Monday, August 30, 2010


Since I was a little girl my parents always taught my sister and I that when you make a commitment to something you keep it. Your dedication and promise to someone or something meant more than just simple words. That is something that has stuck with me my whole life. When my athletic career began to take off there were times when I didn’t think I was strong enough to do it. Times when I was being pushed to my limits and wanted to be a typical 14 year old and bow out and quit. My parents have been and will always be my biggest fans and supporters. Even though they knew I had the potential to go to the Olympics one day, they would have let me quit if I wanted to. As long as my sister and I were happy, we could do whatever we wanted.

There was just one rule.

If I committed to competing for a season, I was competing for that season. The time, energy and sacrifice of so many people around me to prepare for a competitive year on the international gymnastics scene was huge. Everyone becomes emotionally invested because they are basically a team of people trying to get the absolute best out of you. I remember my coach would have trouble sleeping if I wasn’t training well before a big meet and my club and all the families would fundraise to send me to another world cup I couldn’t pay for. It wouldn’t just affect me if I stopped cold turkey, it would affect everyone around me and was ungrateful.

So even now, how many years later, I still keep that at heart. When I decided I needed to make a big change in my life, I did it and didn’t think too much about it. After two years of living with a great friend I just pretty abruptly got out of my lease. A few months ago it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but as I began to pack up my things and say goodbye to the all the people and memories that have come and gone I wanted to go back on my word and stay.

There were definitely a few moments where I doubted if I had made the right choice this week. Standing on my balcony last night for the last time with my last roommate was hard. My room an empty shell, our place not ours anymore. It’s funny because I never thought I would get this choked up, but my life was that place. It was easy and comfortable and fun. I lived with my best friend for two years, it’s sad to think we’ll never be able to be that close again. I mean, seeing her struggle to get up and out of bed every morning is probably one of the most amusing things ever…going on last minute unexpected adventures in the city is up there too.

I spent my first night in a new bed, in a new room and it was weird. Something that will take time to get used to for sure. I know deep down that this is what I have to do and moving out on my own is a little scary, but it’s that next step. It’s time to grow up.

“last night in the condo. too blurryto even cry. music was just how i like it. deal with the ghetto. love you more than you know. brazilians what? 4am sweet potatoe fries. much love babe”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Learned My Lesson

I had a very humbling moment last night. I'm not even sure if humbling is the right word to describe it, but it was one of those times where you all of a sudden see yourself and your friends in a different light. A year ago this conversation would not have gone the way it did and that's ok, but it was different yesterday for a reason.

We get so caught up in the past and history and things that once seemed life ending that we forget how much we've grown and how far we've come from that point. I didn't see it until now.

I didn't give my best friend the credit she deserved, I didn't give her the benefit of the doubt that yes maybe she just did want me to be happy. Drama and scandals and gossip have surrounded my young adulthood and I couldn't open my eyes wide enough to see that we're past all that.

I sat across from her with an open heart for the first time in a long time and thought I would lose her. I was stupid to think that she would go anywhere. She's been there for me through everything and believe me I didn't have the typical problems that teenagers go through...but she never ran like so many others before her did.

I wish that I had realized we were grown ups a long time before I knew it, but maybe I wasn't ready to see it then.

Funny how life works sometimes.

As the words fell from my lips I knew that I had done the right thing. The last thing I have ever wanted was to hurt her, but keeping things hidden just makes it worse in the end.

Thank you for being such an amazing person. I don't deserve you in my life. I just wish I had been stronger to come to you earlier...

before i lost it, before i gave up on something,before i hurt him

I love you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who doesn't know this?

Alright I need to put this out there because I actually don't believe that the majority of people don't know what this expression means...

If someone says I am falling down the rabbit hole please tell me that the general population would recognize that it's a very famous line from Alice in Wonderland or at least understand what it's referring to...

I realize that if you didn't grow up in a Disney household (which kinda makes me sad) you may have not seen it, but at some point at some time in your life you would've had to run into this saying and asked what it meant...I mean cmon!

FYI - falling down the rabbit hole means your world is turning upside down and you don't know what's what or what's real anymore...basically spiraling downward into an alternate universe or frame of mind

Just in case you are one of those people that didn't know.

Worst pick up line of the night..

I have two questions for you...

#1 - are you single? 100%?
#2 - what time do you work in the morning?

Boys please don't try this one.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Something in your eyes

You can see right through me when you're looking into my eyes. No matter what kind of front I'm putting up or how tough I think I am standing eyes give it all away. Everytime.

I think that's why I'm always always in big sunglasses...and here I thought it was just a fun fashion statement...your mind plays tricks on you sometimes...(go figure)

It's funny - it's so easy to hide emotion behind that thin dark piece of plastic, putting up a wall between you and the person sitting literally at arms length.

A quiet defense, a piece of armor to slip away with dignity.

Yet the second they come off your face you lose the battle. Your achilles heel. Your wounds open for anyone to see.

Making it too easy for you.

Cover your eyes little girl, it's not worth it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Am I really an author now...

I grew up hating english in school. I was the math/science girl - yes a little bit of a nerd too which I whole heartedly embraced. The writing thing was never my forte. I struggled with essays and could never express myself, not to mention my sister was the gifted writer in the family. An incredible poet, speaker, actress, singer...she is the creative one and I happily assumed the role as the athlete. No complaints there.

So it's kind of ironic now that I started to write a few years ago and then dabbled in some blogs for CBC, the Toronto Star, Lenovo, Commonwealth Games Canada, the Strength Within Group...

I honestly began to love it. Working with an editor at CBC was one of the greatest experiences in my professional career. Not only did he help me hone my writing skills, but got me to open up and write in a way that could affect people.

Raw emotion.

So two years ago when my life changed...

when I lost the thing I loved to do the most, reached a goal I had had my entire life, walked away from someone that I will always hold in my heart, went back to University and had to deal with ten years of putting my body on a wild rollercoaster ride

....The feelings and emotions were too much to even understand or talk about so I started to write. I bought one of those big leather bound sketch books and began to fill it up. From lyrics to journal entries to collages and advertisements that meant something to me - my heart and soul went into it. From this book I found my love of writing and I guess the rest is history.

A few weeks ago I pitched an idea to the President of a Publishing company, Burman Books Inc, that I met out of luck at an event earlier this year. He loved it. I loved it. Long story short, I JUST SIGNED A PUBLISHING CONTRACT TO PUBLISH MY FIRST BOOK NEXT FALL!!!

Does this make me a real author now?! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photo of the Week - the many faces of alex

This is for Nik - I know the facial expressions I somehow come up with never cease to amaze you

Smile for me

It's not a good day when you wake up in the morning and feel that sinking feeling in your stomach - a mixture of insecurity, disappointment, laziness - that weird dulling sensation that seems to take over your mood and everything you touch. It's as if it follows you around desperately clinging to your back like a scared child, bringing you down inch by inch until it overtakes you. Those are those days where you break down and cry - even if you're not a crier. Those are the days where you don't know where it came from or why it's happening, but you're not happy with your life.

I haven't felt like that in a long time, but the more I spend with the people that mean the most to me the more I see them go through it. It's always funny to me because if they saw what I saw - what everyone sees - they couldn't possibly feel this way. I find that people define their lives on what they're doing, how successful they are and the actual tangible 'things' that they have. We all do it, but to a point now where nothing is ever good enough.

I should not be one to talk, but when I see an incredibly talented and inspiring person feeling like they are doing nothing with themselves it infuriates me. Please please open your eyes and see that just being you touches the lives of everyone around you. Believe in yourself and you will do great things because you couldn't not. Stop comparing yourself to other people, we're all on different paths, but it doesn't make you any less of a person.

Smile for me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Best advice given to me today...

Focus on one difficult relationship where you are bringing a lot of judgement to the table. What's one piece of truth you share in common with the person being judged?

Think about it - it may blow your mind

Taking it back to Sicily

If you've never met a Sicilian before let me fill you in - we are an intense, crazy people that hold our family at the center of our universe.

They are our blood. Our past, present and future. Don't mess with it if you know what's good for you.

So the incredible news that one of my first friends from University may potentially be related to me is possibly the best thing to happen ever. Apparently a Teresa Orlando married a Francesco Agueci way back when in Sicily, joining these two great families together. Basically this is a beyond epic realization and our families are now going to have an even bigger, louder, broken english posse (love you nonna) then ever before :)

Bring it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Leave Your Boyfriends At Home...

I was literally counting down the seconds until we were on the road heading north this weekend. The past week was a bit of a blur. I was so out of it and a few late nights and early mornings really didn't help me feeling like a complete disaster at work.

Even though we were only going up for one night the five of us girls hadn't all been together in forever. Actually - not sure if all of us have ever done anything like this before. Needless to say, it was much needed and I couldn't wait to escape the city and have a full fledged girls trip.

No boys allowed.

Seriously - probably one of the best weekends of the summer.

I think the combination of hilariously fun girls, sugary beverages in the middle of the day, boating escapades and incredibly cheesy music made the past 36 hours the funniest I've had in a long time. I'm pretty sure I laughed for a good three hours straight at one point - oh and also expressed my love for ms. tash (on multiple occasions)

I know i know. Shocking that my commitment levels just dramatically increased - what can i say she just does that to me? :p

love you girls thanks for an amazing weekend - the boys were definitely not missed

Niki. Steph. Caye. Tash. <3

Friday, August 13, 2010

Awkward Inter-Office Encounter

How is it that only after two weeks in our new office building I have found myself in an awkward social situation already? Only me.

There's only 30 of us from the Pan Am group working here right now - taking up a small corner of the 3rd floor AND forgive me for trying to be friendly and interact with the other companies up here...

Let me be clear...I've been in polite chatter in the kitchen and basic conversation in the elevators...i would admit to a little casual flirting believe me

BUT apparently this has compelled someone (who by the way only knows my first name) to somehow find me in the building directory and send me a pretty suggestive email.


So of course I didn't respond, needing to sit on it for a little bit and analyze my next steps without making this a huge deal as I do have to work here for the next few years...BUT my life would have it that as I'm going to grab a cup of tea from the kitchen who do you think I run into?

This was the definition of awkward. I almost wish someone had caught this on camera. Wow.

My friend Jess shot me a glance that almost made me burst out laughing right there...seriously I don't need this drama at work...

So long story short I had to send possibly one of the weirdest emails I've ever written and politely regretted to inform him that I was just not that into him.

I can't even wait for the response.

Another typical Friday for Alex Orlando - awesome

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Since when is "How to break up with her" worthy enough news to be profiled next to a piece on Obama?

I'm sorry, but do guys really need more stupid advice on how to be honest....wait I forgot it was so difficult

I can tell you the easiest way to break up with someone and I don't need 1000 words to say it.

Read my lips.

Don't lie. Don't let your ego get in the way. Be real. Stop trying to be the good guy (you're not remember). Make a clean break.

Now why is that so hard? :)

Photo of the Week - Jarry Naphtal

Stuff Souls are Made Of[ ΩΛΜΟ ] : a selection of works by jarrtan naphtal

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Source of Strength

The last little while I've been thinking about the people in my life and how incredibly fortunate I am to be surrounded by people who inspire me. Sometimes I think of myself as still a girl, but I'm at that age now where I can comfortably call myself a woman with a smile.

I'm definitely not pretending like I've got it all figured out because I don't and I'll be the first one to tell you that....

But I think of where I've come from and how I'm surviving womanhood now and know that I owe it to those who make me stronger and keep pushing myself to be stronger ever still.

These absolutely incredible women deserve such amazing things in their lives for what they do for others...

Thank you....
for your good heart Marisa
for never leaving my side Victoria
for being my soul sister Annamay
for making me feel like the whole world is at my fingertips Jane
for showing me that I am beautiful Mercy
for helping me find myself Rose
for letting me drive you crazy Niki
for pushing me Gaby
for your brutal honesty Veronica
for always being there Rita
for inspiring me Barbara

When you were young...

When you were young and your heart was an open used to say live and let live...
you know you did

But in this ever changing world in which we live in...makes you give in and cry....
say live and let die

- Paul

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Paranormal Activity?

Call me paranoid, but I swear something freaky is going on in my parent's house. It could be that I just watched this stupid paranormal movie and even though it wasn't that scary it still made me all jumpy OR my house is just possessed. Take your pick.

Alright you may think I've gone completely crazy (which is entirely possible)...but listen to this...

I'm sitting in my dining room with all the lights on working away on my laptop when the lights start flickering. I could hardly notice at first, but then it kept happening. I didn't really think anything of it, but then I just got this really weird feeling. I can work in my dining room all night because believe me I've done it before, but this time I had to get up and move. It was really bizarre.

So it's 1am and I picked up my laptop and stuff to go and leave when the lights went out completely. That has never ever happened to me in my life. Then my dining room door slowly started to open...thankfully we have another door that leads into the kitchen... and needless to say I ran like a crazy person to my room upstairs.

I am fully aware I sound like I'm 12 right now, but I swear this all happened and it really creeped me out...

Could be too many late nights and horror movies, but I doubt I'm going to get any sleep tonight

Beyond Stressed

I think there's a point when you're so stressed out you just become numb. Deadlines are piling up around me and not just at my normal day job. Of course I can't be like every other person and have one job - no I have to be superwoman and have about 5 or 6. Anything else you would like me to take on? I'll probably say yes because apparently I don't know how to say no.

Not a good little pattern I've gotten myself into.

I kind of want to just have a good cry, but...

1) I don't cry (there goes that plan)


2) I can't feel anything to muster up some sort of reaction beyond some sort of intense/empty look on my face

Those of you who really know me, know that I love everything I do. That's the problem. I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but there are those days (and nights like this one) where I honestly don't know how I've gotten myself here. It's 10:51pm and I'm probably going to be pulling an all nighter and heading to a meeting for 8:30am tomorrow. It sounds like it might be a glasses kind of day...maybe they can hide the bags under my eyes...

It's ironic though because I'm not even upset or concerned....just numb. It will get done because I'll make sure it gets done no matter what, but I can't help wondering if my body can put up with it forever. My guess is probably not.

If I can just survive the next two days I'll never do this to myself again.

Who am I kidding - you know I will

If I didn't have my family and friends to pick me up sometimes I don't know what I would do. Thank you for putting up with me and this crazy life. I love you all <3

Reliving the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Bid

Monday, August 9, 2010

Never hold anything in

One of my biggest fears is that I will lose someone without telling them how I really feel or how sorry I am. I listen to this song from Paul McCartney to John Lennon and can't help but think no one should ever hold anything back. You never know what will happen tomorrow...but are you brave enough to let go and say it?

Is there any good way to pick someone up in an elevator?

It has come to my attention that there is no smooth way to take innocent flirtatious glances in an elevator to anything more than a frustrated feeling of letting a moment go by.

I am really curious and would love someone else's opinion on the elevator pick up. Do you go up to a different floor and put yourself into a potentially awkward and embarrassing situation when you have no idea where you're going when you get off? Or do you attempt to hit on this person with coworkers in the elevator? That can also not be a good idea. Even if you do have some sort of a connection it lasts all about 30 seconds before one of you jumps off...albeit slower than you normally would...maybe absent minded hoping that they'll stop you?? yeeaaah ok.

Can it be anything more than just a feel good moment? Someone that day finds you attractive - awesome.

Comments are more than welcome here people...

Good Advice...

Monday August 9, 2010

"Most relationships are based on selfish desire where the partner or sibling or friend only worry about their own happiness. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy. The problem is life is based on paradoxes...

If we seek happiness for ourselves we receive chaos instead. Yet, when we strive to make others happy, we ourselves receive happiness. The more we share with others, the more is shared with us.

Yes, there is a balance. No, we are not meant to become doormats. Learning when enough is enough is another topic, but it's enough now that you notice those situations where it's all about you.

This is the secret of happiness. Now you know. Today, put your knowing into action."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Drunk Text

We've all done it before. Regardless of what is going on in your life, you know that there is that one particularly annoying person that you've either dated, had an insane obsession with or found yourself caught up in a mind game with that you're not going to win...don't lie I know you know what I'm talking about.

This person for some reason even though you deleted them off facebook and bbm is still in your phone...a # somewhere in there that you keep for no good reason...well just to torture yourself with.

So it's a late night and you've had one too many rye and gingers or vodka rocks (that would be me) AND instead of phoning because that would just be stupid you send them a nasty text - good, bad whatever...anything you've said in there is going to make your cringe the next day.

BUT I found out that what's even worse than the drunk text, which can usually be blown off casually the next morning as a mishap of a really good night out on the town (totally understandable from both parties), is the sober text.

You heard me - the sober text

This is a text that you send late at night when you're feeling in a weird mood or just plain lonely and are fully aware of what you are doing. Let me are fully conscious of the fact that communicating with this person only brings you more trouble and yet you do it anyway. You can't even blame the embarrassing emotions that seem to fly out of your fingertips on anything but yourself.

You look crazy.

Remember that before you think sending that text might be a good idea.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What were you thinking?!

Do you ever have those moments where you look back on something you did and tense up, squeeze your eyes shut and basically start wincing - hoping to god that it wasn't as bad as you think it was?

You're thinking how is it actually possible that something so ridiculous could come out of your mouth? It's as if you have a little voice inside your head screaming at you to stop, but you just ignore it for some reason. The second the words leave your lips they hang in the air teasing you...drawing out the seconds before someone speaks again. Slow motion emotional distress - no better kind.

So do you think that people actually remember the stupid things you say? I'm really praying they don't. I am sitting here cringing thinking of my past really bad 'jessica simpson blonde' moments (sorry to all my blonde friends you know i love you) and the immature bs that slips out every now and again.

I believe I used the word 'sick' in front of my CEO the other day and not in the "I was feeling sick" kinda way. Smooth alex.

So moral of the story - I'm hoping that everyone has these moments as often as I do and the next time you walk around with food in your teeth all day, a see through skirt on by accident(that happened to me yesterday) or say something that makes you want to hit yourself about the head...remember we've all been there...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sugar Beach

Let me just say that as much as I can criticize and point fingers at the government for how they are spending our tax dollars here in Toronto - they have finally gotten something right.

The WATERFRONToronto project is probably one of the best things that could have happened to my life. Not only is it going to make heading down to queens quay that much more compelling, but it has strategically placed a beach right outside my office building. I'm talking right outside - I can see it from my desk (if only you knock down the two cubicle-like walls in front of me).

Sugar Beach. Close your eyes and I swear you'll feel like you're in another world...far, far away from the work piling up on your desk and the numbing hum of your office building.

This afternoon I kicked off my heels and ventured into the giant sand box with Jess - my new coworker slash soul mate? A wickedly cool girl that I would probably go insane without every day. Thank god someone gets my sarcasm and inappropriateness.

Back tracking - we collapsed into two white wooden perfect cottage esque beach chairs and spent our lunch hour underneath a pink umbrella. Um pretty much made my day.

Nothing makes stupidity and heart break slip your mind more than a little taste of sugar. Seriously.


Jad·ed   /ˈdʒeɪdɪd/ –adjective
1. dulled or satiated by overindulgence: a jaded appetite.
2. worn out or wearied, as by overwork or overuse.
3. dissipated: a jaded reprobate.

The end result of having a steady flow of negative experiences, disappointment, and unfulfillment fed into a person where they get to the point where their anger circuits just sort of burn out and they accept disillusionment.

You've got your mama's style but you're yesterday's child to me
So Jaded
You think that's where it's at but is that where it's supposed to be?
You're gettin' it all over me

In all it's misery it will always be what I love and hated
And maybe take a ride to the other side we're thinkin' of
We'll slip into the velvet glove
And be Jaded

Yeah, I'm so Jaded
And baby I'm afraid of you

You're thinkin' so complicated
I've had it all up to here
But it's so overrated
Love and hate it
Wouldn't trade it
Love Me Jaded

When everything you see is a blur
And ecstasy's what you prefer
You're so Jaded

'Cause I'm the one that Jaded you

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Question of the Day

I was having some fun on google digging up questions for a team building session I'm holding next week (not during office hours I swear) and came across one I had never seen before. It's one of those questions that really gets you thinking...I mean I'm writing a blog about it so it must've had some sort of impression on me...
If i gathered the closest people to you in your life, what would they say about you that's not true?

I was expecting the typical - how would they describe you? That's always an easy one - it's what you think of yourself that you hope others would say my mind at least. I guess that's cheating a bit, but is it really? If you think of yourself as outgoing 9 times out of 10 most people agree and would add that you're social, loud, fun, etc. etc. It's a no brainer.

But this one is different - this one is real. This is when you think of all those times you feel misrepresented or thrown into some stereotype because of the clothes you wear or the music you listen to, even the job you have. Those little digs that your friends and family seem to throw at you that you never really say anything about.

You can probably tell that this question really got to me because I feel like most of the time people think they have me pegged and they actually have no idea who I am. Kinda funny actually.

So my answer to this question?

I would definitely say that the closest people in my life think that I'm a lot colder than I am. I don't know if that makes any sense, but they think that I'm almost invincible in the way I hold myself and interact with people. Someone very close to me once told me I was too serious. Just relax he said. To anyone else that wouldn't seem like an insult, but it was to me. It hurts to think that all they see when they think of me is how hard I work and the crazy amounts of time I dedicate to things in my life. Given, I am a 30 year old in a 23 year olds body, I am the biggest goofball ever. My guard isn't as high as everyone seems to think it is. Yes, I am a more serious person when it comes to my future, but I am not invincible. I have insecurities and fears just like everyone else and am waiting for someone to come along to take that wall down for good.

What would they say about you that's not true?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shorts ARE allowed to be shorter

After careful consideration and a heated debate with my mother, I've come to the conclusion that if a girl is wearing shorts they are allowed to be shorter than a skirt. However, let's put it in a little perspective. Whether it's a skirt or shorts, no item of clothing should ever show any part of you know what.

Please to all the girls out there - clothes are meant to cover your body. I appreciate a good plunging neckline and short skirt every now and then, but believe me I have never had a Britney moment and am hoping I never will. Yes you all know what I'm talking about.

So next time you're debating about the length of a particular item in your closet make sure you can sit in it without having some sort of paparazzi nightmare and be able to pick up something gracefully that has fallen out of your purse (because at a certain point in the evening you know you're going to drop your keys, lip gloss, phone or all of the above).

Don't get me started on the tightness though...that's a whole other ball game ladies. Exercise some caution with the wardrobe choices this august...somewhere somehow there is a mom thanking me for this :)

ti amo mama

Attention All Guys

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to or hopefully just want to impress a girl I can help you out. It was actually a coincidence how I stumbled upon this place, but regardless I felt the need to share it with all of you.

Last night I was hanging around my condo with my roommate Niki and couldn't stand staying inside when it was such a gorgeous night. A patio seemed so boring and our balcony isn't as amusing as it was 2 years ago when we moved in. So the only logical thing to do was get in the car and do some city exploring.

With the windows down and the music blaring we made a quick decision to head west on Lakeshore and fly by the CNE and BMO. I haven't been to the beach down there in forever so we parked in the furthest lot before the stretch of condos started and hopped out.

Just to make this clear, I have lived in Toronto my whole life and have never walked as west as we did (sad I know). Over the white bridge we watched the sunset and smiled at the couple taking professional engagement photos overlooking the pink skyline. It was kinda perfect. Too bad I was on a date with my roommate (no offense Niki).

We kept walking and came across a long stretch of rocks that curved into the lake. With our wine and snacks in hand (yes we made a picnic) we climbed out and found a quiet spot on one of the rocks. Sitting there we could see the entire downtown Toronto skyline glistening at us and couldn't stop smiling.

So moral of the story - if you want to do something to make a girl feel like she's the most special thing in the world...Niki and I decided that take her here with some wine glasses and whatever happens she'll probably never forget it.

Cheers :)