July 2013


DATING: Breaking all the rules

Whether I’m in a relationship, starting a new one, or just dating someone, I tend to have rules, a lot of them. Rules keep me grounded; they help me feel in control and, most of all, they are there to protect me from getting hurt.

Last week I went on a date with a new man and I broke almost all of my rules. Don’t date someone who is friends with your friends, it leads to drama; I broke that one when I said yes to dinner. Don’t sleep with someone new on a first date; I broke that one, even though I told him I wouldn’t. Don’t constantly text and talk at the beginning of something new, leave a little mystery; I broke that one as we’ve been speaking daily since Saturday and have plans to see each other again in two days.

Someone wise, or really foolish, once said that rules are made to be broken and even though I have a rule for almost every situation, I find that my rules are more akin to guidelines; if I make it a rule, I have to think before I act.

So, I broke all of the rules with the cute, charming and oh-so-sexy City Boy. But, instead of being reckless and impulsive, I thought about what I was doing and I made a conscious choice to throw the rules out the window.

My rules are there to stop me from getting hurt, but, if I’m honest with you, I don’t believe that life or love happens without a little bit of pain. The good things are always worth fighting for, the great things don’t come freely, and the best things require so much of yourself that, if they end, it will hurt, a lot.

Is this new man going to be it? Maybe. Maybe not. But, if I bothered following all of the rules just to keep a little mystery I’d be doing myself and him a disservice because he’d be dating a diet version of me, toned down and with far less flavor.

I’ve always been a little wild and a lot impulsive, so my rules serve as a series of checks and balances – a reminder that I need to think, just a little, before I jump headfirst into something. But I don’t want men to fall for the me when I’m acting like someone else – the girl who doesn’t date certain people because it would be inappropriate, the girl who doesn’t embrace her sexuality, the girl who doesn’t fall in love on a regular basis. That girl? She isn’t me, she’s boring and she doesn’t know what she really wants.

I know what I want, I know who I am and I love that about myself; so I stop and think about my actions occasionally, but  I almost never follow the rules – after all, they were made to be broken.


Follow Shannon on Twitter at @Shanninigans.

Date night

I’ve been on a lot of dates: with boys I liked; with boys I hoped would call and never did; with boys I was serious with; but I’ve never been on a double date, not really. The Big Ex didn’t want me around his friends because his relationship with me was somehow different from his relationship with his friends. In the end I realized that he was just never sure about ‘us’ and we stayed together for as long as we did because I was filler, I was the girl he dated before he met the girl he loved and he was the man I needed to be with so that I could appreciate what was coming.

So on Saturday night Boyfriend and I went for drinks and a movie with two of my friends, a lovely couple who glow with happiness in love in a way that probably would have made me a little sick when I was younger. No one can be that in love right? That’s movie love, heartbreaking, crazy, sick to your stomach, put a radio over your head in the middle of the night in love. But my friends have that and I look up to them because I hope that after a couple of years Boyfriend and I will be like that, crazy-happy and living in sin. My Catholic upbringing leads me to believe that living in sin would be awesome, like when you first move out on your own and realize that there are no rules and you can go to the store and buy candy at midnight, just because. I assume that is what living with your partner is like, please don’t correct me if I’m wrong.

I was a little nervous to try this double dating thing, being new to healthy and happy dating. I was worried that Boyfriend wouldn’t get along with my friends and I really wanted them to like him and like us together. I shouldn’t have been worried, they loved him. The best thing about being with Boyfriend is that when my friends see how happy we are together they immediately like him.

The only hiccup to an otherwise perfect evening was that when I was being fake angry with Boyfriend my friend pointed out that, “It’s not going to work. No one believes that you’re actually mad when you’re so clearly in love with each other.”  Since Boyfriend and I still haven’t said that very terrifying four-letter word, I was afraid that he would freak out, I was nervous that my feelings had been outed and he would start acting weird. He didn’t. Nothing changed, except that he knew he’d won this particular battle.

So we haven’t said the words yet. I’m pretty sure they are going to burst out of my mouth any day now, and it’s nice to know that everyone can see how in love we are. It’s a win for me at least… now I know I’m not crazy. Not completely anyway.

Rob Ford the taxman

Toronto city council voted in favour (28-16) to replace the worn out RT line with a subway from Kennedy station east on Eglinton north on McCowan to Shepperd Avenue East. By approving the subway council has cancelled the $1.8 billion LRT it had approved last year, which was fully funded by the province. It is expected that the under ground subway option could cost close to $1.1 billion more than the LRT.

The subway expansion requires the Federal government contribute at least $418 million and that the province contribute $1.4 billion., and the city make up the additional funds with a 1.1 – 2.4% tax increase along with new development charges.   This places most of Toronto’s portion of the additional funds needed for the subway expansion onto homeowners as development charges get passed on to them as well.

Council approved a series of motions to try to limit the cities risk, and asked that the province and Ottawa commit to funding by September 30.

But perhaps the most momentous event of the past week was that Rob Ford has changed his tune from the “No Tax” man to calling for an increase in taxes to pay for transit in Scarborough.  Like many politicians before him his desire to get re-elected has caused him to change his most sacred position. Rob has spent over a decade raging against any and all tax increases, and yet for the past 3 years done very little hard work — while taking credit for the work of other councillors. Without bothering to do a line by line analysis of all city departments, without finding the efficiencies he promised, without stopping the “gravy train” Rob Ford has chosen to embrace taxes.

Some may accuse him of trying keep his promise of subways, while other might point out that he also promised not to raise taxes, to find efficiencies and stop the gravy train – but to whatever people say Rob Ford has grown into a true politician, authentic to the core he has shown that he is not only a lazy charlatan , but also a hypocrite willing to say whatever it takes to get re-elected.

Rob Ford is calling for higher taxes and I can hear Mayor Miller chuckling…



LRT vs. SUBWAY: Here is a map of both proposed extensions

This week saw a flurry of activity around the LRT versus subway debate. What will replace the Scarborough RT?

What you may not know is that the extensions will not follow the same route. Look below to see the routes of both.

Both begin at Kennedy station, currently the eastern terminus of the Bloor/Danforth subway line. The proposed subway extension takes the route further east before meeting up with Danforth and jutting up to Sheppard.

The extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT continues on from the Kennedy station where it is currently slated to end. The extension thakes the LRT along a very similar route at the current Scarborough RT but going further west and eventually curving up to meet Sheppard.

Take a look below, which route best serves the community?

View Poposed subway extension vrs LRT in a larger map

Toronto has an extreme heat alert — here’s a list of pools open to almost midnight

The city of Toronto, God bless her, has a program in place for extreme heat alerts in the city where a selection of community pools, some indoor and some outdoor, stay open until 11:45pm for us sweaty folks without air conditioning to use to stay cool.

Guess what? We’ve got an extreme heat alert on the go!

Pool hopping hipster purists might prefer to take their midnight dips illegally, but in all fairness, late night pool shenanigans with an active lifeguard on duty sounds like a smarter and safer way to spend an evening with friends.

Here is a list of community pools staying open late with handy dandy maps to find out which one is closest to you for maximum cool down time this evening!

Alex Duff Memorial Pool
779 Crawford Street

Alexandra Park Pool
275 Bathurst Street

Cummer Park Indoor Pool
6000 Leslie Street

Giovani Caboto Outdoor Pool
1369 St. Clair Ave W

McGregor Park Outdoor Pool
2231 Lawrence Ave E

Monarch Park Pool
115 Felstead Ave

Smithfield Outdoor Pool
175 Mount Olive Drive

Sunnyside — Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool
1755 Lake Shore Blvd W


Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost and Travis at @TravMyers.

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TAKING BACK LUNCH TIME: No more working lunches

I’m taking back my lunch.

Every day, I have what has become a largely accepted phenomenon in the corporate business world: the working lunch.  It’s an odd term really, because the working lunch accomplishes neither one of the tasks that its name hints at. Any work accomplished is mediocre at best, if not completely nonsensical on account of my incessant hunger pains, and any vending machine lunch I manage to put together is hardly edible.  And, I’m not alone.

According to recent research, increased work pressure and longer hours are resulting in nearly a third of all nine to fivers not stopping to take a proper lunch.  25-percent of those asked admitted that they only took a lunch break if their work load allowed for it.

I’ve been thinking about how much more productive I would be if I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and take my lunches.  How much less stressed would I be? How much more relaxed and focus would I be? It’s so incredibly well documented that eating a healthy lunch and stepping away from the pressures of a work day for just a few minutes can improve not only the quality of your work, but also the quality of your life, even affecting things like life expectancy. There are countless benefits to adopting this new (old?) mindset in the workplace, and I intend on taking full advantage of it.

I’m going to plan my lunches – well balanced, healthy, and delicious little concoctions that will brighten up my day just thinking of them. I might even write myself little notes of inspiration: “Go get em, tiger!” (I’ll of course have time to think of something way more clever and inspiring.)

And if we’re in double digit degrees, I’m going to find a tree and eat outside, in the sunshine. I’m going to drag my colleagues out of their offices and force them to eat with me, and we will all hum a happy tune as we skip back into the office ready to take on the rest of the work day.

I’m making a pledge to myself to take care of all aspects of me, and that includes work-me. I’m making every effort to boost my own efficiency and morale, and hopefully the efficiency and morale of those around me. No more chocolate bars and sodas for me; I’m taking my lunch back.


PUSHING BOUNDARIES: A new breed of business woman

I had the pleasure this past week of meeting a girl by the name of Shannon Boodram.  I hired her as a photographer, and had an absolute blast, listening to Michael Jackson and talking about nothing serious at all.  She wore a high bun at the top of her head, fresh-faced, no makeup, and an oversized sweater over black tights accessorized with a couple of long stranded necklaces.  If I were to show you a photo of her, in all of her Bohemian chic glory, most would probably never guess that this natural and authentic beauty was actually a fiercely competent business woman, published author, with an established and rapidly expanding brand in and a knack for networking and presentation that would put her on par with the who’s who of business Canada.

This is the new brand of businesswoman.

I am awed by the sheer number of businesswomen that I meet every day who are pushing the boundaries of what is expected and accepted for the woman’s experience in corporate Canada.  There is a movement towards authenticity and self-awareness that is so refreshing.

I gave a lecture just a few weeks ago on how important it was in 2012 to be sure that you’re in a profession that you love and that you’re passionate about and can be yourself with, because with work e-mails coming to your personal cell phone, work associates on your Facebook friends list, and potential consumers looking up your Twitter profile, they’re all intertwined.  It’s no longer realistic to follow the adage of keeping your personal life out of the workplace and your work out of your home.  Work Chellie can’t be different from Mom Chellie, Wife Chellie, or Friend Chellie.  My work colleagues are some of my best friends, and who I am with them on Saturday afternoon is not any different from how I am with them on Monday morning, minus a mojito or two.

I really think that it’s worked for me in business, this comfort level that I’ve built with my colleagues and clients where they know that the enthusiasm and passion that they see with me in business is the same personality that they’ll see in any other aspect of my life.  Nothing is hidden, everything is me, and they appreciate that breakdown of the usual façade.  It’s a balance that I’ve chosen for myself, and that many other women in business seem to be choosing for themselves as well.

So a toast to the loveliest business woman I’ve met this week, and all the others who are embracing and harnessing their individual power in business; you are my inspiration!


Mark Towhey continues to be one of the funniest people on Twitter

Since his dramatic firing from the office of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in the breaking days of the crack scandal former Chief of Staff Mark Towhey has never ceased being an amazing character on Twitter. Here is a roundup of some of our favourite recent tweets from Towhey himself.













While his job hunt updates may not be quite on the level it will be interesting to see where Towhey winds up using his talents behind the doors of power. While he has stayed relatively mum on the inner workings of Ford’s office at a time when city hall appeared to be melting down to onlookers, he has taken a few opportunities (as you can see above) to give the proverbial finger to his old boss and office, but then he’ll do something like retweet a garbage announcement from the mayoral Twitter account in earnest — that is, unless there is some meta layer of criticism regarding the mayor being ready for a Sunday curbside pickup that is beyond the grasp of this writer.

While we wait to see where this talented tweeter winds up you can follow him at @Towhey.

As always you can follow Women’s Post at @WomensPost and me at @TravMyers.