(A short while ago, the lovely ladies at Capital Oh gave Di the chance to guest blog for them. We here at SMC were delighted when Julia agreed to write something for us. Julia is my go to fashion expert and was willing to listen to me chat about Tom Ford everytime he showed up on a magazine when we used to work together. Julia has interned at Flare and V and is an all around lovely person. She even let us interview her at Ottawa Fashion Week. Thanks Julia! For more from the ladies of Capital Oh head on over to http://capitaloh.blogspot.com/) Read more
Back in October, I volunteered to canvas for donations in my neighborhood for Heart Month for the Heart & Stroke Foundation and my volunteer coordinator dropped off my kit last week. In it is an identification badge and red scarf I must wear when going door to door. I understand that I need to wear these items to represent myself as an official volunteer and not some scuzzy rip-off artist, but the thought of wearing something new right now – even a simple scarf – feels more than a little bit strange. I know it’s ridiculous to pretend that I might undermine this whole experiment by wearing a flimsy scarf for a couple of hours a day on the shortest month of the year, but what the scarf represents is meaningful to me in more ways than most of my wardrobe put together. Read more
For many, many years I had to look good for a living. I also had to know how to mix a killer martini, carry a tray weighed down with fifteen pounds of glass and alcohol over my head through a crowd of inebriated morons trying to grab my ass, help drunk, crying girls use the debit machine, tell the party of fifty civil servants to quit switching seats so I can keep their orders straight, sell about $3000 over the bar in four hours without screaming and still balance my cash and credit card receipts at the end of the night. But mainly I had to look good. All those other tasks are secondary in the bar industry, which you already know if it’s ever taken you half an hour to get a drink from a ridiculously good-looking yet completely inept bartender. A bar’s function is to make money by selling alcohol. In order to do this successfully, a bar will try to keep the patrons in the premises as long as possible. An easy way to do this is to hire pretty people that are paid to be nice to people they would normally cross the street to avoid.
Mouthing the words ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ is pretty much the same as saying E=MC squared– if you don’t understand why it’s true and can’t explain it to others then it has less than no value.
It wears thin sometimes– the constant grinding against the whetstone of convention. And I often feel like ‘who the fuck am I to stand up for or against anything?’ I think it’s the inherent insecurity that goes along with even being slightly honest with yourself. Because I am profoundly aware of my many and varied flaws, the idea of certainty or even assuredness is slightly absurd. As well, there is the utter contrariness of my being: it’s starting to become reflexive, and I find that worrying. And it’s not just age or experience, I’ve always been suspect of conventional wisdom and the lax certainties it often provides, but I rarely possess the capacity or chutzpah to do what R.B Fuller suggested: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Read more
CAN you erase an idea and by extension the constructs it manifests as? Memes are notoriously hard to eradicate* because it’s inherent in the nature of anything that behaves like a virus to mutate and piggyback.
Usually though, it is remarkably easy to destroy a specific host. Read more
While I may have dropped out of the running for the SMC Challenge in December, there are a few things that I’ve really come to learn and appreciate in the six months of my participation.
There is also a dense and impenetrable admiration for Di and what she has accomplished thus far. Read more
For many years, New Year’s Eve was the night I got to watch people with unrealistic expectations pay $50 to get into a bar (that on any other night they could walk into for free), get a dollar store party favor and a NyQuil cup half-full of cheap ‘champagne’ that would later be puked onto their good shoes while they wait 45 minutes for a cab. So just like Canada Day and St.Patrick’s Day, New Years Eve is a night where you won’t find self-respecting former bar staff (of which there are five) anywhere near a licensed establishment. The few years that I haven’t spent midnight kissing my sweaty bar-back I have spent in the company of friends in someone’s home. There are many advantages to a house party. The champagne is better, there are no annoying strangers at the next booth requesting ‘Sweet Caroline’ (bar staff hate that song*), no line-ups, no last call and everyone is there because they want to be, not because they purchased their ticket months ago and feel obligated to get their money’s worth. My BFF, Julie had the mother of all formal house parties several years ago that was catered, had a heated tent for smokers, and a horse and carriage for guests to take rides around the neighborhood. After all that excitement, several of us chose to doff our evening wear for bathing suits for a soak in the hot tub. Beats changing kegs and emptying slop buckets full of Guinness and regret any day. Read more
The desire to be desired or it’s nicer, better behaved cousin, to be liked is inherent in most of the functional people I have congress with. Who amongst us doesn’t enjoy when someone, anyone really, finally acknowledges our obvious genius. The giving and receiving of affirmation and praise is a fundamental human need and the grease that lubricates almost all social interaction. And yes, I used that hamfisted analogy purposefully, since in many ways most adult interaction is at least tangentially related to getting laid.
BEFORE you get all pied eyed and indignant, allow me– of course you and anyone you admire are exempt from the evolutionary forces that have driven all other animal behaviour for literally billions of years. So let’s just talk about the rest of the great unwashed since it’s way more fun anyways.
Not all human behaviour is motivated either by A. the desire for sex or B. desiring what sex can get you or C. both. I’m sure a good .000000007214% is somehow related to other concerns. But for now let’s focus on the other side of that number. And please understand that however reductionist what I’m proposing may seem to you… I’m probably understating it. Procreation and what that entails in the human species is at the core of almost every behavioural quirk known to man (or woman or woman/man man/woman, whatever). And it is particularly present in the unending popularity contest all of us are engaged in EVERY WAKING MOMENT of our lives.
Now I know that sounds like a bit of a stretch but I would ask one simple question before we go on. What is humanity really, really good at, collectively, across the board. That is correct. Fucking. That’s it. THERE ARE SEVEN BILLION OF US. Even though we have a fairly lengthy gestation period, even though our children are helpless and annoying for years before they become even moderately useful, even though we don’t spew them out thousands at a time, even though we have come up with inordinately clever ways of slaughtering one another, we still have managed to engineer circumstances where there are so many of us cockroaches are starting to worry. Read more