Living at Home Diaries: Teaching Your Parents About Technology

Recently I wrote about how moving home to live with my Mom has turned me into an Honorary Senior Citizen, and all of the fun perks that go along with that like special discounts and never having to explain why you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes. However, if you are considering moving back home (especially if you’re planning on working from home) what I failed to mention is that you should be prepared to spend at least  35% of your week helping your parents understand technology. As I’ve learned, being an Honorary Senior is all fine and dandy, until you realize you’re the only one  in the room who knows how to use Google.

It’s a vintage Will Smith kind of day.

Also, be prepared to explain or deal with the following:

1. All the Computer Things: My Mom lives in one of those West Coast modern houses that’s all big windows, cedar beams and stacked vertically like a townhouse. My bedroom/office is on the second floor, the kitchen & den are on the third floor and the top floor is a loft-style living room. A huge portion of my day is spent running from my office up to my Mom’s office every time I hear her say something like:


“Hold on, I’m coming Mom”

(I run upstairs)

“See, it won’t work!”

(I fix it)

“Here you go”

“Thanks Simone”

(I run back downstairs)

“AHHHHH $%#&****$$%%%%%%! SIMONE!”

“What’s wrong Mom?”

“There’s these things that keep popping up and I don’t want them there!”

(I run upstairs again)

“Mom, those are pop ups”

“Well, I never asked for them to be there!”

“No one does, Mom”

*click, click, click*

“Thanks Simone”

(run back downstairs)



“I’m really excited about this free beauty sample I just ordered online”

“Oh no, Mom! Did they ask for your credit card information?”

“Yes, is that bad?”

(I run upstairs)

I figure the only way I’m able to get as much done as I do living here,  is because I no longer have to spend as much time on the elliptical machine at the gym.

2. All the Blackberry Things: My Dad likes to think he’s pretty tech savvy because a few years ago he was given a company issued Blackberry and learned how to use Google Earth (which he likes to spend hours on Googling what, we’re not sure) However, recently my Dad’s friend decided to give him his old Blackberry that has a touch screen and all hell broke loose. A few weeks ago I get a call from my Dad and I can hear this high pitched alarm going off in the background.


(read more insanity after the jump)

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Meet My New Lady Hero: Janelle Monae

Remember how I mentioned that I was going to see Janelle Monae last Thursday?

Well, Thursday rolled around and I was having one of those days. I should have been excited about the concert but instead I woke up feeling lethargic and uninspired. That morning, while bending down to grab something that had fallen, I somehow managed to bash my tailbone on the edge of my desk (an injury that hurts. like. a. bitch) When my friend came to pick me up for the concert, I had a big purple bruise right above my butt crack, my mouth felt really weird inside because I’d eaten too many salt and vinegar rice cakes the night before, and my house keys were nowhere to be found. When my friend confessed that she had lost her wallet earlier that day, I realized between the two of us we were about one personal disaster away from sounding like the opening chorus of an Alanis Morisette song.

With that said, there is something really inspiring and life affirming about seeing good live music. Especially when you get to see this lady totally rock out and put on a killer show in your hometown:

Janelle Monae Victoria BC

Janelle Monae

As a total soul and R&B junkie, I’ve been really fortunate to see most of my favorite acts live at least once (Maxwell, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, Common, PRINCE – to name a few) and I’d say that 99.9% of the time they are even better in concert. Janelle Monae was no exception. As soon as she got onstage, I immediately forgot my trivial problems and was swept away, as she sang her out out, danced and moon-walked across the stage like she was channeling the souls of Michael Jackson and James Brown, and took possession of the audience with kind of intensity and finesse that you’d expect from a performer twice her age. She did all this while wearing her signature tuxedo and gravity defying pompadour. Simply put, she was incredible.

Her opening act, Roman GianArthur  – a soul singer and guitarist- also totally rocked out. He reminded me a bit of a younger, more Gospel tinged, Prince. It only took about half a song before we totally forgot about his questionable necktie and deep v-neck combo.

Roman GianArthur. We're not sure what's up with the neck-tie but your music is sexy.

Walking out of the concert (after a standing ovation & several encores), my friend and I were speechless. We did however, manage to articulate this:

“Wow, I feel so much better!”

Janelle Monae healed our case of the bummers!

Later, as we were walking towards my friend’s car she said:

“You know what I like about her?”

“She’s different!”

“Yes, and she’s really sexy but…”

“She keeps her clothes on!”


It’s true, Monae was recently quoted in an interview that she wears her signature tuxedo not just for stylistic reasons, but because she feels the need to set a good example for young women and this means forgoing the typical revealing costumes that are often worn by female performers. In a world where it seems like a lot of mainstream women performers are wearing less and saying even less, it’s refreshing that there are artists out there who are looking to change the game and actually sing about interesting things, for example, inter-human-android love affairs and time travel like Monae does.

To quote my other hero, Liz Lemon: "Janelle Monae, you are my heroine. And by heroine, I mean "lady hero." I don't wanna inject you and listen to jazz."

This experience made me realize two things:

1) Janelle Monae is kinda my new hero.

2) When you’re feeling uninspired, one of the best things you can do is just get out. Meet a friend. Interact with the world. If you’re lucky, go experience some kind of art – whether it’s music, painting or something entirely different – it has the potential to heal what ails ya.

3) Two of the most rocking shows I’ve seen recently – Prince and now this show – have occurred in my “sleepy” hometown…which leads me to believe that maybe this town isn’t so sleepy after all.

Who are some of your favorite female performers? How do you re-energize yourself when you’re feeling uninspired?

7 Common Myths About Sex and Relationship Bloggers

Today’s post was brought to you by Adam & Eve. All opinions, rants and raves are my own. 

After writing this blog for almost 3 years I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people have some pretty weird (and often hilarious) ideas about what being a sex and relationship blogger is all about.

I’ll never forget the first time I met my friend Val in Toronto. We’d known each other for several months online via Twitter and our blogs before we met in person. When we discovered we were both going to be attending the same party, we decided it would be fun to meet up for a drink beforehand. After a few minutes of getting to know each other over drinks on the Drake patio, she said something like:

“You’re so sweet and normal looking”

Slightly taken aback, I laughed and said:

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. You’re just not quite what I expected. I thought you’d be bigger”


“Curvier. I don’t know. I guess that’s the impression I got from your blog”

(I’m actually quite petite. When I told my boyfriend at the time about the size comment he said, “People assume that you’ll be bigger because you write big. It’s a good thing” Yes! I’ll take it! )

Val is a lovely person so we I ended up having a good laugh about this and have been friends ever since. However, this wouldn’t be the last time I heard someone say the words, “You seem so normal” upon meeting me for the first time. Since that experience, I’ve learned that a lot of people have pre-conceived notions about what someone who writes about sex and relationships should be like.

tina fey with typewriter

I know Tina's not a blogger. I just love this photo and wanted an excuse to use it.

Here’s a few of my favorites:

1. We should look a certain way:  I remember reading in BUST magazine an interview with a female sex blogger in who said one of the comments she’s received from people is “You don’t look hot enough to write about sex.” What do people think a sex blogger should look like?! People who write about sex come in all different shapes and sizes: curvy, flat chested, male, female and all different variations in between. There’s no one “norm” when it comes to human sexuality so why would there be when it comes to the people who write about it?

2. We sleep with everyone: I remember reading on City Girl’s blog about how her friend had overheard some women gossiping about her blog and one of them commented that because she writes about sex, she must have “slept with a 1000 guys” – a statement so far off from the truth, it’s comical. I think there is a reigning assumption that women who write about sex must be promiscuous by default. In my case, this also couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I definitely had my share of wild sexual escapades in my early 20’s, I just came out of a relationship where I was with the same person for 6 years and I now live with my mother. You do the math. Most of the sex I have these days is with myself.

3. We want to sleep with you too: Oh man. This is the one that bothers me the most as it directly ties in with #3. The most blatant example of this is an email I received from a reader a few years ago. In his message he mentioned that he also hangs out in a certain neighborhood of Toronto that I’ve mentioned in blog posts before and that if he ever saw me in the area he’d ask me if I’d like to go have sex with him “because it seems like I’m into that kind of thing.”  Right. Because openly discussing sex means I have no standards whatsoever. SO CREEPY.

4. We’re all really kinky: Some of us are. Some of us aren’t. YES I own sex toys. NO I am not renovating my garage to turn it into my very own sex dungeon (shoe storage facility maybe, dungeon no) . The more I read stuff written by other sex bloggers, the more I realize how un-kinky I really am. Sometimes it makes me feel weird because I feel like I have nothing to contribute to the conversation. This is probably why (with the exception of a few blogs) I tend to gravitate more towards personal and lifestyle blogs that aren’t necessarily about sex & dating. If you’re into whips and chains and being tied up, that’s cool. I’ll try almost anything once but kink has just never been my thing (or maybe I just haven’t discovered the kind of kink I am into.) If that makes me “vanilla” so be it.

5. We don’t live ordinary lives: Last year I tweeted something along the lines of “Six Feet Under Marathon + Good food + snuggling on the couch = The Perfect Weekend” and some guy responded, “Wow that sounds like a pretty boring weekend…FOR YOU”  which makes me wonder, what do people think I do on my weekends?! Honestly, I like my downtime. I enjoy hanging out with my cat and reading books. Sure, I have a fondness for bright colors and animal print but my life isn’t exactly a non-stop LMFAO video.

6. We’re all relationship/dating/sex experts: Maybe some of us are, but I’m certainly not and I find it humorous when people actually assume I am. About six months after I started writing this blog, I started to get emails from readers asking for advice. I once got an email from a reader confessing that he was unhappy in his marriage, was considering cheating on his wife and wanted to know what I thought he should do – an email that made me stare at my computer screen and say “Omg, I’m SO not equipped to deal with this” I don’t know how to fix your marriage, or whether you should call her, or what brand of butt plug you should use or the best place to meet hot guys. I’ll try my best to help you out but really it’s like the blind leading the blind here. I thought this was painfully obvious?

7. We’re always looking for “inspiration” and want you to tell us about all of your disturbing sex exploits: People seem to be very comfortable telling me stuff. A little too comfortable at times. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good story as much as the next person. For example, if you have a story about how you hooked up with _________ (insert name of D-List Hollywood actor) and he tried to pee on you in the shower, I want to know about it because I’m just nosy like that. However, some things are better kept to yourself. Like that time you hired a Russian hooker with your friends and then all took turns with her while everyone watched. No offense, but I don’t really need to know about that.

I can’t tell you how many times I have met guys who have said to me:

“Oh my god. Do I have a story for you! You’re totally going to want to blog about this!”

Then, they proceed to ear rape me with a nightmare inducing story that I’ll spend the next 4 days trying to block out of my mind forever and ever. This is exactly what happened last summer when I went out with a large group of friends for dinner. Amongst our group was a guy – we’ll call him “Steve” – that I had never met before. After dinner we all decided to head over to a local candy store to grab some of their homemade ice-cream that they are famous for. While standing next to a giant display of Pez dispensers, Steve says to me:

“So, I hear you blog about sex. Boy, do I have a story for you. You’re probably going to want to blog about this!”

(annnnnd here we go again!)

He then launches into an extremely graphic story about about the first time he had sex with a girl while she was on her period.




8. We want to talk about sex all the time:  Although I’ll happily ramble on about vibrators ad nauseam, I could just as easily spend hours talking about music, books, fashion or even social justice issues. It’s so easy when you write about sex to come off as one sided and scare people off in the process. I’m a storyteller by nature. As I told my BiSC roomie Grace before me met, I write about sex & relationships because it’s easy for me and I have fun doing it. If I was really good at styling my own outfits or cooking my own food, I’d have a blog focused on those things but I don’t.

9. We’re going to blog about you:  Obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but there is a lot I don’t write about. There’s something to be said about keeping certain things to yourself and that means respecting the privacy of people I get involved with. With that said, if you do something completely ridiculous like tell people that we slept together when it never happened or try and pick me up in the camping aisle of Walmart – I’m sorry, but I’m totally going to write about you.

When people make these kinds of wacky assumptions, I just try and laugh it off, taking pleasure in the fact that they don’t know my deep dark secret: my life is actually kind of boring.

Do you feel like people assume certain things about you based on your blog or profession?

Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self #9 – Doniree

It’s time for another episode of Things I Would Tell My 20-Year Old Self. Today’s post is brought to you by Doniree of | champagne with breakfast and living with intention. I recently got a chance to hang out with Doni at Bloggers in Sin City last month. Although we met last year at #BiSC, sometimes it’s hard when you’re at an event like that to get one on one time with everyone. I’m really glad that we got to spend a bit more time together this year. One word to describe Doni: inspiring. She runs her own business, does Yoga, takes gorgeous photographs and is an all around superstar blogger. Oh, and she has magical pink hair! I’m so happy that she agreed to share some of the advice she’d give her younger self. I hope you enjoy reading her post as much as I did!

To mix things up a bit, today you can find me over at Doni’s other blog, Nomadic Foodie, blogging about all my favorite places to eat in Victoria, BC. Enjoy!

20-year old Doni meets 29-year old Doni.

You don’t need all that shit.

No, seriously. You’ve got too much stuff, you’re a pack-rat, it’s time to let go of THINGS. You’re going to move all of your stuff NINE times (including two short stints while in between homes) in the next decade. At 29, you’re going to look back on this and roll your eyes at all of the STUFF you were holding onto. Actually, at 29, you’re going to look around your current living situation and roll your eyes at all the stuff you still have. Let it go. Your sense of wanderlust is going to take a strong hold in your life pretty soon, and it’d be so much easier if you just had fewer things.

Take better care of your body.

Or at least just realize that this energy and metabolism isn’t going to last forever. I know you hit the gym sometimes, but hit the gym more. Pay attention to where your food comes from and what’s in it. Pasta Roni is NOT real food. You have zero idea right now what kale actually is, but I wish you did. Stop being so lazy about brushing your teeth. All of your self-employment dreams are going to come true one day, which has the unfortunate side effect of NOT coming with amazing dental insurance. You’ll kick yourself for this one later, but your future dentist says thanks for the poolhouse she just built thanks to the money you’ll pay her in 2011 to fix your dirty mouth. Gross.


Just. Put them down. All of them. One would’ve been fine, but you don’t need FIVE, you don’t need to buy a DVD player with one of those five, and you definitely don’t need ones for Express and Victoria’s Secret. Step away from those applications.

Let go of the puppy love.

I know you don’t want to because we’re talking about a high school/college crush, and it’s cute, and it’s like, your first “real” relationship. (“Real” is debatable since you spent more time trying to be who you thought he wanted you to be instead of being yourself, but that’s a whole other story). Trust me. You’ll meet a guy soon enough that will take your mind off of him long enough to move you forward. He won’t be the right person, though. Neither will the next person you meet (and she’ll straight up tell you so). Something like three quarters of a decade later, you’ll finally start to understand enough about who you are (and who you want to be) that you’ll be able to make better decisions about who to date.

Oh, you don’t know what to do with your life? THAT’S OKAY.

Between age 20 and 29, you will be and/or have been: a full-time merchandise manager for a professional salon and cosmetics shop, a benefits specialist in the HR department for Target’s corporate offices, a broadcast and online media buyer at one of the oldest advertising agencies in the country, a struggling freelancer completely drunk off of the newfound freedom of setting your own schedule, a getting-by freelancer completely overwhelmed by the ability to set your own schedule, a community manager, a blogger, a blogger-networker, a brand ambassador, a social media strategist, an SEO copywriter, a prolific (or OK, a frequent) tweeter, and an addicted jet-setter.

By the time you’re 29, you’ll FINALLY have started your own business and thus will begin an entirely new era of making shit up figuring shit out.

Understand that Alfred Kinsey piqued your interest this year for good reason.

Sexuality is fluid. Well, ast least yours is, and it’s ok if that’s your truth and not someone else’s. Embrace it. Just because it’s black and white for others doesn’t mean it will be for you. This is going to be a tricky one, dear. While on the one hand you know, you’re not going to really understand what that means for you, your identity, or your prospective dating pool until you get a little older.

Oh, and it will get worse (or at least, overwhelmingly confusing) before it gets better. Your late-20’s self is going to want to time travel back to 2003 and tell you to figure this one out now, for heaven’s sake, but you won’t listen. It’s ok though, because it will get better. You know how to build a support network, and you’re totally going to have that in place when you really go through it later. And you’re going to count your blessings for compassionate friends and a supportive partner in the process.

You’re really going to do some amazing things.

No, really. I know you don’t know this right now, at 20, because you don’t really know who you are yet. You’re kind of a chameleon, easily adapting from one situation to the next, but never really understanding who YOU are and what unique things you bring to the table. It’ll take you years to finally uncover this, but you’ll eventually start to learn. Sometime around age 29 you’re going to learn what a honeybadger is, and why that little rodent really does have it all figured out.

In your late 20’s, you’re going to embrace your love of loud colors (and go back to dying your hair hot pink the way you did in high school), you’re going to stop censoring yourself because you’re afraid something you say might sounds “silly.” You’re going to say things. People are going to laugh with you, agree with you, disagree with you, challenge you, and respect you. Open your mouth. Say what you think. It won’t hurt.

That blog you started on a whim this year? Oh, honey. That’s going to take you places. Over the next nine years, you’re going to quit your job to start your own business, move across the country twice, go for hot air balloon rides, play in apple orchards, eat some of the best food in the country, and visit places like Traverse City, Wenatchee, Reno, and Snoqualmie because of your blog. That same blog is going to introduce you to some of the most mind-blowingly smart and inspiring people all across the world, and you’re going to be lucky enough to call them your friends.

So, date the wrong people (even the good ones in there won’t be able to keep up with you), keep writing those blog posts, daydream your heart out about living out of a suitcase sometimes, pay attention to the people you meet along the way, and go ahead — wear the neon, even if no one else is. Turns out it makes a comeback in 2012, just like you do.

Doniree Walker blogs at | champagne with breakfast and living with intention. She is the proud new owner of Eff Yeah Media, a social media consulting services business in Portland, Oregon. In her free time she takes a lot of pictures (mostly of food) and lives to find the balance between happy hour and yoga. You can find her in 140 characters or less @doniree.

 What advice would you give your younger self?

Vintage, Palm Trees, Coffee & Martinis – My Life in Snapshots.

After doing a lot of writing and turning in a bunch of projects last week, I’m now having a bit of writers block. So, I’ve decided to let the pictures do the talking today. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve become completely obsessed with using Instagram. This has never been a “dear diary” kind of blog (because if I blogged about what I actually do everyday you guys would be bored to tears.) However, the exhibitionist within sometimes gets the urge to share more than just stories about dating, sex toys or my interactions with the “locals”. I love Instagram because it allows me to share these day-to-day moments and thanks to nifty filters, makes them (and me) look way cooler than they actually are.

I now present to you…



1. Bust Magazine – the only print magazine I still buy religiously every month.

2. Pink Petals – Spring is really beautiful here.

3. Daily Essentials – silver chain bracelet, Marc by Marc Jacobs locket (purchased with casino winnings in Vegas), vintage red enamel bracelet, Tryst “Virgo” necklace, my Burt’s Bee’s Lip balm & some more arm candy. Is anyone else completely obsessed with bracelets lately? There seems to be so many cute ones this season.

4. Palm Tree! – I bet some of you didn’t realize that you can grow palm trees on the West Coast of Canada. Here’s the proof! This is my neighbor’s tree that I walk by almost every day.

5. New Black Platforms – during one of my “Senior Day” excursions to Value Village, I found these espadrille wedges for $8. It doesn’t look like they were ever worn. I love them.

6. A good book & some coffee (my Sunday morning ritual) – The book is Caramba! by Nina Marie Martinez. I shallowly bought this book just because I loved the cover art, however it’s actually turning out to be a pretty good read. I’m only 1/3 of the way through and there has already been a scene that involves a high-speed chase between the police and a taco truck. In other words, it’s the perfect book for me.

7. Turquoise VW Van – Spotted while out for a walk around the neighborhood last week. If I owned this van I would totally take it for a road trip down the California coast.

8. Consignment Store Deals – Every season, I make it a habit to sell off pieces of my wardrobe that I no longer wear. I had a bunch of summer stuff kicking around which I finally dropped off at my local consignment store. I traded in a pile of clothes I no longer wore for store credit that was enough to buy this Dolce & Gabbana blazer and a new pair of J-Brand jeans. Now, that’s what I call a good deal!

9. Early Father’s Day Dinner with my Dad– My Dad and I went for Sushi at Azuma and I had this delicious martini. It had a blend of peach, guava and lychee – so tasty & totally Instagram worthy.

10. Animal Print Madness – My Michael Kors Zebra Print shoes (another lucky thrifting find). I love these shoes but I haven’t had a chance to wear them yet. I’m going to see Janelle Monae next week (!!!!!) and I think these will work perfectly.

11. More palm tree porn – This looks like it should be in California, but it’s not – it’s in Canada!

12. One of many painted vans in this city – Also totally road-trip worthy.

13. Vintage Bracelet – I found this bracelet during another vintage shopping adventure with my Mom. It’s from Expo 1967 and has “Marion” engraved on the back. It was $3. The anthropologist in me loves the idea of holding a tiny piece of history in my hand.

14. The reason I love living here – One of my favorite views. I grew up two blocks from this.

Do you have Instagram? You can follow me @ simone_sd. Let’s be friends! 

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