once it has been hung out to dry for a long time and is considered old news. Long story short, on Monday night I had my heart stomped on. That’s all I’m going to say right now. I know that whatever I write at this point is probably going to be tinged with anger. I don’t want to put something up here that I’ll regret later. I prefer to write about matters of the heart once I’ve had time to reflect.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I am no stranger to romantic disappointment. It’s just that with everything that’s happened over the past few months, I’m emotionally exhausted.

Monday should have been the happiest of days – it was Bloggers in Sin City registration day! Remember that amazing event that I went to last year that I couldn’t stop blogging about?! Yes, THAT. I was super psyched to sign up this year but then over the weekend my excitement started to wane. My anxiety kicked into overdrive (making me feel sluggish yet wired at the same time) and I got a terrible headache that wouldn’t leave me alone no matter how many Advils I popped. My body always knows when something is up. It just does.

I started to wonder whether going to Vegas again was a good idea. I told myself “Should I really be doing this now? Maybe I should just save the money? Didn’t I just write a post about personal finances?!” Even on Monday morning, while I was sitting at my computer, head pounding, waiting for registration to open, I was on the fence. Is this really a good idea? But you know what?! I’m so, so glad I signed up again.

There is something slightly magical about Bloggers in Sin City. After the disappointment on Monday night, I was huddled on my bed, wrapped in a blanket and feeling pretty fucking hurt. One of the only things that made me feel better was when I decided to go on the BiSC website and read through all the profiles and tweets from the other attendees. I said to myself:

“How I feel right now fucking sucks…but I’m going to Vegas. In a few months I’ll be with my tribe of crazy, glittery, hilarious, wonderful bloggers”

I woke up yesterday morning and everything looked different – literally – I looked out my bedroom window and saw my Mom’s backyard which is full of bamboo and palm plants, dusted in a thick layer of snow (a West Coast rarity). I took a deep breath and finally started to process something I hadn’t been able to wrap my head around until that moment:

I am single. 

There is nothing or no one holding me back from doing whatever I want from this point forward. There is so much I want to do….

Travel to Latin America. Travel to Asia. Drink sangria in Barcelona. Live in New York and LA. Travel the world and write articles from every corner of the globe. Write a book. Be perfectly happy being roaming gypsy for awhile sans any kind of attachments.

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I called my best friend yesterday morning to let her know I was feeling better. I told her “I feel like I have my whole life ahead of me”Her reply: “You always did Simone”

 & I’m starting by going to Vegas. 

(PS. If you too are suffering from Wanderlust, check out my post I wrote about Toronto over at my friend Abby’s fabulous travel blog The Jungle Princess.)

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