Category Archives: Story Time

And Now for Something Completely Different: Uplift!

I usually reserve my postings on this blog to either laugh, rant or just plain old review the events and situations that happen in my daily life.  While I’ll be the first to admit it is the epitome of a narcissistic venture to expect other people to be entertained by the happenings in my existence, I enjoy the experience of story telling nonetheless.

Outside of my seemingly vapid and purposeless ramblings, I do subscribe to charitable work and volunteering as a crucial part of my life and what makes me who I am.  I picked up the volunteerism bug from my Mother and have always enjoyed it as an aspect of my world, however small of a fraction it may be.  Some people, however, have an aspect of Charity, Volunteerism, Activism, Social change, just general ‘Do Good’ness or whatever you want to call it so deeply woven into the fabric of their lives that its one of the first things you notice about them.  My friend Nisha (sometimes referred to on here as Brown Squirrel) is one of those people, and its one of the many things I love about her.

Nisha and her Partner have just embarked on an exciting project that seeks to draw attention to issues throughout the globe and, more importantly, to introduce us to the Changemakers that are spending their lives trying to address those issues head on.  Instead of spending more time describing what an interesting and amazing little human my friend is, I implore you to take a few minutes of your day and visit her Kickstarter page where you can watch a short but engaging video that describes their project and their fundraising goals.

Uplift Kickstarter Fundraising Page

If this grabs your attention, please share with your Social Networks or throw some of your hard earned dollars their way!  If you happen to have $500 spare dollars, I can confirm that the Dinner Party or Skype chat will be hugely entertaining.

Goodluck to Nisha and the rest of the team at Uplift!

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Shit My Dad Sends

Toronto is a big city right? right? Then why does it feel so small sometimes!?

So I went on a date last night with someone I met online (gasp, I know), I’ll call him the Italian. So creative.

Pretty early on in the evening we discovered that we have some mutual friends – well friends to him, family to me.  He used to work with two of my cousins and seems to know them fairly well.  Definitely not that surprising, and the connection was easily established as I sport my Cousin’s company logo on my cell phone.

We chatted a bunch about my cousins – who are awesome, so we had tons of funny stories to discuss – and moved on to other topics.  Turns out that we have a lot in common as we have likely been a at least a dozen of the same parties, worked in the same building for a few years, were probably at some of the same concerts back in our punk days (wow, I’m old – back in the day totally applies here), and even grew up in similar suburbs.

After a few pints we headed to a different bar and during our first pint there he raised his eyebrow and said “So what do you know about Uncle Bill?”

Pause.

“You mean my Dad?!”

Hysterical laughter.

Backstory: My Father is a bit of an email junky.  He loves to forward absolutely everything that he ever sees on the internet on to different groups of people.  I mostly get emails about Cats.  He has another group, however, that get the more risqué deliveries.  And by risqué, I most definitely mean Porn.

So I guess my Cousin has on occasion flipped an email to the Italian and indicated the source as ‘Uncle Bill’.

So my Dad has sent porn to a guy I just started dating.  Awesome.

Inappropriate

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Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, Funny Ha-Ha, How Embarrassing, Story Time

Doctor’s Orders

Well I guess it’s more like Physio’s Order, RMT’s Orders and Chiro’s Orders. It boils down to the same thing though, I’ve been prescribed with a strict regime of no running for the immediate future. This is in thanks to a strain in my left Hip Flexor 😦

Not the best news when your first Half Marathon is five weeks away!

I decided to listen to their advice, at least for now. So I spent the long weekend doing simple mobility and gentle stretching exercises and icing a lot, hoping to speed up the recovery as much as possible. I added alternating cold and hot therapy this morning by lying on the ground with an ice pack for ten minutes then jumping in the hot tub for ten, rinse and repeat.

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Not as much fun as it sounds. Especially since I was told by my Chiro not to dilly dally in the hot tub (he’s got me figured out eh?) and you have to end on cold therapy.

Here’s hoping I’m off running again (pun intended) this week – and not just because I’m ignoring professional advice!

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You’ve Changed

Here I sit once again at Flaunt Boutique in Leslieville, looking like medusa while getting my hair dyed. It’s only been six months since I last had my mop tended to … Jesus.

Last summer was my first visit here and I was instantly thrilled to discover that the both offered wine at inappropriate hours and attempted not to judge me for accepting.

Today is a different story, while wine was still an option I chose a coffee instead – and it was delicious!

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Who is this and what happened to Nancy? I know, right? Anywho, I just figured after putting myself to bed at an alarmingly wholesome (and shockingly sober) 10:30pm, rising shortly after the sun to crank out my 8k and having a healthy breakfast – wine just seemed ridiculous. To be fair I have 8 glorious days in the Caribbean aboard the Carnival Breeze on the horizon, turning down a single opportunity for a glass of wine is hardly worthy of sainthood.

New favourite part about this hair salon? There are currently three dogs here! Two little tykes that are ambling around and this pup tied to his owner’s chair
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Flaunt Boutique, Canine approved.

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Filed under Pictures Tell a Thousand Words, Story Time, Uncategorized

Apparently You DO Make Friends with Salad

Friends, Stalkers – it’s all pretty relative, right?

Ok, so I mentioned the other day that the Manager a local Wendy’s knows my order off by heart and is possibly a little too familiar with me.  Well after a week of being a good girl and bringing my own lunches (and a company event that involved copious amounts of Corn Dogs), I found myself scurrying down to the food court today in search of a meal.  When inspiration didn’t instantly strike, I aimed for Wendy’s to pick up my trusty Baja Salad.

As soon as I got to the front of the line and the Manager saw me he flashed me a big smile and said “Hey friend! I saw you this weekend at King & Niagara!“.

Me “___”, “______”, “_________”, “Uhh… Yup I was visiting a friend.

Manager “It was about 9:30 on Saturday night – I tried to call out to you but you were talking to someone else

The conversation carried on for a minute, with him asking me if I lived in that area and other such details I normally don’t share with strangers.  I kept wondering how he would have tried to get my attention since he clearly doesn’t know my name (nor do I know his, and in all fairness I’ve tried to subtly read his name tag a few times to no avail) – did he just yell out Hey Friend!? Regardless, I don’t remember anyone hollering at me when I arrived in the neighbourhood or as my friend and I were scurrying off for a late dinner a short while later.

Is this just a small world situation, or am I being stalked? Stalked by the guy that gives me a full size Chili with my half-size Baja Salad simply because I don’t want the dressing or the chips it normally comes with.  Most pathetic stalking ever, if that’s the case!

My journey around King & Niagara between 9-10pm. Green = Exit Streetcar and enter friend’s Condo. Red = Leave friend’s Condo and head for dinner.

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Live! with Nancy Francis – The Prep Work

Now that the cat is out of the bag and we all know I will be auditioning, on camera for Come Date with Me Canada – Tomorrow – lets discuss preparing for such an event. Nancy never shies away from on opportunity to prepare, plan and schedule!

The House

First and foremost, I got the ‘all clear’ from the roommates. Not only would this opportunity mean having strangers in our home, it would also mean that – if selected – all of my roommates (remember, there is an absolute hoard of us) would be banished from the house on filming day. Thankfully, they are all too eager to see me make an ass of myself on National Television and were only too happy to oblige. Unfortunately, I don’t have the grounds to kick them on for the filming of the interview so at least one roommate will be witnessing my epic failure.

The Lair of Nancy

While my room and closet (which is totally its own room) are mostly kept in orderly fashion, there have been a few irritating areas of clutter that have been bugging me since I neglected to deal with them while unpacking last summer. The sheer volume of stuff I have accumulated (mostly clothes and shoes, lets be honest) is an organizational nightmare to begin with. Every square inch of my three dressers is claimed, along with the more than six feet of hanging space and subsequent storage areas both above and below in the closet. In short, no matter how organized I am, it is still going to appear a bit messy – but I planned to at least make an effort.

As my Papa Bear was in town this week, I put him to work installing a glass shelf in my bedroom that had been leaning against a wall since we moved in. Success! One new shelf to spread out my ‘dustables’ (read: Pictures and nicknacks). Although, it did take him almost three hours thanks to the beer breaks he claimed were mandatory. One shelf + four screws = mandatory beer break. Regardless, my new shelf, some tidying up and a generous offering to Goodwill has everything in order!

Ya, This is actually a huge improvement. And Yes, that’s a kettle bell holding down the Cat Post – I promise I actually use the ones at the gym!

As far as the closet goes, I wasn’t willing to start tossing clothes or shoes, so I really only had the upper third to deal with – the shelf above the hangers. Mostly this space just required some tidying and another generous box of ‘stuff’ to Goodwill. Pretty much maintains a ‘no vacancy’ appeal but, trust me, this is an improvement.

I officially have too much stuff.

Casa Nancy is ready for the spotlight!

The Outfit + Date Outfits

Not only do I have to find a satisfactory way to present myself through my chosen outfit for the interview itself, they will also apparently be taking ‘a look at your date wardrobe.

Now, I imagine that some people use the interview as an opportunity to totally glam up or don a hilarious costume, or would litter their ‘date wardrobe’ with these types of items. However, I think I’m going to avoid that particular strategy. While I have a fondness for costumes and all things dress up – I think that if I portray myself that way, then I would be expected to do the same on the show. My strategy instead will be to dress as Nancy as possible and pepper my sample wardrobe with a similar vibe.

Jillian and I discussed my outfit today and I’m fairly confident I’m going with the shiny black American Apparel leggings, neon orange tank, and my snow leopard blazer. That’s right, Snow Leopard Blazer. At least I’m not wearing the matching pants because, yes, I have those too.

Meow.

The Face

Thanks to my spit polished house, tidied living space and winning personality (bah!), this TV gig should totally be in the bag, right? I could pretend I’m that confident, but I’m not. Also, I think its safe to say that while the on camera interview serves to weed out the non-camera friendly weirdos, a big purpose will obvious entail seeing if I look like wart-nosed humpback on the screen. Thankfully, I lack these types of deal breaking features (no offense to the wart-nosed and humpbacked of the world), but that certainly doesn’t mean that my mug will carry well on the small screen either.

In order to put my best face forward (ha!) I have enlisted the help of my friend Victory, who is starting her career in Makeup Artistry in the near future. Hopefully she will be able to work her magic such that I come off gorgeous, confident, possibly taller, twenty pounds lighter, and maybe Parisian? Or at the very least, help to keep the inevitable full face, neck and chest blushing at bay!

The Nancy

There really isn’t much else to do either than show up on time and try not to be a spaz. I have a session with the Irish Sadist in the morning, a million things to do at work, and then my Boss Lady is letting me duck out a bit early so that I can prep – and panic.

Wish me Luck!

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Filed under How Embarrassing, Pictures Tell a Thousand Words, Story Time

Live! with Nancy Francis – The Backstory

So there is a possibility that yours truly is going to be on TV, and not because I’ve committed a crime or am camera bombing a news report – I’m auditioning for a Reality show!

I’ll give you the short(ish) version:

Late this summer while I was at a patio in Toronto celebrating Jillian’s birthday, sans alcohol (thanks to the Irish Sadist), a couple of ladies approached our group.  They introduced themselves as casting associates for the Canadian version of Come Date with Me – based off the popular Come Dine with Me series, but with more dating and possibly less dining.  As I was one of the only single gals in the crowd I quickly jumped at the opportunity and offered up my name and contact information.  A week or so later I received a message offering me to apply to the show – and attached was an incredibly long application form.  Some sample questions:

  • When was your last relationship? Why did it end? Whoa, how do you say ‘several years ago‘ and ‘I’m not sure, but he dumped me in an EMAIL‘ without sounding like an undateable leper?
  • What is the one thing you wouldn’t want a date to know about you? Lets start with how neurotic I am, and maybe my penchant for all things neon and animal print
  • What are your hobbies and passions in life? Hmm.. I’m going to need a more creative way to say ‘Drinking’
  • Are you a vegetarian? Vegan? My actual answer was ‘Nope. Bring on the Meat Sweats‘.  Why am I single again?

After hammering out a rough draft, Eleanor and I sat around one night and edited some of my answers – mostly the ones where I was avoiding the question (see numbers 1-3 above) or being unnecessarily critical of myself. I sent the email off the next day and promptly forgot about it – until last week when I received a call from one of the Casting directors for a phone interview, and then arranged an on camera interview with me, in my own home – for tomorrow. gasp.

Ok, so lets review why having Nancy on film (at the interview, let alone the show itself) might be a poor idea:

  • Blushing doesn’t even begin to cover it – after the phone interview I went to the bathroom and my entire neck and chest was covered in a splotchy crimson mess
  • My facial expressions are dramatic and unattractive – Think Jim Carrey, possibly not that severe but you get the idea
  • My nostrils flair when I laugh – I shit you not, every goddam time
  • High likelihood of me hitting the camera while wildly, and unnecessarily, gesturing with my hands – a legitimate concern of mine

Oh ya, and there is that ‘Camera adds 10 pounds thing’.  While I may have recently lost some weight, I have a huge fear that I will possibly be confused with a baby Orca (remember Shamu??).  It definitely doesn’t help that I found my official finish photo from the Toronto Zoo 5k I did a few weeks ago and showed it to a coworker.  Honestly, it might actually be the worst photo of me ever – so I mentioned the camera adds weight thing and he actually responded with ‘How many cameras were on you??‘  Oy. In fairness, he was kidding.

Too cute to be Killer though, right?

Nancy Francis, on camera interview with Come Date with Me Canada – T minus 1 day.

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Filed under Awk-ward, Funny Ha-Ha, How Embarrassing, Story Time