Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hello, are you there?

Do you have a job?
Does it involve you sending emails?
Do you have a name?

Then you should be putting a signature with your contact information at the bottom of all your emails! There is no way around it. I've had it with having to go track down someone's phone number. How hard is it to throw your stuff at the bottom?!

The only thing I can think of that is more annoying when it comes to professional communication is the time I called a company looking to speak to a specific person and was told:
"Oh, um, actually, he doesn't take calls, like on a phone. You should just, like, friend him on Facebook and talk to him that way. *gum smack*"

I stared at the receiver for a few minutes in disbelief.

I didn't have Facebook. So, he didn't get the gig. Seriously, what is wrong with actually speaking on the phone? Oh, unless it's before a first date. Don't call me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February Chills

The scariest parts of my long weekend:

- Elevator ride to the 13th floor of a brand spanking new condo in West Queen West. So new, it wasn't even finished. Not quite sure it was safe for habitation yet, but after waiting three years, my friend Elo was moving in no matter what!

The elevator was made of wood and I'm pretty certain someone has already died in it. Elo told us a story about being trapped in it for an hour like it was no big deal. And what about the 13th floor thing? - I guess builders have stopped coddling us and pretending like it makes any sort of difference. When I lived in New York I lived on the 14th floor but of course everyone knew it was actually the 13th. The only bad luck I suffered that summer was...hmmm. Well, once I had a bruised peach and that kind of sucked. But other than that, the 13th floor curse was broken.

- The realization that 7 thirtysomethings could be mildly entertained for up to 3 minutes by lame shadow puppets. That we did this on a Friday night will drive Elo to get art for her walls, if nothing else. We had a pretty gripping plot going on with these characters. Don't worry, the bird and the dog with eyes got together in the end.

- Asian fly-by-night nail the daytime. You can call me a spa snob, but I'm not going to apologize for not wanting to risk getting a staph infection or fungus like Paula Abdul. I don't get manicures and pedicures often enough to have to be motivated by cost, but I got dragged to this hole in the wall on Barton Street and the $12 cost for my manicure was a lovely surprise.

While waiting an hour for our pre-booked appointment, I started taking matters into my own hands. The result was not unlike Nicki Minaj's hair - I always felt she was a kindred spirit.

Tracy, Dan and I spent almost all of the time laughing way more than one should in one of these places. Perhaps it was the acrylic nail paint fumes that hit us the second we walked in the door. One of the sources of our laughter:
I just noticed the money in her bra. This poster was right next to one that said "Touch of Class". Just a touch, though.
Side note: does anyone else feel that the word 'classy' has been completely robbed of its original meaning? Saying something is classy makes it actually sound tacky. How did that happen?

Indelible Adele

I am blatantly scooping this from lovely Michelle's blog ( with her clear permission though.

She posted these two songs on her blog last week and while I have heard of Adele in passing, these two videos blew me away and I am now an obsessed fan. Obsessed. I have listened to these two songs on repeat for three days straight.

Her voice is strong and amazing and the videos are beautiful and striking. If I change a couple words in my head, they're both wonderfully relevant too. Her CD came out today and I plan on buying it on Amazon Well, you know, once I make sure it's not cheaper at Costco.

I wish I could write songs. And I wish I could sing. And I wish I could sing songs that I wrote.

Until then, there's Adele.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Technology Trifecta

I'm the first to admit that I'm not the most technologically advanced gal. My first computer, iPod, and cell phone were all gifts and I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't received them, I would have convinced myself that they were passing fads. I still happily buy CDs, just found out how to listen to a podcast and I remember being baffled by RSS feed in library school. Whatever. RSS is definitely a passing fad. Trust me.

I also occasionally tend to resist change or get a little anxious by it. Yep, yep, I'm a pretty 'with it' chick. So you can imagine my panic when in the course of one week I got a new cell phone, hooked up Internet service at my house and joined Facebook. Even as I type it, I'm feeling short of breath. Let's break it down.

Cell Phone:

This was my cell phone from 2004 until a week ago. 2004 - do you even remember what 2004 was like:

Now, for the record, I didn't see anything that wrong with it. Sure, it's as thick as a cheeseburger, makes that *click* noise when you open it (according to Susan - it's like fingernails on a chalkboard), still has an antenna and was a litte dinged up. But, it was still kicking. Sort of. Its ego was a bit bruised though. A sampling of the ridicule it received in recent years:

- Does that have a camera? Do you have to take it in to Black's overnight to get the pictures developed?
- Zack Morris called. He wants his phone back.
- Does that take film?

(Two of those were said to me by guys that I was on a first date with...)

Well, let me tell you about this sad little phone - it did pretty good for 'ole Winnie Cooper in the last 6 years. When I think of all the fun, friends and 3am texts it facilitated, well, it's been hard to let go. The clincher for me was when I was sitting in the freezing cold car trying to charge the phone (it no longer recognized the wall charger) while trying to talk over the incessant beeping. Plus, the antenna fell out under the seat. It was time for a change.

I got a Blackberry. I am one of the Blackberry nation now. It was quite a shock - there's so much on there! And I mistakenly linked it to nearly everything so every 30 seconds it was bing-bonging until I nearly lost my mind. Now, I'm a slave to that little red blinking light. And I have to check work email at home. But the upside is that the teasing has stopped. Except for those damn iPhoners. They think they're so superior.


Doing all my emailing/blogging/judging of celebrities/trivia research at the office was becoming a problem; work really cut into that time for me. I was no longer able to "borrow" the service from the tenants so I thought I should bite the bullet.
It's glorious.


This was a surprise. I was a staunch hold-out...or so I thought. The recent conference I attended kept going on and on about social media. Once I learned that this was not simply seeing a movie with friends, I realized that I should probably get involved. My original plan was to join in order to create a profile for my work. Uh, yeah, I haven't done this yet. Instead, I got sucked in to the initial rush of everyone wanting to be my 'friend' and seeing how people from high school look now. That faded pretty quickly and I'm now left with a constant stream of information that doesn't seem to improve my life.

Sure, I got to creep some people and that was mildly entertaining. I also heard from some blasts from the pasts, but most of them have my regular contact information - why not just email me the old fashioned way? I've tried to be pretty stringent with my friend list but I did accept a couple people from high school that I haven't seen since then. I blame this on being in the throes of a 'friend' count competition with someone.

The technology trifecta has taken some time to get used to, but I have a feeling it's all here to stay. You heard it here first.

Randomness...with meat

It's about time - I've been looking for a place to get my laundry done, Goji juice and my computer fixed. Oh, and I love how it's located in the deli on Queen Street.
One of my monthly tasks involves inputing expenses - this little pattern was illuminating.


I don't care what anyone says, this does not count as bacon. ------------------------------

My first experience with a Brazilian steakhouse was well worth the 2 hour wait - hmmm, maybe this 2011 patience thing is working out. Or maybe it was the vodka and cranberry. The concept is simple: meat, meat and more meat delivered to your table at a dizzying speed. There are more than 20 selections including prime rib with cheese and several options wrapped in bacon. Yep. A meal like this is guaranteed to require Tums at 3am. But, I maintain that it was worth it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How bad is it....

...if I heard a rip when I reached for a high shelf but am unable to find the gaping hole in my dress? And I have a client meeting in 30 minutes?

...if I subconsciously put a tissue in the sleeve of my shirt? I am a librarian, after all! At least officially - I wonder how long I can keep calling myself that before real libraries take offence?

...if I keep finding random roof shingles all over my neighbourhood...and they're mine? Can I just glue them back on and not worry about it too much? lunches for the entire week thus far have been exclusively cheese, smoked salmon spread or a combination of the two?

...I am working on my first Power Point presentation, possibly ever, and I have almost no idea how to do it. It's a lot of pressure when you're the most techno-savvy in the office. And embarrassing when a 11 year old can do a better job of this.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feeling the Love...

What do you mean you can go too far with a theme?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Take a moment...

I love going through the my day-to-day routine and being stopped in my tracks by something beautiful or amusing. Yes, it can happen in Hamilton. I'm going to try and capture those images when I can. It's the little things, people.

These things make me smile:

I stole this line from the movive "One Week", but I really like the idea behind it: I'm just looking for moments. It's easy to get caught up in everything that fills our lives, but when you try to just look for, focus on and remember the small moments, it takes the pressure off.

My favourite moments of the week so far:

- 12am laughter with an old friend - we should have been sleeping, but instead we were crying with the type of laughter that goes silent and makes your stomach hurt

- the sight of a man coming to my door with flowers

- the first bite of La Cantina's smoked salmon and spinach pasta in cream sauce

- the feel of zipping my over the knee suede boots up the back of my leg

- happily eating an entire baguette and the softest Brie with my boss and calling it lunch

For me, 2011 is all about searching for moments.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Phoenix rising...

I've been away. This will be the excuse I use for the incredible blog neglect.

I spent a week in Phoenix, Arizona - home of ... well, from what I could tell, not much at all. Apparently, the area is known for golf courses, spas and desert, I guess. Did you know that Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the US?! I found this incredible, especially since after 7 days in the downtown core I could probably have counted the locals I saw there on...well, I wouldn't have lost count in my head. It's a veritable ghost town. I'm pretty sure there was an apocalypse but no one's talking about it. At least Hamilton's downtown is bustling. Sure, it's bustling full of derelicts and mangy layabouts, but at least they're there.

We did venture out to the surrounding Scottsdale and Sedona - for shopping and the obligatory cactus picture. Standing in the middle of the 'desert', I was struck by how silent it was. I don't think I've experienced that type of quiet before, not even at the cottage in the dead of night or after a joke bombs. It was calming.

I was attending The Special Event - a conference for the event planning industry. It was my first professional conference and business trip and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was pretty inspiring and informative. There were also lots of parties and galas to attend and way too many happy hour cocktails. Party planners know how to party. They are also extremely territorial about their places in line at the bar - I got the evil eye on more than one occasion.Tidbits of the Week:

- Phoenician (?) locals took me out to the local haunts including a gay bar with a lively drag queen show and we discussed the reasons why lesbians don't hit on me. No conclusion reached.

- While at yet another cocktail hour in the lobby, we were treated to a display of Phoenix's finest as they pinned and arrested a guy. We had watched him chase and terrorize this 14 year old dance troupe in velour tracksuits and kick some guy's was a weird scene.

- We dined at this restaurant straight out of Goodfellas and were served steaks bigger than my head. I'm not kidding. The portly American next to us ordered the $150 shrimp/steak combo and we unabashedly stared agape as he nearly finished it all. I have to commend the Phoenix emergency services as the ambulance arrived no more than 5 minutes after his heart gave out. Our doggie bag was the size of a standard carry-on.

- I met a cabbie who told me his name was Romeo Trump. I believed it and proceeded to go on and on about how he had the perfect stage name. For what? I'm not sure. But in my 2am "research buzz" I know that I kept saying, "Power Love, baby! That's the dream. Power Love!"

- I took in the Body Worlds exhibit that I missed the last time it was in Toronto. It's nauseating. It probably wasn't ideal for me to go on an empty stomach, but I'm sure I involuntarily dry-heaved a couple times. The smoker's lung compared to a coal miner's lung was interesting, I guess and made my lungs feel better about themselves. To erase the images, I went into the kids' section of the science centre and laid on a bed on nails. That was really fun actually and there's something so great about smiling and giggling when you're completely alone. And not 10 years old.

- I was completely unplugged all week. No phone (more on that later), no Internet, didn't care to check my email. It was wonderful. I did go through a bit of text withdrawl at first, but was able to substitute with cable television in my hotel room. Speaking of hotels, does anyone else find them really sexy? It's not often that I stay in a hotel for 6 nights and it becomes like a little community - Melrose Place at the lobby bar. Or like residence in university. I really like it.

- Met someone from Philadelphia and my best opening tactic was to launch into the theme song of "Fresh Prince of Belair". Luckily he joined me and we had a little show going. He then asked me if I know Shelley from Montreal. Stupid cheesesteak.

- One of the events had a band who played only 90s music. Stop and think about that for a minute if you're between the ages of 25 and 32. It was awesome, even though they completely butchered "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. All we needed was a Much Music Video screen and a slow dance to Bon Jovi's "Always" and it's 9th grade. Although, if we're trying to accurately recreate that, I should be on the wall with Tracy pretending we're too cool and that we don't actually want to dance with the hockey team captain.

- I saw the coolest new event chair.

- I'm pretty sure I am now dating someone named Yolanda - security frisker at the Buffalo airport. She got to second base in record time.

- I will do anything to get the emergency exit seats on a plane. The leg room and ability to lay my head on the tray table is worth any guilt I will later feel when I am unable to open the emergency door and we all perish. On the flight home I was stuck beside two crying children.

So, that was Phoenix. To sum it up in a word, I found it to be a very blank city. No personality and it was difficult to really a get a good read on it.