Happy New Year I want – I got readers. Thank you so much for reading this blog and being so supportive. I really appreciate you all.
I feel like I should reflect on the crazy things that happened to me since the last time I wrote a year in review post for the 2008. I had one lined up for 2009 but just never got around to publishing it. So, this round up will be for 2010 and include highlights from 2009.Â Let’s start shall we.
My namesake dresses, The Anita Dress and the The Clarke Dress created by Greta Constantine for the 2010 seasons. Words cannot describe how much I love this gesture by Kirk and Stephen. I love you guys and the GC crew. The House of Constantine: OUR GIRL ANITA CLARKE post was an emotional one for me too. There are two the Anita dresses in my closet now: the original red sample and a new black one.
2009 was a precursor to the increasing press coverage in Toronto media that continued into 2010. I ended up in articles, guesting posting, party shots and interviews. It’s at the point where people are saying things at the office to me; it’s amusing. I broke into the Chinese market with articles at the China Textile News Weekly Magazine and the Ming Pao Daily News. A lot of my press mentions can be found on AnitaClarke.com if you are interested. It’s sort of a chronological dumping of press mentions and other things.
Wow, the designers I met and/or spent time in the same room in the last two years. Mark Fast, Haider Ackermann, Roland Mouret, Jason Wu, Brian Atwood, Alexander Wang and the British Contingent of Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Giles Deacon, Mark Fast, Erdem Moralioglu, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab (who actually approached me and introduced himself. I <3 you Marios), Nicholas Kirkwood Tom Binns, Mary Katrantzou and Leith Clark.
Chilling with window mate ScottSchumam, Todd Selby and Derek Blasberg was pretty cool. I received free copies of both Todd’s and Derek’s books. I bought Scott’s. I enjoyed both Scott and Todd’s books, they were was far superior to Derek’s which I couldn’t get through.
I volunteered for The Corsage Project and helped girls get ready for prom. It was a lot of fun. It would be nice if some of our big shoe retailers like Aldo, Browns or Payless would contribute to the cause as the shoe selection was lacking big time. Step up retailers and help out.
Um, I’m an aunt for the first time. My nephew is the most adorable thing ever and I’m not just saying that. I feel a bit weird about posting his photo here so I won’t.
In 2009 I spent two weeks in India for my day job in IT. It was a trip of a lifetime and totally insane. I loved it every minute of it. I was lucky to go and experience some real luxury in a far off foreign land. Thank you day job.
New York City called again in September. This time it was a super nerdy trip put together with Hill & Knowlton for the Intel Upgrade Your Life mini conference. Are group of around 10 tech mommy bloggers (guess who stood out) hung out with Genevieve Bell of Intel. She leads an R&D team of engineers, social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers and a range of technology researchers making the next generation of interconnected devices. It was a fascinating experience. I took a lot of notes and I should put them down in a blog post at some point. Genevieve is an amazing person and so intriguing. I got a nice shiny new Dell laptop from the trip which was spectacular as I didn’t have one at that time. This trip included driver service to and from Newark. I was in heaven and flying Porter was so easy.
Stats and Direction
I want – I got overall traffic numbers are about a 3rd better than last year. Yay. 2009 and 2010 saw good traffic increases. 2010 had a bumpy ride in the summer but bounced back nicely.
I’ve monetized I want – I got with the Style Collective. You’ll see more sponsored posts like Greenworks and the banner ads. It should be business as usual on the site and advertising isn’t going to change my editorial content.
What a trip eh! I can’t believe it myself. I met a lot of lovely people and my blog buddy, Danielle Meder left our small village of Toronto and went to London. I miss her but I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings her.
I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings me and I’ll be sure share most of it with you dear readers.
I received a package with a very powerful message the other day from War Child.
War Child Canada is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance to war-affected children around the world. War Child Canada helps generate awareness, support and advocacy for children’s rights everywhere.
I was suppose to Help Child Soldiers. The package was wrapped in brown paper and contained the cardboard box pictured. I was confused at first and then I saw the word Uganda. It started to click.
Inside the package was this poster. And another card with block letters stating “We’re supporting the problem if we’re doing nothing to stop it,”
It was unnerving but not as unnerving as this video that you should watch.
1. Over 66% of casualties in war are children
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2.7 million children have died as a result of conflict In Afghanistan, 1 in 4 children will die before the age of 5 due to war
2. 300,000 (estimated) children are affected
Boys and girls under the age of 18 â€“ are today involved in more than 30 conflicts worldwide. Children are used as: Combatants, messengers, porters and cooks and for forced sexual services
3. Your cell phone may be inadvertently funding the death toll!
Every cell phone contains a mineral called coltan, which is mostly deposited in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Illegal coltan exports are a primary source of funding for a conflict that has claimed over 5 million live
4. War Child’s programs look at “preventingâ€
By offering economic opportunities to young people and their families, as well as education opportunities and peace building courses/activities
5. War Child also focuses on “reintegrationâ€
Former child soldiers have access to our education, psychosocial and livelihoods, and child rights programming
Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food – but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.
Bolded items are things I’ve eaten. Crossed out items are things I would never eat. 55 out of a 100 for me. What about you?
2. Nettle tea 3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare 5. Crocodile 6. Black pudding 7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp 9. Borscht 10. Baba ghanoush 11. Calamari
12. Pho 13. PB&J sandwich 14. Aloo gobi 15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses 17. Black truffle 18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries 23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans 25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper 27. Dulce de leche 28. Oysters
30. Bagna cauda 31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl 33. Salted lassi 34. Sauerkraut 35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea 38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth Â£60/$120 or more
46. Fugu 47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear 52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone 54. Paneer 55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle 57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV 59. Poutine 60. Carob chips
61. S’mores 62. Sweetbreads
64. Currywurst 65. Durian the smell no way! 66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake Beignets in New Orleans pre-Katerina yes! Funnel cake from Wonderland, yay!
68. Haggis – I want to try this so badly. Help me cute male Scottish folk. 69. Fried plantain 70. Chitterlings, or andouillette – not that organ meat for whatever reason 71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost 75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu 77. Hostess Fruit Pie 78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong 80. Bellini
81. Tom yum 82. Eggs Benedict 83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. 85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate 91. Spam 92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa 94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano 96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor 98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
Hunter Boots finally got it’s act together and updated their website. It’s much nicer now, easier to navigate, better pictures and fast. They’ve even have a spot on their site that aggregates blogs posts, youtube videos and flickr pictures that mention Hunter Boots. I noticed a bunch of traffic coming from the hunter site and I found out that they linked to me and it was front and center of the main “Hunter On The Web” section.
The only thing that bugs me about the site is that the store locater is for the UK only. However, the North American Distributor is based out of Toronto
Man Made Sales Inc
1200 Sheppard Ave East
Toronto, Ontario, M2K 2S6
Tel: 416 756 2820
Fax: 416 756 9664
I’m pissed off with the Gap right now. If you shop there regularly, you know that sometimes you will get a survey request and in return you receive 20% off regular priced merchandise. I’ve been told by Gap employees that this feedback is very important to the stores and that my information is valuable, hence the discount for completing the survey. Apparently, head office doesn’t think so.
I decided I was going to use my 20% off to buy one of the Designer Collection white shirts. I even stood in line to try the damn thing on and stood in line to pay for the thing, only to be told, very nicely btw, that that discount is not valid for the shirt. I was pissed, but didn’t take it out on the poor gay boy behind the counter but what a waste of my time and effort.
I’ve attached a copy of the receipt to make a fucking point. There is nowhere on this receipt that lists the restrictions on what you can’t purchase, all it says is regularly priced merchandise. The shirt was not on sale. I probably really could have made a stink about it in the store and gotten the discount, but I’m not like that. Besides this blog has much farther reach than a few people hearing me chew out some poor slop that is just doing what they told him to.
“I am not gay,” he adds hastily, holding up a bejewelled hand, his expression suddenly stern. “I detest men – dressed or naked – but womenâ€¦” The dreamy look returns and, a few feet away, Sharon Stone laughs into her mobile phone. What is it he loves the most about women? He strikes a pensive pose. “Flesh,” he concludes.
But nothing makes him despair quite like undesirables wearing his clothes: “It happens a lot with women of a certain nationality – I’m sure you can imagine which – and you just want to say ‘Give it back!’?
I wonder who he’s talking about here, hmmm.
“I’m very much against all these celebrities doing diffusion lines. Do I suddenly get up in the morning and say that I am going to start a singing career, with the horrible voice that I have? That’s what these girls do when they show the world how horrible their fashion ranges are. Money is the most corrosive aspect of life today because it means that all attention to detail is forgotten. Kate Moss’s collection was badly made, stupid and bland; you see things like that everywhere. You can’t just buy things for the label – it’s ridiculous.”
The best day in Vegas was Friday by far. The weather was to die for and we walked to the strip so I could see what this whole Vegas thing is about. Outside of the strip, Vegas is like a giant strip mall with cacti and palm trees. All the roads are 6 or 8 lanes across. The people drive like maniacs. Men in cars honk at you constantly when you walk down the street, it was very strange. Not if you are with a guy though. I had 5 people actually whistle at me out of their cars and on the street.
The ridiculous size of Las Vegas struck me as we walked past the Convention Centre. It’s was massive. We then took the monorail to the Mandalay Bay/Luxor side of the strip. I kept on singing the Monorail song from The Simpsons.
We decided to hit up Luxor for some free drinks. The drinks were cheap and not really free. You had to be gambling, so Marija and I sat ourselves down at some penny slots. I actually was winning, I put in 2 bucks thinking I’ll get a drink and then jet. Lady Luck was on my side and I ended up walking away with 10 bucks.
We continued down the strip. The one thing I love about Vegas is drinking on the street. Marija and I drank large bottles of Red Stripe walking back to her place earlier. I hit sensory overload pretty quickly and some hotels we didn’t even visit like the MGM Grand (which is extremely tacky with that giant gold lion out front).
We ran into a Michael Jackson impersonator at the Bellagio fountains, only in Vegas. The Venetian is crazy, it’s like daylight in there. The canal was so cool and we chatted up the dude that was singing and driving the boat. It’s also where I got my new Adidas kicks. I couldn’t goto Vegas without getting a souvenir. I cut the tags off put my gladiators in a bag and walked out the door. They got lots of compliments. So boo to ye of little taste who gave them a thumbs down.
We continued along the strip and looked at flashing lights.
The night ended off at a bar called Aruba. In Aruba this is a back room called Club Aruba where all kinds of people showed up in fairy costume. There were girls getting body painted. A really great band that played funk and soul got everyone in the place moving. When the band stopped a drum circle started (ya, I know, a fucking drum circle). Percussion instruments were handed to people and they joined in while dancing. Only in Vegas. It got a little wiccan when the Tree God started dancing in the middle of the circle. The best thing of the night was the Unicorn Girl. I love you Unicorn Girl.
Some personal observations I made on this trip:
American men think the Canadian accent is sexy or they think it’s strange with about and out and all that.
American men are amazed at how hot Canadian girls are.
American men aren’t afraid to talk me, even with the worst “don’t fuck with me” scowl on.
Most American men have a connection to the military somehow. It seems that everyone we met were ex-military.
There are a lot of overweight people in America.
The short Mexicans handing out prostitute flyers are creepy.
I think people who take their kids to Vegas have some issues.
The tart look is very big in Vegas. The tourist look is second.
Even if you are old and busted as long as you got those 36FFs you are the perfect waitress.
I saw no panhandlers on the strip.
Toronto is like the haven of recycling and environmentalism compared to Vegas. The waste was unbearable.
Food portions are much, much to big for me.
Buffets rule the roost in Vegas.
Crazy shit happens in Vegas.
I won’t stand in line to attend a club that Paris Hilton frequents.
I’m feeling indifferent to Las Vegas and I’m not sure I would go back. The strip at night is unbearable with people and I was very frustrated. Anyone who has ever walked with me will be laughing at this comment. I felt this lingering malaise hanging over the place; maybe most people don’t notice it. I had a fantastically, strange and surreal time. It was a blast to visit my friend Marija the biologist /world traveller and party like it was ’94 again.
I have a small group of readers that comment regularly and they are very near and dear to my heart. Yesterday at L’Oreal Fashion Week I met Coogi2G. I was sitting in the runway room and this cute boy, dressed very well I might add, taps me on the shoulder and asks, “Are you geekigirl?” In the rare instances I’m approached by people on the street about the blog, that is usually the first words out of their mouths. I kinda like being called geekigirl by someone other than myself and aloud, lol. So, I said yes and Coogi2G started gushing about the blog, which always makes me feel a little self-conscious. I’m always amazed that people read this damn thing and like it even. I did turn his gushing around directed it right back at him. Comments are special things and they mean a lot when it’s not spam. Coogi2G, thanks for reading my blog, I’m honoured that you check it multiple times a day and that you take the time to comment. Words can’t express my appreciation.
I have a tip for you, 80% of the time I don’t usually update after 2pm. I have a scheduler and I have them set to publish in during the morning hours.
I have one more day to write about. Can you tell I’m in total denial and if I don’t write this post it’s like I never left B.C.? I wish the 25cm we are suppose to get fell last week in B.C. while I was there. Sigh
Sigh, I will get it up as Saturday was the best day.
I talked about White Out conditions on Day 3. Those conditions were a joke compared to Friday’s outing. Friday we did Fresh Tracks which is breakfast at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler and first access to the mountain before opening to the public. It was snowing so we were looking for a good time. It was puking snow on the mountain all day. The freeze line was kinda high so at one point we were skiing in rain. It was awful returning to the freeze line because then you’d get cold again.
The peak was insane. 60 – 80 km/hr winds and absolutely zero visibility. I wanted to take a picture of what I saw but it would be the same as posting an image of a white square. All you saw was white, there was no way to determine which way was up or down. Gravity sometimes helped and other times the winds were pushing you so much you just prayed there was no cliffs around to fall off of. There was a reason why the Experts light was flashing at the bottom of the Peak Express chair.
Eric and I are crazy. We hit the peak 4 or 5 times that day. Each time the weather got more and more extreme. The liftie must have been wondering about us, because we were some of the few people repeating their trips to the peak. We skied West Bowl in the mess and couldn’t see a damn thing. The snow was great there though. We also tried looking for Bagel Bowl but it was impossible. My hands were getting cold and my will to take this punishment was waning. So finally I said, I can’t do this peak shit anymore. Eric replies, Okay lets got up to peak (the lift line was zero) and hit Harmony chair. Stupid me said Okay. The route to get to Harmony from the peak of Whistler was disgusting. There were drifts everywhere so you would get stuck. The wind was so cold and I was screaming my head off the whole time. I couldn’t see Eric at all and when we did find each other, we said forget Harmony and lets get the hell out of here. The peak was the bane of my existence and I was done with the mountain. Nothing sucks the will to ski from me, but this storm had won. Snow or no snow. It’s a good thing we didn’t goto Harmony chair because they had closed it. We were the last people on peak too because they closed it also. That’s mountain weather for you.
I’m sure you are wondering about some of these runs I’ve taken so here is a link to a pdf mountain map and an interactive map. I’ll do a list of all my runs in the Day 6 post.
I could write a long post about how amazing it was today, but I won’t because I’m tired and I have other posts to write. Today was the hardest day of skiing so far. In addition to the powder to deal with, we did a lot of bump skiing today. I was complaining at how I’m not a good bump skier so it was practice, practice, practice today. I wonder how long my legs will last.
I will say that Blackcomb Glacier was stupid fun today. The little pathway past the double black diamond run BlowHole that opens up the rest of the glacier to advanced and intermediate skiers was so sketchy. It was snowing and visibility was pretty low. It was sketchier yesterday in the bright sun. There was a man in front of me and you could tell he was having a problem with the height. He was grabbing at the snow wall and crouching as he walked. I kept a good distance from this guy. Yesterday, I was a bit nervous about the pathway but today it was all good. I took a good look a BlowHole and I’m going to take it tomorrow. It will be my first double black diamond run. Wish me luck. We tried to hit the glacier again but it was closed by the time we go out of it and back to the Excelerator chair.
I also did a lot of gladed skiing today which was fantastic. Gladed skiing is through the trees and it can be quite hairy. There is no place for wrong choices because you end up getting to know a tree really well. There was one run called Arthur’s Choice that was so crazy. Some turns would result in a foot drop in vertical. It was really beautiful in there with the trees covered in moss and the fog building as you wander down. Of course my camera died by this point and I didn’t get any pictures. Please enjoy the ones I have posted though.
Snow is coming Friday and Saturday. I only planned to ski 5 days, but I don’t think I’m gonna pass on Saturday if the snow continues. This week has been incredible, the mountains are completely dead.
Today was the first day on the mountain and it was spectacular. My friend Eric and I spent the day on Blackcomb and it was completely dead. Lift lines were non-existent and you had free run of the place. We did Blackcomb glacier once and stuck to runs around the Excalibur, 7th Heaven, SolarExpress and Glacier lifts.
I am within walking distance to the mountain, this mornings trek was like a death march. I have new boots that aren’t quite broken in yet. My feet hurt and continued throughout the morning. By the end of the day though, they were all good.
I’m liking the K2 One Luv skis too. They are pretty fast but controllable.
I’m kicking myself for not bringing my camera today because I saw lots of interesting ski wear out and about. Oh well, tomorrow.
It’s been a crazy hectic week. I’ve been planning my vacation in Whistler (I am writing this from there now on my new Asus eee pc) and getting work commitments done.
However, since I’m now mobile you’ll get all the updates on my vacation in real time instead of a week later. It’s 1pm westcoast time and it’s messing with my head a bit. I still have a full day to do stuff.
The World Cup is happening on the mountain so there will be no skiing today as it’s quite busy. I’m hoping for a big dumping of snow while I’m here.
Look for more pictures during the week. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some ski style shots while I’m out here, but I don’t expect much.
Specifically Scary and Baby in Holt Renfrew. I’m so not excited about celebs, so I didn’t stalk them like most people. There were a group of crazy people following them and a group camping outside the front doors, ridiculous.
Well, they were both shorter than me and very cute actually. Scary looked really good. And they had their two babies with them. Scary’s baby is very cute, Emma’s not so much.
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What is Lifestyle Award 2008?
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The Trendora Lifestyle Team will soon announce the winners. We will get back to you if you are awarded the 2008 Trendora Lifestyle award. This would qualify your site for a post on the website, and sometimes even highlighted in our newsletter and on our homepage. You can also show your success by using our award graphics on your website if you so desire. Several lifestyle reading winners were also selected as partners for campaigns & exclusive giveaways to their readers during 2007.
Keep your fingers crossed and keep up the great work!
So what will happen with I want – I got in 2008. Frankly, I haven’t thought about it. I have two goals, update my friend links and write more. That’s about all for now.
Last year my goal was to up my presence (whatever that means) and I think I accomplished that. Traffic was increasing steadily month by month. I still have to do some stat digging to see where the increase came from.
I’ve never posted my stats before, but it’s not really a secret anyway. Click the image to get a bigger version. The green line is from 2006. It’s flat until about May because that is when I got my Google Analytics account. The blue is 2007. I had a few crazy blips of traffic thanks to my Lululemon warehouse post and Boxing Day. They are pretty visible in the graph. I wish webstats could give me an age range too. I have no idea about the age demographic for I want – I got. After seeing the way things went down in the Boxing Day at Artizia post, I wonder.
I have also noticed a growing number of returning visitors. I love you guys, thanks so much. This blog really is a labour of love and I’m not making money off it as of yet. I have no idea if or when that will happen. The hosting is paid for till November so I’m not worried.