Archive for the 'lifestyle' Category

Social Media and The Effects on Friendship

April 15, 2010

I’ve been chatting a lot lately with people about social media’s effect on friendship. I think our hyper-connectivity may be a major dilemma of our (rather, my) generation.

On one side, studies upon studies have shown the human brain cannot process these mass amounts of “friends” with whom we’ve developed these online relationships.

On the other, our hyper connectivity has contributed to larger and more diverse social networks, greater brain function and making us the greatest generation of networkers.

Personally, these social tools have been the source of jobs, friends, roommates, lovers and even bitter battles. I’ve been able to leverage them to get free shit like tickets to events and, most recently, an iPod touch. I’ve been able to meet cool people on random trips and stay close with them for years after – all thanks to these social media tools.

As an online relationship connoisseur, here’s how I address some of the concerns I hear about.

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UK Pics

April 9, 2010

Ok the official Pics from the UK trip are up. If you’re on the home page, click the read whole post button to see them!

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PodCamp, #PCTO10: Hashtag Abuse, Twitter and Dating, Favoritism and Trolls

February 25, 2010
*Warning: Excessive Hashtag Abuse May Offend Some Readers. Please Excercise Caution and Read At Your Own Discretion*

Hashtag Love - Picture thanks to the amazingly talented Photojunkie, see more here.

Last week in Toronto was one of my fave Toronto events – PodCamp

PodCamp Toronto 2010 is a FREE “unconference” bringing together professionals and hobbyists from Toronto and the surrounding area to explore the cutting edge of new and social media. If you are an online content creator – hobbyist and professionals – who are building communities online in a variety of ways, then PodCamp Toronto 2010 is for you. Share ideas, discuss theories and learn lessons from an audience of experts. Network, network, network. All are welcome.

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Toronto Supports Haitian Relief – HaihaiTO and SoftCom CSR

February 19, 2010

Coverage of Toronto’s HaihaiTO event supporting Canadian Red Cross and Softcom’s online Haitian fundraising page for Doctor’s Without Boarders.

Show your support today!

Smartphone Challenge

February 16, 2010

So, I broke my Blackberry Curve 8900 (RIM). Although I love the phone, I can’t help but wonder if its the right phone for me? Am I simply not using it properly? should I switch to the Bold or Touring? maybe an iPhone? Android? Let me know what you think!

Having My Cake and Eating It Too!

February 8, 2010

2010 is going to be a spectacular year  – I can feel it.

My world is already whipped into a frenzy and we’re only half way through February. Next month will be intense with trips to Texas for SXSWI followed by a personal trip to England. I’m almost relieved that I was forced into hibernation all of last week due to a severe stomach flu. This week brings karaoke, dinner with an old friend with whom I share a kismet connection, and most exciting – HaiHaiTo is this week!

HaiHaiTo is a fun and fancy free event where Toronto’s Tech and Startup Communities are coming together to raise $$ for Haiti relief. You still have time to buy tickets, so if you haven’t done so already, get on it!

Taurus Horoscope for February 2010 – By Susan Miller

Welcome to one of the most dazzling months of 2010, dear Taurus! You have been working hard, and now February brings a new and very different influence, one that will bring you more fun, love, and a richer personal life. That’s not to say you will have to put your career on hold – not at all. As a matter of fact, this month you will have your cake and eat it, too. In this glorious month, there are cosmic goodies in many areas! What a month, dear Taurus!

Open Letter: Happy Holidays

December 18, 2009

Dearest friends, family, colleagues, tweeters and loyal readers:

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.
Hope 2010 brings all the joy and love you deserve.

This has been a big year that brought about many changes and hopes for the future.
While the year started with Obama’s inauguration; to me, 2009 was considered the year of  Susan Boyle, Balloon Boy, major celebrity deaths, the Michael Phelps weed scandal and …Imma let you finish but CNN had the best 2009 recap… dammit..

In technology, we welcomed Windows 7, saw Steve Jobs overcome cancer, and watched as social media created social change through politics and business… Time Magazine even named Twitter the word of the year. There were also changes in various industries, such as auto, finance and media. There has been a lot of talk about the so-called death of the media industry and while only time will tell, I see nothing but opportunity. Where do you see media in 2010?

On a personal level, this was the year that I came of age – living on my own in the *big city*and scoring the dream job in social media at the fantastic company called SoftCom.

What were some of your highlights of 2009?

All the best 🙂
Melissa Olivia Smich

GenYTO Heart For The Holidays

December 15, 2009

GenYTO Dec 4th Heart For The Holidays
Video Blog #2

Music Used:
Lissy Trullie – Forget About It
Winter Gloves – Invisible

Eat, Drink and Be Merry – Gourmet Food And Wine Expo Toronto

November 27, 2009

This past weekend, Toronto held one of my favorite shows of the year – The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo. Held at the south end of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, this bad-boy is a sure pleaser for any foodie.

At an objective level, this year was not as “gourmet” as the year prior – went from fine dining to packaged goods. The fine dining guys who did stick around were amazing, but *note to the coordinators* next year, be a little more selective… especially when you use the term “gourmet” in your event’s title.

On a subjective level, this year was better than ever as I was lucky enough to score tickets from One Eleven Yorkville and was able to attend with its head Chef, Christopher Scott, and soon-to-be head Chef, David Battcock. As flavour aficionados, they were able to teach me a world about what we were trying. As buyers for this exclusive champagne, oyster and caviar bar, we were treated with a little more love than the usual guest.

gourmet food and wine show

gourmet food and wine show

Can you say fun?

Some of the highlights

Glutton For Punishment
We pooled our cash for enough tickets to do this one of the seven deadly sins with honour. We started with our favourite supplier, Treamici Wines, who introduced me to my new favourite wine.

Vino Du Jour
The wine honourable mention was an ’04 Barolo DOCG priced at a cool $100 per bottle. But the ’04 Italian Vigna Dei Ciliegi Santome won my top marks as the best wine for the best price. At just under $40, it tastes like a $100. Needless to say I ordered a case of it for my fam and friends this holiday season.

Liquor Du Jour
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a tequila girl and I have been a HUGE fan of the Clase Azul Reposado Tequila since I first tried it two years ago during holidays in Mexico. It was the one-of-a-kind hand-painted bottles that got me to buy it, and it was the taste that kept me a loyal follower. Basically, it drinks like a sherry casked scotch, but sweeter and smoother. But at about $90 a bottle and with all its distribution exclusivities, its not exactly an easy bottle to come by.

Surprisingly, I found an amazing drinking liqueur that could please everyone – which I’ve never before encountered. Skinos from Mykonos: just shake it over ice. I’m not kidding, and its not a purely subjective view either. We were in awe of the potential profitability of this, as we could easily identify how everyone at a bar would love it. The women would like it because its just sweet and smooth enough; the men would like it because its not offensively sweet yet still strong; the bartender would love it because of its efficiency, serving by a simple shake over ice; and the owner would love the bottom line at under $40 per bottle. Needless to say, its smoother than any Greek man, sweet enough to please any woman, and at 30% its hard enough for any man.

Here’s one of the reps explaining the source – quite interesting.

Beer Du Jour
The honourable mention in this category goes to DogFish Head, as it was the overall group fave. The winner, however, was hands-down Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout, a cherry stout at 5.5% alcohol/vol. It tastes like an expensive 90% cacao chocolate bar: a bitter chocolate delight with a hint of cherry. Black Oak Brewing.

Food Du Jour

This one goes to a local favourite, Rodney’s Oyster House. As soon as their booth caught my peripheral, I began quizzing the wine reps about their best selections to pair with oysters. With the right white wine in hand, I headed to Rodney’s booth to sample. As always, the shucking drew a crowd. I looked at the line and pompously told Dave I could shuck them myself. Rodney overheard and invited me to prove it.

Shaking nervously from a staring crowd, they prepped me and put a cap on my head. With rag in one hand and oyster shucking knife in the other, I was passed what they called “an easy one.” I shucked it, smelled it (mmm… ocean fresh), cleaned the shell out (hardly), flipped it (not to reattach the tendon), and took it back sans garnish to enjoy the full flavours. The experience made my day, just as every Rodney’s visit had before (my fondest Rodneys’ memories being a tasting event of oysters paired with beer and their summer festival of shucking contests and lobster bakes).

Cheese Du Jour
I must admit, I dropped the ball on this as I found a few faves… but ate them, along with my roommates, before writing this post. opppsss.

Anyhow, thanks to my Food Cult boys, One Eleven and all the cool vendors for the great fun at the show.

Tired Of Being Sexy

August 3, 2008


Brazilian Sub-Pop group Cansei de Ser Sexy(CSS) just released their new album Donkey. It is more refined and pop-ish than their last album, a self-titled raw and artistic masterpiece. Their overall sound, however, remains the same: pop art, Warhol, turned into music. Bright, brilliant and genuinely different.

I first heard of this group last summer, rocking out to Lets Make Love and Listen to Death From Above. They were one of the first bands which lured me into the Indie Electro scene. Soon, Music is My Hot, Hot Sex played back up to an Ipod commercial and the whole world had discovered my little secret known as CSS. Life was ruined.

Top tracks off Donkey are as follows:

  1. Believe Achieve
  2. Jagger Yoga

Top tracks off CSS:

  1. Lets Make Love and Listen To Death From Above
  2. Alala
  3. Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex


Best of Radiohead was released last month and I was excited to get more from the creators of Creep. I must preceed the next statement with a reminder that I’m an ’86er so you must forgive me, but I actually didn’t realize how many songs I love were created by this band. Kind of like Theory of a Deadman, you think you have never heard of them but you can sing along to all their songs (*ah-hem* rethink your PR).

In addition to all the songs I already loved, I have found new favourite tracks from this time capsule.

There have been so many great remixes and reconstructions of Radiohead tracks also worth mentioning. I remember first hearing Everything In Its Right Place on a CD about 4 years ago – it was the opening song to a set preformed by Paul Oakenfold. I also can’t forget to mention Mark Ronson’s rendition of Just on the album Versions. Mark Ronson is a music god.

Others worth checking out

  1. Crookers. They are seriously building up in popularity and I’m hearing their name more and more often.
  2. Santogold. Check out their songs L.E.S. Artistes and Creator
  3. Black Kids and Lykke Li
  4. Los Campesinos! I’m still trying to appreciate them.. cool sound, not my type but they are worth checking out.