All I Wanted for Christmas Was Prince

… and I got my Christmas wish!

Last Saturday my Mom and I went to see the Prince Welcome to Canada Tour in Victoria. Seeing Prince live has been on my bucket list for about 2 decades so when I found out he was coming to Canada (and my hometown!) I knew I HAD to go. However, due to some other financial commitments (and the fact that I always do everything at the last minute), we put off buying tickets. By the time we were ready to purchase tickets, the show had sold out of all the affordable seats and the only ones left were in the $175+ range – definitely way outside of the budget of a freelance writer & her mom. One of my personality quirks is that once I have my heart set on something, I don’t easily take “no” as an answer. Late Thursday night, while we were sitting in the living room, feeling disappointed, resigned to the fact we would not be seeing Prince, I decided “There has to be a way!” I whipped out my laptop and started cruising craigslist for tickets. By Friday afternoon, I had tracked down two awesome, discounted tickets and my Mom & I were in her mini-van driving half an hour outside of the city to pick them up. All I can say is that it was so, SO worth it. Saturday was such an amazing night and probably the best concert I have ever seen.

Just to be clear, I’m a child of the 80’s so I’m talking about THIS Prince:

Not this Prince.

(I am not familiar with Will’s musical skills however, I’m sure seeing him in person would be cool…. just not as cool as the Prince I saw.)

Cameras and photos weren’t allowed during the concert but I managed to snap a photo of the stage before the show. It’s shaped like the “symbol”!

We were only about 40 or 50 feet from the stage which meant we could see everything. I’m pretty sure the last concert I went to with my Mom included a rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus” so, when Prince opened with the song DMSR (Dance, Music, Sex, Romance)  and busted out lyrics like “Girl it ain’t no sin to strip it right down to your underwear”  it was awkward to say the least. However, that quickly subsided and my Mom and I settled into a show that was nothing short of amazing.

Originally, I thought I was going to write a full review of the show but I changed my mind. If you’re interested, Mike Devlin from my hometown newspaper wrote a great review which basically echoes my exact feelings about the experience – you can read it here: “Prince in Victoria: The Best Concert I’ve Ever Seen!”

I will say this though: Prince is an incredible performer that really knows how to captivate a crowd. Something magical happened that night. It only took him a couple of bars of music to whip the residents of my sleepy seaside town (best known for its mellow hippies, reserved government employees and retirees) into a full out music frenzy. People were standing up, dancing, waving their hands in the air. I’ve never seen my town so…alive.

Not that much happens here – we’re located on a island & we’re usually off the regular concert circuit, so a concert like this was “an event”. I think some people were at the show just for the sheer fact that something. was. happening. For example, the guy who was seated next to my Mom told her “I’m not even familiar with his music but when I heard he was coming to town, I knew I didn’t want to miss it”

[My town has since caught Prince fever and you can’t buy a single album anywhere. EVERYWHERE IS SOLD OUT OF EVERY ALBUM. I discovered this last night while Christmas shopping. It’s like we’re living in 1985 all over again]

My favorite moment of the night happened near the end of the concert. As Prince started to play “Purple Rain” thousands of bits of purple and gold sparkly paper shot out of the stage, filling the whole arena and making you feel like you were inside a Purple Rain snow-globe. It was beautiful. Maybe you just had to be there.

I honestly believe in the healing power of music. My Mom and I have both had a rough few months. Looking over at my Mom throughout the concert and seeing her smiling, dancing & waving her hands over head was one of the other highlights of the night. We both desperately needed this.

2011 was a year that started off rough and included lots of twists and turns- both good and bad.  I’m really happy that I got to end the year on a high note: listening to one of my favorite artists, with my Mom by my side as purple sparkles rained down on us.

FYI. My Mom and I caught a few pieces of “Purple Rain”. Don’t expect to find these on ebay anytime soon. I’ve already decided that I’m going to save them forever & ever & ever.

 Purple Rain. It heals what ails ya.

What’s your favorite concert moment?

Am I a Woman…Or Am I a Muppet?

If I’m a Woman, I’m a Muppet of a Woman. 

You’ll only get the musical reference above if you’ve seen the new Muppet Movie, which is exactly what my best friend and I did on Tuesday night.

I’ve written before about my undying love for the Muppets. I grew up with the Muppets and they were such a huge part of my childhood. I know the idea of a 30-something woman being into a bunch of puppets probably sounds pretty lame to some people (and I’ve learned to never , ever bring it up on a first date) but I’m OK with that. The Muppets captured my heart as a kid and just never let go. I’ve always associated the Muppets with everything that is magical and innocent. Watching the Muppets as an adult reminds me that there is still good in this world.

{If you want a better understanding of why I love the Muppets I would suggest reading this post by Hipstercrite that she’s written about the new movie. I kind of have a huge blog crush on her right now.}

A car full of Muppets driven by a 1980's robot = awesome.

I’m also a huge Jason Segal and How I Met Your Mother fan. Just like I know all the Muppet songs by heart, I can relate almost any life experience back to an episode of How I Met Your Mother (High Five!) which I do often (this has already happened once today) So, when I found out Jason Segal (HIMYM) was co-writing the new Muppet movie I was so excited that two of my favorite things would be coming together.

To say I was excited about the movie would be the understatement of the century. However, I also wasn’t sure what to expect. Although I loved all the Muppet movies from the 70’s and 80’s that I grew up with, some of the more recent ones left a lot to be desired (Muppet Treasure Island anyone? *shudder*). What if I didn’t like this movie? Would that mean that I had somehow grown up and lost the ability to appreciate Muppet humor? Is this even possible?!

Just like I believe you read certain books at the perfect time in your life, I also believe the same is true of movies. An example of this would be when I saw Lost In Translation in the theatre. The movie echoed so perfectly the slightly lost, drifting feeling of being a 23 year old about to graduate university. It was what I needed to see at that time to make me feel better.

Now enter The Muppets.  The movie turned out to be everything I had hoped for and then some. They managed to capture the whimsy, magic and humor that I loved about the original Muppet movies while giving it a grown-up twist with some of my favorite actors (Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Rashida Jones) and lots of cameos from other cool people I adore (Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Neil Patrick Harris, Kristen Shaal). I spent the whole 98 minutes of the movie with a huge smile on my face, in complete awe: “The Muppets are back!”  I laughed. I teared up in parts. I fell back in love with my fuzzy friends. Given everything that has happened over the past few months, it was what I so desperately needed to see right at that moment. I needed to be swept away in song & whimsy & magic & a sea of brightly colored huggable felt bodies. I needed to laugh.

Brothers Walter & Gary {Proper dental care: It's important - even if your teeth are made of felt.}

My smile spread extra wide as soon as this song came on. My best friend leaned over and said: “I think this one is just for you. I can totally picture you dancing around to this at home!” She knows me well. Unfortunately, the actual scene from the movie  ( which features a killer disco dance routine) wasn’t available on Youtube, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.


We all need a “Me Party” every now and then.

There were so many things I loved about the movie.

Another great moment was a piece of dialogue that occurs near the end of the movie between Gary (Segal) and his Muppet brother Walter. Gary and Walter do everything together. They travel to LA, meet the Muppets and after many plot twists, the Muppets ask Walter to join them. Walter, who has always felt out of place as a Muppet living amongst humans, has finally found his tribe but he’s scared. Gary reassures him that’s it’s OK to go and says something to the effect of:

“Growing up is about becoming who you were always meant to be” 

It’s so true. You sometimes have to take those scary risks to get to where you need to go…and it’s OK to be a bit scared.

Walter & Kermit

So, when I read an article on Wednesday morning that said FOX news is now accusing the Muppets of being Communists intent on “brain washing children” and inciting class warfare, I thought “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read!” The Muppets are all about friendship, love and togetherness and what they can teach us is simple: That it’s OK to be different or a misfit – there’s a place for you in the world, anything is possible if you believe in yourself and go after your dreams & that you can make this world a better place through song & dance. I’m really grateful the movie reminded me of this.

If their movie does have a secret anti-corporate agenda, GOOD! Bring it on. In case you were wondering, the way I feel about FOX news is pretty much the complete opposite of how I feel about the Muppets.

I'm a 31 year old Muppet of a Woman and I'm Ok with that.

Things I’ve Learned from Being on Reality TV

When your life is already in a state of chaos, what do you do? Agree to be in an episode of a reality TV show!

About a month and a half ago, my friend Nicole sent me a text that said “Do you want to be on reality TV with me on Tuesday?” and for some crazy reason I didn’t even hesitate before saying “Yes!” (What’s wrong with me?!)

Before you start imagining me holed up in some beach rental, drinking jungle juice all day & starting fist fights with my room-mates, I should probably mention that I Nicole and I were on the show For Rent which airs on the Home and Garden Network. FYI. The show is about apartment hunting – the apartments are for rent, not Nicole and I. Having moved 9 times in the past 10 years, I was there to be Nicole’s moral support and help her find the apartment of her dreams…all on camera. The show is supposed to be airing sometime in the Spring in case you want to catch us in action. My Dad (who doesn’t have cable) has already told me he’s planning on renting a hotel room for the night so he can catch the show. I will never live this down.

Filming a show is a weird experience to say the least so, I’ve come up with a list of a few things I’ve learned during my very brief stint on reality TV:

1. TV time isn’t real time: It takes 5-6 days of filming (which took place over the course of 3 weeks) to create a 22 minute show that is actually meant to take place on 2 days. About 4 of those days were spent filming footage that’s meant to be the same day. This means you’re wearing the same outfit again & again. By the time everything wraps, if you haven’t had time to dry clean stuff between filming days, you’ll probably want to burn that outfit.

2. You need to choose your wardrobe wisely: There are a whole bunch of things you can’t wear on camera: very dark or all black clothing, crazy patterns, stuff that’s branded…and the list goes on. When I received the initial email about the show and read the section pertaining to wardrobe: “Choose your outfits wisely. This episode will probably re-run for years to come” I went into panic attack mode. YEARS? Oh my god. WHAT HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO?!

3. You need to get used to constantly having a hand up your shirt: The hidden microphone that you have to wear is attached to your body under your clothes. The mic pack is attached to your back and the actual microphone is placed inside your shirt or the front of your bra. This means that you need to get used to the idea of having a hand down your shirt at various points during the day as they insert the mic, adjust it multiple times & eventually remove it. Luckily all the sound people are totally professional so it’s not really that weird…but it’s still kind of weird.

I was on a reality show....but not this kind of reality show.

4. It’s all about REPETITION! REPETITION! REPETITION! Even for reality TV, the director will do multiple takes of the same scene. This means that you may have to repeat the same conversation again & again & again so that they can get various camera angles & enough dialogue to edit later. It also means that you might leave the set at the end of the day and have the following conversation:

“So, what did you do this afternoon?”

“I pretended to eat lunch for 4 hours. You?”

5. Eating on camera is even more awkward than eating on a first date. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Eating on camera becomes this disgusting, self-conscious activity where you’re suddenly hyper aware of every little sound and movement that’s happening inside your mouth. It just feels gross and wrong.

Luckily Nicole and I have never needed to write each other anonymous notes like this. Last time I saw her grinding with multiple fat women and she caught me with my head between a cocktail waitress's breasts, we just staged a good old-fashioned "Omg, you need to get your shit together" face to face intervention.

6. Reality TV involves a lot more acting than you’d think: When you have to do multiple takes of the same scene, acting is required. How else are you going to make lines like “Mmmmm, guacamole!” or “I love those window treatments!” sound spontaneous after 12 takes?

(This makes me wonder, exactly how real is most reality TV?)

A confessional that would never happen on a reality show about apartment hunting...unless of course you're talking about trying to fit a large EQ3 sectional into the living room of a 400 square foot King West condo then, this sounds about right.

(The most important ones of all)

7. I actually like being on camera: I thought I would feel super awkward on camera but I actually liked it! Throughout my childhood and teen years I was heavily involved in dance and drama. After high school I did a year of theater school, had some small parts in some student films and discovered I’m connected to Kevin Bacon by six degrees. Performing used to be a huge part of my life. I’ve missed it and realized that I need to find a way to incorporate it back into my life.

8. Having a blog can change your life in weird and wonderful ways. Sometimes you just have to say “yes” to opportunities: If I hadn’t started this blog, I never would have met Nicole and I never would have had this experience or met some of the fabulous people I met through it. People who don’t blog might think writing about your life online is a waste of time but, it really can lead to cool, unexpected things.

Life is like a Rolling Stones song

A few weeks ago, when everything started to change in my life, I came to a few startling revelations:

1) All of the buttons were popping off all of my winter coats. Everything needs dry-cleaning. I didn’t even have a normal coat to wear to drop off the messed up coats. I wore two sweaters instead.

2) Almost every pair of my everyday (read: flat) shoes are in a state of total dis-repair: missing heels, walked down heels, broken straps etc. I consoled myself by saying “It’s OK, I always have the black boots” (my favorite pair of black riding boots that I walked all over NYC with & have survived four Canadian winters). That’s until I looked down at my feet and noticed a giant hole in the hole in the toe. How did I not notice this until now?  Wait, why is my foot bleeding through my sock?

3) My feet hurt. All the time. Most of my flat shoes make my feet cramp &  with every step this horrible electric current feeling shoots up my leg. This has been getting worse over the past year but I haven’t done anything about it. I have no idea why.

4) On the flip-side, I have a brand new Alexander Wang blouse hanging in my closet with all of the tags still on. I haven’t worn it because there is a small dirt mark and it needs to get dry cleaned first. I’ve had this blouse since June.

5) I can’t remember the last time I visited the dentist however, I do remember the dentist asking me if I would “like to visit the toy cupboard” after he finished cleaning my teeth. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything because (wait for it…wait for it) I still go to the same Children’s dentist I’ve been going to since I was eight – which I realize adds a whole new layer of dysfunction to this scenario. My dentist has murals of Disney characters on the walls and Spongebob Squarepants playing on flat screens all over the office. Add in some laughing gas and it basically feels like one giant acid trip. During my last appointment, I got chatted up by a seven year old boy, who looked me over, scrunched up his face and said “You’re big! Why are you here?” All reasons why I’ve been avoiding going back.

I’m basically a walking personal disaster and one step away from wearing a bathing suit as underwear.

I was explaining this whole scenario to someone close to me and they said: “This is all a physical manifestation of the break-up and everything that has been going on in your life” then, they grabbed my hands from across the table and said “You need to love yourself more Simone”

It’s true. I do.

But, how do you start loving yourself again after you’ve neglected so many things for so long?

Last week I was pondering this question while at my new makeshift office (Starbucks). I was having a particularly Humpty-Dumpty-ish morning. I woke up feeling broken like my guts were all raw & yokey & splayed out for everyone to see. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I was getting ready to plug in my lap-top cord (the battery bit the dust about 10 months ago – another thing on my laundry list of things that have fallen to the wayside) when the girl next to me grabbed the end of my cord and said “Here, let me!” before plugging it into the wall. The next day, I went back to the same Starbucks and a man offered to do the same thing. This made me smile.

Even when times are tough & everything feels raw and scary and like nothing will ever feel comfortable again, the Universe will give you the tools to help you cope. It’s like Mick Jagger sang: “You can’t always get what you want. And, if you try sometime, you get what you need”

Help arrives in the form of:

A small purple bedroom that’s all yours that comes with a lovely room-mate who accompanies you as you move all of your stuff out of your old place (The place that once belonged to two people) and helps dry your eyes as you literally close the door on your old life – the one that seemed picture perfect but, really wasn’t. Kindhearted souls who see you for who you really are, remind you that you are going to be OK but know that you can’t do it all your own so, they come over to put together your Ikea furniture, never asking for anything in return. Best friends who listen to your emo-meltdowns, feed you when you forget to eat and make you laugh.

When I told Ange about the demise of my black boots, she said “Here, take these.” and reached into her closet, pulled out a fantastic pair of black boots that she no longer wears and handed them to me.

When I told my friend’s husband that I really liked one of the side tables in their living room (it was the exact item I needed to complete my new bedroom set up) he said “Take it. I’m throwing it out anyways”

You get what you need.

I’m still trying to figure out this “loving yourself” thing however, this is my strategy so far: Fixed what can be fixed and get rid of whatever is broken, stained, torn or just doesn’t make any sense to keep in my life anymore. Make those doctor appointments, dentist appointments, chiropractor appointments, orthotic fitting appointments (all things I did this morning!) Accept the love that is all around me. I’m hoping if I do these things, I’ll eventually be able to fix myself. This is why I’m in BC at my Mom’s house – because I feel like this is the place where I can make these things happen.

This process also might include buying this print:

Words of wisdom from one of my favorite fashion icons.

I think it’s going to look perfect in my new bedroom.

How do you love yourself?

New Blog Design, a Reality Show & Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.

Hello Skinny-Dippers!

You may notice that everything looks a little bit different around here. That’s because the wonderful people over at Caffeinated Designs have moved me over to WordPress and given this blog a sexy makeover. After a lot of back & forth, hard work & technical issues, Skinny Dip version 4.0 is finally ready and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Here’s a look at previous versions:




I love the new design. It’s brighter, it’s bolder and a lot easier for you guys to navigate. There’s  a “previous entries” button!  You can read the arhives again!  There are also some sexy buttons on the footer that will soon link up to different categories of posts! Hooray for functionality!

You may have also noticed that I took hiatus from blogging over the past few weeks. Partly this has been because my blog has literally been broken and I haven’t been able to post anything. I’ve also been going through some major life altering changes. Amidst the chaos that’s been happening in my personal life, I also somehow agreed to be on a reality TV show (I know, what was I thinking?! The show has been filming for the past 3 weeks) and speak at a really awesome conference (more on all of this later). Over the past few weeks there have been a lot of extreme highs, heart breaking lows and lots of sudden change. 

So what does this mean for the blog? It could mean that this space gets a bit more soul-searchy than usual as I get my Eat-Pray-Love on. I’m heading back to the West Coast for an extended visit on Monday (to accomodate said Eat-Pray-Loving) so, this also means more time for hippie watchingsnarky sex commentary, relationship stories and sex toy reviews (although I’m staying at my Mom’s house so latter could lead to supreme levels of awkwardness. I guess you’ll have to keep reading to find out!) I hope to be back to a regular posting schedule after the 15th once I’ve had a chance to catch my breath.

I’ve really missed this space. As always, thanks for reading!

Love and Big Puffy Hearts,


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