Environmentally & Socially Responsible Event Planning * Consulting * Staffing * Catering

What our clients say about us...

  • “You have extraordinary attention to detail. You took care of the little things (like the place setting utensil twine and the food platter you sent up to the girls’ room) that we didn’t even think about. We’d be able to tell future clients to feel confident that everything will be taken of with style, even the things they may not have thought of beforehand.” – John, on his wedding

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Checking in with myself...

Sometimes its easy to forget how important the intimate connections we form with people we work with. Sometimes you just have look back at some of the nifty things people say as a poignant reminder. I found these two gems on my LinkedIn and until recently I forgot about them. Only until recently till my layoff did they become even more relevant to me personally and help me refocus on Simplicity as a means for social change.

Carly, Student, York University (colleague):

"It's been a while since I worked with Rolo but I saw someone else recommend him in my feed and I must say he is a very recommendable guy! I worked directly for Rolo as a bartender at one of his events when I was in school. He is an excellent leader with a true passion and dedication to his events business and it's overarching vision. He rolls up his sleeves and leads by example ensuring everything goes off without a hitch. I wish him all the success in the world. He truly deserves it." August 29, 2011

Melissa Dedic, Senior Foodraiser, Second Harvest:

“Rolando's good heart and community-centred principles are what distinguishes his business: Simplicity Event Planning & Catering from other similar companies. I first met him at our warehouse. Rather than letting excess food from an event he recently catered go to waste, Rolando delivered it to Second Harvest (my place of employment; a food rescue charity in Toronto). Because of his great environmental and social conscious, Rolando's excess food is delivered to social service programs across Toronto via Second Harvest. To date, he has donated enough excess food to feed nearly 400 hungry Torontonians! This is food that would have otherwise gone to waste if it wasn't for Rolando's efforts to rediistribute it to those in need. It has been and continues to be a true pleasure working with Rolando.” August 29, 2011

I guess only through your impact on people do you realize how important it is to keep striving. Thanks gals! It means so much to me to read this and inspires me to keep forging ahead.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Speaking of refreshing... 15 Steps

I just realized (in a good way) how relevant this songs lyrics are to me.

How come I end up where I started?
How come I end up where I went wrong?
Won't take my eyes off the ball again...

Oh indeed. Nothing is truer than sticking to what you love doing!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Being laid off is refreshing!

"One of these things is not like the others..."

So you might be curious where did rolly go for the last two months? The truthful answer is that I'm not quite sure myself!

The last two months have been a complete and utter blur for me and I've barely begun to realize the lessons learned and all the experiences. It has literally been a rollercoaster of emotion, learning, surprises, disappointments, successes and juicy failures. It all started with the opportunity to work for the Centre for Social Innovation as their newly created position of Events Coordinator.

I am never one to back down from a challenge so I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about Social Innovation and systems change on what believe would be a on a strategic organizational level. Certainly it proved a challenge, not only because of the role, but more so of the grief and joy that constantly bombarded me over the past two months. It felt like such a roller coaster!

Words like "system change" "framing" and "push back" filled my head over the past two months, as well as pure e-mail grinding and learning to manage 4 e-mail addresses with the accompanying work culture spam that comes with them. I still do truly hate mass mailing lists because expected inevitably someone gets on a soapbox or doesn't read the pleasant reminder to "e-mail this person off list if you have an answer or are interested". These things simply did not help the 50 hour work week grind.

I have come to realize several things. One of the most important things is that I cannot stop being an entrepreneur. Its a perspective shift that apparently and unfortunately does not seem to jive well with the organizational culture. No matter how ideal you may think it would be, even if it is in alignment with your dreams and goals.

I really do feel like I a hamster in a wheel. The catch was that this time the carrot was good enough for me to be enticed. Still I've got the refreshing experience of being laid off and the integrity to know that I simply did all that I could humanly do as a contributing worker. It looks like it just wasn't "the right fit".

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Food for thought:

"No plan survives contact with the Printer."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Revisiting Inspiration: Professor Randy Pausch

It has been A CRAZY few months!  As you may well know, it all started with me losing one of my "kids".  My wonderful chubby fluff-accordion of a Cat - Ookie; passed away on September 2nd.  From there its been a wonderful two months of joy, nervousness and new opportunities.

But before I continue, mid way through this rollercoaster that I'm still on, I needed to revisit inspiration.  I'm sharing it with you here.

Enable peoples dreams.  That's what I realized I created Simplicity for.  It originally was "to make a difference, no matter how small in peoples lives." Now this refines things to be more precise, perhaps, even more simplified!

Friday, September 2, 2011

You were awesome Ookie

Well as some of you may have guessed, I've been taking time away.  In this case, taking care of my dying cat Ooks.

There is nothing tragic nor traumatic about this event.  This is another one of those personal posts, for those of you that may wonder what makes Rolo so driven in what he does?

Perhaps some may say "it's just a cat", but when you've literally raised something from birth and hold it when it finally dies in your arms after living a long and colourful life with you, something happens in you.  Perhaps its the fact I bore witness to a long and joyful life so random and beautiful coming to an end.  Its a rare moment far beyond other experiences, when I reflect on what I've accomplished and in a way, what Ookie has accomplished.  Whats more, no matter how fleeting life may seem, its so vital that I keep striving.

Holding a new life in your arms, no matter how it may not be genetically yours, made me realize how obligated I am to continue to make a difference in this world.   I'm not sure how, but it does.  Ooks was one of those 4 new and randomly fortunate reasons that I accepted responsibility for wholeheartedly.  Ooks hissing at bubblebath foam, and being an utter clutz showed me that there are exceptions to the rules, even for cats.  As well, it reinforced the lesson of "expect the unexpected".  New kittens will pee anywhere, including inside warm and dark CPU's.

How many cats got the chance to grace the Simplicity Holiday Thank you card in our first year?  ONE!

I will always remember the goofy things you did, a clumsy and nutty gemini cat to the last.  Ookie Elizabeth Tecson you were a true creature of comfort and in my bachelor years, the start of a crazy furry family!

Your calico reminders all over my business formal wear, cardboard box shredding will be missed.  I'll never forget your dedication to being my furry cat headrest, and your involuntary magnanimity at being turned into a warm and grumpy "cat accordion."  Chibi will go unchecked without you, and your chubby warmth will be missed as you purposely lay over my arms as I attempted to get work done at the computer.

Thank you Ooks.  I will miss you. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm going on...

Nothing could be a greater memorial for a great person than continuing on.

A personal post...

Today someone passed away for whom I had deep respect.  Someone who I believed in and continue to believe in through his work.  The last portion of his parting letter struck a chord in me and I'd like to post it here.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,
Jack Layton
Above all, the one line below means the world to me.  Not only was this his personal slogan but his campaign slogan, it also has been mine over the past nine years. To me, Jack Layton was not only a leader of people but also a thought leader and I strive to emulate his deep belief that people can create change.  I will miss him.

Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Whenever I get bogged down in the annoying tidbits of life...

I look at pictures like this.

This is a picture taken by the Spirit rover from Mars at Earth.  Pictures like this continue to inspire me to keep doing things despite the little annoying things that can often bog anybody down.  When you stop and think about the two NASA rovers themselves, which were only designed to last 90 earth days and ended up lasting 2,695 days. 

Now that is endurance.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

75 Cat Naps - Grinding at CSI: Annex


Okay as you can all tell, its been a bit since my last post.  I've been lurking around in the background with a new client and cooking up several awesome new projects for Simplicity and our crew.

Since my last post on the blog I've been doing such a wide variety of things with and for Simplicity that I just caught myself scratching my head and saying "where did my summer go?!"  Thankfully it has been truly fun, interesting and always learning new things along the way.

As July is drawing to a close, I've definitely been exposed to new avenues of art, everything from the graphic art of my client rewfoe, to the stark and richly coloured works of Caravaggio.   I've finally had a chance to awaken my wanderlust for the "roadtrip", and it seems that even 120kmph is now considered slow!

I got a chance to be a human smoke alarm when I had a chance to help CSI:Annex by being the "Fire Watch Guy".  It was a pretty unique opportunity that gave me a unique opportunity to meet many of the awesome tenants of CSI:Annex and work from 6pm to 9am.  It was like a strange retreat or a sleep over for me, except at the office and nobody around!  I was slightly disappointed that I only completed 30 of the 75 Fire Watch walks that had to be done every hour.  Then again I love sleep and readjusting from being a night owl and waking up every hour was pretty tough.

I snapped some beautiful pictures of the new office space.  Being here is such a great inspiration!  Its such a great feeling to be here and these snapshots are taken at those odd hours when most of the city is just waking up.

 With so many ideas and awesome things on the hot plate, August is looking to be just as awesome for myself and the Simplicity team.  I'll fill you all in as fast as I can.    

Saturday, July 9, 2011

If you can't beat 'em - Tweet 'em.

Perhaps I'm old fashioned or slow, but I always prefer face to face contact.

Which is likely why I've taken some time to really consider getting a Twitter account for Simplicity.  I guess I prefer to be highly effective and operate with surgical precision instead of blurting out into the Internet-verse my every day, random observations or superficial proselytizing.

I find that Twitter posts, in striving to be brief and to the point, are stripped away of a lot of meaning and human connection that I find important.  It's like reading a newspaper article in the Metro.  It's just the facts and nuances of complex issues are missing.  Either way, communication is beautiful and necessary and Twitter is now a tool we're going to add to our kit for connecting with our clients, friends, family, supporters and community.

Anyhoo, that being said, you can now follow Simplicity's exploits and information about our upcoming events through Twitter at @SimplicityEPC  (That's Event Planning & Catering)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Check out our new office space! CSI - Annex

As a result of Simplicity getting recognition as a runner-up in last year's Agents of Change competition run by the Centre for Social Innovation, we now have the office space at the Centre for Social Innovation - Annex starting in July!

Check it out!   This is a fabulous environment for social innovators and we are neck deep in connecting with so many other social entrepreneurs!

A SUPER BIG thank you to all of you folks who took the time to nominate Simplicity for our work.  We would not have gotten this fabulous opportunity to grow and be a part of a larger community without you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Snapshots of Toronto Taste 2011

Looking back at these pictures, I am so glad I brought the camera.  I barely had any time to snap them, as there was so much to do.  I'm quite proud to have been there and did what I love to do for a great organization and a fantastic cause.

Jasna and I at the main entrance.  (+7 Hours)
Emily and I near the main stage bussing line (+8 hours)

You know its late when...
Here are some of the awesome volunteers (90+) that made this possible.   THANK YOU!
 As I mentioned before, the 16 hours on-site was such a blur, that I appreciate being able to take a look at these pictures.  They are really like fleeting memories of something awesome that happened.

 I'm super thankful for Jasna coming down to bring the camera mid way through the event.

One of the most awesome aspects of my volunteer experience for this event was the chance to meet so many fantastic people.
Second Harvest is chock full of great people willing to put in crazy hours for a great cause.  It turns out that, as a result of this charity event, over 650,000 meals will be served to Torontonians in need.

It's a big step from clearing my dinner plate as a kid growing up.  That was one of the original reasons why Simplicity started to donate to Second Harvest and I'm truly amazed to see where it can lead me.

As you can see, its super packed outside the ROM with over 1400 guests closing off Queens Park.  I salute Emily for being the early bird on-site at 5am!

      You can tell it's getting late in an event when the staff get super tired and start to have silly fun.   Here I'm posing with Cheri who is what I'd call a veteran of several Toronto Tastes.  This year is the first time the role of one Catering Lead has been split up between a team of three.

Judging from Cheri's smile we must be doing something right!

(Can you tell I REALLY like wearing my headset radio?)

     To the left is my main objective for being part of the Toronto Taste 2011.  As the Catering Lead I had a such a great opportunity to coordinate and work with over 90 volunteers from across the city, from so many walks of life, who come together for this cause.

I'm kinda sad I didn't have more of a chance to engage all of them and spend more time with them.

I especially want to thank Joyce and Katie for being my Floating Team Leads.  Having them there to trouble-shoot was such a great thing.

Here we have just some of the key people of the Second Harvest Committee that made all of this year's event possible.  I managed to snap this at the very end of the night on the steps of the ROM.

It was a perfect setting to sit down and take stock of the night as teardown started around us at +15 hours from the beginning of the event.  I think the smiles speak of exhausted happiness.

I count myself lucky enough to be down the street from the venue.  It's an even greater feeling to have a chance to be a part of this great team and pull of such a memorable event!

I'm really looking forward to Toronto Taste 2012!

At the end of Toronto Taste 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Day After Second Harvest's Toronto Taste 2011

I am tired, sore, and above all extremely happy.

I've made mention of some of this before in my previous blog posts about my involvement with Second Harvest as a volunteer.   Not just content to do a small bit I wanted to get right in to the nitty gritty and help where I could be of most help and do what I love, which is being a part of something greater and representing Simplicity as an agent of social change.

Nothing could give me greater joy in having the opportunity to be a part of Toronto Taste 2011!  In hindsight I would have loved to speak more  about it as a build up, but for fear of being noobish in my work with Second Harvest I was pretty reluctant to do so.   This mainly came from trying to comprehend my role in such a big event.   I also wish I wasn't so busy as to be able to take a few more pictures of the event.  It went by so fast that it almost feels like it was a blur, yet the end results are palpable.  These end results were most tangible as I sat there on the steps of the ROM, fifteen hours into my self enforced "shift".

As I sat there at midnight, completely and utterly exhausted I watched the huge tented area slowly be taken down and the last of the hardy volunteers and Chairman Mills staff strike down everything and anything resembling a rental.  There was a sense of completeness of something grand drawing to its natural conclusion and I was once again part of something bigger, fantastic and even connected to a whole lot of great people who believe in something greater than what we are as individuals.

It was certainly not sad or bitter sweet, just blissfully tired layered over a feeling of completeness that comes at the end of seeing an event to the very end.  Perhaps a wholeness, in which all you expected and more came true all at once.  It was fulfillment and justification of purpose for what we, I, and Simplicity do. I'm exhausted and happy.

More photos to come, and certainly more updates.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What is Agency?

I think agency is one of those often misunderstood concepts that is generally relegated to being tossed around in university lecture halls and most people just let it fly by them.

What IS agency you ask?  Perhaps it's best described as the ability to do stuff.   I believe that agency is a defining factor of what separates people who achieve things from those who do not and just take life as it hits them in the face.

I think that we hear the call of our own agency every day but we're so used to being beholden to people and organizations that things happen TO us, that we don't stop and think about how we can ACT instead of REACT to our environment.  Now, before I get on my soap box about social change, I really want to explain this point I just made.

I feel that every day I meet people who talk about problems they encounter in every day life.  Whether it be work, jerks on the subway, bills, or coworkers who drag others into messy office politics and backbiting.  I am sure you know what I mean -- it's the every day stuff that we complain about, that fuels our evening conversation over drinks with our friends when we reconnect.  Yet there seems to be this sense of "woe is me" that sticks in my craw because the topics of complaining are acceptable is a daily occurrence.  It sticks in my craw because it evokes a feeling that I hope many of us get -- "That's not right.  Something should be done."  That is the beginning of agency.

Can I do something about (it?)
           /                       \
     YES                    NO

This is what agency is.  The ability to do (stuff).  To get (stuff) done.  I believe that we all have a responsibility to one another, in some way or form, and this cannot be ignored or passed off to someone else.  At the very same time, agency is not just something that is not blatantly used.  It must be exacting and measured, and above all real and applied with fore-thought.   Otherwise its not true Agency, its just something that helps people sleep at night.    Other times it can be good to enact Agency but we should always be ask at what cost does it come at?

I've been interacting a lot lately with larger organizations and this unsettling feeling I've been feeling lately seems to have come from the real meaning of agency and how much Agency really takes place.    

Friday, May 27, 2011

To the construction worker with the gas-powered concrete saw...

who's using it promptly at 7:00am.  This one is for you.

May your coffee today be luke warm.
May your lunch be made not quite the way you like it.
May your vehicle get ticketed

May you be inconvenienced as much as all the residence of this neighbourhood who are not early morning risers and believe that sometimes birds are a better wake up call than a industrial gas-powered diamond edged concrete saw going full tilt.
(Especially directly outside my bedroom window.)

Definitely not nice in my books.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday was a bright day... yesterday.

Mondays are always rough, it doesn't help to have an overcast day but we roll with it and keep going since its one of those cool and wet spring days.

As you can see we've finally got the "Pages" function figured out and its being implemented into our blog, which I think we can now safely call our "blog-site". Its certainly more like a hybrid now.

Anyhow I thought I'd share some of the "me" in the blog lately since I've been going the whole gamut of videos, sonnets and even a eulogy for one of my appliances. Alas its another Monday full of things to do, places to visit and people to connect with.

Sunday is supposedly relaxing but it seems to be more a strategic and weekly planning day. Traditionally Sunday is suppose to be the day of rest. But I don't think that factors in well with being a social entrepreneur. So with that I leave you with two songs. One seems to fit the spring Sunday....

...and the other is a great pick me up.  CRANK it up if you're feeling blue with a case of the "Mondays"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Death of a Toaster

After many dedicated years of service the toaster has finally given up the ghost.

Its only when you realize how handy a single-use item like a toaster is, that you actually miss it. Now I'm reduced to either popping slices or bagles in the oven or tossing them on the pan with melted butter. Since the oven takes too long and I enjoy melted butter it kinda works better anyhow. Still, I miss having a toaster.

Which begs the question, Kitchen-Aid or Cuisin-art? I'd be remiss on an opportunity to add a bit of colour to the counter, but then again, we don't have a lot of counter space!

Anyhow this is meant to be a quick post, but on a culinary note. I've been having fun with Fennel!
Braised Fennel works wonders with seared Salmon or for that matter ANYTHING BBQ'ed and seared. Its got such a sweet taste that it would definitely compliment something BBQ'ed and I imagine that it would do well with a nice white wine!

Monday, May 2, 2011

To tweet or not to tweet?

That is the question. So much so that I thought of writing this. Well Shakespeare wrote it. I just modified it to my own thoughts. Its quite apt.

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the possible time suckage arrows of outrageous time spent tweeting,
Or to take arms against a sea of the social media band wagon,
And by opposing end them? To poke?, to tweet?,
No more; and by a sleep to say we (actually stop trolling on the net)
The eye-ache, and the thousands of irresistible posts
That refresh is inherent to: 'tis a time consummation
Devoutly to be wished to be followed. To post, to spam;
To spam, perchance to connect. Of something useful– aye, there's the rub:
For in that spam of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause – there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the flames and dislikes of the net,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy tweets,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare blogkin? World web spidering bears,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country of entrepreneurship from whose bourn
No entrepreneur returns, puzzles the will, challenges the spirit
And makes us rather bear those ills we have to try something new
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus popular trends does make bandwagoneers of us all,
And thus the native hue of screen resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thoughtful content,
And enterprises of great promotion and marketing,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. Soft you now,
The fair Muse! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my tweetful inspirations remembered.[1]

Originally by that awesome dude Shakespeare ( mod by Rolo)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Bicycle Commons Event - Video 2!

Here is another really great video shot by another person at the Bike Clinic.  It shows a few more aspects and folks who've been involved from the very beginning.  Including me!  "Dapper". Yes.  That's me.

Spring Bicycle Clinic from lenaC on Vimeo.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Bicycle Commons - Our first 2011 Bike Clinic

Okay so I'm not posting as regularly as I should be. Half of the reason is that I'm recovering from another fantastic event. This time it me reprising my role at Volunteer Coordinator with The Bicycle Commons and our first Spring 2011 Bike Clinic hosted by the Harmony B Co-op. Check it!

There was a TON of folks involved in this project and its all shaping up nicely for the big event in June.

Here is a short list, in no particular order or preference; of some of the organizations that made this event possible!

The Bicycle Commons
Bike Sauce
Its Chez Nous
Think First
My First Wheels
Chairman Mills - Thanks KIM!
Cobs Bread - Annex You rock Emily!
Us - Simplicity Event Planning & Catering

Special thanks to Carrie for helping make Simplicity's contribution possible!

I'm in the background somewhere (thank god because I was unusually camera shy that day) with the longshoreman coat and cap. I think I'm more comfortable being in the background and I think I'm actually elated that my interview wasn't (at least I think) spliced in!
Why was I wearing a big black coat? I was soooooo bloody cold, and that wool jacket is WARM in the shade, and quite airy in the sun. Thankfully it turned out to be a fantastic day and the weather held out until Sunday. At which point it dumped rain AFTER the event, which is always a good thing!

To be honest I kinda felt that I could always do more and when the event began so smoothly and continued to go smoothly I was kinda left to futz, and just make sure that everyone got what they needed. I think I even ended up getting a bit too much sun that day. More pics to follow once I clear out my camera.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Random Update Photo

Okay so I'm still alive and kicking. Had a bit of a setback lately. (BUT then again its all part of being an entrepreneur and I usually like to keep things chipper, and I'm not as inspired to write as when the chips are down)

Anyhow. Learned a lot about several people lately, that being vendors, clients and even family. More on this later, but before I get into it. I thought I'd post a random photo of me and the staff at the very last event Simplicity did in 2010. Going through the stock of photos, this one gave me a good chuckle.

Quick man!  To your action stations!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Modern Marriage - CBC Doc Zone

J and I watched an interesting documentary by CBC Doc Zone entitled:

Thoroughly Modern Marriage.

It was fairly interesting but I found it lacked some depth into exploring some of the concepts it covered. It really did give me a feeling of wanting to know more like an unfulfilling appetizer. Case in point, it does not go into detail about the "open-marriage" presented in the documentary, I dunno about you, but the sociologist in me definitely sees some under-tones in that arrangement.

I do like however that it highlights a transition to marriage as a "cap-stone" for couples.

There is also a lovely bunch of ideas for making ones wedding unique and their own. I love the lantern signal for the bride to begin her procession!

This may sound heretical, but I think $100,000 is a ridiculous amount to spend on a wedding. I'd rather work with my client to effectively spend $10-15,000 of that and refer them to a good investment broker, NGO, or charity (Sick Kids Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Bicycle Commons, to name a few...)that could use the help.

What would you rather have?

One fleeting day of opulence or the ability to make a difference on a larger scale?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Food for Entrepreneurial thought...

"Business cards are like ammunition.  Running out of it isn't fun." - Rolo

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oh Greenest Business Cards - please call me back?


something that fills the place of something else that is lacking; temporary substitute; makeshift: Candles are a stopgap when the electricity fails.
makeshift: This is only a stopgap solution.  (linky link)
I really wish someone at The Worlds Greenest Business Cards would give me a shout back.  I do so want to get my next order of Business Cards (colloquially known to me, myself, and I as BC's).  I first heard of them through a fantastic business contact and I've been aching to place an order with these fantastic folks.  I kinda feel like I have a case of unrequited love, when I left a e-mail and a call and its been more than a week or two.  

....Caaaalll me.  (Please? )  

I want to ride my... BICYCLE

Spring is around the corner and I think its high time I fill you folks in on an initiative I've been volunteering my time with. Formerly known as the BICYCLE project, it has now evolved into a leaner and more fantastic version known as The Bicycle Commons! You can follow them directly at their website(www.thebicyclecommons.org), through facebook(www.facebook.com/BicycleCommons), and even on twitter(@bicyclecommons).

How is Simplicity involved? Well in practicing what I preach I've been involved since last fall taking on the role as volunteer coordinator for the Bicycle Clinic's we've been running out of the old Canary building. (See the November 2010 - BICYCLE post) 

Part of that initiative resulted in one of the largest public bike repair clinics in Toronto headed up by BICYCLE in collaboration with Bike Sauce, MEC, City of Toronto, Toronto Police Service, Mayor's Tower Renewal and Think First. I even managed to squeeze myself and Simplicity in there along with Cobbs Bread - Annex!

Here are the photos of that bike clinic in the heart of St. Jamestown on the lawn of the Wellesley Community Centre.

Forrest helps me sort out the Bike Repair queue
A turn out of 600 residents!
The Toronto Police Service custom fit bike helmets donated by Think First!

I like little handy maps! 
Michael from the Mayor's Tower Renewel, and I take a quick snapshot (who needs tripods and timers!)
It was a slightly chill day but a special thanks goes out to every single volunteer who showed up and helped generate the hype on the street and in the neighbourhood.  It was slightly chilly, but the stats don't lie:

600 neighbours, 80+ bikes repaired, 500 helmets, 500+ hot dogs and hamburgers, 10 repair tents. A LOT of volunteers!  It was a long chilly day for me and completely nuts being at the forefront of the reception for all the residents.  I loved every minute of it and I met and worked along side some fantastic people to make this event happen. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Late night fare and a good date movie : Barney's Version and 7 West

I love spur of the moment ideas because you never know where you will find yourself. The other day J and I went for a last minute movie and late night dinner at 7 West.

I really enjoyed Barney's Version. Without getting into uber film critic mode and using university-esque learned terms like mis-en-scene. This was a very engaging and intimate film. It focused on one man and his relationships through out his life. I would not say Barney is a tragic hero by any stretch of the imagination, but what struck me as tragic were is decisions and a failure to learn from his mistakes.

In my humble opinion I found Paul Giamatti's performance fantastic and of the same calibre as the myriad of "bad-buy" roles he has portrayed in the past. (Ie. Red). As for Rosamund Pike, I continue to find her performances captivating. In particular her connection, portrayal and intellectual yet intimately mature relationship with Barney very endearing. She is well and far from the "Bond Girl" image I remember.

As for 7 West, I've long wanted to take J there to enjoy a late night brew. Sadly I was kinda disappointed. It wasn't all bad, our server was very attentive. However the obnoxious patrons on either side of us were a poor accent to the food. I suppose I should not expect much from a place that runs 24 hrs, and staff that is cooking a meal at 1am. Which brings me to the unintended realization that I am trying REAL hard not to be a food snob.
J's salad had dried cheese (ed - bocconcini ) and dried red onions. Without risking being a food snob, my spaghetti with meat sauce was er, just plain normal. Nothing else good to mention about it other than it was hot, had spaghetti and some form of ground meat. For the love of Barney it didn't even have oregano, garlic or a mushroom in sight.
I feel fairly let down, perhaps because the ambiance and service were a cut above the food we were served.

In contrast, I find Fran's Diner is just as good if not better the later it is!

Anyhow, this spur of the moment date is a welcome island of relief as we gear up for another event. I am again, blessed with a great regular client - The Toronto 7th RCA. The question remains for Monday if can engage more volunteer students to participate on this wonderful event experience. I look forward to working with Second Harvest too.

I always feel the ramp up to the event as the team gets assembled, vendors come on board and our suppliers orders get filled.
More updates to follow!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One more fast food place for me to avoid...

Its been real fun lately volunteering and teaching at Alpha II Alternative. I have to say though stopping by the local faux-Medican food joint was a reminder why I really should avoid fast food. A simple fast food burrito combomeal gave me uber heart palpitations the rest of the afternoon!

Anyhow as much as I love pseudo-Mexican food I think I really ought to go to a place like Margaritas, or El Sol (oh so yummy moleh). And no, before you say it, it wasn't anything else I had before or after my burrito combo, because it was on an empty stomach!

Anyhow. I'm very excited about March. There are several fabulous upcoming events and projects that are being planned by Simplicity. T-minus 10 days till the next one!

I'll be posting more pics over the next few days!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Last week I absolutely leapt for giggly joy at the fact that RADIOHEAD released their eagerly awaited 8th studio album entitled "King of Limbs".

Why the have a simple title for the post? I really do think it speaks for itself, and there is no better way to express the bubbly joy at the new album other than to yell RADIOHEAD!.

I make utterly no claim at being a cultured music critic. I just know what music I like, and I just love this band! Some may hem and haw about the music and how its a departure or how its not like their other stuff. To me, its progressive, its new and its not the same old-same old.

I love the release video for their song Lotus Flower. It reminds me of my experience at the The MOVE. (linky link)
I recently had a chance to visit and be a part of it. It was actually quite strange to not enjoy a drink with tunes. I do recommend it for those looking to dance without the club scene. It reminds me of Thom Yorke. So if you want to know what going to The MOVE is like. Its like a whole lotta Thom Yorke & Yorkettes doing this (see above). A lot.

(Mental note: I highly doubt Thom-Head would be a good choice for my kids name.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Quick update : Apox to you and your sausage and egg sandwich Timmy Ho!

Hey all,

Its been a UBER busy January, welcome to 2011. Yes we are still alive and very much kicking!

A promise to my ill forgotten blog, I will update everything that has happened in 2010 and 2011 in one week. YES ONE(1) week worth of posts. Just to play catchup.
Even if this means multiple posts!

As a starter:

I officially decree that I will be swearing off Tim Horton's breakfast sandwiches. In particular the new one located down in Chinatown. My love all things porky-goodness has gotten me quite ill. Not once... but twice! These things are suppose to be cooked yet I can tell you, Rolo's tummy is clearly unhappy!

I've eat stuff from that particular Tim Hortons (not that there is anything wrong with the other ones) and both times gotten sick in a span of two weeks. Now, for those of you who don't know me, I very rarely ever get sick from food, even semi-off food! The irony is, the supervisor of the owner from one of the other stores in the area, took my name down to give to the manager. Its been THREE weeks!

Talk about poor follow up on customer relations! If you're going to do something for a customer, FOLLOW through!

- MORE updates to come on my 2011 Update Blitz