Monday, October 27, 2008

I said I QUIT!

After working for a few years in a large company, with a supportive environment and wonderful bosses, I decided to take what I thought would be an excellent opportunity somewhere else.

Little did I know I would be in for quite the stressful few months! It was only three months before my wedding but I thought I needed a change. When change was offered, I jumped. I jumped right into an environment where team work was discouraged and the word 'degrading' took on another meaning. My boss wasn't the approachable type which deeply saddened me because I reached out whenever I could. I was polite and respectful to management, yet they treated me very poorly.

I decided after yet another publicly degrading incident that I had had enough. My husband decided this as well! We were both so sick of the stress this place had caused me and the unfortunate fact that during what was supposed to be the happiest time of our life (our wedding), my new job remained a cloud of worry and unhappiness.

I was threatened with paying the vacation I took for my wedding and honeymoon back if I quit shortly after. Because of this threat, I felt very uncomfortable telling them I was leaving. Instead of resigning by handing in my two weeks, I couriered my resignation, office keys and a letter explaining my sudden departure. It was the only answer I had so I didn't have to face the hideous reaction I'm sure I would have faced if I had provided notice. Unfortunately I feel as though I was forced to leave. No one deserves to be treated the way I was and I predict the trend of people in my position resigning to continue.

Next time I will listen to my gut. I had a feeling something wasn't right when my ex boss was reluctant to give me my vacation (my honeymoon!) because she had had someone quit after taken vacation before. I asked myself why this person had quit and then I learned this person wasn't the only one. Red flag? Yes definitely and I will be careful with my next job!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Protest Public Transit

"Hey b**ch, why are you budding in front of me?!?! Wait, why is that girl offering you, the budder of the century, her seat? Oh, I see the bump now, you're very pregnant." Oops! I gave the eyeball to a woman this morning and made loud comments to my husband about how rude she was, only to find out she actually had a valid excuse for her behaviour.

TRUST ME when I say this though, someone having a valid excuse to be rude on the subway is not normal! On a daily basis, I encounter the land of the rude. I walk peacefully, hand in hand with my husband (I might mention husband A LOT from now on BTW as I only got married two weeks ago) where was I? I walk peacefully to the subway station before being bombarded by frowning faces and people who only want to make my morning commute miserable.

My feet get stepped on, I get pushed out of the way, I get purses pretty much shoved up regions I'm not prepared to discuss on this public blog, I have backpacks swipe me in the face and many mornings I wonder if I woke up in the wrong country when these two annoying ladies speak this unknown language (unknown to me) so fast and loud, I can't hear myself think.

In the wake of the election, let's vote for someone who is willing to use french fry oil instead of gasoline, to promote more work-from-home days and the three day week (in order to save the environment of course!). Public transit takes the morning blahs to the next level! Can't wait to do this again tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm married!!

I was married on September 27, 2008. Luckily I found my Prince Charming (finally) who inspires me and makes me laugh everyday.

The wedding day was perfect and have been happy to hear only good things about it. Our honeymoon was in St. Lucia and let me just say this island is absolutely beautiful.

Now onto life as a Mrs:)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stagette was fun!

I had my stagette on Saturday. I had such a great time and now cannot believe how soon I will officially be a "Mrs".

We started the day off by going Pole Dancing! Located at Flirty Girl, workshops to learn how to work a pole are offered. The wedding party went and there we were taught different ways to swing around and the dance moves to "Boys" by Britney Spears. At the end of the two hours, I realized I wasn't sexy in any sense of the word and I need to work on my awkwardness! With mirrors lining the walls, it wasn't pretty witnessing my lack of sex-kitten skills. Remind never to install a mirror on our bedroom ceiling!

The night included appetizers at trendy Ultra Supper Club. My mom made an appearance as well! What a great night and now the countdown is officially on! September 27 is just around the corner:)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dignity or Money?

I'm currently in a very bad place job-wise at the moment. And being so close to my wedding I feel I must choose between my own dignity and self sanity or the money I'm currently bringing in.

I left my stable job at a large insurance company, along with two amazing bosses two months ago to pursue what I thought would be an amazing opportunity in an industry I have been wanting to pursue for some time. I'm now in the not for profit world and I'm supposed to be going home every night feeling rewarded. And I have gone home feeling just that, however, since I began there has been this nagging feeling that something isn't right.

Where I felt supported and part of a team in my last place, I am now feeling out on my own, disrespected and degraded. Do people in higher positions treat the 'little ones' with disdain because they are taking their 'level of importance' too seriously and get out of control with their control? Or are they just insecure with themselves, making themselves feel better about personal issues by taking it out on those who have been hired to help them?

I'm sure I can ask myself these questions over and over again without a straight answer. All I know is I'm in the world of Devil Wears Prada meets the not-for-profit world. I cried everyday this past week, making yesterday the record breaker. I cried from 9a.m. - 6p.m.

I have to make a choice for myself now and decide if my dignity (and my health) are more important and leave the situation? Or do I trudge on through this 'crap' until I find something more fitting to my personality, professional goals and healthier working environment?

I'm trying to start my own business but in the meantime need the extra funds. This is a big decision for me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wrong Advice can steer some to a bad place

I've been so busy at work this week, I haven't had the chance to write about an article I read on Monday that made me want to hurl the morning paper across the subway.

Reading the Toronto free morning paper, The Metro, I came across an article titled "Making Do when Unhappy at Work". Usually, I look forward to reaching the Workology section. This portion often provides insightful advice and personal stories about the working world. I often feel inspired when I read this section. Reading this week's title, I was excited. I've been unhappy with work many times and I was looking forward to reading advice on how to make it work!

Well unfortunately this article gave horrible advice! While the beginning provides sound advice when looking for another job, such as acting like the 'perfect' employee in order to keep your current job until you find another one, another paragraph reads "A woman named Susan who worked in insurance claims at a Fortune 100 company said her doctor told her that her breast cancer was likely caused by all the stress put on her by a boss who mistreated employees. After taking a medical leave to undergo chemotherapy, she had to decide whether to return to a bad work situation just for the health benefits."

Nothing indicates the fact that your health is more important than sticking it out at your job or an inspiring story about a woman who discovers her cancer is due to her boss then finds alternative means to make an end rather than living the one life she was given in peace and happiness. I just didn't find this article inspiring at all unfortunately.

Read yourself and develop your own opinion! enjoy

Monday, July 7, 2008

Seriously Sunday?

Did Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban really name their daughter Sunday after having her on a Monday?

Nicole Kidman, who I always think of as classy, beautiful and intelligent, chose to name her daughter after a day of the week and not even on the right day! What is it with some celebrities playing into this new 'alternative' trend of names. I just don't understand how a couple could go through a list of names and decide on Apple or Suri? If you aren't from the culture, why name your kid after what you think is a cultural name for something pretty? In fact "Suri" is a type of South American Llama! In Japan it can mean "pick pocket". Perhaps someone will not agree with me but it's my blog right? I think the names are silly.

Well regardless, an Urban/Kidman baby is bound to grow up beautiful.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Toronto the great

After celebrating Canada Day in the fabulous city and then tonight taking in the action at our newly renovated Dundas Square, I must say I'm proud to live in such a bustling and ever growing city!

Walking north up Yonge Street from the Lakeshore towards Dundas Square, I felt as though I was a tourist. I could feel my eyes wandering left to right and up and down. Taking in the sites and really enjoying my walk. I found myself feeling as though I just may have a lot more in common with the many tourists walking about than I ever thought I would. Here I am wishing I had a camera so I could take a picture of the beautiful skyline. How jealous am I that I'm not riding those double decker buses lining the streets blaring microphones explaining the history of the neighbourhood and the best places to go in the city.

I suppose this is a good thing. To feel happy to be a part of such a fun and exciting place. As the summer continues there will be so much to do! Beerfest, comedy fest, saturdays at St. Lawrence Market and so much else. Check out for more info on restaurants and things to do this summer!

Luminox Watches now available!

LA Police Gear, the online store that brings you the best in tactical gear, armour, footwear and boots, is now carrying Luminox watches

The Luminox Brand was founded in 1989 by watch dealer Barry Cohen who felt a need to illuminate time. Today, only authorized dealers can sell this product and LA Police Gear is one of them! For a limited time you get 20% off the retail price PLUS free shipping.

Why not at least take a look at the site and check this out as well as other products offered. With free shipping and a sale, taking a look really can’t hurt!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Canada!

It's Canada Day and my country is turning 140 years old!

Happily my mom's birthday is tomorrow and mine is on the 5th, with my two best friends being on the 6th and 7th. July is such a great month to have a birthday. Not only do we share it with the warm weather but we share it with our beautiful country:) I'm just heading down to the harbour front to enjoy the fireworks. This day is the 'real' start to summer. Enjoy!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The 'Real" New Kid on the Block

I started a new job today.

I forgot just how frightening the first day of a new job can be! Feeling the pressure of doing my best, however not knowing expectations and therefore not knowing what my 'best' is in this particular organization. Meeting new people and forgetting their names instantly. Feeling lonely and out of place. Just many emotions going on at the same time.

I hope this works out. This is a brand new environment for me and to tell the truth, I'm absolutely terrified. Today involved learning and absorbing, tomorrow I hope it's more than that or else I could get bored very quickly. I hope I fit in soon. I just worry so much mainly because this is very important to me.

New jobs can be exhausting (emotionally mainly), I just have to stay positive and good things will come!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mosquito Mayhem

The buzz isn't quite the same effect I get from half a bottle of Chardonnay.

We stayed at a friends cottage this past weekend and had such a great time. I'll admit, I'm not a 'cottage person'. My ideal weekend getaway would usually consist of going somewhere nice but being able to dress up, go out and of course shower! Regardless, this was my friends cottage, I'm comfortable enough to look dirty and smell of layers of sweat, sunscreen and bug spray for a few days. I can show my whiney side when I have to go into the lake (I hate water) and can freak out when I see a spider or have a mosquito try and eat me for dinner. She won't judge me (I hope?).

It's funny how fine I am with the Mosquito bites when I'm there, but the minute I get home the pesky itchiness just won't quit. I'm at my desk right now scratching my bites. I'd rather them hurt than itch. What a horrible feeling. And honestly, where have those stingers been before biting me? I don't like to think about it but you just never know! Hopefully the uncomfortable feeling will go away soon. Then I may be ready to do it all over again...this time I'll be buying many different brands of bugspray...and a net!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Do you think? Lindsay Lohan may be gay

Rumours have been swirling around for quite sometime now that Lindsay Lohan may be involved in a lesbian relationship with her bff and DJ Samantha Ronson.

Pictures have emerged of the two sharing intimate kisses and now Hello! magazine is claiming they have approached the actress to share her story and 'come out' to the public once and for all.

Lindsay's family is denying the rumours but sometimes rumours have truth to them. What do you think?

LA Police Gear - Interesting Merchandise at great price

If anyone happens to be searching for Police Gear, go to LA Police Gear and check out the merchandise.

Everything from tactical pants, 511 Tactical Shorts and under armour hats and polos can be found on the website. Free shipping is available to anyone residing in the United States. Items over $50 is free ground shipping, items over $75 is free shipping and a free coffee mug and items over $125, you receive free shipping, free mug and free tactical hat.

Check out the site. Items for everyday, halloween or other occassions! You too can have access to amazing LA Policy gear.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Great Designer Passes Away

Legendary fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent has died at the age of 71.

After a long battle with brain cancer, the designer passed away at his home Sunday night. The fashion world will truly miss the influential fashion icon, who, along with Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, helped make Paris the ‘Fashion Capital of the World.”

Yves Saint Laurent was well known for helping women reach the peak of confidence with fashion. He gave women the empowerment with his authentic designs, namely reinventing women's pants as a fashionable and chic staple.

Pierre Berger, Saint Laurent’s close friend has been quoted as saying “Chanel gave women freedom and Saint Laurent gave them the power”. This influential fashion designer will truly be missed not only among the fashion world but also many women who wore his label. Let the legend live on!

I'm suffering from 'fear of change syndrome'

It's true. I'm secretly suffering from 'fear of change'.

This syndrome can affect the ability to move on to greater and happier things and prevent you from enjoying a fulfilling life. I don't know when the symptoms first appeared for me but it seemed to hit me when I least expected it. One minute I was accepting of change, moving to the 'big city' and the next I'm terrified of my own shadow.

The only cure for 'fear of change' is well, change! I'm taking on a new job less than four months before my wedding. Lets hope this works out for me and my fiance. I mention fiance because the poor guy will be the one suffering with me if anything happens;) He's definitely been my sounding board. When I'm on an emotional roller coaster so is he! I can't wait to see how he'll be when I'm someday in labour. *giggles*

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don`t wait until last minute - start your holiday shopping now!

Holiday shopping can be a pain! The line ups at the mall are unbearable and takes up precious time many of us would rather be spending with loved ones.

Yes it`s only the beginning of summer but maybe it`s time to start thinking about at least saving for the holidays and the presents we`ll be purchasing for our loved ones.

Would the chaos be easier if we could just click on a website and choose our favorite stores to buy from. no line ups, no pushy sales people and no parking wars! Just click on your computer, point to what you want and purchase! it`s that simple.

Many Americans shop on Black Friday, which is the Friday before Thanksgiving in November. A website called Black black friday sales has a list of your favorite stores and ads for the 2008 Black Friday sales before anyone else gets to see them! How cool is that. Stores like BestBuy, Toys R Us, Home Depot and Linens n’ Things are all listed.

Give this site a try and I guarantee, the next holiday season will be easy for you. No more beating the line ups and wondering, last minute what your loved ones would be happy to receive on Christmas day!

This is an excellent way to be proactive. I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who finishes her Christmas shopping on Christmas eve. This kind of behaviour is often reserved for men. But no, this is a fault of many many people. This site is amazing and I hope everyone just at least checks it out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amy Winehouse - poor girl

Has anyone seen the recent pictures of Amy Winehouse? The poor girl is now sporting around a diaper.

Maybe if she was Paris Hilton, the diaper would be the next 'biggest thing'. But in reality this is just sad. Hopefully she does have a health issue and is dealing with it effectively.

Really though, isn't a diaper better than showing off your privates when exiting a vehicle? How hideous was the site of Brittney Spears when she tried pulling the no underwear down there trend? I was half kidding there actually. This is actually quite disturbing and I can only feel bad for the successful musician-turned-crack-addict. Someone get this girl some serious help!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I signed up for PPP!

I was finally approved for PayPerPost word of mouth ethics

Payperpost is a great way to do what I already enjoy doing, which is blog and the best part is I also get paid for it! I can't wait to start making money through this great website. Maybe it will help pay for my upcoming nuptials or honeymoon?

I kept applying to PPP but kept getting denied because my blog was too new. Thankfully, I finally acquired enough posts to qualify and here I am. As I continue on this new-found journey, I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on how the website is working for me. How bad can blogging for my favourite topics and products be? Especially if I'm making extra funds to do it?

So you're now wondering, "how did you hear about this fantastic website?". To be honest, I first came upon the website when I was looking for freelance writing jobs. I had never thought of blogging for money before and didn’t realize it even existed. When I read all about how the PPP program works, I couldn’t wait to get started! While I’m just a beginner, I would suggest this to anyone who has their own blog. Where can you go wrong?

Keep your fingers crossed for me. Maybe this will be a great ‘side gig’ for me and help with my expenses too. I wouldn’t mind going for that extra massage or that dinner on the beach on my honeymoon;)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Maid of Honour duties - Showers of fun

This past weekend I threw my friend Lindsay a bridal shower! What a beautiful day and I'm so happy the event was a success.

I'm so honoured to be a Maid of Honour. I've been a bridesmaid before but being a MOH (Maid of Honour) is quite different and more resposibility! I'm in charge of shower(s), bachelorettes and - oh my - the speech! So far so good. The shower was perfect. Many thanks to my mom and the brides mom. I don't know how anyone could throw such an event alone.

I can happily say my friend is so not a bridezilla. She is the most easy going bride I've ever met. Her and I might come in for a tie. Ok ok, maybe my bridal party would disagree. I'm not sure:) Tips on keeping the sanity for future Maids of Honours:

1. Save for the event. The shower does cost money and if you save for the occassion you won't be overly stressed when the day arrives.

2. Get outside help! If there are no other bridesmaids, ask family members and/or friends for some assistance. You can't do this alone.

3. Be ready for the unexpected. People who you didnt' think were coming, may still come. Or they may bring their children!

4. Feel free to play some games, but reality is that many people aren't so keen on the idea so keep the games simple.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

NitWit Neighbours

Let me first begin this post by acknowledging to the world that yes, perhaps I shouldn't be living under anyone. I've never been good at being on the bottom. ok ok *wink *wink.

Seriously though, maybe I've just been instilled with a different thought process than everyone else but if I were to live in an old house/apartment building with hardwood floors, I would definitely be cautious not to disturb the people down below.
To get to the point, we had new neighbours move in above us three weeks ago. A great couple who seemed very pleasant, and I know they still are, but it's just that one pet peeve of mine making me cringe. They are heavy walkers and they tend to walk around above our bedroom very early in the morning.

When our landlords lived above us, they were aware of the hardwood floors and they made a point to avoid the room above our bedroom early in the mornings, especially on the weekend. They strategically implied in their rental ad, when they were ready to move out, that the three bedroom apartment is perfect for a couple. They also apparently chose between a couple who didn't take their shoes off and a couple who did (our current neighbours). These new neighbours were also informed where our bedroom is and that it'd be nice if they refrained from using the room above ours as their bedroom (seeing as they had two other rooms to choose from) and walking around in there early in the mornings.
Well low and behold, our new neighbours walk around above our bedroom at 6a.m on weekdays and before 8a.m. on weekends. I think this really bothers me because they appear to be younger than my fiance and I and I was hoping we would be crawling home from the bar together on a Saturday night! Not the case. What we have here are a couple of people who are homebodies and my nightmare - Morning people!

I will confront them this weekend when the weather appears to be nice and sunny. Hopefully everyone is in a good mood? I'm sure I'll be tired from the Sunday morning wake up stomp. But I need to confront them and politely be upfront. I'm nervous as I'm more of a passive person. I'd rather them hear me complain about them through closed doors. But I suppose it's time for me to grow up. Wish me luck.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Midtown - Meets you more than halfway

My new favourite bar in Toronto is officially The Midtown.

Located in the heart of Toronto's Little Italy at College and Bathurst streets, the not-so-extravegant looking venue holds more punch than it seems at first glance. The store front bar extends its invitation to the public with its friendly bouncers. Yes I did say that correctly. A bar in Toronto does actually have friendly security staff.

Walking into the bar, I was immediately greeted by a smiling bartender. No having to flirt your way to great service at this place. The staff will serve on a first come basis. I didn't feel as though I was competing with the 19 year old-short-skirt crowd at this place. The back bar made me feel as though I was at a quaint house party. Bottles of PC brand cola, sprite and ginger ale line the bar and a pleasant hostess is waiting there to serve. Along with the houseparty theme was the DJ. Spinning my favourite hits from University, including Ashante, Big Pun and City High!

Feeling very comfortable with the staff and crowd of mid-twenty to upper-thirty-somethings, and the friendly staff, I felt free to enjoy myself and my friends without feeling as though I'm always on guard should a young 19 year old want to pick a fight over wearing the same mini skirt.

The Midtown is certainly a great place to visit if you would like to just relax and have a great time dancing, chatting or sitting with friends.

For more information visit

Friday, May 16, 2008

The others just aren't the same

Having no car is proving to be more difficult than I originally imagined.

When the car broke down, I wrote it off and thought I would just rent when I needed one. Being naive, I didn't think the rental agencies would try to take me for all I'm worth!

It's the May long weekend and I had plans to visit a friend in Sarnia. When I went to rent a car, each place said 'oops we're closed on Sunday AND Monday. You must rent until we're back open until Tuesday!". Yes of course they say I can drop the car off anytime I like. Even when they are closed. But I still have to pay for it until they are open.

Does this make sense? I suppose it does for the companies who are trying to get rich off its customers. But for me, I'm now seriously considering just purchasing a new car. But does that make sense? Why is it that a car is such a pertinent part of life? Before losing it, I took my car for granted, thinking it would take me anywhere whenever I wanted. I didn't think it would just be gone so suddenly. Yes yes, I am certainly still mourning the damn old car.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Booty Wins in America's Next Top Model - Cycle 10

After watching the season finale last night, I can honestly say I'm happy with the end result! Finally curves seemed to be making a comeback in the fashion world (on reality tv anyways).

20 year old student, Whitney Thompson from Atlantic Beach, Florida claimed the prize - a management deal with Elite Model Management; a $100,000 contract with cosmetics company CoverGirl; and a cover story and six-page fashion spread in an issue of Seventeen magazine, after a grueling cycle of sharing a household with ’stick thin’ wannabe’s and catty personalities.

I, myself modelled for Elite Models while in High School. Needless to say however, never in my life would I have thought they would be supporting the crowning of a 'full figured' model and taking her on as one of their own.

Being a stick-thin, awkward teenager, I was 'discovered'(not really) by the so-called 'Canada scout extrodinaire', Elmer Olsen, while shopping in my local Kitchener mall when I was just 15 years old. I ended up signing with the agency and modelling in mainly fashion shows, all the while having the agency constantly tell me my hips were too wide and my lips were too thin. At 5'10 and 118 pounds, I was hardly oozing the fat. And while modelling at such a young age and during such an awkward time in my life did provide me with some self esteem, it also provided extra insecurities I didn't need. Not once did I see curvey women gracing their walls. They didn't seem to want anything to do with anyone over the age of 18 and over 120 pounds.

I just am so happy Whitney came into the competition proclaiming, ”I have breasts, I have hips, I have a butt — and I am so proud of those things. I am here and I am me. I’m not going to change myself.” And she certainly didn't change!

Finding herself in the top three, among Anya Kop, a beautiful tall blond waif from Hawaii and Fatima Siad, tall and exotic from Somalia, Whitney remained true to herself, focusing on her goal and not allowing her weight or anyone else to bring her down. Luckily the two remaining in the end were Anya and Whitney. Lovely Anya who thought Whitney was beautiful when she cried, was nothing but genuine. The remaining two seemed such a tough decision, I was convinced they would have selected two.

After a strut down the Versace (we’re talking Donatella Versace!) runway in Rome, Anya looking like a true model and Whitney revealing her curves in a pink number a la Victoria Secret look-alike-model, the judges finalized their difficult decision.

I am quite satisfied with this season. Not only did it let the public know Elite Model Management is actually willing to take on a ‘plus size model’ but it’s ok to go into a competition like this and just be yourself and try your best. Good things can only come when you have a positive outlook - no matter what the cards may look like at first glance.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Sad Tale of Shameful Acts

After reading an article in The Toronto Star this morning, tears literally were brought to my eyes.

An Ajax couple are devastated after a robber broke into their home and stole a pendant filled with their son's ashes. The couple lost their baby son six years ago, 16 days after he was born. Lorraine Hutchinson received a pendant from a dear friend and her husband, Dave, placed some of their baby's ashes inside as a gift. Lorraine started to run after the death to cope with her grief and her husband explained she could wear the pendant and now run with her son.

I hope the person who robbed the couple's home at least returns the pendant. Assuming this person didn't realize what he or she was taking, hopefully the priceless jewellery isn't just thrown away. What a tragedy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life is throwing me a Curve Ball

Lately I've been feeling like a large weight is sitting on my chest. It feels as though i'm literally going to cave in. That or just give up and be one of those people who hide in their apartment out of fear of facing the world on any given day.

It's not that anything terribly bad is happening to me, but little things seem to be happening in my life all at once. The car breaking down, coordinating maid of honour and bridal tasks and upcoming responsibilities, extra expenses I wasn't expecting, job dissatisfaction, family stress. I realize I get too caught up in worries and don't enjoy life as much as I should. I'm a constant ball of tension.

I need a vacation but we booked our honeymoon which is four months away. I need a career change but need the stability I have in my current position for the wedding, rent and now car rental payments. I feel as though I'm trapped in a large box with some room to maneuvre myself but very limited space to go where I want to be going.

It's Spring and the weather is beautiful, yet I'm still feeling anxious, tired and helpless. Very depressing I know. I need to bring myself out of this rut somehow and get a hold of my life. I know only I can change how I'm feeling. I just wish I had a genie who would grant me my life's wishes. I would take away my stress, provide myself with more money and never have to worry about stepping into an office, with it's politics, again.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Goodbye to an Old Friend

Unfortunately, my 626 Mazda Cronos passed away this weekend.

The 1993 vehicle was on its last legs, but we were in denial about the severity of its health issues. Driving on the Gardiner Expressway on our way out of Toronto, the car suddenly died. We were in the fast lane and managed to pull it over to the shoulder. Yes we were one of those people. The people you see at the side of the road on a busy Saturday afternoon, knowing full well a nice day suddenly turned into their nightmare. Yes that was us. To top it off, CAA was expired. Luckily they were nice enough to send over a tow truck anyways.

The mechanics gave the car a grim diagnosis that would cost thousands of dollars to repair. The timing belt as well as the water pump burst. Not only that but we had we had a hole in the muffler among other things. To fix the car would have cost more than it was worth. We had to make the decision finally to 'put it down' and walk away.

So now we are carless. Saying goodbye to that car was difficult but it was the right thing to do. I'll have to see how renting goes as purchasing a new car just isn't feasible at this point. The wedding is already eating up our savings! In the meantime rest in peace good car. You have been good to me but now it's time for us to part ways.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Timmy Does have a heart!

Thank goodness there is a heart or two in the land of timbits.

Read on:

Tim Hortens - What will firing a single mother solve?

On my way to grab my usual large coffee, double milk this morning, a coworker blatantly asked me if I felt comfortable purchasing something from a Corporation that fires single mothers.

I had not watched the news last night or this morning so of course I was interested in this statement. Opening up the front page of The Toronto Star, there it was, "Tim Hortons fires single mom over free Timbit".

In London Ontario, a single mother of four was fired from her job at Tim Hortens for giving an infant one timbit. One 16-cent mini donut! I thought I had missed something, so I read the article once more. Nothing in there did it say this woman assaulted a patron or employee, stole lunches for her or her friends or did anything that would justly constitute getting let go. Literally, this woman gave a small child a timbit because the child's mother - a regular - was having a hard day.

It seems to me, some people truly weren't provided with a heart when they were born. What kind of manager would terminate an employee for this behaviour? If anything at all, the woman only deserved a warning. The thought that this actually happened for this lame excuse has me wondering whether they were just waiting for this woman to cross the line somehow so they could let her go. There must have been some other underlying reason other than the fact that she simply gave away one timbit to one infant.

This brings me to a point I feel strongly about. I realize personality plays a large role in fitting in with coworkers at a job, but just because an employee and manager don't click, does this mean it's right to fire that person? Do some people use their upper management level and authority to the wrong advantage? Perhaps some managers need to learn how to resolve conflict in a constructive way rather than shove them out at the first sign of difference.

I feel for this poor woman and I only hope someone at Corporate Tim Hortens will realize what a cheap move this actually was. Perhaps they did this woman a favour and she will move on to sweeter things.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Honeymoon Booked!

We officially booked our honeymoon and are ecstatic about travelling to St. Lucia at the end of September!

We have both been so engulfed in planning our wedding day that the honeymoon was always an afterthought - up until last week. Originally, Aruba was the destination of choice. We both had our hearts set on the new Aruba Riu Palace. Wow what an extravagent place! We would have felt like royalty, however after much consideration and research, it was determined we would have to leave at 6a.m. the day after our wedding! Silly charter flights.

Upon this discovery, we were determined to find an alternative. Aruba was our number one destination due to the fact that it is apparently a Caribbean island least likely to be hit by a tropical storm. We will be departing at the tail end of the hurricane season (June to November) and didn't want to take any chances. Barbados, Curacao and St. Lucia were all alternative suggestions by travel agents.

Sandals Resorts never crossed my mind until we flipped through some brochures I had picked up at the latest bridal show I had attended. Shuffling through the pages, we came across the Sandals Regency in St. Lucia. What a beautiful looking spot! We booked it the next day. Now I have to wait four months until paradise.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tall Comments - please go away

I was grabbing a coffee at Timothy's yesterday in my neighbourhood when a tall comment peaked out it's little head from a stranger who was eyeing me up and down.

I'm not clear on whether this strange man was trying out a pick up line or if he was just being flat out rude. Here I was, minding my own business, stirring the milk into my Irish Cream coffee when from behind me I hear "Wow you're tall, let me guess you play basketball?". The cringed feeling that entered my body must have appeared on my face. How could it not? This is the worst comment a man can make to a woman who already feels amazonian in heels, let alone having a bloat day. Nothing against female basketball players, I just don't feel I look very athletic. As I turned to him and said "no", then tried to continue on with my business, he then says "no? ok ok let me guess, high jump then?" Instead of letting him continue I gave him my bitchiest look and walked out. I hope he got the hint.

Seriously would he be asking a shorter than average person if she is a jockey? Does she gain winnings at Woodbine for riding horses? I mean really? Would that comment not be offensive? Then how do people think making basketball comments to me is perfectly ok? I know I'm tall. Duh, I've lived in my body for the last 28 years. I know I grew well above the average kids in my class, always standing in the back row for photos, looking down at my crush's head in grade school as we slowly danced to "I will always love you" during our school dances. Oh I'm well aware, so pointing out my height will in no way flatter me. Now letting me know I'm model tall is ok. That's associated with beauty and glam. I'm ok with that!

I suppose this person was just socially inept. After venting to my fiance afterwards, he assured me he finds me attractive and I'm happy to say that is and should be what is most important.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Saying NO (confessions of a pushover)

Surprise Surprise, I am one of those people who have such an issue with saying NO.

To some I'm sure this may come as a surprise because I have no problems saying no to strangers or speaking my mind to friends if for example I get shoved by someone on the subway. But when it comes to family, coworkers and sometimes friends, I have this issue with saying no when they ask me to do something.

I do enjoy being perceived as the 'nice girl' and I really do have good intentions with those I feel are important to me but I also am realizing that in order to attain self confidence, maintain my physical and mental health, and be well respected, I need to start standing up for myself. I need to let people know how to treat me rather than be so worried about how I come across. As my friends are starting families, I'm realizing I need to change this well before I start a family of my own! I need to be a good role model and achieve the confidence and self esteem I am clearly lacking before I pass my anxiety on - as I feel may have been passed on to me.

I know I need to start being more assertive and I know I should be looking after myself more without worrying about what people will think of me. I know this can be done in an effective manner. I just have to learn and eventually I will earn the respect I deserve among work colleagues, family and friends. I know my family and friends love me but I also know I panic too often and it does have to be toned down.

My gosh I'm sure I'm annoying. I cannot be taken seriously however if I'm constantly being a pushover.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Patio Season Comes Early!

Finally the warm weather has emerged from it's shroud of shivering cold and dark clouds.

I have noticed a remarkable change in my mood lately and am so happy the weather has been perfect enough to start the summer patio season early!

Any patio really is fun to me. As long as there are good people, service and drinks, I'm ecstatic. I understand the appeal of The Patio in Canada. Approximately six months out of the year we are stuck inside watching the cold snow, blustery wind and wet icey cold rain take over our once beautiful green lawns, beaches and decks. We breathe the same stale air and complain about the cold. Depression grabs hold of some and the ongoing feeling of fatigue hits others. Some are lucky to escape the wintery blues but I have never been one of them.

I just want to lay, stretched out, embracing the sunshine while I can. I know the risks of cancer and wrinkles and spots etc etc. But the warm sun to me is like a dead beat dad. It comes around only a few months out of the year. When it does show up, it bears gifts - in this case, leaves, grass and flowers. It will stay and keep you warm for only a short time so you had better hold it as close as you can before it disappears again. I know I can be very cheesey in my depictions:)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Ex Factor

Most people have an ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend. How else do you realize when you have found 'the one' if you haven't tested out other models?

Still, the 'ex factor' continues to follow me around even though I have settled down and will be saying my vows to the man of my dreams in just a few months.

Just yesterday, I came into work and checked my personal email (yes I'm bad like that), only to find a message from my ex boyfriend, someone I haven't talked to in a couple of years, asking how I was doing and that he was thinking of me. My initial reaction was shock. Why, after this long, had he wanted to contact me? Why would he think I would want to know how he is doing?

It's funny to hear from this particular ex at such a turning point in my life. This person was quite a large part of my life in a good way and a bad way. We had quite the tumultuous relationship. I had dated him for several years (five years) and was very much attached to him. Our break up was one of the most stressful, heartbreaking experiences I have ever gone through and it took a lot out of me to finally cut ties with him. When I met my current fiance, all I had gone through with my ex boyfriend went out the window. What I thought that relationship had stood for no longer mattered. I had finally found true love. It's true you know when you have found The One. It just happens really and I am very fortunate.

What I am thinking now is if this is a test. Some weird Universe-playing-mind-games-with-me test. Why would this person try to reach out to me now? Yes I do tend to read more into things than I should. It's just the nature of me! But really when I heard from him there were no long lost feelings, no need or want to be in contact with him. Yes there was curiosity but that was it. In fact, what it made me confirm was just how happy and lucky I am to have my fiance. I slept better last night than I have slept for months.

Because I feel so comfortable with my current situation, I did email back only to let him know have moved on. I do wish 'the ex' well but at the same time I don't need to know anything else about him as I am very content with my situation now. I'm looking ahead now and am seeing such a bright future.

Friday, April 11, 2008

When We have to say goodbye to our Loved Ones

I've been feeling many emotions up and down in the last few months. Brilliant emotions about my upcoming wedding, low emotions about my current career situation and very recently low emotions about the up coming passing of my grandma.

Recently, my dad phoned to let me know my grandma was diagnosed with Accute Lieukemia and had only days to live. The shock that entered my body and mind was overwhelming. My grandma, mother of nine grown children, grandmother to over 30 grandchildren and great grandchildren would be leaving us all forever. Being such a strong woman her entire life and conquering colon cancer with chemotherapy and faith only five years ago, I didn't expect her to go in such a shockingly short time, without the chance to even fight.

My grandma has been my inspiration in everything she has done and stood for. My dad is the eldest of her nine children and very close to his mom. I also was close to her. She organized a large family, endured an unsatisfying marriage and finally separated from her husband, my grandpa, when she was 75 years old! She found the strength to save for her own house and move out after over 50 years of marriage. This event in my grandma's life later provided me with the strength and inspiration to follow in her footsteps when I found myself living with a boyfriend who didn't treat me properly (to put it lightly) at the young age of 23.

When I first received the call from my dad, I felt very alone and very far away. I live only two hours away but wished I could have rushed to my grandma's side the same night. I did go the following day to see her and am happy I did. The Lieukemia hadn't yet taken her life or her livelihood away. Because of the time frame given to her by the doctors, I had to mourn her when I was visiting with her in person. This proved to be very difficult but I had the opportunity to see her alive. While difficult however, I had the opportunity to show my appreciation to her, comfort her and say goodbye.

Many people don't have the opportunity to say goodbye to those they love. Many people pass away unexpectedly and goodbyes must be said when the deceased are already six feet under ground. I now feel fortunate to have had the chance to see my grandma before she left. While I found myself mourning her coming death, I also found myself celebrating the life and legacy she was leaving behind.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The DUI Issue

It seems getting arrested for a DUI is becoming common place for many celebrities. Much like hair extensions, forgetting to wear underwear, getting pregnant and wearing the next hottest designer shoes, getting busted for a DUI seems to be the next celebrity trend.

In all seriousness, posing for a mug shot is no cover of Vogue or Rolling Stone, so why are so many of today's stars choosing to risk not only their own lives but other people's lives rather than hire a driver?

One could speculate that the rising amount of DUI arrests coincides with ones falling career. Looking at the list of arrests in the last year and a half, we have seen B Celebrities including: Nicole Ritchie arrested in December 2006 with possession of narcotics and for driving the wrong way on the 134 Freeway in Burbank California. Mischa Barton was arrested on December 27 for DUI and possession of pills. The Goodfella was a Badfella when Ray Liotta crashed his car into two parked cars in February and was arrested under suspicion he was under the influence. Richie Sambora was very recently arrested on March 26 for driving under the influence of alcohol and Lindsay Lohan is a constant in the Celebrity DUI trend.

Perhaps for the celebrities who are seeing their once soaring careers plummet, bad publicity is still seen as good publicity. This could also perhaps be a public cry for help.

On another note, celebrities who are in the midst of successful careers and promising contracts have been in the news for DUI's as well. Mel Gibson and Keifer Sutherland come to mind among celebrities who stumbled (literally and figuratively) down the wrong path at the height of their careers. It could very well be that fame can fog one's sense of right verses wrong.

We see these individuals as almost super human. People who are on our TV's and in magazines always appearing to live the perfect life. When we see a celebrity mug shot, we now view them as people, struggling with the same dilemmas as many of us 'common folk' struggle with.

Hopefully the new DUI 'trend' will subside along with the latest fashion trend. While it's bad enough to see these celebs possibly harm themselves, it would be a horrible loss to witness someone foolishly take another person's life for the sake of self absorption.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Sporting Goods

We played our last game of Ultimate Frisbee last night and won the championships! I must say I was very impressed considering many of our team members were missing.

I've never played a sport in my life before joining Ultimate Frisbee. It was actually last Spring, my boyfriend (now fiance!) convinced me to join just for fun and to give us something to do together. I very reluctantly joined Spring season, then Summer Season (where we won the championship), the Fall and now Winter has wrapped up. I was very reluctant at first because I wasn't confident in my sporting abilities whatsoever. I never thought I could play any sport. I just didn't think I was the type or was cut out for it.

I still have those being-picked-last-in-gym-class low confident days but after last night I'm really proud to say I am part of a team and I am very proud of my fiance. He has given me the confidence to feel I can do anything as long as I try my best. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have ever tried a sport or begun to write again! He is my number one fan in everything I do and I am so lucky to have met such an amazing human being.

While I have pushed myself to my own personal limits playing this sport, I am excited to join yet another season. The team is a great group of people and I can't wait to win in the Spring season!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Maro - Not Tomorrow

I went to the resto-lounge club, Maro, last night with a few friends. We weren't there for dinner so I can't comment on that. We were there for drinks and to have a good time. All I was looking for was a good time and a good crowd. I got neither.

Walking into the revamped old warehouse in the Liberty village/Parkdale area of Toronto, you are guided into the lower level banquet room. Very stylish and interesting videos of tropical swimming fish line the walls. Tables and cushioned benches enhance what is supposed to be part of the dining experience. Go up to the upper level and you are then taken into a larger venue with more large screen videos of tropical swimming fish, modern white couches and an array of tables for dining. We arrived at 10:30p.m. and at first glance, I perceived the area to be an upper class dimmed cafeteria. Rectangular tables are lined parallel to one another and the exposed kitchen is in the back. Or the place looked like it could be one of those Gentlemen Clubs for Japanese businessmen?

Unfortunately all seating was reserved for bottle service patrons only. Because we chose not to take part in the $300 bottle service, we were left standing, balancing our glasses of wine while being consistantly jostled by Maro's 'finest' young ladies skimpering about in butt skimming dresses, three-inch heels and hair extensions. If I knew this was a pre-requisite of fitting in, I would have worn my Tiffany Amber Thiesen Look Alike dress from the Saved By the Bell Days. Needless to say, I apparently wasn't drunk enough to shrug off the pretentious attitude found in most of the patrons and staff.

One thing I will point out is the music was great, although it would have been nice to have the option of a real dance floor. The $10 cover charge isn't over the top but not worth my hour stay. If you're looking for a night of showing off your newly purchased Louis Vuitton bag, standing in one place and making your best bitch impression the entire night, this place may be for you! Otherwise, if you are looking for a more relaxed night of dancing, dressing up and enjoying a chic atmosphere, there are so many other, more established, venues in Toronto. No Maro for me tomorrow! That's for sure.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Long and Short of being Tall

Being 'the tall girl' my entire life, I have had some emotional highs and lows with the reality of my height.

I'm just over 5"10, so I'm not enormously tall by many standards (the tallest woman in the world is Den-Fen Yao at 7"8!), but I still feel very amazonian when I am standing next to the average woman - especially when I wear heels. I'm very in touch with my feminine side and heels is every woman's staple. It can be difficult to find the perfect pair of shoes however when they make me grow well over six feet!

When people point out my taller than average height, I tend to feel insecure about myself. The comments are something I have trouble understanding. I would feel very uncomfortable pointing out to someone who is shorter than average how short they are. So why is it acceptable to point out to me how tall I am? And why am I always asked if I play basketball or volleyball? Does this mean it's ok for me to ask a short person if they play mini golf?

Thank goodness some of the most beautiful women in the world are tall!

Model Ana Hickman - 6.1ft.
Model/Actress Rachel Hunter - 5.11ft.
Model Tyra Banks - 5.11ft.
Model Giselle Bundchen - 5.11ft
Donald Trump's wife Melania Knauss - 5.11ft.

Oh the beauty of tall women!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Behind Every Security is an Insecurity

It often surprises me how easily my personality and feelings about myself can change depending on the group of people I surround myself with at any given time.

Over the weekend I found my insecurities heightened when I was out with a group of people, many of whom I've known for the last two years. Every time I see them, I feel the peripheral acceptance of the group, however I also am aware of a deeper feeling of non acceptance. Why is my comfort level so low with this group of people? Why do I find myself more comfortable with strangers? Why do I feel I can make friends so easily with the majority of the population but this group? I often ask myself these questions but it could perhaps just be that I am completely different from them. Or maybe they perceive me to be completely different from them, when really I am very similar?

Whatever the reason, the glass wall of insecurity still upholds when I see them, and also quite possibly the wall blocking my true personality. I feel I must change this or I will continue to live my adult life in fear of what other people think of me. I realize everyone has their own lack of confidence in one way or another. It may be possible this group of people may have an insecurity or two when they see me as well. It's a part of human nature I am still struggling with. When I was growing up, I was under the impression I would be more comfortable with myself as I entered adult hood. And I definitely remember teachers and other influential adults mention the age of 30 was when they stopped caring what others thought of them. I will be 28 years old in July and still no sign of this happening any time soon. I'm hoping 30 will be my magic number.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Politics of a Callous Cheater

At the height of the Eliot Spitzer outrage I can't help but make certain observations regarding all politicians who feel the need to have an affair.

It seems if you are a politician wishing to gain international notoriety and to end your career in the process, cheating on your loving wife and family who has stood by you throughout many campaigns, long nights and media thrashing is definitely the way to go.

One question coming to my mind is why does taking part in a circus of scandolous sex acts appear to be a trend among politicians? Another is why do these bastards' wives stand by them as they shamely emerge from the mask they have been wearing to face the media, family, friends and voters in a humiliating way?

I believe certain politicians feel they are above the law once they are handed the 'key to the city' so to speak. I believe the power they feel from reaching their status may cloud their thoughts and cause them to truly believe they can have it all, regardless of who it may hurt or how the outcome would affect their reputations and careers.

With that said, the wives who stand by these men are not truly exceptional as perhaps they wish for the public to believe. In fact I do not feel sorry for them. I feel sick to think that the first women in these situations are actually well educated and "independant". My respect fades completely when I see wives standing next to these once powerful cowards as they admit their demise to the world. What I see isn't a loyal wife. What I see is a woman who is weak and cannot believe the position she held while her politician husband was in power has now vanished. When I witness this, I actually believe that the marriage they and perhaps many other political couples illustrate to the public is only a facade. I believe this is more of a business relationship, created to benefit both parties.

Take Hilary Clinton for example. She "stood" by Bill Clinton throughout his own scandal and I was baffled by this so called strong woman's decision to stand behind a man who humiliated her in front of the world. It wasn't until Hilary Clinton announced her desire to run for the 2008 Presidential election that I understood. Of course her position as once first lady made her an ideal candidate. She took the situation she was handed and made the best of it. Although she still lost my respect.

I will be a married woman myself in a few months time. I love my fiance and will stand by him in almost every situation, however I could never humiliate myself while my husband admits to the world that he cheated on not only me but our family for his own pleasure. I would feed that man to the sharks and never look back. I would make it known that I am an independant woman and therefore capable of leaving someone behind who doesn't respect me enough to stay loyal to me. Someone who cannot find pleasure within our relationship, rather than outside it wouldn't deserve my vote. If I were the wife of Eliot Spitzer, he would be facing this scandal alone. There would be no need for me to stand by someone who obviously stopped standing by his wife long ago.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I think I have Gerascophobia - I wonder how many people know what that means?

OK so gerascophobia is the fear of ageing. It turns out many people, mainly women, have this phobia. I may be one of them to an extent. For now I have it under control. But I can feel the phobia and lines on my face slowly creeping up on me.
In the last few months I have been obsessing and I mean obsessing over some lines around my eyes. They seem to be getting progressively worse and I don't know if it's lack of sleep (probably), too much caffeine (oh definitely) or alcohol (Yes I realize I should cut back) OR it could be too much stress!

Reality is I'm only 27 years old. I shouldn't be focused on small lines on my face. At my age I should not be worrying about the possibility of age spots or contemplating cosmetic procedures to rid myself of lines - mainly caused by smiling but also unfortunately caused by the effects of the sun and other outside stresses in my life.

However, to think I already have a couple of friends who have had or are thinking about getting botox. Of course having friends who have tried it and look fantastic, as well as outside pressure from the media to always look my best has allowed me to wonder if I should try botox. I just want to try it once and see how well it would really work for me.

This has caused many worried looks from my fiance who doesn't think my choice of anti ageing treatment would be the best decision for me at this time. Honestly how harmful could a few needles injecting botulinum toxin into my face be? My face would feel frozen for only a day or so, I may or may not get a droopy eye and I won't show any emotion when I smile. This way, lines won't appear on my face and I won't be showing wrinkles. Brilliant!
Yes I poke fun but how much more real fun would it be to look forever young? I can start the botox injections now and stop the clock of aging! Wow I will continue to look 27 years old forever! Everyone will ask my husband where he found such a young woman for someone his age. Hilarious.

OK so in the meantime, that is perhaps until I gather up the courage and the funds for botox, I have decided to try less expensive, more age appropriate techniques to diminish the lines around my precious eyes. Today I bought pure Vitamin E oil. After researching it's benefits I purchased the product and am now sitting on my couch with oil smeared all over my face (might as well be proactive and get every area wrinkles may appear!). I'm going to give this oil two weeks and see what happens. I have also decided to drink green tea daily. Green tea, with its powerful antioxidants, has been known to stall and even reverse the aging process. Because of these findings I'm going to give it a go!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Engine's all Revved up (And not in the good way)

My heart is racing, I'm all fidgety, my hands constantly tremble, I can't sleep, I'm losing weight no matter what I eat and lately I've been in a steady dreadful mood.

No I don't have a terrible case of PMS and no I'm not suffering from a drug addiction. I was diagnosed with a hyperthyroid condition four years ago. The name of the disorder is Graves Disease.

Before I was diagnosed I just thought always being tired, tempermental and trembling was part of my destiny. In the back of my mind I thought something must be wrong but I always wrote it off to outside events in my life. I thought it was all just stress. I had recently gone through a really rough breakup, been fired from a job and was moving for the third time in one year. Really though I was sort of right! It turns out Graves Disease can be brought on by stress and/or something traumatic happening in one's personal life.

I opted to try the antithyroid drug thionamide to stabilize things. After being on the medication and having regular blood checks, my thyroid hormones returned to normal.

Well it's been one year since I was informed the medication had worked. Since then, I had a bad experience with a roommate, I moved in with my boyfriend, became engaged, planning a wedding, saving for that wedding and experiencing ongoing stress at my job.

Over the last three months I have been experiencing the same symptoms I had years ago when I was diagnosed. This time the weight loss has been more significant! I'm finding it very difficult to concentrate at work, I'm constantly tired yet I can't sleep and my behaviour is more erratic than usual. I recently had a Doctors appointment and was weighed in at 119 pounds (I'm almost 5"11) In addition, my hands tremble so much my signature looks like a signature of an elderly woman suffering from Parkinsons Disease! I had my blood taken and am now waiting on the verdict. This time I must decide what is the best course of action for my health. It's a tiny gland in my throat but what an impact it can have!

Monday, March 3, 2008

So Long but not Long Forgotten

Jeff Healey, legendary Canadian Jazz musician has passed away.

I'm admittedly not a big Jeff Healey fan, although I was a fan of his hits Angel Eyes and How Long can a Man be Strong. While I can't admit being a hard core fan or ever going to a concert I can admit I was always drawn to this man's musical passion and drive to be the best no matter what life throws at you.

Jeff Healey lost his vision from retinol cancer when he was a baby and now has succumbed to the disease at the age of 41.

The death of this young star has caused me to remember other young stars who have passed away in the last few months. Heath Ledger and Brad Renfro never got the chance to see how far their fame could go. They both passed away during what was supposed to be the prime of their lives.

Talented musicians and actors who leave this world too soon seems to touch us all in different ways. It makes us realize that the people we put on such a high pedestal due to their talents, their exciting and extravagent lives and the larger than life personas media creates for them, are just that - people. I think we focus so much on their deaths, especially when they go young, because it scares the public and makes us all remember that in the end, we all are the same in many ways. We all come in the world the same way and we all must go.

Forever young these celebrities will be. We will never see a picture of them with greying hair, wrinkles and weight gain brought on by the onset of old age. We will forever remember the people who have touched so many lives just the way they left off.

Jeff Healey didn't pass away from a drug overdose or suicide. He was unfortunately taken away from his fans, family and other people who adored him too soon and beyond his own control. His music, however, will live on forever.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Time for Winter to End

I'm sitting here at my desk at work. Exhausted from yet another morning of walking the 10 minutes from my house to the subway station. The weather makes me feel as though my whole body's energy is being sucked out. My limbs and head ache from the cold and I have been experiencing a constant shiver for the last three days. I feel like I'm 90 years old! But actually I'm only 27.

This is how I feel every winter. I tremble, I whine, I feel sad and depressed and I wish the season away. I often wonder why I allow myself to live this way for the better part of five months of the year. The minute Spring-like weather arrives, I can feel the cloud of darkness peel away from my soul. I can feel the invigorating freshness of new life and new energy. It's like my mind hibernates for the Winter season and the real Care emerges after a few months. Yes just like a bear, grrr.

I often dream of moving to a warmer place. As I'm sure many people do. I'll watch The Hills on MTV and see pretty girls living it up, wearing dresses all year long in LA and wonder why I don't get to have that life (as I mentioned I whine A LOT in the winter).

Instead, I'm here, stuck wearing ugly dress pants because I'm too cold to wear a dress in -20C weather and my precious boots I spent $200 on are now ruined because of the damn salt stains! Wearing a pretty dress is actually a luxury to me. It means the better weather is here and I get to show some skin OR it means I'm heading to a formal party and I'm willing to grit my teeth and bare through the freezing cold for style. Something I rarely do in the Winter. No matter what though, with my pasty white skin, dry patchy face and ugly "winter wardrobe". I feel like a slob and not an attractive one, every single winter season. I also tend to drink a lot of red wine.

I'm sure my posts will get a lot lighter as Spring approaches but for now, I'm sitting at work, looking at the snow blow outside and am not looking forward to my walk back home. I could use a hot chocolate, or a glass of red wine and definitely a fire place right about now!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Selling the Shreddie Getting Stale?

Shreddies, the healthy cereal made up of 100% whole wheat began it's journey to popularity in 1955 when Nestle began marketing it to the public with it's "Good Good Whole Wheat Shreddies"slogan.

I grew up on this cereal and was often excited for the treat in the bottom of the box and the unexpected good taste! The marketing of this healthy cereal was obviously effective with its consumers.

So I was rather surprised recently when I noticed Shreddies start advertising "Diamond Shreddies". At first glance I thought it was a joke. A marketing spoof perhaps?

Until further investigation and additional commercials appearing on my TV screen, did I have to come to terms with the fact that yes Shreddies Cereal has indeed run out of marketing ideas. I'm no advertising agent, but when a group of individuals marketing this brand sit in a room and discuss the next course of action for this cereal, did they really collectively agree that turning the shreddie on its side in a picture will trick it's faithful consumers into thinking this was brilliant? Will this really create more purchasing power?

What was wrong with a circle? Or a rectangle? I will never know but am allowed to wonder why my cereal of choice thinks this marketing indolence is going to just slip under the radar with its consumers. We who eat the Shreddie are no idiots. We, who are over the age of five, are obviously healthy breakfast eaters, and know better than to be excited about an image turned on a 45 degree angle.

All in all, with or without this new publicity ploy, the Shreddie remains the same. The cereal has history behind it and that is what will keep it on the shelves. Diamond, square or circle my childhood favourite will still get my buck. However, perhaps the buck should go to new advertisers.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

'V' day finally Vindicated

It's Valentines Day today. The 14th of February and the one day of the year I'll witness men in suits carrying big bouquets of flowers in a snow storm, or watch as my coworkers receive embarrassingly large deliveries of flowers, and also see men and women frantically shop for that 'special gift' at the last minute.

Since grade 10, I always managed to have a Valentine. Someone who would shower me with gifts, hold my hand, and show to the outside world that I was actually part of the 'Valentines in crowd'. In High School this was much more relevant believe me.

Well, I have always held a secret hatred towards the day of love. I think it's mainly from the fact that I wasn't always in truly fantastic relationships and I saw the day as a time to rekindle something that wasn't even there in the first place. A lot of forced actions and emotions in one day can really drain a person! Until I met my fiance.

Birthdays have always been big with me. The day comes once a year and it's special to the person having it. It isn' t as commercialized as other big days and there is no pressure from outside media to do something. This makes me want to do something. I am sometimes more excited about someone 's birthday than the person celebrating the day. So when I found out my fiance's birthday is actually on Valentines Day I was ecstatic! This means I get to do something nice because I WANT to not because I have to. So for the past two years I have been doing just that. Every February 14, I get to make my love feel special.

And for the rest of the time, he makes me feel special. Not because he has to. But because he wants to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shameless Subway Antics

Witnessing the behaviour of people on the subway every morning and every evening has got me thinking there are some bad apples and some really great people in the world of commuter chaos.

After moving from a smaller city to a much larger city, I've made some observations. Some good, some not so good.

Every morning my fiancee and I 'ride the rocket' together. Sounds very sweet doesn't it? It's not that sweet of a ride actually. There is no privacy of driving together in our car, picking up coffees along the way and listening to the radio as we slowly crawl with the other cars to our destination. At least with a car, you have a sheild surrounding you from other people. Other people's body odour, other people's bad habits, foul language, colds and coughs and heavy breathing. Personal space does not exist on the subway.

One good thing is usually during the rush hour, trains arrive quite regularly. Waiting too long is never usually an issue. So I get very annoyed when the trains are already packed so full I'm literally smushing my face into someone's backpack and someone still pushes themselves into the wall of people in the doorway. They often get my best look of disapproval. Why do they think they are so important that they deserve to climb onto the train instead of waiting the minute for the next one to arrive? This only makes people even more uncomfortable and therefore irratible for the day. I'm guessing they don't think about that sort of thing.

As for seating on the subway. Well here is my personal rule. If a person is pregnant, carrying a cane or just looks like they really can't stand, they should get to sit. I'll admit after a long hard day at work, I just like to sit down and read a book on my commute home. But a seat isn't really that important to me. I've been sitting all day! I have seen very pregnant women stand while men and women sit comfortably beside them. Why are some people so ignorant? It's funny because one of my first experiences after moving here was a man offering me his seat. I was a little taken aback as clearly I am capable of standing. I politely declined and hoped that he would be just as kind to someone who really needed the offer.

Of course good people take the TTC everyday. But moving here from a smaller city, I've noticed everyone just looks kind of numb. It could be the fumes from the trains or the long days at work. We just have to be more considerate and conscious of other people and do what we can to respect personal space even when it seems impossible.

Some ways to make personal space less of an issue include:

  • Moving out of the way when someone is exiting the train - don't just stand in the doorway!
  • When sitting, please don't spread out your legs so far you're forcing the person beside you to clench their legs together. Who do these people think they are?
  • To the people who are dancing around to their turned-up-way-too-loud MP3 players. We don't want to hear your music! And quit dancing. You're not that good.
  • If you want to eat a full meal, please do so at home or at work or at a restaurant. Basically anywhere but a train filled with people.

I'm not an expert but I know what annoys me every single day. I consider myself normal (at times) so I think this may be the case for others as well. Shameless Subway Antics are here to stay but it would be nice if we all took the time to think of what we're doing and how it can affect the next person.