The Follow Up

Following up has never been my thing. I live for loose ends. I feed off half-stories and partial tales. Once something happens, it’s done with. Plus, if it’s that important then I’m sure I’ll hear about it from someone else soon enough (let someone else worry about that). This is true for me, but for others, these nagging bits of unfinished business might be the end of you. Maybe I’ve been leading you on for the last while. I’ve started topics, piqued your curiosity, engaged your mind, made you all hot and bothered about an interesting topic and then stopped abruptly before getting you to the literary climax you deserve.

 Well to all of you still sitting in limbo, consider this edition your happy ending.

Where we left off

Original post: How to pick up guys and other inanimate objects  

Where we left off: I wanted to find a man (I was bored that day) and asked you yahoos what the best way was. Taking a look at the poll – you suggested I ridiculously leave it to fate. Like god doesn’t have anything better to do than send a hottie my way. Sheesh.

The follow-up: But as suggested, I did leave it to fate….and fate led me to plenty of fish.com. Priced @ $0, it was definitely within my price range. Now my potentials can find me in person or online, woo! I’m so multidimensional now.

I'M my own fate, dammit!

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Original post: At first I was afraid

Where we left off: I claimed I was a social media marketer (only cuz I am!)

The follow-up:  I’m now working with 3 companies (2 paid, one volunteer) as a Marketing/Social media specialist. I love it when slight exaggeration turns into happy reality.

Lesson kids: When you keep lying to yourself, everyone eventually believes it too and then it becomes a reality. Yay!

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Original post: A novel idea  

Where we left off: Me- the novice novelist. You – the critical critic. Together we made a lopsided cake (there was no support, get it??). I promised gifts of power, unrestrained judgement, the title of ultimate critic and a $25 Visa Gift card prize contingent on me receiving at least 25 comments.  Even after a massive social media marketing campaign, I only received just over a dozen responses (all great!). 

So what’s a girl to do?: the only rational thing to do - Run the contest again! All the current entries will remain intact but I’m giving everyone else till Jan 31st to read the snippet and post or email a comment. If I get 25+ comments, then I’ll randomly select a winner. Anything less than 25, then EVERYONE who responds gets a $5 gift card to a popular location, woo!

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Original post: DAM that sounds good

Where we left off: At the end of this post I promoted several posts that I planned on writing.

The follow-up:  

  • Budget Life: Math time! Add up all the money you spend in a month on the fun stuff, cut it by over 60% and then try to live off the rest. Can you reach the end of the month before you reach the end of the money?
  • The $10 Dinner Party: Serving a party of 7 on a $10 budget.  Macaroni and cheese not allowed… Darn it.
  • What in the world?: Sometimes I attend events that can go really, really well…or the complete opposite.  Either way it makes for a great story.
  • Bye-Bye Mustard: Pineapple slices; chutney; alfalfa sprouts; cranberry sauce; butter chicken sauce; bacon wrapped and deep-fried. Creative and delicious (?) ways the old-fashioned hot dog has being revamped.
    • STATUS: Ya, well I did actually start going to a few hot doggie places but after trying 6 different types of hot dogs, I realized that I never wanted to eat another hot dog again. Perhaps next time I shouldn’t try eating all 6 in one sitting…. Burp.

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Original post: Pie Times

Where we left off: We didn’t leave off anywhere. I just love that there were 22 homemade pies to try and none of them were boring ol  apple. I will never get over this very wonderful day!

The bottom line: I will attend anything as long as there’s food involved. ;)

When's the last time YOU had 22 pie samples?

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The original post: Happy 365! (My one year blogging anniversary)

Where we left off: Another post tantalizing you with upcoming post ideas.

The follow-up:

  • Gastronomic Anomalies: with so much good food out there, why do people feel the need to make this stuff??
    • STATUS: postponed. This was in regards to an invention by my favourite late night poutine parlour – poutine pizza. Regular pizza crust, gravy and cheddar cheese as topping, and deep-fried French fries on top. Sound delicious? Yup, to me too. Gotta try this little bit of heaven one day.
  • Happy Sexy You
  • How am I supposed to eat THAT?
    • STATUS: Well this one’s still coming up so I’m not gonna give this one away just yet…
  • The bartering system: the real oldest profession
    • STATUS: Ditto for this. I’ve got some great ideas for this one too!

 Did I miss something?

 So there you have it. A follow-up to most, if not all of the open-ended posts I’ve left you hanging with for the past few years. If I missed anything or if you have questions about something I’ve done in the past (or said I was gonna do is more likely), feel free to drop me a line and ask me a question in the comments box below or @ nelleytimes@gmail.com.  Maybe I’ll follow up your question with a whole blog post…or maybe I’ll just start a blog post and leave the ending up to your imagination. After all, the #1 rule for everything is simple:

You gotta leave ‘em wanting more…

The Break-Up Guide

As a perpetually single and fun-loving gal, I’ve developed many relationships in my time. To me, everyone you meet in your daily comings and goings has the potential to be a great friend, a reliable resource, a game show lifeline, a credible witness, a useful alibi, a late night contact, a partner in crime, an ex lover, a business networking contact, or even your soul mate (or ‘one of the ones’ as my friend puts it). So unless you’re rude, a moron, or grossly and repulsively unattractive, into my contact list you go.

Never one to waste time differentiating,  I mentally lump all those I meet into the same generic pile: maybes. A growing list of potentials I can one day refer to in my normal (Need name of a local strip bar: call Jeremy) and/or criminal dealings (Need a black market kidney ASAP: call Bucky).

But here’s the twist

So maybe you were hoping for a relationship or maybe one just happens to fall in your lap, but what happens to this list of maybes you were holding onto when your social status suddenly moves from being single to being ‘in a relationship’.

Now what?

These days, your phone book contact list is essentially your electronic little black book: a listing of past, present and future, um, ‘potentials’. So what’s the best way to inform them all about your newfound joy?

  • Do you send out a broadcast email?
  • Call them all up to let them know?
  • Do you post it on Facebook?
  • Set up rendezvousc with each of them to break it to them gently?
  • Send out a tweet?

The female consensus was simple: Whenever a maybe makes contact, you can do one of the following:

  • Casually drop the ‘I’m taken’ message somewhere in the conversation
  • Kindly inform them of your new relationship status via reply text
  • Compliment them but inform them that you’re no longer interested in pursuing anything
  • Deflect any non-friendship messages/implications and keep it platonic (Him:You’re hot. You:Why yes it is hot. Global warming is no myth. What are you thoughts on it?)

However, according to the male perspective, the female consensus is not only ridiculous, it’s useless too (gee, thanks).

Not understanding why, my male resource then explained it to me. To help illustrate, I decided to use this forwarded email my mom sent me so all us females will get it:

 

The Male consensus: Cease all contact.

Don’t respond, don’t email and don’t answer any phone calls. It may sound cold, it may seem mean but it’s the only way to drive in your point without leading anyone in the wrong direction. Any response indicates interest on your part and if you have no interest in pursuing anything, then the best thing to do is nothing at all. No contact, no replies, and definitely no alcohol fuelled meetups. No-thing!

Final bit of male advice: If you do feel some crazy female-like need and insist that you must, Must, MUST respond in some way; there’s only one guaranteed message you can send: Tell ’em you’re pregnant…

You’ll never hear from ’em again.

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And just to be fair, women-speak was in there too ;) 

The End is Nigh!

Well the end of the year is nigh, at least.  So nigh, in fact, it’s pretty much here already. By the time you read this line, there will be less than 2 weeks till the ball drops for 2011. Rather than dropping the ball and waiting for Jan 1, 2011 myself (how passé!) I want to be the first to drop my 2010 Retrospective highlighting one top  post from each month. So without further adieu, I present to you:

2010: A 2010 Retrospective looking back at a year of blogging in 2010. Retrospectively.

January 2010: Why should polar bears have all the fun?

Tempting fate and Mother Nature by taking an ice cold dip in the Pacific Ocean. If you think a person has to be mad to do it – you’re just about right on that. The madder the better.

Would I do it again? I guess you`ll find out in less than 2 weeks…

February 2010: Please, oh please, won’t you be my anti-valentine?

Inspired by love and all its BS, as well as this hilarious antivalentine’s day card courtesy of www.Meish.org/vd:

 

March 2010: End Game

Olympic Fever hit me as early as January and I had several posts on the Olympics over a 2 month period culminating in this final, sad entry. Olymmmmmpicsssss! Those who lived it just know. Those who didn’t could be better off not feeling the loss of a time when the city of Vancouver was engulfed, enthralled and enchanted by all that was and might never be again. Sigh. So as you can tell it’s a fun, uplifting post. ;)

April 2010: Supporting the Arts

Oh Septocus! How I wanted this great performance art piece to be bad. I’ve never been so happy to be disappointed in my life. (Contrarily, I really wanted this performance art to be good and it was…not that)

 

May 2010: I’ve got your future right here

I paid $40 to be told the equivalent of what I could have discovered using a Magic 8-ball. Thinking of getting your palm read and your crystals analyzed? Simply remove my name in this post and paste in yours. Bam! I just saved you $40.

June 2010: Love thy Father

My heartfelt salute to my most favouritest man in the world – Daddykins! Interestingly enough, he doesn’t read my blog – the bastard! ;) Xoxo!

July 2010: Festivus of Beer

Ah yes, an alcoholic’s dream come true… Assuming the alcoholic liked beer. Unfortunately I don’t. Read on for the details of this living nightmare.

August 2010: Pie Times

22 pies to taste and one spork with which to do it. As any 12-year-old girl with an eating disorder would say: OMG. Get a napkin ready and read on about the best day of my life!

Pies as far as the eye can see! Wheeee!

September 2010: Peaceful Anarchy

Cycling for hours just for the hell of it. If we cause a little anarchy while we’re at it, so be it.

October 2010: The Grouse Grind®

Took on this bitch and it kicked my arse. Twice! Argh! I don’t take defeat very well. I’ll see you again in the spring, you sanctimonious whore! If you don`t know what the grouse grind is, count yourself lucky. And probably lazy. Yah you heard me. Take the challenge! 

November 2010: Wedding Fever

I finally learned about the fun in marriage Weddings! The glam; the photographers; the planning; the fun; the cake (oh my, the cake!); the party; the gifts; and the most important part of that day – the open bar! Marriages do not = weddings.  A wedding is the drug: an ecstasy pill coated in butter cream frosting, served with free flowing champagne.   Marriage is what comes after the drug fuelled, champagne high. Like the hangover if you will. heh heh heh. Hey, there’s always the simple cure (divorce) and then you can have another wedding, woo!

December 2010:

What? A 2010 retrospective looking back at a favourite blog from each month in 2010? What a great idea. ;)

Is this considered a paradox thingy?  Nope. Apparently it’s called Recursion. Learning is fun! (except when it isn’t)

December 2010 (the real one): `tis the season (pt II)

Get in the spirit with this handy guide that should motivate you to get off your couch!… or stay on it. I have tips for you lazy folks too. And yes, you’re welcome.

The Nigh at the End

There you have it. A non-comprehensive 2010 retrospective on the year 2010 (a retrospective).

What’s next for 2011? What’s next on the agenda? What will happen over the next 12 months? What predictions or speculations are on the horizon for the coming year? I haven’t a clue but after seeing that fortune teller back in May 2010, I do know one thing for sure:

Neither does she.

Happy, Sexy, We

Ending another doomed relationship (I should stop judging my potential mates by their appreciation of America’s Next Top Model. Most don’t); I sought out my girlfriends for some much needed consoling (I don’t care what he says; Tyra Banks does deserve an emmy!). As we poured the next round, we compared our man meeting methods and our similar man meeting goals: to meet someone cool to hang out with, someone funny but not funny looking, and someone not looking to tie you down (maybe tie you up, but that’s a whole other post…) Several drinks later, we came to 2 definite conclusions (that I can remember):

  1. Double shots are always the better value. Always.
  2. All men can’t suck (or can they?) and there must be a reason why we just weren’t connecting

Enter Ronald Lee, owner and founder of Happy Sexy You who believes he has the answers to all the questions a single gal can ask.  As a happy, sexy(ish), single gal, I decided to shake him down for the solution to our perpetual problem (and just to be clear- by problem I mean men):

Happy Sexy You, Lifestyle and Dating Coaching for Women is an attraction coaching company that teaches women how to attract men, and keep them!

Myth #1: If a man is interested in you, he’ll approach you. If he isn’t, then he won’t.

Nelley: What the @#$%! So what do we do?

Ronald Lee: Women need to give men a chance and throw them a bone. Approaching a potential mate is always hard and anything you can do to make it easier for them (smiling, nodding in his direction, positioning yourself away from your group so he’s not as intimidated, etc.) will help to increase your chances.

Nelley: What made you get started in the lady coaching service?

RL: The service actually started with me as a professional coach for men. It was also a hobby I had that just took off into a professional career. Guys around me were using clichéd pick up lines, some were unable to even approach women and others just didn’t understand why they weren’t attracting women. I worked with them to give them the knowledge and self-confidence to meet women – in a better way.

Myth #2: Pickup lines work/don’t work

Nelley: So pick up lines don’t work?

RL: It depends. Men or women need to have something to back up a cheesy line. It could be a great icebreaker and make both people laugh and relax but you must have more behind it.  You can’t just rely on the pickup line to get you to the next level- ie. having a real conversation.

Myth #3: Love is just like it is in the movies

RL: This may seem obvious but most movies about love (the Notebook, etc) are not the reality.

Happy Sexy You Reveals all: Top 3 Dating Mistakes

Dating Mistake #1: Holding out for the Fantasy

RL: This refers to people who are stuck in this dream world and are seeking a knight in shining armour or some other person that doesn’t exist. Relationships will never work out for fantasy seekers because no one will live up to these unrealistically high expectations.

Dating Mistake #2: Big Picture Dating

RL: Some people are focused on one thing – like having the big wedding – and then marry anyone to achieve those shortsighted goals. What happens in some cases is that after the wedding day, some people have regrets and are now at a loss as to how to keep the relationship going.

Dating Mistake #3: Communication Malfunction

RL: Communication is huge. People need to understand the opposite sex and how they think so they can better communicate with them. This is the sort of coaching I take both men and women through @ Happy Sexy You

Nelley: So how else can you coach us?

RL: Dating coaching, relationship coaching and breakup coaching. We can help you no matter which stage you are in.

Nelley: How do you help with a breakup? Do you provide the booze and tissues or do you help people to actually do the breaking up?

RL: (laughing) we can help them before, during and after the breakup. Our breakup plan helps you to:

-          Understand who you are

-          See the patterns that got you here (maybe again)

-          Review what went wrong and how to avoid it for next time

-          Really understand what you want

Nelley: Does Happy Sexy You offer dating services too?

RL: We occasionally have mixers and events where you can practice your skills and meet some great people but our goal is for individuals to have the self-confidence to meet and approach people in any situation.  We also teach people how to date because despite what people think, they don’t really know how.

Nelley: So Happy Sexy You can result in an increase in self-confidence, being self aware, gaining skills to (perhaps soberly) handle breakups, and learning the secrets into how men think? It all sounds pretty good to me. Where do I sign up?

RL: Now don’t get me wrong, there are some side effects to this service too.

Nelley: Like what??

RL: People have reported getting better jobs, getting promoted at their current jobs, trying new things, quitting their jobs and going travelling, doing things they’ve always wanted to do, working out more, feeling great about themselves…

Nelley: (laughing):  Yes, I think we get the point. Thanks Ronald!

Next up @ Happy Sexy You? The Art of Meeting Men taking place in Vancouver, BC on December 11th and 12th, 2010. This is Happy Sexy You’s highly popular weekend experience that teaches the modern woman how to meet, date, and start a relationship with the man you want.  Don’t be shy any longer. Interested? Click here for details.

Happy 365!

What a short, interesting trip it’s been

A year already. It’s a continuous theme in my blog posts: time flies. Now is the time to seize the day, carpe noctem, et cetera and on & on and so on and so forth.

Perhaps you’re a little confused, but in case you haven’t been paying attention (and in your defence, I haven’t been either):

HAPPY ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

Now THAT's an anniversary cake!

It’s been one year since I started this blog and today’s post is the first post of year two. Woo!  So technically I missed the anniversary date (September 27th) but just like in my relationships, I’m not one to pay particular attention to big dates (We’ve been together a year already? Are you sure?)  and this one-year mark is another milestone date that came by surprise.

I looked back at my first and still favourite post: the 3-way conundrum; which openly mocked the aftermath of the dissolution of a relationship. This took me more than 3 weeks to compose; it went through several different edits and rewrites and it had no accompanying photos (to protect the guilty). I had the simple goals at the time of keeping it simple, clever, clean and under 500 words (official word count: 512). Reading it again for the first time in over a year, I still like it for its brevity, hilarity, and clarity. It even had its corresponding facebook promotional post:

Going to lunch with an ex. I need to wear something that says ‘I’ve moved on”, “I’m happy with my life right now”, and “Your new girlfriend is probably a whore.” Hmmmm. I’m thinking something in a pattern perhaps? ;)

I’ll admit it’s slightly petty (and over a year later, I’m still totally okay with that), but it was also liberating at the time. It was writing therapy and I suggest you try it sometime (shake out those dusty skeletons).

Moving on, I moved on from there to write about anything, everything and all the fun little in-between activities that came along.

In the beginning

I had no real goal or direction. ‘Living’ is pretty general (just requires breathing – artificial or not) and could relate to many things. Whatever whim, activity or invitation came my way, I would quickly RSVP Y-E-S.  I may have only showed up to about half the events and arrived late to the rest of them (more fashionable that way, of course) but I have accomplished, experienced and been a part of the most random sampling of ‘living’ this side of the hereafter:

- There was my continuous, internal struggle for my love of food men manly food.

- Followed by my deep, outwardly struggle against the battle of the bulge (here’s a hint, I kicked its ASS!)

- A reason to settle for Mr. Right Now: Be my anti-valentine

- Reasons why you shouldn’t (or maybe I shouldn’t) drink and shop

Free booze + shopping =$60 cheap "gold" earrings

- How the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics took over my life. Then a second time. Then again.

-I’m telling the world: What really happens in Vegas

My second home

- Would you like to go salsa dancing with me? Great. Be ready @ 3AM to go.

- Spilling the beans on a great girl’s night out

- My limited number of good deeds (unfortunately just wanting to be good doesn’t count. Humph) Maybe giving up my car counts?

- How I joined the polar bear club (kind of like the mile high club but totally different)

- The time I became a degenerate gambler (bet you 5 to 1 and my right kidney that it won’t happen again!)

…etc, and on & on and so on and so forth. 52 weeks and 52 posts and its getting more fun by the week. I’m even considering changing to a more than once a week format but I think that kind of radical thinking should be saved for year three (crazy hippie thinking!).

Where we go from here

Year one was about trying different activities, living through new experiences, taking part in unusual events and being open minded to everything (especially this).

In year two, I still want to try new things (so much to try, taste and do!) but I’ll be going to the people this time. Confused? Perfect. That’s how I like my audience – highly expectant and in the dark.

Curious? Great! That’s even better.

Stay tuned. ;)

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Ok fine, here are a couple hints:

  • Gastronomic Anomalies: with so much good food out there, why do people feel the need to make this stuff??
  • Happy Sexy You
  • How am I supposed to eat THAT?
  • The bartering system: the real oldest profession

Anniversary cake image

In Vegas

I’ve got your future right here

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  So many to make and no way to know which ones are right. Not in advance at least. Sure, you can seek out expert guidance from life coaches, financial planners, money advisors, business professionals and career counselors but that can take weeks, months, years even to determine the right course of action for you. However, there is one type of person out there who has the knowledge, the insight, the foresight and even the hindsight to answer all your queries, lead you in the right direction and put you on the right path. Want to know the answer to life’s most important questions? For a price, you can get all the answers you’ve ever wanted, and more. And one lazy Saturday afternoon, that’s just what I did.

With an overly excited friend in tow (calm down!), we ventured out into the dark, seedy and scary underworld of Fortune Telling.  Turns out, it’s not so seedy or scary. Forget dark, and insert mundane as that would be the best description for the  little shop that was badly decorated in beige carpet, broken white tiles and fake wood paneled walls. The visions I’d had of heavy purple drapes and gold speckled curtains and crystal balls everywhere were quickly pushed aside by the reality of the small, old fashioned TV in the corner playing a CNN broadcast (from the future??).

We called him Ol' Nozzy for short

Going into this with an open mind we try to open the front door…only to find it locked. Hmmmm. I definitely didn’t see that coming but I guess I’m not the psychic. Calling the number on the door, we learn our Shamans were going to be 5 minutes late. (I’ll let you insert your own jokes here about how she should have known we’d be there on time) 15 minutes later they show up. My friend’s oracle was a pretty girl but otherwise ordinary looking whereas my Seer was the coolest one ever. Short spikey hair, a  raspy voice, a Romanian accent and scars of unknown origin on her face, neck and chest which just added to the mystery and to her mystic aura. Furthermore, Fortune Telling has been in her family for generations and she’s been reading people for over 25 years. Even her daughter runs a fortune telling business in another city. Fortune telling runs in their veins and is a huge part of their lives – Ya, ya, ya. Enough about you, Nostradamus. Let’s get to me already.

Leading me behind a shroud of curtains, I’m told to sit down in a back room and am immediately handed a crystal. She tells me to hold it and think of a question that I want answered. I immediately think about caramilk and the mystery of the smooth flowing caramel and snap at myself to focus. I try to pinpoint my thoughts on career and writing, career and writing, career and writing, caramilk (dammit!), career and writing.  After a few more moments, she removes the crystal from my clenched fist and my experience begins:

Crystal Reading: done to evaluate the life cycles, and how you are directly affected by what is happening to you now, what has happened in the past and what is to come in the future. (http://www.spiritedboutique.com/?p=208)

Crystal Reading/Psychic Facial Determination:

  • I’m a good person (hmmm. Define ‘good’…)
  • I try to do nice things (Ha! Wrong again)
  • I’m lonely and hurting on the inside (Whoa! Hey!)
  • I have very few close relationships and hold people back (Well now she’s just being hurtful. Wah!)

Palm reading (aka Chiromancy) consists of the practice of evaluating a person’s character or future life by “reading” the palm of that person’s hand. Various “lines” (“heart line”, “life line”, etc.) purportedly suggest interpretations by their relative sizes, qualities, and intersections. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmistry

Palm Reading:

  • She saw I had a long life line
  • A few obstacles in my past and a few to come in the future
  • I’m an independent female
  • She saw marriage in my future and 2 kids (Dammit. Oh well. At least this should make my mother happy)

Think you can read me better? Try it for yourself!

Tarot Cards: the deck represents all phenomenal experience, the wheel of life. Tarot reading revolves around the belief that the cards can be used to gain insight into the current and possible future situations of the subject. http://healing.about.com/cs/uc_directory/a/uc_readtarot.htm

Tarot Reading

Love life:

  • I had a bad breakup in the past (bad for him maybe but not for me. Hee hee hee)
  • …And there is still some connection or negativity there  (Aw man. I don’t have room for a stalker right now)
  • My love life is cursed (Sheesh. I think you have to actually HAVE a love life in order for it to be cursed…ohhhhh)
  • I had a devil card in my mix, which requires one-on-one meditation with the psychic at a future date (and at an additional cost of course). She will light candles on my behalf and try to determine what is causing troubles in my love life and then we should meet again to put me on the right path to clarity (hmmmm…)
  • I will find love in the next 3 to 6 months (with the devil maybe? Check if he’s free to date since he’s leaving his card for me everywhere)
  • I’ll find true love in the next 3 to 6 months but not in Vancouver (in Paris then? Packing a bag!)

Life:

  • A change in my life in the next 3 to 6 months
  • She foresaw a big move in the next few months that will be good for me (Okay finally a good one. My friends & I were discussing a move to Australia in the fall)
  • I find it hard to save money (No. It’s just hard not to spend it. Totally different)
  • Or at least hard to save as much money as I would like to (true of most people)

Career:

  • You don’t like to be told what to do or how to act (insert your own skeptical ‘duh’ face here)
  • You want to be your own boss (Damn right!)
  • I see creativity around you and in your future (Woo hoo!)
  • There will be change in profession and this change will be good for me
  • I will always have money in my life (Yes, but how much. I need dollar amounts here lady!)

Conclusion: inconclusive. To believe some of it, I have to believe all of it. Open mind or not, these generalized statements and lucky guesses aren’t enough to make me a supporter. For fun (and $40), it was definitely nice to be assured of some things that I wanted to know about. However, always needing a second source (makes it more legit), I went to my dear friend the Internet for some additional guidance.

Caution: When it comes to psychic phenomena, the Internet is the Worst. Friend. Ever.

With a million+ websites out there offering you guidance and readings for prices as low as $0.99/minute, a simple 30 minute reading can easily get out of hand and repeated visits can get out of budget.

One site even uses the trick where they ask you to focus on one card and one card only and then the site refreshes and they change ALL the cards (unbeknownst to some users) to demonstrate to the poor believer that their  ‘online psychic connection’ has been established. Humph! http://www.onlinepsychic.com/main/m_testread_c1.shtml

Still, I needed some more answers and as luck would have it, I came across a legitimate looking site offering free crystal ball readings. Just pop in your yes/no question and the all-knowing crystal ball will tell all. After learning that I was more than likely a princess in a previous life; the favourable possibility exists for me to marry a millionaire; and the chances are probable that I will travel to the moon; I had to ask the Great Crystal Ball one last question:

Aha! Close you indeed.

Question mark source

Nostradamus image source

End Game

The Games are done. Officially. True, the Paralympics start in a few weeks time (on March 12th to be exact) but as they’re not nationally televised nor heavily promoted, it’s safe to say the Games as most people know them – are over.

The bleachers are bare, the Olympic flame has been extinguished, most pavilions are being taken down right now as you read this and the beer houses are all empty (even the beer is gone, so sad!).

Most unfortunately, the 24-7 celebration of Canada that was the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics has also now come to an end. No longer can you travel downtown at 11AM on a Monday morning or 3 pm on a Thursday afternoon, exit the bus/train and simply join in on the non-stop celebrations.  Traveling with loud and drunken revelers clanging their cow bells at 4 in the afternoon is something you never forget. I’ll miss that most of all.

So in honour of the End of Games, I bring to you some of my favourite (and least favourite) Moments of Olympia

Mascots: Coulrophobia is the abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns but what’s the term for fear of mascots? I’m not scared of these guys…yet, but I can totally see why people fear them.  Why are they smiling? What the heck are they so happy about? Are they talking about me behind my back?  Get them away from me!

Stay away from me. Your blank stares and phony smiles are scaring me!

Say ‘Hi Mom’ (Olympic themed photos): Word to the wise – no one cares about you standing in front of Olympic venues. If your friends need to see you in front of the Olympic clock to believe you were actually there you either need to A- stop lying to them about that ‘super model’ you once ‘dated’ or B- acquire dimmer friends who don’t require proof. Feel free to take a picture of yourself standing in front of this blog to show them you actually read this advice somewhere too.

Unobstructed views: I love fire… but not being too close to it.

Put that fence back up.

Phew. That’s better.

Kings and Queens: The reason athletes never complain? They are pampered beyond measure.  Every athlete is treated like a star and receive some of the best service available this side of Dubai. Their meal plans alone put Las Vegas’s top buffets to shame.

As I worked in a non-athlete venue, I looked at my soggy sandwich and watery soup daily and wondered if it was the extra mayo they poured on or my tears that made my meal such a water downed mess. Turns out it was the water. Defrosted meats and frozen soup base made for a horrible daily experience. Up side – lost 2 lbs, woo! Turns out that not eating lunch is the best diet plan this side of starvation.

Getting things done: While working at Olympic headquarters, I made a mistake. I forgot to inform 2 employee recognition winners that their event tickets were for an event taking place in 2 days (the last 2 tickets after 600+ others were successfully handed out by me).  2 days passed and their event date was upon us. Looking down at the tickets I gasped and started to madly call around.  It was the day of the event so buses were already sold out. In a panic, I told my boss and asked if we had other ways to get them up there and switch their shifts, etc. Calmly, she had me arrange for one to leave shift that day (with approvals), an Olympic approved car for them to borrow, driving passes to allow them to drive up the mountain and a parking pass for the venue itself. The 2 employees happily showed up 2 hours later to collect their tickets and the car keys and headed up to watch a cool Olympic event. Phew!

Lesson learned: Ask questions, brainstorm solutions, ask, nay DEMAND help and get results. It’s only a mistake if you get caught if you can’t find a solution in time.

Fun around the office: There’s lots of pressure on the Olympic Games’ employees and pressure releases were needed.  Most of these people are from around the world and have been working at these headquarters for the past few years, whereas I just swooped in a month prior to games to collect free Olympic merchandise, gear and tickets (sigh, why all assignments can’t be like this, I’ll never know).

I thought this was done by the kids...turns out it was the adults

Adult art?

...I think she/he got them back

Own the Podium: 22million was spent on this program for winter sports and it had several mandates. 1 very UN-Canadian mandate was to:

While Canada didn’t achieve the most medals, it did achieve the most gold medals and the best almost winning places (4th through 10th) that we’ve ever seen. Whatever the future outcome, go Canada go! Amazing effort by all Olympians.

Crowds, crowds, crowds: The city predicted this, they expected this, they warned us about this but still we never listened or couldn’t believe it until we saw it for ourselves. Waiting 2 hours to get into a National House was common. 5+ hours for a Pavilion the norm.

The real Olympic Games: With the end of the Olympic Games brings the end of the Olympic Games’ contest. No surprise, I’m the winner in my own contest. Sure, I received some entries but they were from people who must have thought I said the XXX games and not the XXI Winter games. However, I’m still impressed with the positions people managed outdoors in the snow AND on skis –wow! It might have just been spam but I think I know entries when I see them.

(Image not available. Saved on my hard drive as…evidence)

Regrets: Only one – not going to Whistler. Not to see any of the events of course but because apparently this is where all the athletes were hanging out and just walking around and relaxing on patios – free as birds.  Alexandre Bilodeau, j’y viens! Wait for me!

Planning Ahead: Make no mistake. With the knowledge I’ve gained over these past 17 days, I’m going to put it all to good use.  There will be no mistakes and no regrets next time because I’ll be ready to take on any challenge. My only issue with Vancouver 2010 is that when I tried to search out the male athletes, I really had no clue who they were until after they won gold. Next time I have to research the single male athletes I want to meet first and then find ways to get to know them. With this new game plan in place, I know I’ll be totally prepared.

London 2012, here I come.

How to pick up guys and other inanimate objects

Being single definitely kicks ass sometimes.  It’s fun to do what you want whenever you want and just because you want to do it.  Just to be clear: I’m not putting down boyfriends, fiancés, lovers and/or husbands because they’re great sometimes too. And I should know, I was just dating someone’s fiancé last week- and they were great! (Just kidding)

Bottom line: I enjoy being single right now.

After all, my ‘About Me’ section says I’m ‘fun-loving’ and can you still be ‘fun-loving’ if you’re in a relationship? I mean a serious relationship too. Not those relationships you have just to get your rent/mortgage paid and meals bought/made. Those are definitely good relationships (I highly recommend) but by no means are they serious. In fact, the only places I’ve seen ‘fun-loving’ used to describe a couple is when they try to describe themselves (inaccurate) or when they post online to find another ‘fun loving’ couple to join them (inappropriate).

Enter my future life partner. I always assumed fate and God’s universal plan would work their magic and I had no intention of intervening with that. However, this past Saturday I was told the worst possible news that a single, beautifully aging, childless daughter can hear from her loving, beautifully aging, defeated parents:

“Hi sweetie, good to hear from you too. Oh and by the way, we’re spending your inheritance.”

Eeeeep! They’ve given up on me finding ‘the one’ and have instead decided to improve ‘the one’ house they own. My wedding fund has been turned into new flooring in the front hallway, kitchen, and living room; new cabinets in the kitchen and an updated fully functional main floor bathroom. Funds that would’ve been invested in the future education of my offspring (their grandchildren) has instead been invested in the 42″ LCD flat screen TV in the family room and a new, state-of-the-art, silent dishwasher in the kitchen. Hopefully in the future you can pay for University fees with DVDs and clean China.

Spurred into action, I realize I have very little time to secure old what’s-his-face (aka the love of my life) in time to cash in. Cruise season in hotter climates is fast approaching and Canada’s  only getting colder by the second. This needs to be resolved ASAP before visions of 5-star getaways start dancing in their heads.  This is motivation like no other to find that special starter marriage guy.

To be quite honest (and as I’ve mentioned before I HAVE to be), as a single, fun loving female, I really don’t see myself as an expert in this area. I date regularly and have a great group of guy/girl friends with whom I have a ton of fun. Some of my girlfriends think that I know the tricks and tips to this and have routinely asked me how to meet guys and to share with them all I know. I always laugh it off and run down my top 5:

  1. Smile – Surprisingly, many people don’t do this.
  2. Be happy – It’s a state of mind.
  3. Love and respect yourself – Trust this, it shows.
  4. Watch your posture – Crossed arms, slouching, hands on hips, clenched fists?? Like c’mon. Unless you’re a surly teen, get over this.
  5. Showcase your assets – everyone has ‘em: Great smile? Beautiful eyes? Long legs? Show. Them. Off.

What’s that? Don’t think a single gal knows what she’s talking ‘bout Willis? Hey, I’ve rejected 3 serious wedding proposals in my lifetime (4 if I count the cab driver I met in Estonia this past summer and I dooooo!). True, this might not make me an expert in this area and might just mean I’m either overly picky and/or the guys who asked weren’t picky enough, lol!

Jokes aside, this mission (Operation: Love(?)/Marry/Collect) is very serious and I’ll need to bring in the big guns on this one. Turning to God’s newest testament, the Internet, I’ve narrowed down the search to four possible quick-fix Saviors:

#1. eHarmony.com

eh-logo

 

We’ve all seen the ads. Whether you want to believe it or not- gorgeous, TV-ready people need help finding love too.

 

TAG LINE: ‘Fall in love for all the right reasons’

WHY THEM: Large database of potential love matches. They claim a high rate of long-term relationship success because ‘you’re matched based on 29 Dimensions® of compatibility that are crucial for relationship success.’

PRO: eHarmony does the matching for you and sends the info directly to you, using their 29 Dimensions® of compatibility test.

CON: None of those dimensions include ‘good looking’ or ‘has all his teeth’. Personalities only and some of us are shallow. Plus you can only view whomever eHarmony says is for you.  No peaking at anyone else (I wanna  have what she’s having).

My Thoughts: I’m curious myself to see what these dimensions are and who I’d be paired with. I wonder if you can even parlay this to all relationships – office mates, friends, family, etc. Imagine using these compatibility tests with your coworkers or siblings. That would certainly shake up office life/family dinners.

 

#2. EventsAndAdventures.comevents_and_adventures_logo

The idea is to get out there and meet new people in a fun, exciting environment. Takes people out of their everyday and into something new.

TAG LINE: ‘In order to meet someone interesting, you have to do something interesting.’

WHY THEM:  ‘Each event is designed so that people with common interests can get together in a relaxed environment to socialize and have fun’

PRO: Cool! Wow! Fun times. Skiing, horseback riding, kayaking, rock climbing, oh my!

CONs: Can you wear heels, full makeup and a skirt for the rock climbing part? It might be hard to impress when you can’t dress to impress. No personality tests or bios to browse.  You have to ask the person all those questions right to their face.

My Thoughts: Cool! Wow! Fun times! My desire to participate in these fun activities may outweigh my desire to actually meet Mr. Right. Where are the horsies??? I wanna ride one now!

#3. PlentyOfFish.com

plenty of fishTAG LINE: Uhh…there are ‘plenty of fish’ out there.  Go get one.

WHY THEM: It’s a free service that puts the power of finding your ‘one and only’ in your hands. You do the searching, you do the messaging, you do it all. Ranks as high as paid sites in many areas.

PRO: You can view info on whomever you want, wherever they are.

CON: It’s a free site. Its also well known that you typically get what you pay for…

My thoughts: The website doesn’t strike me as professional. It looks like some college kid in his parent’s basement designed it. (Hey, turns out that it was a college kid!)

#4. Match.com

matchdotcom

TAGLINE: Find love. Guaranteed.

WHY THEM: ‘With the click of a mouse, members can instantly see photos and read about potential matches in their area.’ Full profiles and up to 26 photos per profile for a full view and better understanding of your potential new mate.

PRO: They guarantee true love in 6 months. How perfect is that? My Wedding will be scheduled for right after the 2010 Olympics.

CON: If you don’t find true love in 6 months, you get 6 MORE months for free. Hey, wait a minute…

My thoughts: The ‘guarantee’ alone has me backing away.

 

So there you have it. My future husband is somewhere out there in cyberspace waiting for me.  With all the never ending options, I’m almost tempted to go the old fashioned route: wearing a sign on the street that says ‘Will marry for $$$’. It’s one way to guarantee that we at least have one dimension in common – greed.

Oh and in regards to picking up other inanimate objects, similarly and depending on size- you just need to make sure you bend at the knees and keep your back straight.

 

 

Now, help me choose:

Operation: Love(?)/Marry/Collect